LSD (video game)

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LSD
LSD Coverart.png
Developer(s) OutSide Directors Company
Publisher(s) Asmik Ace Entertainment
Director(s) Osamu Sato
Designer(s) Osamu Sato
Hiroko Nishikawa
Programmer(s) Yoshinori Maeda
Artist(s) Osamu Sato
Composer(s) Osamu Sato
Platform(s) PlayStation, PSN
Release date(s)
  • JP October 22, 1998
  • JP August 11, 2010 (PSN)
Genre(s) Surrealism, Exploration game, Avant-garde
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM

LSD (Also known as LSD: Dream Emulator) is a surrealistic exploration video game released in Japan in 1998 for the Sony PlayStation video game console based on a dream journal that Hiroko Nishikawa, a staff member at Asmik Ace Entertainment, had been keeping for a decade. It is one of three products released about the journal (the others being a music CD, called LSD And Remixes and the journal itself, published as Lovely Sweet Dream in limited quantity). The game has earned itself a small cult following due to the generally disturbing and eccentric nature of the game and its content.

Gameplay[edit]

In LSD the player navigates through a psychedelic dream world. The idea is simply to walk around and explore things in a dream environment. There are many strange environments in this world, and one way to travel through them is by foot. However, if the player bumps into walls or other objects in the game, they will be transported to another environment instantaneously through a system called "linking". Bumping into people, animals, or special objects usually results in a stranger dream.

Each dream can last up to 10 minutes, after which the player will 'wake up', with the screen fading away and the player being sent back to the game's initial menu. However, if the player falls off a cliff or into a hole in the dream, the player will wake up immediately. There is a graph that appears at the end of each dream that keeps track of the player's state of mind; the states are upper, downer, static and dynamic, referring to the environments and the general feel of the dream the player just went through. Past states may have effects on later dreams.

While the player walks through an environment, the surroundings may suddenly change. For example, eyes may suddenly appear on the walls and stare at the player. Even if the player visits the same place twice, it may look quite different – sometimes, the textures of walls will change to subtly different versions or new items will appear for the player to encounter. One may also encounter strange creatures while roaming around, including a celestial nymph flying through the air, a wild horse running through the prairie, a huge man filling up an entire room, a pterodactyl, and a literal face on legs.

The game is set in a first-person environment. The player may use the left and right directional buttons to look and change direction, the up and down buttons to initiate or reverse movement, the front shoulder buttons to turn around, and the back shoulder buttons to strafe left or right. The player may also hold the X button while moving to run, the square button to look down and the triangle button to look up.

The number of "days" is tracked. As the player progresses, the patterns on walls and the form of the player may transmute. Occasionally the player may come across a man in a gray trench coat and hat, commonly referred to as the "Gray Man" or the "Shadow Man". He only glides in one direction, the model not showing any walking animation. It is possible to walk around the Shadow/Gray Man and see his full model, but his head is always slightly bent towards your direction. Getting too close to him will make the screen flash, cause the man to disappear, and remove the player's ability to recall the dream in a "Flashback". Another such strange creature is the "Abyss Demon", which lures the player to a wonderful sight just out of reach and then suddenly appears from the cliff face and causes you to go to a new dream. In the house between two walls or on the second floor, there is a giant man in the wall, which will headbutt you and change to a new dreamscape as well. These are among the most frightening sights in LSD.

After roughly 15 to 30 days of gameplay, a new option will appear in the main menu, called "Flashback". This mode lasts for only around 2 to 4 minutes versus the main game's 10. Flashback's purpose is to revisit locales and characters from past dreams. Due to the heavily random nature of the game, Flashback mode is often the only way to see an area with the same textures twice. Taking the same steps in Flashback as in the earlier normal dream it is following will allow one to completely repeat that dream.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack to LSD was written by the game's director, Osamu Sato. There are numerous patterns of background music in the game. These are called patterns, not tunes, because they all share the same musical score, but are played in different tones. A soundtrack was released as a 2 CD compilation in Japan by Music Mine, a Japanese techno record label, on October 21, 1998. It contains music from the game as well as remixes from several notable musicians from the Warp Records roster, such as IDM pioneer µ-Ziq (Mike Paradinas), Ken Ishii, and jazz musician Jimi Tenor.

LSD And Remixes[edit]

LSD & Remixes
Artist(s) Osamu Sato
Genre(s) Soundtrack

Total length: 100:56

Disc 1:

  1. Funky Solution
  2. Long Tall Eyelash
  3. TV River
  4. Professional Problem
  5. Oriental Grill
  6. Come On And
  7. Fax Factory
  8. Fried Banana
  9. Say Cheeze

Disc 2:

  1. Long Tall Eyelash (Ken Ishii Mix)
  2. Funky Solution (Jimi Tenor Mix)
  3. Long Tall Eyelash (µ-Ziq)
  4. TV River (Morgan Geist Mix)
  5. Professional Problem (Pantune Music Mix)
  6. Oriental Girll (M.P.O Mix)
  7. Come On (Out @#!*% Mao Mix)

Lucy in the Sky With Dynamites[edit]

Tracks:

  1. Acid Groove
  2. Bad Vibrations
  3. Rapid Eye Movement
  4. LSD Choir
  5. Segue 01
  6. Post Hypnotic Neon Vacation
  7. Schizophrenic Ragtime
  8. Stray Dogs and Back Alleys
  9. Red Fog Over Kyoto
  10. Deja Vu
  11. Segue 02
  12. LSD
  13. Segue 03
  14. Microsleep
  15. Dullness
  16. Silver Mutant Children
  17. Segue 04
  18. Neurons Firing
  19. Flashback

External sources[edit]