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Video Game / Nightmare Realm

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This could get ugly.

"Journey into the mysterious Nightmare Realm and save Emily from an imaginary world that has been taken over by darkness! "
Big Fish Games [1]

A point and click adventure, this is the first in the Nightmare Realm series. The premise starts with a healthy amount of parental worries where you race to find your daughter, Emily, who has been spirited away by a dark shadow who had been following your family for the past 6 years to accomplish said aforementioned goal.

There are currently two games in the series: Nightmare Realm and Nightmare Realm: In the End.


This HOG provides several examples of:

  • 100% Completion: While you can't fail, there is an unlockable game that can only be obtained by finding all 33 origami pieces hidden in the game.
  • Body to Jewel: While it doesn't heal per se, the stone Spirit cries amber tears which you need to collect for a quest after the Witchdoctor is murdered.
  • Cool Uncle: Peter. In The End reveals that he died of illness in the time between the games.
  • Children Are Innocent: Emily and all the children that appeared in the second game. Also, Kjuu. Subverted with Jeff and Philip.
  • Company Cameo: There is one origami in the shape of Felix the Fish, the mascot for Big Fish Games.
  • Continuity Nod: Emily as a teenager still has dreams of her experience in the nightmare realm and her paintings occasionally reference them as well.
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  • Creepy Doll: You see the picture of your daughter turn into this. Complete with a scrawled 'Help me' on the frame. Then, once your reach the final cutscenes, it turns out that the Extractor that took your daughter is trying to turn her into a doll to harvest her creative energy.
  • Disappeared Dad: David dies in the opening sequence of the game.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Dark City itself is full of darkness and everlasting snowfall.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Mary's fate for breaking the laws of Dark City is to watch her son imprisoned forever in the golden sarcophagus.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Averted. You play as Emily's mother, Katherine.
  • Fountain of Youth: Apparently, the demonic crown grants one this as Philip still remain the same while both Jeff and Kyuu become old men.
  • Freudian Excuse: Philip has been abused and abandoned by his mother for entire life and Jeff just wants to be special, fueling them for hating "family warmth" and "special people" respectively.
  • Hint System: Unlimited too! Apart from cool down time.
  • Jump Scare: In the beginning. It's annoying because you were expecting it, but it still managed to catch you off guard.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Apparently everyone past the age of seven.
  • Left Hanging: Was Jeff just Philip's imaginary friend who assisted/manipulated him? Or was he was once a misguided real boy?
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: The Extractors could be considered this, since
    • it is the only way to save a child from sure doll doom and
    • it's also hinted that the process of extracting creative energy results in this.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Were you expecting anything less?
  • No-One Could Have Survived That: Peter. Although, to be fair, the archway collapsed by the time we got there.
  • Mama Bear: As Emily's mother, you are traversing through the hellish realm in order to find and save your daughter. Also Mary.
  • Memento Macguffin: The googly-eyed lizard. Can also double as a Tragic Keepsake. After all, it is stated that when Emily hits the age of 7, her childhood is gone including her memories of the magical realm as well.
  • Mind Screw: If the plot twist wasn't one, this troper doesn't know what is.
  • Plot Twist: You know that Extractor who's been following you and making life an emotional hell? That's your husband.
  • Randomized Title Screen: In In The End.... On the main menu, glowing graffiti fills in what will happen "in the end", switching between different possible grim ("love must die"), hopeful {"light will be shed"), or ambiguous {"who will prevail?") outcomes.
  • Rule of Seven
  • Scenery Porn: Once you fix the Spirit's heart.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Used only twice in the beginning actually.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: While it doesn't heal per se, the stone Spirit cries amber tears which you need to collect for a quest after the Witchdoctor is murdered.
  • Take Your Time: Honestly. It's an HOG. Even in the end where, the Extractor is chasing you and gets closer, and closer. He never really catches you because the game automatically loads up the next screen.
  • Unfinished Business: Turns out, David hung around for 6 years so he could tell Emily that even if she grew up, she wouldn't forget him.
  • Taken for Granite: The punishment for David for disobeyed the Rule of Dark City.
  • Time Skip: In The End takes place 10 years later, with a 17-year-old Emily preparing for a holiday vacation when a mysterious letter shows up at your door.
  • The Power of Love:
    • In the first game, its family love that saved Emily from her fate.
    • And in the second, its what saved David from Taken for Granite and move on to the afterlife.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: To be fair, it was 11:59.