- "Max, you are not crazy. You are not dreaming. It’s time to be an everyday hero."
- —Max Caulfield
Maxine "Max" Caulfield is a 12th grade student attending Blackwell Academy. After a five year absence from her hometown, Arcadia Bay, she returns to the small town in Oregon to attend a photography class and discovers she has the power to rewind time after her friend, Chloe Price, is shot and killed. Dreaming of an impending storm set to destroy Arcadia Bay, Max must discover how to save the town and the origin of her time traveling powers.
Maxine Caulfield was born September 21, 1995 in Arcadia Bay, Oregon to parents Vanessa and Ryan Caulfield. There, she spent most of her childhood and a young adulthood. As a child, Max had decided she wanted to be a photographer. Her parents indulged her dream and gave her an old Polaroid camera to play and take pictures with. As she got older, she adopted a fondness for analog cameras over digital cameras.
At some point she met a girl named Chloe Price and the two became best friends. They spent most of their time together, drawing fictionalized versions of themselves in self-made comic strips; pretending to be pirates roaming their homes and the forests of Arcadia bay, constantly searching for treasure that would lead them outside Arcadia Bay. They regarded Seattle as a "far away island" from a fable and dreamed of going there. Max shared a strong rapport with Chloe's father, William Price, who also used an instant camera to take pictures of her family. Max visited the Price Household frequently, often sleeping over and having breakfast with Chloe's family. On at least one Halloween, Chloe and Max dressed up as pirates.
In 2008, Chloe's pet cat, Bongo had been killed by a passing car. Max helped Chloe bury her cat in the Price's backyard. That same year, Max had visited the Price Household to spend the day with Chloe and William. The two were working on their comic books and helping William fix pancakes when he received a call from his wife, Joyce. He took his car to pick her so they go shopping and was later killed in car accident.
Around that time, the Max's parents decided to move the family to Seattle. Max, despite realizing she would be moving away from Chloe, was excited by the prospect of living in Seattle. The fate of their friendship was left in question when Max moved away.
Living a comfortable life in Seattle, she made new friends (Kristen and Fernando) and worked on improving her photography skills. Eventually, despite the value of Chloe's friendship, Max fell out of touch with her. When she reached the twelfth grade, she decided to to apply for a spot in Blackwell Academy, a well-to-do private school with a photography class taught by Mark Jefferson.
During the middle of the Summer, she received a letter from Blackwell Academy confirming that she was accepted into the school. Excited, the Caulfield family helped their daughter pack her belongings. They bid her farewell and remained in Seattle, while she returned to Arcadia Bay in September of 2013.
Wanting to settle into her new environment at Blackwell, Max avoided the idea of contacting Chloe at all. She made friends with Warren Graham and Kate Marsh, a quiet religious girl who believed in abstinence. Though was she friendly and got along well with the teachers like Jefferson and Michelle Grant, Blackwell Academy's Principal, Ray Wells, was suspicious of her regardless.
- Main article: Max Caulfield/BTS
- Main article: Max Caulfield/LIS
Max is a shy young woman, preferring to observe people from a distance or through the lens of her camera, as opposed to interacting with them face to face. As a result, she keeps largely to herself and has very few friends outside of Warren and Kate at Blackwell Academy. When she reunites with Chloe, she initially isn't sure they could be considered friends, due to the long absence of contact. Despite this, over the course of the game, Max is able rekindle her friendship with Chloe and both come to mutually consider each other their best friend.
Despite her somewhat timid nature, Max will stand up for herself or others when pushed, though drastic actions have her frequently wonder if she made the right choice. Within the Academy, Max holds a general respect for the people she either observes or decides to interact with, with the exception of Vortex Club members, whom she instinctively dislikes. However, in certain cases, she will correct this instinctive response, as with Dana and Hayden, who treat Max amiably.
While a tad nosy by nature, Max's sleuthing becomes more frequent after she discovers her ability to rewind time, allowing her to dodge potential repercussions of her actions. However, Max does occasionally chastise herself for snooping around in other people's possessions, claiming it's "fascinating, but terribly wrong".
Max is a practicing photographer. Since childhood, she has practiced to perfect her skills using analog camera equipment, preferring "old school" over the much improved technology of digital cameras. She owned a prized Polaroid camera before it was broken in the altercation with Nathan Prescott. Her teacher, Mark Jefferson, often encourages her to put her skills out to the public, but her lack of confidence in her own photography often prevents her from submitting her photos for critique.
Initially unaware, Max learns during the course of the game that she has the ability to manipulate time by rewinding it, essentially allowing her to time travel. This ability, triggered either by the "nightmare" of the storm she experienced in class, or the death of her friend Chloe, allows Max to effectively teleport, manipulate moments in time to work in her favor or to aid others if she so chooses, learn information she previously did not know, and acquire and bring along items from the past.
However, Max can only (at least from her perception) at most rewind several minutes into the past. Any attempt to push this limit and go further results in headaches. It is also shown that using her powers several times a day can be detrimental on her well being, causing her to be exhausted, suffer nosebleeds, and even blackout. Extensive use of her powers can also make it difficult for her to use them later on. When witnessing Kate Marsh's suicide, Max twice attempts to rewind time to prevent her from jumping, only to suffer severe headaches and a nosebleed, a consequence of abusing her powers earlier with Chloe.
Her desperation to save Kate pushes her power to the point that time freezes completely and she can move freely. However, this ability leaves Max drained physically, preventing her from using her powers for a significant period of time. Additionally, Max can use her ability to manipulate time to travel much further into the past to alter the present. She did this by focusing on an old photograph of herself and Chloe, arriving on the day it was taken.
Unlike her normal use of her powers, Max is placed in the body of her younger self and confined to a limited area of where the photo was taken - in this case, the first floor of Chloe's house. Using this ability, Max is capable of altering history by changing what happened. It is unknown if Max can use this ability on other photos in which she is present in as she only uses this ability twice on the same photograph.
- In "Chrysalis", a photograph of Max and Chloe as teenagers establishes that their appearance was not dissimilar from their adult visages.[note 4] However, in "Chaos Theory", Max and Chloe at ten, eleven, fourteen and thirteen are markedly younger than originally presented.[note 5]
- In "Chaos Theory", teenage Max's hair is a darker shade of brown in the past than originally depicted in "Chrysalis" and the adult Max's throughout the game.
- When Max was a child, she swallowed the eye of her stuffed bear which resulted in an emergency trip to the hospital. She later brought her teddy bear to Blackwell Academy.[note 6]
- Max keeps a hand sewn cushion she made with her mother on the bed in her dorm room.[note 7]
- Max's mother sent her a box of chocolate coconut bites and $200 gift certificate for her 18th birthday at Blackwell.[note 8]
- Max keeps a photograph of her parents inside her locker.
- Max and her father are fans of the Seattle Thunderbirds.[note 9]
- Max prefers to be called "Max". Only her parents and Chloe appear able to call her "Maxine" without reproach.
- Max's plant is named "Little Lisa".
- Max's favorite photographers are Phillip-Lorca diCorcia, Julia Cameron, Dali, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson and David Hamilton.
- "Are you cereal?" is a personal phrase of Max's only judging from Chloe's remark in the truck.
- During the EGX Rezzed presentation for "Out of Time", Chloe remarks that Max has "Irish Luck", suggesting someone in her family (presumably her father) may have Irish ancestry. Additionally, "Caulfield" is considered a predominantly "Anglo-Irish" surename.
- According to Max's school file, Max has a 2.8 Grade Point Average.
- Max's school file make a reference to IEP. The Individualized Education Program is a federal organization meant to help children in the education system with learning or behavior difficulties.
- For players that have Max and Chloe kiss in Episode 3, Max's last journal entry, if Chloe is saved, states that Chloe is "more than just my best friend" and that's why she probably hated "Chloe being mean... calling me names and flirting with those people" in the nightmare. She then goes on to wonder if it was the "power of friendship... or love" and that she was about to find out, showing that Max had romantic feelings for Chloe, if the player chooses to see their relationship that way. [note 10]
- If the player does not choose to have them kiss, the entry states that she sees her more as family and wonders if it is the "power of love... or friendship." The developers chose to do this so that you can interpret Max and Chloe's relationship as either romantic or platonic.
- Warren and Max may be frequent players of World of Warcraft:
- In "Chrysalis" after Warren texts Max a photograph of his black eye, Max ends their conversation with "Kek", a term that is largely considered Orcish language.
- In "Chaos Theory", when Max calls Warren for help with Principal Well's door, she tells him to "Bubble Hearth", which suggests Warren's player class is Paladin.
- ↑ Maxine's happy birthday card
- ↑ Max's height
- ↑ Serena DeMouroux (left, dark hair) and Gabrielle Hersh (right, blonde hair)
- ↑ Max and Chloe as teenagers
- ↑ Max and Chloe (13 and 14), Max and Chloe (10 and 11 years old)
- ↑ Max: Ahoy, Captain. At least I know you've got my back. When I swallowed your eye and my parents rushed me to the ER, I knew we were bonded forever..." --- Player must approach the teddy bear on Max's bed.
- ↑ Max: "So cheesy, but, it makes me smile, thinking of the day Mom and I sewed that together." --- The player must approach the cushion at the end of the bed.
- ↑ Max: "I love that mom sent me a fat box of chocolate coconut bites for my birthday, and $200 gift certificate. She sure knows how to make a sad birthday happy." --- The player must approach Max's closet in her dorm room and click on the red box on the shelf
- ↑ Max: I'll miss watching the game with dad. Go Thunderbirds!
- ↑ Max's final journal entry