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I've been trying to piece together the backstory of FEZ - this is where I'm up to...

There are 4 races in FEZ:

  • Visitors - these appear as floating heads with 3 eyes and 3 tentacles.

  • Long-heads - these have long heads and one eye, they're only seen in pictures.

  • Big-heads - you can talk to these but they have a different language.

  • Gomez's species - only seen in the starting village.

Firstly, according to a blackboard in a classroom in Gomez's village:

Evolution of Gomez

It looks like the long-heads and big-heads are ancestors of Gomez's people.

I think that the long-heads were primitive ancestors that lived purely in 2D:

  • Their village is flat and the rooms there cannot be rotated.

  • They hunted animals (shown by one wall) and worshipped owls (shown by another), possible because the owls could see in 3D already.

Owl mural

The big-heads are harder to figure out, and I think visiting them might involve some time travel. There are two big-head villages:

  • Under construction village - this is populated and covered with scaffolding. It has the working stargate in it.

  • Ruined village - this is empty and overgrown, but almost identical.

I think that these are the same village before and after a catastrophe:

  • The populated village has a working stargate and a mural room that shows the visitors giving the stargate to the big-heads.

Primitive big-heads Visitors arrive through gate

Visitors give stargate to big-heads Big-head king has 3rd eye and stargate

  • The classroom in that village shows a visitor holding the number 3, implying that visitors showed the big-heads about the third dimension too.

  • The ruined village has a mural that shows the stargate being built and then in its destroyed state.

  • The ruined village's stargate is destroyed by the space-holes, perhaps implying that's how they've come into the world?

I think the visitors and the owls are related somehow, but I'm not sure how?

Were the visitors destroyed by the same catastrophe?

If I'm right about the time travel then Gomez is going back in time to complete the game, and it's possible that in doing so he causes the disaster that destroys the big-head village.

If I'm wrong then what is going on?

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This is a fascinating question, but almost certainly unanswerable. +1 anyway, though others might frown on it. –  DwarfSlice Dec 16 '12 at 3:40

4 Answers 4

One of the coolest parts of playing Fez has been piecing together a story based purely on engravings and a smattering of owl and Dot sayings.

The only bit in the history you've outlined that I would take issue with is the bit where you say the big heads are ancestors to Gomez's people. And by big heads, I mean the ones running the successful stargate. I think the bigheads are the latest line in this string of creatures having heads large enough to contain information about the third dimension without shattering the hexahedron. They also all wear squares, or 2D cubes, on headbands almost as a religious or tribal identification.

I can't tell if the ruined city is in the past, or if it's more like ruins that the big heads discovered, or if it was a failed project that they relocated. There is some amount of time and space not acting as expected, beyond the established 3D gimmick, as when you enter the hut in the forest that exits in the mausoleum, or the underground place that is being rendered out of glitches.

Two tiny details that I thought were incredible: the tribal Gomezes live in 2 dimensional huts which they see with 1 dimensional eyes. They see in 2 dimensions because that's how many there are, while Gomez and the big heads have 2 eyes and can see in three dimensions, and the space squid have 3 eyes which presumably means they can see in four dimensions. This implies that the world was evolving as the creatures were.

Two final thoughts:

  1. I think there might have been a second alien race or something. Throughout the game are skulls with three eyes, but laid out on a line, not in a triangular shape like the space squid have.

  2. I'm not entirely sure why the one-eyes started worshipping owls, but in UFO lore, owls and aliens (in particular grays) are closely related. I have a friend who swears up and down he was visited by a talking owl as a kid, and the owl told him about the relationship between humans and aliens. It's as if, in the game, owls can straddle all the possible worlds because they can fly and see all the dimensions.

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I think the big-heads and the long-heads (what you've called tribal Gomezes) both appear on the blackboard in Gomez's village's school hut on what looks like an evolutionary chart (see question). To me that suggests that both must precede Gomez's people, possibly as ancestors, but even if not they must have come before. –  Keith Apr 30 '12 at 21:08
    
I guess you're right. I misread the picture as being Gomez's people. At the same time, don't human evolution charts terminate with regular humans on the farthest right? Where's Gomez's folk? –  H. Montgomery May 1 '12 at 2:51
    
Not sure, maybe that would be too obvious? I think the big-heads are Gomez's predecessors, but they were wiped out in the calamity that destroyed their stargate. I think there was only one alien race, with three eyes and three tentacles - we only ever see stylised statues of them, so the eyes inline could just be part of that (like their tentacles only having 90 degree corners) –  Keith May 2 '12 at 9:58

My two cents:

Owls: first of all, this is a clear reference to the Twin Peaks series, the red drapes lodge around the graveyard levels is a place with which you travel into that world. This is also true in TP, where the lodge is a place inhabited by spirits, who can travel between planes. Owls play a prominent role, as a spiritual embodiment of evil and darkness. The killer BOB is seen transforming into it several times. Also, it is implied that they are extraterrestrial.

As for the Big heads story, at the starting sequence, the megahedron thinks you are actually of the ???, I think he returns every once in a while, and performs some sort of checkup with the big heads. In the translated sequence ( see youtube ) he says "whats with your head?" meaning he has mistaken Gomez for a big head ancestor. He then shatters, maybe gomez was not supposed to perform the checkup?

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I think you're right about the references to the Black Lodge and Twin Peaks, I'd forgotten owls featured in Twin Peaks. For an upvote include links to the videos and translations you're referring to. –  Keith Aug 7 '12 at 7:39
    
I added some ??? marks where the sentence wasn't clear. (If my edit gets peer reviewed of course ;) ). With some work, and like @Keith said more links. This can be a good answer. –  Ids Sep 28 '12 at 13:02

Totally in agreement; If you think about the "world tree" as a tesseract, then Gomez is really moving around in time as well as space, and you can piece together a rough history. After the fall of the classical, stargate-using age, it seems like they had to migrate to other 'worlds' and reinvent things (mechanical age, broken rainy world, death world?) and somehow Gomez' village is the end, a sort of sheltered pocket universe where the remainder of the population live (and evolved into their current form), but it's been so long, they forgot they lived in three dimensions. Maybe the big head = slightly larger brain, and by Gomez' time their brains have shrunk... :)

I have a related theory (spoiler)

that the time travel setup is also linked to the "tree rings" you can see on the ground in a New Game+; blocky pyramids appear in a few places. These possibly indicate there's a pyramid in time, as well. The center square is the same place in space, but you're in a different time level in each location.

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I think the backstory of Fez goes like this:

The tall, 2-dimensional seeing men hunted and lived in caves (shown as big carved stones with windows). They knew how to draw, and they worshipped the owls. As time passed, they evolved into the big heads, who have their own alphabet and numeral system. The visitors came, and the first Fez greeted them. The visitors gave them the technology to make stargates and warp gates.

Because of this, the Fez became ruler of the big heads. However, when they tried to use their newly made stargate, something went wrong and it broke. Here, there are no more etchings, and it jumps to the modern city. I think that some of the big heads rebelled and went to a small island, and some went to another island. The original civilization went to the waterfall hub they made and went to the last door of the hub. They entered it and begun to rebuild their civilization, and now their hypercube symbol just became part of their "fashion sense." They discovered an artifact that sensed movement.

A stray big head became lost between worlds. He made Hypercube pillars in some places, and made a stone etching for people to see and rescue him. The big heads on the small island renounced their religion, alphabet and numeral system, and slowly became Gomez's ancestors. The other island's Long heads were mostly engineers of the king. Their knowledge on technology made them an advanced civilization, but a black hole engulfed them. Then Gomez was born, Gezzer got his Fez, and here they are now.

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Can you please edit your post so that it's less 'wall-of-text-in-your-face'? Punctuations are all over the place in this one as well. –  deutschZuid Feb 14 '13 at 3:19

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