View Full Version : A Process of Learning - Fan Theory [Spoilers]

25th May 2015, 21:51
'You need to let Chloe die in order stop the tornado'

This pretty much sums up what almost everybody thinks of the ending or at least has thought of once.
To be honest, yes, this is very likely and does make a lot of sense along with the most popular theories.

There is one question that is driving me crazy while reading and thinking about theories though:
Will there be a single ending with a few alternative circumstances or will there be completely different endings?

If it's the first option we'll get, reading about all those endings which involve Chloe being shot by Nathan, is pretty depressing.
We all love Chloe and I don't know if there are enough tissues around the world to handle an ending like this.

Therefor, let me tell you about a theory which would also be very touching but more in a positve way.
I'll call it...

A Process of Learning

A lot of theories, especially those involving time loops, assume that the tornado vision is really a piece of memory that is left from Max already going through all of this before.
I like the time loop theories a lot and they fit quite well for the happenings in Arcadia Bay.

This theory however doesn't involve Max being trapped in a time loop or the tornado scene in the first episodes being more than just a vision.
Even though you could easily build a time loop into this theory as well.
However this would become very complex and I'll focus on the main statement of my theory instead.

The main reason why I support this theory is the way Max gained her powers.
She discovers them right AFTER Chloe gets shot, not before, not a minute later but exactly as the bullet penetrates Chloe. She accidentally rewinds back all the way to the Jefferson's class, meaning she doesn't seem to have instant control of the power and therefor just received it in this moment.


So what exactly are we playing now? A loop that Max has already gone through but the player isn't aware of?
No, within this theory we experience all of this at first hand, just like Max.

You may think this is way to easy at first but the powers try to teach Max something.
The main indicator for this assumption being the past scene from Episode 3.

Max starts to use her power to change minor events like checking out Brooke's drone package or gaining information about Dana.
What would this change? Noting, it's irrelevant, isn't it? Like hiding someones car keys, maybe just for fun this time.
That's the point, every change Maxs does to her environment seems futile but may cause a tornado in the future.
To learn this aspect, Max needed to change a rather minor detail in the past to see its great conseqences in the future.


So letting Chloe die should resolve this whole mess, right?
Maybe but what would be the point of Max gaining her power the way she did?
Just to send her through an emotional horror trip and go like "See, you can't save her so just let her die" probably making her (and us) an emotional wreck at the end.

There needs to be a higher reason for her having the possibility to rewind time and seeing all the changes.
In my opinion there is.

After Max saved Chloe she continues to feel guilty for everything that happened to Chloe.
Including not supporting her after her dad passed away or Rachel left and David being so mean to her.

Max basically tries to fight those problems by using her powers.
She keeps abusing them to save Kate, find Rachel or even save Chloe's dad.
Now imagine the whole world being shaken every time Max rewinds.

First there was the snow, which is weird but nothing compared to an unscheduled eclipse or dying animals.
Every time she uses her powers, the effects become worse and worse an finally peak in a tornado or even more.

However there was a breaking point while loosing her power at the roof to save Kate.
You don't know what I mean? Go watch this video I put together:


'Now I have to do this by myself' , 'My powers didn't save Kate' , 'Maybe I did on my own'
Even if you couldn't save Kate, the main point here being that her powers didn't work.
Max had to use information she kept in mind because she really cared about Kate.
Not because she rewinded at her and acted like she knows about drones, skating etc.

To come to the main statement of my theory, just project this insight onto Chloe.

Max saved Chloe in the bathroom which was probably the purpose of her power.
She then took her powers to far by not only saving Chloe's life but also trying to save her dad and Rachel as well.

Maybe the key to stop the tornado isn't Chloe's death but Max realizing she needs to save her friends on her own, care about them, just listen to their problems. Or as she would call it: Friends come first.

Then there are some interesting graffiti interpretations for this theory.

'Just gotta let go'


Always referred to Max who needs to let Chloe go/die.
What if this graffiti isn't about Max letting Chloe go but about getting rid of her powers?
A warning about her causing all those disaster by using them to much.

"I'd rather have a life of 'oh wells' than a life of 'what ifs'"


The oh wells clearly could be described as what happens if Max can't or don't want to rewind.
The outcome may not be as satisfying as alternate ones but it's real, not trial and error.
What ifs on the other hand is exactly what Max does with her powers. What if I report Nathan...
Let's find out. What if I intervene while David is arguing with her... Let's just find out.

Those could be indications of doing it on your own is still better than abusing something you can't control.

Some final words about my theory.
Max may not be able to bring Chloe her best friend or dad back using her powers but she has the chance to be this friend her own without those powers.
Just be there for Chloe, show her she won't let her go again and give her life more than just anger.
Max needs to grow her personality, not her powers

I know this theory doesn't mention events like the what happened to Rachel/Kate or the secret behind the Vortex Club because there aren't enough clues yet. It's basically just another way of explaining the time traveling aspect and has an enhanced perspective on the purpose of Max's powers.
Also showing a theory without Chloe's death being a fix thing.

What do you think about this theory and the reason she got her powers?
Does Chloe has to die or did Max get her powers to save her?
Let me know!

(Once more please excuse my english, it's not my first language)

25th May 2015, 23:12
I agree that these powers are basically there to help Max grow as a person. Life is Strange is first and foremost a "coming of age" story for Max, so I think it's correct to call it a learning experience.

What do you think about this theory and the reason she got her powers?
Does Chloe has to die or did Max get her powers to save her?
Let me know!
I think your view on the situation more or less corresponds with that of my own. The way I see it, Max's powers are basically a reflection of her inner doubts. In the same way, the tornado seems to be linked to Chloe's desire to destroy Arcadia Bay. This is made very obvious when Max gets the second vision immediately after Chloe says she wants to drop a bomb on Arcadia Bay. And we can see that being with Max weakens Chloe's hatred towards Arcadia Bay. Max seems to be a stabilizing factor in Chloe's life, even more so than Rachel. This might create a way to stop the tornado without letting Chloe die. Perhaps it'll matter how much you supported Chloe throughout the game. We already see the effect of that, with Chloe replacing her cellphone background of Rachel with a photo of Max, depending on your earlier decisions. I'd be surprised if there's no way to save Chloe, despite the "final destination" thing going on (the train in episode 2, it doesn't seem like a coincidence that this happens right when you get another vision of the tornado, almost as if Arcadia Bay wants to get rid of her before she destroys the town).

That said, there's something odd about the way Rachel replaced Max, and then Max replaced Rachel again, but I can't quite figure it out. I don't believe the popular theory that they're actually the same person. Rachel seems too different from Max as a person. In fact, Chloe seems frustrated when she finds out that Rachel isn't who she thought she was, but that might have been Chloe's own fault. Chloe wanted to leave Arcadia Bay with Rachel, and while Rachel had the same desire to leave Arcadia Bay, I'm not so sure if she was serious about leaving together with Chloe. And unlike Chloe and Rachel, Max seems to like Arcadia Bay. That difference might end up being important in one way or another.

25th May 2015, 23:22
This is assuming that Max's powers, and the things going on in Arcadia Bay are related. What's to say this wouldn't happen anyways? How do we know Max didn't always have this power? I mean she did go back to her younger self, and she was able to rewind time as a kid. I mean her physical body changed, she became shorter, her hair longer. Did she somehow transfer her power to her younger self?

Chloe helped her discover this power. I don't think her death was the cause of it.

26th May 2015, 00:26
Interesting thoughts Draikin, wow!
So basically you think it may be possible to save Chloe (and Aracadia Bay) by siding with her and get rid of her anger?
This would be really cool to be honest.

She seems to have quite some doubts though, for example when she blamed Joyce at the end and kinda throw Max out of her car.
Maybe we can calm her down within the next episode.
Also finding out what happened to Rachel (even if she is not alive) will probably give her some inner rest.

I think Chloe needs continuous care (rather mental or physical, depending on the timeline) which is a possible equivalent.
Within the alternate timeline William seemed to give her both, making her happy.
The original timeline however has a lack of mental support for her since Rachel left.
Now it's Max task to be Williams and Rachels counterpart and make her happy again.

The butterfly being her sprit animal would also make sense then, with her flapping wings when she is angry, she will cause the tornado or at least make it stronger.

It's also pretty obvious that Chloe is quite jealous.
Clearly recognizable when Kate gave you a call at the diner or you talked with Warren about the date.
Maybe you need to decide between them and Chloe in the end.

I also don't think Max and Rachel are the same person, this wouldn't make much sense imo.

Thanks for your reply, it was fun to read :)

How do we know Max didn't always have this power? I mean she did go back to her younger self, and she was able to rewind time as a kid. I mean her physical body changed, she became shorter, her hair longer. Did she somehow transfer her power to her younger self?

We don't but we clearly also can't say she had the powers before.
Some theories (I also support) assume she had it before, others don't.

When she got to the past, she could remember everything though.
So there must be a reason why she can't remember this time if she only got back from Friday to Monday.
Maybe there is a reason we will find out about soon and maybe there isn't :)

26th May 2015, 00:44
This is pretty interesting, though there's still one thing I didn't see mentioned which I think may result in more questions (like everything :P) We have to keep remembering that the first time we see the tornado vision was BEFORE Chloe got shot and Max rewound for the first time. This alone makes it seem that letting Chloe die won't solve anything as saving her isn't what caused the tornado vision to begin with.

26th May 2015, 00:56
True, that's still a big mystery.
Like I said, within this theory I assumed that the vision is just a vision.
Maybe something like a forerunner of her powers.

Or like I already pointed out you could build a time loop theory around this one which would make it pretty complex though.
However the focus in this theory was on why Max did get the powers the way she did :)

26th May 2015, 01:20
She seems to have quite some doubts though, for example when she blamed Joyce at the end and kinda throw Max out of her car. Maybe we can calm her down within the next episode. Also finding out what happened to Rachel (even if she is not alive) will probably give her some inner rest.
Some of the progress Chloe made was indeed undone when she found out about Rachel's relationship with Frank. That got her right back in the "everyone is against me" mood she was in before meeting Max again. She says something along the lines of "it's as if the universe is against me". Interestingly, the events we've seen kind of confirm that. Again, it's as if Chloe's inner thoughts manifest themselves in the real world.

In any case, Max also showed her frustration having to deal with Chloe, telling her she can't just blame other people for everything that has gone wrong in her life. This seems to be something Chloe is going to have to accept. And regarding Rachel: I found it interesting that when investigating Frank's trailer, it was Max who had to remind Chloe they were there to search for clues regarding Rachel. Chloe was talking about how cool it would be for her and Max to travel together. It's interesting how fast Max is (re)taking Rachel's place in Chloe's mind. Max is actually jealous about Rachel taking her place, but the more we learn about Rachel, the more it seems like Chloe wanted Rachel to be someone she's not.

26th May 2015, 01:56
Yeah I also noticed that Max was a bit pissed after Chloe started with this 'everyone is against' me again.
Especially after they worked together so well, had this peacful swim and even kissed in the morning.
Then back in the dorm she looked really sad because of Chloe (almost killed me).


Maybe Chloe didn't really want to find something in the RV because she already guessed the way it was going to (R+F).
However she still had some hope that Rachel was only 'teasing' Frank like she said. This hope was then destroyed by the diary.
I think this will make it way harder to calm her down but on the other hand way easier to trust Max again.