*******************************************************************************


the story of
BRAID




Version: 1.05 (6/10/12)
Author: XG3
Contact: braidstory@gmail.com

If you enjoy this guide or find it useful, please consider donating any 
amount you find appropriate via this PayPal link:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=FQHT262JK8D92



"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that 
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



                                     .....



*******************************************************************************
INTRODUCTION                                                          {castle1}
*******************************************************************************

Forward
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

This is my second story FAQ, my first being the plot summary found in the 
Bioshock section of GameFAQs. If you enjoy this one, please check out my other 
one as I find that the storytelling devices of these two games are quite 
similar in some respects.

As you're reading the story, you'll probably wonder "Which parts are from the
actual game and which parts aren't?" A lot of the text is from the game, I
simply rearranged it and added some parts so that it flows as a coherent story.
After reading it, you can compare it to the actual transcript of the game,
which you can find here: [http://bit.ly/Ks72mn]


Backward
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Before we begin unweaving the mystery of Braid, let's get a few things out of 
the way. 

This will be disappointing to some, but the fact is that there is not a linear, 
logical story to be found in Braid, at least not to the degree that most people 
expect. The books found in the "clouds" serve primarily to convey the specific 
theme of that specific world rather than form any sort of coherent, 
chronological series of events detailing someone's life. This isn't to say that 
the worlds and the main storyline have nothing to do with each other, but 
rather that the themes are to be looked at as pieces in a scrapbook. 
Juxtaposed, they combine together to paint a picture.

90% of the actual storyline of Braid takes place in the Epilogue.

If you're like most players, you likely tried to read some of the books but 
ended up skipping them completely as you progressed further into the game. Not 
until completing the mind-blowing last level, "Braid", did you think to 
yourself that there was more to this game than meets the eye. So what exactly 
is this game about?


Don't Look Back in Anger
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Braid is about a bomb.

Well, it's also about a princess. There are actually two levels of story in 
this game. One is for the casual observer, the kind of guy who simply needs an 
excuse to go from one level to the next. For this person, Braid is about a guy 
chasing a princess from castle to castle, her always being in another one. The 
books vaguely reinforce this idea, and for the casual observer this explanation 
will suffice.

I'm going to assume you do not fit this description because you are reading 
this FAQ.

Braid is about chasing an evasive goal and the consequences suffered both 
chasing it and ultimately reaching it. It's about learning from your 
experiences and mistakes chasing that goal. And yes, it is also about a bomb.

Let's rewind.



                                     .....



*******************************************************************************
THE STORY OF BRAID                                                    {castle2}
*******************************************************************************

1945, Manhattan

Tim walked anonymously across a bridge, stopping occasionally to admire the 
magnificent sunset gracing the heavens this afternoon. The sun itself glowed 
intensely, low in the New York skyline. As Tim approached his house, dusk 
turned to night, and he looked up to stare at the cluster of stars above. It 
had always looked like it wanted to form a picture of some sort, but Tim had 
never been able to connect the dots.

As a child, Tim and his mother would pass in front of a 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.

They had been here before on their daily walks. She didn't mind his screams and 
his shrieks, or the way he yanked painfully on her braid to make her stop. He 
was too little to know better.

She picked him up and hugged him: "No, baby," she said. He was shaking. She 
followed his gaze toward the treats sitting on pillows behind the glass: the 
chocolate bar and the magnetic monopole, the It-From-Bit and the Ethical 
Calculus; and so many other things, deeper inside. "Maybe when you're older, 
baby," she whispered, setting him back on his feet and leading him home, "Maybe 
when you're older."

Every day thereafter, as before, she always walked him on a route that passed 
in front of the candy store.

As a result, Tim grew to become an obsessive man. His lonely house reflected 
this well. Among the items he kept in his home were a guitar, a model ship, a 
kite, and nearly all of his childhood belongings.

Tim was a man of diverse interests, a tinkerer. He often spent his time 
daydreaming, bent over a drafting table or stretched out on the sofa, reliving 
old memories and dreaming up new ones. He would go home after work in the 
evening and completely submerge himself in his idiosyncratic thoughts, losing 
track of the hours as they ticked towards morning.

Tim was a scientist by profession, an occupation that served his personality
well. He was one of the key scientists on the Manhattan Project, a mission to
develop the world's first nuclear weapon. It was World War II, after all, and
the Americans were anxious to establish nuclear capability before the Germans.
Tim considered the so-called "atomic bomb" his Princess - his obsession and the
goal which he dedicated his life to achieving.

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.

But the bomb did not want to be made. It knew that its creation would change 
the world irrevocably. The world doesn't have a rewind button, after all, and 
to bring a force of this magnitude and power into being would be a mistake. Tim 
couldn't see this. Ghostly, the Princess stood in front of him and looked into 
his eyes. "I am here," she said. "I am here. I want to touch you." She pleaded: 
"Look at me!" But he would not see her; he only knew how to look at the 
outsides of things.

But to be sure, Tim did encounter several warnings. Red flags, you could say. 
None of which he took heed. "Listen to me," pleaded one. "Stop," begged 
another. "Stop instantly." "You are running into danger!" warned the third. The 
final cried out, "No!"

The Princess eluded him constantly. Always in another castle. If she exists - 
she must! - she would transform him, and everyone.

Tim wanted, like nothing else, to find the Princess, to know her at last. For 
Tim this would be momentous, sparking an intense light that would embrace the 
world, a light that would reveal the secrets long kept from us, that 
illuminates - or materializes! - a final palace where we could 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.

Every time he thought he was on the brink of capture, the Princess would do 
everything she could to stop him, burn him, kill him. Her knight in shining 
armor would be there, ready to rescue the Princess from her incessant stalker. 
Tim wouldn't give up, though. He never saw that side of the Princess. From his
perspective, she needed Tim to save her.

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.

On July 16, 1945, after an especially fervent night of tinkering, Tim found 
himself kneeled behind a bunker in the New Mexico desert. He held a piece of 
welder's glass up to his eyes and waited, staring intently at the Trinity 
detonation site located 10 miles away.

This time he was ready. The fulfillment of his obsession was imminent. The 
stars had aligned for Tim, and he knew that time was finally on his side. Tim 
quickly cornered the Princess. She responded by exploding in a violent, white 
burst of rage.

She stood tall and majestic. She radiated fury. She shouted: "Who has disturbed 
me?" But then, anger expelled, she felt the sadness beneath; she let her breath 
fall softly, like a sigh, like ashes floating gently on the wind.

She couldn't understand why he chose to flirt so closely with the death of the 
world.

"On that moment hung eternity," wrote journalist William Laurence, "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..."

Nearby, director Oppenheimer said: "It worked."

Director Bainbridge said: "Now we are all sons of bitches."

One evening back in New York, Tim looked up towards the sky, and for the first 
time saw the clear figure in the stars. It was the constellation Andromeda - 
"The Chained Maiden". A reminder that he had finally captured his Princess, 
once and for all.

To this day, Tim continues his ritual of dreaming around his house, floating in 
the clouds, reconstructing memories of his past, deconstructing experiences 
that may or may not have already occured. His journey is an inward one, and he 
hopes to learn from his mistakes in his next adventure.

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 
slightly cold.

He tests the stone's weight; he finds he can lift it, 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.



                                     .....



*******************************************************************************
ANALYSIS                                                              {castle3}
*******************************************************************************

Now that you know the story of Braid, let's take a more in-depth look at the 
game and its themes.

Tim's name is a play on the word "Time".

The game begins with Tim's silhouette on a bridge. The point of the bridge 
scene is to get Tim to move from left to right, immediately (re)introducing the 
most basic concept of a 2D platformer to the player. Contrary to popular 
belief, the city in the title screen of Braid is not actually burning, because 
of a bomb or otherwise. It is merely an intense, beautiful sunset. As you 
approach Tim's house, it turns to nighttime, and you can see that the buildings 
in the background are not burning from here and from the attic later on. You 
can also spot the Twin Towers from the attic, reinforcing the idea that the 
city on the title screen is New York.

We see an incomplete constellation here and though we know it will play an 
important part in the story, we have no idea at this point what it is. The 
constellation adds to the mystery and helps set the mood. Tim enters his house.

Each room/world is a self-contained portion of the game. Like I said earlier, 
their respective plots and themes are not linear and do not combine to form any 
chronologically coherent storyline. Instead, they serve to develop Tim's 
character and contribute to the overall message of the game. There are four 
aspects of each world that combine to illustrate the the theme of that world:

1) Time Gameplay Mechanic - Behavior of the world. Each world has a unique time 
mechanic. World 2 introduces the concept of rewinding. World 3 introduces 
phasing, and so on.

2) Art and Music - The art and music are designed to set the mood of each world 
and also complement the world's theme. As you progress, you may notice that the 
worlds get darker.

3) Books - Although the text in the "clouds" of each world do not directly 
contribute to the main plot, they serve as a metaphor for the gameplay of their 
respective world.

4) Completed puzzle image - Viewing the theme of the world from a different 
angle. Contrary to popular belief, the male figure in each painting is not Tim. 
One of them has black hair, and some of them are blond, while Tim has red hair. 
The subject, event, and setting of each painting are not to be taken literally. 
The paintings do not correspond to the events detailed in the books, either.



2. Time and Forgiveness                                              {castle32}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly
     with forgiveness. By forgiving too readily, we can be badly hurt.
     But if we've learned from a mistake and become 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 ever said that thing? We could remove the
     damage but still be wiser for the experience.

As you might guess, the theme of World 2 is "Learning from Your Mistakes." The 
time mechanic introduced in this world is the most basic one: Rewind, the 
ability to undo a mistake and try again without penalty. It is the optimistic 
start of the game and so the colors are bright and vivid, the music is 
pleasant. According to Braid artist David Hellman, "It's a very forgiving 
world. The art had to add to that sense of forgiveness and positivity."

The finished painting of World 2 shows a black-haired man (read: not Tim) in a 
lush garden with a woman drinking white wine. He reaches for his glass, but 
accidentally tips over the bottle of wine. The painting is basically a snapshot 
of a mistake in progress.

As Tim, you have the ability to undo a mistake and re-attempt the task with the 
knowledge you've learned, to achieve a goal. That goal is to surmount numerous 
goombas and obstacles to reach a castle at the end of the world. Once you 
arrive at that castle, the castle's flag drops and a dinosaur (that oddly 
resembles a stuffed animal, but we'll get to that later) greets you with the 
message "I'm sorry, but the Princess is in another castle."

Now, you might instantly dismiss the flag and the greeter as mere homages to 
the original Super Mario Bros, but look deeper and you'll find that there is 
more than meets the eye.

First of all, the flags are flying the wrong way.

They are flying towards the right, while Mario's flag flew towards the left. 
There is significance to this. From a 2D, horizontal perspective, a flag 
blowing in the wind to the right implies moving backwards or retreating. This 
is the same reason why US Army flag patches worn on the right shoulder are 
reversed; the flag appears to be blowing towards the soldier's back which 
implies moving forward or advancing.

This is a hint that you are playing the game in reverse.

Backwards, if you will. In fact, the final level of the game, "Braid", is 
actually the very first event chronologically. It's Level 1-1, and you can 
confirm this by visiting World 1's clouds; the final level is actually the 
first door of that world, not the last.

Now, onto the significance of the individual flags themselves. The flags at the 
end of each world are international maritime signal flags, used by ships to 
communicate with each other at sea:

     World 2: N (Negative./No.)
     World 3: U (You are running into danger.)
     World 4: L (You should stop your vessel instantly.)
     World 5: X (Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.)
     World 6: K (I wish to communicate with you.)

They are subtle yet assertive warnings to stop pursuing your goal, as it will 
bring destruction into the world.

And in the real world, there is no such thing as Rewind.



3. Time and Mystery                                                  {castle33}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     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 magic.

The time mechanic introduced in this world is Phase, the ability to be immune 
to the effects of time and time reversal. The books continue the theme of World 
2, and talks about how Tim uses Rewind to create the perfect relationship. But 
the reversal mechanism itself is not enough. Some situations require you to be 
outside of time reversal, or use objects that are.

The painting shows a man holding up a glass of red wind in a toast. Perhaps 
alcohol is the perfect means to achieve freedom from the shackles of time.



4. Time and Place                                                    {castle34}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     Visiting his parents' 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.

     He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion, and every
     emotion invokes a memory: a time and a 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.

World 4 is about how moving in space can make you feel like you're reliving 
your past. The books talk about Tim visiting different locations from his past 
and invoking strong memories just by being there. His mind back in the present, 
Tim realizes how much he's improved since then. He remembers his goal and is 
motivated to advance forward instead of going backwards to times and places 
he's already been.

The time mechanic functions in the same way. By moving forward, you advance in 
time. By moving backwards, you go back in time.

The painting shows a man peering into his childhood room. There's a backpack 
leaning against his desk, a baseball cap hanging from a bedpost, toy airplanes 
flying above his bed, and even a Commodore 64 next to an old monitor. The 
painting clearly illustrates the world's theme of nostalgia and revisiting 
one's past.

Two things you might have missed:

1) If you look closely, you can see a child's face peering out through the
zig-zagging wooden bit of the headboard's upper frame. Only his face, and the
tone of it is quite the same as the color of the sheets it's bound in. The
face is tilted sideways, too, as if the child's laying on his side.

2) You can see a pair of hands hanging from the window in the back. Maybe it
is somebody who tries to enter the room, or quite the opposite, somebody who
is trying to leave the room.



5. Time and Decision                                                 {castle35}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     She never understood the impulses that drove him, never quite felt
     the intensity that, over time, chiseled lines into his face. She was
     never quite 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 had stayed, to comfort her and protect her, Princess be damned.

The time mechanic in this world is the Doppelganger. Here, Tim is able to 
create a shadow of himself to pursue and carry out a different fate. The text 
in this world is a bit more difficult in conveying the theme, but we get the 
point. He walks out the door and stays at the same time. He says something out 
loud, but at the same time, he doesn't.

For the art, this is what Braid artist David Hellman had to say:

     In the case of the "parallel realities" world, I represented the theme by
     combining luxurious domestic objects (nice furniture and fabrics) with
     rugged outdoor objects (swampy water, rotting piers and nautical rope).
     The resuilt is incongruous, but intentionally so! Hopefully players will
     have two simultaneous reactions  "what a nice ottoman" and "what a yucky
     swamp"  again reiterating the theme of "splitting", or "staying or
     going".

The painting shows two versions of the man at an airport. One is sitting down, 
looking depressed, waiting for his flight. The other is in good spirits, 
happily walking towards his next destination. A woman walking in front of the 
happier clone has her hand on a seat near the sad guy, bridging the two scenes 
as one moment.



6. Hesitance                                                         {castle36}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     But the ring 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.

The ring is used here as a metaphor. Take the case of a wedding ring. A sign of 
devotion, it's also a huge warning sign that makes people "slow to approach". 
This world's time mechanic functions in exactly the same way. The closer to 
Tim's ring an object is, the slower it moves.

The painting depicts a man standing in what looks like a rainy Times Square in 
the past. The Uncle Sam poster on the right confirms the idea that this takes 
place during World War II. It is snowing. Note that the painting matches the 
setting of World 6, which happens to be a snowy New York City. The man is 
wearily looking at a ring in what looks like a rubbish bin.

It's clear that the ring is a burden that Tim can use to achieve goals he might 
not otherwise be able to, but that's all. It's exhausting to use and only works 
to a limited degree.

At the end of this world, the greeter says,

     It took you so long to get here!
     But at long last, I can tell you that...
     The Princess must be in another castle.
     I've never met her...
     Are you sure she exists?

This is your clue that the "Princess" you've been chasing this whole time might 
not literally be a real princess.



1.                                                                   {castle31}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     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.

The text in this story illustrates how Tim's perspective of events are 
different from the people around him, and how people seem to move in the 
opposite direction he does.

In World 1, time moves backwards as Tim moves forward. Also, as I mentioned 
earlier, the first level is actually the fourth door, and the final level is 
the first.

The difference in perspective is revealed in the final level, "Braid", when 
what seemed to Tim to be a cooperative mission to help the princess escape from 
the knight turns out to be exactly the opposite: the princess is doing 
everything in her power to get away from Tim, eventually escaping in the 
knights arms.

There are eight stars hidden throughout the game. Once you get the seventh 
one, the switches in this level become time immune and you can 
get a lead on the princess by reversing time. You ride up the chandelier and 
finally catch her. She explodes and you can collect the eighth star. Go back 
outside the house, look up, and the constellation will reveal itself to be 
Andromeda, a princess with her wrists bound in chains.

There are a couple of mysterious things to note from the last level.

The princess' mailbox is number "6980". This is a reference to address
mentioned in the movie Mulholland Dr. (ie. 6980 Mulholland Drive). The movie
is Jonathan Blow's favorite film [http://bit.ly/cWkncF] and one of the biggest
influences that inspired the game. From an interview:

     AC: Have there been films that have inspired your games?

     JB: My last game Braid definitely had a few films that inspired it,
         although not in ways that are directly apparent. The biggest
         influence was David Lynch's film Mulholland Drive. It's hard to
         describe what the influence was, but it has something to do with the
         intricate structure of the world presented in Mulholland Drive. I
         explained this much better to someone recently.

     - Austin Chronicle interview [http://bit.ly/KJcrvz]

There is also a Mona Lisa painting hanging in the princess' art gallery. The
first time passing it, it is normal, but the second time it has a moustache
and the letters "LHOOQ" are written under it. This is a reference to the work
of art "L.H.O.O.Q." by Marcel Duchamp.

There are also two stuffed animals in the princess' bedroom, one of the castle 
greeter dinosaur, and one of the "goomba". There are also cutouts of the mimic 
bunnies on her curtain.



Epilogue                                                             {castle3E}
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

     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 slightly cold.

     He tests the stone's weight; he finds he can lift it, 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.

The epilogue finally reveals the main plot of the game, the creation of the 
atomic bomb. In the very last scene of the game, Tim stands in front of a large
castle, built out of the blocks of each level he's experienced. Here he 
contemplates what he's been through and what he could have done differently now
that he understands the inevitable outcome. He understands that he does not 
know everything and that his journey is far from over. Maybe when he's finally 
finished, his princess will no longer be in another castle.

There are a few things of note in this final scene. As I mentioned earlier, the
final castle is formed out of blocks representing all of the levels you've 
played plus one for the Epilogue. However, it is missing the block from one
level: Hunt (4-4). Apparently this was a bug in the original Xbox 360 version
of the game and was later fixed in the PC/Mac version.

There is also a platform cloud floating above the castle in. While there has
been a lot of speculation about what exactly the cloud's purpose is, Jonathan
Blow provided a definitive answer during an interview:

     "There are Braid conspiracy theorists out on the internet who swear that
     this cloud is for something, and the reason that they think that - and
     there's a very good reason to think that - is that pretty much everything
     else in the game has a reason.

     "The reason why this cloud is here is not very verbalisable to me. It's
     something about victory, it's something about having a beautiful vantage
     point that I can just stand on, and feel successful about. It just felt
     right that my castle not only encompasses some blocks that were made, but
     also some elements that were previously antagonistic to me.

     "I just wanted to be in a position where I could look down on the text. I
     wanted to be high up looking down. Just when I build a castle like this,
     or added a rampart, it just didn't feel the same. So again, it's a pattern
     break, it's like everything in the game means something except for this.

     "I guess I've never answered that officially, but there is no gameplay
     purpose to this cloud."

     - Jonathan Blow, Digital Spy interview [http://bit.ly/czAqvQ]

In case you still don't believe that the story of Braid is about the atomic 
bomb, here's some real life evidence. From Xbox World 360 magazine's preview of
Braid: "Telling the story of a man searching for a princess in a strange world,
it tips its hat to a world of obscure sources: ...Brian Moriarty's 1986 text 
adventure Trinity..." The game Trinity is about and named after the same 
nuclear explosion test from Braid.
[http://braid-game.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/xboxworld_3_4.jpg]

After completing the game, you may want to check out the credits sequence. You 
can access it through the start menu. The credits sequence is purposely kept 
outside of the game and it doesn't autoplay once you complete it. This is in 
keeping with the idea that the events of Braid are circular.

The credits sequence features a poem by Christina Rossetti, "Who Has Seen the 
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.
      - Christina Rosetti

The following appears at the end:

     The wind is passing thro'.
     But when the leaves hang trembling
     Neither I nor you:
     Who has seen the wind?

The poem is presented out of order. The first part is actually the second verse 
and vice versa. The second part's lines are presented backwards. This is yet 
another hint that the events in Braid occur in reverse.



                                     .....



Questions?
----------
If you have a question about the plot, feel free to send it to me at 
braidstory@gmail.com


Donations
----------
If you enjoyed this guide or found it useful, please consider donating any 
amount you find appropriate via this PayPal link:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=FQHT262JK8D92

Thank you so much for reading!



Version History
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
1.05 (6/10/12) - Found some time to update the guide (after four years!) for 
     the new new wave of people experiencing the game for the first time due to
     Humble Bundle V! Added explanations for the number "6980" on the princess'
     mailbox (thanks to Graeme H for pointing this out), the missing castle
     block in the epilogue for the Xbox 360 version, and the solitary cloud
     floating above the castle in the epilogue. These mysteries are now solved.
     Added an answer to the question "Which parts [of the story] are from the
     actual game and which parts aren't?" to the introduction.
1.04 (9/5/08) - Added two observations for World 4's painting.
1.03 (8/22/08) - Added David Hellman quote on World 5's art.
1.02 (8/21/08) - Added a second theory for the princess' mailbox number, 6980.
1.01 (8/20/08) - Added a theory for the princess' mailbox number, 6980.
1.00 (8/18/08) - First version of guide completed.


Credits
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
- Thanks to Number None, Inc. for creating this amazing game.
- Thanks to the following people and sources for all of their contributions,
  whether it be providing insight or simply reporting a typo:
  lewismistreated, razedinwhite, Yedokai, bad framerate, lufia22, Ryan King, 
  halfrobo, Bard, Neal, Panayotis K, Tim S, Graeme Haugen


(c) Copyright 2008, 2012 Jeff Liu
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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