I remember the fateful day when the final chapter of Life is Strange—appropriately titled “Polarized”—came out and the internet as I knew it, even parts I hadn’t known were invested in the game, collectively exploded. The starkness of the final choice, now dubbed “save the bae vs save the bay” because you have to laugh otherwise you cry, was the main topic of discussion and/or ranting, for good reason. I’m not saying it’s a bad dichotomy to present the player with (and as I wrote about in my last post, can be interpreted to represent Max’s character development and contribute to the story nicely), it just could have been done so much better. One aspect of this, which bugs me personally the most, is the fact that the entire scenario is kind of… nonsense. Which, like last time, I’m going to try to break through using WB’s “everything that makes no sense is a metaphor” theory. Let’s take a bite out of it. Continue reading
Back in the day when we were first picking Life is Strange apart (you know me, if I enjoy something, it’s going to end up in pieces on the floor), WB came up with a theory that kind of solved everything: the game is being literary, and anything that can’t be explained or doesn’t seem to make much sense is there as a metaphor. The tornado? A metaphor for the encroaching storm of maturity, the climax of a story that has been all about Max growing from child into young adult. Time powers that came out of thin air? A symbolic tool to help Max learn that actions have consequences in the real world and she should embrace this. The reoccurring deer? Well, they tried to explain that away with the concept of spirit animals, but that filled up with casual racism pretty fast; so let’s say the deer instead represents Max’s youthful Bambi-like innocence, hence why they disappear from her shirts by the end of the game.
Let’s zero in on the never-explained time travel powers for today. The Butterfly Effect doesn’t actually mean “shit happens” and Warren’s declaration of Max being a wizard adds nothing, so let’s run with the idea that the time powers aren’t actually trying (and failing) to be a logical plot device but are in fact symbolism for Max and her character growth. Continue reading
What do Rose Quartz and Rachel Amber have in common? Well, funnily enough, the first part of their names both start with R and the second part shares a name with a natural substance that can end up in pretty and inexpensive jewellery. But first and foremost, of course, they’re both dead before their respective stories begin. Does this mean they aren’t featured or aren’t hugely important? Certainly not—in fact characters that are D.O.A. serve a unique sort of purpose in the worlds of their narrative.
The fanmade visual novel/dating sim Love Is Strange has recently been completed and released (oh, isn’t it amazing what fans can achieve if they’re dedicated to and grumpy with the source material in equal measure?) and I’ve been interested in checking it out for a while, not just because it places the power to cuddle Kate Marsh in my hands, but because one of the love interests is Rachel—someone we never got to ‘meet’ in the canon game because she was missing (and later proved to be dead) before the story began. I’m very interested in how Love Is Strange’s writers will characterise her, given that there are so many conflicting versions of her.
Working out who Rachel is turns out to be as big a mystery as working out what happened to her—to Chloe, she was an angel; to fellow students she was either the coolest of the cool or the biggest and sluttiest burn-out to ever blast comet-like across the campus; to Jefferson she was a desperate plaything; to Frank she was a confident, wonderful partner. It all paints a very conflicting and confused picture.
But this is, of course, the point Continue reading
[TW: This post contains discussion of suicide]
This playthrough we managed to do it. I played with my sister at my side and some extra knowledge in tow, and we climbed one of the greatest emotional mountains Life Is Strange threw at me: we convinced Kate Marsh to step down and not kill herself. And it was emotional as all hell, on a very real level, the same way failing to save her the first time was. Continue reading
The in-class selfie was an enormous plot point! All the selfies are crucially important! I was only joking about that! I cannot believe this!! Continue reading
This episode answers a few burning questions, but ultimately leaves me asking more. Chiefly: what fresh Hell is this? Continue reading
Rule number one of time travel: however much you are tempted, do not go back and save the adorable tragic dead dad. They tried it in Steins;Gate and it almost destroyed anime. Continue reading