A few years ago, while searching on /x/ for Paranormal or Creepy games, I came across an obscure Japanese Playstation game, called "LSD: Dream Emulator." Despite the game releasing in extremely limited numbers, many ROM sites had it available for download. Naturally, I downloaded it, converted it, and started playing.
Unfortunately, the ISO was corrupted - or incorrectly ripped - as I couldn't get any further than the title screen and, when I did, all I saw was a mess of color and heard a strange fuzzing sound, like radio static. I tried re-downloading the ISO multiple times, trying it from different websites, but every single one was the same. Strange colors, fuzzy static sound. I tried posting questions on various gaming sites, but hardly anyone had heard of the game and even less had played it. I learned that the game had a cult following, both here and in Japan, and I eventually found a small yahoo fan group, dedicated to the game.
I posted a question, asking if anyone had managed to get the game working on emulators, and a few days later, I received an answer.
"Hi. I was one of members of the ripping group who released the LSD rip. We managed to successfully rip the game, but we have never managed to get it working on emulators, only the original hardware."
By this point, I had practically given up on it. I didn't have a Playstation console, and my attention span was short, and I had long since moved on to other things, like Eversion, and Yume Nikki.
Then, earlier this year, LSD was released on the Japanese Playstation Network. I remembered how much I had tried to play it, even browsing eBay a few times, in the vague hope that a cheap copy surfaced.
So, I made an account, bought a JPN PSN card, and purchased the game, and after downloading and installing, I began playing it. The Playstation logo came up as usual, but with SCEI instead, as it was a Japanese game. There was no copyright screen, but they had removed it from several other games as well.
The intro video started playing after that. Different colored words bounced across the screen, spelling out "Linking the Sapient Dream" multiple times (Apparently this is what LSD stood for).
I pressed the circle button, and the game went to the title screen. There was no "Press Start" screen, it just went straight to a screen with 4 or 5 options. Start, Save, Load and Options.Above Start, there was a line of text, telling you what Day you were on. It displayed "a DAY 01"
I chose Start.
One thing I had learned from the Yahoo group, was that the first Day always started in a Japanese House, with three floors. The contents of the house were random. The entire game was played in a First-Person view.
I walked along the hallway I started in, and walked into a Bookcase, and the screen faded to white. That's the strange thing about this game, you can interact with anything. Walking into anything moves you to a new area, which the game calls "Linking".
The white faded away and I was in a field. I couldn't see very far into the distance, because every area had fog a few feet ahead of you. The graphics were also basic, with most having no texture to them. I walked onwards, eventually bumping into a tree, which sent me to another area.
This time, things had gotten a bit more sinister. I was in a dark city, standing on a metal pier. A boat loomed in the fog, out on the water, and lamp posts lit the streets. I walked down into the road, and came across alleyways. Graffiti covered some of the walls, strange multi-colored eyes staring out at me. Then I heard a noise and the screen flashed quickly. I turned around.
Just behind me, a man had appeared. He was wearing a grey hat and a long trench coat. He was walking slowly towards me, almost gliding across the ground.
I tried to walk backwards, to get away, but my controller wasn't responding, and he was getting closer.
For a split-second, two red dots glared out from under his hat, then the screen flashed again.
This time I was back in the house.
Something had changed, though.
The textures of the walls, were replaced with pictures of real violence. Women being raped, children torn apart, Cannibalism, Torture, a Japanese man breaking his own fingers with a hammer.
As I moved through the house, the pictures slowly began getting worse and the music began distorting and slowing down. The corridor was longer than it was before and it was getting darker.
I knew what was at the end.
I moved onwards, the bile rising in my throat and fighting the urge to vomit, as the pictures began escalating into terrible levels of obscenity and violence. A few steps forward, a man removing a young boy's legs. A few more, a pregnant woman cutting her own fetus out. Further still, a gang of men cut a cow to pieces, wrapping the internal organs around their bodies. Closer to the end, people being forced to eat the corpse of a child, vomiting as they eat parts of him.
Finally, I reached the end of the corridor.
The screen faded to black and a line of text appeared on the screen.
I wrote the link down quickly and a few seconds later, the game faded to white again, and returned to the title screen.
This time, the status said "D dAy 00"
I tried to choose Start again, but the game wouldn't let me continue. I restarted the PS3, and the status went back to "a DAY 01."
Before I played it again, I tried the link. It still worked, and a page came up, filled with Japanese writing. Further down the page, there was a picture of the Gray Man, as he normally appeared. I can't read Japanese, but one of my friends could.
He lived in Japan for a few years, so he could read and speak the language fluently. I copied the writing down and called him up.
After he showed up, I spent the next few hours telling him what had happened. Obviously, he didn't believe me. Who would?
But he still agreed to take a look at the writing on the page.
Despite several tries, I couldn't get the web page up again, so I handed him the copy I had made.
He glanced at it for a few minutes and then suddenly turned white. He handed it back to me and sat down on the couch.
He said nothing for 5 minutes, then he told me what it said.
"If you are reading this, well done.
You have seen the man as he is.
What he did to me as I slept, as I
dreamed his dark nightmare. You have
also seen it. Those violent images
were him. He had no form, only the
dream man. He caused all this, those
events in the images, he took those
innocents and possessed them. He made them
do it. He made me make that game.
GRAYGRAYGRAYGRAYGRAYGRAY" As he finished, he stood up, grabbed his coat, and said "Whatever you saw in that game, don't tell me anything about it." Then he left.
The next week, he went back to Japan. I couldn't touch another console after that. I destroyed the PS3 and replaced my computer.
A few weeks after he left for Japan, I got a call. He had killed a woman, then committed suicide.
The woman he had killed, Osamu Sato, was the lead designer on LSD.
(If you guys are wondering, this game actually DOES exist, but it isn't NEARLY as violent.)