Life is Strange
|Name:||Life Is Strange|
|Date(s):||Episode 1: 30 January 2015
Episode 2: 24 March 2015
|Country of Origin:||France, USA|
|External Links:||Life Is Strange official website|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Life Is Strange takes place in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, where senior student Max Caulfield returns after a 5 year absence. Reunited with her former friend Chloe, the pair will attempt to uncover the uncomfortable truth behind the mysterious disappearance of fellow student Rachel Amber.
In fanfiction on AO3, Chloe Price is often presented as bigender or genderfluid, "due to her androgynous character design and an endorsement from the voice actor, who stated in an interview that she thinks of Chloe as fluid in both her sexuality and gender".
Due to the games tight focus on its two female leads, Max and Chloe, femslash dominates the fandom shipping activity. Unsurprisingly, this has made Max Caulfield/Chloe Price the juggernaut pairing of the fandom. The other main femslash pairings include Max Caulfield/Victoria Chase and Max Caulfield/Kate Marsh. Warren Graham/Nathan Prescott also has a sizable slash following.
After the prequel game Before the Storm was released, there was a rise in popularity for Rachel Amber/Chloe Price as the game explored how the two first met.
- Pricefield is a pairing name for Max Caulfield/Chloe Price
- Chasefield/Maximum Victory are pairing names for Max Caulfield/Victoria Chase
- Marshfield is a pairing name for Max Caulfield/Kate Marsh
- Grahamscott is a pairing name for Warren Graham/Nathan Prescott
- Grahamfield is a pairing name for Max Caulfield/Warren Graham
- AmberPrice is a pairing name for Rachel Amber/Chloe Price
- AmberPricefield is a pairing name for Rachel Amber/Chloe Price/Max Caulfield
Fan Theories and Speculations
There were several popular fan theories and speculations as to how the game would end while it was being released. Fan theory posts and videos became so popular that Dontnod gave a shout-out to them in the credits of Episode 5. Some examples of popular theories include:
- Chloe Price has to die.
- Max Caulfield has repeated the same week multiple times but can't remember it.
- Rachel Amber is alive.
- Max Caulfield is Rachel Amber.
- Rachel is a time traveler.
- Rachel is stuck in an alternative timeline and can't come back.
- The homeless woman is Max/Rachel from the future.
- The graffiti are messages that Max is leaving herself from different timelines.
- The tornado is a metaphor and will never happen.
Geek Remix was one of the first Youtube channels to gain notoriety within the fandom for her Lis theory videos, the first of which Life is Strange Analysis and Theories: The Butterfly Effect helped popularise the "Chloe Price has to die." theory. Geek Remix's presence within the fandom later became a point of contention for some as they believed her to be overly negative toward Chloe and using her channel to influence others to dislike Chloe. Others believed she had looked up leaks for future episodes so she could create theory videos that would be proven correct when the episodes were officially released. This was denied and GM asked many times for fans to not spoil future content for her or others.
A leaked beta build of Episode 2 "Out of Time" was allegedly posted on 4chan’s /v/ board on February 6, 2015, only 6 days after the release of the first episode. Additionally, there were rumours that an even earlier build of episode 3 was also available but no such build was ever released and only minor details about locations the episodes would take place at were shown. A community manager confirmed that the leaked Episode 2 was genuine on the games Steam forums but urged fans not to download the incomplete build and instead wait for the official release in March.
Regardless this kicked off the practice of looking for possible future content to leak after updates and new episode releases. This often came in conflicted with the theory and speculation side of the fandom as they did not wish to see spoilers that could influence their theories on future events. r/lifeisstrangeleaks was created to share leaks without spoiling fans and much of the leaks and unused content was recorded on The Cutting Room Floor and the Life is Strange wiki.
Ending: Bae > Bay
The ending of Life is Strange is a controversial topic within the fandom. In the lead up to the final episode there had been speculation about whether Max or Chloe would die, as well as if there would be any confirmation of them having romantic feelings for each other.
After episode 5's release many fans were dissatisfied with the ending as it lead to a binary choice between letting Chloe live at the cost of destroying the town and possibly killing unknown numbers of residents, or letting Chloe die and having the town be saved. Fans were especially angry that only by letting Chloe die do the players see Max and Chloe kiss in parting. Many felt this was also an example of Bury Your Gays and queer baiting as the confirmation of Max and Chloe's feeling for each other could only be seen in an ending where Chloe dies. Fix-it fics are common post-ending and the phrase Bae > Bay became shorthand to show that a player chose Chloe over Arcadia Bay.
Speculations surrounding the "Hospital Ending" began as early as the first episode, after leaked game files showed possible future locations including one called "Hospital - Ending". Some believed it was originally intended to provide a third ending where Max ended up in the hospital - probably shot by Nathan Prescott after intervening in his and Chloe's confrontation in the bathroom at Blackwell Academy, and so preventing both Arcadia Bay's destruction and Chloe's death. This possible outcome inspired a lot of fan fictions and was sometimes referred to as "Sacrifice Max".
Co-Director Michel Koch later explained that the Hospital Ending was actually an alternate version of the "Sacrifice Chloe" ending in which Chloe Price would have fallen into a coma instead of being killed. The final scene would have shown Max Caulfield waking up in the hospital next to Chloe's hospital bed instead of attending Chloe's funeral. This only lead to further anger fans of Chloe who felt her death was unnecessary in the first place.
Let's Plays are especially popular due to the episodic format of Life Is Strange and its multiple choices that can be made, thus giving players and viewers different outcomes in different playthroughs.
- posts tagged as Life Is Strange Fan Art on tumblr
- losers by felitomkinson
- This game is going to be a real feel trip. by ollybollywolly
- The Arcadia Bay troublemakers at it again. by takitakos
- “Try to try again,To hear yourself again from time to time “ by ellierio
- Love is Strange is a fan-made visual novel based on Life Is Strange. The dark and supernatural elements from the original game are excised and the queer romance brought to the forefront.
- Life is strange: all Wounds
- Price by Koethe Koethe - Koethe went on to make a full album, Time, in 2016 which included all his LiS based songs.
Source Filmmaker community
Life is Strange is popular within the Source Filmmaker community and has lead to many fan animated projects. Models and other game assets began to be ripped and posted to the SLM workshop in May 2015, around the time of episode 3's release. After episode 5 many alternate ending animations were created to show a more optimistic ending.
Archives & Fannish Links
- Life Is Strange works at AO3
- Life is Strange works at FFN
- Life is Strange wiki
- Life is Strange Reddit
- Life is Strange Leaks Reddit
- Brianna Dym, Jed Brubaker, Casey Fiesler (December 2018). "Game Studies - "theyre all trans sharon": Authoring Gender in Video Game Fan Fiction". gamestudies.org. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
- only true LiS fans™ remember, accessed 2016-09-14.
- Life is Strange Episode 2 Leaked