Warning: due to the nature of this game, all spoilers are unmarked.Dreaming Mary
is a sidescrolling adventure game made by Accha (a first-time game maker) with RPG Maker
VX Ace Lite in April 2014. RPG Maker describes it thusly:
"Mary is a girl who loves to dream. In fact, she loves to dream so much she can spend an entire day dreaming. One day, when she falls asleep, she finds herself in a nostalgic place very different from her other dreams. Everyone there knows her and treats her like an old friend, and they invite her to play with them or help them. When she finishes all of their tasks, she is invited deeper into the dream.
Will you lead her to fall into her dreams? Or will you bring her back to the waking world?"
The game, despite its decidedly fluffy and cute visuals and music, does feature disturbing content later on, including implications of sexual abuse. Player discretion is advised. New players are also advised to refrain from reading this game's list of tropes until they've completed the game in full, if they don't want to be spoiled.
Dreaming Mary contains examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Boaris to Mary. Initially, he seems harmless and is perpetually smiling, but the background music of his garden as well as his slightly creepy dialogue speak otherwise. If you refuse to give him your lily petal in exchange for his seed, he gets pissed off and sports a super creepy NightmareFace.
- "Just a little longer, Mary, and we can do some more pleasurable things together."
- Abusive Parents: Mari's father is implied to be one, considering he locks his daughter in her room.
- It's also implied by Boaris' dialogue that Mari's father may also be sexually abusing her.
- All Just a Dream: The premise of the game: Mary is exploring her dream world. If you get the right ending, she'll return to the real world.
- The true ending implies this may be true of the entire game, including the real world segments.
- Child by Rape: Referenced in the Sleeping Beauty storybook; it's the version where the king rapes the princess in her sleep and she gives birth to twins. Of course, since the dream world is a cute, cuddly re-imagining of Mari's real life, it's up to the player to interpret how "true" the story is....
- Controllable Helplessness:
- If you succeed at escaping back to the real world, but forgot to take the Gold Leaf Key with you, Mary will not be able to proceed any further. You can walk around and look at her real-life stuff, but the only way to end the game at that point is to give up and return to Mari's dreams, knowing that her father will be back to potentially abuse her even more.
- Similarly, if you missed the three keys hidden in the stuffed rabbit, penguin doll and fox pelt, Mary will not be able to get past the locked tree door. That means that there's nothing you can do when the sketchy shadow shows up...
- Crapsaccharine World: Mary's dream world appears to be cheerful and completely innocent. Then some unsettling things begin creeping out from behind its bubblegum pink fašade when it comes time to collect the seeds...
- Dark World: The dream world hidden behind the painting in Mary's room.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: At one point, Boaris offers you his seed in exchange for a lily petal. Lily petals symbolize purity, as told by the radio. Boaris even says "I know you deserve my seed." Eugh.
- Downer Ending: Of the four endings, only the Good Ending has Mari successfully escaping her room, and even that one openly questions whether or not she's actually escaped or simply dreamed about it.
- Dream Apocalypse: Mary's animal friends are replaced by what can be best described as creepy, flickering black-and-white glitches after she gets their seeds. The most disturbing of all of these would have to be Bunnilda's, which looks like she's committing suicide.
- Dream Land
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: A book in the library tells the tale of "Sleeping Beauty". More specifically, the version where the princess gets raped in her sleep by the king. Now, why would this delightful version of that tale exist in a seemingly bright and innocent child's dream...?
- Fairy Tale Motifs: Mainly "Sleeping Beauty", naturally, complete with an excerpt from the actual story in Penn Guindel's library. There's even a spinning wheel on the wall of the alternate bedroom.
- False Friend: Bunnilda and Foxanne, as symbolized by how only the stuffed penguin given to her by her uncle can be found in Mari's room in the real world.
- The penguin is also the only one whose face doesn't turn evil upon losing his game and taking one of Mary's petals.
- Gilded Cage: In real life, Mari lives in a mansion, where she usually only gets to be in her room or in her garden.
- Heroic Mime: Mary. Mari talks to herself in the real world, however.
- 100% Completion: Getting all four endings unlocks the bonus content.
- Inverted Portrait:
- Mary herself on the title screen.
- Most endings have the end credits with Mary being pictured in this fashion behind them, surrounded by images of her 'friends' as she descends into darkness. An unusual example in that the player has to move her down the portrait with the arrow keys to make the credits scroll and end the game.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme:
- Get caught by the father's shadow in the hallway and you get to hear 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'. Sweet Dreams!
- 'Sleeping Mary', which plays during the credits of the Black and Red ending.
- Jump Scare: All over the place in the nightmare version of Mary's room.
- Lonely Rich Kid: One of the Radio Nightnight broadcasts explains how Mari and her father live in a mansion, with only their maid, Mari's tutor, and her traveling uncle's occassional visits for company.
- Lost Forever: If you don't find the secret room before you go outside, you'll be unable to find it later (if you try to search for it afterwards, you'll only get a message that it's been covered up with cement) and become locked out of certain endings on that playthrough.
- Missing Mom: Mary's mother. She apparently fell into a coma after delving too deeply into her dreams, and passed away.
- Multiple Endings: Seven of them.
- Ending 1: Normal Ending. Lose all of your lily petals, then enter Boaris' door. Cuts straight to the credits, with the "Beginning of a nightmare" part covered up.
- Ending 2: True Ending. Have three petals when you enter Boaris' door. After Mary enters the door, a voice says "Good girl. Sweet girl. You're mine." as hands appear in the doorway. In the credits, the full text can be seen.
- Ending 3: SWEET DREAMS Bad Ending. Get caught by the monster in the fake house. The monster will show his face to the screen. The nursery rhyme "Mary Had A Little Lamb" will start playing, and the ending will finally reveal itself: Mary in disgusted tears, with her three plushie friends and Boaris hanged to death. One noose and the words SWEET DREAMS remain. This implies that Mary's father finally lost it and killed his brother and two servants, with Mary as his latest victim.
- Ending 4: ??? Ending. Reach the door with three locks without having the three rusty keys. The monster catches Mary. The ending credits are tinted with red, and a twisted nursery rhyme can be heard as Mary descends through them.
- Ending 5: ??? Ending (alternate). Open the door with the three locks without having the Gold Leaf Key. Mari wakes up into the real world but, because her door is locked, all she can do is go back to sleep. Credits are the same as Ending 4's.
- Ending 6: Good Ending. Same as Ending 5, but make sure you have the gold leaf key with you. Mari unlocks her door and leaves. However, the ending credits question if she's really awake or if this is just another dream layer.
- Ending 7: Gainax Ending. Use the cheat code SUPERMARY at the broken fishbowl to do an all-too-familiar magic spell on the monster. You can find the cheat code in one of Guinn's letters in the real world, while Bunnilda and Foxanne's plushies give foreshadowing as to how Mary performs the spell. Mary will successfully kill the monster and level up to 99. No really, this is literally what the game says. There is no credits scene for this. And yet, Guinn's letter implies that magic is real in Mary's world... or in Kyou-Ming.
- Nice Guy: Penn Guindel, who treats Mary with kindness and respect even if she fails his test and he takes a lily petal from her. Notably, he is the only one of the trio who does not display a Nightmare Face before taking the petal. It's quite possible that he's a dream representation of Mari's uncle Gwendel who gave her a stuffed penguin.
- Nightmare Face: Bunnilda and Foxanne each give you one of these before taking your lily petals if you fail their tests. Boaris also gives you a Nightmare Face if you refuse to give him your lily petal.
- One appears in a Jump Scare in the nightmare version of Mary's room.
- Punny Name: All of Mary's Funny Animal companions. Particularly Penn Guindel, aka the penguin doll.
- Reality Warper: Mary and her mother are implied to be this by the radio. Confirmed in the Good Ending, where Mari (not Mary) opens the bedroom door her father locked with the gold leaf key from her dreams.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Seen on Boaris when Mary won't give him a petal, as well as Bunnilda and Foxanne if Mary fails their games.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bunnilda the maid, and, to an extent, the rest of Mary's animal friends as well.
- Sequel Hook: After returning to the real world, if you check the bookcase you'll find a letter that's hinted to be from the next game's protagonist.◊
- Spell My Name with an "S": In-universe: The radio in Mary's room states that Mary's name in the real world is Mari.
- Surprise Creepy: The bulk of the game consists of Mary wandering her fluffy pink dream world and playing with her animal friends. When you start taking seeds from said friends, everything starts going to hell.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: The very first radio broadcast is filled with this. Too bad a player usually won't hear more than 10 seconds of it.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: In the Good Ending, there's the implication that Mari was still dreaming and only imagined bringing the Gold Leaf Key into the real world and escaping.