The Fez Mega Plot Spoiler

WARNING: Do not read if you haven’t finished Fez.

As I posted a year ago about Journey, I am constantly amazed by the amount of people that play games–particularly art games–finish them, and have no idea what the story was about. And sometimes, don’t even care. Like, why are you playing art games then? COD is the game for you my friend.

In the last post I also promised whenever I play a game I’ll leave behind a plot summary, mostly for myself to remember it, but sure, for you too if you need one.

Fez was a serious experience when it came out on the Xbox: there was a final monolith puzzle that we all collaborated on to solve, unfortunately having to resort to brute force to solve it. The true, how-you-were-supposed-to-find-it solution has ‘till this day never been found. Maybe things will change now that it’s being re-released on the PC.

During those early days when we were trying to solve it, many approaches were tried before we resorted to brute force. Mathematical things, metaphysical things, wordplay…my suggestion (which was wrong) was maybe the answer was in the plot itself, so I summarized it in the forum so we could analyze it. It’s been a while so I’m just gonna cut and paste it from the forum into here, warts and all. This is taken from here

1. We know the Zu people were at first primitive and entirely 2D, being that their prehistoric village only had one side.

2. We then know they were visited by the giant owl, to which they genuflected

3. Many years later they evolved to a square head shaped form

4. They were visited again by emissaries of the owl, the squid people, who gave them them the tetrahedron (which conceptually serves the same purpose as the obelisk from 2001), which, when activated, expands the user’s mind letting them perceive reality in 3 dimensions

5. Next thing you know they’ve built a 3D city called Zu, very advanced for the time with effigies of the great owl, classrooms, etc, and a highly developed social order in which the king and his seers wear fezs to denote having the knowledge

6. In the exploration and construction of their new empire, they uncover how to warp space itself, and thus decide to build a stargate to visit the home of the great owl

7. The stargate exploded (whether the zoo people ever got to the other side first is unknown) and started ripping holes in the fabric of space (a very slow process at first)

8. The Zu people had to abandon Zu

9. Many years later, the Zu people appear to have given up their spiritual ways and become technological/industrial/modern (by our standards), and have built Nu Zu out of bricks and mortar, neon and piping everywhere. By this time, the rips in space have become pretty bad, and are taking over large swaths of reality.

10. At some point after Nu Zu is built and was thriving, the rips in space completely swallowed up all of Nu Zu, and we can assume the square-headed Zu people were wiped out.

11. Many, (many!) years later, evolution has evolved the next sentient species of this race (or perhaps co-evolved independently), flat-headed people. They live in a place called Village, they use the English (really Latin) alphabet, they speak English, and they’re also 2D. 

*** Interesting note #1: These people have never been visited by the Great Owl.

*** Interesting note #2: You may notice that Village is built over the ancient remains of Nu Zu, evidenced by the boiler room which is exactly the same (with the same tools in the corner) as the boiler room in Nu Zu. You notice the rest of the village doesn’t have any technology like that of the sort, using existing piping as mail system (so why would it have a boiler?)

12. Shit gets real weird here: there is already a guy (“Geezer”) with a Fez, the picture is whose room indicates he’s gone and done all the things you’re about to already, and knows when the Hexahedron is coming to visit you. But, oddly, the Hexahedron has never seen flat-headed people before ???

*** Interesting note #3A: This probably indicates, as many have said, that Geezer IS Gomez of the future.

*** Interesting note #3B: If you take point 3A and extrapolate it all sci-fi style, it may indicate that Village is in a time loop of some sort, which is possibly *protecting* them (by holding them back from progress) from ever being visited by the Great Owl, who of course introduced the Hexahedron to the Zu people, which put them on the path to making the stargate, which blew up, which eventually over 100s/1000s of years, killed them all. I think it’s said a couple of times that owls are creepy, don’t trust owls, something like that. It could be the Zu people came to believe the owl was evil, or at least the cause of all their problems.

*** Interesting note #3C: It doesn’t explain WHY the Hexahedron shows up then. But remember, the Hexahedron DOES say it’s performing a “routine procedure” (maybe it just means it’s done this plenty of times before). But who knows. Maybe these flat-headed people ARE the Zu people, who flattened their heads to forget the knowledge of 3D, and built this low-tech village in a time loop to protect themselves, and we’re playing Gomez, one of their descendants many generations later.

*** Interesting note 3D: Perhaps this is why Geezer lost an eye. After saving the world, and learning Village is in a time loop, and since flattening his head FURTHER is out of the question, he might have taken his OWN eye, to “forget” (or be unable to use) the knowledge of 3D, as is custom.

13. The Hexahedron gives you the Gift of 3D perception, the Fez, bla bla, you’ve played the rest of it.

X. Ultimately, all of this is taking place in a computer simulation of some kind, holding thousands of cube worlds just like this one.

Plot Synopsis: Journey

Every time I read gaming forums I’m constantly shocked at the number of people who are willing to play through a game to the very end, make sure they collect all the trophies…and have no idea what the story was. Especially when playing art games. What’s the point of playing an art game if you don’t care about story?

Well I don’t play too many games but when I do, they’re usually indie or art games. I’ll just leave these little plot summaries for them whenever I get a chance, for posterity. What really needs to be said about Journey that hasn’t been already? It really is as good as everyone says it is, and you should also check out That Game Company’s earlier hotnesses like Flower and Flow.

The Story of Journey
(as transcribed from the “picture panels”)

In the beginning there was nothing. Then the great volcano of light spewed souls into the sky which they rained down onto the earth, creating the birds and the trees and the people.

The people discovered yet another form of life: raw souls themselves, made manifest in the form of cloth.

These cloth-forms had odd properties: Single souls are tiny fluttering sheets, but they can combine into larger and larger sheets. The largest sheets can consolidate into marine-like creatures

The people learned they could harness these cloth-souls as a form of energy by entrapping them, using them as a form of wind power. The people channeled the wind power across vast, far-reaching aqueducts, enabling them to build large cities that touched the skies

As an ever-expanding civilization with a seemingly limitless source of energy, trees were razed and land swallowed up, built over with ever-taller skyscrapers.

Alas: it turned out the souls were not in limitless supply. Thus, as resources waned the cities began to flicker out of power. The people fought over the remaining wind creatures and waged terrible war upon each other: they re-tooled their technologies and diverted their remaining wind creatures to inhabit and power monstrous flying war machines, razing cities to the ground and killing thousands.

In the end, everyone died. The environment, ruined and devoid of all life, desertified. Sand blew and buried the scorched cities. As it became clear neither side could win the war, two groups of the remaining people hatched their last-hope plans: one group sacrificed their very souls to build a temple, the other attempted to return their souls to the volcano from whence they all came.