- "I can see you through the camera. You feeling alright, mate? No shakes? Fever? Chills?"
- — Ryder's first words to the Hero
Ryder White, often referred to as the Voice, is a survivor featured in Dead Island and serves as the main antagonist of the game. He is also featured in the Ryder White's Campaign and serves as the protagonist of the DLC.
During the events prior to the game's main storyline, Ryder was interrogated to test his loyalty to his country by being presented with photographs of individuals which he was asked if he would agree to kill without question (one of which was his wife, Emily White, which he agreed to reluctantly). After passing the test, Ryder was deployed on Banoi Island in order to aid with containing the recent infection outbreak. During the mission, Ryder and his squad on board of a helicopter were ordered to initiate a bombing run on the highway in the jungle. During their flight back to base, the copilot of the aircraft became infected and attacked the other pilot, forcing the craft to crash land in Moresby. Ryder awakens from the crash several hours later to discover that he is the lone survivor of his crew. He is then contacted by the B.I.D.F. who instructs him to regroup with B.I.D.F. Unit 4 stationed near Saint Christopher's Church as the evacuation zone he requested pick up from had already departed. Ryder later arrives at the unit's location to discover that everyone had been killed by the local gang known as the Raskols before being stripped of their weapons and equipment which included the explosive charges needed to destroy the City Bridge in Sector 4 (Old Town) in order to prevent the infection from spreading any further.
He is then informed by the B.I.D.F. to make his way to the Police Station in Sector 3 of the city in order to recover the explosives to complete Unit 4's mission. After fighting his way to the Police Station, Ryder is confronted by members of the gang who taunt him over the loss of his fellow soldiers. After a heated firefight, Ryder managed to kill the gang members and collected the stolen equipment before being instructed to proceed with finding and destroying the bridge. With most of the roadways blocked, Ryder climbed into a manhole that took him to the sewers beneath Moresby in order to gain access to the riverside.
Upon exiting the sewers, Ryder's progress is again faltered by a group of Raskols that claim the City Bridge as their territory, leaving him with no other option but to kill more civilians which the B.I.D.F. intel allowed in order to ensure the mission's completion. With the gang members disposed of, Ryder proceeded with planting the charges on the bridge and demolishing the bridge. With the mission accomplished, the B.I.D.F. intel ordered Ryder to make his way to the evacuation zone in Sector 6 (Gas Station). Ryder then fought through waves of zombies as he waited for the evac chopper to arrive.
While on board the chopper, Ryder contacted Emily telling her to prepare herself to be picked up. Emily however, replied saying that she had been bitten by a patient and told Ryder to go on without her before making her tearful farewell to him. Unable to accept the loss of his wife, Ryder ordered the pilot not to land on the aircraft carrier off the coast of the island and instead change course to the Prison in order to pick up his wife (disregarding her advice). The chopper then landed on the roof of the prison where Ryder frantically sprinted his way inside to find Emily in hopes of not being too late.
When Ryder reaches Emily in the hospital wing of the prison, he finds her strapped to a bed trying to tell him to leave her in broken English as a result of the gradual transformation into an Infected. Ryder then travels deeper into the prison in order to find Kevin. Upon discovering Kevin, he discovers that Kevin is actually the hacker, Charon. Ryder was then left with no other choice but to collaborate with Charon in order to ensure his wife's life. Charon instructed Ryder to start the prison's emergency power to activate the complex's surveillance cameras which Charon would then use to guide Ryder. Once the power was back online, Ryder was confronted by a groups of rebel prisoners that managed to obtain firearms from the prison's armory. After fighting through numerous groups of prisoners, Ryder arrived at one of the other medical wards in the hospital where he found an antibiotic to slow the effects of the infection on Emily known as Tetracycline. Once Ryder obtained the antibiotic, Charon informed him that the Heroes were on their way to the island with the antidote and that the antibiotic would slow down the effects of the infection on Emily until they arrived.
After administering the antibiotic to Emily, Charon notifies him that a group of prisoners were approaching in retaliation for the ones that Ryder killed in order to obtain the Tetracycline. With the prisoners dead, Ryder traveled to the control room in Block C and met up with Charon. As Ryder approaches Charon, he discovers that Charon was behind the deaths of the scientists at the Laboratory but hides his suspicion. He is then instructed to clear the infected from the shower room in Block C for when the Heroes arrive. With the shower room cleared, Ryder used the sewers in order to return to the control room. While eavesdropping on Charon's conversation with the Heroes, he discovers that Charon has been posing as him (the Voice). Out of rage, Ryder threatens to kill Charon for endangering Emily and making him betray his country. Charon then ensures him that the Heroes have the antidote and that they won't trust either Ryder or Charon if it is revealed that they were never actually speaking to Ryder.
Charon then instructs Ryder to store knockout gas above the elevator lift that the Heroes will be using in order to steal the antidote from them to avoid having to make any negotiations. After placing the gas and returning to the control room, Charon and Ryder watch the Heroes pass out from the gas. Before leaving to retrieve the gas, Ryder destroys the control room's computer in order to prevent Charon from pulling off more tricks. He then locks Charon in the control room and tells him that he's going to go get the antidote for Emily. Charon then replied to Ryder stating that the antidote would only work on people that were only in the early stages of infection while Emily was already past the first stages. Shaken by his words, Ryder ran off to get back to Emily in the intensive care unit. After Ryder leaves, Charon reveals that he had a hidden backup key card and taunts him stating that Ryder should have killed him when he had the chance.
Afraid of being too late, Ryder collected the antidote from the Heroes and frantically fought through countless waves of zombies to get back to Emily. Upon finding Emily, she has already become an Infected. Ryder then vows to make a complete antidote out of the serum and brings Emily to the roof where he discovers that Charon had turned the Heroes against him. Jin then releases Emily to attack Ryder, forcing him to kill her. He then injects himself with the antidote only to discover that the antidote was actually an enhanced version of the virus that transformed him into a powerful Special Infected. He is then killed by the Heroes. The Heroes get away on Ryder's chopper and it is revealed that Charon plans on using Yerema as Dr. West called, "a ticking time bomb" to spread the infection.
He is the first survivor the Hero comes in contact with, as he guides the Hero out of the hotel. Once the Hero has escaped and reached John Sinamoi and his group, their primary goal is to contact the Voice. Unfortunately, their equipment isn't strong enough to do so.
During Act II, upon the Hero's return from Moresby, Sinamoi reveals that he sent Dominic and a few others over to the Royal Palms Resort hotel in order to try to contact the Voice from there. Once the Hero arrives at the hotel, a cut-scene plays in which they talk to him. He reveals that his name is Ryder White, and that he is a Colonel in the B.I.D.F. When questioned as to why he is at the prison, he further reveals that his wife, Emily, is a doctor employed at the prison and he had gone there to find her. However, he does seem suspiciously reluctant to reveal his identity, as he only does so after open skepticism from the Hero. In order to reach him, the Hero must travel through the bunkers to Mingende and find a smuggler named Mowen. Mowen is needed to guide the Hero through the minefield around the prison. After that, the Hero cuts contact with Ryder in order to follow his orders.
During the quest "Chasing the White Rabbit", the Hero catches up with Colonel White during his escape attempt. He claims that they are going to make more of the antidote and will return and save everyone, but one of the prisoners, Kevin, knows his real plan is to bomb the island, most likely with nuclear ordinance, to stop the outbreak. Ryder also has his wife tied up and is going to use the cure on her when they're off the island. However, Jin becomes angry with him and unties Emily. Emily then bites Ryder, forcing him to kill her. He then kills Jin, and uses the antidote on himself. Unfortunately, instead of curing him, it seems to have the opposite effect as he soon mutates into a large, muscular undead form. The Hero is then forced to kill Ryder.
Character Selection Bio
"I've seen some real shit holes in my time. Been all over the world, you see. I was with the SASR. The Aussie version of the British SAS. Fought in Iraq, East Timor, and Afghanistan. Each of those places was worse then the next. The politicians want to turn them into Western Democracies, but they're primitive. Tribal. Steeped in all kinds of crazy shit. They don't want us there. Just like they don't want us here. Of all the brutal, chaotic places I've been, Banoi takes the bloody cake. They got warring tribes in the highlands, Raskol gangs terrorizing the shantytowns, and some bloody billionaire has the brilliant idea to build this luxury resort. Guess the land was cheap and it is a beautiful place, but deep in the jungles here, some of those indigenous tribes still practice cannibalism. You know what they call human flesh. Long pig. They say it tastes just like pork. My wife convinced me to come here with her because she thought I'd be safer. Out of the line of fire as it were. So now I'm training the local Banoi defense force and I gotta be honest. I got a bad feeling about this place. A real bad feeling."
- "Do you see the ocean? That island on the horizon? If you had a high-powered telescope, you'd see me waving to ya."
- — Charon/Kevin as Ryder White, revealing his whereabouts
- "It's the infected! Run! Run for the storage room!"
- — Charon/Kevin as Ryder White
- During the first phase of the final battle on the roof, Colonel White will fire at the player from the helipad while the player fights his BIDF Soldiers. However, he cannot be harmed by the player, much like a regular survivor.
- It is revealed in the Ryder White campaign he is not the Voice, but in fact being told what to do by Kevin/Charon who is the real Voice.
- During Ryder White's Campaign, it appears that he is immune to the infection due to him not contracting the disease despite fighting through so many zombies. It is possible that the "antidote" he injected himself with actually destroyed his immunity to the infection. Alternatively, this may simply be a case of separation between gameplay and storyline, with colonel White managing to fight his way across the island without ever being bitten.
- In Ryder White's Campaign, it is revealed that Ryder has two daughters named Kate and Pamela.
- His Rage is similar to that of Purna with the only difference being the gun used, likewise there are more guns that can be found during his campaign.
- The Ryder White's Campaign can be found in "Extras" from the main menu, where the player can do his story.
- He is referred to as "Colonel" but his shoulder insignia has the insignia of a U.S. Army Sergeant (E-5).
- During Ryder's attempt to save Emily, he tells a soldier not to initiate "Protocol 66" which gives the B.I.D.F. permission to bomb the island, wiping out all inhabitants. This is a reference to Order 66 from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which gives out an order to kill all Jedi, regardless of any other given command or objectives.
- During the conversation with "Ryder" at the hotel, he refers to himself as a B.I.D.F. soldier. When Logan mentions the suspicion of him communicating with them from the prison, he states he is a B.D.I.F. Colonel. This is likely a scripting error.
"In times like these, you think people would pull together."
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