Life is Strange EP6: Hella Wowzers!

By Shamus Posted Friday Apr 21, 2017

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 111 comments

Link (YouTube)

The scenes with David are really hard for me to watch. This stuff with unjust, overbearing, sanctimonious adults in positions of power is a little too real for me. I’m kinda glad I skipped this game now. I give the game full marks for being emotionally affecting, but these aren’t really emotions I care to feel.


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111 thoughts on “Life is Strange EP6: Hella Wowzers!

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Today Ive learned how a dead skunk smells.Thanks Rutskarn.

    1. Son of Valhalla says:

      Pot smells way worse. And almost everyone I know smokes it in my apartment complex too. It’s somewhat obnoxious, actually.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Maybe the smell varies by strain of weed? The stuff I’ve smelled walking around my town smells more mild than skunk. It still smells like skunk though, or like tomato leaves. Campster, that might be the closest easily accesible smell for you to relate to – smell somebody’s garden tomato’s leaves, and imagine it slightly more like skunk / harsher.

        1. Christopher says:

          Look, if I’ve never smelled weed and I’ve never smelled a skunk, is there some other thing they both smell like?

          1. Syal says:

            …A bag of incense dipped in gasoline?

            Although you should really get out there and smell a skunk. You’re missing out, man!

            1. Son of Valhalla says:

              This is the best example I’ve heard of regarding the smell of pot/weed.

              Except incense standalone smells a little better.

          2. Neil D says:

            Skunk isn’t too far off from burning rubber.

          3. Steve C says:

            Christopher, take it with a grain of salt (smelling salts?). I have smelled both and I do not think they smell alike. Not at all. And I frequently smell skunk. Skunks are very common where I live.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This stuff with unjust, overbearing, sanctimonious adults in positions of power is a little too real for me.

    Except he is not unjust with Chloe.She was smoking weed,and she did take his gun,and she can get herself shot just like he fears.Can you really blame him when he constantly has to deal with her?

    Heck,it turns out later that him being paranoid about every kid using drugs is actually true,because every kid here IS using drugs.Its hilarious.Give him whacky sunglasses,have a famous wrestler to play him,and youll get a movie in which he would be the protagonist.

    1. Phantos says:

      It’s one of those things where the game gives a justification for it later, but that’s of no solace to me right now, when he just looks like he’s being an asshole for no reason.

      I don’t know why it bugs me so much when stories require faith from the audience, that an initially abrasive character will be redeemed. Maybe because when that sort-of redemption arc kicks in, it can feel less like something that was planned all along, and more like a last-minute arse-pull from people just making it up as they go along?

      I don’t know. But there is something about it that kind of drives me insane. It almost feels like a dirty move for an author to take. Something low or inelegant. Or like the person telling the story is somehow cheating.

      I don’t know if I make any sense, but even after I should have empathized with David I still felt rubbed the wrong way by the writers.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well with chloe it shows you that he was right practically immediately.

        As for why it bugs you,maybe you think that the game compared you to a prejudiced asshole like david?Because judging him without knowing the full story is exactly the thing he is shown as doing.Its kind of a nasty trick to pull on your audience.And I like it precisely because of its brutality.

        1. Ivellius says:

          I generally agree with this sentiment. Chloe’s already proven to be a marijuana user when David comes in, and the gun comes out right after.

      2. Thomas says:

        I don’t really feel that David gets redeemed, fairly early on you learn that David’s had a ton of issues in his own life and Joyce sees something worthwhile in him.

        David and Chloe are two screw-ups, who are absolutely the worst people to be around each other. David makes Chloe more reckless and wild, Chloe makes David more controlling and less controlled. David’s also in a job that brings out the worst in him and generally doesn’t make his life very happy or allow him to not make other people’s lives miserable.

        I don’t think any of that ever changes. He doesn’t get less screwed up. I guess you get more opportunities to see him not through Chloe’s eyes, but I don’t think there’s much that wasn’t clear by like episode 2, and I don’t think he ever becomes a person who isn’t making the people around him miserable. Even in episode 5 he was still causing some havoc. I think I’m more sad about David than I am about Chloe, because it’s hard to imagine a world where David is happy. – We get to see whats maybe the better position for him later on, and he’s miserable there too.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Absolutely, in fact I’d go so far as to say that despite her protests Chloe is at least to some extent digging for confrontation. Not saying she specifically tried to lure David upstairs with the loud music, but the reason she is not worried about smoking weed in the house (not on this specific occasion but in general) is because if she doesn’t get caught it’s not a problem but if she gets caught it gives her the opportunity to lash out.

    3. Chris says:

      I mean, on one hand, yeah, Chloe is a rebellious teen that clearly has issues. And yeah, there’s obviously a lot of bad stuff going on at that school.

      On the other, he slaps his adopted daughter across the face mid-sentence if you don’t step out of the closet like we did. He’s got cameras hidden in his family’s bedrooms without their knowledge. He’s harassing a kid at school who was just drugged and sexually assaulted. Like, in no way is it unfair to criticize David. He ends up in a more sympathetic light towards the end of the game and he starts the game a little too cartoonishly evil, but he’s not a “good guy.”

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        He isnt an evil guy either.He is just a guy.A regular joe average with issues,like every other joe average.He deals with his issues badly,just like every other joe average.

        And honestly,I think thats the strength of this game.It introduces you to a bunch of characters by showing you just one of their sides,lets you pidgeonhole them into neat black and white boxes,and then starts pulling the rug under you by constantly showing you nuances for almost all of them(the principal can still get fucked,drunken money grubbing asshole).

        1. Chris says:

          He deals with his issues badly,just like every other joe average.

          I’m pretty sure average people don’t deal with their issues through physical violence, wiretapping their family, and harassing sexual assault victims when in positions of authority that demand they help them.

          David is not a complicated, nuanced look at a guy with ups and downs. He’s basically shown as a caricature of a villain in the first few episodes, then ends the series as a well-meaning but inept jerk whose over-the-top militarism still couldn’t prevent the awful things happening around him. He is brought low and humbled by his failure, and he’s a bit sad, but he is in no way redeemed.

          1. Christopher says:

            The way this game treats its villains is pretty weird. They’re all caricatures that don’t feel true to life to me in the way Warren does. Then with the exception of the true vilain, they all get their little sympathetic moments at the very end(I think David’s is pretty great, not so much Nathan’s).

            Frank is probably my favorite. He actually doesn’t feel like a caricature to me.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              I sympathized with nathan so much ever since I found out he was actually a diagnosed schizophrenic.But thats just me,because I had personal contact with schizophrenia sufferers.And I just felt so sorry for him for having such a father,because there is nothing worse for someone who has a mental illness than to have parents pushing for them to be normal so hard that they dont get proper treatment and care.Especially when its done for the image of the family.

            2. Phantos says:

              It’s funny how it can feel like it’s not “true to life” like you said, even though people like that(and WORSE!) totally do exist.

              Maybe I’m just treating fiction as an escape from that stuff, and I resent being reminded of it?

              1. Christopher says:

                In the specific case of this game, I think it’s because the villains are these stereotypes. Bratty, self-absorbed rich son of wealthy family. Snooty, posh queen bee. Strict ex-military evil step-father who still thinks he’s in the army. I absolutely think people like them exist, but beyond me just never having encountered people like that in my life, they are these tropes that feel so common to.. I dunno, fiction in general? And especially fiction geared towards young people. Judging by how every one of them gets redeeming scenes I think the intention was to show them looking shallow and then take a deeper dive into what makes them tick. But that ends up making them look super flat for most of the runtime of the story while characters like Chloe, Joyce and Warren feel more realized as people I can recognize from my own life. I don’t feel like they started with stereotypes and then worked on explaining their outlandish behavior, like with the villains.

                I’m not gonna sit here and spoil who the final villain is, but I will say that when they’re eventually revealed they turn into a Batman villain. It’s bizarre. I wonder if it’s just a mystery story problem in general. You have to keep the villain’s identity hidden, so they can’t be too obviously evil, but you want to keep them close to the protagonist. So in a lot of cases their true personality is completely wacky and only comes out at the very end, which makes the whole thing feel crazy. Persona 4’s vilain is particularly funny to me because he just started saying bitch a lot while smirking in an ugly way.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I dare you to find me a single human anywhere in the world that never harmed themselves or someone who was simply near them at the time when they were dealing with a shitty situation.Ok,surveillance may not be that common*,but lashing out at others both verbally and physically is.Its not good,its not just,but it is how humans react when taken to their breaking point,because humans are like that.

            *Though if you count stuff like following your significant other when you suspect they may be cheating you,or reading through their messages,surveillance skyrockets up to one of the common things frustrated people do.

            1. Chris says:

              This is where framing is important. Maybe if we got to spend time with David these events could be seen as sympathetic. If we saw him get discharged from the army for whatever reason, maybe even unjustly. See his anger build as his world that used to be so controlled and regimented spiraled into chaos. Watch him as he tries to restore order in the only way he knows how: through military means. Then see this brat kid come into his home come to embody the chaos of the world he’s fighting against… and in a particularly passionate moment he snaps. Then maybe, maybe the events happening would be framed in a way that paints David as flawed-but-sympathetic.

              But we would need that time to get into David’s headspace to understand and excuse the transgressions, framing that encourages us to empathize with a monster despite him doing monstrous things. We don’t get any of that. We get a lovely afternoon with Chloe and Max cut short when Max finds out David is recording them without their knoeldge, and then he comes home and hits her. We are watching a dad physically and psychologically assault his family, and with absolutely no effort to excuse or contextualize what he’s going through. The framing makes him out to be nothing more than a paper-thin villain, not an everyman baring the weight of the world on his shoulders.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                No,he does not assault his family.He lashes out at his step daughter because she did something dangerous,is lying about it,is most likely going to injure someone(and pretty soon,she does),and is deliberately antagonizing him(because he dared to try and replace her father).And considering how just after that scene,that same stupid teen sneaks out,even the surveillance is justified.Theres nothing monstrous about his actions,unless you apply an oversimplified morality of a 50s psa cartoon to this game.And considering that we are already introduced to kidnapping,murder and possible rape,you most certainly should not.Calling his behavior rash and wrong,that I agree with.But monstrous and unjustified?Definitely not.

                1. Chris says:

                  I am not sure how to argue with someone unironically arguing a father has a right to record his children’s bedrooms without their knowledge, or that a grown man smacking an 18 year old girl across the face mid-sentence is “just lashing out.”

                  Also you conveniently left out the whole “harassing of a sexual assault victim that his job, by definition, means helping.”

                  Also, you are working really hard to turn Chloe into a villain here, which is weird, because Chloe does get the benefit of all that framing stuff I was talking about. Like, yeah, Chloe steals a gun. That’s totes wrong, kids! And she does drugs! Probably something not to emulate! And she sneaks out without her parents’ permission! Well, I mean, she’s 18-19, I kind of can’t really fault her much for that one. But still! She hides at a landfill to avoid her drug dealer whom she owes money to and she is willing to steal from wheelchair kids to get it. This, admittedly, is not a great look.

                  But because we spend time with her we can empathize. She saves us from Nathan, we talk to her in the car ride over, we look at photos that give us the context of her and Max’s relationship, we chill in her bedroom. We get to see the good in her in addition to the bad. She’s a deeply flawed but rounded character. The game never gives us that with David, who really is just a collection of bad actions and fail. Which is what makes this entire conversation absolutely bonkers Bizarroland stuff to me.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    I am not sure how to argue with someone unironically arguing

                    Dont go there,please.Dont go down the “I am morally superior than you” route.Nothing good comes out of that.

                    a father has a right to record his children's bedrooms without their knowledge,

                    Never said that its right(in fact I specifically said that its wrong),I said its justifiable.Theres a huge difference.You can have a justifiable reason to do something,even when what you are doing is wrong.Thats what differentiates a human being from a cartoon villain.And whether that justification is going to be accepted by other people,thats also a completely separate issue(obviously others do not accept justification for davids actions,not joyce,not the principal,not the majority of players).

                    Also,this game is set in a country where this exist.Legally.For 20 years now.So whether I think its right or not is irrelevant,because the country where this game is set in does.

                    or that a grown man smacking an 18 year old girl across the face mid-sentence is “just lashing out.”

                    Again,just lashing out does not mean its right,but it is justifiable.Her age does not matter,whether she is 5 or 55,she stole a gun and is most likely to do something dumb with it.Being angry and afraid in such a situation is justifiable.

                    And once more,this game is set in a country where even the legal system differentiates between crimes of passion and malicious crimes.So even in this setting there is a clear distinction between actual physical abuse and lashing out in a fit of rage.

                    Also you conveniently left out the whole “harassing of a sexual assault victim that his job, by definition, means helping.”

                    I did not.I already said that he is correct in assuming that everyone in that school is using drugs,because everyone in that school IS using illegal drugs.Even kate.So him pressing her for information about drugs is justifiable.Again,not right,justifiable.And its wrong not only morally because she is a victim of a different crime,but also legally because his job is not to police and interrogate these students.

                    Also, you are working really hard to turn Chloe into a villain here

                    No,I am not.Its just that everyone accepts justification for her actions with much more ease,so there really is no need for me to defend her.But like david,she too does wrong things,both morally and legally,and she too has justification for them(I even mentioned those numerous times).The only difference is that people(both in game and out of it) accept her justifications and reject his.I think thats a bit unjust.David deserves as much of a second chance as chloe.

                    But because we spend time with her we can empathize.

                    And also one more very important thing that you didnt notice,even while you were doing it in that very post:She is much younger than him.Its a socially accepted norm to say “dumb teenager,doesnt know any better”.Heck,even I accept that.I too would be more lenient to a teen who shoot herself than to a 40 something who slapped her for it.And thats with everything Ive written above.It took a really long time for me to reach the above conclusion that that is not fair.

                    1. Chris says:

                      David does not have justification for any of this. At all. My whole point is that the game spends time with Chloe and develops her as a character, and that makes her failings sympathetic. That is a big part of why her failings are excused. David exists as a tertiary character who, especially at the beginning of the game, comes in and does some jerk things with absolutely no effort from the game to give them context or make you think about them as anything other than awful. This effectively frames him as villainous.

                      We don’t see his trauma from the service, we don’t see his struggles post-army, we don’t see him quietly and graciously struggling to piece his life together despite losing it once in a while. That stuff would give us context to understand and empathize with him, and perhaps understand how and why he has failings. Instead, we just see him: 1. Harass a sexual assault victim. 2. Slap his adopted daughter. 3. Spy on his whole family and possibly the whole school without consent. Nothing in the text of this game frames any of this as good. He doesn’t save the day. He doesn’t recant his old ways. He barely has any emotion when he is forced to apologize for hitting Chloe and admit that maybe he went too far. We don’t see pretty much any tender moments with him other than the very, very end. The game frames him as a villain. A sad, pathetic villain, but a villain. Full stop.

                      And for the record: This whole conversation has a creepy subtext of justifying what is textbook abusive behavior just to make sure we put a blue-haired hipster girl in her place, which is super skeezy.

                    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      David does not have justification for any of this. At all.

                      Well ok then,if you are going to ignore everything,you are correct.

                      And for the record: This whole conversation has a creepy subtext of justifying what is textbook abusive behavior just to make sure we put a blue-haired hipster girl in her place, which is super skeezy.

                      *sigh*Really disappointing.Think what you will,I obviously wont change your prejudice.

                    3. Ivellius says:

                      We do see a lot of the stuff that makes David sympathetic. He does a terrible job showing it, but he cares a lot about Chloe (if for no other reason than she’s Joyce’s daughter) and the students under his supervision. He knows something is going on with the Vortex Club and probably even suspects that his daughter’s ex-girlfriend is dead.

                      And Chloe is really awful to him, gaslighting him as soon as he comes home, lying persistently, stealing from him… yes, she’s immature and stupid, but she knows that she’s antagonizing him. She’s old enough to know better.

                      This doesn’t make what David did (in some timelines) not reprehensible, but it’s understandable, and I do think he regrets it immediately. If we excuse Nathan’s misdeeds (and really, who doesn’t?), I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we can be sympathetic to a screw-up affected by PTSD.

                    4. Henson says:

                      I get the feeling that the two of you are, to some extent, having two different conversations. Daemien is arguing that David’s actions are not villainous because Chloe does do some destructive things, and David knows it. Chris is arguing that the game is framing David as villainous given the things it chooses to show us and the perspective we have. It’s kinda like the difference between Worldbuilding and Narrative. David’s villainy may depend on whether you look at the circumstances of the story or how the story is presented to an audience.

                    5. Shamus says:

                      Henson’s comment is really insightful. This is my take on it as well.

                    6. Ivellius says:

                      Chris is arguing that the game is framing David as villainous given the things it chooses to show us and the perspective we have.

                      Maybe, but Chris went too far with his comments. I think the game absolutely does frame David as someone who’s well-intentioned, at least once you get past the first episode.

                      And he definitely gets a “saves the day” moment in the last episode, even if he botches that a little.

                  2. Redrock says:

                    I get the feeling that the developers actually intended to make David a bit more complex than he actually turned out to be, pretty much like they did with Nathan. But while the revelations about Nathan actually work to make us retroactively re-evaluate at least some of his actions in the later episodes, it doesn’t work all that well for David. The game tries – there is David’s letter to Joyce and other things, indicators that he genuinely cares for Joyce and Chloe, hints at PTSD or something similar. But, yeah, even if he is not straight up evil, he is still a clearly unhinged screw-up. But I still suspect that they intended to make him more complex and just failed at that.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Considering that depending on their experiences,different players accept and reject both david and nathan in all of the various combinations,the game does seem to be a bit sparse with its hints about them(and the other characters).Whether the game requires you to think a bit(a long bit sometimes)about all of its clues on purpose or not,thats hard to say.Im inclined to give the developers the benefit of the doubt and say that they deliberately left the clues sparse and vague in order to make it a bit harder to figure out everything.

                      Although,considering that ending….

              2. Steve C says:

                Then see this brat kid come into his home come to embody the chaos of the world he's fighting against…

                It’s worse than that. It’s David who has come into Chloe’s home. Chloe who has lived in that house for years with her real father. From Chloe’s perspective it is not his home. David just lives there. It is the step-father that has come into the home against her wishes and is assuming the role her of her dead father. He can’t even the give the “I pay the bills around here!” trope. Max finds the bills and they are not being paid. David does not have guardianship over Chloe unless her mother went through some extra legal steps to specifically authorize it and she is young enough.

                David is demanding respect he hasn’t earned using authority he does not have. If Chloe is 19 (I thought she was younger) the most she is to him legally is a roommate.

          3. Ivellius says:

            I really don’t think David knows about what happened with Kate, exactly, and I think I feel more sympathetic believing that he hasn’t seen her video than if he had.

            He shouldn’t hit Chloe, and he shouldn’t have cameras all around the house (does it show the bedrooms? I don’t remember), but he’s also pretty sure there’s a murderer on the loose if I’m remembering the details of this story correctly and what he should know at this point.

            A lot of this is with the benefit of hindsight–I missed some of the details Josh picked up in this playthrough in the garage and David and Joyce’s room, but I’m not upset at the game for having more depth to someone who’s initially shown in the worst light.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              He doesnt know about kate.He just sees that there is a student who acts weirdly(must be drugs!!).

              And Gruhunchously says that the cameras are actually placed only in places where david is usually being,so its more him being paranoid about his shit than keeping tabs on his family.Granted,he shouldve discussed it with joyce first,and she would probably allow him to do it.I mean she allows him to have a big gun cabinet already,so she does understand his need for security.

          4. Son of Valhalla says:

            Yeah, most average people don’t solve their problems through any physical violence. If it ever reaches a low point, it’s typically verbal.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Most average people dont smoke pot.So I guess whoever smokes it is a dastardly deviant who needs to be locked away forever.

              1. Viktor says:

                Pot doesn’t harm anyone. Smacking someone across the face does.

              2. Erik says:

                Actually, “most average people” do smoke pot. Poll response rates for “Have you tried pot” are now over 50% across the entire population, lower primarily among >65 year olds. Among the age range here, it’s a solid majority.

                Pick a different strawman.

                1. Syal says:

                  Most average people aren’t left-handed.

                2. Ninety-Three says:

                  “Have tried” is different from present tense “Do smoke”, don’t be disingenuous.

              3. topazwolf says:

                I normally don’t comment in these big chains, especially about a game that I found interesting without really liking all that much. But… what? Did you just defend physical violence (which is almost a universal bad thing to at least someone) by likening it to pot consumption?

                That is a very strange parallel my friend.

                1. Syal says:

                  Did you just defend physical violence (which is almost a universal bad thing to at least someone) by likening it to pot consumption?

                  Did you just imply that nobody could think pot consumption is a universally bad thing?

                  How about this one. “Most average people don’t steal lethal weapons”. Now we’re still talking about Chloe.

                  1. topazwolf says:

                    By universal, I meant that when it occurs at least one party involved is having and believing they are having a bad day. People who enjoy the pain are the outside consideration here. Typically, when pot consumption occurs the party involved is normally just the people consuming. I wasn’t referring to observers or anyone after the fact.

                    I did so to completely remove any political, religious, or moral beliefs from the statement. I simply wanted to point out how bizarre the comparison was. It was literally an apples and oranges scenario. As is to be expected when responding to something as broad as physical violence which is by definition an action that leaves a party damaged in some manner.

                    It just seemed odd to me which is what I stated.

                    As far as my implication went… Yeah pretty much. There are instances in which someone can smoke pot without anyone ever knowing and in which they can enjoy themselves which means it can’t be universally bad when seen from that person’s perspective. Thus the word universal. Since pot consumption can only be thought of as universally bad it isn’t really universally bad. Physical violence on the other hand is an action that hurts at least someone every time it happens. Thus, with the possible exception of people who enjoy the experience of pain which is a different conversation altogether, means that it universally causes a negative outcome and is therefore bad.

                    As a complete aside, I wasn’t really referring to the game at all. I never liked Chloe. Her own stupidity and inability to consider implications of actions is extremely annoying to me. I much prefer David and his faults. However, the fact still stands that David’s usage of physical violence caused a negative outcome in much the same way as many of Chloe’s decisions also cause negative outcomes. I’m not arguing between them. To me they’re both shitty people that I probably wouldn’t hang out with in real life.

                    1. Syal says:

                      means that it universally causes a negative outcome and is therefore bad.

                      Have to disagree. Yes they don’t like it; that’s true of any punishment. Pain is the most universal “don’t do this anymore” that you can get. It’s only universally bad if the concept of boundaries and punishments are universally bad.

                      I think the main peeve I’ve had with the thread so far is no one has offered an alternative approach. David’s approach is obviously counterproductive, but the presented alternative so far has been doing nothing.

                    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      There is no alternative at this point,sadly.The relationship between these two is doomed.Both chloe and david need therapy for their problems,but neither is willing or capable of going to one.This is merely a culmination of years of frustration with everything in their lives,including each other.

                    3. topazwolf says:

                      I can’t seem to reply directly, but here is my final reply on the matter (mostly so I can finally be the 100th comment).

                      David backhands Chloe in a fit of anger with enough force to forcefully turn her head and cause her to stumble. Punishment? Chloe is a grown woman and well past the stage of being spanked and besides which the kind of slap that David deals to Chloe would leave a mark that would last for a bit in the real world. It wasn’t a punishment it was a reaction. A violent explosion of anger that was instinctive to him.

                      However, the alternative is to not do that. Simple. I don’t believe that the house belongs to David as it belongs to Joyce so he cannot kick her out. He has no real authority over her besides what Joyce deems fit to give him. Therefore, he shouldn’t do anything about Chloe beyond telling Joyce. Chloe is more or less his roommate. You aren’t allowed to go around smacking your roommates because you don’t like their behavior. You live with it and maybe try to get the landlord to do something. Because that’s how life works.

                      The only real alternative David has is to do nothing which is why no one has suggested anything else. That is the option he should chose. Joyce is the one who needs to do something. Though in reality the best thing to happen would be for Chloe to move away (like she wanted to), experience a more free life (and hopefully come to appreciate her home and the people in it) and maybe get some therapy to deal with her abandonment issues and insecurity. David meanwhile needs to go to therapy to deal with his pent up fear and aggression that fuel his paranoia and desire for complete control.

                      To be realistic, the whole situation was just the writers looking for a way to inject a bit of drama by making the most extreme physical representation of a verbal fight’s climax without resulting in serious injury. A quick shorthand to represent the dramatic and unstable relationship between two characters that can later be expounded upon to create nuance in the game. Something that works well in media, but by no means should be replicated in real life.

                      EDIT: CURSES!! Someone stole my 100th comment. All my typing was for naught.

                    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      EDIT: CURSES!! Someone stole my 100th comment. All my typing was for naught.


                    5. Syal says:

                      David backhands Chloe in a fit of anger with enough force to forcefully turn her head and cause her to stumble.

                      That’s the specific situation, I’m objecting to the general. North Korea gave an American 30 years imprisonment for stealing a flag, and generally people don’t respond by saying nobody should ever be imprisoned.

                      I’m going entirely off this one episode, I have no idea what Joyce is expecting. That said, with Chloe living in the house I assume she’s expecting David to be a parent, and I can’t agree doing nothing is a proper choice when Chloe’s actions have already gotten her killed at this point.

            2. Syal says:

              The military spends a lot of time training people to solve problems through physical violence.

              1. Viktor says:

                True, and that’s a big problem. As one vet put it, “They spent 3 months turning me into a soldier and 3 hours turning me into a civilian.” There’s no way that doesn’t cause huge problems. But until we see a massive governmental shift in how they handle the military overall, that’s not going to change. David has been screwed by the govt, but he’s an adult, and therefore responsible for his own well-being. He needs to either get a handle on his issues or talk to a professional about them. Dude’s got 2 sources of health insurance, one of them should cover sessions with a counselor. If he doesn’t, then the consequences of his actions need to fall on him.

                1. Syal says:

                  I’m judging entirely by this Spoiler Warning episode, but David doesn’t strike me as a smart enough guy to think of solutions; he feels very grunt-military, waiting for someone to tell him what he should be doing. I think a good portion of the blame is going to have to fall on Joyce for allowing the current state of things; she should be pushing him to get help, or getting Chloe out of there.

      2. Gruhunchously says:

        All that said, he does apologize about slapping Chloe immediately after he does it. Obviously, it doesn’t excuse what he did in the slightest, and might even be just an act of self absolution, but it does at least show he’s aware that he’s out of line. I think that makes his sympathetic scenes he gets later on more plausible.

        He’s not a good guy by any means, and I’d agree that he’s a bit of a caricature at times, especially when he starts randomly interjecting military jargon into normal conversations, but I don’t think he’s as one-dimensional as all that

        (And he didn’t put surveillance in Chloe’s bedroom. Nor the bathroom, for that matter. He had it in the garage, the backyard, the living room, his own bedroom (???) and the kitchen, but not in Chloe’s room. Yeah, that’s some faint praise, but y’know.)

        1. Ivellius says:

          his own bedroom

          Well, presumably he’s not going to see anything he couldn’t see while actually there, though let’s hope Joyce isn’t having an affair at her house…

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Seeing how long it took her to go to david,doubtful.Also,joyce seems like a one man type of woman.

    4. Viktor says:

      Dude is physically abusive to a child under his control. That is not normal and not acceptable. Yes, he’s pissed. He’s also an adult, and as such is expected to be able to deal with his issues in a way that isn’t hitting a child. He needs to be arrested. And that’s before we get into him having cameras hidden in a teenage girl’s bedroom.

      Yes, Chloe is out of control, smoking pot, and completely ignoring authority figures. That’s basically been the definition of “teenager” for as long as there have been teenagers. If he can’t handle that like a reasonable person, he should never have gotten involved with Chloe’s mom.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Chloe is not a child,she is 19.And he is not physically abusive,he slapped her once.That is not a good thing,but it most definitely is not abuse,let alone something a person should be arrested for.

        Also,a reasonable person is someone who is going to let an irresponsible teen steal a fire arm and shoot from it?I really doubt that.

        1. Viktor says:

          I’m curious what the game would have to do to show you that he’s abusive. He shows up, yells at the clearly-terrified Chloe, hits her, denies her any privacy, and none of this is treated as an unusual thing for him to do. This dude hits the emotional/sexual/physical abuse trifecta, and you’re saying it’s perfectly normal? Even his “I’m sorry” sounds exactly like how every abuser justifies their abuse. “I’m not a bad person, you just made me angry, therefore you deserve it, and this upsets me, proving what a good person I am.”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Read all of the above.Or just read this summary:

            As Gruhunchously says,he does not spy her room or the bathroom,only the places he visits(“Somones gonna steal my shit!”),so you put sexually there just to make him into a monster,which he isnt.Theres that prejudice I mentioned in the beginning.

            And as Ive mentioned in response to Chris,even the legal system of the country the game is set in recognizes the difference between crimes of passion and crimes of malice.Abuse is when you mentally or physically harm someone out of malice.What david does here is out of fear and rage.She stole his gun,which she wouldnt handle responsibly even sober,let alone high as she is now.His remorse is genuine.And like the saying goes “Road to hell is paved with good intentions”.He doesnt want chloe to hurt herself(or someone else)with that gun,so he ends up hurting her himself.It makes him a bad father,but not a monster you are trying to portray him as.

            1. Viktor says:

              …I don’t know where you got that definition of abuse, but no. Abuse is using a position of superior power over someone else to hurt them, probably repeatedly.

              Look at our interactions with this guy. We see him browbeating a traumatized kid he’s supposed to protect, we see him spying on his family, and we see him smack his stepdaughter for mouthing off while he’s yelling at her. That is 100% a point where a bystander needs to call the cops. We’re past “warning signs of an abuser”, there is definite emotional and physical abuse going on. I don’t care about his reasons, dude is an adult, he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

            2. Mike Andersen says:

              And as Ive mentioned in response to Chris,even the legal system of the country the game is set in recognizes the difference between crimes of passion and crimes of malice.

              It still treats both as crime, though. The context can be taken into account without dismissing the severity of the action. We can say ‘these circumstances may explain this behaviour’ and also say ‘this behaviour is not acceptable’.

        2. Phantos says:

          “he only slapped her once”

          Really, dude? THAT’S the stance you want to take in front of an audience that sees and hears you?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Yes,it is.Read all of the above before jumping to any more conclusions.

            1. Tom says:

              I’ve read this entire thread, I don’t comment often at all, but I really think you need to consider why so many people are responding with horror to the things that you are writing.

              To anyone else reading I want to make it clear that the views being expressed here are not common. If you are assaulted by someone in a position of trust or authority please seek help and do not allow yourself to consider it “justified” in any way by your own actions. Nobody gets a free pass to assault you, it does not matter if it was “just once” or if you “made them”. You didn’t make them. These are the tactics of abusers and it is absolutely not your fault. Please focus on the number of people in this thread acknowledging this. Society is full of people who have your back.

              The same applies to being recorded without your consent. Do not stand for this. Seek help if this happens and do not tolerate it. Do not accept pathetic qualifications or excuses about when or how you were recorded without your permission. This is abusive. Society as a whole views it as such. We will side with you.

              I feel it’s really important to make these things absolutely clear given some of the exchanges above. These days help with this sort of thing is closer than it has ever been, but you have to take the first step and contact someone.

              1. Henson says:

                I think the problem comes from Daemian’s unfortunate use of the word ‘justified’; it’s a confusion with language. In brief, I think it’s clear that what he means by the word ‘justified’ is not what most people associate with it. This makes people think that he is condoning violence and invasion of privacy, when actually he is not.

                To elaborate: his use of ‘justified’ is less about “this is a morally good position” and more about “this is an understandable and non-malicious action”. You can see this from Daemian’s explanations on how David’s actions are not morally good. To quote:

                Never said that its right(in fact I specifically said that its wrong),I said its justifiable.Theres a huge difference.You can have a justifiable reason to do something,even when what you are doing is wrong.Thats what differentiates a human being from a cartoon villain.And whether that justification is going to be accepted by other people,thats also a completely separate issue(obviously others do not accept justification for davids actions,not joyce,not the principal,not the majority of players).

                So, in the David situation, Daemian’s argument seems to be “David’s actions are bad, but we can see how he is trying to do good”, and not “David’s actions are OK, even if I wouldn’t do them myself”. The word ‘justifiable’ is used to distinguish intent, not moral judgement.

                Daemian, I hope I have not misrepresented your arguments; if so, please let me know.

            2. Josh says:

              Fucking Christ.

            3. Teantacles says:

              Why is it you are at the center of this fucking shit EVERY FUCKING TIME? Like dude, take a fucking hint. You’re a morally repugnant jerkass and there’s a reason like 100 people come out of the woodwork to tell you so every time you pull this shit. Reevaluate your life. I hope to christ you never have kids or a significant other.

              1. Henson says:

                It’s clear that you consider him morally deficient, but the approach you’re taking rarely ever works. Shaming tactics are only effective from people that the target knows and respects; from anyone else, they only serve to increase animosity. If you wish to change his opinions, your best bet is through discussion and inquiry.

                I’ll hope you’ll pardon me for the unsolicited advice, but I really like the community here on Twenty Sided, and I feel that the kind of approach you’re using doesn’t make things better. Like Shamus says: don’t post angry.

    5. The Other Matt K says:

      I mean, for me, the choice of how to describe David was never between a ‘bad’ man vs a ‘good’ man, or between his actions being villainous vs being justified. What he is, ultimately, is a ‘broken’ man. He obviously came out of the service with issues, and he obviously has no idea how to act – either in society, or within a family.

      Joyce is clearly good for him – she sees the best in him, and helps bring it out. Chloe, on the other hand… Thomas described it well, with the two of them being terrible for each other. He absolutely is a bad parent, and he clearly knows it – I’m pretty sure there are conversations or notes you find that talk about how he obviously feels this obligation to protect Chloe, has no idea how to go about doing so, and everything he does to try and be a father clearly backfires and makes things worse.

      Again, this doesn’t justify the abuse or the surveillance. But it made me understand it, and helped him feel like a very interesting character (despite the somewhat cartoonish nature) – he isn’t a likeable person, he is a screw-up, he does bad things for bad reasons and lashes out at people that don’t deserve it. But he is trying to do the right thing, he is motivated by the drive to protect others. I liked how the game pieces together this picture of a flawed man, and the role that it lets him play in the story.

      1. Thomas says:

        Joyce being good for him might be the saddest part of all. Not only does she really help him out, but he’s actually somewhat good for her too and is able to make her happy. But none of the circumstance around that will let it work :(

        1. Gruhunchously says:

          It’s nice that if and when Joyce finds out about the surveillance in the house, she immediately puts her foot down and temporarily kicks him out of the house. While she clearly does care deeply about him, she’s not so enamored that she’s willing to let his worst tendencies go unchallenged. But she’s not so betrayed that she wants nothing more to do with him, seeing as how she’s still willing to talk things through with him afterwards. It’s a shame we never really get a glimpse at how their relationship develops from that point forward.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ive never done the other option,cuz like why would you do that?

    Because he is Peepants,scared of cardboard cutouts that have “Boo” written on them.How is he going to stand up to someone with actual authority?

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Since we’re talking choices, my Max stayed hidden. It was a fairly intuitive choice for me and I later found out I was quite pleased with the result. I think the fact that David actually hits Chloe in this scenario is really important to get the better image of his character, for me he was such an unconvincing distraction for a villain that I hesitate to call him a red herring.

      1. Christopher says:

        I forget what I did, but it ended up like this.

        Life is Strange isn’t the buggiest game I’ve played, but it’s got some issues. I played it on a 360, and while that machine could handle Metal Gear Solid V perfectly and it looked beautiful, Life is Strange had near-constant screen tearing.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          That is hella funny.

  4. Sleeping Dragon says:

    RE credits music: I think it was Dragon Age 2 credits that introduced me Florence and the Machine.

    Also, I’m with Chris on really liking the soundtrack for this game, and episode 4 (I think) has probably my favourite case of a song being amazingly appropriate for the narrative.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,the music in this game is really good.

    2. Theminimanx says:

      I’ll bite. Weight of the World from NieR: Automata’s ending E is probably my first choice, followed by the Nameless Song from Dark Souls.

      I think the reason these two immediately come to mind is that they’re some of the few credits songs that actually contribute to the story, rather than being a vaguely fitting standalone song. The Nameless Song acts as a good denouement of Dark Souls’ tone (probably moreso than the actual ending), while NieR’s is awesome for reasons that are full of spoilers.

      And I unironically love this game’s soundtrack. Great for listening to on the bus on a sunny day.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The best video games credit song obvious choice is dishonored honor for all.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I am dumb.Sorry,that is the SECOND best outro.The actual best is still alive from portal.Stupid me for forgetting that that was a video game song.

      1. Awetugiw says:

        I was almost about to reply to your comment about that. Refreshed and saw that you noticd it too. :-)

  6. Arakus says:

    Broforce theme is the best credits song IMO, love how OTT the lyrics are

    1. Christopher says:

      There are a lot of great credits themes out there. The first thing that comes to mind for me is Rescue Girl from Mighty Switch force. I would embed, but that seems like another function that’s on hold with the site design revamp.

      God Hand’s credits are great in a similar way. I’m just a sucker for those kind of silly vocal tracks as endings songs.

      1. Syal says:

        Obligatory All Hail Shadow.

        (When there’s nothing left to lose, yoouuu wiiinnn…)

    2. Sam Douglass says:

      My personal favourite is Memories of You from Persona 3. It’s the perfect bookmark to a really strong ending and it’s absolutely heart wrenching if you look up the lyrics:

  7. Benjamin Hilton says:

    slightly random, but slightly relevant:

  8. Parkhorse says:

    9mm revolvers are absolutely a thing, though they aren’t super common. Much more likely it was something like a .38 Special and the “only pro-gun if I’m holding the gun” teen didn’t know what she was talking about.

    Side note, this whole thing made me really hate Chloe. I mean, I understand the underlying issues, but… looking at her attitude on drugs and guns? Yeah, not a fan of her.

  9. Phantos says:

    People talkin’ ’bout great video game credits music…

    Must… resist… urge to… post Youtube links to dozens of staff roll tracks from various video games…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Do it.I dare you to post a dozen great songs.

      1. Son of Valhalla says:

        I second this dare.

      2. Phantos says:

        Dang it! You just had to go and twist my arm, didn’t ya?

        Now I’ve gone and spilled awesome credits themes from games all over Shamus’ blog!

        (Life Is Strange’s credits music is pretty good too, I ought to say.)

  10. Gruhunchously says:

    All the Time Lord jokes that this game tends to incite are pretty funny, considering that actual Time Lords don’t have the same kind of power Max does (well, most of them don’t).

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The original ones do.Even more than this.

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        Yeah, you got me. The original Time Lords could rewind time, stop time, erase people from existence, create alternate universes out of antimatter…it’s just hard to remember after 46 or so years of talented and not-so-talented people turning them into ineffectual buffoons, genocidal buffoons, or some combination of the two.

  11. Christopher says:

    Tornado Alley sounds like the third last place I’d wanna live after Tsunami Street and Volcano Corner.

    1. Ivellius says:

      Where does Hurricane Drive fit in?

      1. Christopher says:

        That sounds like fourth place to me, but I’m not actually sure which is stronger, a hurricane or a tornado.

        1. Viktor says:

          Hurricanes, by far. Tornados hit a town, hurricanes hit a state. Hurricanes also involve storm surges and much stronger winds. There’s tornado shelters, hurricanes you just evacuate the region.

          That said, humans have adapted to live anywhere. I’d take either storm over earthquakes, but look at the property values in California. People get used to anything. That’s why this winter worried me so much, the climate is becoming less predictable, which makes all those adaptations a lot less effective.

          1. Erik says:

            Tornados are even smaller than that, with a single spout less than a block wide.

            On the other hand, hurricane-force winds are on the order of 100mph+. Tornado winds can be 300+. Smaller, but much more destructive to anything they actually hit.

            Which is “stronger”? Depends how you define it.

      2. Philadelphus says:

        Here in Hawaii (on the Big Island, at least) we get hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. It’s a four-for-one deal! We also get tornadoes, but Hawaii is the 49th-lowest-ranked U.S. state in terms of tornado activity (though they have happened, they’re just rarer than any of the others).

  12. MichaelGC says:

    If we leave aside the suspiciously mechanically-convenient timings* of the different manifestations, would it be possible to argue that Max’s powers** vary in effect because at this early stage she doesn’t have full control of them? Like an X-Person who hasn’t yet met Patrick Stewart?

    *No pun intended.
    **With which no one snuggles.

    1. Christopher says:

      While she does learn to consistently do one new thing with her powers in addition to the short rewinds, all of her other time powers turn on and off whenever it’s convenient. I don’t think it’s an evolution of her powers as much as it’s keeping them as unclear as possible so they can be used for whatever.

      Max’ time powers really are bizarre in what they can do and what effects they have. I wish they had gone a bit harder on the supernatural mythos here. There’s some sort of spirit deer in this video and maybe that has something to do with it, but nothing is ever explained. I feel like the game would have benefited from putting a face behind the magic, at least then I’d know the whole thing was down to the whims of a local land god or alien invader or whatever.

      It was fine for me in stuff like Erased or Re: Zero when they never explained what exactly caused the time travel abilities for the main characters just because they were consistent with it. It always worked the same way. You die, you respawn, no big deal. So even without knowing anything about it, you could rely on it.

  13. Ander says:

    The dialog seems to get a bit more believable as the episodes go on (slang-wise).

  14. sona4 says:

    I admit that the military\cop parent thing is kinda a cliche, but at the same time it was largely true for me growing up and if you look at things like cops and military having insanely high domestic violence rates. The Chloe/David thing was just “yeah, been there.” for me.

  15. djshire says:

    I watched Alex Steacy and Cameron Lauder from LoadingReadyRun play this on a stream called Talking Simulator a few weeks ago.

    While last season for Until Dawn, Josh did an excellent job of saving everyone. But I’m worried about watching this season, as I’m already very invested in these characters.

    I have yet to watch a single episode of this season so far, and for 2 reasons:

    1) This might be hard to watch again so soon
    2) I’m worried that Josh is going to be Reginald Cuftbert in this

    So how is Josh playing this time….like last season…or like the season of say Fallout: New Vegas?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      He did save alyssa,and his choices do align with the majority choices of the people who finished this episode.So definitely not new vegas.

  16. Thomas says:

    This maybe the first time I’m feeling more positive about a game during a spoiler warning (maybe Mass Effect 1)?

    I’ve always pegged DONTNOD as developers with their hearts in the right place but without all the skill of bigger developers. Their games are always interesting, buy I’d always assumed Life is Strange was a beautiful fluke.

    Seeing how much people are empathising with some of these situations is making me think they might be better writers than I gave them credit for.

  17. Thomas says:

    I agree some of David’s lines – his military ones – are awful, but he’s also got some wonderful ones.

    In this episode he goes ‘Don’t get smart with m- … just open the door now’ and I’ve seen that so often with angry people where they can feel themselves about to blow their lid with someone but visibly suck it in and try to refocus on the reason for the conversation. To be fair, its much the voice acting capturing that as the writing.

  18. James says:

    The best video game music/credits is of course Doom. in the words of Id. GET PSYCHED!

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