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RttP: Life is Strange - This Action Will Have Consequences (Open Spoilers)

Episode 1: Chrysalis - Monday October 7th
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    Wake up Miss Caulfield, wake up and smell the ashes.



    Episode 1 starts off with a bang, showing our hero Max Caulfield up against quite the tornado that's about to take out the lovely town of Arcadia Bay. Thankfully it's just a dream, and we're actually in class, which surely can't be worse can it? That tornado must be a metaphor or symbolic or something.



    Well, Max has some confidence issues for one, not helped by Queen Bitch Face Victoria Chase showing us up when we didn't know the answer to a question set by the dreamy teacher Mark Jefferson.



    Anyway, we're saved by the bell from any further embarrassment, and after a quick stop to nerd out at the camera's (god Max you're such a nerd) and stare at Kate Marsh (so rude), we're into the corridor, music on, world cut away, and roll title card.



    I love this intro. The classroom scene is great at establishing character archetypes really damn quickly and does it by showing you what Max thinks about each person, Victoria, Kate and Mr Jefferson. She really hates Victoria, is indifferent to Kate and admires Mr Jefferson, but has serious anxiety over presenting her work. And it even hints at a larger threat, but is it just symbolic of something? Sure, the American Highschool setting isn't the most original of one, and the characters are pretty broad archetypes right now, but this scene does the job very well. Sadly, I have to go to work now, so more after work! Can't wait. Also, I'm sure this won't mean anything.


     
    Episode 1: Chrysalis - Monday 7th October Part 2
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    So, a quick jaunt to the bathroom to calm down after the terrifying dream.

    The corridor scene is great for establishing the setting, the hell that is an American high school. Sure, as a Brit I've never had that experience, and I doubt the French creators of the game have either, but we've experienced it vicariously through so many American high school dramas, everything from The Breakfast Club to Geeks and Freaks to Buffy to Community. Again it's the nostalgia for a place you've never been. I'm sure there's a word for that, and if not there should be one. It absolutely nails the broad archetypes at play here, the geeks and nerds vs the jocks and popular kids.



    A lot of posters for this poor missing girl. I wonder what she was like? Doesn't seem to have been the most popular girl around.


    Anyway, Max gets distracted in the bathroom by a butterfly (such a fucking nerd), and as her back is turned the rich prick Nathan Prescott walks in and starts ranting, only to be followed in by a blue haired girl we don't know who starts threatening him.



    Hella Count: One

    Nathan takes this exceedingly well.



    The blue haired girl tries to reason with him (Hella Count: Two), but to no avail as Nathan shoots her right in the gut.



    Max reaches out in desperation to try to stop it and then suddenly everything rewinds until....

     
    Episode 1: Chrysalis - Monday 7th October Part 3
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    So you can go back in time. And here we have the big 'Strange' part of the game, time reversal. How does it work? I believe the official answer is 'A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.' But it makes for some gameplay!

    Anyway, before saving that blue haired girl we're gonna impress the dreamy Mark Jefferson by using our time powers to get the answers to the questions then rewinding to answer them ourselves. Take that Victoria, your swotting up is no match for our COMPLETE MASTERY OVER TIME AND SPACE! Just look at that smile from him.




    And now a quick sprint to the bathroom, wait for Nathan and the blue haired girl to arrive, hit the fire alarm and we just saved a life. Already one up on other time travellers, good going Max!




    Once outside the bathroom, we bump into Principal Wells, who's a tad suspicious about us exiting the bathroom just as the fire alarm's going on. Here we have our first decision of consequence, choose to tell Principal Wells what happened, or hide the truth. Sure, Nathan Prescott may be the scion of a wealthy family around here, but he brought a fucking gun onto campus, so no way am I not telling everyone and anyone. Will anything be done about it?


     
    Episode 2: Out of Time - Tuesday 8th October
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    I love the confidence of this opener. The first episode had to draw you straight in, and did so pretty effectively with the tornado and dream sequence and the whole Chloe getting shot scenario, but here we're left just lay in bed, listening to the music and let time pass by. The moments of calm throughout the games are some of the nicest parts, just leaving you alone to think and reflect and contemplate on what's gone on. It's nice to have a game feel confident enough in itself to not have to force the pace, but let you meander along to the next scene. Max's dorm room drags me right back to the dorm rooms I've stayed in too.

    Anyway, we go to have a shower (French Devs, but thankfully not David Cage level), and bump into Kate Marsh, one of our classmates.



    Kate's getting rather remorselessly bullied over a viral video that's been spread around by Victoria and the likes, even on it's own website, and she's not taking it well at all. We have a chat with her to try to reassure her and find out what happened, given that the video is very much at odds with her persona.



    There's Nathan Prescott again. That cannot be good. Even though we're getting threatening text messages from the Prescott's, we convince Kate to go to the police. Not that she'll be listened to, of course. That's depressing enough in this game, let alone real life. This game deals with some hard stuff.

    Anyway, leaving Kate with her copy of The October Country by Ray Bradbury, we head off to the Two Whales Diner, obstentiably for breakfast with Chloe. As Aestivalis has said, it feels like a place you know, the all American diner. There's people there who you just know have been coming to that spot for years, you can smell the coffee and crispy bacon, feel the grease. It's wonderful. The diner is run by Chloe's mother, Joyce, who's an equally wonderful character, who after chewing us out for smoking weed 'infront' of Chloe, gives us the hardest decision in all of Life is Strange. I chose the Bacon Omelette.



    Joyce brings out another side to both David and Chloe. Joyce managed to move on after her husband, William, died, and met David who's a supportive, loving husband. But Chloe stayed angry, as teenagers are wont to do, and takes it out on David especially. It's one of those all too human character flaws, and I love how the conversation with Joyce brings those to light rather naturally. Chloe finally arrives, and Joyce basically berates her for being a bum with no job who can't buy her own breakfast. We offer to buy it for Chloe, and impress her with our time bending powers, convincing her that they're real. (Hella Count: 6) She, of course, comes up with a genius way to use those powers, and invites us to her 'home away from hell.'

     
    Episode 2: Out of Time - Tuesday 8th October Part 2
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    Chloe's 'home away from hell' turns out to be a junkyard. Because of course it does. Lots of cool junk lying around, like syringes, bullet casings and mostly empty beer bottles. Chloe decides it'll be great fun to drink and shoot the gun she brought along to show and tell, because we all know that guns and high school dropouts go together.




    So begins what is undoubtedly the finest sequence in all of Life is Strange, the search for the five bottles. Marvel as you wander aimlessly around the junkyard to find them. Praise Kronus that DONTNOD added in verbal clues as to where they are. Enjoy the timed challenge to avoid getting crushed! On the brighter side, we find Chloe and Rachel's hideout, along with another clue as to Rachel's whereabouts, she attended a Vortex Club party. The parties that Nathan goes to.



    Anyway, after finding the bottles, we work together to pull off some trickshots (Hella Count: 7) Which go about as well as you can imagine. But after all the drama and a celebratory fistbump, we're struck by another blackout and vision of the lighthouse and the tornado.




    Waking up, we're threatened by Frank Bowers, who after we threaten to shoot him, gives Chloe till Friday to pay back what she owes. Knowing Chloe, that's going to be a lot and entirely unpayable. Chloe's rather more interested in the bracelet around Frank's wrist, which apparently belonged to Rachel and was a gift from her to him? Very strange.


     
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    Episode 2: Out of Time - Tuesday 8th October Part 3
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    It's time for the Stand By Me homage. A walk with Chloe, hand in hand along the railroad tracks. We get to chatting about Rachel (Hella Count: 8) and finding her again. I find the 'had-has' line from Chloe to be very telling.



    Anyway, after another brief blackout/vision of the lighthouse and the tornado, Chloe gets herself stuck in the tracks as a train is bearing down on her. She really is trying to get herself killed! But Chloe's death wish is no match for our COMPLETE MASTERY OVER TIME AND SPACE, and we're able to free her moments before disaster.



    But as another time traveller once said, 'Time waits for no-one', and we have to get back to the actual hell that is highschool. Principle Wells is trying to deny anything happened yesterday, David is still being kinda intense in his surveillance, Warren's being his slightly too forward adorkable self, and the dreamy Mark Jefferson isn't being all that helpful about Kate Marsh.




    What of Kate Marsh herself though? Oh Kate....

     
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    Episode 2: Out of Time - Tuesday 8th October Part 4
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    Class begins, but Mr Jefferson can barely start talking about chiaroscuro before he's interrupted by Zachery, shouting that something's going down at the Girls Dorm. We get there just in time to see Kate Marsh on the ledge, and watch helplessly as she steps over.

    Not even our rewind powers can get us up to the roof in time, but somehow, we manage to freeze time entirely, and force our way through spacetime to get there, only for our time powers to fizzle out entirely. So we're left on the roof, with no rewind, and just have to try to talk Kate Marsh down. If we say the wrong thing, we know what she'll do, because we've already seen it.




    I've played all manner of games where the fate of the city, the nation, the world, even the whole galaxy was at stake. But all of those paled in comparison to this. Even with all the powers in the world, you're powerless in the face of Kate's emotional torment, and just have to desperately try to connect to her to try to save her. Did you actually care enough about Kate Marsh to get her down off the ledge, or were you just like everyone else, ignoring her nightmare to spend time with your friends. The first time I played this was like a gutpunch, and even now, knowing what was coming, I was still terrified of making the wrong decision, saying the wrong thing, knowing the consequences of my actions. Life is Strange wasn't going to be about magic time travelling adventures and weird murder mysteries, but all too human problems, with all too human consequences. It was at this moment I knew it was going to be something special, something that had something to say about the human condition.

    Did I save Kate?



    Yeah, I did. And it felt better than anything.

    Afterwards, we're hauled into Principal Wells office to discuss what happened, and have the opportunity to blame Mr Jefferson, David or Nathan for what happened. Sure, David's kinda an arsehole, and Mark wasn't that supportive, but Nathan fucking drugged her! Principal Wells finally takes action and suspends him. And Episode 2 ends with us talking to Warren as an unscheduled solar eclipse occurs. Something is seriously wrong with the universe. We'll have to find out what tomorrow, in Episode 3: Chaos Theory.


     
    Episode 3: Chaos Theory - Tuesday 8th October/Wednesday 9th October
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    Episode 3 starts with everyone still quite understandably shook up over Kate's attempted suicide. For some in the dorm, it's a time for reflection and thought about what they all did to drive her up to that roof. For Victoria, it's a chance to flirt with the dreamy Mark Jefferson (who thoroughly rebuffs her.)



    For Max and Chloe, it's an opportunity to break into the school to dig up some details on what's being going on in Blackwell. I'm sure we've all had that weird, eerie feeling of wandering around an area we know intimately well, packed with people and life, but now peacefully drenched in dark and stone dead. It's a feeling I know I won't forget, the feeling of seeing the corridors of your school outside of school hours for the first time. I do love this sequence, it's quite creative with your time powers. You can't get into the Principal's office, despite Chloe lifting the school keys from her step-dad David, so you wind up texting Warren for advice on building a pipe bomb of all things. Then, once the door's thoroughly blown open and the police are on their way because you just blew up your school you crazy delinquents, you step into the principal's office and rewind time to before all of that, opening the door from the other side.

    Digging through the personal files in the Principal's office turns up quite a few surprises, with Chloe's file being a particular delight. Empty rebellion sums up a big part of her pretty well. But rather more disturbing are the files we dig up on Nathan, especially the drawing of his that's nothing but 'Rachel in the dark room' scribbled over and over again. Whatever that is, it can't be good. Before leaving, we steal the money for the handicapped fund because we're awful people. We were going to be moral, but then Chloe promised a trip to Portland, so... yeah. First though, a slight detour to the swimming baths. Nothing like a midnight swim to ease our worries. (Hella Count: 9/10)




    The midnight swim scene is really quite beautiful, especially the lighting. There's an otherworldly blue glow to everything, and the version of 'Max and Chloe' that plays over the whole scene is to die for. The girls chat for a while, Chloe brings up how she wishes Rachel was here again, but soon starts reassuring Max over her power, and how it's changing her for the better. Max even calls her 'girlfriend', which is... uh... whew.



    Their antics don't go entirely unnoticed though, narrowly avoiding the step-fuhrer in chief David on his patrols, blasting back to Chloe's house to stay the night.
     
    Episode 3: Chaos Theory - Wednesday 9th October Part 2
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    We spend the night at Chloe's place, the early morning sun filtering through the upturned American flag, Lua playing on the hi-fi. I could stay in this scene for ages, it's so peaceful and warm. But eventually Max gets up, and Chloe's being all very encouraging and daring us to take a chance on something.



    PRICEFIELD FOR LIFE


    Oh my heart.

    Eventually we get around to trying on some of the clothes Rachel left, as our old outfit still stinks of chlorine for some reason. This leads to the single greatest line in video game history, as Chloe suggests she'll make a thrasher out of Max yet. There is a world before this line, and a world after. After Chloe recovers from the epoch making utterance from Max, we ask her if she had any boyfriends (emphasis on boyfriends) when we were gone, raising the Hella Count to 11



    We leave Chloe to 'wake and bake' and get some breakfast of our own, ably cooked by the truly delightful and long suffering Joyce, who asks if we're jealous of Rachel (pfft, of course not. Why would we be?) She then gives us a photo of Max and Chloe together from five years ago, the last photo taken by her deceased husband William. Chloe comes downstairs and gives us cover to investigate David's computer by getting into a fight with Joyce, something she's very good at doing by now, and we dig up files on Rachel, Kate and ourselves. That's not good at all, and is all we need to get Joyce onside with kicking out David! Hurray, we totally did a good thing there, right?


     
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    Episode 3: Chaos Theory - Wednesday 9th October Part 3
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    With one of David's files pointing to a connection between Rachel and Frank Bowers, we drive off to meet the friendly neighbourhood drug dealer, busy eating his beans. Sure, he's mad about us almost shooting him yesterday, which is pretty understandable, but his anger is no match for our COMPLETE MASTERY OF TIME AND SPACE, and we magic the keys away from him. Once inside his rolling probable cause RV, we get to work investigating, avoiding distractions and hoping to find more evidence of the link between Rachel and Frank.



    Which we do. Chloe takes this revelation in her characteristically calm and pleasant way. We're barely able to keep up as she drives off in a rage, blaming us, Rachel, Joyce, David for all her problems. Even William isn't spared from her scattergun anger. Which is obviously grotesquely unfair, but I'm sure better people than me have, in their darker moments, blamed loved ones for dying and leaving them behind.




    Chloe drops us off at Blackwell without a word, and in the relative quiet of our dorm room, we reminisce about the last time Chloe was actually happy.



    No, not that time!

    The photo from five years ago, when Max and Chloe and William were together for the last time. Only, looking at it this time, something weird happens.


     
    Episode 3: Chaos Theory - Sunday 28th September 2008/Wednesday 9th October - Part 4
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    Time is a fickle mistress, but a fortuitous one also.

    We're back in 2008, on the day of the accident that took William from Chloe and Joyce's lives. We know that William's about to get a phone call from Joyce, asking him to come pick her up, driving him to his fate. But we have this opportunity now, we can set right what once went wrong. It doesn't take much, just throwing the keys away, and persuading William to catch the bus instead.



    With our mission complete, we leap back into our own body in the current day.. and everything's changed. We're friends with Victoria and in the Vortex Club somehow? Warren's dating Stella? What else have we changed? Well, as long as William is still around, Chloe's going to be happy, and that's what counts.



    We catch the bus to the Price house, spotting some beached whales along the way (that's normal right?), and find William there at the home! And Chloe's there too! We did it! William's alive, Chloe's happy!



    OUR COMPLETE MASTERY OVER TIME AND SPACE IS ASSURED



    Oh.
     
    Episode 4: Dark Room - Wednesday 9th October
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    We were warned there'd be a consequence to our actions.

    We visit the beach with Chloe, during the golden hour. It's heartbreakingly beautiful just talking to her, taking in the sunset. We actually learn a lot here, none of it good. Rachel Amber went missing in this timeline, and the snow and eclipse occured just to add to the mystery. Whatever's causing these meteorological phenomenon is in both timelines. Chloe tells us about the accident, about how she remembers it all in slow motion, remembers her back snapping, remembers...




    Max tries to be hopeful, saying that now she's back with Chloe she's not afraid, and thinks they can change things for the better. Chloe tells her she doesn't have a lot of hope left. Eventually the warmth of the sunset fades, and we head back to the Price house. (Hella Count 12/13)



    Back home, Chloe berates Max a little over not coming around before. Max hasn't been a good friend, especially in this timeline, but it's the text message that finally broke me. Max has Chloe's number for months without doing anything about it, then messages her one day out of the blue, and Chloe responds in two minutes. This sucks. I have something in my heart.



    Chloe reveals that the she's costing her parents at least a million dollars a year. Goddamn American healthcare. But at least Max and Chloe are back together again. Chloe suggests watching a movie, Blade Runner, together like they used to. She likes Pris' hair, apparently.

     
    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October/Sunday 28th September 2008 - Part 2
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    We wake up, arguing over who fell asleep first, but Chloe quickly gets one of her regular head pains, and asks us to get the morphine injector for her. Walking through the house is bleak, William's trying to be optimistic in his quiet desperation, Joyce has taken a second job, the bills are piling up, there's not enough help available, and Chloe's respiratory system is on the verge of collapse. There's no background music throughout, except for the moment of calm in Chloe's old bedroom, which even then is muted and sorrowful.




    Back in Chloe's room, we give her the morphine, then go over some old photos together, laughing and reminiscing over better times, when Chloe asks us to do the impossible. She knows about her respiratory condition, knows she doesn't have long left. All we have to do is turn the morphine injector up to 11, and she'll just drift off to sleep.



    I do what she asks.



    My mum died in early 2014, and I remember seeing her in the bed we moved downstairs for her just after. Seeing Chloe like this brought that all back. I just sat and stared at the screen crying for a while. But we push on because we have to.

    We jump back to 2008, and burn the photograph William took, leaving him to his fate. And we leap back to...

     
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    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 3
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    Thank you Amanda Palmer.

    We've made it back to the main timeline, and Chloe's still here! Apparently we were up all night trying to piece together the mystery during our 'jump' to the alternate timeline, is time advancing in all timelines at once? Never mind that, we've got Rachel Amber to find and Nathan Prescott to take down. There's a few things we need to do to crack this case, though it looks like Step 3 is already partially there. Man, David looks beaten. I kinda feel bad for him.




    But with him out of the way, we're able to break into his locker, and find the jackpot. His stash of files. He's been up to something, probably working with the Prescott's, but whatever it is can't be good. However, before we get on with that, there's a special someone we have to go visit.

     
    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 4
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    I'm not wholly convinced as to the overall merits of the Episodic Game yet, but in situations like this, where the devs can adapt the later episodes in response to fan reaction, it certainly pays off. Getting to see Kate at the hospital is a real treat, a much needed one after the start of the episode. Even if it doesn't lead to a huge amount of plot development, it's still the sort of emotional payoff you want and need. Max actually can help someone!

     
    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 6
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    Off to see Frank Bowers. We need his client list, so we can decipher the book we stole from him yesterday, and compare that to the info on Nathan's phone and David's files. It's all getting very Nancy Drew here. Even with the money we stole from the handicapped fund, we might not be able to get him on side, but with calm heads and cool questioning, we should get what we need.



    Goddamnit.

    Good thing I have COMPLETE MASTERY OVER TIME AND SPACE, so lets rewind and try that again shall we? Sure, we got the information, but it'd be nice to not make Chloe a murderer. Thankfully, knowing what might and already has happened gives us quite the advantage in negotiations. We tell Chloe to cool it, and stick talking to Frank about Rachel, knowing that he has a connection with her, and pull on the heartstrings we know he has. This time things go much better, and we get the list without adding to this episode's bodycount.


     
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    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 7
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    With all the clues from David, Nathan and Frank finally gathered together, we can find out exactly where Nathan took Kate that night. One CSI investigation later, and we get an address, an old barn owned by... Prescott. Investigating the barn, we're able to find a hidden underground bunker leading to somewhere.




    The Dark Room.



    There are binders here, binders full of sickening photos of drugged women. Kate wasn't the first and won't be the last. Nathan's planning on taking Victoria here tonight.




    But it's the photos in Rachel's folder that spur us into action, sending us rushing back to the junkyard.



    We find the location those photos were taken, digging furiously with bare hands in the spot we played together in not two days ago, denying what's in front of us until the last, when we find the final resting place of Rachel Amber.



    I really hoped she'd be alive.
     
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    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 8
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    We make to the 'End of the World Party', and Chloe's got one thing on her mind. Not even a double moon distracts her for a moment. The world may be ending, but as long as she ends Nathan first she'll be happy. Walking into the party, we're met by Warren, who's sad and drunk and wanting to get away from the ultraviolence for just a moment. He asks us for a photo in his pitiable state. Chloe's so pissed off she eventually storms off, leaving us to talk to him, reassuring him that the world isn't ending.




    So now we're looking for two people. Nathan, who's trying to drug Victoria, and Chloe, who's wanting to put a bullet in the creep the moment she sees him. I love the party scene, everyone's wasted, the music is great, and the heart to heart you have with Victoria is actually really touching. Both Max and Victoria admit they're probably destined to not be friends, but perhaps they can at least not be enemies. Victoria admits to her faults, her worries. It's one of the things I love about Life is Strange, the characters start out as archetypes but you slowly get to see the depths there. I get the option to warn her about what Nathan has planned, and of course I take it. Even if she doesn't believe me, it'd be monstrous to not warn her about what could happen. Thankfully, it sounds like she believes me enough to stay away from Warren, and go to someone else for protection. At least that's her safe. We reunite with Chloe, who's not had any luck finding Nathan either. Better check the dorms too! On the way out, Mark Jefferson announces the winner of the Everyday Heroes contest, and of course it's Victoria. Chloe has other things on the mind.




    Once outside, we get a text from Nathan himself. Fuck.

     
    Episode 4: Dark Room - Thursday 10th October - Part 9
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    Driving like the furies back to the junkyard, we quickly get back to where Rachel's buried, Chloe stomping around and relying on Max's rewind to save her. But once we get there, she's.... still there? What the hell?



    There's footsteps behind. We try to rewind and nothing happens.



    Now it's Chloe's turn to protect us.



    Except.




    Oh no...

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - Friday 11th October
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    Chloe Price's dead, killed by Mark Jefferson. Rachel Amber's dead, killed by Nathan Prescott. Victoria Chase, warned by us to stay away from Nathan, fled to Mark Jefferson, who drugged her and took her to the Dark Room. Along with us.

    There's a photo that Mark Jefferson took of us on the table in front of us. It's sickening to look at, but maybe we can jump back into that time and do something? When we get there, we're so drugged that we can do nothing more than hear Mark's sick rants. It's genuinely creepy to listen to him go on and on about the 'purity' of the image, but in amongst his monologuing he reveals a few things. Unsurprisingly, the Dark Room was under surveillance, and he sent us the text from Nathan's phone drawing us to the junkyard. But as we struggle, he gets angry enough to drag the trolley over to prepare another dose, letting us kick out to stain his photo album, meaning more of the 'session' is available to us. I feel sick.




    Before jumping again, we reassure Victoria as best as we can, telling her to be strong and fight against Mark. I'm not sure how much it helps. In this photo, we're far more awake and able to have a conversation with him, as much as we don't want to. He's obsessed with capturing the moment innocence turns to corruption, and kidnapping and drugging Blackwell Students is the way to do it. Nathan tried to do the same, living up to Mark's ways, but fucked up and made Rachel OD. He tells us he plans to put all this on Nathan, who's amateur ways are compromising his vision. He's so vile in this scene.




    But as he's walking away, we notice our journal's down here in the Dark Room with us. We're able to persuade Mark to toss us it, revealing another photo, and one jump later...

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - Monday 7th October/Friday 11th October - Part 2
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    Right back to the start.This leaping through time is getting too much for this girl, but it gives us the opportunity to use our knowledge to fix everything. We text David, giving him enough to crack the case, and spend the rest of the time doing the important stuff. Blowing the fuck out of Mark Jefferson (and raising the Hella Count to 14 in the process), comforting Kate and giving her a hug, and telling Victoria that she can be so much better. We hand in our photo for the 'Everyday Heroes' contest, and see what happens.




    We see the Dark Room raided by the police, and Rachel's body found. We see Nathan and Mark being led away in handcuffs. Chloe's alive, and we're going to San Francisco for the 'Everyday Heroes' reception. Did we solve it? Did we fix the timeline?



    Wandering around the Zeitgeist Gallery is a real joy. Seeing Max treat as a real artist, overcoming her insecurities and getting recognition for her artistic skill is quite moving, and even the conversation with Principal Wells is delightful. You get the sense that he's glad to see someone succeed and the weight off his shoulders now that the Prescott's are being investigated. Maybe we've finally done it?



    No.



    We get a call from Chloe. The Storm is here in this timeline, and the line goes dead just as it makes landfall. We have to go back, and thankfully we've got the photo to do it with right here in the gallery. Just one little change, and we can ensure we don't end up in San Francisco, allowing us to save Chloe if nothing else. The breakdown of reality can wait for now.




    The timelines remodel themselves once more, and we end up back in...

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - Friday 11th October - Part 3
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    Oct 25, 2017
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    Back here again? I am seriously fucked off with this, having to listen to this fucking creep monologuing about his 'vision' and 'purity' again. Goddamn he's such a creep.



    He burnt my journal as I didn't hand in a photo, so now Chloe's dead and there's no photo left to jump back into. He's going to kill us down here and probably get away with the Storm washing away his tracks, leaving Nathan framed for it all. Just as he's about to do it, there's a noise at the door and in steps



    David Freaking Madsen gets his big damn hero moment. With his brawn and our rewind power, we're able to take Jefferson down. Finally some good news in this hellhole. I really like the conversation we have with David Madsen here, he actually opens up about his own struggles and how much Joyce and even Chloe mean to him. It's a touching display of depth from a character that's been one of the more antagonising ones throughout the week.



    He asks us where Chloe is, and it's a tough choice whether or not to tell him the truth. But telling him is only going to hurt him, and we're still hoping to find a way to save Chloe somehow, so we lie for now, telling him that she went off to get high.



    But we need a photograph to get back to. Ours are all burnt and ruined, there's nothing left that we have. But last night Warren took a photo of us! Outside, we're able to get in contact with him, and find out he's at the Two Whales Diner, trapped by the Storm with Joyce and some others.



    Taking Jefferson's car, we make our way to the diner, receiving a message from Nathan along the way. He's scared, sobbing as Jefferson's coming to get him now, apologising for what happened to Kate and Rachel. He's fucked up, but had he not fallen under the corrupt influence of Jefferson he might have gotten the help he needed. He even drops us a warning. Too late.

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - Friday 11th October/Thursday 10th October - Part 4
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    Uzzy

    Uzzy

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    Main Street is like something out of hell. The Storm's doing this much damage and it hasn't even touched land yet. We fight our way through the carnage, saving people as we go, the Trucker, Evan, Alyssa, the Fisherman. Others are already dead, bodies strewn across the wreckage of Arcadia Bay.

    Warren's at the Two Whales Diner, we just need the photo to get out of here and save Chloe....



    Godfuckingdamnitall.

    Thankfully, we're able to stop the explosion through our time powers, but right now it's feeling like the whole universe is bearing down on me. Once inside, we have a heart to heart with Joyce, apologising for how we treat David. We talk to Frank and tell him the bad news about Rachel, all of it. We finally tell Warren what we wanted to tell him Monday, about our time powers, and even if it sounds insane, he believes us. Because he's Warren, and he's a friend. We give him a hug to before leaping back to last night.



    Chloe's back!



    This scene is heartbreaking. Chloe doesn't care that we've seen her die, she's going to rush off and take Nathan and Jefferson down even in the face of death. It's only when we tell her everything that happened, with Jefferson, with William, with the alternate timelines, with her asking us to euthanise her, that she listens to us, out of everything we've gone through. We're finally able to get her to back down and let David handle it. After we give him the info, he gets the police to raid the Dark Room, taking down the creep.




    But the Storm's still coming. The Hella Count hits 15 as we make our way to the Lighthouse once more.



    At which point we black out and...

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - ???? - Part 5
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    Uzzy

    Uzzy

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    Oct 25, 2017
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    And it's about this time that reality takes a hard crash. We're back in class, listening to another one of Jefferson's lectures as birds smash and die against the window. The bell strikes and everyone's gone and all of the subjects in Jefferson's pictures are replaced by Max.




    On our way out, we get stopped by Jefferson, only this time he invites us to stay in the Dark Room with him forever. The responses are, well.



    We're even getting text messages here. What the fuck is going on?



    The nightmare continues as we head through the halls of the dorm. .nageb srewop ruo erehw ot kcab ,og ot ecalp eno ylno s'erehT .esrever ni gniog strats gnihtyreve neht dnA



    We emerge into a maze, patrolled by all of the men of Blackwell Academy, all out to get us. We have to hide from them using the photos Jefferson took as cover. Even Warren's after us, and what we find in his locker just creeps me out. Perhaps worse of all, we're forced into another hunt for bottles. This really is hell, I need a timeout.


     
    Episode 5: Polarized - ???? - Part 6
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    Uzzy

    Uzzy

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    Oct 25, 2017
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    Not again. We're made to watch William die, watch us ensure he dies.




    Then we're in the Dark Room again, forced to watch Chloe flirt with Jefferson, Warren (HELLA COUNT: 16), Nathan and even Victoria? At least have some standards girl.




    Chloe's now hating on us directly. We then jump again.



    Smash Party at the Two Whales Diner, cause everyone's here, begging Max not to kill them. Including ourselves. Or alternative timeline Max. Or God. Or reality itself come down to tell Max to stop fucking up, who knows. This nightmare is fucked up. That's when Chloe, our Chloe, jumps in to stand up for us.


     
    Episode 5: Polarized - ????/Friday 11th October - Part 7
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    Uzzy

    Uzzy

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    Oct 25, 2017
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    We make the slow climb to the lighthouse, memories of the week flittering past as we go.




    Some good, some bad, all hurt.




    Finally, we make it to the lighthouse and back to reality. The Storm is about to hit Arcadia Bay, and we know that it's going to destroy it, kill almost everyone there. Chloe knows what we have to do.




    The photo of the butterfly we took on Monday, in the bathroom, just before Nathan shot and killed her for the first time. She's kept it all this time. She knows what it means, she knows it means letting her die to save the town, and it's a price she's willing to pay, not just for Joyce, but David and even everyone else in the town.




    How I can make a decision like that? But I'm the only one who can.

     
    Episode 5: Polarized - Friday 11th October/Monday 7th October - Final
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    Uzzy

    Uzzy

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    Oct 25, 2017
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    She asks the impossible. I do what she asks.




    I couldn't choose. I've played this game before and managed to choose, but now, same as then, I just stared at the screen crying for a good while. It took an age to do it.




    You know, choosing this ending means that, canonically, the last time Chloe sees Max is the ending of the Farewell DLC in Before the Storm.



    There's something in my heart.