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Video Game / Life Is Strange 2

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Once upon a time, there were two wolf brothers...

Daniel Diaz: What are we gonna do now?
Sean Diaz: There's nothing we can't do, as long as we're together.

Life Is Strange 2 is an episodic narrative adventure game in the Life Is Strange franchise by DONTNOD Entertainment and a sort-of sequel to the original Life Is Strange. Square Enix returns as the publisher, with Feral Interactive once again providing MacOS and Linux ports.

It's October 2016, and Sean Diaz is like any other 16-year-old boy living in Seattle, Washington — he attends high school, hangs out with his best friend Lyla, listens to music, and gets bothered by his annoying 9-year-old brother, Daniel. One Friday afternoon begins like any other as he prepares to attend a party held by a classmate, but a tragic turn of events involving an asshole neighbor and a jumpy cop leaves the Diaz's father dead, the neighbor in a coma, and their part of the street in ruins. Confused, scared, and desperate, Sean makes a snap decision and goes on the run with Daniel, fleeing the scene of the crime and heading south with an eventual goal of staying with their father's family in Puerto Lobos, Mexico. With little more than some pocket money from his father, some party preparations, and the clothes on their backs, Sean and Daniel must learn to survive in the wilderness and live on the fringes, steering clear of the many dangers that the world contains.


Compounding this is Daniel's mysterious telekinesis, which manifested during the shooting to blast the officer (and his car) away — a power he seems unaware of and unable to harness. Compounding that is Daniel's lack of recollection of the whole event, and Sean's unwillingness to let his brother know that their father is dead and they're on the run from the police. Sean is still a kid himself in many ways, and is now the only caretaker that Daniel has. Life on the road is far from easy, and the choices that Sean makes as he and Daniel journey south will affect how Daniel acts as he and Sean both come of age.

Life Is Strange 2 is an entirely new chapter by DONTNOD in the Life Is Strange universe, and with it, Max, Chloe, and Arcadia Bay have been left behind to tell a new story with new characters. Instead of focusing on a small-town mystery, this game is a road trip experience, with the brothers meeting a wide variety of strangers who will enter, leave an impact, and exit just as quickly as they came in. Sean's choices during the game will impact how Daniel acts and sees his brother and the world, as Sean is now the only guiding figure that Daniel has.


On the technical side, DONTNOD updated from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4, which brings with it vast graphical improvements and a shiny new interface. Jonathan Morali returns for the original score, and the use of licensed music is downplayed, though not entirely absent.

The complete game consists of five episodes released roughly 4 months apart, starting with Episode One on September 27, 2018 and ending with Episode Five on December 3, 2019. The game is available on PlayStation4, Xbox One, and Windows, MacOS and Linux via Steam, the latter two ports being released on 19th December, 2019.

As with the other entries, a Collector's Edition was released alongside the final episode, containing a vinyl version of the original score, an art book, some collectible art cards, a display box, and figures of Sean and Daniel.

A related work exists in the form of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which was released before the first episode of LIS 2. It serves as a gameplay demo and interquel, with the events of Captain Spirit occurring during Episode 2.

Tropes found in this game:

  • Adult Fear: In spades. Not only does the game start with the death of Sean and Daniel's father via cop shooting but Sean also has to look out for Daniel on the road. In addition to providing the basic necessities, Sean also has to teach Daniel — if Daniel sees Sean steal, he'll steal too.
  • Animal Motifs: As expected from a Life Is Strange game.
    • This game doesn’t have the same type of spirit animal theme as the first two games, which had an explicit Native American totem motif (as Arcadia Bay was built on Native American land) and the recurring physical appearances of spirit animals, sometimes literally. It does however still use animal imagery to describe and compliment the characters. While the first game had the doe for Max and Rachel and the butterfly for Chloe, this game has wolves for Sean and Daniel. The loading symbol for the game shows two wolves running, one big and one small. Certain choices made in the game will focus on the bigger wolf, the smaller wolf, or both wolves; this means the decision that you made has either affected Sean, Daniel, or both brothers.
      • Sean has a wolf on his hoodie, and wolves frequently show up in his sketch book.
      • Their father's hometown is called Puerto Lobos, literally 'Wolves Port' in Spanish.
      • Both brothers end up howling like wolves while camping out in the forest, and Sean later tells Daniel a bedtime story about two wolf brothers who had to leave home after their father was taken by hunters.
      • If you let Cassidy tattoo you in Episode 3, you can ask for a wolf design.
    • Canines in general are a strong recurring motif in this game.
      • Apart from Sean and Daniel being described as wolves, the entire Diaz-Reynolds family is depicted as wolves in Sean’s “Wolf Brothers” story. Cassidy, Finn, and the Trimmigrants are all depicted as different breeds of dogs. Reverend Lisbeth Fischer is depicted as a malevolent, vicious coyote.
      • Sean looks at a poster advertising a free puppy, Mushroom, stating that he already has one in the form of Daniel. They end up adopting her later. Cassidy and Finn also own a dog.
    • Lyla could possibly be linked to cats. Her shirt in the first episode has a minimalistic design that resembles a cat and she often uses cat memes on her social media.
    • Brody and the Stampers are represented by and heavily associated with bears, respectively, but take on two different interpretations of them. Notably, they're both met in a gas station named "Bear Station", which is situated in the middle of a thick forest. Brody comes across as very creepy and sketchy, with his first impression to the Diaz brothers being caught looking at pictures of nudists on his laptop by Daniel. Understandably, Sean is quite concerned. However, as we see later, Brody is actually a Gentle Giant Nice Guy who was actually writing an article on nudists, and out of the kindness of his heart drives the brothers to safety, allows Sean to vent to him, gives him kind words of encouragement, buys them a hotel room for the night, and gives them supplies. In the "Wolf Brothers" story, he is depicted as a bear by Sean, taking inspiration from his size and fuzzy beard as well as how despite his appearance, is a really nice guy. The Stamper family also have a bit of a bear motif, with them owning the aptly-named "Bear Station", Hank carving wooden bears, and the same unnerving, predatory demeanor that Brody gives off, but in contrast with Brody turning out to be quite friendly, Hank is every bit as dangerous as he lets on, and poses a serious threat to the brothers. Doris is a unique case in that her mood can shift depending on how the brothers present themselves (she'll be less suspicious if they washed up in the bathroom), if they begged for food from the family outside (she'll be more stern due to them "bothering her customers"), and if she catches Sean in a lie (the likelihood of this happening is based on both choices). Overall, she seems more mellowed out than her husband, and isn't even that mean if Sean raises too much suspicion, and regardless of what happens in the store, she seems unnerved by Hank kidnapping Sean, but ultimately trusts her husband's judgment.
    • Chris is depicted as a raccoon in the “Wolf Brothers” story, taking inspiration from his use of a domino mask and his resourcefulness in scavenging mundane objects to act out his superhero fantasies.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Sean and Daniel will often have conversations while walking around examining their environment. If the conversation is important, it will start again if Sean accidentally interrupts it while looking at something.
    • There's a dedicated button that when pressed will focus the camera on Daniel, so you won't lose track of him. If Daniel is too far away for you to be able to locate him, then you end up having a handy button prompt to call him over.
    • During the second eye test in Episode 4, you are required to have your pen touch Joey's in order to pass. Though he will ask you to hit it again, you only need to hit it the first time within three tries to count it as passing. There's no penalty for failure, and Joey stops it after the three tries.
  • Anyone Can Die: Established with Esteban in Episode 1, and then brought home even further with Mushroom in Episode 2. Also, if you make the wrong choices, then Chris can get hit by a car, though Episode 4 reveals that it was not fatal. Finn can also be shot and killed by Merrill should Daniel not intervene with his powers in the ending of Episode 3. Finally Sean can accidentally be killed by Daniel if the former tries to surrender to the cops, but the latter's morality is too low.
  • Are We There Yet?: Daniel bugs Sean with this question early on during their road trip in Episode 1.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Subverted. The cop in the opening is basically ignoring every law of gun safety (finger off the trigger, don't point at anything you don't intend to kill, handle your gun carefully) when he's dealing with the Diazes....and then Reality Ensues when he accidentally (and fatally) shoots Esteban. Ironically, Merrill in Episode 3, despite holding the group at gunpoint, averts this; he does so to get them to submit, but spends much of the time in that scene pointing the barrel of the shotgun at the ceiling, with his finger off the trigger.
  • Artistic License – Law: The basis of Sean's incarceration in the Redemption ending. There's an entire laundry list of crimes the brothers are suspected of committing, including grand theft auto, robbery, and murder, but except for stealing a car and the supplies they may have taken from the trading post, the evidence for nearly everything else would be circumstantial at best (in particular, the Seattle district attorney would have a hard time explaining how the dashcam footage of the cop's death meant Sean was responsible), which would explain how he ends up released (or paroled) after only 15 years.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: In Episode 4, Sean gets roughed up by some hicks after he drives onto their land to get some sleep. Depending on your choices, he either gets humiliated or beaten up before being allowed to leave. As he drives away, this happens.
  • Batman Gambit: During the final showdown of Episode 4, Sean taunts Nicholas to shoot him, expecting Daniel to realize that he was wrong siding with Lisbeth and her cult. His calculations are correct, as Daniel gets fed up and intervenes before Nicholas would make up his mind to shoot.
  • Big Bad: The police as a whole are the main antagonistic force throughout the five episodes, pursuing Sean and Daniel Diaz to arrest them for Daniel's Accidental Murder of a racist cop (which happened when the cop shot their dad). The Diaz brothers' goal is to flee them by going to Puerto Lobos in Mexico. Aside from said racist, jumpy cop in the first episode, though, the game doesn't go to any great lengths to demonize police officers, merely showing them as the opposing force to Sean and Daniel's journey.
  • Big "WHY?!": Daniel asks Sean under tears why he hasn't told him about the father's death.
  • Bilingual Backfire: In Episode 4, when the rednecks humiliate Sean by forcing him to insult himself in Spanish, there is an option to actually insult them instead. Too bad for Sean, the rednecks understand the word "madre".
  • Bittersweet Ending: Redemption, Parting Ways, and Blood Brothers all have good and bad moments. Redemption has Sean spend 15 years in jail but Daniel gains a normal life again and when Sean's term is up, is now a free man reunited with his brother, mother, and possibly Lyla and has a career as a comic book artist. Parting Ways has Sean and Daniel separating and Daniel is under surveillance from the government but both are happy with their new lives and still keep in contact via letters as well as Karen reconcile with her parents. Blood Brothers have Sean and Daniel successfully integrate into Mexican society and became closer but now face criminals every day and it is implied that the Diaz brothers perform criminal acts themselves despite Sean running an auto shop.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Diaz household has a generic "Playbox" console, which in design vaguely resembles the Nintendo Wii and the name being a combination of the Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation lines.
  • Book-Ends:
    • In the Redemption ending, the game ends with Sean and Daniel visiting the same forest they came across at the start of their journey.
    • In the Lone Wolf ending, the game opens and ends with Daniel losing a family member.
  • But Not Too Bi: In Episode 3, Sean can either romance Cassidy, a girl, or Finn, a guy. If he romances Cassidy, they can eventually sleep together. If he romances Finn, they don't do more than kiss.
    • While Cassidy doesn't seem to be seriously interested in a relationship with Sean, at least at the time, Finn can admit in the next episode that he's fallen in love with him. It doesn't quite mitigate how little focus Finn's romance route gets compared to Cassidy's, but it does even things out a bit. Furthermore, if you choose to get Sean with either one of them (and both survive to the ending) it's implied he and his chosen partner end up together on the same terms regardless of who it is.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Sean refers to his and Daniel's estranged mother by her first name, Karen. He has some very mixed feelings about her since she left them. However Sean later has the option to start calling her mom.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Daniel has a nightmare while he and Sean are camping in the forest, and ends up sitting up suddenly when Sean wakes him up.
    • A downplayed example at the beginning of Episode 4. Sean has a seemingly telekinetic dream with him and Daniel sitting on the bench back at the Trout Spring Trail, where they talk about the events that happened at the end of the last episode. Daniel urges Sean to come to find him and walks over to the edge of the cliff and deliberately falls off it, causing Sean to wake up screaming for him to stop.
  • Central Theme:
    • Family. Almost every character, major and minor, has a family that they care about deeply, and go through great lengths to protect.
      • Sean and Daniel Diaz are brothers, and used to live with their father Esteban in a happy home. This was all ripped away from them due to a tragic accident.
      • Chris Eriksen lives with his father Charles in Beaver Creek, right next to the Reynolds. They moved to Beaver Creek sometime after the death of Chris' mother and Charles' wife, Emily. They're evidently still in mourning over this tragedy, as Chris still keeps photos of her in a time capsule along with naming a villain in his stories after the streets on which she was killed, and Charles is actively trying to pursue her killer.
      • The "Trimmigrants" of Episode 3 are a community of drifters who travel the world working odd jobs along the way. They all came from some sort of broken household or relationship and found each other after running away. Eventually, they all grew close and became one big happy surrogate family. They gladly take in the Diaz brothers without a shred of protest, and don't hold any grudges against Daniel after he accidentally gets them laid off.
      • Merrill has a family of which he provides for through his illegal pot farm. When he has Sean, Daniel, Finn, and possibly Cassidy at his mercy, he justifies holding the group at gunpoint by explaining that his large hoard of cash is entirely for his family.
      • The Universal Uprising Church is made up of many lost souls and families that join together in a place of worship, finding peace through God and eventually, Daniel. During his stay at the church, Daniel was accepted into the church and considered it his new family, getting very close to the fellow children, especially Jacob's younger sister Sarah Lee Hackermann. This very fact is exactly why it's so hard for Sean to convince Daniel to come back to him, and it isn't until Sean takes a brutal beating right in front him that he realizes just how badly he's been manipulated by Reverend Lisbeth Fischer, and finally rejoins his family.
      • Away is a community of people who live on the fringes of society. They all know each other quite well and are all on great terms with one another, despite pretty much every member being radically different in some unique way. This is where Sean and Daniel's estranged mother Karen ran off to years ago.
    • Broken relationships, usually familial, and the mending of those relationships through love and redemption.
      • Sean and Daniel are estranged from their mother, Karen Reynolds. Daniel is mildly interested in getting to know her as he was only a year old when she left, while Sean is still very bitter from her unexplained exit, not even referring to her as "Mom" anymore. Eventually, Karen tracks Sean down, and depending on player choice, can finally rekindle their relationship, with Sean even finally calling her "mom" again. Daniel also gets to really know her, and has a pretty warm opinion on her thanks to the circumstances he's met her under.
      • Karen was also estranged from her parents for running away from and cutting off all contact from her family. Her mother, Claire, absolutely condemns her daughter for this while her father Stephen seems neutral or conflicted. In the Redemption and Parting Ways endings, she finally reaches out to them again and are back on speaking terms.
      • It's implied that Charles is responsible for a bruise on Chris' arm, and drunkenly blames his son for Emily's death, which makes the latter burst into tears. Charles can confide in Sean that he's perfectly aware of his poor job at parenting his son lately and can suggest sending him to live with his grandparents. Episode 4 reveals that eventually, Chris gets on much better terms with his father and regularly do fun father-son bonding activities.
      • Sean and Daniel start to drift apart by Episode 3, as they've been spending over a month in an unfamiliar place with a bunch of teenagers, alienating Daniel but making Sean a bunch of new friends. Throughout the episode, the brothers bicker back and forth, with Daniel getting jealous of Sean and his new friends and Sean getting jealous of Daniel's new brotherly bond with Finn. After an incident with Daniel gets the teens laid off, Daniel and Finn stage a heist to get the money they're owed, which Sean can optionally protest against. Depending on player choice, Finn, who up to that point was basically Daniel's new big brother, can be killed, which is the final straw in Daniel's relationship with Sean. However the episode unfolds, Daniel's powers going haywire gets Sean a glass shard through his eye, making Daniel believe that he just killed his brother, and no matter how their relationship was up to that point, Daniel will feel extremely guilty and attempt to find forgiveness through God in what turns out to be a cult in the next episode. It takes some thorough convincing, but eventually, Daniel realizes just how much his brother loves him, and happily joins him again, wrapping his arms around him as they drive off with their mother Karen. They spend the final episode completely intimate with each other, and Daniel will be absolutely devastated if Sean ends up dying.
      • David Madsen is a member of Away, who joined the community after a tragic loss three years ago; either his wife Joyce Price to the catastrophic storm in Arcadia Bay, or his stepdaughter Chloe Price to Nathan Prescott. Time has surely mended some old wounds on him, as he is a much more positive, outgoing person than he was before, and has since made peace with his loved ones after the tragedy. If Arcadia Bay was sacrificed, David is not only on much better terms with Chloe, but she visits him occasionally, and he refers to her as "sweetie" and his "daughter". If Chloe was sacrificed, his marriage with Joyce falls apart, but they make up sometime after, and Joyce keeps David up to date on her travels around the world by sending him postcards.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The dresser with the bad leg in Episode 2. At the end of the episode, it falls on Stephen, forcing Sean to choose between having Daniel reveal his powers to their grandparents or saving Stephen through mundane means, which injures his leg.
  • Choice-and-Consequence System: Similarly to the previous games, the outcome of certain actions are shown at the end of each episode. However, the system became much more refined, where many situations can have multiple outcomes depending on not only your choice at that point, but also on several earlier decisions, also combined with Relationship Values and Karma Meter.
  • Chupacabra: A movie poster in Esteban's garage says "Chupacabra from outer space." A VHS of the same movie can be found in Karen's trailer, where Sean states that it was one of his father's favourite movies.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Sean and Daniel are 16 and 9 respectively, and Sean has to grow up fast to deal with the tragedy of his new life on the road.
  • Confession Triggers Consummation: The third episode gives the player the option of having Sean pursue Finn or Cassidy (or neither). In the latter's case, going for a late-night skinny dip in the lake leads to the opportunity to tell Cassidy how Sean feels. Joining her in her tent after is also optional.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Brody eventually takes the brothers to a parking lot that oversees the entirety of Arcadia Bay. Depending on the player's choice before starting the game, it is either the same peaceful night-time scene as it always was (including the famous light-house) or a ghastly ruin.
    • Daniel watches an episode of "Hawt Dawg Man" in the motel and plays "Hawt Dawg Man: Mustard Party 2" on Sean's phone if you let him.
    • Sean and Daniel meet David, who is staying at the same commune as Karen. He has a picture of himself, Joyce and Chloe on his fridge, and a bottle opener from the Two Whales diner. His reason for being there changes depending on which ending you chose from Life is Strange at the start of the game.
      • If you chose the ending where you save Chloe, David is at the commune because Joyce and the majority of Arcadia Bay died during the storm. He'll receive a phone call from Chloe, who mentions Max, and has a letter from Victoria. He also has a recent photograph of Max and Chloe.
      • If you chose the ending where you save Arcadia Bay, David is at the commune because he and Joyce divorced after Chloe's death. He bitterly regrets his treatment of Chloe, and tries to make up for it by ensuring that her murderer, Nathan Prescott, stays in jail. He has a letter written to Joyce and a mugshot of Nathan. He gets a phone call from Joyce, as they still seem to be on good terms despite everything.
  • Controllable Helplessness: There are some scenes where Sean can do nothing just to look around and wait.
    • In Episode 1 when Hank ties him to a radiator pipe, until Daniel arrives and helps him escape.
    • At the beginning of Episode 4 while he is in the hospital.
    • In Episode 5 while he is in the interrogation room and the police officer goes out to get a coffee for him.
  • Cool Down Hug: Sean gives Daniel one of these when he loses control of his power after learning about their father's death. Daniel pushes him away at first, before tearfully letting Sean comfort him.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Averted. Instead of making either "Saving Chloe" or "Saving Arcadia Bay" the canon ending of the first installment, the game asks you which one you chose and incorporates the choice into the gameplay.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is somewhat of a Zigzagged Trope, especially compared to the first game. While the first one was certainly not all sunshine and rainbows, it was a fairly straight descent after Episode 1 into darker and more serious territory. This game starts dark and swings between lighter and darker moments, and while no ending is explicitly happy, it could definitely be argued that most of them are not nearly as tragic as both of Season One's, meaning that this trope is either averted or played straight depending on which ending is gotten.
  • Developers' Foresight: If the player decides to do the optional campfire sketch while Sean is wasted, the drawing will be appropriately messy and unfocused.
  • Distant Epilogue: Of the four endings, three of them jump forward six years to when Daniel is 16 and Sean (if he's alive) is 22. The 'Redemption' ending jumps even further, to when Daniel is 25 and Sean is 31.
  • Double Entendre: In Episode 3, if the player has chosen to advance Sean's relationship with Cassidy, she'll invite him into her tent, clearly interested in having sex. Sean hesitantly asking what she means and her coy response both are this.
    Sean: You...want me to...come inside?note 
    Cassidy: If you want to...yeah.note 
  • Downer Ending: Lone Wolf, in contrast with the bittersweet nature of the rest of the endings, is not a happy one in any way, shape, or form. Sean gets killed when Daniel forces the car to go to the border and years later, is now a criminal teenager who has no goals in life.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • While briefly looking over Arcadia Bay if it's still standing, Sean calls it boring. If only he knew.
    • In Episode 5, David comments that he doesn't know what it's like having a child with superpowers. His step-daughter, unbeknownst to him, is quite familiar with it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Nicholas, Lisbeth's henchman, has no qualms beating Sean to a pulp with his gun, but even HE seems shocked when she asks him to shoot him in the face.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • In Episode 4, Sean encounters two friends in the middle of the Nevada desert. One of which tries to force him to say racist things in Spanish. The other friend is visibly uncomfortable by this.
    • The racists in the final episode are truly awful people, targeting and shooting people who they think are trying to cross the border from Mexico to America, but one of them is absolutely horrified on realizing that they shot a child.
  • Evolving Title Screen: As per tradition for the series, the title screen's background changes with each episode. When starting Roads, the background depicts the Diaz household and surrounding neighborhood in Seattle. After the prologue, it changes to a shot of Mt. Rainier National Park. Rules depicts the Willamette National Forest, Wastelands shows the Redwood National and State Parks, and Faith shows a long, sunny stretch of Nevada Highway. Wolves gives us a view of the US-Mexico border fence. After beating the game, regardless of which ending you got, the title screen shows Esteban, Sean, and Daniel relaxing outside their home at some point before the events of the game.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Both brothers go through this, given that the game takes place over a year.
    • Sean starts with a short, neat haircut that grows longer and shaggier while he's on the road. This shows that he's being forced to grow up quickly and that he's leading a much rougher and harsher life than before. Then he gets the chance to try and impress Finn by getting an extremely different haircut, a shaved Mohawk. This shows the influence that Finn and the others have had on Sean, who is still an impressionable teenager when it comes down to it, and it also shows that he's embracing his more rebellious side, which goes hand in hand for the illegal work he's doing to support Daniel and himself. Sean's shaved head in the fourth episode is for medical reasons given that he lost his eye and was comatose, meaning he must have had major surgery in that area, but it also serves to make him more vulnerable. It has the added benefit of making him look more determined when he later dons an eyepatch and goes to save Daniel.
    • Daniel's hair is always a little messy, which ties in with his lively personality. Like Sean, his hair rapidly grows longer and messier while they're on the road, showing that he's leading a rougher lifestyle than he's used to. Daniel is given a bowl cut from Lisbeth, which shows how much control she has over him. Daniel at the start of the game would have detested such a haircut, while a brainwashed Daniel even states that he likes it. It shows how deeply he's been pulled into the cult, and it also matches the saint-like persona they've created for him. In the ending where Sean is killed, Daniel ends up dying his hair blond. This separates him further from the person he used to be, as this Daniel ends up being a heartless criminal who uses his powers to threaten others.
  • Eye Scream: At the end of Episode 3, Sean accidentally gets a glass shard impaled in his left eye as a result of Daniel's powers going haywire.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • At the end of the second episode, the police will come to Claire and Stephen's house. If you log in to social media from the computer, they tracked Sean's location. If you call Lyla, they'll know you made the call from the house. Do neither of those things, and you'll be recognized at the market, i.e. something you have no control over.
    • At the end of the third episode, you end up confronting Merrill at the farm one way or another. If you don't agree to Finn's plan, Daniel will go with him anyway and you and Cassidy will follow. Regardless of which group you are part of, Merrill will wake up (due to Big Joe, his security cameras, Daniel lashing out, or the sound of the safe opening) and will ambush the group.
  • Fetch Quest: Your first task is to search the house and collect items in preparation for the Wild Teen Party later that day.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In Episode 5, Daniel says, 'I'm dying to get some Choco Crisps', and then immediately gets shot. It turns out to be non-fatal, but still.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Daniel & Sean. Sean is pretty level-headed and doing his best to keep Daniel safe above all else, but Daniel constantly ignores Sean's directions and acts rashly, thinking that his power can get him out of any bad situation. It gets especially bad in Episode 3, when Daniel is incapable of sitting still for two freakin' minutes, which pisses off their boss and gets Sean fired from a steady job, even after Sean had already warned Daniel that he'd gotten on the man's last nerve.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Everyone who already played The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit knows that Sean and Daniel will not only meet Chris, they'll save him from falling from his treehouse.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Cassidy tells Sean in their meeting at the Christmas market that she and her friends travel the country by hitchhiking on freight trains. The Diaz brothers do this at the end of Episode 2 to leave Beaver Creek, inspired by Cassidy, and they meet her again in the next episode.
    • A photo in episode 1 shows Sean wearing a shirt with the colors of the bisexual flag.
    • For Sean losing his left eye:
      • Snowmancer is missing the left side of his face depending on Chris' actions in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Chris can mention that Snowmancer needs surgery in Episode 2.
      • Sean mentions that he has trouble with perspective in the flashback in Episode 3.
      • The teddy bear in Jacob's tent is missing its left eye in Episode 3.
    • There's a rather strange motif of religious imagery in this game, finally paying off in Faith.
      • In The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, Chris can get a call from the "Universal Uprising Church", the same church (read: cult) of which Jacob was raised in and Daniel ends up brainwashed by.
      • In Roads, Sean can find a poster for the "True Cornerstone Church" at Bear Station.
      • Rules reveals that Claire Reynolds, Sean and Daniel's grandmother, is a devout Christian and attends church every Sunday with her husband Stephen.
      • Wastelands introduces Jacob Hackerman, a fellow drifter whom broke off from his religious community in Nevada. He mentions this community's female reverend and states that the only thing that could encourage him to return would be a "sign from God". Once he bears witness to Daniel's powers, he spends the night praying instead of partying. After the finale of the episode, Jacob takes Daniel back to his community, which he presumes will keep him safe.
    • In Episode 4, Sean can decide to doodle either prison bars or a staircase leading to the clouds. Depending on his morality and choice to surrender in episode 5, Sean will either go to jail or be killed.
  • For Want of a Nail: If you make Sean admit to Brody that It's All My Fault, Sean will note that the initial tragedy and everything that comes afterwards could have been avoided if he had only decided to play with Daniel instead of sending him away.
  • From Bad to Worse: The entire plot can be summed up this way. If having to run from law enforcement isn't enough, the Diaz brothers have to suffer more and more during their adventure. They have to endure the atrocities of numerous jerks along the way, Sean is beat up multiple times, and Daniel is shot twice during the game. They are forced to hurt multiple people, in the first 3 episodes only some of the villains, but in episode 4 they are involved in burning down a church and in episode 5 they are in an open fight with an entire police force.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In contrast to the first two games, in which Max and Chloe had highly-decorated journals with drawings far above their artistic ability (with Max being an aspiring photographer and Chloe just being a graffiti artist), Sean's sketchbook is decorated with miscellaneous doodles and sketches around his entries in his own distinct art style, as he is a practicing artist and can make optional drawings on the road in the form of collectibles that can also be viewed in the journal.
  • The Ghost: Sean, Daniel and Chris all have friends who don't make it on screen. For David, it's either Joyce or Chloe, depending on what ending you got for the first game
  • Good Parents: Esteban is a fair and loving parent who does what he can for his sons. He'll allow Sean to go to a party in episode one, and even possibly give him some cash, with a firm warning to not drive or get into a car with someone who has been driving. Flashbacks in later episodes also cement this: Episode 3 has a talk between Esteban and Sean in which the former tells the latter that they all need to work together, especially the two of them, since Daniel is just a kid.
  • Guide Dang It!: You earn Chris's trust by guessing who's the hero and villain out of his toys...but for those who didn't play The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, or for those who have by-now forgotten, you'd be hard-pressed to know which is which.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: In Episode 3, Sean breaks into one of Big Joe's trucks by hotwiring it. Justified, since Esteban taught him in case he never had keys on hand. He repeats this feat in Episode 4, on a sufficiently old-looking car to make his getaway from the hospital.
  • Headbutt of Love: Sean and Daniel share one at the end of Roads to comfort Daniel after the truth comes out about their father's death, and can do it again in the final episode if the player chooses to surrender to the authorities and Daniel agrees to it, with the brothers taking a moment to say their goodbyes knowing they will be separated thereafter.
  • Heroes Act, Villains Hinder: Sean and Daniel's main goal is to make it to Puerto Lobos so they can escape punishment for a crime they didn't commit. The story does not have an overall villain, but the brothers have to deal with several unsavory figures, such as a racist convenience store owner, the leader of a marijuana planting operation, and the insane leader of a cult-like church.
  • Holiday Episode: Each episode takes place on or around a US holiday. Roads takes place on Halloween, Rules is around Christmas time, Wastelands is around the time of Valentines Day, Faith is shortly before Easter, and Wolves is on the 4th of July weekend.
  • Hope Spot: In Episode 5, after arriving at the border, Daniel finally manages to force open the wall. Freedom at least seems nearby, when someone shoots Daniel from out of nowhere.
  • Hospital Surprise: Episode 3 ends with Daniel blowing up the room and we see all characters lying on the ground, dead or unconscious, with severe injuries. Episode 4 begins with Sean in the hospital.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Episode 3 features bare breasts, skinny dipping, and an implied sex scene.
  • I Am a Monster: Daniel asks Sean on the bus if he is a monster after they both witnessed his powers at the motel.
  • Injured Player Character Stage:
    • At the opening scene of Episode 4, Sean, after losing one of his eyes, has to do the eyesight tests in the hospital to check his depth perception. The player has to do this in first person.
    • Later in the same episode, after the rednecks beat up Sean, he has to limp on in the hot desert during the next scene. He moves very slowly. You can try to run, which makes him move a bit faster, but after a time, he drops in exhaustion.
  • In Medias Res: The game opens with a recording of Officer Matthews' dashcam, showing him approach the Diaz household and respond to an offscreen disturbance, before we hear a gunshot and see a blast topple the car over. The rest of the prologue shows Sean's evening leading up to that moment.
  • Internal Reveal: The game makes it clear from the beginning that something supernatural is going on, and most players will probably put together early on that Daniel is the source of it. Sean and Daniel themselves don't realize this until the very end of Episode 1.
  • Irony: Both of the high morality endings have someone sacrifice themselves to give the other character a normal life. Sean turns himself in to the police so he can give Daniel a normal life in exchange for serving a 15 year prison sentence in the Redemption ending while Parting Ways has Daniel being the one who turns himself in after giving Sean the opportunity to go past the border with Sean living a wonderful life in Mexico in exchange for Daniel to wear an anklet tracker by the government.
  • Karma Houdini: Sean and Daniel can be considered this in Blood Brothers. Between the two of them they can shoplift, commit grand theft auto, robbery, multiple assaults, strangle someone to death, murder two officers and massacre over a dozen more officers. And at the end they escape to Mexico where they're shown happily living out their lives in Puerto Lobos years later never having to answer for the crimes they committed or the amount of death and destruction they caused.
  • Karma Meter: Your decisions form Daniel's morality. In the end, the possible endings you can choose from depends on whether this morality is high enough (Parting Ways and Redemption) or not (Blood Brothers or Lone Wolf).
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In Episode 5, the Redemption ending has Sean decide to stop running and turn himself into the police, taking the heat while allowing Daniel to have a normal life.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Downplayed. At the start of the game, if you confirm that you've played the first game, the game gives you an option to select which ending of the first game you picked. If you say you haven't, the choice is randomized.
    • The promotional material naturally shows a handful of scenes from Episodes 4 and 5, making it hard to miss the fact that Sean loses his left eye.
  • Learned From the News: The news gives Daniel quite a rude awakening at the hotel at the end of episode 1.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified as Sean and Daniel are on the run, and weren't able to grab any clothes to take with them. As a result, their clothes grow dirty and tattered during their journey.
  • Love Interest: In Episode 3, Sean can romance either Cassidy or Finn. Said choice, if one was made, shows up with Sean in photograph form in the Parting Ways ending.
  • Meaningful Name: The unincorporated community Away is in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. The name is probably a deliberate choice by its founders.
  • Mind over Matter: Daniel has powerful telekinetic abilities which allow him to flip a cop car and do quite a number to the surrounding properties. He has no control over it to start with, but gets the hang of it between (and during) episodes with Sean's help.
  • Missing Mom:
    • The Diaz brothers' mother, Karen, abandoned her family shortly after Daniel was born. Sean is still bitter about it and won't even consider seeking her out for help. She finally emerges in 'Faith' to help Sean rescue Daniel from the cult. Both brothers then end up living with her for a couple of months in a commune out in the desert. Karen only reluctantly asks them to leave when it's clear that the police are catching up to them, and even allows herself to get arrested to buy them some time. In the endings where Daniel stays in America, she's featured in a couple of photographs with him.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • You spend the first scene of the game worrying about such things as whether to drink at a party, how to make a good impression on your crush and staying in your dad's good graces. And then, just when you've gotten comfortable with that level of drama, wham — here comes the destructive superpowers, the being on the run from the law and the desperate struggle to find food and shelter day by day!
    • Episode 2 starts with Sean training Daniel on how to use his powers. They're doing pretty well for themselves given the circumstances, having found a little cabin deep in the woods to shelter in. They're having fun, despite their circumstances, and Sean is finally able to relax for the first time. Then Daniel starts getting sick. When Sean makes the difficult decision for them to move on, poor little Mushroom is killed by a cougar.
    • Episode 5 has a massive one. Daniel has just used his powers to tear a hole in the border fence, and the two brothers are in the middle of celebrating their victory when a gunshot comes from out of nowhere, grazing Daniel's shoulder and knocking him out.
  • Multiple Endings: Four major endings, based on Sean's final decision and Daniel's morality, with minor variations (based on romantic partner choice and if Sean talked to Lyla at all while on the run).
    • Redemption: Sean and Daniel surrender at the Mexican border, with Sean saying that Daniel is no longer a little wolf. In exchange for Sean standing trial, Daniel gets to continue living a normal life with his grandparents and Sean is eventually a free man after 15 years. Daniel, Karen, and (depending on if Sean attempted to keep in contact with her while on the run) Lyla welcome him back. Sean and Daniel go for a camping trip in the woods where they first camped while on the run, and then the two brothers part ways, as close as they've ever been.
    • Lone Wolf: Despite Sean's insistence on surrendering, Daniel forces him to continue the journey to Mexico. Unfortunately, Sean is shot and fatally wounded during the border crossing, with Daniel upset that he indirectly killed Sean. Six years later, Daniel is now a hardened criminal with no aim in life, still mourning the loss of his older brother.
    • Parting Ways: Despite initially agreeing to help Sean cross the border to Mexico, Daniel decides to surrender himself to the authorities at the last second with Sean continuing through after Daniel opens the way. Six years later, Daniel is being watched by the government, but he lives a comfortable life with his grandparents. Karen has reconciled with her family and Daniel still keeps in contact with Sean via letters, knowing that despite no longer being together physically, they still have the brotherly connection. Sean seems to be enjoying his new life with either Cassidy or Finn. (Cassidy seems to be the default, appearing even if Sean did not express a romantic interest in either of them in California; Finn will fill the role only if he survived the heist at Merrill's and was romanced beforehand. There's also a variant where Sean is in the photo alone, although it's unclear what conditions unlock this — possibly, it happens if Finn is dead and Cassidy is angry at Sean.)
    • Blood Brothers: After wiping out the police at the border and blasting open the gate, the boys are able to make it to Mexico and they manage to have a happy and successful, if rough, life in Puerto Lobos. Sean follows in his father's footsteps as a mechanic and Daniel is able to fend off the criminals in Sean's garage, though both are involved in some shady business. Daniel also decides to follow in Sean's footsteps as an artist.
  • Mundane Utility: Frequently. Daniel uses his powers to play a prank on Sean, stack their breakfast plates, and tidy their room, among other things.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Three Seals Motel's name is a reference to the Two Whales Diner of Arcadia Bay.
      • Speaking of the Two Whales Diner, a kiddy ride in the Universal Uprising Church's playground is made up of, what else, two whales.
    • Sean and Cassidy's skinny dipping in the river is heavily reminiscent of Max and Chloe's swim in the Blackwell pool. The checkpoint is even called "Midnight Swim", which is what Chloe called it when suggesting it to Max.
    • In the middle of Faith, Sean has a dream in which he finally goes on the road trip with his deceased father that he never got to go on thanks to the latter's untimely passing. While driving, Sean has a heartfelt conversation with his father, who is just as loving and supportive as he always was, discussing events that took place ever since his death and asking him for advice. Doesn't that sound familiar?
      • Speaking of Before the Storm, Lyla writes a list of party favors on Sean's hand so he won't forget, much like how Chloe would write her current objective on hers.
    • Karen's tablet has a sticky note informing her of its passcode, that being 112708. This is the date on which David Madsen and Joyce Price first met, and also the passcode to David's computer in the first game. This isn't a coincidence. David was the one who gave her that tablet, and he makes a surprise physical appearance in Wolves.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: If you decide not to hug your father in the beginning, Sean will later deeply regret that decision.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After the botched heist at the end of Wastelands, Daniel flees with Jacob, who decides to take him back to his former religious community after seeing Daniel's powers as a sign from God. Daniel successfully evades police custody, but ends up brainwashed nearly beyond repair by Lisbeth Fischer.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing:
    • Encouraging Daniel to be more restrained about using his powers seems like the smart thing given how irresponsible the kid can be, but this can lead to Daniel being too scared to use his powers to stop Chris from being hit by the cop car at the end of Episode 2, unless you avoid the cops and thus that situation. You learn at the start of Episode 4 that Chris is okay, but it's still a formative moment for Daniel.
    • Choosing not to call Lyla in Episode 1 seems like the smart thing to do since Sean doesn't want the police to contact her. Not calling her and later trying to contact her in Episode 2 will reveal that she is in a psychiatric hospital due to depression from losing her best friend while calling her before and doing it again will reveal that despite the police contacting her, she continues to help make sure the Diaz brothers will be seen as innocent and said that both phone calls have helped her with her mental health.
    • In Episode 4, refusing the offer to hitchhike with the trucker. Given that Sean has just been abused and possibly beaten by a pair of racist hillbillies for the crime of unknowingly parking on their land (in the middle of an empty desert), he has a completely valid reason to distrust the trucker. There turns out to be zero disadvantages to accepting the ride: he lets you take a nap, gives you his sandwich, and happily covers for you when his dispatcher asks why he stopped. Sean arrives at Haven Point fully replenished.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Daniel accidentally spills fake blood on their neighbor, then Sean gets into a fistfight with him and causes him to collapse on a rock, making the neighbor look a lot worse than he really is. When a cop sees them fighting and responds, he assumes the worst and things quickly get out of hand.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Penny's given first name is Baptist, while Cassidy's given first name is Lucy. You only find this out during Episode 4 when looking through some of Agent Flores' files when she takes a phone call.
  • Open Secret: Almost every supporting character in the game finds out about Daniel's telekinesis at some point. Most notably, everyone in the ghost town of Away is totally aware of his power and they're all in agreement not to tell the police. This is especially noticeable in comparison to the first game, where Chloe and Warren were the only people who ever found out about Max's power.
  • Parents as People: Karen is an interesting example, since she actively chose to leave her children and is still treated with some sympathy (by the narrative, if not necessarily by Sean or the audience). If allowed to explain herself, she says that she does care for Daniel and Sean and is deeply sorry for the pain she's caused them, but she's still adamant that leaving was the right thing for her to do since the alternative was a lifetime of being dead inside.
  • Pet the Dog: A literal example. Daniel ends up rescuing an abandoned puppy from a store. He calls her Mushroom and is shown cuddling up with her and carrying her. Both Sean and Daniel can play fetch with her.
  • Pistol Whip:
    • In the final confrontation of Episode 3 Merrill hits Sean with the butt of his shotgun.
    • Similarly in Episode 4, Nicholas hits Sean with a pistol.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The confrontation with the policeman, leaving two dead, sends the two boys onto their journey.
  • Police Are Useless: Early on in Episode 4, Sean is informed that the police have a lot of people looking for Daniel but have turned up nothing. Considering that he was an attraction at Universal Uprising Church and there were even posters of him put up, it implies that the police weren't actually looking very hard.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Brett tells Sean and Daniel to "go back to their own country," and calls Daniel a retard.
    • Hank assumes that Sean and Daniel are undocumented, assumes that they stole from him because they're Mexican-American (regardless of whether or not the player actually did), supports building a border wall, threatens to call ICE on them, and eventually outright uses an ethnic slur against Latinos.
    • Sean gets accosted by a pair of racist locals in Nevada at night during Episode 4. If he doesn't follow their racist orders, or is defiant in his general responses, one of them hits Sean repeatedly.
    • Lisbeth and her cult have an apparent intolerant attitude towards homosexuality as Jacob was forced to undergo conversion therapy when he showed a lack of interest in girls and traditional masculine activities. Her henchman, Nicholas, will even call Jacob a gay slur if he catches him and Sean in Lisbeth's office.
    • The vigilantes in Episode 5 are convinced that Sean and Daniel are criminals plotting an invasion of immigrants based solely on the color of their skin. One of them shoots Daniel in the shoulder and is completely unconcerned when she learns that he is a child, although her also racist father is upset with her over it.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Daniel passes out when his powers first manifest, and he has no recollection of the event.
  • Precocious Crush: Daniel has a crush on Lyla, which annoys Sean since he tries to show off while they're on Skype video chat.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo:
    • Chris Eriksen is a major character of Episode 2, making his appearance at the exact same time he met the Diaz brothers in Captain Spirit.
    • Chloe Price is mentioned by David Madsen and seen in photos regardless of which Season One ending is chosen, and Max Caulfield can be mentioned and seen in a photo with Chloe if you chose to sacrifice Arcadia Bay, also being responsible for some polaroids David has in his trailer.
  • The Promise: You can decide to make a big promise to Daniel to never lie to him again after he finds out that Sean didn't come through to him about their father's death.
  • The Promised Land: The brothers treat Puerto Lobos as this - their ancestral home, where they will not have to deal with any prejudice or persecution. Subverted in the last episode, where a pair of Mexican refugees spell it out to Sean that Mexico is brutal to live in, enough so that they themselves have repeatedly risked their lives to escape to the USA. If the brothers do end up escaping to Mexico, they seem to be able to make a decent life for themselves, but it's definitely not perfect. If Sean alone makes it, his life seems pretty good, and we can assume from the other endings that he followed in his father's footsteps as a mechanic. If Daniel alone makes it, then his life becomes very brutal due to losing his brother.
  • Queer Colors: Used as foreshadowing. A photograph in episode 1 shows Sean wearing a shirt with pink, blue, and purple, the colors of the bisexual flag. His bisexuality is revealed in episode 3.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The game deconstructs the Kids' Wilderness Epic genre and the superhero genre.
      • Daniel and Sean are on the road after a cop accidentally kills their father, causing Daniel to use his powers in a state of panic. A terrified Sean is forced to become the guardian and lead them both to the border. He tries to keep the reason a secret but the event is broadcasted on the news and Daniel learns what happened in the worst way possible.
      • The racist, Hank, was hailed by the police as a hero for locking up two kids in the basement and hitting one of them. Why? These kids were outlaws, he hid his reasons for doing this and the security footage looks like they assaulted him when they looked for supplies. Then stole a dog for good measure.
      • Daniel takes said dog without permission and it becomes a travel partner. However, the dog doesn't survive the first quarter of the second episode since it comes across a wild puma and is promptly killed and eaten. As harsh as it is, all three of them are living in the wild and you never go there alone without a form of protection or escape.
      • Rather than use his power with great responsibility, Daniel just messes around with his powers and Sean has the choice to encourage this by playing a prank on someone. By Wastelands, Daniel has started becoming arrogant and thinking little of others.
        Daniel: I am the one with power.
      • At the end of the second episode, Sean and Daniel have to flee from their grandparents' home because the police managed to find them. Even if you don't use the phone or the computer, thus leading the police to the house, Sean and Daniel are fairly infamous at this point in the story. So, naturally, someone will recognize them even in the small town of Beaver Creek.
      • You can choose to hide the truth from Chris, letting a 9-year old boy believe he really has superpowers. This naturally results with him trying to do something dangerous and potentially getting seriously hurt.
      • Merrill is extremely reluctant to have Daniel roaming around the cannabis farm and only allows Daniel to be there out of empathy with Sean. The second Daniel messes up, Merrill fires both Daniel and Sean, then refuses to pay the wages of the other workers.
      • When someone with unexplained powers is brought to a public place, someone is bound to assume that they are a sign of a higher power.
      • Daniel has no idea on what his mom looks like and after finally meeting Karen for the first time in Episode 4, all he can say is that he doesn't even know who she is despite wanting to know her in the past episodes.
      • If Sean has sex for the first time, he doesn't actually last very long and Cassidy is understanding of this since she knows it's his "first time". Contrary to popular belief or school rumours, when people lose their virginity it's a short-lived occasion since everything is a new experience. Sean is also very nervous and can refuse the offer if he wants to, also reflecting how teenage boys can be insecure and anxious about their first time.
      • One of the racist guys who find Sean in episode 4 force him to say things in Spanish for their amusement, or they'll beat him up. One of the options Sean can say repeats the phrase the man wants him to say, and it throws in an insult to the man's mother. Unfortunately, the man knows what "madre" means, and is able to glean the rest of the insult's meaning pretty easily after that, leading him to beat Sean up anyway.
      • Episode 5 still has Daniel having flashbacks towards what happened to him in the last episode. Even though the Reverend is either dead or too far away to do anything to him and that there is a roughly three-month time skip, the trauma he faced from his brainwashing still makes him paranoid of her and having PTSD nightmares which isn't easy to remove even with treatment (which due to them being on the run with authorities, is impossible for him to get).
      • In episode 5, the players meet David Madsen (Chloe Price's stepfather from the first game) and he gives a sad reality punch for the player. If Arcadia Bay was destroyed, then David lost everything he held dear while Chloe and Max drove away into the sunset without saying goodbye to him. It took him a long time to finally try making amends with them since they pretty much abandoned him without offering any form of emotional support after a tragedy on that scale. If Chloe died, then he and Joyce eventually divorced because they couldn't cope with their loss or look past the vitriolic relationship between Chloe and David. Whether you like David or not, he's still a man who lost everything because of Max's actions - though, in both cases, he seems to be more at peace with himself and his own past, and he has a much healthier relationship with either Chloe or Joyce, depending on which ending was chosen in the first game.
      • The police have a really hard time believing Sean and Daniel's stories, since nobody would believe that Daniel has telekinetic powers and it's hard to explain how a series of "random accidents" managed to follow them everywhere they went.
        "Listen, once is an accident... twice is luck... three times is enemy action."
      • Sean's plan to escape to Puerto Lobos, and the consequences of it for himself and Daniel, are examined more critically in the final episode. The endings in particular are bitterly realistic:
      • If Daniel makes it with Sean to Mexico, the brothers are implied to have fallen into a life of crime, defending themselves from gangsters while Sean runs a repair shop (and they pull some jobs on the side). If Sean dies during the attempt, it's even worse - Daniel is stranded in a foreign country with no family left, surrounded by a language he doesn't speak. That ending shows that he continues down the amoral path Sean started him on, fending off other criminals with his power when threatened and doing plenty of crime himself. Puerto Lobos is hardly a great place to raise a kid, much less be one on your own - one of many reasons for why Esteban came to the US in the first place.
      • If Daniel doesn't make it to Mexico, either surrendering with Sean or bailing out after helping his brother, he's sent to live with the Reynolds' and has a happy, healthy life in the US with his family. If he continues to Mexico, Sean is able to make a good living (the nature of it is unknown, but he appears happy, and from the other ending we can assume he's a mechanic) with his partner of choice, or alone if that particular path was taken though Daniel has an anklet tracker because the government now knows he has powers. If Sean surrenders, he is sent to prison for 15 years, but is able to become a successful comic book artist while behind bars, eventually being released to the waiting arms of his brother, mother, and potentially best friend. This is the only ending in which we know for sure that Sean does not settle into a life of crime.
  • Red Herring: Karen leaving her family without warning, her devoutly religious mother disowning her, Jacob's community having an "intense female reverend" and the abundance of religious imagery throughout the game may give off the idea that Karen left her family to join a cult, eventually becoming the reverend of Jacob's community. In actuality, Karen left her family because she wasn't quite ready to settle down, and she has absolutely no connection to the cult aside from Jacob informing her that Daniel is now the messiah of it.
  • Relationship Values: The game keeps track of a number of factors involving Sean and Daniel, including Sean's encouragement of Daniel to use his powers, his general attitude towards his brother, and even something as minor as how often Sean swears around Daniel. A developer post shows more insight, explaining that there are two main tracked attributes: Daniel's morality (which controls his general attitude towards others), and the brotherhood between Sean and Daniel (which controls how well Daniel will listen to and respect Sean). Brotherhood does not factor into the ending (though it can help switch from one morality to the other), but Daniel's morality does.
  • Run for the Border: After a cop confrontation goes tragically wrong, Sean decides to head south with his brother and cross the border into Mexico to live with some of their relatives. This is made more complicated by Sean and Daniel living in Seattle, Washington, which is far closer to the Canadian border than Mexico.
  • Scenery Gorn: If you said that you sacrificed Arcadia Bay when starting the game, Brody takes the Diaz brothers to an overlook near Arcadia Bay, which is still a desolate ruin three years later. The image of the destroyed town is quite haunting.
  • Scenery Porn: As per tradition for the series, the environment art is breathtakingly beautiful.
  • Shipper on Deck: At the start, Sean's BFF Lyla is doing her damndest to play matchmaker for Sean and his crush, Jen.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Daniel will erect one of these to Sean on the beach of Puerto Lobos after his death in the "Lone Wolf" ending.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sean has a sign on his desk in his room, saying "So it goes."
    • At the Trout Spring Trail, the brothers come across a bunch of creepy-looking mushrooms on a tree. Daniel comments on how it looks like a Clicker which prompts Sean into imitating the sounds that they make.
    • As Sean goes to open the storage shed at Claire and Stephen's house, he announces, "Get ready for Storage Wars!"
    • When Daniel lifts a huge tree trunk out of the lake with his power in Episode 3 (to show off to Sean), it evokes the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Yoda lifts the X-wing from the water.
      • As a result of this event, Sean nicknames his brother "Akiraniel" in his sketchbook.
    • At the beginning of Episode 4, the nurse Joey calls Agent Flores Agent Scully.
    • In Episode 5 Sean draws a doodle in his journal of himself and Daniel saying "Crimes?" to each other in the art style of Night in the Woods.
    • In Episode 5, Daniel can say that the Arizona desert reminds him of Fury Road, in a good way.
  • Siblings in Crime: Sean and Daniel can be this over the course of the game, though it's mostly out of necessity.
    • Daniel attempts to stage a heist with Finn to steal the money they've been snuffed out of by Merrill, and Sean can optionally go along with it.
    • In the Blood Brothers ending, newspaper clippings imply that Sean and Daniel engage in criminal activities in Puerto Lobos to help support themselves. Notably, they are guarding a safe with a huge amount of cash in it, they're harassed by a local gang, and this ending is achieved by forcefully crossing the border with Daniel's morality being low.
  • Skinny Dipping: In the third episode, Cassidy invites Sean for a intimate swim in the river.
  • Slice of Life: Even though Sean and Daniel are on the run, a good portion of the game is filled out by more mundane, slower-paced sections that depict a calmer life - events like cleaning up around the house, doing morning chores at a camp, or sharing a dinner with your estranged mother.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: Deliberate example — near the end of Episode 1, Sean throws his phone away. Up until the very instant the phone leaves his hand, you have access to the cell phone texts menu. The instant the above happens, that is no longer the case.
    • Happens again between Episodes 3 and 4; At the end of episode 3, Sean is subjected to a case of Eye Scream. In the episodes leading up to Episode 3, there's nothing really unusual any time you go into first person view while sketching or observing objects. However, starting with episode 4, when the above occurs, the very left side of the screen is blacked out. Furthermore, the episode starts with a Depth Perception test that's surprisingly easy to fail.
  • Streamer-Friendly Mode: "Streamer Mode" mutes most licensed music in the game. (A Sufjan Stevens track still shows up in Episode 2. It's unclear if this was a mistake, or a result of Sufjan and his record label being hands-off about how other people use his music.)
  • Stern Chase: The Game! Most of the episode end with Sean and Daniel moving on to a new location before the law can catch up with them. Sean wakes up arrested at the beginning of Episode 4 with Daniel nowhere to be found, but he breaks out to go look for him.
  • The Stinger:
    • The first episode ends with Sean gently encouraging Daniel before a rock starts to levitate up into the air, suggesting that Daniel is starting to learn how to control his powers.
    • The second episode ends with Daniel and Sean being shown around a greenhouse by Cassidy.
    • The third episode has Sean walking alone on a hot desert road while a voiceover indicates that Sean has been caught by the police.
    • The fourth episode ends with Sean and Daniel finally making it to the border.
  • Switching P.O.V.: While Sean is the player character, the ending shifts the focus towards Daniel.
  • The Teaser: In addition to a recap of previous episodes from Episode 2 to 5, the first scene of each episode takes place before the title is shown.
    • In Episode 1, it's everything up to the shooting that kicks off the plot.
    • In Episode 2, Sean is teaching Daniel to use his powers.
    • In Episode 3, a Flashback to before the events, when Esteban was still alive.
    • In Episode 4, it's Sean's time in the hospital.
    • In Episode 5, Sean and Daniel taking a hike into the desert while they live with Karen in Away.
  • Teasing from Behind the Language Barrier: Sean can attempt this to preserve his self-respect without taking a beating in Episode 4 when a racist bully forces him to insult himself in Spanish, saying "go fuck your mother" instead of what he was instructed to say. Sadly, the bully knows what "madre" means and it's not hard to guess the rest, so Sean gets that beating anyway.
  • Time Skip: Episode 2 jumps ahead a few weeks to where Daniel has trained to be reasonably competent with his power, and then another week after they reach their grandparents' house. Episode 3 takes place two months after the previous one. Episode 4 takes place two months after that and Episode 5 is three months later.
  • Tropical Epilogue: Puerto Lobos, despite its crime rate, looks like a seaside paradise. Sean sends Daniel an appropriate postcard from there in the "Parting Ways" ending. In the "Blood Brothers" ending, both Sean and Daniel take some time to enjoy the view from the beach after dealing with some local toughs. In the "Lone Wolf" ending, however, the gorgeous setting does absolutely nothing to mitigate the epilogue's bleakness.
  • Unwanted False Faith: The attendees of the Universal Uprising Church come to believe that Daniel is some sort of angel or otherwise divine miracle.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • The plot is kicked off by Sean sending Daniel out of his room, leading to a series of events which ends with them on the run from the law.
    • You could also make the case that the real instigator is Daniel, for teasing their Jerkass neighbour Brett. Or Brett, for overreacting and generally being an ass about it, causing Sean to run out and intervene, which in turn resulted in Brett being knocked out and looking dead. Or the cop who turned up, saw what looked like a body on the ground and promptly panicked and drew his gun. Or Esteban, who ran up to a gun-toting cop and started yelling at him. The whole thing is like a game of Disaster Dominoes where each domino is a person who could have shown better judgment but who also never meant for things to get so out of hand.
  • Vocal Evolution: Both Sean and Daniel’s voices deepen a bit on their journey. Sean’s voice in Episode 1 is very soft and helps establish him as a scared teenager way in over his head. Similarly, Daniel’s voice in the same episode is very high and cheery, signifying his innocence towards the world and the truth about his father.
    • Chris’ voice is also noticeably deeper than it was back in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which is jarring considering that his appearance in Rules takes place on the same day, during and a bit after said demo.
  • Walking the Earth: Definitely not the romantic version. On the run from the police and other authority figures, Sean and Daniel are doing their best to get south and stay alive.
    • Brody is another example, having left his rich yet conservative family to live on the road with nothing but his car, laptop and the blog he keeps about his experiences and the people he meets.
  • Wham Line: In Episode 4, Searching for Daniel ultimately brings Sean to Universal Uprising Church. Just as the player is wondering what Daniel is doing at this church community, well...
    Robert Hackerman: Looks like you're here to see our new miracle, right?
  • Wham Shot:
    • The reveal of Mushroom's dead body early in Episode 2.
    • Sean, on the ground unconscious, with a glass shard through his eye at the end of Episode 3.
    • Sean finally sees his mom for the first time since Daniel was born in the middle of Episode 4.
    • David from the first Life is Strange appearing in Episode 5.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Hank has no problems striking Daniel.
    • Merrill will shoot Daniel in the shoulder with a handgun should Sean encourage Daniel to use his power in the lineup, right after possibly striking Sean in the face with the butt of his shotgun and kicking him while he's down.
    • One of the vigilantes in Episode 5 shoots Daniel in the arm and is completely unconcerned when she realizes that he is a kid.


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