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Video Game: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Find April Ryan... Save her!

The Oddly Named Sequel to the Adventure Game classic The Longest Journey, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey was released in 2006. It introduces a new heroine, ZoŽ Castillo, a 20-year-old college dropout living in Stark (our familiar Earth, albeit two centuries into the future) ten years after the events of the original TLJ. After she starts receiving eerie messages from a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl to go "find April, save April" (and her ex-boyfriend disappears on top of that), ZoŽ has no choice but to delve into another conspiracy investigation. Meanwhile, April, the heroine of the original game, is effectively trapped in Arcadia (the magical alternate reality) and fights against The Empire of Azadi, while an elite Azadi Super Soldier and third protagonist, Kian Alvane, is sent to assassinate her. Fans welcomed Dreamfall enthusiastically, but the reviews were rather mixed, primarily "thanks" to unsatisfactory (and, according to many, superfluous) action-adventure elements and the ending being a love child of a Cliff Hanger of cosmic proportions and the No Ending trope.

Another oddly named episodic sequel, Dreamfall Chapters, was released in October 2014. It'll tie some of the numerous loose ends that were Left Hanging after Dreamfall back together and give an end to ZoŽ's story arc, but won't be the long-awaited Grand Finale of the saga. The latter will have to wait until what TÝrnquist has called the true The Longest Journey 2 (a.k.a. The Longest Journey Home).

Please add character-related tropes to the characters tab.

Tropes found in the game:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Playing as Zoe, April, and Kian.
  • Anti-Hero:
  • Apocalypse How: A global Class 0 in the form of the Collapse.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Faith will bring you where you are needed the most."
    • "The Undreaming is unchained."
  • Arcadia
  • Artistic License - Linguistics: In the prologue, the Tibetan monks communicate... in Mandarin Chinese. Which actually sort of makes sense, since Tibet is a part of China as of 2013, and the official language of China is Mandarin Chinese. Still, Tibetan people are more likely to communicate with one another and their white friend in their mother tongue.
  • Astral Projection: Zoe's trips to Arcadia, in a nutshell. She's not a Shifter, like April, but merely winds up there while dreaming. Unlike normal astral projections, her presence in Arcadia is very much physical.
  • The Bad Guys Win
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Zoe and April's story arcs are dedicated to them Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. And wouldn't you know it? They both seem to have found it by the end of the game. In a very esoteric sort of way, sure, but they have found it, nonetheless.
    White Kin: (to ZoŽ) Faith will bring you where you are needed the most.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: WATIcorp for Stark and the Six for Arcadia. However, since Stark and Arcadia are separate, they never come into contact with one another. Only when Dreamfall Chapters debuts will it be known if they will encounter each other.
  • But Not Too Foreign:
    • In Real Life Morocco, just over 99 percent of the population is Arab-Berber, about 90 percent speak Moroccan Arabic and/or a Berber language, and nearly everyone is Muslim. Zoe Castillo is from Casablanca but has a European surname (and a European name) and speaks with a British accent (and drinks wine, has premarital sex, and celebrates Christmas). There are a few people walking around in normal Moroccan/Muslim outfits but they're set dressing, you mostly can't even talk to them. Also, for some reason most important people in the Japanese corporation you visit are white. You could argue that it has something to do with it being set in the future, but why does the future have to be increasingly more white? In all fairness, though, Dreamfall is still significantly less white than TLJ - not just the Stark part of it, but the Arcadian part, as well.
    • Zoe is of mixed descent, Spanish and Chinese—at least according to one of the writers.
  • Callback: Dreamfall is full of these.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The Collapse is single-handedly responsible for most of the glaring differences between Dreamfall Stark and TLJ Stark.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: This game plays a lot more seriously than its predecessor.
  • Cliff Hanger: The ending.
  • Cloning Blues: Faith. Also, a popular WMG for many characters.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: You are occasionally given multiple paths to victory, especially when playing as Zoe. For example, when sneaking into the Victory Hotel, you can either fight and knock Vinnie unconscious, sneak past him while he is checking his pizza, or talk him into letting you in.
  • Constructed World
  • Corrupt Church: The Azadi's religion, Kian calls them out on it before he's arrested.
  • Cute Machines: The Watillas. The creepy black eyes aside, no human could claim not to adore such a machine.
  • Cyber Punk: Dreamfall is more sleek about it than the original game.
  • Darkest Hour: The ending: April Ryan was hit with a spear and tumbled into the water, never to emerge; Kian had a crisis of faith and was promptly imprisoned; ZoŽ was sent into a permanent coma; Faith dies after living a tragic life of Fate worse than death.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The theme of ZoŽ and April's arcs.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Faith loves this trope.
  • Downer Ending: Calling it this would be a serious understatement.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Not a physical conflict but, when April and Kian meet for the first time, they engage in a heated argument over the Azadi politics in the Northlands. Notably, you can select both characters' responses, so it is possible to either convince April to reconsider her views on Azadi, or force Kian to take a good look at his superiors. Too bad it doesn't really lead to any Story Branching.
  • Dying Town: Newport in Dreamfall. Marcuria begins showing early signs of this.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Faith, April and Helena Chang are this to one degree or another.
  • The Empire: Azadi, though their portrayal is slightly ambiguous.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Zoe's first trip back out of Arcadia has her disappearing but leaving her clothes behind. In subsequent trips, she's gained enough mastery of her abilities to disappear without leaving anything.
  • Exact Words: "Faith will bring you where you are needed the most." Faith is a person.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: The Marcuria ghetto for the "magicals", set up by the Azadi occupants.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between humans and magical races and magical races themselves, most notably the Azadi and their treatment of magical races.
  • Fisher King: The Guardian. In The Longest Journey, the Guardian's Realm, when lacking a guardian, was a desolate, stormy, foreboding landscape. Under the new Guardian... see Scenery Porn. April even comments on it.
    • Faith is this for Winter.
  • Fourth Wall: Played with. When Zoe first enters Marcuria, she comments that everything looks like something out of a fantasy role-playing game.
  • Goal in Life: Discussed in-depth, especially with Zoe's story arc.
  • Government Conspiracy: Project Alchera.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Dark People want their Library to become this, embarking on an endless Sisyphean task of collecting every book ever written.
  • Haunted Technology: Faith.
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • Roper Klacks actually helps April numerous times.
    • Kian had the beginnings of one at the end of Dreamfall.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Hacking into electronic devices in the 23rd century apparently involves symbol-matching puzzles.
    • Hacking Minigame: Justified - Oliva de Marcos gives Zoe the software she uses to hack electronic devices and explains that it's specifically designed to look like a game so that if someone comes by and sees her screen, they'll think she's playing a game.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: Beggar Crazy Clara has a pet that defies biological definition and that Zoe has to rescue from Azadi to get Clara to tell her some plot-relevant stuff.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Failing to be stealthy in the Grubber cave produces a giant Grubber that will kill you in two hits and cannot be hurt. You can technically outrun it forever, but that makes finishing the puzzles nearly impossible. Two more appear later in the level, and just running by them is a viable strategy.
  • How We Got Here: Most of the narration is Zoe recounting the events of the past few days.
  • Idiot Ball: Allowing a very shady character, that you have just promised to take down, to put you into what is essentially a temporary coma without anyone you know/trust to watch over you or even know about it. Little wonder that Zoe ends put into a more permanent coma with little chance of survival.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: One level has Zoe sneaking into a corporate headquarters by following cleaning bots through passages that open for them.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: The deity of the Azadi Empire is the Godess, emphasis on the second syllable.
  • Kudzu Plot: You have no idea...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Several locations contain game boxes of the game itself. For an added bonus, they have not only the final game cover but many designs discarded before the release, as well as some old TLJ boxes.
  • Left Hanging: Just WTF happened to all the main characters in the end?! That's for starters, and if you want to know how bad it was, go to the WMG subpage and marvel at its size.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Partially averted, with different, context-sensitive outfits for both April and ZoŽ.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The dreamer machines can have this effect. They even have a flower component that covers a person's face.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Faith is really Zoe's sister and their mother is potentially yet again the first White Dragon.
  • Knight Templar: The Azadi, who seek to destroy the world in order to "cleanse it".
  • Matriarchy: The Azadi Empire is ruled by six Empresses, political power is expressly the woman's domain (though military power is the man's), they worship a Goddess, and the term for an orphan without fortune or connections is a "motherless" child. Sub-trope Enlightened Matriarchy (great cultural and scientific achievements, started off saving the entire civilization), or Original Matriarchy (overstayed their welcome big time to become an occupation, Well-Intentioned Extremism on full display including the Fantastic Ghetto, repressive government, assassinations, and mass murder).
  • Mega Corp.: Lots of them in Stark, e.g. WATIcorp. Even the police is owned by a megacorp. What does this mean? When you're arrested, you're read both your rights and a catchy soda ad.
  • My Little Panzer: WATIcorp sold several units of questionable safety and would like to assure you that they've since been absolved of all charges.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Azadi can best be described as the ascetics of the Persian Empire meets the military of the Roman Empire meets Fascist politics. Especially their tendency to refer to themselves as "Trueblood", and their isolation of the "undesired" magical beings in a ghetto are very overt.
  • No Grubbers Were Harmed
  • Noob Bridge: The music puzzle that lets Zoe out of the caves into Marcuria. It requires two elements that will not be immediately apparent to new players, namely that a certain item from the previous location could be picked up and used on the wall symbols to reproduce the melody hummed by random encounter enemies on said location. Incidentally, you can kill those enemies, leaving you with no melody if you failed to pay attention.
  • Noodle Incident: The Collapse. Characters constantly refer to it, but the game never goes into detail about just what it was or why it caused such societal upheaval.
  • No One Could Survive That: The jury is still out on April's case... and will remain thus until Chapters, apparently. But Death Is Dramatic, right? Right?...
  • Oddly Named Sequel
  • 108: Only one copy of Roper Klack's book remains because when the reader reaches page 108 they explode. The last remaining copy has been de-enchanted though, and is safe to read. At least, that's what he says...
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The way Brian Westhouse behaves in this game is vastly different from the way he behaved in The Longest Journey. It's not quite clear what happened to him between the games and after his encounter with The Undreaming, but it sure is very important.
    • A more straigtforward example would be Sister Sahya, who is a part of an extremely matriarchal culture, taking orders from the Prophet, who is rather obviously male. April even lampshades on it.
  • Organic Technology: Bioengineering has become a big thing after The Longest Journey.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Draic Kin.
  • Physical God: The Guardian, after the Changing of the Guard.
  • Precision F-Strike: Alvin Peats when talking to Zoe: "You're connected to that fucking girl."
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: WATICorp's trademark talking-animal robots, which in the past have been programmed with features such as ADHD and the ability to urinate (that wasn't a very popular feature).
  • Rule of Symbolism: Hoo boy...
    • Creepy little girl named Faith.
    • The protagonist and the narrator is named "Zoe", which is the Greek for "life".
    • Zoe lives in Casablanca, "Casablanca" is the Spanish for "white house". Faith lives in a bizarre black dollhouse.
    • The image of the big red dragon found on the floor in the hall of WATICorp. Anyone who played The Longest Journey knows that red dragon - or Kin is the true form of Cortez.
    • Apparently, TÝrnquist borrows heavily from Australian Aboriginal mythology. "Alchera" is the Arrentje for "dreaming", which natives understand as a process of shaping the cosmos. In that context, the Undreaming can be understood as a process of un-shaping the cosmos. Eingana is the name of Aboriginal creator goddess who governs life and death and lives in the Dream time, mythological era of totemic spirits.
  • Scenery Porn: Quite a few instances but the Guardian's Realm is probably the best example.
    April: I like what you've done with the place.
  • Sequel: The Original Title
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog
  • Simple Score of Sadness: A simple piano solo from "Rush" when Faith dies.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Occurs throughout the game after you're introduced to the other two characters. Produces a very striking moment, when Kian meets April and player is being switched from one to other in their dialogue.
  • Shout-Out: The naked bald blue-glowing Physical God of a Guardian, Gordon Halloway, looks suspiciously similar to Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen.
    • A more overt one:
  • Silent Majority: In-Universe, April mentions that the Silent Majority of people in Marcuria actually might not like the Azadi occupation and its attached restraints on their personal freedoms... but they won't speak up because the Azadi has put a roof over their heads, food on the table, and provided jobs to pay the bills.
  • Standard Powerup Pose: The Guardian of the Balance assumes this pose (but with his legs together) upon ascending to the top of the Tower of the Balance.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Several parts, most notably the Grubber cave and the WATICorp building.
  • Steampunk: The Azadi machinery in general looks more modern than the rest of Arcadia. Word Of God is that there is a good reason for that.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • WATICorp's museum and staff. The museum has fluff in regards to WATICorp's robotics history, and the mechanically cheerful voice uses the same tone to describe how fluffy-wuffy much everyone loved Roboy and the fact that the prototype Watilla's habit of soiling itself was a controversial design feature, not to mention glossing over the original gigantic Robunny's numerous injury cases ("of which WATICorp has been completely absolved"). Meanwhile, security guards and mechanized drones tell you that almost no one was hurt in today's exhibit rampage, and that since you're somewhere you shouldn't be, they're going to very politely use force now.
    • Zoe realizes that WATICorp's products are Stepford Smilers; at the beginning of the game, she realizes that when Wonkers, her Watilla, talks about what he does while she's not home, he's trying to communicate that he's lonely, but is literally incapable of expressing or understanding it in any way possible. Rezza's Watilla Lucia is similarly unable to communicate or understand her mental state in regards to his disappearance, but it's clear she's even worse off than Wonkers, who can at least rest assured of Zoe returning home once in a while.
  • The Stinger: The ending... again.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Faith, who is actually far more benevolent than most other examples.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: Knowing that Kian will find a way to the rebel camp but uncertain of Kian's loyalties, Vamon has him secretly followed.
  • Took a Level in Badass: April is just a normal art student in the first game, but a competent fighter and a rebel leader in the second.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The plot structure, albeit with three plot strands.
  • Wham Line:
    Damien (to Zoe): I'll be here when you come back.

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alternative title(s): Dreamfall
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