Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Wow. I just finished Dreamfall, and I am in shock.

I regret buying this game. I regret the 10 dollars I spent on this game. I regret the hours I spent playing this game. I regret posting that it was "superb". I regret playing the first Longest Journey--even though I loved that game--because it caused me to purchase this one.

The ending was the biggest, most nihilistic, "F*ck You" to the player that I have ever seen. This was not tragedy, or cleverness, or an ending that was fated to be. It was the designer making the last few hours of the game one giant railroad. He took all the characters the player liked, and just stomped them into the ground. Kind of honestly, I am in awe at how far he went.

The Longest Journey had a bittersweet ending that was almost perfect. This was beyond bittersweet, beyond tragedy. The only word I can use to describe Dreamfall's ending is nihilistic.

Man, between Dreamfall and The Time Traveler's Wife, it's been a very depressing weekend.


  1. My wife read The Time Traveler's Wife so I was able to experience it vicariously through her.

    I can imagine how you must be feeling

  2. Gah! I also hated the Time Traveler's Wife.

    If you want a good "time-travelly" book, I recommend "Replay" by Ken Grimwood.

    Regarding "The Longest Journey", I have had that game on my "want-to-play" list for a long time, but I would first need to install Windows 98, etc.

    Thanks for the heads up about the sequel. The info will be useful if I ever get around to playing the original game.

  3. I have mixed feelings about The Time Traveler's Wife. It was good, and unfolded as it was meant to unfold. To be honest, any other ending would have been a cop-out. I respect and admire the author for staying true to her vision.

    Yet it was depressing, and I'm not sure I can say that I liked it. I'm not sure I can say I disliked it either. Either way, I think it was worth reading, and I am happy that I read it. I'm just not going to read it again.

    Very different from Dreamfall. The worst part is that up to about 2/3rds of the way through, Dreamfall was looking to be the best adventure game that I have ever played. Great, interesting story. Good puzzles that tied into the story. Extremely good and well-drawn characters. The ending just sort of blindsided me, and completely ruined the game.


    Tornquist claims that Dreamfall was always designed to be a pt. 1 of 2 (or a pt. 2 of 3). I'm not thrilled with this design choice, but a sequel to finish the story is "in the works". Due to piracy issues, it's slated to be delivered online in episodic format as "Dreamfall Chapters". Nothing in production right now as Tornquist is working on "The Secret World" MMO, so it's going to be a long wait....

    I, like you, felt robbed by the ending of Dreamfall. But I still like the game a great deal for its unmatched immersion in an interesting story and world. I'm hopeful that the story will be continued or concluded in a satisfying manner. I don't need a happy ending for April Ryan, but I do need a redemptive one.

  5. I'm with you. I loved...loooooved Longest Journey, and I'm still very fond of bits of Dreamfall, but it kind of comes down to the part 2 of 3 thing. If that works out and there is a third to finish this off, fine, I'll play that and be happy. If's one of the biggest letdowns I've ever had in gaming.

    But, it probably says something about the quality of The Longest Journey that the goodwill it bought from me is so significant that I know I'd pick up a Dreamfall sequel if it ever appears. Heck, the Crow/April relationship alone probably bought that much goodwill.

  6. On an unrelated time traveling book recommendation note: To Say Nothing of the Dog is still my favorite time travel novel ever, and not depressing in the least.

  7. Got to say I liked the Time Traveler's Wife. It's a pretty interesting departure from the typical time travel story and the ending, while it didn't tie up everything with a happily-ever-after bow, seemed consistent with what went before.

    Now if you really want a story that messes with your head, read "Life of Pi," the story of a boy and tiger adrift on the sea on a lifeboat. The ending demands that you rethink the entire story in a different light and then forces you to choose an interpretation. It can be a slow read through parts but the ending makes it all sooo worthwhile.

  8. Now I'm bummed. I just bought Dreamfall and it should arrive this week. I'll have to play it anyway but I am grateful for the warning. I cried at the ending of Longest Journey *~* which I loved and, for Andrew, it plays fine on xp if you have it.

    Also good to know from Earlgray that there may be another to help make up for the bad ending.