Hey everyone, I am continuing my close playing of Braid. In my last blog I spoke about Worlds Three and Four. Today I will be telling you guys about the next two.
World Five titled: “5. Time and Decision” is behind the purple kitchen door on the first floor of the apartment. The cloud realm only had two books this time. They read: “She never understood the impulses that drove him, never quite felt the intensity that, over time, chiseled lines into his face. She never quite felt close enough to him – but he held her as though she were, whispered into her ear words that only a soul mate should receive.” and “Over the remnants of dinner, they both knew the time had come. He would have said: “I have to go find the Princess,” but he didn’t need to. Giving a final kiss, hoisting a travel bag to his shoulder, he walked out the door. Through all the nights that followed she still loved him as though he had stayed, to comfort her and protect her, Princess be damned.” The lack of stating who this girl is makes these books very confusing. From these books, I get the impression that “Tim” did not believe this was the right girl for him and left off to find her. To the right were seven doors.
World Five’s mechanic was difficult to understand as well. The objective was to make a double using time alteration. An example: I would walk right, stop, and reverse time causing my sprite to be pulled backwards. Once I stopped and entered real time, a mirror shadow of myself enacted my exact previous movements and halted when I earlier reversed time. So once I stopped reversing time a shadow would perform every action I previously accomplished. The shadow would only last about 10 to 15 seconds. The shadow was very difficult to understand at the beginning, but I gained skill after practice. The different mechanics particular to each world acts as the progressing difficulty within the game. The shadow was used for almost every obstacle. In all, the shadow was a pretty complex yet very cool tool.
A similarity with World Three was World Five had the same boss. I once again had to kill it with chandeliers but with the assistance of my shadow. A big difference was the music. It was not as optimistic or light as the other worlds. In the first levels it had a sense of eeriness and dark tone. The set appeared to be a broken wooden library, with books, desks, and rugs scattered about. The background was a light green comprised of faint trees and fallen blocks or houses
At the end of World Five was again the dinosaur. The music was very dark and the colorful castle almost toppling. The dinosaur said: “Hi, ummm… I’m lost. How are you?” World Five appeared to be once a pleasant and colorful place but was shown as a realm of confusion and disorganization
Upon returning to the house I arranged all twelve puzzle pieces. The resulting picture looked to be a blonde haired boy sitting in an airport peering, disappointedly, into an empty cup. Behind him was the same boy, but blurred and following a cropped out young girl. I believe this could be a correlation with the two books. Possibly the story goes as: Tim leaves one girl that he believes is not his true love in search of another. And the result as he peers into reality is that there is no one else. He left his shadow to find a new partner.
Behind the dining room was the last world before the attic. First again, the cloud realm: Four books described how Tim wears a ring during his search for the Princess. It says: “It’s a sign of ceaseless devotion: even if he will never find the Princess, he will always be trying. He still will wear the ring.” It continues to describe how its presence slows others approach and that Tim cannot bear to not wear it. From this I speculate a theory that he lost a previous wife. Maybe she passed away and as a sign of his previous love he still wears it. I still cannot provide a strong story from all the books I have encountered because there to scattered to make sense. Strangely, World Six is the only to not have the word “Time” in the title; instead it is: “6. Hesitance”.
World Six has seven levels and once again twelve puzzle pieces. The apparatus was a ring. As described in the books it is seen as an inhibitor, it slows everything down. When placed on the ground it caused slow motion, affecting the most near objects. This was my favorite of all the level mechanics. It was intriguing required to find the exact spot for placement to affect an object.
The foreground seemed classier. The architecture was white stone on the verge of overbearing. The foreground was a pristine white with sprouting light green grass. The background was very different. Beyond a tall gate looked to be the glum home world I was first thrown into.
At the end of the last level, the dinosaur came out of a white castle saying that it has taken me a while to get there. He goes on to say he’s never met her and asks:” Are you sure she exists?” I head back to the house, solve the puzzle on the wall, and the result is a picture of a somber young man standing in an alley gazing at a glowing ring in the trash. The night sky is filled with an overbearing woman grinning down at the man. It is a powerfully sad image. Once again all of the stories are so far too disconnected for me to give a firm saying of the plot that is unveiling. So, I speculate Tim is being worn down by the burdening thoughts of a past women and their ring. Maybe the ring represents the sorrow and love he cannot let go of.