Yume Nikki – Have A Nice Nightmare
about 1-2 years ago I heard about a game called “Yume Nikki” that was supposed to be an underrated must-play title. It’s available for free and made with RPG Maker 2000. I’ve played some RPG Maker games before and had my first real programming experiences using it to create games myself.
So a while ago I had some free time and finally decided to download the game and play it. I even did a few live streams on it because I though it might be interesting to experience my reactions to this game as I heard it would be a pretty weird game. When I started playing I didn’t really know what to do. The protagonist is a female hikikomori (unofficially called Madotsuki) in a small room with not much in it, except a TV, a console, a book shelf, a desk with a dream diary and a bed. Also, there’s a balcony but in the end there’s nothing else to do besides, or course, sleeping.
That’s when the real game starts. Once I slept I found myself dreaming to be on my own balcony. The room where I started didn’t change much in my dreams, except that the console was missing. Now it was time to leave this room.
Behind the door, that Madotsuki would never leave through while being awake, there was a circular room with twelve more doors – the so-called nexus. At that time I decided to go through them one by one as I didn’t know what to expect. So I started with the first door.
There was a strange wood, but without the grass floor. Instead there was a dark moving background with some Aztecan idol. As I went through the forest I noticed some really strange creatures that looked like puking ghosts. I walked and walked and I didn’t understand this world at all. What was I supposed to do? When I spoke to one of these ghost-like creatures it would kind of hold on to me. Was I supposed to do it in a specific order? I had no idea. So I went back to the Nexus.
I tried some of the other doors in a positive order. Eventually I was on a map full of snow which was much more pleasant to me than the previous worlds. So I started exploring. Earlier behind the second door I found a scarf so I used it here because I thought it could help against the cold. A little while later I found a single igloo in which there was some kind of pink puddle. Once I interacted with it I got teleported to a new map.
This new map was a great sea of pink liquid with some white islands. I followed the path on the island until I came to a balloon that again teleported me right into the pink sea where my movement speed was horribly slow. But I speculated there would be another balloon somewhere around I had to find. I wasn’t too wrong about it. After half an hour of searching I finally found another balloon that brought me to another island with a tent on it.
Inside the tent there was a single pink-coloured room with a girl in it. This girl was the first human being I encountered in this game. I thought this would be a huge success and she would give me something in reward. I mean, it was a pain to get here so there must be some kind of reward… am I right?
But no, she just ignored me. I couldn’t talk to her, I couldn’t convince her to do anything with my scarf; the only thing possible was turning the light off and on again. So I was in there for a while hoping to solve the puzzle but I really had no clue what to do. Eventually I decided to take a break. This game was just weird. If it wasn’t for the music I would have never even played this far.
But once I took a break I though about this game. I searched for some kind of sense or quest. But I quickly realized how foolish I was up to this point.
I had played it completely wrong. There is no sense in this game! It’s a game about exploring dreams. Dreams are strange. Dreams are unpredictable. And the true quest is to figure out the reason behind those dreams, to experience the weirdness and enjoy it.
So I quickly picked it up again and played on. This time I had much more fun and just moved through the world without caring about where to go. Later on I started taking notes to explore things I didn’t notice before.
Yesterday I looked online where to find the last missing pieces to see the ending of the game and I saw that there were still many things I didn’t see before with some of them being pretty disturbing and fascinating at the same time. So today I finished the game and I’m sure there are still many things to explore.
Yume Nikki amazes me with all its little details you can freely interpret by yourself. Actually I intended to write an analysis about it but I quickly noticed that I don’t really want this. After reading a few hypothesis I can say that you don’t want to read them before playing the game. It’s much more personal if you’re able to project yourself onto the game and interpret everything in it your way. You’re Madotsuki.
At this point I’d like to point out that Yume Nikki features lots of grotesque and abstract images that could be disturbing for some people. If you’ve experienced rape or extreme violence I would not recommend playing it the way I suggested since it could intensify your traumata.
After all I have to say that this has become one of my favourite games. Dreams were always a fascinating topic to me, especially when dream and reality are melting together. Yume Nikki uses this topic perfectly without any explanation. So you can make anything you want out of it. I really enjoyed playing it and I’m sure I’ll pick it up again in the future. And I hope that you will check it out as well.
05.03.2015 03:54:05 UTC return flattr