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Thread: The true Canon [SPOILERS]

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    The true Canon [SPOILERS]

    Ok so, before I start, some disclosure because I know I am bound to get some criticism and I'll briefly address it upfront:

    1) I don't really claim to know for sure my take on the game is what was intended. It's my theory and I think it's a good one. Maybe what I'm going to claim isn't canon but I think it makes sense.
    2) I haven't really paid attention to these forums or any other discussions. Maybe this has been suggested a hundred times before. If so, consider this as adding to the discussion.

    SO, here we go.

    I occasionally see arguments about what the intended end of the game is and about what the right choice is. On the one hand we see the BAE over BAY crowd who just don't care and insist the game is a kind of love story and that Max and Chloe are destined to be together. After all, what's the point of the game if this isn't the case? On the other hand there's the lengthy ending for the sacrifice Chloe ending and it's actually pretty well written and does seem intended. There's a lot of nice, subtle writing tricks like the seemingly inconsequential line from Nathan about how 'nobody would even miss your punk ass would they' which takes on a gut-punching force when Max relives the moment and lets Chloe die. So, which is is? Which is canon?


    Both are canon. They both happen. I think the way that the game unfolds gives a lot of clues that this must be the case.

    Max is not operating in a single timeline where each reversed decision rewrites history. Rather, she's creating branching timelines which sometimes intersect and which have some strange interactions along the way. The most obvious example of this is the weird two moons effect which I think is real. Something very strange is happening and I think two different realities are in some kind of flux as a result of Max's decisions.

    Also, I think it's safe to say that not only does Max have time travel powers, but this extends to a kind of prescience as well in her subconscious. Max has some perception of the future and this manifests in her visions. She really does see the future numerous times in the game (the storm) and I think this may actually be happening even when we think it isn't.

    The most obvious possible case of this is actually the very first bathroom interaction where she 'discovers' her rewind and ends up back in the classroom. Notably, this is the only time in the game where she doesn't stay spatially situated but instead winds up right back in the lecture and even kind of jerks her head up as if coming out of a daze. Why did this happen in the case but no other? I think maybe what's going on is that she wasn't in the bathroom at all and she didn't rewind at all, at least not in the same way as her other rewinds. She was merely prescient about the coming event and starts altering the timeline. At first, perhaps, the changes don't matter, but saving Chloe makes a significant change and sets the storm in motion.

    This matters because as we see, Max's dreams aren't random or pure imagination. They contain some really important info about the facts of her situation. In the final extended dream sequence on the way to the lighthouse, Max encounters herself and has a discussion about branching timelines and branching realities. She tells herself about the damage she's causing, not just to the present Arcadia Bay but to time itself.

    That conversation in the dream diner is imo maybe the most important in the game. Diner Max tells max what's going on. She tells her that Chloe is going to destroy everything and that she's just one of many Max's left behind. What's very interesting is how dream chloe comes in and says 'she knows what we went through this week. You don't!'. This implies that this version of Max hasn't experienced the same week... not sure what to make of this, but at any rate it's clear that all of Max's choices have had real consequences. Her carelessness in believing she can do-over everything has just created a million timelines with lots of death and suffering.

    So, at the final lighthouse, when Chloe says 'whatever reality I end up in' she doesn't just mean whatever max's chooses, she's speculating about what will happen to that version of herself if max focuses on the picture. Ask yourself -- what will happen to THAT future Chloe and that timeline? Do they just cease to exist? or will that Chloe continue. I think she'll continue and I think this is substantiated by other times when after changing photos in the past and returning to the present, Max seems to 'come back' to existing timelines. Sometimes now remembering things that her 'self' in that timeline didn't know just seconds earlier.

    There's some weird and even sad consequences to this. There's a dead Chloe in the junkyard who killed herself with a ricocheting bullet, and there's a Chloe killed on the railway tracks. There's a dead Kate marsh who wasn't saved by Max, etc. These timelines are all real. The storm isn't the only death and destruction consequence in play. As DinerMax suggests, there's also a bunch of other timelines with death (and even dead Max's). The storm, in fact, may not just be a butterfly effect phenomenon about sensitive dependence on initial conditions but some kind of interaction with all of these other timelines (or the butterfly effect itself may just have something to do with the interaction of timelines).

    In the end, Max is really just choosing WHERE she wants to reside, and she's maybe choosing to stop fraying reality further.

    But, in a very important sense, even if max goes back to stop that storm, that Chloe at the lighthouse will continue and will continue with some version of Max who perhaps won't even remember trying to go back, and who then rips up the photo.


    This presents some tantalizing possibilities for a continuation of this story.

    After all, Life is strange is really a kind of Origin story for a superhero, and make no mistake about it, Max is godlike in power by the end. She can see the future, can't die, can teleport, can presumably make copies of herself, and is playing with destiny itself.

    Now, the reality she chooses breaks this into two origin stories which, (if the Bae over bay crowd will forgive me) amount to basically:

    Max the superhero
    Max the supervillain

    Max the supervillain is obviously not evil, but has made a pretty gray choice, and maybe even needs to keep making them if destiny is going to keep trying to kill Chloe. And it seems likely this may result in an endless wake of destruction.

    As we know that branching time streams may interact (as in the two moons case) it may be that the SuperMax who resolves to save Arcadia bay may be forced by EvilMax to actually change time again and possibly even confront her (just as she confronts herself in the dream leading to the lighthouse).


    Last edited by Brad314; 9th Apr 2016 at 13:55.

  2. #2
    Nice interpretation, but it only works if you believe that timetravel create multiple timelines.

    For me it was always only one timeline.
    When Max reverses time the timeline is set back to the point Max decides to stop reversing or the picture was taken. Form that point the timline unfoldes again around the changes Max made.

    The Max' she left behind would be versions of her who are erased after the next timeline setback. The Vortex Club Max is one of them.

    So your point of view is a possible interpretation but it doesn't work for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    San Diego
    Your theory works only if creators of the game, share your opinion about multiple timelines. I watched different movies and played different games with all this timetravel stuff( Butterfly Effect, Steins Gate etc.) I thought about multiple timelines in Ep 3, but in episode 5, in my opinion, it was shown, that there is only one timeline. And maybe that's the reason, why second season of LiS won't be about Max. Because we are the ones, who decided the ending of this story.

  4. #4
    The only ending that makes sense is sacrificing the town.

    Sacrificing Chloe renders the entire game meaningless because every action you took only served to leave Max with an emotional scar. So unless you want to believe the entire point of the game was to torment Max, then the only ending that could possibly be intended is to sacrifice the town.

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