Chapter 1 opens with an air of mystery surrounding the events of the prologue. With 10 hours until dawn, you’ll begin this chapter by taking control of Hannah’s best friend, Sam, who you may recognize as the actress Hayden Panettiere. As she approaches the ominous, snow covered forest, we get a quick breakdown of Sam’s personality traits. Her bio describes her as diligent, considerate, and adventurous. We’ll see if these traits prove beneficial as your decisions as Sam unfold.
Walk Sam down the powdered path until you reach a gate. Examine the note on the gate, and then look for a glinting spot to the left on the stone wall. Here, you must choose between the Safe or Quick routes. In our playthrough, we chose the Safe route. Complete the few QTE’s that follow to help Sam get over the wall.
Continue down the path until you discover a sign on the base of a figure, which essentially explains the meaning behind the various Totems you can find in the game. The Totems are color coded depending on the nature of its prophesy. For instance, a black Totem shows a prediction of a potential death scenario, as we saw in the prologue. You can press R1 on your controller to review the Totems you’ve found. Upon reading the sign, Sam will also find a yellow Guidance Totem on the ground nearby, which reveals a scene of a bird flying from a picnic table with a person kneeling on the right. Keep in mind that whether or not the Totem’s prophesy comes true depends on your actions as a player. These Totem prophesies can sometimes help to inform your future decisions, so it’s best to pay attention to these as you come across them.
Head to the cable car station and feel free to search the area. On a bench to the right you can find a backpack belonging to Chris. As you examine the bag, a cell phone starts vibrating in the front pocket. Here, you can choose to either Close Bag or Snoop, and in our playthrough we chose the latter. An on-screen butterfly graphic will appear after you make your decision here, which the game cleverly refers to as the “Butterfly Effect”, indicating that a narrative-altering choice has been made. Feel free to choose either option, but please note that for the sake of consistency, you will likely need to make the same choice as us if you are using our playthrough as a guide.
Upon making this choice you’ll be introduced to Chris, a methodical, protective, humorous fellow who apparently has a crush on Ashley. He asks Sam to follow him to the back of the station to look at something. Walk Sam along the right side of the cable car station, and notice a clue on the side of the station building. The clue appears to be a torn wanted poster for a Victor Milgram, who is wanted in connection with a first-degree arson offense, and hasn’t been seen since March 16, 1998. It is unclear what this clue means as of yet, but keep in mind that you can review and examine your collected clues by pressing R1 on your controller.
As you continue around the back of the cable car station, your control will switch from Sam to Chris, where you will be tasked with a bit of timed shooting practice. Use the right stick to aim at the indicated targets, and use R2 to shoot. When the squirrel appears in the range, we chose to shoot the bag instead, which resulted in another Butterfly Effect. Surely the squirrel would thank us if it could.
Return to the front of the cable car station. Still in control of Chris, use his key to open the front door. As you and Sam wait for the cable car, take some time to look around. Inside the control room you can examine a poster near the door. There is also a flickering monitor on the desk in the corner. When finished, head out and enter the cable car with Sam.
A brief, nostalgic dialogue will play out as Sam and Chris ride up the mountain. At the upper cable car station, you’ll be introduced to Jess, Mike’s new girlfriend, who is described as confident, trusting, and irreverent. You’ll recognize her from the prologue, though Mike was with Emily at the time. Press continue after viewing her bio to take control of Jess.
If you’re facing the bench, walk Jess to the right of the bench and press the green button to let Chris and Sam through the door. Due to our choice to snoop at Chris’ cell phone earlier, Chris will snatch a letter from Jess. As Jess, you can choose to either Insist that Chris gives the letter back, or Explain her situation with Mike. We chose to explain ourselves, and then the scene concludes.
The scene now shifts to the introduction of Emily and Matt. Emily, Mike’s ex who we saw in the prologue, is described as intelligent, resourceful and persuasive. She also has a new boyfriend named Matt, who is motivated, ambitious, and active. It’s important to note the various personality traits of the characters, as this will help you make decisions for these characters in the future.
As you walk down the path, you’ll quickly be introduced to Mike, Emily’s ex. Mike is driven, intelligent and persuasive, sharing similar qualities to that of Emily. After meeting Mike, you will be in control of Matt and will be given the option to either Threaten or Welcome Mike. We took the more civil route and chose to welcome him. Soon after this, you must decide whether to Agree with Emily or Persist. We chose to persist, as cooperation and looking out for one another seem fairly beneficial when it comes to survival.
As the scene shifts, we’re introduced to yet another member of the group, Ashley. She has a mutual crush on Chris, and possesses traits that include being academic, inquisitive, and forthright. After viewing her bio, take control of Ashley and look through the viewing telescope. Tilt the telescope toward the lower left to view something interesting. As you continue to use the telescope, a cutscene will eventually interject. As Ashley, you must choose to either Mislead or Encourage Matt. We chose to encourage him to look through the telescope and judge the situation for himself.
Afterwards, the game returns back to Jess at the upper cable car station. Choose to either Check Phone or Read Book. We chose to check the phone, and this led quickly to another choice to either Run to Bench or Grab Snowball, whereby we chose the latter. This initiates a QTE based snowball fight. We chose to hit Mike with snowballs when given the opportunity, but decided not to hit the bird on the picnic table, since avoiding unnecessary animal abuse seems like a good general rule to follow. You should recognize this scene from the Guidance Totem prediction earlier. Now, feel free to hit the bird in your playthrough, but note that by doing so the events of this guide will likely differ from your own. it can be tempting to follow every prompt, but just remember that sometimes inaction is also a viable choice.
Before the flirtatious snowball fight concludes, you must make one last choice. Although it was briefly tempting to Kiss Mike, we felt that he ultimately deserved another frosty snowball to the face, and thus chose to Grab Snowball instead.
The final scene commences with another visit to Dr. Hill’s office. He again asks a series of questions, this time pertaining to your anxieties and fears. Answer however you wish, and the chapter concludes.