Dark Dream Chronicle is an Alternate Reality Game
inspired by The Slender Man Mythos
, with inspirations from House of Leaves
and Fight Club
. It ran from February 2011 to June 2012 and was written by Eris Hunter. The genre of the story is part psychological horror, part dark comedy.
The story follows man in his early 20s named Mark Axton as his life goes from completely normal to completely insane, filled with magic and monsters (mostly of the human variety). While the main character is Mark, it also follows many other characters.
It originally ran on several websites, but is currently being rewritten as a scrap-book style novel very much in the same vein as House of Leaves so that it can reach a wider audience without the fuss of having to sort through everything, like YouTube
, Twitter, chatlogs and such. Sit tight, it’s on its way!
Two fans got so involved that their RP characters became canon. Noted here as Doc and Nein.
Before you start reading, make sure not to read spoilers until you have experienced the work fully. Do Not Spoil This Ending
This ARG provides examples of:
- A Wizard Did It: Averted. Everything had a reason, even if it wasn’t explicitly explained.
- Anti-Climax: What the characters felt after Crashdown.
- Anyone Can Die: The now official tagline is “…and then they died.”
- Arc Words: Crashdown.
- Ax-Crazy: All of the antagonists and some of the protagonists.
- Back from the Dead: David Morris. Repeatedly.
- Becoming the Mask: Couldn’t resist.
- Bittersweet Ending: Half the main cast either dies or chooses to get mind-wiped, but everyone is content for it all to end that way.
- The Chase: Seline Smith chasing Isaac Butler.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Sphere and the research notes.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Doc’s apparent modus operandi.
- Creator In-Joke: Everything leads to Kent. No one noticed.
- Creepy Child: Celia Smith.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The creator does this for World Building.
- Cute and Psycho: Seline Smith.
- Deader than Dead: CrimsonBranch. His face and upper torso were literally melted. Using water.
- Deal with the Devil: The Chosen get their physical and mental capabilities enhanced by The Master so that they can do his bidding.
- Death Is Cheap: Played straight at first, but in the final few months it was shown that resurrection has a heavy cost.
- Elemental Powers: Theurgy (magic) is arranged like this.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Crashdown. It wasn’t.
- Everyone Can See It: David Morris and Doc. Subverted by the ‘’audience’’ by them failing to notice the Official Couple of Mark Axton and Alexis Morris.
- For the Evulz: HiveTree.
- Foreshadowing: Lots.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: David Morris (Sanguine), Alexis Morris (Choleric), Michelle Mason (Melancholic), Mark Axton (Leukine).
- Grey and Gray Morality: When concerning the protagonists, but not the villains.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Doc.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: David Morris.
- Heroes Gone Fishing: Mark Axton and David Morris’s shop adventure. With fedoras.
- Heroic BSOD: Mark Axton upon wearing his mask for the first time.
- Horrible Camping Trip: Taken to the extreme in Mark Axton’s backstory.
- Identity Amnesia: Seline Smith and Heria Black.
- Insane Troll Logic: Doc, again.
- The Jester: There were several clown themed characters throughout the story.
- Kafka Komedy: Mark can never do anything without difficulty.
- Knife Nut: David Morris.
- Kukris Are Kool / Machete Mayhem: David Morris’s Weapon of Choice is a Black Iron kukri machete.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mark Axton’s ending.
- Long Game: All of the major forces in the story.
- Lovable Traitor: David Morris.
- Lying Creator: In an Out-Of-Game chat, Eris hinted at time travel. Blatant Lies to fuel the Epileptic Trees.
- Masquerade: The world is full of magic called Theurgy, we just never see it.
- The Mad Hatter: Several characters.
- Mask of Power: Every Chosen has one. Also functions as a Cool Mask.
- The Master: How the Chosen refer the Slender Man.
- Mind Screw: Half of the events until they are explained.
- Mission from God: Michelle Mason.
- Monster Clown: David Morris’s Smiling Clown mask has been described as “Absolutely horrifying.”
- The Multiverse: Hinted at.
- Not So Different: David Morris to Doc.
- Our Angels Are Different: Different structure, but familiar. The creator is big on Angelic lore.
- La Résistance: The Rebellion, obviously.
- Sadistic Choice: Isaac Butler does this to Doc.
- The creator also pulled this on the fans, asking them to vote on whether David Morris “Lives, Dies, or Other” with one ending being Good, one being Bad and one being the worst possible ending, but she wouldn’t tell which was which. They chose for him to Live, which is technically a Bad ending.
- Sanity Ball: Played with. Mark Axton is pretty much the Only Sane Man until near the end.
- Satan Is Good: Played with.
- Save Your Deity: The Angels in regards to Heaven.
- Shout Out: “I think I saw Heaven”, tree stabbing, and Mark Axton’s mask design.
- Slasher Smile: David Morris’s Mask.
- Sleep Learning: How Mark Axton learned to use Theurgy. Forced on his by Heria Black.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Everyone is the Wise Guy for David Morris. Mark Axton is the Wise Guy for SickleTwig.
- Teasing Creator: Deliberately.
- Trolling Creator: She grows Epileptic Trees.
- Twist Ending: Half the plot was devised by Celestial Paragons and Archangels, and everyone was along for the ride while they dealt with Slendy.
- Unwanted Revival: Michelle Mason. She believed she was in Heaven with her dead husband.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The overarching plot. The protagonists don’t think so.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everyone.
- Willing Suspension of Disbelief: This is an ARG, after all.
- Word of God: Filling in a few gaps after the story had finished.
- World of Snark: The creator’s style.
- Would Hurt a Child: Heria Black.
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Only the in-game chats, where if something was said that was a mistake, the creator ended up leaving it as canon and working around it.