Welcome to the final part of my Life Is Strange Babblethrough series of posts!
Whoa… that ending to Episode 4 really stays with you, eh? Things go completely insane in this final episode so hold on to your keyboards/smartphones, internet. It’s quite a freaking ride!
!!!MAJOR FREAKING SPOILER WARNING!!! This is one of those games where the less you know the better. I’m about to ruin everything by summarizing it so STOP AND READ NO MORE, if you have plans to play this someday. You have been warned.
Oh, boy… who would’ve guessed that the handsome and famous photography teacher is a twisted freaking psychopath? Yep. That twist really shocked me, for sure! Anyway, poor Max wakes up tied to a chair in that creepy underground dark room place. Her BFF Chloe has been shot dead, unconscious Victoria is bound beside her, she finds a drugged out picture of herself on a cart beside her, and she vows to make Mr. Jefferson pay for all of this.
Max manages to kick the cart over and use that photo to travel back in time to that point, but it isn’t very useful since she’s drugged and being photographed by psycho photographer… sick.
Jefferson spouts off about how Max is the perfect subject and gets angry at her for ruining his shot when she stirs. Later when she’s fully awake again, he babbles on about how Nathan was his sick little protege (Jefferson used him and his parents to pay for the dark room), Nathan accidentally killed Rachel with an overdose of the knock out drug, and few students are good enough to be his “models” (Victoria is soon to be disposed of).
Jefferson also loved Rachel as a subject and was super pissed at Nathan for killing her (“Now the police will never find his body”… yikes). He is planning to kill Max after her shoot as well, saying everyone will care about her death. Max’s last request is to see her diary, and lucky for her, it’s open to the selfie shot she took at the very start of the game when it’s thrown at her feet. Yep! Back to the very beginning we go. Phew.
Back to day 1, Max vows that no one will kill Chloe again and makes her way Mr. Jefferson after class (making sure to give now alive again Kate a huge hug and encouraging words on her way over). She confidently submits her photo for the contest. Then the game shows how Mr. Jefferson gets arrested and Max wins the trip to the art show in San Francisco. Next she’s on the plane talking with the principal who gets to go with her.
At the gallery, people praise Max’s selfie work. She also chats to the principal for a bit about Nathan and Jefferson being in jail, plus Nathan’s father is being investigated for corruption (HA! Karma is king).
Suddenly, Max has another tornado vision and has a frantic phone chat with Chloe back in Arcadia Bay. Oh that tornado sure came, and it murdered everything (apparent when Chloe suddenly goes silent). Max obviously can’t live with this and uses her selfie shot to jump back to a day before everything. She has, like, a double nosebleed but pushes forward. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get very far when reality starts breaking apart.
So, I guess Mr. Jefferson in timeline #1 burned her diary, sending her right back to the precarious dark room situation. Yeah. I’m not even gonna try to wrap my head around the logic of that time paradox, but it happened. As Jefferson is about to give Max the final (and fatal) dose of the drug, step-douche… I mean, David storms in to save the day! Sorta. Basically, you have to call out things in the right order so Mr. Jefferson doesn’t murder him. Took me a few rewinds, that’s for sure.
David is really worried about Max and unties her. What a nice guy after all! I’m honest with him about how Mr. Jefferson killed Chloe and David loses it, shooting unconscious Jefferson in the head. Well, I can’t say psycho photographer didn’t deserve that, but David certainly doesn’t deserve the burden of living with that choice. He thought of Chloe like his flesh and blood daughter. Aw 😦
David blames himself for not protecting Chloe and Max comforts him. She thanks David for saving her then speeds off into the storm ravaged town. On the drive over, Max notices she has a message from remorseful Nathan. He says he’s sorry for everything and warns her Mr. Jefferson is after her next. Little too late, dude.
Max fights through the storm to get to the diner where Joyce and Warren are holed up. Warren happens to be in possession of the selfie shot he took on the night of the Vortex Club pool party, and Max really wants to stare at it for a moment for you know, important time traveling reasons. Max saves a few folks and sees an exploded whale on the way. And no, that’s not even close to the strangest thing that will happen in this chapter, let me tell you.
In the diner, Max confesses to Warren about her powers and he believes her. He also offers a theory that Max’s time manipulation might possibly be causing chain reactions and whatnot. He wishes her luck on the journey and they hug before Max takes the selfie time plunge.
Back on Vortex Club pool party night with Chloe outside, Max warns Chloe about everything and they DO NOT go to the junkyard. Instead, they opt to tell David everything and all seems to be well, right? Flash forward to the shoreline in the middle of the storm, and Chloe embraces Max saying she did it. Yay? What’s happening?? I don’t know exactly, but the celebration is cut short when Max blacks out and goes on a crazy trip through the shattered timeline.
First it’s the day 1 classroom with Mr. Jefferson taunting her. Second it’s the dorms with Kate blaming Max for her suicide. Third, it’s the high school hallway with music and everything running backwards (even the on screen UI words are backwards “Look” was “Kool” for example… nice touch, developers). Fourth is a stealth section in a shattered art gallery area with multiple flashlight wielding Mr. Jeffersons to avoid. This leads into a shattered junkyard area with multiple secondary characters to avoid and bottles to gather for a photo op.
Max sits down on a bench at the base of the lighthouse in the weird shattered area. This shifts her to a snow globe in the past with giant young Chloe, young Max, and William around her.
Then we’re back in the dark room and bound Max witnesses Chloe making out with various characters and blaming her for everything. Nope. I still don’t know WTF is happening. Time’s gone crazy, man.
Next Max find herself locked in the washroom with a ton of codes written on the walls. To get the code that opens the door, you have to look for the one that’s visible in the mirror. Neat, eh? Boom! Door leads to diner and Max has a chat with, well, Max. I’ll just say I think meta self-depreciation happened there. Oh and did I mention I have no idea what’s happening anymore? The final stretch is reliving some of the beautiful BFF Chloe and Max moments. After that, thankfully, Max wakes up on present storm day with the final choice incoming.
Max realizes she is the cause of the storm. By saving Chloe on day 1 in the washroom, she changed fate and destiny, altering the course of everything (or something epic sounding like that). Chloe happens to have that butterfly photo and grimly informs Max the only way to set things right is to go back and let her die in the washroom.
Chloe thanks Max for all the times she made her smile and all that emotional stuff. Then I’m left with the big final prompt: Sacrifice Chloe or Sacrifice Arcadia Bay. Ugh! This choice SUCKS for so many reasons. And either option pretty much makes the entire game up to this point meaningless, no? It was hard but I made my choice…
Yep. I selfishly chose to save Chloe, thus letting the town get destroyed by the time triggered tornado. Fight me, needs of the many folks! Ahem. Chloe and Max drive off into the sunset to presumably start a new life together. And that’s that. Life was strange, indeed.
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡
If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!