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Nareull
15th Nov 2015, 22:52
Hi All,

Two words about me - I'm a grown up guy who likes Butterfly Effect movies and supposedly found enough of a romantic soul in himself that this game totally engulfed me. Two weeks ago I learned of its existence. A week ago I bought it. I have now played through it twice. Doesn't make sense, but I needed to relive it. I changed some things on my playthrough, but in the end I always choose the Sacrifice Arcadia Bay ending.

Reasons:

From Max's perspective:
1. Everything that precedes the epilogue brainwashes Max into caring about Chloe only. At first Max just wants everyone to be happy, but as events become more and more horrifying and Max is getting mentally exhausted, she lets go of rational thinking and tries to survive... and that survival has a face for Max. It's Chloe. By the end of the nightmare, getting back to Chloe is the only thing that keeps Max from collapsing.

2. Max believes her power has to have something to do with Chloe. Regardless of what mechanism was responsible, when strong emotions are in play, Max could easily simplify things into thinking that Chloe "gave her the power".

3. Despite Chloe saying that all their memories will be theirs, Max would not believe it; she would refuse to believe it. If that was true, then all the screwed up timelines she's run away from would hit Chloe along with the ultimate timeline they're in. Chloe would not only keep the few nice memories, but would also learn the multitude of situations where she died, where she was in pain. She would learn (depending on your playthrough) how she shot Frank and his dog, how she died in a hurricane, how she got slapped by David, how she got shot in the head by Jefferson (twice?), how she got hit by the train... and how she was slowly dying paralyzed. And more. This thought alone would make Max want to jump off the cliff.

4. Max is at least to some extent aware that Chloe's condition is Max's fault. While the death of her father, disappointment in her mother, douchebagness of David and disappearance of Rachel took a toll on Chloe, Max is the only person of the lot who actually betrayed Chloe. Having lived all the timelines Max knows that each of the characters loved Chloe very much and they did all they could for her while they lived. On the other hand, Max never made any effort to contact Chloe for 5 years after moving to Seattle and then for a month (right?) after coming back to Arcadia Bay. Remember that Chloe obviously needed her best friend's support after losing her father and Max must be aware that a lot of Chloe's suffering resulted from being left alone without the person she depended on so much.

5. Abandoning Chloe must be an excruciating memory to Max because of how easy it would have been for her to support her friend.
Assumptions behind this point are (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm Polish and this is US geography + speculation):
- Seattle is just north of Oregon, where Arcadia Bay is. Not on the other side of the continent or across ocean!
- Arcadia Bay is most likely based on Newport in Oregon (Based on LiS wiki (http://life-is-strange.wikia.com/wiki/Arcadia_Bay#Inspirations) and google maps comparison). Even if not, Arcadia bay might actually be further north than Newport (so closer to Seattle) as Warren says a drive in cinema is in "Newberg, just 60 miles away (https://youtu.be/ZyVoly5Xcbg?t=4m53s)". Well, Newport is slightly further south than that, but let's assume it is Newport for a moment.
Based on these assumptions, Seattle is just 220 miles in a straight line, 300 miles by road from Arcadia Bay and in the same time zone. So:
- Max could've texted, emailed or send a letter every now and then. Seriously, why the hell not?!
- A phonecall should not be a problem every now and then. It's the same time zone.
- It's a freakin' <6 hour drive in good traffic conditions, or a 9 hour train connection! If Max cared about her friend at all, she would've visited. And no, it wouldn't take a "Super-Max" to get this done. Max's parents are always supportive so she would be guaranteed a visit if she said "Listen Dad, I really need to go visit Chloe. She's my dearest friend and she's going through hell now, I feel sooo bad for not being there for her at least once a while, please please please can we go there one weekend?".

6. Max could have second thoughts about whether the storm really is connected to Chloe. In the timeline where she drives Jefferson's car to meet warren in the diner, the storm is ripping Arcadia Bay a new one, even though Chloe has been dead for many hours.

CONCLUSION: Read my dialogue suggestion ;)


Based on my understanding of how Max thinks (see reasons above), she would have never sacrificed Chloe at that point in time. Now, let's take the weather anomalies for granted and not discuss if they make sense or not. When faced with the final choice, I believe Max would have sacrificed the town, but she wouldn't just throw a one-liner like she did. It might be that the devs intentionally left the conversation out so guys like me can have their imagination running Mach 5, but this is what I believe the final scene would look like:

....
Chloe: Max, it's time.
Max: [turns head towards the storm, breathes heavily, speaking in a slow, breaking voice, borderline crying]This is horrible...
Chloe: [gently cutting in, crying] I know Max. Just .... just use the picture and make it... right... Remember that...
Max: [cutting in, eyes closed, in a frustrated voice] This is horrible Chloe... [voice starts to break, Max looks at the photo] but k... killing you this way is so much worse. [Max turns to Chloe, voice frantic] Chloe, I can't go back and let you die then... you were alone, your father gone, Rachel gone... and abandoned by your best friend! [borderline crying again] It's all my fault, I should have been there for you! I should have been your friend in need and I failed. I hurt you so much Chloe! Of all the people you've ever blamed, I was the one who hurt you most! You don't know this, but I've seen it - they all loved you Chloe! They loved you so much, tried so hard, while I hid under my bed in ******* Seattle! And it's not even that far away, I could've totally visited you every few months, but I didn't even text! How can I go back to that girl [Max points at the picture] and tell her that her backstabber best friend traveled through time and space using the power she gave me, only to let her... let YOU die! [hides her face in her hands and bursts into crying for a few seconds]
Chloe: [putting her arm around Max] Max... [Chloe pauses, thinking what to say]
Max: [raising her head to meet Chloe's eyes, still crying, but voice stronger than before] Chloe, I know you want to make things right. I know you will hate me for what I will do and I deserve it. [Chloe tries to cut in, but Max puts a finger on her lips] Chloe, this is my decision. My burden. I can go to hell for this for all I care... [Max looks at the picture again] but if I see you smile... if you ever smile at least once more, it will be worth it. You DO deserve it Chloe. [rips the photo in two] You deserve everything... [looks at the two pieces getting blown away]
Chloe: Max... I'm with you... now and forever... [hugs Max as they look at the tornado hitting Arcadia bay]
[scene continues as in the original ending, with Max hiding in Chloe's arms when tornado starts ripping Arcadia Bay apart]



This is how I envisioned the ending. This is how I believe Max felt at this point and this is what I think would've happened. Killing an entire town is something terrible and Max would have to voice her thoughts over this, if only to reassure herself.

What do you think - would you pick such an ending? Would it touch you (more than "Not anymore")?
Speak up :)

Xeva-q
16th Nov 2015, 15:00
no.

Nareull
16th Nov 2015, 20:52
bc?

codemasher
17th Nov 2015, 15:13
bc?

Just don't bother, that guy is just trying to be offensive all the way - the ignore list is a fine place for him (his signature is telling, isn't it?).

Saving Chloe was also the only logical choice for me - and it always will. Sure, it might appear a bit selfish, but honestly - who wouldn't if it was the same situation in real life? See http://forums.eu.square-enix.com/showthread.php?t=181425&p=2179905#post2179905

Tataboj
17th Nov 2015, 18:14
Sure, it might appear a bit selfish, but honestly - who wouldn't if it was the same situation in real life?

Me. :(

Nareull
17th Nov 2015, 19:06
The SC ending is the obvious one for someone who "plays the game". When you as a player see Kate lighting a candle for herself and then jumping through her dorm door, you think "interesting". Max would be genuinely horrified. When you are made to say you love jefferson, you think of it as amusing. Max was probably hysterical. When Chloe gets hit by the train, you think to yourself "hm okay lets look for clues to this puzzle". Max would rather be like "CHLOE NO!! GOD PLEASE DONT LET MY POWER FAIL NOW PLEASE PLEASE...".

I sincerely believe that if you look at Max's final decision through the emotional perspective of everything she has just gone through, SAB ending would have been much more appealing. It's not like she had time to sit over a cup of coffee and think it through up there. Instinct and emotions would've taken precendence and at that time Max was only concerned with Chloe.

codemasher
17th Nov 2015, 19:55
I sincerely believe that if you look at Max's final decision through the emotional perspective of everything she has just gone through, SAB ending would have been much more appealing.

Not only just "more appealing" - but more like "wait, there was another chioce?". :D


Btw.: I'd be really interested in the Developer's opinions on their preferred ending.

Tataboj
17th Nov 2015, 21:23
The SC ending is the obvious one for someone who "plays the game". When you as a player see Kate lighting a candle for herself and then jumping through her dorm door, you think "interesting". Max would be genuinely horrified. When you are made to say you love jefferson, you think of it as amusing. Max was probably hysterical. When Chloe gets hit by the train, you think to yourself "hm okay lets look for clues to this puzzle". Max would rather be like "CHLOE NO!! GOD PLEASE DONT LET MY POWER FAIL NOW PLEASE PLEASE...".

I sincerely believe that if you look at Max's final decision through the emotional perspective of everything she has just gone through, SAB ending would have been much more appealing. It's not like she had time to sit over a cup of coffee and think it through up there. Instinct and emotions would've taken precendence and at that time Max was only concerned with Chloe.

Yup, Max would have been horrified by Kate jumping to her death. And yet she wouldn't even think about letting her alive?

What she has gone through? Just because we spent a lot of time with Chloe doesn't mean we didn't spend some time with everybody else. As you say, it wasn't only Chloe, but also Kate, Warren...

"Only concerned with Chloe." I'm not that sure in that. It sounded to me like Max was trying to not let her mind think about the other people (that's why she was repeating that Chloe is her priority etc.)

But the main reason for me why I would never sacrifice AB is: No matter how close she is, it doesn't make her life any better than the lives of thousands of people living there.

Tataboj
17th Nov 2015, 21:25
Not only just "more appealing" - but more like "wait, there was another chioce?". :D


Btw.: I'd be really interested in the Developer's opinions on their preferred ending.

Michel Koch said that he likes both of them equally. And that he knows one is shorter, but it showed enough what he wanted.

Nareull
17th Nov 2015, 23:37
Yup, Max would have been horrified by Kate jumping to her death. And yet she wouldn't even think about letting her alive?

What she has gone through? Just because we spent a lot of time with Chloe doesn't mean we didn't spend some time with everybody else. As you say, it wasn't only Chloe, but also Kate, Warren...

"Only concerned with Chloe." I'm not that sure in that. It sounded to me like Max was trying to not let her mind think about the other people (that's why she was repeating that Chloe is her priority etc.)
Everybody else was just a filler for Max; she was nice while she could, but in the worst moments she does say "Chloe" first. After the call in the gallery she mentions that Chloe will die first and then adds that Arcadia Bay will be destroyed as an afterthought. She says "Sorry San Francisco, Chloe comes first" not "I gotta stop this cataclysm from killing a thousand people". In the middle of the storm in the diner when she sits down, she contemplates about "saving Chloe one last time", not stopping the storm. In fact, I feel that everyone she saves doing the storm was added just for the sake of the game - Max would've likely ignored them, because she knew she would reverse it all. Then after the Warren's photo is used, Max goes all out emotional before Chloe about how she feels, pretty much saying everything I claim about her feelings for Chloe. Then, after the photo scene is over and Max appears on the beach, she starts by hugging Chloe and expressing her feelings before she gives the storm a second thought. In the nightmare when she talks to herself, she won't let herself get convinced that Chloe is using her; she's fixated on her.

Max is a nice girl and cares about everyone, but there's one thing she puts above all else at all times. And up there at the lighthouse, after just emerging from a nightmare... she wasn't in the most emotionally stable state.


But the main reason for me why I would never sacrifice AB is: No matter how close she is, it doesn't make her life any better than the lives of thousands of people living there.This is a calculation. As I said - when you weigh it all and sleep over it, yeah. You will come to the conclusion that you have to let Chloe go. But, again, in the state Max was in by that lighthouse... not so obvious. In fact, she could've just crashed there thinking "Chloe is safe, ***** everything else, I'm fed up with this *****".

Tataboj
18th Nov 2015, 07:23
Of course, she's her best friend. But just because it may be a filler for you, doesn't mean it is for Max. She has friends and people she cares about there and it is also her hometown.

Actually, I was thinking about this as a possible choice months before Ep 5 (that's why I got upset about the ending. It was so fricking obvious!) and rather quickly I came to a conclusion that the only way for me is to save the town. What I'm saying: I think that Max should have been thinking about this and that she could have been thinking rationally. That wasn't a choice she could have done quickly.

Nareull
18th Nov 2015, 10:25
I'm not sure if Max had the time, nor if it was obvious to her that this would be the outcome. I believe that she was certain she could fix everything in some way. Until the very end.

Recall that when she's in SF and she calls Chloe, she's actually surprised by the storm, genuinely surprised, so it's unlikely she has thought it all through. After that event, everything happens rather quickly. She focuses on her winning photo, goes back to the dark room, gets David killed about 15 times (my score) until she manages to help him win there. Then it's a mad ride into an E6 tornado. I won't comment Max's saving of everybody on her path or talking to everyone in the Diner, because... well... hello, the town's going to ****, she can get killed at any time by a freakin' pickup truck landing on her sorry face... and for all she knows, using her rewind any more may as well give her a brain hemorrhage. She should be in a "I have to get to that photo, right now! It's the only chance!" mode.
Anyways, once she gets to Warren's photo, it's a 20 seconds chat with Chloe on the parking lot, flashback, 20 second chat on the beach, pass out, nightmare (which she actually thought was her going back in time AGAIN and witnessing it totally messed up; she wasn't thinking of it as a time off to reconsider what to do. She genuinely thought everything went to **** and she just wanted to get out of there). And then bam, lighthouse and final decision.
Also notice that Max seemed surprised when Chloe reveals the photo and by her idea. She's fighting with the idea of letting Chloe die - clearly she didn't think of it before.

We had the time to reconsider everything because we were waiting for each episode. Well, you have - I bought all 5 and played through the game in 3 approaches of 3.5 hrs each. Either way, Max clearly didn't have the time to think things through and it *was* a quick decision for her.

bloodsnake93
4th Dec 2015, 15:55
Hey Nareull

can i use ur text for arguments? :D
You really pointed out what i was thinking of the last days since i played the game in 2,5 days after work :nut:
What i ´ve read in a lot of posts is that many people like us who played the game in a short period of time ( all 5 Episodes at once) apear to save Cloe and the ones who waited for each episode save AB.

That fits in your point that max (and me) had no time to think about what happened, i mean i really rushed through the game as fast as i could without missing anything important.
After a few days of thinking about it i have to say i would still save Cloe even it is more "correct" (sorry dont know a good word for that not a native english speaker :nut: ) to save AB.
And you also mentioned it in point 6..
There is no proof that letting Cloe die changes everything to the better.
It seems that the storm doesn´t appear but Max still messed up time bevore...
And we have seen multiple realities in the game and what a single choice can cause so it is pretty likely that something as bad as the storm or worse can happen latter.

I mean she jumped a few times to points in the timeline bevore she even met Cloe and still could rewind time so also no proof that she lost her ability after Cloe died.

And yeah i dont think that thousands people died in AB...
Not if they have any survival instinct, the storm stood still in the bay for a pretty long time enough to leave the town like Cloe and Max did they reached the lighthouse without to much trouble.

And thanks for your long post you summed it up really good :)
I am just a little said that i found that game so late and couldn´t spectaculate with the guys who played it since Jan this year xD
or does everyone knows a bigger community?
Feel free to add me on Steam
donau1993 / bloodsnake

UNKLEPhilosophy
4th Dec 2015, 20:10
I wanted to see this in SAB ending:
Max: **** this town! and their stupid people, I love you chloé! you are my number1 priority and you always will be! tore that butterfly picture....
Chloe: I love you too max I will be always be with you, aaand a big kiss (but only if you kissed her before this beautiful lesbian punk girl...) and after this the same scenes like in the game they driving out together from destroyed arcadia bay and lastly they both of it smiling before chloé hit the gas. This ending not just somehow beautiful but poetic too, max decide to not look back this time but to live in the today, this is why she without hesitation she tored the picture.