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#1 Edited by L1GHTN1N (1992 posts) -

Just finished it. It's a spoiler discussion for the end of the game and I marked it twice in the title. I'll go ahead and put my first choices in a spoiler block in case you wandered in here but not going to afterwards and don't expect others to. You've been warned.

Going to sleep on it then probably come back and add more thoughts but even though I knew what was coming it still feels like I was kicked in the gut. Was hoping there was secretly a way to save both (and maybe there still is) but suppose this was how it was supposed to be. Looking at the percentages right now it's 53%-47% in favor of saving Chloe. Was hoping there was a bit more to it than just a binary choice at the end but it was still effective and I still feel a bit sick afterwards. In my Top 3 this year for certain, maybe higher.

Choices

  • David got the scar (Currently 100%-0%)
  • David didn't kill Jefferson
  • Saved the Trucker, Evan, and the trucker. Did not manage to save Alyssa
  • Got Joyce to believe in David again
  • Did not tell Frank about Rachel (actually did but rewound)
  • Hugged Warren

  • Saved Chloe
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#2 Edited by NTM (11541 posts) -

Oh... This is out now. Ha. Okay then. I'll go download it.

Wait, it's released tomorrow... Playing on PS4. I can't download it yet.

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#3 Posted by Mystyr_E (1474 posts) -

I hated it. I was completely onboard until those last 15 minutes when the game basically devolves into what fans were hoping they wouldn't do so not only do we get a "choose A or B" ending with both endings invalidating much of what we've done throughout the game, A ending is more longer, involved and seems to be the more "canon" ending.

thought you were better than this, Life is Strange :(

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#4 Posted by TreeTrunk (612 posts) -
No Caption Provided

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#5 Posted by j0lter (310 posts) -

Thanks for letting me know it was out! Thought I was gonna have to wait until tomorrow night.

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#6 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@mystyr_e: Did you expect a bunch of permutations on the ending? I'm not trying to discredit your opinion. It's perfectly valid, I'm just curious because I actually could have only seen this game playing out in three ways before this finale: The two they present you, and The Donnie Darko Ending or, Max Sacrificing Herself. Obviously that last one isn't an option but, admittedly, I would have prefered it to the "Sacrifice Chloe" ending that we got. Either way I was satisfied with the ending that I chose.

My choices: I'm not spoiler tagging these. It's a discussion thread. Just a heads up.

  • Madsen didn't kill Jefferson. This is the only choice in the whole series I regret, not because I personally think he should have died, but because I've been thinking of this game as a High School student film in game form (at least a movie my friends and I would have tried to make in High School), and I feel like Madsen killing Jefferson in revenge is how it would have played out on a movie screen. I was also kind of a dick to David for the whole series and he ended up being the dude that saved me. Why would I not be honest with him? Sigh. I'll just pretend in my head that Jefferson died, even if my stats screen says otherwise.
  • I managed to save the trucker and no one else.
  • Joyce believed in David at the end.
  • I told Frank about Rachel, but I didn't tell him she OD'd. He supplied the drugs that did it and I think that would have been too much.
  • I kissed Warren. This actually came to something interesting. When Max was in the Dark Room in her bed clothes and all the images of Chloe shit talking Max with the other characters pop up, Chloe and Warren mentioned that I was playing them both (I kissed Chloe). If that dialogue is variable based on those choices that's pretty cool.
  • I sacrificed Chloe for Arcadia Bay. The whole series was leading up to this moment, what with Chloe dying over and over and Max not being able to truly prevent it. Of course I didn't want to do it, but it felt like the right thing. Again, it felt like that would be the ending to the hypothetical Life is Strange student film.
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#7 Edited by TreeTrunk (612 posts) -
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My serious thoughts:

IMO I'm a little disappointed that it came down to a choice right at the end, I still don't understand the spirit animals and other things, but I also think that it follows up from the scene in Episode 4 where you find Rachel and there's nothing you can do.

In the end there's nothing you can do... things are going to happen regardless and you can never fix or understand it all. I guess that's why Life is Strange? I'm not trying to excuse them being rushed for time if they were but, I really don't know what else I would want.

Anyway, I cried when Chloe touched Max's shoulder at the end in the car.

Everything kind of makes sense but at the same time it doesn't. Strange...

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#8 Posted by AlisterCat (8046 posts) -

Chloe came to terms with her own death far too quickly at the end, and jumped to the conclusion that her dying would fix everything. They shoehorned it in with Warren earlier in the episode but it's still mostly baseless. Even though you could see it as a possibility, everyone is far too willing to take their life on a hunch. It's dumb. Also, does Max always kiss Chloe? It felt really forced. A kiss on the cheek and hug would have been preferable.

The arcadia bay ending is far less satisfying and doesn't say or do anything. Is Joyce dead? Are any of your classmates dead? Did Jefferson get justice? Who cares! GAME OVER.

My one other problem is that while the whole thing in Max's head is really freaky and cool, it doesn't do anything. There's no reason for it to be there. We already know she is wracked with self doubt, jealousy and anxiety. We didn't learn anything, max didn't learn anything, and nothing came out of it.

All that said, I really enjoyed the episode and the whole series.

Hawt Dawg is cool.

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#9 Edited by Shivoa (1588 posts) -
  • I kissed Warren. This actually came to something interesting. When Max was in the Dark Room in her bed clothes and all the images of Chloe shit talking Max with the other characters pop up, Chloe and Warren mentioned that I was playing them both (I kissed Chloe). If that dialogue is variable based on those choices that's pretty cool.

So the Max in my game is gay (and didn't kiss Warren or plan to go on any dates) and that bit of dialogue was nowhere to be found. For you, did that bit of the dream sequence include Chloe and Victoria talking about their love for each other and making out (because "Max is a child, not the real woman" that dream-Chloe wants)?

I'm really curious how far the story diverges depending on how people played it because it seems like you could possibly play a straight Max and then this becomes a story of platonic intimacy. But the game I played, possibly due to the choices I made, was definitely a love story. So my choices also included crying at the ending.

I always expected them to have to drop a load of threads to get the conclusion to actually finish so I was a bit disappointed with some of the dream sequence stuff (could have been shorter - just do Jefferson staling you for a mush shorter stealth bit and then the walk through memory lane that is the main value of that bit) that could have been used to dive into some of the things that didn't get covered. Also the volume of shot/countershot conversations that unwrapped all the stuff they were explaining wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped. Maybe it's the lipsync was slightly better but still not perfect/clearly not doing full facial capture that actually pushed it into the uncanny valley or maybe it's these long sequences where there was nothing but the not quite emoting full-frame face conversations. They really marred the great voice work for me a couple of times. Really hope some performance capture stuff comes in whatever game Dontnod are working on next (hopefully refining the mechanics shown here with a new story/place).

But as a whole I think the conclusion was a lot of what we'd been speculating about and how that sort of choice had to be made (although giving players the options of a happy ending which seems to be about a 50:50 split was something I didn't think would happen) - I really just couldn't pick to kill Chloe the first time I got to that final scene so watched the world burn for love. Then I jumped back into the game and destroyed myself watching what I think is my canonical (and thematic) ending.

Ok, so I've been a bit negative there. I don't think ep 5 was as good as 3 and definitely not as good as 4. But, IMO, they did stick the landing, even if I don't think it was perfect. Any game where you're crying at the end is clearly affective and that's something most games have a pretty hard time with (beyond feeding power fantasies and adrenaline hits). Unless something really special emerges I think this is clearly my GotY and will hopefully lead to even more games taking up this sort of thing.

Will be interesting to see if this gets more coverage now the game is complete or if that initial mixed reaction to ep 1 has basically killed it for a lot of the games commentators who would normally be lapping this stuff up.

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#10 Edited by Shivoa (1588 posts) -

Samuel whispers forwards in the reverse dream sequence! Why do I get the feeling there could actually be a whole host of answers to the threads not covered but only after people start taking this game apart to find the clues?

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#11 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@shivoa: Yeah I did get that Victoria scene. Did the dream Warren and dream Chloe talk about going down on each other in your game? I would assume not, but I want to know just how variable the dialogue actually is.

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#12 Posted by Shivoa (1588 posts) -
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#13 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@shivoa: Alright the conversation between the two was different but the end result was the same. Cool! Mine was something like:

Chloe: "She's just playing us both. She never wanted to "Go Ape" ".

Warren: "Yeah you're right. But I know I want to "Go Ape" on you."

Also another question: Do your choices effect what shirt Max is wearing in the last sequence? She was wearing a red shirt with a sick goat skull on it for me.

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#14 Edited by StarvingGamer (11517 posts) -

Yo fuck Arcadia Bay blow it all down.

Man I am so happy they gave us a fucking choice and the end. I was totally expecting the game to force me to kill Chloe then when it didn't I still sat there fucking agonizing over the decision. Then I finally decided "fuck it" it's time to let a character be selfish for once so I did and I'm glad I did and now I'm full of feels.

Also for those of you who chose to sacrifice Chloe, does it justify how she can suddenly transport into a photo of a fucking butterfly? I guess it's possible the rule isn't she has to be in the picture but she has to be in or around the picture, just wondering if they bothered to address that at all.

EDIT: NM, just realized her reflection appears in the bucket.

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#15 Posted by Shivoa (1588 posts) -

@clairvoyantvibrations: If that is variable then whatever determines it I'd made the same choices because I also had that t-shirt on (& Chloe had a snake on her white shirt).

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#16 Posted by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@starvinggamer: They don't address it. Chloe and Max say their final words to one another and then it goes into a pre rendered cutscene.

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#17 Posted by HexMonkey (1 posts) -

@starvinggamer: If you look closely at the photo, Max's reflection is in the bucket.

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#18 Edited by StarvingGamer (11517 posts) -

@clairvoyantvibrations: Actually I just watched the other ending and realized that Max's reflection is in the bucket so no plot holes to fill after all.

EDIT: @hexmonkey: Yeah just caught that. Thanks though.

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#19 Posted by j0lter (310 posts) -

Just finished it. The ending really disappointed me honestly. There were so many different directions they could've gone, and they went with the most obvious one shined up with a dream sequence. It could've ended so great. And did they even explain where her powers come from? Or what the symbolism of the doe or the butterfly means? I don't know, I'm very... conflicted on this. I was so hype for it.

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#21 Posted by TreeTrunk (612 posts) -

@j0lter said:

Just finished it. The ending really disappointed me honestly. There were so many different directions they could've gone, and they went with the most obvious one shined up with a dream sequence. It could've ended so great. And did they even explain where her powers come from? Or what the symbolism of the doe or the butterfly means? I don't know, I'm very... conflicted on this. I was so hype for it.

I went back and watched that um, funeral ending. After crying a lot I'm starting to think that the butterfly shows up in the bathroom to make Max take that photo so that when she eventually realises what the right thing to do is, she can do it. When the butterfly shows up on the casket, Max smiles. Just speculation.

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#22 Edited by katelyngadd (77 posts) -

One thing that occurred to me: Even if you undo everything to save the town, the bit where Max talks to Chloe (before letting her dad die) isn't ever undone. So she gets to leave that one extra mark on her friend's childhood. I think that's pretty neat.They messed up a lot about this episode but it still really worked for me. As a whole I liked this game a lot. They did a great job of avoiding false choices (where your decision has no impact or the game forces you to pick one thing) even though many of the choices were 'meaningless' in the sense that they had no long-term impact.

There's a weird disconnect later in the dream sequence because it's hard to tell whether other-Max is shitting on Max specifically or shitting on the player indirectly as well. It felt like it was probably intended to be a dissection of her personality flaws and the things that drive her, but it also felt a bit like Spec Ops-style 'look how terrible you are' guilt-tripping. Incidentally, that diner is full of NPCs that casually comment on small stuff you did.

Turning into Victoria in that hallways sequence really surprised me. Not sure what that was supposed to mean... was that different for other people? I just got Max in different outfits, plus Victoria. I think the map changes during the hallways bit is the detail that finally made the point of all that 'click' with me (though the glimpses of the fucked up Max & Jefferson alternate realities certainly were impactful)

Loved the mirror + keypad puzzle. Cute.

Oh yeah, and the Max & Jefferson stuff... I feel like maybe the implication there is that in some timelines, she sacrificed herself to keep him in check so he'd stop murdering people? I can't imagine any other explanation for that, but it kinda makes sense as one way to avert the ending where he kills a bunch of people. Pretty dark.

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#23 Posted by TreeTrunk (612 posts) -

There's a weird disconnect later in the dream sequence because it's hard to tell whether other-Max is shitting on Max specifically or shitting on the player indirectly as well. It felt like it was probably intended to be a dissection of her personality flaws and the things that drive her, but it also felt a bit like Spec Ops-style 'look how terrible you are' guilt-tripping. Incidentally, that diner is full of NPCs that casually comment on small stuff you did.

She's dreaming, so I thought that is her coming to terms with her subconcious thoughts.

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#24 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

Well it sure has been a fun ride. I chose to save Chloe because what's one town for the OTP. Also the way the game has it set up it seems like it operates on parallel realities. What with the entirety of episode 3, two moons, and the talk with other Max. So even if you left that and many timelines are still screwed. Basically you are not correcting the timeline but instead choosing what timeline Max' or the Max you play lives in. For my Max she would rather be in a world with Chloe rather then the "correct" world with Arcadia Bay.

Also I don't buy how the other ending plays out for many reasons which I will list.

1. Max dreamt about the storm before she saved Chloe implying the storm was already a thing before any time shenanigans even happened. So that timeline should be equally doomed if not more so for later reasons I'll get to.

2. Sure Nathan would get arrested but since the Prescotts own the police, the lawyer, prosecutors, and even the judges. The charges against him would have been swept under the rug. Chloe was a dangerous drug addict black mailer that had a gun in her room and it was self defense. Nothing would stick on him unless Max uses all her time knowledge.

3. Mr. Jefferson does not get caught without Max intervening. Nathan still saw Jefferson as his father figure and would not rat him out. David wasn't going to figure it out anytime soon with Chloe's death and catching of Nathan he would not pick up the trail for a while. Jefferson would probably get away assaulting Victoria and possibly Max. Also without Nathan for cover he would likely have to kill them to cover is tracks.

4. Kate will still probably be on route for killing her self and I doubt Max could save her without her time wisdom.

Basically Max still has all of her experiences from time travel and would still be using that knowledge to change the future in subtle if not massive ways. Even of she stopped from trying to use it in big ways getting Nathan and Jefferson caught. At least one more person would have died without her direct intervention. Which as the game seems to point to being a giant no no and results in a big storm. Unless Chloe is some how special in causing time storms. The sacrifice Chloe timeline is still altered by Max's time travel and should be just as doomed.

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#25 Posted by Corican (164 posts) -

Loved the whole game, loved the ending.

We don't need to know everything in this world, we are just seeing this small snapshot (no pun intended) of this week in her life. Many things are left up in the air, and I think that's fine.

But then, I'm one of those people who liked the ending of LOST, so who knows?

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#26 Edited by Mystyr_E (1474 posts) -

I thought what would've been a cool twist is choosing the sacrifice Chloe ending where she actually doesn't die from being shot and all along we've been under the assumption of "we must save Chloe" when in fact we didn't need to do shit and put ourselves through hell for nothing. Still dont like either ending though: Victoria seeing you're not as lame and she's not quite the bitch you thought? Back to either being a bitch or dead. Kate having a new positive lease on life? Probably still depressed and suicidal or dead. Chloe? Completely dead or didn't seem too upset she's the reason a town of (how many people was that?) townspeople either died or is now totally fucked up and homeless.

UGH I hate this ending.

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#27 Edited by Wemibelle (2626 posts) -

@j0lter: The butterfly is clearly symbolic of the idea of chaos theory, the idea that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings can cause disaster halfway around the world. I'm not as 100% on the meaning of the does, but I'd assume they're tied to nature in some way: maybe something to do with it being pissed at all of Max's meddling?

Before I sat down to play this chapter, I was shaking with fear. This has been the most affecting game experience of the year for me, and I was extremely worried Dontnod would fuck it up royally. After playing it, I can't say I'm entirely happy with the events of the episode, but it still managed to wring enough of a response out of me to remain a favorite. Here are the main things that stuck out for me:

* I think they overused the heading back in time concept in this episode. You do it 5 (or more?) times, and each feels like nothing more than a way to move you from one scene to the next. None of them had the impact that the original rewrite does, making it seem far less impressive and meaningful each time.

** While the whole dream segment is pretty pointless in terms of the actual story, I really enjoyed it. Each part delves smartly into the things eating away at Max: fear of using her power, the disgust she felt from being captured, the impacts of the various choices she made. It's a great summation of what the player did throughout all five episodes: I just wish it had any relevance at all to Max herself, as it clearly doesn't.

*** The ending being so remarkably predictable was a bit of a bummer. I've suspected that letting Chloe die was the key to everything for quite some time; it was the other choice of ending that surprised me. For my Max, however, the choice to let Arcadia Bay die feels too damn selfish and out of character. While I agree that some consequences should occur due to your time meddling, having Max and Chloe escape unharmed is too clean. I'm also amused to see people upset at the ending being an arbitrary choice--what else would you expect in a Telltale-styled adventure game full of arbitrary choices?

**** My bigger issue with the ending, though, is how emotionally flat it feels. I just never bought the intense friendship (or romance, if you push it that way) between Max and Chloe, which meant that the final scene didn't have quite the punch it could have had for me. Mostly, I feel this has to do with Max's weak voice actor, who I felt sold her lines incredibly poorly throughout the entire game. It works well enough that I got a bit teary-eyed at the end (that could be attributed to the song, though), sure, but it pales in comparison to the emotional response I felt from something like Lee and Clementine.

***** The final scenes after sacrificing Chloe again reminded me just how damn incredible the soundtrack is for this game. The indie-styled tunes fit perfectly throughout Max's adventures, and I loved hearing them during those quiet moments between scenes. It was no small part of my overall enjoyment of the game, and I hope it becomes available for purchase in the future.

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#28 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5263 posts) -

I was hoping this episode would do something to change my mind on this game but sadly not between Jefferson turning into a pantomime villain, the complete lack of logic behind tearing up the contest photo somehow undoing everything else despite being unrelated (with maybe a shoehorned explanation later in Max's sudden "I won't remember anything" that was never previously brought up, the terrible dream sequence with all the gameplay they'd prepared shoved into it, the complete invalidation of any of your choices, and the entire last thirty minutes of the game. I ended up just making the choices I thought would be most funny between groaning at the idiocy of it all.

It's a shame; the first episode had a lot of promise that was never lived up to.

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#29 Posted by Dokaka (106 posts) -

Loved the ending. Probably my GOTY, tied with Witcher 3.

I don't get the whole "none of what we did actually mattered" crowd. The whole game for me was the story of a teenage girl who desperately wanted to help and save her best friend; we've been playing 4 episodes of them building on their friendship, strengthening their bond etc. Them realizing Chloe's sheer existence was the catalyst of the tornado was a fitting gut-punch, and the fact they even gave you the opportunity to say fuck it and double down at the end was really cool. Most games would've forced you to let Chloe die. One of the best stories ever told in video games in my opinion.

Also, dat soundtrack. Holy shit did they hit the nail on the head. Literally the first thing I think about when I think Life Is Strange is the music.

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#30 Posted by Shivoa (1588 posts) -

Turning into Victoria in that hallways sequence really surprised me. Not sure what that was supposed to mean... was that different for other people? I just got Max in different outfits, plus Victoria. I think the map changes during the hallways bit is the detail that finally made the point of all that 'click' with me (though the glimpses of the fucked up Max & Jefferson alternate realities certainly were impactful)

I didn't take much thematic meaning from that puzzle. Small pieces (the voices, the opening with Kate) seemed to indicate Max's doubt (as does some of the other bits of the dream) but the whole seemed to be more about putting a puzzle in the game. The key through the numbered door to show how the puzzle works, then you're in the dorm before you arrived (check the map for room assignments) and dressed in Rachel's clothes so have to walk through her door, then Victoria and her door, finally your own.

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#31 Edited by L1GHTN1N (1992 posts) -

Spent most of the night tossing and turning thinking about it. Appropriately a giant thunderstorm started as soon as I went to bed which put me on edge a bit more than I'd like to admit.

I really ended up liking how they handled the Jefferson stuff at the beginning, they basically put in the way they wanted it to happen but also hit most of the fan theories about traveling through pictures. Going ahead and having her live out her dreams and perfect reality before sending it crashing back down certainly was another punch in the gut (more than a few of those). The dream sequence stuff was cool but could have been a bit shorter. It felt a bit odd for me to have Chloe saying she's going to hook up with everyone that isn't Max considering I never really went that way with her, I always treated her as my best friend instead of someone I wanted to hook up with but it still played out basically how everyone else described.

One thing I do wish they played around with more was having her powers sometimes not work, as the only time that happened was when you were saving Kate unless I'm missing something. I figured after it happened then that by the end you would be running out or feel worse each time to incentivize you to only use it when needed, but outside of when you didn't have the option to rewind it was still try A, I don't like that try B, that sucks also A it is.

As far as undoing everything I'm still not sure it'd have any effect, and I'm a bit disappointed to hear that it doesn't show anything past that. Still haven't watched that version, and not sure I'm going to, so not sure if it would have diluted it or what but would have liked a bit more closure in that case. That said I also don't feel like I need every question answered; I'm fine not knowing why she got her powers or what exactly caused everything as it's the characters I cared about and they nailed that. They didn't quite nail it but it's still one of my favorite games I've played this year and the one that's had the largest impact on me in a couple of years.

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#32 Edited by Shivoa (1588 posts) -

@l1ghtn1n: I think we may have discussed this in a way that gives the wrong impression. The ending where Chloe dies is maybe 6 minutes long and shows enough time passing (to arrange and attend a funeral) for it to confirm that none of the weird stuff / storm happens in that corrected timeline. Max uses her knowledge to get Madsen to hand over his research and find the Dark Room so Nathan if found having killed Chloe but that leads to confession and Max able to direct them to the right places and get Jefferson.

I feel that ending is crushing but also offers closure.

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#33 Posted by L1GHTN1N (1992 posts) -

@shivoa: That makes way more sense then and makes it feel even more like the "correct" ending.

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#34 Edited by Monty_vaca (98 posts) -

In general I really liked this last episode, up until the end, it really had me guessing, which is probably why the predictable 'Save Choe or Save the Town' choice at the end felt a little disappointing, but there are aspects I liked about it. I saved Chloe and interpreted the ending like so: Max knew that saving Chloe was the 'wrong' choice, something that would weigh on her conscience forever, but she didn't care. This entire journey had been about saving Chloe and the hardships Max had endured and overcame along the way had harden her resolve. She was not going to have her hand forced, and ripped up the photo. My head-cannon for after the credits roll, after the initial high of surviving the ordeal, they start to find out how the rest of the town fared. Almost everyone died, Joyce, Warren, Victoria etc... The reality of this weighs heavy on Max and Chloe and wedges them apart. Chloe loves Max, but can't look at her without thinking that she is the reason both her parents are dead. Max loves Chloe, but all she sees when she looks at her is the worst thing she has ever done in her life and is racked with guilt. They eventually go their separate ways, but Max still does not regret her choice because at least Chloe is still alive.

...Anyway, this is verging on fan fic, so going to stop, but yeah, that's my head-cannon for the end that makes me like it a lot more.

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#35 Posted by TreeTrunk (612 posts) -

In general I really liked this last episode, up until the end, it really had me guessing, which is probably why the predictable 'Save Choe or Save the Town' choice at the end felt a little disappointing, but there are aspects I liked about it. I saved Chloe and interpreted the ending like so: Max knew that saving Chloe was the 'wrong' choice, something that would weigh on her conscience forever, but she didn't care. This entire journey had been about saving Chloe and the hardships Max had endured and overcame along the way had harden her resolve. She was not going to have her hand forced, and ripped up the photo. My head-cannon for after the credits roll, after the initial high of surviving the ordeal, they start to find out how the rest of the town fared. Almost everyone died, Joyce, Warren, Victoria etc... The reality of this weighs heavy on Max and Chloe and wedges them apart. Chloe loves Max, but can't look at her without thinking that she is the reason both her parents are dead. Max loves Chloe, but all she sees when she looks at her is the worst thing she has ever done in her life and is racked with guilt. They eventually go their separate ways, but Max still does not regret her choice because at least Chloe is still alive.

...Anyway, this is verging on fan fic, so going to stop, but yeah, that's my head-cannon for the end that makes me like it a lot more.

and here's something for the other ending:

"Now, I can understand if people are upset with this ending. It LITERALLY throws out EVERYTHING, to basically tell you "If you did nothing, you wouldn't need to do anything." But, allow me to ease that pain, if I may. It was not for naught. Instead, it gave Max something: Memories. And above that, Time. With her best friend. She was able, with Chloe, to go on an adventure, unforgettable, and could spend time together. While you may feel betrayed, know that Max and Chloe, regardless of when and where in Space-time they may be, will forever be best of friends (or lovers, for those who went that route)."

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#36 Edited by biggiedubs (591 posts) -

I can understand why people would be slightly annoyed that the endings kind of discrediting their choices, but I didn't mind it. If I can sound like a bit of pretentious fuck for a second, the story has always been about Max and Chloe's relationship, not our choices about the nuances of their lives or their futures.

Both of the endings kept their relationship at their centre, too. That's what the game's been about the whole way through, and I think it would have been weird otherwise. In one you finally save Chloe (your number one goal for the entire game!), and the other you keep those memories of her alive whilst saving the town like she wants you to. In effect, she finally accepts her point of being alive, in that she saves the town and those in it.

So what if you took a picture of those huge squirrels in the weird dream sequence in the dorms? So what if you watered the plant? So what if you saved Alyssa every time? So what if Frank got shot, or David got scarred? That's not what the game was about. It was about Max and Chloe. That's it.

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#37 Posted by sigbert (43 posts) -

@treetrunk: I feel similar in how you interpret the ending. The resetting/ choices didn't bother me, with time travel I expected things like this. I felt that ending was fine, except for what finally happens with that Chloe.

Chloe dies with no memories with Max and dies basically alone, angry and frustrated. It's a really rough, kinda mean-spirited way to leave a character we grew to care about.

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#38 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@ryuku_ryosake: All valid concerns but:

1: Maybe the Max from the storm vision at the beginning of the game is a Max from a different time line, and the Max we play as is retaining some of alternate reality Max's memories. That isn't impossible in this game's fiction. It's also explained pretty obviously that saving Chloe was the catalyst where the timelines diverged. I'll admit this is a long shot.

2: Nathan felt like he was being used by his father and Jefferson from the time he killed Rachel. He was mentally unstable and was being horribly pressured. It's just as likely that he would say "Fuck You" to the pair and go down. Also the "Sacrifice Chloe" ending pretty obviously shows that he didn't mean to shoot her at all. He didn't want to kill anyone in the first place. Plus with Max as a witness self defence isn't an arguable excuse. It's pretty obvious Chloe was terrified and didn't have her gun.

3: Max has retained all her memories. She finds David and tells him where the Dark Room is which results in the discovery of Rachel Amber's body. That's enough evidence to take Jefferson and The Prescotts down. The town is small and the discovery would probably be extremely public, especially since it relates to two recent murders. Theres also the fact that David Madsen is the one making the discovery, not a cop. Everyone would know about the scandal and it would be impossible to just sweep under the rug.

4: This part I don't know about. Ostensibly the Kate video was posted before the game takes place. I guess the event of Chloe's death causes everyone is the school to focus on that and the subsequent bullying of Kate from Jefferson (since he's been arrested) and Madsen (Since he's dealing with his step daughter's death and the Prescott's/Jefferson) doesn't take place. Plus with Max's time travel knowledge, it's possible she discussed it with Kate before she ended up on the roof.

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#39 Edited by Monty_vaca (98 posts) -

@treetrunk: One of the crazy things I just realized about the 'Save Arcadia' ending is that while Max will eventually remember everything, she won't until she snaps back to the present (I'm guessing this is where she smiles at the butterfly on Chloe's casket). That means she'll spend like 2 or 3 full days dealing with the fact that she watched her estranged best friend get killed right in front of her and did nothing to stop it. She'll have no idea why either. That's kind of f-ed up.

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#40 Posted by StarvingGamer (11517 posts) -

@monty_vaca: She snaps back standing on the lighthouse hilltop before the funeral.

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#42 Posted by StarvingGamer (11517 posts) -

Random aside: did anyone else notice how characters kept saying "Life is... (pregnant pause)" followed by something other than "strange"? Felt a little too fourth-wally to me but eh whatever.

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#43 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@starvinggamer: Yeah I noticed that too. That and when you have to collect bottles in the dream-stealth sequence Max is all like "Man fuck collecting bottles, right? That sucked the last time it happened!" That was kind of dumb to me. It did suck, so why make us do it again?

@monty_vaca: I thought she remembered everything until she snaps into the present. Isn't that the implication when she goes back to the Warren photo? "I'm going to forget everything in a few hours, you have to tell me exactly what I said." etc, etc. Like she'll go back and remember everything she's done, but as soon as the timelines align she'll forget? I thought this was made clear in the cutscene where she's back in the bathroom and doesn't interfere, too. Maybe I'm missing something here, or misunderstanding your post.

EDIT: If that's true: do any of you think that Max's smile when the butterfly shows up at Chloe's burial (if you chose that option) was the 'Gretchen waving at Donnie's mom' equivalent? I feel like it was. Like their friendship/love lives on in Max's memory, even if it's only subconscious.

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#44 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

@clairvoyantvibrations:

2. Nathan would probably still assume he is invincible and rightly so. In his own words he cloud blow up school and get away with it in his words and he is right. The principle seemed like a decent enough guy that cared for the kids. But when we told him Nathan had a gun and he did nothing; even though he has a medical file that points out Nathan's mental state and possibly marks him of kidnapping or killing a star student, and he does NOTHING. Just points out how powerful the Prescotts are. Maybe self defense won't work but he'll easily get an insanity plea and a fabricated clean bill of mental health in like a year.

Nathan didn't turn on Mr. Jefferson even with all of Max and co. investigating of him. I doubt paid off police investigation could crack him. He only turned after he found out Max had been in the Dark Room and that Mr. Jefferson was going to kill him that got him to turn.

3 & 4. Still this involves Max using time knowledge to ostensibly save lives which is the same as saving Chloe in the bathroom. Which is my problem on how is it possible that there is no storm in that time line.

4. I never really felt like it was the bullying that got to Kate. Instead it was the coldness of her parents, the apparent ruining of her relationship with God, and lack of friends or Super Max quality friend that caused her to kill herself.

@treetrunk: One of the crazy things I just realized about the 'Save Arcadia' ending is that while Max will eventually remember everything, she won't until she snaps back to the present (I'm guessing this is where she smiles at the butterfly on Chloe's casket). That means she'll spend like 2 or 3 full days dealing with the fact that she watched her estranged best friend get killed right in front of her and did nothing to stop it. She'll have no idea why either. That's kind of f-ed up.

Also fuck you are totally right about that plot point. It makes that ending make even less sense now.

1. Max wouldn't remember the bathroom scene at all in that timeline.

Since she doesn't remember the moments when she changes the future. As seen by her having to tell Chloe to tell her what she did. If she retained her memory she would remember her own explanation and have no need for Chloe to explain.

2. Max wouldn't have any of her time travel knowledge in the new timeline.

As seen with saving Chloe's dad she would have all the knowledge about Nathan and Chloe since she was a kid in that timeline if she had that knowledge. That's why there would be no way should have been in the Vortex Club or waited until the present to contact Chloe.

Basically the mechanics for the picture power is this. Max' takes over the body of Beta-Max in the timeline at the time of the photo. She makes her changes with her timeline knowledge. Then Beta-Max lives out the rest of the time without being aware of anything Max' did. Then Max' assumes totally command when the timeline leads to the present erasing all of Beta-Max's experiences. As seen when she doesn't know what happened in the altered timelines outside of her diary.

Which brings me to my main point on why I just can't buy the Save Arcadia ending. As I previously shown in the thread there is just no damn way everything works out so well except Chloe's death without Max' involvement and knowledge.

Beta-Max wouldn't remember anything about the bathroom and couldn't act as a witness against Nathan. It even less likely that Nathan would get anything less than a relative slap on the wrist.

Mr. Jefferson just doesn't get caught before Max' arrival in the present. It took a time traveling super detective to uncover Mr Jefferson's plot that fast. Also everyone is distracted by what seems to be a pretty open and shut murder. I still highly doubt Nathan would turn on him.

Beta-Max would probably also fail horribly in preventing Kate's suicide.

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#45 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@ryuku_ryosake: By going back and letting Chloe die Max is righting the timelines. The timeline with the storm only happens when Chloe survives in the bathroom, so regardless of any other choice you made in the game, if Chloe dies, there's no storm. There's no way of knowing how the timeline plays out because we've never seen it. Max isn't saving any lives after she lets Chloe die, she's just letting the timeline play out. I guess that's the way to think about it. In this timeline Kate didn't commit suicide, and that's that.

It's perfectly possible that the bullying was the thing that got to Kate. From the letters you read in her dorm it seems like only her mother is cold to her. Her father is supportive. But amidst everything that was going on that wouldn't happen if Chloe dies, namely everything with Nathan, Jefferson and David, it's easy for me to assume that she wouldn't have felt the same pressure that she did in the timeline we played, and ostensibly wouldn't be driven to attempt (or commit) suicide.

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#46 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (444 posts) -

@clairvoyantvibrations: That is certainly what the devs are going for. If Max does nothing then everything turns out happy and great for everyone except Chloe. I can go with the Kate not killing herself and Max not saving anybody so no storm.

The resolution to the Nathan and Mr. Jefferson plots are just plain terrible writing though. They spent the entire game building up that the Prescotts are nigh untouchable from the law. He got caught by the police which his family owns and he cracks and confesses to everything he's done including the stuff Mr. Jefferson. He somehow gets over the deep control both men have over his life on his second murder because second times a charm right. Even though he needs daddy protection more than ever. Which he might resent his father for it but it seems the more he resents his father the closer to Jefferson he becomes.

That or David independently and single handedly captures serial creeper possible murderer who has been doing this for years without getting caught but David got this. He can follow the trail of an experienced criminal mastermind with a super secret bunker in about 2 or 3 days after his step daughter's murder, sure he can do that. Also clearly the police will now trust the paranoid school security guard because he caught the killer of his step daughter moments after her death.

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#47 Posted by BisonHero (11550 posts) -

I liked the ending. It didn't pull any mindblowing, "oh shit, lemme show you how Max actually created an alternate timeline where she is Rachel Amber", but that's fine. I think a lot of the fan theories were way too far-fetched. The ending kinda went where you'd expect, but I'm fine with that.

The nightmare/dream sequence went on a little long, but I liked some parts of it, especially the Twin Peaks and St. Elsewhere nods.

The one thing I really appreciate is that since they played Max's opinion on Warren pretty fast and loose for most of the series, it gives the player pretty full agency over what Max ultimately thinks of Warren. People were so afraid they would railroad a romance between Max and Warren, so it's cool that for the people who want to go that way, you have the option of completely stonewalling Warren at the end.

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#48 Posted by meaninoflife42 (674 posts) -

Despite some bad dialogue writing, this was a great ending. Unlike the 12 year olds bitching on the Steam forums, I quite liked the fact that the only choice that matters was the final one. All of the other "major" choices (minus the Kate one in episode 2,) in the previous episodes all had the hook that you could rewind time and pick the other one if you didn't like the outcome.

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#49 Posted by StarvingGamer (11517 posts) -

The resolution to the Nathan and Mr. Jefferson plots are just plain terrible writing though. They spent the entire game building up that the Prescotts are nigh untouchable from the law. He got caught by the police which his family owns and he cracks and confesses to everything he's done including the stuff Mr. Jefferson. He somehow gets over the deep control both men have over his life on his second murder because second times a charm right. Even though he needs daddy protection more than ever. Which he might resent his father for it but it seems the more he resents his father the closer to Jefferson he becomes.

Getting the police to turn their eyes on some drug/rape charges is one thing, but you can't cover up first-degree murder at school with a witness. At that point it's no shock that the both the Prescott lawyer and Mr. Prescott would push Nathan to give up Mr. Jefferson for leniency and to deflect attention.

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#50 Edited by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

@bisonhero: I liked the ending as well. Though I do wish we had got the Donnie Darko ending we were talking about in EP 4 discussion thread. I still feel like it would have been more interesting, even if it wouldn't make sense to do (since it would create a third timeline).