Fez is the JFK Assassination of Video Games

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.
The Lee Harvey Oswald of Video Gaming (link)
According to steam, an adorable 2d platformer with extremely positive reviews! Ha ha!
Bigger mystery is how much this video slaps, while the creator only has 700 views. Person even has his own game on Steam now — The Top!

The Greatest Mystery of Video Gaming

Fez was released April 13, 2012. We can track community progress into the puzzles of this game by looking at posts on www.gamefaqs.com or Fez’s Subreddit. There were other forums tracking it, but those two will be the main ones for reasons I will talk about later. What you need to know is that Fez is a puzzle game, full of mysteries to be slowly unsolved by inferring the rules of the world yourself, transcribing the language, and understanding the hidden codes required to progress. A sort of spiritual sequel to Myst.

This all actually makes sense to me, I’m a forever cursed woman. (Link)
Even kids weren’t immune to the draw (link)
And people had trouble with this? Lol. Fucking noobs.
Real person or your high school principal’s photo from the yearbook?
Qabbalists? Merkabah? What has this man seen? WHAT DOES HE KNOW!? (link)
1 Like. 6 Retweets.

Mysteries within Mysteries

On April 20th, 2012, at 8:39 AM, a user on GameFAQs submitted a post titled, “another secret i found ! (read more)”. This was the same morning the Original Sound Track (OST) to the game Fez was released. The post detailed images that were found within the soundtrack by viewing the music within a spectrogram. After more sophisticated attempts were made, the community had a collection of 16 images that can be seen below.

Much more detail discussion is found on here: https://imgur.com/a/y1qWz
I’m the real hero here.

The Jack Ruby of Video Games

There may be another timeline in which Jack Ruby did not assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald. A timeline in which we discovered the truth of the assassination and no lingering mystery captured the minds of millions. We don’t know what that world would be like, unless I wrote a book on it. Something like, ‘The Man in the High Bookstore.”

Can These Puzzles Actually Be Solved?

Many people in 2012 used “Indie Game: The Movie” to justify feeling that Phil Fish was an asshole or pretentious. And watching that movie two days ago, I can’t help but see that interpretation as small. We get a scene where Phil shows us an old computer where his dad made games out of his drawings. We see him get a epileptic buzz with an early programmed game to just flash lights super fast while he stared into the screen. You are telling me this guy is pretentious? Are you kidding me? This guy is legit goofy as shit.

Any day now someone will complete the game!
“I prefer to read it in Zuish :(“ (link)
In the World of Ram — Mom’s laptop < Gaming Computer < Fez Research Computer
Resizing Fez Screenshots is Chef’s Kiss.

Why Fez and Not Any Other Puzzle Game?

I think it’s worth looking at Jonathan Blow’s games, because Indie Game: The Movie seemed to deliberately give this impression of three different kinds of developers with Blow on the pretentious art end, Phil towards the middle, and Team Meat being your college friends making a game for fun. These are broad brush strokes, obviously every individual has nuance, but these three were chosen for the reason of the contrast in intentional ways for the documentary. This is how I believe they were setting up that contrast.

Imagine this is a 6 sided dice laid out 2 dimensionally
Here is every letter in the game, you can get these by looking at the red letter cube from every side.
So, what if the skull is supposed to be letters?
Maybe it’s supposed to be inputs? Maybe it is literally nothing. No datamined code suggests it does anything.

So, Is There Hope?

A few days or weeks before I started writing this article, a time when the seeds were being watered but nothing had sprouted, I heard a curious bit of information. There was a secret uncovered in a game 28 years after its release. When you hear stories like that, what they often mean is that Summoning Salt will be making a video soon about how a game has been broken.


Phil, if you’re reading this, you can tots tell me! I promise not to tell anyone else. I also want to say that I did my best with this piece. These puzzles are very difficult to explain without simply playing the game. Even when talking about Fez as a game, it’s something that is hard to explain with words, but something you can immediately understand if you just play it for a few minutes. I tried to make this piece accessible to any audience, but I know it’s still probably obtuse to some. I also don’t want to devote another dozen hours to refining this article. I don’t believe it’d get much better with that time investment either.

Me trying to make sense of all of the Artifacts
Me trying to make sense of the Black Monolith Room’s Candles



I write essays on literature, pop culture, and video games. I mostly deconstruct and do comparative analysis on many topics in both a serious and goofy way.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Faye Seidler

Faye Seidler

I write essays on literature, pop culture, and video games. I mostly deconstruct and do comparative analysis on many topics in both a serious and goofy way.