Lost: Via Domus was developed by Ubisoft Montreal after acquiring rights to the Lost license, the popular TV show on the American Broadcasting Network (ABC). It was a multi-platform release, and debuted on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on February 27, 2008 to mostly average-to-low scores.
Lost: Via Domus puts the player in the role of Elliott Maslow, a survivor of the crash of Flight 815. He is a photojournalist who wakes up on the shore of a mysterious island after the crash with amnesia, and the entirety of the game is hinged upon recovering his memory through a number of "flashbacks".
Also typical of the show, each of the game's sections, or Episodes as they are called in the game, end with a cliffhanger. The game end in cliffhanger fashion and it has never been attempted by the show or the producers of the show to explain the mystery that is Elliot Maslow. This particular survivor, however, cannot be considered part of the canon of Lost, and was created solely for the purposes of this game.
The player controls Elliott from a third-person perspective, and is allowed to interact with most of the cast of Lost.
Fans of the series will likely find their favorite characters' likeness in the game, though the number of actors/actresses who actually voiced their own virtual counterparts is limited. The player is allowed to explore and talk with them, or even trade items and goods for things more useful to the player. The core of the game, however, is centered on adventure and exploration. The game is by no means open-ended, but the player will find a variety of locations that also appear in the television show, accurately recreated. Places such as the initial site of the crash, the "dark territory," the Hatch, and many of the Dharma stations all make an appearance. A few extras that haven't been seen before are also thrown in for good measure (though some do not belong in the canon).
The main gameplay features include traversing the jungle and evading the smoke monster, navigating through pitch-black caves, and solving puzzles that come in the form of arranging fuses to transfer power to items that helps the player progress, such as opening doors. Lost: Via Domus also uses "episodes" to advance the plot, rather than just moving on to the next level. At each new episode, you are given a recap of the previous section. This is done to simulate watching the actual television series.
The Game also features "Flashback" Levels in which you must take photos of a certain objects to help Elliot regain his memories, or collect clues often in the form of a written document. Once the "Flashback" is completed, a scene will follow that furthers the plot.
While featuring more than 15 characters from the television series, most of the voices are not provided by the original actors. Only Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), Yunjin Kim (Sun-Hwa Kwon), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond Hume), Emilie de Ravin (Claire Littleton), M.C. Gainey (Tom) and Andrew Divoff (Mikhail Bakunin) lent their voices to their characters. The rest of the cast was filled out by stand-ins with a particular trade in being Locke - whose mostly unremarkable voice is filled in by someone with an American southern accent.
Episode One: Force Majeure
(Major in French)
This episode take place between Pilot Part 1 and Pilot Part 2
As Elliot Maslow is enjoying his drink on Oceanic 815, a man approaches him. This man apparently knows Elliot, but before anything is resolved the plane rips in half, oxygen masks are down, and the Pilot of the show is relived. Elliot blacks out and mysterously finds himself unharmed and unable to remember anything. As he wanders about the Jungle he sees aperations of a woman, but Elliot is never able to confront her. Eventually he finds Kate, who triggers the game's first flashback. In this flashback Elliot, waiting on the Flight 815 plane, is taking pictures of Kate. The player's job is to focus the camera on Kate's handcuffs, which when successfully done reveals that Kate is a fugitive being watched by a Federal Marshall. Back on the island, Elliot promises to Kate that he will not reveal her secret to anyone.
He proceeds to follow the blonde Labador "Vincent" towards the plane crash.
Elliot can meander with several of the crash members, but it is until he can speak with Jack is he given a quest. That quest is to stop the fuel leak on the Airplane, which introduces the puzzle system. With a handful of fuses, Elliot must not only connect the fuses to the right spot but also connect them with the proper voltage. More fuses and more lines on a fuse (So a single fuse take up less electricuty than a a four way fuse) take up more voltage. Upon solving and reporting the fixed leak, Jack diagnoses Elliot lack of Memory as amnesia. He recomends that Elliot finds some of his old belonging to reignite his memory.
Kate is one to talk to. She tells him to look in the jungle for a backpack that might be his, but while searching for it Elliot is attacked by a mystery man who threatens to kill him if the camera is not returned.
Episode Two: A New Day
This episode takes place between: "Pilot Part 2" and "White Rabbit"
Episode Two begins in grand fashion with Charlie, Kate, and Jack running out of the jungle, scared from their previous encounter with the "Monster", and without the transciever that they had found in the cockpit. Jack immediately blockades the entrance to the Jungle, fearing that the survivors might wander into the jungle and be attacked by the "Monster". This is a quandry because Elliot has remembered that the Flight Attendant stowed away his laptop in the cockpit section, the section that Elliot needs to reach, and the section that Jack is not letting any one go near.
Elliot then sees the apperation he saw in the jungle standing on the beach. No one else can see the
woman. Upon approaching her a flashback is triggered where Elliot, relaxing on a beachside porch, is watching this same woman dance around quite happily on the sand. They seem to be in a relationship. Once Elliot takes a picture of her, and gathers several notes about a "Hanso", a scene is triggered where Elliot and "this special someone" steal a boat to explore a nearby island. On the actual Island, Elliot decides to lie to Jack to get past him. He tells Jack that Claire has fainted, and once the ruse works Elliot is back in the jungle. He survives both a "Other" marksman, a dark cave, and a chase with the smoke Monster in his Journey to find both his laptop and camera; however he is ambushed by Ben, Tom, and Juliet at the end of the episode. His laptop is damaged severely.
Episode Three: Via Domus
(The "Way Home" in Latin, and the game's name)
This episode takes place between: The timeline is unknown, but Elliot sees a fully excavated hatch which is first seen in that state in the episode "Deus Ex Machina".
The survivor's have begun to distrust Elliot due to the recent events with Ethan Rom (A other that infiltrated the Lost camp) and they do not think Elliot was on the plane. However, he finds help from Sayid, who can fix his laptop if he finds a usable battery. Locke may have one, but he holds
the belief that Elliot should start a new life on the island. This triggers a flashback back in Sydney, where he is spying on Lisa Gellhorn who is the woman that Elliot keeps seeing on the island. She is trying to get information from the shop owner but more important to the current situation is Locke, who is seen in a wheelchair, trying to sell camp equipment. When Elliot confronts him about his handicapped state back on the Island, Locke tells him he will help if and only if he passes through the cave. During the journey to cave, Elliot sees a fully excavated hatch, and upon giving some criptic advice and more journeying Locke reachs the Cave. If Elliot can pass through this cave unharmed by both "The Others" and the" Smoke Monster".
The "Smoke Monster" briefly attacks Elliot, Lisa makes cryptic appearances, and Elliot finds a skeleton at the end. In the skeleton's hand is a compass with the words "Via Domus" enscribed upon it. Lost takes this as a sign that "The Island provides" and gives Elliot the batteries.
Episode 4: Forty-Two
This episode takes place between Exodus Part II and sometime before the Tailies arrive in "The Other 48 Days"
As Elliot examines his compass on the beachside he hears an explosion from the jungle. His compass points in that direction. Hurley confirms that the hatch has been happened. Then an unexplained amount of time passes as the survivors are now pressing the button regularly and Sayid is spending most of his time in the Hatch. Sayid will fix the laptop if he can prove he was on the plane. Talking to Hurley will trigger a flashback of Rico's pawnshop (the previous flashback scene) where Elliot blackmails Rico with pictures of him cheating on his wife. Rico knows that an important deal went down in room 42 of the Persephone Hotel, between Zoran Savo and other influential businessmen. Lisa bursts in claiming the story was hers, though Elliot is defensive of his motives. In this flashback Elliot Maslow learns a very important thing - his name. Upon telling Sayid - and Sayid checking for Elliot's name on the flight manifest - Sayid lets him into the Hatch.
Elliot explores the hatch while Sayid fixes his laptop. While in there he can do a number of things: enter 4 8 15 16 23 42 to reset the computer, follow his compass to a barricaded, concrete filled doorway, and tinker with the electrical panels that puts the station in lockdown. Elliot has 4 minutes to enter "Via Domus" into the computer and unlock the blast doors. This brief tension is ultimately irrelevant to the plot of the game, for as soon as he unlocks the door Jack and Sayid burst in. They fixed his laptop and they found information on Sarin gas and explosives. Until answers are found the plan on keeping Elliot locked in the armory.
Episode V: Hotel Persephone
Unknown: but Elliot's captivity mirrors that of Ben's in "One of Them"'
Elliot wakes up in the Armory and has visions of Lisa. The lights turn on, Lisa disappears, and Elliot attempts to talk to Kate through the armory door. She trusts him due to the fact that Elliot kept her fugitive secrect safe, though the one question that matters is "Let me out". This prompts a flashback of the Persephone Hotel Lobby, where Savo's deal is going down in room 42. Lisa decides to help Elliot once he tells her that Savo killed her sister, though this may be a lie. The man who had previously assaulted Elliot is guarding the room, and with Lisa's help, they distract him and Elliot sneaks into room.
With this information Elliot convinces Kate to release him and soon Elliot is prancing around the jungle. Using a previously found map he finds a building by the hatch, but no matter of gunfire will open the locked door. Elliot needs something stronger. The survivors back at the beach are wary of his presence but will not attempt to apprehend him. Hurley tells him there is dynamite at the Black Rock, and upon finding and using this dynamite Elliot is able to open the doorway. There he discovers the incident room. A large malfunctioning reactor is drawing his compass in, though that stops when he deactivates the reactor on a nearby terminal. With a functioning compass he is able to "Follow his way home", before he leaves the terminal beeps. A message appears, "Elliot Maslow. We know what you did. We will kill you". This message is presumably from the others.
Episode VI: Whatever it Takes
Elliot, with little left to follow, uses his compass as his guide. It leads him to sonic fence that surrounds the barracks, otherwise known as "Otherville", and here is where the smoke monster ambushes him. The Smoke monster had previously been attacked him on his journey here, yet when it finally has him Smokie decides to let Elliot live. The reason is unknown. Juliet approaches the fence and tells Elliot that he is the one responsible for Lisa's death. This triggers a flashback where Lisa and Elliot have one more guard to distract - the man who had attacked Elliot on the island. Lisa's attempts to distract him does not work, but Elliot attempts do. He tells a guard that Elliot is a journalist, and she is soon apprehended. This saves Elliot from being apprehended.
Back on the Island Julliet tells Elliot that he can come through. Ben wants him for an unknown reason. She leads him to an underground station that leads to the Flame Station. There he finds Mikhael at gunpoint. The man who has the gun is the same man who attacked Elliot on the beach. Elliot saves Mikhael by killing this man. "Thank-you, but I am sorry," Mikhael tells Elliot as he gets hit by a dart.
Episode VII: Worth a Thousand Words
This episode takes place near the end of "Live Together, Die Alone"
This episode starts much like many of the others, a cryptic vision of Lisa. The only thing that has changed since Persephone is that Elliot is now locked up in the Hydra Station instead of the Swan Station. Tom (Mr.
Friendly) comes in to ask Elliot a few questions about Lisa and Hanso
which conveniently triggers an explanation about Lisa and Hanso. Thomas Mittlewerk, the president of the Hanso Foundation, gives Savo a briefcase full of Sarin. This is a deadly nerve gas. Elliot s watching from a concealed location as Lisa come's in, two guards in her hands. Back on the Island Elliot realizes something - he killed Lisa. Thomas extorts him to Ben who has a proposition for him; Elliot will be allowed to leave if he exhorts Jack to the Black Rock (the 18th century ship where Elliot found the dynamite).
Elliot returns to the beach, promising a way home to Jack. Jack follows him to the captain chamber's in the Black Rock where the Others reveal they have Kate hostage and at gunpoint. Jack realizes what has happened when Tom hands Elliot his compass, saying that he may go home now. A flashback stalls the action for a moment, showing Elliot the final scene in the Persephone. Savo is interrogating Lisa to the whereabouts of Elliot, though she does not give in, and ultimately dies. Elliot takes a picture of Savo shooting Lisa, from his hiding spot, and back on the island he realizes that he let Lisa die to take a picture of Lisa dying. The ultimate story. Virtue strikes in Elliot as he decides to free Jack and Kate by shooting an explosive case of dynamite, knocking out the Others (and unfortunately Elliot). Elliot is left unconscious because Jack does not want to save someone he considers a liar. Juliet however, find him and tell him that the rest of the Other's plan on killing him. He needs to follow the compass bearing to a boat, where he can then follow the bearing of 325.
The final action scene is Elliot running through the jungle, dodging gunfire from Others, until he reaches the docks. At the docks Locke is there - for an unknown reason - and begins to fight off the Others for him as Elliot leaves the island. As he sailing forth the sky begins to shake and a purple/white hue takes over everything. A loud noise encompasses everything as well, mimicking the day the Swan Station imploded, and one thing Elliot can make out is a new plane coming towards the island - about to crash. Elliot then wakes up to find himself on the beach, having just crashed on a different plane. Lisa, very much alive, is standing over him. "Oh my god, we made it!" She yells and so ends the game.
Homages to the ShowThe first episode of the game is rife with homages to show. Elliot wakes up on the Island, the camera is focused on his pupil ( Perhaps the most common shot in the show)
and he resting in the middle of a bamboo forest with a glass of Alcohol in his hand (Identical to the opening scene in the pilot). Along the way to the beach he finds Vincent and a woman's shoe, both from the Pilot, along with a dead body hanging from the vines (From season two "The Other 48 Days"). He sees apparitions of Lisa, specifically on the Beach, which is identical to Jack seeing his Father in "White Rabbit". One may argue that his ambush at the end of Episode Two, and the sabotage of the Laptop, is similar to Sayid's ambush by Locke which happened near the same time. Also, Elliot is locked up in the armory much like Ben Linus was (Though not beaten to a pulp).
Xbox 360 Game Installation
Lost: Via Domus requires 4.2GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.