- "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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
- 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).
Chapters played as Ethan (in chronological order) - Prologue | The Mall | Father and Son | The Shrink | The Park | Where's Shaun? | Paparazzi | Lexington Station | The Motel | The Bear | The Butterfly | The Lizard | Fugitive | The Shark | On the Loose | The Rat | The Old Warehouse
Chapters played as Scott (in chronological order) - Sleazy Place | Hassan's Shop | Suicide Baby | A Visitor | Kramer's Party | The Golf Club | Manfred | Eureka | The Cemetery | Flowers on the Grave | Trapped | Face to Face | Hold My Hand | Origami Killer
Chapters played as Norman (in chronological order) - Crime Scene | Welcome, Norman | Kick Off Meeting | Nathaniel | Covered Market | Shrink and Punches | Jayden Blues | Under Arrest | Mad Jack | Fish Tank | Solving the Puzzle | The Old Warehouse