Ethan Mars, the ninth father to undertake the trials

"How far are you prepared to go to save someone you love?"
"Five Origami Figures. Each figure is a trial. Each trial reveals letters. The letters reveal an address."

The trials are the main focus of Heavy Rain. After kidnapping a young boy, the Origami Killer will send his father a letter and a locker ticket, which can be used to pick up a shoebox containing five origami figures in the shape of animals, a gun (for the fourth trial), and a cell phone. When a trial is completed, a pack of letters (or a memory card containing such) are given to the father, and the letters associated with all five trials spell out the address where the young boy can be found. Each time a trial is completed, a small video showing the young boy is played on the phone.

Ethan Mars is the ninth father to go through this process, and each trial is played out as a chapter. It is mentioned in "The Old Warehouse" (provided Ethan makes it) by the killer that Ethan was the first one to succeed in the trial.

The Five TrialsEdit

Ethan first receives the killer's letter in "Father and Son," but does not find the locker ticket until "Paparazzi." He uses it to obtain the shoebox in "Lexington Station."

The BearEdit

Main article: The Bear

Named after the shy and timid nature of the animal (and its brutality in defense of its offspring), Ethan must pick up a car from a garage (after what the owner said was two years) and use it to drive against traffic on a highway for 5 miles within 5 minutes. Unlike the other four trials, Ethan cannot choose to skip this trial, though it's possible for him to fail it.

The ButterflyEdit

Main article: The Butterfly

Named after how the tiny animal is easily capable of navigating through extremely thin areas, Ethan must first crawl through a claustrophobic tunnel filled with broken glass, then go through a maze of electrical capacitors. A dead body (perhaps that of Mr. Bowles or Allan Winter) may be encountered.

The LizardEdit

Main article: The Lizard

Named after the animal's ability to survive (and perhaps regrow) lost limbs, Ethan must record himself cutting off the last section of one of his fingers, and has only 5 minutes to do so.

After the Lizard Trial, Ethan may be arrested in "Fugitive," but he will be broken out by Norman Jayden in "Under Arrest" if he is.

The SharkEdit

Main article: The Shark

Named after the violent (and potentially man-eating) nature of the animal, Ethan -- using the gun provided in the box -- must kill a man.

After this, the police will again attempt to arrest Ethan. If this is the first time he is arrested and if Norman Jayden is still alive, Jayden will break him out; if this is his second arrest (or if it's his first but Jayden is dead), he will be imprisoned for the remainder of the game.

The RatEdit

Main article: The Rat

Named after the animal's ability to carry poisons, Ethan must drink a phial of poison that will kill him but leave him just enough time to say goodbye to and save his son.

Plot ImpactEdit

If Ethan completed 2 or fewer trials, then he cannot guess where the location is at all. If he completed 3-4, he can take a guess based on his clues of the videos of Shaun he receives upon a trial's completion. If he completed all 5 trials, he is able to go right away. But if he completed fewer than 3 trials or if he guessed the wrong address, Madison can still help him out later.

Ethan will neither make it to "The Old Warehouse" nor be able to partake in the Rat Trial if he is arrested in "On the Loose," and this will grant him either "Helpless" (worst ending) or the good ending "Innocent."

If Ethan makes it to the warehouse, he will confront the real killer as well. It's also revealed that the poison he takes in the Rat Trial was purely a psychological test; it does not really kill.


  • The trials are very similar to those set by the Jigsaw Killer from the Saw movie franchise, causing Ethan to put himself in great physical pain and putting himself at risk of death in order to save someone he cares about.
  • Even though the first four chapters all present a serious physical risk that set the perfect precedent for death - driving against traffic, going through broken glass and capacitors, setting massive blood loss and combating an armed man - Ethan cannot die in any of them (which is even more notable when the dead body seen during the Butterfly Trial is considered).


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