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lewismistreated

The Story of Braid

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Yes, I created an account for this forum simply to contribute these minor points:

He scrutinized the fall of an apple, the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread. Through these clues he would find the Princess, see her face. After an especially fervent night of tinkering, he kneeled behind a bunker in the desert; he held a piece of welder’s glass up to his eyes and waited.

The first two "clues [through which] he would find the Princess" are references to defining moments in physics and, in particular, the study of gravity. Scrutinizing "the fall of an apple" is obviously a reference to Isaac Newton's proverbial encounter with a falling apple, which supposedly inspired his formulation of his law of universal gravitation. "The twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread" is a reference to the Cavendish experiment, conducted by Henry Cavendish and published in 1798. This experiment was important as the first accurate measurement of the gravitational constant G in the "gravity equation".

Make of this what you will. They are simply a few facts not yet presented here, and perhaps worth a moment's consideration. :sherlock:

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First of all, this game gives me chills, like all the time. Reading all of the stuff people have been posting is truly amazing, and I think it's astounding how there can be so many different interpretations to this game. I absolutely love talking about this.

I want to put the question out there about the last room in the epilogue. I have been trying to figure out its significance, and so far I have been thinking this:

Everything in Braid has a use. The moment you see some sort of new object or new type of object, there is a new and unique way to interact with it, with new implications. Take for example the 2-hour moving cloud in World 2, the one you have to wait for forever to get the star. At first glance it appears to have no use, but like in the rest of Braid, the player will eventually find a use for it, as they will everything. However, at the very end of the epilogue we are hit with a new situation. This is perhaps the only screen where absolutely nothing happens, and I think this ties into the dialogue at the very end.

“He cannot say he has understood all of this. Possibly he’s more confused now than ever. But all these moments he’s contemplated – something has occurred. The moments feel substantial in his mind, like stones. Kneeling, reaching down toward the closest one, running his hand across it, he finds it smooth, and slightly cold.”

“He tests the stone’s weight; he finds he can lift it, and the others too. He can fit them together to create a foundation, an embankment, a castle. To build a castle of appropriate size, he will need a great many stones. But what he’s got, now, feels like an acceptable start.”

Tim has been re-visiting his past and erasing his mistakes throughout the entire game, and at the end of the game, he has to rebuild his foundation from scratch, based on all his experiences. We can see all of these experiences in the blocks themselves, as they sport the icons of the levels. However, even with all the experience from the whole game, or seen another way, with all of Tim's careful thought and experiences about the "princess", this "foundation" in the last scene of the epilogue has no function. People have done experiments with the cloud(s) atop the castle and other things, but there is nothing important that this castle does. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the only cloud in the game that does nothing. I think it's very ironic how Tim claims that this "feels like an acceptable start" when in fact the castle is only a halting point, a moment which has no future and no function. He believes that he has learned from his mistakes, and tries to construct a foundation to convince himself that he has built something positive atop the disaster he has left behind, when in fact he is simply sugar-coating the harsh realities of his actions with something that resembles some sort of stability. And after the foundation, Tim has no choice but to enter the door at the end of the epilogue and repeat what he has already done, as the game spits you out right back where you started.

It's a very eerie scene when looked at this way; the happy clouds and the colorful blocks clashing with the reality that this foundation is all a lie, something that Tim created in unconscious desperation. The only thing in the game with no use was created by Tim himself. This could tie into another theory I read here, suggesting that because you can rewind time and reverse your mistakes, you rob yourself of the ability to make your own decisions. In that sense, you could say that the game has been "beaten", but without mistakes and free will, it was simply your "fate" to do this, and in the end, only a hollow foundation can be constructed, that of a facade of understanding and a loss of what makes us human: choices.

This also ties into the theory of the flags at the end of each world being nautical signal flags. The flag Tim raises in his castle is simply one color, which is not one of the signal flags. His castle then communicates nothing, and therefore means nothing to anyone else. Tim can only convince himself, and is tricking himself into a false sense of security and understanding.

Anyway, let me know what you think! I think there's more to the epilogue than meets the eye, something definitely worth talking about.

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I don't have anything particularly helpful to add, just questions and thoughts.

The bathroom (bottom right room in the world select area) has no purpose. As stated in a previous post, everything has a purpose, so that's really odd. The blocks in there are obviously the PC controls but has anyone noticed that it's dark unless you walk in, at which point the light turns on and a low hum (almost like a wind tunnel) can be heard? It's very faint but if you let the song play out (like if you were, let's say, reading 8 pages of Braid explanations) the song eventually dies down and the sound is pretty apparent. Um... why is this the case? Does it have to do with a "Eureka!" moment? Possibly on the invention of the bomb or when he realizes his mistake. Or perhaps it has to do with the light of the A-bomb explosion. The sound is a dead, hollow droning which may make sense in either bomb light or hindsight realization scenarios.

In either case, why is the room there? And why in the position it's in? Why are any of the room's in the position they're in? It obviously goes from left to right, top to bottom (including the first world/attic) which makes sense but why not lay it out like a traditional grid? Why make a complicated backwards C shape?

that's probably reading too much into it. Jonathon Blow has permanently damaged my brain. Did anyone else walk around after playing this game for extended sessions thinking, "Oh crap! But I can't put down this glass of milk without my dinner unpreparing itself!"? despite all that, I'd still like to know what's with that sound in the bathroom, why is it the only room not constantly lit, why it comes at the end of everything (after all worlds) and, besides being a fun easter egg, why the controls are in the bathroom at the END of the game (not a traditional tutorial).

Pretty cool that the game ends where it starts too. The whole thing is a never ending loop in Tim's mind. He'll never figure it out just like we won't either! I have to go eat now. I've been reading this thread for 2 and a half hours.

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Did anyone else walk around after playing this game for extended sessions thinking, "Oh crap! But I can't put down this glass of milk without my dinner unpreparing itself!"?

YES :D

Quite a few games have done this to me. After playing Advance Wars I would think of my life as turn based. "Right, I'll go and get a drink in this turn, then next turn I'll watch TV..."

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Ok, apparently my first post became my last post with my newly-created account, and I got no explanation why. I have since deduced that it must have been because I was perceived to be trolling.

I don't want to troll. I will therefore re-state my thoughts about Braid in a less offensive manner, accomplished by omitting the word "you".

Here goes:

What if the true meaning of Braid is to have smart people work so hard to find the true meaning of the game that their critical factor gives up and implodes upon itself, leaving the player in a state not unlike Tim post-bomb, where he is no longer interested in science and figuring things out, rather in a state of self-referential perception and feeling of emotions?

Ponder that, while you... [self-censoring the link to my website, incase THAT was why I got banned last time]

Cheers!

- Souleye [www.souleye.se]

Ps. yes, I know the link is frickin RIGHT THERE now, but in sigs it's allowed. The rules say nothing about that! Also, if an admin could explain to me in detail why I was banned, please email souleye ~-at-that-fricking-host~ gmail DOTZOR com

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