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  3. The Game's "Story" is in the Glyphs/Murals

User Info: fayenatic

fayenatic
8 years ago#1

maybe it's already been discussed in another thread, or maybe this is already obvious to some players, but i have seen some players on this forum make comments such as "what story?" or "a game like this doesnt need a story" etc., so i'd like to write this out so maybe we can piece the story together.

after a couple playthroughs, i finally eventually started to understand what the story is. it is all drawn on the murals when you complete each level.  the story tells of what these red clothes are, where it came from, and what happened to it.

in the beginning, we see beautiful hills and fields of plantlife and trees, along with birds in the sky. a peaceful harmonious scene. then we see several humans in grey robes appear.

the grey robes discover a magical resource/power from the plants, which they extract to make these red clothes that contain the magical power. they use this red cloth to provide power/energy their cities and buildings. eventually, cities were built in the place where mother nature used to live, trees disappeared and buildings were constructed.

eventually, the civilization started running out of the cloth/magical resource, and their cities lost power. this caused the grey robes to become greedy with their cloth and started fighting with each other over it. this caused a great war, as evidenced by two opposing sides of grey robed people, armed with their guardians built to seize each others clothes/resources and lock them up. with all the clothes locked up, these man-made guardians eventually started destroying the civilization, and everyone disappeared, life reached a stand-still. desert sands blew over the ruins and drowned entire cities in sand.

the "stars" in the sky look like symbols that came from the "humans". i guess those stars are the remains of the humans who once lived in this world. they see their ruined earth, and join powers to put all their hope into the reincarnation of one person, who arrives in the form of a shooting star and turns out to be you, the traveler in the red robe.  this traveler's goal is to learn what about what happened through the clues left by the ancestors many years ago, restore as much of magical world by freeing the red clothes, and helping other travelers on their journey so they can realize the same thing.

User Info: Aladrin

Aladrin
8 years ago#2
I got most of that from the glyphs, but not all of it. I've only played it through a few times, though. Need to pay better attention to the glyphs next time.

I have to say, backstory is one of my favorite plot devices lately. It allows the player to soak in as much or little as they want and get on with the gameplay when they're ready.

User Info: obliviondoll

obliviondoll
8 years ago#3
If you look through the different side rooms in the "hub" area, you can check out all the glyphs in sequence (it also shows where you're missing some if you haven't got the "History" trophy yet).

That helps make sense of it all.
"I want my meals to think for myself"

User Info: fayenatic

fayenatic
8 years ago#4

Found this in another thread, very similar story interpretation with a few more details:

Trololala posted...
Lengthy, but my interpretation after analyzing the cutscenes through my 7 or so playthroughs:

- The mountain represents god or mother nature, and it gave birth to all life which first originated in the forms of living stars that dwelled in the sky.

- Over time, the stars landed on the earth below - taking the forms of plants, animals and the clothian people.

- The mountain bestowed the clothian people with a natural, sentient resource - the red cloth creatures. They used them to empower and build their cities - and for a time, all was good, respected and equal.

- However, as time passed - the clothians became became greedy, destroying environments and driving all other forms of plants and animals into extinction so that they could expand their cities. They even went as far to encage, enslave and massacre the sentient red cloth creatures in order to do so.

- Eventually, abused their natural resources to such an extent that they could no longer sustain all of their cities or their luxurious lifes. So, they then turned on each other, waging wars in a desperate attempt to claim the last of the world's remaining resources.

- During the war, they created the stone serpents, which symbolize the dangers of technology. They used these monsters to destroy each others' cities and to "steal" each other's remaining natural resources.

- But the serpents eventually turned against their own creators, devouring them for their life sources (the scarves,) as well as any remaining life or red cloth creatures. The clothians were driven to extinction. In return, the serpents ravaged everything and many of them broke down out of "starvation."

- With no more trees or plant life to enrich the earth, the world became a vast, lifeless desert.

- Despite their sins, the mountain "forgave" the clothians and returned their souls to the skies - and once again, they became living stars.

- However, there was a catch. The mountain forced the souls of the clothians to reincarnate into red clothian creatures (the very things that they exploited,) as a form of punishment. In order to return back to the stars (or to seek enlightenment as a white-clothed being,) all of them would have to undergo a great, personal journey. One that would require them to free the very remaining red-clothed creatures that they had imprisoned, to befriend the members of the tribes that had once waged war upon each other, and to trudge the once beautiful world that they had brought to ruin. They would continue this cycle over and over again, forever reincarnating themselves until they learned their mistakes, or until the world was restored to a point where life could begin anew.

User Info: elrapido

elrapido
8 years ago#5
Thanks for all those explanations, symbolic understanding isn't my strong suit...

Birds....of course....I had no idea....
We aren't people, we're text.

User Info: AmanoJ

AmanoJ
8 years ago#6
I agree with almost all of those interpretations, but I saw a minor difference (whether it's right or wrong, I have no idea).

In short, I saw it sort of like (mostly the same)... the mountain was the origin of this natural resource. The glyphs or whatever you want to call it. The resource was sort of the beginning and the end, it was everything. The mountain was sort of the ultimate recycle station and processing plant for this resource. It was the essence of the planet, I guess.

Over time, the resource sort of came together to form all these life forms and things. Plants, animals... and eventually a sentient race.
The sentient race figured out how to use this resource, exploit it. First to make their life better, then to build buildings, and eventually to power their society. The society grew and grew, consuming ever more of this resource, chewing apart the rest of the world and creatures in the meanwhile. Eventually there were too many of these beings and too much demand for the resource, and the wars over it started.

The beings created war machines to detect and steal any and all of this resource detected. After a while there was no more of it, and the machines turned on the beings, who were also ultimately made up of the same stuff. So, like the others said, they destroyed themselves.

Personally, I believe that enough time has passed for another sentient being to come into existence, which is the thing you play as. You, and the other people you meet. And it seems to me that the point of the game is companionship... you journey together towards the only thing in the world that seems to make sense: the mountain... and along the way, you learn where the previous sentient beings went wrong and it's meant to shed light on the pitfalls of their civilization. Where they went wrong and where you could go right. At the same time, you're to recognize the value of companionship so that you see that it's more about unity than anything else, and while you had nothing else in this dangerous journey, you had each other and you made it to the end, overcoming each obstacle.
Lays the foundation for a new civilization where people work together and respect the resource they were given, as well as the rest of the planet and the creatures on it.
Clever got me this far, then tricky got me in.

User Info: AmanoJ

AmanoJ
8 years ago#7
The other idea I really like is that the mountain is reclaiming all of the resource, the glyphs. You're given life/come into being simply to carry one glyph (the one you have on you) back to the source, and you collect others (on your scarf) and free more along the way... like the mountain is readying to release life unto the world again.

That story plays out nearly the same, with the mountain erupting and releasing all the glyphs/resource, then all of them taking shape into different lifeforms. Same stuff happens, everything breaks down, world goes into big reset mode.

It's definitely an interesting story, and it's really awesome no matter how you read it. The entire nature of it is up for debate, but those paintings and things definitely set up something simple but neat. I like how you can read as little or as much into it as you want.

One thing I will say, though, is that I personally don't agree that the shooting star at the end is the same as the person you become on a new journey. I've watched it over and over now and I really think that the star disappears over the horizon at the end to show that it keeps going, and when you start a new game, you start as a totally new 'person', with a new journey ahead.
I don't feel that it's the whole caught in a loop thing that some tend to think. I think it's just set up like that to illustrate how the process is ongoing, rather than explicitly saying that you are being reincarnated.
Clever got me this far, then tricky got me in.

User Info: fayenatic

fayenatic
8 years ago#8

i agree with your points! i forgot to mention it in my OP. i believe the mountain is the origin of the magical resource. the murals show that the mountain created all the stars/glyphs in the sky. i believe these are spirits of the past lives. when you finish the game, you become a star and you return back to the desert where u started. some people think u are reincarnated into a new traveler, but i think you actually became the first symbol (first scarf piece) that the next traveler finds.

the reason i believe this is because, when you are in the desert level, you also see shooting stars come from the mountain, and one actually lands near you. its a symbol that makes your scarf longer. which is why i think when u beat the game, you became a symbol as well. the same one as the first symbol the next traveler will encounter in the game.

User Info: AmanoJ

AmanoJ
8 years ago#9
fayenatic posted...
i agree with your points! i forgot to mention it in my OP. i believe the mountain is the origin of the magical resource. the murals show that the mountain created all the stars/glyphs in the sky. i believe these are spirits of the past lives. when you finish the game, you become a star and you return back to the desert where u started. some people think u are reincarnated into a new traveler, but i think you actually became the first symbol (first scarf piece) that the next traveler finds.the reason i believe this is because, when you are in the desert level, you also see shooting stars come from the mountain, and one actually lands near you. its a symbol that makes your scarf longer. which is why i think when u beat the game, you became a symbol as well. the same one as the first symbol the next traveler will encounter in the game.

I really like your theory on that quite a bit.
To be honest, that bit is something I struggle with, since there are quite a few ways to interpret what happens there. A hint could be in the trophy titled "rebirth," where it mentions you finishing the game and returning to the beginning. It does fit into what you're saying.

Interesting thought.
Clever got me this far, then tricky got me in.

User Info: lostn

lostn
8 years ago#10
That was beautiful fayenatic! It makes so much sense. I hope the star you become at the end isn't the person you reincarnate into in your next playthrough. That would make the story very bleak and dark. I do like the idea of you becoming a symbol though. In the level after the bridge, you do see a comet land and become a symbol. That implies that the comet you become will land as a symbol for the next traveler to collect. Perhaps every symbol you find was another person who completed their journey.

What makes the story so beautiful is that they don't explicitly spell it out and leave it for you to interpret it yourself.
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