Transistor – The Ending Open Thread

By Tim Lanning on

About Tim Lanning

Tim founded GeeklyInc with Michael DiMauro way back in 2013 when they realized they had two podcasts and needed a place to stick them. Since then, Geekly has grown and taken off in ways Tim could have never imagined.

 

Transistor 3

I just beat Transistor and I want to create a safe place for folks to chat about this wonderful little gem. So here is the thing – if you have not beaten Transistor yet, well, 1) it is very good and 2) get on out of here because after this paragraphs the proverbial spoiler gloves are coming off!

Spoilers!

OK, I literally just watched the end credits of Transistor. I haven’t jumped into the new game plus mode yet, but I am planning to do it. As a small point of clarification, I finished Transistor about ten minutes ago so I have not had the appropriate time to process (GET IT) what happened.

First, here is my initial take on what happened throughout the story. Red is sought after by the Camerata just like all the other artisans and artists of Cloudbank. I don’t necessarily think she was special except for her power to control folks with her voice. Not magically or anything, sort of like how seeing Joe Biden’s smiling face just makes my day better. So, maybe magic… anyways. That fella saves her and she loses her voice and a bit of her memory. I don’t know how she loses her voice. I don’t really know why they were trying to stab her with the Transistor. My assumption was that they stabbed lots of folks with it.

Somehow Red’s boyfriend (Do they ever say his name? I think it was in a list on one of the terminals) sacrifices himself and is now the Transistor. The story unfolds with Red and T running around Cloudbank trying to figure out what is going on with the dang Process and the Camerata. Finally, they confront Royce and…fight him next to a barn, then Red fixes some of Cloudbank and kills herself with the Transistor. It appears that she lives happily ever after with her BF.

Transistor 2

Alright, let’s try to figure out what happened. The Process seems like some sort of computer virus come to life that is attempting to make the world into a white techno hellscape. It is suggested that the Camerata either created them or found them and lost control. Sybil was taken over and the cat man and the older fella killed themselves out of guilt. Royce mentions that he isn’t entirely sure what the Transistor is, but that he found it around the site of the cradle. He may have also created it using math and science or some such. It seems to be a great weapon of change, which is why they were capturing the movers and shakers of Cloudbank and absorbing their traits into the Transistor. Not sure.

Red places the Transistor back into the cradle which teleports her and Royce to that farm. They both have their own Transistors and they fight to a very Highlander-esque ending. Red then returns to Cloudbank and after bringing parts of it back decides to live within the Transistor with her BF. I think that when she kills herself she is choosing to live with him at the farm, aka inside the Transistor. It seems like so many people died during the Process outbreak that she would rather not be alone in Cloudbank.

 Transistor 4

The big questions in my mind are what is the Transistor? What is the Cradle? And what happens in the “real world” while Red and co. live out their cyber lives within the Transistor? Now, I could be entirely wrong. Maybe I missed something somewhere that spelled things out more clearly or I didn’t give enough attention to an early event. Regardless, these are my thoughts on what happened.

Do you agree with my thought process (I DID IT AGAIN)? What are your takes on the ending? Will Red live happily ever after? Let us know in the comments!

10 comments

  1. I absolutely loved this game, it’s definitely a contender for my game of the year. Great art style, great (if somewhat confusing) story and an amazing soundtrack to boot. Supergiant Games have got some serious talent and it’s nice to see that Bastion (another fantastic game, play it if you haven’t) wasn’t a fluke.

    I came to pretty much the same conclusions as you did about the ending.
    At the end of the game Red has control of Cloudbank and the game seems to indicate that she can pretty much reshape it however she wants although she only seems to be reverting it back to its previous state.
    Is Cloudbank now just a ghost town? Was everyone wiped out by the Process or were there survivors here and there?

    I’d like to think that Red and her BF (there was a file about him but I don’t think it gave him a name)lived happily on the farm with Luna, maybe vacationing on the little beach that was behind the backdoors.

    It’s hard to come up with a theory on what the Transistor, Cradle, and even the Process, actually are as the game doesn’t really explain any of it. In fact nothing is really ever fully explained, I feel like we only really get half of the story but I’m ok with that.

    As for stealing Red’s voice, perhaps Red was actually a mermaid and Ursula was behind the whole thing.

    • Damn. Another dang Mermaid theory? I am on board so hard!

      I think one of the terminals towards the end of the game has a list of names and Big T says “oh theres me.” I played the very beginning again and I unlocked a football player.

      • I don’t think I found that terminal. I know that when you examine one of the functions at an access point it’s about him, can’t remember which one though. Gonna load it up and check.

        • Just checked, I’m pretty sure that the first time I inspected Breach the T said that it was him, the file doesn’t have any info though. The T also later refers to this file as ‘Mr Nobody’.

  2. A bit off topic, but I LOVE the fact that at the end it gives you the option to “return to shell”: presumably referring to your body.

  3. I’m pretty convinced that Cloudbank is a “fake” digital world, whether or not the farm is real.

    First of all, the name “Cloudbank” by itself suggests data storage or some server farm. Also, the computer terminology that appears after the Process takes over suggest a wipe of the memory in Cloudbank. “Read/write memory”, etc, makes it seem like Cloudbank was what happened to be stored on this particular bit of memory. (Heck, one could argue that some other “Process” on the same computer as cloudbank is using the same memory, hence the overwriting of Cloudbank with other data! The phrase “process terminated”, shown after each battle, is used in systems programming to refer to…well, stopping the execution of a program or process.)

  4. In fact, the “Return to Shell” phrasing also supports this theory. A shell is essentially a command window where you can start up programs (think Command Prompt or Terminal), so Cloudbank is probably just one of these processes.

  5. I have a few things I wanna say. First transistor is a great game. Also anyone get a reboot feel from this? Nonetheless, red and mr.nobody were close. It’s obvious about that. The only thing I don’t understand is the ending. I need more info on everyone.

  6. The process aren’t viruses trying to maliciously destroy everything. From the way Royce explained, in story, in terminal and in limiter files, the process are literally programs just trying to do their job. How he referred to them was that whenever they vote on adding new buildings and such, the process are actually the ones building and remaking the world around them. So it’s because of the process that Cloudbank even exists how it did.

    The transistor is apparently the only thing that allows people to interact with the process, be it destroying or controlling it. That’s why they needed the transistor in the cradle, as it seemed to be like a giant control module. When the camerada lost control of the process, they started doing their job: resetting cloudbank so whoever controls them can rebuild it. That’s their only purpose.

    As for why the camerada attacked red that’s also explained, be it in a subtle manner. They all vote what things happen in the city, be it weather or building bridges. Since it’s a majority vote that means those with strong enough political power can sway and alter votes. That’s why the camerada kill influential people, so they can control large amounts of the votes. As for how they do, Ashton and Grant were married, Grant being a powerful politician and Ashton being a well respected news reporter.

    As Red was very famous and was garnering a strong political voice enough to r

  7. The process aren’t viruses trying to maliciously destroy everything. From the way Royce explained, in story, in terminal and in limiter files, the process are literally programs just trying to do their job. How he referred to them was that whenever they vote on adding new buildings and such, the process are actually the ones building and remaking the world around them. So it’s because of the process that Cloudbank even exists how it did.

    The transistor is apparently the only thing that allows people to interact with the process, be it destroying or controlling it. That’s why they needed the transistor in the cradle, as it seemed to be like a giant control module. When the camerada lost control of the process, they started doing their job: resetting cloudbank so whoever controls them can rebuild it. That’s their only purpose.

    As for why the camerada attacked red that’s also explained, be it in a subtle manner. They all vote what things happen in the city, be it weather or building bridges. Since it’s a majority vote that means those with strong enough political power can sway and alter votes. That’s why the camerada kill influential people, so they can control large amounts of the votes. As for how they do, Ashton and Grant were married, Grant being a powerful politician and Ashton being a well respected news reporter.

    As Red was very famous and was garnering a strong political voice enough to rival the news, they had to get rid of her. The transistor can also apparently forcibly control those trapped in it. By taking it they could even use her voice to sway the people, hence Ashtons comment “what could four lone voices do”. They needed reds. As for why she only lost her voice, she did make contact with the transistor for a bit, allowing for partial data transfer of her trace, just enough to lose her voice. That’s evident in her function descriptions.

    Well. That’s what I think at least.

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