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Helicopter Repair and Refuel



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Buggler informed me that there are Waldo Zimmer’s lines and NPC script entries suggesting that he was supposed to be able to repair helicopter, but it wasn’t handled in code. Now, if WALDO_CAN_REPAIR_HELICOPTER is TRUE, helicopter is damaged and safely landed in the same sector Waldo is in (usually Drassen airport), you can speak to him directly, and he’ll offer to conduct necessary repairs. Repair takes time – while it’s in progress you can’t use helicopter. Time depends on amount of damage, but may vary randomly by few hours. Cost of repair is dependent on damage too, but if WALDO_SUBSEQUENT_REPAIRS_COST_INCREASE is TRUE, it also increases with subsequent repairs – to simulate available parts scarcity and prevent exploiting.


There are also commented sections in code suggesting that helicopter’s range was supposed to be limited. Now, if ALTERNATIVE_HELICOPTER_FUEL_SYSTEM is TRUE:

  • Helicopter can fly up to 25 sectors (by default). It does include way back! Now taking Estoni is important, or you won’t reach Meduna and Grumm.
  • Every sector helicopter flies through uses up 1 fuel unit.
  • Hovering uses up fuel just like flying (you can fly for hours between sectors, but 10 minutes in the same place and you have to come back? I call bullshit, Bullock.). By default hovering for 10 minutes equals fuel needed for flying through 1 sector. Time of hovering is additive, meaning you’ll still use 1 fuel unit if you hover for 5 minutes in one sector and for 5 in another.
  • Hovering costs money – less than travel though – HELICOPTER_HOVER_COST_ON_GREEN_TILE, HELICOPTER_HOVER_COST_ON_RED_TILE.
  • Helicopter refuels automatically when landed at base, for free (let’s say price is included in Skyrider bill).
  • Refuel isn’t instant. Time of refuel scales with amount of fuel used up. If tank is completely empty, you’ll need 30 minutes to fully refill. If you’re in hurry, you can fly away before it’s finished, but you’ll have proportionally less fuel (and less range).


Pay Skyrider in base only

If HELICOPTER_PAY_SKYRIDER_IN_BASE is TRUE, Skyrider will charge you for entire journey only after safe return to base. I mean – he says “I’ll be looking to get paid when the trip’s over”, right?

Skyrider charges for return to base

If HELICOPTER_RETURN_TO_BASE_IS_NOT_FREE is TRUE, automatic return to base costs money too. Normally, if you order Skyrider to return by selecting airport as destination point he charges you, but if he gets seriously hit or out of fuel and returns on his own, he doesn’t – so players usually exploit it by ordering him to hover until he runs out. Not anymore.

Passengers getting hit

Helicopter isn’t exactly armored transporter, so when it gets hit and HELICOPTER_PASSENGERS_CAN_GET_HIT is TRUE, there’s a chance puny meatbags inside get hurt too. By default only few scratches will happen, but it might be enough to require medical attention for passenger and throw player’s plans into turmoil.

Message box before kicking people out

Normally when running out of fuel, Skyrider automatically kicks passengers out. If HELICOPTER_ASK_BEFORE_KICKING_PASSENGERS_OUT is TRUE, you’ll get message box with option to leave passengers in. It doesn’t extend to kicking people out when you owe him money though. (Idea sto… ehrm, borrowed from Night Ops).

Externalised vanilla values


Backwards compatibility

As far as I know.


Buggler – ideas, balancing, testing, feedback