Braid Story Script
August 13, 2008
Written By LordBFG
So, like many games I have encountered, the in game text is difficult to read
on some TVs. I figured I would take the time to write all this out for those
who are having trouble reading it. I will put the story in the order in which
it appears in the game, for sake of not stumbling upon massive spoilers or
anything like that. All this belongs to Jonathan Blow because he made the game,
but since it is indeed an XBLA game, I guess Microsoft gets some credit as
"Chapter 2: Time and Forgiveness"
"Tim is off on a search to rescue the Princess. She has been snatched by a
horrible and evil monster. This happened because Tim made a mistake."
"Not just one. He made many mistakes during the time they spent together, all
those years ago. Memories of their relationship have become muddled, replaced
wholesale, but one remains clear: the princess turning sharply away, her braid
lashing at him with contempt."
"He knows she tried to be forgiving, but who can just shrug away a guilty lie,
a stab in the back? Such a mistake will change a relationship irreversibly,
even if we have learned from the mistake and would never repeat it. The
princess's eyes grew narrower. She became more distant."
"Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with
forgiveness. By forgiving them too readily, we can be badly hurt. But if we've
learned from a mistake and became better for it, shouldn't we be rewarded for
the learning, 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,' and she would say: 'It's okay, I understand,' and she
would not turn away, and life would really proceed as though we had never said
that thing? We could remove the damage but still be wiser for the experience."
"Tim and the Princess lounge in the castle garden, laughing together, giving
names to the colorful birds. Their mistakes are hidden from each other, tucked
away between the folds of time, safe."
"Chapter 3: Time and Mystery"
"All those years ago, Time had left the Princess behind. He had kissed her on
the neck, picked up his travel bag, and walked out the door. He regrets this,
to a degree. Now he's journeying to find her again, to show her knows how sad
it was, but also to tell her how good it was."
"For a long time, he thought they had been cultivating the perfect
relationship. He had been fiercely protective, reversing all his mistakes so
they would not touch her. Likewise, keeping a tight rein on her own mistakes,
she always pleased him."
"But to be fully couched within the comfort of a friend is a mode of existence
with severe implications. To please you perfectly, she must understand you
perfectly. Thus you cannot defy her expectations or escape her reach. Her
benevolence has circumscribed you, and your life's achievements will not reach
beyond the map she has drawn."
"Tim needed to be non-manipulable. He needed a hope of transcendence. He
needed, sometimes, to be immune to the Princess's caring touch."
"Off in the distance, Tim saw a castle where the flags flutter even when the
wind has expired, and the bread in the kitchen is always warm. A little bit of
"Chapter 4: Time and Place"
"Visiting his home for a holiday meal, Tim felt as though he had regressed to
those long-ago years when he lived under their roof, oppressed by their
insistence on upholding strange values which, to him, were meaningless. Back
then, bickering would erupt over drops of gravy spilt onto the tablecloth."
"Escaping, Tim walked in the cool air toward the university he'd attended after
moving out of his parent's home. As he distanced himself from that troubling
house, he felt the embarrassment of childhood fading into the past. But now he
stepped into all the insecurities he'd felt at the university, all the panic of
walking a social tightrope."
"Tim only felt relieved after the whole visit was over, sitting back home in
the present, steeped in contrast he saw how he'd improved so much from those
old days. This improvement, day by day, takes him ever-closer to finding the
Princess. If she exists - she must! - she will transform him, and everyone."
"He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion, and every emotion
invokes a memory: a time and location. So couldn't he find the Princess now,
tonight, just by wandering from place to place and noticing how he feels? A
trail of feelings, of awe and inspiration, should lead him to that castle in
the future her arms enclosing him, her scent fills him with excitement, creates
a moment so strong he can remember it in the past."
"Immediately Tim walked out his door, the next morning, toward whatever the new
day held. He felt something like optimism."
"Chapter 5: Time and Decision"
"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."
"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 stayed, to
comfort her and protect her, Princess be damned."
"Chapter 6: Hesitance"
"Perhaps in a perfect world, the ring would be a symbol of happiness. It's a
sign of ceaselessness devotion: even if he will never find the Princess, he
will always be trying. He still will wear the ring."
"But the thing makes its presence known. It shines out to others like a beacon
of warning. It makes people slow to approach. Suspicion, distrust. Interactions
are torpedoed before Tim can open his mouth."
"In time he learns to deal with the others carefully. He matches their hesitant
pace, tracing a soft path through their defenses. But this exhausts him, and it
only works to a limited degree. It doesn't get him what he needs."
"Tim begins to hide the ring in his pocket. But he can hardly bear it - too
long tucked away, that part of him might suffocate."
"At a cafe on a bright plaza, most customers sit back, feeling the warmth of
the sun, enjoying their cold drinks. But not Tim - he barely notices the sun,
doesn't really taste his coffee. For him this corner affords a good view of the
city, and in the teetering of the passers-by, in the arc of a shop-girl's hand
as she displays tea to an interested gentleman, Tim hopes to see clues."
"That night at the cinema, fictitious adventurers lunge implausibly across the
screen. The audience here is mixed. Some are patrons of the cafe, now sitting
excitedly in the plush chairs, eager for another new flavor, for distraction
from the boredom of their easy lives. Other seats hold fisherman and farm
workers, hoping to forget their toils and rest their hands."
"Tim is here too, but he is scrutinizing the gloss on the lips on the screen,
measuring the angle of the plume of a distant helicopter crash. He thinks he
discerns a message, when the cinema closes and most of the audience strolls
down the plaza to the south, Tim goes north."
"People like Tim seem to live oppositely from the other residents of the city.
Tide and riptide, flowing against each other."
"Tim wants, like nothing else, to find the Princess, to know her at last. For
Tim this would be momentous, sparking an intense light that embraces the world,
a light that reveals the secrets long kept from us, that illuminates - or
materializes! - a final palace where we can exist in peace."
"But how would this be perceived by the other residents of the city, in the
world that flows contrariwise? The light would be intense and warm at the
beginning, but then flicker down to nothing, taking the castle with it; it
would be like burning down the place we've always called home, where we played
so innocently as children. Destroying all hope of safety, forever."
"The boy called for the girl to follow him, and he took her hand. He would
protect her; they would make their way through this oppressive castle, fighting
off the creatures made of smoke and doubt, escaping to a life of freedom. The
boy wanted to protect the girl. He held her hand, or put his arm around her
shoulders in a walking embrace, to help her feel supported and close to him
amid the impersonal throngs of Manhattan. They turned and made their way toward
the Canal St. subway station, and he picked a path through the jostling crowd."
"He worked his ruler and his compass. He inferred. He deduced. He scrutinized
the fall of an apple, the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a thread. He was
searching for the Princess, and he would not stop until he found her, for he
was hungry. He cut rats into pieces to examine their brains, implanted tungsten
posts into the skulls of water-starved monkeys."
"He scrutinized the fall of an apple, the twisting of metal orbs hanging from a
thread. Through these clues he would find the Princess, see her face. After an
especially fervent night of tinkering, he kneeled behind a bunker in the
desert; he held a piece of welder's glass up to his eyes and waited."
"On that moment hung eternity. Time stood still. Space contracted to a
pinpoint. It was as though the earth had opened and the skies split. One felt
as though he had been privileged to witness the Birth of the World..."
"Someone near him said: 'It worked.'"
"Someone else said: 'Now we are all sons of bitches.'"
"The candy store. Everything he wanted was on the opposite side of that pane of
glass. The store was decorated in bright colors, and the scents wafting out
drove him crazy. 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. Why would she
hold him back? How might he break free of her grasp? He considered violence."
"He cannot say he has understood all of this. Possibly he's more confused now
than ever. But all these moments he's contemplated - something has occurred.
The moments feel substantial in his mind, like stones. Kneeling, reaching down
toward the closest one, running his hand across it, he finds it smooth, and
"He tests the stone's weight; he finds he can lift in, and the others too. He
can fit them together to create a foundation, an embankment, a castle."
"To build a castle of appropriate size, he will need a great many stones. But
what he's got now, feels like an acceptable start..."
I hope this will help a few people whose TVs are full of suck and such. If you
are reading this just so you don't have to pay the $15 for the game, shame on
you. You aren't getting the full story because I can't put cutscenes in this,
and you are missing out on a beautiful 2d platformer, like no other.
So right, email me with any comments, concerns, critiques, and remember, don't
use without my permission. Just an easy email to TheSnoogan(at)yahoo(dot)com
(change to the symbols) asking if you can use it on your site will do.
As of August 14, 2008, the only sites permitted to use this FAQ are:
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