After finishing Far Cry 5, I really switched gears for my next game. I enjoyed the time loops to Twelve Minutes game ending. Sure the time loops were annoying when I failed to unlock anything new in the story, but unraveling the mystery was fun. Some of that annoyance enhanced the story reveals when did figure out something new.
Groundhog Day Meets Murder Mystery in Twelve Minutes Game
The Groundhog day movie is an obvious inspiration for this game.
The Twelve Minutes game also relies heavily on the murder mystery genre. The game starts at as a simple point and click adventure. Once I figured out the mini puzzle to get into the apartment, I was there for hours of time loops. That first loop is definitely the hook. A simple night with the wife goes south fast. From here we venture into spoiler territory…
The wife (voiced by Daisy Ridley) baked the Husband’s (character I played, voiced by James McAvoy) favorite dessert to celebrate her good news. That good news was her new pregnancy. The beginning of a typical romcom quickly escalates to a murder charges. A “cop” (voiced by Willem Dafoe) shows up to accuse the wife of murdering her father 8 years ago.
In reality, the “cop” was a former associate of the father and wanted the old pocket watch the father owned. He claimed the wife took it after the murder. Well he wanted that and revenge. For me, that first loop ended with my character’s murder at the cop’s hands. What followed was the character’s first realization that the day was repeating.
That led to so many questions. Did the wife really kill her father? Was the father a mobster, considering the cop’s actions? What’s the deal with the pocket watch?
Several loops later, I also realized the world reset after 10 minutes, if I left the apartment, if my character is hurt, etc..
Unraveling the Twelve Minutes Story, One Loop at a Time
When I tried to accomplish certain tasks, like see what the wife was hiding or finding a way to defeat the cop, the time loops were annoying. When I did figure it out, it felt like an actual accomplishment. In the process, I tried a whole lot of variations. I was able to fast forward through most conversations, but I wish there were more and the speed was faster.
Much like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog day, I even went to dark places. Not to worry my real wife, but I killed the wife in the game with a knife on my 2nd time loop. At that point, she was accused of murder and I knew it was the quickest way to see if she was hiding anything. It was also fun to see the reaction from the cop, but there was nothing worth finding on the wife’s dead body (whoops).
Taking Down the “Cop” After a Lot of Trial and Error
It also took me quite a lot of time to figure out how to take down the cop. Every way I tried to stab him (in front, in the back, while he was busy, etc.), he managed to knock me out, stab me or shoot me. Twelve Minutes was fairly obvious about the faulty bedroom electrical switch being the key, but I found the trick to it on accident (hint turn it on/off a few times).
Even after I figured out how knock him out, actually getting him to fall for my trap was a chore. Hiding alone did not work the wife always ratted me out. Good thing there were sleeping pills available to take care of her again. It was frustrating that I could not get him and the wife in the same room talking in the early hours.
The cop held onto more interesting things than the wife: a knife, a gun, zip ties and a cell phone. Interrogating him is a very important part of the story, but I could not resist torturing him with the knife and gun after all the times he killed me. He furthered the story for me and it was worth interrogating him a few times after each new piece of info.
The Elusive Pocket Watch at the Center of Twelve Minutes Game
That pocket watch became my next annoyance. I could not find it in the apartment, so I assumed the location only unlocked once I convinced the wife to confess the location. How silly I felt when I realized I had access to it the whole time.
After figuring out I could sneak into the closet without the wife’s knowledge, she confessed the location to the cop before he killed her. When I finally held it the watch in my hands, it felt like a huge accomplishment. The wife definitely did not like when I found it at first, but later it became my shortcut to explaining how I knew everything.
Finding Out What Really Happened in Twelve Minutes
Although unraveling these threads takes several loops, each one really opens up the story. The initial story of a wife murdering her father takes on a life of it’s own. A simple polaroid proved my wife’s innocence, so I assumed the cop was the actual killer and just wanted the watch.
Well that cop was close with the father and really just wanted revenge. His pocket watch obsession came from a desire to pay for his daughter’s cancer treatments. The twists and turns put us all on the same team to find out who the real killer is.
Several more time loops and I learned the wife had half brother. The father had a little fling with with the nanny. Before the end, I even find out who the brother was and it was a very good twist. There I felt like I was really close to the end, but there was much more to unravel.
Twelve Minutes Ending After Ending
There are several Twelve Minutes game endings. Many of them feel like suitable endings for the story, but they don’t end the time loop. Even once I reached my first ending that led to the credits, there were more endings after that. Even after getting to the a second and third ending after the credits, the story was not over.
Checking Youtube for all the possible endings, there was a definitive ending that wrapped up the story in an unexpected way. It was so definite that it took the “Continue” option in the menu away completely. I took time to experience them myself. It was a very suitable end and explained why the time loops happened.
- Listen – The one ending that I did not experience myself. On the very first loop, choosing to do nothing leads to a long conversation with the wife. She is ready to explain everything, but decides to leave the apartment with the husband. That, of course, resets the time loop.
- Alone – After figuring out a call the cop’s daughter was my key to keep him away, I put it together with my previous clues to getting the wife out of the house. She always had a temper tantrum when she saw me find her watch, so putting that and the cop together led to me alone in the apartment. Time loop still reset.
- Coward – When interrogating the cop, there’s an option to let him go and get your stories straight. He takes the watch, then murders the wife. All while the coward husband waits on the couch. After a fake 911 call, the cop leaves. Thankfully, the time loop resets.
- Groundhog – Using the trick to keep the cop away, I enjoyed a perfect night with the wife. We ate our dessert, celebrated the pregnancy, danced and ended up in bed. Basically, it was the type of ending that closed the time loop in the Groundhog day movie. It was a great end, but it did not end the loop for me.
- Confessed – This was crazy. After unraveling most of the threads, I found that the character I played was the true murderer and his wife’s half brother. In this ending, I confessed to everyone. The cop, his daughter and the wife. It was a true M. Night Shyamalan twist. That blew my mind, but it wasn’t over. The time loop continued.
- Leave – I was pretty mad about the time loop continuing. For some reason, I decided to stare at the pocket watch. I then found myself in a new room with the father. It was a flashback of the conversation before the murder of the father. By choosing to agree to leave the wife (girlfriend back then), I finally saw the credits roll. I thought it was a good ending, but it wasn’t the Twelve Minutes game end.
- Continue – Choosing to continue after the credits brought me to the same apartment, but empty of any furniture or other items, except the watch. Setting the time to to a few ticks before midnight took me back to that new study room. This time, I interacted with a book that led to the “father” hypnotizing my character to forget the wife. I though it was weird, but that explained why the husband did not remember.
- Mindfulness – One last mind game. The setup was the same as the Continue ending, but the conversation around the book was just to run out he clock. Staring at the clock when it hit midnight led to the real end of the story. The wife and murder was in the main character’s head. The father/cop was really a psychiatrist treating my character for these delusions. At least that’s my interpretation.
Twelve Minutes Game is a Must Play
I loved the story of Twelve Minutes. The time loops were tedious and wished there were more ways to fast forward, but that lent more weight to each discovery. Unraveling each piece of the story is where the real magic happened. There were so many points that led to questions like: “Wait What!?”. It’s a must play game that will stay with me.
Annapurna Interactive really is a publisher to look out for. I will always remember this game and the last Annapurna Interactive game I played, Outer Wilds, was even more special. Looking forward to see what magic their next game, Stray, has in store for me.