Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blips: Peeling Back the Layers

Source: The Psychosis of Braid
Author: Leda Clark
Site: I am a Very Awkward Girl in Nerdy Activities

As someone who only played Braid for the first time some 6 months ago, I'm still eager to hear new opinions on the game. So I was more than pleased to see Leda Clark's analysis of the final level of the game, pointing out the parallels between recurring creatures in the game and objects present in the princess' home. It never occurred to me to literally look so closely at the details there, but the reuse of those objects as enemies and obstacles throughout the game is a somewhat profound realization. The meowing rabbit enemies aren't the totally random element that they seem, but they appear as dangling objects in a mobile in the princess' room. The consistent use of this imagery throughout the game speaks to the protagonist Tim's obsession with the princess and how his hurt at being unable to attain her affection has distorted his understanding of the situation and turned everything around the princess into monsters that would deny him his perfect maiden.

I've written before about how much I admire Braid's density, and now, once again, this has been proven further. It seems like any small aspect of the game could be extrapolated in its own full-fledged analysis without feeling like you're reaching for meaning. I'd love to read an essay on the paintings that are composed when all of the puzzle pieces in a level have been fit together. Since they present themselves as painterly compositions, I feel like they're begging to be put under the interpretive microscope. Why does the male figure not seem to be the same in every image? Who is the figure in the pictures and how does each one tie into the special power of the level with which it's associated? What is the significance of the paintings being comprised of jigsaw pieces? So many questions. Maybe I'll go back and examine this aspect of the game someday, but until then, I await The Witness with baited breath.

:image via Leda Clark's blog:

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