Video Game: DreadOut

Boo!
We are all dying waiting for you to get here.

DreadOut is a survival horror game from an Indonesian indie developer called Digital Happiness. When a group of high school students go astray from their vacation trip, they discover an old, deserted town. They quickly realize that something sinister is about to happen when they enter said town. Linda, the main protagonist, soon realizes that something different/mystical is happening to her. She suddenly has a spiritual power that can perhaps save her and her friends from the unknown.

The gameplay is based on taking pictures of the ghostly enemies to fight them, much like the Fatal Frame series. However, the gadgets used here are modern inventions, e.g., smartphones, digital cameras, and digital video cameras, rather than something vintage. Also, the game is based on Indonesian folklore ghosts and takes place in a rural Indonesian town. As usual for the genre, the game contains exploration and puzzle-solving.

Available on Steam here. After a demo/tutorial that was later integrated as Act 0 in the game proper, Act 1 was released in May 2014, and Act 2 in February 2015. Before the game itself came out, two spin-off digital comics were released; one takes place around the same time as the game but involves a different cast of characters, while the other is set during the Indonesian war for independence.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In Indonesian myth, Pocongs are usually depicted with their hands and legs tied, leaving them more-or-less incapable of physical assault and making hopping their only way to move. In the game... not so much. In Act 2, however, some weaker hopping Pocongs are met and are predictable cannon fodder, counting only on large numbers.
  • Aerith and Bob: Most ghosts are called with their Indonesian names, but there are a few who get just a definition in English, like the "scissor man".
  • All Just a Dream: Act 0. Also a case of Psychic Dreams for Everyone, since most of it turns out to anticipate many events of Act 2: for example the giant Pocong awakened at the end of Act 0, is a boss in Act 2.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: One of the rewards for funders.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: To defeat Sundel Bolong, Linda must take a picture of the hole on her back.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Linda may be forced to crawl in mud or move waist-deep in water (and near the end in ghost vomit), but will always come out perfectly clean.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The posters in the town are written in untranslated Indonesian (unlike the notes). Some of them have humorous meaning or are puns.
  • Body Horror: Palasik: a floating woman's head with the internal organs dangling from it.
  • Bonus Boss: After collecting all three Soldier's Medal, Linda can explore the town at nighttime, facing ghosts that are not normally encountered in the game such as Pocong, Kuntilanak, and a Young Genderuwo.
  • Break the Cutie: Linda comes out relatively unfazed from Act 1, but as Act 2 unfolds, starting from the killing of Donny before her eyes, the events take an increasing toll on her.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Borderline case at the end of Act 0.
  • Creepy Doll: In one of the rooms in Act 0 you can find a dirty teddy-bear-ish doll hung by a noose, with a fallen chair under it; you can find it again in Act 1 as an easter egg. Interacting with a doll in Act 1 triggers a boss fight.
  • Darker and Edgier: Act 2 compared to Act 1, both in imagery and turns of events.
  • Demonic Possession: Early in Act 2, Linda has to outrun her classmate Donny, who is in an homicidal frenzy due to a ghost that has taken control of his body.
  • Downer Ending: Honestly, neither ending is pleasant. The Alternate Ending has Linda seemingly escape, but the Lady in Red just kills her in a car crash. In the true ending, Linda manages to kill the Lady in Red and seems to save Ira, only for her to reveal that she has to stay in the village forever, otherwise the darkness the Sisters summoned will escape into the world, meaning that Linda is forced to leave the town without her best friend as the Sole Survivor of the group. Worse, Linda has now inherited a dark power from the Lady, and Miss Siska has a dark agenda of her own.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: we'RE all DYING...we'RE all DYING...we'RE all DYING.
  • Endless Corridor: The Demit Lorong chases Linda in here.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In Act 0, and also at one point in Act 2.
  • Fanservice: Linda's alternate costumes are never Stripperiffic by any stretch, but are certainly more revealing than the default school uniform, especially the casual outfit with the ripped jeans. They also show that quite some care went to her assets.
  • First Person Snapshooter: The main feature of the gameplay.
  • Foreshadowing: Several of the ghosts are based on Indonesian mythology and even the story seems to be taking the mythology of Ouroboros as one of its main aspects. The hint for Ouroboros is immediately seen on the logo, if one takes a closer look at the O from out.
  • Ghostly Gape: At least one apparition has this appearance (albeit with white eyes above a black mouth).
  • Ghost Town: Where the characters get stuck in.
  • Go Into the Light: If Linda dies, she finds herself in a black void with some candles around her and can return to try again by walking into a bright light.
  • Girly Run
  • Haunted House: Or rather, haunted village.
  • Improbable Weapon User: And how. As far as we know, the phone used by Linda is a normal smartphone.
    • Early in Act 2, Linda briefly takes an umbrella to defend herself.
  • Large Ham: Linda's 'friend' you encounter in Act 0, and the possessed Ira in Act 2.
  • Magical Camera: The camera application of the smartphone is somehow able to deal damage to spirits by taking their picture.
    • However, since in Act 2 Linda can use both the smartphone and a newfound digital camera, it can be assumed they act as catalysts for her powers.
  • Meaningful Name: IrisPhone. Iris is responsible for controlling the size of the pupil to control the amount of light received by the eye.
  • Monster Sob Story: Some of the ghosts originate from tragic stories. The biggest example is the Scissor Man: the director of the school who, going mad after the loss of his child, adopted a doll and kept protecting her even after death.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on a choice to be made near the end: going back into the school to confront the Lady in Red, or just escape.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Stinger of the alternate ending. A funny scene shows that Yayan was just stuck in a bathroom in the school all the time. We see this, however, after witnessing Linda's death in a car crash.
    • Also Linda chasing a classmate into an abandoned building and sitting across from her in a tiny room with a creepy doll until the girl starts blabbing on and on as if nothing is wrong.
  • Nightmare Face: And how.
  • Pig Man: Babi Ngepet. A large sized pig/boar with a human face when viewed with the camera.
  • Puzzle Boss: Several ghosts can only be defeated if you solve a puzzle in connection to the environment around them.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: The characters we've seen so far are wearing their school uniforms... during their vacation trip.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with more questions than answers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Act 0 you can find a girl just standing there facing the wall.
    • There are some in the Steam achievements, such as "Attack on Titan" after taking the picture of Young Genderuwo and "Ghost Rider" for a picture of Pocong on Motorcycle.
    • Early in Act 2, you'll find a shack full of stuff: a giant pair of scissors, an health pack, a typewriter, a whip and a vintage camera.
    • Also in Act 2 there's a bizarre skeleton waving at a TV camera nearby. This is a rather morbid reference to an Indonesian reality program that basically consisted in participants staying at least one night, followed by infrared cameras, in places said to be haunted; they could give up any moment by waving. The program was cancelled because the rumour of one participant died and a warning from local broadcasting commission. It's later confirmed the rumour of participant death to be false. This shows re-broadcasted at 2014.
  • Silent Snarker: Linda.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Naturally.
  • The Quiet One: Save for a few gasps and grunts, Linda doesn't say much and doesn't really talk with the other characters, even if they're having a conversation with her.
  • The Stinger: Both possible endings have one.
  • The Stoic: Downplayed. Linda does show emotions, but not as much as her friends do. Heck, Even comments that Linda was never the type to panic or be surprised by anything. Act 2, however, puts Linda in front of more traumatic events.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Downplayed with Linda and Ira. They're both Childhood Friends, but are not above playfully hurting each other (i.e. slapping, play choking).
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens near the end, twice.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Yayan is unknown in the true ending. We get to see him in the alternate ending, though.
  • Woman in White: Kuntilanak enemies. Based on the illustration on the IndieGogo page, Matianak will also be like this. As well as Sundel Bolong.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the fall of some debris makes it impossible for the possessed Donny to reach Linda, the ghost who possesses him just breaks his neck.