The Weekly WTF: ‘LSD- Dream Emulator’

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bill-swift - February 21, 2014

LSD: Dream Emulator could almost --damn well almost-- qualify as a educational social tool. Parents who grew up on the mean, dodgy streets, and who have now become fancy-ass lawyers or something, don't want their children to repeat their mistakes. How do they persuade their urchins that drugs are the Devil, right from the off? By showing them freakin' Dream Emulator, that's how.

"Take a look, Little Jimmy/Little Susan/Whatever. You see this crazy shit, right here? That face on legs, and the eyeballs in the walls? This is what drugs will do to you. So keep the ‘eff away, you hear me?"

And so, thus traumatized, Jimmy/Susan would never be tempted by the offer of little pills with smiley faces on them in later life. So... there's that. By all accounts, though, this is some of the weirdest weird-ass weirdery you'll find on the PlayStation. Let's take a look.

Created in Japan in 1998, LSD is a cult ‘surrealistic exploration game' (who knew that was a thing?) from OutSide Directors Company. It's based on a dream journal kept by one of the developers, and we all know how damn trippy dreams can be. There are no objectives; no enemies to shoot in the gonads, no tricky series of platforms to traverse, no highscore to better. You just wander about and wonder what the shit is going on.

Don't ask what this elephant is doing.

You travel on foot in a first-person perspective, through a randomly-generated environment. It'll be inhabited by all manner of freaky-ass people, animals and obstacles, such as a giant-faced man-baby or bizarre ‘disco walls' which impede your movement. Touching them will send them elsewhere via the 'Linking' mechanic, where you may or may not find them again afterwards.

Your experience lasts for ten bowel-loosening minutes, after which you awaken and arrive back at LSD's main menu. Just to continue the whole demented cycle. After all, the Shadow Man and the Abyss Demon lurk somewhere within, and those nightmares aren't going to have themselves.

After repeating this process several times, Flashback mode is unlocked. This allows you to select from previous dreams to briefly relive. Y'know, if you weren't already creeped out enough. This is, in short, utterly unfathomable, and is best seen with your own bewildered eyes. With the handy clip below, for instance, if you have the balls of steely steel required to watch.

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