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She was my angel.

Chloe: So if I came to you tomorrow and told you to pack your bags...
Rachel: I'm serious. Let's do it, Chloe. Let's leave this place forever.
Chloe: Okay.
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Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a 2017 episodic adventure game that acts as a prequel to the first Life Is Strange. As DONTNOD Entertainment was busy with the Life Is Strange sequel and Vampyr at the time, Deck Nine Games was the developer this time around, though Square Enix remained the publisher.

Still grieving from the death of her father in a tragic car accident over a year earlier, sixteen-year-old Chloe Price (Rhianna DeVries) is trying to deal with the loss while everyone around her has seemed to move on. Compounding this is the loss of her best friend, Max Caulfield, who moved away shortly after and hasn't kept in touch.

In the course of Chloe's rebellious teenage grief, she forms an unlikely relationship with the most popular girl in school, Rachel Amber (Kylie Brown). Soon after, Rachel discovers a family secret that shakes her to the core. As Rachel and Chloe grow closer and try to figure out what has blossomed between them, their newfound relationship is put to the test as demons both within and without threaten them.

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Taking place three years before the events of Life is Strange, Before the Storm gives us insight into the hinted-but-never-elaborated-on relationship between Chloe and Rachel, who was never seen but whose presence was strongly felt. As Max is still in Seattle, the player is instead allowed inside the head of Chloe Price. The point-of-view switch provides a very different tone — whereas Max was a shy, optimistic photography student rediscovering her old home, Chloe is a cynical, scathing girl who sees Arcadia Bay as a hellhole full of painful memories and terrible people, and she can't wait to leave.

As Chloe has no time travel powers that defined the first game's gameplay, she instead uses a new system called Backtalk — a series of back-and-forth dialogues that heavily utilize her sharp wit and barbed tongue to get what she wants, for better or worse. The rest of the gameplay remains much the same, with the photograph mechanic from the first game replaced by Chloe tagging various objects or locations with graffiti.

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The game consists of three episodes, which were released on August 31, October 19, and December 20, 2017, for Xbox One, PS4, and Windows via Steam. A Digital Deluxe edition comes with a few extra outfits, a mixtape mode, and a bonus episode titled "Farewell" which is about when Max leaves Arcadia Bay. A limited-run physical edition, released on March 6, 2018 alongside "Farewell", features all of the above plus Rachel and Chloe figurines, an art book, and a physical copy of the soundtrack on CD and/or vinyl. A MacOS and Linux port was released September 13th, 2018.

Be warned that this page contains unmarked spoilers for the first Life is Strange game.

Tropes:

  • All for Nothing: You can have Chloe try to get along better with David in this game which serves little purpose considering she still hates him in Life is Strange.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: When playing two truths and a lie, one of the lies involves Chloe claiming she had her "Yoo-Hoo" stolen by a classmate. This is an actual product (a chocolate flavoured soda which vaguely resembles a milkshake), but not well known outside the United States, which lead a lot of non-American players to assume it's a fake product along the lines of the Hawt Dawg Man.
  • Angrish: Frank is reduced to the digital equivalent in an online conversation Chloe finds in Episode 2. He's looking for advice on housetraining a dog, but the person he's conversing with immediately decides that he's abusive to his dog, and the more Frank denies it, the surer they become. Frank's last message seems to be the result of him just pounding the keyboard in frustration.
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite the game being set in 2010, the licensed soundtrack consists of songs that were released after 2010, with the 'oldest' song being the country song that played in William's car which was released in 2012. The rest of the music is from 2013-2016, not including the original soundtrack by Daughter.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The DLC of the game has players taking over Max again on the year she moved to Seattle.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: One of the options at the junkyard to keep Rachel from leaving is basically this, though the other option is only marginally less a declaration of love.
  • Animal Motif: Whereas butterflies and does were the animals most heavily presented in the original game (and Chloe does have a butterfly shirt), ravens seem to take their place in Before the Storm.
    • The loading icon between scenes is a raven in flight.
    • Chloe's default shirt after the rave has ravens on it.
    • Ravens make multiple appearances alongside William in a few of Chloe's dream sequences.
    • Chloe wears a raven mask as Ariel in The Tempest.
    • In the Steam version, the badges all depict a raven in different degrees of rage.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Backtalk challenges usually have a checkpoint right before they happen, so the player can repeat it until they find the correct sequence. This is especially true of the more difficult ones, which are instantly failed if you pick the wrong response.
    • In Episode 2, Chloe must find a combination to unlock a case in Drew North's room. Several failed attempts will cause Chloe to text Steph for help, who will give the code of 1227, which is Mikey's birthday.
  • Anti-Hero: Chloe is the protagonist of the game, but the story features how she fell into her bad habits and started running around with some of Blackwell's less than savory figures. Depending on the player choice, Chloe can fall into this category.
  • Artistic License – Cars: Despite what the game claims when Chloe is working on the truck, it is quite feasible to use a socket wrench to tighten the clamp on a battery post, with the right size socket. Pliers will get the job done, but not as efficiently.
  • Ascended Extra: Rachel Amber, who was previously The Ghost in the first game, is now coming in as a major character since this is how she meets Chloe for the first time.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Apparently Frank loves beans so much, he has a cabinet full of them in his RV. If you try to "backtalk" him to gain information on the woman Rachel's father is seemingly having an affair with, his icon will be a can of beans.
    • Chloe's love for the word "hella" in the original game is referenced copiously here, from having "hella large" or "hella loud" as the maximum settings on the option screen to even showing the exact point where Chloe first adopted the slang.
  • Backhanded Compliment: Inverted in "Brave New World"; Evan admonishes Chloe for getting suspended/expelled because he apparently takes people wasting their intelligence personally. Chloe notices this.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Chloe's acting during The Tempest is somehow both wooden and overly hammy, since she has no real acting experience and is only doing it for Rachel. However, if you get all the lines and directions correct, Rachel will be able to carry the scene, and Mr. Keaton will be awed (even if you spent several minutes walking around the stage before moving to your cue). She does slightly better when Rachel veers off-script, since there's obvious subtext that Chloe picks up on.
  • Badass Normal: Chloe has to rely on her smart mouth to overcome her obstacles since she doesn't have a Time Master buddy yet. Sometimes it backfires and makes things worse.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: Done in an epic manner during the intro to episode 2. After being expelled or suspended by Wells in the Cold Open, Chloe covers the entire ladies' room with doodles and various things people said to or about her (with some Call Forwards to events in the first game) as "No Care" by Daughter plays over the montage.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Episode 1 starts with Chloe standing right in front of an oncoming train, but she jumps off at the last second and heads to the nearby party.
    • Episode 2 ends with the camera zooming on Rachel's face near the lit candles, strongly implying an ending similar to the first episode... and then Rachel picks up and throws the salad bowl instead, breaking the table.
  • Bi the Way: Rachel, who shows attraction to Chloe before going for Frank and later Jefferson sometime before the events of the original game.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Chloe and Rachel can end up having one towards the end of Episode 2.
  • Bittersweet Ending: More bitter than sweet. On the upside, Chloe comes closer to accepting her father's death, she and Rachel keep their very tight bond, Damon is defeated for good, and the North brothers are in at least a better spot. Depending on your choices, Chloe and David can be on at least tolerable terms, and Rachel can meet her real mother. On the downside, Chloe and David's progression will be for naught in the future, Frank loses a friend, Nathan will still be manipulated by Jefferson, and Rachel's relationship with her father could be soiled for good. The entire relationship Chloe builds with Rachel, whether romantic or platonic, will be tainted once she discovers the latter's relationship with Frank. And, as the end of Episode 3 coldly reminds us, Rachel does not get her happily ever after—she is drugged and murdered by Nathan in the future.
  • Blatant Lies: If you got a black eye at the party, Chloe gives her mom a half-hearted "I walked into a door" excuse, but can't be arsed to lie convincingly when being interrogated by David.
    David: Chloe, is that a black eye?
    Chloe: (with a very obvious black eye on her face) No.
  • Blow You Away: After Rachel ignites a forest fire in a rage over her father's infidelity, the wind gusts in the direction of her screams.
  • Book-Ends: Before The Storm's first and (almost) last scenes take place at the abandoned mill.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • Chloe and Joyce, in discussing David in Episode 1. Chloe isn't wrong that David, with his limited personal qualities, unresolved mental issues and complete lack of social skills, really is a tremendous step down from William, who seems to have been pretty much perfect in every way (or at the very least competent and loving). When she tells Joyce that Joyce is dating him just because she's lonely and desperate, it's hard not to feel that there might be a lot to that theory. On the other hand, William has in fact been dead for some time, Joyce does deserve a chance to move on, and much of Chloe's hostility towards David is pretty clearly an unfair resentment of him for trying to "replace" her beloved father.
    • Chloe's interaction with David also shows that both sides have a point, or at least that both sides are equally at fault. David is tactless, rude, mildly sexist and just generally very hard to get along with, not to mention that his paranoia seems to make him suspect Chloe of sassing him even when she's actually making an effort to get along. On the other hand, Chloe is angry, obnoxious, stubborn and intolerant of even the slightest bit of imperfection in a man who she sees as invading her life. And yet, both of them really are trying to make the relationship work (well, David is, and Chloe can be trying pretty hard if that's what the player chooses).
    • Both Drew and Nathan have some legitimate reasons to dislike each other; Drew bullies Nathan physically, attempts to ruin his drawing notebook, and mocks him for his lack of athletic ability and physical tics, while Nathan makes fun of Drew's family for being poor even though his father was responsible for firing Drew's father in the first place. In addition, Drew is correct to point out that Nathan's being on the football team has nothing to do with merit and everything to do with the Prescott family's money, and the rather disturbing drawings in his notebook are an indication of deeper psychological problems that will ultimately lead him down a dark path.
  • Bottle Episode: The bonus episode "Farewell" is about one hour long, takes place entirely in the Price household, and features Max and Chloe as the only characters for most of the episode.
  • Break the Cutie: As the previous game showed us, Chloe's innocence went downhill after her loving father passed away.
  • Breather Episode: The Tempest. This sequence is pretty lighthearted compared to the rest of the story, even with Victoria trying to drug Rachel's tea. Lampshaded when Chloe sits on the crate during the play, she says "I need a breather".
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: The bouncer at the party is well-built, covered in tattoos, and rides a motorcycle... with a floral pattern on the tank. Chloe can use this to mock him when trying to talk her way past him. Teasing him further will get him to open up and admit that he's just doing his job and is concerned for her safety (and justifiably so, since Chloe gets into an altercation that can result in her ending up with a black eye). As Episode 3 reveals, he's also an informant to James Amber (the DA) about Damon Merrick's activities.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Sure, Victoria. Of all the girls you can be bitchy toward, it has to be the school's resident delinquent that does drugs and gives zero fucks to the world. You're pretty damn lucky the worse she could do is sabotaging your homework.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • During the Percussive Therapy scene, whenever you select an object, all four choices are "Smash". The optional graffiti is the only exception.
    • No matter what choices you make, Rachel plays Prospera during The Tempest, much to Victoria's dismay. To add insult to injury, most routes involve Victoria drinking drugged tea before the play. If Rachel is going to play Prospera, then Victoria slips drugs into her tea. You can either switch the cups or convince Victoria to drink Rachel's tea. If (due to previous choices) Rachel gets booted from the play, then it's Rachel who slips the drugs into Victoria's tea while Chloe distracts her. The only way to avoid the drugged tea even coming up is to convince Victoria that she doesn't actually want to be in the play in the first place.
    • In Episode 3, you can find a dying plant in Chloe's room that cannot be saved. If you try to water it with a nearby soda, the extra chemicals kill it. If you leave it alone, it dies of dehydration. The end-of-chapter summary screen of your choices outright tells you whether you killed it with soda or neglect.
  • Call-Back: When Chloe explores the hospital in Episode 3, if she heads down the exit hallway, the couple she and Rachel stole the wine from will walk out of an exam room, celebrating having just found out that the woman is pregnant. Chloe will even think to herself that taking the wine was probably for the best.
  • Call-Forward: Many, given the nature of this game as a prequel to the first Life Is Strange.
    • Right at the beginning of the game, Chloe dodges out of the way of a train with the same motion she will near the end of "Out of Time" after Max frees her from the tracks, (it's even the same train).
    • In an optional conversation with Victoria, she says that when she's a senior, she'll make the Vortex Club into a group of Blackwell elites. She isn't kidding.
    • Chloe's character in the Dungeons & Dragons game is killed in the final boss battle, bringing to mind Chloe's own death at the beginning of Life Is Strange (prior to Max rewinding time) and at the end if you choose the Sacrifice Chloe ending. Also, Mikey tells her that it's better to die as a hero than live as a coward, words she clearly took to heart given her request to Max in the first game's final sequence. In the second session, Chloe's character is miraculously revived and the session can end with Chloe trying to convince Mikey to sacrifice her. In Season One, Chloe will be miraculously revived from death and will eventually try to convince Max to sacrifice her to save Arcadia Bay.
    • Evan asks Chloe if she thinks Rachel would be willing to model for his portfolio. In Life is Strange Episode One, Evan can show Max his portfolio, which includes several photos of Rachel.
    • In the character page for Frank, Chloe mentions that as much as she likes him, she knows that if she ever got on his bad side, he'd be really scary.
    • If you examine the TV in Chloe's living room, Chloe notes that it would have been in her room if the family had been able to afford a flat screen. The TV is in her room in Life Is Strange.
    • In Chloe's garage, you can find a stereo system and the antique camera she later gives to Max. Chloe even comments that she should take the former before it ends up in the trash.
    • In the junkyard scene in Episode One, Chloe passes by the the truck she'll be driving in Life Is Strange. She spends some time fixing it up in Episode Two, and gets it running in Episode 3.
    • A sign in the junkyard Chloe can comment on shows a happy sun and the slogan "Make It A Great Day." The spiral in the sun is the same one that tracks Max's rewind power. That's one way to make a day better.
    • Chloe mentions watching Blade Runner in her journal. In the first game's fourth episode, Max watches it with Chloe's alternate timeline counterpart.
    • Chloe can find a flyer advertising how Blackwell will have photography classes in the upcoming school year. Max went to Blackwell in the original game because she was so interested in these classes.
    • Skip Matthews, the Blackwell security guard, is in a band called Pisshead. In episode 4 of the original Life Is Strange, Pisshead is one of the bands that the alternate universe Chloe was following, as seen on her computer.
    • In the second episode, you can find a radio in the junkyard. If you turn it on, it's playing a report about the curriculum changes at Blackwell. The reporter mentions that several famous photographers are being interviewed for the Photography teacher position, including Mark Jefferson.
    • In one of Chloe's visions of her father, he warns her that fire can be so beautiful that it blinds people to how deceptive and dangerous it is; adding that there could be an even greater beauty yet to come. This — along with other comments hinting that Rachel is manipulating Chloe — is a call-forward to the revelation in the original Life is Strange that Rachel cheated on her with Frank and Jefferson — breaking Chloe's heart when she finds out; and Chloe rekindling her relationship with Max, possibly into something romantic.
    • As Chloe graffitis the ladies' room with things people have said about or to her in the intro sequence to episode 2, a few of these can be spotted towards a certain scene that takes place in the same bathroom early in the first game:
      • The graffiti in the corner where the fire alarm is consists of her callout of Max for ghosting her ("..." - Max), and "There will be consequences" from her mum (which echoes the original game's comment warning the player of actions that will affect later events). All of which is fitting; it's the very corner Max will be standing in when she first uses her powers to save Chloe's life, she won't recognise Chloe at first because they haven't been in contact and saving Chloe or undoing this and letting her die is effectively the last decision the player makes in the original game.
      • The graffiti on the mirror nearest the door has a doodle of her D&D character in the first episode (with the parallel mentioned above); the same mirror she and Nathan argue in front of before he shoots her.
    • At the end of the graffiti montage, there's a shot of Chloe facing all her artwork in the same pose as Max is facing her wall of photos in her "selfie" contest entry.
    • If you tag Chloe's truck with the "Frightening" option ("You are about to die"), her subsequent dream sequence will show it reading "Chloe Price, you are about to die."
    • One of the optional graffiti you can get in the junkyard is located in an old concrete structure, but unlike when you normally do this, you can't choose what to write. Instead, Chloe writes "Chloe Was Here", which is the same tag Max finds in the building in the original game. It's even lampshaded: The trophy/achievement you get for it is called "Canon Wall."
    • In Episode 3, you can find a letter from Principal Wells in the hospital which mentions his plans to beef up security after Damon Merrick attacked a student on school grounds. Sure enough, by the time of the original game, security is being handled by ex-military David.
    • When you enter Frank's RV, you can see a plate of beans on the floor (and a cabinet is full of them), referencing the scene that established Frank's love of beans.
    • The Stinger shows the fateful night in which Rachel dies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted. In the first episode, in the barn you can see a knife stuck in one of the support beams. In episode 3 you return to the burnt out remains of the barn to confront Damon, and you can have Chloe pull it out to arm herself. If you try using the knife, Chloe won't manage to do more than give him a nasty cut on the cheek before being knocked to the ground and still only survives because Frank steps in.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the park, you can see a woman standing under a tree. She is the only person in view who you can not choose to have Chloe and Rachel make fun of. She's Rachel's biological mother, who meets up with Rachel's father under that tree. They kiss, to Rachel's horror.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At her first conversation with David, Chloe demonstrates that she knows something of cars. In Episode 3, she fixes a truck from the junkyard.
  • Cold Open: Similar to some episodes of the original game, Before the Storm has a bit of gameplay first; "Awake" has Chloe getting entry to the Firewalk concert before the credits take place as she enjoys the music; "Brave New World" has Wells suspend or expel Chloe before Chloe draws graffiti all over the bathroom; "Hell is Empty" lets Chloe explore the Amber house, and the credits turn up when she finally heads up to Rachel's room.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Chloe will occasionally think out loud about the next objective if the player spends too long doing other things. She also writes the mission on her hand.
  • Crosscast Role: In Blackwell's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, the sorcerer Prospero is changed to the sorceress Prospera so Rachel Amber can play the part. Ariel is also played by Juliet and Chloe, but this is fairly typical anyway (since his gender only gets one mention in the script and the name has become more commonly seen as feminine since old Billy's time).
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: One of Chloe's journal entries mentions doing this to Deckard from Blade Runner, only for her to start thinking of Pris at the end.
  • David vs. Goliath: Frank somehow was able to kill Damon while Chloe was unconscious, even with Frank being wounded and unarmed while Damon had a knife.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During the performance of The Tempest, Rachel, in character as Prospero, goes off script and asks Ariel (who is being played by Chloe) to stay with her forever. The entire scene looks and sounds as if Rachel is proposing to Chloe, complete with someone shouting "Say yes!" from the audience, and Rachel even suggesting it should count as such later if you remembered the correct lines.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • No matter what happens in this game, Rachel will eventually suffer a Death by Origin Story and disappear (which forms the crux of Max and Chloe's adventure in the future) and will be discovered as having been murdered by Nathan.
    • In the greater scope, Arcadia Bay or Chloe are doomed to be destroyed.
    • Chloe will also die in one ending.
  • Double Standard: Chloe, a Scholarship Student whose mother works at a diner, is noticeably held to a much higher behavioral standard than Rachel, the wealthy daughter of the District Attorney. This is made clear at the opening of Episode 2, when Chloe faces expulsion for ditching school, but Rachel doesn't despite being guilty of the same behavior (and admitting that it was her idea). Granted, Chloe has a history of rule-breaking behavior, but even so, Wells is clearly desperate to pin it all on her rather than believe that a star student like Rachel would do anything wrong.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The final episode ends with a shot of Rachel's phone in the Dark Room as Chloe frantically calls her.
    • "Farewell" ends with Chloe and Max learning that William is dead.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Examining items in the garage will result in Chloe mockingly asking to herself if David really thinks he can move in with Joyce. At the start of the next episode, he announces he is moving in to try and help Chloe more, which makes the situation far worse than it already was. As a final nail in the coffin, the closing montage in Episode 3 shows him proposing to Joyce, who accepts.
    • During their scene on the train, Chloe mocks Rachel's use of the word 'hella'.
      Rachel: You're hella mysterious, Chloe Price.
      Chloe: Uh, 'hella'? Who says that?
    • If Chloe pays Frank back the money she owes him, he tells her that he won't be loaning her any more. People who played the first game know that he will since she ends up in debt to him again.
      • Not only that, but reading a discarded note will prompt Chloe to remark that she'd be scared shitless if she ever owed someone a thousand dollars. She ends up owing Frank three times as much while still thinking she can get away with it at various points. On top of that, she ends up clashing with the debt collector (Damon Merrick) over the course of the next two episodes.
    • In the first episode, Chloe accuses Joyce of being so lonely that she'll let just anyone into her life, even people she really shouldn't. She's referring to Joyce's relationship with David, but the sentiment could easily be applied to Chloe herself; while Rachel Amber doesn't seem like trouble at first glance, she's impulsive, occasionally moody, sometimes deeply dishonest, and has a strong manipulative streak, and those who played Life is Strange will know that her and Chloe's relationship is destined to end badly.
    • As a result of the wildfire, roads are blocked off and Juliet is unable to show up to The Tempest play on the night it takes place. After spending 2 episodes of both hating and mocking the play, Chloe is persuaded by Rachel to be the replacement actor until Juliet arrives.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Chloe's second dream sequence features a crow, a tree, Rachel, and fire. A few scenes later, she follows the same path a crow is flying, leading her to Rachel at the oak tree, and their conversation leads to a large forest fire. Interestingly enough, checking Chloe's journal during this sequence shows a picture of Max, looking like she did from the first episode of the first game (set three years later), hanging from a tree.
    • On a more minor note, in the same dream you see a poster of The Tempest, with Chloe dressed as Ariel. She ends up playing Ariel (filling in for Juliet) for one scene in episode 2.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Outside the warehouse at the beginning of episode one, a man can be seen chastising another and pushing him against Frank's RV, telling Chloe to mind her own business if she gets too close. This turns out to be Damon Merrick, Frank's business associate, who shows up in episode two to collect money from Drew North.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Chloe's opinion of the fight between Drew and Nathan. She can still intercede on Nathan's side if the player chooses, since Jerkass though he is, he's the one being bullied right now.
  • Fan Disservice: The Stinger
  • First Love: For the first time, Chloe falls in love with someone; Rachel Amber.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Rachel is still doomed to die in about two and a half years. Chloe's path leads her to be involved with shady business with the likes of Nathan and Frank, but she eventually reunites with her former best friend Max after the latter returns to Arcadia Bay and gains her time powers.
    • Regardless of the player's action, Chloe Price will be expelled from Blackwell Academy (potentially in Episode 2, if she mouths off to Wells). In the same vein, Chloe will become progressively more troublesome culminating in her iconic blue hair and extremely strained relationship with Joyce and David.
    • Despite Nathan's meek appearance here, it is likely the events he will go through here will lead to his mentally unstable portrayal in the future. Similarly, Victoria will accomplish turning the Vortex Club into a elite-exclusive group.
    • Chloe's friend Eliot was never even mentioned in the first game, which all but spells out that his romantic interest in Chloe is not going to be returned. It also tips off his departure from Blackwell Academy at the end of the game.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There are several "fire" references that show up periodically throughout the first episode, which culminates in Rachel starting a wildfire at the end. These include:
      • The opening shot sees Chloe lighting a cigarette.
      • The band Chloe snuck out to see is called Firewalk.
      • Joyce's self-help book contains the saying: "A single spark can start a fire that will burn down the whole prairie."
      • There are multiple fire safety posters scattered around the Blackwell campus, and Evan asks Chloe to sign a petition for a fire safety assembly.
      • In the second dream sequence, the car stops with Rachel outside the window, and she burns up as the dream ends.
    • On the train, Rachel says: "When your dad is the District Attorney, I guess lying is... something you're used to." Rachel was already suspicious that her dad was cheating. It also alludes to the fact that Rachel kept her relationship with Frank Bowers a secret.
    • When Rachel's parents are introduced, the player may notice that neither of them looks like her. That's because Ms. Amber isn't Rachel's biological mother.
    • In the Amber's house, you can find two books lying in the shelf: A book called "Secrets of the family", and "Not my daughter" by Barbara Delinsky.
    • In The Tempest scene, Victoria wants to get Rachel's role by attempting to slip some drug in Rachel's tea, then using the pretext that she is taking drugs to make her out of the play. Rachel's father uses a very similar method to keep Sera, a former drug addict and Rachel's real mother, away from Rachel. He pays a drug dealer to kidnap and drug her in order to reintroduce drug addiction to her.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: During Chloe's Tantrum Throwing in Episode 1, interacting with any object yields four choices: Smash, Smash, Smash, and Smash.
  • Gilligan Cut: Immediately after Chloe saying several times that there is no way she'll step in for Juliet in Blackwell's The Tempest production in Episode 2, Rachel turns to her and says "Chloe, please. For me." Smash Cut to Chloe in Juliet's costume, standing in front of a mirror and frowning at herself.
    Chloe: Damn it.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: After Chloe is accidentally shoved into a lowlife at the Firewalk concert, he picks a fight and eventually comes after her with a broken bottle. If the player had Chloe pick up a beer earlier and chooses "fight back" when Rachel shows up, Chloe'll use it to hit him.
  • Groin Attack:
    • If Chloe doesn't have a beer bottle, the "fight back" option that appears when Chloe is threatened by thugs at the Firewalk concert involves her kneeing the leader of the two in the crotch when Rachel calls out and distracts him, similar to what she did to Nathan in the first episode of the main game.
    • Chloe will go for dick punches in the Dungeons and Dragons game, whenever she has the chance. This is lampshaded:
      Chloe: I want to punch this stupid man-cow right in the dick!
      Steph: Like, right in the dick?
      Chloe: Right. In. The. Dick.
      Mikey: You punch a lot of dicks, Chloe.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In Episode 1, the optional graffiti in the junkyard requires smashing two of the objects in a particular order to trigger the option. The first is placed ahead of the second, so players are more likely to just smash whatever comes up first and miss the trigger.
    • Also in Episode 1, the second dream sequence only allows you to perform a limited number of total actions (including examining objects) before it proceeds, making it easy to miss the graffiti opportunity by not performing all prerequisites within the limited time allotted.
    • A very mild one, but the song that Chloe and/or Rachel listen to on the train in Episode 1 loops, leading many players who want to hear the whole thing to spend several minutes listening to multiple repeats of a short two-minute track.
    • In order for Rachel and Sera to meet, the player must persuade Sera during their conversation with her and tell Rachel the truth. Though the player can greatly increase the chance of persuading Sera if they have Rachel's bracelet, there is a bug that resets the counter if the player reminds Sera of her letters.
  • Gut Punch: The end of episode 3. Rachel and Nathan in the dark room while Chloe non-stop calls her. And this is after a sweet montage of their friendship/romance.
  • Happy Ending Override: The game ends with a rather upper note showing several scenes of the happy days Rachel and Chloe spent together. But, as it is Doomed by Canon, everyone who played the first game already know that it won't last and a post-credits scene reminds us of that.
  • Human Notepad: The player's objectives take the form of notes Chloe writes on her hand, which the player can look at.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While in the first game Max is always carrying a bag and doesn't pick up anything she couldn't plausibly fit in it, in this game Chloe stores everything in her pockets. This is most apparent in Episode 2 when she manages to tuck away a car battery.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After seeing her father with another woman, Rachel decides she needs something to drink, then decides to steal a bottle of wine a couple has for their picnic, because she also feels like stealing something and this covers both bases.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Knobcone, apparently.
  • Interface Screw: During the second dream sequence in Episode 1, if Chloe looks at her journal, her letters to Max are replaced by a drawing of Max (as she appeared in Season One) having hung herself on the old tree. All of the dream sequences have their own unique set of drawings and/or texts.
  • Implausible Deniability: In Episode 1, Chloe can climb on the stage set up in front of the Blackwell campus despite the sign saying not to. If she does, Principal Wells will appear and start to argue with her about it. One of the available responses is to claim she didn't stand on the stage, which she obviously did.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Initially James Amber is very harsh towards Chloe, but he mellow out considerably after he told her and Rachel about Sera and the tension was gone. That is, until it's revealed that he paid a very high price for Damon Merrick to get rid of Sera for him.
  • Killed Offscreen: Damon Merrick. After he and Chloe fight at the mill, a wounded Frank shows up and fights Merrick himself right as she blacks out. The next time we see Frank, he's sitting outside his RV with Damon's knife, and after putting it in a box with a bloodstained picture of them, he pours part of his beer on the ground near a fresh pile of dirt.
  • Kiss of Life: At the park, Rachel will pretend to faint to distract a couple so Chloe can steal their wine. When the couple notices Chloe, Chloe can Backtalk the husband into trying this (he's reluctant since his wife is present). Rachel will push him off just before he can and claim he saved her, and the couple remains oblivious to the con the two just pulled.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The game not only doesn't hide the fact that Rachel is Doomed by Canon, it reminds us the most tearjerking way possible (see Gut Punch above).
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Joyce texts "there will be consequences" to Chloe, regarding her decision to ignore her curfew, similar to the "this action will have consequences" message that appears when the player makes an important choice.
  • Lesbian Subtext: While in the game itself, the relationship between Chloe and Rachel isn't subtext but rather full text, Rachel's improv inserts heaps of subtext into The Tempest between Gender Flipped Prospero (played by Rachel) and Ariel (played by Chloe). If you do the play perfectly, Rachel practically proposes on stage.
    Random Girl in the Audience: Say yes!
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Happens in the scene where James describes his relationship with Sera.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the first game. The stakes are lower, the only character to die is the main villain, and the ending is relatively happy, sans The Stinger.
  • Literal Disarming: In the first episode, "Awake", you have the option of playing a Dungeons & Dragons game. The final boss of said game within a game is wearing a bracer that protects him against fire. If you choose the right options, Chloe's character will be able to chop his arm off, allowing the other player's wizard to blast him with a fire spell.
  • Love at First Sight: The morning after Rachel and Chloe meet at the Mill, Rachel drags Chloe into Drama club to give her opinion on the supposed Love at First Sight between Miranda and Ferdinand in The Tempest. Subtext makes it clear that she's also talking about herself and Chloe. Chloe can either dismiss it as stupid kids who don't know any better or something real.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The end of the episode 2 reveals that Sera is Rachel's real mother.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Frank is not the most informative of people. (to be fair, he's obviously been drinking)
    Chloe: Where do those stairs go?
    Frank: Er, up?
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Throughout the game, Rachel is repeatedly linked to fire and the first episode ends with her starting a forest fire by kicking over a flaming trash can. Though it seems to be representative of Rachel's state of mind, in the third episode, the forest fire suddenly goes out after Rachel's stabbed, to the bafflement of a pair of fire fighters.
    • Chloe's dream sequences are eerily accurate to the events going on in her life, and the Creepy Crow that shows up in them makes a few appearances at significant moments in the real world as well. However, the dreams manage to stay just disconnected enough that they could plausibly be simply dreams.
  • Montage Out: The first episode ends with a montage of the various characters looking at the forest fire, similar to how the first episode of the first season ended with a montage of the cast looking at the unexpected snowfall. The second episode continues the trend, which features an instance of raining ash from the forest fire. The ending of the third episode is also in this format, showing how the relationship of Chloe and Rachel develops.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Bonus Episode, Farewell, is a goofy if slightly melancholy flashback to when Chloe and Max were kids. It ends with them finding out about William's death, leading to an absolutely depressing last few minutes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Chloe half-jokingly says this when she realizes that Nathan and Samantha got together.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • During the Dungeons & Dragons game, if you go to the training grounds to get the loot there, Mikey casts an acid spell which kills the monsters guarding the loot in one hit, but also melts the loot. As a kicker, when he and Chloe get to the boss, it's immune to fire spells, which are all he has left since using the acid.
    • At the end of Episode 1, Rachel burns a photo from her childhood, dumps it in a trash can and kicks the trash can over. This ignites a forest fire which everybody in town can see, one that is still going strong 24 hours later.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Several.
    • When David is giving her a ride to school in Episode 1, the still-exhausted Chloe falls asleep and has a dream about William driving around. Several things indicate this isn't a memory, though: Joyce's purse is sitting on the backseat next to Chloe (and it's full of condoms), and David's socket wrench is in the passenger seat pouch. Turns out it's Chloe's imagining of William's death, and she wakes up just as his car is hit by the semi-truck.
    • A second, much more nightmarish sequence happens later, when Chloe falls asleep in the junkyard. This time the journal shows drawing of Max hanged from a tree, creepy texts from Max in Chloe's phone, and it ends with an image of Rachel bursting in flames.
    • Episode 2 continues the trend, only this time William is roasting marshmallows in the inferno of his car. While he remains silent at first, he eventually delivers words to wisdom to Chloe. He turns his face towards Chloe to reveal that one side has been completely burned off.
    • The king of nightmare sequences here goes to Episode 3. It starts off as a regular stage play of William driving, complete with a small audience. After some more words of wisdom, a truck appears from absolutely nowhere and obliterates William, leaving nothing but a blood trail and a devastated Chloe behind.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: If Chloe defends Nathan from Drew's bullying in Episode 1, Principal Wells will blame Chloe for the incident in Episode 2, as it's easier for him to punish a known troublemaker who is already facing expulsion than it would be to punish Blackwell's star athlete.
    • Persuading Samantha to try and talk to Nathan before the Tempest in Episode 2 turns out to be this if Chloe failed to help him in Episode 1. Despite the genuinely happy smiles they give each other after the play, the final episode reveals that Nathan broke two of Samantha's ribs and put her in hospital due to her supposedly unwanted advances.
  • Not So Different: In Episode 2, Samantha claims that Nathan and Chloe have more in common than they think, both of them being troubled artistic types. Chloe does not look particularly happy about the comparison, although she can still roll with it and advise Samantha based on what she would do in Nathan's place.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: In episode 1, Chloe and Rachel steal wine from a couple. In episode 3, the couple shows up at the hospital for pre-natal classes, and Chloe will note that it's a good thing they stole the wine.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: If Chloe tells Samantha that she, Chloe, can be bitchy at times, Samantha will earnestly start to reassure Chloe that she knows everyone says that about her but she doesn't agree... and then she catches the look on Chloe's face and dissolves into stuttering mortification.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: If Chloe looks in the drawers in Joyce's room, she finds a bunch of condoms. Chloe promptly resolves to purge the knowledge that her mom has been having sex with David from her mind.
  • Percussive Therapy: Chloe tries to offer this to Rachel when she's despondent after seeing her father through the viewfinder. When it doesn't work and Rachel leaves, Chloe decides to engage in it herself.
  • Player Nudge: After certain actions, the camera is often positioned to show something that the player can interact with to progress further.
  • Playing with Fire: It's hinted throughout Episode 2 that Rachel has some sort of empathic link with fire — the forest fire that she started is mentioned to be burning more fiercely than could be expected, which echoes the anger and emotional turmoil Rachel is going through, and when having dinner with her parents the candles on the table noticeably start burning higher when she starts getting angry. Dream William also implicitly compares Rachel to the forest fire, which would make it a case of Personality Powers. When she is stabbed in episode 3 and taken to the hospital, two of the firefighters in that hospital mention that the fire immediately went out right around the same time.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: After their argument at their junkyard, Chloe tries this on Rachel. While it doesn't work, the two meet again that night and reconcile. They attempt to leave Arcadia Bay together, but players who know what happens in the first game know it doesn't come to pass, tragically.
    • If Chloe is unable to persuade Sera to meet Rachel, one of the dialogue options is this. It doesn't work.
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: The main plot is kicked off by Rachel pulling Chloe into her investigation of a secret her father appears to be keeping, which turns out to be an affair with a mysterious woman. The mysterious woman in question is actually Rachel's biological mother, and while they did kiss, they weren't having an affair.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Before The Tempest, Victoria puts some drugs into Rachel's tea, so that she can play her role instead. Chloe has several options to prevent this, one is switching the cups. Hilarity Ensues when Victoria tries to persuade Mr. Keaton to let her play the role instead, with the pretext that Rachel is taking drugs, all while visibly out of balance. Then, she promptly passes out.
  • Precious Puppies: While he's destined to grow up to a big, ferocious dog, at the time of the game Pompidou is still a puppy and absolutely adorable.
  • Prequel: To the first game, set after the death of Chloe's father and Max leaving.
  • Promoted to Playable: In the first game, Chloe was only Max's ally, but here she's the character you get to play as.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • When playing Dungeons & Dragons Chloe declares her intention to "punch that stupid man cow in the dick."
      Steph: Like... right in the dick?
      Chloe: (savage glee) Right! In! The dick!
    • When David wants to have a talk with Chloe, the backtalk option is titled "Shut. It. Down."
    • Rachel to Chloe in the hospital. "You. Saved. My. Life."
  • Rage Against the Reflection: There's a car mirror in the junkyard that Chloe can smash. Chloe will stare at it until the player backs out or has her continue, unlike the others which will be smashed as soon as the option is selected.
  • Relationship Values: The game features an internal "intimacy counter" which increases with certain actions such as bringing Rachel her belt or flirting with her on the train. This in turn affects how flirty Rachel and Chloe are with each other, and determines in episode 2 whether Chloe can ask Rachel to kiss her, and how Rachel will respond to that request.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Several Blackwell students and a few faculty members that didn't appear and aren't even mentioned in the first game are featured in this one. However, it is possible that the students graduated and the faculty members got fired or left the job in the time between the prequel and the first game.
  • The Reveal: In Episode 2, it turns out that the woman Rachel saw with her father is her biological mother.
    • Episode 3 reveals that James took Rachel and left Sera after her drug addiction continued to spiral out of control. After many failed attempts by James to get her to quit, he paid her in monthly installments in exchange for staying away from Rachel. 15 years later, she's a year sober and actively seeking out Rachel. After she catches James' attention and is turned away by him, he pays Damon Merrick to kidnap and drug Sera (thereby getting her hooked again) in exchange for covering up one of Damon's crimes so that Rachel would never meet her real mother and know the real story.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Eliot is 100% right that Rachel has put Chloe into far more danger than Chloe's willing to admit. Unfortunately, he delivers this revelation in the most terrifying, least convincing way possible.
  • Sarcasm Failure: When looking at Rachel's backpack, it sounds like Chloe wants to say something snarky, but just ends up with "that's... the nicest backpack I've seen in my life".
  • Saved by Canon: By necessity, anyone alive in Life Is Strange will survive this game. This is especially true of Episode 3, where Chloe, Frank, and Rachel are all in mortal danger at various points.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episodes titles (Awake, Brave New World and Hell Is Empty) are all quotes from The Tempest, which is featured in this game.
    • Chloe and Rachel first meet at a concert for a band called Firewalk. Both Before the Storm and Fire Walk with Me are prequels that focus on the life and motivations of a mysterious Posthumous Character from the original.
    • Nearly all the parked vehicles have some sort of Shout Out in their license plates. These include:
    • In the Ask Miss Arcadia thread about the Firewalk concert, Miss Arcadia warns anyone attempting to go to the concert uninvited to "Abandon all hope, ye who enter."
    • Samantha Myers is reading Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which Chloe has the option of describing as a story about how "relationships only work if people are willing to lie to each other," which is also arguably the main theme of the game, and foreshadows the final choice. Rachel is seen reading the same book during the ending.
    • While playing Dungeons and Dragons, one of the options Chloe has when engaging in the final boss fight is to try to distract him by dancing.
    • Chloe can choose three names for her D&D character (Chloe, Callamastia... and Barb).
    • Similar to the previous game, Chloe can graffiti Everybody Lies.
    • During Episode 2, the license plate on Frank's RV says BRK BAD.
    • In episode 2, Steph bids Chloe farewell with "Have fun storming the castle!"
    • The drama teacher is named Mr. Keaton, echoing John Keating.
    • The drug which Victoria tries to drug Rachel with episode 2 is called "Soma", same as the drug in Brave New World. The manufacturer of the drug, Xulhey, is an anagram of the book's author, Aldous Huxley.
    • When Chloe visits Drew and Mikey in the hospital while waiting to hear about Rachel, after Steph compliments her hair Mikey suggests she could really pull off the "Sailor Mercury look".
    • When Steph comments she'd like to do something about Damon, amongst the various ways everyone suggests she could take him down is "throw dice at him".
    • In Episode 3, one of Chloe's outfits includes a jacket with the nametag "Hank" and a flame patch on the shoulder.
    • When Chloe and Rachel are spying on people in the park, it's possible for Chloe to make a joke which she initially thinks might be too dark. Rachel's response? "Perfect Dark".
  • Snarking Thanks: If the player chooses to have Chloe thank David for giving her a lift to school, he'll assume it was this if she backtalked him instead of listening to his lecture in the car on the way.
  • Square Race, Round Class: If Chloe joins the tabletop game with Steph and Mikey in Episode 1, she plays an elf barbarian, much to their amusement. Although since Steph does in fact have a figure of an elf barbarian to play with, it can't be that unheard of.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Sera looks just like a slighty older Rachel. They even have the same hairstyle.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The song Chloe listens to the morning after the Firewalk concert (No Below by Speedy Ortiz) foreshadows the relationship she develops with Rachel over the course of the episode with startling accuracy.
  • Tantrum Throwing: In Episode 1, when Rachel leaves Chloe in the junkyard, Chloe gets angry and smashes objects with a baseball bat.
  • Tattoo Sharpie: Inverted Trope. Chloe can potentially get a black eye in the first episode. If she does, Rachel will cover it up with makeup about half way through the episode, which hides the bruise for the rest of the game (even though Chloe takes a shower at the start of the third episode, two days later, which is nowhere near long enough for a black eye to disappear).
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Mr Keaton the drama teacher laments that "even my prodigious imagination cannot conceive of a worse turn of fate" than the troubles currently facing his production. Cue, depending on the player's choices, something else happening, such as his lead actress passing out right in front of him.
      Mr Keaton: (at the sky) Touche, fates. Touche.
    • Upon seeing the headdress of the Ariel outfit from The Tempest, Chloe comments that she wouldn't be caught dead wearing it. Guess who ends up playing Ariel?
  • There Are No Therapists: Chloe has been spiraling out of control for the past two years since her dad died, and Nathan needs serious medication and therapy for his mental problems. Grief counseling for Chloe would probably have kept her in school, and much of the plot of the first game would have been averted if Nathan had gotten the help he needed. Both instances are justified; Joyce doesn't have the money to get Chloe therapy, while Nathan's father thinks Therapy Is for the Weak and pays to have any of Nathan's indiscretions covered up, preventing court-ordered therapy from ever entering the picture.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Damon in a nutshell. He thinks nothing of going onto private property to assault and possibly seriously injure one of his dealers, and later has no compunctions about threatening Rachel with a knife, then stabbing her. Assaulting (not to mention seconds away from killing!) the daughter of a District Attorney is a good way to get every member of law enforcement in the area after you. Of course, part of the reason he doesn't care is because he's actually working for said District Attorney and knows he has some latitude to get away with things like this.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Eliot starts off as just a guy that Chloe fooled around with while she was lonely and depressed, and who tries to go out with her again even though she doesn't show any interest on him. Episode 2 hints at him being a darker person than his outward personality implies, and in Episode 3, he becomes very possessive and aggressive towards her, even shoving her into a desk and demanding her affection.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Drew North was initially a standard Jerk Jock in the first episode, but he turns more friendly later.
  • Totally Radical: Toned down from the first game. While the dialogue doesn't exactly match what a real teenager might say, there's very little outdated or awkwardly-worded slang.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: Rachel creates one of these when she burns a photo of her and her father then tosses it in. Then she kicks it over and accidentally starts a forest fire.
  • Trunk Shot: While Chloe is fixing her truck, there is a shot from the hood of her father's car while she takes out the spark plug from it.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Rachel seems prone to invoke this as she resembles her mother Sera a lot, considering what her father tells about Sera when she was in Rachel's age: very passionate, versatile, interested in a lot of things, constantly striving for adventures and always wanting to "take flight" from the mundane world surrounding her. To live like this drove Sera to egoism, Parental Neglect and a heavy drug addiction. Rachel seems similar, as she constantly drags Chloe with her while having little regards for the trouble she causes her and wants nothing as much as leaving Arcadia Bay for a better life.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: If you choose to stand up for Nathan when he's being bullied, he is embarrassed for needing your help and tells you he doesn't need it.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The beginning of each episode has a moment where the player can have Chloe change outfits. Players who purchased the Deluxe Edition have access to additional outfits, and pre-ordering the game allows them to dress Chloe in her original Life Is Strange outfit, aside from the blue hair and beanie. In addition, each episode has an additional outfit you can unlock for the episode:
    • When Chloe wakes up after the party in episode 1.
    • Episode 2 has another similar section, but if Chloe found the beanie, it's included in some of the outfits.
    • Episode 3 has Chloe putting together new outfits from her dad and mum's old clothes.
  • What a Piece of Junk: The abandoned pickup truck that Chloe appropriates from the junkyard (based on a 1980's-era Chevrolet C/K). It's in serious need of a paint job, both doors have been replaced with doors that are a different color, the seat is worn through in several places, the battery is dead, the radiator leaks, the distributor cap is filthy, the serpentine belt is loose, the fuel filter is clogged, and a hole in the air intake hose has been patched with years-old duct tape. In spite of all this, Chloe manages to get it running, at which point it does perform reliably.
  • Wham Line: James Amber (Rachel's father) delivers one at the end of Episode 2 when confronted about his infidelity:
    James: That woman was not my mistress. That is your mother.
  • Wham Shot: The post-credits scene, which shows Rachel's ringing phone sitting on a glass table, eventually zooming out to reveal a red binder while a camera is heard taking photos nearby. Anyone who played the first game knows exactly what's happening.
  • Your Cheating Heart: During their game with the telescope at the overlook, Rachel witnesses her father making out with a woman she doesn't recognize, which turns her opinion about her father the other way. Turns out the other woman is actually Rachel's biological mother, and it was a kiss goodbye, having seen her for the first time in several years.

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