The Transylvanians Were Right

"All those years ago, Tim 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 he knows how sad it was, but also to tell her how good it was."

After completing Braid, I have found incontrovertible proof that with a bit of a mind flip you're in for a time slip.

And nothing can ever be the same.

So Braid is a game that works on many levels. Last night as I was poking at the game's official web page, I read — right there on the home page — a review that says something along the lines of "The end level is fucking ingenious."

And last night I thought, "Kids might go to that page. Braid is not rated M for Mature. Is that kind of language really necessary?"

Now I realize that yes, yes it is.

"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."

The final level of Braid is one of those tear-down-all-your-preconceptions, turn the room upside-down, Verbal-is-Keyser Söze kind of things.

And it's so subtle, it's perfectly normal for you to not realize it right away. Then you have a Detective Kujan-drops-the-coffee-cup moment and the world is suddenly a very different place.

Now? Now I don't think I'll ever be quite as innocent as I've been thus far in my storied career playing through games like Super Mario Twins. Braid has changed me, subtly, slightly, and forever.

"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."

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