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Life is Strange 2's surprise cameo explained [spoilers]

Life is Strange 2 got a surprise cameo in its final episode and Shacknews breaks down what it means. (Warning: Contains spoilers for episode 5.)

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Warning: The following contains spoilers for "Wolves," the fifth and final episode of Life is Strange 2. If you have not played this episode, turn back now.


(Update: This story has been revised with a statement from Dontnod Entertainment's Michel Koch.)

Life is Strange 2 concluded its season earlier today, wrapping up the story of brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz. While the story of the Diaz brothers has been a self-contained narrative, mostly free of Dontnod Entertainment's previous efforts, this is still a Life is Strange story. That means the door has been open to other elements of the universe that Dontnod has crafted. And it looks like fans of the previous game got a special treat in the final episode in the form of an unexpected cameo.

Life is Strange 2 - David

Yes, that's David Madsen, who fans of the first game will recognize as Chloe Price's stepfather. He was the former security guard at Blackwell Academy, which acted as one of the first game's primary settings. Here, it looks like he's mellowed out into a new life in the Arizona desert alongside Sean and Daniel's mother and the rest of the community members living there.

What makes David's appearance interesting is that his cameo acts as an epilogue of sorts for the original Life is Strange. David openly talks with Sean about his past, talking about how difficult it is to raise kids who are growing up and discovering themselves, clearing referring to Chloe. Where the epilogue portion comes in is that he notably refers to his relationship with Joyce, Chloe's mother, in the past tense, stating that they're no longer together. David also discusses what led to his current life, talking about Chloe's death in Life is Strange and how she was gunned down by Nathan Prescott during the first game. He noted that his inability to prevent her death was his greatest failure and led to him completely reevaluating his life. It's presumed that he and Joyce broke up shortly after Chloe's death, which ultimately led David to Arizona.

What's particularly fascinating about David's appearance is that it essentially (inadvertently?) confirms one of the first game's endings as canon. In the first game, players had the option to sacrifice Arcadia Bay in order to save Chloe by leaving the town to be destroyed by a massive tornado or to sacrifice Chloe by going back in time and allowing her to be killed by Nathan. David's presence implies that Chloe was indeed killed by Nathan and Arcadia Bay is still standing. Later, David can be heard talking on the phone with Joyce, where they discuss the killing and make it sound like the Prescotts are working with their lawyers to have their son freed from police custody or prison.

Life is Strange 2 - The Prices

What's doubly fascinating about that revelation is that Dontnod never meant to make any of the original LiS endings canon. Let's go back in time to this Shacknews interview with Michel Koch from 2016:

"We were always thinking it would be quite a heavy decision, and I'm not sure of the statistics, but I think it's about 50/50. It's good, because we never wanted to have one ending be the "right" one and one be the "wrong" one. It's really the right the one, because the player is choosing it. You are presented with saving Arcadia Bay or Chloe and we really wanted this decision to be yours. We are not saying one is better than the other. You have to make the decision and sacrificing Arcadia Bay, for us, is not a bad decision, it is your decision."

[Update: And indeed they haven't. As noted by Koch himself on Twitter, Life is Strange 2 starts out by asking players if they chose to save or sacrifice Arcadia Bay, so this actually suits itself to the player choice. So there is still no "canon" ending to LiS1. Shacknews regrets this error.]

Make of this cameo appearance what you will, but also be sure to take it as a fun tie-in to the original game. Dontnod previously hinted that such a thing might happen. From that same interview:

"I think if we have a chance to explore Life is Strange again, of course it would be within the same universe. Maybe not in Arcadia Bay, but we would have links. Even if we have new characters, we would have some ties within the stories."

Life is Strange 2's final episode is out now. Look for the Shacknews review for the full season to be up soon.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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