Episode 3 Discussion (SPOILERS)

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#1 Edited by AcidBrandon18 (1378 posts) -

Wow, what a ride this season has been. I ,and I'm sure many others, were super skeptical about how this thing was going to turn out. Different developer, different voice cast and a prequel that didn't seem necessary. Some how, against all odds, they nailed it. And even in some regards I felt this was even better than the original LiS. Chloe is way more of a compelling character than Max ever was. The writing just seems way tighter in this and the pacing is fantastic. But on to spoilers.

I really liked how this season ended on a high note. I remember when this was announced thinking to myself how they were going to tackle the whole Rachael Amber disappearing thing. And they do that by not touching on it at all, which I feel was the smart move. We have the OG LiS for that. Chloe and Rachael's relationship was so believable and engrossing that I feel this actually adds to the original LiS.

So what do you duder's think?

For MODs: I'm not sure why this was posted as a question in the forums and I'm unsure on how to fix it.

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#2 Edited by Wemibelle (2628 posts) -

@acidbrandon18: I actually found the climax (in the mill) to be really rushed and forced. All the events leading up to that scene come out of nowhere and contradict what we already know (which I know is the point but it's still very sudden). The cut from Chloe being unconscious to waking up and talking to a fully coherent Sera, with no Frank or Damon in sight, feels really strange, enough that I thought it was just a dream at first. The fate of Damon is swept away quickly, and we don't see Chloe thanking Frank for taking care of him. It all just feels like it needed another hour to take its time.

Otherwise, I think it's a fine conclusion, aside from Rachel being oddly absent for half of the episode. The relationship building between Chloe and Rachel is really the star of this game, and they do a surprisingly good job at making me understand just why Chloe was so infatuated with her in the first place, something I never felt between Chloe and Max (and I still assert that the non-romantic relationship between them in LiS is canon, as such). I maybe would have liked a bit more of the actual romance to take place in game, but that's a personal thing, I suppose. Part of me also wishes they showed a bit of how things got frazzled between them and how Rachel ended up in the Dark Room, but I also feel I know enough about her at this point that I can at least infer what might have happened.

Now they need to just not fuck it up by doing another one taking place between this one and original LiS. I feel the post-credits bit puts the nail in that coffin, but I could easily see them taking the success of this game as a call to do it again.

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#3 Posted by TreeTrunk (613 posts) -

Another memorable episode. Saving Rachel after fixing the car. It was surprising to learn towards the end exactly what Rachel's father was doing this whole time working with Damon, I thought he told us the whole truth before. The Elliot encounter was tense.

I told Rachel everything because if I was in Chloe's position it would be torture to keep that secret.

I see you can actually have Rachel and Sera meet but apparently you need Rachel's bracelet from Ep. 2

Also 17 missed calls damn... :( that's a way to kill a happy ending.

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#4 Posted by AlisterCat (8053 posts) -

Fuck Eliot. That's all I have to say for now.

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#5 Posted by XenoNick (1580 posts) -

So I did enjoy the episode but it did leave me feeling a disappointed. The episode feels like Rachel should be the main focus and she isn't in it that much. You only have that one major choice (which was near 50/50 when I finished it last night) that I did take some time on. Decided in the end to hide the truth. Yes it would tear Chloe apart but my reasoning was that she was so terrified she would lose Rachel.

That Elliot scene was something. I wonder how that would've felt more out of place if you didn't see the stuff he had wrote in episode 2. Was the first backtalk I failed and reloaded the checkpoint.

I liked the montage at the end of showing the two of them being happy together. Makes that post credits scene hit real hard. 17 missed calls :(.

One thing that still bugs me though. It's very clear that Rachel's parents are very protective of her. Yet in LiS when Chloe is talking about Rachel's disappearance she says they are in denial that she's missing and that she just went off to L.A. That doesn't seem like what those characters would do after interacting with them.

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#6 Posted by hans_maulwurf (636 posts) -

I like where the game ended (the post game dark room stinger not withstanding), but I did not enjoy a lot of the way there in this episode. As has already been mentioned, it's a bit odd that so little of this episode is actually spent with Rachel. And a lot of the drama in this episode felt kinda forced and out of left field, with the worst offender being the dumb conclusion to the eliot story arc, which I found wholy pointless from the very first episode.

Some good memorable scenes again, namely the continuation of the tabletop game and the stage play dream scene with Chloes father, but overall I don't know if I'm feeling this episode so much.

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#7 Edited by AlisterCat (8053 posts) -

@wemibelle: I was also convinced it was just a dream since just before that she has a non-trippy dad appear with her. I assumed she overdosed and wasn't real.

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#8 Posted by Milkman (19262 posts) -

I was extremely disappointed by this episode especially after how much I loved the second episode. I hated that the focus shifted so much from Chloe and Rachel's relationship to this search for Rachel's mom, something I really didn't care about. As others have said, Chloe and Rachel aren't even together for the majority of the episode. It felt like they completely abandoned all this great relationship building they had done for the past two episodes to make the story about something completely different. On top of that, the individual scenes were a big step down from episode two. There was nothing even close to the level of the Tempest scene or Chloe and Rachel's talk afterwards. Instead, we get stuff like the scene with Elliott, which was so dumb and forced. I barely remembered who this kid was and all of a sudden, he's some stalker weirdo. And what the hell happened at the end with Damon and Frank? Chloe gets knocked out, wakes up and suddenly everything is fixed with no explanation? It seemed completely rushed and left me with a sour feeling about the whole season. Also, maybe it's because I wasn't as invested in what was going on but I really noticed the scab voice actors in this episode. Rachel's parents, especially her mom, were noticeably bad.

I was a little annoyed at first that the ending completely ignored Rachel's disappearance but the scene after the credits was enough of an effective gut punch that I actually preferred that they went with the happy (at least temporarily) ending. But other than that, I found the episode dull and frustrating across the board.

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#9 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8817 posts) -

Fuck, I love this game.

Also, kudos to them for somehow making LiS more poignant and disturbing through that stinger than it already was.

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#10 Posted by OMGFather (1027 posts) -

What a ride. I think I'll actually say I preferred this to the original game.

That Elliot part made me legit uncomfortable. I did read the stuff in his room last episode but never imagined it would go to mad stalker levels.

The end choice was at 50-50 when I finished. That says it all right there.

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#11 Posted by mikewhy (321 posts) -

The end choice was still 50/50 when I finished last night, very tough choice.

But like others said, the final conflict wasn't handled well and really soured this whole season for me.

The final discussion with Sera seemed 100% like a dream. It's cool that you can convince them to meet, but I didn't give her the bracelet, worrying that Rachel would notice and ask where it went.

The voice acting this whole season was a little flat to me. I don't want to speak ill of those who stepped up to do the work, but man, Rachels parents sounded like some text-to-speech placeholder thing.

It still very much had its high points, and I am looking forward to the bonus episode. I even want to replay the original.

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#12 Edited by BladedEdge (1312 posts) -

Ok, good, I was waiting for a topic like this. I have yet to play any of this game, been waiting for it to come out..but have an issue that only someone who has beat it could confirm/deny for me.

Ok, so. Spoilers for what feels like the first games confirmed canon ending. If I, person who has absolutely no interest in prequel material for characters whose ultimate fate is "Welp their dead", get anything from this game? Is it really just a non-scifi, no happy ending prequed background filling in? For one character who we know dies a horrible death, and another whom the assumed best ending is to heart-wrenchingly let die a similar scummy death?

Essentially..if I don't care to become invested in a game whose's entire point seems to be to build up and make me care about 2 characters, one whom is brutally murdered and the other who is..well brutally murdered in the 'canon' ending of the first game..is there any reason for me to play this? Like I can't see myself getting invested in characters whose endings I already know to be so damn tragic. Does the game, now that it's over, do anything at all to address this? I welcome whatever spoilers people care to give me in pursuit/discussion of this, (I know what thread I'm in).

(spoiler tags relate exclusively to the original game)

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#13 Posted by TreeTrunk (613 posts) -

@bladededge: My steam review:

Not just fan service. Does not come off as a quick cash grab from the established fanbase of the first game. With that said it definitely feels like this game was made for that fanbase. The first episode presents the beginning of a contained story that is fun and interesting on its own. It showcases the beginning of Chloe and Rachels friendship as well as Chloes relationship with her community. In fact, I kind of wish I played this first before I played the first game so I could have understood Chloe from the beginning.

There is now an argument minigame during some conversations. You have to sequentially choose the best response otherwise you can't immediately progress. While this doesn't exactly make up for the lack of a time-rewind mechanic, it does help to bring the right amount of tension to certain situations.

Rachel Amber seems quite compelling and I'm very curious to see what Episode 2 will bring.

Edit: Episode 2 for the most part is a linear continuation showcasing the friendship between Chloe and Rachel grow stronger, and the relationship between Chloe and Arcadia Bay becoming more mature, alluding to how her character in the original game came to be. The emotional highs or lows we've come to expect from Life is Strange is absent here, but it was certainly a fun and interesting ride from fixing a car in the junkyard, to getting involved with Franks' drug business, to improvising in a play with Rachel, concluded with another curious twist.

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#14 Posted by BladedEdge (1312 posts) -

@treetrunk: So..that would be a "No, if your view of a game set before the original is as described above, you won't gain anything from this" I take it? I would assume if we were gonna get any big twists to these characters fates ala the first game, it would be the final big reveal of the last chapter. Which unless I'm completely confused, is the third episode..and just came out, right?

Still, it sounds like I was right to give this game a pass. I am the kind of guy who likes characters I become invested in to, you know, not die horrible deaths and it seems like all these games do will make me feel even more bad about the first games ending then I already do. Rubbing salt in wounds (as it were) is not something I go to games for! But, it also sounds like if your not exactly me, this is a good game worth it for fans of the first. Which is good to know. I

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#15 Posted by TreeTrunk (613 posts) -

@bladededge: Pretty much. The one positive thing you MIGHT get out of this game is Rachel's back story which I found fun and interesting on its own. Her father is the District Attorney with a colored past, twists and turns, so on and so forth. That's the only thing. Everything else does make the events of the original game more depressing.

The end of Episode 3, whatever you choose, shows Rachel and Chloe being the best of friends. After the credits of Episode 3, they show a scene of Rachels phone ringing in the dark room with 17 missed calls from Chloe.

If you thought this game alluded to something like the dead girl in the junkyard in the original game wasn't Rachel after all, or something like that, then no, this game doesn't dare do something like that at all.

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#16 Posted by Oni (2331 posts) -

@bladededge: If you don't want to get super emotionally invested in characters that you know will die because it will hurt, then stay away from this. Because they're so well-written you might actually forget what happens to them for a while, and then when it comes back it will reduce you to a sobbing wreck. At least it did for me. In terms of plot, this doesn't affect anything you already know from LiS 1. I think this story was worth telling because the characters are so compelling, but I'm definitely feeling really torn about it now that it's over, knowing what happens to Rachel (I don't consider Chloe dead because in my headcanon, Bae>Bay).

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#17 Edited by BladedEdge (1312 posts) -

@oni: That is why I held off on this game, and asked the question I did. I adore emotional games, I love getting invested in characters, I love stories .Partly because I use games as an escape, and partly cause that is just the part of a game that's always appealed to me most. Give me a great story over great gameplay any day if forced to choose.

But I also suffer from anxiety, depression, past suicidal issues, the works. I need my games, my 'things I do to escape from the bad parts both real and just in my head' to be up-beat, positive. I want happy endings. Maybe not always rosy unrealistic ones, but ones where I can walk away feeling better, not emotionally wrecked. The first game told a, IMO amazing story, and the 'canon ending' (which I base mostly on the detail put into both endings) is well done. True to life, full of tough but ultimately life-affirming leasons. But the last thing I want in a story driven game is "Life sucks, sometimes a whole lot, and you gotta grow up and move on". I get that plenty in r/l, give me Fantasy epics with positive outcomes in my fiction please and thanks.

So yah, that's where my "So uh, spoil this game for me so I know if its for me" came from.

Glad this was a good game series..glad also to know I avoided it correctly.

(Edited out some off topic stuff I though better of)

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#18 Edited by clagnaught (2111 posts) -

I really liked this episode. The Chloe and Rachel dynamics were great. That stinger at the end was about as much I wanted to see with that whole thing. A weird feeling I had while playing this game was how I was happy to see Chloe and Rachel together...but sad knowing (in my play through) both of them die. Like if the game ended with 15 minutes of Chloe texting Rachel and getting no response and her being all alone...yeah, I didn't want that. I think the ideas they toyed with Sera, James, and William about who tells people's lies and does that change how you view them worked well thematically. It was a good way to wrap up that part of Chloe's story. Overall I'm really glad how this series turned out.

I'm a little torn about wanting more episodes. Arguably my favorite parts were Chloe and Rachel's relationship. It would have been great if there was more of that, even if there was another episode that wasn't focused on the Damon or Sera subplots. But at the same time, the story they told was pretty concise with not a lot of filler. I enjoyed the overall plot and don't think it needed to be one or two episodes longer to get that story across. Overall I think I like the first Life Is Strange more, but that series also had more time to build. There was a pretty solid, dedicated introduction episode, Episode Two had all of the stuff surrounding Kate, which I still think is exceptional, a lot of the mystery and story development in Episodes 3 and 4, and Episode 5 just devoted to the resolution (I know it is a little polarizing, but I personally really liked the ending). Some stuff was done better in Before The Storm than the first game, but Life Is Strange also has more stuff going on, partially because it is a longer game.

Also I played Before The Storm as each episode was released, while I played Life Is Strange more back to back (about one episode every two or three days). Not sure if that really matters, but I have been thinking about would I have enjoyed the game more or less if I didn't have to wait for episodes.

@milkman: Regarding Damon and Frank, it is implied that Frank ended up killing him. During the montage towards the end, he looked at the bloody photograph of the two of them together, and then he poured one out for him. The context I also got from the "Don't worry about him" aspect of Sera's conversation make it seem like he was "taken care of". My guess is the reason why they did that was to maybe avoid a situation where 10 minutes before the game ends Chloe sees a dead body or witnesses a murder. She went through enough as is in Before The Storm, but, I don't know, it's still less than seeing someone being murdered.

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#19 Posted by armaan8014 (6306 posts) -

My personal GoTY. Loved the story and the characters - it felt SO real... so close to emotions I've experienced in my own life. The writers really nailed that, and the emotions. When Rachel got stabbed and was taken the hospital, it made me feel dread in the pit of my stomach. Knowing what eventually happens later to Rachel, and seeing how everyone was thankful she survived, kind of made me feel sick. Again, so real.

I was expecting a bit more from the ending. I was sure that the ending would leave me depressed for days, and would take me places I didn't want to go. I was kind of relieved that it didn't, but you could say the ending didn't reach its complete potential by going the understated way. Still, episode 2 messed me up good enough, so this series is going to stick with me for a long time.

At the same time, and a bit of a contradiction - I loved the ending I chose. Not telling Rachel the whole truth. It was so mature, and delivered so well. Extremely bittersweet, the way Chloe told Rachel her made up story, and later, seeing Rachel oblivious and happy at the dinner table. She was protected, but then again, for how long? Knowing how things end for Rachel.

And Rachel - Goddamn, what a character. One of my favorites in video games. They nailed the mysterious, beautiful, with the potential to leave destruction behind her thing perfectly. Kind of reminded me of Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks, and of someone I've met in life too. Beautiful, tragic and realistic.

Also, I'm gonna play the original again after this now. That'll be even more messed up, after having come to know Rachel so well (or as well as anyone can ;) )

And even in some regards I felt this was even better than the original LiS. Chloe is way more of a compelling character than Max ever was. The writing just seems way tighter in this and the pacing is fantastic.

No doubt about that for me. I found it way better than the original, for reasons mentioned above. I kinda want Deck Nine to make the sequels now! :P (Or at least get the writers over for it!)

Fuck Eliot. That's all I have to say for now.

Indeed.

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#20 Posted by armaan8014 (6306 posts) -

@bladededge: I think you did the right thing, for your situation. This game and story hit way too close to reality, and almost wrecked me emotionally, especially the second episode, and knowing the ultimate fates of the characters. It was really, really beautiful, mainly by being so real and by evoking memories of real life emotions, feelings and memories.

@xenonick said:

Decided in the end to hide the truth. Yes it would tear Chloe apart but my reasoning was that she was so terrified she would lose Rachel.

I loved the hide the truth ending, very mature. My reasoning was that if Rachel learned of this, it would destroy her, and her positive view of life. Her family life had kept her grounded, and if she lost all parental figures she would give in completely to her dark side - eventually going down the same path as her mother. So, it was best to protect her. Although... it didn't really matter in the long run did it? :'(

@hans_maulwurf: My favorite was episode 2. That scene on the street after the play was amazing, and bittersweet.

@milkman: That second episode was something, wasn't it? Especially the scene on the street - evoked emotions and feelings from real life for some reason. I felt the scene in Rachel's bedroom this episode was close to that. Also, Rachel getting knifed was intense. I had a real sick feeling when the hospital scene began, and felt this episode was about to go some dark places. It didn't though... I was somewhat relieved that I wouldn't be depressed for the next day or so, but disappointed too.

Chloe's dream talk with Sera was weird, especially the way she suddenly ended up at the hospital. I did like how the hide the truth ending was delivered though, but yeah mostly disappointed that the ending didn't go dark emotionally all the way.

What a ride. I think I'll actually say I preferred this to the original game.

I definitely do. Much better written. I knew I preferred it to the first one as soon as I was done with episode 2.

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#21 Posted by Bezerker85 (373 posts) -

Finally picked up the game now that its out physically. I know its easier to write for a prequel, but I think Eliot did have some sound points in the end in regards to Rachel just using Chloe. I was hoping it would've been explored in this game but I can only imagine Chloe wore out her usefulness of getting out of Arcadia Bay and that is why Rachel moved on to Frank.

Considering both characters fates in LiS proper I kind of didn't feel much risk as far as the choices went but I really enjoyed the story. Had no clue it would be a minor % choice but I managed to have Rachel meet Sera in the end so I felt I got the happy ending... Until that after credits scene which while was utterly heartbreaking.

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#22 Edited by sdipu (1 posts) -

As usual, the final choice of LiS series is always so daring, sensitive, and deeeeep. To me not telling her the truth is the correct choice. Because as a good friend Chloe would never want to destroy Rachel's relationship with her family. Even if she had slight chance to find happiness in it, Chloe would do everything in her power to give her that.

Let me explain. I always imagined Chloe to be lone hero who would easily sacrificed herself for her friends. The two board games we played with the nerds gives us a hint and prepares us for the final choice we make. In both of the 1st and 3rd episode, Chloe could sacrifice her character to save her friend. And I choose to do that without hesitation.

Also, in the very beginning Rachel and Chloe played a game of truth and lie, where Rachel could guess every lies Chloe said. With her amazing power it is very possible that she would know the actual truth even if Chloe lied to her at the end. When Chloe tells Rachel that Rachel's mother loves her very much, Rachel would recognize that as a truth. Better living in a fantasy of distant loving mother with nearby happy and caring family than breaking everything into pieces, right?

To me, the ending of Before the Storm came as a peaceful story and not the tragedy I faced during choice of the previous series. The only sad one in the story is probably Chloe, who hides an elephant in the room.

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