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The Stanley Parable


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Rating: 4.6/5 (41 votes)
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The Stanley Parable

DoraIn Galactic Cafe's strange indie experimental unique adventure game The Stanley Parable you are Stanley. ... sort of. Stanley works happily day after day in his office pushing buttons in the order dictated to him by his faceless employers, never questioning, never worrying or wondering. To him, this is what he was made to do, even if to anyone else it might be soul-crushingly boring and unfulfilling. But one day, Stanley realises nobody has given him any new orders, and in fact, he hasn't seen a single soul all day. Venturing out and guided only by an unseen narrator who seems to know everything Stanley does (or should do) before he does it, Stanley finds only empty corridors, vacant offices, and a variety of novelty coffee mugs. Where is everyone? Should he just go back to his desk and wait? Or maybe it's time to make some decisions of his own for the very first time... no matter how small and inconsequential they seem.

The Stanley ParableUse [WASD] to move, click to interact, and use the mouse to look around, while [ESC] opens the pause menu. You can follow the directions and instructions given to you by the narrator... or not, as you see fit. Once you choose one path, however, the other usually closes itself off to you. If you die, something that is entirely possible as you explore and experiment with your freedom (or even follow directions), you'll be booted right back to Stanley's desk to start again. Don't worry. It won't take you long to get back to where you were... or perhaps to try something else and see what happens.

The Stanley ParableAnalysis: If you need yet another example of why some of the best, most innovative and surprising games around can be found only in the indie community, you need to check this game out. The Stanley Parable is one of those games that's hard to review largely because to describe what, precisely, makes it so incredibly funny, mysterious, and even moving would spoil the entire thing. I can, of course, talk about the basics, like the excellent atmosphere, an odd blend of mystery and delight pulling you ever forward. The game's omnipresent narrator is, more often than not, very funny thanks to a dry, matter-of-fact delivery as he comments on your every action. Because, despite what you might think, this game is full of choices, surprises, and secrets, and finding all of them is a delight.

The tone can vary significantly depending on where you go and how you go about it, and just when you think you've got the game pinned down it reveals another layer the next time you do something differently. Finishing the game in one way or another even changes things you've previously experienced in subtle ways, encouraging the sort of replay value and exploration most games can only dream of. Being kicked back to the beginning does start to get old after a while depending on what order you do things, since some variations can occur much farther down the path than others. Players who prefer their adventures a little more "use item on thinger" will definitely want to try out the game's unique demo, which will give you a feel for the way The Stanley Parable plays, if not divulge its mysteries.

Though The Stanley Parable might not be for everyone, or at least what everyone expects, it is something that deserves to at least be tried because I believe that given half a chance, it will compel and impress more people than you may think. It's funny, smart, cheeky, inventive, and memorable, and has a lot to offer the imaginative gamer... no matter what you do, or don't, decide.

WindowsWindows:
Get the full version
Get the demo

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

9 Comments

I swear i remember you doing a review for this when it was a mod of half life way back when... a couple of years at least. However, I couldn't find any mention of it when searching.

Reply

Sorry, we've never featured it before. :) We don't do reviews of mods.

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Dora, (or anyone else that's played it), While I did enjoy the original mod, I'm wondering how much different this remake is, and if it is worth it to play it again?

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I am SO excited about this. I played the mod recently for the first time, and my mind was just blown.

I'm really hoping it's as good as that. Could it be better? Maybe. I kinda fear it will be. :)

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I LOVE this game! The humor is terrific, the graphics are superb, and the controls are smooth. Plus, it has definite replay value. This was worth the money I spent on it. :)

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I just played the demo and that alone is well worth your time.

I swear, no other game makes me feel the way this does. I was literally agape more than once at how incredibly brilliant this is.

Just go play it, I had never even imagined that kind of writing was possible.

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Trying to play the demo redirects me to download something called Steam. That's a dealbreaker, sorry!

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Patreon VIP abfdrumz December 7, 2015 6:57 PM replied to andr01d

If you play PC games regularly, you're going to run into Steam eventually. According to Wikipedia, it's up to 6,000+ titles, over 12 million users, and 75% market share for downloadable games, so you're missing out on a lot.

BTW, folks should know that since this review was written, The Stanley Parable has also been released for OS X and Linux.

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The Stanley Parable:
Walkthrough(s)

The Stanley Parable contains numerous endings and secrets. This guide will aid you in completing all the endings.

What you need to know

The Stanley Parable can be played in a myriad of different ways. The game has several "endings" you can reach, which either take you back to the beginning of the game or just stop the game on a black screen, forcing you to manually restart.

Who is Stanley?

You are Stanley.

At least, you play his character in the game.

Endings:

Coward

Just close the door. That's all you need to do.

Freedom

So you want to be free? Follow the Narrator's instructions. Do every single thing he says.

What to do

If, at any point, you don't understand what the Narrator wants you to do, here's an explanation of the Narrator's instructions.

1.

Leave Stanley's office, and walk straight ahead through the open door. Turn right, walk straight across the room, through the next two open doors, turn left, and walk into the Two Doors Room.

2.

Walk through the door the Narrator wants you to go through. The left one.

3.

Follow the hallway into the Meeting Room. Go through it and out the other door.

4.

Go up the staircase, and into the Boss's Office.

5.

With your back to the door, face the boss's desk. There's a keypad on the wall, to the right of the desk. Press the secret code into the keypad after the Narrator gives it to you. The code is 2845, but remember not to put it in until the Narrator has told you that code.

6.

Go through the secret passage, and into the elevator. Press the button to go down.

7.

Walk out of the elevator, past the ominous "Escape" hallway, and go into the room labeled "Mind Control Facility."

8.

Press each button you come across, and continue onward as soon as each gate opens up. After pressing the third button, an elevator will arrive. Get into the elevator, and it will take you up.

9.

Walk through the room with control panels and buttons and go into the "Facility Power" room.

10.

Press the OFF button.

11.

Once the colossal door has lowered all the way, go down the walkway and outside the building.

You are now free. But are you really?

Explosion

Follow the Freedom ending up to step 9. Then, rather than pressing the OFF button, press the ON button. Good luck!

You can't get out of dying in the explosion here. There isn't a thing you can do to change this outcome. People have decompiled the game and found that every single object you can interact with in that room is a red herring. None of them do anything at all besides making sounds. You may think you've figured out a way to press certain buttons that might do something, but it won't. Stanley will always die after pressing the ON button no matter what happens. The explosion is inevitable.

Mariella

Follow the Freedom Ending up to step 3. Then, go down the staircase instead of going up. Good luck!

You can't change anything that happens after you've gone down the stairs and had a door close behind you. Just keep going, and be sure to listen to what the Narrator says.

Confusion

Follow the Freedom Ending through step 1. Then, go through the door on the right.

Go through the hallways to the employee lounge. Walk through it and out the other side. Take the first door on the left, as the Narrator tells you to. But, don't go out the door on the other side. (If you do, you'll end up back on track for the endings through the left door.) Go into the supply lift on the left side, and press the button to go down.

Have fun! You can no longer make any choices until the ending is over. There will be many false endings before the final ending to the Confusion Ending. You'll know that you're on the last false ending when you enter a room with a screen that says "Confusion Ending."

Apartment

Take the door on the right, go through the Employee Lounge, but don't take the "first door on the left." Instead, keep going into the room at the end of the hallway.

Walk onto the elevator/lift thing. Don't jump off, wait until it reaches the other side. Then get off, and walk through the open door.

Walk towards the dark room. When the phone rings, pick up the phone.

You can no longer make choices. When the screen tells you to press a key, press it. If you don't press all the keys, you won't finish the ending.

Video Games

Follow the Apartment Ending, but jump off the lift to the walkway below. Walk down the hallways, ramps, and various rooms. When you have to choose between a red and a blue door, walk through the blue door.

Walk through the blue door again. And then, when there is no longer a blue door next to the red one, turn around and go through the blue door behind you.

When you get to the Baby Game, don't play it for 4 hours. Just let the baby die, and you'll get to the Video Games ending.

Explore all the various environments the Narrator puts you in.

Powerful

In the warehouse after the Employee Lounge, don't get on the elevator/lift. Instead, jump off the ledge to the floor below.

Cold Feet

Get on the elevator in the warhouse, but then immediately get off back onto the ledge. The Narrator will encourage you to jump off the ledge. Do it.

Zending

Follow the Video Games ending, but go through the red door. Keep walking until you find a staircase going up. Go to the top, then jump off, then go to the top again, jump off again, and repeat until you die. It's brutal, but it's the only way to finish this ending.

Escape Pod

This one's tricky. Get to the Boss's Office, but don't enter the door to the room with the keypad just yet. Prepare yourself to enter the room and immediately leave. The trick is to get in just enough so that the door starts to close behind you, but then back out so you're outside the room and the door has closed in front of you.

What you've done now is lock the Narrator in the Boss's Office.

Go all the way back to Stanley's office, and go through the door next to his office. Keep walking until you get to a staircase. Go up the staircase, and keep going up until you get to the top.

Walk towards the escape pod.

Window

Right outside of Stanley's office, there's a window to the left. Your goal here is to go out that window. But how? You can't jump in the Stanley Parable, so the easy way is not an option.

You have to glitch your way onto the chair in the corner to the right of the window by running up against the chair. Do it a bunch of times, and you'll get lucky when you find the correct angle to run up against the chair. Then crouch and get onto the desk, over to the desk by the window, and out the window.

You'll be presented with two options.

Yes

Enjoy the song.

No

You'll be pressured into coming back to the Window ending and selecting "yes."

Heaven

This is a very difficult ending to achieve, and requires going through several endings and doing certain things in each one.

1.

Complete the input by clicking on the computer on Desk 419, which is before the Two Doors room. Restart the game.

2.

Complete the input on Desk 423, also before the Two Doors room. Restart the game.

3.

Complete the input on the desk right outside the Boss's Office (presumably the secretary's desk). Restart the game.

4.

Complete the input on Desk 434, before the Two Doors room. Restart the game.

5.

Complete the input on Stanley's computer.

You are now in Heaven. Congratulations. Heaven, for Stanley at least, consists of a single room with a rotating wall of colorful buttons to press.

Serious

Enable the console in Steam's launch options before starting up the game. (Do this by typing "-console" into the launch options.) When the game is running, type "sv_cheats 1" into the console.

Welcome to the Serious Room. Enjoy your stay.

Optional: If you want to annoy the Narrator, just type "sv_cheats 1" every time the Narrator stops talking.

Art

Play the Baby Game for 4 hours.

Just keep pressing that button to save the Baby from the fire.

After 2 hours, the Narrator brings in another button for you to "juggle" with the Baby button. This second button is to keep a Puppy from being lowered into a tank of piranhas. Keep pressing the two buttons for 2 hours, and you'll win.

Fun fact: for years after the game's release, people who finished this ending (most by hacking) saw a black monolith while the ending's final words appear onscreen. Everyone playing the game assumed that the monolith was meant to be there, perhaps as a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the monolith was actually an unintentional glitch that obstructed some of the text from being read.

Recently, Davey Wreden updated the game to remove the black monolith from this ending.

Whiteboard

Rarely, you'll start out in a different layout of the office, where the walls are blue. Try opening all the doors, and you'll find the "Whiteboard Ending" behind one of them.

It's not an ending at all, it's just a whiteboard that says "Whiteboard Ending". You're perfectly free to continue the game and go out to the Two Doors room.

Broom Closet

Similarly to the "Whiteboard Ending," this isn't an ending that ends the game. It's just referred to as an ending because the Narrator calls it the "Broom Closet Ending" at one point.

You've probably noticed the Broom Closet already. It's right after the Meeting Room, before the staircase.

To get the "Broom Closet Ending," stay in the Broom Closet and experience the Narrator reveal a side of personality never seen anywhere else in the game. This section contains some of the Narrator's funniest lines in the game.

The True Ending?

Follow the Apartment Ending, but don't pick up the phone when it rings. Instead, follow the plug to the wall and unplug the phone.

You can't really make any choices after this point, which is ironic considering the subject of a video the Narrator will show you.

Tip: When you get to a part where you're told to speak the code "night-shark-1-1-5", it's impossible for the game to hear what you're saying, because the game is not programmed to connect to microphones. What plays out is meant to happen, regardless of what the Narrator thinks.

This is the only ending where credits roll onscreen (you'll find credits in the Museum, but they won't be rolling onscreen). This suggests that this ending is the true ending to the game, although the game still restarts once the credits are done rolling.

Museum

Follow the Freedom Ending up to step 6. When you get out the elevator, go down the "Escape" hallway before reaching the Mind Control Facility.

When you reach the end, jump down.

Right before getting crushed, you'll fall down to a walkway below. Walk towards the light, and you'll end up in a museum. Explore the museum for behind-the-scenes secrets.

When you're ready to leave the museum, find the Exit sign and walk towards the on/off switch. Click on it, and you'll be taken straight back to the crusher.

This ending requires you to manually restart the game once Stanley is dead.

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