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64 comments

  • RebornKusabi - July 30, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    I haven't played the game yet and plan on playing it this weekend, now that my damn debit card is activated, but after Braid and it's complete and utter descent into mania and while theoretical allusions of the entire game being based on the birth of the atomic bomb... I'm going to have to instinctively and irrevocably agree with former "PSM reviewer" Eric Bratcher here that any and all tertiary meaning of the game that people find in it are just that: tertiary meaning. The game's called Limbo. The only two valid theories are the face value one which is the game is about a little boy going through Limbo to find his sister. The second valid theory? The game is about a little boy going through Limbo to find his sister. I'm still buying the game because of how utterly amazing it looks and how truly unique it looks as well but I, like Eric and Charlie, always take anything I consume whether it be through playing video games or watching movies or reading books, at complete face value because as a Philosophy professor of mine once said, "You can find hidden meaning, metaphors, references and allusions in everything available to you that you interact with in the world in some shape, form or capacity. Everything."
  • Silvermech - July 30, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    I don't even think the developers truly knows what the meaning is. At least after they made the game.
  • avantguardian - July 30, 2010 1 a.m.

    @ Kaltoria: exactly...i watched my friend replay the game from start to finish, and the first thing that came to mind when trying to make sense of the goings on was "manifest destiny"...with the girl as some sort of metaphor...that just seems especially relevant, and an easy source of inspiration...it also seemed intrinsically tied to human development or evolution, similar to some of the ideas posted above...a lot of it has to do with the cyclical nature of things... also, good call on the "lump" in the title screen..easily missed, but thoroughly unsettling in context...
  • AggressiveMold - July 30, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    The real question of Limbo is what did the designers put in as an aesthetic element, and what did they put in as a storytelling element? For instance, near the end of the game as you are just beginning to play with reversing gravity, you climb up a ladder, past the laser sight of a turret. As you climb up the ladder, you realize that the bullets from the left had chipped away at the wall on your right. Had the boy been here before? Just before that, you reverse gravity and see in the background a tire swing that swings the right way; what's up is down. And why would a tire swing be back there? Was the forest artificial all along? It could just be a small way for the designers to remind you of where you had started (perhaps even in the same playthrough), or maybe there's a more philosophical undertone. Really, it's hard to draw distinctions between the story and aesthetic. Also, you MAKE it rain. The rain could have started naturally, but you MAKE it rain. You know what? Screw this. Boy loses sister in the woods. Boy goes into woods. Boy sees some weird shit. Boy finds sister. Much easier.
  • Octoboy - July 29, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    On my first run I deliberately ignored all urges to interpret anything into the game. The ending was even more rewarding this way. When the credits started rolling, I noticed I had held my breath the entire cut scene. I really love how this game is rather emotional than rational. Personally, I don't need any meaning to this, because the feeling I got is more rewarding than any clever interpretation could ever be.
  • ryno - July 29, 2010 11:32 p.m.

    it has no meaning its just fun and what the developers say goes
  • CountZero - July 29, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    The villain theory is an interesting take. I hadn't thought of that. The possibility definitely lends the game a sinister air. I'm not sure about it though. The lost boys you encounter don't exactly seem like heroic defenders...their areas are littered with the corpses of other children hung from trees and left suspended in crates to die.
  • ConnorCrook - July 29, 2010 11:07 p.m.

    I think the villian explanation is gotten a little too much from Braid... I don't think he's the villian. All the other theories are pretty valid. I mean, to be fair, so is the villian one but I don't think PlayDead would use that one considering Braid did it and Limbo is being compared to Braid pretty heavily, indeed, even on Gamesradar.
  • phoenix_wings - July 29, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    I agree most with Eric and Francesca's opinions. Kid's dead, Jim. The broken ladder leading up to...possibly a tree-house? The breaking glass? IDK...maybe it's supposed to symbolize a drowning? The boy doesn't know how to swim..... I'm more inclined to believe that just the boy died, not his sister. All the other 'people' you come across in the game, you can never see their eyes, you can only see The Boy's eyes. When he finally approaches her at the end of the game, she stops and sits up straight, as if he startled her. Like a ghost. It'd explain why the other children ran away before trying to mercilessly kill you with...spears and shit. As for the morbid traps? Trials for the young boy to get through. To get up to the point where he died, where he begins his journey.
  • Migglez - July 29, 2010 10:14 p.m.

    And with that cocktease ending they need at the least some DLC
  • Migglez - July 29, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    First of great and unique game style. Love the dark eire ness and very challenging puzzles. In my eyes Limbo is an simply put: a journey. Through this journey this boy is searching, searching for something that was taken. From the game he travels through "Limbo," where he goes back, not in time, but through his memories. These memories that he tavels through now, are his trials to retrace the steps to his Sister.
  • MoChilla - July 29, 2010 9:59 p.m.

    When the kid got killed by a meteor, his afterlife split in two. One possibility is he travels with the "blob" doing fun stuff. The other is that he's searching for his sister in the dark place.
  • Axcleblade - July 29, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    I'm also partial to the "Boy is the villain" theory. Remember that puzzle with the two bear traps on strings, that swing at you in different directions (the picture at the beginning of the article)? The moment you get near them, they look at you, and then immediately run away. one of them climbs a rope up, and hurriedly pulls it up after him. If they were trying to hunt and kill you, then why were they so afraid of you getting near?
  • IAmARobotWhoTurnsIntoATruckAndIFindNoLevityInThis - July 29, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    Even though you pointed out some interesting things, you didn't even touch the things that i have been pondering about. Firstly what's up with glowing eggs? Secondly, whats up with the world drastically changing behind you TWICE?? (the first time was when you were nearing your sister and were caught by a brain slug, forcing you to walk away, and when you returned the landscape had changed. the second time was after the final puzzle, if you turned back you could only see the side of a mountain or hill.)
  • Cyberninja - July 29, 2010 9:36 p.m.

    so many good therios here i think the game maybe about a little of each of them.
  • Kaltoria - July 29, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    I believe that limbo isn't a story about the boy, but a story about man kind. When you move ahead in the story it's showing the progress of man starting with the humble beginnings of nature to taking down the dominant demi-god creatures that taunt and lume over you; to a 1930's hotel urban area to advanced factories devoid of humans with just machines and ends with advanced gravity changing controls. your sister could be the human dream, a manifest destiny metaphor if you will.
  • nuno004 - July 29, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    maybe it's the story of two children who died before civilization began and the boy searching for his sister is searching for several years passing through phases of time all the way till the end of time and returns to the moment when they die, and when he loses her it's his sister crossing over and he is doomed to stay in between earth and the afterlife in some sort of timeloop
  • Tomsta666 - July 29, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    Good read. And interesting takes on what it all meant from you guys. I don't really have anything to say that you guys haven't already said, but my take on it all was similar to Daves. The lost childhood, natural progression of life, through afterlife theme.
  • crazytar - July 29, 2010 9 p.m.

    Mikel's theory is almost exactly like the one I thought of. It felt like the kid was somehow antagonistic and I too wondered why there were so many traps laying around that seemed to only be there to stop someone. To me it seemed like the kid was sinister in a way that made everything in the world afraid of him and need to defend themselves against him but fearful when they realized there was nothing they could do to stop him. It is a common story-telling trick where the actions are perceived by the main character one way but instead are often completely different when looked at from everyone else's.
  • oufour - July 29, 2010 8:31 p.m.

    quite simply, limbo is a post apocalyptic story. after this strange world has fallen to shambles, the boy goes in search of his sister, the only thing left for him to find in this world. * THAR BE SPOILERS BELOW * at the end, when he returns to the beginning of the forest to find his sister running away again, he continues his futile attempt to find peace, his sister, in this world. he traveled around the globe, only to find it fleeting from him again. it's him loosing his sanity. he has no sister, he is just like the savages, he has no family in this world. he travels through the monsters and obstacles to find his sister (who represents peace) only to find it fleeting form him once again. or maybe his sister is just a whore stuck in limbo and he got screwed over trying to get her back. one or the other.

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