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Video Game / Prom Dreams

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Prom Dreams is a freeware romance/horror adventure game made with RPG Maker VX Ace.

You play as Kyle Mason, a soft-spoken but popular senior at St. Giles Academy. Eager to move on with his life after a bad break-up with his girlfriend at his old school, he has a choice between three lovely but different girls: The bubbly Neela Devar, the athletic Maggie Pham, and the the smart Brooke O'Keefe. With the help of his nosy best friend Randy, this will surely be the perfect prom night!

Or... will it?

The official tumblr can be found here


The game provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Claire is cheerful and polite towards Kyle, even after they've shown their true colors by killing Neela, Maggie, and Brooke. They even commend Kyle for his bravery and kindness and give him permission to close his eyes as she "eliminates" herself.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Averted. While Kyle is indeed interested in his love interests and actively pursues them, his primary focus isn't on anything sexual. In addition, he'll refuse to enter the girl's locker room when the player checks the door and question Randy's intent when he makes an innuendo on prom night.
  • All There in the Manual: Once you get one of the three endings, you gain access to the developer's room, where you can read the profiles and developer's notes.
  • Alpha Bitch: Brooke is a Type 2.
  • And I Must Scream: Brooke isn't merely stabbed in the eye: Claire stabs her through the eye to her brain in order to lobotomize her. She's only able to groan after that.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: Maggie has her arms cut off after she's already lost her hands.
  • Balanced Harem: Kyle gets an equal amount of interaction with all three girls by the end of the game. Justified in that they are all stuck in a time loop, and Kyle is essentially being forced into choosing different girls each loop when his previous choice disappears.
  • Big Bad: Dolores Roth, who, out of extreme jealousy, decides to sabotage Kyle’s prom night. By trapping him and his three possible dates in a "Groundhog Day" Loop/Eldritch Location and sending Claire to kill them all as revenge for bullying her.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: The game even having a Big Bad could itself be considered a spoiler, since it's not what you'd expect from a dating sim. However, players will likely suspect Claire is up to something... but no, she's just The Dragon. Then, "Randy" reveals his true nature, making him seem like the true mastermind... but as he points out, he's just a messenger of HER. You might think that HER refers to Annie Horowitz, who's murder case is a part of the backstory... but nope, she seems to be completely uninvolved with the story. Then Kyle's ex-girlfriend Serena starts haunting him, making her seem like the culprit... but ultimately, all three of the actual candidates turn out to be creations of Dolores, a bullied girl in a wheelchair who seeks vengeance for all the wrongs inflicted upon her. And even she got her powers thanks to Demon King Moloch.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Claire claims that all three of the girls are one, but it's really only Brooke who counts. She is the one who blackmailed Neela into lying (via threatening to tell the media about her father's mafia ties) and helped Maggie cheat her SAT scores to get a scholarship so she could blackmail her into making a social media post in Kyle's name, after all.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good ending, which is even called "The Bittersweet Dream". All three of Kyle's potential prom dates are dead, so all Kyle can do is put a stop to Dolores's bloodshed, and Kyle thinks he may never date again. However, he's finally dealt with his guilt over Serena, and he's promised to live life to the fullest, chasing his dreams and not falling into despair since he saw what despair did to Dolores. Kyle isn't able to save any of his loved ones, but he's promised to head towards a bright future.
  • Call-Back: Especially common at the beginning of each route with the girls. Justified due to Dolores's time loops.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The girl in the wheelchair outside of the dining hall appears later in the week, and even gains a portrait on Day 3. She turns out to be Dolores, the Big Bad.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: The art room has a few of these on the second and third loops of the game. The puzzle in the home economics room also counts as this.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: All three of the girls you date get one. Maggie has her hands chopped off, then her arms before Claire finishes her off. Neela has her tongue cut out before being killed. Brooke is basically lobotomized before Claire kills her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kyle, but he usually reserves his sarcasm for his internal dialogue.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Demon King, Moloch, who in Biblical times solicited the Canaanites for child sacrifices, is the being who granted Dolores and her mother their powers and H. Jericho Roth his wealth. He is described as Neutral Evil and pragmatic in his deals with humans, giving them complete freedom over their powers so long as he receives his sacrifices as well as rewarding those who offer more sacrifices with more power. Aside from this background role, he does not have much direct influence over the story.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: The special ed students have peer aides, but this trope is averted otherwise. Dolores reveals that it didn't stop her aunt from acting like it, though.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Of all the characters the player could have guessed, the Big Bad turns out to be... Claire's friend Dolores, the girl in the wheelchair who you can go through almost the whole game without noticing or even realizing she exists.
  • Downer Ending: Not to the game itself, but some routes end poorly. All of the girls routes, no matter which one you choose end up with all them dead. And the Golden Ending isn't much better.
    • The bad ending, and to an extent the normal ending. In the bad ending, Kyle is trapped in the nightmare world permanently and has to play along with Dolores's fantasy of being romantically involved with Kyle. In the normal ending, he gets to leave the nightmare world, but Dolores renders him paraplegic so he'll have to suffer like she did, and Dolores remains free to continue murdering people.
  • The Dragon: Claire, who carries out the Big Bad's orders and stays by her side as a "peer aide".
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Dolores has this reaction when she finds out that Neela participated in the Prank Date. Of course, Neela was being blackmailed by Brooke and she did show remorse for lying to Dolores. But Dolores kills her anyway, believing they weren't friends and that Neela was a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Evil All Along: Claire, the false Randy, Brooke, and of course Dolores.
  • Evil Cripple: Dolores is in a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, and she's the one behind the time loop.
  • Evil Redhead: Brooke is the only one of the girls who expresses no remorse for what she's done.
  • Eye Scream: Claire stabs Brooke through the eye with an ice pick in order to lobotomize her.
  • First-Episode Twist: Claire kills Kyle's prom date.
  • Foil: Ariel and Dan, two disabled characters who serve as foils to Dolores. While the former two manage to find love despite their disabilities, Dolores refuses to believe that anyone could love her because of her disability. Guess which of them gets their happy ending?
  • Four-Man Band:
  • Girlish Pigtails: Neela wears her hair this way.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Maggie does, even if she denies it.
  • A God Am I: Dolores declares herself this during your final encounter with her, due to her ability to bend the mirror world she's created to her will. Eleanor also describes her daughter's powers as god-like during the scene in the chapel.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Demon King Moloch is the one who granted the Big Bad Dolores her powers in the first place.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: You go through three of these before you build up to the final confrontation with the Big Bad. The only ones who remember anything are Kyle and the girls he didn't date, and even then, it takes a while for them to realize it's not just deja vu.
  • Hope Spot: When Kyle and the last remaining girl realize what's going on and work together before confronting Claire at prom. Unfortunately, that's when the real Big Bad decides to show.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Dolores was positively puzzled when Neela told her that Kyle wanted to take her to prom. When she found out it was a Prank Date however....
  • Incompatible Orientation: One of the NPC students pesters one of her friends to take another friend to the dance. It isn't until Day 3 that the friend reveals that he doesn't want to take the other friend to the dance because he's gay.
  • Interface Screw: During the second play through, the face of the girl you took to prom in the first one will be smudged out of the title screen. The same will happen with the third play through, with two faces smudged out. During the fourth loop, the whole screen will be replaced with a silhouette of Dolores.
  • Kill 'Em All: Endings for some routes and bad ends.
  • Leitmotif: Several, throughout the game:
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The reveal that Dolores made a contract with Moloch to trap Kyle, Neela, Brooke and Maggie in one of these, in order to make them suffer and kill them over and over, especially Kyle.
  • Love Makes You Evil / Love Makes You Crazy: Dolores' desperate, one-sided infatuation with Kyle is part of what drives her to make her pact with Moloch and begin her killing spree.
  • Mama Bear: Eleanor committed a ritualistic suicide and made a pact with Moloch so that she could keep watch over her daughter when she learned her cancer was terminal.
  • Manly Tears: Randy cries these when Kyle wakes up in the hospital.
  • Meganekko: Neela wears glasses and was designed to be the obligatory cute glasses girl.
  • The Mole: Randy, or at least the version existing in Dolores's fabricated world. The actual Randy has nothing to do with it. Even the Developer's Room states that "Randy did nothing wrong".
  • Multiple Endings: The game has three overall.
    • Bad Ending: If Kyle agrees to dance with Dolores, he'll end up trapped in her nightmare world, forced to play along with her twisted ideas of "romance".
    • Normal Ending: If Kyle says that no one could ever love Dolores after what she's done (or says "That's not true", as she's likely heard countless times before), he'll be released from the nightmare world, but he's rendered paraplegic and forced to go through the same bullying and isolation Dolores went through. In addition, there's still hints that Dolores is simply biding her time to wreak more havoc.
    • Good Ending: Kyle uses the Mother's Poem to remind Dolores of her mother's love. Dolores and her mother then release Kyle back to the real world, but the damage to it is already done: Neela, Maggie, Brooke, Dolores's aunt and Dolores herself are all still dead. After a brief stint in the hospital and being suspected of being the culprit, Kyle visits Dolores's grave a year later. He's still traumatized and has nightmares, but he's determined to get on with his life. Confirmed by the official walkthrough to be the canon ending.
  • My Greatest Failure: Kyle's is panicking when he saw Serena in the hospital and fleeing, so he wasn't there in her final moments.
  • New Transfer Student: Kyle was this at the beginning of the year. Claire is also one. Well, she's posing as one.
  • Offing the Offspring: A book in the library in the Nightmare School reveals that after Dolores' great-grandfather, H. Jericho Roth, lost his infant son, his energy company's net worth skyrocketed and eventually became a multi-billion dollar giant. Dolores also states that it was a pact with Moloch that allowed him to achieve his wealth in the first place, further hinting at what really happened to the boy.
  • Off with His Head!: Dolores orders Claire to kill her aunt this way. Her head then winds up in a locker in the nightmare school for Kyle to find.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The music box rendition of Franz Liszt's Liebesträume No. 3 that plays in the prologue becomes more somber the further in the game the player progresses - until the fourth loop, when it becomes distorted, crazed, and off-key, complete with Hell Is That Noise static accompanying it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dolores's father couldn't handle raising a special needs child and left when they were still a toddler, and their mother died of cancer two years before the game began or so Dolores thought. In reality, she committed the same ritualistic suicide Dolores did so she could keep watch over her daughter.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The entire game takes place inside of one these, although it doesn't appear to be at first.
  • Ret-Gone: After each play through, the girl that died in the previous loop disappears and no one seems to remember her.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The mirror version of Randy gets these after he reveals his true intentions.
  • Shout-Out: The Developer's Room has a few on the characters.
    • While working on the game, the developer realized that Kyle bears a close resemblance to Kouta of Elfen Lied. They also deny that he has any relation to Harry Mason, but admits that the homage was intentional.
    • The game itself contains two other Silent Hill references: first, a group of gossiping girls talks about a "James" who invites a "Mary" to prom. Second, the player can check the bathroom wall immediately after cleaning the graffiti for a message reading "There was a dick drawing here. It's gone now." Both of these reference the second game in the franchise.
    • Talking to Maggie on the second day of the third loop will result in a shout out to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Maggie compares the time loop she and Kyle are currently experiencing to a game she watched her brother play as a kid, where the world would reset itself after three days.
  • Slasher Smile: Dolores, in spades.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite a lot of dark themes and critique of anime harem cliches and aversion of Single-Issue Psychology, the game ends in a largely idealistic (if bittersweet) manner.
  • Surprise Creepy: Content warning at the beginning of the game notwithstanding, the game begins as a fairly typical harem dating sim, complete with upbeat music, comedic scenes, and many of the genre's standard tropes. In fact, the player can win their chosen love interest's heart and make it to prom night without experiencing a single horrific element, only for said love interest to be killed suddenly and brutally, without any way for the player to avoid it. From there, the game "resets" itself several times, sans the girl killed in each previous loop, with the atmosphere becoming more horrific as the dating sim plot gives way to a supernatural murder mystery.
  • The Soulless: Claire.
  • Stepford Smiler: Claire, given that she's a soulless familiar of Dolores' and incapable of human emotion.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Brooke comes across this way until the true reveal of her personality comes out.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The developer wondered if they made Brooke too unlikable before remembering that yes, there are teenagers that sadistic out there.
  • There Are No Therapists: Played with. There is a student counselor, Dr. Bradshaw, but you don't really interact with him much. He offers to hear Kyle out whenever he talks to him, but his words on Day 3 of the third loop make it clear that he's painfully aware that he can't save every student he tries to help. Given that this Bradshaw is a mirror version created by Dolores, it's likely a reflection of how he tried to help Dolores improve her relationships with the people around her.
  • Through His Stomach: Kyle receives a homemade meal from Neela should the player pursue her on Day 2.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Maggie is as tomboyish as it gets, but she loves cute things, and her profile says she collects stuffed animals.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: A grimoire passed down through the Roth family, Magicae Sanguinis, is what allowed Dolores, Eleanor, and their ancestor, H. Jericho Roth, to form their pacts with Moloch.
  • Tongue Trauma: Neela's fate.
  • Tsundere: Maggie was designed to be this, according to the character notes.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Mysterious transfer student Claire is classy and beautiful, and becomes the student host for the prom. She is actually Dolores's familiar and created to kill Neela, Brooke and Maggie.
  • Walking Spoiler: Dolores, so much so that even her name is usually marked as a spoiler. While she does technically appear within the first 15 minutes of the game, her name and role in the story isn't revealed until much later, after Kyle already assumes that Claire is the one behind everything.
  • Walking the Earth: According to the Bonus Room, after the True Ending, this is the fate of Dolores and her mother.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Kyle asks this regarding Brooke after learning of her plot against Dolores - and how she effectively used him as a pawn in said plot. According to the journal in the developer's room, Brooke was somewhat charmed by him, but he was still primarily a means to an end.
  • Wham Episode: Prom night, during which Kyle and his date are suddenly whisked away to a corrupted, blood-stained version of the party before Claire tortures and kills said date. After this point, the horror elements of the game become much more salient.
  • Wicked Cultured: Dolores's puzzles (as well as the rest of the game) contain several references to classical music and literature. Justified in that they are mostly works that would typically be studied in an American high school English class, such as Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Poe.
  • Yandere: Dolores mostly averts this, as they are more interested in making Kyle suffer than in keeping him to themselves, but she plays it straight in the bad ending, where she traps him in the mirror world so she can live out a delusional "romance" with him.

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