Stephanie Gingrich, better known as Steph, (born: December 17th, 1993) is a resident of the town Haven Springs in Life is Strange: True Colors and the protagonist of the bonus story "Wavelengths". Steph is one of the game's main characters, in addition to serving as one of two love interests for protagonist Alex Chen. She originally debuted in Life is Strange: Before the Storm.
Steph has short brown hair that is styled in two bangs. Her outfit changes as the game progresses, but she wears a necklace with a ring attached to it and almost never appears without a cap.
The official character profile describes Steph as a "restless type" and as "queen of the nerds" who has grown her passion for tabletop role-playing since her time at Arcadia Bay. Moreover, she's characterized as a "creative force of nature" and as a "queer and proud, musical, nerdy powerhouse."
Steph was born in Oakland, California but was raised in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. After graduating from Blackwell, Steph moved to Seattle, Washington to study video game design but ended up being pulled into the art and music scene there, and teamed up with her then girlfriend Izzie to form the two-piece punk band Drugstore Makeup, with Steph on drums. The band eventually wound up in Haven Springs, Colorado playing at the local bar the Black Lantern. Steph ended up falling in love with the small town and its charm and decided to remain there. Her passion for music ended up landing her a job at Rocky Mountain Record Traders becoming both the store's manger and the local radio DJ, where she eventually makes the acquaintance of Alex Chen.
Chapter 1: Side A
After Alex enters the record store, Steph can be seen dancing around inside a radio broadcast room. After noticing Alex, she smiles and shows her two records, requesting her to pick one. Once Alex makes a selection, Steph begins her broadcast. Later, Steph then comes out of the broadcasting room arguing with someone on the phone. This causes Alex to see a red aura around Steph while unwillingly mimicking her angry behavior. After Ryan calms Steph down and offers to fill in for her, Steph leaves to handle the situation.
Alex later meets Steph again in the Black Lantern where they play a jukebox game. Whoever loses must drink the green-colored wine on Steph's table.
Chapter 2: Lanterns
Steph attends Gabe's funeral alongside Jed, Alex, Ryan, Duckie, Mac, Riley, and Charlotte. During a heated argument, Steph sees Alex go upstairs and follows her.
Steph comes to Alex's apartment and she invites her in. After telling Alex to ignore the argument, they talk about Gabe and Alex's guitar before Steph notices a wine bottle that says "foosball champion", causing her to become upset. To help her, Alex goes into Nova where she learns that Gabe's death and her inability to beat him at foosball is the cause of her pain. She then decides to have Steph play a game of foosball to cheer her up. While playing, Alex talks to Steph and learns that she was once in a band. After three games and regardless of who wins, Steph leaves to return to work.
Alex later visits the record store, where she learns that Steph is busy planning the LARP for Ethan and has Alex pick a final boss from two drawings. After selecting one, Steph also suggests that Alex can sign up as a character for the LARP in the form on the front desk, which she can optionally do so.
Later at night in the record store, Steph plays a song in honor of Gabe. She can later be seen among the townsfolk watching a sky lantern dedicated to Gabe.
Chapter 3: Monster or Mortal
At the start of the chapter, Alex and Ryan tell Steph about Alex's powers and Alex uses it on her to prove it. Recalling that Diane was working with her laptop earlier and remembering her fear from the previous chapter, Alex suspects that she may be working for Typhon and plans to learn the truth from her. After Alex returns to talk to Ryan and Steph, they have already formed a plan, but it isn't well thought out. Seeing Diane come in and sits at a table to work on her laptop, Alex can have Steph act as the distraction while she swaps Diane's flash drive. After they excuse themselves, they head to Alex's apartment to try and decrypt the drive using Alex's laptop, but it is password-protected. Ryan sends it to Riley to see if she can access it. Steph then leaves to prepare for the LARP and reminds Alex to bring her guitar and bard hat.
During the LARP, Steph dresses like a witch and has decorated the inside of the record store to make it look like a magic shop. They have the option of buying helpful items. To buy the gem, they will need to get a special type of scale from a serpent (played by Ryan). They must either put it to sleep (if they have the sleeping potion) or defeat it.
Alex returns to her apartment where she finds Ryan and Steph waiting for her. It turns out that they had finished unlocking the drive. She then begins to listen to the messages inside it. If she took Charlotte's anger earlier, Alex will get angry and throw Gabe's foosball winner whiskey at the wall, causing Steph to storm out while Ryan goes after her. If she didn't, she won't destroy the whiskey and Steph won't leave and will instead stay to help Alex. If Steph stays with Alex, they will learn that Diane is part of a project called Rhea, which reveals that the explosion was a decoy meant to cover up another explosion and that they were trying to bury something.
Chapter 4: Flicker
Alex meets Steph at the Spring Festival along with Ryan, who comments on Alex's skirt before they are interrupted by a loud screech from the speakers. If Alex got angry in the last chapter, she will apologize to them and Steph will claim that she is the one who needs to apologize. Ryan and Steph then continue to work on the speakers. Alex also has the option to give Steph a rose. Once they are ready, they have Alex go onstage with her guitar, to her dismay. Alex nevertheless begins singing her song with Steph playing her drums alongside her. After the performance, they receive an applause. If Alex formed a romantic relationship with Steph, they will meet at the Black Lantern rooftop to spend time with each other. Depending on earlier choices, they may share a hug or a kiss.
Chapter 5: Side B
Steph is among the people taking part in a meeting hosted by Diane and Jed. They are interrupted by Alex. She and Ryan are horrified to see that Alex has been hurt and suggest taking her to a doctor, but she dismisses their concerns. She then tells everyone the truth and what really happened at the mine; Jed had lied to everyone about saving all the miners. Steph will side with Alex regardless of her choices. If Ryan is not convinced, Steph will get into an argument with him.
Some time later, Steph will visit Alex if she formed a romantic relationship with her. She states that she intends to leave Haven Springs, but also decides that she wants to stay with Alex if she chooses to and even tears up her ticket to ensure that; Alex must make the decision for her. Gabe's future visions then determine Steph's fate. If Alex and Steph have formed a relationship with each other, the following events happen: a bus leaves and Alex is shown on the bridge with Steph, Alex works at the record store with Steph, Alex plays a tabletop game with Steph and Ethan in the Black Lantern, Alex plays guitar for Steph on the rooftop, Alex and Steph perform onstage in front of an audience, and Alex watches the sunset on the bridge with Steph. If Alex did not form a romance relationship with Steph, she will leave town and give the record store to Alex.
If Alex chooses to leave town, Steph will be seen boarding the bus with Alex (only if Alex had formed a romantic relationship with her).
Steph is first seen entering the DJ room in the record store, where she remembers a conversation with the radio store manager recalling her first day working at the record store after quitting her band. After selecting one of the four songs to play, she begins by broadcasting the advertisements found on her desk and also updates her phone's dating app profile after this is done. Whenever she is in the booth, she also has the option to interact with the nearby objects such as the newton balls, the glitter lamp, the dancing flower, the bobblehead, and the sticky dinos (whatever can be found there). In the store, she can find gifts from Charlotte and Eleanor. At the front desk, there is a note with a list of things to do: set up posters, arrange CDs, and check a broken vent (to which Steph will taunt the animal inside it). After she receives a phone call from a male teenager inside the booth, she helps him predict his future. Steph then receives a package from Mikey North containing a notebook, a sketch, a game guide, a D20 die, and a note that says "You Ready?" with a sinister looking face. She then receives another call, but this time from the girlfriend of the earlier caller, who believes she's a psychic. She reluctantly predicts her future using the D20 to hint either a good or not so good future. After completing all the announcements and tasks, she calls Gabe using her cell phone. She expresses how stressful her new job is, but Gabe reveals that she is broadcasting her complaints. Embarrassed, she quickly provides a decent excuse over the radio to avoid humiliation.
At the end of June, after finishing a broadcast, Steph turns on a small fan to cool herself down from the heat. She then gets a call from a father requesting a song for his son. She heads to the backroom to find the requested song, only to find that the cabinet containing the song is locked. There is a clue that provides hints for the combination for the lock. She looks around for the records that match the clues. In the store, she also has the option of changing the tallies on a scoreboard. Once she unlocks the cabinet, she begins playing the song on the radio. Steph also broadcasts some ads while answering two calls from people who also think she's a psychic, to which she uses her D20 to predict their futures. Once all the tasks are done, she proceeds to put away the store's decorations: a sign that says "Pride", some handmade signs, a tray full of badges, a poster, and two flags (the one on the front door must be taken down last). During this, she will remember past conversations with her old friends, including Chloe Price.
During Halloween, Steph remembers another past conversation with Gabe, who is concerned about Steph isolating herself from others. During her next broadcast, she reveals to have a scratch on her hand that she received from Valkyrie while declining a call from Mikey. While announcing some more ads and helping three callers predict their futures using her D20, she access her laptop at the front desk where she will find a list of tasks and an article either about Mark Jefferson or the Arcadia Bay storm. The tasks include tidying up some comics and albums, finding a requested song on her email account, and cleaning up the trash in the back room. While doing these tasks, she remembers painful memories such as police sirens or the storm as well as either remembering the discovery of Rachel's body or her mother Lita presumably being killed in the Arcadia Bay storm. She has the option of listening to a radio in the side room, altering Ethan's drawing, and leaving cat treats for Valkyrie at the window or a corner. After she finishes everything, she calls Gabe and asks him for a drink, but she receives an email from Mikey, asking her to contact him. She heads to the backroom and contacts Mikey via her laptop. While playing a tabletop game with him, Steph remembers conversations involving Chloe, Rachel Amber, Drew North, and Mikey himself and she and Mikey will either talk about Lita and Drew's apparent deaths or Chloe and Rachel's deaths. When Steph complains about the pain that she experienced in the past (which is why she is keeping others away), Mikey explains that he just wants to be a part of her life. Despite this, Steph still cannot get over her pain.
At the end of December, after Steph has finished her broadcast, she gets a call from Gabe, who explains that he is prepared to see a family member that he had not seen in a very long time. After Steph uses her D20 to predict his future, Steph then prepares to handle out some of her remaining tasks, which includes broadcasting ads and answering calls from Duckie and another unknown caller to predict their futures using her D20. She also finds a letter near the front door from Gabe, Ryan, and Charlotte inviting her to take part in a scavenger hunt. After finding seven clues, she finds her prize on a shelf in the backroom: a small dedication plate with her name and a note from the three. After everything is done, she then pops open a champagne bottle that Jed sent her to celebrate the new year.
In a later scene, Steph is shown playing with a wooden sword. She then receives another call from a person asking her to predict her future. Steph points out that she has stopped doing that a long time ago. When the caller asks again, she provides an quick, unspecific answer before hanging up. After talking about Valkyrie, she plays a record and starts dancing to the music. Alex Chen then appears outside the DJ room's window. As Steph picks up two records, she sees Alex, smiles at her, and shows her the records for her to pick, leading to the events of the main story.
Steph's spirit animal seems to be that of a swallow bird, as she has one tatooed on the the right side of her chest. Swallows typically represent freedom and travel, which lines up with Steph's general need to stay on the move, as she excitedly expresses to Alex in chapter 4. Swallows also represent loyalty and fidelity, which also lines up with the fact that Steph will always have Alex's back no matter what, as shown during the council meeting in chapter 5 where Steph will be the first person to stand in support of Alex, and will always side with her whether you romanced her or not.
- "Are you single? Semi-single? Taken? But still down to get drunk and make out?"
- — Steph to Diane.
- Izzie – (Ex-Girlfriend) – Steph and Izzie are exes prior to the beginning of True Colors. While living in Seattle, Steph found talent in playing the drums, and she and Izzie formed a two-piece punk band called Drugstore Makeup. Their touring brought them to the Black Lantern in Haven Springs where Steph ultimately fell for the small town charm.
- Alex Chen (Determinant) –
True Colors Characters
|Alex Chen · Gabe Chen · Steph Gingrich · Ryan Lucan|
|John Chen · Wendy Chen|
|Charlotte Harmon · Ethan Lambert|
|Eleanor Lethe · Riley Lethe|
|Citizens of Haven Springs|
|Ann Lucan · Diane Jacobs · Duckie · Mac Loudon · Jed Lucan · Jason Pike · Hector Gonzales · Jesse Whitaker · Josh Hopkins · Julia Crowe · Sonny and Angela Anderson|
|Dr. Lynn · Izzie · Valkyrie|