Neftelia is a freeware game by Japanese indie game developer "14". The premise, such as it is, is simple, you are a white, nameless stick figure. You explore the land of Neftelia finding cinematics to complete your chart for no real reason, though the emphasis is more on exploration itself than finding the cinematics specifically. The game seems to take many cues from Yume Nikki and its fangames, so comparisons are inevitable. However, it is perhaps more fair to call the game a Spiritual Successor, or even just "in the same genre" as Yume Nikki than something that took direct inspiration from it. The game also boasts an excellent soundtrack.
The author's download page is here, which contains the base download and the latest patch. Keep in mind the files must be extracted and ran in Japanese mode, so try Applocale for that. Alternatively, download it pre-patched here - again, extract and run in Japanese mode. The game contains only a few Japanese symbols in it, so English players can understand all the text there is to understand. You will probably also need the RPG Maker 2003 RTP.
Neftelia 2, the sequel, can be found here. It seems to take place years in the future of Neftelia, where the tone has become somewhat more broken and hostile, and is about the same stick figure collecting 9 rods. 14 has also made several other smaller games and Neftelia-style cinematics starring the same white stick figure, such as 14/?.
Tropes present in Neftelia
- Acid-Trip Dimension
- After the End: The city with the orange sky seems to be this.
- Arc Number: 14 is both the name of the creator, and the number of cinematics you have to find. On an even meta-er level, 14/? is the name of his and the stick figure's first game, the number 14 appears on walls of rooms in that game, and 14/?? is it's sequel.
- Arc Symbol: Various moons appears A LOT in Neftelia.
- Author Appeal: 14 really likes the moon and depictions thereof.
- Deliberately Monochrome and simplicity are running themes too.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Large swaths of the game are such.
- Dream Land
- Dream People
- Gainax Ending: The endings to both Neftelia and it's sequel basically consist of "the character walks somewhere they couldn't before, cue credits". The secret ending to Neftelia 2 makes more logical sense but is even more of a "what" due to being The Ending Changes Everything.
- Let's Play: Mike Mnemonic's gave the game a degree of notability. As did his singing along to the background music in one place.
- No Name Given
- Shout-Out: Face's appearance combined with his summoning method in the first game are eerily similar to Uboa.
- Surreal Horror: Some scenes could be interpreted as this, but the game, as a whole, is far less nightmarish than Yume Nikki, and is usually only mildly unsettling at the most.
- Weird Moon: Several of them, most notable is one with what appears to be a face on it.
- Wide Open Sandbox
Tropes exclusive to the sequel
- All Just a Dream: The secret ending reveals that both games were dreams had at some sort of mysterious facility that has been monitoring both your and several others' dreams. You attempt to escape but doors close in on you leaving you stuck...
- Guide Dang It!: Notably more so than the first game.
- Multiple Endings: A normal Red Exit ending, and a ridiculously hidden true ending.
- Side Quest: Collecting stones.
- The Ending Changes Everything: The secret ending.