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Video Game / DreadOut

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"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 field trip, they discover an old, deserted town and quickly realize that something sinister seems to be happening. Linda, the main protagonist, soon discovers that 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 invention like smartphones and digital 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.

A stand-alone Interquel called Keepers of the Dark was released on March 24, 2016. Taking place just prior to the final boss fight, it elaborates on a missing period of time and provides a few more hints to the larger story.

A spin-off game for Virtual Reality devices, called Dread Eye VR, was released in November 2017. In it, the player takes the role of a dukun (an Indonesian shaman) and performs rituals to summon and face spirits. It is set in the same universe but has no direct connections to the story of DreadOut.


A sequel has been announced in September 2018.

A live action movie adaptation has been released in Indonesia on January 3rd, 2019.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In Indonesian myth, Pocongs are usually depicted with their limbs tied, leaving them more-or-less incapable of physical assault with hopping being 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, although 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, like the fight of Pocong Radja, who is awakened in Act 0.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: One of the rewards for funders.
  • Ascended Extra: In Keepers of the Dark, Sewurupa, a ghost that isn't very dangerous and you can even ignore in Act 1, makes two appearances that imply it is far more important than a simple filler enemy.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: To defeat Sundel Bolong, Linda must take a picture of the hole on her back.
    • In Keepers of the Dark, Seeing Blind can only be damaged when he reveals the eye within his mouth.
  • 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.
    • In Keepers of the Dark, after the door to Room 109 floods past you, Linda is actually covered in muck until you end up back in the hub room, which might be justified since it all exists in some sort of ambiguous mirror realm to begin with.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The posters in the town are written in untranslated Indonesian, unlike the notes. Some of them have humorous meaning or are puns.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the true ending, Linda manages to banish the Lady in Red and leave the abandoned town. However, Ira reveals that she has to stay in the village forever to prevent the darkness the Sisters summoned from escaping into the world and Miss Siska seems to has a dark agenda of her own, meaning that Linda is forced to leave the town as the Sole Survivor of the group. Also, Linda has now inherited the dark power from the Lady, with her willpower and Ira's recorded message as the only things preventing it from over-leaking.
  • Body Horror: Palasik is 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.
    • In Room 108 of Keepers of the Dark, there's a doll that follows you around, but only if you aren't looking at it (you can catch it falling to the ground if you turn around fast enough), and it hurts you to touch it. Contrary to the fear it induces, once you find out who it belonged to, you can pick it up and reunite it with its owner.
  • 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.
    • Later, Linda encounters her best friend Ira, who is being possessed by a doll named Suzie.
    • It is left ambiguous, if Mrs. Siska is possessed or actually the Big Bad / The Dragon.
  • Downer Ending: The alternate ending has Linda seemingly escape, only for the Lady in Red to just kill her in a car crash.
  • Down the Drain: Keepers of the Dark introduces two sewer levels: Room 101's Dark Sewer and 104's Colonial Sewer.
  • 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 not 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.
    • The "BFF" Steam Achievement is unlocked by taking a photo of Ira near the beginning of Act 1. Yeah, she and Linda are best friends according to the game's lore. But one would easily notice the heartbreak symbol, splitting the letters into half. By the middle of Act 1, Ira gets separated from Linda, and on Act 2, we witness Ira's death, right in the first-person perspective of her protagonist BFF.
  • 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. It's left ambiguous as to whether the place was abandoned (lots of cars and such suggest people certainly didn't plan to leave), whether the ghosts killed everyone, or if it's not really abandoned at all and the characters are simply trapped in some sort of parallel version of the town.
  • 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, lots of haunted houses making up a haunted village. The most notable haunted house would by the Lady in Red's manor, which becomes an isolated level all on its own in Keepers of the Dark.
  • Hub Level: The main location of Keepers of the Dark, in the form of a Portal Crossroad World.
  • 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.
  • Kitsune: The main boss of the Colonial Sewer area in Keepers of the Dark is a large, nine-tailed fox beast.
  • Large Ham: Linda's 'friend' you encounter in Act 0, and possessed Ira in Act 2.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While talking to Suzie possessed Ira, she tries to point out that Linda doesn't even care about her enough to even know her phone number. If you actually put in Ira's correct number, she'll admit she was wrong and say "Achievement unlocked" just when you unlock the Call Me Maybe achievement.
  • Magical Camera: Camera applications and devices seem to act as catalyst for Linda's newfound power.
  • Meaningful Name: IrisPhone. The iris is responsible for altering the size of the pupil to control the amount of light received by the eye.
  • Mirror World: The setting of Keepers of the Dark. Most of the game involves revisiting old areas with slight differences, such as the school being filled with mannequins. It is also accessed and eventually left through a mirror.
  • 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.
    • Even the true ending has a small difference depending on a choice the player made in Act 2.
  • 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.
    • The end of Act 0. You fight a monstrous ghost entity, wake up violently... then watch your classmates play in the background and have cheery music play over your best friend smiling at you.
    • Linda and Ira chat and play in front of the school as the rest of the group explores the town. Cue one student missing, Ira getting possessed and everything going down from that.
  • Nightmare Face: And how.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Indonesian rock band Koil makes an appearance in Keepers of the Dark as a boss: they are resurrected by a fan who goes as far as collecting some of their objects to perform a dark ritual. The true band members are very much alive.
  • 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 student characters we've seen in the game are wearing their school uniforms during their field trip, which is quite the standard in many Indonesian schools.
    • Averted with Bayu from the comic, who wears more normal casual clothes.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with more questions than answers.
    • Elaborated on in the Interquel, Keepers of the Dark, which implies that Dread Out was the story of the villain releasing a Sealed Evil in a Can and attaining a power that needs to be confronted in a sequel.
  • 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 of the rumor of one participant having died, which caused a warning from the local broadcasting commission. The rumor was later confirmed to be false. The show was re-broadcasted in 2014.
  • Silent Protagonist: Linda. She does gasp or shriek when hurt or pants when out of breath, but doesn't actually speak. There's only one instance where she actually says anything and that is during one of the endings, saying "Scary".
    • Silent Snarker: Linda. Despite not talking, her facial expressions, especially when interacting with Ira in front of the school, show her snarky nature.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Naturally.
  • That One Achievement: The YOLO Steam Achievement which requires the player to complete Act 1 without entering limbo. Many players find this difficult, especially if the Scissor Phantom is a lightning-fast boss that can continuously hit you if it goes into Berserk Mode.
  • 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.
    • In the good ending, it shows that the evil has begun spreading outside the town and Linda is tied to it.
    • In the bad ending, it shows that Yayan was simply locked in one of the school bathrooms the whole time.
  • 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.
  • Tongue-Tied: When trying to figure out how Doni might have died since she doesn't think her sister did it, the Third Sister is instantly forced into her ghost form and all you hear are screams before she explains that she's not allowed to explain certain things about how ghosts work.
  • 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 Doni to reach Linda, the ghost who possesses him just breaks his neck. Subverted when the Third Sister reveals that they won't kill, implying that Doni was already dead when you ran into him, and the ghost only broke his neck to freak Linda out.
    • However, given that Third Sister will kill Ira via Neck Snap in that exact same conversation if you insult her, she's clearly lying when she says the sisters won't kill the living. At the same time, she does imply that Doni was already a corpse when Second Sister possessed him.


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