Life Is Strange developer Don’t Nod is accused of ripping parts of the 2015 game’s story from the real-life murder of Sunday Blombergh. While it’s not unusual for game developers to seek inspiration from real life, Blombergh’s family has told Kotaku that the character of Rachel Amber and her Missing in-game poster were both copied, with only a few minor changes.
Is Life Is Strange’s Rachel based on Sunday Blombergh?
In 2010, 28-year-old Blombergh was murdered by her in-laws allegedly because they wanted custody of her then 7-year-old daughter Isabella. In 2020, a now-adult Isabella published two TikTok videos in which she claimed that “everything about Rachel even down to the way she dies” resembles her mom’s story.
Indeed, Redditors found eerie similarities between both. As pointed out by Kotaku, their Missing posters are laid out the same way, they went missing on the same day in the game and real life (April 22), and their described physical features were the same. Like Blombergh, Life Is Strange’s Rachel was murdered before she was set to move. What’s more is that Rachel had a tattoo of a dragon on her calf and a star on her wrist. Blombergh had a tattoo of a “design” on her calf and a star on both her wrists. But that’s not all, the game’s poster asks readers to call (555) 388-6020 with information about Rachel, which is the same number sans area code for Blombergh’s county sheriff at the time.
Blombergh’s nephew Skylur told Kotaku that Rachel Amber’s Wiki page, which contains information about the fictional character’s personality, describes his late aunt down to a T. Like Rachel, Blombergh was reported as a drug addict in the media at the time of her death — a claim that Skylur disputes.
“I understand stealing the template of the missing poster, but stealing the description of my mother is kind of weird,” Isabella told Kotaku. Skylur concurred, and told the website that his grandfather broke down when he found out about Life Is Strange’s Rachel Amber. He added that the general consensus among the family was that Don’t Nod should have reached out to them.