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I had seen the ending of Limbo, but at the time was distracted so I didn't catch the subtlety.

I just watched it again here.

I have some ideas about what the ending implies, but wanted to know if anyone could formulate a clear description of "What just happened?"

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Careful, there is going into subjective territory. – Elpezmuerto Aug 26 '10 at 20:56
Would have been so much better if they had just hugged. We earned a reward and a happy ending. Would have made the whole game not a total tragedy. Just one little hug, but no. – Lone Coder Dec 15 '10 at 9:16
I think that the possibility of a dream is really likely. At the beginning you woke up in a forest, it could be a forest of your dream, and then you start running and nothing seems realistic. Neither the gigantic spider, nor the boys with the blowpipe, or even the gravity changing thing.Then you go through something, maybe a window, and you wake up again in a forest, but now your sister is here. – user11438 Aug 3 '11 at 12:46
up vote 13 down vote accepted

I don't think there is an agreed upon meaning, but an interesting article discussing several theories can be found here.

Edit with summary as per @tzenes request:

The main theories the article mentions are as follows

  • It is simply a happy ending, and the boy is reunited with his sister
  • They are both dead and needed to meet up before entering the afterlife
  • They are both alive, but are trapped and doomed to die a slow death of starvation.
  • It was a dream and he woke up and found her alive
  • Only the boy is dead, and the sister is surprised to discover he is dead
  • They both died at the treehouse, but were lost in Limbo, the between of this world and the after life. When they met they went to the after life and their bodys remaind cover with flyes
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Exactly what I was going to link. +1 – badp Aug 26 '10 at 21:15
Can you please summarize if you're going to link? That way if the link goes stale we still have some data to work off of. – tzenes Aug 26 '10 at 21:23
@tzenes Summary added. – en1gmatic325 Aug 27 '10 at 2:45

I think the two of them are dead. Ever realize how after the credits roll there are two sets of flies buzzing over two separate spots on the ground? Those are the bodies of the brother and sister. I personally think that they fell out of their tree-house and both landed in a different part of Limbo. The sister got there first, and it looks like she's burying her body, or her brother's body. Notice how when you find her it's really bright and the tree-house looks nice? In the title menu, the tree-house is old and broken.

That's what makes Limbo so amazing. The game leaves the ending so open that I don't think there's really a wrong guess as to what ACTUALLY happened to the brother and sister.

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I think they are both just trapped in an endless cycle because the sister killed you the first time. It ends the same way it starts.

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I think that they fell out the tree house and the sister landed first. And at the end if you look past where the sister is sitting theres the ladder and then a big tree with wooden "steps" on it...It also leads me to thinking its a Tree House because at the end Menu if you look up and on the branch it seems to be a broken down structure. Its clear that they are dead because for one at the end the flies flying around where the boy was standing and also where the girl was sitting and burying. :/ T

I don't think it could have been a dream, because the title of the game is "Limbo" and Limbo is the place IN BETWEEN Heaven and Hell. So i think they had to reunite and be together before finally being set to peace..

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protected by juan Aug 4 '11 at 18:29

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