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Thread: Max and the Doe

  1. #1
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    Max and the Doe

    Last edited by julietxjules; 2nd May 2015 at 16:54.
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  2. #2
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    Hey Juliet, love reading your Life is Strange theories! Thanks for continuing to be active on these forums

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    Thanks Scott. I will endeavour to keep on going.

    An episode may end, but the journey continues in my mind and inspires me to write.
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  4. #4
    Hm, all seeing eye, got me thinking.. maybe Max shouldn't have shown the picture of the blue butterfly. Now Chloe has the proof Max was there when Nathan freaked. Why would she need that photo anyway? As for the doe, I wonder why Max hasn't told Michelle Grant about it. She knew some history about the Native Americans, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvare View Post
    Hm, all seeing eye, got me thinking.. maybe Max shouldn't have shown the picture of the blue butterfly. Now Chloe has the proof Max was there when Nathan freaked. Why would she need that photo anyway? As for the doe, I wonder why Max hasn't told Michelle Grant about it. She knew some history about the Native Americans, right?
    Yes indeed! Why exactly does she need that photo? That question has been nagging at me lately. I have my own ideas but, as always, I will keep them to myself for now.

    And if only we could choose our own questions to ask all the characters - what wonderful stories would we hear?

    And talking of Native American Indians. I wonder how long Samuel has been working at Blackwell; was it him who erected the totem pole outside the girls' dorm?
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  6. #6
    And if only we could choose our own questions to ask all the characters - what wonderful stories would we hear?
    Haha, I'd have done everything the way Max handled the conversation. The only time me and Max weren't in line was that moment in episode 2 where David wanted to talk with Max. She was putting up an angry tone while I imagined differently.

    And talking of Native American Indians. I wonder how long Samuel has been working at Blackwell; was it him who erected the totem pole outside the girls' dorm?
    Nah, he couldn't be that old. I think the totem is a memorial that stood there before the school building.. somehow. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvare View Post


    Nah, he couldn't be that old. I think the totem is a memorial that stood there before the school building.. somehow. :P
    Yes. That is possible, but until it is confirmed or denied it is open to conjecture. The important question is: why is the totem outside the girls' dorm and not in a more central position within the academy? And Samuel seems to spend a lot of time in that exact spot! I know it's a minor point but it is worth considering.
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  8. #8
    Great info julietxjules and Alvare I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the significance of Max's deer sightings. Everything you pointed out seems very spot on, and I agree that Max and the deer are connected in some way. What you were saying about Max being the deer and the deer being Max made me think that maybe you are right, literally. The deer Max keeps encountering is actually herself, who clearly died and is attempting to prevent her own death by leading her towards new, alternative discoveries and actions.

    The subject of time travel opens a lot of possibilities and thematic exploration. There's the possibilities of alternate universes diverging, converging or interacting in some way. I'm drawn again and again to the theme of retrocausality and Max's deer. It's kind of similar to the third Harry Potter book, Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry faces the dementors, he sees a figure in the distance cast a spell to save him, and he later goes back in time and finds out he saw himself (the figure who saved him). Max died, the time loop started or reset, she sees her own spirit from the alternate timeline in which she died, and the alive Max strives to save Arcadia.

    I don't know, but it's fun to speculate
    I don't have a read on the totem's significance yet. It could be an intentional misdirection? The key to everything? Who knows?

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    I have read much about Indian folk law and shamanism in my time and that's why all the talk about animal spirits and such struck a chord in me. I am not saying that it is indeed the actual case here, but in my mind all the evidence speaks for itself and points me in a particular direction. As to the idea that Max herself may be dead cannot be ruled out by any means, although personally, I do not subscribe to this idea. It's the paradox thing again. . .if Max is dead then she would not have been able to start the game five days into the future unless she was miraculously resurrected?! But then that raises the question as to who did it?

    ps...please excuse my manners. I forgot to thank you for your input to my thread. I've been writing so much today that my mind is not in the same place for very long and is easily distracted by yet another train of thought.
    Last edited by julietxjules; 8th May 2015 at 19:18.
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  10. #10
    It's great that you can bring your familiarity with Indian lore and mysticism to add to speculating. Thanks for sharing your info with people like myself who don't have that kind of background. I find it very interesting! I agree 100% that the game is suggesting that yes, the deer and various animal sighting are animal spirits.
    Quote Originally Posted by julietxjules View Post
    As to the idea that Max herself may be dead cannot be ruled out by any means, although personally, I do not subscribe to this idea. It's the paradox thing again. . .if Max is dead then she would not have been able to start the game five days into the future unless she was miraculously resurrected?! But then that raises the question as to who did it?
    That's true, but Max isn't dead yet. I feel like I need a diagram to explain what I mean. Bear with me, here. There are 2 Max's. One dead and one alive who you, the player is controlling from the start of the game. Max A = the Max which died 5 days into Max B's future. Max A is represented by the deer spirit. Max B is the Max of Max A's past. Somehow, Max A has found a way to "cross over" into the timeline in which she is alive and the events which led to her death have not yet happened. The start of the game (the storm, lighthouse, tornado) is a glimpse of Max B's possible future which Max A experienced and died in and is warning her past (and therefore alternate) self of. Or you could actually be Max A in that moment, before being the classroom as Max B. And the deer is another Max. It's like a reflection of two mirrors facing each other, but somehow one of the reflections found a way of occupying the same plane as another reflection.

    I know it's confusing, and I am not the most articulate. LiS actually strongly reminds me of another game back from the PS1 era called Chrono Cross. It deals with alternate dimension travel, but it features the concept of the alternate self. From the TV Tropes page, "Chrono Cross makes extensive use [of the alternate self]. The game's set up is that when the main hero was a child, he was attacked by a demonic panther. In one world, he lived, in the other world, he died. This is what allows him to travel between worlds."

    Celestial events and weather phenomena have been known to suggest or be connected to spiritual, occult happenings. There was the snow, and then there was the lunar eclipse. Both have symbolic meanings having to do with death. The separation between the living and the dead isn't as strong when these events occur or they could be a symptom of spiritual happenings. Max A (the deer spirit) is able to influence/take form in Max B's timeline in response to Max B (the player) taking differing actions from what Max A did.

    Or maybe it's just a deer spirit and Max has a special gift? It's fun to speculate though. Any and all ruminations are welcome and interesting. I've got to get to work on that diagram...
    Last edited by airetam2342; 8th May 2015 at 23:29.

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    Well. As theories go, this is as good and as valid as any other, and I commend you in your thinking. But I still do not buy into the idea that Max has actually died in an alternate timeline and has suddenly become a master of time and space which has given her the ability to crossover into a parallel dimension. I tend to look for the simple rather than convoluted explanation. Buy hey! The answer to all and everything might well be contained within this thread and its comments? This game keeps hold of its secrets so tightly that not even light can escape. The theory you have proposed is a singular idea with only one key element or thread which relates only to Max. And as we all know by now, there is so much more happening underneath the surface.

    So in this alternate dimension where and how does the disappearance of Rachel Amber affect the outcome? Is she missing in both? And how does it all relate to the bigger picture?

    On an ending note: your theory is an interesting train of thought.
    Last edited by julietxjules; 9th May 2015 at 03:40.
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  12. #12
    I'm not explaining myself well. It's not so much about physical alternate dimensions that Max can straddle as it is about points of time and alternate outcomes which build a new timeline full of variations out of the old which did not have that specific collection of variations. Sorry I can't get what I mean across. I really wish I could. I can't seem to shake the gut feeling that Max is the deer spirit she's been seeing. What do you know about spirit animals' origins? How do they manifest?

    I have no idea how Rachel Amber might be connected to Max and the deer spirit. I'm pretty sure that the deer spirit is particular to Max only. Where do you think the deer spirit came from and why do you think Max can see it? Why is it even trying to impart a message that a death will save Acadia Bay? Too many questions at this point. It's funny but I'm not even sure what the bigger picture is at this point. The Prescotts? Blackwell? Why Rachel disappeared? What happened to Kate? How is it all connected to the tornado? I am in a great need for ep 3. if my mind can handle it!

    Psst....it's totally about what watering the plant does

  13. #13
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    You ask;

    Q: Where do you think the deer spirit came from and why do you think Max can see it?

    A: I have already explained that very thing in this thread/post.

    In Shamanic belief: the spirit animal guide (also known as power animal) is said to be with you from the point of your birth; everyone has one - in any shape or form - but due to the fact that a baby couldn't possibly know or understand about such things they slowly drift apart due to lack of proper care, attention, and more importantly actual acknowledgement. It is when the child grows out of its adolescent period and into early adulthood (or before, depending on the sensitivity of the person) that they are able to retrieve their power animal. This part has been explained in the host thread.

    There are tribes in South America such as the Yaqui who use the psychoactive alkaloid - mescaline (drugs to you!) found in a strain of cactus called peyote to induce a trance before a sacred ritual. This ritual is said to bring the person and ally (spirit guide) together.

    All Indian tribes have similar methodologies (as described above) but there are quite a few variants to the theme and not all use trance inducing drugs, but ritual is quite a common practice. The one continuous thread that binds all tribes is their belief in spirit guides and the power to be found in nature which can be harnessed.

    There are references made in this game to 'local tribes,' plus the fact that there is a totem pole outside the girls' dorm. Add to this all the conversations Max has with Samuel about nature and spirits, then the reason as to why I was led down this particular avenue of thought to begin with becomes apparent.

    * * *

    I think I know where you're coming from so please don't worry about not being able to explain yourself properly. I get it!

    To me, your ideas are both sound and feasible and I certainly will not refute any of your claims regarding Max and her other self/counterpart. If that is how you see it then you should develop it further in order to find an equilibrium of thought that will balance out and encompass everything involved in the main plot. It is a bit lopsided at the moment - in my mind - and that is why I find it hard to accept your reasoning as a complete, finished idea.

    But hey! You might have it right there in your mind's eye! What do I really know!? What do any of us really know? To be honest, my mind just shuts down at times and I think to myself - to hell with it, just wait for the next episode to come out and be done with it!

    In saying that. . . I am still working on my own ideas that will encompass everything - not necessarily to explain it, but understand it! This game is tapping into several ideas or themes which all intersect causing the confusion in everyone's mind as to what is actually happening. The developers have been very clever in using this very thing as a deception to mask us from the truth. The answer has to be a simple one, too. There is not enough game-time left to engage in a long drawn out scientific discourse where everything is finally exposed and explained to the satisfaction of all and sundry.

    Damn this game! (I mean that affectionately) I have never played anything like it before. Click here to read what I actually mean by that.

    Anyway. Time for me to go. I have been composing and writing this comment for ages, and now my mind is screaming at me to stop!

    Keep those ideas coming; I actually do find your reasoning interesting. And just for a tease - I have already mentioned that I am not all that enamoured with haphazardly 'spilling beans' all over the place. The next time you play "Out of Time" and find yourself at the junkyard at the point when the doe makes another appearance; try rewinding time when it runs off and see what happens.

    My thanks again for your input.

    ps. You should consider starting your own thread where all your current ideas can be gathered together into one cohesive train of thought. It matters not about your concerns as to whether or not you are making yourself clear, you can take all the time you need until your writing explains to you what you hope to explain to everyone else.
    Last edited by julietxjules; 9th May 2015 at 22:12.
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  14. #14
    Whoops, sorry for making you reiterate things . But, seriously, thank you for elaborating further on spirit animals. I do find it an interesting subject.

    To be certain, this is essentially the very abridged version:
    • linked to person from birth and person's awareness of spirit animal develops later in life
    • represents a person's spiritual energy/characteristics unique to them
    • makes self known through repetitive appearances
    • can serve as a messenger
    • can be contacted/bonded with via ritual

    In terms of storytelling, every instinct is saying that this deer has to have a crucial role to play. It might not be so farfetched to have Samuel and/or Ms. Grant advise Max on and help with performing a ritual to seek her spirit animal. There's even the totem right there by the dorms as a giant bit of foreshadowing that something like this could be going down. Or maybe the deer is simply the messenger. I've looked back at episode 1's ending and it seems the deer is simultaneously trying to help Max by leading her to the newspaper's location by the lighthouse and also in doing so, lure her into a series of death traps that she would not survive if she did not have her time ability. Boulders roll, a tree falls, and the lighthouse dome goes splat. It could be a game mechanic to put an "action sequence" in, but it could be more . I am so with you in saying to hell with it and just wait for the next episode. Since it's the 3rd it should be doing a lot of heavy lifting plot-wise since it acts as a bridge connecting eps. 1&2 with 4&5. It's like the cream filling of an oreo .


    Thanks for your input! Really interesting stuff and I just appreciate the speculating and conversation that helps gain insight.

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    In answer to your bulleted list.

    • Yes.
    • Yes.
    • Yes.
    • Yes.
    • yes.


    If I remember rightly ( I will have to play it again and make sure) didn't the doe steer Max a safe course around the falling debris at the start of episode one? In the case where there were two possible paths the doe chose the safer route.

    Short and sweet comment this time. . .too early in the morning for me to think.

    EDIT: And yes, I agree. Episode three is the tipping point; the game now sits atop the crest of a hill. . .prepare for the slide down!


    "Sadly, I am experiencing this game through a Let's Play series and can't play for myself just yet."

    I am not sure I follow you. . .what is a 'Let's Play' series?








    Last edited by julietxjules; 13th May 2015 at 14:50.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by julietxjules View Post

    I am not sure I follow you. . .what is a 'Let's Play' series?
    It's a series of videos taped together on youtube to form a complete watchable playthrough for a game.
    You can choose if you want the player's commentary or not. I've done this once and I really don't recommend
    this to anyone.

  17. #17
    ^ exactly. A Let's Play is a video of gameplay often combined with player commentary. The quality of a Let's Play depends greatly on the player who's making the video. I've found a youtube channel that's very enjoyable and thoughtful, and I think of the Let's Play series in terms similar to it being a podcast. If I could I would be playing this game for myself, but a Let's Play is the next best thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by julietxjules View Post
    If I remember rightly ( I will have to play it again and make sure) didn't the doe steer Max a safe course around the falling debris at the start of episode one? In the case where there were two possible paths the doe chose the safer route.
    Now that you mention it, I think the lighthouse setting at the start of episode 1 and at the end of episode 1 are actually different. At the start Max goes up the path, there's a stack of lumber and a fallen tree by the building next to the lighthouse.

    At the end of episode 1 Max is further down the path where she encounters the falling boulders and large falling tree. She continues and the stack of lumber falls and at the top there is still a tree next to the lighthouse building but there is also a new fallen tree in the gap leading to the bench.

    In both the start and end the boat smashes into the lighthouse and causes the dome to fall. The start scene has Max "waking" to the classroom once the lighthouse dome seems to hit her. The end scene has the dome falling and crumbling the ledge leading to the bench instead of 1)Max being in a position to be hit OR 2)The dome falling in a trajectory that would hit Max.

    These are very slight, nuanced changes. Is this the butterfly effect in action? Maybe the start and ending are of the same situation, and the changes already enacted throughout the episode have altered the setting of the lighthouse scenario. Chloe is in the version of the lighthouse scenario where Max is not hit by the dome and makes it over to the bench where the newspaper is nearby. Chloe's hand is seen for a split second on Max's shoulder before cutting to Max and Chloe in the same spot before Max had her time power meltdown.
    Maybe this is a case of multiple, overlapping timelines converging and interacting all while Max is influencing the "original" timeline?
    Need.
    Next.
    Episode.

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    Ah! I see. In that case, these 'let's play' videos simply add up to people seeking hits on their channel but let you watch a game in the process. Having no interest in such things I have never done it.

    I am still a bit mystified as to why you can't play the game for yourself (yes I know. . .I am being rudely nosey and it's none of my business)

    And don't worry, I'll respond to your comment properly later on - it's way too early in the morning for me to start waxing lyrical!
    Last edited by julietxjules; 14th May 2015 at 05:50.
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    Those scenes we see at the lighthouse when Max 'trips' out - as I see it, can be interpreted in many ways. The most important fact to remember is that it is in the future; we know this because of the date on the newspaper: Friday, October 11th. And regardless of which scene we refer to - the storm is always present; this strongly suggests that they are in fact the same day: Friday.

    Given that the above paragraph in a popular sense is true, are we to infer by your thinking that Max died on that day when, as you mention, she is hit by falling debris, or is it simply a portent of consequences to come if she continues to mess with the current timeline in the manner which she is doing? If it is true that Max has died, then she has died five days in the future from her starting point of Monday which is in the past. And continuing in this line of thought, if Max didn't die it would be reasonable to think that the whole thing has been a vision, but a vision put in place by external forces such as the spiritual plane which, unknown to Max, has connected itself to her from the very beginning simply because she is more susceptible to it. There is a very good reason why she wears a top with a doe printed on it.

    Another idea is: because of variations between the lighthouse scenes suggests that the same scenario has already been played out many times before, but each time a slight variant has been introduced which has caused a fluctuation in the timeline, namely, the butterfly effect. Or it might just be another composition of the same scene altered for the sake of creativity and the desire for not wanting to show us the exact same thing over and over again. You decide!

    We see a good example of this repeating time-loop idea with Alyssa - she is constantly being hit round the head by flying objects and I just know that the same thing will occur in episode three. I would be genuinely surprised if it didn't! And when it does happen it will speak volumes for what is actually happening at Blackwell - but only in a theoretical sense.

    So has Max got an alternative version of herself roaming around Arcadia Bay? I am damned if I know and I still remain a little doubtful. In my mind, the only way for that to happen is - like you have already stated - for a tangent timeline to encroach on the present one, but the problem I have with that is: the more timelines introduced will mean that Max, by the law of averages alone, will meet up with herself at some point and that could have devastating consequences for her, the town, for everything! Hello Armageddon, nice to meet you! But everything is all hypothetical you understand? (read additional content below.)

    The thing is, it all gets a little too complicated, and I end up looking for the complex when in actual fact I should be looking for the simple. It is the principle of Occam's razor that I tend to gravitate toward when faced with complexity, but in saying that, I first have to come up with a simple solution and I am challenged to find one.

    Note: I have played through episode one again and paid particular attention to the moment when she 'trips' out near the end. When the lighthouse gets struck and the dome falls away it does no harm to Max (you an just stand there and watch it).

    EDIT:

    Additional

    It is worth mentioning at this point that the game/Dontnod are making their own rules within the Arcadian universe, and trying to apply logic to something that has no real foundation in the physical world is always going to be met by error. We as players do not really know the rules of the game that are in place, and in trying to understand these rules we all clutch at straws and invent our best fit theories which make sense to us on a personal level.

    A good example or analogy of making things fit to suit our limited understanding is something Professor Stephen Hawking once said in one of his documentaries. He imagined a room, just a normal everyday room which has a door and a window, and in the centre of this room there is a table. Anything can be placed on this table but is of no real consequence. Just for argument sake, let's imagine there is a bowl of fruit on the table that you have just put there. Having decorated the table with the bowl, you walk to the door and look back at your handiwork. The bowl is exactly where it looks best; so satisfied, you open the door and walk out. As you close the door you decide that the bowl is not in as good a position as it could be and decide to go back and amend the situation.

    Now. During the time when you closed the door on exit and reopened it to go back in, you had no direct line of sight of the table, so in effect, could make no claim to it actually being there. There is nothing in the laws of physics to disprove the idea that during your absence the table flew off out the window and entered into orbit around the moon, then came back again just as you opened the door to go back in - it is just highly unlikely to happen. But it suits us to think of the table as an inanimate object and therefore went absolutely nowhere - because to think of anything else happening to the table would, for us, exist in the realm of the ridiculous. So in order to make sense of our own surroundings we all make things fit into our own understanding; it is the best fit model in the physical world that we know.

    "Life is Strange" is like that table in the sense that we do not know which physical laws - or any other laws - apply to it. This means that my theories, your theories, or anyone's theories are equally as valid until such times that they are disproven by exposure of the actual forces that have been integral to and, acting upon Arcadia Bay from the very beginning of the game.

    To sum up, I will loosely quote something which I wrote in my write-up on episode two. I mentioned the fact that if Fuzzy bear suddenly jumped out from behind a hedgerow and by way of confession declared, "hey folks! It was me," then we have to accept the fact that Fuzzy bear was/is the root cause of everything and laid down the rules of engagement.

    Dontnod are the creators of their own universe and the laws which apply in that universe are whatever they say they are!
    Last edited by julietxjules; 17th May 2015 at 15:53.
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  20. #20
    Can we just officially make Juliet our queen? She always seems to have wonderful theories and an extensive knowledge on the topic of spirit animals.

    My theory kind of derives from an old TV show known as Strange Days At Black Holesy High (AKA. Black Hole High).



    Now I'm not sure how that would make sense in LiS, but that's just one of the few theories I have.

    Go ahead Juliet and destroy my terrible theory with your amazing logic skills. [But please be gentle. :P.

    Chloe: NO EMOJI!].
    Last edited by StrangerThanFiction; 21st May 2015 at 18:35. Reason: spelling error

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangerThanFiction View Post
    Can we just officially make Juliet our queen? She always seems to have wonderful theories and an extensive knowledge on the topic of spirit animals.

    My theory kind of derives from an old TV show known as Strange Days At Black Holesy High (AKA. Black Hole High).



    Now I'm not sure how that would make sense in LiS, but that's just one of the few theories I have.

    Go ahead Juliet and destroy my terrible theory with your amazing logic skills. [But please be gentle. :P.

    Chloe: NO EMOJI!].
    Hello, StrangerThanFiction, and thank you for your perspective.

    I am not here to build or destroy other people's ideas or theories, we are all in the same boat in the sense that none of us truly know what is going on in Arcadia Bay. Like I said - we all invent our best fit theories which makes sense to our limited understanding when relating to the subject matter. Personally, I do not subscribe to Max having two versions simply because it does not fit with my way of thinking. But those like you who do think along these lines is perfectly fine and as valid as any other theory currently out there. Your theory may be the one that contains the most truth, but it is the unknown factor that constantly eludes us which makes us invent the theories in the first place.

    We build, we stumble, we fall, but we all get up again and rebuild.
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