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Video Game / Yume Nikki

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Madotsuki in the Nexus.

In 2004, Japanese freeware developer Kikiyama created a game titled Yume Nikki (Japanese for "Dream Diary") in RPG Maker. The result was a surreal, abstract Art Game with elements of Psychological Horror about lucid dreaming which gained a dedicated cult following in its heyday. Much of the appeal comes from the fact that everything in Yume Nikki, from the story to the imagery, is left up to the player to interpret.

You play as Madotsuki, a hikikomori shut-in who refuses to leave her apartment. There isn't much to do beyond sleeping, but that's where the game really kicks off. Madotsuki enters different worlds in her dreamscape and explores them, interacting with strange, alien-like creatures and collecting "Effects" which appear in the form of eggs. The goal is to collect all 24 effects and drop them off in the nexus, after which the ending will be unlocked. There isn't really a definitive plot to speak of, only vague implications of a background story, and very little (if any) instruction is given to the player.

The current version of Yume Nikki, 0.10, was released in October 2007 along with an English translation of the effects and menus. Download, and have fun playing this in the dead of night!

For French tropers, the game was fully translated in Molière's language and is available for download here.

Despite being a small, minimalistic game, Yume Nikki became very influential in the indie game sphere. The surrealism combined with the lack of dialogue and defined plot made the game very popular for theorists and creators of fan works that run with many different interpretations. The simplistic design has also inspired a whole slew of fangames that take the formula and apply it to their own dream worlds (enough to have their own very active wiki), and more broadly, it was one of the games that popularized the Explorer Horror genre; even outside of direct fangames, many indie titles, particularly of the horror variety, openly take inspiration from this game, such as Doki Doki Literature Club!, Undertale, OMORI, and the LISA trilogy.

In February 2013, (no longer active) began offering merchandise. The most notable of such products was a manga, created by Hitoshi Tomizawa of Alien Nine fame. Here, Madotsuki is a girl who finds herself trapped in the dream world, and collects the effects while exploring in an attempt to find a way out. Soon, a sinister plot by eldritch forces is unveiled, and it becomes apparent that Madotsuki is far from their only victim.

Other works included a novel and an album of remixed songs. The manga and novel are not intended to have bearing on anybody's interpretations of the game, rather, they are merely their own creators' ideas.

The game got a Steam release on January 9, 2018, still free of charge, as a lead-up to the next Yume Nikki project. At the end of the countdown, a reimagining called YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY- was announced and would be supervised by Kikiyama. It was released on both Steam and Playism on 23 February, 2018. Unlike the original, this one is a 3D exploration andventrue game that puts more emphasis on puzzle-solving and light platforming. Here, Madotsuki must collect eggs hidden behind the worlds of the nexus. Playism later released a 2.0 version for the game, which adds new content to the game, on 24 May, 2018. A port for the Nintendo Switch was released on 21 February, 2019. Here's the teaser trailer and the gameplay trailer.

Not related to Mirai Nikki.

This game provides examples of:

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    Tropes Exclusive to the Original Game 
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: Madotsuki's dream world certainly qualifies, containing sub-worlds with body parts everywhere, an area with strange-looking murals, a dark void with bizarre graffiti - and that's not even scratching the surface.
  • Alien Blood: Averted: When Madotsuki stabs a creature, it doesn't matter what it is — a bird girl, a giant foot-Martian who cries green tears, a poop monster, a horrified face on the wall — they will always bleed red blood and let out a human-like scream.
  • All Just a Dream: The entirety of Madotsuki's adventures are in her dreams, save for the real-world parts in her room. Of course, this is no secret.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Mainly the people in the Mall, but there are strangely colored people in other areas too, like Shitai, who is green.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted with the Kitchen Knife effect. Madotsuki always holds the knife in one particular hand regardless of what direction she's facing. You can change the hand she holds the knife in by pressing '1'.
  • Ambiguous Situation: There's no dialogue of any kind, nor anything that might even pass for an Info Dump. All the player is given is a series of surreal, disjointed open worlds to explore and a set of effects they can use to interact with those worlds. Naturally, fan interpretations of every little thing abound.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The Famicom in Madotsuki's room suggests that the game could take place as far back as The '80s (though one of the dream world is a clear homage to EarthBound Beginnings, which was released in Japan in 1989), but it could otherwise be set anywhere between then and the Turn of the Millennium (when the game was made).
  • An Ice Person: The "Yuki-Onna" effect gives Madotsuki the ability to start a snowstorm.
  • Art Shift: Pretty much the whole game. Most areas have different styles, like Number/Neon world, the forests, the wildernesses... though the 8-bit-area is the only one where the player's sprite changes to match the style. In many others Madotsuki looks out of place.
  • Barefoot Suicide: Some shoes can be found around where Madotsuki jumps off the side of a building, before the credits roll with a blood splatter in the middle of the screen. While she doesn't actively take them off, the shoes being present from the start of the game hint that she planned on doing it for a while at least.
  • Blackout Basement: The Dark World, the Dense Woods' dark maze, and the FC Dungeon are all incredibly dark and difficult to navigate without the Lamp effect.
  • The Blank: The "Faceless Ghost" (Nopperabou) effect removes Madotsuki's facial features.
  • Blood from the Mouth: A recurring theme among static characters, along with a bloodstain on the floor.
  • Body Horror:
    • A lot of the things you find around the dreamworld could apply, like the horrifying portraits you find in the sewers.
    • The White Desert itself seems to be composed of various body parts sticking out of the ground in places. It's also where you find Monoko, the five-armed girl.
  • Body Motifs: One world contains little other than eyes and hands, and plenty of sights can be given a Freudian reading.
  • Broken Bridge: Effects are sometimes needed to access hidden areas, such as using the Kitchen Knife effect to cut through a conspicuous part of a wall, or equipping the Midget effect to enter a tiny hole in the ground. Interestingly, only one-of-two effects are absolutely necessary to use at least once to complete the game: the Umbrella and Yuki-Onna effects, which douse a burning doorway so Madotsuki can reach the Poop Hair effect.
  • I Can't Reach It: Madotsuki refuses to exit her room for reasons unknown.
  • Cat Girl: The Cat effect, naturally. It draws NPCs to you—even Uboa, who doesn't move on his own!
  • Controllable Helplessness: Whenever Madotsuki is teleported to an inescapable area, and doesn't have any means of escape other than waking up.note 
  • Cosmetic Award: Most of the effects do nothing meaningful except alter Madotsuki's appearance.
  • Creepy Child: Madotsuki could be interpreted as this. She is a quiet Hikikomori who has no qualms about stabbing numerous innocent creatures to death within her highly disturbing dreamscape.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Some rooms seem like part of a larger area, but are actually entirely separate from it. Examples include the secret room Hell's Crossroads, which is smaller and simpler than its more major counterpart, and the second Wilderness area, which serves only to connect the Teleport Maze and the Famicom World. A case of Tropes Are Not Bad, as this trope is used to induce Mind Screw and Empty Room Psych.
  • Cute Witch: Madotsuki can become one through the Witch effect.
  • Deconstruction Game: Gameplay-wise, the game takes non-linear exploration to its logical extreme, basing itself entirely on traversing Beautiful Void and little else.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The White Desert and Spaceship areas are entirely monochrome.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Madotsuki can't pinch herself awake when she's been turned into a snowman, a severed head or a traffic light. Why? No arms!
    • Turning yourself into a snowman (without using the Yuki-Onna effect) and going down to the fire by the Storage Room's entrance causes her to slowly melt.
  • Dream Emergency Exit: The protagonist leaves the dream world by pinching her cheek. It has to be pinching, as she cannot wake up while transformed into something armless.
  • Dream Land: The entire premise of the game. It take place in dreams, so of course there's going to be dream worlds.
  • Dream People: Because Madotsuki won't leave her bedroom in her waking life, these individuals are the only ones she can encounter and interact with.
  • Dream Within a Dream: There are five beds that can be found in Madotsuki's Dream Land, and one of them allows her to access the Staircase of Hands; which bed does this is randomized every time she falls asleep. Following a path after that allows Madotsuki to enter a Spaceship and meet Seccom Masada. After that, Madotsuki can sleep in yet another bed inside the spaceship, only to wake up in the same place, just as the spaceship crashes on Mars. Due to this, some fans have speculated or interpreted that all of the game is just a dream.
  • Drone of Dread: Several of the background songs, like the appropriately named "Hellish Hum".
  • Downer Ending: Madotsuki is Driven to Suicide, though this is entirely the player's choice. The final screen implies that the suicide itself is part of a dream, which is outright confirmed in the remake.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Because Madotsuki has few things to do in her waking world besides refuse to leave her bedroom, play her Famicom, or visit her balcony, she spends most of her time exploring her bizarre dream world as she sleeps.
  • Dying to Wake Up: Implied, as in one area of the dream world, Madotsuki can use the witch effect to fly on her broomstick. Should she fall from the broom in this scene, she'll instantly wake up in the real world, on the floor next to her bed.
  • Easter Egg: This glitch? It's not a glitch at all. Kikiyama just knew that someone would have to talk to walls in this game.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Many of the dream's residents resemble no living being, though few are hostile.
    • There are also a few Humanoid Abominations within it. The more infamous of these include Ponikonote  and Monokonote .
  • Empty Room Psych: There are dozens of rooms that look like effort was put into making them stand out but have nothing going on. Like nearly everything else in the game, this is most likely intended to creep out the player.
  • Empty Shell: Nearly all of the characters Madotsuki sees in her dreams are this, being nothing more than fragments of her imagination. Madotsuki herself may also be one, as she lacks any personality other than what's shown in her dreams, forcing you to fill in this void and come up with your own interpretation.
  • Endless Game: NASU, the Game Within a Game available on Madotsuki's console in the waking world, plays like something from the Action 52 collection and has no real "end".
  • Environmental Narrative Game: One of the early examples, with no real gameplay other than exploring this strange, symbolic world.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The Aztec Rave Monkey event and FACE event both involve rapidly-flashing colors. To make matters worse, they take up the whole screen.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Madotsuki always has her eyes shut, marked by two black lines. Several effects may avert this by opening her eyes, albeit partially or briefly..
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The Eye Palm (Medamaude) effect places an eye on the palm of a hand which replaces Madotsuki's head..
  • Fan Remake: Yume Nikki 3D is a combination of this and Fan Sequel. While it stars Madotsuki and uses some concepts and environments from the original game, much of the content is original.
  • Fan Sequel: Interestingly, Yume Nikki seems to have spawned a sort of "genre" referred to as Yume Nikki Fangames. However, knowledge of the original game is seldom required - if anything, they are more like "games in the same style", and the resemblance to the original game wavers between fangame to fangame. A list of fangames with their own pages can be found here.
    • Neftelia is a similar game in premise and spirit, but also takes its own direction to become something unique but in the same exploration genre of sorts.
    • For the rest of them, this wiki is a very comprehensive reference database, with screenshots, guides, download links and categorization by languages available.
  • Fanwork:
  • Fetch Quest/Gotta Catch 'Em All: Your main goal in the game is to collect all 24 effects, which give you access to the ending.
  • Fish Eyes: Masada has 6_9 shaped eyes.
  • Foreshadowing: One may notice a recurring bloodstain on the ground in the dream world. Several are located near the recurring Mouth Monsters.
    • Also, in the flying broomstick event, if you try to get off of your broom in mid-flight, you end up falling to your death. Well, at least you wake up before anything seriously detrimental happens. But you don't at the end of the game.
    • NASU is a game about catching eggplants, and when one (inevitably) hits the ground the game ends. At the end of the game Madotsuki hits the ground and the game ends.
  • Gag Penis: Kyukyu-kun vaguely resembles a column-sized multicolored dildo with a perpetual smile on it.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Parodied in the 8-bit dungeon with a particular event where "talking" to a seemingly-nondescript wall tile will cause it to bring up a dialogue box with nothing in itnote , and repeated interactions with it will cause the graphics to corrupt and the game to eventually "crash" 8-bit style, followed by Madotsuki waking up.
  • Game Within a Game: NASU, the aforementioned incredibly depressing video game which Madotsuki has on what appears to be a NES.
  • Genre-Busting: It's made on RPG Maker, but it's not an RPG. It's a horror game... Except not really. It's an adventure game, but missing the action and fast pace that is usually associated with them. Exploration game is closest, and now we have Environmental Narrative Game, but you could call it a number of other types and nobody could say that you're really wrong.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: You can play Madotsuki as this, since her knife can be used upon most of the residents.
  • Ghostly Gape: Uboa, who resembles the mask from Scream, has a large black gaping mouth.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Some of the so-called "cinematic events" qualify as this, particularly the encounters with Monoko and Monoe.
  • Grotesque Gallery: You'll find a lot of ugly stuff in Madotsuki's dreamscape...
  • Guide Dang It!: It's quite unlikely that you'll find every event and place on your own. Some events that stand out are FACE, the Glitch event in the Famicom World, finding Mars-san, and if it weren't for how popular Uboa is then everything involving it would qualify too.
  • Half-Human Hybrids: The recurring bird-people are named Toriningen by fans. The name literally means "bird person".
  • The Hero Dies: In the ending, Madotsuki jumps off her balcony and dies, but even this is ambiguous. In fact, some cite the fact that dream world jellyfish appear near Madotsuki's blood pool as proof that Madotsuki didn't die, or that the real world was ALSO All Just a Dream (as in another layer in her dreams). Although, others say they are shinigami or messengers of death and others say that they symbolize that Madotsuki wouldn't be able to escape her dreams even in death Either way, it is still unclear if she ACTUALLY died and what is seen is left up to speculation.
  • Heroic Mime: Madotsuki doesn't speak, save for saying "dame" or "muri" when an action isn't possible. Indeed there isn't any dialogue to be shared in the first place.
  • Hikikomori: A common interpretation of Madotsuki, as she seems unwilling to leave her room.
  • Hit Points: You start with one. You gain more by drinking soda you get for money. They serve no purpose whatsoever ...seemingly.
  • Homage:
    • One of the areas of the game is rendered in an 8-bit style reminiscent of EarthBound Beginnings. Even the Effects menu transforms to fit the motif. Furthermore, the Pink Sea and its buildings resemble that game's Magicant.
    • The NPCs in the Famicom world bear a striking resemblance to those from Bokosuka Wars.
    • Remember when your game would crash because the cartridge wasn't inserted correctly or was dirty? There is an event that simulates that.
      • One particular event - possibly the same one - has the game start glitching if the player checks one tile over and over again, eventually leading to a 'hard lock'. This one is in reference to a similar glitch in EarthBound.
    • The turtleneck-wearing Seccom Masada and his minimalist spaceship with its large view port are quite possibly inspired by Carl Sagan and Cosmos.
  • Iconic Outfit: Madotsuki's pink shirt with the checkerboard motif.
  • Idiosyncratic Menu Labels: The game has "Dream Diary" in place for "load game".
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Used symbolically: Madotsuki is unable to join a Toriningen picnic because of a few plants in her way, and there is no way around or through them; this is often interpreted as a sign that she suffers from social exclusion.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Combined with The Unreveal. The player can only guess what's really going on in there.
  • Jump Scare: Invoked by several events that occur suddenly. For example, encountering Uboa, getting eaten by Big Red, the Aztec Rave Monkey in the Wilderness, going through the door with FACE in it...
  • Konami Code: Typing left, right, left, right, up, up, down, down, on NASU's title screen causes the character's head to turn into an eggplant.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood: Madotsuki wears clothes in a shade of red, and, if you choose to, she'll die in the end.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Used in a dark, isolated boiler room with a crying Mars-san.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: While most songs in the game are short loops, the FC field music lasts over two minutes... and you'll probably be in and out of the area well before the main melody even kicks in.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Two monochrome entities, Masada and Uboa, have pale skin, black hair (body for Uboa), and dark or pitch-black eyes.
  • Mayincatec: A lot of things in Madotsuki's dreams seem to vaguely resemble Meso-American deals. So much so that some events are referred to as "Disco Aztecs" or the Aztec Rave Monkey. Specifically they are in the style of patterns embroidered on carpets, probably in part because the straight lines and simple shapes are easier to render in the game's graphics. Most of these are direct references to the Paracas culture in particular. One comparison here.
  • The Maze: Quite a few. And the game never gives any hints about where the effects are hidden, so you'll just have to try every single path if you don't want to use a walkthrough.
  • Meaningful Name: Although the literal translation of "Madotsuki" is "windowed," and thus possibly a reference to her shirt pattern, it's also a somewhat obscure Japanese term for a person who spends a long time looking out the window; that is, a daydreamer.
  • Mental Story: It's about a hikikomori lucid dreamer, whose primary interaction with the products of her subconscious is to stab them with knives.
  • Mental World: The entire game, save for the real world, takes place in worlds of Madotsuki's mind.
  • Mind Screw: You can expect this when dreams are the most integral part of the gameplay!
  • Mini-Game: "NASU" (Japanese for "eggplant"), the most depressingly futile minigame ever made. It doesn't help one's spirits that the game music (only heard when you start the game and inevitably lose) is off-rhythm and out of tune.
  • Mistaken Identity: A funny meta example, fans stumble onto this YouTube channel, thinking it's the same Kikiyama who made this game.
  • Money for Nothing: You can collect yen from killing NPCs, but its only purpose is buying health drinks from vending machines to increase your (equally meaningless) HP. Most likely an artifact from the game being made in RPG Maker.
  • Mook Bouncer: The crazy Toriningen always warp you to an inescapable area. Stabbing a nice Toriningen will make her into one of these.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Toriningen picnic. You're wandering through the Wilderness, a vast and atmospheric area, when all of a sudden you come across the enemies of the game having a party with upbeat music.
  • Mysterious Past: One of Madotsuki's defining characteristics; many fans speculate that events from her past is responsible for what she sees in her dreams.
  • Narrative Filigree: Or whatever the gameplay equivalent would be, considering there's practically no narrative to start with. Even considering that, though, most of the twenty-four collectible effects your character can get have little to no gameplay purpose, only changing Madotsuki's appearance or aspects of the environment in inconsequential ways.
  • Nightmare Face: Many, with the most memorable being, well, FACE.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: The White Desert certainly evokes this style, being completely white with black "drawings" and splashes of red here and there, and containing a lot of Body Horror creatures drawn in a childish style. The creepy portraits you can glimpse in the sewers qualify as well.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The game consists largely of a series of these.
  • No Antagonist: Due to the game having a vague plot at best and only one enemy type, there is no real antagonist in Madotsuki's quest to find all the Effects. There are many frightening monsters in the nightmare world, but almost none of them actively try to harm Madotsuki- the only exception, the Toriningen, are more scattered enemies than an overarching antagonistic force.
  • Non-Human Head:
    • With the Eye Palm effect on, Madotsuki dreams that her head is a hand with an eye in the palm. Blinking returns her to the central hub.
    • Another effect replaces her head with a functioning street lamp.
    • The Toriningen resemble tall girls with the heads of birds. Eerie, silly birds.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: The normal way to end your dream session and wake up is to pinch yourself awake. However, FACE, the 8-bit game crash event, and disembarking your broom during the witch event will involuntarily wake Madotsuki back up.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The message boxes, which appear before the "Glitch" event, are unsettlingly empty. So is the entire dungeon area, which is dark (necessitating the use of the Lamp effect if you wanna see where you're going), and the room where the event occurs is an eerie, nondescript dead-end. See also the Empty Room Psych example above.
    • This also applies anywhere no NPCs can be found in.
  • Off with His Head!: The Severed Head effect reduces Madotsuki to her head, which is implied to be cut off (though no body is in sight).
  • Overly Long Name: Seccom Masada's. "Seccom Masada" is the abridged form of Sentimental Komuro Maikeru Sakamoto Dada Sensei. Fans mostly nicknamed him after several famous people he resembles.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: What else would inhabit a creepy and surreal dream world?
  • Overworld Not to Scale: The so-called "Famicom World", as an homage to EarthBound Beginnings, has a similar JRPG-style world map.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Averted, despite the entire game taking place in Madotsuki's room and dreams.
  • Parental Abandonment: Where are Madotsuki's parents? Or at least any existing caretaker? How young is she, anyway?
  • Perpetual Beta: The game is still in v0.10. This is also true of its fangames.
  • Pinball Scoring: The ones digit in NASU's score is always zero because every point reward is a multiple of 10.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: While the game has always been relatively well-known in the indie game sphere for its surrealist content, quite a few works that it has inspired have gone on to overshadow the game itself. See how many people only know about Uboa as "the character that inspired W.D. Gaster".
  • Press X to Die: During the Witch event, you fly over a huge cityscape. Pressing "1" (which normally causes you to disembark your broom) will cause the screen to fade out, followed by a crashing sound and you waking up on the floor face first.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Most NPCs don't react to you at all when you try to interact with them. So what else can Madotsuki do to get an interesting reaction out of them? Stab them!
  • The Quiet One: Madotsuki only can say two (Japanese) lines in the game, and that's when she can't use an effect or can't perform an action due to an effect being in use: "Dame" (No or Can't) and "Muri" (Impossible).
  • Random Event:
    • Triggering the Uboa event is a 1-in-64 chance. The element of surprise makes it all the more terrifying.
    • The Mars event has a 1 in 6 chance, contrary to most events having 1 in 64.
    • A particular event in the White Desert has a whopping 1 in 3600 chance. Though this is generated for each step, so walking around for a few minutes will usually trigger it. It's called Takofuusen (octopus balloon), by the way.
      • Some believe it's actually this. Warning! Squick!
    • A more straight example is money, which randomly drops from killed foes.
    • The "KALIMBA" event on Madotsuki's TV has a 1/8 chance of appearing when the TV is switched on in the dream world.
  • Retraux: The Famicom World. Its name tells you what game console it looks like it's from.
    • Also NASU, which is made in an 8-bit style and appears to be played on a Famicom.
  • Scare Chord: When you encounter Uboa, a droning noise will play suddenly which may qualify as this.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: So, you explored all your dreams, just so you can walk up a few steps and jump to your death, from the same balcony that you start out on. As if you couldn't have done that in the first place?
  • Shout-Out: There's a whole area with a Mother motif - see Homage above.
    • All of the Mayincatec motifs in the game aren't actually related to any of the three cultures for which the trope is named, but actually are direct and semi-direct references to the Paracas culture.
  • Silence Is Golden: There is no dialogue note  which just makes the whole thing more surreal.
  • Surreal Horror: Emphasis on surreal. The sheer weirdness of Madotsuki's Dream Land more than makes up for the lack of explicitly hostile monsters.
  • Swallowed Whole: Stepping in Big Red's mouth causes him to swallow Madotsuki and send her to the Windmill World.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: The Fat effect substantially increases the size of Madotsuki's belly.
  • Tengu: The toriningen resemble tengu, being avian humanoids with long, beak-like noses. Much like the tengu that kidnapped monks and dropped them in remote places, insane toriningen can capture Madotsuki and entrap her in inescapable areas.
  • There Are No Therapists: Not that Madotsuki would ever leave her room to see one.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: In addition to not translating the title, the English Fan Translation leaves some effect names untranslated, such as Medamaude ("Eyeball Hand/Eye Palm"), Nopperabou ("Faceless") Ghost, Buyo Buyo ("Squish-Squish"), and Yuki-onna ("Snow Woman"). All of them except Medamaude say what they do in the description, however.
  • Truth in Television: Apparently the Pink Sea exists.
  • Turns Red: Normal Toriningen will normally go about their business, leaving you alone. If you anger them by stabbing one, they will turn mad and chase you, banishing you to an inescapable area if they catch you.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The Witch Event, sort of. Nothing happens save for Witch Madotsuki flying over a city in Horizontal Scrolling Shooter fashion.
  • The Unintelligible: Masada the alien pianist can only vocalize in chirps and beeps.
  • Vague Age: Madotsuki, although this is just one of many things that's vague about her (and the game).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can stab virtually anything with the Kitchen Knife effect, which sometimes gives you money. There's a reason some depictions of Madotsuki are gleefully homicidal.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Stabbing a sane Toriningen will make her hostile. Stabbing one of the sane ones in the number world might cause the area where you get the Severed Head effect to be larger, with more Toriningen chasing you. Also, if you make one Toriningen mad, they all get mad, and will stay mad until the next time you wake up.
  • Video Game Geography: All the open-world maps are linked at the edges.
  • Warp Whistle: The Eye Palm (Medamaude) effect, which brings you back to the Nexus.
  • White Mask of Doom: The creature Uboa highly resembles a distorted Noh mask. If you encounter Uboa, it emits a Scare Chord and you are locked within the dark room with it. If you touch it, it teleports you to a (even more) nightmarish inescapable area.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The game is very large and very open, with no explanation of anything aside from the basic controls and the basic objective of finding all the Effects. Optional areas like the White Desert don't have any Effects or connections to places that have them, but are simply too fascinating to pass up.
  • Wrap Around: A good amount of areas, such as the Snow and Block Worlds, loop as you reach the other side of the screen, making them seem much larger than they actually are.
  • Youkai: A number of effects take the form of supernatural creatures from Japanese mythology, namely Yuki-onna, an ice spirit, and Oni, a horned demon.
  • Your Door Was Open: Like many other video games, you can walk into any room or house without so much as knocking.

    Tropes Exclusive to the Manga 
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: The theory that Madotsuki is locked within her room against her will is used here. (see below).
  • Blob Monster: You know that ink puddle hemorrhaging from the pen at the end of chapter 5? It materializes into Masada by chapter 6.
  • Big Bad: Mars-san is the boss of the dream world who is keeping Madotsuki and the other girls trapped inside to turn them into "good girls".
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Madotsuki is Ax-Crazy and Poniko is cold and ruthless, but both are ultimately just trying to escape a nightmare dimension that they and many other girls have been dragged into against their will by Mars-san, an Eldritch Abomination that wants to mold them into what it considers "good girls".
  • Closed Circle: Madotsuki is locked within her room, and can't leave until she collects all the effects in her dreams. If it ends like the video game, she won't be leaving through the door...
  • Darker and Edgier: Instead of just a girl in a weird dream world, Madotsuki is being held there against her will, she isn't the first person, the dream world is actually some sort of metaphysical realm called the Revival Pouch, Mars-san is the evil boss, and vague implications seem to be making the characters out to be in a Black-and-Grey Morality sort of deal.
  • Everybody Hates Math: Including characters as ambiguous as Madotsuki. She steps out of the Numbers World after commenting that she's bad with this subject.
  • Gainax Ending: The last chapter ends abruptly and leaves much unexplained. After Poniko stabs Madotsuki's diary, Mars-san erupts as a giant from the window symbol on Madotsuki's shirt. Masada restores Madotsuki by throwing the effects, after which Madotsuki walks to the stairs in her veranda so she can truly wake up.
  • Hammerspace: Dream residents and dwellers can store and pull out items from their chests, no matter the shape or size.
  • Mood Whiplash: Right as Madotsuki was thankful for meeting a normal person in her dreams, Poniko turns into Uboa without any provocation. So it's surprising even to players who wondered what would cause her to transform.
  • Nightmare Face: Uboa pasted over Madotsuki's face.
  • Off the Rails: Starting from Chapter 5.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I'll kill it! I'll fucking kill it!"
  • Suddenly Voiced: Madotsuki, and boy does she have a lot to say. And despite not having a mouth, Masada as well.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 5 is the point in which original plot points emerge. Uboa appears and steals Madotsuki's effects. Seeking revenge, Madotsuki finds the Kitchen Knife effect, but some force stabs her diary in the real world and causes her to lose her memories.

    Tropes Exclusive to the Novel 
  • Ambiguously Related: Poniko calls Madotsuki the daughter she aborted, and Poniko states to have dyed her hair blond, but with her being an Unreliable Narrator and that account contradicting earlier scenes with Madotsuki in teen years, their connection is still up in the air.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Poniko gives her opinion on what anything in the dream could be representing, most commonly invoking Jungian psychology.
  • Death is Cheap: Poniko falls from a great height and is also strangled during the novel. Despite feeling like a bloody mush, she recovers quickly enough.
  • Invisibility: Poniko is completely invisible outside of her room, and it's implied Mafurako can't be seen beside her hat and scarf either because she is outside her designated area.
  • Mythology Gag: Poniko gets annoyed that Madotsuki runs back and forth in her room and tries every effect in order, instead of talking to her. Since you can't talk with her in the game, this describes the player's natural behavior.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: At one point Poniko wakes up in the hospital bed. Though she later questions if she was ever awake and if it's yet another of the dream scenes.
  • Trapped in Another World: Poniko is trapped within Madotsuki's dream worlds, and when not in her room tails behind her like a ghost. Her goal is to encourage Madotsuki to explore her subconscious and overcome her issues, in hopes they can escape her dreams.
  • Stealth Sequel: The novel describes Madotsuki jumping from the balcony in the past tense, also making it the source of Poniko's trauma.

    Tropes Exclusive to Dream Diary 
  • 100% Completion: Counting all Effects, Collectibles (including Plot Coupons and Concept Art), and dream progress.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Monoe was changed from a Perpetual Smiler to a sobbing wreck who is really, really scared of Kyuukyuu-kun.
  • Adapted Out: Many areas from the original game were removed from the remake. Examples being Hell, the Numbers World, the Grafitti World and the White Desert.
    • The same goes for a majority of the effects from the original game.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • It seems Monoe is getting a larger role in the remake, judging by the teaser and some screenshots.
    • One of the sewer creature drawings appears in one of the Ghost Town homes and that creature appears in the flesh in a downscaled Mural World. Recognizing that it's what the drawing depicts when the ghost person in there is giving a hint is part of the puzzle.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Unlike in the original game which had No Antagonist, here the various monsters in Madotsuki's dream world haunt her and are holding the eggs that she needs to escape the dream and leave her room. The shadow man in particular serves as the Final Boss.
  • The Cameo: The titular monster from Ao Oni shows up in of the areas of the game, looking at the player through the window of his mansion. Not only that, but players can unlock an Ao Oni minigame by picking the cartridge in front of his mansion.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Madotsuki wakes up from one after seeing a bloodstain during the intro.
    • Some of these can be triggered during the game through events. One example is the Uboa event.
  • Darker and Edgier: The artstyle is more darker than the original game, the horror elements have been amplified, blood can be seen quite often, many of the NPC sports creepy and nightmarish designs and everything is trying to kill Madotsuki.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Madotsuki can die, but it really only sends her back to the beginning of a segment, or a checkpoint if she passed one.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In contrast to the original, the game takes a page from a popular fanmade alternate ending and has Madotsuki finally getting the courage to leave her apartment after facing an assortment of truly bizarre nightmares as the main ending.
  • Easter Egg: Madotsuki's gaming console is called Kikiyamacom.
  • Escape Sequence: Madotsuki's first foray into the city involves fleeing from a shadowy figure pursuing her. Done again in the climax in the apartment building dream.
  • Fetch Quest: A few exist.
    • One in the Docks involves a small Chain of Deals between the Angler and the Strober.
    • In the school, you have to give the monsters certain items so they can hand over fragments of Monoe's photo.
  • Game Within a Game: NASU returns as Super NASU.
    • One of the unlockable minigames is an 8-bit version of Ao Oni with Yume Nikki characters.
  • Genre Shift: While the original was a free roam adventure game, this reimagining plays more like a 2.5d horror puzzle platformer similar to Little Nightmares. The game still has large open areas that you can walk freely, though.
  • Guide Dang It!: Finding all the jellyfish in each path is tough, especially since this game's more linear structure doesn't encourage exploration, so you wouldn't be thinking of poking around.
  • Hatsuyume: Interestingly, the new iteration of NASU seems to reference this Japanese tradition about a lucky dream featuring Mount Fuji, a hawk and an eggplant. The background features a mountain that is most likely Mt. Fuji, and the eggplants are being carried by what seems a hawk. It all ties in with the central theme of dreams, of course.
  • Heroic BSoD: Madotsuki and Monoe suffers one of these in the area with Kyuukyuu-kun.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • The Toriningen doesn't teleport Madotsuki anymore. They want to eat her alive.
    • The Henkei Shita in the butcher's freezer will eat Madotsuki if you don't start up the meat conveyor belt.
    • The Mouth Monster in the Barracks Settlement will also eat Madotsuki. The residents of the Settlement locked their doors for similar reasons.
  • Living Shadow: A particularly tall one chases Madotsuki in the city. It chases her again in the apartment dream world.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Poor Madotsuki can die in many ways in this game: drowning, being eaten alive, crushed by eyeballs and giant hands... thankfully it's All Just a Dream.
  • Metroidvania: In a way. You need to collect certain items in order to access other areas and get more items. Other areas cannot be accessed unless you have an effect, which in this game counts as an upgrade to Madotsuki's moveset.
  • Multiple Endings: The normal ending has Madotsuki finally leave her bedroom, however the outside is depicted as a bright, white void. The secret ending is simply finding Seccom Masada's home and sleeping there.
  • Murderous Mannequin: New enemies introduced in the warehouse section of the mall. They only move when the lights flicker off and will try to catch Madotsuki. A hidden area requires using the lamp to keep them away from you.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Madotsuki's drawings in her diary are taken from Kikiyama's original sketches.
    • Monoko assumes her multi-armed form at the end of the city area when you find her in the corner.
    • The achievements use the sprites from the original Yume Nikki game, complete with border from said game.
    • The music room still exists in the mall. You get the flute/recorder effect from the same NPC although you can't change the border of your menu by asking the Toriningen at the counter.
    • The area where you can find the Toriningen party is accessible although the Toriningen aren't there. The radio even plays the original music from that encounter.
    • The opening has Madotsuki, on her way home from a convenience store, encounter a pool of blood on the ground before the screen fades and a "thud" is heard. A nod to Madotsuki's suicide at the end of the first game.
    • Upon clearing a door, an Effect egg appears next to it.
    • Madotsuki has the Nexus hung on her wall in the real world.
    • Closet Madotsuki is found on a platform to the right of where you obtain the lamp effect.
    • The Pain Blob is used to destroy the barricade in the Dream within a Dream segment of the school so you could reach Monoe.
    • You enter Kyuukyuu-kun's room the same way you did in the original game: Through a zipper in the wall that had to be mutilated.
      • Returning to the stairs and entering the door past Kyuukyuu-kun lets you meet FACE again.
    • When fleeing from the Shadow in the apartment, some obstacles thrown at you are the Nenrikiddo, which would transport you to Hell in the original game.
    • The Ao Oni game uses the style of the FC world and Madotsuki resembles her FC sprite. Monoko, Monoe, and Poniko are given FC sprite versions.
    • The rooftop of the mall can be visited, albeit getting there requires some research. When you approach the broom next to the exit, music from the Witch Flight event, which took place on the mall rooftop in the original, plays.
    • The entirety of the secret ending, which has Madotsuki taken to Seccom-Masada's spaceship, complete with Masada playing the ending theme and the bed.
  • Nightmare Face: A Toriningen sports one of these in the official artwork.
  • Retraux Flashback: There's a rare random chance that Madotsuki and her room will take on the original graphics in the dream.
  • Saved for the Sequel: One of the selling points of the remake. Characters that were planned to appear in the original game are finally going to see the light of day in the remake.
  • Shout-Out: Super NASU looks and plays very similar to Pang, and has Mt. Fuji in the background like in that game's initial stages. Additionally, having a bird of prey carry an eggplant was done before in Ice Climber.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Madotsuki does not jump to her death this time.
  • Stealth Sequel: Possibly- the very first scene of the game starts out normal until Madotsuki encounters her bloody corpse in the street, a reference to the original game's ending where she committed suicide.
  • Video Game Remake: A reimagining of the original.
  • Voice Grunting: Madotsuki makes these when she jumps, Monoe's voice clips consist of sobbing and screaming, and Monoko's consist of giggling which becomes distorted once she transforms.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Invoked with a dash of Leaning on the Fourth Wall. You stab the monster at the end of the long street three times with the knife, turning it into Shitai. Madotsuki looks over the corpse with horror and bolts awake. She looks at the camera as if to say "What have you done? You just made me kill someone!" Lampshaded by the achievement you get for it.
  • Where It All Began: The locked door in the Nexus takes Madotsuki to her room, except this time she is able to explore the apartment building. During the climax, she escapes with her umbrella back to the Nexus and back into her real room.


Video Example(s):


Madotsuki's death (Yume Nikki)

At the end of the original Yume Nikki, Madotsuki goes to her balcony and commits suicide by jumping out.

How well does it match the trope?

4.7 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / DownerEnding

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