Braid: Explained!!!

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peligroy2k

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#1  Edited By peligroy2k

...I step across this great  article on GamesRadar.com and got so happy, It Explaines Braid, so for those, like me, that never understood the story, enjoy: 
 

I just wanted to jump on baddies’ heads, but now I’m all confused. Does Tim actually rescue the princess?

In a word, no. The Princess doesn’t actually exist and instead represents Tim’s obsession with the A-Bomb. Our hero is not a brave warrior in a fantastical kingdom, but is instead actually a weapons’ scientist based in New York. He was involved in the Manhattan Project that gave birth to the Atomic Bomb, the first of which would be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, effectively ending the Second World War.     
 

So the events of the game aren’t real then?

Nope. The entire game is actually a succession of Tim’s dreams and the gameplay mechanics involving time manipulation are merely in place to convey the themes of regret and the desire to do things differently that are so prevalent in his mind thanks to his involvement with the bomb. That’s why the final level is actually the first level and the entire game that follows is Tim’s way of trying to replay events and change his relationship with the Princess/A-Bomb.

Super, I’m on board now. Things aren’t real, but still, what the hell’s going on in the level before the epilogue?

When you reach the end of Act 1 (the game’s final level) the game rewinds. In the normal passage of time it looks like the Princess is aiding you, so that you can be reunited. When the level rewinds, though, you discover the truth. The Princess is really fleeing from you, the knight who appears to capture her is actually saving her and all because, in reality, you’re the bad guy who’s been stalking her, not trying to rescue her.     
 

Hmmm. So why is Tim so obsessed with finding The Princess/A-Bomb if he’s actually the bad guy?

The stalking of the Princess is Tim’s way of trying to alter events to appease his guilt for the creation of the bomb. He knows he participated in a terrible act, which his natural inquisitiveness as a scientist drove him to. However, he’s got enough self-awareness to regret his actions and that’s why levels are themed around rewinding time, stepping outside of yourself and being given a second chance. Tim needs to find the Princess/Bomb because he seeks forgiveness. What initially appears as a quest fuelled by heroism is actually one fuelled by obsession and remorse.     
 

What does the epilogue mean?

Provided you stand behind specific bits of scenery, you’re rewarded with the game’s true message. Quotes like: ‘Now we are all sons of bitches’ – uttered by Kenneth Bainbridge, one of the scientists from the Manhattan Project after the initial testing – and: ‘She stood tall and majestic. She radiated fury’ – alluding to the explosion and subsequent mushroom cloud from the A-Bomb – shows Braid is really about the regret of the birth of the atomic age. And not merely a Mario clone where you have to save the damsel in distress.    

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Asger

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#2  Edited By Asger

That was great, thank you :) 

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Dtat

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#3  Edited By Dtat

I think the game explains itself pretty well. I think it was left sort of open-ended so you could take from it what you wanted.

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CookieMonster

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#4  Edited By CookieMonster

There was a story?!? Fuck. Well I completely missed the point of that game.

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BeachThunder

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#5  Edited By BeachThunder

Yep, I spent ages working all of this out when it came out (with the aid of the internets). Thank you for reminding me that I love this game ^__^

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Canberra

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#6  Edited By Canberra

There are some parts of their conjecture that don't really add up or could be said better, but yeah sounds right enough.

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MadeinFinland

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#7  Edited By MadeinFinland
@CookieMonster said:
" There was a story?!? Fuck. Well I completely missed the point of that game. "
Yeah, I understood he was the bad guy and stuff, but beyond that..
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ThatFrood

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#8  Edited By ThatFrood

Oh please, does this need explaining? As if the bunnies that made cat noises when they attacked weren't obvious enough allusions to Schrodinger.

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peligroy2k

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#9  Edited By peligroy2k
@Canberra said:
"There are some parts of their conjecture that don't really add up or could be said better. "

Yea, you'er right, ... , but its something, I never thought it was about some A-Bomb, ... ;)
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SBYM

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#10  Edited By SBYM

I mean, it never runs out.

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FunExplosions

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#11  Edited By FunExplosions

I don't get why you chose the A-bomb as what the story is about. Given everything else you mentioned, it could pretty much be about anything. It's most likely about a guy who's finally coming to terms with who was doing all the wrong in the relationship.

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NTM

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#12  Edited By NTM

There was a website that I had read that it was still confusing because it was either the explanation you have up there, or it was really about the Princess and Tim since there are a few lines in the game that would only make sense to Tim and the Princess' story. Then again, I wouldn't know for sure.
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cstrang

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#14  Edited By cstrang
@BeachThunder said:
" Yep, I spent ages working all of this out when it came out (with the aid of the internets). "
This.  I remember spending quite sometime on the message boards piecing all of this together after I 100%'d the game.
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LackingSaint

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#15  Edited By LackingSaint
@FunExplosions said:
" I don't get why you chose the A-bomb as what the story is about. Given everything else you mentioned, it could pretty much be about anything. It's most likely about a guy who's finally coming to terms with who was doing all the wrong in the relationship. "
The quotes in direct context to the A-Bomb in the game are probably what lead people to that belief, especially since, once you have the idea of the A-Bomb in your head alot of the more mysterious background stuff makes alot of sense
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peligroy2k

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#16  Edited By peligroy2k
@CookieMonster said:
" There was a story?!? Fuck. Well I completely missed the point of that game. "
Yep!!
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Galiant

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#17  Edited By Galiant

I love it when game stories are open to interpretation =)

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tourgen

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#18  Edited By tourgen

If this explanation is true then  it's a very juvenile take on that piece of history and the Manhattan Project.

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Ineedaname

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#19  Edited By Ineedaname
@tourgen said:
" If this explanation is true then  it's a very juvenile take on that piece of history and the Manhattan Project. "
It's art, man. Video games are art.
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Clinkz

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#20  Edited By Clinkz

I thought Tim was the monster the princess was running from all along but I had also heard things about the A-bomb too.

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bibledoctor

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#21  Edited By bibledoctor

This is a very well thought and and written theory to the meaning of the entire game, I still like to believe that it could be about many different things to each individual player and that there is not a single "correct" ending to the game. But this is an extremely well thought out interpretation of the game. 
 
I love Braid, might play through it again.

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Informant

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#22  Edited By Informant

This is a very well thought and and written theory to the meaning of the entire game, I still like to believe that it could be about many different things to each individual player and that there is not a single "correct" ending to the game. But this is an extremely well thought out interpretation of the game.


Agreed, the A-bomb thing pretty much was explained to me though through playing and by some random tidbits thrown around on Youtube of all places, even down to "Tim is the monster because he was involved in the A-bomb project and the Princess represents the bomb and his possessiveness is his uncontrolled thirst for knowledge in the nuclear weapon."
It's more interesting that the reverse mechanic means his want of a second chance, now that I think about it the last level is running away from fire which fits with the whole nuclear weapon theme or the unleashing of a monster. Probably one thing I like the most about Braid is that it can tell a story about the trials of Tim through abstraction with alternate interpretations for everyone else held with an underlying A-bomb theme, that's what makes it what it is.
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Synthballs

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#23  Edited By Synthballs

Even though it makes sense now I can't help but feel it's still a boring arse game.

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jakob187

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#24  Edited By jakob187

Wait...A-bomb?  What the hell? 
 
Maybe I DO need to play this game, because I didn't know anything like that was involved in this. 
 
@Ineedaname said:

" @tourgen said:
" If this explanation is true then  it's a very juvenile take on that piece of history and the Manhattan Project. "
It's art, man. Video games are art. "
No, they aren't...but that's an endless debate.
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CharlesAlanRatliff

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I remember having my mind blown at the ending and then reading about it later. So good.

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h0lgr

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#26  Edited By h0lgr

I thought the threat title said "Brad: Explained".
What a disappointment.

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Brodehouse

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#27  Edited By Brodehouse
@h0lgr said:
" I thought the threat title said "Brad: Explained". What a disappointment. "
The explanation is E-MAILS!
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peligroy2k

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#28  Edited By peligroy2k
@Ineedaname said:
" @tourgen said:
" If this explanation is true then  it's a very juvenile take on that piece of history and the Manhattan Project. "
It's art, man. Video games are art. "
Ha!, if "movies are art", why not games!!!
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benpack

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#29  Edited By benpack  Staff

Someone once told me it was about the A-Bomb and I called him a lair and a piece of crap. Guess I owe him an apology.

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GIVEMEREPLAY

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#30  Edited By GIVEMEREPLAY

GUYS I FEEL SO BAD ABOUT MAKING THE ATOM BOMB. 
 
It would have been way cooler to have another one million Japanese die. 

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mordukai

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#31  Edited By mordukai

Braid is one those game that reminds us that video games can mean so much more.

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EVO

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#32  Edited By EVO
@FunExplosions said:
" It's most likely about a guy who's finally coming to terms with who was doing all the wrong in the relationship. "
@Keenblaze said:
" For some, it's a tale of a controlling relationship. "
@Clinkz said:
" I thought Tim was the monster the princess was running from all along "
I like these stories better, even if that's not what Blow intended. They're far more literal I can actually relate to them. When I found out it was actually about the A-Bomb I just felt stoopid.
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Callumz

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#33  Edited By Callumz

Thanks for sharing. 

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Sweep

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#34  Edited By Sweep  Moderator

Dude, spoilers...

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Bennyishere

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#35  Edited By Bennyishere

Yes, this was the conclusion I and a lot of other people came to. However, I remember listening to Podtoid (Destructoid's old podcast) when they had Jonathan Blow on, and he seemed adamant that it was not about an atomic bomb, as if that was too easy of a conclusion.

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Darkstar614

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#36  Edited By Darkstar614

 Not to be a stick in the mud, but this "explanation" was published in many different forms shortly after the game was released on XBLM 2 years ago. I feel like the time for the discussion about this game's plot has long passed. 
 
This "NEWS FLASH!!!" format that the thread creator seems to have used doesn't really seem appropriate as it's pretty, shall I say, "Old News".

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Onno10

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#37  Edited By Onno10

 The Princess is Tim's purpose in life. She is not a person. She is not the atomic bomb (at one point, she may have been). She's constantly changing, and Tim is not even aware of what the Princess is himself, or if she even exists. But he will try to learn from his mistakes and build a castle from them, and even though he is uncertain what the Princess is or if she exists, he will continue to look for her.
(copy paste but I can't write it better myself)

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TwoOneFive

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#38  Edited By TwoOneFive

its about the atomic bomb? really. uh... ok. 

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owl_of_minerva

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#39  Edited By owl_of_minerva

To say the game is "about" just one thing isn't accurate. The mechanics and narrative are organised around a theme (or themes) with allegorical links to the scientists researching the atomic bomb as well as interpersonal relationships. It's undecidable what the game is about as such since it's incorporated multiple frames of reference in a fragmentary fashion.
I would say it's primarily a game that touches on loss, regret, and the irreversible flow of time and secondarily a reflection on aspects of the post-war experience: we often don't make the obvious links between our everyday lives and the threat of imminent annihilation posed by destructive inventions, and the complicated way one impacts the other, such as living in a 'culture of fear' or regret.

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deactivated-57d3a53d23027

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I always thought that it was about Tim going mad with envy and trying to kidnap the princess.

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spankingaddict

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#41  Edited By spankingaddict

Interesting...
 
I want another Braid!!!

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Oldirtybearon

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#42  Edited By Oldirtybearon

Many others have explained in this thread better than I, but I would also like to say that it is open to interpretation. If you don't feel like it's about the Atomic Bomb, then it isn't. Kind of the beauty behind art, that.