"You can hold X to run. But I don't advise doing that in this game, because you're liable to run into a wall and have, like, a demonic head explode out of it while little elephants float out of the sky as a man in a huge cloak comes up behind you and the screen turns blood red. And, yes, that does happen in this game. I'm not kidding."LSD: Dream Emulator
is a PS1
-era game created by Osamu Sato (who also made Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou
), and only released in Japan. It's a Cult Classic
, especially among Let's Play
groups. There is no goal, no combat, nothing but walking around the completely random environments. The main appeal for players is its insanity — one day, you might see a line of elephants walking into a pit, while other times you might encounter the Grey Man
, the closest thing to a recurring villain. Imagine a randomized Yume Nikki
The game also does one particular thing that's completely horrible
— it gets scarier
as it goes on. The more you dream, the more bizarre and messed-up textures and events you will encounter.note
The Grey Man will appear more often. One person played the game so long that the system it uses to scarify things broke
, and every texture was replaced with glitchy black.
Perhaps the scariest thing about the game is that it's all real
, in a sense. One of the employees at the company who made it, Hiroko Nishikawa, was having very disturbing dreams and recorded it all in a dream journal. She later presented to the company, and it got made into this game. If you want to read the original journal, it has been released as Lovely Sweet Dream
, but it's even more difficult to find than the game itself.
The game has a reputation for making you think you've figured everything there is to figure out, and then doing something very
bad to you.Has a wiki!
This game provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: There's a book apparently explaining everything in the game, although it's hellishly difficult to find since only 50 were ever made. Scans of the Dream Journal the game's based on are available online, and most dreams are in English. The manual's also available online, but it's in Japanese.
- The Blank: Most of the human or human-like characters have blank, featureless faces, probably due to the graphical limitations of the game's engine.
- Cephalothorax: There is an NPC that is one of these in the courtyard of the apartment building/hotel. It moves whenever you move, so it is impossible to get close enough to it to touch it.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Linking from one place to another is accompanied by a flash of certain colour. White and blue indicates that next place will be rather serene and untroubled, while red foreshadows a darker turn.
- Counting Sheep: A non-interactive animation which may show up instead of a dream.
- Creepy Doll: The teddy bear that stalks you.
- Deadly Walls: Kind of. Touching anything but the ground will transport you out of that area of the dream world.
- Dream Land
- Driven to Suicide: Literally, in three different ways, all of which can be found in the Violence District — the car driving into the sea, the hanging women (it's quite possible, though, that they were lynched), and even putting you on top of a building and making you jump off. You can also jump off the many cliffs you may find, ending the dream, but you won't die.
- Eldritch Abomination: Possibly, the Grey Man. Who is he? How can he walk without moving his legs? Why does he look like he doesn't fit in that coat at all? Why doesn't he have a face, in a game where even the walls sometimes have faces? What is someone in a trenchcoat and fedora doing in Happy Land? Why does he appear there more than anyone else?!
- There's a theory that he is the result of a sleep disorder called hypnognia, where the sleeping mind automatically assumes that there is a dangerous entity/danger.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Giant, tie-dye penguins.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Eyes Do Not Belong There
- The Faceless: The face of the soldier in the Violence District is completely obscured by his helmet.
- Featureless Protagonist: Possibly, although a skeleton found in a room of the hotel suggests your character is female and the dream log this is based off of is from a woman.
- Fun with Acronyms: The opening sequence includes text like "In Leisure, the Sonorous Dream" and "In Logic, the Symbolic Dream".
- Possibly unintentional, but the textures (aside from Normal), are Logic, Downer, and Sexual.
- Since Logic is usually known as "Kanji", it probably is an accident.
- Hatsuyume: The 365th dream in the game ends with a cutscene featuring Mt Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant.
- Hellhound: A wolf-like creature that chases you and lunges at your throat, causing the stage to end.
- Let's Play: After Azuritereaction (often known for his Rock Band videos) played this, it became quite popular to play it and film your reactions.
- Mind Screw: Nobody (at least none in the English fan community) has figured out how the hell the game actually works. In a very kind gesture, every area in the game is connected in a concrete way and maps exist, but the actual methods the game uses to randomly decide where you go, what happens, and what it looks like are unknown. It's strongly implied that there is some sort of system the game has, but...
- Poke the Poodle: The Gray Man, although scary, just erases your log of dreams, which seems like this Trope. However, evidence suggests that the Dream Log can get you something if you fill enough of it.
- It seems that after you run into the Grey Man and the Dream Log gets erased, it also erases all progress in getting the creepy textures, events, and characters so you have to start over from the normal textures again. Which is fairly annoying if you're trying to see just how creepy and confusing the game can get.
- Scare Chord: One plays when encountering the hanging women in the Violence District.
- Sugar Bowl / Toy Time: One of the areas, but just be careful not to get in any of the residents' ways...
- Surreal Horror
- Wide Open Sandbox
- Womb Level: One series of hallways is fleshy, pink, and infested with demonic babies.