June 15th, 2017
|12:20 am - Recordkeeping: Life is Strange ep 1-5 COMPLETE|
A brief overview: Life is Strange is about a photographic wunderkind by the name of Max Caulfield. She discovers the amazing ability to jump back in time, and in just about the same moment sees her former best friend Chloe Price shot and killed by a high-strung rich kid in the ladies room. With a quick hop back in time she saves Chloe's life... and visions show her that in just four days, a tornado of unheard-of size will destroy the town they live in.
The two of them set out to unravel some mysterious goings-on, while talking like they just rolled in from a For Better or For Worse strip.
So there's your summary.
It might be my mistake. It might have been the game's mistake. But there was a heavily flawed assumption somewhere along the chain. I'm going to see if I can trace back to it.
This will involve MASSIVE GAME-RUINING SPOILERS. I am completely serious.
I started out treating this game like it was Nancy Drew. We have a missing person, an attempted (successful until we butt in) murder and a list of suspects. Obviously my goal here is to solve the crime so Max can Quantum Leap out or something, right? Kinda, sure, but... Max has her own problems, and her own agenda, and at least part of that agenda involves Chloe.
Wait. No. Did I say part of that agenda? I mean that by episode 4 Max is loud-and-proud declaring at the top of her lungs that she will ALWAYS be with Chloe, that she will NEVER let harm or pain come to her. As far as I can tell, Chloe is Max's first kiss. My hard Nancy Drew stance wavered when Chloe opted to steal money from the college, and then shattered entirely when I allowed her to walk off with five thousand bucks to save her ass from crippling debt. Because Max didn't want her to get hurt by the man with a knife and a debt over Chloe's head.
So the missing persons case was a big deal after all but the trick is, by the time it got there I DIDN'T CARE. I had re-examined my priorities and drawn new conclusions. My feelings about Chloe are complex, but I don't love her the way Max does... but Max was my in-game avatar, therefore Max is me and I am Max for the purposes of this game. Therefore, I must allow what I feel and do to become what Max should feel and do, and THEREFORE (last one I promise) I need to love and protect Chloe with everything I have.
Then the game asked me to sacrifice Chloe's life to save the town from the tornado.
Max's leaping around in time was causing the storm and all kinds of death and strangeness, you see. It all started when Max saved Chloe from dying, so surely it would end with her death, if Max went back and chose NOT to use her time powers. Chloe gave a heartfelt speech about how she was just one person, and the people of Arcadia Bay deserved life so much more than she did...
This was the game's fatal mistake. The game told me Chloe was everything to Max. The game invited me to treat Chloe as if she were the most important thing in Max's life. The game gave me freedom to choose. Chloe and Max 4ever? Or the many many good, friendly, worthwhile people living in Arcadia Bay?
What the game did not realize is that this is not a choice to me.
One small college town in exchange for love? Just one town and everyone in it? Is that ALL?
No, you fools. I would launch the west coast into the ocean for love. I would destroy the eastern seaboard, rip Florida off the map and use it as a hammer to crush the midwest for love.
In the ending scene I pushed Max on past people dying in the storm, people she could have stopped to save with her time powers, because Chloe needed Max -now-. Give me one single person worthy of that kind of devotion and I will REND TIME AND SPACE TO SCRAPS and burn anything left over to keep them warm in the endless void. I don't care how likable the inhabitants are, a single town doesn't register.
Life is Strange put up a BRAVE EFFORT to convince me otherwise, but Max and Chloe drove out of the tornado-strewn wreckage of Arcadia Bay on their way to a new life somewhere else.
The last choice I made was to keep Chloe safe, alive, and with Max. The two of them together, Max never leaving her side.
I don't really care if it was the correct thing to do, because it was the right thing to do.
...and that's why I shouldn't be allowed to have superpowers, to be honest.