I thought I would post this information as a blog, too, as there will be updates to this at some point from something I've been working on since the start of last month. (The information in this blog also appears on Canon Inconsistencies.)
Chloe's Dominant Hand
20 minutes of pre-release footage of Before the Storm's first episode was uploaded to YouTube on 13th June 2017 during E3, and concerns were raised in the fan community that Chloe was seen writing with her right hand which, although we never see Chloe writing in Life is Strange: Season 1, seemed a strange choice for a character who was confirmed to be left-handed by a key member of the DONTNOD team and who used her left hand in a dominant way throughout the majority of Life is Strange: Season 1. These concerns caused a ripple in the community about breaking canon with a major character, which resulted in a public statement from Square Enix to try and ease concerns. They stated the Deck Nine team:"went so far as to individually count the amount of times Chloe used her right hand versus her left hand in Season 01 to figure out which hand was dominant", and that the results were "fairly split". However, a full and careful playthrough of Season 1 has been conducted which confirms that the latter statement is not true. (There is a strong bias towards her left hand being her dominant hand.)
Square Enix also claimed that "Chloe smokes using both her left and right hand throughout season 01" which is also not true (left hand only). The only time she uses her right hand in an action related to smoking is when she is seen in a photograph holding a water bong in her right hand; however, she appears to be taking a selfie with her left hand at the time. The camera's image is not flipped due to the background details being normal orientation. According to the internet, it is considered correct to hold a water bong in the non-dominant hand so that the dominant hand can operate the lighter.
Another statement was: "there are also other areas in the game where she uses her right over her left (such as when she holds David's gun in Episode 1 or lights the lamp in Principal Wells office). She also picks the lock using her right hand which is a high-skilled action to do if you're not using your dominant hand."
This statement is very misleading, as the context has not been taken into account for the first two examples given.[note 1] In relation to the third example, in-game screenshots and game footage were shown to an experienced left-handed lock picker who teaches lock picking as a sport ("lock sport") and moderates a lock picking subreddit. The conclusion is that it is impossible to say which hand Chloe is picking the lock with, and only her left-hand is close to holding a pick in the correct manner. If an actual lock picker cannot say which hand she is picking the lock with, how can Square Enix so confidently state that she is picking with her right hand?
The public statement continued with:
"That being said, if you watch the Gameplay again, you will notice that, barring the two instances you mentioned, Chloe is using her dominant left hand throughout. The most obvious example of this being when she holds the bat in the junkyard. She will continue using her left hand throughout the rest of the game too."
The statement that Chloe uses her dominant left hand throughout the pre-release gameplay footage may be referring to the following three instances: the way she holds the bat, and two occasions where we see a cigarette in her left hand (the latter actually smoking). But these instances are also countered by right-hand usage (writing/tagging and opposite hand for her lighter). We should feel reassured by Square Enix’s statement that Chloe will continue using her left hand throughout the rest of the game, but this is again misleading, as Chloe drinks from a beer bottle with her right hand in Before the Storm's Episode 1 but drinks from a beer bottle with her dominant left hand in Life is Strange: Season 1. Other evidence in Life is Strange: Season 1 seems to support that Chloe uses other drinking vessels in her left hand. Most smokers will use their cigarette lighter in their dominant hand too, just like Chloe does in Life is Strange: Season 1, but in Before the Storm's Episode 1, she uses it in her non-dominant right hand.
Possibly of note is some unused text in one of Episode 1's files:
JOURNAL_E1_S06_01_016=Conclusion: Not Ambidextrous
These lines are located amongst journal text used on page 9 (which is the page where Chloe talks about the Two Truths and a Lie" game she plays with Rachel), yet it doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the game or in the journal. It makes no sense that it would be in relation to Rachel, as she is ambidextrous. Could this perhaps be the developers subtly reminding themselves that Chloe is not right-hand dominant, nor should she be ambidextrous?
Regarding Chloe's writing, there is an instance in her room where we see her writing with her left hand on her periodic table poster. This animation was perhaps added as an afterthought in the game based on fan criticism. This action is not tied to any achievements and seems to have no effect on the game. Chloe is already confirmed to have left-hand dominance. So even if she is being made out to be ambidextrous in Before the Storm based on Deck Nine's initial research, then she surely would have told Rachel that she is ambidextrous too, as this is exceptionally rare (1% of the population, in fact). Conclusion: Episode 1 is currently inconsistent with the canon of the original game in terms of hand dominance, and Chloe will continue to write/tag with her right hand throughout Before the Storm as we are told these animations are tied to objects and cannot be flipped. (Episodes 2 and 3 may offer improvements with hand use matching up with the same actions she performed in Life is Strange: Season 1.)
- ↑ The instance where Chloe holds the gun in her right hand Episode 1 is when she wants to show Max a surprise (the gun). Max is standing to the left of the bed, and the place where Chloe has hidden the gun is to the right. To hide the gun from Max's view means she must conceal it in her right hand, which she then play-points at Max with the same hand. The example of her switching on a lamp is also not proof of any right-hand preference, as the lamp is located on the right of the Principal's desk and Chloe approaches it with her right hand being the closest to it. Also, anyone can switch on a lamp with either hand. This is not a complex skill.