The future holds secrets only the past can reveal
Dreamfall is a truly magical adventure set in two mysterious worlds.
These two worlds exist in parallel ~ one is Stark, our world, one of logic and science. The other is Arcadia, a world of magic and chaos. It is in Stark that Zoë Castillo, the protagonist, finds herself in a coma. She is aware of her situation, can think but does not know if anyone can hear what she’s saying. Yet she tries…
And she remembers, not for herself but for us, remembers what has happened to her and in those worlds, and she tells her story.
An important story.
About Zoë ~ Opening
I love this game sooo much! Even though I’ve only played it once so far I will always hold it dear. It has everything I like: a futuristic world, a medieval world, true magic, dreams, fantastic mythology, an emotional story and lovable characters with wonderful voices. Zoë even wears my favorite colors!
Dreamfall is most of all an interactive story. While the prequel, The Longest Journey, is a classical adventure with complex puzzles, Dreamfall is more easygoing: The riddles are relatively simple and then there are also some light elements from other genres like sneaking or fighting, which act mainly as small diversions. All for the story. Did I already mention how good it is?
The inclined reader might ask themselves, “why wouldn’t I just read a book instead if it’s only about the story?” That might be true in most cases. Sometimes however there are things that can’t just be told. You have to experience them for yourself.
About the Story and Continuation
Dreamfall is the sequel to The Longest Journey (TLJ), a classical adventure from 1999 with a different protagonist: April Ryan. Although strictly speaking it isn’t necessary to play TLJ first, I heartily recommend it because April does play a role in Dreamfall and there are lots of references to the past you will appreciate. Not only that, but the story is also very intriguing as it introduces both Stark and Arcadia, as well as the mythology behind them.
Still, today TLJ may look a bit dated and could be relatively hard to get into, which might turn some people off. If you are such a person, here’s what I would do:
- If you are just looking for a nice game, go ahead and play Dreamfall.
- If you can really appreciate good stories or like dreams and fantasies, play TLJ first, with a walkthrough.
I must admit that I opted for the second version myself. I never played TLJ when it came out for some reason, but when I heard about Dreamfall I knew I had to play the prequel first, so I did ~ with a walkthrough, just for the story. And it was soooo worth it!
About the Ending
Many people were dissatisfied with the ending of Dreamfall. I was too, at first, but only because I enjoyed the game soo much and wanted to continue playing and couldn’t. However, there’s an explanation for everything. And if there isn’t there will be.
What players need to understand is that Dreamfall is the first part of a two part story, yet it also tells its own story, which is complete. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but let me just tell you that it’s all fine! I recommend you read what the author Ragnar Tornquist has to say about the ending, why it is the way it is:
Spoiler warning: DO NOT follow this link if you haven’t finished Dreamfall yet! About the Ending (and Other Things). ~Spoilers!~
Note: Unfortunately Ragnar’s blog was hijacked and all old posts went the way of the dodo. Fortunately, the Internet archive still has the post, which is what I linked to.
- Ragnar Tornquist’s blog
- Official website of Dreamfall
- Official website of The Longest Journey
- Official forums
- List of Fanart
Links with spoilers:
- Various Dreamfall and TLJ ressources, including a DF names list + etymology, timeline and script
- TLJ / Dreamfall wiki, including a summary of the Longest Journey‘s story for those Dreamfall players who want to catch up without actually playing TLJ
- Dreamfall on Wikipedia
- The Longest Journey on Wikipedia