Home > Features (Gaming), Gaming > Gaming: Heavy Rain Notes 01 (SPOILERS)

Gaming: Heavy Rain Notes 01 (SPOILERS)

Heavy Rain

Wikipedia fact: "The game is being directed by Quantic Dream's founder and CEO David Cage, who also wrote and directed the studio's two previous games, Omikron: The Nomad Soul and Fahrenheit."

While playing through Heavy Rain I took a lot of notes to help me keep track of the story and individual choices I made, so that in later playthroughs I can check the level of variation and really get a feel for the level of linearity or freedom. As they tidy up quite well I figured I’d post them here, but as they were ‘live’ notes they do ask questions that the game subsequently answers so might sound more confused about things that I am.

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: Ethan wakes up and prepares for his wife and children to return home for his son’s tenth birthday. After working on a blueprint, his family returns, so he sets the table and plays with his children.
  • Being able to control (or fail) animations is amusing. Start getting Ethan out of bed, slowly getting him to sit up, then deliberately fail and he gets right back into bed again. In general letting you do that (to give a stronger sense of interactivity?) just kind of undermines the serious tone.
  • Some times interaction isn’t all it could be. In first chapter you shave, carefully running the electric shaver down his cheek, but it doesn’t actually show the  whiskers being removed, you just run it over the cheek with nothing changing, then it switches view and shows him clean shaven.
  • Running through a lot of thoughts in one go can make the character sound a bit manic. “I’m thirsty, there should be orange juice in the fridge.” “I could sure go for some coffee about now.” “I should get some work done before Grace and the kids gets home.” “It’s a nice day out, I could squeeze in some time in the garden.” “I could just watch TV until they get home.”
  • While it’s all canned animations, it’s still neat to put the blueprint together.
  • At times it really isn’t clear what the multiple layers of actions add to something. Whereas in a classic adventure you might click on the cupboard to open it and take out the plates, in Heavy Rain, you push a direction to move down to the cupboard, then another to slide the door open, then shake the controller to force the stuck door, then push down to pick up the plates, then do separate gestures to place each of the four plates on the table. Because it’s not so focused on puzzles and figuring out there’s a lot more emphasis on the actions.
  • Experienced first crash (a hard freeze that needed the console to be turned off) when unpausing the game after, um, stopping to type something into this draft. Lost no progress though, as it saved after the plates.
  • Story Scene Two: 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.
  • I think this is the ‘press X to Jason’ bit, as you spend most of the start of this bit walking around pressing X to make Ethan shout ‘Jason!’. Sort of like calling for Mario in Luigi’s mansion, except played straight.
  • The vague interactivity can again undermine things here, as you control a worried father looking for his son, passing shop windows and seeing a prompt. Not knowing what it does, you press Up and he… looks in the window at clothes/shoes, which you might not waste time on if you knew what the action actually was.
  • Even with the ‘press X to Jason’ amusement, it’s a good bit as Ethan fights through the crowd in search of his son, the camera pulling in tight and people getting in the way. It does pull that lame cliché of having the searcher come across somebody who looks like Jason from behind (down to his clothes and red balloon) but turns out not to be him, but the TV and film that Quantic Dream emulate use that a lot too so I guess it makes sense.
  • Story Scene Three: 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 gives Sean a snack, makes him do his homework, gives him dinner and takes him up to bed, but has to go find his teddy before Sean will lay down. Ethan finds it, says goodnight to Sean, leaves the room and blacks out (Fahrenheit style?) and wakes up in a strange street far away, holding an origami figure.
  • Includes the credits, where it describes positions as ‘set designers’ rather than calling them levels or maps, which sort of ties into the joke that David Cage really wishes he was making films.
  • Minor glitch. Told Ethan to sit at the dining table just as Sean was getting up, which meant the animation of Ethan looking at Sean couldn’t trigger and they were both froze in position, Ethan just sitting down and Sean just getting up. Had to quit.
  • Is the origami figure supposed to suggest that Ethan could be the killer? That would be odd.

Chapter Two

  • Story Scene Four: Scott Shelby enters a motel and bribes the receptionist to find the room of Lauren Winters, a prostitute. Shelby asks her about her son, who was a victim of the Origami Killer, learning nothing but leaving on good terms (and also leaving money and a card). After an asthma attack Shelby helps Lauren fight off an angry client, defeating him almost flawlessly.
  • From the demo.  Skips over all the tutorial bits from the demo, so they must have been created especially for that. It makes more sense as well this way because Shelby doesn’t have to awkwardly work his way through an alley just to get to the motel.
  • Managed to question her without upsetting her too much, which I never managed in the demo. You still learn nothing though, so I’m guessing it’s all about earning her trust for a later appearance.

Chapter Three

  • Story Scene Five: Norman Jayden arrives at the crime scene and finds all clues concerning the crime and the Origami Killer – orchid pollen, the victim’s blood on a fence and tire tracks.
  • Plays out exactly as in the demo, with the strangely advanced technology. Still couldn’t get run over by the train and don’t think it’s possible.

Chapter Four

  • Story Scene Six: Ethan visits his doctor, then goes to school to collect Sean, discovers he got in trouble for being late again and takes him to the park to try and cheer up, playing with Sean’s boomerang, successfully throwing it twice and teaching Sean how. Then Ethan spun Sean around on the merry-go-round, bought him some strawberry sweets that he doesn’t like and pushed him on the swing. Once 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.
  • Ink blots: Butterfly, fox, crab and death.
  • Conversation: Sean is distant, Ethan feels anaesthetised, tells doctor about blackouts.
  • The doctor sounded the most foreign so far, like he was having trouble with the accent.
  • I think this bit works well, the connection between Ethan and Sean as Ethan tries to cheer him feels pretty convincing.
  • The swing was the only thing I had difficulty with, mostly because of the SixAxis shoves, which didn’t register as precisely as the button presses.
  • After the blackout I was caught offguard by the QTE to dodge. Last time he blacked out the whole thing was a cutscene that ended the chapter so I wasn’t expecting this one to be different. Ethan still didn’t die though.

Chapter Five

  • Story Scene Seven: 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 ties Perry’s tie for him. Perry wants results and fast, having to have daily press conferences to tell them about the case. 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 but finds nothing useful from the location of each victim or the common orchids left at the scenes. After finishing he starts shaking from drug withdrawal but makes it to the bathroom to wash his face.
  • Jayden is still muddy but seems to have less on him than in the crime scene, as here there was none on his top. It’s much brighter in the station though so maybe I was just mistaken about the level of mud in the earlier scene.
  • The ARI device is just weird. Why does the FBI agent have such advanced technology, something that doesn’t even exist? It seems a little out of place in an otherwise fairly realistic game. Is it just to make the investigation parts less tedious and more cinematic?
  • Jayden moans about his tiny office, but because of the ARI he doesn’t actually need much space at all and can use the ARI to make his location look like anything he wants anyway (and the transformations are pretty great). Makes him seem whiny.
  • Jayden’s ridiculous sci-fi device mentions the Origami Killer has been active for three years. Assuming we’re still close to the first time jump it’s only been two years, which would seem to eliminate Ethan’s traumatic experience as a reason and likely eliminate him as a suspect (not that he ever felt like one).
  • Story Scene Eight: Ethan is also in the police station and is interviewed by Blake and Jayden. 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.
  • A nice overhead from Jayden, camera scrolling across the station to Ethan.
  • Conversation options: Black coat (auto choice), beige pants (auto choice), went to the park at 4:45PM, doesn’t remember how Sean could have got out of his sight for long enough to disappear, admits Sean has had trouble at home.
  • I didn’t see an option to admit to having blackouts, which seems odd (though the choices were both rotating around his head and shaking a lot, which didn’t make them easy to read in the time available). Ethan would rather lie than admit a medical problem to the police, endangering his son by not giving the police the truth?
  • Blake’s pretty brutal. “Well if it is the Origami Killer we have four days to find him alive.” Seems more like the villain just based on general rudeness, which is also a good reason for why he’s not.

Chapter Six

  • Story Scene Nine: Shelby visits a convenience store owned by another parent of an Origami victim, who is similarly unwilling to talk until Shelby foils an armed robbery and earns his gratitude. Hassan gives him a box that was sent to him by the killer while his son was still missing.
  • This was a very similar setup to Lauren’s, almost like they had the general idea (unwilling parent, earn trust through a fight) and came up with a couple of scenarios, then just used both.
  • I messed up the sneaking part, failing to delicately tread on some crisps and alerting the killer, but successfully talked long enough to approach him and QTE fight him into unconsciousness.

Chapter Seven

  • Story Scene Ten: Madison wakes up in the middle of the night again and tries to combat her insomnia, having a shower, taking some pills and having a warm drink. As she heads to bed she notices the fridge is open, then hears movement. The lights go out, and as she heads for the door she is attacked by two intruders but fights them off, eventually taking refuge in the bathroom, where another intruder slits her throat and… she wakes up, because it was all a dream.
  • I didn’t mean to take the pills because in her thoughts Madison said she shouldn’t, but I had no idea what the box was on the bathroom counter (it wasn’t a bottle of pills) so I followed the prompt to have a look, which was quickly followed by an autosave. It’s another point where the absence of text (“take pills”) makes is harder to know exactly what you’re doing.
  • I don’t know if the fridge being open is how you always detect there’s an intruder, but in this case it made little sense. Madison was just in that corner having her drink, but a few seconds later the intruder has rushed over to the fridge, opened it then dashed out of sight again, despite the open plan apartment.
  • I’ve not done a very good job of avoiding QTEs so far (if they can indeed be avoided as Quantic Dream have said, as this Madison scene would be pointless without it), they’ve all seemed pretty mandatory (though of course you can walk away from the Lauren scene without helping and the Hassan scene seemed the same with the emergency exit, but that’s not the same thing).
  • It’s a tense scene and was really let down by being all a dream (though it does explain the magic fridge door above). It also makes it silly that there are points in the QTE where you can mess up and fail to avoid a stab, only to have Madison dodge anyway. If it’s all a dream and she wakes up on death then why does it matter when exactly she gets killed, apart from it not being as cinematic as the ending they have planned.

Chapter Eight:

  • Story Scene Eleven: Ethan receives a cryptic letter and a key to a locker at a (train?) station, deciding to wade through the paparazzi outside to get to his car and investigate.
  • Ethan reasons that he can’t be the killer, but isn’t certain. If the killings date back to before the loss of Jason (and the cause of his blackouts) then it really shouldn’t be a mystery to him, especially as he admits not having a clue how to do origami. Having him suspect himself is a pretty good sign that he’s innocent.
  • Is it possible to just stay home and never get the box? I didn’t attempt it this time because I wanted to go, but it’s something to investigate.
  • Story Scene Twelve: After fighting through the crowd, avoiding a panic attack but still hallucinating, Ethan finds a shoebox in Locker 18-3.
  • Even after successfully fighting off the panic attack you still have one. It will be interesting to see what happens when you fail, does the same thing happen or does he give up and run away?
  • The hallucination (or whatever it was) was amusing more than anything else. Walking around, pressing X ‘to Jason’ and making the frozen people collapse like ragdolls when you touch them made it all seem ludicrous.
  • Story Scene Thirteen: 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. Ethan hides the shoebox under the bed and heads out towards the first location.
  • Interaction here is limited. You can open the wardrobe, the fridge or the medicine cabinet but they do nothing. You can go out on the balcony and sit in the chair. You can wash your face. The only thing I didn’t try was using the front door, in case Ethan decided to leave and I couldn’t get back (my interest in doing what I feel is the right thing in the story overrides my curiosity about the variations). Assuming Ethan wouldn’t leave without opening the box there really is nothing to do here except opening the box, which would have made it perfect for a cutscene up to that point.

Chapter Nine

  • Story Scene Fourteen: Jayden briefs his colleagues about his suspicions regarding the Origami killers motivations, race and location, remaining calm in the face of Blake’s criticism and identifying two likely suspects that match the criteria.
  • Not much interaction here. You can press Triangle to sometimes cycle through slides on the projector (though the slides won’t change if you’re not at the right point in the dialogue) and other than that you get three conversation choices where you be calm or angry.
  • Story Scene Fifteen: 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 with nobody getting hurt.
  • The opening scene requires you to knock on the door. Other than one thought (which explains who you’re after and why you’re there) there is nothing else you can do, not even walk. If you leave it for long enough Jayden knocks anyway.
  • When Blake barges in you don’t have an option to obey the law and wait outside.
  • I’m not sure what Jayden sees that proves Williams isn’t a killer as it’s clearly the home of an unhinged person, but apparently “you don’t have to be a profiler to see he’s not a killer.”
  • There are lit candles everywhere so Williams can’t have been gone long. The place is a terrible fire hazard.
  • The narrow corridors gave me the most trouble so far with the movement system. Generally it’s fine and works better than other 3D adventure games have (Grim Fandango and Escape From Monkey Island had very awkward 3D movement), but there are a few points where it isn’t ideal.
  • The tense stand-off was a good bit, with you able to pull the trigger and shoot Williams at any time to stop him shooting Blake. Blake was really asking for death here, provoking somebody who clearly wasn’t wholly sane and it would have made for an awkward aftermath, seeing as they broke in illegally and then assaulted the suspect. If you don’t shoot Williams things end with his arrest (and I’m assuming he can be killed), which in itself is going to be difficult to explain. “After we broke in and beat him he pulled a gun on Blake, entirely within his rights. We had to arrest him!”

Chapter Ten

  • Story Scene Sixteen: 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.
  • Susan mentions that her partner left after the death, just like Lauren’s partner.
  • So far it’s only been the men who get the messages from the killer.  Lauren never mentioned one so either didn’t get one or her partner did but never mentioned it, Mr. Hassan gave his to Shelby, Ethan received the shoebox box, and Susan’s partner apparently received the same but never mentioned it to her. Going by Jayden’s lack of knowledge of the messages and the phones it seems none have mentioned them to the police.
  • Again, Shelby visits the parent of a victim, helps them out and earns their trust. Shelby’s easily the best of the main characters so far but he does only seem to get one general scenario.

Chapter Eleven

  • Story Scene Seventeen: 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, avoiding workmen, a police chase and blockade, Ethan’s car crashes on the side of the road and he is rewarded by his instructor.
  • Assuming I’ve got the timeline correct, two years puts it in the same year as Jason was killed. By a car. Coincidence? Well I probably would have found out by now if I hadn’t stopped to write that sentence.
  • The GPS telling him his first task was a nice touch, as until then it had seemed like a generic GPS and it felt suitably odd and menacing when it started giving out the new instructions.
  • The workmen on the road were a bit silly. Visibility is terrible in that weather and they had almost no barriers erected (and those that they did have were flimsy and seemed to be on the wrong side).
  • The police reacted very quickly. You see two cars, who turn and chase, then a couple of minutes later encounter a full roadblock of multiple police cars (which wasn’t very effective).
  • I mostly failed on the SixAxis prompts again, sharp clockwise or anticlockwise turns  that didn’t always register. I’m having trouble thinking of any examples where these vague motion controls actually added something to any of Sony’s high-profile retail games.

Chapter Twelve

  • Story Scene Eighteen: 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 with him while he has a shower.
  • This is only the second Madison part so far (out of a dozen separately loaded sections) and the first was a dream sequence. Considering the way the game was promoted I would have thought she’d be more prominent. It’s also only the second crossover after Jayden questioned Ethan back in the police station.
  • I’m not sure why Madison’s renting a room, considering she has an apartment. Is she in a different city?
  • As I was going up the stairs Madison started thinking about a wounded man and wondering if she should help him. I never saw him so had no idea what she was talking about, and as I was wandering in search of him the camera showed a second viewpoint from ground level so I started heading down, only to discover that it was just a help prompt to find the room, The game could have done a better job of showing Ethan here.
  • Continuity seems a bit off here. As far as I can tell this is the first time Ethan has returned to his room since leaving to go to the car, yet his fridge and wardrobe contain drink and clothes that weren’t there before.
  • Madison mentions that the motel sometimes helps with her insomnia, explaining why she would be there despite living in the city.
  • In Ethan’s motel scene earlier it seemed like you could leave the shoebox on the table rather than stuff it under the bed. That would leave it accessible to Madison in this scene, which is something worth checking.
  • There’s a good transition there, as Madison leaves to go to her room and you switch to:
  • Story Scene Nineteen: Ethan opens the next origami piece and is given his next destination.
  • Is there an order to the origami pieces? Ethan seemed to open the first one for no obvious reason I can recall and it happened to be the one that told him about his trials.

Chapter Thirteen

  • Story Scene Twenty: Jayden and Blake track down their next suspect, Korda, who flees into a market, chased by Jayden. Jayden defeats him in a cold meat storage area.
  • Blake asks why Jayden didn’t shoot Williams, which was a nice bit of continuity.
  • Blake arrives once its done and assumes Korda is the Origami Killer. Assaulting a federal agent (and Jayden did clearly identify himself) isn’t something you do lightly, so he was definitely up to something. I doubt this random thug is actually the killer though.

Chapter Fourteen

  • Story Scene Twenty-One: 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.
  • Without his coat on the Shelby model looks a little weird, like his head is too small.
  • Lauren visited! We seem to be in the continuity stages now. What will be interesting to see is if Lauren still shows up if you upset her in the original Shelby scene and don’t help her out afterwards. If she only shows up if you help then it’s a good reward, but if she doesn’t then this whole scene could be pretty pointless.
  • So the Origami Killer really is communicating specifically to the dads (sending letters before he’s even abducted the child, which shows a lot of confidence in his child snatching abilities). Methinks somebody has daddy issues, which doesn’t help narrow down the suspects as there’s been no mention of the parents of any of the main characters (playable or not).
  • Story Scene Twenty-Two: Shelby and Lauren visit the home of a man who’s big in construction. They arrive during a party, where Shelby distracts the guards and confronts the man’s son, Gordi Kramer.
  • I’ve no idea why Shelby goes here. He mentions suspecting Gordi but none of that is shared with the player. Why couldn’t we have gone through what Shelby knows back in his office, either with Shelby thinking, looking through his files or explaining to Lauren? (That’s assuming we couldn’t, I interacted with everything I could see but Lauren only arrived once Shelby used the toilet). It’s important that the player feels involved, and here I felt like a spectator who didn’t know why Shelby was doing what he was doing.
  • Lauren disappears, to the point that even Shelby wonders where she went. I didn’t find her so I don’t know what that was about.
  • Gordi was apparently seen with one of the victims getting into his limousine, the last time anybody saw him alive. That’s pretty damning but his rich and powerful father got the case closed. This guy even confesses to being the Origami Killer and talks about drowning them in rain water and placing the orchids and origami figures, but I doubt it’s him. He’s a nobody in terms of the story.

Chapter Fifteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Three: Ethan arrives at his next trial, in an abandoned power station, where he has to persevere through great pain and uncertainty. Successfully completing the trial, he gets the next piece of the clue.
  • Ethan: “Electrical condensers. Sounds like they’re still active!” These condensers (I think  that’s what he called them) also have giant visible arcs of electricity shooting about, which you’d think he would have noticed before the noise. Do such things really have such visible electricity shooting around?
  • To get inside you carefully work through barbed wire using one of its multi-button hold QTEs, and even if you do it perfectly Ethan still catches his finger on it so the camera can pull in close and show blood tripping from the barb. I guess it’s more cinematic that way and you can see the thinking behind it (“why have the barbed wire if he’s not going to get caught on it?”) but I do feel that mastering a QTE shouldn’t still result in the kind of failure you were trying to avoid.
  • Ethan is made to travel down a dark shaft filled with broken glass because apparently it’s the only way out. I didn’t realise the door had sealed shut or whatever happened (assuming anything did happen to prevent him going back), but even if it hadn’t this was still the trial he had to pass. Once you’re in the shaft the hatch cover slams shut behind you like in a cheesy horror flick, which didn’t really need to happen, and Ethan could have swept the glass aside rather than just try and crawl as slowly as possible to minimise damage, but that’s not really the point. Logic aside, it’s a test of what Ethan will do to save Sean, presumably what every other father who disappeared had to go through (and failed) to try and save their sons, and in that sense it works.
  • The thought choices are very difficult to see here. The way they spin around the head of the character doesn’t make them super easy to see anyway, but in the tunnel, with the camera either down low or behind Ethan’s feet, it was very difficult to make out both the words themselves and the buttons required to activate them.
  • Final challenge is a field of condensers, with an optional coward’s way out instead (a door marked coward). The condensers are live and you have to perform the awkward multi-button events on the right ones to get through. Because the buttons are random you don’t know what’s going to come up so you have to have fingers in positions to hit all of them, which I failed at a few times. One required me to hold triangle (with the top of my thumb), and then circle too (with the middle of my thumb), and then L1 too (with my left index finger), and then rapidly tap X as well. If I’d known the buttons in advance my fingers would have been in a better position because I didn’t need to have fingers ready to press the R1/R2 buttons, but there was no way of knowing that. It’s fairly generous though, as I failed on three or four condensers and apart from getting singed was able to continue fine.
  • Part of the clue now reads something like R___evel_ which seems like it can only be Roosevelt. If I hadn’t just fried Ethan’s brain with electricity maybe he could have figured that out and maybe told the police to start looking for areas with Roosevelt in the name that have storm drains.

Chapter Sixteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Three: Madison discovers Ethan unconscious and bleeding in his room and tends to his wounds.
  • Madison’s role has been odd so far. A dream sequence where she’s chased in her underwear, then two where she supports Ethan. All the men are out doing things while she just supports one of them?
  • The continuity is iffy again, in this same room. We know Ethan went straight out of his room to the power station, and the way he was collapsed on the floor without even shutting the door suggests he only just got back there, yet the medicine cabinet in the bathroom is restocked with extra medicine, including things which weren’t there before and which he now needs. Did Ethan go shopping, restock the cabinet and collapse, or is this supposed to be the kind of place that constantly restocks on your behalf?
  • When Ethan wakes he asks Madison why she keeps helping him. You can choose between responding with “No Choice” or “Memory”. What does “Memory” mean? I wasn’t going to choose an option that gave me no obvious idea what she would say, so I chose the other one. Madison offers to help but Ethan declines, so Madison leaves and we switch back to:
  • Story Scene Twenty-Four: Ethan gets his next clue, which asks him if he is ready to make a sacrifice to save his son.
  • Considering how utterly broken Ethan now looks, exhausted and barely functional, he’s made a fair amount of sacrifices already.
  • I noticed now that the origami pieces are numbered, this one was a long snake or lizard thing with a number three on the head.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Five: Jayden and Blake interrogate Korda and find he 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 is stopped by Jayden, but the doctor breaks confidentiality anyway.
  • The reason Korda assaulted a federal agent and tried to kill him? He’d skipped a parole hearing and didn’t want to go back to jail, but from looking around the web assaulting a federal agent with a deadly weapon can get you up to twenty years in jail, even if the agent hadn’t identified themselves as such (which Jayden had). Oops!
  • The doctor quite rightly refuses to give up medical information because of an “oath of secrecy”. Why don’t they call it doctor-patient confidentiality, because the translators didn’t pick up on it?
  • This investigation is a mess and any trial is going to be thrown out based on Blake’s actions. He beat a doctor to get him to break confidentiality, for crying out loud! Even if they arrested Ethan a huge chunk of the reason for their suspicion would be inadmissible, surely? Blake would be fired, the doctor would lose his license, and Jayden would probably be finished too for going along with it all. You can’t just do whatever it takes to get your man because the lawyers will tear you apart.
  • The doctor tells them confidential details about Ethan’s mental problems and gives them an origami figure he found in his office after Ethan visited one time. Pretty damning evidence from their point of view.
  • Unlocked a tropthy: “Good Cop”. Who, Jayden? Ha!

Chapter Seventeen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Four: Blake alerts the police to be on the lookout for Ethan, identifying him as the Origami Killer.
  • This was just a cutscene but required a loading screen, which is what I’ve been counting as chapter breaks.

Chapter Eighteen:

  • Story Scene Twenty-Five: Shelby is invited to a golf club by Gordi’s father, where he is told to leave Gordi alone.
  • Calling it a “golf club” sounds odd, because a golf club is what you swing to hit the ball. I’ve always thought of the places as driving ranges.
  • I got progressively worse with each golf swing, with the third shot not even clearing the 50 line. Is that set or did I really get worse?
  • Shelby for some reason chooses not to mention that Gordi ‘confessed’ to being the Origami Killer, which even if he clearly doesn’t believe it would still give him a reason to investigate him and create a little tension between father and son.
  • It’s a short scene where your only interactions are swinging the gold clubs, while Shelby runs through a set conversation, but it establishes that Mr. Kramer is determined and protective of his son, and that Shelby has principles that mean he can’t be bought, so it works.

Chapter Nineteen

  • Story Scene Twenty-Six: Ethan arrives at the next challenge and makes the required sacrifice.
  • This was pretty horrible, the actor sold the removal of his finger pretty damn well. I think I did everything right here, pouring some… stuff from the medicine cabinet on the hand first, removing the finger with an axe and then cauterising it with a heated pipe.
  • The clue definitely points to Roosevelt something as most of the word is revealed now.

Chapter Twenty

  • Story Scene Twenty-Seven: Madison goes to the location of Ethan’s trial and discovers Jayden, Blake and a police force waiting outside. She helps him escape the building but he is caught escaping across the street.
  • I’m not sure how Madison knew he was here, I guess she found the origami or something?
  • Madison is again support to Ethan. Where’s the photojournalist who breaks into a taxidermist’s place? Where’s the determined woman who strips in a club for the sleazy owner?
  • This is the biggest crossover so far with Madison, Ethan and Jayden all in the same place. The game automatically sides you with Madison and Ethan over Jayden.
  • I failed to escape, partly because the way the walking works and the tight camera angle meant I couldn’t quite see the correct route through the traffic. When Jayden reached the opposite side of the street they found Ethan nowhere near where we actually were, with Madison safely out of sight down the subway. I thought they were pulling the old “see somebody who likes the suspect but turns out to be somebody else” trick again, but much to my surprise in this case it actually was Ethan.
  • This seems like a good point for diversion in the story, assuming you can escape the police.

Chapter Twenty-One

  • Story Scene Twenty-Eight: Jayden and Blake interrogate Ethan. Blake gets aggressive and tries to beat a confession out of Ethan, so Jayden leaves to tell Perry but doesn’t get the response he hoped for.
  • Ethan admits he kidnapped Sean despite having no actual evidence of it, potentially harming the case. Jayden doesn’t believe it’s him but that doesn’t matter if everybody else does.
  • Blake’s awful. If any of these people actually were the suspects then none of this would stand up in court.
  • I elected not to fight Blake because the solution seemed obvious: go into the other room and turn the camera on, filming Blake beating a suspect. Only it wouldn’t let me do that, the camera couldn’t be interacted with. The only option is to go to Perry and get a ridiculous “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs” speech.
  • Story Scene Twenty-Nine: Jayden wallows in an ARI simulation until his simulated waiter convinces him to examine the evidence, where he finds a new clue.
  • Jayden’s surprised to find there’s new evidence in the ARI database, even though he’s supposed to be involved in the investigation.
  • I got stuck here for a little while because there didn’t seem to be anything new to examine. You look at park footage from the day Sean disappeared, spot a car that matches the tire tracks, and examine the car to discover you can’t see the driver. After that I couldn’t leave the ARI but had nothing else to examine, but it turned out you have to examine the car again to scan the license plate, because Jayden apparently stops looking at something after he’s noticed one thing.

Chapter Twenty-Two

  • Story Scene Thirty: Jayden decides to free Ethan.
  • Same character but we get a loading transition for the same area. Maybe there was one between scenes twenty-eight and twenty-nine to load the ARI simulations that I forgot about?
  • Even Blake seems surprised that Perry wants to announce they’ve caught the killer before getting a confession, essentially saying, “Shouldn’t we at least beat a confession out of him before announcing it?”
  • Moving around the desks in search of the key was quite awkward, with narrow gaps, chairs jutting out and people walking by.
  • Quantic Dream wisely opted not to turn Ethan’s escape into a stealth sequence, which were terrible in Fahrenheit. Obviously there’s no fail and reload in Heavy Rain so it really wouldn’t have worked.

Chapter Twenty-Three

  • Story Scene Thirty-One: 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.
  • Ethan genuinely believes he’s the killer, a second schizophrenic personality killing children and deciding to test Ethan’s love for Sean. I still don’t buy it.

Chapter Twenty-Four

  • Story Scene Thirty-Two: 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 tries to hide all evidence that he and Lauren were there to avoid pointless police questions, but fails to completely cover his tracks.
  • You can figure out why Shelby comes here from all the typewriters around the place, but I don’t think it would hurt to actually let you know that and involve the player more in what’s happening.
  • Shleby answers the phone for Manfred and tells the person to call back later. It was probably just something for you yo do while Manfred shuffles over to the bottle of scotch, but it might be neat to discover the call was significant in some way, like the killer calling to fix his typewriter or something.
  • Pretty much as soon as the conversation ends and Manfred goes to get the list of people who have Royal Five typewriters, you can make Shelby think that Manfred’s been a long time, despite Manfred saying it would take two minutes and not that much time passing.
  • It seems a little strange that the killer, comfortable enough to reprogram a GPS and use video phones, would use an ancient typewriter that needed repairs rather than just a computer with a word processor.
  • After thinking it would be good if the phone call was significant, I forgot to clean prints off the bloody thing and that got me caught.
  • Story Scene Thirty-Three: 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.
  • So would none of this happen if you didn’t get caught, or does it just skip the police scene?

Chapter Twenty-Five

  • Story Scene Thirty-Four: Ethan goes to the apartment of his target and kills him, receiving the next part of the clue.
  • This QTE will be a good test later for how willing Quantic Dream are to let you ‘interfere’ with their story. The dealer goes after you with a shotgun and it feels like you’re pressing the QTE prompts to dodge his shots, so hopefully this will turn out to be a death point.
  • I’m playing Ethan as somebody who will do anything to save Sean so I was always going to shoot the target if the game let me, but I was still surprised when it did. It was fairly sudden and brutal and Ethan reacted well.

Chapter Twenty-Six

  • Story Scene Thirty-Five: 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. The doctor doesn’t believe her, knocking her out with a baseball bat and tying her up in the basement. Madison escapes and kills the doctor, and after exploring his house finds a lead that may help.
  • She’s not exactly subtle. “I heard you had apartments to rent. I want something near… Marble Street?” She just about stops short of asking, “Do you know anybody who can teach me about making origami and forcing people to chop off body parts?”
  • I like to think that it was my conversation choices that made him suspicious but there’s another victim in the basement who was apparently there for a census, suggesting the doctor is paranoid enough that he wouldn’t believe whatever you say. I’ll have to check this later.
  • This is Madison’s biggest scene so far, using her own initiative to go off and investigate on her own rather than having bad dreams or just helping Ethan.
  • After struggling uselessly (which works as a way of making you feel powerless) the doctor turns on the drill, slowly lowers it over Madison and… the doorbell rings, so he stops and goes to answer it, giving Madison time to escape. The last-minute interruption is quite the cliché and using it hurt the tension for me, because I laughed.
  • There were a couple of points in the QTE where I messed up a prompt and Madison still successfully fended off the doctor in that moment, which made the prompt feel pointless. That was something that came across in the demo (Chapter Two in this post), where Shelby’s big QTE still played out with Shelby sometimes fighting back, even if you didn’t press a single button. It makes you feel like you’re not in control (even within the limited control offered by QTEs), like you’re just pressing random buttons while a movie happens just to make it seem like a game.
  • I’m sure I remember Cage saying defending the use of QTEs by saying they’re optional, but short of always leaving and never doing anything of worth (assuming it’s even an option) it’s difficult to see how most of these QTEs could be avoided.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

  • Story Scene Thirty-Six: 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 the car and human remains, Jack holds Jayden at gunpoint. Jayden beats him but his addiction interferes and allows Jack to get the upper hand. Jack puts Jayden in an elaborate death trap that Jayden escapes, fighting Jack and winning when Jack accidentally gets caught in the wheels of his vehicle.
  • This is what I was getting at with some of Shelby’s scenes earlier, where it would be nice to actually come across the clues that he follows up on. As Jayden, we went through available information and identified Mad Jack and went to see him, whereas Shelby receives the info off-screen and then only shares basic elements of it with the player.
  • The ARI range seems much smaller here than in the earlier scene, and this place also happens to be a smaller area that would scan most of the room at the original range. So there’s a good game reason for it being smaller but no obvious in-world logic.
  • Pretty much every suspect or person of interest in the case seems to be homicidal. Jayden and Madison have both been attacked by murderers, Jayden more than once.
  • When Jayden discovered the remains (which is what makes Jack attack you) Jack was all the way over in the distance, working on what Jayden called a bulldozer (but seemed to be one of those big magnet crane vehicles for picking up cars), but as soon as you see the remains he’s right behind you with a  gun.
  • I remember hearing that you had to help Jayden escape from a car crusher in this scene but I figured I’d dodged that when I beat him in the fight instead of getting in the car without discovering the remains. I was wrong, and though it does seem like you can fight off the withdrawal symptoms that strike Jayden the QTE to do so is awful, requiring you to hold most of the face and shoulder buttons at the same time, so it’s rare that you’ll actually succeed at it.
  • Jack’s defeated in a way that… well, let’s just say that if he had asked Edna Mode for fashion advice he would have done better. It’s the second time bad guys in this game have reminded me of moments from Pixar films (the doctor in Madison’s scene made me think of a character in Up), which might not have been what Quantic were aiming for.
  • Jayden is pointed to the same club that Madison was. Considering both characters seemed like they could be killed in their most recent scenes it’s possible Quantic are covering themselves here, trying to improve your chances of seeing the club scene rather than having it skipped entirely by character death.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

  • Story Scene Thirty-Seven: 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.
  • It seems that while Lauren showers you can go into Shelby’s bedroom (which leads through to the bathroom) and maybe sneak a peek, but the Shelby I’m playing isn’t a creepy peeping Tom (especially when it concerns a distraught woman trying to find her son’s killer) so I didn’t try it. I did immediately think to see if it was possible though, so I’m not as good a man as my Shelby…
  • Story Scene Thirty-Eight: 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.
  • Hmm… Boy, aged ten, dead. I see a connection in there somewhere. Oddly, Shelby doesn’t. They discovered one match, that turned out to be the name of a boy who died at the same age as every victim of the Origami Killer, and he thinks it’s a waste of time.
  • Moving among the graves and getting in the right spot to trigger the viewing is pretty awkward.
  • When they find the grave it has flowers (not orchids, which is what I first thought) and an origami figure, which seems to be holding up well in the heavy rain.
  • Story Scene Thirty-Nine: 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.
  • The boy you control sounds ridiculously French in his thoughts.
  • I’m guessing the boy you control here, brother of the dead boy, is one of the characters we’ve already controlled rather than being a fifth character, though I could be wrong. Seeing as it was presented as a flashback being told by the gravedigger (who is black, making it somewhat unlikely that he’s the white boy in the flashback) it would make most sense to be Shelby’s point of view we’re experiencing it from, as otherwise the gravedigger is telling us what the boy thought and going into detail he couldn’t possibly know, but I’m guessing not. After all, somebody killed Manfred while Shelby was in the next room, and being an old friend of Shelby’s it seems unlikely that he would have used a typewriter that would put him in a position where he had to arrange to kill an old friend, as well as going to great lengths to investigate the case and making breakthroughs the police aren’t. Ethan is too obvious as even he thinks he’s the killer, which would leave Jayden, but then he’s independently investigating the case even after Perry told him to take a break, which wouldn’t make sense as the killer, unless the crazy drug he’s addicted to has seriously damaged him. The boy looks most like Ethan.
  • I’m sure there was a similar scene in Fahrenheit, two friends/brothers breaking into somewhere they shouldn’t and something bad happening to one of them.
  • It’s clearly building up to the big tragedy where John gets caught in a storm drain and drowns, forever scarring his brother’s psyche, but John’s very annoying thanks to a couple of stock phrases he cycles through if you don’t follow quick enough, like most other NPCs in follow missions. You almost can’t help thinking, “Man, just die already.”
  • Recalling something somebody said (I can’t recall exactly where), I couldn’t help myself when it came to the board crossing QTE where you have to tilt the SixAxis left and right to stay balanced. They said that your input doesn’t matter here and you’ll always cross it, and that’s true. Each time you mess up the boy wobbles a bit then carries on, doing that three or four times but getting across, even if you tilt the controller completely in the wrong direction. Again, it’s just an illusion of interactivity.
  • Sure enough, John drowns and the gravedigger says the brother was taken from his parents and adopted elsewhere, which will explain why the killer doesn’t have the Sheppard surname.
  • This points to a killer who could easily be identified with adoption records or maybe news archives. Shelby should surely takes this to the police and start a huge manhunt so that they can save Sean in time.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

  • Story Scene Thirty-Eight: Madison visits the club to speak to Paco. After altering her outfit and applying more make-up to attract his attention, they go somewhere quiet, where she ties him up and obtains the name of the person he rents the apartment to, John Sheppard.
  • Moving through the crowded club is as annoying as… well, trying to move through a  crowded club, with the added issue of sometimes just plain bouncing off areas you’re not supposed to be trying to walk through.
  • To get past Paco’s security Madison has to tart herself up to look sexier and attract his attention, so you go to the bathroom to do that. However, if you go to the bathroom after talking to the guard but before you’ve seen him pick a girl to entertain him there’s no option to do that, so I guess you’re supposed to wander around aimlessly until then.
  • Madison has a gun in her bag that she planned to use to get information, but Paco takes it from her and puts it on a chair, and rather than think up an excuse to get something from her bag she ends up making awkward excuses and then Paco pulls his gun out and forces her to strip. Madison does come across as uncomfortable and scared here though so it does justify her not thinking straight.
  • It seems you can avoid stripping almost entirely.
  • Madison ends up with the same name, John Sheppard. If that does lead anywhere then we may finally see Shelby and Madison crossing paths.

Chapter Thirty

  • Story Scene Thirty-Nine: Jayden arrives at the club as Madison is leaving. As he makes his way through the club an unidentified man talks with Paco and kills him, then attacks Jayden and escapes. Jayden examines the crime scene, finding one piece of evidence from the killer and more from Madison.
  • It’s been a while since we last saw Ethan and Madison is doing much more, a big reversal from the start of the game when Madison barely seemed involved and Ethan was the focus.
  • Based on his shadow the Origami Killer is Rorschach!
  • Assuming the mysterious man is the Origami Killer it seems safe to eliminate Jayden (who meets him) and Madison (who has just left), and once you fight him it’s clearly not Shelby (who is too big). Of the four main characters it could only be Ethan, the one everybody suspects (including Ethan himself). If it’s not Ethan then it means that flashback earlier wasn’t supposed to suggest you were controlling one of the protagonists at all.
  • If Jayden finds Madison and recognises her as the woman who helped Ethan then that could be difficult to explain. Somebody, who either is the Origami Killer or assisting them, killed a man with a connection to him, while the evidence in the room points to Madison, who is known to have assisted the prime suspect and has no alibi for Paco’s death because she was only just there, where she tied him up and threatened him.

Chapter Thirty-One

  • Story Scene Forty: Ethan confesses to Madison. She moves in for a kiss but is rejected and leaves.
  • If you choose to kiss back then this maybe leads to the sex scene I’ve seen criticised elsewhere (although it was partly criticised for coming out of nowhere which wouldn’t make sense as Madison and Ethan have definitely bonded). While it could have been fun to see an awkward Quantic Dream QTE sex scene it just didn’t feel right for Ethan to be in that sort of mood while he’s still desperately searching for Sean and shaken from killing somebody.
  • Story Scene Forty-One: Madison leaves Ethan’s room feeling foolish and heads back to her real home. As she heads out of the motel she spots Blake arriving with a lot of police, so she calls his room and warns him.
  • The above Ethan scene comprises of one kiss/don’t kiss choice before you change characters again, which leads to me believe that a lot more happens if you choose to kiss Madison.
  • Then again, this Madison bit is also short as it’s just for her to see the cops and warn Ethan. It will be interesting to see if letting Ethan kiss Madison means they’re still embracing when the police storm in, or if the police can only ever arrive when Madison leaves.
  • Story Scene Forty-Two: Ethan flees his motel room and successfully escapes Blake, leaping from a roof and stealing a car.
  • Ethan jumps across a couple of balconies from his room (where the police are) but seems to end up on a completely different side of the motel to the police when he exits the room, which seemed out of place. The escape sequence is pretty good though, for a QTE.

Chapter Thirty-Two

  • Story Scene Forty-Three: Shelby returns to his office to find Lauren and Kramer’s goons, who tie them both up in Shelby’s car and dump it in a lake. Shelby frees the both of them and they escape.
  • Possibly the sea, not a lake.
  • Mr. Kramer doesn’t in any way deny that Gordi’s the Origami Killer. Coupled with Gordi’s confession I think it’s supposed to strongly point to him, but that would be fairly disappointing to me.
  • The amount of murderers the four characters meet is pretty surprising. It seems anybody connected to the Origami Killer case has no issues killing people.
  • Looks like there are three variations here: Drown, escape but leave Lauren or escape with Lauren. I think so anyway, I’m not absolutely sure you can leave Lauren behind, in which case it would just be a case of pressing all the prompts in time or not. It’s a reasonably tense scene though.

Chapter Thirty-Three

  • Story Scene Forty-Four: Shelby uses Lauren’s car to crash into Kramer’s house and settle some scores, killing Kramer’s guards and confronting Kramer, who tells him that Gordi is mostly innocent. As Shelby goes to leave Kramer has a heart attack and begs Shelby for his pills, but Shelby just walks away.
  • I’m not sure what to make of this scene. Every other time a protagonist has had to kill somebody it’s been a pretty major event – Madison fighting for her life, Jayden getting a lucky break, Ethan making a terrible choice. Having Shelby just go all QTE Virtua Cop here, killing a dozen security guards (who could be innocent of anything but working for a bad guy), is disappointing, especially as he’s by far my favourite character up to this point.
  • Kramer says Gordi isn’t a killer and he’s a good kid, but as Kramer himself just tried to kill two people he’s not really the best judge of character. He also then goes on to say that Gordi actually did kill one of the boys. He only meant to abduct him and copy the Origami Killer though, not kill him, so… that’s okay? Is Shelby going to say any of this to the police? He, Jayden and Madison all have decent leads now yet none are willing to tell the police about any of it, including the FBI agent, leaving them wasting resources chasing Ethan.
  • I didn’t really want to kill Kramer here but he deserved to die more than the security did, and he did try to kill Shelby and Lauren and protected a child killer.

Chapter Thirty-Four

  • Story Scene Forty-Five: Madison visits Ann Sheppard and tries to get her to remember her sons through her Alzheimer’s .
  • “Geriatrics Ward”? Is that a real thing?
  • Orchids and origami are both reminders of her sons, in case we needed further evidence that John’s brother is the killer.
  • After you spend all that time finding triggers to get her to remember, Ann tells Madison the name and… she whispers it so the player can’t hear. She whispers it to Madison so that the player can’t hear. That’s not how games work, damn it! When I control Madison I experience everything Madison does, because within the game I am Madison and you can’t pull cheap movie tricks in that way. You can’t, surely?
  • Madison’s shock at the whispered info points heavily to Ethan, seeing as she’s never met Shelby or Jayden, or indeed any significant character who isn’t now dead.

Chapter Thirty-Five

  • Story Scene Forty-Six: Ethan goes to the location of the last trial, where he is told to drink poison that will kill him in one hour, long enough to save Sean and say goodbye.
  • I wish I’d made more of a note of the times and days now. I thought Shelby was at 11pm on Friday above, but then assumed I was mistaken when Madison was at 9pm Friday. However, Ethan’s scene here is Friday at 6pm, so either they aren’t chronological or I’m wrong about the times.
  • There’s no dilemma here for me, seeing as I’d already decided Ethan would do anything to save Sean. Considering he thinks he’s the Origami Killer and is prepared to turn himself in and face life imprisonment or the death penalty it shouldn’t be that much of a choice for him.
  • Considering all the letters he has and the obviously identifiable words he could probably work it out with a Google search, or the vast resources of the police if anybody bothered to involve them.

Chapter Thirty-Six

  • Story Scene Forty-Seven: A frustrated Jayden goes over the clues to try and find the killer, making a big discovery and narrowing it down to one very likely suspect.
  • The killer was wearing a gold watch that gets given to all police officers when promoted, revealing the killer is (or used to be) a cop. Blake’s obvious, eager to frame anybody for it as well as being a completely horrible person. The only other cops of note are Perry and Shelby. Madison hasn’t met any of them.
  • pleasedontbeshelbypleasedontbeshelbypleasedontbeshelby
  • Jayden suspects Blake, which is perhaps the best sign yet that he’s innocent. I dislike that the clue being analysed says “is or was a cop”. It’s not Shelby. It’s not Shelby. It’s not…
  • Jayden narrows it down to one person, but as with Madison elects not to share that with the player, who at that point was supposed to, you know, be Jayden.
  • Story Scene Forty-Eight: Shelby takes Lauren to the train station and says goodbye, promising to tell her what happens when it’s all over.
  • I’m sure it’s just coincidence that you switch to Shelby immediately after Jayden identifies the killer as a possibly former cop. That’s all it can be because it’s not Shelby, right?
  • Story Scene Forty-Nine: The young boy tries to save John but his drunken father refuses to help. The boy returns to John, who says goodbye and reveals his brother’s name to be Scotty.
  • Damn it! Crap! ARGH! He was the only one I didn’t want it to be. It also doesn’t make complete sense yet. Who killed Manfred? Shelby was in the next room. The man who killed Paco and fought with Jayden had the wrong body shape to be Shelby, so there’s an accomplice? Why has Shelby gone to such lengths to investigate the killer? Why was Madison so shocked when she’s never met him? What happens if Shelby dies in his car in the lake?
  • I was bang on about the daddy issues though (not that it wasn’t obvious).
  • Story Scene Fifty: Shelby burns the evidence he has collected, along with a photo of the two boys.
  • Every time you throw something away it flashes back to when he acquired it. Most you were part of, but it shows him taking Paco’s address book (and that character model still doesn’t look big enough to be Shelby), and it shows Shelby killing Manfred. Huh? Shelby and Lauren were in the shop together at all times after Manfred went to get the info, so when the hell did he sneak off and kill him? And is the game seriously saying that in between asking Manfred for his info and walking around, Shelby actually went off, killed him, then returned to the exact same spot where he left? Why did Shelby have happy thoughts when Lauren found Sheppard’s grave? He was impressed, whereas he must actually have been annoyed or worried, meaning the actual thoughts were lying to us. I do not understand.

Chapter Thirty-Seven:

  • Story Scene Fifty-One: Madison visits Shelby’s office and finds out the identity of the Origami Killer, who traps her in the hidden room and sets the whole place on fire. Madison escapes and calls Jayden.
  • In her thoughts, Madison says that she should have called the police instead of coming alone but she had no evidence. She knows Shelby’s real identity though and the death of John in the exact same way as the Origami victims, which would be a good place for the police to start looking at adoption records from and asking some questions.
  • So he burns all the evidence that as a private investigator he would have collected anyway, but leaves the secret orchid room that has the typewriter, the orchids, the origami, the address and a camera feed of Sean. It was hidden (from the player as much as anybody else), but still…
  • You survive the explosion by hiding in the fridge. Somebody watched Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • I’ve no idea how she even knows who Jayden is, let alone how to call him directly. He already knew all she had to say though, which I wasn’t absolutely sure about because he wouldn’t let me know when I was playing as him. It would have been the same if I’d chosen to call Ethan or go alone, all three independently found out how to get to Sean, although if somebody had let Ethan know he wouldn’t have needed to drink that poison.

Chapter Thirty-Eight:

  • Story Scene Fifty-Two: Ethan finds his son and meets the Origami Killer.
  • Ha, you do play as a fifth character. Are we getting QTE drowning?
  • Oh, no you don’t. The loading screen is Sean (maybe because the person who finds him isn’t fixed?) but it was Ethan who I controlled.
  • Scott says he’s been waiting a long time to do what his father couldn’t, sacrifice himself to save his son. That’s not really what happened, all Scott’s dad had to do was sacrifice a couple of minutes of drinking time. That’s probably an easier test to pass though, “Are you willing to go without alcohol for a few minutes to save the one you love?”
  • I stopped using Shelby and started calling him Scott. That was completely unintentional. I guess the character has really changed for me, for some reason.
  • This is how it played out for me: Ethan speaks with Scott. Scott points out Sean’s location, Ethan goes to open the drain cover, Scott pulls his gun and takes aim (he wanted to find a good father so he could kill him and his son?), Jayden leaps in out of nowhere (and it’s nice to have a good guy get cinematic teleportation powers for once), knocks Scott down and chases him when he runs off. Ethan breaks open the cover and saves Sean (who is visible at all times with his head above water, right until you go to pull him up, when he’s suddenly below water). Up on the roof, Jayden searches for Scott, the two battle (and it was little odd to control Jayden beating up Scott, because I prefer the non-Origami parts of Scott to Jayden). Blake arrives with the police and gets them ready to shoot Ethan on sight, Madison turns up and tries to convince them Ethan’s innocent (but doesn’t mention who the actual killer is), Jayden and Scott battle some more, Ethan performs CPR on Sean but fails, starts crying, then Sean splutters and wakes up, Ethan rejoices, realises his hour is up and says goodbye, then when the timer reaches zero and he’s still alive he’s shocked (as if the poison could be programmed to take exactly 60 minutes). Madison gets on her bike, weaves around the cops and enters the warehouse, telling Ethan about the police, Ethan thanks her. Up on the roof, Jayden and Scott continue fighting (completely unnoticed by the police on the ground who are supposed to be watching the whole building and the helicopters above), Scott slips and nearly falls into some sort of grinder, Jayden helps him up (the trophy here mentions that you can save him as Jayden or Madison, so I guess if you haven’t done as well with Jayden Madison does a lot more here), Scott attacks him again, Jayden fights him off and Scott falls into the grinder. Ethan (carrying Sean) and Madison exit the warehouse together.
  • Epilogue: News reports that Sean’s safe, Ethan was brave and Scott was the killer. Ethan and Sean look at a new apartment, Sean says it doesn’t matter as long as they’re together and they play tag. Talk show has Madison as a guest, her reports on the Origami putting her up for a Pullitzer and the host saying she’s mostly responsible for identifying the killer and saving Sean (which wasn’t really true in my playthrough, because Jayden also achieved both things and Ethan also found Sean, which meant they both would have been there even if she’d gone home and had more bad dreams instead of investigating). Then Madison’s at a book signing, where one of the people getting a book signed says she needs a more challenging opponent, then has disappeared in the seconds between finishing that sentence and Madison looking up (what’s that supposed to be, a sequel or DLC hint?). Back to the talk show, Jayden’s on it this time and the host says pretty much the same things about him as he did about Madison, that he almost single-handedly solved the case and saved Sean. Jayden sits in a bathroom holding a vial of the drug he’s addicted to, but managed to overcome the urge and flushes it. Then Jayden’s in his FBI office, using the ARI to cycle through files, when a couple of strange little tanks appear. Jayden takes off the glasses but the tanks are still there. Next it’s the cemetery, Lauren standing over the grave of Scott, telling him she can’t understand why he did it all and that she has nothing but contempt for him. She spits on his grave and the credits roll, which show certain events from the game (and not necessarily the ones you chose). The end.
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  1. August 16, 2010 at 17:05

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