Braid's Themes/Ending (SPOILERS, AHOY!)

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#51 Posted by nutter (122 posts) -
#52 Posted by nutter (122 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"A more in depth take on the atomic bomb angle expressed in the OP:

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=190136%C2%A0"

Thanks for that. I wasn't familiar with the nautical flags (I know they've been mentioned already in this thread), but most of that information I'm right on board with.

I'd love/hate hearing from Jonathan Blow about the message he intended to communicate in both theme and narrative.
#53 Posted by Met2609 (555 posts) -

This discussion has my head reeling. I never thought an Xbox Live Arcade game would bring up such in-depth philosophical discussion. :)

#54 Posted by Gregomasta (1541 posts) -

So who's the brown dinosaur?

#55 Posted by DerBonk (107 posts) -
Tarsier said:
"Yeah you could make the same kind of analyzation of a Mario game.. =P"

I don't think so, but I guess you were joking anyway ;)

Gregomasta said:

"So who's the brown dinosaur?"
That's a good question. The dinosaur is somewhat reasonable, asking if Tim really knows that there is a princess. Maybe he represents a part of Tim, that is still sane, Tim has definitely seen the Dino next to the Princesses bed in World 1 and that's why he appears later on.

#56 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3655 posts) -

This is how I saw things:

Early on, Tim is very concerned with the mistake he made, and the story seems to suggest it is something that could not be undone. We learn about the princess, and how the mistake caused her removal from Tim's life. Near the end of the game, we a told of the ring, and how it made Tim feel unapproachable, how others felt distant, and how it made him feel like everything was moving in slow motion. This is the first major clue. Another comes in the form of the dino character telling Tim "The princess isn't here, are you sure she really exists?" or something like that.

When you enter the final level, you see the princess as running from a knight of some sort, and she helps you in your quest to reach the castle. This only happens until you reach the window, which is where you learn the truth. The fact is that the mistake Tim made didn't cause the princess to leave, the mistake made was Tim leaving her.

Now you're forced to see what happened in real time. No more rewinding, as this is the one mistake you can't undo. You got up one night and left as she was sleeping. She ran after you, and did everything she could to stop you. She finally gives up and her cries for help lead to her meeting a new man, and leaving you alone to your desire for another chance.

Tim left the princess because he's unhappy with mistakes and demands nothing less than perfection, but as the dino points out, such a flawless relationship doesn't exist. Tim was unhappy with her, but knowing he can't have her anymore, that gives her worth once again. The ring likely meant that Tim was either engaged to married to the princess. It's a classic tale of not wanting what you have until you can't have it anymore.

#57 Posted by Hedge (28 posts) -

The whole atom bomb thing is obviously in there for a reason. It could be used to contrast Tim's story. Tim, or anyone, is on a constant quest for an unattainable goal, the perfect princess, candy, money, whatever. The guys building the A-bomb were also on this quest, but they actually accomplished their goal, and that didn't exactly turn out to be a good thing. In the beginning of the game, Tim wishes that we could live in a world where we could reverse time and keep our partners happy by fixing our mistakes. So Tim goes to all these different castles looking for his unattainable goal, but as the A-bomb reference shows us, is that goal really what we want? The moral of the story for me, was the castle Tim was building at the end. It was built out of the chapters of the game, Tim's experiences. There is no princess, there is no ultimate goal. We have to learn to enjoy the ride, build our own castles. Looking for some external thing to make us happy is futile. We have to look inwards. One more thing, on the Braid blog, they posted the official walkthrough, which was actually a page that said don't use a walkthrough, Braid is not about the ending, but getting to the end. This supports the whole live life for the experience thing, don't waste your time chasing after a perfect princess.

#58 Posted by jabudi (4 posts) -

I would just like to add my $.02 here and say that, first of all, discussions like this remind me of why the message boards can actually still be worthwhile. Thanks to all of you for making a great game even better by making me realize that I needed to go back and view everything with a different perspective. I also curse you all for making me realize that you could go back and get stars, because I spent most of an evening doing just that, even though I knew what happened when you did. :P

Most of what I'm going to say has been said here and other places, but I'd just like to say how -I- see the storyline of Braid. Feel free to poke holes.

To me, World 1 is pretty much the story of the "original" Tim- the scientist who is trying to obtain both the semi-literal "princess" (woman of his dreams) and the metaphorical princess that is- the atom bomb. I think even the "chase" scene is really just a metaphor for how he has failed at love his whole life. But then he succeeds at obtaining the OTHER princess- the bomb. Part of the revealed text is even from the bomb's point of view, as some have said.

Anyway, I seem to remember that there was a concern back when the A bomb was being tested, that it would rip a hole in our universe or that the Space Time continuum would be torn apart. Much like the big fuss over the supercolider that is soon to be powered on.

So in the story, I think that Tim helps discover the secret of the A bomb and when they test it, our multiverse is ripped apart and time can be manipulated by Tim. But the other "worlds" that he vists are actually him visiting the "other Tims" of the other dimensions. In other words, he is seeing what "the other he" has done in those parallel universes.

Clearly, Braid is about making decisions and the consequences of those decisions. In one universe, he DID have a relationship but he is leaving her to try and find the princess- in other words, the grass is always greener, etc. Or as one poster put it "The princess is always in another castle." isn't just a goofy dinosaur making a Mario reference.

In another world, he has mother issues and because he was abused, he becomes an abuser. He is an alcoholic in several of the universes. In the world where he has a shadow doppleganger, he manages to come very close to seeing the "other" Tim...which can never quite happen.

If you notice, the wall of fire does not appear when you go backwards (forwards?) through time. Is that the nuke going off or just the universe trying to correct itself?

And when you collect all of the stars and manage to make it WELL ahead of the wall of flame, you can commit the ultimate paradox and catch the uncatchable princess- but you still can't have her. Again, I think that's both the bomb metaphor and the feeling that you can't ever have the ideal love.

I don't remember if it's been mentioned on this message board, but the books have a completely different story if you put the concept of the bomb in the place of the princess. The bomb is supposed to save the world because it wasn't supposed to have to be used. The threat should have been enough.

Now here's another thought that I had, which was also helped along by thoughts posted by others here. I think the "princess" was also supposed to be society in general, or maybe just approval. Tim thought that he could be a hero if he brought the bomb to the world and that he would achieve world peace. Instead, he only brought misery and destruction, and society turned its back on Tim.

So he tries to piece together what went wrong for the ACTUAL Tim, while simultaneously pieceing together what the "other" Tims have done in their lives.

I also believe that the story is circular because Tim is caught in this world, constantly viewing the consequences of his actions. Is it possibly a form of limbo?

Being a David Lynch fan as well, I do like the much more metaphorical "it's all in his mind" story as well, such as:
http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/MaSuTa/what-i-think-braid-is-about/30-7261/

But I do think that like many of Lynch's movies, there's an element of what really is happening and one of what is happening in a character's mind.

Now I have just two questions:
1. Why is there a cloud in the final "castle" that is built from the icons? It doesn't move, as the other one in world 2 does.
2. What are the glyphs behind the artwork in World 1 before you get to the "Braid" level? I think they're there for a reason but they flash too quickly.

#59 Posted by Rowr (5536 posts) -
SpaceInsomniac said:
"This is how I saw things:

Early on, Tim is very concerned with the mistake he made, and the story seems to suggest it is something that could not be undone. We learn about the princess, and how the mistake caused her removal from Tim's life. Near the end of the game, we a told of the ring, and how it made Tim feel unapproachable, how others felt distant, and how it made him feel like everything was moving in slow motion. This is the first major clue. Another comes in the form of the dino character telling Tim "The princess isn't here, are you sure she really exists?" or something like that.

When you enter the final level, you see the princess as running from a knight of some sort, and she helps you in your quest to reach the castle. This only happens until you reach the window, which is where you learn the truth. The fact is that the mistake Tim made didn't cause the princess to leave, the mistake made was Tim leaving her.

Now you're forced to see what happened in real time. No more rewinding, as this is the one mistake you can't undo. You got up one night and left as she was sleeping. She ran after you, and did everything she could to stop you. She finally gives up and her cries for help lead to her meeting a new man, and leaving you alone to your desire for another chance.

Tim left the princess because he's unhappy with mistakes and demands nothing less than perfection, but as the dino points out, such a flawless relationship doesn't exist. Tim was unhappy with her, but knowing he can't have her anymore, that gives her worth once again. The ring likely meant that Tim was either engaged to married to the princess. It's a classic tale of not wanting what you have until you can't have it anymore."
This.

oraknabo said:
"I missed this in my earlier post, but I don't see any reason the "princess" couldn't just be the wife Tim left and he is just an alcoholic runaway husband returning to stalk a wife that is now "in another castle" than the home they made together."
This. Notice that at least three of the first four puzzles involve tim and a beverage.

As far as the nuclear stuff, I think alot of that is just metaphor for the relationship stuff. Otherwise Its a second thread sometimes intertwined metaphorically to the relatiionship stuff.

Both the relationship, and the nuclear bomb represent things which once happen, can never be undone. The main theme of the game i took, is that you shouldnt be punished by your mistakes. In the gameplay, this is how it plays out, yet in the story its eventually shown that things just dont work that way.

"Tim left the princess because he's unhappy with mistakes and demands nothing less than perfection, but as the dino points out, such a flawless relationship doesn't exist."
#60 Posted by bread_or_decide (136 posts) -

I recommend reading Kurt Vonnegut's, Cats Cradle. Its a fictional story about a man who had worked on the atom bomb, who goes on to invent an even more apocalyptic invention called Ice 9. Great stuff.

#61 Posted by duanesm (1 posts) -

I just finished Braid as well and did a Google search on the epilogue...this thread was the main link.

WOW.  I knew the game was amazing, but i never expected to see so many conversations about post-modern interpretations in a game forum.

So many great ideas, but there is a name in the credits that many folks are missing:  Italo Calvino.

An amazing writer who played with the very notions of time and space, the relationship between author/reader, etc.  I would recommend reading his novel IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER, which tells the story of YOU the reader and your relationship to a novel that consistently changes tone, style, and more.  After seeing his name in the credits, I'm pretty convinced that Blow is a fan of this book--especially in that Tim can be viewed as a cypher for you, the player. 

Also, I don't know if it means anything, but another post-modern writer, Renaldo Arenas, in his book FAREWELL TO THE SEA, had major messages brought to the characters by dinosaurs... for what it is worth.  :)

#62 Posted by DrRandle (1202 posts) -

Now I remember why I hate interpretations... They take away what I wanted the game to represent and make it less interesting to me, personally. Here I took to heart as being a great game about a love-interest, something I can relate too, and has turned it into the A-Bomb, no doubt some gloating pretentious concept by some hippie types. I say that having visited the Braid blog. Those fellows are a dangerous level of liberal.

In any case... Thanks everyone for ruining the game for me! Your logic is too damned sense-making that it has to be about the A-Bomb and not about what I wanted it to be.

Sure I could still try and water the basic idea down but... Dude the lady EXPLODES.

Oh well. I suppose the truth is what I want, so the truth is what I get. I just hate how the truth tends to be less fun than I want it to be. You win, again, reality. You win again.

#63 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3655 posts) -
DrRandle said:
"Now I remember why I hate interpretations... They take away what I wanted the game to represent and make it less interesting to me, personally. Here I took to heart as being a great game about a love-interest, something I can relate too, and has turned it into the A-Bomb, no doubt some gloating pretentious concept by some hippie types. I say that having visited the Braid blog. Those fellows are a dangerous level of liberal.

In any case... Thanks everyone for ruining the game for me! Your logic is too damned sense-making that it has to be about the A-Bomb and not about what I wanted it to be.

Sure I could still try and water the basic idea down but... Dude the lady EXPLODES.

Oh well. I suppose the truth is what I want, so the truth is what I get. I just hate how the truth tends to be less fun than I want it to be. You win, again, reality. You win again."
No offense, but I think that's really stupid to just surrender your own personal opinion about the story just because of some dumb argument on the internet.  I really don't think Braid was supposed to just have one true meaning.  Braid's story includes so much vagueness that one could make a strong argument for it representing a LOT of things. 

How's this for example:

The game takes place either in hell or purgatory.  Tim finds himself in an endless loop trying to fix the one mistake he can't ever take back.  This is his punishment.  The atom bomb talk refers to the end of the world.  The princess represents Jesus Christ.  The game is really about Tim's dissatisfaction with his faith, and his ultimate rejection of Christ before the rapture / apocalypse.

Now the Bible is a REALLY complex book with a lot of symbolism, and I'm sure I could find things in there to support this argument, but really it would just be carefully picked sections of the Bible that just happen to mirror carefully picked sections of Braid.  it wouldn't make them true. 

There is no single truth to the story of Braid, and that's one thing that makes it unique.
#64 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

I think the game is about a dude with a tie collecting puzzle pieces.

#65 Posted by jabudi (4 posts) -

A friend of mine came over this past weekend and we played through the entire game again (and yet again, I collected all of the stars after bitching about how insanely difficult they would be to get) and he noticed a few things that I'd missed.

In the bedroom  of  the "princess" and near it:

1. Several of the items from the puzzles exist. The table with the wine bottle from World 2 is the easy one to see.
2. There are stuffed animal versions of the Goombas and the Dinosaurs.
3. There is a mailbox with specific numbers on it- has anyone looked them up? Meaningless numbers or another clue?

Something that I had completely missed, however, was the Aleph-one that is in the background of 4-7. This would seem to support my hypothesis of Tim traveling through infinite worlds and the multiple versions of his life that he sees.

Interestingly,  a Google search on Aleph and Braid produced an article describing the book "The Aleph" by Jorge Luis Borges.
I suggest reading the whole plot summary, but here's the heart of why it seems to apply here:

http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ssfs_17/ssfs_17_00012.html

"An Aleph, he explains, "is one of the points in space that contains all other points," and he needs the Aleph to help him compose his poem. Because the Aleph is "the only place on earth where all places are—seen from every angle, each standing clear, without confusion or blending," its loss will mean an end to Daneri's poem."

Then later:
"Because he can no longer say for certain whether or not he did, indeed, see all things in Daneri's cellar, he is doubtful of all human memory, including that of the face of his beloved Beatriz."

This seems to fit in with the piecing together of human memory as well, and even the "forgetting the fact" part could apply. Not only does Tim speak of the "Princess" as having a Braid while she clearly does not, he never describes her in any specific terms whatsoever. Is this because he's seen her in an infinite number of incarnations?

By the way, the reason that "Aleph and Braid" in Google pulled that article up?

"The cognitive-science professor Douglas Hofstader's 1979 book Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid examines the mathematical theories of Kurt Godel, the drawings of M. C. Escher, and the music of J. S. Bach to explore (like all of Borges's work) the nature of matter, the composition of the universe, and the workings of the human mind."

I just don't have time right now to follow all of these strands along, but wow. I really don't think these are false leads.


On a completely different note, I just saw the April Fools joke by David Hellman- what a great one:

http://www.davidhellman.net/blog/the-art-of-braid-part-5/

I hadn't heard anything about this game before before the demo, so I'm just getting caught up...

#66 Posted by jabudi (4 posts) -

By the way, it has been noted that the male character in the paintings does not appear to be Tim, or at least not the same Tim as the character you play. What I hadn't noticed until the 2nd play through is that the first painting does not JUST portray someone so drunk that they knock a bottle of wine over- there is also a woman pulling the male character towards her. Seems like the beginning of a relationship, when you just want to party and have fun and celebrate. I thought at first that he might be forcing her to the ground and maybe pulling down the bottle to threaten her, but she clearly seems to be smiling and having a great time.

So is that supposed to be Tim in another reality or maybe someone he walked in on messing with his wife?

Any other hidden parts of the puzzles that anyone has noticed?

#67 Posted by Illmatic (1358 posts) -

There is a 1up FM podcast where they talk to the creators of the game for 2 hours. The guy who did the paintings said that he made them with no intention of connecting them or adding anything to the meaning of the story. Also, the second guy said that he did not mean for the city to appear to be on fire. It was supposed to be more of a sunset on the city.

#68 Posted by felixdacat76 (1 posts) -

OK, I just bought and completed Braid tonight.  What a fantastic escape it was, yet it left me with so many questions.  So I turned to Google and found this discussion.  Very enlightening stuff!  I have, however, come up with my own twist.  For most of this point of view, I will be using the epilogue for my basis because I have not yet had the chance to run back through the whole game.  Enjoy...

I think the arguments for the atom bomb work the best for me, especially with all the texts in the the epilogue.  Plus, you have the ominous billowing smoke in the background.  I think there is an overtone as well.  Liken the Princess (always capitalized, if I remember correctly) to Mother Nature (again, capitalized) and Tim to Man.  The first scene in the epilogue gives you texts of boy calling out to the girl, and him leading the way through the oppression of creatures of smoke and doubt, escaping to a life of freedom.   The boy leads the girl through Manhattan (not only the Manhattan Project as already noted, but also a very urbane center of commerce).  The girl cries out "you're burdening me with your ridiculous need" (our dependence on resources?), "you're going the wrong way and you're pulling me with you," and "stop yanking on my arm; you're hurting me!"  We are hurting the earth... global warming, anyone?

The second scene obviously eludes to scientists.  Not the scientists working on the creation of the atom bomb specifically, but classic scientists like Isaac Newton (the fall of the apple).  I have no clue what the others mean with the rats and the water-starved monkeys, but they're all attempts to better understand Nature.  The hidden text says the boy only knows how to see the outsides of things, which to me says we still don't understand the true beauty of Nature, we only see the superficial.

The third scene is an apparent reference to the atom bomb, but only after scrutinizing the apple and the metal orbs.  It has taken us a while, but we have discovered something.  The hidden text says she stood tall and majestic, and by that I took it as the mushroom cloud from the bomb.  "She radiated fury."  Nature's fury.  And "she couldn't understand why he chose to flirt so dangerously with the death of the world." 

The fourth scene is what clued me into my Mother Nature take in the first place, however weird it may be.  A candy store, kids love candy stores.  "Everything he wanted was on the opposite side of that pane of glass... 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."  To me, that says that man is yearning for Nature's secrets and yet she holds us back with some awesome force.  But why?  How could he break free... he considered violence.  Right here, I thought maybe the boy was looking for democracy, or world peace, or something to that effect.  The hidden text sealed the Mother Nature thing for me.  "They had been here before... he was too little to know better."  It lists the chocolate bar, the magnetic monopole, the It-From-Bit and the Ethical Calculus... "and so many things were deeper inside."  She whispers to him, "maybe when you're older, baby."  And every day thereafter she would lead him by that candy store.

So Man has grown and has learned some of Nature's secrets, sometimes at grave expenses.  I think it's those mistakes which Man wonders if we can ever recover from.  And there is the ever-present theme of time manipulation, which man has not been able to figure out.  If we could, would we go back and change the irreversible damage we've done to the earth?  I haven't seen the end of the game with the stars collected, but I hear the Princess is chained up... have we chained up Mother Nature, have we enslaved the Earth... or is that the overall goal of science?

#69 Posted by Rowr (5536 posts) -
Illmatic said:
"There is a 1up FM podcast where they talk to the creators of the game for 2 hours. The guy who did the paintings said that he made them with no intention of connecting them or adding anything to the meaning of the story. Also, the second guy said that he did not mean for the city to appear to be on fire. It was supposed to be more of a sunset on the city."
I found it really dissapointing that the paintings were created without having anything to do with the game except "feeling right". Im not sure why, but to me that just doesnt sit right with what they are doing.
#70 Posted by Thrawn1 (1340 posts) -
Rowr said:
"Illmatic said:
"There is a 1up FM podcast where they talk to the creators of the game for 2 hours. The guy who did the paintings said that he made them with no intention of connecting them or adding anything to the meaning of the story. Also, the second guy said that he did not mean for the city to appear to be on fire. It was supposed to be more of a sunset on the city."
I found it really dissapointing that the paintings were created without having anything to do with the game except "feeling right". Im not sure why, but to me that just doesnt sit right with what they are doing."
I don't know how you could make concept art without connecting it to the story.
#71 Edited by Rowr (5536 posts) -

It just seems against what they are doing.

Like hey this is game is art, everything is here for a purpose to make you think!

Then they are all like, O yeh those pics, we just threw them in because they looked right.

It makes me worry that there is less depth to the whole thing than what they want you to think.

Like hey im being vague and ambigous, this is art!

#72 Posted by Thrawn1 (1340 posts) -

There is the possibility that everyone is reading way too much into this game, and everything the designers did was "vague and ambigous"

But it doesn't really matter, because you can always get out of symbolism what you put into it.

#73 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

Tangentially related, but I just wanted to post this:

#74 Posted by Rowr (5536 posts) -
Thrawn said:
"There is the possibility that everyone is reading way too much into this game, and everything the designers did was "vague and ambigous"."
Im sure thats true to an extent. But kind of depressing.

Anyone can make something vague and ambigous.
#75 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

Blow specifically stated that he wanted the game to focus more on thematic elements to put people in a certain mood, rather than having the whole thing be an allegory that has a specific "answer" waiting to be unearthed.  I'd say they pulled that off pretty well, and it really doesn't bother me in the slightest.

#76 Edited by Rowr (5536 posts) -
Vaxadrin said:
"Blow specifically stated that he wanted the game to focus more on thematic elements to put people in a certain mood, rather than having the whole thing be an allegory that has a specific "answer" waiting to be unearthed.  I'd say they pulled that off pretty well, and it really doesn't bother me in the slightest."
Yeh i understand that, and yeh they pulled it off pretty well. But it kind of makes the game feel hollow to me if thats the case to a large degree.

Like all style and no meat.
#77 Posted by Vaxadrin (2297 posts) -

I like it better that way, because if there's 1 definitive answer to everything, that pretty much implies that people's interpretations of it could be wrong.  This way, it's just sort of an experience.

#78 Posted by jabudi (4 posts) -

I'm somewhat disappointed that the puzzle artwork isn't directly connected either, especially considering the fact that it really does seem to fit the mood so well. It's entirely possible that Blow and Hellman worked off of each other and that some of the imagery and symbolism in the puzzles was put in subconsciously. In fact, I would find it hard to believe that they worked together that long and did NOT subconsciously influence each other's work.

So I wouldn't go so far as to say "All style and no meat" in that there are still plenty of things that are deliberate and definitely go together as a puzzle. The fact that you've got a puzzle game whose storyline is a puzzle in itself is a brilliant idea, if nothing else. And I still stick by my assertion that Tim is seeing all of the infinite versions of himself- I find that the most plausible and the vast majority of the story makes absolute sense with that in mind.

I think there's a pretty big difference between Braid and other games that are deliberately vague because they're just too damned lazy to solve their own mysteries or work out a coherent conclusion. I guess it's sort of like the way The Soporanos wrapped up, where about half the people called for the writers' heads and the other half thought that it couldn't have ended any other way. I, for one, can't think of a better way to end Braid then without a real ending. The entire game is an unbroken ring, after all...

#79 Posted by snts6678 (1 posts) -

I have to say, as I first got into the game I was completely taken by its presentation.  I loved how there really was no opening menu, it just kind of through you in.  I loved the music, I was intrigued by the its name.  As I played through longer I found myself becoming even more and more hooked into what was going on.  By the second puzzle I kind of thought I might know what the story was unraveling to become.  I took it (as some have posted on this particular thread already) as a man who was in a relationship he deemed unhappy and that he was away often, because of work perhaps, and was almost always on the constant lookout for someone better...his "princess" if you will.  Continually being told by strange creatures that the princess was in another castle just further strengthened my belief that the story was about the never-ending chase of perfection (the kind we all want in the person we choose to spend our lives with).  On this note, the game really struck a chord with me.  And not to sound hokey in any way, but I would often stop during playing and think about my own life, as I was able to make parallels between what Tim was going through and what I have been experiencing in my own life.  In short, I never really felt this way about a game before...it was transcending the medium to become something much more grand in scope...

Then I came on here to read what others were thinking.  And I truly have been enjoying everything that everyone has had to say to this point.  I find it to be a fascinating thread, and again, one that I have not seen as it pertained to a video game before.  However, some things have come to bother me. 

1.  I sincerely hope that the main story of the game is not about Tim and the Manhattan Project.  While it is without question plausible, for me it would just ruin the emotional impact of the game.  I find it much easier to relate to lost loves and mistakes made in pursuit of that special someone than I can a scientist working on an atomic bomb to kill millions of people.  I just feel that story is overdone, and like I said, oddly enough just not as emotional.  Of course, I realize that perhaps not everyone has had experiences that would connect them to the way I thought the game was going from the beginning.

2.  I too am disturbed by the potential admittance that the paintings of the puzzles really have no connection to the story.  That would really be cheating the audience in my opinion.  If this is really the case, then I become worried (like stated in another post) that this game really is a bunch of loose ends that don't mean anything, not even to the creators.  That kind of narrative is not "art", its flat out lazy.  Basically, we have no story in mind so we'll include a bunch of vague images/texts that have nothing to do with one another and we'll just leave it up to the player to basically make up something.   I really, really hope that this is not the case....the creators have to have had something in mind....even if it is multiple meanings, they must be there...

....and finally, on a different note, I really am intrigued by the paintings of each puzzle and what they might mean individually...I'm going by memory here so bare with me

1.  I took the first puzzle to show Tim with the woman that he was now unappy with.  This was them at a younger stage in their relationship when things were more care free...I like the idea of how it seems like she can't get enough of him and is literally dragging him down to her while she is smiling.

2.  The second one is really odd to me...I took it as showing a holiday or party of some sort where Tim? is giving some sort of toast...but he looks older there, and obviously unhappy about something...maybe he's unhappy where his life has gone to that point.

3.  The third one, and I dont know why, but I immediately took it to be an ominous situation.  One in which either Tim is in the bed as a child, or it's Tim in the doorway looking upon a child.  This could be referencing some sort of abuse (sexual or physical), or could simply be just the moment after the light was turned off and goodnights were being exchanged.

4.  Someone, Tim perhaps, waiting at an airport for someone who has never shown?  Maybe a girl that was supposed to meet him but ended up not coming through?  This one too is so sad and melancholy to me...

5.  This one I really was at a loss.  To me it almost looks like its the 4th of July and Tim (again perhaps as a child) has set fire to a bunch of items in his room or elsewhere...kind of like an acting out for abuses that he has been through in his life?

I agree with someone else who said that its interesting how when you complete a puzzle there really is no sence of accomplishment, it just seems to further pile on the grim feelings...I'd be interested to see what others feel about each individual picture and how they might fit in....

I apologize for the length of this, its just that after reading all of the threads my mind really started filling up even faster! 

#80 Posted by PrincessBeDamned (1 posts) -

This game is amazing. I have been playing various games for around 5 hours per day the last 10 years. My last favourite game was Final Fantasy 7 (1997 title). Now my favourite game is Braid. Its clear sense of depression from the beginning drives you to explore and try to explain the story. When you manage to make all the pieces fall into place you can clearly see that the creator uses the tragc atom bomb paradigm to focus on the insatiability of the human race. To most of the people, Tim is a crazed scientist trying to reach perfection, a scientifc breakthrough. But the truth is that we all are like Tim ourselves. Whatever our purposes and drives, divine or evil, we are insatiable. We won't stop till we find our princess and the more we lose and sacrifice to find her, the more we shall be obsessed with her.

This game has brought me to my knees. It has made me cry and regret a whole bunch of things.  The persistence needed to sort some puzzles out and decypher the texts in order to find the stars in the game is what makes us exactly like Tim. This game was created in a universal language, so that it could be apprehensible by everyone. Just like the gamer tries to solve the puzzles and beat the game, some scientists sat in a lab around 70 years ago tomake their ownl puzzle complete...

It is more marvellous than any book. It talks nothing about ethic and musts, though by the perfect solution of the puzzle you can on your own find out what you must and must not do in your life.

And it was written as a fairytale so it can be understood by any human being. Asian , European, African we all have princesses we can recall from our childhoods. And that is the place where it all begins.

#81 Edited by Mikeh (1 posts) -

Just another note here. 
 
Having played and enjoyed the game I felt that it was trying to show different ways of approaching various puzzles. 
 
Simple example (with some small SPOILER in it but I think this thread is way past that now) you have a Key and a Magic Key and you are faced by a Door and a Magic Door. Habit and Order dictates that the Magic Key go with the Magic Door but in order to solve the puzzle you must change your approach and abandon old habits. 
 
However upon completion of the game it is revealed that in simple terms You / Tim are the 'badguy' and in your quest to solve the puzzle you have brought about distress to others. 
 
Personally the revelation that you are the antagonist, combined with the feeling that the game had challenged me to think in new directions, carried another message: 
 
'Just because there is a puzzle to be solved it doesnt mean it SHOULD be solved.' 
 
Does anyone else wish that the Princess had just been waiting in the first castle for Tim in a very real and non explodey sense so we could have a happy ending? :D

#82 Posted by Icemael (6316 posts) -

You know what I like? Braid. You know what I don't like? People talking about Braid.  
 
See, I played Braid. It was a great game with some clever puzzles, and a pretty neat story. I enjoyed it.
 
You guys, however, don't seem to have enjoyed Braid. Instead, you enjoyed what you think Braid should be. Why do you feel the need to come up with all these interpretations? Why all the pretentious bullshit? Why can't you just play the fucking game and be happy? I mean, it's a great game. It doesn't need to have all this crap attached to it. In fact, I think that ruins the game. 
 
Think of it this way: Braid is a pearl -- nice artwork, nice music, nice puzzles. By attaching all these pretentious theories to it, you're basically taking a crap on the pearl. The pile of shit keeps growing and growing, until the pearl no longer is visible. You don't notice though -- you're too busy admiring your own shit. Your interpretations and theories become, to you , more important than Braid itself. Truly tragic.
 
At least, that's how I see it. I feel sorry for you -- I really do -- though I suspect you don't see why. To you, I'm probably just some stupid asshole who isn't intelligent enough to see how brilliant the smell of your shit is, and I doubt anything I say will change that. Oh well. I'm going to leave now, before you start bombarding me with pretentious horsecrap.

#83 Posted by Fondue (1 posts) -

Well, I believe everyone should be entitled to enjoy things the way they want. If someone wants to discuss and attach a lot of theories over something (a game, a book, a movie) that is intentionally open-ended, I think they can. If someone wants, like you do, enjoy it some other way, just by appreciating it and leaving it like that, I think you should do that. 
If you like to see your movies dubbed instead of subtitled, or vice versa, you can. I don't think you're "ruining" the film by not seeing it the way I like too see them. I prefer them subtitled, by the way.
But this conversation should be on another topic.
 
I haven't read the whole topic yet. I am loving how you guys find things i would NEVER notice by myself (the flags' meaning, for example).
By the way, Something that struck me as powerful was the fact that the only time you can't rewind is after you meet/touch the princess.  That was really heartbreaking. The fact that after something that big is done, is it irreversibly done and can't be rewound.

#84 Posted by thisonethatone (1 posts) -

Definitely one of the deepest games I've ever played. To me, it represents a lot of things. One thing I noticed were Tim's mistakes. Could the "princess" be the one thing he feels could redeem his troubled past? Or is the princess something he pursues without end, a thing that has ruined his life. What does the picture of the kid with the can represent? How is the picture of Tim (or someone else?) returning to one of his childhood haunts significant. I'd love to be able to read the devs minds.

#85 Edited by xolve (1 posts) -

Here's my take on it:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MatthewBentley/20121101/180779/Braid_Deconstructed__A_Retrospective.php

Apologies if it's a little long, and it covers some stuff you guys already know, but this is my understanding -

there is some stuff in there which I don't believe anyone else's managed to pick up on - from what I've seen - such as the relevance of the Perseus and Andromeda story to the Hero and Princess meme which computer games (like Mario) carry on- and a few other things, like the significance of flowers. Either way,hope you get something from it:

M@

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