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Fridge Brilliance

  • The very name of the game. Most obviously it's a piece of electronic equipment, which fits in with the electronic style of the game. But the protagonist of the game is a singer, and music is a very key aspect of the game in general. Transistor is an old term used to refer to Transistor radios.
  • At one point, the Transistor goes "You know what I hate more than stairs? NOTHING." Considering it's about the size of the woman that's wielding it, so she has to drag it on the ground as she goes, any set of stairs could be causing it a bit of headache...
  • Many of the Functions have very indicative names that relate to actual programming functions and have relevance to the story/character they come from:
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    • Crash(): As in a computer or program crashing. It could relate to Red being a new user of the Transistor and her processing being stopped by her friend.
    • Breach(): A security breach in a program. This makes sense since Red's friend jumped in front of the Transistor that was thrown to kill her. It also makes sense since Red's friend appears to have no entry in the City's Database.
    • Help(): Relates to the "Help" menu in programs. As such it of course summons a helper for you.
  • The Process started going out of control when the Camerata used the Transistor to attack Red and Nameless—possibly it was even being wielded by Sybill herself. So she became a Process whose function is to summon more process.
  • Royce can track you down even while you're masked(). This looked like a case of Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. But you have done this before to Fetches as Transistor's holder...
  • Red stabbing herself with the Transistor may come out of left field for some, but if you've been paying attention, you realize it was the best out of a group of bad options. It's impossible to upload people from the Country back to Cloudbank, and Cloudbank was literally defined by the people living in it, to the point of being a World of Chaos due to changing opinions. Without the people, the city, no matter how godlike Red is, is dead - there's simply not the element needed to bring Cloudbank as it was back. The only thing there is Process, who are functionally mindless. Now, faced with an eternity of loneliness in a graveyard or joining everyone inside that sword, what would you rather choose? Some pretty blink-and-you'll-miss-it foreshadowing at the end of the game when Red is able to use the Transistor to authorize building a bridge to Fairview. When she authorizes the bridge to Fairvew at Royce's instruction, it's got statues of a man and woman holding hands on either side (and the statues definitely resemble Red and her beau). But after the final fight when Red de-Processes the bridge to Fairview, it comes back and the male and female statues are separated by the bridge, on either side of it like it's a wall. If how she's rebuilding the world is indicative of her thoughts she's definitely thinking about how she'll never get back Mr. Nobody.
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    • Except it's heavily implied the people aren't dead. They're Processed. They don't exist as anything but data anymore. Red possibly didn't know, or she possibly just didn't care.
  • The Recursion option brings a small bit of fridge brilliance with it: The first sentence of the game in a Recursion run is spoken by Royce instead of "the man" in the Transistor and the final fight in the game is of course against Royce. As such the Recursion begins and ends with a Brackett.
  • Why do the Process seem...interested in Red? Because the sword she wields is their control mechanism-she's effectively their goddess.
  • At the start of the game Red had a very low "access level" which improves when you get access to the backdoors and improves further as you absorb the traces of the Camerata. This is also reflected in the OVC terminals suddenly recognizing Red as an Admin.
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  • Listen to the soundtrack, especially the ones featuring Ashley Barrett. They are actually mirroring Red's descending into depression, foreshadowing her "suicide" as well as giving clues to what is happening around her.
  • Royce says in his notes for the "Man"-type process that he's introduced limiters to the Transistor. The Limiter options that you get aren't being turned on, they're being turned off. Making the Process universally stronger. Note that the button to remove the negative effects is labelled "Reset Limiter" which just as easily means "Turn it back on".
  • You know those fire barriers in Royce's studio, the ones that he deactivates as you progress? They're firewalls.
  • The final boss fight takes place in what looks like a farm, with memory banks full of the traces of the people previously absorbed by the Transistor. It's a literal Server Farm!
  • It's not a sword. It's a flash drive. More technically, it's a USB security dongle. Just a really, really big one. Supergiant Games might be catching up with the joke here...
  • Once you realize what "The Country" is a euphemism for, the game over screen makes a little more sense.
  • Red's age is listed as 27. Several popular musicians have died at the age of 27.
  • Asher and Grant Kendrell have Functions that compliment each other. Asher's Function, Void(), is an area of effect attack that weakens enemies, or when used as an upgrade, it amplifies the effects of other Functions. Given the support role Asher had in the Camerata, this makes sense. Grant's Function is Tap(), another area of effect attack that drains the health from enemies and gives it to the User. The Functions are complimentary colors as well, Void() is red and black, Tap() is green and white.
  • More unwitting fridge fan brilliance than anything, but one of the fan nicknames for the Man in the Transistor is Blue. While most people would use this in reference to a parallel between Red's red hair and Blue's blue sword, their only other companion is a process dog called Luna, meaning moon. A Red Moon and a Blue Moon are both lunar events.
  • In *nix systems, background processes are called daemons. The Process is the background process that changes the city to the whims of the people. The instances of The Process that Red fights? They're daemons. Red's fighting the demons that have come up to eat the world.
  • "We're not getting away with this are we?" This either refers to what the Camerata did, or the core of the problem presented in storyline that is a dilemma with no known solution.
  • In the fight against Royce, he tends to use Flood () to attack more than other functions. Of course, because that was the function created from his trace.
  • When you first encounter Sibyl, the interface says she's 98% processed. She enters her final form, when she stops attacking and just lies there broken and weeping, when you get her down to the last 2% of her total hit points (adding up the total across all her stages.) In other words, her final form is all that's left of her humanity.

Fridge Horror

  • Royce noticed how odd it was that Younglady took on the appearance of a human female. Then you got Snapshots obsessing over posters of Red. Then you got the Man...
  • At the end, the Transistor is probably stuck in Red's corpse, forever.
  • What being 'Processed' actually means.
  • Some have noted that the soundtrack chronicle Red's decent into depression. In Circles is about regret and anger and lack of mercy, The Spine calls the world sick and speaks of wanting to escape from it and We All Become laments uniformity and lack of identity similar to the Camerata's creed. However, in-universe all of those songs were written and performed by Red long before the game started. Red was probably always depressed.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.

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