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Video Game / Taming Dreams

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Taming Dreams is an Android game by Tobias Cornwall. It revolves around a lad named Mardek, his childhood friend Deugan, and a god living in Mardek's head called Rohoph. If this sounds somehow familiar, it is because the game is a Continuity Reboot of MARDEK, and Tobias used to go by the nickname Pseudolonewolf.

The game takes place in a world called Alora Fane, a world consisting of seven pocket dimensions formed out the dreams of the gods. The gods, however, have abandoned the world, leaving the world to slowly wither. That is, until a group of worldless gods called Atonae discover the world. One of them, Rohoph, enters the world in the form of a crystal falling from the sky, and takes up residence in the otherwise empty head of Mardek, who was the first bliss-sentimental person to touch the crystal. Rohoph is one of the Atonae, gods that lack a world, some for a good reason.

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The game is a rather large departure from the original RPG format, doing away with such things as Character Levels and the "hit it with a sword until it falls over" concept of combat. The Miasmon encountered are embodiments of the characters' internal turmoil, and are defeated by accepting said internal turmoil by building rapport with the mon, whereas the mon's attacks sap the characters' willpower. The combat system also involves an intricate take on Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors involving one immutable sentiment and three alterable runes.

As befits the combat system, the plot gets rather emotionally complex, although the lampshades and peculiar humor from MARDEK are still present in force.


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Taming Dreams provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Heaps of it:
    • The opening text of Episode 1:
      Our minds are monsters
    • Enki's Motto: "Dreams drive us to divine discoveries"
    • Enki's description of the current location at the start of Episode 1: one of "Dark, dirty, dangerous dungeons"
  • After-Combat Recovery: Willpower is restored after each agitation.
  • Alliterative List: Enki's description of the current location at the start of Episode 1: one of "Dark, dirty, dangerous dungeons"
  • Angst: It's a game about taming enemies without spawned from emotional turmoil.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Berdanre is largely bedridden due to losing his right arm, right leg, significant other and ability to speak sincerely in a tragic accident.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: One of the loreladies mentions that perceiving another's sentiment is effortless to them.
  • The Chosen One: Discussed, but averted. Mardek simply happened to be around, and the Dreaming of Things to Come was not directly addressed to him.
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  • Character Level: Discussed and Averted.
Sort of a ludicrous abstraction though... What would the numbers actually represent? The tensile strength of our muscle fibres? The hardness of our skin? The number of active neurones in our brains?
  • Convection Schmonvection: The lava in the starting area of Episode 1 does not convect.
    This molten lava doesn't know the meaning of the word 'convection'!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Berdanre is never sarcastic. Perish the thought.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The night before Rohoph lands, Mardek's dream gets interrupted by a prophetic dream featuring Rohoph.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Elarna were a destruction-sentimental race living on what is now called Fracture.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Inverted; the closer the caster, sentimancy and target's sentiment and runes match, the stronger their sentimancy is. The sentiments are also arranged on a more traditional rock-paper-scissors circle.
  • EmPHAsis On The Wrong SylLAble: Morric.
  • Enemy Without: The Miasmon.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Played with. Hardly anyone is willing to take Mardek seriously about Rohoph. On the inverse side, the Meek race holds on to their belief to the manifestly absent gods.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English / Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Atonae speak with this. Mardek seems to be picking up the habit from Rohoph, although some of his attempts have leaned towards the latter.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Rohoph's powers are heavily limited by his lack of worshippers. In fact, he fails to restore one blind man's sight simply because the man's faith was faltering.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Aolmna, the world's original gods, have gone missing. On the flip-side, the Atonae are gods whose worlds have gone missing.
  • Healing Checkpoint: You heal when you save.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Battle" is referred to as Agitation. "Hit points" are willpower on the characters and rapport on the miasmon.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Atonae are not exactly nice. Ghrafuuar mentions having made his mortal followers wear burning helmets, and Rohoph's attitude is very uncompromising.
  • My Name Is ???: From Episode 1:
    • The first bit of dialogue comes from "????", who is revealed after two more speech bubbles to be Enki, Mardek's father.
    • The second bit of dialogue also comes from a "????", which is revealed to be Mardek, after a few bits of conversation between him and his dad.
  • Mythology Gag: Meraeadyth asks Mardek if he's actually three blokes.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Maka.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Mardek is half Bold, half Mhandisi.
  • Painting the Medium: Different characters, have their speech presented in different colors:
    • Enki's words are in grey.
    • Mardek's words are in orange.
  • Rainbow Speak: Some words are highlighted, like these segments from Episode 1:
    • When Enki asks Mardek about his dream:
      Enki: You know, your purpose. You have to be driven by a dream! Something you'd ask the gods to make true if you found them!
    • When Enki discusses his own dream:
      Enki: My dream is to reach the Nexus and find the gods, who'll make my dream come true, that's what gods do!
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Another speech-habit of the Atonae.
  • Royal "We": Rohoph uses it. Mardek also uses "we", but it's not entirely clear if he's emulating Rohoph or referring to himself and Rohoph.
  • Rubber-Forehead Alien: The Barbari races seen so far are the Bold, who have a hairy nose and a cleft upper lip, Mhandisi, who look like brown-skinned humans, and Meek, who look like humans with deer ears (and antlers on the so far off-screen males).
  • Save Point: Marked by glowing blue crystals.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Rohoph, on occasion. A particular example transpires when Meraeadyth tries to call Mardek out on Rohoph's fake-sounding voice and Flowery Elizabethan English.
    Rohoph: Ingognizant were we that our lexical conceits conveyed an air of aureate grandiloquence.
  • Sharing a Body: Mardek and Rohoph.
  • Shattered World: Fracture, formerly the home to a destruction-sentimental Elarna.
  • The Stoic: Meraeadyth fancies herself this, and her philosophy is that one should avoid all emotions to eliminate the danger of enemies without.
  • With Us or Against Us: Rohoph's stance is that if you are not actively good, you are beyond salvation.
  • World Shapes: Alora Fane is depicted as flower shaped, although it is implied that this is simply an abstraction of the structure of the world. Each petal is a self-contained world and the means to reach other worlds have yet to be revealed.

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