Yume Nikki was assembled by one anonymous Japanese man using RPG Maker back in 2004, and released in the damp corner of a message board somewhere. Once the game was discovered, it went viral — first in Japan and then everywhere else when an English translation was built.
Why? Yume Nikki is, simply put, one of the creepiest games ever made. The goal isn’t readily clear, nor the motive behind it. You play as a little girl who is confined to one room for unexplained reasons and ventures into her dreamworld every night. Within the dreams you just…basically wander around, exploring unsettling and somber environments scored by eerie synth. It was made all the creepier by the fact that no one knew who made it or why.
The most infamous part of Yume Nikki takes the form of an easter egg. In the dreamworld, the girl will eventually run across a solitary house with a woman inside. The room has a light switch that can be turned off before exiting. When you turn off that switch, you stand a 1 in 64 chance of encountering a creepy ghost face known as Uboa, who takes the place of the woman. At this point, you’ll hear a repetitive screeching sound and the door will refuse to open. The only way out is by touching Uboa, which transports you to an endless nightmarish area lit by a bleeding monster. The only way out of THERE is to wake up.
There was nothing like Yume Nikki when it first appeared, and it’s spawned countless imitators. And now a remake is on the way, courtesy of Active Gaming Media and Kadokawa (who makes the RPG Maker software). The mysterious creator, who goes by the pseudonym Kikiyama, is also involved. All the environments and creepy NPCs from the original will be rendered in 3D space, and you’ll also see some new content based on abandoned ideas for the original.
Yume Nikki Dream Diary (as the remake is called) will be out for Windows PC on February 23, selling for $19.99. The original is on Steam and has always been free.