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Video Game / Heavy Rain

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Heavy Rain is the Spiritual Successor to Quantic Dream's Fahrenheit (a.k.a. Indigo Prophecy), an Adventure Game for the sixth generation of consoles. Heavy Rain itself is a PlayStation exclusive, and has been described by the creators as an Interactive Movie as well as a standard adventure game. In fact, doesn't that image look like a movie poster?

Ethan Mars is a depressed architect whose life fell apart after the tragic loss of his child Jason two years prior, for which he blames himself. He is jolted out of his stupor when his remaining son, Shaun, is suddenly kidnapped by the "Origami Killer," a notorious serial killer who uses rising rainwater to drown his young victims, then leaves origami figures on the bodies. If Ethan wishes to save his son from a similar fate, he must complete the trials set by the Origami Killer, who wishes to test just how far Ethan will go to save his child.


The story also focuses on three other characters: Madison Paige, an insomniac journalist who becomes involved with Ethan's desperate search; Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler called in to consult on the Origami Killer case; and Scott Shelby, a private eye conducting an independent investigation.

The game focuses on choices and consequences, with actions taking place via a series of Quick Time Events a la Fahrenheit. The developers stated prior to the game's release that almost all situations would have later consequences on the plot and that they are determined to let players follow through on their actions — to the point that unless all four main characters die, the story will still continue with whoever is alive. The major themes of the game are love and the idea of what is good and what is evil (in regard to the Tag Line on the poster to the right), according to the developers, who hoped to have players aim for a balance of the two rather than one extreme or another.


The game has led to very polarized reactions among the gaming community, though critical reviews were mostly positive, praising the game's intricate story and unique control scheme. Despite the developers' meager sales expectations (200,000 copies), Heavy Rain sold like hotcakes, surpassing a whopping 2 million by 2011. One downloadable chapter, The Taxidermist, has been released. Others are planned but on indefinite hold.

Similar to how Heavy Rain started off with a tech demo The Casting, Quantic Dream released a new tech demo KARA on March 7, 2012, hinting at their 2015 reveal of Detroit: Become Human. Go watch it. At E3 2012, the spiritual successor to Heavy Rain was revealed as the supernatural drama Beyond: Two Souls. Both games have received an Updated Re-release for the PlayStation 4, although this port does not include the DLC chapter The Taxidermist.

In March 2019, it was announced that the game would be coming to PC later that year, exclusively via the Epic Games Store for the first 12 months; Quantic Dream is self-publishing this port.

New Line Cinema and Quantic Dream have obtained rights for a movie adaptation.

Not related to the Hard Rain campaign in Left 4 Dead 2. Also not to be confused with Hard Rain. And certainly not Chubby Rain.

Be warned: Since Heavy Rain is incredibly plot heavy, expect MAJOR marked and unmarked spoilers below.

This game features examples of:

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  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Released in early 2010, set in late 2011.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: The final chapter where the last showdown occurs and where Shaun is being held takes place in one.
  • Aborted Arc: Ethan's blackouts, which stop and are never mentioned again after Shaun is kidnapped. This is due to the plot line being written out midway through development.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Nothing does it quite like a serial killer who kidnaps children.
    • A kid running away from his parents and getting run down by a car.
  • Age-Gap Romance:
    • Ethan and Madison, if the player goes through with it. Ethan is 38 years old and Madison is 27, making Ethan 11 years older than her.
    • Also, Scott and Lauren. Scott is 44 and Lauren is 35, making Scott 9 years older than her.
  • All Just a Dream: Madison fighting the burglars in her apartment turns out to be a nightmare.
  • Almost Kiss: Ethan and Madison come close, it's just up to the player if they go through with it.
  • Always Close:
    • No matter how quickly you free Madison from Dr. Baker's restraints, he will always come in just as you are undoing the last restraint.
    • At a point in the game, you can either sleep with Madison, in which case she will spend the night with you, or she can leave right away. Whatever you choose, the cops will get there as soon as she leaves your place.
  • And That's Terrible: The virtual concierge has this opinion of Norman's condition.
    Concierge: Oh, one last thing, sir... You should be careful not to overindulge in... You know what... It'll end up killing you if you're not careful... That would be most unfortunate, sir.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: The ending "Ethan's Grave" shows Scott hiding behind a tree, looking at Ethan's grave. If he's still alive by that point, anyway.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • If the player flubs certain Quick Time Events, the protagonists can and will die horribly, but the game continues regardless.
    • In practice, two of the main characters actually have Plot Armor until the very end of the game, regardless of how badly you do in even their most insane QTE's.
  • Arc Words: "How far would you go to save someone you love?"
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied in Norman's ending if he should die during the course of the investigation. Note the ending's title: "Uploaded."
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Kramer when he has his heart attack, not too long after having tried to kill Shelby and Lauren. You can choose to save him.
    • Blake has a couple of bad outcomes.
      • He ends up being haunted by Norman in the "Uploaded" ending.
      • He can get suspended from the force if he orders the killing of an unarmed Ethan.
    • The drug dealer in the Shark trial is this if Ethan chooses to kill him.
    • The Origami Killer can count as this, considering the fact he rants to whoever has come to confront him, and shows little remorse for what he’s done.
  • Babysitting Episode: One of the levels has Shelby taking care of a baby whose mom has just attempted suicide.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Other than Jayden, just about every cop in the game is either corrupt or worthless. However, they display extreme levels of competence whenever it would mess things up for the main characters, like setting up a roadblock mere minutes after Ethan begins the first trial. Simply, it's an inversion of Be as Unhelpful as Possible.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: If you let all of the characters die, except for Scott Shelby.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: There are a few shots where it's painfully obvious that the male character models have no penises.
  • Battle in the Rain: Jayden and the Origami Killer in "The Old Warehouse." Madison and the Origami Killer is more of a Chase in the Rain.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill:
    • Shelby isn't investigating the killings, he's actually the Origami Killer himself. You've been playing him collecting evidence so he can destroy it. The Fire Drill is on the player as well.
    • Also on his victims; he's a cop, they go to him even if he doesn't have a solid reasoning, because he's a cop.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Madison is the most bright-eyed, well-dressed insomniac you'll ever meet.
  • Beneath the Mask: If you think Blake and Perry are nice on their first meeting with Norman, think again.
  • Big Bad: The Origami Killer, the alias of Scott Shelby.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Shelby has a couple of examples.
      • He foils a robbery early on.
      • He rescues a mother who just attempted suicide.
      • He wakes up just in time to save Lauren from his flooding car. If he chooses to.
    • Jayden, if everything is done correctly, gets one when he swoops in on time to stop Shelby from shooting Ethan. Or Madison.
    • Madison also gets one if she warns Ethan about the police if all playable characters survive till the end.
    • Ethan also has one if only he and Madison are at the warehouse; provided she survives the fight with Shelby for long enough, he shows up right as she’s cornered and saves her.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Two of Jayden's endings, "Case Closed" and "Resignation." The former shows him being hailed as a hero, but getting illusions from overexposure to ARI, while the latter has him quitting his job, but appearing to be depressed by it.
    • "Ethan's Grave" is either this or an outright Downer Ending, considering Shaun is alive, but has lost both his brother and his father.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage:
    • Averted. Even if the right buttons are pressed the characters still reel from hits they take, blocked, or otherwise.
    • Especially with Jason's death, Ethan's Diving Save and taking the brunt of the hit still gets Jason killed.
  • Blown Across the Room: To the max in Face to Face. When shot, guards go flying.
  • Bombproof Appliance: Madison needs to escape from a burning apartment before it explodes... Or she can climb inside the refrigerator. After the explosion, she is shown outside the building walking away. No explanation is given as to how she got out of the refrigerator.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Shelby enters his apartment only to find Lauren helpless and have one of Kramer's goons put a gun right to his head. But rather than just blow his brains out, Kramer traps Shelby and Lauren in a car (with loose ropes they can undo fairly easily), and pushes it into the lake.
  • Bottomless Bladder: Averted. Practically every chapter allows you to walk into a bathroom and do your business.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The drug dealer's shotgun runs out of bullets at a critical time making that an aversion.
    • Played straight, however, in Kramer's house. Scott's handgun has enough bullets to take out many guards without an on-screen reload.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Norman is handcuffed to the steering wheel of a car if his interrogation with Mad Jack goes badly.
    • Scott and Lauren are both tied up in a car and are left to drown in it.
    • Madison is tied down to a table by Dr. Baker. If Madison escapes, you earn the trophy "Queen of Ropes."
  • Brand X: ASTHMA brand inhalers and FRIDGE brand refrigerators, among other things.
  • Break the Cutie: Shaun. After Jason's death he becomes socially withdrawn and believes his life won't be the same without his brother. His sadness gets even worse if Ethan dies in the end.
  • Broken Heel: During the Covered Market chase scene, if the player fails a QTE prompt they'll slip on an obstacle.
  • Burn Baby Burn: What Scott Shelby does with the evidence linking him to the Origami Murders.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Happens a few times when there appears to be a choice about what to do, but fairly egregiously before the Bear Trial. Ethan is given a few choices of things to think, including the standard "that's crazy"-type evaluations of the trial as well as "Refuse" and "Accept." Even if you choose "Refuse," and Ethan reflects on how many innocent people will die if he drives the wrong way on the highway, nothing at all happens and you still have to accept.
    • When Ethan receives the Shark Trial, he must go confront the drug dealer. While some trials give you the option to walk away as soon as you learn that it might result in harm, this one does not. After reading the note stating he has to kill someone, Ethan doesn't have the option to immediately decide he doesn't want to be a murderer and abstain from going to the location. He can only decline to kill the drug dealer at the very end of the incident.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: The Origami Killer puts Ethan through a series of brutal trials, all for the promise of saving his son if he can succeed. However, upon completion of all five trials, one ending has the killer preparing to shoot our protagonist in the back as he attempts to release his son from imprisonment.
  • Captain Obvious: Goes to Madison.
    Madison: It's a painkiller, it'll help ease the pain.
  • Character Development:
    • Besides what players may do to characters, Lauren goes through this when she starts helping Scott and goes full retroactive Mama Bear.
    • Jayden goes through TWO:
      • One depending on if he shoots Nathaniel, where afterwards he becomes more withdrawn and angry.
      • The second happens without any player input throughout the story, where Norman will come out of his social awkwardness and become more assertive to Blake and the Captain and aggressive to uncooperative suspects.
  • Chase Scene:
    • The Origami Killer and Madison can have a gripping and elaborate one depending on who makes it to the Warehouse.
    • Norman and Miroslav get into a chase through a crowded supermarket that ends up in a showdown in its meat locker.
    • During the fourth trial, Brad Silver chases Ethan through his own apartment while shooting at him.
  • Chase-Scene Obstacle Course: Jayden has to pursue a suspect through a supermarket. Said suspect will try to slow Jayden down by throwing things like ice, fruit, and live chickens behind himself.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The golden watch Jayden finds on the secretary's desk near the beginning of the game. Talking to her reveals that the station traditionally awards cops with this brand and type when they are promoted to lieutenant. That becomes a vital piece of the puzzle to figuring out the identity of the Origami Killer when Norman is later attacked by a man wearing that same kind of watch. This can also throw you off track, making you think that Blake is the killer because he has the same type of watch.
    • When Norman investigates Mad Jack, before getting out of his car, he leaves a gun in the glovebox. Guess what you need to do when Mad Jack decides to use the machinery to lift Norman's car into a compactor — with Norman handcuffed inside.
    • If Ethan didn’t do all of the trials and doesn’t know the address where Shaun is being held, provided he completed at least three trials he can listen to the videos he was sent by the killer; doing this gives him the realization that Shaun is at the location nearest to the river.
    • As Ann Sheppard reveals to Madison, her son John liked to make origami dogs and call them “Max.” Guess what the password to his twin brother’s computer is.
    • Also, in a more traditional sense, the katana in Paco's office. Appears as a background object during Madison's level and is used by the Origami Killer against Norman on his level.
  • Chemical Messiah: This is more of an individual thing, but Norman wears sunglasses that function as a reality warping device that assists him in investigations. The problem with this is that they seriously screw with his perception of reality and cause him to hallucinate. He gets dangerously addicted to this. To counteract this, he takes a fictional drug called Triptocaine, which functions similarly to cocaine and certain narcotics/pain meds. The Triptocaine causes him to get even more addicted and screwed out of his mind. He also suffers withdrawals from it, which have a slew of symptoms. The only ways to stop these are drinking or rinsing himself in cold water, waiting it out, or taking more Triptocaine.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Ethan occasionally delves into these when he sees what his trials entail, but he only really goes to town if you don't do all the trials and end up without all the letters of the address Shaun's being held at.
  • Comically Small Bribe:
    • Scott Shelby has the option of giving a five to the receptionist at a motel to tell him which room Lauren Winter's in. What's even funnier is that it works.
    • He can also attempt to bribe Gordi Kramer's guards with a hundred at the party. They don't budge.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Used by the Origami Killer when "visiting" Paco.
  • Contrived Coincidence: When the Origami Killer kills Manfred in the latter's clock store, somehow Lauren gets distracted by a music box and Manfred ducks out of her line of sight just at the top of the hour, allowing the cacophony of all the clocks chiming to cover the sound of the murder.
  • Convection Schmonvection:
    • Technically Conduction Schmonduction. During The Lizard Episode, Ethan can heat an iron rod to cauterise his wounded finger; not only does he grip a hot metal rod with his bare hands, but he puts said metal rod on a wooden desk. He neither burns his hand nor does the desk ignite.
    • Madison doesn't make any great effort to avoid fire when she is escaping from the burning apartment but her clothing can ignite without directly touching the fire.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • In "The Doctor", if Madison gets tied to the table, you can struggle against the restraints and scream, but it will be in vain, as you won't actually be able to free yourself until the doc leaves the room.
    • To a lesser extent, Scott's flashback scenes. Especially when you can't pull John out to save him from drowning.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Jayden can fight the Origami Killer on one of these if he makes it to the end of the game.
  • Cool Shades: Norman's ARI displays augmented reality and haptic glove cues through his sunglasses.
  • Cowboy Cop: Deconstructed with Blake all the way through. Intimidating suspects, looking for easy fitups to close cases, hollering profanities and insults at his colleagues with very little provocation... He's less of a cop and more of a thug with a gun and badge.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Ethan revives Shaun in the finale pretty easily with this method.
  • Crapsack World: The game's setting ends up fitting the bill if you choose the more tragic endings. One particular outcome includes Ethan and Scott being killed (the former just after rescuing Shawn), while Madison goes insane. It says something when Norman Jayden's bittersweet "Resignation" ending is the happiest of the four. This isn't the worst combination you can get, either.
  • Credits Montage: The credits include a montage of several scenes throughout the game.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: This happens to Ethan if he is killed by snipers in The Old Warehouse.
  • Cyber Space: ARI (Added Reality Interface) uses this through glasses and a glove. Its uses range from games, information storage, and virtual surroundings. The downside of using said Cyber Space for too long is that it can have permanent effects on the mind.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Madison has a knack for getting herself into situations where she faces a high probability of being raped, killed, or both. But in each case, she has the ability to escape from them on her own if the player makes the right moves.
  • Deadly Doctor: Adrian Baker. The doctor who nearly murders Madison, but leaves to answer the door midway through.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • If Shaun dies, Ethan will kill himself in every ending where it occurs.
    • Norman will also fatally overdose on triptocaine if Shaun dies.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Madison has this painful line.
    Madison: It's a painkiller. It'll help reduce the pain.
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: The introduction scene of Agent Jayden sees him following a footprint trail among other things with ARI.
  • Dirty Coward: If you don't do the trials. Best example, you can refuse to do the Lizard Trial, and use your two hands to help you and Madison escape, but you end up being shot in the arm instead. The game even calls Ethan (and by extension, the player) out on it with the door leading to freedom in the Butterfly trial being labeled "Coward", should you choose not to do the trial.
  • Disappeared Dad: As Shelby goes around visiting the families of the victims of the Origami Killer, the husbands of both Lauren Winters and Mrs. Susan Bowles have disappeared soon after their sons did. As much as this would seem as a standard case of Disappeared Dad, you find out later that one father actually went out as Ethan Mars did to complete the trials to save his own son, but ended up dying in the power plant in the Butterfly chapter. This is similarly implied for the rest of the fathers... except for Reza's father, the shopkeeper. He didn't dare open the box. Or he did, but didn't realize he was supposed to unfold the origami. In-Game Guide Damn It!!
  • Disney Villain Death: The Origami Killer can face this when Norman fights Shelby on a conveyor belt. Norman even has the option to spare Shelby but the latter will waste his chance and die regardless.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Lauren has this reaction to Shelby if/when he shows pity for the loss of her son. She later breaks down about the matter, at which point she won't turn away any comfort.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: During the fourth trial, the shark, Ethan has to break into a man's home to kill him. Said man turns out to be an armed drug dealer. After he refuses to leave, the drug dealer punches him, pulls out a shotgun, and tries to kill him with it. He chases Ethan around the apartment destroying many of his own valuables, and corners him into a bedroom. He lines up the shot and pulls the trigger, but nothing happens.
  • Dramatic Irony: "A little rain never hurt nobody," said by John Sheppard in a game where children are drowned in rainwater, and shortly before he himself drowns in the rain.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ethan will have this if his son, Shaun, dies in three of the bad endings.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Bear trial requires Ethan to drive at 60 MPH on a rain-slicked freeway on the wrong side of the road.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Norman and Madison can be killed off in several unceremonious ways right in the middle of investigating the Origami Killer case, if the player allows it.
  • Driving Question: The Origami Killer's identity.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Played with. It's Norman's overuse of ARI that's implied to be the cause of his hallucinations, and he takes Triptocaine — again, to excess — to help him deal with the adverse effects of his dives into ARI. Neither is doing any wonders for his health.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Depending on circumstances, Ethan, Madison, or Norman must fight Scott a.k.a. the Origami Killer in the endgame. You control the former but you can still lose and have your current character killed.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Most of the bad endings aren't too difficult to obtain, but "The Perfect Crime", the ending where the Origami Killer gets away with everything, requires taking very specific actions across 12 of the game's chapters, including killing five major characters (most of them playable), and erasing all evidence of the Origami Killer's crimes. This is made even more complicated because the Origami Killer himself is one of the playable characters, and the actions Scott needs to take his clear his name are quite specific. The Returning to the Scene sequence in "Manfred" is particularly frustrating, as it needs to be done under a strict time limit.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • The rain, obviously. It's even a plot point, as the Origami Killer's trap requires about 6 inches of uninterrupted rainfall to work, and that is more than the monthly average in all but two cities.
    • The virtual environments created by ARI are also this. In the scene in which it is possible for Jayden to die from ARI overuse, as his eyes start bleeding in the real world, the peaceful forest of the simulation slowly becomes colder and windier until it's basically storming inside. By this point, it's not exactly clear whether anything Jayden sees is reality, virtual reality, or the contents of his own drug-addled mind.
  • Enhance Button: Should Jayden not collect any clues in "Crime Scene", he'll just bring up a satellite scan of the scene in question and find the tire tracks.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Origami Killer's trials are designed to test the resolve of the victims' fathers. Additionally, this seems to be Shelby's motivation for investigating Gordi Kramer.
  • Evil All Along: Scott Shelby is this. Even his thoughts don't show his true colors.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: Madison does this with a couple of Origami Killer suspects' locations.
  • Expy:
    • The motives and methods of the Origami Killer are similar to those of Jigsaw, i.e. elaborate trials designed as tests of determination, morality, or sheer ability to withstand pain.
    • Norman Jayden shares a lot of similarities with Fox Mulder. Both are FBI profilers, who are good, honest cops who are widely disliked by fellow cops.
    • Fans of Silent Hill will compare Shelby to Douglas.
  • Eye Scream: As Jayden, if you take too long on your last use of the ARI, Jayden's eyes start bleeding.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • The striptease in Sexy Girl may be this more than Fanservice because Madison is being forced to remove her clothes.
    • Ethan can be seen without his shirt in his hotel room but it's possible for him to have many burns and lacerations on his chest.
  • Fanservice:
    • Madison. Just damn.
      • Within minutes of her initial appearance in the game, Madison has an exceptionally long quick-time event in which she fights home invaders in her underwear. This scene has absolutely no effect on the plot.
      • Just like having her take a shower before the home invaders hit, with Madison flaunting her well-endowed upper body completely naked for quite some time.
      • Especially in the Sexy Girl chapter, where she unbuttons her shirt, rips off part of her skirt so the bottom comes to just below her ass, and does sexy dancing in high heels. It would be especially heavy fanservice if you weren't concentrating on the QTE to make her dance well.
      • When she fakes having sex by moaning, etc. in Paco's office to trick his guard from coming in, leaving Paco's mouth dropped open in shock.
      • When she's actually having sex with Ethan, again with glorious toplessness on her part. Although it's easy to miss the particular QTE input to have Ethan take off her bra.
      • Most of the time Madison walks, especially from behind. Her motion capture was done by model and actress Jacqui Ainsley ahem very well.
    • Ethan:
      • Ethan takes a shower in the beginning of the game and the player is given an extended view of his behind.
      • Assuming that Ethan is not too badly hurt he does have a couple of other scenes where he is not wearing a shirt.
  • Fantastic Drug:
    • Triptocaine is not a real drug but it keeps Norman focused. And it glows blue.
    • ARI isn't a typical drug but its effects are implied to be one.
  • Father's Quest: Invoked by the Origami Killer. He kidnaps young boys and sends their fathers on dangerous missions to find them before they drown. Several of the fathers died trying to pass the trials, and one didn't understand the message and didn't go on his quest. One of the playable characters is Ethan Mars, father to the latest victim of the Origami Killer. The killer's main motivation is to find a father that truly loves their son and would go through hell to save them. This was because his own father was a useless drunk that wouldn't lift a finger to save his brother that was trapped in a drain pipe and drowned.
  • Film Noir: Looks, sounds, and feels like it. Dark, gritty, pessimistic, rainy, hard-boiled detectives, moody music, dutch angles, mystery, drugs, sex, violence. Covers all the bases, really. Scott Shelby even has a 1940s film noir theme going with his wardrobe, car, decorating, etc.
  • Final Death: And you can even get an ending where everyone dies.
  • Fingore: At one point, Ethan is challenged to cut off the end of his pinky.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: With the help of the ARI different clues including footprints show up in view like this.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A replay bonus, though you can notice it if you're really observant, is in the beginning credits. Several characters are shown which just seem to be random people in the rain, with no actual impact to the story, perhaps there to establish the mood of the game. You later realize they are anything but random: one is the graveyard keeper who tells Scott and Lauren the story of John Sheppard, one is John Sheppard's (and the Origami Killer's) mother, and the children are the Origami Killer's prior victims. It also shows many of the places significant to the story, like the overpass crossing over the lot where the last victim is found, the playground, and the scrapyard.
    • Also early in the game, you can find a DNA sample belonging to someone that mentions John Sheppard. Jayden dismisses it as "unrelated to the case".
    • Scott Shelby has an old-fashioned typewriter in plain sight on top of his desk throughout the entire game, although it isn't the one actually used to type the Origami Killer letters.
    • The mystery Sheppard brother has a band aid on his right eyebrow, and Scott has a scar in exactly the same place.
    • There's a reason why Scott's the only character on the front of the US box that has a weapon.
    • Look at the score Norman has in the ARI mini-game when he plays it while waiting in the police station early on in the game. It's a hint that maybe the Tripto isn't what Norman's really addicted to.
    • If Hassan is killed by the robber in the chapter Hassan's Shop when playing as Scott Shelby, Hassan will say that all he wanted to do was look into the eyes of his son's killer before he died. The camera angle changes, and players see Scott looking directly down at Hassan. Which is relevant, y'know, 'cause.
    • Also in Hassan's Shop, you can use the dialogue option Shaun in which Scott tries to convince Hassan to help him by explaining that the Origami Killer has taken another child. However, this chapter takes place two hours after Ethan reported Shaun missing. It's highly improbable that Scott would know about the kidnapping since the press didn't know until the next day and the police weren't convinced it was the Origami Killer yet.
  • Forklift Fu: Mad Jack will start hauling Norman who is lashed to his own car's steering wheel to a car crusher in a forklift if you screw up Jayden's investigating.
  • For Want of a Nail: Whether Scott wants to let Ethan leave or kill him depends on who else is in the area.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Origami Killer had to watch his twin brother drown because their father wouldn't get off his drunken ass and help him. He puts his victims' fathers through a series of elaborate and cruel tests in order to find someone dedicated enough to do anything to save his son, i.e. do what his own father couldn't do.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Ethan's response to the Origami Killer's motivation.
    Ethan: You're mad... you're completely FUCKING MAD!
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Madison lives in a very large and well-furnished loft apartment for a 27-year-old journalist.

  • Game-Breaking Bug: If a player sets the mode to "Easy", the mode means there is more reaction time for the QTEs and less of them to begin with. However, some of them, although not appearing, still register in the game and will count as a failed press, leading to inevitable mission failures if you play on Easy mode.
  • Gangsta Style: Ethan uses this method of holding a pistol on the drug dealer briefly.
  • GASP:
    • Blake practically shits himself upon seeing Norman as part of the virtual reality in the "Uploaded" epilogue.
    • Madison gets one of these when she receives the name of the Origami Killer from his mother.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The meeting at a driving range between Scott and Kramer is pretty cordial even though they are at odds with each other.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The ARI display crime scenes and games in augmented reality.
  • Golden Ending: The game's numerous Multiple Endings depend on what happens to each character, and there are a few variations concerning their ultimate fate. Typically, the Golden Ending will include: A New Life, Case Closed, and Origami's Grave with Lauren alive.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Played around with a lot throughout the game. Almost all of the characters that have guns in this game have handguns, with the sole exception of the drug lord that Ethan has to kill in his fourth trial, who uses a shotgun. Subverting the trope is actually what ends up helping Norman figure out who the Origami Killer is, if you get all of the clues with ARI.
  • Good Morning, Crono: An adult example, where the very first mission as Ethan has the player waking him up.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Varies. Power drill to the chest? No cutaway. Man falls into gigantic, spiked trash compactor? Cutaway.
    • Also used during the third trial. Ethan cuts off his finger just out of shot, but the actions the player has to perform, as well as Ethan's agonised screams, make the whole thing even worse than if it was shown in detail.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The only times it isn't raining in the game are the prologue, the playground, and the weather outside when Ethan checks out a new apartment with Shaun in his best ending. The rain eventually becomes a major plot point as well as mood setting.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Madison is a certified user of this trope, using it in her fights with The Doc, Leland, and the Origami Killer.
    • She also tortures Paco by squeezing his nuts. Ouch.
    • Norman can do this during his fight with the Killer, but the latter shrugs it off.
    • And during Fish Tank, the Origami Killer will stab Jayden in the groin with a katana if all the buttons are missed.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Among certain other trophies, getting the "Perfect Crime" ending requires you to kill off two of the four PCs and three of the NPCs (minimum). Good luck figuring out what exactly what sequence of events must be done to do so.
    • If you are trying to get 100% completion you will likely play the game so much your eyes bleed, because not a single one of the trophies is labeled in game, except those that you get for 100% completion and for seeing all the endings.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jayden is always at odds with Blake on his stance on crime fighting, so it's kinda jarring when he threatens Mad Jack with getting away with murder.
    Jayden: Oh shit, Jack, ain't nothin' to it, just a little bit of self defense. Page one of the police manual: "kill, or be killed."
    Jayden: Do you like fireworks, Jack? 'Cause I bet them tanks are gonna blow up real nice! [...] We'll just say it was an accident... or rather, I'll say it was an accident' because you won't be able to talk, will you Jack?
    • Of course, Alternative Character Interpretation is in play here, as Jayden won't object to Blake's methods too much unless you make him. It's also likely he's bluffing to psyche Mad Jack out. (The fact that the QTE leading to this line is labeled "IMPRESS" suggests that this is the case.)
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Sam, Madison's close friend and contact. He is the only character to be heard but never seen.
  • Heal It with Fire: The player has the option to cauterize Ethan's wound after he chops off part of his finger.
  • Here We Go Again!: One of Madison's endings has a new serial killer introduce himself to her, setting the start of a new investigation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ethan tries a remarkably unsuccessful one in the beginning to save Jason. (Set grim tone for the rest of the game: check.)
  • Hidden Villain
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Scott Shelby (almost) drowning to death in his car. It's possible he did drown in one of the possibilities for the endgame. When Ethan or Jayden shoots Shelby in the back while saving Madison, Shelby falls into a cargo tanker full of water. He might have died from drowning instead of the gunshot wound.
    • The mad "surgeon" if Madison kills him with the drill.
    • In one possible scenario, Mad Jack tries to kill Norman by throwing his car into a crusher with a crane. If you play right, you can escape and fight Mad Jack in front of the still-running crane. If you win, his pants get caught in a tire tread, and he's run over.
  • Holler Button: The former Trope Namer (formerly Press X To Jason).
  • Hollywood Psych: Ethan refers to his condition, suggested to be Dissociative Identity Disorder, as "schizophrenia" on at least two occasions. Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder are separate conditions. Justified, however, as both conditions have a lot of overlapping symptoms, and DID sufferers tend to also have schizophrenia.
  • Hollywood Spelling: Everyone is able to spell John Sheppard right on the first try.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The Origami Killer if Ethan confronts him alone.
  • I Have a Family: The drug dealer tries this when Ethan threatens him with a gun.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In one of the endings, Norman gives up the ARI.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Ethan Mars never requests assistance from the police, his ex-wife, his Token Romance, and cannot even attempt to guess Shaun's location unless he's at least attempted all the trials. There's no reason for him to do any of this except to make the plot more exciting.
    • You would think the fact that the fathers of the victims of the Origami killer have disappearing after their sons are found dead would be a major part of the police investigation. But it's barely even an afterthought. It's barely ever mentioned by the cops, and it never plays a role in their investigation.
    • Norman Jayden can be killed on three separate occasions because he doesn't bring backup. Even assuming every single cop in Philadelphia hates him, the city also has a local FBI office which he never contacts once.
    • The reveal that Shelby is the Origami Killer makes many of his previous actions nonsensical. When Lauren brings him her Origami Killer letter, Shelby tells her the truth: That it was typed on an old typewriter. Not only does this lead them to the next clue, Manfred's Clock Shop, but Shelby brings her along when he goes to murder Manfred and close that loose end. Moreover, Shelby not only has the same typewriter on his desk, he has two of them as you find the one he actually used inside his secret room.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the endings has the Origami Killer impaled on a metal pole.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted: the death of Ethan's eldest son Jason in the prologue, and potentially Ethan's younger son Shaun in some of the endings.
  • Informed Flaw:
    • Shelby's asthma. He uses his inhaler once, and at another moment avoids a smoker. That's the sole impact it has on his story line.
    • Madison's insomnia. She's supposed to be exhausted after getting little to no sleep for what is implied to be an extended stretch of time, but it doesn't affect her at all. At one point, she even nods off in a chair, and has to force herself to stay awake to watch over Ethan while he sleeps. Naturally, while Ethan is scruffy and glassy-eyed and Jayden gets red-eyed and twitchy at various points, Madison shows precisely none of the physical effects of even short-term insomnia. She's even totally okay to drive a bike in the rain.
  • In-Game TV: Some TVs in the game show cartoons you can watch from beginning to end, before they loop over back to the start.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The four main characters basically look like their voice/mocap actors.
  • Insomnia Episode: Madison suffers from chronic insomnia, which we mainly see in a paranoid delirium episode early in her arc.
  • Instant Death Bullet: When Shelby goes to storm the Kramer mansion, all of the 20 guards are killed with a single bullet each and most of them not even being headshots.
  • Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: Shelby's killing of Manfred isn't shown to the player while the player is controlling him, only in a later flashback, likely because it would otherwise make the fact that he's the killer far too obvious.
    • Ethan’s blackouts also count. The fact there is no explanation for them at all besides the removed supernatural plot serves to make Ethan look like a red herring to both the player and other characters, himself included, supposedly as a way to make the identity of the killer less obvious.
  • Insult Backfire:
    • Jayden and Blake get some of this to show how badly they work together.
      Jayden: Blake, you are an unbalanced, psychopathic asshole!
      Blake: I'll take that as a compliment.
    • In "Covered Market", Blake tells Jayden to "fuck off", and he smiles off it.
  • Interface Screw: During particularly tense moments, the displayed buttons will shake wildly, with more shaking the more nervous your character is. After the car chase, the button displays will be upside down.
  • Karma Houdini: Any of the villains can become this, but the only one who can never be punished is Gordi Kramer. His fate after Shelby might or might not kill his father is unknown.
  • Karmic Death: If all the playable heroes are killed, the Origami Killer walks off into the heavy rain triumphant... unless he saved Lauren from drowning, in which case she will have figured out what's going on after having compared notes with the families of the other victims, and will gun Scott down in the street.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: If Ethan gets caught in "Fugitive", Blake will try to beat a confession out of him while Jayden is in the room. As Jayden, you can interfere, causing Blake to tell you to hit him. You can.
  • Kill 'Em All: Per Multiple Endings, below; spoiler:of the five "main" killable characters (Ethan, Madison, Norman, Scott, Lauren), it's impossible to have all five die in one run. You can have Lauren be the sole survivor, thus managing to kill all the playable characters.
  • The Killer in Me: The game appears to be setting up a Type B when Ethan suspects that his alternate personality is the killer, but then subverts the trope when it turns out he didn't do it after all.
  • Leitmotif: Each playable character (and Lauren) has one. Ethan's motif, Painful Memories, is probably the most memorable one as it also serves as the game's main theme and sees the most use. It also doubles as a...
  • Liar Revealed: Ethan's discovery that Madison's a journalist…after he sleeps with her. May not be as grating as other examples of this trope, since he'll either forgive her right away, or reject her permanently.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: The Lizard trial. Quite possibly the most remembered scene in the game.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: The police are great at hounding Ethan and terrible at actually finding the real Origami Killer.

  • Made of Iron: Ethan. Depending on your actions, he can get into a car accident, break one or two ribs, tear up his arms on broken glass, collect a horrible electrical burn, cut off his own finger, and fall from a three-story building, and he'll still be going strong in the end.
  • The Many Deaths of You: This game might hold some sort of record for this. From being crushed by a car compactor while inside the car to taking a power drill to the pelvis, this game is certainly not for kids.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Madison Paige, frequently seen in skimpy clothing.
  • Media Scrum: Ethan will walk into one of these if he attempts to leave his house through the front door after Shaun has been reported missing, but he can slip out the back instead to avoid any hassle (and earn the player a trophy).
  • Medium Awareness: Played with a bit during the Jayden Blues chapter, during which the titular character sits at a piano and plays a few bars from his own theme song, as well as part of Ethan's.
  • Meta Twist: Quantic Dream is known for having the most saccharine endings for players who go the extra mile, which makes the fact that all of Norman's endings are bitter-oriented bittersweet endings and downer endings surprising, especially when the best case involves the player FAILING to do well.
  • Missing Child: The Origami Killer kidnaps young boys, traps them in a pit that slowly fills with rainwater, and forces their fathers to complete a series of extremely dangerous trials in exchange for the chance to save their son before he drowns. Some of the fathers are never seen again. Ethan Mars' son Shaun is kidnapped shortly into the game, forcing Ethan to undertake the trials himself. And he can fail them; there's a Bad Ending where Shaun is never rescued.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Brad Silver, the drug dealer Ethan is assigned to kill in the fourth trial, assumes Ethan is at his house to get drugs from him, and even tries to bribe him with drugs twice when he’s held at gunpoint.
    Brad Silver: I said a thousand times that I don’t want any junkies at my door. You wanna score, man, you gotta fucking call first.
  • Modular Epilogue: The ending is a sequence of short scenes showing the lives of the four main characters and their associates after the Shaun Mars' case—for those who survived it, that is.
  • Monster Sob Story: Scott Shelby burning up the evidence, with tears rolling down his face.
  • Mooks: Shelby kills 18 guards when he breaks into Kramer's place.
  • Morning Routine
  • Most Writers Are Adults:
    • Instead of kids acting much older than they're supposed, this game has the reverse. Every ten-year-old in existence should be insulted by how the kids in this game are portrayed. Chasing a balloon? Playing in traffic?
    • All of Shaun's inconsistencies, however, are explained with the Freudian Excuse of losing Jason and having his father put into a coma for a few months affecting his emotions.
  • Motion Capture: All major character's performances are fully mocap, including the face and the eyes, just like in Avatar. And for that, the Heavy Rain team deserves props: it took half a year to get all the motion capture for this game filmed. There's an unlockable extra about it, too.
  • Multiple Endings: The game treats endings rather differently than most other games of its ilk. Instead of three or four predetermined endings, the characters will have endings which finish their arcs in multiple ways depending on your choices, and the actual ending of the game depends on what combination of character endings you end up with. That being said, many potential endings can fit into a few trope categories:
  • Murder by Inaction:
    • Norman Jayden can do this if he fights the Origami Killer in the end. The alternative is to save him and then kill him.
    • Shelby can also do this to Charles Kramer by not giving him his pills while he's having a heart attack.
  • Mystery Magnet: On the hunt for the Origami Killer, Madison runs into a homicidal taxidermist, a crazy Doctor Death, and a sleezy nightclub owner and would-be rapist. In addition, depending on the choices the player makes, she might encounter the Origami Killer directly, and be confronted by an unseen stalker at a book signing who proclaims she deserves a 'worthy adversary' to fight.
  • Mythology Gag: Players who watched the tech demo "Heavy Rain: The Casting" from several E3s back might recognize Lauren as Mary Smith, still voiced/mocapped by Aurélie Bancilhon.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Nice move, Grace Mars, for giving Blake a hint that your ex-husband is the Origami Killer.
    • Jayden accusing Blake of being the Origami Killer will get him to turn in his badge.
    • If you think it's a good idea to not make him take Triptocaine, you might want to think again. As shown in "Case Closed", he'll have hallucinations from overexposure to the ARI.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Way to go releasing Scott, Blake, without knowing he is the Origami Killer.
    • Blake killing Ethan while Jayden is alive results in him and Perry turning in their badges.
    • If Scott saves Lauren from drowning in his car and survives the final chapter, she will find out that he is the Origami Killer and kill him.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: An interesting example: The city shown in the map is clearly Philadelphia, but no real world locations or landmarks are ever shown or mentioned in the game, and the name of the city is never said. Likewise, the street that the warehouse is on is not a real street in Philadelphia.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: During "On The Loose", if Ethan is arrested for the second time or if Norman has died, Ethan cannot be sprung from jail and the player loses control of him for the rest of the game.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: When you meet Kramer Jr., he's watching cartoons while two women are passionately making out on the couch next to him. He couldn't care less, and eventually orders them out of the room.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Each player character typically gets their best ending when you succeed as much as possible in their investigation. The exceptions are Scott, for reasons that are obvious once you finish the game, and Jayden, whose best ending actually involves all the heroes surviving but him not successfully completing his investigation (which results in him giving up the ARI system and retiring peacefully), unlike the ending in which he fully succeeds, in which case he's shown in the process of potentially succumbing to ARI hallucinations.
  • Oedipus Complex: The Origami Killer kidnaps young boys as a way to test their fathers, putting them through a series of bloody trials. If we accept the game's Freudian Excuse (see above) then the killer is acting out an Oedipal desire to punish his father (using the fathers of boys as young as he was when his brother died, hence people that remind him of his own father) by proxy and also surpass his father by looking for a 'worthy' dad that makes it through all of his trials. In a similar vein, the relationship he develops with the mother of one of his victims implies an Oedipal desire for his own mother.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Blake's reaction of Madison getting past his roadblock in "The Old Warehouse".
    • Also, Norman's reaction to seeing tiny virtual desk tanks in the "Case Closed" ending.
  • Offhand Backhand: In Face to Face, after Shelby gets out of his car, the first thing he does is shoot a Mook without even bothering to look at him.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The game abuses this quite a bit. In a typical version of the warehouse scene, it will show the empty warehouse, you walk up to save Shaun, and the killer appears right behind you. Then, another character runs out of nowhere to save you. Also, Manfred's killing, done without Lauren noticing, even though she's in the adjacent room. Also, Norman's ghost, although that's one's justified by it being inside virtual reality.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted (for no apparent reason) with the news anchor and field reporter, Glenn Sanders and Britney Sanders.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jayden is played by a British actor who seems to be attempting a Boston accent given some of his pronunciations, but it's incomplete.
  • Ominous Save Prompt: Inverted with an ominous load screen; the final level's load screen, rather than show any of the four playable characters, shows Shaun's face.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Appears when Scott Shelby destroys the evidence.
  • Open the Door and See All the People: After Ethan's son is kidnapped by the Origami Killer, a mob of reporters shows up outside his door almost immediately.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Between Ethan and Madison.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": How Madison breaks into the killer's computer.
  • Pet the Dog: After everyone else had seemingly forgotten about him, Kramer, having owned the construction site where he drowned, has been tending and putting flowers on John Sheppard's grave for over 30 years.
  • Playing the Player: Shelby's thoughts don't have any obvious hints about how he's the killer, at least the first time you play through.
  • Please Wake Up: Ethan, during his attempts to revive Shaun via CPR. If Ethan has come to the warehouse alone, Shaun ends up doing this himself moments later when he's gunned down by police outside.
  • Plot Armor: Try as you might, you can't kill Ethan or Shelby until the endgame.
  • Plotline Death: Jason dies as part of the story, and it cannot be avoided. Additionally, any and all of the main playable characters may die within the course of the game, depending on various actions.
  • Police Are Useless: Jayden is the only law enforcement official worth a damn in the whole story.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The killer helps the victims' families protecting them from pimps, armed robbers and even preventing their suicides
  • Press X to Die: A couple of Schmuck Bait options.
  • Press X to Not Die: The majority of the game.
  • Race Against the Clock: Race against inches of rainfall.
  • Red Herring: Played straight and subverted. While the characters themselves might follow what they later think are wrong leads, it is revealed that all the clues are pointing at the killer, it's just that both the characters and the player can't see the big picture until later on.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blake is red to both Norman and Perry's blue.
  • Refusal of the Call: During certain segments, it's entirely possible to refrain from helping. For example, while Lauren is somewhat of a Jerkass to Shelby, seeing a thug burst into apartment probably makes you feel compelled to go check on her; however, there's nothing stopping you from just ignoring it and leaving the building...
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: One of Ethan's possible epilogues suggests that he's going to reconcile with his estranged wife despite the fact she's responsible for getting Blake to think he's the Origami Killer.
  • The Reveal: When Shelby destroys the evidence, revealing that he is the Origami Killer.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: It's up to the player whether Ethan does this to discover Sean's location or gets it the first time around.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: The villain kidnaps young boys and holds them inside a flood drain during the rain season, which slowly fills with water over several days. This means that when a new victim is kidnapped, the police and, particularly, the victim's father (who receives hints from the killer) have only limited time before the boy drowns, with the dramatic tension rising accordingly.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "Face to Face". Shelby goes through Kramer's mansion, picking off every guard that aims a gun at him.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Nathaniel's flat.
  • Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: The method of killing little boys over a period of four days by keeping them in a sewer drain that slowly fills up with rain water certainly qualifies as elaborate, as does the trials he puts the victim's fathers through.
  • Rule of Drama: The killer gradually collected a stash of evidence that he could destroy at anytime, but he destroys it all just before the climax because it makes for a more dramatic reveal

  • Save the Villain: Madison and Jayden have the option of playing this straight or averting it. Shelby will still try to kill you, and flubbing the quick-time event will result in your character being killed at the last minute.
  • Say My Name:
    • Ethan famously spends most of second chapter shouting "JASON!" when he runs off, and in a later chapter screaming "SHAUN!" when he goes missing.
    • When talking about the killer, nobody can seem to say "origami" correctly either.
  • Scary Black Man: Jackson "Mad Jack" Neville.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Carter Blake has his moments of this. The most notable is when he breaks the door of the apartment of Nathaniel Williams, a suspect of being the Origami Killer, and Jayden tells him that's a crime.
    Norman Jayden: I'm not sure that's entirely legal.
    Carter Blake: Call the cops.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Origami Killer designs the tests so that only a father who is willing to sacrifice everything can save his child.
  • Sequel Hook: One of Madison's endings has another killer saying to her "You deserve a better adversary. Somebody more... ferocious.". Given that the game's writer and director, David Cage, has stated a distaste for doing sequels of his games, it is highly unlikely this will ever be followed up on.
  • Serial Killer: The Origami Killer and Leland White, the serial killer in the Heavy Rain Chronicles.
  • Shaking the Rump: Madison does this when Paco forces her to strip at gunpoint. She does it to distract him so that she can club him with a lamp, though.
  • Ship Sinking: Ethan and Madison, if Ethan doesn't forgive her. Shelby and Lauren, after The Reveal.
  • Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet:
    • When the player has the choice to shoot Nathaniel. Nathaniel spins around in a complete stab like manner, but just reveals a crucifix.
    • It's possible to have Ethan held up by the police in the end. He turns around, holding his wounded arm, and the snipers open fire.
  • Shoot the Dog: One of Ethan's trials involves killing somebody. The guy turns out to be a drug dealer, which might sap him of sympathy, but when Ethan finally gets the chance to shoot him, he's on the floor begging not to be killed, especially in his young daughter's bedroom. It's up to the player to go through with it.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: See Downer Ending and Kill 'Em All under Multiple Endings.
  • Shout Out:
    • The bartender that gives Jayden advice is practically identical, down to the outfit, to the bartender in The Shining. His existence as a living being is also just as ambiguous.
    • Also, Shelby shares a name to a similarly conflicted protagonist.
    • The Origami Killer's methods and trials are very similar the Jigsaw Killer.
    • Madison can hide in a refrigerator to save herself from an explosion, much like a certain archaeologist did to hide from a nuke.
      • Another possible Indiana Jones reference occurs in the last chapter with a fight atop a conveyor belt that ends in a deadly grinder. Like in The Temple of Doom, the villain can die by reaching the end of the conveyor.
      • Yet another: Norman's last (optional) fight with Mad Jack closely mirrors the fistfight between Indy and a large Nazi soldier near a plane in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The villain in both cases dominates the fight but is killed by being caught in an advancing lethal machine (a plane's propeller in Raiders and a backhoe's treads in this game).
    • The subway entrance through which Madison and Ethan make their escape from the police is identical to the subway entrance used by Lucas Kane in the beginning of Quantic Dream's Fahrenheit. The apartment in some of the endings is very similar to Lucas's in the same game.
    • In the opening credits, a store sign has a pawprint on it that says "Naughty Dog".
    • Dr. Adrian Baker astonishingly resembles Dr. Heiter in both appearance and mannerism.
    • One chapter is named "Tears In The Rain". The killer's usage of Origami figures is also a nod to the film, where Origami figures serve as a Signature Item Clue.
    • In the flashback with a young John Sheppard, before taking a leap while wandering around the construction site he clearly says "Yippie-ki-yay."
    • The scene where Madison is forced to do a striptease at gunpoint plays out like a darker version of a similar scene from True Lies.
  • Shower Scene:
    • The game starts with Ethan having one after he's gotten out of bed, then Madison gets one of her own in her first chapter.
    • Jayden gets a brief one in “Jayden Blues” if Ethan doesn’t get arrested, but considering he does it with all of his clothes on and in an attempt to recover from some really bad withdrawal symptoms, it’s probably not as sexy as it sounds.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: If Madison is the only one to make it to the last chapter, she has the opportunity to grab a pipe and smash the Origami Killer upside the head while they're talking.
  • Silent Whisper: Ann whispers the name of her son into Madison's ear. It's significant because her son happens to be the Origami Killer; the player doesn't learn his name for a few more scenes.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: "Painful Memories".
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Scott Shelby's brother drowned because of their uncaring and alcoholic father. And now Scott is repeating the sins of his negligence by abducting the boys of other families and leaving them to drown in the hopes that they would be saved by their own fathers.
  • Soft Glass:
    • During "Face to Face," one of the guards tumbles through a window when shot and shatters it completely.
    • During Jayden's fight with the Origami Killer, Jayden is shoved from across the room into the huge aquarium built into the wall and it shatters.
    • If Madison is the one to take on the killer — he punches straight through a window to get at her.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The prologue: It's Jason Mars's birthday, everyone's happy, but one of the game's Lonely Piano Pieces is already playing.
    • This can happen while Jayden's trying to escape from the car crusher. If he turns on the radio, it starts playing jaunty, upbeat music.
  • Split Personality: Subverted. Ethan is suggested to have one, and certainly has a disturbing set of symptoms and an equally-concerned shrink. It turns out, however, that his other self is not the Origami Killer. These elements were originally part of a sub-plot where Shelby's presence at Ethan's accident led to an unexplained psychic link between the two, and Ethans blackouts DID coincide with the Killer's murders, leading to Ethan travelling to the place where Shelby's brother died, and causing him to unconsciously fold paper cranes at the same time Shelby did. This plot was dropped when it decided the supernatural element was unneeded.
  • Stern Chase: Ethan after the police starts suspecting him of being the Origami Killer.
  • Story Branching: The game branches heavily from the moment the first player character can suffer a Plotline Death.
  • Stress Vomit: Ethan will vomit if you make him kill the drug dealer during the Shark trial.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Justified. Norman's ARI sunglasses display forensic information and record voice memos.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Done to Madison by Dr. Baker when she tries to investigate his house. She takes a whack to the back of the head with a baseball bat, and when she wakes up not long after, she's completely conscious right off the bat (no pun intended) and struggling and screaming.
    • If the player declines to have Ethan shoot the drug dealer, he will use the pistol to knock him out with a blow to the head instead. Apparently it doesn't occur to Ethan that this could also cause a fatal injury.
    • That's optional, but this will happen in every game to Scott Shelby before being tied to his car and thrown in a lake.
  • Tears of Blood: If you take too long during Jayden's final use of ARI, his eyes start bleeding under the glasses.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: The epilogues are composed entirely of this. Odd, because the game had made an effort to avoid this beforehand.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Ethan is seeing a therapist by the events of the game. The validity of the man's doctorate is questionable.
  • They Fight Crime!: Shelby and Lauren. He's a Private Detective with a flair for the dramatic. She's a Hooker with a Heart of Gold who wants revenge on her son's killer. Eventually, they engage in a makeshift partnership to hunt down the killer. They fight crime!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Norman's face says it all if he tries to save Shaun, but Scott finds him, he fails to fend him off and Scott prepares to shoot him.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Every single player character experiences this. Ethan is suffering disassociative blackouts and hallucinations about the killings. Norman is suffering severe hallucinations caused by drugs, withdrawal (and/or possibly virtual reality use). Madison is having night terrors or hallucinations about being attacked by killers in her apartment. Shelby would seem to be the most normal character, except that he's a deranged, obsessed serial killer and the entire storyline you're playing him through is him covering up the evidence of his crimes in the guise of a private investigator.
  • Title Drop:
    • In one of the endings, if Madison lives, she writes a book about the Origami Killer investigation entitled... well, you know.
    • There's actually one right near the beginning of the game. When Ethan is picking Shaun up from school, one of his thoughts before he gets in the car is this.
      Ethan: Heavy rain. It's been the same for weeks...
  • Title In: Each scene begins with the time of day (though not the date) and, starting later in the game, the amount of rainfall in inches.
  • To the Tune of: Listen to the main theme, especially the melody that comes in until around 0:25 and at 3:00. Then "The Other Side" from the Gattaca soundtrack. Notice any similarities?
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Jason. He wanders off from his dad and wanders off again after being told not to wander off. Then he runs off across the street to go look at another store outside of the mall. Then after his dad calls out to him, he runs across a busy main street.
    • The game also gives you many opportunities to make very stupid decisions. Like, for example, accepting a drink from a creepy criminal doctor who hits on you.
    • John and Scott playing Hide And Seek in a construction site with No OSHA Compliance.
  • Too Happy to Live: The opening of the game introduces the player to Ethan Mars, who has a successful job, is Happily Married, and a proud father of two boys whom he loves dearly. It's all smiles and laughter up until the accident that costs Jason his life.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: A bad guy attempts to drown Scott Shelby and Lauren Winters, who have come too close to discovering his crimes, in their car. You play as Scott and must find a way to escape before the time runs out — if you are fast enough, you can even save the unconscious Lauren.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The cover art for the maligned American version. All four main playable characters are there: Ethan, Madison, Norman... and some evil-looking guy in the shadows holding a gun.
  • Truth in Television: Although it's never explicitly mentioned in the game, serial killers often keep careful track of how the police are progressing in their investigation, and also try and insert themselves into the investigation in some way.
  • Turn in Your Badge:
    • Blake and his boss, Perry, are getting this if the former kills Ethan while Jayden is alive.
    • Jayden can have this, too, if he accuses Blake of being the Origami Killer.
    • This also happens to Perry if all the characters die.
  • Unexplained Accent: The cast features quite a few French actors playing Americans. While Lauren might be a French-American character, the Mars and Sheppard kids sport French accents that are inexplicable.
  • Unknown Rival: Blake, like all cops, shows disdain towards Jayden, who doesn't acknowledge him.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Every single chapter you play as Scott Shelby before The Reveal. Not only is he not really a private eye, but he was the Origami Killer the entire time. The only reason he had for investigating the case was to gather any evidence he had left so he could dispose of it. This extends to his thought bubbles, which aren't merely misleading but actively lying to you, the player, which is something of a narrative cheat regarding the plot twist.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You might grow attached to these characters and want to ensure they'll get through their trials successfully and with as little pain as possible, because goddammit, a lot of what they go through physically and emotionally just looks painful.
    • Additionally, good luck holding back Mama Bear / Papa Wolf rage at seeing the recordings the Origami Killer sends you.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: On the other hand, you might want to either get everyone killed and / or suffer tremendously for your amusement, or out of spite if you dislike the game, such as having Ethan get shocked repeatedly, or cutting off his finger with a saw.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • The Origami Killer gets really pissed if anyone other than Ethan saves Shaun, since it wasn't part of the plan.
    • How about Blake? Check out chapters: "Kick Off Meeting," "Shrink and Punches," "Under Arrest," and "Solving the Puzzle."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Deconstruction with Jayden and Blake as while they got along the first time they met, their continuous fighting, mostly from having different methods, has drove them apart as they go on separate ways in catching the Origami Killer.
  • The Voice: Sam is only heard.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Lauren as she stands over Shelby's grave in one of the epilogues.
  • We All Live in America: While the game takes place in a generic U.S. city on the eastern coast,note  it was developed and written by a French development team and signs occasionally show in the game itself.
    • The power outlets in buildings and some of the building architecture (particularly in Madison's apartment) are of distinctly European style instead of American.
    • The supermarket chase that Norman gets involved in has, at one point, live chickens present, something that is not allowed in a real U.S. supermarket.
    • There's some instances early in the game of characters referring to empty areas as "wasteland", when Americans would be calling these areas empty fields or vacant lots.
    • A number of minor characters are voiced by French actors who don't even try American accents, which may raise an eyebrow for some American players.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Including the optional DLC, Madison is menaced by two serial killers and a rapist before she even meets the Origami Killer.
  • Wham Line: Don't forget about me, Scotty.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Several examples. Nathaniel, once he's taken into custody (or killed), he's never seen or heard from again, and only mentioned once in passing. Gordi Kramer effectively vanishes from the plot after he is introduced, and is not present when Scott shoots up his house while looking for his father. Ethan's ex-wife, Grace, is only in a scant few of the game's endings and most give no resolution to her. Lt. Blake is absent from all but two of the worst endings, and in one of them he's only mentioned in a news report.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jayden can call out Blake for his actions.
    • Captain Perry calls him out if he accuses Blake of being the Origami Killer.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Several characters. Ethan, Lauren and most children sound vaguely French-ish. Scott and John's father keeps drifting from Scottish to redneck. And Paco appears to be channeling Strong Bad.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • Behind the reception desk at the motel where Madison checks in, there is a calendar clock thing that inexplicably notes the date as Thursday Oct. 5th, 2012. First of all, the game takes place in Fall 2011, so the writers and art department weren't talking to each other, and second, Oct. 5th 2012 is a Friday. In 2011, it was a Wednesday. (The date would have at least existed if not for the fact that 2012 is a leap year, but it would still be the wrong year for the game's story.)
    • Should Madison die, her tombstone will put her date of birth at 1980, which means she would be 30 years old at the time of the game's events. Yet when she signs into the hotel her age is said to be 27. Scott Shelby has a similarly inconsistent age given. Should he die, the news report about his death and the date on his tombstone both give different ages, either 44 or 48 depending on which one you believe.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Ethan and Madison commit multiple felonies over the course of the adventure to save Shaun / catch the Origami Killer, including several acts of breaking and entering, multiple assaults, and one premeditated first degree murder (if you chose to carry it out). It seems that a city that would tolerate a cop as obviously psychotic and unhinged as Lt. Blake has a soft spot for vigilante action.
  • You All Share My Story: One of the defining motifs of the game, especially if you make it to the "best" ending path.
  • You Bastard!: The "Perfect Crime" trophy. Enjoy your 100% Completion, asshole.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: See Fan Disservice.
  • You Can't Make an Omelette...:
    Norman Jayden: Blake is trying to beat a confession out of Ethan Mars! You've got to do something!
    Captain Perry: Which is more important, Norman? Finding little Shaun Mars or sparing that lowlife a few bruises? You can't make omelettes without breaking a few eggs.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: If Ethan decides to drink the poison to pass the fifth trial. As far as he knows.

    The Taxidermist 

  • Alone with the Psycho: When Leland comes home, the player is trapped until they either escape or die.
  • Backstory Horror: Though not required to play the main story, this DLC provides a great insight as to why Madison might have difficulty sleeping.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since it's a prequel starring Madison Paige, the canon ending is obviously one where she survives.
  • Groin Attack: If Leland spots Madison, this is involved in one means of escape. One ending has her escape into the garage, only to start the chainsaw and push it through Leland's crotch into his gut.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: As a result of Leland's insanity and his work drying up, he now traps and pursues women before stuffing their corpses.
  • Living Doll Collector: Leland.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • "Sacrificed in the Name of Truth"Madison calls the police, but is killed escaping. The police arrest Leland.
    • "Where is Madison Paige?"Leland kills Madison, and she didn't get to phone Sam. She's declared missing, and Leland isn't caught.
    • "The End of Anguish"Madison calls Sam, who sends the police to the house while she hides. The police eventually arrive and save her and Leland is arrested.
    • "In the Middle of the Horror"Madison escapes unseen and unharmed; as a result she gets her scoop and Leland is arrested.
    • "The End of a Nightmare"Madison is found and barely escapes with her life. Madison will be chased to the garage, where she can either kill Leland with a chainsaw or simply escape on her motorcycle, in which case he commits suicide.
  • My Car Hates Me: If Madison is followed from the house, her bike will stall. If Madison escapes unnoticed, or if she kills Leland with the chainsaw, it starts without a hitch.


Video Example(s):


Covered Market chase

Norman Jayden pursues suspected killer Miroslav Korda through a covered market. In this gameplay, the player fails most of the Quick Time Events.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / BrokenHeel

Media sources:

Main / BrokenHeel