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64 comments

  • SaCKBoii - July 31, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Seems like aa pretty messed up game but i wanna play it BADLY i wish i had my xbox now instead of having to wait 10 days :( Oh well, i love all of your theories i agree with parts from thm all especially the Vilian 1 that seems the most obvious 1 but if i had played it through 1st without reading this i wud of though "Fucking Hell, What a fucked up game" and i wudnt of even thought about any theorie to it...but thats just me :)
  • MaynardJ - July 31, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    I also like the car crash theory. The shadow of this wooden log you cross right at the start of the game looks like a dog, which might have caused the crash. That together with the car, windshield and tires suggests a car crash as cause of being in Limbo.
  • naruana - July 31, 2010 6:06 a.m.

    I just thought that the whole thing was a dream. You start out virtually in the same place you finish, and everything has a very dreamlike quality. The ending, with the boy crashing through the glass and floating back into a sleeping position, felt a lot like alice in wonderland to me. That's just my take, but this article has a lot of good ideas too.
  • Danomeon - July 30, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    Go to the title screen of the game. You see the scene in which you find your sister at the end of the game, but there are two figures on the ground. Obviously, you and your dead sister. Above the two figures, is a car. This leads me to beleive that the bit where you shatter through the window at the end might have represented shattering through a windshield, maybe. We can at least make a safe assumption that they are both dead based on the two corspes.
  • AggressiveMold - July 30, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    Can some English major out there do a step-by-step comparison between Limbo and Joseph Campbell's "Hero With a Thousand Faces"? You know you want to...
  • SillyPigeon - July 30, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    I just played through limbo today and reckon Mikel has probably hit the nail on the head. Before reading this article MY opinion was that the boy was having a dream/nightmare after being knocked unconscious while looking for his sister in the woods. And at the end he wakes up and finds her. Not exactly earth shattering but that's what i came away with.
  • Ravenbom - July 30, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    *Note, in Bridge to Terribithia, the old rope swing in the woods killed the girl, not the boy, but either way an old rope snaps in the woods killing a child.
  • Ravenbom - July 30, 2010 5:32 p.m.

    The meaning is obvious, it's Dante's Limbo which is the reason for the stark color (or lack thereof) color palette. Limbo is where the unbaptized sinners go, so it makes sense that the denizens are all kids who died innocently and it gives the water deaths (water baptizes you) more meaning. Besides the Dante literary reference, there's kind of another literary reference from Bridge to Terribithia in that the kids were playing in the woods and an old rope broke killing the boy. The boy is chasing his memories/flashes of earth where his sister is crying in a glen. She cries over his corpse and the title screen shows us that his body is rotting in the woods, suggesting that she never told anyone what happened and she might go to Hell (sequel?). Also, play the damn game again, there are flashes of his sister crying in the woods throughout the game further suggesting that this was his last memory on earth. Just like the game, the meaning is very straightforward. If anything, his travels through Limbo are the twisted version of a life he'll never have. And there's light at the end, because working your way through Limbo grants you passage to Heaven... eventually.
  • Fro4show - July 30, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    I liked Mikel's best because I didn't really think about the reason why everything wanted you dead at the first moment, but just to apease another theory, it could have been a simple tale of atonement. It is possible that he is an evil character in the actual state of Limbo, the cross between heaven and hell, but he needs to make up for his mistakes in life. These mistakes could have been many different things. He could have been neglecting his family, or monopolizing industry, he could have been the biggest dog in a dog-eat-dog world, or he may have just destroyed nature in favor of industry as he does with the spider and the frog-thing. the issue is that he made a mistake and his sister could represent the atonement he needs to finally break away from the nightmare, known as limbo. And at the end of the credits you see that after claiming his atonement he was finally put to rest. Anyhoo, its possible, but i still like Mikel's better
  • damagemagnet - July 30, 2010 11:57 a.m.

    I think Mikel has nailed it. That is exactly how I felt about the game and its journey.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - July 30, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    I can't help but to over analyse every game and like to think there is deeper meaning to games I play, so I would agree with Brett's bloated theory on Limbo.
  • adamasunder - July 30, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    Brilliant article. All the theories work. I really like the theory of the boy being a killer. I'm going to replay it with that in mind. My own theory was that they both died in a car crash and the boy was trying to find his sister in the afterlife. However, why the boy would be going through limbo while his sister was seemingly at peace puzzles me with this idea. Maybe it's a personal limbo and the sister goes through her own version, her image to the boy is the pinnacle where they both meet. Brilliant game, I love the fact that the developers purposefully left it open. Braid made the mistake of confirming it was about something by actually telling you through easter eggs what it's about. That would be like the Mona Lisa having it's meaning written in invisible ink on the back.
  • philipshaw - July 30, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    I haven;t played it yet, they really need to bring it to PSN
  • GR_DavidHoughton - July 30, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    Octoboy: I had the exact same reaction at the end, and played through in the exact same way the first time. It really is the best way to experience it. The first play through should be enjoyed on a pure instinctive, sensory level. Intellectualise it later. I did. In fact I only did because this feature was happening.
  • beezn - July 30, 2010 6:43 a.m.

    Damn, this is a fine article. all I know is that my friend pat played this game though about 10 times in the last week to a Nine Inch Nails soundtrack and loves it.
  • Dustin101 - July 30, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    the whole meaning is for your own interpretation, so no one is totally wrong.
  • WillisTron - July 30, 2010 5:35 a.m.

    I want this game VERY much it looks hauntingly beautiful
  • alexmdy - July 30, 2010 3:54 a.m.

    I kind of have the same idea as Kaltoria, the game is about humanity as a whole. At first the only creature you fight is the giant spider, which represents nature, and when you kill it you feel very powerful. The villagers you see represent humans wanting power and control, who hang anyone that opposes them. Late in the game, there is nothing natural, just buildings and machinery, showing that humans have taken over everything. Throughout the game, you are searching for your sister, who represents childhood and innocence, and at the end you find her too late, and the title screen shows that you have both grown up, as the ladder is rotted out, and your innocence is dead, which is the mounds of dirt in the ground.
  • Limbo - July 30, 2010 3:14 a.m.

    Great theories, I love how the game has a different meaning to everyone who plays it. I personally think that The Boy has just died, and is lost and confused as he awakens in Limbo, a middle ground for children who die unbaptized. He goes through the game searching for his sister because she was his best friend and the person closest to him. When he first sees his sister, she is praying for him, and the second time he sees her, she has died and joins him in Limbo. She becomes stiff when you arrive because she has just realized that she is dead with him. After the game is completed, the two groups of flies represent The Boy's and his sister's graves. As for the head maggots, they are the struggle between Heaven and Hell. When they are dragging The Boy to the left, he is being taken to Hell, and when he is being dragged to the right, he is being taken to Heaven. As The Boy overcomes the games challenges, he is getting closer and closer to Heaven. The ladder at the end is the final ascension into Heaven. After the game ends and the title screen appears, The Boy and his sister have climbed up the ladder and entered Heaven.
  • RebornKusabi - July 30, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    Oh and no "ndnfd", or "shopping bot in the form of a sniffed out user account", I will not buy your goddamn clothes!!! I walk around in public completely balls, **** naked and I relish in it's... freedom. RELISH IN IT!!!!1

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