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PS3 Characters: Heavy Rain ARI - Is ARI Dangerous for Norman Jayden?

by: Rob Kentworth ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This article covers ARI and what it possibly is/does to Norman. ARI is a pair of glasses that an FBI agent called Norman Jayden uses throughout Heavy Rain to find clues and analyse them. In Heavy Rain, ARI is integral to certain scenes and achieving good endings, but it also seems dangerous.

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    Heavy Rain: ARI Introduction

    Heavy Rain: Norman using ARI to find clues and analyse them. For those who've not played Heavy Rain, if you've watched the previews and looked at images, do you remember the cool glasses that a character wears? And you may have even seen some scenes where the colour is distorted and there's orange circles on the screen with objects inside the centre circle? Well, ARI is the glasses that the FBI character, called Norman Jayden, wears. Also, the glasses are also what creates those orange circles.

    Now then, the game might give the impression it has sci-fi elements due to ARI, but that is the only piece of high-tech gadgetry and everything else is grounded in reality. The glasses are really nice though and they do seem like something out of the Matrix with Keanu Reeves.

    ARI itself is used mainly to investigate crime scenes. It can be used to find possible clues, analyse footprints and other things. It also keeps a record of clues and such found, which can then be analysed by Norman Jayden. When analysing different files, Norman can also bring up a virtual reality world around himself, like the surroundings can make it look as though he's in the ocean. It's all rather nice. Admittedly though, it's not used as much as you'd perhaps think.

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    Heavy Rain: Norman Jayden - An Addicted Agent

    You might ask why it's relevant that Norman's addicted when the article is about ARI. It's a good question, but it is relevant and it'll be discussed further down.

    Firstly, as mentioned, Norman is addicted to some form of drug. However, is he really? The question mark is why it's relevant. Throughout the game, when he starts suffering due to his afflictions, he starts to bleed from the nose. He needs to use a blue coloured drug to ease the suffering, though he can also wash his face and other things to help. Part of the game is based on moral decisions made as Norman as to whether you use the drug or not.

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    Heavy Rain: Is ARI Dangerous and the Real Addiction for Norman Jayden?

    Heavy Rain: Norman bleeding from the eyes while using ARI. Now then, I asked a question in the above paragraph. You see, I once read while browsing the web that it could be ARI that made him bleed from the nose and such, while the drugs were to help him handle using the device on investigations. I didn't think much of it until I saw Norman start bleeding from the eyes while using ARI near the end of the game to find clues. Included is a screenshot of it. So, it is possible that ARI is causing the episodes he has.

    In addition, if you note during the game, there's a butler that appears when Norman is using ARI. The butler warns about over-indulging. It seems weird that a virtual butler would reference that. It seems like it must be built into the program ARI uses. In addition, we see that Norman can and does use ARI for trivial things like throwing a virtual ball to keep himself occupied.

    For me, it all adds up to ARI being dangerous and the real addiction. Also, in one of the endings, virtual reality seems to blur into reality as Norman can see computer generated tanks in the real world.