One night, a boy named Billy is minding his own business when, just before going to bed, A wizard monster named Balder randomly manifests himself out of Billy's pillow and attacks him, wanting to transform him and brainwash him. Through this, Billy gets a one way trip to a realm of nightmares, but doesn't get brainwashed for some reason. Balder leaves promising to return and finish what he started, and Billy goes out to explore, learning he's been transformed to look like a diseased prince, and that Balder plans to rule the world of nightmares using other children he has dragged there for power. Billy swears to defeat Balder and free his captives before the damage can be done.
Nightmare Boy is a Metroidvania style Platform Game, developed by The Vanir Project on the Unity engine, and published by Badland Games on October 25th, 2017 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. It was also ported over to the Nintendo Switch on January 16th, 2018.
Nightmare Boy Contains examples of:
- Baleful Polymorph: Using his malevolent magic, Baldar changes Billy into a physical replica of Prince Rolok.
- Checkpoint Starvation: Checkpoint placement can be really arbitrary. While some levels may have two checkpoints within 30 seconds of each other, others will need to be replayed in full if you die to a boss.
- Crapsaccharine World: One of the levels has candies and such pretty much everywhere. However, there are also starving children present in the background of every screen.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The bosses of the dollhouse - a shapely, but disturbing woman with long nails and a roosters head-crest, and a muscular blue shirtless man with two floating heads - fight you while filming with their "star" - a small girl - in a bedroom with a single stage light and camera with a tape recorder, the kind of skeevy set up one would expect from a porno set.
- Flunky Boss: Many of the bosses are supported by the regular enemies.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Billy's main attack is to punch his enemies.
- Multiple Endings: Several variations, depending on how many of the optional dreamers' requests Billy attempted to fulfil.
- Obvious Beta: The release versions of the game were noted for an abundance of glitches.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Ice Dragon, which has Black Eyes of Crazy, rows of long sharp teeth, suffers from the cold rather than being used to it, and whose weakspot is its jewelled collar. Another one encountered later is flightless, but mechanical with three heads and keeps a child in its grip at all times.
- Retraux: While the game's graphics are more advanced than the usual pixel art, it still has optional scan line effects.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: One of the hardest levels of the game, due to the lack of checkpoints.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Averted. Billy may have Prince Rolok's appearance (and eventually his abilities as well), but much to Baldar's disappointment, he neither acts nor thinks like the late Prince. He still maintains his personality and memories as Billy.
- Violation of Common Sense: the first boss, a mage-like cyclops, lives or dies depending on the dialogue you have with him before the fight starts. He's hot under the collar over Balder and a bet he made; if you express concern for him, he goes all out on you (not that it really changes the fight or what ability you gain from it) and dies, if you say that you don't really care about what it is, he becomes fairly friendly and lives afterwards.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Sprinkled periodically in dialog options, where you can lie about being Prince Rolok or lie about killing someone, but the most notable example is the Mongos System, where random npc creatures called Mongos wander about the map. Killing enough before a certain point -intentionally or not, blocks you off from an ability and can potentially get you hurt each time you do it from their guardian deity (particularly annoying when they are set up close to enemies).
- Weaksauce Weakness: The Performers of The Dollhouse are both incredibly weak to the bomb weapon you gain that allows you entry to the area in the first place. otherwise, they are fairly difficult to handle.