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Fez is a 2012 Xbox LIVE Arcade puzzle platformer by indie game designer Phil Fish, 5 years in development. The game has players control Gomez, a small white... thing who lives happily in his peaceful, floating 2D village until he is summoned by the town's Old Aventurer. The Old Adventurer gives him a magical fez before revealing a shocking truth: the world is actually 3-Dimensional! The fez allows Gomez to perceive the 3D world and shift dimensions, but he can still only move across 2D planes. Using this newfound ability, he sets off to collect all the pieces of a giant magical cube that has been scattered all over the land, causing the fabric of reality to tear apart.Fez went multiplatform on May 1st, 2013, with the release of a PC version of the game. Fish said that Mac and Linux versions would eventually follow, but the release date was still to be decided. The game later came out on PS3, PS 4, and PlayStation Vita on March 25th, 2014. There was also to be a sequel to the game, simply titled Fez II. However, in late July, after being insulted by Marcus Beer AKA Annoyed Gamer, Phil Fish exploded into a very angry tirade on Twitter, and then outright quit the entire video game industry and cancelled Fez II.
This game provides examples of:
100% Completion: Collecting all of the cubes, anti-cubes, artifacts, and heart-shaped polygons.
2½D: The game blends 2D with 3D to create spatial puzzles.
3-D Movie: Beat the game twice to unlock a stereoscopic vision mode.
Alien Geometries: Fez is all about this. Although it's a 2D character getting used to 3D geometries. It gives a rough idea of what it would be like having a a 4D entity phasing around 3 dimensions.
Bonus points for Dot's design; since Dot is a tesseractnote tesseract is to cube what cube is to square (i.e. a dimension higher), the game contains a 2D character navigating a 3D environment with a 4D companion.
Awesome Music: invoked Pretty much the entire soundtrack, in all its retro, melodic beauty.
Evolutionary Levels: The village classroom contains a depiction of evolution from single-pixel organisms to people. The equivalent of proto-humans had narrow, vertical heads, and their ruins (behind the four-cube door) seem to indicate that they were only aware of two dimensions. All the people seen and depicted outside of Village have heads of square proportions. It is implied that the people of Village, with their flat, horizontal heads, are mutants who lost awareness of the third dimension when they devolved.
Excuse Plot: Something bad happened. Now go find cubes. Or something.
There is a big block of unreadable alien text at the start of the game before the "something bad" happens. If you translate it, it doesn't reveal much more than "if something goes wrong, fix it."
Funny Background Event: In one area you can observe a quick brown fox jumping over a lazy dog. Recognizing what this is is vital for decoding the game's alphabetic fictionary.
Gainax Ending: Ending can't be different than the premise allows it to have.
Game-Breaking Bug: Sadly enough, lots of players have been having their saves corrupted by patches whenever close to the completion of the game. The only option is to create an entirely new game, which then is invulnerable to the patch.
Guide Dang It: Unless you're a rocket scientist working at NASA, your chances of finding everything in this game without a walkthrough are slim to none.
The heart cubes take the absolute cake.
To elaborate, one of the puzzles has a dozen obtuse hints scattered throughout the game as text, one of the puzzles requires translation from binary to ASCII, and one was so tough to even figure out that it was just brute-forced. A few theories as to how it was supposed to be solved have surfaced, but whatever it actually is, Fish isn't talking.
And the creator has confirmed that not all of the puzzles have been solved. Some new behaviors were discovered after decompiling the PC version, there are a few puzzle hints that are not attached to any known puzzle, and nobody has any idea what the "crop circles" mean.
Kill Screen: An intentional one happens at the beginning of the game when the giant cube breaks apart, complete with a fake OS reboot, no less. This also happens if you reach the ending without collecting all the cubes.
100% Completion: Getting all 32 cubes and all 32 anti-cubes is necessary for the Good Ending.
Painting the Medium: Tuning forks cause the player's controller to vibrate if Gomez stands near them, providing a clue towards that room's secret. If you don't have that particular ability, there's even a backup method also relevant to what it does.
Perspective Magic: Major aspect of the game. The magic part comes from the platforms staying the same size all the time, no matter how they're rotated.
Further explored after you unlock the first-person viewpoint, which allows you to see previously hidden imagery.
Rank Inflation: 209.4% is the maximum percentage. More if you abuse some glitches.
Retraux: An unrotated screen looks like something that would have been possible to create in the SNES era.
Rule of Perception: If you can't see it from your current perspective, it doesn't exist right now. You can kill yourself just by rotating the camera.
Upon starting New Game+, players who receive the fez a second time are treated to sunglasses descending onto Gomez's face in a manner identical to the "Deal With It" meme.
The library from Myst makes an appearance. A well in one area looks suspiciously like a warp pipe, which leads to an area with a Game Boy color palette and style. A poster in Gomez's house appears to be the title screen from The Legend of Zelda with the text removed. As well, the weird owls and various characters' wariness of them, along with a room with walls covered in red curtains could be a Shout-Out to Twin Peaks.
Special metion also goes to the Foundry area, which is rendered in Virtual Boy super red.
To elaborate: we're talking about the infamous clock puzzle. At the top of a certain room there's a cubic clock with four hands, and when they reach the top, an anti-cube (one for each hand) appears; the fastest hand cycles once every minute, the others cycle respectively: every hour, every day and... every week! If you're playing on Xbox 360, that means either waiting, or restarting the game after changing the time and date while offline. Sounds tedious yet? At least in the PC version, if you alt-tab and change the system clock, the in-game clock hands will react immediately when you resume the game...