Check out 02:36 in my video for a quick overview of burd
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
these are dark times.
the kingdom of birds has fallen and will not again rise from the ashes.
A and D to move left and right
Space to jump
S to drop
Music by @Leafcuts.
A few of you are buying the game, even though it's free!
While that is greatly appreciated, I'd ask that you maybe check out my Patreon instead. You can still chuck a quid in and the money will only come out when I finish a game - not monthly.
Thanks either way!
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I didnt mean to time this so well I just recorded it and then BOOM Duolingo becomes a meme IT JUST WORKS OUT
===> SPOILERS AHEAD! <===
Playthrough and story
Having seen the two endings I think I get the meaning of the game. Or maybe I am reading too much into it, but I had fun thinking this out so why not write it down? Despite having tried to get a more "neutral" one in the second run, it turns out there being only two endings is justified. I will elaborate on the game, it's ideas, and what I think about it below:
The game starts by telling the player that "the kingdom of birds has fallen and will not rise again." While that is a reference to the phoenix bird, the way I see it, the bird "god" is actually a roc, which is more fitting for a malevolent being as the roc is actually said to be as big (or bigger than) mountains in mythology and eat elephants. I could think of no better villain for such a story.
Anyway, the protagonist emerges from it's shell and finds the roc who commands the little
birb burd to bring him food. The first task is easy, but immediately after giving the little bird the order to search for more the little bird runs into vulnerable and orphaned chicks. Here the "god" shows a disdain for weaker birds as he tells the protagonist to ignore the chicks and feed him instead, and right before that he even says that if the player wants to use checkpoints/teleporters ("return to me sooner") he would have to kill fellow birds yet to hatch.
From that point on, player choices determine the fate of the chicks, the god, the protagonist, and the world... Several rather frustrating deaths aside, specially if the player is trying to go for the best ending. Eventually the player finds another bird who resembles a cross between a robin and a hoopoe - the birds which, according to persian mythology, resisted the crow's influence and helped lead the flock of birds away from the mist and towards the path to meeting the "king of birds", or Simurgh.
At any rate, If the player remains loyal to the roc, the chicks starve and presumably the unborn are slain, their nests to be used as teleporters. This ending is the easier one to get and also rather unsatisfying - the hoopoe-robin chastises you for having been "led astray by power" and for believing blindly in heaven, whereas the world they lived could have been made into such a thing. I actually found the implication that the little bird was killed and sent to hell as punishment for the evil caused to be a poetic end.
If you choose to go for the good ending instead and feed the chicks (and also do your best to avoid murdering the unborn birds), the "god" becomes progressively angrier until he actively starts using his power to attack you, admitting his intention to destroy what remains of the world. While the game is at it's hardest, the ending you can get after slaying the tyrant-god is quite worth it: The hoopoe-robin praises you for your choices, saying that the world they live in can be made into heaven now that the kingdom of birds is no more. He ends on a hopeful note: "If nothing matters, why not let there be love?"
What I think about it
Again, assuming I am not seeing things were there are none, the game depicts a sick society at it's last throes where a weakened, cornered tyrant is desperately trying to finish off what remains of a deeply wounded world. At first I thought this was some sort of critique of modern day society, as it is implied there were other gods that formed the fallen kingdom but are now no more. But the whole "god commands bird to murder fellow birds" brings to mind biblical scenes and blind adherence to dogma more than modern decay instead.
The game is ultimately about doing what you think is right, but you will be judged for it. Do you really think some vague idea is worth more than those who are alive, or not yet born? Do you really think defying authority is worth it, even if it ends what is familiar to all? Which version of heaven is better to you?
Personally, I do not agree with nihilism as a philosophy. I never saw the appeal of it - to me things are not so much meaningless as they are subjective. There is a saying: "a man's trash is another man's treasure", so to me what a fellow person finds happiness and meaning in can be completely meaningless to me - and vice versa.
I also have to add that the game is quite inconsistent in it's approach to it. The bird who is opposed to the god is clearly espousing a morality that is not nihilistic - indeed, why let there be love? Nothing matters, remember? And when nothing matters, evil and good have no difference: Death is the same as life, joy is the same as misery, good is the same as evil. None of them hold any weight, zero, and infinity multiplied by zero is still zero.
While the good ending is more, well, meaningful to me as-is, I think perhaps it would have been better if the kingdom of the birds had been a good thing which the little bird attempts to serve and the other bird condemned the little bird's actions not so much based on morality but on futility - the kingdom has fallen and will not rise again, so all the protagonist has done is either delay the inevitable or hasten it, not really changing it.
Another approach would have been to ditch the nihilism entirely. This world clearly has good and evil defined, so why not roll with it from the get go? The hoope-robin asks the protagonist to consider the choices taken, but why not appear and judge earlier? Have him actively work against the evil god, condemn the player for not feeding the chicks, try to make him question Aevali's existence from the beginning, warn him that the "god" is actually a hateful entity. And when the die is cast and all choices are taken, rather than a bleak or hopeful outro you simply get what you worked for: The destruction of the world, or it's salvation.
Final words: It was quite an enjoyable experience, gameplay-wise though there are a lot of traps which could have been done without considering the game is more about moral choices than it is about platforming. At least that was how I experienced it. I could also talk more about the presented ideas but I think I have done enough about that already.
Also, yes, I was really bored. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So yeah, this is a great game. I love the visual design, the atmospheric music, and the moody clouds in the background. Unfortunately, I cannot possibly agree with the ideologies this game presents.
If it isn't too touchy a subject, I'd be interested in hearing you elaborate on that a little bit. Happy to go to DMs.
Hey, so I played this game for the past couple days, and I liked how challenging it was, you guys did a great job! Just today, to keep my progress when I had something else to do, I left the game running at the point where there was lightning that could kill you. When I got back, I found that there were two birds instead of one. Not wanting to lose progress, I try to play it and it worked fine, until I died again and more spawned, 4, and when i died again, 8, and so on. I know I can just restart the game, but it will suck to have to start over. I don't know if you can create a pause screen, but just wanted to let you guys know.
While I was typing this, more died (from the lightning) and more were generated, and I moved them all off the ledge, and they all died and froze the game.
And then it tried to load them all.
I hope this was helpful feedback, or I just need to restart the game and not keep it running like that. Have a good day!
This is my favourite bug!
It sounds like you're playing a build from a couple of days ago, but I'm *pretty* sure I patched this in the last update (yesterday).
If you're still getting this bug in the most recent build, give me a shout and I'll take another swing at it.
I don't know if this is a rage game, or I'm just really unlucky, but I eventually got to the good ending. Skip to 39:30 if you're just here for the ending. 24:52 if you just want to see me lose my mind. The rest is really emotional.
The glitch I encountered most often was my jump tokens not refilling, which seems to happen if I hit the corner of a platform. It stranded and killed me quite a few times. The other big one (at 24:52) was just such bad luck that I thought it was on purpose, but I got struck by lightning while carrying a worm, and it broke the worm, preventing me from finishing the game.
Hey man. Thank you for playing for 40+ minutes!
The game is meant to be tough - but there's no excuse for the bugs you've ran into.
I couldn't watch the whole thing (I struggle with watching people play my games), but I skipped through and caught a couple of issues you ran into. Working on a patch as we speak.
I don't suppose you ran into any others - aside from the ones you've mentioned?
Hm, I don't quite get why this game does not work with checkpoitns. Sort of lost my patience with it very soon although it looks promising.
Really awesome atmosphere. The game is beyond praise!
really cool game but I don't really see how to avoid going the dark route (at least if I am not some hardcore instadeath fan)
Hi! I really dig the atmosphere. You achieved so much through the music and visuals. But I can't get past the first big obstacle (the jump to the right from the original starting point). I can jump to smaller platform but not the big one. :(
Wow! What an experience! I love this so much.
The visuals, the audio - everything was incredible! Really good game feel as well.
Just a couple of things I noticed - when you first talk to the god, your character is referred to as "you" and "me" in the same sentence (unless I'm getting it wrong?)
I'll admit that after several tries I couldn't make it past the spikes that fall from the heavens near the end of the level (got there once and then couldn't make it back) It might be because I'm a complete n00b (it's in my name) but if others have same problem, checkpoints might be a nice addition? That's just me personally.
Otherwise,I also loved the black/white/chrome aesthetic. All round super immersive and really engaging to play! Awesome.
you killed the eggs?
cause their previous spots become teleporters. just stand still for a second.
Wonderful game, immersive audio and visuals. Thank you. Looks like ill have hard time figuring out how to fly past the final abyss.
A really nice game. Excellent visuals and audio with simple yet satisfying platforming. It's fun to unravel the short tale BURD tells and after completing once I was determined to go through again and find a more positive ending. BURD on the other hand had other ideas, deciding that the alternative happy ending should never happened by opting to just kill you with lightning every so often in the least satisfying game mechanic I have ever experienced. No warning, no purpose and seemingly no counterplay the game became too frustrating with attempt after attempt ended by BURD deciding that my time had come. And so it had, definitely worth a try a really nice experience but on the moral compass only one direction is worth travelling in.
make it claimable !
Ah. I know what's causing this. It's basically where I hid all the game's physical dialogue gameobjects.
Added it to the bug list.
Anyone getting crashes?
cool stuff though, it has amazing music and the game kind of creates that feeling of self question; the feeling after you play DDLC or Emily is Away
Fun so far! I had this glitch pop up after dying to the double-gun setup above a worm though.
Oooooh, this is a good one. I'll take a look.
EDIT: Managed to replicate it. Should be fixed on the next patch.
Great work as always :)