The Let's Play Archive

LSD: Dream Emulator

by RealSovietBear

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Original Thread: Do Let's Players Dream of Polygon Sheep? Let's Play LSD: Dream Emulator

If you liked this LP, you might also like Binary Domain by RealSovietBear , Wheelman by RealSovietBear and Resident Evil 3 by The Dark Id

Introduction

Latest Upload: LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (10)



LSD (also known as LSD: Dream Emulator) is a surrealistic exploration video game developed and published by Asmik Ace Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation on October 22, 1998. The game is based on a dream journal that Hiroko Nishikawa, an artist at Asmik Ace Entertainment, had been keeping for a decade. It is one of three products released in conjunction with the journal, with the other two being a music album, called LSD and Remixes and the journal itself, published as Lovely Sweet Dream.

What kind of LP is this?

This is a subtitled LP. I feel this works for a game as abstract as LSD and nobody wants my heavy accent distracting from the surreal exploration.
This is a live commentary LP. I feel subtitles would distract from the visuals and a live reaction would make the journey more earnest. Plus, you get to hear my heavy accent.
This is a post-commentary speedrun LP. I feel that there's a hidden skill-based aspect to LSD that doesn't get too much attention, and I'd like this LP to introduce that side of LSD to a wider audience.
This is a presentational Let's Play. I feel that it's hard to get LSD's point across, so I've opted into a new form of Let's Play to give the game's innovative nature the showcase it deserves.
This is an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) Let's Play. I feel that mere narration does not do LSD justice. It's not about the context, it's about the emotion that's conveyed, and ASMR does that best.
This is a subtitled LP. I feel this works for a game as abstract as LSD and nobody wants my heavy accent distracting from the surreal exploration.
This is a multi-LP. I feel like with the time pressure of the digital age and the need to consume as much media as possible within a short amount of time, the only proper way to do Let's Plays now is to condense several into one.
This is a post-commentary LP. I feel like an analytical and well-thought-out commentary helps supplement the abstract nature of LSD.
This is a facecam LP. I feel like a lot of communication is lost without the non-verbal factor, and as LSD is a very emotional game, I want the viewer to understand my own emotions while playing it better.
This is a Choose Your Own Adventure Let's Play, or CYOALP for short. It is impossible to fully grasp the beauty of LSD by being an observer. I believe you need to actually play the game to realize its intricacies and deep plot. This is why in this Let's Play, YOU choose the outcome.

How long is this game?

It's as long and short as you want it to be. Each "day" lasts between 5 and 11 minutes. There are many dreams and some random factors that can alter them (like different textures). We probably won't encounter all of them, but there will be a point where we're officially done with the LP.

What are you playing on?

Emulated on ePSXe.

How often will you update this LP?

No set schedule.

SPOILER POLICY

Don't post areas we haven't seen yet.

Videos

LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (1)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (2)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (3)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (4)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (5)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (6)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (8)
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (9)
LSD Dream Emulator - State of the LP
LSD Dream Emulator - Part 01 (10)

Update History

Part 01 (01)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey folks. As you're all probably aware, the initial video got a dislike on YouTube. I was actually contacted by the person who did this and they made a very good case as to why the LP isn't working. Taking this feedback to heart, I've decided to restart the Let's Play. It's now a live commentary LP, in order to do the game justice.

I'll keep the previous video in the original post, as an example of how not to do an LP and for the few people who liked it.

Part 01 (02)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey folks. As you're probably aware, the restart wasn't too popular with viewers. Since this game deserves better, I've decided to change how I'm tackling this game and give it the Let's Play it deserves. That's why we're restarting it as a skill-based speedrun LP.

Speedrunning LSD is a daunting feat, which is why I got the two leading speedrunners on the scene, TorpidTypist and Lolo De Puzlo to share some strats in this introductory episode. Hope you enjoy it!

Part 01 (03)

RealSovietBear posted:

I've taken all the feedback so far into account and realized that I've been going about this Let's Play the wrong way. Therefor, we're restarting it hopefully one last time to present it in a way that lets everyone enjoy its unique charm. I hope you enjoy it!

Part 01 (04)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey folks, this LP just doesn't seem to be working. It took me the last few days to figure out how to do this properly, so I've realized that LSD isn't about the context of it, it's about the emotional wavelength you ride as you journey through it. To simulate this, I've hired a professional audiobook reader to do an ASMR let's play by reading some of the best works of literature. I hope he's the voice this project has been sorely lacking.

Part 01 (05)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey all, I saw that the original subtitled format had the best feedback so far, so I decided it might be best to use that as a basis. However, there were several technical issues with the original video, which I've thankfully solved, so you should all be able to enjoy this fresh attempt. Of course, due to the updated recording tech, it's best to consider this the actual first episode. Part 02 is already in the works, so look forward to that!

Part 01 (06)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey all. I think I've finally got it properly now. I did a lot of research on social media consumption and realized that all online content is competing with each other, regardless of genre or medium. People are naturally drawn to getting the most content out of a short span of time, so I have decided to do a multi-LP. This will let viewers consume four times the content in the same span of time, leading to maximum enjoyment of Good Content (this is a term used among social media experts for content that is good). Please let me know what you think. I'm already half-way through producing Part 02 using this format!

Part 01 (08)

RealSovietBear posted:

I had to scrap the WIP episode, because the render just kept getting messed up. Since I lost like 20 hours of work, I'm going for something less time consuming until I can fix the other video. I know post-commentary might seem like a mundane form, but hey, there's a reason it's used by all the top Let's Players. It's simple and effective.

Part 01 (09)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey all, after reading up on some suggestions from this thread and doing my own research, I've realized that the biggest issue with the Let's Play was the lack of emotion. LSD is a very emotional game and when it comes to emotional communication, studies show that 55% of it is non-verbal. That means that when you read my subtitles, you are only getting 7% of my emotions, and while I'm narrating, only 38%. This is probably why the story of LSD is not coming across as it should. So I have installed a camera in the corner of the video that will relay my non-verbal emotions fully, leading to 100% emotional communication.

State of the LP

RealSovietBear posted:

Hey all.

I am going to be honest, and say that despite my best efforts, this Let's Play has been a mess. Especially the last attempt. After a month of work, I am unable to produce more than one episode. I am really sorry I disappointed everyone looking forward to this game being properly let's played. We have a solution detailed in the video above. I guess I'll see you all in November, after my pilgrimage ends. I will be updating the status of my journey to enlightenment on Twitter @MDKII, as it's the most popular social media platform among Japanese game developers. Wish me luck.

Part 01 (10)

RealSovietBear posted:

Hello everyone. After my two week pilgrimage to Japan, I finally understood what this Let's Play was missing. The deep design of LSD stems from the philosophy of "Asobu", or "to play". It is the core upon which all great Japanese games are built upon, and why Western games often feel like they are "missing something" by comparison. That is why doing a Let's Play of LSD is so hard; we're not "Let's Playing"... I'm playing, you're watching. It's a "Let's Watching" and by losing the interactivity, LSD Dream Emulator just falls flat.

I have found the perfect way to rectify this, however. Here I present to you LSD: Dream Emulator - A Choose Your Own Adventure Let's Play. Now, with the interactivity deeply ingrained in the actual Let's Play, I believe there is no way anyone will misunderstand the beauty of this work. This is my Magnum Opus. This is the pinnacle of my Let's Play skills. The Let's Play is finally done. Please enjoy it.

Will you find all the endings?
Will you save the World of Dreams?
Will you uncover all the secrets of this Let's Play?

Let's Save Dreams

-----------------------------------------

Plot Analysis


EclecticTastes posted:

Hey, hate to be "that guy", but when you were walking in the desert, you met a tortoise. You flipped the tortoise over on its back, and it couldn't recover, not without your help. But you weren't helping. Why is that?

RealSovietBear posted:

So I was hoping I wouldn't need to explain this, because it's spoiler territory, but if I don't explain it, people are gonna hold it over my head the entire LP and make me out to be some monster. (I've already gotten enough DMs on Twitter over it that I needed to set them to mutuals only.) Anyway, be warned, major plot spoilers ahead:

So you have the choice to fight Buddha or run away, but running away locks you into ending E of LSD, which would make us skip a lot of content and also get a major downer ending (remember, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him"). That means we're meant to fight him and stop him, but our fight will always destroy Wonder City*. As Wonder City spans the entire continent, it actually turns the entire continent into the Great Wasteland (or Wasteland City in the German localization). If you've ever played Magic: the Gathering, you probably know of the City of Ravnica. Ravnica was actually inspired by Wonder City, as Wonder City itself is an amalgam of several hundred types of environments. As such, it's an urban environment with lots of wildlife as well. Ironic, isn't it? Now, the ecology of Wonder City is such that it has a very rigid food chain and when that food chain is disrupted, chaos ensues. If you take away the rabbits, the wolves will dine on humans and similar weird catastrophes.

Now, Wonder City may have been turned into the Great Wasteland, but it didn't completely destroy everything. After you've destroyed Wonder City, you probably won't encounter anything in-game for the next several months as you try and reach a new point of intractables. This is generally considered by many to be the low-point of LSD, as it switches from a survival horror into a sandbox survival game, forcing you to learn new mechanics and adding a brutal difficulty. It's often quoted that this was meant to subvert the arbitrary vehicle sections that were a massive trend back then, by adding a new genre that was even more at odds with the base game. Sadly, as seen by games like Jak and Daxter 3, the lesson didn't stick. (It actually wouldn't be until El Shaddai that vehicle sections were put to rest. Ironically, it wasn't because El Shaddai's was so bad, but because it was the first good one.) So after you've wandered the Great Wasteland and survived it (remember, you have to do this in one life), you finally get to see another actual living thing. That was the tortoise we encountered. This is meant to be a joyous moment for the player, as he realizes that not all life has perished and that there still might be hope for man. However, due to the previously-mentioned messed up ecology, the tortoise is not meant to be alive. The only reason the tortoise is alive was because the falcons that prey on it are now extinct. But the thing that tortoise prey one, which is are pigs, are also gone. If you remember the item description of the Kitsune Shrine ring, you can already see where this is going (like I said, LSD is one of those annoying Souls-like games).

So, if you flip the tortoise, it'll stay where it is and die. That's what I'm sure you think. But no, the tortoise survives regardless. What changes is that you get Ending A-2 rather than Ending A-1. They are actually completely the same, except for one extra line of dialog. When you fight the final boss (which is something I won't spoil), he will use the line "But you yourself are no stranger to true cruelty." when giving us his speech. That is actually in reference to us hoping to kill the tortoise in the worst imaginable way. So the fight goes the same as in the A-1 path, but it completely changes the frame of it all. The entire struggle of trying to save the World from <YOU KNOW WHO> for hours on end, but in the end, he was the one trying to save the World from YOU. I think it's a powerful statement and while many online communities like to parrot how A-1 ending is the canon ending, I like A-2 better. It shows the true power games have as a medium to make the player take part in telling the story. No other medium does this. Books are a story by one person preaching events to you. Movies are a story by a bunch of people preaching events to you. Music also preaches to you. But games don't do that garbage. In games, you take the controller and you decide what happens, but the best-crafted games make you make these choices without even knowing it, and then BAM, they hit you with it in the gut (this is why Nier is the best game of all time by the way). When I played LSD the first time, I actually got so sick of the grinding in the Wasteland section that I just vented on the turtle. After beating the game, that line struck me so hard. I realized that I wasn't being the kind of person I wanted to be, so I forced myself to do better each day. It took a lot of work, but in the end it was worth it, because I've finally become a good enough person to Let's Play games. There is no movie or book or song that can inspire people to do something like that. That's why this run is an A-2 run.

Oh and how do we know the turtle survives regardless of what you do? If you look at the audience in the encore credits, you'll see a silhouette that is obviously the turtle you encountered. I'm sure you'd think that could be any turtle, but no, Flippy (the community name for the turtle) has a forehead made out of 9 polygons, while all other tortoise models in the game have 10.

Anyway, I hope that clears everything up.


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Translator's Note


EclecticTastes posted:

That said all the video captions were in Japanese, and I'm not good enough at kanji to read them, so maybe RSB could post a translation?

RealSovietBear posted:

Of course, no problem. This is probably the most accurate translation of the script I could find:

Бог се драги на Србе разљути за њихова смртна сагрешења. Наши цари закон погазише, почеше се крвнички гонити, један другом вадит очи живе; забацише владу и државу, за правило лудост изабраше. Невјерне им слуге постадоше и царском се крвљу окупаше. Великаши, проклете им душе, на комате раздробише царство, српске силе грдно сатријеше; великаши, траг им се утро, распре сјеме посијаше грко, те с њим племе српско отроваше; великаши, грдне кукавице, постадоше рода издајице. О проклета косовска вечеро, куд та срећа да грдне главаре све потрова и траг им утрије; сам да Милош оста на сриједи са његова оба побратима, те би Србин данас Србом био! Бранковићу, погано кољено, тако ли се служи отачаству, тако ли се цијени поштење? О Милоше, ко ти не завиди? Ти си жертва благородног чувства, воинствени гениј свемогући, гром стравични те круне раздраба! Величаство витешке ти душе надмашује бесмртне подвиге дивне Спарте и великог Рима; сва витештва њина блистателна твоја горда мишца помрачује. Шта Леонид оће и Сцевола кад Обилић стане на поприште? Ова мишца једнијем ударом престол сруши а тартар уздрма. Паде Милош, чудо витезовах, жертвом на трон бича свијетскога. Гордо лежи велики војвода под кључевма крви благородне, ка малопред што гордо иђаше, страсном мишљу прсих надутијех, кроз дивјачне тмуше азијатске, гутајућ их ватреним очима; ка малопред што гордо иђаше к светом гробу бесмртног живота, презирући људско ништавило и плетење безумне скупштине. Бог се драги на Србе разљути: седмоглава изиде аждаја и сатрије Српство свеколико, клеветнике грдне и клевету. На развале царства јуначкога засја света Милошева правда, окруни се слава вјековјечно Милошева оба побратима и лијепе ките Југовићах. Српској капи свуд име погибе. Постадоше лафи ратарима, истурчи се плахи и лакоми - млијеко их српско разгубало! Што утече испод сабље турске, што на вјеру праву не похули, што се не хће у ланце везати, то се збјежа у ове планине да гинемо и крв проливамо, да јуначки аманет чувамо, дивно име и свету свободу. Све су наше главе изабране! Момци дивни, исто ка звијезде; што су досад ове горе дале, сви падали у крваве борбе, пали за чест, име и свободу. И наше су утирали сузе вјешти звуци дивнијех гусалах. Просте наше жертве свеколике кад је наша тврда постојбина силе турске несита гробница. Што је ово ево неко доба те су наше горе умучале, не разлежу ратнијем клицима? Почину ни рђа на оружје, остаде ни земља без главарах. Некршћу се форе усмрђеше... Уједно су овце и курјаци, здружио се Турчин с Црногорцем, оџа риче на равном Цетињу! Смрад ухвати лафа у кљусама, затрије се име црногорско, не остаде крста од три прста!

I know it's a bit inconvenient that it's in Serbian, but it's really impossible to translate it in English and maintain the spirit of the original. Both Serbian and Japanese have a lot in common, being very melodic and phonetic languages. But since Japanese is actually impossible to learn unless you are from Japan, it's much easier for everyone to learn Serbian if you want to understand this specific part of the game better (and trust me, it's worth it).



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