Taking inspiration from outside sources is a fairly common occurrence in gaming. These can often range from a wide variety of sources, including works of fiction such as books, shows, or movies, and even some real-life events. It seems that 2015’s Life is Strange may have taken direct inspiration from a real-life missing-persons case, as the in-game missing-person poster for Rachel strikes an uncanny resemblance to a real-life missing-person poster for Sunday Blombergh.

As described by the late Sunday Blombergh’s daughter Isabella, details surrounding the character Rachel’s backstory and physical appearance are nearly identical. As seen on the poster, the character’s height and eye color are exactly the same, and they even share some similar tattoos. The poster also shares a phone number to contact the local sheriff, which is exactly the same other than the area code.

Since all of this is only on the in-game poster, one could assume that the devs were simply using the poster as a reference, and should have changed a few details to make it more unique. However, according to Sunday Blombergh’s nephew, many in-game background details are also quite similar.

“On Rachel’s wiki page, there are several descriptions that are near-copies of Sunday,” her nephew, Skylur Blombergh, told me over email. “‘Generally considered popular and nice, but also rebellious;’ [the wiki writers] imply Rachel was a drug addict, and [describe] her love for art. That was Sunday nearly to a T.” But he emphasizes that, despite what inconsiderate media coverage suggested, Sunday had stopped using drugs much prior to her death.


“My grandfather, Reign Blombergh, broke down when he first found out about it,” Skylur told me, “because he felt as if people wouldn’t just leave it alone. That seemed to have been the general consensus among the family.”

“The developers […] should have reached out to the family,” he concluded.


While the developers surely didn’t mean to match the case this closely, it is a good point that they should have reached out beforehand, as it is quite a sensitive issue. Surely no ill intent was meant behind these decisions. In the future, it may be a good idea to do a second look when dealing with real-life inspiration.


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