Contains spoilers for the video game Just Shapes and Beats.
Over on the GTLive YouTube channel, MatPat and crew finished the game Just Shapes & Beats. It’s a video game of a blue square working its way through levels of deadly red shapes all to music tracks. *For the first part click here. For the second (final) click here.*
On the surface the game seems to be just about a square trying to save his friend (a larger square) from an evil collection of red shapes that looks somewhat like a rocker. But since I’ve obviously watched way too many Game Theorist videos, I started to come up with a theory as to what was happening.
In the game, the red rocker steals three giant triangles. The blue hero travels through levels in order to retrieve all three pieces. At the end of each level, the blue square collects a smaller triangle. Once you’ve beaten the final, final boss, the three giant triangles form a tree with a bunch of triangle trees appearing with it.
So, the red foe stole/cutdown the trees and the blue square is getting them back.
At one point in the game a volcano erupts. An erupting volcano is usually symbolic of nature’s wrath. The red rocker destroying the trees (aka nature) has caused a natural disaster. Nature is out of balance. On the way to the volcano, you have to journey across a red infected sea–once again, damaged nature.
After the volcano, you visit a factory to save the larger square. The camera pans up, quite a lot, to show the rocker standing on a tower playing its corruption music–or playing “noise pollution.” The rocker’s beats infect the other shapes. This factory is pumping out toxins.
During your stay inside the factory, you must escape blades as they grind up pieces of land. This looks very similar to a factory grinding up trees to make products.
Then after defeating the rocker, it gets hit by the triangle and becomes diseased. The rocker begins spawning in egg-like things which hatch and unleash virus looking monstrosities. Eventually, the boss transforms into what looks like an evil sun and says that you are destroyed. It proceeds to smash the blue square to pieces. If you respawn, it comes from the sky and smashes you again–almost like a solar flare or extreme heat.
You are saved by the larger square, who now wears a simple crown of two triangles–much like someone would wear a crown made of nature/flowers. The blue square is finally able to fight back and destroys the evil sun-thing. After this, the sun returns as its normal yellow self (the only time you see a color other than red, blue, or white). The trees reform and everything is normal again.
So, my theory is that the red boss/rocker began chopping down trees and putting them through its factory. The boss’ pollution began to damage nature, causing disasters. The damage then caused a virus (as seen by the corrupted triangle infecting the boss and spawning in egg hatching beasts). Finally, the sun becomes evil and begins destroying everyone and everything. But it isn’t until the blue square is powered up by the triangles (aka nature) that it is able to defend itself. The plant life is then replanted and the world is once again in balance.
It seems like Just Shapes & Beats is a game about global warming, or at least a warning against aggressive destruction of forests/nature.
Lastly, the title seems to be telling us the game is simple–just shapes and beats–but it really has something more going on. But, what that story is, just might be up to the listener/player. The images you see when you listen to music is different from what I see–kind of like how one person can see a bunny in the clouds while another sees a dragon. Just as I saw a rocker in the red boss, the Game Theorists saw their cat.
So let me know in the comments, what did you see? Cat? Rocker? Just shapes and beats? Or something else?
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