I just finished unravel and thank you, your whole team! But i just had one question, are the two girls in one level (i forget the name of it), the ones who held hands and put their lock on the bridge, are they intended to be romantically involved?
Yes they are, if that’s how you choose to see it. I always wanted people to be able to make Unravel’s story their own, so I’m not going to say “that’s true” because it’s just one possible truth.
But yes, they could totally be in love. To me, that level is basically about curiosity and departure, about leaving old things behind, being brave and exploring new things. As you move through the level the environments shift quite drastically, you sometimes go left instead of right, you climb to great heights, and no section plays quite like the others. It’s a bit chaotic, and you never quite know what will happen next. So love would fit right in with those themes.
And I guess it’s also about how much departure can hurt, both for those who leave, and for those who are left behind, because you do get crushed and fall a lot in that level :)
I hope I don’t say too much now, as I said, I really don’t want to limit the ways people can interpret the story. But I thought it might be fun to talk about how that level became what it is. There were three major inspirations for that level setting, three memories that really helped shape it.
The first thing was this place I used to go to when I was little, a cabin up north, right by these big, roaring whitewhater rapids. There was an old narrow train track nearby, it was all overgrown and no longer used, but I always wondered where it led. It set my imagination off. I tried exploring it, wandering off as far as I dared, but I never actually made it to the other end. Which is alright I guess, because I can keep wondering now…
The second thing was a bridge I saw in Cologne, an iron rail bridge, absolutely covered in love locks. I hadn’t seen anything like that before, but I loved the idea, the symbol. It definitely made a lasting impact on me.
The third was a crazy fun thing some friends did, back when we were all younger and still immortal. There’s these two really tall rail bridges near here, right next to each other. My friends basically turned them into a giant swingset, where they jumped off one bridge while tethered to the other (they’re climbers, so they actually know a lot about safety gear, they didn’t just randomly jump), so they could swiiiing under it. I wanted to make something that felt just like that - definitely dangerous but totally liberating and exhilarating too.
Those three memories were the starting point for that level. Of course, things grew from there. The people of the story had to matter too, not just the places. But that’s how it began.