First of all, casually internet clicker be warned - this features contains heavy Braid spoilers so if you plan on playing it at some point in the future (and we recommend you do), then click away now.
First of all, all of this is debatable and open to interpretation. Braid has a plot that isn't easy to nail down, which is part of the fun. Who is Tim? Who is the Princess? How are they connected?
A lot of the worlds seem to contradict each other and suggest multiple meanings within the same plot. Regardless, here's some quick analysis for you to agree or disagree with and encourage further theories of your own.
There are two things to bear in mind here. First, this last level is actually World 1, so it's the start of the plot. It just happens to take place at the end.
Secondly, as with the puzzles leading up to this final level, everything takes place in reverse. That's the key here.
The ending shows Tim in a small underground tunnel while above him, a knight descends with the Princess in his arms. "I got you!" the knight shouts and when he reaches the bottom, the Princess leaps to the ledge above. "Get down here!" he yells as she shouts "help!"
The Princess then runs away to the left while you run after her chasing by a wall of flames. The Princess hits switches to let you through the obstacles, while you hit switches to open doors to let her through. Eventually, she reaches her room and when you climb up the fence to the outside of the window, there's a bang and the Princess is asleep. There's no way for you to get inside to reach her
The Actual Ending
When you rewind time, you see the level for what it really is - you're the one chasing the Princess, who is trying to get away from you. She's actually hitting switches to set off traps trying to kill you and block off the ladders out of the underground tunnel, while you're hitting switches trying to trap her.
At the end of the level, she shouts out "help!" to the knight, who shouts "get down here!" She jumps down into his arms and he then carries her away on a rope while telling her "I've got you." In Tim's mind, the knight is the monster at the start of the level. In reality, Tim is the monster the Princess is running away from.
The Epilogue Books
The Epilogue is a series of simple rooms punctuated by red books, which contain more scripture. In addition to that are hidden scraps of text that show an alternative viewpoint. So access these hidden bits of text:
- First room: Read the red book, when walk around the room until you hear the female 'ahhhh' sound.
- Second room: Drop down, read the red book, then rewind yourself up to the left hand ledge and walk behind the scenery until you hear the 'ahhhh' sound.
- Third room: Read the red book, then walk onwards to the next room. Stand on the left-hand side of the green platform and rewind time (you'll hear the green book close). Then walk back into this third room and walk behind the rock.
- Fourth room: Hit the switch so the green platform goes up, then hit the switch to bring it back down. Stand on the red book, then rewind time so the platform moves up with you on it. Run off the left of the platform and check behind the rock for the usual sound.
The Atom Bomb Theory