Cult horror classic Yume Nikki has had a quiet, but devoted, following since its launch 15 years ago. This winter, fans were surprised when the game popped up for sale on Steam… along with a mysterious countdown. What was happening with the eerie walking simulator? Well, we know now… and the news is amazing!
Mysterious game designer Kikiyama first released Yume Nikki (“Dream Diary”) in 2003. Made in RPG Maker, the game casts you as Madotsuki, a shut-in who escapes to a multilayered dream world via a many-doored Nexus.
The game is less “on rails” and more exploratory than many, encouraging Madotsuki to delve into her dream world to collect Effects. These effects help her move through the dream worlds and deal with any creatures she may encounter. There’s no way to “die,” and you can always leave the dream by pinching yourself… but there are achievable endings.
Plus, no playthrough will ever be the same. Players will encounter randomized events based on how they play or on simple chance. For example, the fan-favorite weirdo Uboa only has a 1 in 64 chance of showing up when you enter a certain room and flip the light switch.
The retro visuals, surreal story, and random events have inspired many other indie game designers. The most obvious descendant of Yume Nikki is Undertale, with its multilayered story and randomized events.
Sadly, while Yume Nikki spawned manga and light novel spinoffs, the reclusive Kikiyama seemed to disappear.
A New Dream
Last month, an official localization of Yume Nikki quietly made its way to Steam with no prior warning. Not only that, but fans discovered a countdown clock hosted by Kadokawa Games. Speculations flew, but the answer is cooler than anyone imagined: the RPG Maker creation will be getting a stunning, immersive reimagining.
Silicon Era has published some early character designs, showing Madotsuki and a few of her dream monsters. It’s set to be released in ten languages for PC, and priced at around $18.
YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY- (as it’s now branded) has a Japanese street date of February 23rd, but there’s no indication yet of whether that’s also it’s worldwide release… we certainly hope so!
Are you ready to venture back into the dream? Or will this be your first experience with Yume Nikki? Tell us in the comments!