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LSD blotter

Quite the accurate title.


"You can hold X to run. But I don't advise doing that in this game, because you're liable to run into a wall and have, like, a demonic head explode out of it while little elephants float out of the sky as a man in a huge cloak comes up behind you and the screen turns blood red. And, yes, that does happen in this game. I'm not kidding."
Azuritereaction's YouTube commentary of the game.

The LSD Dream Emulator is a PS 1-era game, only released in Japan. It's a Cult Classic, especially among Let's Play groups. There is no goal, no combat, nothing but walking around the completely random environments. The main appeal for players is its insanity — one day, you might see a line of elephants walking into a pit, while other times you might encounter the Grey Man, the closest thing to a recurring villain. Imagine a randomized Yume Nikki.

The game also does one particular something completely horrible — it gets scarier as it goes on. The more you dream, the more bizarre and messed-up textures and events you will encounter. The Grey Man will appear more often. One person played the game so long that the system it uses to scarify things broke, and every texture was replaced with glitchy black.

The game has a reputation for making you think you've figured everything there is to figure out, and then doing something very bad to you.

Tropes used in LSD Dream Emulator include:
  • All There in the Manual: There's a book apparently explaining everything in the game, although it's hellishly difficult to find since only 50 were ever made. Scans of the Dream Journal the game's based on are available online, and most dreams are in English. The manual's also available online, but it's in Japanese.
  • Based on a Dream
  • The Blank: Most of the human or human-like characters have blank, featureless faces, probably due to the graphical limitations of the game's engine.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Linking from one place to another is accompanied by a flash of certain colour. White and blue indicates that next place will be rather serene and untroubled, while red foreshadows a darker turn.
  • Counting Sheep: A non-interactive animation which may show up instead of a dream.
  • Creepy Doll: The teddy bear that stalks you.
  • Deadly Walls: Kind of. Touching anything but the ground will transport you out of that area of the dream world.
  • Dream Land
  • Driven to Suicide: Literally, in two different ways, both in the Violence District — the car driving into the sea and putting you on top of a building and making you jump off. You can also jump off the many cliffs you may find, ending the dream, but you won't die.
  • Dying Like Animals: The marching elephants eventually either march into something deadly (like a lion) or off a cliff.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Possibly, the Grey Man. Who is he? How can he walk without moving his legs? Why does he look like he doesn't fit in that coat at all? Why doesn't he have a face, in a game where even the walls sometimes have faces? What is someone in a trenchcoat and fedora doing in Happy Land? Why does he appear there more than anyone else?!
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Giant, tie-dye penguins.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There
  • The Faceless: The face of the soldier in the Violence District is completely obscured by his helmet.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Possibly, although a skeleton found in a room of the hotel suggests your character is female and the dream log this is based off of is from a woman.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The opening sequence includes text like "In Leisure, the Sonorous Dream" and "In Logic, the Symbolic Dream".
  • Hatsuyume: The 365th dream in the game ends with a cutscene featuring Mt Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant.
  • Hell Hound: A wolf-like creature that chases you and lunges at your throat, causing the stage to end.
  • Let's Play: After Azuritereaction (often known for his Rock Band videos) played this, it became quite popular to play it and film your reactions.
  • Mind Screw: Nobody (at least none in the English fan community) has figured out how the hell the game actually works. In a very kind gesture, every area in the game is connected in a concrete way and maps exist, but the actual methods the game uses to randomly decide where you go, what happens, and what it looks like are unknown. It's strongly implied that there is some sort of system the game has, but...
  • Poke the Poodle: The Gray Man, although scary, just erases your log of dreams, which seems like this Trope. However, evidence suggests that the Dream Log can get you something if you fill enough of it.
    • It seems that after you run into the Grey Man and the Dream Log gets erased, it also erases all progress in getting the creepy textures, events, and characters so you have to start over from the normal textures again. Which is fairly annoying if you're trying to see just how creepy and confusing the game can get.
  • Scare Chord: One plays when encountering the hanging women in the Violence District.
  • Sugar Bowl / Toy Time: One of the areas, but just be careful not to get in any of the residents' ways...
  • Surreal Horror
  • Wide Open Sandbox
  • Womb Level: One series of hallways is fleshy, pink, and infested with demonic babies.
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