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Video Game / Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

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"Find April Ryan... Save her!"

The second game of the The Longest Journey Saga, it is an Oddly Named Sequel to the Adventure Game classic The Longest Journey. The game was released in 2006. It introduces a new heroine, Zoë 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), Zoë 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 Cliffhanger of cosmic proportions and the No Ending trope.

Another oddly named episodic sequel, Dreamfall Chapters, was released between October 2014 and June 2016. It ties some of the numerous loose ends that were Left Hanging after Dreamfall back together and gives a conclusion to Zoë's story arc.

Please add character-related tropes to the characters tab, and tropes common to the series to the series page.

Tropes found in the game:

  • Apocalypse How: A global Societal Disruption in the form of the Collapse.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Faith will bring you where you are needed the most."
    • "The Undreaming is unchained."
  • 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. Unfortunately, based on what Brian said in The Longest Journey, the Tibet sequence takes place in the 1930's, when Tibet was independent.
  • Ascended Extra: Marcus, who was just a talking extra Creator Cameo for Ragnar Tørnquist in the original game, is a minor villain in this game.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While Zoë is able to stop Faith from inadvertantly destroying Stark, she fails to stop the launch of the Dreamer console. Back in Arcadia, the resistance suffers a crushing blow, leaving no one able to stop the Azadi's mysterious plans.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Zoë 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 Zoë] Faith will bring you where you are needed the most.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: While in the Victory Hotel in Newport, Zoë uses one to get to a lower level.
  • Bookends: The game starts and ends with Zoë in a coma.
  • Bread and Circuses: Many of the simple people welcome the Azadi because they bring stability to their lives. They don't realize the atrocities committed against the magical people and the oppression of anyone with a different faith as them.
  • 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. Zoë Castillo lives in 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.
    • Zoë is of mixed descent, Spanish and Chinese—at least according to one of the writers.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The Collapse is single-handedly responsible for most of the glaring differences between Dreamfall Stark and TLJ Stark.
  • Cliffhanger: The ending.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: You are occasionally given multiple paths to victory, especially when playing as Zoë. 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.
  • The Conspiracy: Project Alchera is a blend of the government and corporate variants, as corporations act as the world government in the setting. The Japanese toy manufacturer WATICorp is involved in the development and spreading of Mind Control Devices disguised as lucid dream toys. Unfortunately, none of them had any idea that there was an entire world of magic that used the same wavelengths as the project. The central AI latched on in curiosity and suddenly instant chaos, test subjects manifest in Arcadia, two worlds in danger, etc..
  • Creepy Twins: The two Asian twins working for WATICorp that pursue Zoë across the game.
  • Cute Machines: The Watillas. The creepy black eyes aside, no human could claim not to adore such a machine.
  • Darkest Hour: The ending: April Ryan is hit with a spear and tumbles into the water; Kian has a crisis of faith and is promptly imprisoned; Zoë is sent into a permanent coma; Faith dies after living a tragic life of Fate Worse than Death.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: April, when trying to break Zoë out of the prison, uses this disguise to deliver a poisoned sandwich to the guard. The warden even lets her deliver it to the guard in person.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The theme of Zoë and April's arcs.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Faith loves this trope.
  • Downer Ending: Zoë saves Stark from Faith, but she fails to stop WATI and the Azadi's plans and winds up in a permanent coma. The Azadi kill April and arrest Kian for treason, leaving no one to able save the world.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: A very bizzare and complicated problem aroused in the Polish translation, being essentialy a form of spillover from that of the original game:
    • In The Longest Journey Crow is render into Polish as Kruk, a word that is actually more often associated with a raven. It technically wasn't a mistake on the translator's part as quite a few Polish dictionaries point out that the word "kruk" is acceptable for both ravens and crows alike, however it is a widely held belief that the only correct translations for "raven" and "crow" in Polish are "kruk" and "wrona" respetively. The problem is, the word "wrona", that would probably be best here, is not only feminine but also has a definitely nasty feel to it, much like, say, cockroach has in English. And so, probably to shelter themselves from some of the fans, the translator actually modified April's journal to make it clear that while she is aware that Crow isn't actually, well, a crow, she named him so nonetheless.
    • And then April herself ends up being called Raven. Since the most appropriate word, "kruk", was already taken and "wrona" would still sound rather improper for a positive character, Raven was turned into "Kruczowłosa", which essentially means "The Raven-Haired One".note 
  • 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. Marcuria begins showing early signs of this.
  • Eager Rookie: Brynn is very eager to prove his worth to the rebel cause but his more experienced commanders Chawan and April keep him on a short leash, much to his frustration.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Faith, April and Helena Chang are this to one degree or another.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Zoë'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 Drug: Morpheus, the sleeping drug used before connecting people to the Dreamer. It is safe under normal circumstances, though repeated usage has detrimental effects, eventually resulting in death, as it happened with Faith.
  • Fauxreigner: The electronics seller in New Port looks and acts like a stereotypical ancient Chinese merchant. As Zoë gets to know him better he eventually drops the act and admits that is it only a sales gimmick.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: Kian's speech with Master Gamon during his introduction foreshadows his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Fourth Wall: Played with. When Zoë 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 Zoë'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.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: It is surprisingly easy to outsmart the guards at Friar's Keep. Zoë can convince the guard on his level to leave the door slot open by promising to... sing him a song. Then the warden lets April in because he is too lazy to deliver the sandwich to the other guard himself.
  • Hacking Minigame: Justified. Oliva de Marcos gives Zoë 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 won't know what she's really doing.
  • Haunted Technology: The Static that is gradually destroying Stark's technology is actually Faith trying to keep herself alive on the Wire after her death.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Roper Klacks actually helps April numerous times.
    • Kian slowly goes through one over the course of the game, which gets him arrested at the end.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Justified. See Hacking Minigame.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: Beggar Crazy Clara has a pet that defies biological definition and that Zoë 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 Zoë 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 Zoë ends put into a more permanent coma with little chance of survival.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: One level has Zoë sneaking into a corporate headquarters by following cleaning bots through passages that open for them.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Zoë dresses as a janitor to get into WATI headquarters. Once in though, she doesn't fool the guard robots, commandos, or even the scientists working in the lab, so she needs to hide when they approach.
  • 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.
  • Leaving You to Find Myself: Zoë and Reza break up for this reason in the backstory. They remain Amicable Exes though, and a large part of the plot is about Zoë investigating the disappearance of Reza. By the time the next game begins, they are back together.
  • 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. Luckily, Dreamfall Chapters does a good job of resolving a lot of the cliffhangers.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Faith is really Zoë's sister, while their mother is heavily implied to be Helena Chang.
  • 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.
  • Mystical 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...
  • 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 Zoë 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.
  • Nostalgia Level: Chapter 3 takes place in Newport's Venice district, which was one of the major Stark locations in the original game. While Venice has become a crimeridden slum in the wake of the Collapse, it's still recognizably the same place as it was in the original game.
  • Organic Technology: Bioengineering has become a big thing after The Longest Journey.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Draic Kin.
  • Perspective Flip: April and Kian, for obvious reasons; they are playable characters from opposing factions, and they come from very different backgrounds. Made even more pronounced since their playable areas often overlap, and at one point they have a heated debate before either knows who the other is. Some of their 'look' dialogues even show that they use opposite viewpoints to come to the same conclusions.
    • April and Kian both think the human with the book in the Magical Ghetto looks out of place, but April thinks he's an Azadi spy while Kian thinks he's a magical sympathizer.
    • Kian and April both notice Crazy Clara's living conditions, but Kian thinks her homelessness is proof that Marcuria needs the Azadi while April thinks she was probably driven from her home by the Azadi.
  • Physical God: The Guardian, after the Changing of the Guard.
  • Precision F-Strike: Alvin Peats when talking to Zoë: "You're connected to that fucking girl."
  • Ransacked Room: Reza's place in the beginning is turned over by the baddies trying to find the journal.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: 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 "Zoë", which is the Greek for "life".
    • Zoë 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, Tørnquist borrows heavily from Aboriginal Australian Myths. "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 Gorn: Venice, which became a crime-ridden Wretched Hive since the previous game. Especially jarring is the Victory Hotel, formerly named Border House, April's home in The Longest Journey.
  • 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.
  • Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Roper Klacks says that he had suffered the magical version of this before April "cured" him. He calls it EPWD. Now he is a humble potion seller in Marcuria and is grateful to April for what she did to him.
  • Second Chapter Cliffhanger: All three protagonists end in dire fates. Kian is arrested, April is dead, and Zoë is in a coma with hints that she might have died too. On top of that, The Bad Guys Win.
  • Sequel: The Original Title: At this point in the series 'Dreamfall' appears to become the main title, being followed by Dreamfall Chapters.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: April is killed near the end.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: A simple piano solo from "Rush" when Faith dies.
  • 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:
    • There is one to Shakespeare: One of the major locations is Venice (not the real one, but a neighborhood of the fictional American city of Newport), which is home to a street gang called the Shakespeareans. There's also a Chinese street vendor, who at one point describes himself as the "best merchant in Venice".
  • 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.
  • Solar Punk: Casablanca in 2219 is all about this trope.
  • Standard Power-Up 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.
  • 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.
    • Zoë 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. Reza'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 Zoë returning home once in a while.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Faith, who is actually far more benevolent than most other examples.
  • Technology Erasure Event: In between the two games (specifically, on August 8, 2209), Earth experiences a catastrophic event known as "the Collapse", during which many advanced technologies stop working overnight, including Anti-Gravity and Faster-Than-Light Travel. While the exact nature of the Collapse is never elaborated upon, it coincided in time with the enthronement of the Thirteenth Guardian of the Balance, and is therefore believed to be a consequence of the new Guardian stripping Earth of all technologies that were actually based on magic that seeped in from its twin world of Arcadia, in order to restore the Balance between the Twin Worlds.
  • 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.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Zoë has one with a WatiCorp employee if she decides to go into the elevator with her while infiltrating its HQ.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dreamfall


Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

"Nothing in there sir." "Let's move on."

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Main / TheGuardsMustBeCrazy

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