Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (Template:Lang-no) is an adventure video game with elements of action-adventure. It was released for the Windows and Xbox platforms on 17 April 2006 by Norwegian developer Funcom. On 1 March 2007, an episodic sequel entitled Dreamfall Chapters was announced, and Funcom reportedly considered the idea of a massively multiplayer online game set in the The Longest Journey universe.
The game is the sequel to Funcom's The Longest Journey, released in 1999, and takes place ten years after the events of the first game. The story focuses on three characters, Zoë Castillo, April Ryan, and Kian Alvane, who live in two parallel worlds: technologically advanced Stark and magical Arcadia. April was the protagonist of the first game, while the other two are new characters. The main storyline follows Zoë, a Stark resident who investigates her ex-boyfriend's disappearance and other mysterious occurrences that lead her to April. Meanwhile in Arcadia, April battles the villainous Empire of Azadi while Kian, an elite Azadi soldier, is sent to assassinate her. The game features returning characters from its predecessor, such as Brian Westhouse and Gordon Halloway, but playing The Longest Journey is not a prerequisite to understand its plot.
Dreamfall was generally well received by both critics and players. The media praised the story and the characterisation in the game but criticized its fighting and stealth elements, as well as the abrupt cliffhanger ending. The PC and Xbox versions of the game received the average scores of 75% and 73%, respectively, on the review compilation website Metacritic, compared to 91% of the original game. According to Funcom's annual 2006 report, the sales for the PC version were "satisfactory", while the Xbox one failed to meet expectations, presumably because Xbox 360 eclipsed the original Xbox around the time Dreamfall was released.
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Throughout the game, the player alternatively controls four player characters (in chronological order: Brian Westhouse, Zoë, April, and Kian) from third-person perspective to explore various locations, gather and combine items and solve puzzles. This advances the story, which is told through cut scenes rendered by the game engine and dialogue with non-player characters.
The interface system is simplistic, seemingly geared toward console play. The player can either interact directly with characters, or listen in via a remote system. It is possible to eavesdrop on certain conversations at a distance, although used rarely in the overall plot. Conversations have 4 options at the most, portrayed on the screen in a vaguely circular fashion. Inventory is a scrolling list on the bottom, with the option to either select, interact, examine or return after selecting an item.
In The Longest Journey, it was established that the Earth, in fact, consists of two parallel worlds: technology-driven Stark, where the players are implied to reside, and magic-driven Arcadia. The transition between the worlds is only possible in dreams and through an extremely rare ability called "Shifting". For over twelve thousand years, the Balance between the Twin Worlds has been preserved by the almighty Guardians and the Sentinel Order. In 2209, April Ryan, a seemingly normal resident of Stark but also unwittingly a Shifter, learned from the Sentinels that the villainous Vanguard organization abducted the twelfth Guardian before the thirteenth could take over his duties. This placed the Balance and the Twin Worlds' existence in dire peril, so April went on a quest to find both Guardians and restore the Balance. En route, she was told that she herself is the thirteenth Guardian and also, a daughter of the ancient White Dragon. After a long and dangerous journey, she freed the old Guardian and brought him to his Realm. But once there, they discovered that the next Guardian is, after all, not her but Vanguard's second-in-command, Gordon Halloway, who had been pursuing her throughout the game. After Gordon reformed and assumed his rightful duties, April left for Arcadia.
In Dreamfall, many characters refer to the "Collapse", a catastrophic event that took place in Stark immediately after the events of TLJ. The Collapse is never described in-game, but according to supplemental material and the official website of the game, it saw many advanced technologies, such as faster-than-light interstellar travel, anti-gravity, and neural interfaces, stop working. The Collapse lasted for several days and was accompanied by traumatic supernatural occurrences, so that Zoë's father, for example, wouldn't let her outside to protect her sanity. In the immediate aftermath, authorities of Stark had to establish a global police agency called EYE to deal with the rising crime rate and introduce the Wire, an information network connecting all electronic devices on the planet. The Collapse coincided with the rise of the theocratic and industrial Empire of Azadi (Template:Lang-fa) in Arcadia. The Azadi conquered the Arcadian Northlands, exiling the Sentinels from the region and propagating their own religion. This spawned a resistance movement, which April is a part of in Dreamfall.
The story of Dreamfall is presented as a narration of Zoë Castillo, a 20-year-old resident of Casablanca in 2219, who lies in coma and recounts the events that led up to this point. Her narration concerns Project Alchera, an international conspiracy by the Japan-based toy manufacturer WATIcorp, that aims to introduce a lucid dream-inducing technology ("dreamer console") to the market, which can also be covertly used for mass brainwashing and even murder. One byproduct of their research is Faith, a little girl used for testing the hallucinogenic drug Morpheus, which is part of the dreamer technology. After receiving an overdose of Morpheus, Faith died but managed to transfer her consciousness to the DreamNet mainframe Eingana. Throughout the game, she randomly appears on the Wire, causing massive amount of white noise or "static", which disrupts the infrastructure of Stark. Tørnquist commented that the effects of Faith's presence on the game world are much more grave than shown in the released version and that he was disappointed that he and other designers "didn't manage to really explain what's going on".
Zoë's story begins when her journalist ex-boyfriend Reza Temiz disappears while investigating Project Alchera. At the same time, Faith starts to haunt her through television screens, prompting her to "find" and "save April". Zoë tracks Reza to Newport, a fictional megapolis on the West Coast where a large part of TLJ took place. There, she meets April Ryan's old friends who tell her more about her. Afterwards, she is captured by WATI agents and forcibly hooked to a dreamer console. This unexpectedly transports her first to Faith's imaginary world (Winter) and then to Arcadia: while her body sleeps in Stark, she possesses a physical presence in Arcadia and can interact with people there. She locates April (who lost her Shifting powers and became a rebel leader) but she refuses to be involved in Faith's case. Waking up in Newport, Zoë travels to Japan to meet Reza's contact inside WATI, Damien Cavanaugh. Damien explains about Project Alchera and with his help, Zoë plants a trojan into Eingana, which unexpectedly overloads. Losing her way back, she meets Alvin Peats, the founder of WATI and the mastermind behind Alchera, barely escaping his bodyguards. Zoe reunites with Damien, who shelters her in his apartment for the night, and the two admit to growing feelings for one another, even if now is not the right time to pursue them. They seal the moment with a kiss, then Zoe, determined to continue her investigations, hooks up to a Dreamer with Damien's help in order to return to the other worlds for answers.
Meanwhile in Arcadia, April spies on Azadi officials' negotiations with the hooded figure named "Prophet", whom she follows to colossal caves beneath the Northlands' capital Marcuria and then, to a place she calls "Chamber of Dreams". She enters the Chamber at the same time as Zoë reaches Eingana and the latter's overload correlates with violent eruption of energy in the former. Confused, April travels to Dark People's Library to visit the reborn White Dragon, who sends her to the Guardian Gordon. Gordon assures her that current events have nothing to do with her and do not endanger the Balance. April returns to Marcuria to discover that Zoë was captured by Azadi on suspicion of witchcraft. In the meantime, Kian arrived in Marcuria and began searching for April. The two meet, unaware of each other's identities, and share a poweful connection almost in spite of themselves, with Kian's attempts at conversation resulting in a heated argument from April about Azadi actions in the Northlands that has a lasting effect on Kian. Breaking off, April proceeds to break Zoë out but again refuses to assist her. On suggestion of drunkard-turned-adventurer Brian Westhouse, Zoë travels to visit the White Dragon herself but is teleported by her back to April. In the climatic scene of the game, the rebel camp is attacked by Azadi troops, Kian is betrayed by his own allies, and April is stabbed and falls into the swamp. Kian, swayed by her words earlier, tries to protect her but fails and is taken into custody for treason. Zoë has to watch from afar, unable to do anything.
Zoë wakes up in Stark and receives a message from Damien, who has left to draw off those hunting her, that the static originated from a testing facility near Saint Petersburg where Faith was held. She travels to Russia and discovers a record of Faith's final months as a captive and test subject. Emotionally distressed, Zoë returns home to Casablanca where she is tracked down by Helena Chang, one of Reza's contacts who originally "created" Faith. Chang asks her to meet Faith and persuade her to die, thus stopping the static that in the meantime has begun to endanger safety worldwide. Zoë uses a dreamer to go to Winter and has one last conversation with Faith, who claims to be her sister, and who then falls asleep in Zoe's lap, disappearing finally and presumably into death, causing a severe Eingana malfunction. Using the distraction, Peats' second-in-command kills him and takes over WATI and Alchera. Meanwhile, while Zoë is still sleeping and attached to the Dreamer, Chang injects her with an OD of Morpheus, leaving her in coma. She is next shown lying in a hospital, with her father and Reza watching over her. Immediately after, however, an out-of-body version of Zoë looks at Reza and points out that he is an impostor and not the "real" Reza. Unable to wake up in Stark, Zoë arrives to the space between the Twin Worlds and tells its strange resident (named "Vagabond" in the game art book) her story. In the last shots before the credits, a short television broadcast is shown, announcing the release of Dreamer consoles three months after the events of the game.
Two events of the game are seen through the eyes of Brian Westhouse, an episodic character in both TLJ and Dreamfall. In the prologue, a ritual in a Tibetan monastery sends him to Arcadia but he is stuck midway, in Vagabond's realm, and attacked by the "Undreaming". The exact nature of Undreaming and details of their encounter are never explained in-game but in TLJ, Westhouse says that he was stuck between the worlds for almost three centuries. In the epilogue after the credits, Westhouse struggles through Tibetan blizzard in 1933 and is helped by Manny Chavez (one of the pseudonyms used by the Red Dragon, who appears as Cortez in TLJ) who tells him that he is "needed".
While the first game of the series mainly established its own mythos, Dreamfall borrows numerous names and concepts from the Australian Aboriginal mythology, such as the Eingana and Alchera/Dreamtime. Similarities can be found between the decoration and architecture of the Azadi buildings and the Islamic art and architecture. Also, "Kian" is a Persian name and "Azadi" (Template:Lang-fa) is "freedom" in Persian. In addition "Reza" is an Arabic name which is widely in use in Iran. "Temiz" means "clean", is Turkish and rarely used as a surname. A scene involving Brian Westhouse in the "real world" takes place in Tibet, and while most Tibetan can speak Mandarin Chinese in Tibet, they generally use the Tibetan language in all their conversation. In the monastery, it would make even less sense for monks to use mandarin.
Within the game, there are also references to other games published by Funcom, for example, to Anarchy Online: a copy of the Anarchy Online novel can be found in Zoë's apartment; there is an engineer wardroid at the street dealer in Newport and a small yellow cleanerbot (seen in many large cities of AO) in Olivia's store; and the music that plays on the first floor of Reza's apartment is also a track from the Anarchy Online. Perhaps, one of the most unusual features of Dreamfall is the in-game presence of its own disc covers, as well as those of TLJ, on multiple locations, e.g. on Reza's bathroom shelf, on the floor near Zoë's TV, behind the Chinese merchant in New Venice, etc.
Several popular movies are referenced, as well, for example, when Crow is telling Zoë about being a sidekick, he makes a reference to The Lord of the Rings films directed by Peter Jackson. He implies that right after he was elected the Sidekick of the Month by the League of Sidekicks, Samwise Gamgee (portrayed by Sean Astin) "stole" the title from him. Brian Westhouse also says, "Where we're going, we don't need wings", a reference to the final lines of Back to the Future.[original research?]
Wonkers the Watilla, an intelligent stuffed purple gorilla-like creature acting as Zoë's personal assistant and playfellow, is voiced by Jack Angel. Angel had earlier used an identical voice to portray as a similar character, Teddy, in Steven Spielberg's 2001 film A.I.. Ragnar Tørnquist has stated that the character of Wonkers was directly inspired by Teddy, and he sought out Angel to give Wonkers the same feel as the earlier character.
When Zoë first arrives in Arcadia, her comment that "[she isn't] in Venice any more" is a possible reference to The Wizard of Oz. The most notable homage pointed out by critics is the disturbing similarity that the character Faith bears to Samara Morgan from The Ring, who is, in turn, based on Onryō from Japanese ghost stories.
Intentional or otherwise, the two closed taverns near the South Gates of Marcuria are named "The Cock and the Puss" and "The Salty Seaman" ("Best nuts in Marcuria!"), which may have sexual implications ("seaman" is a homophone of "semen"). Such word plays go back to The Longest Journey, where a character makes a reference to "pubs with oddly suggestive names, like 'The Lazy Cock'."
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey was released for Microsoft Windows on 17 April 2006 in the United States and 18 April in Europe, available either on 6 CDs or a single DVD. A Limited Edition of Dreamfall was released, as well, containing the DVD version of the game, a soundtrack EP with four songs by Magnet, and a 92 page hardcover art book entitled The Art of Dreamfall. According to Ragnar Tørnquist, this edition is "an actual limited Limited Edition", since it has only been produced in small numbers. On 23 December 2006, a game demo was released. On 12 January 2007, Dreamfall was made available on Steam. On 30 April 2007, Aspyr announced that a Game of the Year edition would be released to North America on 24 May 2007 and will include The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, and the Dreamfall OST. This release includes three DVDs but no manual. The StarForce copy protection system prevents the use of the boxed version of the game on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, although this can be circumvented with an unofficial patch which bypasses the software.
The Xbox version of the game has been released on 8 April and 11 August 2006 in the US and Europe, respectively, and is backwards compatible with Xbox 360 since June 2006. It was made available as an "Xbox Originals" digital download on Xbox Live on 23 March 2008. The downloadable version is the original Xbox version of the game rather than the Game of the Year edition.
Most of the music in Dreamfall was composed by Leon Willett, who joined the production team in the last year of its development. Willett spent ten months writing the score, with the biggest challenge being to make it both cohesive and reflecting the multitude of settings in the game. He later commented in an interview, that the story of Dreamfall required "a broad, Hollywood approach" to music and regretted not having a live orchestra to perform it (instead using synthesized performance). Willett also remarked that because of an entirely new premise and more cinematic way of storytelling in Dreamfall, he had rarely considered the music from The Longest Journey as inspiration.
The Dreamfall Original Soundtrack was released in August 2006. It contains the original orchestral music composed by Leon Willett for the game, as well as several tracks by other musicians, including the game's lead sound designer Simon Poole and audio director Morten Sørlie. It was nominated in the Best Video Game Score category at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards but eventually lost to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion score. The most prominent music in the game, featured on the main menu and in the first two game trailers, is a combination of two tracks ("Dreamfall Theme" and "Kian's Theme"). The final track is "Faith", a 2:40 minute long track followed by six minutes of silence, after which a static noise, and the phrase "Find April Ryan... Save her!" (a key phrase from the game) can be heard. Other significant tracks include "Lana and Maud" (heard in the Fringe Cafe in Newport) and "Rush" (from Casablanca towards the end of the game).
|Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Original Soundtrack|
|File:Dreamfall OST Cover.png|
|Soundtrack by Leon Willett|
June 2, 2006
|Genre||Video game soundtrack|
|Original Soundtrack (68:36)|
|1.||"Dreamfall Theme / Tibet Monastery"||2:39|
|2.||"The Hospital Room" (vocals by Vivi Christensen)||2:23|
|8.||"The Underground City"||2:40|
|10.||"Meeting April Ryan / April's Theme"||2:22|
|16.||"Zoë's Theme" (bonus track)||1:28|
|17.||"St. Petersburg" (by Simon Poole)||2:00|
|18.||"The Factory" (by Simon Poole)||1:12|
|19.||"Lana and Maud" (edit by Slipperhero)||2:09|
|20.||"Clay" (edit by Octavcat)||2:36|
|21.||"Rush" (by Ingvild Hasund)||3:16|
|22.||"Faith" (by Morten Sørlie)||9:31|
All songs by the Norwegian singer Magnet that have been included into the game were released on a the separate Magnet EP extended play CD released with the limited edition version of the game. "Be With You", the only track composed specifically for the game, is heard on several occasions; in the lobby of Reza's apartment building, during Zoë's journeys to Japan and St. Petersburg, and during the closing credits. "My Darling Curse" plays when she takes a Vactrax to Newport, and "Nothing Hurts Now" is heard both when Zoë stays in Damien's apartment and in the very end, when she lies on her bed crying.
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
|1.||"Be With You"||5:34|
|2.||"My Darling Curse"||4:26|
|4.||"Nothing Hurts Now"||3:44|
|PC Gamer UK||77%|
|PC Gamer US||73%|
Most critics have been positive about Dreamfall, agreeing about the quality of the storyline, the graphical presentation and the voice acting. Some critics lament the shortness of the gameplay, and criticize the game's new combat and stealth elements as simplistic and unsatisfying.
GameSpy rated it as "outstanding":
"The game covers a lot of metaphorical, political, and religious ground. It's a multi-threaded, complex affair that poses profound and troubling questions about the uses and misuses of faith, the limits of corporate, governmental, and religious power, and the significant difference between belief and fanaticism and knowledge and wisdom. More than that, though, it's also a rip-roaring adventure story filled with wonderful dialogue brought to life by a stellar cast of voice actors, clearly defined and supremely likeable characters, and graphic splendor that manages to make both worlds of super-science and bizarre magic incredibly believable." –GameSpy 
"It's been a long-time since The Longest Journey was released, with fans of the game wondering whether a sequel could possibly match the original. They need wonder no longer. Dreamfall is an amazing journey that propels players into a world where science, magic, art, and music combine to make a whole much greater than the sum of its parts." –GameSpy 
GameSpot also ranked it as "great," stating "Dreamfall does not disappoint, for the most part. It exhibits the unique attention to detail and terrific presentation that made The Longest Journey so remarkable for its time."
Adventure Classic Gaming said "It is contemporary interactive fiction at its best. Its unique blend of storytelling and gameplay should appeal to a broad range of gamers beyond those who are loyal to the adventure genre."
Other critics, while not disputing the quality of the story, were disappointed that the game is primarily story-driven, and would like to have seen more gameplay. For example, IGN said:
"While playing through, it's difficult to shake the impression that intelligent design was given a back seat to painfully simplistic fighting and sneaking sequences. The combat is, for all intents and purposes, a total joke. [...] While the gameplay has been drastically simplified, the story remains as engaging as ever. Characters engage in deep conversation, revealing all sorts of nuance and helping to strengthen this game's unique mood. Be warned, if you don't like watching lengthy conversations or if you generally disregard a game's plot, you'll be absolutely dissatisfied with Dreamfall. However, if you're in the mood for one of gaming's best and most recent narratives, by all means pick this one up. Just be aware that Dreamfall's appeal lies largely in its narrative and characters, and not in the gameplay." –IGN 
On 1 March 2007, Funcom announced that the continuation of the story will be published in episodic format under the title Dreamfall Chapters. Later that day, Ragnar Tørnquist confirmed the announcement and stated that it goes perfectly with his plans for the continuation. Detailed information on the project is yet to be released as of May 2010[update]. The numerous cliffhangers and apparent plot holes in Dreamfall have caused a great commotion among the players and were addressed by Ragnar Tørnquist on his blog. He stated that the game is, in fact, the first part of a duology and that all questions will be answered in the second installment.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Funcom awarded grant from Norwegian Film Fund. Funcom (2007-03-01). Retrieved on 2007-03-01
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Funcom 2006 Annual Report. Funcom. Retrieved on 2007-10-16 “The title went on to become a satisfactory seller on the PC platform. The Xbox version had lower than expected sales, mainly because the Xbox 360 eclipsed the original platform much faster than anticipated. [...] Funcom sees multiple opportunities for the game and the brand in the future, including an episodic online release of Dreamfall: Chapters, and the possibility of a massively multiplayer adaptation.”
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Overview over Dreamfall (PC) reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Overview over The Longest Journey (PC) reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2008-05-31
- ↑ Walker, John (2008-08-20). Ragnar Tørnquist On… Dreamfall & Faith. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved on 2008-08-22
- ↑ Stanescu, Alexandru (2006-10-11). Dreamfall review. Softpedia. Retrieved on 2007-03-24 “You'll have a bit of The Ring feeling when you'll see the little brunette girl whispering stuff in Zoe's [sic] visions.”
- ↑ Crowe, Greg. Dreamfall review. GameIndustry.com. Retrieved on 2007-03-24 “[Zoë] can’t see to go near a television screen without having a The Ring moment.”
- ↑ Hill, Will 'Jayson' (2006-06-08). Dreamfall review. GameShark. Retrieved on 2007-03-24 “Reminded me a little of the creepy tape chick from that movie The Ring.”
- ↑ Tørnquist, Ragnar (2006-05-10). Getting the good word out. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27 Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Demo. FileShack (2006-12-23). Retrieved on 2007-02-06
- ↑ Aspyr to Publish Dreamfall Game of the Year Edition. IGN (2007-04-30). Retrieved on 2007-05-21
- ↑ Bat, Joseph. Q&A with Leon Willett. Movie Music UK. Retrieved on 2007-08-20
- ↑ Dreamfall "Game of the Month" review. GameSpy (2006-05-05). Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Rausch, Allen (2006-04-18). Dreamfall (PC) review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Kasavin, Gregory A. (2006-04-18). Dreamfall (PC) review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Jong, Philip (2006-04-26). Dreamfall review. Adventure Classic Gaming.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Onyett, Charles (2006-04-17). Dreamfall (PC) review. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
- ↑ Tørnquist, Ragnar (2007-03-01). Dreamfall Chapters. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27 Retrieved on 2007-03-01 “The episodic format is perfect for the continuation of the story - it’s something I’ve been thinking about for ages...”
- ↑ Tørnquist, Ragnar (2006-04-26). About the ending of Dreamfall. RagnarTornquist.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27 Retrieved on 2007-01-31 “Dreamfall was from day one designed as the first part of a two-part story… and also the middle part of a trilogy. […] There are lots of unanswered questions because the story isn’t over. Yet. […] It’s been planned from the get-go.”
- ↑ Tørnquist, Ragnar (2007-03-21). Gears of Hollywood. RagnarTornquist.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27 Retrieved on 2007-03-29 “We've spoken to various people in various positions (from agents to producers) about bringing The Longest Journey and/or Dreamfall to the big (and small) screen, but it’s a difficult story to adapt, and it’d be hugely expensive.”
- Official website
- 'Dreamfall: The Longest Journey' at MobyGames
- Dreamfall: The Longest Journey at the Internet Movie Database
- Dreamfall: The Longest Journey wiki guide at StrategyWiki
- TLJwiki, a MediaWiki project dedicated to the game series
- Jelena Rosenberg's fan-site, personally distinguished by Tørnquist
Template:Funcomcs:Dreamfall: The Longest Journeyfa:سقوط رؤیا: طولانیترین سفر fr:Dreamfalllv:Dreamfall: The Longest Journey hu:Dreamfall: The Longest Journey no:Drømmefall – Den lengste reisensv:Dreamfall: The Longest Journey vi:Dreamfall: The Longest Journey