The following article describes Theories and Speculations regarding the events and characters of Life is Strange 2.
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Prior to Release
- During Captain Spirit, Chris Eriksen can come across an e-mail on his father's computer detailing accounts of "unruly teenage freight-hoppers" in the area. Michel Koch later revealed in an interview that one of his major inspirations for Life is Strange 2 was Mike Brodie, a photographer known for having train-hopped across the U.S.A. for four years while capturing images of the people he met along the way. Both prior to and after the release of this interview, it was speculated that the protagonist of Life is Strange 2 would encounter and join a group of the aforementioned freight-hoppers during the game. This was eventually confirmed at the end of the game's second episode, "Rules", where Sean Diaz and Daniel Diaz board a train following two freight hoppers named Cassidy and Finn.
- After falling out of his tree house and seemingly levitating to the ground, Chris sees two boys standing in the Reynolds's backyard waving towards him. Judging by their lack of surprise, fans speculated that one of the two boys had the supernatural powers rather than Chris and was responsible for saving him from afar. In the first episode of Life is Strange 2, "Roads", the two boys were revealed to be Sean and Daniel Diaz, the latter of whom has the power of telekinesis.
- Following the release of Captain Spirit, it was speculated that Life is Strange 2 would focus around an older Chris Eriksen. This was eventually proven incorrect, as it was revealed that the protagonists of the new game would be Sean and Daniel Diaz.
- The two boys in the backyard were also subjected towards speculation of them being the new protagonists, with many fans noting their unique designs and the level of detail in their models. This was eventually proven correct.
- On a kitchen table in Captain Spirit, Chris can find a newspaper detailing riots and protests in Seattle following an unexplained incident that led to the deaths of a man and a police officer, which was speculated to be further explained in Life is Strange 2. This was eventually proven correct, as the man was revealed to be Esteban Diaz and the police officer as Kindred Matthews.
- If Chris manages to avoid raising Claire Reynolds's suspicion, Claire reveals to him that she has two grandsons visiting for Christmas, one of whom is Chris's age. As the two boys seen standing in the Reynolds's backyard at the end of the game fit this description, it was speculated that they were the mentioned grandchildren. This was eventually proven correct in "Rules".
- Should Chris decide to call Claire after she has already left on her walk, heavy breathing can be heard coming from the other end of the line. It was speculated that this may have been the work of either Stephen Reynolds or one of the two boys seen at the end, under the assumption that the latter were the grandchildren Claire had mentioned. The latter was eventually proven correct in "Rules", where Sean can find Daniel breathing into the phone as a prank if the player imported their Captain Spirit save file.
- Emily Eriksen's homicide case was never solved. It was speculated that Chris and Charles' subplot in Life is Strange 2 would center around Chris attempting to solve her homicide case with his newfound "powers" and bringing Sean and Daniel along with him. We know that even two years after her death, Chris is deeply affected by her loss. The one enemy he cannot defeat in his imagination is Mantroid, the personification of his mother's death, who is "everywhere," always hanging over him in his thoughts. He knows that accomplishing this goal will also bring closure to his suffering father who is still obsessed with finding the truth. This was eventually proven wrong with the release of "Rules", where Emily was not given any major focus during the main plot and only brought up during optional conversations with Chris and Charles.
- The first promotional teaser trailer for Life is Strange 2, depicted threads being sown through a backpack, culminating in the game's logo. Due to the backpack being noticeably worn-out and there being a prominent patch in the logo, it was speculated that Life is Strange 2 would focus around a traveler. This theory was technically proven correct, as the backpack was revealed to belong to Sean Diaz, who aims to travel across the country with his brother towards their father's hometown in Puerto Lobos following the latter's death.
After Episode One - "Roads"
- Rather than having the player make a "final choice" in the last episode similar to Season 1, it is speculated that Daniel will instead be given an important choice in the fifth episode, and what course of action he chooses to take will depend on what morals and lessons Sean has taught him throughout the game. With the release of Episode 5, Sean is given a decision to either cross the border or surrender to the police, but Daniel decides which of the four major endings will occur based on his level of morality.
- If Daniel comes across both the dead and living raccoons while hiking at Mount Rainier National Park, he can comment wondering whether the two raccoons were brothers like him and Sean. This may be foreshadowing towards a potential fate for the brothers. In Episode 5, it was revealed that only Sean is able to die in one of the four major potential endings, "Lone Wolf", shot in the neck while Daniel pushes them past the border.
- Assuming that Chris never had real powers and that Daniel was the one who saved him with his telekinesis, it was speculated that Daniel would try to uphold the illusion that Chris had telekinesis. This was proven correct in "Rules".
- During the events of Episode 2, some speculated that Sean would keep Daniel extremely sheltered to avoid abuse or accidental misuse of his powers. This would explain Claire's apparent fixation on Chris Eriksen behaving "like a real boy," as she would have a grandson at home who never goes outdoors. This was proven wrong upon the episode's release, as although Sean tries to keep Daniel from using his powers around others, he never goes so far as to overly shelter him and Claire never pays any particular attention to this fact.
- Karen's reasons for leaving the Diaz family were debated by fans since the release of the episode; some speculated that Karen abandoned the family upon discovering her own supernatural powers, while others suggested that she left for purely selfish reasons, as indicated by Sean's attitude regarding her and Brett Foster's taunts.
- Given her reaction to Daniel's telekinetic powers and her own explanation for leaving in "Faith", the latter theory is correct.
- As Daniel never mentions his mother during the episode, it was speculated that she left while Daniel was too young to remember her. This was proven correct in "Rules", where Karen is revealed to have left eight years prior to the start of the game, a year after Daniel was born.
- Assuming Claire Reynolds was Sean and Daniel's grandmother on their mother's side, it was speculated that Karen will become more prominent in the second episode, "Rules", due to promotional material stating that the brothers will reach their grandparents' house alongside a still of Sean and Daniel standing in front of the Reynolds's household. This was proven correct in "Rules", where Karen is a source of tension throughout the episode which eventually culminates in Sean and Daniel coming across Karen's old room.
- Due to Lyla Park being the closest known person to the Diaz family prior to the incident, it is possible that she will play a part in starting up or contributing towards the riots mentioned in the newspaper in Captain Spirit.
- While she is genuinely concerned about Sean and Daniel's safety, it is possible that Lyla is working as an informant for police to try to bring them into custody, evidenced by her dialogue with Sean at the end of the first episode (should he choose to call her before throwing away his phone). She claims to know he is innocent and attempts to guilt him into returning, which are manipulation tactics often used with fugitives in real life when they are contacted by loved ones working with police.
- Possible evidence against this theory is that Lyla openly tells Sean that the police are questioning her both via text and during the call, which is often discouraged in real life as it risks making the suspect paranoid.
- Another interpretation of this scene is that Lyla and Sean are good enough friends that she trusts him on his word despite the evidence against him.
- Given the emphasis put on Brody Holloway's website through which the brothers can contact him after he leaves, it was speculated that Brody will play a role in future episodes. Due to his position as a travelling journalist, it seems possible that Brody will write and publish an article centering around his interactions with the brothers, which could contribute to the Seattle protests and riots mentioned by the newspaper in Captain Spirit. This was proven partially correct, as in "Rules", Sean can visit Brody's blog via Stephen's computer, where he can find that he has written an article on his experience meeting the Diaz brothers, although Brody doesn't name the brothers in his article.
After Episode Two - "Rules"
- Karen has an amethyst in her bedroom, which is said to strengthen a user's clairvoyance due to its association with the Crown Chakra which rules higher states of consciousness. It is speculated that this may be a clue that Karen is a seer or prophet and could provide an explanation as to why she left. It is also a stone to help deal with emotional turmoil and grief. This theory was later indicated to be incorrect in Episode 5, where Karen is not indicated to have any sort of power and is mentioned by Sean to seem to have trouble adjusting to the reality of his power existing.
- Karen had a hobby of taking Polaroid photos of random people and objects in her youth, which could have been used to practice her far sight ability.
- Some fans speculate that Karen may have left her family to join a religious cult, which would explain Claire's resentment towards her as rooted in her strong religious beliefs. The initiation process for cults usually involves cutting off contact with loved ones in order to make control and manipulation easier, which would explain Karen's sudden cutting off ties with her family. Several references to church recruitment can be found within previous episodes; in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a pastor named Derek calls Chris Eriksen to spread the word about the Universal Uprising Church, and in "Roads", a recruitment poster for True Cornerstone Church can be found at Bear Station. This was later proven incorrect with the release of Episode 5, where it is revealed that Karen initially traveled to New York before failing at her dreams and stabilizing herself at the community of Away.
- Due to Daniel keeping the letter with her P.O. box in his backpack, it was widely speculated that Karen will make a physical appearance in a future episode. This was proven correct with the release of Episode 4, where Karen becomes a major character.
- If Sean called Lyla in "Roads", she can be seen actively researching the brothers' case and defending them on social media during "Rules". If Sean continues to call her throughout each episode, it was theorized that Lyla will play a role in helping the brothers in future episodes, whether that be via swaying public opinion through protests, getting the brothers acquitted from their crime, or physically coming to them in a time of need. This was indicated to be incorrect with the release of Episode 5, where Lyla's relationship with Sean does not impact anything outside of their own bond.
- If Sean did not call Lyla in "Roads", Sean can learn from her mother that she has been admitted to a clinic for weeks due to her worsening mental condition over Sean's sudden disappearance. Some speculated that Lyla may attempt self-harm or suicide due to Sean's lack of emotional support for her. This was later disproven with the release of the final episode, where it is revealed that Lyla eventually recovers and reconnects with her friends.
Cassidy and Finn
- Due to their close relationship, equal height, similar facial structure, and casual banter about their "scoreboards", Cassidy and Finn were theorized by some to be siblings and possibly twins, fitting into the game's recurring theme of familial bonds. Conversely, others speculated that Finn may be in a relationship with Cassidy, due to his actions towards Sean in front of her being interpretable as jealousy or protectiveness.
- Both theories were proven incorrect in Episode 3, where Finn is revealed to only have three older brothers and shows no romantic interest in Cassidy.
- Due to Cassidy's interest in Sean and his nervousness around her at the Christmas market, it was speculated that Cassidy and Sean will be or have the option to become romantically involved during the third episode. This was confirmed in Episode 3, where Sean has the option to pursue a romance with both Finn and Cassidy.
- If Sean didn't log into his Facebook account or call Lyla, it is speculated that Nick was the one to report the Diaz brothers to the authorities due to his vigilance against lawbreakers.
- Some speculate that Nick was the driver who ran over Emily. He is currently the only named character to appear in both Captain Spirit and Life is Strange 2 who could have both been in the right location for the accident and have the motivation to cover it up due to Beaver Creek's nature as a small, tight-knit community.
After Episode Three - "Wastelands"
- Daniel's whereabouts after the end of the episode were subject to speculation. Some fans speculated that Daniel either used the money from Merrill's safe (a trail of which can be seen leading out of his house) in order to travel to Arizona to find his mother or chose to surrender to the police and gave up his brother's location in exchange for a reduced sentence. Others theorized that he may have been taken by Jacob back to his religious community in Nevada (see below for more details).
- Following Daniel’s escape from Merrill’s house at the end of Episode 3, some theorized that Jacob either kidnapped or coerced him into heading back to his religious community in Nevada. During their conversation at the campfire, Jacob tells the group that he isn’t planning on going back to his family in Haven Point, Nevada until he receives a “sign from God”. After learning of Daniel’s abilities, Jacob states that they must have been given to him for a reason and that the drifters might be meant to guide him. He goes on to act visibly lost in thought at the following party, and Hannah mentions that she saw him praying. In Episode 4’s title card, prominent billboards advertising Nevada companies can be seen. Additionally, the achievements for Episode 4 and 5 make several references to religious terms and iconography, with five of Episode 4's nine achievements referring to Christianity.
- This theory was proven partially correct in Episode 4, where Jacob is revealed to have taken Daniel to Haven Point in order to find help due to not being able to go to the police or government-run hospitals.
- During the campfire, Jacob states that his old religious community had an “intense” female reverend. Some fans speculate this reverend to either be Karen Reynolds, who shows several signs of interest in spirituality within her room and caused her devoutly Christian mother, Claire Reynolds, to disown her for reasons unknown; or Karen's pen pal, Emma, who mentions living in a "boring" area and having a large family, possibly either in reference to the community or due to contraception being against their religion.
- This theory was proven incorrect in Episode 4.
After Episode Four - "Faith"
- Presumably after helping Daniel escape, some speculated that Karen would head back to Arizona, while others speculated that she would join Sean and Daniel on their journey to Puerto Lobos.
- The former was proven correct in Episode 5, where Karen takes Sean and Daniel to Away, her Arizonan community, and does not accept Sean's offer to join them should he propose the idea.
Maria Elena Flores
- Presumably after Sean escaped the hospital, Maria put out an APB or profile out on Sean.
- This theory was proven correct in Episode 5.
- Presumably after the destruction of the Universal Uprising Church, Lisbeth will help the authorities capture Sean and Daniel as an act of revenge if she wasn't killed.
- This theory was proven incorrect in Episode 5.
- Following Michel Koch's tweets regarding a hidden detail in "Faith" and its relevancy to Episode 5, Twitter user Sablakima discovered that the password to Karen's borrowed tablet is the same password that David Madsen uses on his computer in the original game. Additionally, the handwriting on the attached note looks similar to David's handwriting.
- Some fans speculate that David could make a cameo appearance; others suggest that Karen will simply mention David in passing.
- The appearance theory was proven to be correct in Episode 5.
- Some fans speculate that David could make a cameo appearance; others suggest that Karen will simply mention David in passing.
After Episode Five - "Wolves"
- Due to Joan Marcus' character design, her lack of eyebrows and her covered scalp, it's speculated Joan has cancer. This is backed up by the line:
- "- Looking good! What's your secret?
- Defying Death on a daily basis. And hydrating."
- — Karen and Joan upon Karen and David's return from shopping in "Wolves"
- During a certain ending of Episode 5, Karen is shown wearing Joan's jacket with Joan nowhere around. It is speculated that Joan has died.
- Towards the end of their journey, some speculate that Sean and Daniel will be captured by the police and/or placed through the juvenile justice system. Due to the lack of clear evidence caused by the supernatural nature of the incident, the trial would focus on assessing Sean's character and actions to determine what charges should be pressed against him and whether or not he should receive a sentence. This trial would potentially involve the testimonies of witnesses to the brothers' journey, such as:
- Lyla Park. If Sean has supported her through their phone conversations, Lyla is shown to be actively researching the brothers' case and defending them on social media, which would lead to her making a strong case for them during a trial. If Sean did not call Lyla in "Roads", her mother can inform him over the phone that she blames him for Lyla's worsening mental state in "Rules", which could lead to her contributing a negative testimony instead.
- Hank Stamper. In "Rules", Sean can find a newspaper that contains an interview with Hank which changes depending on whether or not he stole from the store or assaulted him before escaping. If Sean did the latter, Claire will bring up Sean being suspected for "assault and robbery at a gas station". Both of these actions may cause Sean to be seen in a negative light by the public.
- Brody Holloway. Although his blog entry in "Rules" indicates that he would give a positive testimony regardless of their actions, Brody's testimony may have some doubt depending on whether Sean expressed pride over beating up Hank or if Daniel stole his dashboard toy.
- Charles Eriksen. Depending on the player's choices prior to and during "Rules", Chris has the potential to be hit by a police car while attempting to save Sean and Daniel with his "powers". Following this course of action, Charles would be devastated over his son's injury/death and would likely lobby hard against the brothers' release, given his previous dedication towards bringing justice against Emily's killer.
- Chris Eriksen. Alongside the above scenario, Chris can also either learn that Daniel had lied about him having powers after being saved from the police car or be told the truth beforehand and help the brothers escape. In the former scenario, Chris may provide a bitter and confused account of his time with Daniel and expose his powers in the process, while in the latter, he would take steps to cover for Daniel's secret and assure his innocence.
- Daniel Diaz. Through his actions and decisions during the game, Sean has the ability to shape Daniel's character traits, including his relationship with Sean, how he expresses his powers, and his willingness to lie, swear and steal. Daniel's behavior, recollection of events, and actions could be used by authorities to determine Sean's character through the extent and nature of his influence on Daniel.
- Additionally, there are certain lines and scenes throughout the game that may act as potential foreshadowing for a court scenario:
- During one of the first scenes of the game, Esteban jokingly uses a court of law as a metaphor for Sean deciding who should receive the last Chock-O-Crisp. Later on, if Sean chose to take the Chock-O-Crisp from the open car at Mount Rainier National Park, Daniel continues the metaphor while they sit around their campfire. These scenes may act as foreshadowing towards a real court hearing occurring in the future, similar to Mark Jefferson's lecture in the second scene of the first season foreshadowing his true intentions towards the end of the game.
- Multiple times over the course of the game, Sean expresses worry towards himself and others over being sent to juvenile detention and separated from Daniel.
- During her optional prayer in "Rules", Claire says "Please, give us the strength to get over the hardships of the past, and the trials... yet to come..."
- One of the achievements for the fifth episode is titled "The Age of Reason". This may be a reference towards the canon law of the same name, which is the age at which children are considered to possess the ability to use reason and distinguish right from wrong. In the United States, children below seven are considered incapable of committing a crime, while children between seven and fourteen are presumed the same unless there is existing evidence; in the latter case, a rebuttal is possible, based on the premise that the child had learned to discern right from wrong.
- Another achievement, "Boundaries", is represented by the hobo symbol meaning "jail".
- This theory was proven incorrect with the release of Episode 5.
Achievement Icon Analysis
- A speculative analysis of potentially upcoming events in Episode 3, Episode 4, and Episode 5 can be found here. (This was written before the release of Episode 3.)
- Some fans speculated that Sean will be killed towards the end of the game. There are multiple lines of dialogue that could have foreshadowed his premature death:
- While searching for the screwdriver in Esteban's garage, Sean says, "Remind me never to get old..."
- If Daniel saw the dead raccoon on the side of the road, he'll say the following when he sees the live raccoon in the woods: "What if... this raccoon is related to the... to the one on the road? ... Maybe they were brothers, like us..."
- When looking at the grab bar in the Reynolds' bathroom, Sean comments, "Hope I'll never have to hold on to a bar to take a shit."
- When looking at his hoodie during the flashback, Sean comments, "They're probably gonna bury me in this thing."
- If Sean sleeps with Cassidy, he'll think to himself, "So glad I was with her the first time... and I won't die a virgin..."
- Sean has a cross propped up behind his unconscious body on the Wastelands choices page.
- If Sean inspects the window at the hospital, he says, "Hope my last view of this world isn't this window..."
- When Sean and Daniel reunite in Haven Point, Daniel says, "I was so scared, I even thought you were dead..."
- After Nicholas repeatedly attacks Sean during the confrontation with Lisbeth, Karen shouts, "No! You're gonna kill him!"
- This theory was proven to be partially correct in Episode 5. Sean's death is determined by the final choice you make in the game in which whether or not it contradicts Daniel's morality value.
- ↑ Life is Strange 2 Developers on Leaving Chloe and Max Behind - Gamescom 2018
- ↑ Official tweet with teaser trailer
- ↑ keeping-tabs: "Tonight in wild speculation: what’s the deal with Jacob? (Possible spoilers ahead)"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 /u/exotic_hang_glider: "Anyone get this vibe from Jacob?"
- ↑ https://twitter.com/Sablakima/status/1189171439179567104 Sablakima's tweet in response to Florian Piette
- ↑ The Free Dictionary: Legal Dictionary - Age of Reason
- ↑ Hoboglyphs: Secret Transient Symbols & Modern Nomad Codes
- ↑ u/MrGraffio: "iS tHiS fOrEsHAdoWinG??"
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