Well, I've recently played Quantum Conundrum, and while it is somewhat short, it is still very good, with a solid plot and some... interesting puzzles. But, what if the protagonist, a (unnamed) 12-year-old boy, had someone else with him... an elder brother who normally helps out with Professor Quadwrangle and lives with him? How would this change how the duo tackles the problems, and just how will the endgame play out with two people? Plus, how can the protagonist survive falls which would normally kill a man? This, and some other questions, will be (most likely) answered (to the best of my ability) in Flip our Density.
Oh, and just to be warned: there are MAJOR spoilers for the ending of the game right off of the get-go. So if you don't want the ending spoiled, then hit that Back button right now.
...You still with me? Well, don't say I didn't warn you about the spoilers...
My family… is one heck of a curiosity. (Yes, I know these things normally start with 'once upon a time', but I'm the one telling the story!) I mean, we had a dwarf hunter who hunted dangerous animals in Africa, an astronaut who was on a (secret) mission to replace Sputnik with a basketball partway through said satellite's flight, a great grandmother who had an anglerfish as a pet… and then there's my uncle. Or, rather, my 'dad' – Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, owner of Quadwrangle Industries, and a brilliant, yet sometimes a bit too eccentric, inventor. While not many of his inventions or experiments are well known outside of the Quadwrangle family, there was one which, even now, still has its effects on the world as we know it: the Inter-Dimensional Shift Device, or IDS Device for short. You can possibly see the effects of the Device right now: should things suddenly turn fluffy, very heavy, very slow (or even very fast) or if gravity suddenly flips around you… Well, that's due to the Device.
I know what you're thinking – why is this happening, and is he doing anything to fix this? Well, I'll get to the former later on, as it's a long story, but as to the latter question… Yes, he is doing his utmost to fix this. As am I – Auro Quadwrangle, second eldest of the current Quadwrangle generation… and currently the only one who is known to be alive. Well, unless you count my younger brother, who is currently safe in a pocket dimension right now while we sort this mess out.
Anyway, to get back to your earlier question, the reason why this is happening is because of the UBER-IDS going haywire… and it all began yesterday evening, when we received a phone call…
Auro Vee presents
Based on the game directed by Kim Swift, developed by Airtight Games, and published by Square Enix
Quantum Conundrum: Flip Our Density
Chapter 0: Only a Major Call
T- 24 hours – Quadwrangle Manor, Main Hall
It was getting to that time of year yet again, where my mother would go and take pity on me and my 'father' – thinking that we might be a bit lonely, only having each other for company for nearly all of the year… or, at least, that's what she claims (which is totally false by the way) – and pick up her son from the Eldwood Academy for Boys, before dropping him off on our doorstep. Now, the last few times, she did so without any warning for either of us, but today… was different.
You see, normally we kept mostly to ourselves, but after the last visit, my mother suggested that we have a phone line installed – which, eventually, we did get round to doing, and I even called her personally with the (only) phone in the manor, located in the Main Hall, to let her know about it. And so, once a week, we received a call from her, checking up on us. Although, whenever she tried to ask about what inventions we were working on, my dad… well, he wanted to keep things hush-hush, mainly due to his plan to give my brother a pleasant surprise when he visited.
Anyway, it was a peaceful Thursday afternoon: my dad was finishing up work on his latest invention, while I was coding on my laptop in the main hall – I will admit that the idea of having a phone line, and therefore some Internet access so that I could communicate with others, had crossed my mind, but I never managed to tell my dad about it properly until my mother made the suggestion.
I had nearly ironed out the bug I had in the simulation of something related to my dad's work, when the phone rang. And believe me, in a manor as empty as ours, the sound of a phone reaches quite a distance. Just not far enough to reach the Prof's ears – although it most likely picked up on the security system, as I heard the familiar voice of my dad over the manor's comm system moments later.
"Could you, uh, pick the phone up for me? I'm kinda busy right now… and remember, if it's her, don't say a thing about the Device," he told me.
"No problem, Professor," I replied, before walking up to the phone and picking it up. "Quadwrangle Residence, Auro speaking," I greeted.
"Auro! It's so good to hear your voice," the voice on the other end replied with a hint of shock. "Although I need to speak to your Uncle ASAP."
"He's… kinda busy at the moment. Do you want me to give him a message?"
"No, it's about the plans. I… have an important surgery going on this time next week, so I won't be able to bring your brother over then…"
"Well, that's a bit of a bummer," I replied, feigning sadness when, in fact, I was happy. It sounded like we would have more…
"…so I'm bringing him over tomorrow instead," she finished, interrupting my thought and bursting my bubble.
"You WHAT?!" I shouted.
"Wait, what's going on?" my dad asked through the comm system.
After regaining composure, I then asked, "So, if I heard you right, you want to bring my brother over tomorrow…?"
"At 2PM sharpish. Apparently they are having a half-day then, so I'll be able to bring him over then."
"At 2PM… Well, this is sudden…"
"True, but at least it's not as sudden as the last few years…" my mother pointed out.
"Yeah, I know."
"Good. I'll see you both at that time, then!" my mom replied, before hanging up.
After putting the phone down, I sighed. If we would be able to get everything ready in time for when he arrived was the first thought which went through my head. Nearly everything was set up, though, so I figured it wouldn't be too much of a problem getting everything set up. But little did we or anyone else know, was that by that time tomorrow… the UBER-IDS would go critical and the changes which you can see happening right now would begin effecting the entire world.
Mom… If you are reading this, don't worry. Me and dad will fix this, and so you can be reunited with your son. Just… Hang on in there, will you? I don't want to lose you, like we lost Billy… Also, give Grandad Wilford my love as well.
Author Explanations for this chapter:
Explanation regarding the story title - Flip Our Density is a combination of two of the titles of the songs in the soundtrack: Flip a Switch (of which the instrumental version is the title screen music) and It's Our Density, which is most likely a play on 'It's our Destiny'.
Explanation regarding the chapter title - The final part of Quantum Conundrum is known as 'Only a Minor Setback', but the main part of this chapter is a phone call which ends up changing Auro's brother's life forever. Hence, 'Only a Major Call'.
T-notes - These are here to give you a sense of how long is left until the 'incident' which is explained at the beginning of the story. T- 0 is when the 'incident' happens - this story is technically written from the point of view of Auro at T+ 1 hour (at least, he started it then) with the occasional remark which is either directed towards his father, or which he felt needed to be said even though it possibly doesn't add much to the story...