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Sep 132017

Over the weekend, I played Episode 1 of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, “Awake.”

Despite some problems with the explanations in the final episode of the first game, I enjoyed the original Life Is Strange quite a bit.

I was a little less certain of Before the Storm because I don’t connect with Chloe as easily as I did with Max, but Episode 1 was pretty interesting and has me intrigued about their plans.

This isn’t a review, however–that can wait until I’ve played the full game. Instead, I want to talk about a few of my biggest Before the Storm theories after playing Episode 1.

Spoiler warning: this post will include spoilers for Before the Storm Episode 1. If you don’t want events in Episode 1 spoiled for you, turn back now.

There are plenty of theories out there, over course, but here are a few of the strongest ones for me.

Rachel Has Powers

Some fans speculated even during the first game that Rachel Amber has powers similar to Max. That never occurred to me at the time… but after this episode, I really have to wonder.

First, let’s consider the ending scene, as shown in this video.

Rachel’s scream doesn’t sound natural. And when she screams, the wind visibly whips around her. This happens with each scream and seems to help spread the fire. It could be symbolic… but it has a very supernatural presentation.

Second, she has an unusual amount of knowledge about Chloe. This is most evident in their “two truths and a lie” game, where Rachel is always able to see through Chloe’s lies (even knowing approximately how many years ago she broke her wrist), but also when she references Chloe’s conversations from the start of the game.

Her scream suggests power over wind (or fire?) but her knowledge could be a sign that she really does have time powers like Max.

Can Rachel Be Trusted?

We go into this with a good impression of Rachel from the sequel… but can she really be trusted? If she doesn’t have powers, her unusual knowledge of Chloe feels creepy, like she was stalking her.

Even without that, she feels a bit manipulative. And what about the fire? It’s understandable that she’s upset, but starting a large fire like that intentionally feels dangerous. There was even a part earlier in the game where characters discussed the dangers of wildfires.

I expected to like Rachel Amber, but I left the episode feeling uncertain of her.


Before Chloe returns the photograph to Rachel in the scene above, there’s a moment where we see the photo in Chloe’s hand.

The word “ansia” is written on her palm. “Ansia” means “anxiety” in Spanish, so it could refer to Chloe’s mental state, but why is it written on her hand?

In the episode, you can check your plot objective by looking at Chloe’s hand, where she writes notes to herself. However, this isn’t a section of the game where you can check… and it doesn’t appear to be Chloe’s handwriting.

Why is “ansia” written on her hand? This scene occurs right after a nightmare that showed her where to find Rachel. Could the writing have come from the dream?

The Woman in White

This isn’t a theory so much as a question, the question on nearly everyone’s minds after the episode. Who is the woman in white? And why is she smiling as the fire spreads? What does she want?

Whatever it is, it seems there’s more to her than meets the eye.


If you’ve played Episode 1 of Before the Storm, what do you think? Can we trust Rachel? Does she have powers? (Is she connected to the eventual storm?) Why is “ansia” on Chloe’s hand, and who is the woman in white?

Let me know your own theories in the comments!

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  3 Responses to “Theories After Life Is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1”

  1. Good eye!I didn’t even notice the writing on Chloe’s palm in that seen. I thought Rachel’s scream and the way the wind picked up implicated she had powers too, but I feel like there’s more to KT than that. Have you played the second episode yet?

  2. *scene and KT is supposed to be *it! I knew I should have proofread it first 🙂

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