There is no “canon” choice, they confirm.
Okay, heads up, full spoilers will follow for the original Life is Strange in this post. If you have not yet played the game but intend to (in which case, get on it, it’s fantastic), or if you care about spoilers, now’s the time to back out. Okay? Okay.
The original Life is Strange ends with one fateful choice Max has to make- faced with the terrifying storm that threatens to destroy Arcadia Bay and everyone within it forever as a result of her meddling with time, Max has to decide to either undo the root of all of her fiddling with time – which means she has to undo her saving her best friend Chloe’s life. She has to choose whether or not to let Chloe die, and save Arcadia Bay in the process.
It’s a heart wrenching choice, and it’s not clear which decision is the right one- Max is a kind hearted girl who surely wouldn’t let so many people die, but she has also distorted the very fabric of reality just to save her friend. Which choice is the right one? Is there even a canon choice? According to Dontnod, the folks who brought us the original game, no, there is not.
“I am also a player,” said Philip Bachelor, Dontnod’s voice director in an interview with USGamer. “I play a lot of games. It would almost upset me to find out one is canon. Like, you’re being told, ‘Hey cool, you made a choice. That choice was wrong.’ I would feel bad because what’s so gut wrenching about the game is the choice at the end.”
Life is Strange writer Christian Divine agrees. “The whole game builds up to literally that moment. The point of the game is not to give that linear conclusion. It’s a choose-your-own adventure book. You can ask which one is canon, but that’s not how it works in a choose-your-own adventure book.”
It’s good to see that Dontnod is not planning on declaring any one ending canon, especially after hearing that the Life is Strange comic has chosen to follow the “Save Chloe” ending as the basis for its story. That said, Dontnod emphasized that that doesn’t make it canon- it just makes it the basis for that story and nothing else.
Life is Strange is out now for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, iOS, and Android.