Life is strange is a graphic adventure published by Square Enix and developed by DONTNOD Entertainment in 2015 initially for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Playing through this supernatural story, it’s clear to players that DONTNOD drew inspiration from a plethora of areas of popular culture with references to books scattered all over the place.

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A remaster is coming out in fall 2021, making it a great time to get to know Max Caulfield, Chloe Price, and the lazy town of Arcadia Bay in the Pacific Northwest. With so many book references scattered throughout the original game’s five chapters, it would be easy to miss any of these nods.

ten George Orwell’s 1984 appears through flyers and dates

Flyer depicting Big Brother watching

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 is a book that most American high school students have had the pleasure of reading. Life is strange offers a few different nods to Orwell’s ultimate novel. At the start of the game, the player sees a flyer written by Ms. Grant denouncing the new security cameras as “Big Brother” watching.

Later in the game, Max looks at the Arcadia Bay Police Department’s Missing Persons webpage. Here, Winston Smith disappeared on June 8, 1984. Smith is the protagonist of 1984 and June 8, 1949 was the first release of the book.

9 JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings nods subtly on recovery quest

Max Quoting Gollum

The epic of JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings series makes its mark in many areas of pop culture, with Life is strange no exception. During a salvage mission to retrieve Warren’s USB drive, the player is treated with a nod from Max to Gollum, the pillar of The Lord of the Rings, saying, “We must protect my precious, so that Max never have to chase him again. “

Gollum spent the LotR trilogy trying to take control of The One Ring, or as he affectionately called it, its “precious”.

8 JK Rowling, Harry Potter and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series not welcome at Blackwell

Geek Grrls Club flyer not allowing Harry Potter or Twilight fans to join

Rowling’s Magic Series has been a cultural phenomenon since its release in the 1990s. The town of Arcadia Bay is not immune to Harry potter mania, but Blackwell Academy approaches the series with humor. While exploring Max’s dormitory, there is an advertising flyer for the “Geek Grrls Book Club”. On the flyer, the club specifically calls that no “boy wizards” are allowed.

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Just like the Harry potter series, Stephanie Meyer dusk The series captured the attention of teenagers in the 2000s. The Geek Grrls, however, explicitly prohibit “sad vampire fiction.” Blackwell fans of those shows will have to find their own club, apparently.

7 JD Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye Plays A Central Theme In Life Is Strange

Life Is Strange Catcher in Rye Reference

Life is strangeThe main protagonist of Max Caulfield is a very simple nod to JD protagonist Salinger Holden Caulfield. Both characters are anguished teenagers who rebel against the machine in their own way.

While the nod to Salinger’s Caulfield is pretty obvious, players may have noticed the poster hanging in Max’s bedroom that reads “The Wingman and the Cow”. This artwork is an almost identical copy of the cover of Catch in the rye.

6 Stephen King’s The Shining Room 217 Has Blackwell Academy Students On Their Toes

Maximum reading whiteboard that says REDRUM

As Max walks through her dorm for the first time, she walks past a whiteboard with “REDRUM” written on it. Redrum is a callback from Stephen King’s The brilliant. In it, Danny Torrance sees the iconic “word” in a bathroom mirror.

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Doubling down on that reference, the Whiteboard is located next to Room 217, a hotel room that plays a starring role in King’s thriller.

5 He haunts Stephen King’s Max nightmare

Frank Bowers Life is Strange

DONTNOD did not want to leave The brilliant to be King’s only romance to have love Life is strange. The most obvious He the reference comes from Kate Marsh. Max learns that Kate’s middle name is Beverly. Beverly Marsh is one of the protagonists of He and is the only female character in Loser’s Club of the book.

During Chapter Five, Max experiences a nightmare with Frank Bowers. Bowers, who shares a last name with Henry – the bully of He. As Max sneaks up behind Frank, Bowers says, “Rachel and I are floating here in the sewer. Come down!” A similar taunt is used by Pennywise the Clown in He.

4 Max paraphrases Douglas Adams’ hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Logo

If Douglas Adams lived long enough to see Life is strange released, there is a good chance that the Hitchhiker the author would have been a fan. Alternate timeline, time travel, and supernatural abilities? In the alley of the British author.

After a pivotal moment in the game, Max updates his social media status with Douglas Adams’ quote “Time is bunk”. This is paraphrased from that passage in the middle of Hitchhiker’s Guide: A rationalization of this problem indicates that time travel was, by its very nature, discovered simultaneously in all periods of history, but it is clearly superimposed. “

3 Can’t go home Thomas Wolfe hits near you for Max

Max looking at the Arcadia Bay poster quoting Thomas Wolfe

As Max is walking around Chloe’s house, she may come across an Arcadia Bay poster. If the player looks at the poster, Max will quote the title of Thomas Wolfe’s posthumous book You can’t go home anymore, a story about a famous writer who returns home to find that the people of his hometown despise the appearance of the book.

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Wolfe’s character George Webber laments that he’ll never really be able to “go home” because of the way things have changed – a parallel with Max’s feelings about returning to Arcadia Bay.

2 William Shakespeare’s Hamlet foreshadows future events

Life is strange ship breaks

While readers are familiar with the quote “To be or not to be …” from Hamlet, fewer people remember the rest of Hamlet’s monologue at this point. Hamlet later said: “Sleep, maybe dream”. Hamlet plans to kill himself after being faced with the realization that his uncle murdered his father.

While wandering around the scrapyard in chapter two, a ship with the name “Sleep Perchance 2 Dream” can be seen. This is a direct reference to Hamlet’s quote and foreshadows events seen later in the game.

1 Extensive knowledge of Ray Bradbury’s work leads to this reference to sounding thunder

Max watching a copy of The October Country sitting on his couch

This reference takes a bit of Ray Bradbury to find out. Bradbury, famous for his book Fahrenheit 451 was a prolific science fiction writer. At the beginning of Life is strange, the player sees that Max has the book by Ray Bradbury The country of October by Kate Marsh.

The reference appears to simply refer to the month of October playing a prominent role in the game. However, a deeper dive into Bradbury’s works reveals A thunderous noise, a book by Bradbury that takes a close look at chaos theory, time travel, and shows how something as simple as stepping on a butterfly millions of years ago could create alternate versions of the present.

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