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Gaming: Heavy Rain Notes 02 (SPOILERS)

Heavy Rain

Wikipedia quote: "Cage has also stated that “I would like people to play it once…because that’s life. Life you can only play once...I would like people to have this experience that way.”"

As with the previous post, for my second playthrough of Heavy Rain I took notes of the different outcomes to see how differently you can play the game. While I didn’t finish this second playthrough there’s still enough here to see what level of variation the game supports. A lot of this will only make sense if you’ve read or are comparing it to the previous set of notes:

Be aware that spoilers will follow for the entire game, so only read on if you’ve finished the game.

Chapter One

  • Story Scene One (different): Ethan wakes up and slacks off until his wife and children return home for his son’s tenth birthday. He plays with his children, letting Jason beat him at sword fighting.
  • Story Scene Two (same): At the mall, Grace takes Sean shoe shopping, leaving Ethan with Jason. Jason disappears, Ethan finds him at a clown and buys him a red balloon, but Jason has disappeared again. Grace returns with Sean while Ethan runs around in search of Jason, finding him outside the mall for some reason across the road, and as he crosses back he is seemingly hit by a car and killed.
  • Story Scene Three (Different): Two years later, Ethan and Grace are separated. Ethan picks up Sean from school and takes him back to his apartment. The rain begins to fall. Ethan leaves Sean to do what he wants, eventually giving him dinner and taking him to bed, bringing Sean’s favourite teddy. Ethan says goodnight to Sean, leaves the room and blacks out and wakes up in a strange street far away, holding an origami figure.

Chapter Two

  • Story Scene Four (different): Scott Shelby enters a motel and finds the room of Lauren Winters, a prostitute. Shelby tactlessly asks her about her son and suggests she use the time he paid for to tell him about what happened, prompting her to order him to leave. After an asthma attack Shelby leaves, while an old client of Lauren’s starts beating her.
  • Had almost no dialogue or interaction with Lauren apart from angering her and then left her to be beaten, which would surely mean she won’t go chasing him down later.
  • Knowing the way Shelby’s story develops later, this time he is going to be fairly rude and indifferent to people’s problems.

Chapter Three

  • Story Scene Five (Different): Norman Jayden arrives at the crime scene, talks to Blake and then leaves.
  • Examined no clues at all here. I think this Jayden is going to be a fairly incompetent addict, sleepwalking through his job between fixes.

Chapter Four

  • Story Scene Six (different): Ethan visits his doctor, then goes to school to collect Sean, discovers he got in trouble for not doing his homework and takes him to the park to try and cheer up, playing with Sean’s boomerang but being unsuccessful at throwing it. Then Ethan messed up spinning Sean around on the merry-go-round and playing on the see-saw, so they decided to leave. Sean asked if he could go on the carousel. Ethan blacks out again, wakes up in the road, narrowly dodging a truck and rushing back to the park. He runs home but Sean isn’t there either, and Ethan slumps in the road, another origami figure in his hand.
  • Deliberately messing everything up and disappointing Sean time and again wasn’t very fun. The kid’s about to go through a horrible experience and I couldn’t even give him a brief bit of fun beforehand.
  • Sean says he was punished for not doing his homework, but if you do the homework with him then Sean gets punished for being late instead. It seems you can’t avoid Sean being punished from Ethan messing up, as even if you do nothing wrong the game finds a reason. I suppose the time you make Sean go to bed might matter, but then him being punished adds to his poor mood, which is the focus of the playground scene.

Chapter Five

  • Story Scene Seven (different): Jayden waits to meet Perry at the police station, so plays with the ARI machine in a ball bouncing game until he arrives, then they walk together and briefly discuss the case while Jayden fails to tie Perry’s tie for him. Perry wants results and fast, having to have daily press conferences to tell them about the case. Jayden attends the press conference then after a brief chat with a hostile Blake Jayden is escorted to his new office and gets to work. Using the ARI, Jayden identifies the killer’s make of car from satellite data of the area. After finishing he starts shaking from drug withdrawal and takes the tripto.
  • Though Jayden gathered no evidence at the scene the satellite image is put here for him to get the tyre info from. The make of car is the only important clue anyway.
  • Story Scene Eight (different): Ethan is also in the police station and is interviewed by Blake while Jayden is enjoying his drugs. He struggles to remember identifying details about his son and lies about blacking out, then has a heated talk with Grace about how he could possibly have let Sean out of his sight just like he did Jason.

Chapter Six

  • Story Scene Nine (different): Shelby visits a convenience store owned by another parent of an Origami victim, who is similarly unwilling to talk. While Shelby is in the back of the store an armed robber tries to steal the money, but Hassan refuses and is killed.
  • Shelby can apparently be shot here so I would like to see if he can die (I think he’s too important to the story), but in this playthrough there’s no reason for selfish Shelby to try and help.

Chapter Seven

  • Story Scene Ten (different): Madison wakes up in the middle of night, tries to get some sleep in her bed but fails, takes some pills in her bathroom then emerges to discover signs of an intruder. She tries to escape but is thrown around and then stabbed on the kitchen table. Then Madison wakes up and realises it was all a dream.
  • I dislike how pointless this scene is. Knowing it’s a dream means there’s no point to it and you can’t vary things because it has no consequence. I did avoid pressing any prompts to see how long Madison survives, and while she fends off a few knife blows without help she does end up killed on the kitchen table.
  • When Madison goes to sleep on the bed she doesn’t get under the covers, which likely doesn’t help with the insomnia as being on a bed isn’t necessarily the same as being in it. It does give the camera a chance to pan slowly along her body though, which when combined with the loving shower scene and the way Madison otherwise just walks around in her underwear makes it seem like the whole point of this scene is so you can look at Madison in as little clothing as possible. The whole scene could be cut and it wouldn’t affect the game at all, as the only things you learn here (what she looks like, her name, her insomnia) is all given to you when she meets Ethan.

Chapter Eight:

  • Story Scene Eleven (different): Ethan receives a cryptic letter and a key to a locker at a (train?) station, deciding to avoid the paparazzi outside to get to his car and investigate.
  • Other than how you leave the house there’s nothing you can do differently here, at least as far as I can tell. Ethan mentions giving the letter to the police but as soon as he finds the locker key he abandons that idea, just as every single other father of an Origami victim apparently did, despite none of them successfully completing the trials. If just one had gone to the police (and Mr. Hassan clearly gave up at some point, surviving and keeping the shoebox) then it would undermine Origami’s entire method, because the police would know about the trials and maybe even have clues to the location (which likely doesn’t change, seeing as Origami owns the place).
  • Story Scene Twelve (same): After fighting through the crowd, avoiding a panic attack but still hallucinating, Ethan finds a shoebox in Locker 18-3.
  • I wondered before if you could fail the panic attack, but it doesn’t seem like it. I failed both parts over and over again but Ethan just returns to the starting point. It makes sense to force completion because without the trials Ethan has no story and never meets Madison.
  • Minor glitch this time when Ethan held up the locker key, as the key itself didn’t appear and Ethan just started intently at his hand while reading off a card that wasn’t there.
  • Story Scene Thirteen (same): Ethan rents a room in the first motel he finds so that he can open the shoebox. In the box there’s a gun, a phone and some sort of chip for it, as well as some origami. One of the origami figures (looked like a bear) contains a note directing him to Joe’s garage, along with some sort of card. After connecting the chip to the phone it plays a video of Sean in some sort of storm drain, calling for his dad. The phone displays the message: “How far are you prepared to go to save someone you love?” Each origami figure relates to a different trial he must solve to piece together a clue to save his son. He leaves the shoebox on the table and heads out to the location.
  • There clearly are numbers on the origami figures here, I’m not sure how I missed them the first time around.
  • This time I did use the front door but Ethan can’t walk away, for the same reasons as the previous scene.
  • I left the shoebox on the table this time instead of putting it under the bed, so that Madison can find it later.

Chapter Nine

  • Story Scene Fourteen (different): Jayden briefs his colleagues about his suspicions regarding the Origami killers motivations, race and location, becoming aggressive in the face of Blake’s criticism but identifying two likely suspects that match the criteria.
  • ‘Different’ might be stretching things but I did choose the angry options instead of the calm ones, though it didn’t really change anything. I had to restart the scene once because I accidentally pressed calm the second time instead of aggressive, as Quantic Dream apparently decided that those two options should  swap buttons for no reason whatsoever.
  • Story Scene Fifteen (different): Jayden and Blake go to the location of who Jayden considers the prime suspect, Nathaniel Williams. Blake breaks in when there’s no response and Jayden follows. The room is full of crosses hanging from the ceiling and scribbled scripture covers the walls, pills littering the apartment. Jayden realises the man is no killer, then Williams returns. After Jayden asks Williams a few questions Blake chimes in more aggressively, shouting at him that he’s a murderer, pushing him to the floor and kicking him. Williams pulls a gun but Jayden keeps calm and defuses the situation, then responds instinctively when it looks like Williams is pulling out another gun and shoots him, only to discover it was just a crucifix.
  • The stand-off is a bit where you’re able to interact but you don’t really need to. If you press nothing Jayden defaults to the calm options after a few seconds, but no matter what you say it doesn’t seem like you can get Blake killed (which makes sense as he has a key role right to the end).
  • As I didn’t react to the crucifix the first time I played (I saw it wasn’t a gun immediately) there obviously wasn’t any tension this time around, and Williams died just because I decided Jayden would react that way. If there had been a way to get Blake killed and save Williams I would have.

Chapter Ten

  • Story Scene Sixteen (same): Shelby visits the home of Susan Bowles, mother of the most recent Origami victim. After noticing a crying baby inside but getting no response, he enters through the back door and discovers a suicide note. He rushes to the bathroom and saves her, tending her wounds then changing and feeding baby Emily. Susan mentions a phone she found that hadn’t belonged to her husband but otherwise couldn’t identify.
  • There’s no possibility of variation here, apart from choosing which door you exit by. Shelby’s a good guy who can’t leave Susan to die or baby Emily unattended, which is difficult to align with the Origami Killer. If he’s there for information then that would be easier if Susan’s dead and he has free reign to explore. I guess you could argue that Origami’s entire issue is with dads and their sons, so mothers and daughters are worth saving (even if you killed the father and son and put them in this situation).

Chapter Eleven

  • Story Scene Seventeen (different): Ethan arrives at the parking garage, receives the keys from the mechanic there and discovers ‘his’ car has been waiting there for two years. The car has a GPS that takes him to a highway, where it instructs him to drive five miles along the wrong side of the road to earn the next clue. After driving down the road a short way and narrowly avoiding workmen, Ethan’s car crashes on the side of the road far short of his target.
  • The car has been there for two years but it was much less time since the last Origami victim. Does that mean Origami is paying for cars in storage all over the city, for years at a time?
  • Though you can have Ethan think about not doing it because it’s not worth endangering his life and the lives of those on the road in the hope that he can save Sean later, there’s no actual choice not to.
  • The QTE doesn’t really seem to pay attention to success or failure as Ethan successfully navigates either way and can never hit the workmen (which makes sense as having Ethan kill several people lessens viewer/player sympathy for him and makes the murder trial less important). So it’s a QTE where button presses don’t alter the actions, merely tallying your failures and going to the failure movie if you miss too many prompts.
  • The failure movie seems identical to the success one, with the same location and crash, it just skips over Ethan being given his reward.

Chapter Twelve

  • Story Scene Eighteen (different): Madison checks into a motel room, discovering a wounded Ethan on the top floor and helping him to his room, where she tends his wounds and waits while he has a shower, going through the shoebox of clues on the table.
  • As with Ethan and the first trial, you can’t avoid helping Ethan. Madison thinks about leaving him once he’s in the room and having the receptionist call an ambulance but you can’t actually go out the door.
  • I accidentally messed this up the first time by deliberately messing up the QTEs to heal Ethan, hurting him until he said it would be best if I left. I quickly quit an reloaded the scene then because I want Madison to look in the shoebox.
  • Madison looks at all the origami figures in the shoebox but doesn’t physically or mentally react in any way. Considering she knows about the Origami Killer you’d think she’d at least wonder why he has them.
  • The room definitely changes here. When you’re here with Ethan earlier there are bandages in the medicine cabinet and the fridge is empty, but when Madison needs different medicine for Ethan the cabinet has different things in it and there’s a drink in the fridge, despite Ethan apparently not having returned yet (and why would he get rid of the bandages, which are back in there later?).
  • Ethan says no to going to the hospital, which isn’t strange in itself because he has things to do and they would keep him in for days. Absolutely nobody respects the authorities though. Susan Blake wouldn’t go to the hospital after slashing her wrists, none of the fathers (including Hassan who clearly didn’t complete his trials) ever went to the police, either during or after the abductions, and even Jayden ends up avoiding them later on. The police are admittedly fairly awful here, at least as represented by Perry, Blake and to a lesser extent Jayden, and Shelby the ex-cop obviously isn’t perfect either.

Chapter Thirteen

  • Story Scene Twenty (different): Jayden and Blake track down their next suspect, Korda, who flees into a market, chased by Jayden and escapes.
  • Blake talks about the shooting of Williams.
  • Failure does actually alter the actions here, which is better. Jayden hits every person, car, door and object along the route if you don’t press anything, and after you’ve failed enough Korda gets away. Considering Korda’s not the killer and this is just part of the whole red herring side of the game it doesn’t seem like it will matter at all.

Chapter Fourteen

  • Story Scene Twenty-One (same): An exhausted Shelby wakes up in his office and is visited by Lauren Winters. She gives Shelby a letter that her husband received on the day their son disappeared, which was when her husband walked out on her, and she insists she accompany him on his investigation.
  • You really get nothing from Shelby’s thoughts that tie him to the killer, and his thoughts and actions all the way through just don’t gel with the Origami Killer. The Unreliable Narrator is a valid storytelling technique in film, literature and other passive media but it feels off in the active medium of video games. It means my goals aren’t the same as my character’s goals, and my character knows things that he’s deliberately keeping from me, censoring his thoughts and restricting his actions (you can’t go in the secret room here, obviously), as well as hiding everything he does on the Killer side (taunting Ethan, sending him the rewards, recording Sean, killing Paco). So I really don’t know how to feel about all this.
  • You can leave Lauren ringing the bell indefinitely and she’ll never leave.
  • Lauren mentions that he told her she could contact him if she remembers anything, but I’m not sure we had that conversation. She wouldn’t talk, Shelby offended her, then he left her to be beaten on by the ex client.
  • Lauren is bruised and in his thoughts Shelby curses himself for not realising that guy was going to hurt her. Why would he care?
  • I’m not sure why Shelby is so open about the typewriter to Lauren, as by saying it’s useful it gives her a reason to tag along, rather than him just saying he could look into it and let her know if there’s any useful info on the envelope. I also don’t understand why a traceable typewriter is used when it could be printed out with a computer and be much harder to narrow down.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Two (different): Shelby and Lauren visit the home of a man who’s big in construction. They arrive during a party, where Lauren distracts the guards so Shelby can sneak by and confront the man’s son, Gordi Kramer. After Gordi ‘confesses’ to being the killer his men beat up Shelby and take him outside.
  • Last time it seemed like Lauren had disappeared but she’s actually just sitting down near the guards. You can even use her to help distract the guards, which was a nice touch. Even after you talk to her Shelby can still be made to think about how he hasn’t seen her in a while.
  • After the later revelations I did wonder why Shelby bothers with all this, until I remembered that Gordi’s father mentions that Gordi killed one of the victims because he wanted to emulate the killer. Origami goes after Gordi because he kills without testing the father, which is the whole point. Still, you’d think the lengths Kramer goes to in order to protect his son would resonate with Origami, seeing as that’s the entire purpose of his tests.

Chapter Fifteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Three (different): Ethan arrives at his next trial, in an abandoned power station, where he has to persevere through great pain and uncertainty. Unable to face the electrical condensers, he takes the coward’s way out.
  • The game went seriously glitchy here. I reached a point in the tunnel where there was no more glass (which I didn’t remember happening before), so crawled at full speed to the next junction and… Ethan wouldn’t go forward. No matter what I pressed I could only get him to turn back the way he came from, despite there being open tunnel ahead and the match flame pointing in that direction. Then as I crawled back and forth trying to get it to work the pain indicators appeared so there was really broken glass there, it just hadn’t appeared. The whole thing had gone wrong and I had to start the scene over again.
  • The tunnel is pretty narrow and I’m not sure Origami could fit in here to lay all the broken glass and slide down the pipe afterwards.

Chapter Sixteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Three (same): Madison discovers Ethan unconscious and bleeding in his room and tends to his wounds.
  • I’m not sure there’s anything you can do here that changes things. There are a few dialogue choices but they don’t seem meaningful.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Four (same): Ethan gets his next clue, which asks him if he is ready to make a sacrifice to save his son.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Five (different): Jayden and Blake discover Korda has alibis for many of the murders. Grace visits and mentions that the night before one child’s body was found Ethan had come home late and had no explanation for his absence. Jayden and Blake visit Ethan’s doctor, where Blake assaults him until he breaks confidentiality, with Jayden not intervening.
  • Korda isn’t here this time, which means it skips the interview and just has Blake discover he has alibis before Grace shows up. Considering how pointless Korda is it’s not really a bad thing.
  • Unlocked the “Bad Cop” trophy this time, which fits Jayden much better.

Chapter Seventeen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Four (same): Blake alerts the police to be on the lookout for Ethan, identifying him as the Origami Killer.
  • This was just a cutscene so there’s nothing you can change.

Chapter Eighteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Five (same): Shelby is invited to a golf club by Gordi’s father, where he is told to leave Gordi alone.
  • You have no choice here whatsoever. You can’t go anywhere or interact with anything other than Gordi’s father, there are no conversation choices and even the golf swings are set, starting off with a good swing and getting progressively worse. It’s a cutscene where you sometimes have to press buttons to continue.

Chapter Nineteen

  • Story Scene Twenty-Six (different): Ethan arrives at the next challenge but fails to make the required sacrifice.
  • I didn’t have Ethan simply leave here. He collected all the items (including some kind of alcohol and a piece of wood to put in his mouth, items I didn’t get before), gathered up pretty much every weapon and put them on the table, drank heavily from the bottle, placed the wood between his teeth, but couldn’t bring himself to actually do it.

Chapter Twenty

  • Story Scene Twenty-Seven (different): Madison goes to the location of Ethan’s trial and discovers Jayden, Blake and a police force waiting outside. She helps Ethan escape and they head down into the subway.
  • Because Ethan isn’t wounded here he actually helps Madison, until he’s shot in the street and goes back to needing her support.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Eight (different): Madison and Ethan make their way through the subway and evade the police.
  • I didn’t see this area before because Ethan was caught, which kind of makes up for skipping everything that would have happened in the police station (Ethan’s interrogation, Blake’s assault, Jayden’s wallowing in the ARI and eventual decision to free him.

Chapter Twenty-One

  • Story Scene Twenty-Nine (same): Ethan returns to his motel room, where he tells Madison what’s been happening and collects his next clue, which asks him to kill somebody, Brad Silver.
  • There’s not really anything you can do differently here, even though the circumstances to reach here were very different.

Chapter Twenty-Two

  • Story Scene Thirty (different): Jayden wallows in an ARI simulation until his simulated waiter convinces him to examine the evidence, where he finds a new clue. After exiting the simulation he is still able to see one of the environments and quickly takes some tripto to handle the confusion.
  • The simulation bit was identical but Jayden was doing it at home instead of in the police station and the hallucination and struggle with tripto was all new. This bit also takes place after Ethan’s, whereas if Ethan’s captured this comes first so that Jayden can decide to free him.

Chapter Twenty-Three

  • Story Scene Thirty-One (different): Shelby and Lauren visit Manfred, who runs a shop repairing clocks and typewriters. Manfred identifies the make of typewriter and goes to retrieve his records of everybody he knows who owns one, but is murdered in his office. Shelby successfully hided all evidence that he and Lauren were there to avoid pointless police questions.
  • There really isn’t any opportunity given for Origami to kill Manfred, there just isn’t. You talk about the typewriter, Manfred goes to get his files, the camera focuses on Lauren while she looks at the music box, then she looks back and Shelby is still where he was, then goes off in search of Manfred.
  • I forgot to clean the door this time but was intent on seeing it done successfully so quickly quit and restarted, which has the slight difference of skipping the brief police scene.
  • Story Scene Thirty-Three (same): After dealing with the police, Shelby tells Lauren that he doesn’t want to work with her any more. She storms off and then he apologises.
  • As I expected, this still happens, you just skip the police scene in between.

Chapter Twenty-Five

  • Story Scene Thirty-Four (different): Ethan goes to the apartment of his target but can’t bring himself to kill him.
  • I didn’t test the QTE failure here because I don’t want to risk Ethan dying.

Chapter Twenty-Six

  • Story Scene Thirty-Five (different): Madison visits the doctor who owned the apartment where Ethan faced one of his trials in the hope that she can help learn something about the Origami Killer, pretending to be a drug addict looking to score some pills. She finds a business card for a club and quickly leaves.
  • The awful unsubtle line about looking for an apartment right where he happens to have one makes me cringe every time, and you can’t avoid saying it. The guy has already drugged her drink so you don’t need to actually make him any more suspicious by being so stupid.
  • I just grabbed the card and left because I couldn’t be bothered with going through the whole basement sequence and I want Madison alive. I’m hoping the card is enough for her to go on.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

  • Story Scene Thirty-Six (different): Jayden visits the scrapyard owned by Mad Jack the car thief, who is not pleased to see him but denies all knowledge of the car Jayden has connected to the Origami Killer. After Jayden finds evidence of human remains, Jack holds Jayden at gunpoint, leading him into the back of scrapyard and shooting him in the head.
  • So that’s the end of Jayden the incompetent FBI drug addict. It might have been more interesting to have him crushed in his car but the result is the same and this way is much quicker.
  • As Jayden is being escorted to the back of the room you get multiple prompts to attack Jack. If you don’t press the prompts then Jayden tries each of them in turn and fails, including trying to leap backward off a box to hit Jack, but instead falling to the floor. Jack and I both laughed.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

  • Story Scene Thirty-Seven (same): Shelby and Lauren return to his office/apartment. Lauren showers while Shelby cooks some food, and together they cross-reference Manfred’s list with a list of subscribers to an origami magazine, finding one target.
  • You can’t look in on Lauren while she’s showering or even go into the bedroom at all. That makes sense if Shelby’s a good man, but obviously he isn’t.
  • Story Scene Thirty-Eight (same): Shelby and Lauren go to see their one match, the grave of a ten year-old boy. When they find the grave the gravedigger gives them a surprisingly detailed account of the boy’s last days.
  • This bit is all a bit silly in the way it plays out. The gravedigger is basically a “magic negro” character, popping up to tell the protagonists vital information and then disappearing again when his work is done. That Kramer also appears and puts flowers on the grave, further adding to the suspicion about the family, is just another daft contrivance.
  • Story Scene Thirty-Nine (same): In flashback, John and his brother are chased out of their home by their father and go off to play in heavy rain on a construction site, where John drowns.
  • You can’t do anything different, of course. It’s a flashback, even more set in stone than the rest of the game.
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  1. August 16, 2010 at 17:05

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