Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 3 'Table-top Theory' by Anna G

Before the Storm: Table-top Theory

By Anna G. 4th November 2017

Hey, my name is Anna and this is my theory on how Before the Storm (BTS) episode 3 may end.

Now, before I start going into it, I'd like to say a few things. Firstly, this is a pretty long-winded theory. If you hate reading, it sucks to be you, dude (but I know die-hard fans/theory lovers will still press through or even those who are simply just curious to know WTF will come of episode 3). Secondly, I came up with this when theorising with a friend and it slowly evolved in my mind over the course of our conversation. The few friends who know this theory think it has weight to it and is worth mentioning to other LiS/BTS fans. So, please please please stick and bear with me. Lastly, if you disagree, that's cool and totally down to you.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T COMPLETED BOTH EPISODE 1 AND 2!!


TL;DR

A quick summary of this Before the Storm theory, to whet your appetite:

 

  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm features hella symbolism & foreshadowing
  • Deck Nine stated that the game's ending would be 'unguessable' by fans - so it's going to be pretty out-there
  • Rachel is symbolically linked with fire
  • Eliot is a creep and will turn out to be the villain
  • The table-top game in Before the Storm Episode 1 is the story of the whole game, hidden in plain sight: 3 parts to the game, 3 episodes and there are hella symbolic links
  • Oh, and Frank burned down The Mill & rescued those dogs

 

Need evidence? Read the full theory below. Also check out the thread about the theory on Reddit here .


Okay so, I'd like to start with..

Rachel Amber

"Rachel Amber is a dragon made of diamonds."

Samuel in Before the Storm Episode 2

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel... What a babe! If you haven't gathered by now, symbolism and foreshadowing in this game is HUGE. It is infested with it EVERYWHERE. If you haven't noticed, you haven't been paying enough attention... Or Chloe/Rachel's cuteness has completely blinded you! Which is understandable and not completely your fault!
Back to Rachel.... Rachel IS fire. The whole fire symbolism in episode 1 and 2 all lead to Rachel. It was foreshadowed during the whole of episode 1 that there would be a forest fire. Like... A LOT. We just didn't know how it would come about and as it turns out it was Rachel. Now how else is Rachel symbolised with fire? She's a leo for a start (like me) and Leo's are fire signs ruled by the sun. In episode 2, the shirt she is seen wearing at the start is one with what seems to have fire on it. Samuel says Rachel is "a dragon made of diamonds". Dragons breathe fire and at the end of episode 1, when Rachel screams at the fire she started, it seemed like she was breathing fire. Now a lot of people said she has wind powers, but she doesn't. A dragon made of diamonds though, why the diamonds? Well Rachel is beautiful and shines (she literally draws everyone in and it's clear from the way people talk about her). Another quick mention is to Joyce's self help book about a spark starting a fire that lights the whole prairie or something like that. There's quite a few ways Rachel is directly linked to fire and I can't be bothered mentioning them all. But, if you pay close attention, you notice it.

So with that in mind, let's move on to...

Eliot Hampden

"I only see what Eliot wants me to see. Usually I can see both what people want me to see and what they want to keep hidden."

Samuel in Before the Storm Episode 2

Okay, I'm sure I've lost you now. Like why the hell are we bringing up this guy? He's a waste of space. Sorry to anyone who likes this guy (even though I have no idea why you would, but to each their own) because in my theory... This guy is the villain at the end of episode 3. Now bear with me, seriously (it makes more sense in the end, I swear).

In episode 2, we learn a lot about Eliot by looking in his room. He's a stalker/creep (and the fact we are literally creeping in his room isn't lost on me haha). He has a clear obsession with Chloe judging by the picture and his internet search history. Guy needs to calm down. Most would be quick to assume the poems are about Chloe... However, in this theory, most (except the last one talking about her dripping ink with her knife or whatever) are about Rachel. Most of these poems make references to fire and qualities that reflect Rachel's character. In one poem it ends with the line "Trailing fire". Now, another reason I don't think they're about Chloe is because of the line "They see her but don't see her" in one of the poems. Chloe isn't one to be seen/known by people. I mean, even Victoria (the bitch we all love to hate... and love) doesn't know Chloe's name, calling her Kari instead. In the photo of her and Rachel posted to social media, people don't know who the "arm candy" is next to Rachel, despite the fact she goes to the same damn school and is in the same classes as them, calling her Debra Borgen instead.

Another important point in regards to that line in the poem is what we hear Rachel mention in episode 2 during therapy with Chloe. Rachel asks Chloe (something along the lines of) if a person can act so much, they lose their own personality and that they act how they think people want to see them. Chloe is quick to say that Rachel does have a personality. Rachel brushes this off and says she was talking about her dad. Rachel is also a social chameleon in the way she adapts to her surroundings and those in it, getting along with near enough everyone. This again all points to the line "They see her but don't see her" suggesting her true self is never revealed to anyone (except perhaps Chloe). In episode 2 during the play, Rachel goes off script and says something to the nature of "my habit's been to keep my soul well draped", again making the point that she keeps her true self hidden. I could go on, but that's enough, now!

So...

Why would Eliot be writing poetry about Rachel? Ha! The real question is why WOULDN'T he be writing poetry about her. Unless you haven't noticed, EVERYONE loves and BUMS Rachel. Popular and pretty girls like Rachel are prone to getting crushed on and even having stalkers. I believe Eliot was into Rachel before he was into Chloe and he got rejected by her and now doesn't like her. Now, Rachel proved she's a good judge of character in episode 1 during the 2 truths and lie game, boasting about having studied the human condition or something along those lines. Perhaps she saw Eliot's true personality and rejected him for this very reason. Or maybe she's just been crushing on Chloe for ages and was holding out for her. But, yeah. Anyway, Eliot is rejected so he moves on to Chloe. In episode 2 we talk to Eliot in the parking lot and it's clear from the way he talks about Rachel, he's not a fan of her which is weird because everyone else can't stop licking her ass. Metaphorically speaking, of course... Plus, why put Eliot in this game? He seems like a pretty random character, almost reflecting Warren in the original. But unlike Eliot, Warren had roles he played in the development of the game. So, again, WHY ELIOT?! Surely Deck Nine didn't just give us some poor guy to friendzone right? Lol if that's the case. But he seems very pointless, yet we learn all that about him in episode 2? He clearly has to play some sort of role. You're probably thinking well other characters are pretty pointless, too, but they're not because most of them are from the original LiS, tying the two games together.

Now, when Eliot discovers Rachel and Chloe's new romance/friendship (depending on your choices, though why you would choose anything but romance is besides me), he will grow envious and angry. "Why should that bitch Rachel get Chloe after rejecting me?" sorta thing. Now this is where it gets a bit deep... I think episode 3 will end with Rachel and/or Chloe murdering Eliot.

BEAR WITH ME, PLEASE (if you've made it this far, thank you).

Why would I possibly have such a crazy theory? I'll tell you as best as I can, but I'd first like to mention the ending to episode 2 where we see a teaser for episode 3. Chloe seems panicked and in a rush, also scared. When she starts the engine, she seems determined and even a bit angry. Why? It seems like some serious shit has gone down and she has to get somewhere fast... My theory is to Rachel's rescue. Chloe seems to be on a mission, and a serious one at that. I'd also like to reference some foreshadowing in episode 1 when we talk to Victoria. When she asks what Chloe and Rachel got up to, we are given the option to say "We murdered a guy". Weird thing to say, right? Well, not really, we shrug it off and pin it on Chloe's sense of humour (which is brilliant).

So, where did all this come from? Well, I told my friend shortly after finishing episode 2 that I am convinced that they will have hidden the whole plot within the game, right under our noses and it would take extremely nerdy analytical skills (like mine) to spot. The sort of thing that would have us kicking ourselves after for not noticing it. Like a big joke on us players by the developers. So, I believe I have found just that and that's in the table-top game in episode 1.

 

WELCOME TO TABLE-TOP THEORY

Notice how that mini objective to get that DVD from Steph was really fucking random? People will think it's just because they wanted to throw Blade Runner in then and link it to the original LiS. Which, of course they did! However, Deck Nine will be aware that not everyone is a big symbolism/foreshadowing nerd like me who goes around looking at EVERYTHING and finding meaning in it. So, they had to make an objective that would give you the opportunity to play this table-top game and literally have the whole plot to the game thrown in your face! They even brought further attention to the table-top game by hosting a community event on it because of its importance to the game.

Table-top games like the one in the game mimic the type of game BTS/LiS is. It's a choice based game where you have to choose wisely and your actions result in certain consequences. In BTS, we play as Chloe and make her choices and in the table-top game Chloe is playing as the elf barbarian who makes choices that affect the outcome of the game. Mikey and Steph point out how the elf barbarian IS Chloe. Her characteristics in both appearance and personality are very similar to hers. Now.... What about the character Elamon? You know Elamon, the guy who carries a staff and has FIRE powers... Yes, that's right. Elamon resembles Rachel. How? Well, apart from his FIRE powers (yes, I will add emphasis again), Elamon carries a staff. Now, where do we see someone carrying a staff? Well, in episode 2, Rachel plays Prospera in the play and Prospera carries a staff. Prospera also uses sorcery (magic), as does Elamon. Rachel is a very good communicator and Elamon has the power of communication. Look it up on Google if you don't believe me, guys!

Moving on to the actual game now and how it reflects plot. We are given the choice of doing 3 things (coincidentally, there's 3 episodes to this game). We can visit the training grounds, the prison or the warlord's tent which all, "coincidentally", exist in a land called Blackwell.

The Training Grounds

The training grounds reflect part of the plot in episode 1. It is not the EXACT same (that would be too obvious). Now, in the table-top game (don't quote me on everything because I'm mainly going off memory as I can't be bothered Googling it right now), Chloe's elf character and Elamon come across some bad guys who threaten them. Chloe is given the option to knee the guy in the balls, hit him with her weapon or something else which ends with her head barely being missed by the bad guy. Elamon comes to her rescue, however, with acid blast. Now, does this sound familiar? In episode 1, Chloe goes to the concert at the mill. She encounters those skeevy guys. They threaten her and you are given the choice to run or attack. Now if you attack, 2 of 3 things happen. If you picked up a beer bottle, Chloe smacks him over the head with it. If you didn't, Chloe knees him in the balls. In both these circumstances, Chloe is punched in the face. This reflects how that plays out in the table-top game, with Rachel (Elamon) then coming to her rescue. Why acid blast and not some fire power? Well, I don't know. But, I'm putting it down to the fire symbolism not having happened yet in the game.

The Prison

This one is a little harder to relate to episode 2 of BTS, but the symbolism and resemblance is still there if you look closely. In the table-top game, the elf and Elamon come to a prison where some dragonkin turd has the keys and locks himself away, preventing the elf and Elamon from freeing the prisoners. Elamon has no role in this apart from casting some communication power and it is purely the work of Chloe to free the prisoners. She has the options of picking the lock, tempting him with bread or intimidating him (backtalking him). Upon successful intimidation, the dragonkin pisses itself in fear and grants her entrance to free prisoners. This relates to the Drew North mission you have to carry out in episode 2. When Chloe goes to the dorm doors, she says she's going to either need to lock pick them or get some keys. She takes the keys from Samuel eventually, however, Skip comes out and the only option she has there to get in is to backtalk and intimidate him into getting inside. If she succeeds, Skip runs off in fear (of Chloe or losing his job or both) and Chloe goes inside. I believe Chloe has made reference to Blackwell being a prison but I can't remember when and I could be wrong. Anyway, upon entering, you actually do have to pick a lock this time! Well, you have to find the code. Drew and Mikey enter after Chloe retrieves the money from his trunk. Damon comes along and is asking for the money. We are given the option to stay with Mikey or give damon the money. Money often being referred to as "dough", which is also bread. This is where the tempt with bread option comes in, too. Chloe through her actions, be it giving the money to Damon or giving it back to Drew (not including the option to keep the money, again, its not going to be the exact same), FREES him and Mikey from Damon's wrath. Mikey and Drew can escape with that money or you can get Damon off their back (even if it's temporary).

The Warlord's Tent

Now, this is where the theory links in with Eliot. Eliot is Duurgaron. How? Why? Well, Duurgaron is the main bad guy Elamon and the Chloe elf come against (Rachel and Chloe's ending to the game). In the table-top game, Elamon goes to cast a fire spell against Duurgaron, however, Elamon is rendered useless because Duurgaron has FIRE IMMUNITY. This means it's yet again down to Chloe and she has to step in to save Elamon somehow. Duurgaron's attention is turned to Chloe's elf and she is given various options like some mad dash along with others. These aren't important to point out really because episode 3 hasn't happened so I can't say for sure. A fight ensues, Elamon gets injured as a consequence but not killed, the elf then gets impaled but has the option to cut off Duurgaron's arm and disarm him from his fire immunity, allowing Elamon to step in and kill him with fire power. If you fail to kill him, Elamon disappears and Chloe's elf still dies anyway.

Now, let's link it to how I think it will play out in episode 3 with Rachel, Chloe and Eliot. Eliot will capture Rachel (out of his anger for their relationship/friendship) and lure Chloe to him with this knowledge (hence Chloe's determination and rush in the episode 3 teaser). Chloe won't know that Eliot is armed with a gun and has it held on Rachel (fire immunity). Chloe has to step in and disarm him and get the gun away from him, Rachel is then maybe injured somehow on her leg (maybe that's why she gets a tattoo to cover up a scar? And of a dragon no less), Chloe eventually disarms him and gets the gun away from him, he probably does something to injure her but Rachel gets the gun and FIRES it at Eliot, killing him. I'd also like to refer to how Chloe dies even in a bloody game (foreshadowing her eventual death) because this girl sucks at staying alive. I love her, though. Bae over Bay every day!!! Also, Elamon has the power to suddenly disappear (foreshadowing Rachel's disappearance).

In the original LiS, Chloe talks about Rachel as being her "angel" who "saved her life". Who's to say this has to be taken as a metaphor? She could be speaking in a literal sense for all we know. Especially with Chloe's record of getting into deadly situations (oh, Chloe, you clumsy and unlucky tit Other instances of this in the game have been shown, like getting threatened with a broken bottle, almost electrocuting herself fixing the truck etc). Obviously, she won't go around telling people about this, even Max. Especially if she believes Rachel is still alive. Chloe also acts really angry about Rachel ditching, especially after "all the shit" they went through together. So, yeah.

This whole scene will lead to the final major choice we make in the game that I believe will be solely based on Rachel and Chloe.

IF YOU'RE STILL WITH ME, THANK YOU! As you can see, my theory eventually ties in nicely.
However, you're probably thinking 'why Eliot as the bad guy and not, say, Damon?'

Well... Wouldn't be much of an intense, plot twist if it was Damon, would it? I personally think Deck Nine have been leading us down different paths and purposely keeping Eliot more in the background as a way to leave us completely blown away by the true ending. Plus, I really don't trust Eliot, especially after episode 2. He gives me the creeps. But, you never know, I could be wrong and it could be Damon or some other bad guy in the final episode. However, this would seem more obvious to me and Deck Nine have stated in an interview that the ending to episode 3 cannot be guessed even by die-hard fans (CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, DECK NINE!). I also think it is far too early in the story for Rachel and Frank to meet or have any ties to each other. I personally think she meets and hangs out with him some months or so before she dies.

Now, if you wanna google about the table-top game and look for yourself about the choices you can make in it, that would be cool. You can see how it ties in for yourself then and not just take my word for it.

Still not convinced? Well... Shit. I don't know what to say. Haha. However, if you play the table-top game, Mikey later texts you about being expelled/suspended and Chloe replies saying she "rolled a 1 against Wells". Again, linking the table-top game with real life events in BTS. Still not convinced? I don't care. I tried, man!

So, again my name's Anna and this has been TABLE-TOP THEORY, guys. I haven't noticed anyone else mention it or draw importance to the table-top game and how it ties in with the game, so, I believe I am the first and if I suddenly see it flying around on YouTube or anywhere else, especially so closely done to the way I have laid it out for you, I will be pissed if credit isn't at least given. Also, I'll punch whoever does it RIGHT. IN. THE. DICK. (kidding... sorta). I don't really care that much, I just wanted to share my theory with you guys and hear your thoughts. No matter the ending and even if I am wrong, which I very well could be, this game is AMAZING and I'm sure the ending will be, too. Also, props to Deck Nine for providing us with so much GAY. As a lesbian, I love and appreciate that. The 20 quid I spent was worth seeing Chloe and Rachel start their relationship (and that kiss, though!!) alone, so everything else is just a bonus to me. And the soundtrack is just brilliant, keeping with how amazing the one in LiS was. You can stop reading here now, if you wish, you've done well reading it so far and sticking with me. I am going to carry on below with some thoughts/feelings and other possible events to come in the third episode if you are interested in hearing those out, too. Peace!


OTHER POSSIBLE SHIT

Frank burned down the mill, guys. He saved those dogs, the police officer told us in the original. It was not a result of the forest fire. If you look on Frank's search history and pay attention to the dates, you will notice he was Googling about something along the lines of fire insurance fraud the day BEFORE he receives an email from Damon saying the mill burnt down. Hence his anxiety about getting Damon's money back so as to calm him down and not get suspicion pinned on himself.

Sera, Rachel's mum, is keeping an eye on Rachel from afar (seeing her burn down the forest and then watching her school play). One of my thoughts as to how she ties into the game is that she may witness Rachel murder Eliot and as a result, takes the blame for her and goes to prison. I'm not entirely sure, though, and I haven't thought too much into it. One thing I do also feel in relation to this is that, Sera has been to prison before, hence her ties to Rachel's dad, the DA (and I presume a lawyer of some form before this). This is why she wasn't around to care for Rachel herself and wouldn't mind taking the blame for her if it meant preventing her daughter having a similar fate to her.

The murder of Eliot, or the discovery of Sera being her mum, will put off Rachel from running away from Arcadia Bay with Chloe right away. Maybe, who knows. But something clearly prevents them. I also feel it could be possible that it's Joyce who stops them through Chloe's love and concern for her.

Chloe's dreams aren't warning her against being with Rachel (as friend or more) but simply warning her of the troubles that can come from it. In episode 1, after Chloe's second dream in the junkyard, which featured the raven, a raven then guides Chloe to Rachel where she's stood by the tree by flying overhead in two scenes. One where Chloe walks down the tracks towards the park and the second where she gets to Rachel and it's flying overhead. Why would the raven warn against Rachel but then lead Chloe to her? Also in episode 2, Rachel is still the fire William refers to, however, it could be said that Chloe is the beauty that the fire wants all to itself, as fire is jealous. This could mean that Rachel wants Chloe and doesn't want Eliot to have her. Rachel's action could lead to Chloe getting burned (as the warning goes).

Another thought relating to the table-top theory is that Chloe and Mikey have interactions in-between events taking place in the game that strengthens their bond. This can symbolise the times Chloe and Rachel are alone and interact, causing their friendship/relationship to grow stronger in-between big events in the game.


I don't know what else. My brain hurts.


Got an opinion about the theory? Drop by the BtS Episode 3 Ending Theory topic on reddit