The Yume Nikki wiki last edited by Wingdman on 09/14/13 07:52AM
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The game follows the dreams of a troubled young Japanese woman, Madotsuki, who lives as a recluse and does nothing but sleep all day and play video games. Throughout the game you collect powers, or "effects" scattered throughout her dreams. These effects can be either extremely useful, like a bicycle that doubles your movement speed or a knife that kills NPCs, or completely useless, like the ability to grow cat ears, change your hair colour, and so on. The main goals in this game are to explore Madotsuki's odd, sometimes unsettling dreams, and to collect all 25 effects. At any time, the player can Wake Up and return to the real world, although other than saving the game at Madotsuki's writing desk, there really isn't much reason to do so. There are no "enemies", per se, and no way to be killed in the dream world, though there are NPCs who will teleport Madotsuki to a room with no exits, forcing the player to Wake Up and try that zone again.
There are several disturbing sequences in the game that are never directly explained, and are left open to interpretation; one sequence, which features a monster that somewhat resembles an erect penis, has been interpreted by fans as referring to an incident in Madotsuki's past in which she was raped, perhaps leading to her mental trauma and her life of seclusion. The bleak tone becomes overwhelming at the end of the game: once the player has located all the effects, Madotsuki wakes up in the real world one last time and commits suicide by leaping from her apartment balcony.
It should be noted that everything in the game is left to the player's own interpretations, leaving very few concrete facts to be known regarding the games plot or events. Nearly every remarkable event in the game is completely unnecessary to 'finish' the game, as well.