The "BIT.TRIP" is a metaphor for human existence.
- BIT.TRIP BEAT represents man as an infant.
- The introduction cutscene with Commander Video coming to life represents conception. (The scene is even called "concept")
- The three song names, "Transition", "Descent", and "Growth", represent the stages of the egg/fetus during pregnancy.
- The background images during the songs represent the development of the human body in the womb, with Transition representing the fertilization of the egg (with the shiny comet descending into the large planet), Descent representing the development of the circulatory system (the bloodstreams represented by the lava-filled caves, and the bright red boss chamber representing the heart), and Growth representing the assembly and development of the human brain, and early brain activity. The background images of Growth also resemble the toys a baby would play with.
- The repeating bassline in the second level, DESCENT, may be symbolic of a heart beating.
- The final cutscene after the credits showing Commander Video moving through a dark tunnel with a light at the end to meet other Commander Videos represents birth.
- Some other cutscenes seem to show Commander Video trying to learn how to walk, first tripping and then later taking his first steps, which is another infancy-related motif.
- BIT.TRIP CORE represents man's early childhood and relationship with parents.
- The song names "Discovery", "Exploration", and "Control" seem related to the steps of learning.
- The background images during the songs represent the child exploring different environments. In Discovery, the child explores the inside of his own home (with hallways, stairs, and things such as clocks which move). In Exploration, he is accompanied by his parents and ventures outside to explore his neighborhood (viewing streets, other buildings, satellite dishes, and telephone poles). In Control, he departs from his parents and goes to school (the mechanical nature of the backgrounds representing his mind beginning to make sense of things, and also Commander Video-like heads and school desks are visible at some point).
- The other two Commander Videos in all of the game's cutscenes represent man's parents. The first cutscene depicts the parents (and the third, possibly a babysitter or doctor) as large and frightening entities, much as a very young baby might see them.
- The second depicts them as guiding figures who hold the child's hand, much to the child's dissatisfaction.
- The third depicts the child rejecting the parents' guidance and choosing to be independent from them.
- The final post-credits cutscene depicts the independent child encountering his peers for the first time, and realizing "I AM NOT ALONE."
- BIT.TRIP VOID represents man's emotional development and relationship with peers.
- The song names "Id", "Ego", and "Superego" are Freud's well-known terms for the three parts of the human psyche.
- The first cutscene with Commander Video blowing up his bubble and bumping away the others represents an early child's egocentrism, ignorant of the fact that acting selfish only serves to embarrass him, rather than to impress others.
- The second cutscene with the other people combining into a large entity and sizing up Commander Video represents the child's realization that he is not intrinsically superior to other people.
- The third cutscene depicts the child's humility and apology to his peers. He holds hands with them, representing that he has learned how to befriend other people.
- The fourth cutscene with the people floating away on a circle represents the child taking his place among the new generation of people, all united with friendship or common goals.
- BIT.TRIP RUNNER represents man's excursion into society.
- The running represents time; Commander Video must always run at a constant rate and dodge whatever obstacles come, unable to speed up or slow down. Making a mistake is simply a setback, (almost) never a failure.
- The backgrounds of the game have urban and industrial themes, representing the "working world".
- The optimism and kinetic energy clearly prevalent in the game's music represents man's eagerness to use his talents to participate in society.
- The world titles "Impetus", "Tenacity", and "Triumph" refer to man's drive to struggle and become successful among society.
- The background of Impetus is whimsical and alien, representing a child's wild imagination and dreams (such as a desire to become an astronaut).
- The background of Tenacity shows more of an industrial environment, perhaps representing man's first job, with the final boss of the area possibly representing man's first encounter with a harsh manager or boss.
- The third area depicting a city street is much more normal, representing the child letting go of his irrational childish fantasies and his acceptance of the real world. The title of stage 3-1 "Paradise Lost" suggests this as well. Likewise, the melancholy of the music in the final area suggests that this is indeed a depressing reality.
- The music throughout the game uses the same theme jingle but represented differently in each of the levels. In IMPETUS the music is simple whimsical and happy, in TENACITY it is chaotic and exciting, and in TRIUMPH it is solemn. (The introduction of the single piano helps to drive this home) This correlates well with the theories posted above.
- The gold which Commander Video collects represents man earning his income. You invariably have to collect some along the way, but collecting all possible gold is an optional task. One might consider it a challenge.
- Commandgirl Video and the other allies represents man finding love, pets, and a circle of friends.
- Specifically, Junior Melchkin is someone who looks up to the protagonist, Radbot is someone the protagonist looks up to, Meat Boy is the protagonist's equal (being a fellow video game hero), and Commandgirl Video is, of course, a lover.
- The final boss, The Source, represents man making enemies with someone or something, finding some wrong which must be righted in the world.
The above theory was jossed by the ending of Runner
- "YOU... ARE... NOT... A... MAN!" could mean that Commander Video doesn't represent a man at all.
- This could have been merely the Timbletot attempting to insult Commander Video, though, telling him that he is either a child or a coward.
- Or that he doesn't consider him to be a person at all. After all, to treat someone like they are so far beneath tyou as to not count as a person by your standards is the very definition of evil itself.
The sixth game will end with Commander Video dying and/or having a child.
- If the "Bit.Trip" represents the Circle Of Life, it's only natural that the end of the story would involve the conclusion of one man's trip, or the beginning of another's.
- Dying in Game 6 is most likely to be Jossed — signs are pointing to FATE as the game where he dies. Let's hope he's consummated◊ by then.
- The soundtrack to FATE has been released, and the songs are "Patience", "Frustration", and "Anger"... neither these, nor any of the other songs in the soundtrack, seem to deal with the issue of death.
- If Commander Video dies in FATE, the sixth game might star his offspring.
- Confirmed - CV seems to die in FATE.
- The sixth game is now known: Bit.Trip FLUX. Instead, it may be about the "nether", the ending of his life and the beginning of another.
- NP interview confirms FATE as Commander Video's death.
The difficult-to-get ending is a metaphor for the circle of life.
- Non-WMG: It has been revealed that a specific action must be taken at the end of the game to trigger the ending, and it has been predicted that few people will figure out what has to be done. WMG: It will involve pressing a button on another Wiimote (or, optionally, a Classic or Gamecube Controller), either triggering the birth of Commander Video's son or causing that son to do something unexpected that continues life's endless cycle.
The difficult-to-get ending is a metaphor for cyclicality itself.
- At a certain point of the ending, in order to get the full ending, the player must reset or turn off his Wii. Upon starting the game again, the full ending will play.
The difficult-to-get ending is difficult to understand, not to get.
In order to trigger the Game Over of FLUX
, the player must let the screen fade to white, then let go of the controller. Continuing to rotate the controller will cause the invisible Commander Video to hit beats and constellations for eternity. In order to complete the BIT.TRIP, one must learn to let go.
These two Twitter
messages suggest the possibility. Winning against it may even be
the way to get a Game Over
, as you are supposed to lose to it.
The place to which CommanderVideo goes after the credits of Flux is known.
He has reached the end of the part of his eternal journey taking place in his world. He has looked back upon his remembered past, and striven to learn what it means. At the very end, he is tempted to be CommanderVideo forever, but nobody can be something forever. Having learned what he is, he must do the hardest thing of all: stop being it. Game over.
And he gets up, turns off his Wii, and does something else.
He is only a man.
You are only a man.
- Wait, so are you saying that CommanderVideo is the one who Commands the Video?
- Why do you think his symbol is what it is? It appears in binary in the last game, it holds the default high score for the last level of the last game, and in the first and last games, it is his avatar: I.
- Eh, no. AFAIK, some guy researched into it and after decoding the binary, found hex, flipped it and got "i am". Forgot how exactly he got it though.
- almost, but you don't need hex, and you're missing a bit. it works like this: in each of the stages, there are hidden digits of binary, take them all in the order they appear, they result in 101001101011011011110110000101100000010010110110100001100000010010010010. reverse that, you get 010010010010000001100001011011010010000001101000011011110110110101100101. this translates into "I am home"
- Oh, and don't forget - at the beginning, he leaves a blue sphere, and at the end, he returns to it. A single, infinitesimal place in the infinite reaches of the multiverse. A pale blue dot.
- Suddenly the dedication makes sense.
The final task of the series is a direct message from CommanderVideo.
The player is sitting in front of a TV. The screen is white. It's time to let go, and stop being CommanderVideo. This is the threshold, where CommanderVideo ends and the player once again begins. For one moment, they both exist at the same time. CommanderVideo is the first to realize what must be done, and eventually, he just waits. Waits... and watches.
It's CommanderVideo's face.
- The final level brings CommanderVideo home. Your home.
- The design notes for CommanderVideo state that his "visor" has a 16:9 aspect ratio. No matter what screen resolution you play BIT.TRIP, the games are always played at a fixed 16:9 aspect ratio. Coincidence? Maybe.
The entire series is CommanderVideo's message to you.
The viral video that started everything shows CommanderVideo's giant corpse transmitting a final message. You are receiving a transmission consisting of his memories. It is sending the story of his life, so that you may learn from it. Perhaps you are who he has become, or perhaps the ending is merely a lesson, a metaphor for what CommanderVideo had to do. But in the end, you have to let go of him and move on to something different, as he did.
Both the "What CommanderVideo became" and "The series is CommanderVideo's final message" WMGs are true.
How can the two theories be reconciled? Easy. CommanderVIdeo's lifeless corpse was not obliterated, but ended up on an utterly insignificant little blue planet. When his spirit finally understood his life, it moved on. And that's when life on Earth began. His final message was directed at all life on Earth that could understand it - it only obliquely references what that life used to be (i.e. CommanderVideo), because that's not the point. The point is to teach life on Earth, via metaphors, the lessons that CommanderVideo has learned, so it could appreciate life more and spend its time learning even more about life.
The nature of the end of the story has been staring us in the face from the very beginning.
As explained in the manual, the final game is partly about how nothing truly ends, only changes. The entire game is a return to not just the first game, but its first level (as the musical references make clear). Death is only a transition, and guess what the first level of the first game is called?
CommanderVideo is an anthropomorphization of...
- The paddle from Pong.
- The letter I.
- The monolith from 2001: A Space Oddysey (although the proportions are all wrong)
- Your Wii Remote (there's black Wii Remotes, and the paddle is white in Flux)
The five shapes in FLUX are people CommanderVideo knows very well.
The unborn being, bewildered by its own self.
The infant, discovering a strange new universe.
The youth, learning the advantages and dangers of his own ego.
The man, finding the significance of friends and enemies as he participates in the world.
The soldier, on the verge of forgetting what's important as he experiences conflict and feels hatred.
And CommanderVideo is the sixth - the retrospector. He stands at the end of the path, turns around, and without recognizing them at first, he sees himself five times over. And the six combine into a single, wonderful whole. Finished, in at least one sense of the term. It is this completed being who finally goes back to where he came from.
CommanderVideo didn't die at the end of FATE.
He died at the end of FLUX
is a story of CommanderVideo's final moments as he lays dying. His entire life flashes before his eyes, and he learns to accept who he is and what he has accomplished in life. Once he has gained this acceptance, content and proud of the fact that he has completed his journey, he fades away, having achieved the sole goal of life... whatever it may be.
The viral video, depicting the discovery of a mysterious monument (actually the head of a mostly-buried CommanderVideo), is not an epilogue but a prologue. After his suicide attack against the Mingrawn Timbletot, CommanderVideo landed on Earth, where he slumbered for an unknown amount of time until his discovery left him with no excuse to put off his the final phase of his life: its end. The first five games depict what CommanderVideo displays on his visor: a replaying of his life
for his own benefit and the benefit of others. The first three parts depict his origins. His memories of those are somewhat fuzzy, and as a result they are largely depicted through metaphor. The beginning of BEAT shows the adult CommanderVideo flying around, before showing his literal conception, as if to say, "Where am I? ...When
am I?" The visuals of VOID's gameplay are the most abstract because they depict CommanderVideo's emotional development, which was entirely intangible. After the first five parts are finished, CommanderVideo again becomes conscious of the here and now. A world where he cannot contact his friends remotely and the world is slipping away from him. His thoughts bounce back and forth between simply, imperfectly displayed images of his hallucinations and a glorious visual and aural summation of his life and identity depicting his final journey to absolute clarity. At the very end, his visor displays nothing but pure white. He's waiting for you, with whom he has shared his life's journey. Waiting for you to do what he has done, and say one of the most difficult words in any language: Goodbye.
CommanderVideo's friends all have different, well-defined roles.
Junior Melchikin looks up to him, Radbot is looked up to by him (although it turns out that on the inside, he too is only a man
), Meat Boy is his equal, and CommandgirlVideo is his lover.
Mingrawn Timblebot wasn't real.
The Timblebot first appears at the end of the first world. By this point, Commander Video is starting to realize that the world isn't as fun as he'd imagined it being. The Timblebot represents his feeling overwhelmed by this, and while he is able to put the feeling aside, its effects are still felt, as represented by World 2 being less fantastic and more industrial than World 1. As he progresses through the world, things become more mundane, and he begins to see the world as it is, rather than how he wishes it would be.
All this comes to a head in the final level. His insecurity is back in full force, and he begins to lose faith in himself. Thankfully, by this point he's been lucky enough to make friends who help him through it: Junior Melchkin, who looks up to the Commander, even with his flaws; Radbot, who's been in this situation before, and is able to give strong advice; Meat Boy, who goes through much worse
than the Commander for the sake of his girlfriend, yet believes he has a wonderful life; and Commandergirl Video, who at that point has never met him before, and yet is willing to help him. With their help, Commander Video is able to rise up, and dispose of the Timblebot once and for all.
Or so he thinks. The ending
shows that although the Commander has seemingly moved past his depression, there is still a trace of doubt. The words "YOU ARE NOT A MAN" represent his hidden disgust at relying on his friends to snap him out of it.
Finally, the hidden Game Over screen
shows what would have happened had the Commander disregarded his friends' advice. Unable to cope with having his illusions shattered, he simply stops trying, resulting in his death.
RUNNER2's different graphical style is how things actually looked throughout CommanderVideo's life.
The original BIT.TRIP series is essentially CommanderVideo hallucinating his life story as he finally begins to die on Earth after his discovery in the viral video. This explains the retro graphical style. RUNNER2, meanwhile, portrays things as they actually looked.
RUNNER2 is told from the point of view of someone who knew CommanderVideo when he was alive.
Judging by the cartoony style, it may be the recounting of idealized memories. The one doing the recounting may have been quite young at the time... downright junior, in fact. Perhaps the player - who previously kneeled before the dying, mostly buried CommanderVideo as his life flashed before (and on) his eye - has met an old friend of the Commander, who is adding to his story. Junior Melchkin, now Senior Melchkin, or perhaps even Commander Melchkin. After all, as a wise man once said, we are all commanders.
- Probably Jossed - Junior Melchkin wasn't there.
FATE was designed to not feel like a rhythm game on purpose.
The notes are still kerned to the rhythm because rhythm is life and vice versa (this only changes when CommanderVideo is finally ready to die - the music ceases to have rhythm, and while the beats are still kerned, the player him/herself must stop hitting them
), but the gameplay is as far from being rhythm-based as the series gets (the second-furthest is VOID). This is because those were the points in CommanderVideo's life when he strayed the furthest from his life's path. In VOID, he was egotistical, and in FATE, he was utterly bitter.
The final world of RUNNER2 - at minimum - takes place in CommanderVideo's mind.
The narration at the start of World 5 mentions CommanderVideo's escape from a 'counterfeit consciousness'. His fifteen-month journey may have been entirely mental in nature. At any rate, World 5 is quite clearly a journey through his subconscious mind. It is where he came from, in the time between conception and birth as depicted in BEAT, and it is to where he will return, after he meets his fate, crash-lands on Earth, and, with the help of a human, walks through the events of his life and dies complete.
One question remains: who is CaptainVideo?
RUNNER2's final boss symbolizes how much of a mess the Timbletot is.
In this battle, CommanderVideo defeats the Timbletot by leading him through four gates, each representing one of the first four games in the BIT.TRIP series. CommanderVideo deftly passes through them, but the Timbletot can only crash through.
- BEAT: The Timbletot thinks he is more than a man. He is not.
- CORE: The Timbletot thinks he is alone. He is not.
- VOID: The Timbletot thinks he too is ready. He is not.
- RUNNER: If the Timbletot can't get those right, how can he possibly function normally as an adult? His only words in that game were "YOU ARE NOT A MAN" - as in, 'you are not a fully-developeed, functioning person'. He directed it at the wrong person.
- Or maybe his awkward younger brother. One of his starting animations is scratching his head, he holds the flower questioningly in the score screen, and when he lands on the perfect bonus target, he smacks right into it and slides off.
Level Epiphany in Flux is a deconstruction of the idea of fate.
According to the letters in Bit.Trip Complete "The art in Epiphany illustrates the deconstruction of the idea of fate, as it is an idea born of the physical realm.". The background of Epiphany in all the modes up to Giga depicts a twisting, winding path that CV doggedly follows. This refers to the fate-line in Bit.Trip Fate. However, when we breach Meta mode the scenery changes to the image of a solar system, with planets tracing simple circular paths around a sun. In our lives, when we look back we realize that we were focused on the wrong things (in this case doggedly following winding fate-lines), and everything is simple in retrospect (they're revealed to be simple circular paths, like all things it is just an ever-repeating cycle). This is the Epiphany. In CV's heightened state of existence he realizes how silly his closemindedness in Bit.Trip Fate was, and he marvels in the simplicity of the big picture. Regret is futile, because life just is. He then meets the boss, a red version of CV that he must vanquish. I think this represents the fact that for CV to continue on his soul journey and reach perception and ultimately catharsis, he must first conquer and let go of the anger and attachments that dogged him through Bit.Trip Fate, which his newfound enlightenment now enables him to do.
Runner2 represents exploring the thoughts and workings of the mind.
Think about it. The worlds in the game are silly, creative, and goofy. But, isn't there something hidden from our view?
- The Welkin Wonderland: It represents liveliness. It's an airy world with clouds, floating islands, cloud titans, all sorts of things relating to it.
- The Emerald Brine: It represents wants. Beaches, fishing, boardwalk, it feels like you are there but you really WANT to go there.
- The Supernature: It can't get more obvious than the imagination. Supernatural creatures! Slenderman! Bigfoot! UFOS (OMG)! All sorts of whacky things!
- The Mounting Sadds: Critical thinking. Puzzle solving and learning. The world is underground, full of lava and machinery, lot's of stuff relating to it.
- The BIT.TRIP: Memories. The gameplay of BEAT, CORE, and VOID can be seen in the background. 3 tall wavy C Vs from CORE are also shown. The world reflects on Commander Video's recent past.
But when the Timbletot comes in, that's when the troubles start. He represents disorder and fear and those things can cause the brain to malfunction. That's where CV comes in. He represents trying to solve the problems and getting help. But he can't do it alone. There's where his friends come in. They represent getting help from family and friends.
They even match the world themes, too. (Most of them.)
- Uncle Dill is silly, goofy, whacky, and crazy in many ways we say, "Uncle Dill. Go home. You're drunk."
- No clue how Reverse Merman represents wants. A man wants to catch a fish?
- It can't get more imaginative than a guy with a cheeseburger for a head!
- With Pitazo, he's a whistle. Plus, in that lavaland called the "Mounting Sadds", he has to find ways to not melt. He's doing very good.
- Captain Video was going to be a design for CV in the game but got scrapped. But he was too good to waste so he was put in as another friend. He represents what could have been.
Commandgirl Video represents family most of all. When the player plays her, she is helping CV in a way. Also, Commandgirl Video loves him and he loves her back. Remember the final boss of the first RUNNER?