- "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 numbered origami figures in the shape of animals, a gun, and a cell phone. When a trial is completed, a memory card (for the cell phone) is given to the father. When the memory card is inserted into the phone, a short video showing the young boy is played. The memory card also contains a select number of letters; when all five trials are completed, the letters spell out the address where the young boy can be found.
Ethan Mars is the ninth father to go through this process, and each trial is played out as a chapter. Provided Ethan makes it to "The Old Warehouse," the killer mentions that he is the first father to successfully complete all five trials.
The Five Trials
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" and opens it in "The Motel," where he discovers that Shaun is still alive.
- 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 and use it to drive against traffic on a highway for five miles within five minutes.
- 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.
- 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 five minutes to do so.
- 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 Norman is still alive and Ethan evaded capture earlier, he will break him out. If Ethan was arrested once before and/or Norman is dead, he will remain imprisoned for the rest of the game.
- Main article: The Rat
Named after the animal's ability to carry diseases, 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.
If Ethan completed two or fewer trials, he won't have enough information to guess where Shaun is. If he completed three or four trials, he can take a guess based on the letters he has. If he completed all five trials, he will receive the full address and leave immediately after completing the fifth trial. If he completed fewer than three trials or went to the wrong location and Madison is still alive, she can give it to him in "Killer's Place" (provided she found the address before escaping the killer's apartment, and Ethan did not reject her in "On the Loose").
If Ethan is arrested a second time in "On the Loose" and/or Norman is dead, he will not be able to complete the last trial or go to the warehouse. This will grant him either "Helpless" (his worst ending) or "Innocent" (his third best ending).
If Ethan makes it to the warehouse, he will confront (and can possibly kill) the real killer.
- The trials are very similar to those set by Jigsaw from the Saw movie franchise, causing Ethan to put himself in great physical pain and even at risk of death in order to save someone he cares about.
- The first trial is the only one Ethan cannot choose to skip.
- Even though the first four trials all present a serious physical risk that set the perfect precedent for death - driving against traffic, crawling through broken glass and electrical capacitors, causing blood loss and potential infection, 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 (which may be one of the other fathers who attempted the trials) is considered. He also survives drinking the supposed "poison" in the last trial, meaning that the poison wasn't as lethal as the killer claimed or that the trial was merely a psychological test.
All chapters are listed in chronological order.
Chapters Played as Ethan
Chapters Played as Scott
Chapters Played as Jayden