Rachel Dawn Amber (born July 22, 1994) is the deuteragonist of Life is Strange: Before the Storm. She was born in Long Beach, California and eventually moved to Arcadia Bay, Oregon. She attends Blackwell Academy and is one of the most popular students and a member of the theater group there. After saving Chloe one night, the two of them grow closer and become best friends. Their relationship is the central plot of Before the Storm. She and Chloe dream of leaving Arcadia Bay together as, according to Rachel, there's nothing keeping either of them there.
Like Max Caulfield, Rachel has an eye for images and art. Considering school performance in the effort put into being a model, she is a very ambitious person. She appears to have a caring personality, as she is well-loved by those close to her. Rachel also seems to have been more girly and idealistic than Chloe, reflected by her love of makeup and aspirations to become a model. Rachel is friendly, outgoing and good with people - traits that catch the attention of her peers and teachers, resulting in her popularity at school.
However, Rachel is also a person who is used to getting what she wants. She is easily angered, especially when things don't go the way she wants (such as when the viewfinder failed to operate) and this leads her to take some impulsive and sometimes destructive actions, such as stealing wine or lashing out at Chloe Price. She is also prone to vindictive behavior, which is displayed if Victoria has taken over her role in The Tempest - Rachel will drug Victoria's tea if Chloe fails to convince the latter to quit the role. Rachel can be seen as somewhat manipulative towards Chloe.
When Chloe first sees Rachel in the old mill, she appears very different from the way she usually looks; she wears her hair in a ponytail and a dark studded jacket with several pins on it (the letter "a", a skull, and a British flag with the word ‘bullout’ on it) over a black t-shirt with a white image of a person playing guitar on it. She also wears several necklaces: a black choker with three studs on it, a green necklace with a silver pendant with a red jewel on it surrounded by a black circle, and a long black necklace looped over her neck several times with an animal fang on the end of it. She wears denim shorts over torn-up black leggings, black fingerless gloves, and black boots. She has a black belt with a silver belt buckle depicting a hand showing the middle finger, overlapping another black belt with studs on it; she also has a chain hanging from a hoop clipped onto her shorts. She wears a single blue feathered earring on her left ear with a golden pheasant tippet at the top. On her left hand, Rachel wears a black bracelet with a blue strip down the middle of it, and on her right hand she wears a thin black bracelet and her classic bracelet (which she has given to Frank Bowers when Chloe and Max encounter him in the original game), a thick, brown-braided leather bracelet with silver-blue objects stuck on.
The following is what Chloe Price wrote about Rachel in her journal:
How do you describe Rachel Amber? I've been trying to find the right words ever since we met.
The crazy thing about Rachel is that I really should hate her guts. I mean, she's a straight-A student, beloved by everyone at school including students and teachers. She's super into acting and I hear she even does modeling on the side, which I imagine her District Attorney dad and Stepford housewife mom support her in. It all sounds like a recipe for awfulness.
And yet, Rachel somehow is nothing like the privileged golden child type you'd expect. She's not like any type, actually. She's probably the most surprising person I've ever met. And that's not just because when we met she was helping me take down some skeevy assholes at a rock show. But it's just this feeling she gives off. Like when you're with her, anything is possible.
Fuck, it really sounds like I have a crush on her, doesn't it? Here's hoping she reveals something really horrible about herself soon, like a stamp collection, or a love for cat memes. Something to make her a little less... indescribably awesome.
Very little is known about Rachel before the events of the game apart from that she grew up in California, but the character confirms that in her early years, she climbed Mt. Hood and broke her arm, so her father carried her down to safety. It is later mentioned that she grew up without her birth mother being present (Sera), due to her abusing drugs.
Episode One - "Awake"
Rachel and Chloe meet at Blackwell in Chloe's second year.
At the mill during a punk band concert, Rachel steps in to help Chloe, who got into a fight with two older guys that Chloe earlier agitated by spilling their beer. They spent the rest of the concert together dancing to Firewalk's music and they leave the concert together.
The next day, Chloe bumps into Rachel on her way to Chemistry class. Rachel drags her into the Drama Lab where Rachel is preparing for the school play The Tempest. She drags Chloe into a debate to get a "fresh perspective" on a quote of the drama. Shortly after Rachel changes into normal clothes, she suggests that they should ditch Blackwell and go on an adventure. They jump on a train, play two truths and a lie and share some random facts about themselves. Chloe can then decide whether she would like to share headphones and listen to music together or listen to music alone. After a while, Rachel tells Chloe to jump off the train to head to the park.
Rachel and Chloe play a "game" while mimicking people in a park from a viewfinder. After a while, Rachel suddenly focuses the viewer to a woman under a tree and a man who is approaching her. The two people begin to kiss, and Rachel suddenly quits the "game" and decides to get wasted, despite being the one who suggested the game in the first place. After approaching a junkyard, Rachel seems out of it. Chloe has the choice to either talk to Rachel or to give her space. If Chloe talks to Rachel, it causes Rachel to get angry at Chloe and she subsequently throws her bottle of wine at an object and looks annoyed. If Chloe chooses to give Rachel her space, she will also get mad and throw her bottle of wine. Rachel then leaves the junkyard, leaving Chloe after a heartbreaking talk about Rachel not being able to be friends or as something more than friends (depending on the player's decision). Before the episode ends, Rachel and Chloe meet in front of the tree where the couple they saw with the viewfinder were kissing. Rachel tells Chloe that the man in the couple was Rachel's dad cheating on her mother. They then apologize to each other, and Rachel asks for Chloe's lighter. She lights the picture on fire. Rachel then throws the flaming picture in the bin. She kicks the bin in anger, then screams as the wind blows the flames into a nearby tree, causing it to catch fire.
Episode Two - "Brave New World"
Rachel is first seen in Principal Wells' office with her parents, Chloe, and Joyce. Rachel looks somber as she and Chloe are reprimanded for leaving school the previous day. Rachel, unhappy that the Principal is scolding Chloe, tells him that it was all her idea and that she made Chloe do it. Everyone is shocked and the principal is skeptical of this. Rachel makes a convincing argument and hones her acting skills to convince the Principal. Principal Wells punishes her by removing Rachel from being his office assistant and performing in The Tempest, giving her role as Prospera to Victoria Chase. If Chloe manages to convince the Principal that it was her own idea, through a backtalk challenge, he changes his mind and doesn't remove her from the play. Chloe will be expelled, but Rachel is thankful for Chloe taking the heat. If Chloe goes along with Rachel or fails the backtalk, she will be suspended and Rachel will still be removed from the play. As Rachel and Chloe leave the Principal's office they agree to meet later in the junkyard.
Rachel is next seen in the junkyard, and she taps on the window of Chloe's truck to wake her up. She gets in the truck and the two speak about the forest fire, David moving in with Joyce, and Chloe's expulsion/suspension from Blackwell. Rachel confesses to Chloe that she feels like her father's been acting for so long he "doesn't have a personality anymore". Chloe reassures her and cheers Rachel up. The two sit in the truck and Rachel rests her head on Chloe's shoulder. Rachel then leaves for rehearsal and leaves Chloe a bag of clothes.
Rachel is next seen backstage in the changing rooms. If she was removed from the play, she will be wearing only a t-shirt and jeans instead of the Prospera costume. If Chloe is kind to Victoria, Rachel will drug Victoria's tea while she is distracted, and after Victoria passes out, Rachel reclaims her part in the play. If Chloe uses backtalk on Victoria, she will drop out of the play and the Rachel will play Prospera. If Rachel was not removed from the play, Victoria Chase will try to drug Rachel's tea, but Chloe can either warn or distract her to speak to Rachel about it. If Chloe calls Victoria out, Rachel will pretend to believe Victoria until Chloe manages to get Victoria to drink the tea. If Chloe distracts Victoria, she will tell Rachel privately about Victoria's plan. Rachel isn't shocked saying that it is "the least surprising thing ever". Rachel and Chloe then hatch the plan to switch the cups.
Rachel and Chloe emerge from the tent to the news that one of the cast, Juliet Watson, is stuck in traffic. Rachel then tries to convince Mr. Keaton to let Chloe step in for Juliet. Despite Chloe's reluctance, she is eventually persuaded by Rachel.
The next scene is the play and as Rachel and Chloe carry out their scene together, Rachel goes off script and using the language of Shakespeare asks Chloe to run away together with her. Spurred on by the crowd, Chloe agrees. Rachel and the other cast members finish the play and as they bow before the crowd Rachel spots Chloe standing backstage. She drags her onto the stage to be applauded as well.
Rachel and Chloe are next seen wandering down a street together. Rachel is giddy about the play and how thankful she is for Chloe being a part of it. Rachel gets very excited at the prospect of running away together, but Chloe seems skeptical of their plan working, commenting on their parents, their lack of transport, and money. Rachel manages to have an answer for all of them. She then asks Chloe "What would it take to convince you?". Chloe can either be given Rachel's bracelet, which is very dear to her, a promise to get a tattoo for Chloe, or a kiss. Chloe will become shy if she asks Rachel to kiss her and can't bring herself to say the words. However, Rachel understands what Chloe wants, takes both her hands and the two kiss. Rachel will then ask "Was that convincing enough?" If Chloe said the right things previously, the two will then kiss again for a longer duration. Ash begins to fall and Rachel claims it's a sign and that the two should leave tonight. Rachel and Chloe then head to Rachel's house to pick up clothes.
Rachel and Chloe attempt to sneak upstairs but are caught by Rachel's father. When Rachel's father compliments her performance, her mood changes and she despondently replies "thanks". Rachel heads upstairs to freshen up, leaving Chloe with her parents. Rachel, Chloe, and her parents sit down for dinner and Rachel's parents begin talking about the forest fire and the reports that it was arson. Rachel looks nervously at Chloe. Rachel's father begins talking about the importance and responsibility of family. Rachel's anger visibly increases throughout his lecture. Chloe can either calm Rachel down or attack Rachel's father on his misdeeds. Whichever option is chosen, Rachel will lose her temper and call her father out for being a cheat. When Chloe and Rachel's mother join in the argument, Rachel begins to dissociate and eventually throws a salad bowl through the table, smashing it. She screams at her father to tell her the truth. James tells her that the woman he kissed was, in fact, Rachel's biological mother.
Episode Three - "Hell Is Empty"
In the opening, Rachel’s father explains his and Sera’s love life. He says that she often needed an “escape”, which meant she would often inject herself with some type of drug, seemingly heroin, that would make her pass out/go into a high. James explains that it got to the point where Sera started bringing thugs and drug dealers into their home, so he took matters into his own hands and ran away with Rachel to keep her “safe”. He also mentions that the reason why he kissed Sera in the Park is because he wanted to kiss her goodbye. He claims Sera wanted to see Rachel, and that she has gotten her life together. But due to Sera’s past struggles with supposedly on-off drug-addiction, he does not trust that she is fully stable. He walks away from her leaving her disappointed. Sera also received money once a month and he claims that she preferred money over Rachel (Between $1000-3000 per check). But it is shown later in the episode while Chloe Price is in James’s office, that Sera voided the most recent checks that were sent to her.
Chloe walks into Rachel’s room to comfort her. Rachel is deeply hurt by her father’s lie and wants to desperately meet her biological mother, in spite of her father's wishes. Chloe agrees to help her to do so. The following day, Chloe apparently manages to convince Frank Bowers to arrange a meeting with Sera, whom she saw two days before getting out of his RV. They agree to meet at the junkyard and Chloe tells Rachel about it. Rachel and Chloe meet up, and Rachel briefly compliments Chloe's hair. Shortly after they encounter Frank, who arrived earlier than agreed and brought Damon Merrick with him. The nature and hostility of this encounter depends on Chloe's choices during the game. Things heat up and Damon grabs Chloe aggressively by the wrist. Rachel responds by pushing him away from her and threateningly tells him to not touch Chloe again. The two drug dealers want to know about why Chloe and Rachel want to know about Sera and threaten the two girls to stop asking questions about their business. In spite of this, Rachel is still determined to know about her mother and demands the men to tell her where Sera is. Chloe tries to calm her down, calling her by name, which prompts Damon to realize that Rachel is the DA's daughter. Damon decides to get some leverage as he pulls out a knife and threatens Rachel to give him information about what her father is up to. Frank tries to defuse the situation, but Rachel, in a fit of rage and impatience, takes a big wood plank nearby and hits Damon with a single blow. A brief fight between Rachel and Damon breaks out and Rachel is stabbed in the arm as a result of it. She's quickly rushed to the hospital by Chloe.
Rachel's parents arrive at the hospital to look out for Rachel. Once alone in the hospital room, Rachel urges Chloe to try and meet Sera and gives her necessary information to break in her fathers' office in order to search for clues. Later, equipped with problematic knowledge, Chloe can choose whether or not to reveal it to Rachel, which would completely destroy Rachel and her father's relationship, or just tell her she couldn't find Sera. Either way, the ending cinematic shows that they remain good friends. In the post-credits scene, Rachel is implied to be photographed by either Mr. Jefferson or Nathan Prescott in the Dark Room.
- James Amber - Rachel has a strong love for her father and trusts him completely. When Rachel witnesses her father kissing another woman their relationship is completely wrecked with Rachel angrily saying to Chloe that she "never wants to see his fucking face ever again". It is clear how strong their relationship had been in the past based on how devastated Rachel is. Rachel's father seems to care deeply about his daughter considering that he is seen speaking to Principal Wells and the police presumably regarding Rachel's disappearance.
- Rose Amber - Rachel and her mother have a good relationship, given how upset she is that her father is cheating on her.
- Sera Gearhardt - At the end of Episode 2: Brave New World, James reveals that Sera is Rachel's biological mother. Depending on the player's choices, Rachel can meet Sera and the two embrace, both clearly overwhelmed to reunite.
- Chloe Price - It is clear that Rachel cares about Chloe as evidenced by Rachel protecting Chloe in the old mill as well as trying to getting her to open up more, particularly on the train. Rachel is shown to be very considerate towards Chloe and listens attentively when Chloe talks about her problems. Their argument in the junkyard could be seen to have somewhat rocked their friendship, however during the final scene of the episode Rachel is shown to admire Chloe's attitude and thinks she is a "badass" agreeing to leave Arcadia Bay with her. (See here for more information on their relationship.)
- Justin Williams - Justin talks briefly about Rachel to Chloe saying that she helped him with Math showing that they get on fairly well.
- Other Blackwell Students and Staff - Rachel seems to be liked by most everyone at Blackwell with Mr. Keaton, Dana and Hayden all being impressed by her.
- Damon Merrick -
- Drew North - Rachel seems to be sympathetic towards Nathan Prescott and as a result was seemingly upset when Drew was bullying him. She appreciates that Chloe stood up to Drew. After Chloe tells Rachel of the showdown between Drew and Damon she seems to feel bad for Drew. So it can be assumed that their relationship is now neutral.
- Victoria Chase - Despite them acting as friends several times through the game, Victoria shows a distinct dislike for Rachel, which Rachel seems to be aware of. It is hinted that Victoria called Rachel a "slut" on the Drama Lab board (Chloe can comment here as well, defending Rachel), she tries to learn if Rachel is on drugs through Chloe thinking if the two are involved Rachel must be on drugs. If Victoria tries to drug Rachel, their relationship is worsened.
- Chloe Price - There are many hints in this prequel game that Rachel is having romantic feelings for Chloe. Depending on the player's actions, Rachel can be encouraged to be open about her romantic feelings for Chloe. Rachel does seem to want to hang out with Chloe and takes her along with her for fun and mischief. She is also very flirtatious towards Chloe, and Chloe has the opportunity to take the relationship to the next level if she chooses to kiss Rachel. (See here for more information on their relationship.)
- In DONTNOD's original game, the status of Rachel's relationship with Chloe by the time of her disappearance remains unknown which was an intended ambiguity that allowed Before the Storm to explore both possibilities (i.e. friendship and romance). However, throughout both games, if choosing to entertain the idea that both girls were romantically involved, it still remains largely unclear if Rachel's feelings were genuine for Chloe (e.g. a pretense or fleeting curiosity), or just being there for Chloe during such a low point in her life.
- "I'm a Leo. Meow."
- — Rachel to Chloe during the train ride in "Awake"
- "You're hella mysterious, Chloe Price." - "Uh, hella? Who says that?" - "It's a Cali thing."
- — Rachel and Chloe's response in "Awake"
- "Chloe! What would it take to convince you?"
- — Rachel to Chloe in "Brave New World"
- "I think you're the only one in the world I can trust."
- — Rachel to Chloe in "Hell Is Empty"
- Towards the end of Episode 1, Rachel screams at the fire she started, causing the wind to mysteriously pick up. This could hint at the possibility that she may have an unusual ability like Max Caulfield in the original Life is Strange. Because Rachel's scream sounds like a mix of Rachel's own voice and the raven's voice, it may also be that the raven's spirit is in Rachel and causes the wind to pick up and spread the fire.
- Some believe that Rachel might have mind reading powers. This is hinted in the train scene where you can hear Chloe's inner thoughts about hanging out with Rachel, where Rachel then makes a facial expression that suggests she might have heard her thoughts. It could also explain her easily winning "Two Truths and a Lie".
- Rachel's blue bracelet is shown and mentioned many times during the game. It may in fact be a magical talisman of protection of Native American origin and a gift from Rachel's real mother at her birth. This would be analogous with Laura Palmer's ring that protects her in the movie Fire Walk With Me. In the train scene of Episode 1, Chloe admires Rachel's bracelet. Rachel tells Chloe that she has worn it since she was a small kid in California. If Chloe later asks Rachel to give her the bracelet, Rachel tells her: "I have literally never taken it off. My dad told me that I wore it from hospital to home, if you can believe that". In Steph Gingrich's tabletop game, we see the Minotaur boss Duurgaron, clad in a black cloak and flaunting a "Bracer of Fire Immunity" in his right while attacking Chloe's character with a sword. Mikey North's wizard attacks Duurgaron with a fire spell to protect her, but the spell fizzles. The ending of the Junkyard scene of Season 1, Episode 2 follows this encounter very closely. Frank Bowers, Chloe, and Max are positioned in the same way. Frank wears a black leather jacket, flaunts Rachel's bracelet in his right hand and threatens Chloe with a knife. Max tries to fire at Frank with Chloe's gun, but no bullet comes out. Later, when Frank is encountered again in Episode 4 at the beach, in which shooting Frank is a possible outcome, Frank is no longer seen wearing Rachel's bracelet.
- There is much less information in the game about Rachel's conspicuous Native American style earring than of her bracelet. It could link her closer to the spirit world, letting her appear as a ghostly doe to Max in Season 1.
- The forest fire finally dies around the same time Rachel is stabbed. This could further support her unusual connection with fire, even powers.
- Retrospective Theory - Some fans have speculated that the storm from the original game is Rachel Amber's wrath for the injustice that was done to her and also later to Chloe when she was shot in the bathroom at Blackwell Academy. Given that Max Caulfield has powers herself, the possibility is there when Chloe says, "this storm could be Rachel’s Revenge... Our revenge..." This theory is further supported by the fact that in Before the Storm, Rachel plays the character Prospera, who created a tempest, or a violent storm, as a form of revenge.
- Throughout the game, Rachel is repeatedly linked to fire and the first episode ends with her starting a forest fire by kicking over a flaming trash can. Though it seems to be representative of Rachel's state of mind, in the third episode, the forest fire suddenly goes out after Rachel's stabbed, to the bafflement of a pair of fire fighters.
- Between the events of Before the Storm and Life is Strange: Season 1, Blackwell Academy introduces a specialized two-year extended senior program, which explains why Rachel was still a student at Blackwell Academy in spring 2013 (else she would have graduated out of high school as a 12th-grade senior in spring 2012).
- Rachel is ambidextrous, as revealed in the "Two Truths and A Lie" game in Episode 1. While this is literally true, it is also a euphemism for her bisexuality.
- During the game "Two Truths and A Lie" that Chloe and Rachel play on the train, she says that she's a Leo. Her birthday being July 22 makes her a Cancer-Leo cusp and not a true Leo or maybe Rachel prefers herself as a Leo but not a Cancer. This either is a mistake in the game or Rachel told two lies and did not even admit it. There is also a possibility that Rachel simply says she's a Leo and hides the fact that she's a Cancer-Leo cusp, either for an unknown reason or convenience. Chloe acknowledges this fact (that Rachel is a Cancer-Leo cusp) in Episode 3, thinking that Rachel needs two signs to encompass her personality.
- Rachel tells Chloe she is a Leo. Being born on July 22, 1994, in California would make her 29 degrees Cancer unless she was born at 7pm or later. If she proudly identifies as a Leo, it is possible she is an astrology enthusiast and knows her own birth chart. If so, she would be an Aquarius Moon and Capricorn/Aquarius/Pisces/Aries Ascendant.
- Rachel will give Chloe her bracelet if the player chooses, saying she will give it to Chloe because Chloe means a lot to her.
- Rachel's tattoo from Life is Strange was drawn by Chloe if the player chooses to have Rachel get a tattoo to convince Chloe that she's being serious about running away.
- It is implied that Rachel died around April 22nd of 2013 from a brief ending scene shown at the end of Episode 3 where Chloe is trying to call Rachel for the eighteenth time while the player can hear the sound of pictures being taken in the Dark Room (hinting that these are pictures being taken of Rachel).
- Rachel has a poster of her Enneagram Test results in her room. She has Type 4 - The Individualist. Type fours are often creative and present a unique, distinctive persona to the people around them. Fours experience a deep conflict in that they long to connect with others, but they feel that because they are so unusual, very few people are able to truly see them as they are.
- Main article: Rachel Amber (Prequel)/Gallery
Before the Storm Characters
|Chloe Price · Rachel Amber · David Madsen · Joyce Price · Frank Bowers · Damon Merrick · Maxine Caulfield|
|James Amber · Rose Amber|
|Nathan Prescott · Sean Prescott|
|Anthony North · Drew North · Mikey North|
|Blackwell Academy Students|
|Brooke Scott · Dana Ward · Eliot Hampden · Evan Harris · Hayden Jones · Justin Williams · Juliet Watson · Logan Robertson · Samantha Myers · Stella Hill · Steph Gingrich · Victoria Chase · Taylor Christensen · Trevor Yard · Zachary Riggins|
|Blackwell Academy Staff|
|Travis Keaton · Skip Matthews · Michelle Grant · Raymond Wells · Samuel Taylor|
|Sera Gearhardt · Stan Stanwick · Gerald Scott · Helen Christensen · Picnic Couple · Cynthia Hampden · Sheldon Pike · Peter Gillespie · Rodney Sears|