Braid: Plot Analysis by xg3 Version 1.

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************************************************************************ the story of BRAID

Version: 1.04 (9/5/08) Author: XG3 Contact:

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, would be like the splendor of the Mighty One. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." - Bhagavad Gita

************************************************************************ TIMELINE ************************************************************************ {castle1} ... Introduction {castle2} ... The Story of Braid {castle3} ... Analysis {castle32} ... 2. Time and Forgiveness {castle33} ... 3. Time and Mystery {castle34} ... 4. Time and Place {castle35} ... 5. Time and Decision {castle36} ... 6. Hesitance {castle31} ... 1. {castle3E} ... Epilogue


For this person. Braid is about chasing a princess from castle to castle. This will be disappointing to some. 90% of the actual storyline of Braid takes place in the Epilogue. please check out my one as I find that the storytelling devices of these two games are quite similar in some respects. One is for the casual observer. the kind of guy who simply ne excuse to go from one level to the next. "Braid". but the fact is that there is not a logical story to be found in Braid. you likely tried to read some of the books ended up skipping them completely as you progressed further into the gam until completing the mind-blowing last level. let's get a few things o the way. they combine together to paint a picture. If you're like most players. Backward +----------------------------------------------------------------------- Before we begin unweaving the mystery of Braid. Well. The books found in the "clouds" serve primarily to convey the sp theme of that specific world rather than form any sort of coherent. it's also about a princess. Juxtaposed. bu rather that the themes are to be looked at as pieces in a scrapbook. So what ex is this game about? Don't Look Back in Anger +----------------------------------------------------------------------Braid is about a bomb. her always being in another on .************************************************************************ INTRODUCTION {c ************************************************************************ Forward +----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is my second story FAQ. my first being the plot summary found in th Bioshock section of GameFAQs. did you think to yourself that there was more to this game than meets the eye. If you enjoy this one. There are actually two levels of story this game. This isn't to s the worlds and the main storyline have nothing to do with each other. at least not to the degree that most expect. chronological series of events detailing someone's life.

" she said.. low in the New York skyline. deeper inside. . followed his gaze toward the treats sitting on pillows behind the glass: chocolate bar and the magnetic monopole. stopping occasionally to admire magnificent sunset gracing the heavens this afternoon. and so many other things.books vaguely reinforce this idea. I'm going to assume you do not fit this description because you are read this FAQ. Tim and his mother would pass in front of a candy store. but Tim never been able to connect the dots. "Maybe when you're ol baby. They had been here before on their daily walks. Eve he wanted was on the opposite side of that pane of glass. The store was decorated in bright colors." she whispered. or the way he yanked painfully on her braid to make her sto was too little to know better. ************************************************************************ THE STORY OF BRAID {c ************************************************************************ 1945. setting him back on his feet and leading him home. She didn't mind his scre his shrieks. The sun itself gl intensely. As Tim approached his house. tried to rush for the door. Braid is about chasing an evasive goal and the consequences suffered bot chasing it and ultimately reaching it. and he looked up to stare at the cluster of stars above had always looked like it wanted to form a picture of some sort. Manhattan Tim walked anonymously across a bridge. and the scents wafting out drove him crazy. He was shaking. or just get closer to the glass. .. baby. the It-From-Bit and the Ethical Calculus. dus turned to night. and for the casual observer this expl will suffice. As a child. it is also about a Let's rewind... Why would she hold him back? How he break free of her grasp? He considered violence. She picked him up and hugged him: "No. It's about learning from your experiences and mistakes chasing that goal. but he coul She held him back with great strength. And yes.

"Stop instantly. "Listen to me. Tim was a man of diverse interests. fo was hungry. "I am here. a tinkerer. a missi develop the world's first nuclear weapon. the Princess stood in front of him and looke his eyes. after all to bring a force of this magnitude and power into being would be a mista couldn't see this." She p "Look at me!" But he would not see her. Always in another castle. Tim did encounter several warnings. and he would not stop until he found her. "Stop. Tim was a scientist by profession. l track of the hours as they ticked towards morning. the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread. It knew that its creation would ch the world irrevocably. like nothing else. a model sh kite. But the bomb did not want to be made. that . He was one of the key scientists on the Manhattan Project. As a result. I want to touch you. sparking an intense light that would embrac world. a light that would reveal the secrets long kept from us. Among the items he kept in his home were a guitar.his obsession goal which he dedicated his life to achieving. "I am here." Every day thereafter. He would go home after work in th evening and completely submerge himself in his idiosyncratic thoughts. to know her at last Tim this would be momentous. He inferred. He deduced. If she exi she must! ." pleaded one. re old memories and dreaming up new ones. He worked his ruler and his compass.when you're older." begged another. He scrutin the fall of an apple. as before. and everyone. He often spent his time daydreaming. searching for the Princess. to find the Princess. Tim grew to become an obsessive man. implanted t posts into the skulls of water-starved monkeys. after all the Americans were anxious to establish nuclear capability before the Ge Tim considered the so-called "atomic bomb" his Princess . Red flags." "You are running into danger!" warned the thi final cried out. you could None of which he took heed. she always walked him on a route that p in front of the candy store.she would transform him. The world doesn't have a rewind button. and nearly all of his childhood belongings. "No!" The Princess eluded him constantly. he only knew how to look at the outsides of things. bent over a drafting table or stretched out on the sofa. He cut rats into pieces to examine their brains." she said. It was World War II. Tim wanted. His lonely house refle this well. But to be sure. an occupation that served his persona well. Ghostly.

a final palace where we could exist in But how would this be perceived by the other residents of the city. forever. Tim fo himself kneeled behind a bunker in the New Mexico desert. burn him." Nearby. It was the constellation Androme "The Chained Maiden". The fulfillment of his obsession was imminent. would be like burning down the place we've always called home. anger expelled. Tim looked up towards the sky. This time he was ready. staring intently at the Trinit detonation site located 10 miles away.. . after an especially fervent night of tinkering. Space contracted to a pinpoint. She shouted: "Who has di me?" But then. director Oppenheimer said: "It worked. She radiated fury. where we so innocently as children. like ashes floating gently on the wind. He scrutinized the fall of an apple. taking the castle with it. in t world that flows contrariwise? The light would be intense and warm at th beginning." One evening back in New York. It was as though the earth had op and the skies split. and he knew that time was finally on his side quickly cornered the Princess. Through these clues he would find the Princess. "On that moment hung eternity. ready to rescue the Princess from her incessant st Tim wouldn't give up. she let her fall softly. but then flicker down to nothing. She couldn't understand why he chose to flirt so closely with the death world. kill him. though. burst of rage." Director Bainbridge said: "Now we are all sons of bitches. see her face. T stars had aligned for Tim. and for the time saw the clear figure in the stars. Her knight in shin armor would be there. she needed Tim to save her. One felt as though he had been privileged to witnes Birth of the World. Fr perspective. On July 16. the Princess would everything she could to stop him.or materializes! . Every time he thought he was on the brink of capture. She responded by exploding in a violent. "Time still. A reminder that he had finally captured his Prince once and for all. 1945. the twisting of metal orbs hanging thread. He held a piec welder's glass up to his eyes and waited. like a sigh.illuminates . she felt the sadness beneath.. She stood tall and majestic." wrote journalist William Laurence. Destroying all hope of safety. He never saw that side of the Princess.

let's take a more in-depth look at game and its themes. it turns to nighttime. can also spot the Twin Towers from the attic. a castle. Possibly he's more confused than ever. He cannot say he has understood all of this. The point of the brid scene is to get Tim to move from left to right. and the others too can fit them together to create a foundation. the city in the title screen of Braid is not actually burning.. now. beautiful sunset. floa the clouds. and you can see that the bu in the background are not burning from here and from the attic later on. running his hand across it. an embankment.. feels like an acceptable. But all these moments he's contemplated . Tim continues his ritual of dreaming around his house. slightly cold. ************************************************************************ ANALYSIS {c ************************************************************************ Now that you know the story of Braid. He tests the stone's weight. b of a bomb or otherwise. he will need a great many stones. immediately (re)introduc most basic concept of a 2D platformer to the player.. We see an incomplete constellation here and though we know it will play important part in the story. he finds he can lift it. hopes to learn from his mistakes in his next adventure.. what he's got.something has occur The moments feel substantial in his mind. T . he finds it smooth. Contrary to popular belief.. like stones. The game begins with Tim's silhouette on a bridge. Start. deconstructing experien that may or may not have already occured. It is merely an intense. reachin toward the closest one. To build a castle of appropriate size. .To this day. Tim's name is a play on the word "Time". His journey is an inward one. reconstructing memories of his past. we have no idea at this point what it is. As yo approach Tim's house.. reinforcing the idea that city on the title screen is New York. Kneeling.

eit 2. th ability to undo a mistake and try again without penalty. As you might guess. It is the optim start of the game and so the colors are bright and vivid. As you progress. we can be badly hurt. shouldn't we be rewarded for the learning. But if we've learned from a mistake and become better for it. There are f aspects of each world that combine to illustrate the the theme of that w 1) Time Gameplay Mechanic . Time and Forgiveness {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- Our world. the music is . and setting of each painting are not to be taken lit The paintings do not correspond to the events detailed in the books. you may notice t worlds get darker. and some of them are blond. 4) Completed puzzle image .Viewing the theme of the world from a differ angle. the theme of World 2 is "Learning from Your Mistakes time mechanic introduced in this world is the most basic one: Rewind. and life would really proceed as though we had ever said that thing? We could remove the damage but still be wiser for the experience.constellation adds to the mystery and helps set the mood." and she would not turn away. rather than punished for the mistake? What if our world worked differently? Suppose we could tell her: "I didn't mean what I just said.Behavior of the world. Contrary to popular belief. World 2 introduces the concept of rewinding. 3) Books .Although the text in the "clouds" of each world do not direct contribute to the main plot. I understand." and she would say: "It's okay. they serve as a metaphor for the gameplay o respective world.The art and music are designed to set the mood of eac and also complement the world's theme. and so on. has trained us to be miserl with forgiveness. Tim enters his Each room/world is a self-contained portion of the game. they serve to develop Tim's character and contribute to the overall message of the game. with its rules of causality. the male figure in each painting is n One of them has black hair. 2) Art and Music . Instead. event. Like I said ear their respective plots and themes are not linear and do not combine to f chronologically coherent storyline. By forgiving too readily. World 3 introduce phasing. while Tim has re The subject. Each world has a uniq mechanic.

) (You should stop your vessel instantly. the final level is actually t first door of that world. but look deeper and you'll find that ther more than meets the eye. They are flying towards the right. Now./No.) (You are running into danger. used by ships communicate with each other at sea: World World World World World 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: N U L X K (Negative." The finished painting of World 2 shows a black-haired man (read: not Tim lush garden with a woman drinking white wine. to achieve a goal. The painting is basically a s of a mistake in progress. the flag appears to be blowing towards the soldier's back whic implies moving forward or advancing. a flag blowing in the wind to the right implies moving backwards or retreating. is the same reason why US Army flag patches worn on the right shoulder a reversed. and you c confirm this by visiting World 1's clouds. accidentally tips over the bottle of wine.) (Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my sign (I wish to communicate with you. He reaches for his glass." Now. From a 2D. Backwards. if you will. but the Princess is in another castle. "Braid". That goal is to surmount nu goombas and obstacles to reach a castle at the end of the world. but we'll get to that later) greets you with message "I'm sorry. while Mario's flag flew towards the l There is significance to this. It's Level 1-1. not the last. Once yo arrive at that castle. the final level of the game. you have the ability to undo a mistake and re-attempt the task w knowledge you've learned. "It's a very forgivin world. According to Braid artist David Hellman.pleasant. As Tim. . as it bring destruction into the world. This is a hint that you are playing the game in reverse. The flags end of each world are international maritime signal flags. The art had to add to that sense of forgiveness and positivity. horizontal perspective. onto the significance of the individual flags themselves.) They are subtle yet assertive warnings to stop pursuing your goal. i actually the very first event chronologically. the castle's flag drops and a dinosaur (that oddl resembles a stuffed animal. In fact. the flags are flying the wrong way. you might instantly dismiss the flag and the greeter as mere homage the original Super Mario Bros. First of all.

He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion. Tim only felt relieved after the whole visit was over. Some situations require you outside of time reversal. He needed a hope of transcendence He needed. and the bread in the kitchen is always warm. Tim saw a castle where the flags flutter even when the wind has expired. to him. bickering would erupt over drops of gravy spilt onto the tablecloth. The time mechanic introduced in this world is Phase. Perh alcohol is the perfect means to achieve freedom from the shackles of tim 4. to be immune to the Princess's caring touch. all the panic of walking a social tightrope. were meaningless.And in the real world. 3. the ability to be i to the effects of time and time reversal. and talks about how Tim uses Rewind to create the perfect relationshi the reversal mechanism itself is not enough. Escaping. he felt the embarrassment of childhood fading into the past. or use objects that are. The books continue the theme o 2. The painting shows a man holding up a glass of red wind in a toast. A little bit of magic. Off in the distance. Time and Place {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- Visiting his parents' home for a holiday meal. As he distanced himself from that troubling house. steeped in contrast: he saw how he'd improved so much from those old days. Time and Mystery {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- Tim needed to be non-manipulable. there is no such thing as Rewind. Back then. Tim walked in the cool air toward the university he'd attended after moving out of his parent's home. and every . sitting back home in the present. sometimes. Tim felt as though h had regressed to those long-ago years when he lived under their roo oppressed by their insistence on upholding strange values which. But now he stepped into all the insecurities he'd felt at the university.

whispered into her receive. of awe and inspiration. or quite the opposite. So couldn't he find the Princess now. Th painting clearly illustrates the world's theme of nostalgia and revisiti one's past. chiseled lines into his face. an tone of it is quite the same as the color of the sheets it's bound in. The time mechanic functions in the same way. Only his face. World 4 is about how moving in space can make you feel like you're reliv your past. somebody is trying to leave the room. as if the child's laying on his side. tonight. should lead him to that castle: in the future: her arms enclosing him. over never quite close enough were. Two things you might have missed: 1) If you look closely. you adva time. She wa to him . the next morning.emotion invokes a memory: a time and a location. He remembers his goal an motivated to advance forward instead of going backwards to times and pla he's already been. too. a baseball cap hanging from a bedpost. impulses that drove him. Immediately Tim walked out his door. He felt something like optimism. There's a back leaning against his desk. you go back in time. 5. just by wandering from place to place and noticing how he feels? A trail of feelings. toward whatever the new day held. never quite felt time. His mind back in the p Tim realizes how much he's improved since then. The books talk about Tim visiting different locations from hi and invoking strong memories just by being there. By moving forward. 2) You can see a pair of hands hanging from the window in the back.but he held her as though she ear words that only a soul mate should . toy air flying above his bed. T face is tilted sideways. Mayb is somebody who tries to enter the room. her scent fills him with excitement. you can see a child's face peering out through t zig-zagging wooden bit of the headboard's upper frame. By moving backwards. The painting shows a man peering into his childhood room. and even a Commodore 64 next to an old monitor. creates a moment so strong he can remember it in the past. Time and Decision {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------She never understood the the intensity that.

One is sitting looking depressed. Hesitance {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- But the ring makes its presence known. He walks out the door and stays at the same time. he doesn't. rotting piers and nautical ro The resuilt is incongruous. but at the same time. Through all the nights that followed." but he didn't need to. He says somethi loud. The painting depicts a man standing in what looks like a rainy Times Squ the past. The painting shows two versions of the man at an airport. It shines out to others like beacon of warning. A devotion. to comfort her and protect her. The time mechanic in this world is the Doppelganger. I represented the th combining luxurious domestic objects (nice furniture and fabrics) w rugged outdoor objects (swampy water. Giving a final kiss. He would have said: "I have to go find the Princess. Interactions are torpedoed before Tim can open his mouth. bridging the two as one moment. but intentionally so! Hopefully players have two simultaneous reactions – "what a nice ottoman" and "what a swamp" – again reiterating the theme of "splitting". The closer Tim's ring an object is. The other is in good spirits. but we get point. it's also a huge warning sign that makes people "slow to appro This world's time mechanic functions in exactly the same way. The ring is used here as a metaphor. the slower it moves. hoisting a travel bag to his shoulder he walked out the door. distrust. A woman walking in front o happier clone has her hand on a seat near the sad guy. Tim is able t create a shadow of himself to pursue and carry out a different fate. It makes people slow to approach. Here. happily walking towards his next destination. she still loved him as though he had stayed. The in this world is a bit more difficult in conveying the theme. they both knew the time had come. this is what Braid artist David Hellman had to say: In the case of the "parallel realities" world. or "staying or going". 6. waiting for his flight. The Uncle Sam poster on the right confirms the idea that this . Suspicion. Princess be damned. Take the case of a wedding ring.Over the remnants of dinner. For the art.

. the greeter says. most customers sit back. At the end of this world. . It is snowing.he barely notices the sun. enjoying their cold drinks. doesn't really taste his coffee. The audience here is mixed. hoping to forget their toils and rest their hands. The Princess must be in another castle. but he is scrutinizing the gloss on the lips on the screen. for distraction from the boredom of their easy lives. {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- At a cafe on a bright plaza. when the cinema closes and most of the audience strolls down the plaza to the south. It took you so long to get here! But at long last. fictitious adventurers lunge implausibly across the screen. 1. Tim is here too.. People like Tim seem to live oppositely from the other residents of the city. Note that the painting matches setting of World 6. The man i wearily looking at a ring in what looks like a rubbish bin. I've never met her. measuring the angle of the plume of a distant helicopte crash. Some are patrons of the cafe. and in the teetering o the passers-by. Tide and riptide. It's clear that the ring is a burden that Tim can use to achieve goals h not otherwise be able to. in the arc of a shop-girl's hand as she displays te to an interested gentleman. But not Tim . It's exhausting to use and onl to a limited during World War II. eager for another new flavor. I can tell you that.. which happens to be a snowy New York City. He thinks he discerns a message. Tim goes north. Other seats hold fisherman and farm workers. flowing against each other. but that's all. Tim hopes to see clues. feeling the warmth of the sun. now sitting excitedly in the plush chairs.. That night at the cinema. Are you sure she exists? This is your clue that the "Princess" you've been chasing this whole tim not literally be a real princess. For him this corner affords a good view of the city.

one of the greeter dinosaur. In World 1. and the final leve the first. "Braid". There are also two stuffed animals in the princess' bedroom. but the second time it has a mousta and the letters "LHOOQ" are written under it. [http://www.H. Denmark.O. w what seemed to Tim to be a cooperative mission to help the princess esca the knight turns out to be exactly the opposite: the princess is doing everything in her power to get away from Tim. first time passing it. a princess with her wrists bound in chains. There are a couple of mysterious things to note from the last level." by Marcel Duchamp. look up. as I mentio earlier. Also. Once you get the seven one. The difference in perspective is revealed in the final level. She explodes and you can collect the eighth star.h number=37015] Thanks Neal! There is also a Mona Lisa painting hanging in the princess' art gallery. nobody knows for s what its significance is. once did a lecture at the Nordic Game Jam in Copenhagen. Th Bard! 2) ISO 6980 is a standard dealing with measurements of beta radiation (t same type of radiation produced by nuclear fission/atomic bombs). Go outside the house. time moves backwards as Tim moves forward. the first level is actually the fourth door. I'm inclined to consider thi coincidence until we can find a way to tie the game to Denmark someho The only connection I've found so far is that Jonathan Blow. You ride up the chandelier finally catch her.The text in this story illustrates how Tim's perspective of events are different from the people around him. it is and how people seem to move in the opposite direction he does.Q. although a few theories have been proposed: 1) 6980 is the postal code of Tim. There are eight stars hidden throughout the game. the switches in this level become time immune and you can get a lead on the princess by reversing time. 6980 The princess' mailbox is number "6980". and one of the "goomba". . There are also cutouts of the bunnies on her curtain.iso. and the constellation will reveal itself to Andromeda. eventually escaping in the knights arms. At this time. This is a reference to the of art "L. the crea of Braid.

his princess will no longer be in another castle. feels like an acceptable start. This i keeping with the idea that the events of Braid are circular. built out of the blocks of each level he's experienced. the creation of atomic bomb.Epilogue {ca +----------------------------------------------------------------------- He cannot say he has understood all of this.Brian Moriarty's 1986 adventure Trinity. There are a few loose threads in this final scene.. and the other too..jpg After completing the game. you may want to check out the credits sequenc can access it through the start menu. From Xbox World 360 magazine's pre Braid: "Telling the story of a man searching for a princess in a strange it tips its hat to a world of obscure sources: . an embankment a castle. it is missing the block from level: Hunt (4-4). He tests the stone's weight. The moments feel substantial in his mind. [http://braid-game. The epilogue finally reveals the main plot of the game. In the very last scene of the game. But all these moments he's contemplated something has occurred.. The credits sequence features a poem by Christina Rossetti. Maybe when he's f finished. here's some real life evidence. He understands that he does know everything and that his journey is far from over. reaching down toward the closest one. There is also a platform cloud floating above the cas At this time. Tim stands in front of castle. Here he contemplates what he's been through and what he could have done differen that he understands the inevitable outcome. But what he's got. Kneeling. like stones. runnin his hand across To build a castle of appropriate size. However. Possibly he's more confused now than ever. now. he finds he can lift it. As I mentioned earlie final castle is formed out of blocks representing all of the levels you' played plus one for the Epilogue. he will need a great many stones. and slightly cold. nobody has figured the significance for either of these th In case you still don't believe that the story of Braid is about the ato bomb. he finds it smooth. He can fit them together to create a foundation. The credits sequence is purposely outside of the game and it doesn't autoplay once you complete it." The game Trinity is about and named after the same nuclear explosion test from Braid. "Who Has See .

Panayotis K. Bard. razedinwhite. feel free to send it to me at braidstory@gmail.04 (9/5/08) . 1.Thanks to the following people and sources for all of their contributi whether it be providing insight or simply reporting a typo: lewismistreated. lufia22.Added a theory for the princess' mailbox number.First version of guide completed.Added a second theory for the princess' mailbox number. Neal.. Version History +----------------------------------------------------------------------1.03 (8/22/08) . This is another hint that the events in Braid occur in reverse.Thanks to Number None.Added David Hellman quote on World 5's art.Wind?" The following appears at the beginning of the sequence: Who has see the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads The wind is passing by. 1. . 6980.02 (8/21/08) ... . bad framerate.01 (8/20/08) .. The second part's lines are presented backwards. . Ryan K halfrobo. 1. Tim S . for creating this amazing game.Added two observations for World 4's painting. The first part is actually the secon and vice versa. Credits +----------------------------------------------------------------------. If you have a question about the plot. 1. But when the leaves hang trembling Neither I nor you: Who has seen the wind? The poem is presented out of order. Yedokai.Christina Rosetti The following appears at the end: The wind is passing thro'.00 (8/18/08) .

I'd like to see all of the different places this FAQ turns up. Braid: Plot Analysis by xg3 Version with a link to wherever you posted it.04. Please also s an email at braidstory@gmail. Last Updated 2008-09-05 View/Download Original File Hosted by GameFAQs Return to Braid (X360) FAQs & Guides .com. This may be reproduced under any circumstances for commercial reasons without adv written permission.(c) Copyright 2008 Jeff Liu +----------------------------------------------------------------------You may post excerpts of this FAQ on your forum or fansite on the condit that you link back to this location (url) at GameFAQs.

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