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Playdate: Life is Strange (01/15/2016)

This is it. We finish our time in Arcadia Bay with more tough choices and a large helping of strange.

The crew of Giant Bomb invites you to join us for some fun times with video games.

Jan. 15 2016

Cast: Vinny, Alex, Austin

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Life Is Strange

283 Comments

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brianofthewoods

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Edited By brianofthewoods

hype

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Makayu

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Edited By Makayu

Do a retrospective!

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szlifier

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Edited By szlifier

#lifeisstreams

If you missed it live you could watch it with the chat as if you were there at that moment. You don't even need to rewind time or anything.

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SaltyCatfish

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They made the right choice.

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DiamondDave

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YAY!!!!!!!!!

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Funkofages

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Hotline Bling!

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Maduo

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They made the right choice.

This is a good game because I can believe that this is correct while also believing Austin should have hit that button.

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Lanechanger

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Rewind back to the GOTY podcasts!

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clagnaught

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Caught bits and pieces of this live. I can't wait to see what they thought about this episode.

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tinodz

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http://www.audionetwork.com/browse/m/track/crazy-like-me_56382

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GenericBrotagonist

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Oh wow, I completely forgot until they were talking about Dontnod's next game that it is in fact Vampyr. I'm pretty excited to finally get my Vampire RPG thirst quenched so many years after Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.

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petethepanda

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It's a little shaky, but for the most part, they really stuck the landing with ep5. Can't wait to see what they do for the second season. Hopefully they retain their willingness to put their characters through the frigging wringer.

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SgtSphynx

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SgtSphynx  Moderator

I still say fuck fate

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moregrammarplz

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Thank you so much for playing this, guys. My favorite game last year and my favorite piece of Giant Bomb content in a long time.

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jay_ray

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"Puppy" Arcadia Bay

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ch3burashka

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I'm glad that they made that choice because I'm glad I was able to experience both. I know which is the smart one, but I also know which is the right one.

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turboman

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I really really really really enjoyed the guilt trip sequence, even though it never really goes anywhere other than remind you the story before the last decision. Also, the sequence that let's you watch David get murdered over and over again in different ways is really funny.

Really didn't care for the ending (going to youtube and watching the other ending really makes it so that the ending in the video is the only true ending to the game). The obvious way to handle things is to just walk outside the bathroom, and intercept Chloe before she walks into the bathroom. It's kind of a shame that the story didn't explore anything like that after the final decision, but it is what it is.

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Alucitary

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I have heard nothing but groans about episode 5, but I was super impressed by this. Probably because my expectations were lowered, but I feel like it was a very appropriate ending.

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superscatman

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@turboman: but isn't the whole point that fucking with the timeline at all causes a huge cataclysmic event?

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Shinmaru007

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dantez

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Edited By dantez

Man, am I so glad that they made that choice at the end. Was scared for a moment during Austin's last stand, but it all worked out haha. I have seen the ending they did not choose on Youtube (I also went with their choice during my playthrough) and man, IMO it is so rushed and just so bad for many reasons that I have no idea what they (the devs/writers ect) were thinking.

It is a shame the gang did not finish this before GOTY talks. I think they may of fought harder for it in certain sections.

So much fun to watch. Keep up the great content GB East. You are killing it!

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turboman

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@turboman: but isn't the whole point that fucking with the timeline at all causes a huge cataclysmic event?

I thought the tornados and stuff came from Max constantly rewinding time, instead of messing with fate. They didn't really explain it.

They also didn't explain how Max stumbled across her powers in the first place. I don't know how that could be written without sounding really cheesy, but by the end of the game it didn't even matter I guess.

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ch3burashka

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Edited By ch3burashka

@turboman said:

I really really really really enjoyed the guilt trip sequence, even though it never really goes anywhere other than remind you the story before the last decision. Also, the sequence that let's you watch David get murdered over and over again in different ways is really funny.

Really didn't care for the ending (going to youtube and watching the other ending really makes it so that the ending in the video is the only true ending to the game). The obvious way to handle things is to just walk outside the bathroom, and intercept Chloe before she walks into the bathroom. It's kind of a shame that the story didn't explore anything like that after the final decision, but it is what it is.

I"m gonna spoiler block it, even though if you're watching this, I can't imagine you don't know yet or are planning on reading the comments before finishing the video.

I think that the point, as lightly touched upon by Chloe herself, is that over the course of the 5 episodes it's been heavily implied what her fate is, Final Destination style. I mean, you're absolutely right, much in the same way the audience member is correct in yelling, "Don't walk through that door!" at the characters in the horror movie, but Chloe was meant to meet her end, and this way she was able to fulfill the purpose of unveiling the terrible secret, making her death meaningful.

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froggeh

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@turboman: If she tries to save Chloe again they just end up with the tornado coming again

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turboman

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@ch3burashka: I can definitely see it that way... as in some force of nature is telling you "there's no chance Chloe lives this week unless you're willing to sacrifice an entire city of innocent people"

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Efesell

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I love the way this game ends. With the choice they made anyway.

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BannerThief

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Always on the lookout for new Strange (it's what Life is, don't you know).

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huser

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Edited By huser

Life is Strange is a pretty great title for how this wraps up.

Spoilery musings:

Max got super powers and her first real use of them was to save Chloe and she goes on to try and save everyone. Yet, Max hadn't seen Chloe for 5 years, hadn't made any real efforts to reconnect despite moving back to town, and in the course of a week (or a hundred years), fell in love with her. So of course the ending requires her to NOT use her powers to save someone she wouldn't have fallen in love with had she not had her powers. Heck, given the emotional distance that exists between the two, while Max would have been distraught over Chloe's death in the Prime universe, she wouldn't have the double whammy of losing so much and CHOOSING it. And man that throwaway line of bravado from Nathan about Chloe was such a blow.

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tr0n

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@dantez: I assume it was not even a choice originally, and they added it in later. Because it's very clear what they intended the ending to be.

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fhantom

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I'm really glad I got to see the conclusion of GBeast's play through of this game. I truly enjoyed watching their journey til the end. I definitely want to see what they have to say about the other ending, and like others have mentioned maybe do a retrospective afterwards. Thanks again for all the great content.

PS.

Pompidou for animal of the year! Don't mess with Frank and his beans or we'll have a problem! Unless you got snack... You got snack?

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Edited By huser
@turboman said:
@superscatman said:

@turboman: but isn't the whole point that fucking with the timeline at all causes a huge cataclysmic event?

I thought the tornados and stuff came from Max constantly rewinding time, instead of messing with fate. They didn't really explain it.

They also didn't explain how Max stumbled across her powers in the first place. I don't know how that could be written without sounding really cheesy, but by the end of the game it didn't even matter I guess.

It's from the butterfly imagery. The fact they are beautiful, but also fragile, and even with the best care, their lives are fleeting. The butterfly effect is colloquially described as a scenario where a butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane is born halfway around the world. Messing with the fate of a certain butterfly caused the tornado. It's right there in Chrysalis being the Chapter 1 title and of course the diametric consequences in Polarized.

And of course that butterfly was Chloe right down to that shade of blue.

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xDOTLx

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Awesome! Thanks for playing all 5 episodes of this! Great game and, as always, great commentary!

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TJK

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@szlifier said:

#lifeisstreams

If you missed it live you could watch it with the chat as if you were there at that moment. You don't even need to rewind time or anything.

Wow! thats pretty cool

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Emperium

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Congratz, awesome game, awesome gbe playdate series!

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FluxWaveZ

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@turboman said:

@ch3burashka: I can definitely see it that way... as in some force of nature is telling you "there's no chance Chloe lives this week unless you're willing to sacrifice an entire city of innocent people"

Furthermore, there's nothing guaranteeing that Chloe and Max won't encounter further calamity just because they sacrificed a town. The genesis of the storm was Max messing up time in such a significant way that it allowed Chloe to live when she should have died. For open-ended discussion purposes, there isn't anything that states that there'd be the concept of equivalent exchange that would allow Chloe to live without problems after that point.

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chanchochrist

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Edited By chanchochrist

Is it me or was that statue in the gallery a Ministry of Silly Walks reference?

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dkraytsberg

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Max went through hell to save Chloe. Sacrificing her there would be like getting to the end of a race and not finishing.

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JunkHype

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I went with the other ending but totally understand this choice.

What a ride! Thanks guys!

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Zeik

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Edited By Zeik

I feel like Austin greatly undersold Max's maturity by the time you reach the conclusion. She went through more life changing shit in that one week than most adults go through in their entire lives. I don't know if I would actually make the "right" choice if I was put in that situation, but I think Max would.

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badsmalltalker

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The only big problem I had with this episode is that I was playing this as a best friends story, which along with mother-daughter stories is one of those pairings we don't get a lot of in games (movies as well).

The kiss in episode 3 seemed to play like a dare to me (although that might be getting into "yeah girls would do that" male gaze from the developers), so when I got the climactic ending decision and they kiss each other for real, it was kind of a "Whoa, uh...ok then!" moment for me.

I'm interested in hearing if anyone else had the same reaction as me.

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L1GHTN1N

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Seeing the ending again still made my stomach knot up and made me a little misty. It doesn't nail everything it goes for but it's a hell of a game and watching GBeast play just makes me feel better about putting it as my GotY.

Also they chose wrong.

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Luck702

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Edited By Luck702

God damn, I felt some stuff. I didn't realize Chloe's death was cosmically inevitable until the moment Max did, which hit me like a punch in the gut when the last choice was presented. Maybe I'm an idiot for not seeing that coming hours before hand, but I'm glad I didn't. Made it all resonate in a really emotional way. In that regard, the game hit it out of the park.

Also, imagining two personalities like Victoria and Chloe hooking up scared the piss out of me. They would achieve world domination with an iron fist.

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Zeik

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Edited By Zeik

@cmpltnoob: It wasn't obvious when that kiss happened, but I felt like by the time you reach the ending it was a bit more obvious it would go in that direction, especially if you blow off Warran's advances.

It probably could have used another moment somewhere to reafirm that you were actually interested in a romance, but meh, they make a cute couple, and well done gay romances are just as rare. Or hell, well done any romances/relationships. I can't think of any other video game couple that managed to portray believable love and affection as much as Chloe and Max, romantic couple or otherwise.

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Blackout62

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Edited By Blackout62

2:55:17 Chloe's wearing ouroboros t-shirt. Damn if that's not the last hour to a T.

And damnit, I like the other ending more.

@chanchochrist: Glad I'm not the only one to catch that.

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ALavaPenguin

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I was really disappointed in this last chapter. I should mention, not the video, was super entertaining to watch the BEAST guys play this.. but more of the actual game's last chapter, at least compared to the rest of the game.

This last chapter just felt like an uneven mess, and I was not satisfied by the way the story wrapped up [not talking abut the big decision and it's ending, but the general plot and reveals]. Plus there were scenes in there where the game lost all gravitas [the tornado where hey let's have long protracted conversations where no one seems to understand any seriousness or urgency of the current situation], which makes anything that happens afterwards feel unimportant. Plus half the decisions in that last chapter don't seem to have actually mattered in any way.

There is actually a writeup on Kotaku I found about it after watching it which talks about how uneven that last chapter was, and I think I agree with a fair bit of it.... it just felt like a hot mess compared to the rest, and the big reveals to me were not in the slightest satisfying, nor the execution of the last chapter's story beats.

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utternyms

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Edited By utternyms

Fascinating how convicted we can each feel in our thoughts on the "right" final choice. I love the sacrifice Arcadia Bay ending. As vicious as that choice is, I couldn't bear to lose Chloe again, so I had to save her. And after seeing both endings, I still think I made the right choice; for me, that (sacrifice Arcadia Bay) ending is far more emotionally fulfilling.

I almost thought they'd go with my choice, because Austin was totally spot on that their Max--as an eighteen-year-old in love--probably would've made the reckless, selfish choice, but I see why a couple thirty-something guys would go with the cold and calculated morally right choice. Now that I think about it, a Max who's instead in love with Warren would probably make that choice also. Interesting. Considering most people went down the kiss Warren route, maybe that's why sacrifice Chloe is the slightly more popular choice (it was even more popular when I played a couple weeks ago on the PS4).

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XivSpew

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I like that in the last episode, the script left enough ambiguity and throwaway lines from Chloe, Max, and the bulk of the last hours' sequence to open the window that all parties are completely cognizant of that time-honored concept of "Hey, quit travelling back in time to fix things, shit gets fucked exponentially."

At the end of the day, not only am I glad GBEAST did what I'd do at the end (and that Austin voiced the alternative), but that a narrative involving time travel allowed you the choice to cut the loop before it starts. Imagine if Primer, Timecrimes, or shit even Looper had the same out.

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FoxxFireArt

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Edited By FoxxFireArt

I'll never sacrifice Chloe. Much of that town was already ruined long before Max discovered her powers. The Prescott's had made the housing and local economy untenable. Even the local fisherman talked about how the environment had ruined fishing. I'm pretty certain that only Arcadia Bay was being effected. It was even shown in that once article in San Fransisco that things seen in Arcadia Bay wasn't seen anywhere else.

I also absolutely hate the idea of Chloe dying scared and alone with no answers on some bathroom floor. She was the last part of William that was still alive. It feels as if you're truly letting him die.

I think if it along these lines. Let's say I was to go to Joyce and ask her. I tell her about these powers and tell her that I can only save her or Chloe. I think Joyce would say to save her daughter.

I certainly applaud Dontnod for creating a very real same sex relationship that wasn't grossly sexualized.

@alex

When it comes to the time travel in this game, think of it along the lines of Quantum Leap. Future Max jumps back into time into her own body. If she doesn't alter any outside event -- such as tipping off David or saving William, the rest of the time line runs as it normally would once Max jumps out of that moment. The only thing that changed was she didn't have that picture, and she wouldn't know why it was ripped.

That's why when Max destroys her contest entry she winds back up in the chair, because all of the games events continued unaltered that led to her capture.

Dontnod has been pretty open that this game has no Good or Bad End. That both are valid choices, and there is no wrong choice. I actually wrote a blog about this topic. To give the short version, I felt that Life is Strange is a moralistic test. When people talk about losing someone in their life, you often hear people say, "I would do anything to have them back." This game asks, "Would you really DO ANYTHING?" Would you be willing to say, sacrifice an entire town to get back the most important person in your life -- be it a parent, child, or your lover?

I'm also pretty sure the ghost deer was Rachel's spirit. It only ever seems to appear in the visions or the junkyard, where you later find her body. It appears there again when you dig up her corpse. Once her body is found, the deer sort of bows then fades away.

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Edited By xymox

@freddiefiasco said:

Max--as an eighteen-year-old in love--probably would've made the reckless, selfish choice, but I see why a couple thirty-something guys would go with the cold and calculated morally right choice.

But which choice is the morally right one?

I do not think sacrificing Chloe is morally right. Going back in time is what started this whole mess. At this point in the game I knew I had to stop fucking with time, I had let go. Had to stop trying to "fix things". And when I was presented with the choice of going back AGAIN to "fix things" it wasn't even an option for me. I knew I had to make "the right choice" which to me meant... that I had to stop fucking with time.
Staying in the timeline at the end, no matter the consequences, no matter what happens, is the only "right choice" for me.
Needless to say, I hella loved the Arcadia bay ending.