Heavy Rain is the Spiritual Successor to Quantic Dream's Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy), an Adventure Game for the sixth generation of consoles. Heavy Rain itself is a PS3 exclusive, and has been described by the creators as an Interactive Movie as well as a standard adventure game. In fact, doesn't that image look like a movie poster?Ethan Mars is a depressed architect whose life fell apart after the tragic loss of his child two years prior, for which he blames himself. He is jolted out of his stupor when his remaining son is suddenly kidnapped by the "Origami Killer", a notorious serial killer who uses rising rainwater to drown his young victims, then leaves origami figures on the bodies. If Ethan wishes to save his son from a similar fate, he must complete the trials set by the Origami Killer, who wishes to test just how far Ethan will go to save his child.The story also focuses on three other characters: Madison Paige, an insomniac journalist who becomes involved with Ethan's desperate search; Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler called in to consult on the Origami Killer case; and Scott Shelby, a private eye conducting an independent investigation.The game focuses on choices and consequences, with actions taking place via a series of Quick Time Events a la Fahrenheit. The developers stated prior to the game's release that almost all situations would have later consequences on the plot and that they are determined to let players follow through on their actions - to the point that unless all four main characters die, the story will still continue with whoever is alive. The major themes of the game are love and the idea of what is good and what is evil (in regard to the Tag Line on the poster to the right), according to the developers, who hoped to have players aim for a balance of the two rather than one extreme or another.The game has led to very polarized reactions among the gaming community, though critical reviews were mostly positive, praising the game's intricate story and unique control scheme. Despite the developers' meager sales expectations (200,000 copies), Heavy Rain sold like hotcakes, surpassing a whopping 2 million by 2011. One downloadable chapter, "The Taxidermist," has been released. Others are planned but on indefinite hold.Similar to how Heavy Rain started off with a tech demo The Casting, Quantic Dream released a new tech demo Kara on March 7, 2012, hinting at their new game. Go watch it. On E3 2012, the spiritual successor to Heavy Rain was revealed as the supernatural drama Beyond: Two Souls.New Line Cinema and Quantic Dream Productions have obtained rights for a movie adaptation.Not related to the Hard Rain campaign in Left 4 Dead 2. Also not to be confused with Hard Rain. And certainly not Chubby Rain.Be warned: since Heavy Rain is incredibly plot heavy, expectMAJORmarked and unmarked spoilers below.
Aborted Arc: Ethan's blackouts, which stop and are never mentioned again after Shaun is kidnapped.
Some of the aborted arcs were going to be explained, but the developers felt that they would ruin the pacing of the plot, so they were removed. A list of the Dummied Out content and the reason in which they were removed can be found here.
Always Close: No matter how quickly you free Madison from Dr. Baker's restraints, he will always come in just as you are undoing the last restraint.
At a point in the game, you can either sleep with Madison, in which case she will spend the night with you, or she can leave right away. Whatever you choose, the cops will get there as soon as she leaves your place.
Antagonist in Mourning: The ending "Ethan's Grave" shows Scott hiding behind a tree, looking at Ethan's grave. If he's still alive by that point, anyway.
Anyone Can Die: If the player flubs certain Quick Time Events, the protagonists can and will die horribly, but the game continues.
In practice, two of the main characters actually have Plot Armor until the very end of the game, regardless of how badly you do in even their most insane QTEs.
Arc Words: "How far would you go to save someone you love?"
Asshole Victim: Kramer when he has his heart attack, not too long after having tried to kill Shelby and Lauren. You can choose to save him.
Blake also suffers this in the "Uploaded" ending.
Babysitting Episode: One of the levels has Shelby taking care of a baby whose mom has just attempted suicide.
Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Other than Jayden, just about every cop in the game is either corrupt or worthless. However, they display extreme levels of competence whenever it would mess things up for the main characters, like setting up a roadblock mere minutes after Ethan begins the first trial. Simply, it's an inversion of Be as Unhelpful as Possible.
The Bad Guy Wins: If you let all of the characters die, except for Scott Shelby.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: There are a few shots where it's painfully obvious that the male character models have no penises.
Battle in the Rain: Jayden and the Origami Killer in "The Old Warehouse". Madison and the Origami Killer is more of a Chase In The Rain.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Shelby isn't investigating the killings, he's actually the Origami Killer himself. You've been playing him collecting evidence so he can destroy it. The Fire Drill is on the player as well.
Also on his victims; he's a cop, they go to him even if he doesn't have a solid reasoning, because he's a cop.
Big Bad: The Origami Killer, the alias of Scott Shelby.
Big Damn Heroes: Take a shot every time Shelby dramatically rescues someone. By the time you're done, you'll be so drunk you won't be able to hit the QTEs to make him do so anyways.
Jayden, if everything is done correctly, gets one when he swoops in on time to stop Shelby from shooting Ethan. Or Madison.
Bittersweet Ending: Two of Jayden's endings, Case Closed and Resignation. The former shows him being hailed as a hero, but getting illusions from overexposure of ARI, while the latter has him quitting his job, but appearing to be depressed by it.
Ethan's Grave is either this or an outright Downer Ending, considering Shaun is alive, but has lost both his brother and his father.
Blocking Stops All Damage: Averted. Even if the right buttons are pressed the characters still reel from hits they take, blocked or otherwise. Especially with Jason's death, Ethan's Diving Save and taking the brunt of the hit still gets Jason killed.
Bombproof Appliance: Madison needs to escape from a burning apartment before it explodes... or she can climb inside the refrigerator. After the explosion, she is shown outside the building walking away. No explanation is given as to how she got out of the refrigerator.
Bottomless Bladder: Averted. Practically every chapter allows you to walk into a bathroom and do your business.
The second case may be an aversion as well as Scott's handgun is a Beretta 90 Two which means he has a 17 round magazine plus one in the chamber (assuming he's using the 9mm and thought to chamber a round).
Bound and Gagged: Norman is handcuffed to the steering wheel of a car, Scott and Lauren are both tied up in a car, and Madison is tied down to a table. If Madison escapes, you earn the trophy "Queen of Ropes".
Brand X: ASTHMA brand inhalers and FRIDGE brand refrigerators, among other things.
Break the Cutie: Shaun. After Jason's death he becomes socially withdrawn and believes his life won't be the same without his brother. His sadness gets even worse if Ethan dies in the end.
Burn Baby Burn: What Scott Shelby does with the evidence linking him to the Origami Murders.
But Thou Must: Happens a few times when there appears to be a choice what to do, but fairly egregiously before the Bear Trial. Ethan is given a few choices of things to think, including the standard "that's crazy"-type evaluations of the trial as well as "Refuse" and "Accept." Even if you choose "Refuse," and Ethan reflects on how many innocent people will die if he drives the wrong way on the highway, nothing at all happens and you still have to accept.
The Cake Is a Lie: The Origami Killer puts Ethan through a series of brutal trials, all for the promise of saving his son if he can succeed. However, upon completion of all five trials, one ending has the killer preparing to shoot our protagonist in the back as he attempts to release his son from imprisonment.
Captain Obvious: Goes to Madison. "It's a painkiller, it'll help ease the pain."
Character Development: Besides what players may do to characters, Lauren goes through this when she starts helping Scott and goes full retroactive Mama Bear, and Jayden goes through TWO, one depending on if he shoots Nathaniel, where afterwards he becomes more withdrawn and angry, and the second happens without any player input throughout the story, where Norman will go out of his social awkwardness and become more assertive to Blake and the Captain, and aggressive to uncooperative suspects.
Chekhov's Gun: The golden watch Jayden finds on the secretary's desk near the beginning of the game. Talking to her reveals that the station traditionally awards cops with this brand and type. That becomes a vital piece of the puzzle to figuring out the identity of the Origami Killer when Norman is later attacked by a man wearing that same kind of watch. This can also throw you off track, making you think that Blake is the killer.
When Norman investigates Mad Jack, before getting out of his car, he leaves a gun in the glovebox. Guess what you need to do when Mad Jack decides to use the machinery to lift Norman's car into a compactor — with Norman handcuffed inside.
Also, in a more traditional sense, the katana in Paco's office.
Chemical Messiah: This is more of an individual thing, but Norman wears sunglasses that function as a reality warping device that assists him in investigations. The problem with this is that they seriously screw with his perception of reality and cause him to hallucinate. He gets dangerously addicted to this. To counteract this, he takes a fictional drug called Triptocaine, which functions similarly to cocaine and certain narcotics/pain meds. The Triptocaine causes him to get even more addicted and screwed out of his mind. He also suffers withdrawals from it, which have a slew of symptoms. The only ways to stop these are drinking or rinsing himself in cold water, waiting it out, or taking more Triptocaine.
Cluster F-Bomb: Ethan occasionally delves into these when he sees what his trials entail, but he only really goes to town if you don't do all the trials and end up without all the letters of the address Shaun's being held at.
Contrived Coincidence: When the Origami Killer kills Manfred in the latter's clock store, somehow Lauren gets distracted by a music box and Manfred ducks out of her line of sight just at the top of the hour, allowing the cacophony of all the clocks chiming to cover the sound of the murder.
Convection Schmonvection: Technically Conduction Smonduction. During The Lizard Episode, Ethan can heat an iron rod to cauterise his wounded finger; not only does he grip a hot metal rod with his bare hands, but he puts said metal rod on a wooden desk. He neither burns his hand nor does the desk ignite. This trope is played straight by Madison in the burning building.
Controllable Helplessness: In "The Doctor", if Madison gets tied to the table, you can struggle against the restraints and scream, but it will be in vain, as you won't actually be able to free yourself until the doc leaves the room.
To a lesser extent, Scott's flashback scenes. Especially when you can't pull John out to save him from drowning.
Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: At the end of the game, during a fight between Jayden, if he survives, and Scott.
Cool Shades: "Cool" doesn't begin to describe Norman's ARI.
Crapsack World: The game's setting ends up fitting the bill if you choose the more tragic endings. One particular outcome includes Ethan and Scott being killed (the former just after rescuing Shawn), while Madison goes insane; it says something when Norman Jayden's bittersweet "Resignation" ending is the happiest of the four. This isn't the worst combination you can get, either.
Although, they tend to only have one of them playing which, considering their length, will often replay over and over again. This can lead to some Narmy moments, such as when Gordi Kramer watches the TV in complete and utter investment, despite watching the same short for the umpteenth time.
Dirty Coward: If you don't do the trials. Best example, you can refuse to do the Lizard Trial, and use your two hands to help you and Madison escape, but you end up being shot in the arm instead.
The game even calls you out on it with the door leading to freedom in the Butterfly trial being labeled "Coward", should you choose not to do the trial.
Disappeared Dad: As Shelby goes around visiting the families of the victims of the Origami Killer, the husbands of both Lauren Winters and Mrs. Susan Bowles have disappeared soon after their sons did. As much as this would seem as a standard case of Disappeared Dad, you find out later that one father actually went out as Ethan Mars did to complete the trials to save his own son, but ended up dying in the power plant in the Butterfly chapter. This is similarly implied for the rest of the fathers... except for Reza's father, the shopkeeper. He didn't dare open the box. Or he did, but didn't realize he was supposed to unfold the origami. In-Game Guide Damn It!
Disney Villain Death: Shelby is killed this way when he falls off a conveyor belt in a fight with Norman, complete with a gory discretion shot before we see him fall into a garbage compactor (though we see the blood-stains on the spinning machine a moment later), and when he falls into a tank of water in a fight with Madison.
Drugs Are Bad: Played with. It's Norman's overuse of ARI that's implied to be the cause of his hallucinations, and he takes Triptocaine — again, to excess — to help him deal with the adverse effects of his dives into ARI. Neither is doing any wonders for his health.
Dueling Player Characters: Ethan, Madison, or Norman (whoever is alive at that point) must fight Scott a.k.a. the Origami Killer in the endgame. You control the former but you can still lose and have your current character killed.
Arguably, the virtual environments created by ARI are also this. In the scene in which it is possible for Jayden to die from ARI overuse, as his eyes start bleeding in the real world, the peaceful forest of the simulation slowly becomes colder and windier until it's basically storming inside. By this point, it's not exactly clear whether anything Jayden sees is reality, virtual reality, or the contents of his own drug-addled mind.
Enhance Button: Should Jayden not collect any clues in "Crime Scene", he'll just bring up a satellite scan of the scene in question and find the tire tracks.
Even Evil Has Standards: The Origami Killer's trials are designed to test the resolve of the victims' fathers. Additionally, this seems to be Shelby's motivation for investigating Gordi Kramer.
Evil All Along: Scott Shelby is this. Even his thoughts don't show his true colors.
Especially in the Sexy Girl chapter, where she unbuttons her shirt, rips off part of her skirt so the bottom comes to just below her ass, and does sexy dancing in high heels. It would be especially heavy fanservice if you weren't concentrating on the QTE to make her dance well.
When she fakes having sex by moaning, etc. in Paco's office to trick his guard from coming in, leaving Paco's mouth dropped open in shock.
Film Noir: Looks, sounds, and feels like it. Dark, gritty, pessimistic, rainy, hard-boiled detectives, moody music, dutch angles, mystery, drugs, sex, violence. Covers all the bases, really. Scott Shelby even has a 1940s film noir theme going with his wardrobe, car, decorating, etc.
Foreshadowing: A replay bonus, though you can notice it if you're really observant, is in the beginning credits. Several characters are shown which just seem to be random people in the rain, with no actual impact to the story, perhaps there to establish the mood of the game. You later realize they are anything but random: one is the graveyard keeper who tells Scott and Lauren the story of John Sheppard, one is John Sheppard's (and the Origami Killer's) mother, and the children are the Origami Killer's prior victims. It also shows many of the places significant to the story, like the overpass crossing over the lot where the last victim is found, the playground, and the scrapyard.
Also early in the game, you can find a DNA sample belonging to someone that mentions John Sheppard. Jayden dismisses it as "unrelated to the case".
Scott Shelby has an old-fashioned typewriter in plain sight on top of his desk throughout the entire game, although it isn't the one actually used to type the Origami Killer letters.
The mystery Sheppard brother has a band aid on his right eyebrow, and Scott has a scar in exactly the same place.
There's a reason why Scott's the only character on the front of the US box that has a weapon.
Forklift Fu: Mad Jack, if you screw up Jayden's investigating.
For Want of a Nail: Whether Scott wants to let Ethan leave or kill him depends on who else is in the area.
Freudian Excuse: The Origami Killer had to watch his twin brother drown because their father wouldn't get off his drunken ass and help him. He puts his victims' fathers through a series of elaborate and cruel tests in order to find someone dedicated enough to do anything to save his son, i.e. do what his own father couldn't do.
"Friends" Rent Control: Madison lives in a very swanky apartment for a reporter who doesn't even seem to work for one newspaper, and Ethan's house, though threadbare, is still quite roomy for a divorced dad. In his happier endings, he moves into Lucas Kane's implausibly roomy apartment.
Game-Breaking Bug: If a player sets the mode to "Easy", the mode means there is more reaction time for the QTEs and less of them to begin with. However, some of them, although not appearing, still register in the game and will count as a failed press, leading to inevitable mission failures if you play on Easy mode.
Golden Ending: The game's numerous Multiple Endings depend on what happens to each character, and there are a few variations concerning their ultimate fate. Typically, the Golden Ending will include: A New Life, Case Closed, and Origami's Grave with Lauren alive.
Good Guns, Bad Guns: Played around with a lot throughout the game. Almost all of the characters that have guns in this game have handguns, with the sole exception of the drug lord that Ethan has to kill in his fourth trial, who uses a shotgun. Subverting the trope is actually what ends up helping Norman figure out who the Origami Killer is, if you get all of the clues with ARI.
Good Morning, Crono: An adult example, where the very first mission as Ethan has the player waking him up.
Gory Discretion Shot: Varies. Power drill to the chest? No cutaway. Man falls into gigantic, spiked trash compactor? Cutaway.
It could depend on which of the non-gunshot deaths can be caught with motion capture without actually killing the actor. And prosthetics wouldn't exactly work. And getting ground up is a lot harder to animate realistically than getting impaled.
Also used during the third trial. Ethan cuts off his finger just out of shot, but the actions the player has to perform, as well as Ethan's agonised screams, arguably make the whole thing even worse than if it was shown in detail.
A lot of it also likely has to do with what gore can be animated in the game engine without risking it turning into unintentional comedy.
Gray Rain of Depression: The only times it isn't raining in the game are the prologue, the playground, and the weather outside when Ethan checks out a new apartment with Shaun in his best ending. The rain eventually becomes a major plot point as well as mood setting.
Groin Attack: Madison is a certified user of this trope, using it in her fights with The Doc, Leland, and the Origami Killer.
She also tortures Paco by squeezing his nuts. Ouch.
Norman can do this during his fight with the Killer, but the latter shrugs it off.
And during Fish Tank, the Origami Killer will stab Jayden in the groin with a katana if all the buttons are missed.
Guide Dang It: Among certain other trophies, getting the "Perfect Crime" ending requires you to kill off two of the four PCs, two of the NPCs (minimum), and get a specific one of the two remaining PCs jailed. Good luck figuring out what exactly what sequence of events must be done to do so.
If you are trying to get 100% completion you will likely play the game so much your eyes bleed, because not a single one of the trophies is labeled in game, except those that you get for 100% completion and for seeing all the endings.
Made worse when you realize why this trophy is best obtained on your first run through the game. Last Lousy Ending indeed.
Jayden: 'Oh shit, Jack, ain't nothin' to it, just a little bit of self defense. Page one of the police manual: kill, or be killed.'
Jayden: 'Do you like fireworks, Jack? 'Cause I bet them tanks are gonna blow up real nice! [...] We'll just say it was an accident... or rather, I'll say it was an accident' because you won't be able to talk, will you Jack?'
Of course, Alternative Character Interpretation is in play here, as Jayden won't object to Blake's methods too much unless you make him. It's also likely he's bluffing to psyche Mad Jack out. (The fact that the QTE leading to this line is labeled "IMPRESS" suggests that this is the case.)
Hoist by His Own Petard: Scott Shelby (almost) drowning to death in his car. It's possible he did drown in one of the possibilities for the endgame. When Ethan/Jayden shoot Shelby in the back while saving Madison, Shelby falls into a cargo tanker full of water. He might have died from drowning instead of the gunshot wound.
The mad "surgeon" if Madison kills him with the drill.
In one possible scenario, Mad Jack tries to kill Norman by throwing his car into a crusher with a crane. If you play right, you can escape and fight Mad Jack in front of the still-running crane. If you win, his pants get caught in a tire tread, and he's run over.
Hollywood Psych: Ethan refers to his condition, suggested to be Dissociative Identity Disorder, as "schizophrenia" on at least two occasions. Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder are separate conditions. Justified, however, as both conditions have a lot of overlapping symptoms, and DID sufferers tend to also have schizophrenia.
Idiot Ball/Idiot Plot: Heavily debated. Ethan Mars never requests assistance from the police, his ex-wife, his Token Romance, and cannot even attempt to guess Shaun's location unless he's at least attempted all the trials. Then there's the fact that, in a series of trials he has to perform before his son drowns, Ethan doesn't think of opening all the figures to prepare for the later ones, or of taking the box with him, he instead chooses to go all the way to the motel between them wasting precious hours while the boy awaits in a cold, dark, wet death trap
Pretty much everyone in the game has to do at least one utterly stupid thing to keep the plot rolling, starting with Jason and John giving Darwin-award-winning performances and rolling downhill from there. Hell, half the game's events could have been avoided if anybody remembered they own a cell phone.
Norman Jayden can be killed on three separate occasions because he doesn't bring backup. Even assuming every single cop in Philadelphia hates him, the city also has a local FBI office which he never contacts once.
The reveal that Shelby is the Origami Killer makes many of his previous actions nonsensical. When Lauren brings him her Origami Killer letter, Shelby tells her the truth: That it was typed on an old typewriter. Not only does this lead them to the next clue, Manfred's Clock Shop, but Shelby brings her along when he goes to murder Manfred and close that loose end. Moreover, Shelby not only has the same typewriter on his desk, he has two of them as you find the one he actually used inside his secret room.
Infant Immortality: Averted: the death of Ethan's eldest son JASOOOON! in the prologue, and potentially Ethan's younger son Shaun in some of the endings.
Informed Flaw: Shelby's asthma. It debilitates him a grand total of once in the whole game. Even when swimming up from the bottom of a lake while holding a full-grown woman or fist-fighting an FBI agent.
Many asthma treatments can prevent attacks. Corticosteroids, for example. Additionally, swimming is considered a good thing for asthma, and Shelby says at one point that he considered returning to swimming (implying he has done it before). Thus, only having one asthma attack is at least somewhat plausible.
Also Madison's insomnia. She's supposed to be exhausted after getting little to no sleep for what is implied to be an extended stretch of time, but it doesn't affect her at all. At one point, she even nods off in a chair, and has to force herself to stay awake to watch over Ethan while he sleeps. Naturally, while Ethan is scruffy and glassy-eyed and Jayden gets red-eyed and twitchy at various points, Madison shows precisely none of the physical effects of even short-term insomnia. She's even totally okay to drive a bike in the rain.
In-Game TV: Some TVs in the game show cartoons you can watch from beginning to end, before they loop over back to the start.
Ink-Suit Actor: The four main characters basically look like their voice/mocap actors.
Insomnia Episode: Madison suffers from chronic insomnia, which we mainly see in a paranoid delirium episode early in her arc.
Instant Death Bullet: When Shelby goes to storm the Kramer mansion, all of the 20 guards are killed with a single bullet each and most of them not even being headshots.
Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: Shelby's killing of Manfred isn't shown to the player while the player is controlling him, only in a later flashback, likely because it would otherwise make the fact that he's the killer far too obvious.
Jayden: Blake, you are an unbalanced, psychopathic asshole!
Blake: I'll take that as a compliment.
In "Covered Market", Blake tells Jayden to "fuck off", and he smiles off it.
Interface Screw: The least and most common is how, during particularly tense moments, the displayed buttons will shake wildly, with more shaking the more nervous your character is. After the car chase, the button displays will be upside down. Also, when squeezing through the electrical wires, if you choose the wrong path, the button holds will be a truly tortuous sequence.
When Jayden is staring down Mad Jack with a gun and suffers a withdrawal attack, causing him to try and get some Triptocaine. The sequence starts off easily with a face and a shoulder button, but within a few seconds, requires you to hold down almost every single button on the controller in a bizarre sequence that makes it look like you're trying to play Twister with your hands. Failure doesn't result in death, but does result in another difficult action sequence.
Karma Houdini: Any of the villains can become this, but the only one who can never be punished is Gordi Kramer. His fate after Shelby might or might not kill his father is unknown.
Karmic Death: If all the playable heroes are killed, the Origami Killer walks off into the heavy rain triumphant... unless he saved Lauren from drowning, in which case she will have figured out what's going on after having compared notes with the families of the other victims, and will gun Scott down in the street.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: If Ethan gets caught in "Fugitive", Blake will try to beat a confession out of him while Jayden is in the room. As Jayden, you can interfere, causing Blake to tell you to hit him. You can.
Kill 'em All: Per Multiple Endings, below; spoiler: of the five "main" killable characters (Ethan, Madison, Norman, Scott, Lauren), it's impossible to have all five die in one run. You can have Lauren be the sole survivor, thus managing to kill all the playable characters.
The Killer In Me: The game appears to be setting up a Type B when Ethan suspects that his alternate personality is the killer, but then subverts the trope when it turns out he didn't do it after all.
Leitmotif: Each playable character (and Lauren) has one. Ethan's motif, Painful Memories, is probably the most memorable one as it also serves as the game's main theme and sees the most use. It also doubles as a...
Liar Revealed: Ethan's discovery that Madison's a journalist…after he sleeps with her. May not be as grating as other examples of this trope, since he'll either forgive her right away, or reject her permanently.
Made of Iron: Ethan if you're completing all the trials. He's in a car accident, breaks one or two ribs, tears up his arms on broken glass, collects a horrible electrical burn, and cuts off his own finger.
The Many Deaths of You: This game might hold some sort of record for this. From being crushed by a car compactor while inside the car to taking a power drill to the pelvis, this game is certainly not for kids.
It's worth noting that there actually aren't that many different deaths (since two of the Player Characters can't die until the last quarter of the game), but this trope still wins out for sheer intensity.
Meaningful Name: Ethan Mars's children are named Jason and Shaun. Jason was the one who died. The Sheppard children are named John and Scott. John was the one who died. Both children that died have names that start with J, both children that lived have names that start with S.
Even more so, Shaun and John are actually two different language variants of the same name (Shaun being an anglicized/misspelled/phoenitic version of the Irish name Seán).
Meta Twist: Quantic Dream is known for having the most saccharine endings for players who go the extra mile, which makes the fact that all of Norman's endings are bitter-oriented Bittersweet Endings and Downer Endings surprising, especially when the best case Bittersweet Ending involves the player FAILING to do well.
Modular Epilogue: The ending is a sequence of short scenes showing the lives of the four main characters and their associates after the Shaun Mars' case—for those who survived it, that is.
Monster Sob Story: Scott Shelby burning up the evidence, with tears rolling down his face.
Mooks: Shelby kills 18 guards when he breaks into Kramer's place.
Most Writers Are Adults: Instead of kids acting much older than they're supposed, this game has the reverse. Every ten-year-old in existence should be insulted by how the kids in this game are portrayed. Chasing a balloon? Playing in traffic?
All of Shaun's inconsistencies, however, are explained with the Freudian Excuse of losing Jason and having his father put into a coma for a few months affecting his emotions.
Motion Capture: All major character's performances are fully mocap, including the face and the eyes, just like in Avatar.
And for that, the Heavy Rain team deserves props: it took half a year to get all the motion capture for this game filmed. There's an unlockable extra about it, too.
Multiple Endings: The game treats endings rather differently than most other games of its ilk. Instead of three or four predetermined endings, the characters will have endings which finish their arcs in multiple ways depending on your choices, and the actual ending of the game depends on what combination of character endings you end up with. That being said, many potential endings can fit into a few trope categories:
Bittersweet Ending: The Origami Killer is stopped, but some people are killed along the way.
Norman Jayden can do this if he fights the Origami Killer in the end. The alternative is to save him and then kill him.
Shelby can also do this to Charles Kramer by not giving him his pills while he's having a heart attack.
Mystery Magnet: On the hunt for the Origami Killer, Madison runs into a homicidal taxidermist, a crazy Doctor Death, and a sleezy nightclub owner and would-be rapist. In addition, depending on the choices the player makes, she might encounter the Origami Killer directly, and be confronted by an unseen stalker at a book signing who proclaims she deserves a 'worthy adversary' to fight.
Mythology Gag: Players who watched the tech demo "Heavy Rain: The Casting" from several E3s back might recognize Lauren as Mary Smith, still voiced/mocapped by Aurélie Bancilhon.
Book Ends: Lauren gets the final scene of the final game in the "best" ending.
If Scott saves Lauren from drowning in his car and survives the final chapter, she will find out that he is the Origami Killer and kill him.
No Communities Were Harmed: An interesting example: The city shown in the map is clearly Philadelphia, but no real world locations or landmarks are ever shown or mentioned in the game, and the name of the city is never said. Likewise, the street that the warehouse is on is not a real street in Philadelphia.
Nonstandard Game Over: During "On The Loose", if Ethan is arrested for the second time or if Norman has died, Ethan cannot be sprung from jail and the player loses control of him for the rest of the game.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: When you meet Kramer Jr., he's watching cartoons while two women are passionately making out on the couch next to him. He couldn't care less, and eventually orders them out of the room.
Oedipus Complex: The Oragami Killer kidnaps young boys as a way to test their fathers, putting them through a series of bloody trials. If we accept the game's Freudian Excuse (see above) then the killer is acting out an Oedipal desire to punish his father (using the fathers of boys as young as he was when his brother died, hence people that remind him of his own father) by proxy and also surpass his father by looking for a 'worthy' dad that makes it through all of hi trials. In a similar vein, the relationship he develops with the mother of one of his victims implies an Oedipal desire for his own mother.
Oh, Crap: Blake's reaction of Madison getting past his roadblock in "The Old Warehouse".
Also, Norman's reaction to seeing tiny virtual desk tanks in the "Case Closed" ending
Offhand Backhand: In Face to Face, after Shelby gets out of his car, the first thing he does is shoot a Mook without even bothering to look at him.
Offscreen Teleportation: Heavy Rain abuses this quite a bit. In a typical version of the warehouse scene, it will show the empty warehouse, you walk up to save Shaun, and the killer appears right behind you. Then, another character runs out of nowhere to save you. Also, Manfred's killing, done without Lauren noticing, even though she's in the adjacent room. Also, Norman's ghost, although that's one's justified by it being inside virtual reality.
Pet the Dog: After everyone else had seemingly forgotten about him, Kramer, having owned the construction site where he drowned, has been tending and putting flowers on John Sheppard's grave for over 30 years.
Playing The Player: Shelby's thoughts don't have any obvious hints about how he's the killer, at least the first time you play through.
Please Wake Up: Ethan, during his attempts to revive Shaun via CPR. If Ethan has come to the warehouse alone, Shaun ends up doing this himself moments later when he's gunned down by police outside.
Plot Armor: Try as you might, you can't kill Ethan or Shelby until the endgame.
Plot Hole: One of the Red Herrings, Ethan's blackouts. It is never explained how they line with the Origami Killer's timing explained within the game.
By the game's timeline, Ethan should have been in a coma when the Origami Killer began murdering. The point appears to be ignored by the rest of the plot.
In scenes cut from the game, the Killer was present at the accident that rendered Ethan comatose, and somehow the event created a tenuous psychic link between the two. Every scene before a blackout, Ethan would originally see strange hallucinations involving lots of rain and water and go through a nightmare sequence where he'd discover a dead child, these scenes coinciding with the killer's activities, and then fold a paper crane at the same time the Killer did. The place where Ethan wakes after his first blackout is where Shelby's brother died, which Ethan went to thanks to their psychic link and Shelby's association of this event with his murders. This plot element was eventually dropped for it adding a supernatural element to the story that didn't really need it, though the scenes were left in to re-direct the player.
Red Herring: Played straight and subverted. While the characters themselves might follow what they later think are wrong leads, it is revealed that all the clues are pointing at the killer, it's just that both the characters and the player can't see the big picture until later on.
Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: One of Ethan's possible epilogues suggests that he's going to reconcile with his estranged wife despite the fact she's responsible for getting Blake to think he's the Origami Killer.
Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: The method of killing little boys over a period of four days by keeping them in a sewer drain that slowly fills up with rain water certainly qualifies as elaborate, as does the trials he puts the victim's fathers through.
Rule of Drama: The killer gradually collected a stash of evidence that he could destroy at anytime, but he destroys it all just before the climax because it makes for a more dramatic reveal
Save the Villain: Madison and Jayden have the option of playing this straight or averting it. Shelby will still try to kill you, and flubbing the quick-time event will result in your character being killed at the last minute.
Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: When the player has the choice to shoot Nathaniel. Nathaniel spins around in a complete stab like manner, but just reveals a crucifix.
It's possible to have Ethan held up by the police in the end. He turns around, holding his wounded arm, and the snipers open fire.
Shoot the Dog: One of Ethan's trials involves killing somebody. The guy turns out to be a drug dealer, which might sap him of sympathy, but when Ethan finally gets the chance to shoot him, he's on the floor begging not to be killed, especially in his young daughter's bedroom. It's up to the player to go through with it.
Madison can hide in a refrigerator to save herself from an explosion, much like a certain archaeologist did to hide from a nuke.
Another possible Indiana Jones reference occurs in the last chapter with a fight atop a conveyer belt that ends in a deadly grinder. Like in Temple of Doom, the villain can die by reaching the end of the conveyer.
The subway entrance through which Madison and Ethan make their escape from the police is identical to the subway entrance used by Lucas Kane in the beginning of Quantic Dream's Fahrenheit.
The apartment in some of the endings is very similar to Lucas's in the same game.
In the opening credits, a store sign has a pawprint on it that says "Naughty Dog".
Dr. Adrian Baker astonishingly resembles Dr. Heiter in both appearance and mannerism.
Shower Scene: The game starts with Ethan having one after he's gotten out of bed, then Madison gets one of her own in her first chapter.
Jayden gets a brief one in “Jayden Blues” if Ethan doesn’t get arrested, but considering he does it with all of his clothes on and in an attempt to recover from some really bad withdrawal symptoms, it’s probably not as sexy as it sounds.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: If Madison is the only one to make it to the last chapter, she has the opportunity to grab a pipe and smash the Origami Killer upside the head while they're talking.
Silent Whisper: Ann whispers the name of her son into Madison's ear. It's significant because her son happens to be the Origami Killer; the player doesn't learn his name for a few more scenes.
Sins of Our Fathers: Scott Shelby's brother drowned because of their uncaring and alcoholic father. And now Scott is repeating the sins of his negligence by abducting the boys of other families and leaving them to drown in the hopes that they would be saved by their own fathers.
Soft Glass: Played straight and averted. Averted in that whenever a character needs to break some glass, it takes serious physical effort. Played straight during Face to Face, as one of the guards tumbles through a window when shot and shatters it completely.
Also played straight during Jayden's fight with the Origami Killer. Jayden is shoved from across the room into the huge aquarium built into the wall and it shatters.
It's also averted when Ethan has to crawl through a tunnel where the floor is covered in shattered glass. It's portrayed as really painful, and his arms and legs get cut up pretty bad.
Also played straight if Madison is the one to take on the killer — he punches straight through a window to get at her.
Actually, the trope is played straight in pretty much all of the game's fight scenes. It shows up early in the game, too; when Scott defends Lauren from the abusive client, the client can punch right through a microwave door. And that's not counting the possible shattering of glass by forcing a head through it that can happen earlier in that same fight.
One aversion in the beginning. In Hassan's Shop, Scott can attempt to whack the robber on the head with a liquor bottle. If he succeeds, the man is knocked out and the bottle does not break.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The prologue: It's Jason Mars's birthday, everyone's happy, but one of the game's Lonely Piano Pieces is already playing. The fact that the game is about a serial child murderer doesn't help.
This can happen while Jayden's trying to escape from the car crusher. If he turns on the radio, it starts playing jaunty, upbeat music.
Split Personality: Subverted. Ethan is suggested to have one, and certainly has a disturbing set of symptoms and an equally-concerned shrink. It turns out, however, that his other self is not the Origami Killer.
These elements were originally part of a sub-plot where Shelby's presence at Ethan's accident led to an unexplained psychic link between the two, and Ethans blackouts DID coincide with the Killer's murders, leading to Ethan travelling to the place where Shelby's brother died, and causing him to unconciously fold paper cranes at the same time Shelby did. This plot was dropped when it decided the supernatural element was unneeded.
Stress Vomit: Ethan will vomit if you make him kill the drug dealer during the Shark trial.
Sunglasses at Night: Justified. Norman's ARI sunglasses display forensic information and record voice memos.
Tap on the Head: Done to Madison by Dr. Baker when she tries to investigate his house. She takes a whack to the back of the head with a baseball bat, and when she wakes up not long after, she's completely conscious right off the bat (no pun intended) and struggling and screaming.
That's optional, but this will happen in every game to Scott Shelby before being tied to his car and thrown in a lake.
Tears of Blood: If you take too long during Jayden's final use of ARI, his eyes start bleeding under the glasses.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: The epilogues are composed entirely of this. Odd, because the game had made an effort to avoid this beforehand.
Too Dumb to Live: Jason. He wanders off from his dad and wanders off again after being told not to wander off. Then he runs off across the street to go look at another store outside of the mall. Then after his dad calls out to him, he runs across a busy main street.
The game also gives you many opportunities to make very stupid decisions. Like, for example, accepting a drink from a creepy criminal doctor who hits on you.
And, of course, John and Scott playing Hide And Seek in a construction site with No OSHA Compliance.
Trapped in a Sinking Car: A bad guy attempts to drown Scott Shelby and Lauren Winters, who have come too close to discovering his crimes, in their car. You play as Scott and must find a way to escape before the time runs out — if you are fast enough, you can even save the unconscious Lauren.
Trailers Always Spoil: The cover art for the maligned American version. All four main playable characters are there: Ethan, Madison, Norman... and some evil-looking guy in the shadows holding a gun.
Truth in Television: Although it's never explicitly mentioned in the game, serial killers often keep careful track of how the police are progressing in their investigation, and also try and insert themselves into the investigation in some way.
Turn in Your Badge: Blake and his boss, Perry, are getting this if the former kills Ethan while Jayden is alive.
Jayden can have this, too, if he accuses Blake of being the Origami Killer.
This also happens to Perry if all the characters die.
Unknown Rival: Blake, like all cops, shows disdain towards Jayden, who doesn't acknowledge him.
Unreliable Narrator: Every single chapter you play as Scott Shelby before The Reveal. Not only is he not really a private eye, but he was the Origami Killer the entire time. The only reason he had for investigating the case was to gather any evidence he had left so he could dispose of it.
Video Game Caring Potential: You might grow attached to these characters and want to ensure they'll get through their trials successfully and with as little pain as possible, because goddammit, a lot of what they go through physically and emotionally just looks painful.
Additionally, good luck holding back MamaBear/PapaWolf rage at seeing the recordings the Origami Killer sends you.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: On the other hand, you might want to either get everyone killed and/or suffer tremendously for your amusement, or out of spite if you dislike the game, such as having Ethan get shocked repeatedly, or cutting off his finger with a saw.
Villainous Breakdown: The Origami Killer gets really pissed if anyone other than Ethan saves Shaun, since it wasn't part of the plan.
How about Blake? Check out chapters "Kick Off Meeting", "Shrink and Punches", "Under Arrest", and "Solving the Puzzle".
Visual Novel: Heavy Rain has much in common with the Visual Novel genre.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Deconstructed with Jayden and Blake as while they got along the first time they met, their continuous fighting, mostly from having different methods, has drove them apart as they go on separate ways in catching the Origami Killer.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Shelby enters his apartment only to find Lauren helpless and have one of Kramer's goons put a gun right to his head. But rather than just blow his brains out, Kramer traps Shelby and Lauren in a car (with loose ropes they can undo fairly easily), and pushes it into the lake.
Writers Cannot Do Math: Behind the reception desk at the motel where Madison checks in, there is a calendar-clock-thing that inexplicably notes the date as Thursday Oct. 5th, 2012. First of all, the game takes place in Fall 2011, so the writers and art department weren't talking to each other, and second, Oct. 5th 2012 is a Friday. In 2011, it was a Wednesday. (The date would have at least existed if not for the fact that 2012 is a leap year, but it would still be the wrong year for the game's story.)
Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Ethan, Madison, and Scott all commit multiple felonies over the course of the adventure to save Shaun/catch the Origami Killer, including several acts of breaking-and-entering, multiple assaults, and multiple acts of mayhem, including one premeditated first degree murder. It seems that a city that would tolerate a cop as obviously psychotic and unhinged as Lt. Blake has a soft spot for vigilante action.
You All Share My Story: One of the defining motifs of the game, especially if you make it to the "best" ending path.
"The End of a Nightmare" — Madison is found and barely escapes with her life. Madison will be chased to the garage, where she can either kill Leland with a chainsaw or simply escape on her motorcycle, in which case he commits suicide.
My Car Hates Me: If Madison is followed from the house, her bike will stall. If Madison escapes unnoticed, or if she kills Leland with the chainsaw, it starts without a hitch.