Beware of spoilers! Not everything is spoiler tagged.
- If the beating of a butterfly's wings can cause a hurricane, and Chloe's symbolism is butterflies then Chloe's the 'butterfly' and beating her wings means Chloe continues to live, which means changing the past so she can live and not letting her die is causing the hurricane. It's further hinted at as the more we change the past to help the more natural catastrophes happen. The dying birds and whales. Max used a big chunk of her mojo to go back and save Chloe's dad and make her happy and that impacted the world a LOT so I'm assuming in the end to save everyone you have to kill Chloe or let her die. Maybe you're meeting in the lighthouse and that's why you're heading there in the vision of the future.
- We might also use the selfie you take first thing in the game to go back to that first day. I also think the 5th episode will incorporate going back to let Chloe die.
- Confirmed as one of the final choices of episode 5, and in turn, the entire game.
- Additionally, if the above is true, Rachel's disappearance is the result of a similar event triggering her own rewind, her disappearance may have been her final attempt to prevent some horrible event or storm from happening.
- First part confirmed: Max's powers (and saving Chloe) triggered the storm. Nothing to do with Rachel, though.
- I don't think he knows about the rapes but I think David's investigating Nathan (and the vortex club) too. I can't remember what it was but I think I had seen some proof either in his house and stuff or the principal's office. I just can't remember now. But that's why he was interrogating Kate in episode 1.
- Confirmed: David was shifting his investigations towards Nathan, though he didn't really suspect Jefferson
- Confirmed at the end of Episode 5
- Alternatively, it'll seem to be the case, only to be subverted and give the game a more optimistic ending. Max CAN travel through time, after all... albeit only a short ways. That she might find a way to prevent the storm that doesn't involve killing her best friend doesn't seem too far out there.
- Actually, someone else on this page mentioned that Max started getting visions of the tornado before she saved Chloe. So because of that, I don't think that makes sense, I guess?
- It's possible that the universe is trying to kill Chloe like in Final Destination, which would mean that Max isn't rewinding time, just getting visions of possible outcomes of what could happen, again like in Final Destination movies. Which would mean that by stopping Chloe's deaths time and time again she is bringing down death and destruction. Which would mean that she didn't get the vision of the tornado in order to stop it, which again coincides with that movie series - every time someone gets a vision, saving the people only causes worse things to happen.
- Confirmed. Near the end of episode 5 Chloe comes to the realization that no matter what choices Max makes, if she is still alive in the timeline and was never killed by Nathan, the storm happens. Max can either go back in time with the butterfly photo and let Nathan kill Chloe to save Arcadia Bay or tear the photo and decide to go on the road with Chloe and leave a destructed Arcadia Bay behind.
- Confirmed in Episode 3! Max and Chloe have a fight which ends with Chloe angrilly dropping off Max at her school. As she sits along in her room and gazes at this picture of Chloe from the day her father died she gets taken back to that day and has a chance of saving her father's life. Which she does. This has horrible consequences for everyone.
- Confirmed, Chloe never knew Rachel in the new timeline, and she is still missing. Max ultimately returns to the old timeline but not just for the sake of the investigation - mainly because it was necessary to keep Chloe alive.
- The weird things just seem to be escalating everyday at this point. It could be the hurricane but it wouldn't explain the eclipse.
- While saving William may or may not have caused the beached whales, saving Chloe in Episode 1 definitely caused the later chaos and destruction.
- Confirmed in Episode 5, when his impending death prompts him to leave Max an apologetic voicemail warning her about Jefferson
- Continuing the "Mr Jefferson is creepy," theme, I think he's targeting Max. The reason he's encouraging her to enter the competition is so he can choose her as the winner and seduce her - or worse - in SF. Again, there are rumours that he's slept with his female students, most of his photos are of young women in sexualizing situations. If he is a sleaze, it makes sense that his attentiveness towards Max isn't just because he's a good teacher.
- It would make sense to target Max too! She's mostly quiet and friendless. He figured she might not talk and if she did, who would listen? Rachel Amber was popular but 'a force of nature'. A bit transient and unstable and dreamed of running away. Not only that but think about it. She lets people photograph and draw her right? Even Samuel has photos of her. So she wanted to get her face around right? Be a model. Who is a highly esteemed photographer who has the means to make that happen? He has money and he's a renowned photographer, and he can actually get out of that town she desperately want to leave, without anything holding him down. Plus look at his hair. He's a teacher, he doesn't need to impress anyone, so why does he do his hair like that huh? Unless he was trying to attract young girls that is. He's peacocking.
- Why else would his license plate be referencing Top of the Lake, which is centered around the disappearance of a young (and pregnant) girl? Could his and Rachel's rumored one-night stand be much more than that? Or they could be just trying to throw us off...
- I think this is true too. Because in the beta version of Out of Time at the end there was a person that looked like Mr. Jefferson in a room with red folders. You couldn't see their face, but by the body shape it definitely could've been him.
- Seemingly confirmed with the ending of Episode 4.
- Confirmed. She does it numerous times throughout the episode, and can do it one final time at the players final choice
- Big hole in this theory. It was revealed that Sean Prescott payed for everything in the bunker and knows what goes on in it. Why would Jefferson risk Sean Prescott's ire by killing his son? Jefferson doesn't seem like he's that foolish. Unless you're saying Sean Prescott gave Jefferson the ok..
- Also, when you search Nathan's laptop, you realize how much he actually wanted to go to the party.
- And how he treats Max afterwards will have to do with how sympathetic you've been with him up to this point. Plus, it might be kinda cool to see his status as a veteran used for something other than an excuse for him to be paranoid.
- David does end up saving Max, though he is always sympathetic to her plight.
- In a BlinkAndYoullMissIt moment you can see that Chloe is wearing her black jacket in the vision as she does in the episode 4, and she does not in the episode 1 at the lighthouse.
- The "saving William" incident proves that Max can jump back in time years to correct unfortunate occurances. Even if Jefferson keeps her out of commission for several days, whose to say that she can't jump back in time to some point where she will be able to prevent Chloe's murder?
Right before you enter the Vortex Club party in Episode 4, a slightly drunk Warren approaches Max and Chloe. The latter has no time for Warren's antics, but Max lets him take a selfie of the two of them with her camera. We saw in Episode 3 that Max can travel in time using photographs, and given the fact that she spends a lot of time in the game looking at photos, her power only seems to affect ones she's photographed in. Unlike most of the photos in the game, you can't decline to take this one, and it doesn't give an achievement of any form, meaning that this little event is story-crucial.
Chloe died at the end of Episode 4, but assuming Jefferson didn't do anything to the photo Warren took of Max and him, Max will use the photograph to go back in time to a point where she can warn Chloe about the events that will occur once they leave the party. However, this will lead to complications once Max tells Chloe about this aspect of her power, and she will ask why she didn't travel back in time to save her father...
- It also would have helped him get the perfect headshot on Chloe at the end of Episode 4.
- Jossed. Thank god...
- Partially Jossed in that Max is canonically bisexual. But so far, Chloe is Ambiguously Bi, so as for Chloe, that's still up to us to decide on that.
- Might explain why Jefferson made sure to sedate Max first before dealing with Chloe.
- Jossed, she's dead and her body still has that smell.
- Within the context given by the 3rd episode it looks like that's Frank. But considering the rumour that she slept with Mr. Jefferson and the fact that he definitely has the means (famous, probably wealthy...well, wealthier than Frank and Chloe) to take her away...Besides I doubt they'd meet in a vision because I don't think they ever met and the odds of Rachel being alive or returning to town are slim. And the visions are usually of the future and of places Max has been.
- Jossed: Rachel is dead and she was referring to Frank.
- If this is the case then Max must gain access to Magic Plastic Surgery at some point because we see a photo of Rachel and she looks nothing like Max.
- There's about a year between the two girls, and when you look at their differences (hair length/style, wardrobe, et cetera), you can see it's not anything that couldn't be accounted for in that time (hair grows and can be styled, clothes could have changed, and so on). It's not like Max/Rachel would want to look exactly like her younger self, anyway... that'd probably raise a few alarm bells.
- Except Chloe's implied to have known Rachel since a little after Max moved away 5 years prior - when Max was 13 and Chloe and Rachel would've been 14. Chloe probably would have recognised her by now. And again, Rachel and Max have entirely different faces.
- And future Max would've been 19 years old, not 14. Not matter how tiny she is, even she probably couldn't pass off as a 14 year old. And even if she did people grow between the ages of 14 and 18, it would've looked shifty if she didn't.
- What if because of the alternate timeline Max can continually go down into different timelines, changing little by little each time. Then, in the end, she'll finally become Rachel Amber after fixing everything she does/did wrong. It'll just take a year or so and she'll be like, 13 or 14 again, somehow. As for the appearance, maybe Max changed her parents or whatever so that they never meet. Maybe she sacrificed that, and maybe some other things, to do the right thing in the end.
- Then she wouldn't be Max or Rachel or anybody. If her parents never mated she wouldn't have been born, period. Someone else might've but she wouldn't have.
- Of course, this is all kinda Jossed by Rachel's death... and the fact that Max knows she's dead. Either that, or it's set up for her to make a Heroic Sacrifice in the last episode.
- Then again, perhaps instead of dying, Max might simply sustain a degree of brain damage that leaves her blind, for all intents and purposes. For a girl who's heart is fixed on a career in photography, this would be the ultimate sacrifice.
- I think that Max having to save Chloe's life is simply because she doesn't always make the right choices. Episode 1 has her talking to Nathan. I don't think yelling at him would be the best idea. Episode 2 has two times (as far as I can remember). Once has the time where they're shooting bottles, where if she shoots the bumper of a car, it'll ricochet and it'll hit herself. Playing with guns is a great idea! Then, a scene that's not determinant, she's stuck on the railroad tracks. Whose idea was it to go around playing with guns, and then sit on railroad tracks? Okay, Max went with some of these poor decisions, but at least she isn't as bad as her. I don't really hate Chloe, but her dying a bunch is sort of just because of her not making all the right choices. Not that I say she completely deserves it though.
- Possibly Jossed since Chloe is dead. Killed Off for Real.
- Jossed: it's actually a choice between letting Chloe die and letting Arcadia Bay face utter destruction.
- Jossed, it's not any power that Chloe has that's causing the storm, it's the fact that she survived the confrontation in the bathroom.
- I'm not too sure. Yeah, Nathan definitely is a pretty not-nice guy, but I don't think that Victoria would do that. Maybe she would help a little, but be more apathetic than an outright bully to them. Maybe just to them. Maybe, knowing what he can do, she wouldn't like him as much, but wouldn't want to stop it?
- Jossed: If Max makes it absolutely clear to Victoria what Nathan did to Kate, she goes to Jefferson for help. He kidnaps and murders her.
- Possible, but they're probably not trying to steal photography equipment. In the preview, details reveal that they are inside the swimming pool building at Blackwell. (See this locker detail and this information board (close up))
- Jossed—Max uses some classroom equipment to create a pipe bomb, but the only things they steal are student files and money they can pay Frank off with.
- Also supporting this theory is that the plant looks to be in worse condition in the second episode, even if you watered it in the first one. Might be a subtle hint that there's something in the water that shouldn't be there?
- Jossed: watering the plant twice drowns it
- Possibly jossed, at least in regards as to whom grabbed Max's shoulder, Chloe is using blue nail polish (it's on her character model and can be seen in the picture of her and Rachel).
- Unless they're both using it! Or maybe not even them, but a third person! Or maybe it's Max who uses it in the alternate timeline!
- Alternatively the consequences of changing the timeline so severely could cause Max to not want to change them again. But I think if she went back and explained what happened Chloe would be more understanding than that. She might break down but I don't think she'd try to make Max save her dad again. I think Max might try to go back and save Chloe from the accident that causes her to become quadriplegic though.
- Jossed: when Max tells Chloe in Episode 5, Chloe doesn't blame Max at all
- She must've accidentally told someone, who told another, and it basically escalated from there. Or, her rewind powers have been noticed by someone somehow. Or maybe Max has been acting really paranoid because of her rewind powers.
- If Max caused a tornado in a week, she definitely didn't have the powers beforehand.
- Max is presumably nicknamed Mad Max after Mad Max.
- Doubt it. It's not like she can do anything to stop you for starters. Apart from kill you. And it's not like she can do anything period what with being a quadriplegic
- Jossed, she does not try to stop you or try to convince you to change things.
- Jossed, since Rachel is dead and Frank says she cared a lot for Chloe.
- Will be choosing to accept the "Chloe in a wheelchair" timeline, or the "punk Chloe" timeline.
- Alternately this will be the big final choice in Episode 5 even as well.
- I don't think that will be a choice we get to make. It'd be too big a difference and they'd have to make two completely different Episode 5's if you have to make that decision in episode 4 because the two universes are too different.
- Jossed - no matter what happens, Chloe is killed and Max is drugged by Jefferson.
Samuel has a soft voice, so he fits the description of the man Kate heard. In Episode Two, Max can find some photos of Rachel in his storage closet. If she confronts him about it, he gets uncharacteristically annoyed at her. In Episode Three, Max can find a girl's scarf inside Samuel's storage closet, although she has yet to get the chance to confront him over this.
Also, Samuel is really creepy and it's implied that he knows what's going on with the spirit doe and the strange weather.
When Chloe confronts Nathan in the bathroom at the start of Episode One, he yells that he's sick of people trying to control him before shooting her. Nathan's expunged discipline record notes that he threatened the school custodian (presumably Samuel) at some point. I think that Samuel is somehow blackmailing Nathan (an impressive feat, given that the Prescotts control the entire city) into kidnapping girls and this is making Nathan's already volatile temper even worse. If Nathan was involved with Rachel's disappearance, then perhaps the "RACHEL IN THE DARKROOM RACHEL IN THE DARKROOM" drawing is some sort of coping mechanism.
- Good points but I don't really see Samuel as the mastermind of things. Unless they pull a Doofy from Scary Movie. It's shifty that he has the scarf and pictures. He is creepy and knows more than he's letting on and I think Nathan's kidnapping girls for someone too but I really doubt it's Samuel. The white room and the needle sounds a bit like a hospital room so it's possible Nathan knows someone in a hospital who does things to girls and in exchange hooks him up with drugs. Or it's his dad, judging by the sheer ammount of power he has and the fact his son seems to hate him and even he's afraid of him it seems. I'm guessing whatever it is though that happened to Rachel, Nathan knows something about it. Especially from that drawing. The dark room. Might be the lighthouse. Or an actual dark room. As in the ones where you develop photographs. Like something a photography teacher would have or would have access to.
- Jossed Mr Jefferson did it
- Though this is thoroughly jossed, Mark Jefferson and Samuel Taylor share the same voice actor.
- Jossed Mr Jefferson did it
This one is pretty self-explanatory. When Max talks to the homeless woman in episode 2, the homeless woman says that she's lived in Arcadia Bay for "a thousand years." Could be just an expression....or it could be literally what feels like a thousand years worth of time spent in a 5-day Groundhog Day loop. The homeless woman is a version of Max who got stuck in a time loop and got older or possibly because she kept trying to rewind time that it somehow backfired on her. Max mentions twice in Episode 3 that she fears getting stuck in time, so what if it actually happened?
- An interview with Eurogamer seems to imply she is just an old homeless lady. Michel Koch, a co-director of this game, at least gave the impression she was just an old homeless lady, anyway.
David is strongly implied to suffer from PTSD and Nathan is implied to have mental health issues of his own. When Max talks to Nathan in Episode Three, he refers to David by first name and doesn't insult him.
David recognizes Nathan's mental health issues and considers him to be something of kindred spirit. David is trying to help Nathan out. Unfortunately, this means that David has become willfully blind to all of the horrible things that Nathan is doing.
The biggest flaw with this theory is that David can back Max up if she blames Nathan for what happened to Kate.
- Nathan's creepy writings of "RACHEL IN THE DARK ROOM" might be a manifestation of him dealing with being complicit in Jefferson's photographs, since there's a photograph of Rachel resting her head on his stomach in her binder.
- And at one point, there will be the option to choose between killing Joyce and killing William. Then, we'll create a new timeline which involves no powers, but somehow kills both of them. That'd be fun and also incredibly sad.
- I doubt it. If Chloe had lived and Joyce died in a car accident don't you think Chloe and William would've been a bit affected? Instead they both looked happy to see Max and the house looked good and better taken care of than in the other timeline. If Joyce was dead they probably wouldn't give two shits about how the house looked.
- Jossed: You can actually go up to Joyce's room and talk to her in the alt timeline
- Jossed: Sean doesn't seem to know the details of Jefferson and Nathan's kidnap/murder scheme
with all of the mystical events hapening in Arcadia Bay such as the massive deaths of animals, the snowing, and the dual moons it would be the natural world's way of trying to destroy the timeline that Max has messed up with her time travel shenanigans. Similar to the Donnie Darko, the only way for the world to continue on would be if Max never used or discovered her powers by taking the bullet for Chloe in the initial bathroom scene.
- Jossed, all endings have Max alive
The ability to rewind time is the source of the Prescott's success and power for more than a century, and is part of the 'destiny' about which that Sean Prescott texted Nathan.
Nathan is a problem for the Prescotts due to his mental instability. When he shot Chloe, he was so stressed that his powers jumped to Max, possibly leaving him entirely. Both the natural disasters and the universe's continual attempts on Chloe's life that eventually succeed are either the Prescotts' attempts to take back their power, or a side effect of the power being owned by the wrong person.
Mr. Jefferson either has the rewind power or knows about it, which is why he knew to sedate Max so that her internal chemistry, which remains the same when she rewinds, would retain the sedative.
This may not be the first time Nathan lost his power- Rachel Amber may have taken it, as per the above WMG that she had the rewind power, and Nathan had to kill her to reclaim it. If the latter part is true, he will also try to kill Max. The Final Boss will be a confrontation with someone else who can rewind.
- Makes a lot of sense. After all, wouldn't you expect a family of time travellers to use their unique ability to gather foreknowledge for financial gain? (ala Biff Tannen). And the Prescotts are rich...
- Almost certainly jossed now. Also, more than a little Harsher in Hindsight.
- I wouldn't joss this yet... there is still episode 5
- Chloe isn't seen driving in Episode 5, so this is officially jossed.
Rachel is also noted for being an excellent model, compared to Max, an excellent photographer. Maybe she posed for so many photos to give herself more control through time, possibly resulting in the tornado that threatens Arcadia Bay.
- What would her agenda be? Certainly not ruin her good name, most people loved Rachel and are neutral towards Max mostly.
Considering that Episode 4 spent a bit of time giving Nathan Prescott some subtle hints that he might not be as evil as most player presumes due to looking into his unstable relationship with his father, and how his mental disability is deteriorating and making him fragile in both mind and body, there's a chance that Nathan might not have been a willing participant with the kidnapped girls plan.
Perhaps he's simply told by Mr. Jefferson to send 'willing' girls that wants to pose for him in the 'Dark Room' with a spiked drink every time, completely unaware that he's drugging the girls and sending them into the 'Dark Room' to fulfil Mr. Jefferson's sick fantasies. A picture of him lying along with a drugged Rachel Amber may also hint that he too may have been drugged by Mr. Jefferson as well.
Considering that Nathan is not mentally well and may not be taking his medication often, Nathan likely played along with Mr. Jefferson's plan while completely left out in the dark, and Mr. Jefferson fully takes advantage of Nathan's mental state for the full purpose of turning him into a scapegoat in order to divert attention away from himself.
- Then again, he did go out of his way to drug Chloe and snap a photo of her lying prone on the floor in a poor replication of Jefferson's work.
- Jossed: Nathan is the one who killed Rachel Amber with an overdose, trying to impress Jefferson. Jefferson is taking advantage of him, but Nathan is at least somewhat aware of what they are doing.
This way, "Go fuck your selfie" suddenly becomes foreshadowing.
- Jossed. More like "the power to not use her powers in order to prevent the tornado".
- Jossed, they seem to be completely in the dark
- Jossed, the OD seems to be Nathan's fault
Hey, this is called Wild Mass Guessing, after all.
- Jossed in Episode 5 but it's to be expected, after all.
What if Max's rewind is causing the storm, and the initial rewind when Chloe died was the first act (the metaphorical beating of the butterfly's wings) that triggers the storm? What if, in order to prevent the storm, Max must solve that scenario one of two ways - no rewinds, no second chances - INTERVENE (and potentially be shot by the surprised Nathan) or TAKE A PHOTO (resulting in Chloe's death, as her pushing Nathan leads him to fire by accident, but Max has solid evidence that Nathan is a killer). Then, based on what you choose, you see a photo-montage of our previous choices, and how they're affected by this new timeline. Max's character development over the last 4 episodes has allowed her to make that choice - to enter into a dangerous situation to help a friend.
- Jossed, taking a photo when going back to the original confrontation is not an option and stepping in is similarly not an option.
The pre-Episode Three patch added her voice actress to the credits, but the rest of the minor students are not specifically credited.
- Given that Alyssa and Kate share a voice actress, it's possible that DONTNOD wanted to credit the VA in an episode where her primary character has no voiced dialogue.
While investigating the Dark Room, you can find a bottle of whiskey that looks just like the one you find hidden in Wells' office. That would imply that he's been in the Dark Room. We also don't know what he was arguing with Jefferson about at the end of Episode 2.
- I hope it's not him too. For starters Max already knows him and his number so he'd need another mobile to text her from. Seconds It's highly likely to be Nathan and his family because they technically own the school, they'd have the means to find out which room exactly. Plus he's popular. It could also come from David, but I doubt it and lastly Frank. He has clients in the school he could pump for information.
- The threatening messages are very clearly from Nathan (who evidently knows where she sleeps because he breaks into her room). Warren does carry the vibe of either being an awkward dude with a crush or a time bomb ticking down to an indignant "friendzoned!" though.
- I'm thinking that "time bomb" might be a little more literal. He harasses Max with texts/pressures her to come to the drive in if she refused his invite, and he seems to pretty readily know how to build a pipe bomb. If he gets rejected by Max, I get the feeling he might blow something up.
- Nah, he's cool. Best case scenario he cries on Brooke's shoulder and they get together. The way I see it she's more likely to 'blow' something up, from her icy reception of Max.
It's possible that Rachel will turn out to have the same time rewind power, being Max's alternate self, although that's not necessary for the theory, since Max didn't have the power until the start of the game, so there's no reason to think Rachel had it at a different time, if she ever had it at all.
Some of the basis for this theory comes from Greg Egan's Dust Theory, which is apparently a real quantum physics thing called Event Symmetry. A drastically-simplified explanation (of the Dust Theory, at least) is that just as general relativity caused us to throw out absolute space and time (because gravity demonstrably warps them both, as seen around black holes), so too might absolute cause and effect be just as malleable; Egan illustrates it by showing an artificial intelligence, with subjective experience, having its experience calculated out of order by computers all over the planet. And yet because all the calculations were performed, the AI experiences the subjective passage of time as if nothing were out of the ordinary. So the theory is that any permutation of energy and matter which could, when arranged just so, be subjectively experienced as a coherent progression of cause and effect, will be experienced that way. In other words, we're experiencing our universe in a certain way, but all the dust in the universe could just as easily be arranged in a totally different way, and is being experienced by something or someone in just that way, as well as every other way it could be arranged.
The practical upshot is that any possible permutation of the universe that makes sense is, not hypothetically, but literally a whole and complete universe existing alongside ours. And given the size of the universe and the possibilities, that's a shitload of universes.
So the theory is that when Max left Arcadia, as soon as she and her family were far enough away that their subjective experience was no longer directly affecting the existence of Arcadia, Rachel showed up. It wouldn't have been instantaneous, but it would have been around the same time—within a couple of weeks, a month or two at the longest, sounds plausible. And Rachel disappeared very shortly before Max returned—around the time the observations and actions of Max and her family would have started to have a direct effect on Arcadia. Max and Rachel could never meet, because it wouldn't have made sense for the two versions of the same person to exist within each other's observable universe, but as long as their simultaneous existence is never directly observed, there's no contradiction, and the situation is stable.
She's been reliving the events of the games over and over. For some reason, she has forgotten this, and thinks she's experiencing everything for the first time; possibly the extensive use of the power, which we've already seen can make her dazed and give her nosebleeds, has damaged her long-term memory, or has some other kind of effect that negated her otherwise-Ripple Effect-Proof Memory.
Similar to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, where it turns out that Homura has relived the events of the series potentially thousands of times, trying desperately to find a permutation of events where Madoka doesn't die/turn into a Witch. And, similarly, every successive repeat just seems to make things worse.
The biggest clue to this is the fact that Max's only power is to rewind time, and yet she's having visions of the future. If this theory is correct, the entire game is her reliving the past, and that the real "present" is during or after the tornado.
Not really many "clues" as such to this one, but some kind of Equivalent Exchange being at work here makes sense—Max saves numerous lives over the course of the game, starting with Chloe and moving on from there, and even her lesser acts of altruism (preventing the one girl from getting hit with a football, etc.) might be detrimental to some greater structure in the continuity of space and time. Maybe preventing someone from having a bad day is significant enough to kill a fish, and saving a human life might kill a hundred. You have the fish dying in the bay to the point where there aren't any left, birds dying all over the place (starting with the one that crashes into the window, which you can save, but in the third episode if you keep your eyes out, there are dead birds fucking everywhere), the whales all over the beach after going all the way back and saving William, and that's not even considering the potential deaths you can prevent, like Kate and Frank's dog. Even Chloe being in a wheelchair after rebooting the universe might be a direct attempt to balance out the act of saving her dad in the past.
This follows from the last three WMGs—"Max is Rachel from the alternate timeline", "Max has been reliving the events of the entire game over and over", and "Everything Max changes causes more tragedy". At the end of the series, Max will remember everything, and realize that her attempts to fix things and help people and do good are exactly what caused the tornado, which will kill hundreds, maybe thousands, in an attempt to redress the balance that she has been tearing apart with her attempts to help people. And she'll go back in time, once more, to remove herself from the equation and prevent any of it from happening—and when she's been erased from the timeline, Rachel Amber, who Max displaced when she went to the alternative timeline and returned, will show up, because Max is no longer there to negate her existence. And no one will remember Max ever existing, or at least it will be as if she never returned at the beginning of the game—just left without saying goodbye, as Chloe had always thought. And Rachel will never have gone missing.
- Stella could have given him the drugged drink. She was working at the party under Mr Jefferson, and she's on Frank's list of clients. Mr Jefferson could have asked her to drug Warren to make sure that he wouldn't tag along with Max. Maybe there was a plan to give Chloe a drink too, but she was too worked up about Rachel to go for it.
- Jossed, especially the Stella part. Nothing seems off with Warren later in the game, and Stella turns out to just be an impoverished girl from an abusive family trying to deal with academic stress.
- Except there's an old picture of Sean Prescott in Nathan's room and he looks nothing like Jefferson. Not to mention that people would notice if the man who practically owns Arcadia Bay is moonlighting as a famous photographer and high school teacher. That being said, a lot of the letters and messages to Nathan that Max assumes are from Mr. Prescott are probably really from Jefferson.
- Perhaps the man everybody believes to be Sean Prescott is actually an imposter hired by Jefferson (the real Sean Prescott & father of Nathan) to play the tiresome role of the millionaire businessman, so that he can live out his dream life of hanging around and exploiting young jailbait girls all day long. Alternatively, perhaps the "fake Sean" is meant to serve as the Count Dookoo to Jefferson's Darth Sideous; "fake Sean" exists only to be an Arcadia Bay villain, simply so Jefferson can defy him and become everybody's hero.
- Jossed, since Jefferson needed Nathan to have access to any of the Prescott's money
- Jossed, since Jefferson needed Nathan to have access to any of the Prescott's money
It's possible Mr Jefferson is in on it, too.
- Jossed, neither the Prescotts nor Jefferson seem to have any idea about the storm.
- Jossed, Kate wasn't hiding anything
- Jossed. Nathan gave Rachel an overdose.
- No offense, but this seems like wishful thinking. Chloe probably would have noticed if it wasn't Rachel.
- While I'm not inclined to think that what we see isn't Rachel's body, all we really see is possibly some hair.
- Jossed, it's Rachel, the developers didn't show her body to avoid a higher age rating.
- No offense, but this seems like wishful thinking. Chloe probably would have noticed if it wasn't Rachel.
- Jossed, he suspects that something has changed with Max but he doesn't actually know that she has powers.
- Jossed, he just used his regular drugs.
- The photo was damaged and needs to be repaired. Nathan might be behind this, or it could have been caused accidentally, in which case that's probably where he saw her using her powers before.
- But they don't go 'in' the photo. They just use it to remember the context of the situation and the day or whatever, they're not IN the photo. It's like a port key, not a level.
- The photo based time travel seems to be less 'travelling into a photo' and more using the moment captured by the photo as a focus to travel back to a specific place and time in one's own personal time stream for a brief period of time.
- If the photo was of a moment in the past that Rachel wished to change, she might have overexerted herself and stopped time like Max did in Episode 2; either these two abilities conflicted somehow, preventing her from leaving, or she passed out from the strain and has essentially been in suspended animation.
- But when Max rewinds and stuff she stays in one spot. If she rewound too far back and got stuck there, wouldn't she just have to re-live all that time until she came back to the present? Or a certain amount of time until the memory was over and she could return to the present?
- Then that theory about Rachel going back in time and getting stuck in a memory or something would make sense. She went too far and couldn't return, got stuck there, had to live from there, then when she came back to the present time she was old and couldn't tell anyone what happened or they'd think she was crazy and basically wound up homeless.
- Jossed, even if rewinds were minimized as much as possible or used as much as possible the only things that change are as a result of specific choices. Nightmare!Max will still call Max out for wasting her power on high school drama.
- That would imply Rachel never diverging from any single choice she made in the original timeline. With all her foreknowledge, that seems highly unlikely, to say the least.
- Maybe this is the payoff to the running gag about saving Alyssa from misfortune...
- Jossed: Nathan died prior to having any chance to pull something like this off.
- I've been writing my own stuff before and I think that the Life is Strange writers were going for a bad alternate timeline since Max says that it's so fucked up when it's really not. The writers wanted it to seem bad when it really isn't. So she'll probably reset it anyways. Also, she never wanted to be in the Vortex club so it's not that great for her. Plus, maybe she's interested in Warren but never knew until it was too late. So yeah.]]
- Jossed, it gets reset in Episode 4
- I figured the reason he was paranoid was because Chloe was so close to Rachel Amber and because he has chronic hero syndrome and he blames himself for not finding out what happened to her and he's scared of the same thing happening to Chloe so he's trying desperately to solve the mystery of Rachel Amber before anything else happens again. Plus he knows something is up with the Vortex club.
- This ended up being cut, so it's What Could Have Been rather than actually canon.
- Her only appearance in the entire series ends up being via text in Max's nightmare, so this is jossed.
Here's the thing, what if Jefferson's been investigating the Prescotts for a bit longer than we've previously thought and, a couple of days before the events of Episode 1: Chrysalis, all of his private investigations have somehow gotten the attention of something like say, the FBI?
Once again, hear me out over here. David Madsen's been investigating the Prescotts for a while specifically for either their possible involvement with a massive scam involving Pan Estates, or alternatively, either their involvement with a possible human trafficking/illegal pornography ring alongside Mark Jefferson and quite possibly, if the bottles in the Dark Room are an indication, Principal Wells. This somehow eventually grabs the attention of the FBI which, in turn, sends in a few undercover agents to hire Jefferson as a possible informant to the FBI, what with his relations to the Prescotts, and not to mention, all of his experience as a retired soldier.
Throughout the rest of the game, while you (as Max) conducted your own investigations alongside Chloe, David's been working with the FBI on their own investigations. From more minor things such as Nathan being a drug dealer of sorts, to more massive things like the circumstances behind Kate's suicide, Rachel's death, the Dark Room, and everyone else involved with it.
So, I know what you're probably asking right now. How would this affect the events of the entire game, at least, from Max's perspective?! Well, let's move on to the events of Episode 4, and more importantly, the preview for episode 5...
If you managed to side with David throughout the entire game, he could continue his investigations on the Price-Madsen residence and, once Max and Chloe finished their own investigations, David could just curiously enter Chloe's room at one point, discovering the results of their investigation, and informing the FBI about the existance of the Dark Room. Later that night, when Max was trapped in the Dark Room, Jefferson, who at that time was focused on "getting rid of the evidence", would then attempt to kill Max... until, out of nowhere, you'd hear...
"GET THE FUCK DOWN!"
Jefferson then looks behind him, and gets into the door. An explosion could be heard as the blast door is breached, possibly with C4, as the FBI's Hostage Rescue team comes in to either restrain or kill Mr Jefferson, depending on whether or not you ratted him out on Episode 2 or Not.
If you, however, did NOT side with David throughout the entire game, and/or caused him to get kicked out of the Price-Madsen residence by Joyce, he will NOT be aware of the existance of the Dark Room, and instead, will cause the FBI to raid either the Prescott Mansion or Pan Estates, and Max would either rely on either being saved by Nathan, or by saving herself on her own, once again, depending on all of the choices that you've made throughout the entire game, at least before that point.
Now, what would happen after that, the importance of the storm, and the motivations of the Prescotts, Jefferson, and everyone else involved, on the other hand, would be fair game at this point, and would probably deserve other theories/WMGs of their own.
- Jossed. Though David does manage to save Max in Episode 5...
- But then why does Max start getting visions before saving Chloe?
- Jossed, she survived episode 3
- Might also be Jossed because she died at the end of episode 4. She might not even get to live to die in episode 5.
- Depends on the players choice in Episode 5. One of the options is saving Arcadia Bay by letting Chloe die while the other lets her live at the cost of everyone in the town.
- No girls die in Episode 3.
- She seems to be using it to spy on Warren, if her Suspiciously Specific Denial while discussing Ms. Grant's confiscation of the drone is any clue. The drone itself may or may not be important, but I'm guessing that Brooke's jealous nature and resentment of Max for being close to Warren will play a role in the future.
- Parties don't always mean happiness though... remember Carrie?
- Carrie was voted prom Queen. It wasn't all bad.
- By Chloe's death. She couldn't handle seeing a girl die in front of her eyes like that, and wished she could do something to stop it, especially after finding out that was Chloe, her childhood friend's dying self she held in her hands or whatever so she fell into a comma or became catatonic and imagined she had the power to change all that. Sounds like this episode of Buffy.
- That isn't how drugs work. Nathan has many mental problems, but DID does not appear to be one of them.
- That was just the best theory that they had at the time - but even in the alternate timeline where Max changed everything and Chloe could have never been in that bathroom to get shot, the birds and whales dying only started happening that week, when changing that much history should have caused the storm to happen years earlier. Not to mention, Max's power only manifested when Chloe first died, after she'd had her vision of the storm - that the ultimate lesson to be learned is that Chloe should have died the moment those powers even turned up seems entirely unnecessary, given that Max had no idea it was even Chloe at the time. No, something else, probably tied to the Prescott's 'destiny' and whatever it is Nathan's sister was talking about in her email, is to blame for the whole mess.
- Jossed. Max was the cause of the storm all along
- Did you read the part where it says "That was just the best theory that they had at the time" - we never get real confirmation from anyone who actually knows about how Max's powers work whether or not she was the cause of the storm, that was just Max and Warren's theory, which has some holes in it.
- What part of "Chloe dying in the bathroom prevents the storm" did you miss about the ending?
- Jossed. Max was the cause of the storm all along
- Want proof? Just look at the favoritism he gives her from the start of the game. This WMG is based on the end of ep.4, so ep.5 may or may not expand on it. Sweet dreams.
- Heavily implied in Episode 5 when Max hands in her photo for the contest.
- Any reason this is in the "Jossed" section? It's pretty clear that this is in fact confirmed (despite the fact that there was no "Max" binder, which we can pretty safely assume was just to avoid giving too much away). He's been obsessed with Max and her "innocence" for quite some time.
- Chloe is Max's companion.
- Arcadia Bay barely compares to the grandeur of Rapture or Columbia, though. And if "there's always a man," why is Max the protagonist this time? Unless Jefferson is a Villain Protagonist...
- Well, it's kind of related. They both were drugged and had photos taken of them in the Dark Room.
- Possible but according to police files, Rachel's the only person (of either sex) to go missing in a long while in that town.
- Partly Jossed: the other girls likely didn't go missing—Jefferson simply photographed them and sent them off, using drugs to ensure that most would not remember the experience. Rachel went missing because she died.
- But when she goes back in time she retains her memories and objects. If that were true she'd start the game with all the pictures, and knowledge of the entire week.
- Possibly jossed by the ending.
- Causing her to slowly become the Life Is Strange Universe's equivalent of Scarlet Witch, but with time powers instead of probability manipulation and reality-warping.
- I like this theory because that makes Max's power more like a sort of phenomenon that happens, like how babies can exhibit immense ammounts of strength when in peril and not something to be feared like something that could cause karmatic badness to rain down on everyone.
- It is a personification of Max, who having exerted greater control over her powers, has travelled back further than usual to warn her past self, but to avoid a paradox appears as a ghostly doe. For what reason, who knows (Max wore a "Jane Doe" t-shirt in Episode 1 and a doe t-shirt in Episode 2)
- It is actually Rachel, who also had the time travel powers (fitting with above theories)
- When the doe is encountered in episode 2, it is sitting on the ground where, it's revealed in episode 4, Rachel is buried. Upon the discovery of her remains, it is seen staring at Max and Chloe as the former comforts the latter. So there may be some credence to this idea.
- It really is a spirit animal, and everyone has one, but only appears to Max because her time travel powers are breaking down the bonds between the real world and whatever it is that keeps them hidden from everyone else.
- David Madsen.
- The schools prinpical, Mr. Wells
- Nathan Prescott.
- Frank. For all we know, they might've been inside all along because they were trying to hide from him after he finally lost it and came after them.
- They don't catch Max and Chloe. Also, it's David Madsen, unless Max got him put on leave.
- Mr. Wells
- Mr. Jefferson
- An unknown character we haven't met yet.
- The part of nightmare sequence in episode 5 when Max is in the Two Whales Diner filled with time frozen people from Arcadia Bay begging her not to kill them is this, culminating with a face to face with a supposed alternate version of Max calling her out on her motives behind how she uses her power. The entirety of the nightmare sequence could also be viewed as Max calling herself on it subconsciously as well, but depending on how you interpret the sequence's happenings,your mileage may vary.
- Also on the list, she'll be able to freeze time voluntarily (as opposed to it being a scripted event, such as during crucial decisions or Kate's attempted suicide), thus allowing the player to do time-sensitive things without having to rewind, or allow them to exploit scenarios that don't last for more than a few seconds.
- I'm going to toss down a gentle confirmed for this one. Though it does raise the question why Max is wearing doe's in the first few episodes. It seemed like it was set up to be her animal, not Rachel's.
- If it's in the new timeline, Nathan will try to drug Max, if it's in the original timeline, Nathan will turn up and try to start shit.
- I'm pretty sure the fact that Max even ends up going to the party means she's in the original timeline again and she's going to investigate Rachel Amber and what happened to Chloe and Kate. Otherwise why would she bother going at all?
- Nothing bad happens to Max or Chloe at the party. Nathan doesn't turn up since he's dead and Jefferson kidnaps Victoria if she believed Max's warning about Nathan, but the party doesn't result in bodily harm to Chloe or Victoria.
- Chloe was only stealing from her future/alternate timeline self when she stole that money.
Also of note, there's not a lot of genuinely bad stuff that Frank does on-screen... the most we actually see him do is threaten Chloe at knifepoint, and even that's not until she gets all up in his face about Rachel. Yes, it's strongly implied that he gave the Vortex Club party-goers drugs, but there's not a lot pointing to how far back that was. Furthermore, he doesn't seem to sell to anybody after the fact, even turning down Max when she asks using the codeword Nathan gave her (granted, that could be due to his own spite toward Max, or because Nathan didn't give her the right phrase), stating that he only sold bottles. Was he really lying, or is he trying to go straight?
Going back to his relationship with Rachel, the letters from her he has stuffed in his vent mention an incident that "scared her" and that he " couldn't blame it on the drugs", carrying the implication that one or both of them blamed drug use for his behavior before. The next logical step would be for him to remove the drugs from the equation, difficult though that may be, keeping only a small stash to help wean himself off (the cache Max finds on searching his RV).
But then why is he so antagonistic towards Max? If he's trying to be a good guy from this point on, why is he behaving so spitefully? Well, let's not forget, the first experience Frank has with Max involves him almost getting shot, which is a wonderful first impression to make with anybody, especially someone used to having lots of enemies. Also, the one piece of company she consistently keeps? Chloe, the girl who owes him money and behaves like a total punk. Is it any wonder he sees Max in a bad light?
To say nothing of everyone else. By now, Frank's occupation as a drug dealer is all but common knowledge, which puts him on a bad footing with everyone he might try to interact with. Couple that with what looks to be a Hair-Trigger Temper, and his efforts would look to be doomed to fail, especially now that the one person who seems to genuinely care for him is off the scene. Unless somebody else helps him out, he could very well relapse and change this into a HeelFace Door-Slam.
So, to summarize... he's trying to clean up and go straight, thanks to Rachel's involvement, because Love Redeems, but is having trouble due to his past and his lover's disappearance.
- Well, if you consider his actions to not be that bad I'd hate to see what constitutes bad in your books. As for your argument it's possible he saw the error of his ways and decided to change but according to the letter you posted it's more likely that Rachel used him for drugs, that they took together, rather than inspired him to quit. Maybe her letter scared him into cutting down or trying to quit so he wouldn't lose her but I doubt he's the big hero you make her out to be. For one, he's completely antagonistic in every appearance he's made. Second, he threatened both Max and Chloe's lives. Third, it's shifty that he hides that letter better than the drugs in his RV. Unless he felt some guilt or had something to hide. Like for example that 'outburst' mentioned in the letter. Someone might interpret him as dangerous and come to the conclusion that he had another 'outburst' which ended up with Rachel dead and him hiding the body, perhaps feeding it to his dog or something. Really nothing about his character implies that he's trying to better himself. Apart from his irritability which may be likened to someone going through cigarette withdrawal symptoms, but even that is doubtful. If he really was going cold turkey he wouldn't keep the stuff around, least of all selling it.
- Might be worth noting that every major character shown in the game so far has been proven to have a side that's not entirely apparent at first... and Frank's been a major player for a large portion of the game. Honestly, it'll probably be more surprising if Frank's exactly who he appears to be.
- And water is wet. Nah, but there was definitely something there at least. Chloe pretty much admits it in her room in episode 3.
- Specifically, you can have Max accuse her of sounding like she crushed on Rachel, and Chloe's immediate response is 'You would, too!' and to talk about how great and sexy she was. So unless we get some kind of explicit debunking I think we can take it as canon that she's at least somewhat into girls.
- Any reason this one's in Jossed? It's more of an 'implied' or 'up to the player's actions' (for both Max and Chloe), considering in the Bay ending, if you did certain things in the previous chapters (particularly the 'dare you to kiss me' moment), Max and Chloe kiss.
- The "closeted" part. She never directly states "Yes, I, Chloe Price, am a lesbian!" but she's not in any doubt about her sexuality and, despite being rather an asshole, her repressive, conservative stepdad doesn't seem to have any issue with her love life.
- Most of David's issues come from trying to have control over what happens to the people he cares about (and are strongly implied to come from his combat experience). There's no indication that he'd actually have a problem with her being interested in women, though there's a decent chance he'd find fault with anyone (male or female) she'd be in a relationship with just because of those control issues.
- It would explain why Chloe's mom and her stepdad do not know about Chloe's obvious interest in women.
- Or, since Chloe is still Ambiguously Bi as far as we know....
- Ditto to the previous WMG before this specific one.
- After all, so far Chloe is Ambiguously Bi, because even though she obviously likes women in the game, it's unknown if any of her attraction to the "boy toys" was ever genuine and there's no in-story moment that proves that she has no interest in men.
- Also, even though one writer interprets Chloe as gay, it is still unknown if anyone else in the development team (including other writers) agrees with that writer's interpretation (remember, in another game that Ashley Burch voice-acted in, Team Fortress 2, where Ashley Burch voiced Miss Pauling, not all of the writers agreed on the assessment of Miss Pauling's sexual orientation, which lead to "depending on the writer" situations.
- There might possibly be what could be effectively a repeat of that Miss Pauling situation, even though this is a different company and a different development team.
- Again, taking Ambiguously Bi into account, plus Chloe might even be the pansexual equivalent of that trope.
- Romantic asexuals do exist, after all.
- Ditto to the previous WMG right before this one.
- Ditto to the first WMG that brings up the possibility that Chloe may be a romantic asexual.
- So far, Max is still canonically bisexual.
- Also Chloe is still Ambiguously Bi for now.
- I prefer to respect established canon while still taking into account additional possibilities (hence why I mentioned other alternative possibilities about Chloe's sexual orientation and romantic orientation).
Both are charming (but creepy) 30-something year old photographers whose subjects are mostly young women in suggestive settings, and both seem to be involved in the disappearance of a plot-important girl. Honestly, it'd be a surprise if Hard Candy wasn't an influence on the game.
This can explain why at the end of Episode 4, Max is unable to rewind while drugged to save Chloe because the powers have become part of her consciousness and it doesn't activate the self-preservation mode because it's drugged as well.
- It's also possible that following this incident, he has been blackmailing Nathan to help him.
- Not all all of it, drugging Chloe and taking her to his room seems to be all him.
- The episodes are the DLC. Besides, we probably have already met Harry Aaron Prescott.
Bonus points if the reason they're colliding is because of something Max has done or will do in the future.
- So kinda like the Incursions from Marvel's Secret Wars book?
- Doesn't seem that likely, considering that the moon's position would've been identical in both realities. regardless of whether William lived or died the moon was always destined to be in a certain position at that specific time - the moon from the alternate timeline would not be several degrees away from where the moon of the proper timeline was, as we see at the end of Episode 4.
- I think the developers would have had Max be skeptical of Jefferson's statement if this was the case.
- I doubt the distortions that Max caused through her time travel will just go fixing themselves anytime soon which could lead to more potential disasters in the future.
I think that God was- in an indirect way- trying to stop Max from devaluing Kate's belief. If Max had been capable of rewinding during that scene, even a little, she would have saved Kate- would have reversed events in Hell and on Earth. But such an action, however compassionate, would have interfered with God's...jurisdiction? He might prefer that Kate suffer after her (potential) death and believe in Him, believe her punishment was justified, rather than allow Max to go 'Nuh-uh, not happening' and invalidate Kate's freedom to decide where she 'should' go after death. Once Kate jumped off that roof, her soul was no longer subject to the human world- only God, her God. As she believed should happen, even up to the moment of her death.
So God allowed free will to affect events during Kate's life, allowed Max to convince her to live. Freedom in life is a human thing, something everyone has. But when Max is like 'No, I decide what happens to her soul after death, not you and not Kate herself', God steps in to preserve the belief, the choices of His follower. Max can save Kate, just like any human could (try to, at least), but she can't do so supernaturally. She does not have the right to intervene in strictly Christian matters, as Kate's suicide became once/if it succeeded.
Chloe, on the other hand, isn't subject to any god- so Max can save her artificially, by rewinding. The only thing trying to keep Chloe dead is time itself (as personified by Arcadia's various natural disasters).
- Because, as we all know, a famous celebrity would never abuse vulnerable young people, and would never use their power and influence to gain access to them. And if they did, of course they would never, ever justify their continuous contact with their preferred victim pool by saying that they want to help and encourage them.
- Kinda like the Roy Burns to Jefferson's Jason Voorhees.
- Including a scene where he machetes Zombie Mark Jefferson in the eye enough to reach Zombie Mark Jefferson's brain.
- Given that the backtalk mechanic is literally just a gamified way of Chloe trying to talk someone into something and not any sort of supernatural power (take away the UI and it's basically the same as Max trying to talk down Kate at the end of LiS's second episode), this is literally true. If you look at her conversation with Nathan when she's first introduced, it plays out a lot like a failed backtalk attempt (Chloe lays into him to try and pressure him into giving her what she wants, but says the wrong thing, which sets him off).
- Chloe spews pheromones while back talking due to an innate genetic ability. This ability will be isolated and refined into the CASIE Aug.
- Seems I was mostly right, though I didn't predict the that she would shift to timelines other than those of the two game endings.
- They could also use the scrapped "Hospital Ending", where Chloe gets shot, but ends up comatose in a hospital instead of dying.
My guess is that Daniel is the one with the powers, and that he used his powers to kill the police to protect his older brother after a misunderstanding (no doubt fueled by racial profiling) caused them to draw weapons on him. However, Daniel is too young to understand the repercussions of his actions, and doesn't know that he killed anyone — but Sean does. Throughout the story, Sean's actions will determine how Daniel will take this news when it eventually breaks: whether he resolves to become a superhero (after spending time with Chris) or supervillain, or rejects his powers completely.
- Rejecting his powers will be considered the "mature" choice.
- Continuing off this, in the event Daniel doesn't take the news well, Sean may have to choose whether to kill Daniel to stop him from unleashing a Chronicle-esque cataclysm, as a nod to the final choice of the first game.
Also, since she uses the photo she took in the bathroom to go back, she still used her power twice within the game's seen timeline - the photo she has would have been taken after she went back to the classroom the first time and fixed her camera to test her powers.
Going back to undo her major actions at the time may have been close enough to slow down the environmental changes that messing with time caused (assuming that even was the direct cause; it's just a theory posited by characters), but it's still an altered timeline. Even if the vision was a warning about her coming powers and the uses before she took that photo have minor immediate effects, she's been shown to retain her original memories when she uses her powers. She knows things she shouldn't and it would be almost impossible for her to completely act like she doesn't.
Something will almost certainly be different in this timeline. Her frequent use of the ability may have hastened the storm (or possibly made it worse, in some way, though it doesn't look any smaller in that original vision), but even in the ending where she tries to fix it, it's still coming eventually.