Yume Nikki: Dream Diary, a full 3D remake of a classic RPG Maker 2003 game from the mysterious developer Kikiyama, comes out February 23. It’s pretty crazy that 15 years later the cult hit is going to see the light of day once more with added content, but it’s great news for longtime fans. Yume Nikki: Dream Diary features a female protagonist we don’t know much about, though she’s the face of the game and the entire franchise. Her name is Madotsuki (meaning “windowed” in Japanese) and she’s part of what makes the game so memorable and weird. That’s why she’s February’s Video Game Heroine of the Month.
Madotsuki is a young girl who appears in Yume Nikki with hair in what appears to be braided pigtails, a long-sleeved top with a checkerboard pattern on the chest, a skirt, and boots. No one’s sure of her actual age or anything about her life in general aside from her name, given at the start of the game. Yume Nikki follows Madotsuki through several of her bizarre, seemingly nonsensical dreams. She lives in a small apartment with a balcony, but from what we can gather about Madotsuki and her interactions with the environment, she’s not keen on leaving the house — potentially a hikikomori, or a reclusive young girl who has sought to isolate herself in her home. She has a TV, a Famicom game console, and a simple diary on a desk in which players can save their data.
Eventually, players get to explore the in-game dream areas with 24 different objects known as “effects” that transform Madotsuki in various ways, giving her a knife, a bike, and various other things. Her mysterious nature is part of what makes her such an endearing character, including the bizarre manner in which she must interact with the outside world. What is Madotsuki’s deal, anyway? Whatever it is, she’s braver than us, considering all the strange imagery she has to endure within the confines of her own dreams.
It'll be interesting to see if her story is expanded at all when Yume Nikki: Dream Diary hits later this month, especially since there's new, never-before-seen content coming on its way as well. What more can be said about Madotsuki herself and of her surreal dreams? One thing's for sure: we want to know.