Game Review #7: Need some psychedelic experience?

Japanese people have a knack for making weird stuff, but never did I expect THIS:


LSD: Dream Emulator
There is no Download link. It’s an old game and look for emulator ROMs yourself, or watch a playthrough.

So.. you’ve played a couple of weird games. Sure! I did too. But this one’s just out of the league. If you still haven’t watched the video above, I recommend that you do.

So what do you think? Do you think this game has a meaning? A goal? A competitive edge?
The answer is: no one knows.

But I can roughly explain what this game is about. Based on a dream diary of a Japanese game developer, this game was (actually!) officially released for Playstation 1 in Japan. And as the game title says, this is basically a dream simulation–meaning that this game was just intended to be surreal.

LSD%3A Dream Emulator




But this game isn’t simply a bunch of random things in random places. As you play it for a longer time (or watch more playthrough videos,) you’ll notice that certain objects and places are definitely repeated. That’s right. This game has a set number of places and objects–but why does it appear so random?

The game achieves the randomness effect by (seemingly randomly) “choosing” what to reveal to the player. When the player bumps into different objects, he/she is teleported into another place.

However, according to the research of the fanbase, certain interactions have designated paths. For example, when you bump into this gigantic baby over here:



You are ALWAYS transported to the “violence district”, one of the set places in the game. Yet other interactions (etc. bumping into any wall) seem to be more random.

But whether it is completely random or determined by a certain in-game logic is hotly debated within the  fan community. One theory is that when you interact with negative objects (ex: hanging corpses) the dream pulls you deeper and deeper into negative settings, making it a nightmare. I guess that is pretty reasonable, since I’ve seen plane crashes appearing after corpses after roadkills. But what about positive objects? Maybe, but I don’t even know if there’s anything intended to be positive in this game though.

Music also seems to be generated randomly, but no one is yet really sure how it’s done. What you’ll hear is a bunch of interesting 8-bit notes.

Another interesting thing about this game is its texture system. This game has multiple types of textures: normal, kanji, corrupted, and sexual. Certain actions (although no one is sure what) causes the textures to change. For example, in a corrupted texture, the baby(?) above turns into this:



The fan community is debating whether a certain texture has any meaning at all. People assume that in nightmares corrupted textures appear more often, but what about other ones?

What about the sexual texture?




Now this is where the creepypasta arises. People think this game might be connected to a sexual trauma–of a rape victim, for example.

This theory also links to the only antagonist of this game, The Grey Man:


He is basically the only thing that you should avoid in this game. The Grey Man can appear out of nowhere, anywhere and anytime…and starts following you! You should teleport away, or if you don’t, your dream actually ends.

One curious thing is that a dream that was ended by a Grey Man cannot be played back. The game has a replay feature that records dreams and allows you to watch it again if you wish; but if Grey Man was involved in a dream, that feature is blocked.

Why is this? Creepy, huh. People say that the Grey Man might symbolize trauma itself, a subconscious memory that haunts the dreamer. However desperately the dreamer tries to avoid, the Grey Man follows. Or maybe he symbolizes the rapist? Who knows?




One last thing I want to talk about is the chart that appears at the end of the game. The game apparently asses the type of dream you had: whether it was Dynamic, Static, Upper or Downer.

It’s pretty easy to figure out the standard of Dynamic and Static. If you teleported and interacted a lot, a dream is dynamic; if you stayed in one place for long it is static.

But what about Downer and Upper? It’s easy to think that a nightmare directly translates to downer, happy dream to upper. But NO! People have been reporting cases where they saw gunman, corpses and blood but still had a very upper dream.

Who knows why?

Would anyone know anything about this game?


One response to “Game Review #7: Need some psychedelic experience?

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