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[Warning: Please be aware that this game deals closely with themes some players may find upsetting. Refer to the first comment by me with spoilers if you wish to know more to make an informed decision before playing.]
In free indie horror adventure Blank Dream by Teriyaki Tomato, and translated by vgperson, Mishiro Usui's left a suicide note detailing how much she hates her boring life before she throws herself into a lake... but of course, that's not the end of the story. She wakes up somewhere dark and wet, unable to remember her name or anything about herself, but in short order discovers that the way to regaining her past, and maybe grant her wish, is to hunt for all the mirrors in this world and break them by ending her life in front of them all over again. Mishiru is faced with either wandering The Mirror World like other listless spirits, who all are struggling to regain their memories and make their wishes come true, or braving the darkness within it. Use the [arrow] keys to move around, holding left [shift] to run (and you'll need to), the [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] to open the menu, which allows you to use items or load your game. While sometimes the game will prompt you to use items, at other times you may need to use them manually from the menu. You can only save at certain points by using a blue flame, so make use of it when you see it! There are a lot of traps and ways for Mishiro to meet (another) untimely end, so think, but think quickly. If you see a mirror that doesn't reflect Mishiro, well, maybe there's someone else who might like to take a peek inside... ?
Blank Dream is heavily focused on exploration and puzzle solving, often with very little direction or hand-holding. From the Mirror World's central hub, she'll obtain keys to unlock doors that lead to other surreal themed realms, such as a dark forest, or a strange dinner club. Of course, some of the realms are more intriguing than others, such as the one that's themed around seven urban legends inside a school that you need to puzzle out. As mentioned, it is possible to get a "dead end" game over by dying with surprising frequency. If you pay attention to your surroundings, however, it's usually easy to spot danger and figure out a way around it, which keeps those "dead ends" from feeling unfair, if not from occasionally becoming frustrating. The chase sequences are less engaging than the rest of the game in this regard, though if you liked the gory deaths of The Witch's House, being violently murdered by a stampeding pumpkin or pile of ashes is a plus and not a minus. Still, the intermittent save points combined with how annoying the chase sequences can be may make you wish there were less of them, and more thinky-type obstacles. Then again, Blank Dream does manage to do what most horror games need but often fail to, and that's make you feel as if you're never safe. You're constantly on edge, and that's a good thing... maybe not for your nerves, but for the setting the game is going for? Absolutely.
Blank Dreams is at times a deeply creepy game, and while it's got its fair share of well executed jump scares, the uneasiness more comes from its dark and unsettling atmosphere. There's a sense of wrongness in every realm you explore, and picking apart the hidden meanings in their design, especially in recurring images and themes that initially just seem to be there to be weird, makes for appealing food for thought. Mishiro and the rest of the game's cast are illustrated well with a variety of expressive character portraits, and every area is brought to life with subtle sound and well-chosen graphics. You'll want to take your time and examine everything, but maybe not too much time because NOW YOU'RE DEAD FOR NOT CLEANING UP AFTER YOURSELF!... yeah, it's that type of game, so be prepared to put on your "dream logic" hat.
While you'd be within your rights to not want to play a game that features suicide in it, much less as a sort of mechanic, you should still at least be aware that Blank Dream doesn't glorify suicide as an action or concept, and Mishiro's repeated "deaths" not only unsettle her deeply, but leave her feeling as if she's "lost something" of herself. There's a lot more going on to Blank Dream's story than Mishiro's opening words make it seem, though the foreshadowing is more like forespotlighting past a certain point. The story takes on the form of a mystery, as you try to figure out not only why Mishiro may have been driven to kill herself, but who her fellow wayward souls Yuzu and Ryotaru are and why they're in the Mirror World as well. Blank Dream, though it deals with a lot of dark subject matter, also focuses on more relatable themes, like figuring out who you are, struggling with feelings of aimlessness or depression, and so on. Blank Dream is a dark but compelling game that's filled with scares both big and bizarre, as well as subtle and hair-raising. If you can take its heavy subject matter, despite being at its heart a deeply sad tale of human failings even if you get the best ending, which is extremely bittersweet, it's more than worth the trip... with the lights turned down and the sound turned up, naturally.
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Walk up to the mirror and back until the girl’s image appears, then look into it. Once in the memory, go to the briefcase and take the knife. Once you’re done looking around, take the knife from your inventory (X) and stab yourself with it.
Realm of Greenery
Once in the realm, grab a decorative axe from the wall. Head north and enter the unlocked door. Since the Watchman can only judge by number, grab an axe from the box and put the decorative one inside. This way you can safely exit without being murdered.
Head to the dead tree in the south part of the area and use the axe to chop it down. Go inside the unlocked door. Make your way south to the fireplace and grab the lantern. Watch your steps as the floor isn’t very strong.
Once outside, head to the large tree that’s blocking the path. Put the firewood on it to burn it down. Proceed forward and into the mirror. To break the mirror make Mishiro throw herself from the bridge.
When the mirror is broken, go back outside. Step carefully and run back inside the mirror room once the tree starts charging at you.
Realm of Beauty
Avoid the blood stain on the carpet if you don’t want to die. Talk to the painter to find out what he requires.
Bottom left room
Walk around the statues and boxes in order to stay hidden from the creepy ghost. Once you make your way to the top, grab the bottle from the sacks. Wait for the ghost to come at you and run around the table, heading for the exit (run using SHIFT).
Top left room
In the north room, you’ll find a sign saying “Choose wisely.” Be a badass and simply walk around everything that can kill you, by going to the right. Grab an empty bottle from the shelves and head out.
In the south room, walk to Julia Maria, the living painting and talk to her. After you’ve seen how nice she is, unlike everything else in this creepy world, pull your knife out and stab her to death. Collect her blood in the empty bottle and head out.
Top right room
In the south room, you’ll find two signs on the wall saying “Clean up after yourself.” and “Be not greedy.”. This means that everything should be put back the way it was if you want to exit the room alive. Grab a Wood Plank from the middle box and put it down to make a second passage, BEFORE you head toward the gold. Take the clean bottle from the shelves and nothing else. Go back through the uncracked plank, taking the one you put down and putting it in the same box.
In the north room, fill up the empty bottle with water and use it to put off the fire. Exit the room immediately. Since the statues will keep chasing you every time you enter, you need to quickly walk up and fill the empty bottle again. On the way to the main hall, make sure you’re running, as you will get chased by one of the statues.
Give the paint to the artist and proceed into the mirror room. Inside the memory, use the old fire extinguisher to kill yourself and break the mirror.
Realm of Love
Go east until you reach a room with a doll. DO NOT pass in front of the doll if you don’t want to die. Grab a small hammer from the wall and head out.
The Iron Smirk Room
Go back to the save area and enter the south room. The sign says you need to play the sound of the iron smirk but you also need audience. Pat the doll on the head to make her follow you (she won’t kill you for now) and have her seated on the small chair.
The sound of the iron smirk can be learned from the guy in the save room. Hit the iron pedestals with the hammer to get the notes out. The correct sequence is
mi, do, re, mi.
Go to the room with the pumpkin and grab the candy. On your way back, hold that shift button and run for your life. Give the candy to the guy blocking the door and head inside.
The Smiling Soul
In order to get into the cracked smile party, you need training from the Smiling Soul. Talk to it and train your smile 3 times. Once the smiling soul starts cursing, things are going to get ugly if you continue. 3 times and get out.
The Cracked-Smile Dinner Party
Talk to the man at the entrance so he’d let you in. In the next room you’ll be informed that there is an imitator in the party. This means that not smiling at anyone will have them believe you’re the imitator. Then they’ll kill you.
Once inside the party talk to the people around but keep in mind that Mishiro can only smile a few times before cracking. To find the imitator you’ll have to talk to him and NOT smile. In case you’re having trouble the correct guy is
in the bottom right corner of the room.
Grab the key from him and run for the door in the bottom left corner, where you’ll find another mirror.
Inside the mirror, head to the drawers next to the TV and grab the tweezers. Wash your hands in the sink and make Mishiro insert the tweezers in the electrical outlet.
Be ready to run on your way out since the doll isn’t yet done with you.
Realm of Spirits
When entering a hallway, always check if there is a ghost before you go on your way. If this is the case, simply go in and out until the ghost disappears.
In the hallway, where the save point is, a bronze statue can be found on the left side (it’s not always there). Use the hammer to hit it and experience the first mystery.
Go into the reception room. Take a look at the certificate on the wall and the portrait next to it. Run for your life.
Go to the piano room and put the music sheets from the secret room into the piano.
In the classroom with the save point, a guy will tell you about Machiko of the Toilet. Follow his instructions by going to the girl’s bathroom and knocking on the far-left door and saying “Machiko, Machiko”. Then simply walk out and be on your way if a creepy death doesn’t seem like something you want to experience.
As soon as you enter the Realm of spirits, check the top left shoe rack to experience the 5th mystery.
In the hallway leading to the bathrooms, head to the left side and look for a hidden door in front of the bathroom doors. Make sure to also grab the music sheets on the ground.
You’ll find a sign in the main hallway which says that you’ll be led to the locked-away mirror after experiencing the other 6 mysteries. Make sure this is the case and simply walk through the door next to the sign.
Breaking the Mirror
Grab the pen behind the teacher’s desk. Give it to the little dude in the classroom so he’d leave you to die in peace. Jump out the window.
Realm of Blood/Ending 5
If you read the signs when you enter the realm, you’ll notice they say that you’ll be led to the mirror with no obstacles. Simply follow the red carpet and don’t give in to your curiosity. Always enter the door leading south, until you reach the bedroom. The mirror room is on your left. To get out of the realm, enter the door in the bottom right corner of the bedroom, then head south.
Breaking the mirror/Ending 5
To break the mirror, simply use the knife to make Mishiro kill herself.
To get one of the endings, skip the self-stabbing and go psycho on the bullies. You’ll get the ending after they are all dead (walking instead of running can help Mishiro look like an actual psychopath).
Realm of Death
Step carefully into the room, avoiding the ghost that wonders around. Stepping on broken objects can also alarm the ghost. To get rid of the statue of the Holy Mother, you’ll need to find which is her “most beloved day”. The information can be found in the bookshelves around the room and the correct answer is
Once inside, head to the shelves and grab the matches. When you step back into the big room, immediately enter the door behind you to avoid death.
Proceed east into the puzzle area. The sings on the walls will give you clues about the direction. If the sign changes when you make a move, you’re on the right track. The correct way is
right stairs, right door, top stairs, right stairs.
Grab the Blue book from the shelves, and enter the door to the left.
Put the blue book into the “unnatural gap” and run for the nearest door.
Enter the room which was blocked by the statue and then the first room to the left. Pull the lever and immediately step away to dodge the trap. In the next room you’ll find a manual, which will allow you to strengthen and weaken your lantern.
Strengthen the Lantern and take a look at the two rooms. The sign in the middle says “West shall always be a reflection of east.” This means that everything in the west room should be mirrored. To open the door, make the following changes:
Both chairs should be upside-down, switch the glass and wine bottle and flip the sword.
Inside the next room you’ll find another sign that says “Some things cannot be seen where there is light.” Weaken your lantern and go to the stain of blood on the floor. On the wall you’ll see another sign which says “In darkness, stab the sword into the unseen corpse”. Go back into the previous room and grab both swords, so everything would remain a reflection. With a weakened lantern go back to the stain of blood and stab it with the western sword. Go to the fireplace and descend down into the mirror room.
Go to the Realm of Greenery and inside the door on the bottom of the area. Go to the fireplace and down the ladder. Grab the painting from the box and place a sword on the wall, next to the knight armor. Proceed into the door on the right to find the mirror.
Realm of Greenery
In the Realm of Beauty, enter the bottom right door and pull the lever. Head to the Realm of Greenery and enter the bronze door in the top right corner of the area. Continue forward until you get to Yuzu’s mirror.
Realm of Love
Go into the room where the doll was initially standing and then through the silver door. Weaken your lantern and head forward. You’ll find a sign on the wall which will be pretty straightforward about the directions. In other words
top left on the right side and bottom left on the left side.
Realm of Death
Yuzu’s last mirror can be accessed only after finding the other two mirrors and receiving a Mystery Key from her.
In the Realm of Death, go inside the south room and enter the door, which was blocked by the statue. Look into the fireplace and go down the ladder to find the big double doors and Yuzu’s mirror behind them.
Realm of Love
Go to the room where the dinner party was held. You’ll find the mirror down the staircase, where the imitator used to be.
Realm of Blood
Go to the bedroom and enter the room in the bottom right corner. Head north and down the stairs to find Ryotaro’s mirror.
Realm of Beauty
Ryotaro’s last mirror can only be reached after finding the other two and receiving a Mystery Key from him.
In the Realm of Beauty, go inside the top right room and then into the room with the fireplace. Look into the fireplace and climb down to find a huge double door, unlocked with Ryotaro’s mystery key.
With 5 being the worst and 1 the happiest:
In the mirror, in the Realm of Blood, instead of stabbing yourself, choose “Not Yet” and kill everyone in the room.
At any point you’ve entered the double doors at the World’s Center, when Mishiro is asked about her wish, choose the option which will grant it.
Once all the mirrors are broken and Yuzu has given you the Mystery Key, lead her to her third mirror, in the Realm of Death. Proceed into the double doors behind the mirror. Once the dialogues are over, talk to Yuzu at the World’s Center and enter the double doors. Lastly, do not let Mishiro’s wish be granted or you’ll get Ending 4.
Once all the mirrors are broken and Ryotaro has given you the Mystery Key, lead him to his third mirror, in the Realm of Beauty. Proceed into the double doors behind the mirror. Once the dialogues are over, talk to Ryotaro at the World’s Center and enter the double doors. Lastly, do not let Mishiro’s wish be granted or you’ll get Ending 4.
Unlock both Ryotaro’s and Mishiro’s doors using the mystery keys they gave you. Locate the mirrors and tell both of them about it. Lead one of them to their mirror but DO NOT enter the double doors behind it.
Return to the World’s Center and lead the other one to his/her mirror. Enter the double doors behind and then lead the other one to the double doors behind his/her mirror. Enter the double doors at the World’s Center (and make a save).
Do not let Mishiro’s wish be granted or you’ll end up with Ending 4.
Posted by: Stinky | September 9, 2015 4:11 AM