Prior


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Rating: 4.4/5 (210 votes)
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DoraPriorIn puzzle platformer Prior by KrangGames, you wake up alone, isolated in some sort of cell, unable to remember anything about yourself or your surroundings. Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move around, and the notes you'll discover laying around the curiously abandoned facility will provide you with further controls and insight. (Though I'll tell you, just because the game drags its feet about this basic function, that [ESC] pauses.) Why are you here? Can you get out? What's waiting for you out there if you do make it?

From a purely mechanical standpoint, Prior is very simple, though executed well. It really is one of those games however, where, for the most part, it all comes down to narrative and atmosphere since the gameplay is simple. At roughly half an hour of play, Prior ends rather abruptly and it's up to you to decide whether you feel it really delivers a satisfying ending after one or two playthroughs. I could fill a whole article with my own feelings and interpretations (as I've done before), but I don't want to colour your own before you've played and completed it yourself. Did I like Prior? Certainly. I feel it's an interesting bit of storytelling wrapped up in a bite-size piece of platforming, and for me, at least, the narrative manages to get me past the relatively bland area design.

But let's try something different here and let me turn the focus back on you. Let's get a little discussion going here, you and I, on the game as a whole. How did you feel about the way the narrative was presented? Do you think the ending was satisfying and would have been spoiled by more story, or did it leave you feeling like it needed more? Did the spartan design add to the overall experience, or inhibit your response? In short; what worked for you, what didn't, and why? You guys are smart, and you've proven time and again that you like a good debate, so let's have at it. What, if anything, did that lonely little black box do for you?

Play Prior

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Walkthrough. Just because.

Controls are easy. Both WASD and arrows move you ([up]/[W] to jump). In addition:
[Q] while standing on a note to read it. In this walkthrough, I will only describe notes about game mechanics; story ones you'll have to read on your own.
[E] will open a map of the areas you've explored.
[R] will restart a screen, in case you get stuck.
[SPACE] will activate anti-gravity once you have it.
[ESC] pauses, but there's not much point.

Click "begin." Then click "WAKE UP." Let the spoilers begin.

ISOLATION

You begin in a cell. There is a note in the upper-right corner. You cannot jump high enough to read this yet. After a few seconds, a trap door will open in the floor. Drop down, and then head in the only direction you can: Right.

LIFT

You can't go up yet, so go down.

REPETITION

In the middle of the screen is a note. If you walk onto it, it will identify you as "SUBJECT &#!" and tell you to press [Q] to open notes. Press [Q] to close the note, then head left.

BREAKER

There are two notes in here. The one in the middle says to jump and press [down] in midair to press buttons. Conveniently enough, there is a button up top that will turn on the power when you press it. There is also a note in the upper-right. Push the button, then return to REPITITION, where you still can't go right, so go back up to LIFT.

LIFT

A sort of vertical conveyor system has been turned on here when you turned on the power. Ride this to the top, then hop left, reading the note on the way, which will tell you to press [ESC] to pause.

ISOLATION

You're now in the area you previously saw above your cell. Read the note, and head left.

DILEMMA

You can't reach the exits to go up or left, so go down. There's a note in the middle you can reach and one higher up that you can't.

AUGMENT

Down here, you can gain the ability to double-jump (read the note for the in-story explanation). All you have to do is press the button in the greenish pit. Now that you can double-jump, a lot of places you couldn't reach are accessible. Go back up. You can also go back to your cell and read the note on the ledge in there, but after that go back to DILEMMA

DILEMMA

If you want, now you can reach the ledge on the right to return to REPITITION and go right from there by double-jumping.

From there you can reach MAINTENANCE. There's nothing accessible here but a note, but that has interesting story implications.

Whether you do so and then return to DILEMMA or just keep going, you can now reach the higher note and the left exit. The higher note tells you to press [E] to access your mental map.

HOVER

You cannot yet reach the ledge to the left. You can, however, reach a note in the lower left and the ledge leading up, so long as you double-jump at the peak of your first jump.

DIVERGE

Here you can go left or right. However, going left is very difficult. That screen should be self-evident if you manage it, but I'll leave it till it's easier. For now, go left, read the note, then head up and out the left corridor.

PITFALL

This section is well-named. If you fall to the bottom, you can't get out again. The note down there tells you to press [R] to restart the screen, giving you a chance to use your double-jump to hop in midair to the ledge on the left. You can't reach the button in the upper-left or the top exit yet, so go left.

ASCENT

You can't jump high enough to go out the left, so jump up the ledges to the top exit.

THE CHUTE

There's a note in a small internal room you can't get to yet. For now, climb up the left, then go out the right exit, pausing to check the other note on the way.

RESEARCH

The first note tells you to use GRAV-NULL by pressing [SPACE] and has a picture that looks like that thing floating by the bottom of the room. The next note tells you more plainly how to use GRAV-NULL. So, go pick it up, then use that ability to get to the button on the left. This wil open a door in the ceiling, allowing you to return to THE CHUTE. Or you can go back down to PITFALL. Either way, don't forget to read the third note, return to THE CHUTE to read the remaining note, and go back down/left to ASCENT.

CONTAINMENT

Now you can go left from ASCENT by using GRAV-NULL. There you will find CONTAINMENT, which appears to be composed of a series of cells. The button in the upper left will open these cells, giving you access to a number of story-important notes. After reading these, go two rooms right to return to PITFALL

PITFALL

If you didn't already do so after RESEARCH, hit the button in the upper left to make it possible to return to the right, then do so to return to DIVERGE. Now you can easily go to the right by using GRAV-NULL from the lowest floating platform. In your little corner of WORLD, hit the button to open the path in the other section, and read the note, then go back to DIVERGE and back down from there.

HOVER

Now that you have GRAV-NULL, you can hover (get it!?) to the ledge on the left. This will lead to OBJECTIVES, where notes and the map on the wall indicate the directions for the three game endings: Locate your family, locate Dr. +/G's room (the circled room on the map), or head towards the city. There's nothing else here, so go back to HOVER, then go right again.

DILEMMA

You can now go up from DILEMMA to the open area in WORLD. From here, go up, then out the right corridor to ATRIUM. Here, there are two notes and a button, which will let you go out to the right once more.

ADMIN

You may want to check out the note in the lower right. After that, you may want to decide what ending you want. This is not yet the point of no return, but this is the point from which the three paths branch. Go up one screen and left to go to the city, up and right to search for your family, or just go right from ADMIN to find Dr. +/G.

Family Ending

ADMIN

From here, go up to WELCOME. You can read the note on top of the building, but then go right past TERRAIN and MISERY (don't forget to read the note). MISERY is a little tricky, but you should be able to get up the ledge with GRAV-NULL and double-jump. This will lead to RESTRAINT. Go inside, then up; if you go up outside, you won't go to the next screen.

TURN AWAY

Another well-named screen. If you drop down on the right side to get to the corridor, even with GRAV-NULL and double-jump you can't get back up. Go back if you want another ending. If you still want the family ending, keep going. Either way, read the note.

BLISS

In BLISS there are three notes. Read them and go right. They are important to the ending here.

THE FEW

Pay attention to the background. What do you think that is? Read the note. After you read it, a trapdoor in the floor will open. The game ends after you drop down and read the note inside.

City Ending
ADMIN

From ADMIN, go up to WELCOME. Read the note on top of the building, then head left to OUTPOST. Read the note on the high platform, then go left again to OPEN AIR, then to GARAGE. Read the note, go up (head right to OPEN AIR again if you want to read that note), then go up to ANONYMOUS, then left to INEVITABLE

INEVITABLE

This is the point of no return for the city ending. After you drop down, you can't go back except via [R], which means you can't go back at all once you leave this screen to the left. Read the note, go left again to TWOONETHREE, push the buttons, read the notes, and head left to the ending: THE ONE. Technically, you can go back after this because the game doesn't end until you go off the screen to the left. The reason this is an ending will occur if you go about halfway across the screen. Unfortunately, you can't go back and finish another ending because you can't get past INEVITABLE in this direction.

Dr. +/G Ending

ADMIN

Unlike the other endings, head right from ADMIN instead of up. This will take you to VENTILATION, a note, and a path down to PREPARATION. Read the note, then down another level to MAINTENANCE.

MAINTENANCE

You may remember this room as the one you got to by going right from REPITITION after you got double-jump. If you haven't been here before, press the button to open the gates and read the note. Otherwise, there's not much point because that will just let you return to REPITITION, and it's easier to get back to ADMIN and the other endings by going up. For this ending, head down.

CYCLE

Read the note, hit the button, go down one more screen, then down again from DESCENT. This may resemble a point of no return like the other two endings had, but it's always been possible up to this point to get to the end of the screen, then hit [R] and go back. Keep going, however, and you will land in LOW, with a sign on the wall reading, "SUBBASEMENT V." A trapdoor in the ceiling will close, and even [R] can't get you out of this one. Read the note and go left.

IGNORANCE

We're almost done. Read the note, and keep going left, to REVELATION. That's just an empty corridor, so keep going.

THE MANY

The room is empty except for a note and a button. Read the note, then push the button. See what the doctor thinks of his own inventions.

The End.

67 Comments

I played this and got two endings...never did find the third. I assume the third ending is

rescuing the rest of the family

but I'm most likely wrong. I'd like to know what it is, where to go, what to do. I'll keep on this site to read what others have found.

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hmm.

I don't understand the story.

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Anonymous March 16, 2011 1:37 PM

In general, the simplicity of the gameplay helped with the story: the game is so quick to finish and enjoyable to play that I replayed it to find all three(?) endings, and there was enough trickiness with the floaty thing to save it from being a trudge all three times. I also thought the character design, while deriative, could also be seen as economical (it seems there's a lot of character to be found in a circle blinking every few seconds) and a little ironic (as Dora says, the main character is a black box - aren't they supposed to be the one thing that "remembers" in the event of an accident?)

The problem I had was with the story itself. For one thing

I get the connection between the Doctor story and the Family story, but what happens with the Bomb story? I thought the bomb was dropped before the game begins and, in the first two stories its clear that the main character is the thing to be feared, where does the bomb come into it? Is the character the bomb too?

And for another

I think this twist

(cute character in flash game has done really bad things)

has been done better in other games - The Company of Myself springs to mind. It's a shame, because the development of Prior's story through dribs and drabs was involving.

Overall, I think this is a really good game, well worth the short amount of time it takes to play it, and is a demonstration of how innovative narrative in games has become over these past few years.

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Argh!! I want mooooore! Got me hooked then ended :(

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Question...

Does the game have more than one ending? I had more territory to explore when it ended.

I went to the upper right first, to the morgue?, and when you read the note there, it's over. I had yet to gown to the bottom right, presumably to sublevel V or whatever to find the doctor. And I had the upper part of the map to explore.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 1:59 PM

I played through once and got the "family" ending.

Hard to believe I didn't see it coming, considering how cliché the "amnesiac hero was the killer" twist is.

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hikari no sakura Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 1:59 PM

Oh no, I explored too far and ended the game without looking at all the notes! Why isn't there a "Continue from last screen" autosave?

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ollygirl Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 2:00 PM

Im stuck seemingly at the first hurdle :S what do i do on the screen called 'lift' ?

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ollygirl Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 2:04 PM

ooh got it, power of posting haha

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I've played the game twice and gotten two endings:

1. Escaping the facility, you see a nuclear explosion in the background.

2. Turning on the light in the Doctor's office, he has written "I'm Sorry Too" on the wall, and hung himself. The nuclear attack is implied in a note just before the ending.

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pointy2007 March 16, 2011 2:07 PM

There's more than one ending! Make sure to play a couple of times.

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hikari no sakura Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 2:08 PM

Ahh multiple endings. I got the

"I destroyed the world/a nuclear explosion decided to happen just as I got out" ending. All because I went left at the "The One".

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This was a great game, ambience was good, I liked how the papers differ from each other, sometimes the movement is buggy and when using the "mental map" on the moving platforms, the player phases through them. Other than I found it fun and interesting to find three endings.

One ending:

Go right of "admin" to witness how the doctor didn't mean destruction of war.

Ending two:

Go up "admin" and head right to see how you went mad after taking the formula and killed your family.

Ending three:

Go left from above "admin" and see how the formula caused amnesia and the city is destroyed like the rest.

I don't know if there is more.

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hikari no sakura Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 2:20 PM

Found the

Doctor ending:

I didn't realise it was him hanging himself on the ending screen until the screen almost faded out! (At first I thought it's a crooked picture frame on the wall)

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hikari no sakura Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 2:28 PM

The story was ok, but I really like how the anti-gravity works.

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I also found all three endings; although it was a little tedious playing through repeatedly, it would have been nice to be able to continue with some progress saved.

Only one thing bothers me: was there anything to the "secure areas hidden" thing? I.e., did anybody find a secret room? The facility map given suggests that there is a secret room directly to the left, but I didn't find anything.

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I'm not sure I'm eager to replay after hitting so abrupt an ending. This may not require further study.

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Anonymous March 16, 2011 3:23 PM

Yeah, the above comments pretty much cover the (few, trifling) problems with this game. It's still the most enjoyable thing I've played in weeks, perhaps months.

I was silly enough to believe that, since the first two endings I found:

The "Doctor" and "Family" endings, were so bleak

That I was sure that the 3rd ending, which had referred to

a "new life"

would be the "good" ending. BOY was I wrong. That was a bit of a shock, but in a good way, I guess.

The anti-gravity mechanic is pretty unique and well-done. The levels / rooms are interesting and balanced.

I understand why it restarts you from scratch after each ending -- because it makes sense for the story -- but an option to choose a full restart or "re-do ending room" so you could go back faster would have been nice. Some people are going to like one, some prefer the other.

All in all, a very subtle, well done snippet of a game. It would be nice if there were more like it.

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I really didn't know which ending I wanted, and I got the doctor ending because I went there in my random traversing. Then it turns out he'd hanged himself. Too depressing for me, gave up on it, and quit. I thought that maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all that happened, even before I found him, so it was extra-depressing for me.

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I think the story is rather depressing, each ending in its own way.

Ending 1 (outside and left):

From what is shown, the entire city has obviously just been destroyed, and your family might be among them.

Ending 2 (outside and right):

You seem to have been treated with some strange substance, which made you go insane and kill your family (and possibly others). The last room is either a morgue, a tomb, or a crematorium, in my opinion. The last two notes (the "you belong here" in the pitfall and the picture of your family with the mother crossed out) make for a pretty bleak ending.

Ending 3 (down and down some more):

Also pretty sad. The doctor seems to have atoned for his ways, based on both the obvious (his hanging corpse) and subtle (the note marked "guilt") clues provided, and then killed himself out of despair.

Putting it all together:

A war with white-colored cubes is underway. You are imprisoned for an unknown reason, and are treated with an experimental substance called @73, designed to help the war effort. It has the unforeseen effect of making you go insane, slaughtering your family. In addition, the things made by the head researcher are used for violence, not peace, and he succumbs to guilt, hanging himself after writing a note in his own blood on the wall. You emerge from the facility in time to see a huge nearby city under nuclear attack. How cheery.

-Trev

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Oh, hey, a Ludum Dare game! Its LD19 page is here.

I played this before when LD19 ended. It's really well made, for 48 hours.

Things I liked:

The names and places are interestingly obscured (even the character himself is), making (perhaps) the point that world-engulfing warfare can happen anywhere. It also added an interesting, simultaneous noir/scifi feel. I mean "Lot #Q ... augmentation" just sounds cooler than "double jump ... powerup".

A mention of the enemy ("Light Folk") helps for contrast.

I always like games where the exploration involves returning to old places for new information or with a new ability (ex: revisiting &#!'s cell after getting Lot #Q reveals one small yet significant part of the story). It doesn't have to be a Metroidvania.

The ambient sounds weren't bad.

The gravity device mechanic worked here better than it might have in other games.

Room "Containment."

Things I didn't notice the first time through:

The map. That would have helped a lot.

The multiple endings. I got the Doctor ("Dr. +/G") ending the first time, as most people might have. Definitely trying the other two this time.

There wasn't anything I didn't really like, except maybe that I would have suggested this game if I knew JiG commonly reviewed game competition entries! :D

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Keep.One.Step.Ahead Author Profile Page March 16, 2011 6:15 PM

I have to be honest, I loved the concept and the gravity shut-off button was a good idea, but the game felt like it was over before it started. I hope there is a sequel with more challenge and platforming using this cool mechanic.

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ARGH I can't friggin... get up the CHUTE. Trying ever possible location to double jump from the top right to get to the corridor to the top left. How did y'all do it?!

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MisterThou March 16, 2011 7:40 PM

Pretty good at least from an artistic standpoint. I'd have liked to see a bit more clarity around the endings you can get, luckily the game just screamed multiple endings so I went exploring.

I got the city ending first, which was kind of like huh what just happened, then the doctor ending, and finally the family ending to which I closed my browser window thoroughly depressed and wishing I could lose my memories again.

I'm kind of glad I got the endings in that order, or at least got the family ending last because to that point I was trying to find where they were holding my family thinking I could free them.

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Hmm. Got the city ending, but I don't feel like playing through even such a short game again to see the others.

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I really couldn't call it a "game" as much as a guided and ambiguous story. As far as the execution of that goes I think all the elements came together nicely. The stark, somewhat sinister atmosphere, the music, the tantalizing notes scattered about all over all add up to an attractive experience.

As for the story I typically like some closure. I like a story with a clear ending. That being said I believe that the ending is consistent with the theme of the story. To me it seems about the constant drive of technology typically being improved weaponry and warfare. That promise always seems so attractive but all for what end? Better ways to kill each other. It is pointless. Where does it really lead us and when does it end? Humans, the most intelligent species on the planet, are also the only ones who regularly wage war. Can anyone reasonably believe that this is the ultimate form of evolution or creation?

Sorry, if that last bit was beyond the intended scope of the discussion and a tad soap boxy. It just seems to me to be what the story is about and I think it was executed quite well.

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BuenoCabra Author Profile Page March 17, 2011 12:42 AM

The anti-grav was definitely the most novel and interesting part. I enjoyed the game, but moving around was too slow to bring me back to get the other endings.

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Ever notice the theme of the three ending rooms?

The One

Escape the facility only to discover that everything you knew is gone.

The Few

Find the Restraint Depot and discover you are responsible for killing your family.

The Many

Find Subbasement V and discover that the man who inadvertently masterminded all this has killed himself in despair.

I thought it was clever, though it annoyed me a bit that I had to replay the game through in order to find the alternate endings.

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I too am curious about that secret area. I think its just a thing to drive people crazy about.

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In a very dark way, you do need to play all three endings to A) read all the notes and B) understand what is really going on behind the scenes. The Doctor ending and *technically* the Family ending have irreversible paths, so you can actually get away with reading every note on the City ending, and almost every note on the Family ending before you read the Doctor ending.

It is possible to map out everything in one run through, but it does mean that you have to get the Doctor ending. The other two endings have very obvious points of no returns.

To be honest, there isn't much to interpret from this game - as long as you've read every note in the game, it becomes quite clear as to what is going on. It is still very dark due to the content of the story...

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I believe the secure areas that the 'map room' (Objectives) refers to are Subbasement V and Containment. The map does not show any rooms below Maintenance, nor does it even indicate that Maintenance has a down-facing exit. The same applies for Containment. These could both be considered secure areas, which is why they do not appear on the map.

Note that while the rooms leading to and including the morgue are not shown, the map does indicate an exit in that direction. It is unclear (at least to me) whether or not the morgue is considered secure.

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Minimalistic, captivating, smooth controls.. I like it.

I'm not that motivated to find the other endings, though.

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Is there a walkthrough or a "get started" type guide? I missed the first two notes because I fell down a short shaft and can't jump back up, and the only note I did find (in the room past the "lift" which I also can't figure out) told me how to read notes. So I'm just stuck wandering three rooms that don't have other exits or information in them.

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ho Huios tes Moiras March 17, 2011 3:26 PM

To everyone who said they'd have liked a "continue" feature to look at all three endings without going through the beginning three times, the dev said s/he wanted to, but it was a 48-hour challenge, and the continue feature was causing problems, so got dropped.

@lpath
I may write a walkthrough later, but for now you only need to know two things:
1) There are only four places you can't jump past eventually (one is deliberately out of range with a note saying how to fix it, and the other three lock you into an ending).
2) If you get stuck within a particular screen, for instance falling past where you can jump with your current upgrades, press R to restart the screen. Otherwise, get creative in your platforming or consider alternate exits.

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random person March 17, 2011 5:24 PM

oddly enough the room just before the "city" ending that has the huge drop? After several, several tries I made it back up.

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Flashback81 Author Profile Page March 17, 2011 6:27 PM

In "The One" ending, the room right before it is named "TWOONETHREE".
Anyone know what the significance of that is?

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I actually got a different impression about the scientist ending (the only one I got, though I went up to the points of no return for the others before heading back down (not knowing that they would lead to endings; this was unintentional)).
I thought that the compound he created was the referred-to weapon, as well as the gravity sink (which has a note referring to strike teams, presumably subjects with refined doses of the chemical) and the bomb being his creations as well.
Finally, my main point of divergence with the other theories here was based of a note in the containment room. The subject's family had three people, and there are three notes in the cells. One is clearly a child, the other is possibly the Mom, and the third is simply "I'm sorry". Presumably, this was left by

our character after he killed his family

This in turn leads to Doctor G.'s message of

I'm sorry too

referring to his own guilt over the deaths of the subject's family and all the other victims on both sides.

It was our tragedy that was most directly his fault, and which weighed heavily on his mind...

in the end...

Seriously, I almost cried- this wasn't what he ever intended to happen. So much grief, and shame, and yet he was praised- the medal hangs by his side- which only intensified his sorrow.

Wonderful game. The atmosphere was excellent, and the theme so very poignant. The story definitely overcomes the visuals and gives the right amount of information as well. I would have preferred the fork between the three endings to be better defined, so that you know that you're approaching the end- but that's part of the story, and not knowing constitutes an important part of the narrative.

I think that's all the input that was asked for. So I'm going to repeat myself- wonderful game.

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One more thing; by the author's own admission, this 48-hour project was created with only the barest of essential plot ideas- the story just fell into place as he went on creating it. This means that the story does not have a very large theme-based interpretation available. However, it managed to develop quite an excellent plot.

In addition, I called the ending a scientist ending, rather than a doctor ending, because I assume Dr. meant he had a PhD- he seems to be more of a scientist than a medical doctor.

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mr1black Author Profile Page March 17, 2011 7:38 PM

Posters Ryusui and Flashback 81 gave me inspiration to try the game four times, in order stated in one room prior to "get out" ending, to find fourth hidden ending in the secret room perhaps. So I

first went to the mourge, which is named "the few", then to the exit, "the one", and lastly to the Doctor, "the many" using twoonethree "hint"...

- I found nothing different in the fourth playthrough.. guess there are only three endings... The last possible thing someone could try is to switch all the red buttons except for three on the ending screens and then try to come to secret room like it was stated on the map - in the lower left corner, but I didnt have enough patience...

P.S. Am I the only one who sees the main protagonist as Meatboy with just one eye?! :-D

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I got "The Few" for the first ending, but it didn't hold my interest enough to play again. Oddly, it didn't let me select the Continue option from the main screen the second time around-what's up with that?

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Anonymous Commenter March 18, 2011 1:39 AM

I loved this game because you have to play the game 3 times to find out 3 different endings to know the whole story, revealing the situation that a subject is in and his past. In my really weak analysis and writing skill, this is what I personally thought about the endings:

Every endings were pretty predictable in my opinion.

The worst ending (for the subject) has to be when the subject finds out that he murdered his family. He would have to live rest of his life in guilt and emotional/psychological pain, probably all alone.

I felt that the underground ending had the weakest shock factor, but best for the subject. He realizes that the scientist is behind the whole testing stuff, but he already killed himself in guilt. For the subject, this takes away the chance to take a revenge at or even hate him. He doesn't have to witness the horrible destruction going on outside in person, and the fact that he murdered his family.

Destruction of city ending was a bit confusing to me. Why is the subject leaving? He knew this facility is the safest spot, and that outside would be chaotic through messages. Is he trying to face his death, facing loneliness and shock? Is he trying to find his family, although chances are very slim (he didn't know the fact that he killed his own family...he doesn't even really remember them)?

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MuteVampire2 Author Profile Page March 18, 2011 2:23 AM

Just going to spoiler tag the whole thing here...

The room before The One is, unless I mis my mark, called TwoOneThree because it leads to the city of the same name (XY*213, per note in Breaker) via a highway of the same name (Highway 213, per note in World)

Also, notes about a city being bombed are referring to a different city (DA-725, the Black capitol city)

Having gotten all 3 endings, I have to think that the doctor was not dead at the start of the game. The only person with authority to open the Subject's cell during a full lockdown was Doctor +/G. He would also have been the only one with the authorization to open the floor hatch in the morgue. I believe that the good doctor was watching the character to see what he was up to and reacted as he thought was right to the situation.

One can only guess why +/G released the Subject in the first place, but I hinestly believe he was making his own penance for what he'd done and was hoping that the Subject would leave and start a new life. This fits with various endings (leave the facility - no actions that +/G could have been responsible for. Go after your family, find you killed them - +/G knows you won't let go of the past and move on, so he puts you back in a cell. Go after +/G - He commits suicide rather than confront you

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ho Huios tes Moiras March 18, 2011 2:36 PM

Walkthrough. Just because.

Controls are easy. Both WASD and arrows move you ([up]/[W] to jump). In addition:
[Q] while standing on a note to read it. In this walkthrough, I will only describe notes about game mechanics; story ones you'll have to read on your own.
[E] will open a map of the areas you've explored.
[R] will restart a screen, in case you get stuck.
[SPACE] will activate anti-gravity once you have it.
[ESC] pauses, but there's not much point.

Click "begin." Then click "WAKE UP." Let the spoilers begin.

ISOLATION

You begin in a cell. There is a note in the upper-right corner. You cannot jump high enough to read this yet. After a few seconds, a trap door will open in the floor. Drop down, and then head in the only direction you can: Right.

LIFT

You can't go up yet, so go down.

REPETITION

In the middle of the screen is a note. If you walk onto it, it will identify you as "SUBJECT &#!" and tell you to press [Q] to open notes. Press [Q] to close the note, then head left.

BREAKER

There are two notes in here. The one in the middle says to jump and press [down] in midair to press buttons. Conveniently enough, there is a button up top that will turn on the power when you press it. There is also a note in the upper-right. Push the button, then return to REPITITION, where you still can't go right, so go back up to LIFT.

LIFT

A sort of vertical conveyor system has been turned on here when you turned on the power. Ride this to the top, then hop left, reading the note on the way, which will tell you to press [ESC] to pause.

ISOLATION

You're now in the area you previously saw above your cell. Read the note, and head left.

DILEMMA

You can't reach the exits to go up or left, so go down. There's a note in the middle you can reach and one higher up that you can't.

AUGMENT

Down here, you can gain the ability to double-jump (read the note for the in-story explanation). All you have to do is press the button in the greenish pit. Now that you can double-jump, a lot of places you couldn't reach are accessible. Go back up. You can also go back to your cell and read the note on the ledge in there, but after that go back to DILEMMA

DILEMMA

If you want, now you can reach the ledge on the right to return to REPITITION and go right from there by double-jumping.

From there you can reach MAINTENANCE. There's nothing accessible here but a note, but that has interesting story implications.

Whether you do so and then return to DILEMMA or just keep going, you can now reach the higher note and the left exit. The higher note tells you to press [E] to access your mental map.

HOVER

You cannot yet reach the ledge to the left. You can, however, reach a note in the lower left and the ledge leading up, so long as you double-jump at the peak of your first jump.

DIVERGE

Here you can go left or right. However, going left is very difficult. That screen should be self-evident if you manage it, but I'll leave it till it's easier. For now, go left, read the note, then head up and out the left corridor.

PITFALL

This section is well-named. If you fall to the bottom, you can't get out again. The note down there tells you to press [R] to restart the screen, giving you a chance to use your double-jump to hop in midair to the ledge on the left. You can't reach the button in the upper-left or the top exit yet, so go left.

ASCENT

You can't jump high enough to go out the left, so jump up the ledges to the top exit.

THE CHUTE

There's a note in a small internal room you can't get to yet. For now, climb up the left, then go out the right exit, pausing to check the other note on the way.

RESEARCH

The first note tells you to use GRAV-NULL by pressing [SPACE] and has a picture that looks like that thing floating by the bottom of the room. The next note tells you more plainly how to use GRAV-NULL. So, go pick it up, then use that ability to get to the button on the left. This wil open a door in the ceiling, allowing you to return to THE CHUTE. Or you can go back down to PITFALL. Either way, don't forget to read the third note, return to THE CHUTE to read the remaining note, and go back down/left to ASCENT.

CONTAINMENT

Now you can go left from ASCENT by using GRAV-NULL. There you will find CONTAINMENT, which appears to be composed of a series of cells. The button in the upper left will open these cells, giving you access to a number of story-important notes. After reading these, go two rooms right to return to PITFALL

PITFALL

If you didn't already do so after RESEARCH, hit the button in the upper left to make it possible to return to the right, then do so to return to DIVERGE. Now you can easily go to the right by using GRAV-NULL from the lowest floating platform. In your little corner of WORLD, hit the button to open the path in the other section, and read the note, then go back to DIVERGE and back down from there.

HOVER

Now that you have GRAV-NULL, you can hover (get it!?) to the ledge on the left. This will lead to OBJECTIVES, where notes and the map on the wall indicate the directions for the three game endings: Locate your family, locate Dr. +/G's room (the circled room on the map), or head towards the city. There's nothing else here, so go back to HOVER, then go right again.

DILEMMA

You can now go up from DILEMMA to the open area in WORLD. From here, go up, then out the right corridor to ATRIUM. Here, there are two notes and a button, which will let you go out to the right once more.

ADMIN

You may want to check out the note in the lower right. After that, you may want to decide what ending you want. This is not yet the point of no return, but this is the point from which the three paths branch. Go up one screen and left to go to the city, up and right to search for your family, or just go right from ADMIN to find Dr. +/G.

Family Ending

ADMIN

From here, go up to WELCOME. You can read the note on top of the building, but then go right past TERRAIN and MISERY (don't forget to read the note). MISERY is a little tricky, but you should be able to get up the ledge with GRAV-NULL and double-jump. This will lead to RESTRAINT. Go inside, then up; if you go up outside, you won't go to the next screen.

TURN AWAY

Another well-named screen. If you drop down on the right side to get to the corridor, even with GRAV-NULL and double-jump you can't get back up. Go back if you want another ending. If you still want the family ending, keep going. Either way, read the note.

BLISS

In BLISS there are three notes. Read them and go right. They are important to the ending here.

THE FEW

Pay attention to the background. What do you think that is? Read the note. After you read it, a trapdoor in the floor will open. The game ends after you drop down and read the note inside.

City Ending
ADMIN

From ADMIN, go up to WELCOME. Read the note on top of the building, then head left to OUTPOST. Read the note on the high platform, then go left again to OPEN AIR, then to GARAGE. Read the note, go up (head right to OPEN AIR again if you want to read that note), then go up to ANONYMOUS, then left to INEVITABLE

INEVITABLE

This is the point of no return for the city ending. After you drop down, you can't go back except via [R], which means you can't go back at all once you leave this screen to the left. Read the note, go left again to TWOONETHREE, push the buttons, read the notes, and head left to the ending: THE ONE. Technically, you can go back after this because the game doesn't end until you go off the screen to the left. The reason this is an ending will occur if you go about halfway across the screen. Unfortunately, you can't go back and finish another ending because you can't get past INEVITABLE in this direction.

Dr. +/G Ending

ADMIN

Unlike the other endings, head right from ADMIN instead of up. This will take you to VENTILATION, a note, and a path down to PREPARATION. Read the note, then down another level to MAINTENANCE.

MAINTENANCE

You may remember this room as the one you got to by going right from REPITITION after you got double-jump. If you haven't been here before, press the button to open the gates and read the note. Otherwise, there's not much point because that will just let you return to REPITITION, and it's easier to get back to ADMIN and the other endings by going up. For this ending, head down.

CYCLE

Read the note, hit the button, go down one more screen, then down again from DESCENT. This may resemble a point of no return like the other two endings had, but it's always been possible up to this point to get to the end of the screen, then hit [R] and go back. Keep going, however, and you will land in LOW, with a sign on the wall reading, "SUBBASEMENT V." A trapdoor in the ceiling will close, and even [R] can't get you out of this one. Read the note and go left.

IGNORANCE

We're almost done. Read the note, and keep going left, to REVELATION. That's just an empty corridor, so keep going.

THE MANY

The room is empty except for a note and a button. Read the note, then push the button. See what the doctor thinks of his own inventions.

The End.

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I think MuteVampire2's connections made the most sense.

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missamanda12 March 18, 2011 8:09 PM

I played it 2 times. The first time i got the bomb one and i was really confused and then i got the Docter G one wich made sense. I think i really don't want to play to find the family one, so i'm not going to play it again. :-))

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Great game. Great comments, MuteVampire2 and Harry!

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Very good game. I enjoyed it a lot, actually.

Grim as all get out, though...

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I don't see why people think this is a bad game. It rivals, if not surpasses, the phenomenal game The Company Of Myself. Both games had simple designs with incredible endings which you felt the need to know more about.

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@Harry
I understand what you mean. Great comment. However, I have to disagree with your assessment that humans are the only animals that regularly wage wars. Humans are the only animals that are both advanced and populous enough to wage war. We simply do the same things as all other animals. In nature, animals fight and kill for the same reasons. Territory and resources. We just do it on a grand scale. One must always remember that we humans are just animals. That being said, we as sentient beings should have the presence of mind to rise above those animal instincts, and share both wealth and resources equally, in order to end the need, or more aptly, the reason behind war and social conflict.

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auntbeast March 23, 2011 12:30 AM

Like sushi, cannot get up The Chute. Boring as hell to be stuck on one frickin' screen for two days bouncing back and forth. If anyone can tell me (and sushi) what fancy moves are required to get to the top of the chute, I'm sure it'd be much appreciated.

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Dr. Curiosity March 24, 2011 9:37 PM

Was looking good... until I had the screen go completely black on a transition change and stay that way. When I reloaded the game, I get a "begin" button to click on but it doesn't do anything.

Disappointing, as only a fatal, unrecoverable bug on an interesting game can be.

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@Poom; I am not the one who said that. You were mistaken.

I do not remember saying anything about humans being the only animals to wage wars. Or indeed, anything about war. At all. Obviously, such a statement would be fundamentally incorrect, for both the reasons you described and several other examples, like ants, who both wage wars and sometimes use (biologically given) chemical warfare.

After searching for the word 'war' on this page, I found a mention of "humans waging war" on another comment, made by someone with the username cdeanoh. I assume you were refering to them, but I took a bit of offence at your comment at first before I found that.

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Anonymous March 30, 2011 10:32 AM

The third ending is that the subject realizes that he killed his family somehow and he clearly don't remember anything...after he realizes that he killed then a door underneath opens you go down their and realize that its prison. A note was left there saying "you belong here". When you go to the right of the bomb ending you find the third ending.

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Anonymous Thinker April 1, 2011 10:58 PM

Complete spoiler


In regards to the city ending, I think that it is only a flashback, because after the mushroom cloud clears the city in the background still stands. After a nuclear attack the city is gone, literally, just at the images after Hiroshima. I would think that it's a flashback of what happened to city DA-725, the Black Capital City. Of course that could have also been a premonition. One that you can't prevent either way as told to you by Dr. +/G. in a note.

Also I think the Grav-Null Device is more than a method of transport. The notes in that room say that it is intended for recon and exploration purposes. But other notes say that "this device is completely inhumane in combat" and "I never authorized this."
Presumably this is Dr. +/G talking about the Grav-Null, the only device in the game. So perhaps it has some unknown powers.

I would guess that Dr. +/G ordered the facility to be evacuated, set up the many notes, released you, and then watched what you did or immediatly hung himself.

If he watched what you did as MuteVampire2 suggested then each ending is a penance for what he's done. In the Doctor ending, the Doctor pays the ultimate price. The family ending shows you what you've done and traps you so that you can not repeat it. And the city ending releases you after at least one year of containment, possibly so that you can make right what the Doctor has done.

The Black Capital City, DA-725, has been destroyed in "the largest offensive of the war to date," but it does not say who was on the attack. I'm not sure that the white folk were responible unless they attacked in retalliation against Dr. +/G's new weapon. It's more likely that his weapon was responible, the same one for which he (persumablely) recieved his medal. Or maybe you destroyed the Capital City, as it would seem if the city ending was a flashback. Or you are the weapon. Either way the Docter is responible for the city's destruction falls on his shoulders. Also the picture of the white folk at the end of the doctor ending is very strange. Are they the many? The many that were killed? Or are to be killed?

The Few surely refers to your family, who you killed. And if you get the family ending you are now as good as dead. So the question is: The One (obviously you) is to be killed, kill The Many, or go on? This requires further study.

Aslo interestingly the Restraint Depot contains no cells, only a crematorium. Unless it is for your restraint.

Okay spoilers over. I apologize for being so long-winded.

Overall a great game for those that like stories. If you are one of those people, then it is definately worth it to find all three endings.

One last thing the creators made this game in 48 hours, so the plot was more of a make it up as you go kind of thing. So we could all have been making up further plots than even the creators did. In fact its likely that even they don't know everything. Of course This requires further study.

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MGamePlayer May 1, 2011 6:41 AM

Yes, there are three endings:
1. Escaping to the city where you find it has been bombed
2. Being locked in the cell to find you killed your own family
3. Finding the doctor and he has hung himself and wrote the words "I'm Sorry Too" on the wall in blood red.
I have played all three endings. I thought it was slightly tedious having to go all the way through from the beginning to complete all three endings. It was a very good game and simplicity with the mystery of the story make it. I thought it could do with extra to the story.. I want more!!! They should make a sequel :)

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To Ev:

Yes, there is a final ending. I think you're going in the right order as far as evolving the storyline goes. when you get "outside" the facility, go to the right instead of to the left. see where that takes you. :)

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I think I may have been affected a little more than most just because of the order I happened to stumble upon each ending in.

I was revealed the Dead doctor ending first, the dead city ending second, and the devastating "you belong here" ending last.

This had a very big effect on me, and I understand there are many orders in which these things can be revealed, so not so many others may understand completely where I'm coming from. But this is why I was so effected by it. :)

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Great game. Great Sound. Great Storytelling.
I like the mood. I like the tension it emits.

Specially when they let you know there are this "white boxes" enemies, so keeps your eyes sharp and your brain at top speed just waiting for it

This requires further study.

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Anonymous August 9, 2011 5:35 PM

The secret areas aren't actually secret. you go through them on the way to the endings.

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It's actually possible to leave Inevitable to the right - press space, then, at the top, quickly press space, up, and space again, and you will be high enough up to exit.

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It also works in Turn Away …

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Because I can't be bothered playing through a third time, I only got two endings: the "Doctor Ending" and the "Bomb Ending." But from what I've seen, this is a very gloomy yet intuitive game. I liked it.

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blackacidlizzard January 4, 2012 8:04 AM

Most depressing game I have ever played.

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ayuroxs Author Profile Page April 9, 2012 1:23 PM

I really cannot get through Chute. Every time I get to the top ledge, I can't move onto the flat structure in the middle. I just keep on hitting the ceiling when I try to jump to it. Care to help me?

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angelpeace17 Author Profile Page June 19, 2012 3:23 PM

How do you get to the top right Chute part?? I can't seem to jump far enough!!

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victoria.tay5 Author Profile Page December 7, 2012 10:59 AM

For people can't move through up The Chute

Jump up the the middle box then jump and use the gravity thing. I tried a number of times trying to get the right combination of jumps/distance/gravity. But don't lose hope since it definitely can be done yea ;)

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