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lewismistreated

The Story of Braid

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Someone contact Blow and get him to read this thread. I'd love to hear what he thinks about these discoveries. They can't all be intentional, surely?

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Someone contact Blow and get him to read this thread. I'd love to hear what he thinks about these discoveries. They can't all be intentional, surely?

Well there's a rllmuker in the credits.

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Someone contact Blow and get him to read this thread. I'd love to hear what he thinks about these discoveries. They can't all be intentional, surely?

Funny you should mention it. He's active somewhere else, so I sent him a message with a brief mention of the details in the first post, and linked him to the full thing. His response:

I'm glad you like the game!

I have been reading through the various threads people have going; but I want to stay out of commenting on what the game is "about". That's not my role!

-J.

Which is quite understandable, really. Half the fun to be had is making our own cases for all these little tidbits.

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Yeah I guess that makes sense.

Anyway, very cool thread. The first moment I read "atomic bomb", I was ready to immediately hit reply with something along the lines of "LOL PRETENTIOUS WANKER" but then I remembered that "pretentious" has been a word that has been very easily, and very wrongly, applied to every other aspect of this game already, so I read on. Glad I did.

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Guest apathy

First, I would just like to say excellent work Lewis! I also thought that the nuclear weaopn take was pertinent, but I never thought it out as far as you did, very well done.

Nice find, roBurky. I've been trying to go through as much of the game as possible to see where all of this pops up, especially with regards to the ending. The very last screen speaks of him picking up stones to find them "cold and smooth", and using these stones as the foundation of his castle. I'm sure that there's something in there, but I really don't want to try and force things into places where they don't belong. It could just as easily be a wider statement for all three strands; accepting the irreversible, and beginning anew.

I believe that that is also referencing a nuclear explosion. I have heard the term "glassing" someone as slang for nuking them. I imagine that maybe the intense power and heat from the bomb maybe turns things to glass or something. With that in mind, the stones he is picking up are cold and smooth because they are now glass-like after the blast. Tim is using these remnants from the world he destroyed(changed, perhaps?) to create a new world. I think this can make some sense in a literal way, if the bomb actually went off, or in a figurative sense if the bomb didn't actually go off but just the knowledge of the device itself destroyed the world as they knew it creating a new world.

Or maybe I'm just rambling, it's late and I'm a little tipsy :huh:

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Guest apathy

Also, to tie in the actual gameplay into the explanation, I think the act of going through all the puzzles and the rewinding of everything is actually all going on inside Tim's mind. It's a metaphor for him going back and analyzing everything he has done and coming to peace with what he has created, putting together the pieces of his actions and the ensuing reactions, finding where he made mistakes and learning from it.

The game mentions that he scrutinized the fall of an apple and the twisting of the metal orbs hanging from a thread. Is this not exactly how the player has to look at the game world in order to solve the puzzles? The player has to look at the way every little thing behaves and when a mistake is made rewind and analyze where they went wrong(going over your mistakes and learning from them). Every puzzle piece is a little bit of Tim's journey to come to terms with what he has done.

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First, I would just like to say excellent work Lewis! I also thought that the nuclear weaopn take was pertinent, but I never thought it out as far as you did, very well done.

I believe that that is also referencing a nuclear explosion. I have heard the term "glassing" someone as slang for nuking them. I imagine that maybe the intense power and heat from the bomb maybe turns things to glass or something. With that in mind, the stones he is picking up are cold and smooth because they are now glass-like after the blast. Tim is using these remnants from the world he destroyed(changed, perhaps?) to create a new world. I think this can make some sense in a literal way, if the bomb actually went off, or in a figurative sense if the bomb didn't actually go off but just the knowledge of the device itself destroyed the world as they knew it creating a new world.

Or maybe I'm just rambling, it's late and I'm a little tipsy :lol:

Or he uses those glass-like fragments to piece together the world before that, which is of course through memories. Which makes the game a journey to the feelings and memories of the past. Just like using the pieces of the puzzle to figure things out. Only that journey leads him back to where he was, in World 1. (Just thinking out loud.)

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From a forumer elsewhere on the Internet, the date that Braid was released on is a somewhat notable anniversary - August 6th is when the first Atomic bomb, 'Little Boy' was dropped on Hiroshima.

Considering Braid was part of the five-game XBLA Summer line-up, I'm somewhat skeptical as to how much influence Blow himself had on the release date. But it's a hell of a coincidence.

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Sorry for my ignorance, but is it possible to read all the green books in the epilogue? Most of them are blank for me. Is it to do with collecting stars?

Nice interpretation, by the way.

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No, only the red books contain text, but there's two pieces of text to read on each screen. What is required is for the red book to first be opened, then for Tim to move behind an object in the foreground, such as a rock or a statue, *without opening a green book*. Doing this successfully will result in a little "Aahhh" noise being played, and the text on-screen will change.

The most obvious example being the first screen, when you pick up the key and move right from the red book. The rest are a little trickier.

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Wow, I didn't read so much into the story, this is really interesting stuff. I originally thought the story was about something else, though I know think my interpretation is completely and utterly wrong. Having said that, I enjoyed the time I thought it was the right interpretation so I'll put it out :

Two people are in a relationship, both with the power to turn back time. At first they use the power to do what they think is best for the relationship, to fix any mistakes they made, but as time goes on they use it to fix each other's mistakes. Because the only way they can 'fix' each other's mistakes is to really know what they other person wants they have been leading each other on paths which ultimately have made them unhappy, but they are unable to do anything about it, always being trapped in the reality that the other person has forced on them. They are not able to make their own mistakes and hence their own realities, their mistakes being 'corrected' for them by the other person. Then something goes wrong. It could be that one of them has found out about the other's mistake, or one of them has altered the past to hide a betrayal. They can't fix whatever the problem is.

“The boy called for the girl to follow him, and he took her hand. He would protect her; they would make their way through this oppressive castle, fighting off the creatures made of smoke and doubt, escaping to a life of freedom,

The boy wanted to protect the girl. He held her hand, or put his arm around her shoulders in a walking embrace, to help her feel supported and close to him amid the impersonal throngs of Manhattan. They turned and made their way toward the Canal St. subway station, and he picked a path through the jostling crowd.

His arm weighed upon her shoulders, felt constrictive around her neck. “You’re burdening me with your ridiculous need,” she said. Or, she said: “You’re going the wrong way and you’re pulling me with you.” In another time, another place, she said: “Stop yanking on my arm; you’re hurting me!””

These to me seem like attempts by Tim to fix the problem but each time he’s unsuccessful, the princess is still unhappy. Whatever he has done he can't fix it by rewinding time.

Maybe some of that is relevant to the nuclear thing, I don't know. The nuclear thing seems to be the best explanation though.

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Yeah I liked that. At first it seems like it would be nice to be able to erase our mistakes, but in reality it's because we can make mistakes that we are able to choose our own path through life.

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Yeah I liked that. At first it seems like it would be nice to be able to erase our mistakes, but in reality it's because we can make mistakes that we are able to choose our own path through life.

Yeah, exactly. My first impressions were that this was a couple who had taken the choice of making mistakes away from their partner in an effort to protect them but ultimately the knowledge of this led to the princess feeling betrayed for some reason, maybe because she was prevented from doing something important to her. Tim tried to fix it but couldn't because they had both been rewinding time and so he couldn't change his own fate, that of betraying the princess in some way.

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(christ, its been a long time since I've been on this forum!)

Loved the post, great idea about the bomb. Now for my own observation regarding the stars.

The stars seem to form the Andromeda Constellation.

upsAnd_zoom.gif

compare this to the in-game constellation and it matches! Even the Andromeda Galaxy is 'disconnected'.

cam0657yr0.th.jpg

Why is this relevent? According to star mythology, Andromeda was a princess. Interestingly "Andromeda is represented in the sky as the figure of a woman with her arms outstreched and chained at the wrists".

Read up on it here:Andromeda

Pretty cool, no? It might not have anything to do with the story (or does it?), but it just goes to show how much love and care went into this game. The attention to detail is spot on throughout! Can't wait to see what Mr Blow comes up with next.

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The Princess, somehow harnessed and shackled, looms ominously in the sky, overshadowing everyone and everything with a threat, a power that can’t be taken back. Can’t be reversed.

Actually, this quote is probably relevent to my last point!

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Absolutely, nice find!

Someone else on here brought this to my attention. From an issue of Xbox World a while back, a feature on Braid.

http://braid-game.com/news/wp-conten...xworld_3_4.jpg

Toward the start of that page, Jonathan Blow cites a number of influences, including an old text adventure game called Trinity, a game which just happens to deal a lot with time travel and the detonation of the first atomic bomb in New Mexico.

Here's the previous page as well.

http://braid-game.com/news/wp-conten...xworld_1_2.jpg

Which is interesting.

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Toward the start of that page, Jonathan Blow cites a number of influences, including an old text adventure game called Trinity, a game which just happens to deal a lot with time travel and the detonation of the first atomic bomb in New Mexico.

What a coincedence. After reading your speculation, I was about to suggest that, if they WERE accurate in any way, then he was probably influenced by Trinity, probably the pinnacle of text-adventures from the golden era. It too takes the story of the development of the atomic bomb and drapes it around a strange fairytale world. One of the greatest games I've ever played, tbh, and possibly the only game that has ever managed to get a strong emotional response from me. After finishing it, I became extremely interested in A-bomb history, and I hope to visit the Trinity site someday.

I didn't find the demo of Braid particularly interesting, but, weirdly,this kind of shit puts it back on my radar. :lol:

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Problem is, when things are left loose and open to interpretation you can get anything to mean anything else. Every tiny detail, no matter how insignificant can have some amazing new idea extrapolated from it.

I remember the first time we watched Donnie Darko. There was a big group of us from college. The film was only on for a few hours, but we spent the following 6 hours after that discussing it and dissecting the story and its meanings. It even continued during the months that followed when almost every week one of us would come up with a strange new theory.

I've no doubt that there is a long chain of thoughts and ideas coursing throughout Braid, but that train of thought is (for now) known only by the developers.

That said, the nuclear bomb theory sounds very convincing and is probably pretty damn close to the developers ideas. I'm sure Mr Blow is enjoying reading about all these theories and I hope he reveals all when the hype surrounding the game and its story has died down.

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I reckon it's all just a massive coincidence and it's a story about raping. Through time.

He enters all their "castles", but can't find the one belonging to his "princess". World 4 will probably be a rape in his childhood then.

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I'm intrigued by the nuclear bomb stuff - I think it's quite well hidden away and the story has many subtexts and many interpretations. The bomb was inevitable - turning back time wouldn't have stopped it from being made. It would've happened anyway. Like Terminator 3. Lots of things are just either meant to be or not meant to be and no amount of time reversal can change things.

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Guest Aaryk

The atomic bomb parallels seem more obvious all the time, but I think what's being overlooked here are the obvious homages to the Mario games and their significance.

The parallels to Mario are all obvious: goombas, pirhana plants, the jumping/climbing platforming elements, the Donkey Kong bit and the ongoing "princess is in another castle" jokes. The important part of this parallel however, and the reason Mario is used, is because of the rescuing-the-princess aspect of that game series. In the Mario universe, it's always so obvious who the hero is: It's the one who is rescuing the princess. Tim, like Mario, sees himself as the obvious hero since he is seeking the princess so diligently. Not until the very end when Tim finally rescues his princess is he able to look at things in retrospect and see that he is actually the "bad-guy" and the game is completed.

This is the Tim from the game, but there's also the Tim from the story. The princess this Tim is pursuing is, as discussed, the atom bomb. This princess is being sought before determing what the consequences of her rescue/discovery might be, or rather, before man is appropriately ready to use his new discovery. Regardless, Tim, as the altruistic Mario character he sees himself as, seeks his princess outright, assuming he is in the right. Not until things are completed and his princess is reached is he able to see his folly and realize he was actually in the wrong (or at least was in too much of a rush.)

This brings us to the epilogue:

The candy store. Everything he wanted was on the opposite side of that pane of glass. The store was decorated in bright colours, and the scents wafting out drove him crazy. He tried to rush for the door, or just get closer to the glass, but he couldn’t. She held him back with great strength. Why would she hold him back? How might he break free of her grasp? He considered violence.

This is Tim's/man's view on science. Tim sees that there is something to be discovered and wants nothing more than to unearth it. Solutions aren't always obvious ("She held him back with great strength"), so Tim, in his zelousness, will use any way to discovery possible ("He considered violence.") In the parallel to the atomic bomb, the scientists of The Manhattan Project were so impatient to make their discovery slowly, via non-destructive means, that they used a violent means--a bomb--as a shortcut to discovery.

They had been here before on their daily walks. She didn’t mind his screams and his shrieks, or the way he yanked painfully on her braid to make her stop. He was too little to know better.

She picked him up and hugged him: “No, baby”, she said. He was shaking. She followed his gaze toward the treats sitting on pillows behind the glass: the chocolate bar and the magnetic monopole, the It-From-Bit and the Ethical Calculus; and so many other things, deeper inside. “Maybe when you’re older, baby,” she whispered, setting him back on his feet and leading him home, “Maybe when you’re older.”

Every day thereafter, as before, she always walked him on a route that passed in front of a candy store.

This is the voice of reason. Tim/Man is obviously just a child and even though he wants his discovery now, reason would show that he is unready to use his tool correctly. He still has so much growing-up to do. If only Tim were able to see this fact in the now instead of in hindsight.

But now, as an "adult," Tim has learned his lesson; lives have been lost and nothing can be done. The past is unchangeable, but by re-examining the past, Tim is able to avoid the same mistakes. By looking at the rubble and stones left behind, Tim is able to build a better life/society using the wisdom he's gained. (You'll notice that the castle at the end is literally build from the levels Tim has conquered or, given the rewind feature, from the lessons he, as the player, has learned.)

----------

It will never cease to amaze me how potent games are as an artistic medium. Neither movie, nor book, nor still would be able to communicate the concept of "learning" in the way this game has. The player literally learns lessons and improves his play skill and no longer dies; Tim learns from his time travel that his pursuit of the princess was not what he had previously viewed it as; and the story-Tim learns from his mistakes and will never commit such an atrocity again. A movie or a book would be able to communicate two of these perhaps, but the player's learning just can't be duplicated without an interactive medium.

Critics of games-as-art be damned.

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Whilst I've found reading through this thread very interesting, it's left me feeling dissapointed with Braid as a game. I really loved playing through the game, working out how to get all the pieces and the mecahnics involved in that were top notch, and the last level with the fire chasing and the princess helping was great. I even liked looking at the text from the books in each of the levels wondering where it was going to lead.

...and herein lies the problem, the game built and built but in the end offerred absolutely no payoff for playing through it. Just some text, most of it hidden and the need to come onto a games forum just to hear speculation what it *might* have all been about. I'm not against a game being intelligent, or having a message, but this game seems to be saying "ha ha, I'm way cleverer than you, see you don't even know what I'm all about". So after my initial hours of enjoyment with the game, I ultimately leave it dissapointed.

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I mentioned this in the "official" thread by accident, but so you know, this thread got a mention on the latest GFW radio podcast. You should give it a listen, because Shawn Elliot goes on at length about the subject you're all discussing.

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...and herein lies the problem, the game built and built but in the end offerred absolutely no payoff for playing through it. Just some text, most of it hidden and the need to come onto a games forum just to hear speculation what it *might* have all been about. I'm not against a game being intelligent, or having a message, but this game seems to be saying "ha ha, I'm way cleverer than you, see you don't even know what I'm all about". So after my initial hours of enjoyment with the game, I ultimately leave it dissapointed.

I thought they flattered the player at the end though, giving you plenty of time to figure out that the princess was actually going to be rescued from you by the knight who seemed to be the enemy at the start of the level.

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