Life Is Strange: Before The Storm’s prequel-prequel bonus ep reunites Chloe and Max on March 6

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm‘s third and final chapter arrived in December, bringing the teen trauma prequel full circle, but that isn’t quite the end. Still to come is a “bonus” episode set even earlier than Before the Storm, visiting teensy Chloe and teensy Max before they were pulled apart. Square Enix today announced that the bonus ep, named Farewell, will launch on March 6th. It will only be available in the game’s various deluxe editions, which is a bummer. New deluxe editions are coming, mind, including one with the soundtrack on vinyl for those who enjoy forcing squished dinosaurs to do karaoke.

The bonus episode is meant to be quite separate to Before the Storm, its absence from the regular edition not harming the base game, but it’s still weird that Squeenix decided to split it off rather than rolling it in and bumping the price a little. [Please understand that talking about “bumping the price” is not intended to be punning on Chloe Price. Puns are wrong.] The regular Deluxe Edition costs an extra £6.23 on Steam, also including a few outfits and a cinematic mode where you can hang out and listen to a tune, or people who bought the regular edition can upgrade for £7.99.

All that Deluxe stuff is in the new physical editions, along with the soundtrack in various physical forms. The Limited Edition for £35/€40/$40 has the soundtrack on CD, then the Vinyl Edition has tunes on both CD and vinyl for £60/€70/$70. I don’t usually mention physical editions because owning decorative possessions is an endless nightmare but hell, if you’re going to pay extra to get Farewell anyway, maybe you want to suffer even more.

After some uncertainty, I’ve decide to skip Before the Storm. I’m very fond of the original Life Is Strange, quirks and all, but as Pip and I agreed, it definitely ended in tragedy. I don’t want to see the tragedy which preceded that tragedy. The bonus episode is playing with the tragedy before that too, showing their friendship before Max moved away and their friendship fell apart and… no thank you. I don’t want to continue exploring the many facets and hopes of Chloe’s doomed friendships and romances. The original Life Is Strange ends with Chloe and Max recognising they must accept things and move on, and I moved on with them.

Nah, I’ll skip Deck Nine’s spin-off and wait for that mysterious new Life Is Strange coming from series creators Dontnod. I do hope they have moved on too. Leave Max alone, yeah?

I mean, I’m sure Farewell will aim to deliver fan-pleasing warmth and happiness, and it is nice that Max and Chloe’s original voice actors are back, but I don’t think it’s for me.

15 Comments

  1. Someoldguy says:

    I can empathise with your decision not to revisit that story, but had hoped you would. It was your discussions with Pip about LiS that got me into the original game, for which I am very grateful. I’d not have touched the game without it, being a far cry from my typical gaming purchase. It would have been nice to have read your thoughts about BtS and pre-pre-LiS now that Pip has moved on to that other place (which does not appear to have reviewed any episode of BtS).

    I bought the deluxe version but admit that I am now having similar thoughts to yours about revisiting the story for a third time. What will it achieve to play through when you know the end will inevitably be separation?

  2. nattydee says:

    “I don’t want to see the tragedy which preceded that tragedy.”

    And you know what? You’re not really missing anything by not subjecting yourself to the pre-tragedy tragedy. LiS has always been a profoundly sad series that I enjoy in spite of how very melancholy the story is, but despite a very promising start Before the Storm ended on a quite disappointing note that laid bare how hollow it was to revisit those same characters given how constrained Deck Nine was to the story of the original game.

    I do have to give Deck Nine credit for creating a game that’s extraordinarily true to the original’s voice, atmosphere and tone, but the final act of the final episode of Before the Storm had me sighing endlessly.

    I get people wanting more content of Chloe and Max, especially shippers, but I can’t imagine the prequel episode being anything but fanservice at this point given how closed ended their stories are.

    I’ll probably play it anyway though /sigh

  3. Hyena Grin says:

    I admit this is a reaction that I can’t fully understand, but that might just be because I have a near bottomless tolerance for tragedy.

    I think there’s something to be said for not wanting to ‘explain away they mystery’ which is some of what BtS is about. In LiS a big part of the player’s sense of not fitting in, is mirrored in the fact that life moved on without Max. Max is confronted with change that she can only know about through people telling her about it.

    BtS exploring (some) of the (alluded-to) events that took place leading up to Max’s return to Arcadia Bay, does ‘explain away’ some of that which was intentionally shrouded.

    But it doesn’t bother me, because LiS strange is ultimately about relationships, for good or ill, and BtS is also ultimately about relationships (also for good or ill), so it seemed like a good fit for growing the story. The mystery always took a backseat to that, to varying degrees.

    Also it is worth noting that BtS actually doesn’t grasp at tragedy in order to tell its story. It doesn’t end where LiS’s problems begin. You’re really just learning about a blossoming friendship, you’re not watching it turn to dust.

    To that end it was not an especially tragic story, until you add to it what you know from LiS.

    But I imagine that doesn’t really properly address why you’re uninterested.

    I’m just always interested in more story, if I enjoyed a narrative and its characters – which I did. So by all means, give me more. =P

    • nattydee says:

      “It doesn’t end where LiS’s problems begin.”

      I’m sorry but the final scene of BtS would absolutely disagree with you.

      Spoiler:

      It’s a shot of Chloe calling Rachel’s phone over and over again while Rachel’s in the dark room.

      And as far as “BtS actually doesn’t grasp at tragedy in order to tell its story.” – the entire melodramatic 3rd episode, in which Rachel’s father is actually crooked and conspires with the drug dealer he’s supposed to be investigating to drug Rachel’s recovering addict mom to prevent her from reconnecting with Rachel, which you discover after Rachel gets stabbed by said drug dealer, is all about someone’s idea of tragedy. It’s certainly not mine, but it’s clearly someone’s.

      • Hyena Grin says:

        There’s a difference between the actual game, conversations you have, and problems you solve, having something to do with Rachel’s abduction – and a moment in the final clip of the final cutscene alluding to the events that kick off Life is Strange.

        That ending cutscene you are referring to is literally bridging the gap between BtS and LiS. The game itself takes place long before Rachel is abducted. You never personally have to deal with Rachel’s abduction or looming abduction. I really feel like there is a meaningful difference here.

        And when I say ‘it doesn’t grasp at tragedy’ I meant to imply that it isn’t latching onto the (significantly more tragic) events of LiS to sell its own plot. Which it doesn’t.

      • Pendragon says:

        Im sorry but the final scene of BtS would absolutely disagree with you.

        That’s not the final scene of BtS, that’s an after credits extra scene, with no connection to the actual story of BtS.

        • zaldar1978 says:

          hmmm I think I have to disagree. Yes it is an after the credits scene but these are still part of the game and part of the story. Acting like this is an unconnected thing is rather silly. It is part of the game like any other part of the game. A P.S. is part of a letter. Now if they hadn’t included this scene at all then I think you might have a point.

          • Hyena Grin says:

            I don’t understand how you can think that a brief clip at the very end of the ending cinematic, which has nothing to do with anything else that happened in the game, and whose only purpose is to bridge the gap between BtS and LiS, is just as much a part of the game as anything else in it.

            It is just literally, objectively not. Nothing you do in the game, none of the conversations you have or problems you face, have anything to do with it. It’s just a reminder that BtS is followed up by LiS.

            Four seconds of cinematic which serves no other purpose than as a narrative bridge between two related works, does not change the fact that the entire rest of the game, including 99% of the closing cinematic, have nothing to do with it.

            It really bothers me that people are trying to put an emphasis on this when the original comment was about the fact that the game is not about the abduction. Because it’s frigging not, it obviously isn’t, and it’s disingenuous to tell people that it is because of four seconds of an ending cinematic.

          • Hyena Grin says:

            It was a response to people not wanting to play a game about how awful things are going to be for Rachel and Chloe. Of not wanting to dunk their head in that tragedy. Because it is a reasonable assumption that the game might go there.

            But the game doesn’t go there. That is all my comment was saying. A cinematic at the very end, very briefly telling you something you already know is a far cry from the game being remotely about the abduction.

            Seriously, have a little perspective.

  4. Sascha23 says:

    It’s a shame you’re skipping it, Alice. It was a lovely experience and fleshed out the characters far more than I expected. Tasteful and a nice/slow burn. Hope you get the itch before the next story hits.

  5. mattmattmatty says:

    I admire your resolve, but I’ll echo Someoldguy’s words – I got into LiS largely because of yours and Pip’s writing here, and it’s become one of my favourite games. Would have been good to have seen what you thought of it.

    I’ll be taking a hard pass on this pre-prequel though. Asides from it being the extra fan-servicey part of what was already a pretty fan-servicey game, I didn’t love BtS – it was an OK-ish story with some good individual scenes, brought down by some fairly ponderous writing and really quite badly implemented gameplay – but I can kind of accept it given it’s covering a time period that isn’t really explored in any great detail during the main game. However, the Farewell episode will (by all accounts) sit directly alongside scenes from the original game, and I think I’d rather not have to try and reconcile the differences between Deck Nine’s approach to writing these scenes with DONTNOD’s. That, and ultimately BtS has just deepened my conviction that Life is Strange absolutely didn’t need a prequel to begin with, let alone 2.

  6. Ghostwise says:

    “Fan service” no longer has *anything* approaching a useful definition, innit ?

    Nowadays it seems that it can equally well describe floor waxes and dessert toppings.

  7. zaldar1978 says:

    I am interested in how the interaction will play and what the art will be like. I was one of the few who thought that did American teenagers pretty accurately I certainly see them being as terrible as the ones in that game were – it would be interesting to see if they can do children (no teens are nor children) as well. The back in time parts of life is strange make it seem like they might be able to do so.

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    keithzg says:

    I mean, I’m skipping Before The Storm ’cause I played the original on Linux and oddly this one is only for Windows :( Also it just seems like it’d be super off-putting to have the different voice actor for Chloe.