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Video Game / Bad Dream

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Bad Dream is a series of Point-and-Click Psychological Horror games created by Desert Fox, taking place in various dream scenarios with a heavy dose of Surreal Horror. The games present an interactive environment, with most of the objects being able to be interacted with, for better or for worse for the player (and usually, for the worse).

The original series of games were Butcher, Graveyard, Hospital, Cyclops, Memories, and Bridge.

After a couple of years, Bad Dream: Coma was released as a full game connecting all the previous games into a story. The game takes place in a coma dream, with the player transverse the areas of the original series. Death has become absent, and the people in the dream are suffering without her. With the help of a mysterious masked man, the protagonist navigates a disturbing dreamland where the world changes based on your actions.

The Bad Dream series provide examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Or Was It a Dream? Coma is very open to either interpretation as to whether the dream world and the people residing within it are real or not, as regardless of the player's choice, the protagonist will wake up in their room.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of some of the minor characters in Coma are either immobilized, or too damaged to move well. This is presumably most of the minor characters' fate if you trigger the Butcher or the Cyclops endings.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The worm in Bridge, and the crow in Coma.
  • Ambiguous Gender: In the English verson of Coma, at least, Death is referred to as both "he" and "she", depending on who is speaking.
  • Apologetic Attacker: While she wasn't going for him, Death takes great pity on the kid's attempt at making her stop taking his family away at the end of Memories and the middle of Coma:
    You can't do anything to stop me. I'm sorry.
  • Art Initiates Life: A running theme in Coma that becomes all the more prominent towards the end. Of course, it goes both ways...
  • Body Horror: Filled with it, considering the protagonist in the older games had to do horrible things to what he came across, or had to inflict it upon himself. In Coma, the patients in the hospital are eviscerated and cut up, notably a man holding his intestines in, and a woman with her brain exposed.
  • Body Motifs: Hands and fingers are a reoccurring theme within the Bad Dream series, starting with the first game ending with the player losing all their fingers and going from there. Coma specifically warns the player of the bad and neutral endings once they get get bloodied hands.
  • Buried Alive: In Coma, the masked man will bury you in an open grave if you're reaching a bad ending. Inside the graveyard itself, there is a corpse that the player has to dig up for a puzzle, but is not dead.
  • The Butcher: While the first game is called Butcher, there is actually no butcher around. In Coma, upon meeting certain requirements, a butcher Serial Killer will manifest and begin a killing spree in the hospital.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The soup made out of your own fingers that appears at the end of Butcher is a reoccurring item that appears in a few later games to solve a puzzle, usually involving reattaching your fingers.
    • Several objects from the original games reappear in Coma, such as the scarecrow from Graveyard and the game board in Memories. These are usually to solve a puzzle, but can also appear after certain actions the player takes.
  • Creepy Crows: There are multiple black birds that can be seen around the games, with the player being given the option to punch the birds in Coma. Doing so will have an Animalistic Abomination appear at the end of the bridge. On the good ending route of the game, the birds will look a lot less menacing and make cheerful chirps.
  • Cyclops: Well, it's in one of the game's names after all! In reality, it's played with, since it is a giant with two eyes until the player gouges one with a giant toothpick. In Coma, a more traditional cyclops appears if the player stabs the bathroom peeper's eye out with a pair of scissors, and is taken out the same way.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Masked Man's mask looks a little unsettling in the good route and downright scary in the bad and neutral routes; however, he is, in fact, very helpful and kind. Death in this game looks her usual ominous self in the black cloak with her face covered, but turns out to be rather sympathetic and gentle-hearted. Even if she does go back to killing in the bad ending, she only does so to relieve the suffering of others and/or to punish the wrongdoers.
  • Developer's Foresight: Coma especially is very responsive to the player's actions and has a great variety of possible outcomes. The interface only tells you of three possible endings, but at least two of those endings can be reached in different ways with slightly different outcomes, so effectively there are a lot more than three endings.
  • Eye Scream: Often enough:
    • In Hospital, the stout man is found nailed to a wall with his eyes crossed out in red, suggesting they were gouged out.
    • In Cyclops, the player loses their eye to a nail sticking out of a board, and is later used to give to the Eye Fairy. At the very end, he uses a toothpick to stab the giant with it, turning him into a cyclops.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The fate of everyone in Coma is being in a dreamworld that Death had abandoned, meaning that nobody can die or wake up from the nightmare, but still can suffer injury and pain.
  • Fingore: The series' go-to form of body mutilation is having the player's fingers removed.
  • Good is Not Nice: The Masked Man seems as kind and well-intentioned as possible, given the circumstances; however, he will not hesitate to fight back and punish people (more specifically, you) when they do truly evil things.
  • Gorn: The games are heavy on blood and body mutilation, especially when on the Butcher ending path in Coma.
  • Karma Meter: One is employed in Coma, and the endings you get are dependent on your actions throughout the game.
  • The Lost Woods: The Forest in Coma, filled with various creatures and having dead bodies floating in the lake.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The masked man who aides the player in their quest in Coma either plays with this trope or subverts it, depending on what ending path the player is on. In the good ending his mask is expressionless and while he is cryptic, offers no direct harm to the player and seems to just wants everyone to be freed. In the bad ending, he recognizes that you are the source of most of their problems, and while he still tries to help everyone escape, will bury you alive in the graveyard instead of taking you there.
  • Mercy Kill: In Coma, the player is given the option of putting a barely-living corpse out of his misery once they find the eraser.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Played with in Coma - Death comes to hate her job and sees herself as a villain; the others, however, are clamoring for her to come back, once she resigns. In the good ending, Death literally commits suicide because of sheer remorse and unwillingness to go back to her duties.
  • Serial Killer: There is one roaming around the original Hospital, murdering just about everyone the player meets, including the player themselves in the alternative ending. In the Butcher ending in Coma, a butcher will appear in the hospital and begin to slaughter almost every minor character in messily gory ways.
  • Slasher Smile: On the bad ending path in Coma, the masked man will appear with one instead of his usual emotionless face.
  • Toilet Humour: In Hospital, to get the color brown involves feeding the fat man food laced with laxatives. With sound effects. In Coma, an alternative to giving the Jerkass old man his drink is to give him a can full of toilet water.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: In Coma, you can provide good deeds for the people and animals around you, like giving a man holding his guts in his correct number so he can get treated by the nurse. If you reached the good ending, the masked man is grateful for what you've done. However...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the original series of games, you can do things like squash birds and bugs with no purpose other than because the game presented it, although sometimes to solve a puzzle. Doing this in Coma will result in nightmares manifesting, causing the people in the dreamworld to be afraid for their lives and sometimes "killed" as a result. And they know who's to blame.
  • Villain Protagonist: Possibly, although can easily just be a Jerkass, in the older games. In Coma, you become this in the bad endings.
  • You Bastard!: On the bad ending route, characters will react to you with scorn and realize that you are making the dream world even worse by manifesting more monsters that cause mayhem in Coma.