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4.7/5 (593 votes)

Every Day The Same Dream

A strange and even unsettling little experimental game about every day in the life of a faceless, unnamed man, Every Day the Same Dream somehow manages to be oddly affecting despite its grim and dark presentation. Is there anything at all that can break him out of his cycle? It won't take you long to play, but it may stay with you well after you've shut down the browser.

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Walkthrough Guide


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Every Day the Same Dream Walkthrough:
(Plus my take on this story)

NOTE: I'm just doing one element at a time for story purposes. You may do dreams 3, 4, and 5/6 all in one run!

Dream 1: The normal day. (This is only to set the scene. Not necessary to complete the game.)

BEEP BEEP BEEP

A man stared at his alarm clock... "6 o'clock already? Where did my sleep go?" the man asked himself as he first turned off his alarm, then he went to his wardrobe to change into his clothes.

Going into the kitchen (to the right), the man sees a woman standing there, endlessly flipping something over in the pan by the stove. "Morning dear" is all she said. The man saw a distorted TV on, so he decided to turn it off first, then talk with his wife, who said "C'mon honey you're late". The man rushed out the door to the right.

The man enters the hallway, and sees an elevator button and doors. He presses the button, and when the elevator reaches his floor, he sees an old lady already inside the elevator. The man enters the elevator, and while it was going down, he decided to talk to the old lady. "5 more steps and you will be a new person" she said mysteriously. The man decided to get out once the elevator reached ground level.

The man walked right to get to his car in his parking garage to the right, then drive alongside the busy traffic all heading to the right. When he parked, he saw a lonely leaf parched upon a otherwise dead tree. Rushing right to work, the man meets his boss, who gruffly said "You are late" when he came in, and when he talked to the boss, the boss barked back "Go to your cubicle!" As the man walked right, he saw the stock charts of his company, and they were doing well. He kept walking right, and saw many similar looking coworkers working their life away at their computers, endlessly doing the same thing. He walked to his cubicle, sat down, and started to work.

Dream 2: The day he went to a cemetery.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man just woke up. He could not believe that he just had a dream of his normal, yet very boring day. He was hoping that he could escape his boredom by dreaming, but he was working even in his dreams. Well, maybe he could personally do something else instead...

The man turned off the alarm, dressed up, talked with his wife, then rode the elevator. The same old lady was there, saying the same thing: "5 more steps and you will be a new person." When he got to ground floor though, he decided to go left to the back of the building, instead of to the parking garage.

There, the man saw a homeless person. The man decided to talk to the homeless, and the homeless said "I can take you to a quiet place." The man decided to tag along, wanting to be free from the monotony of the workplace, and the homeless led him to the cemetery.

Dream 3: The day he pets the cow.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up. He felt that he just had the strangest dream, one where he decided to ditch work and talk to a homeless guy behind their apartment. While it may have been a dream, it felt different from his normal day, and he enjoyed that. The man dressed up, talked with his wife, got to the elevator, and talked to the same old lady. This time, she said something different: "4 more steps and you will be a new person".

When the man got to the ground floor, he checked the back alley again, but the homeless person in his dream was not there. He walked to the parking garage, but during his drive, he decided to stop the traffic behind him, get out of the car and walk out of the screen (either way). In a nearby grass patch, the man found a cow who was mulching on some grass. The man decided to pat the cow, then get back to work in his same boring cubicle. While he passed his boss though, the man noticed that their stock value has started to drop drastically in value.

Dream 4: The day he caught a leaf

BEEP BEEP BEEP

"Another dream..." the man muttered to himself as he woke up. He dressed up, and went on to his daily routines. When he talked with the old lady who always rides the elevator with him, she said this time: "3 more steps and you will be a new person."

The man checked behind the alley, but no homeless person. During his drive to work, the man looked out to see the same patch of grass he dreamed of, but he did not see a cow. When he parked his car though, he looked at the dangling leaf. Waiting for a while, the man saw as the leaf finally got dislodged from the tree from all the wind, and the leaf started to fly away. Reacting quickly, the man caught the leaf, which was more interesting than work. Then the man remembered about his job, and rushed to his cubicle. As he ran in and got another late lecture by his boss, he saw the stock charts again: they just kept falling.

Dream 5: The day he went to work nude.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

After waking up to realize that it was another dream, the man thought that this might also be a dream. To test this, the man decided not to wear his professional attire. His wife simply said "Dress up, you're late". The old woman who always rode the elevator with him simply said: "2 more steps and you will be a new person".

While the man was getting to work, he looked for any evidence of what happened in his prior dreams, and he realized that none of them exist. When he got to work, the boss was furious when he saw that the man was not wearing a tie, and instantly said: "What? Where is your tie?" Behind the boss was the company's stock chart, showing that they were dropping even lower. Before the man had any chance to say anything, the boss said: "You are fired!"

Dream 6: The day he decided to die.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up, knowing that what he had was just another dream. He didn't know whether he was still in a dream or not, but he knew that he did not want to go back to work today. Just about anything was better than sitting in his cubicle all day, endlessly clicking a mouse. The man thought about what else he could do, when it dawned on him that his cubicle was right next to the stairs to the roof of the company. He shivered at that thought, afraid of what he was planning on doing, but after thinking about it a lot, he decided that this was the only way to get out of doing the same things over and over again.

So the man dressed up, and did his daily routine. He talked with the old lady on the elevator, who said "One last step and you will be a new person." The man looked for anything from his previous dreams, but again, he found that they all disappeared from his normal life. Once at his office, he met the boss again in front of the company's dwindling stock charts, and instead of sitting at his cubicle, the man kept walking right to the edge of the roof, placed his briefcase down, stood on the railing, then fell to his death.

Dream 7: The day he was a new person.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up. He was hoping that his last dream was a reality - at least it meant that he no longer was chained by the dreadfulness of reality. He has had so many dreams within dreams that he could no longer tell whether this was a dream or not, but even if it was a dream, he could not think of another way to break up the monotony of his everyday life. Giving up, the man decided to dress up, and go to the kitchen to start another dreary day.

Except when he entered the kitchen, his wife was no longer there. The man was surprised - his wife was very loyal to him, and even though she was a part of his monotonous day, he felt incomplete without her there. The man kept going, hoping to talk to the old lady who rode with him in every dream, but even she was not there. The man started to really panic when he noticed that alongside everything that he dreamed about, everyone else that was usually a part of his everyday life simply disappeared. Even his boss and his coworkers disappeared, only leaving behind a stock market chart that showed that the company has gone bankrupt. The man kept walking to the roof, and saw another person that looked just like himself standing on the railing of the roof. Just as the man walked up to him, he saw the other man fall to his death...

172 Comments

Pattypackrat December 21, 2009 5:26 PM

I don't quite get what he was trying to say, but I love the art style. It's pretty cool, and was mildly entertaining. Very... Casual

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I thought this was a hauntingly brilliant er thing. with a review to match.

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the lady in the elevator tells me I have one last step, but I cant figure it out. I've already

talked to the homeless man, visited the cow, gone to work in my underwear, and jumped off the top of my work building.

whats the last one?

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@Gryphon78:

You need to get the leaf on the tree in front of your work. Wait for it to fall and press space when it goes past you.

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Gryphon78,

Whatever your other one is, I seem to have mysteriously got it on a day when I didn't do very much out of the ordinary. I was delaying a lot, so I turned the TV on and off a bunch, and explored out where the homeless man used to be.

But I'm missing one too.

Probably the cow: I haven't found a cow.

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Broekhuizen December 21, 2009 5:40 PM

Good game! I like the message!

At crank, I think you need to try to:

pick up the leave from the tree

You should really finish the game!

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That clears it up, thank you Dora.

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A very cool game. Very cynical compared to most of these art games-- I was expecting a much happier ending where you finally "break out" of the normal routine. It's pretty gutsy to have a game end like that.

Anyone else reminded of Radiohead's "Just" video? I have a feeling the author of the game may have been inspired by it.

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Hm.

I guess the one I mysteriously got credit for was the cow: interacting with the leaf cleared it.

Thanks, Dora!

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I agree with Crank. This was haunting in a similar style to the "Colour my..." series. I would like more of these if there are any.

If you play again after getting all five "steps" you get a little surprise.

a man jumps off the building all the way to the right

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Gryphon78,
Try

catch the leaf

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has anyone got past the Don't walk sign?

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I think I may have completed the game because:

When you jump off the building and go back to the house, everyone is missing. No wife, no boss, no other cars or workers etc etc. Then you go to where you jump off and you're watching yourself jump. Then it ends

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Theres a bit right at the end:

After you jump, it goes back to the house but there is nobody else around. No wife, no boss, no other cars on the street etc etc. Then if you go back to where you jumped you can watch yourself jumping again. Then the game ends.

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Unusual, and dark. I kinda expected something more at the end.

I liked the visuals. The music was OK, but a little too short since there was no other audio in the game. It got a little irritating by the last step.

@Hengehog:
I think the developer is simply using the Don't Walk Sign as a game boundary. It is more interesting than putting an out-of-place wall there.

I'm pretty sure there is no way past it.

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very intense game, the music, the colors. I really like it. simple, yet shows an important message.

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this game is horrible and pretentious

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At the end

I think I may have misread it, I thought that, the person jumping was the last person from the office after everyone else had jumped.

Creepy ending and pretty moving game I liked it!!

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Ahh Tashka, that's a good interpretation. That makes more sense to be honest.
Another thought is that:

You are now a ghost, because the wife is gone, presumably to her husbands funeral. Just a small thought to explain her abscence

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I can't

Get to the cow

What do I do?

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I never figured out that you could

get out your car, so I never found the cow ending. I'll go back and find that.

Yet somehow I still somehow completed the game.

I only had "one more step," and I'd done all four other steps, but when I was trying to find the last branch, I ended up going to work naked again, got fired again, and apparently that counted.

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Shelby:

Get out of your car by pressing space while on the road and then walk to the end of the screen.

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Well for such a creepy little game, I believe it got very high marks. Maybe it's an inspiration to be more? Maybe it reminds us to slow down? (I stood in front of my wife in boxer shorts many times and never got breakfast or a kiss!) Maybe they just want to remind us that there are many folks out there who have to do this everyday just to keep the world as we know it running smoothly?

Maybe in the end you were just a ghost watching life go on?

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fine interactive art with really appropriate mood. In the end i like more

just after the man jump you return to your cubicle with your life destroyed and start again to work, lonely and uselessy.

but it's just my opinion.
This

open ending is a right choice

.
Good work

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Sorry Mazz guess we were thinking along the same lines, but does anyone think of WalMart when they play this?

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I was somehow able to beat it without having to jump, which lead me to the interpretation that:

Everyone else had killed themselves but because I escaped the monotony I survived.

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I believe the ending is

Since the Elevator Lady said blank more steps to become a new person, after you do all the steps you take the place of a man who has no wife and witnessed the death of another man. In this case the other man was the one that you played as the first couple times.

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Michelle S. Author Profile Page December 21, 2009 8:19 PM

Short, but it doesn't need to be longer. And I think the repetition was used really effectively here. I really like this game, cynical as it is.

Ending:

I was also thinking that a possible message was 'it could be worse', but even that feels pessimistic to me.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around, but it's really open to interpretation, so I don't mind that I can't find a definite opinion about it. It's interesting that way.

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Reminds me of my life, I just don't have to wear a tie.

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I noticed its the same people who made the McDonalds Video Game a while ago. Their games make you think about the world around us and the things we are oblivious to. This game in question is great.

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I was able to get to the ending without

talking to the homeless guy.

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Comments on the ending:
I thought that the protagonist felt that he was special and different, because he had broken out of the system by acting differently from everyone around him. When he goes to the end, and sees someone identical to him doing the exact same thing, he realises that everyone has actually being "breaking out of the system" under the illusion that they're special, and he hasn't really broken out of the system at all...

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persiflage Author Profile Page December 21, 2009 9:34 PM

Comments on the ending:
[spoiler] I thought that the protagonist believed that he had broken out of the system by being unique and special. At the end, when he sees another drone jumping off the building and repeating his actions, he realises that everyone else has been doing the same thing as him under the illusion that they're "special" and "different", and he hasn't really broken out of the system at all... [/spoiler]

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persiflage Author Profile Page December 21, 2009 9:35 PM

Comments on the ending:

I thought that the protagonist believed that he had broken out of the system by being unique and special. At the end, when he sees another drone jumping off the building and repeating his actions, he realises that everyone else has been doing the same thing as him under the illusion that they're "special" and "different", and he hasn't really broken out of the system at all...

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I liked it a lot, the music and everything.

At first I was slightly confused why I could go to work after I had been fired, the jumped, and then did all the other stuff.
But then I realized it was a dream.

I thought it could have done much more with that point in the ending.

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Interesting game...I guess. The gameplay is a little bland, but spiced up by the weird, oblique 'message'.

Ramblings on said 'message':
Interpretations I've read so far in the comments have left out one important aspect: The player. Whereas most of the people in the game are exactly the same, a player expects to progress in a game, and for this very reason he or she looks for some indication of progress (the elevator lady), and seeks out ways of achieving it, all of which happen to be breaks from the pattern.

(moving left instead of right, getting out of the car, not stopping at the man's cubicle)

It also becomes blatantly obvious that the man is dreaming, even without the title. For a player, however, resetting after getting killed or reaching an ending is commonplace...

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It looks to me like everybody tried

jumping off the building

last. I actually tried

jumping off

first, and so I saw the ending a bit differently.

I saw it as another dream because it seemed that everything else was. I noticed that once you interacted with something it changed, except for the elevator lady. When you interacted with the leaf it disappeared, when you interacted with the homeless man, he disappeared. So before you interacted with the building it was empty and you were seeing the change for yourself.

I'm not sure if I'm making any sense but that's my opinion.

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Interesting glitch I found.

Don't get dressed. Go to work, and when you enter the building, turn back as fast as you can. If it works, your boss shouldn't fire you. Pick up the leaf. Then go back to your job. Your boss should let you pass. Then when you sit down at your cubicle, you'll be clothed again.

It might also happen with suicide, but I haven't tried yet

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I find it amusing that the boss inquires about your tie before your pants.

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wonderful in the saddest way, haunting, pleasant in a way thats hard to explain... and yes that interaction with the cow was the best part.

i love it... and hate it... because it IS so many peoples lives :(

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Lazlo Toth December 22, 2009 1:12 AM

q335r49:

What a shame that you feel that way. And it's interesting that you would write as if your disappointment were something inherent about the game, and not in your own reaction.

Was this just a gut reaction, or something that you thought through at length? There's no shame in either, but if it was just a gut reaction, you might benefit from pondering why you had it.

Personally, I see the community here discussing life, death, work, and living priorities because of this game. I think that's a good thing and probably what the designer was hoping for. Are these themes why you saw the game as pretentious? If so, I'm afraid I can't see pretentiousness as such a bad thing.

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i interpreted the ending as trying to break free from society leads to isolation, which can lead to death...
this game is depressing, but has interesting music and an even more interesting end

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I like to think that the stock paper thing is going down -because- the man is stepping out of his normal routine. Everything differently he does is affecting everyone around him, possibly causing his wife to leave him (thus the loneliness), and his company to go bankrupt, causing everyone (including the people in traffic whom I like to think of as other people going to the same job as he) to either leave or commit suicide. All because one man dared to step out of his normal routine at the words of a mysterious elevator lady.

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I uh... never put my pants on before watching the ending. That made it extra surreal -

You're about to jump off the building, when all of a sudden some random guy walks out in his boxers with a dazed look on his face. You recoil in surprise, losing your balance and falling off.

I'd hate to be that guy.

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if the music was different this would be an incredibly depressing game, in a good way though

and the ending, not cunfusing enough, i thought it would be like you see it, then 5 hours later in the day your like, OMG IT MAKES SENCE!!!!!!

but alas, tis not

still a very good game

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awesome game!~_~
sorry if this is off-topic...but I lost my username at JIG.D: how can I get it back?I remember my password...but I can't remember my username.that's what I get for not writing it down on a piece of paper.-_-

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Wowzers. The end made me shiver.
Nice game :)

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arceus121121 Author Profile Page December 22, 2009 10:58 AM

very good game! depressing, yet, if you hadnt beaten it yet you try to find more, that adds to its replay value.

what i thought about the ending is, you know how the lady sais _ more steps and you will be a NEW MAN, maybe when you finally do that you are a new man. with no wife, or sotial life in general. you go to work, realising your company has gone bankrupt. you continue on seeing no employees, you see no point in entering your cubicle, so you continue on. you than see your former player jumping off the balcony. probably after every other employee had done the same. i, as many others believe this game represents "it could be worse"

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Re:the ending--

I jumped last, so I think the man tried to escape his life by comitting suicide only to find that the afterlife is the same monotonous routine.

I did like this game, but it's not quite as good as some of the other interactive-art-type ones featured here--maybe it's because I haven't finished my morning coffee yet, but I think there weren't enough clues to help the player advance. I didn't understand the elevator lady's dialogue to be an indicator of progress until I read the comments here, for example. So I initially got bored and clicked out of the window without

jumping and seeing myself jump

.
But clearly there were some people here who were motivated to finish the game by themselves, so perhaps it's just me, but I feel like there's probably a lot of other people out there who missed

seeing the man jump

.

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WARNING: VERY long spoiler.
My own thoughts on the ending were that

You WERE the same man, despite what the lift lady said. I thought that it represented the silent horror of an average life. He puts a brave face on, but on the inside he is in endless torture. He woke up that morning, went into the kitchen expecting to see his wife, but she was gone. Did he stop to wonder where she was? No. He went on, in the same way he had every day. He went into the lift, expecting to see a friendly face, curious to find out about this "you will become a new man" thing, only to find that she was gone. One of his only friends had forgotten him, as had his own wife. Again, did he stop, shout in rage at the unfairness of it all? No. He went on, in the same way he had every day. He looked for signs of life, but the homeless man had gone. He got in his car, expecting the usual mundane busy roads, yet there was nobody. Did he wonder then, at the terrifying possibilities that lay before him? No. He went on, in the same way he had every day. He left the car, seeking signs of life; that cow would have been a welcome sight, but no, it was gone. Sighing, he got back into his car - did he drive away, did he try to find the people in his life he had loved? No. He went on, in the same way he had every day. He got to work, but the boss was gone - even the man he had disliked, he missed. But the boss had forgotten him, as all the others had. Now, surely, was the time to go insane with loneliness? No. He went on, in the same way he had every day. He glanced at the profits board: the business was bankrupt. Why had nobody bothered to tell him? It became apparent, as he walked past the silent, empty cubicles towards his own, that everyone else had been told. Thay had forgotten him. Yet still he went on, in the same way he had every day. Wait - no! He had had enough. He decided he would end it. Heading out to the balcony, he saw a shocking sight: one of his coworkers was jumping. Then, at last, it dawned on this man. It wasn't just this one coworker who had jumped. They all had. His coworkers, his boss, the lift lady - even his own wife. But he hadn't been told. They had grown tired of their own repetitive lives, and ended them. But they hadn't told him. They had forgotten him. He was completely alone in the world. And yet still he went on, in the same way he had every day.

I'm sorry for the long spoiler, but it needed to be long to fit all my ideas inside!

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The tone of this game was beautifully crafted. The monochromatic color scheme, the simple graphics and gameplay, all of it really contributed to my experience. The music was VERY repetative, but I found myself almost in a trance, too focused on the game to notice it. I think that at the end


it was almost like an alternate reality. The world was exactly the same visually, but he was completely alone in his rebellion. I felt like he was glimpsing his past life through whatever veil separated the worlds because it was, after all, him and the two versions of the man were connected.

...That probably didn't make much sense. If you're interested in this kind of thing, though, there is a sci-fi book called Vellum by Hal Duncan that is a lot like this.

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Every Day the Same Dream Walkthrough:
(Plus my take on this story)

NOTE: I'm just doing one element at a time for story purposes. You may do dreams 3, 4, and 5/6 all in one run!

Dream 1: The normal day. (This is only to set the scene. Not necessary to complete the game.)

BEEP BEEP BEEP

A man stared at his alarm clock... "6 o'clock already? Where did my sleep go?" the man asked himself as he first turned off his alarm, then he went to his wardrobe to change into his clothes.

Going into the kitchen (to the right), the man sees a woman standing there, endlessly flipping something over in the pan by the stove. "Morning dear" is all she said. The man saw a distorted TV on, so he decided to turn it off first, then talk with his wife, who said "C'mon honey you're late". The man rushed out the door to the right.

The man enters the hallway, and sees an elevator button and doors. He presses the button, and when the elevator reaches his floor, he sees an old lady already inside the elevator. The man enters the elevator, and while it was going down, he decided to talk to the old lady. "5 more steps and you will be a new person" she said mysteriously. The man decided to get out once the elevator reached ground level.

The man walked right to get to his car in his parking garage to the right, then drive alongside the busy traffic all heading to the right. When he parked, he saw a lonely leaf parched upon a otherwise dead tree. Rushing right to work, the man meets his boss, who gruffly said "You are late" when he came in, and when he talked to the boss, the boss barked back "Go to your cubicle!" As the man walked right, he saw the stock charts of his company, and they were doing well. He kept walking right, and saw many similar looking coworkers working their life away at their computers, endlessly doing the same thing. He walked to his cubicle, sat down, and started to work.

Dream 2: The day he went to a cemetery.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man just woke up. He could not believe that he just had a dream of his normal, yet very boring day. He was hoping that he could escape his boredom by dreaming, but he was working even in his dreams. Well, maybe he could personally do something else instead...

The man turned off the alarm, dressed up, talked with his wife, then rode the elevator. The same old lady was there, saying the same thing: "5 more steps and you will be a new person." When he got to ground floor though, he decided to go left to the back of the building, instead of to the parking garage.

There, the man saw a homeless person. The man decided to talk to the homeless, and the homeless said "I can take you to a quiet place." The man decided to tag along, wanting to be free from the monotony of the workplace, and the homeless led him to the cemetery.

Dream 3: The day he pets the cow.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up. He felt that he just had the strangest dream, one where he decided to ditch work and talk to a homeless guy behind their apartment. While it may have been a dream, it felt different from his normal day, and he enjoyed that. The man dressed up, talked with his wife, got to the elevator, and talked to the same old lady. This time, she said something different: "4 more steps and you will be a new person".

When the man got to the ground floor, he checked the back alley again, but the homeless person in his dream was not there. He walked to the parking garage, but during his drive, he decided to stop the traffic behind him, get out of the car and walk out of the screen (either way). In a nearby grass patch, the man found a cow who was mulching on some grass. The man decided to pat the cow, then get back to work in his same boring cubicle. While he passed his boss though, the man noticed that their stock value has started to drop drastically in value.

Dream 4: The day he caught a leaf

BEEP BEEP BEEP

"Another dream..." the man muttered to himself as he woke up. He dressed up, and went on to his daily routines. When he talked with the old lady who always rides the elevator with him, she said this time: "3 more steps and you will be a new person."

The man checked behind the alley, but no homeless person. During his drive to work, the man looked out to see the same patch of grass he dreamed of, but he did not see a cow. When he parked his car though, he looked at the dangling leaf. Waiting for a while, the man saw as the leaf finally got dislodged from the tree from all the wind, and the leaf started to fly away. Reacting quickly, the man caught the leaf, which was more interesting than work. Then the man remembered about his job, and rushed to his cubicle. As he ran in and got another late lecture by his boss, he saw the stock charts again: they just kept falling.

Dream 5: The day he went to work nude.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

After waking up to realize that it was another dream, the man thought that this might also be a dream. To test this, the man decided not to wear his professional attire. His wife simply said "Dress up, you're late". The old woman who always rode the elevator with him simply said: "2 more steps and you will be a new person".

While the man was getting to work, he looked for any evidence of what happened in his prior dreams, and he realized that none of them exist. When he got to work, the boss was furious when he saw that the man was not wearing a tie, and instantly said: "What? Where is your tie?" Behind the boss was the company's stock chart, showing that they were dropping even lower. Before the man had any chance to say anything, the boss said: "You are fired!"

Dream 6: The day he decided to die.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up, knowing that what he had was just another dream. He didn't know whether he was still in a dream or not, but he knew that he did not want to go back to work today. Just about anything was better than sitting in his cubicle all day, endlessly clicking a mouse. The man thought about what else he could do, when it dawned on him that his cubicle was right next to the stairs to the roof of the company. He shivered at that thought, afraid of what he was planning on doing, but after thinking about it a lot, he decided that this was the only way to get out of doing the same things over and over again.

So the man dressed up, and did his daily routine. He talked with the old lady on the elevator, who said "One last step and you will be a new person." The man looked for anything from his previous dreams, but again, he found that they all disappeared from his normal life. Once at his office, he met the boss again in front of the company's dwindling stock charts, and instead of sitting at his cubicle, the man kept walking right to the edge of the roof, placed his briefcase down, stood on the railing, then fell to his death.

Dream 7: The day he was a new person.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

The man woke up. He was hoping that his last dream was a reality - at least it meant that he no longer was chained by the dreadfulness of reality. He has had so many dreams within dreams that he could no longer tell whether this was a dream or not, but even if it was a dream, he could not think of another way to break up the monotony of his everyday life. Giving up, the man decided to dress up, and go to the kitchen to start another dreary day.

Except when he entered the kitchen, his wife was no longer there. The man was surprised - his wife was very loyal to him, and even though she was a part of his monotonous day, he felt incomplete without her there. The man kept going, hoping to talk to the old lady who rode with him in every dream, but even she was not there. The man started to really panic when he noticed that alongside everything that he dreamed about, everyone else that was usually a part of his everyday life simply disappeared. Even his boss and his coworkers disappeared, only leaving behind a stock market chart that showed that the company has gone bankrupt. The man kept walking to the roof, and saw another person that looked just like himself standing on the railing of the roof. Just as the man walked up to him, he saw the other man fall to his death...

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Wow.
The ending reminds me of a short story I read once:

It was about a schoolgirl who noticed that everyone in her school was always in lines and had to line up for everything. So one day, she steps out of the line, and then starts to fade away. She gets frightened and steps back into the line, only to find that everyone has forgotten that she existed and doesn't know who she is.
Maybe this was sort of similar in concept? The man rebels and then finds that everyone has forgotten him and left him or committed suicide, kind of like what Zurrikan said.

Just my theory!

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Oops, sorry, I meant what Holly said.

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Anon's spoilered schoolgirl story is right on the money, I think.

You might think the world around you is bleak, bland and loveless, but going off and doing what you think is so much better might lead to the old world moving on without you.

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You can play the whole game without getting dressed once (except the one time it dresses you when you commit suicide)

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personally, i think that this is a very good game that makes you think after you play it.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page December 23, 2009 2:28 AM

That was great :)
i experienced a feeling of being unsettled when

the wife was suddenly not there

and relief when

there was no other traffic

I think it was a beautifully crafted piece of interactive art and able to elicit a variety of responses from people (as evident in other comments)...

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hehe Tacroy, that MUST be the answer! It makes perfect sense!

You're about to jump off the building, when all of a sudden some random guy walks out in his boxers with a dazed look on his face. You recoil in surprise, losing your balance and falling off.

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None of the explanations above satisfy me, but dont ask me to give a better.

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my thoughts on the ending:

Wife: She left because I lost my job.
Elevator lady: Fine. Leave me alone.
Hobo: He's been gone for a while.
Traffic: Haha! No one's here!
Cow: Must've gotten eaten.
Boss: What?! I can't even go into your office?
Workers: Hm...I guess you all got fired since the compamy went bankrupt
Suicidal man: I just caught the last one killing themselves.
Me: Sucks, everyone left me.

I learned nothing! >:)

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teenageroadkill Author Profile Page December 23, 2009 5:59 PM

Very interesting game. I've read most of the player's interpretations of the ending, and I agree with all of them. My initial thought of the ending was that

he was in hell for commiting suidide, and the entire game was like his hell- having to life through the last few days of his life again and again. I thought it was ironic because he commited suicide to get away from that life, hoping for something better, and in the end, he ended up dooming himself to a repetious cycle that would never end, never even a chance of something better happening.

I like the idea that everyone else commited suicide and he was the last one observing it all. Very eerie.

There really is no right or wrong was to interpret a game like this. It's obvious a lot of thought when into this game, despite how simple it looks. Very excellent game. I think it would make an interesting short film ,btw. Not a full length movie- god, that would DRAG- but a short 10 minute film, which is about how long it took me to play this game.

Anyone have recommendations for games similar to this one?

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I'm almost embarrassed to admit:

I didn't even notice my wife was gone! But I was completely relieved not to have to deal with the traffic (too much like my real life!)

This is amazing for a game developed in such a short period of time. Experimental games are often the best! Thanks for bringing us this one, JIG!

Also, I'd love to know the name of that short story with the schoolgirl.

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The ending wasn't worth the time spent holding down the "right" key.

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I thought

that because of all the little things the man took time to do and appreciate and try, he was less... I dunno... invested? in the business, so when it went bankrupt, everyone killed themselves except for you.

Though I also think it could be that, like you, all the other people where trying to "become a new man" and you are not special. You thought you where surrounded by coworkers, but they where really doing/thinking the same. Maybe on the last day you "wake up" and see through the illusion to the other people on the same quest as you. That's why no one is at work, and the place is bankrupt. Everyones been off "dreaming"

Anywho, I'm only guessing, so....

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Everyone is saying things like "I finished it without finding the cow" and stuff but you just have to do 5 things and then jump off at the end.

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This is the best video game adaption of the movie/novel Revolutionary Road. By best, I mean only.

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I really liked this game! One of the few I've seen that actually contains some sort of message about modern existence (though the message isn't crystal clear). Here are some thoughts I had:

The elevator lady was my favorite character because she clued me in on how many things I'd need to do differently. It took me a while to realize I could go left out of my building, and for the last item, I had to read the walkthrough to learn that I could actually get out of the car.

Re: the ending, I liked that everything was different and I felt liberated (though I was sad that the elevator lady was gone). I was glad the wife was gone and there was no traffic.

I thought that I could save the other man but didn't know how. I want to go back and see if there is some way to keep him from jumping ...

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This game is beautiful.

Anyone else get a Waiting for Godot vibe from that one solitary leaf?

On the ending: (long ramblings ahead!)

I'm the disturbed soul who found the ending to be a positive one, in some weird cynical way.
You're a new man. You've freed yourself from the empty monotony of modern life. Good job. You've also, somehow, freed everyone else. They all realized it and they've all jumped too. Everyone is free. You're also alone, now. Good job.

I thought it would have been beautiful irony if the last thing you were supposed to do was sit down and get to work all by yourself. And then when I saw the other man about to jump I thought your final task was to commit one act of true human compassion and dissuade him. (And as lovely and powerful and image as that is--everyone else has jumped except for two men, when one steps in and stops the other, and then they go on living as the only two people who actually feel anything--there really isn't left for them. Even the cow and the leaf are gone.)

Despite the name, it actually never occurred to me to literally take it as each previous day just being a dream. I guess I took it more metaphorically--that his life was a dream because it never actually held any meaning, just unconsciously going through the motions--and so I found it very haunting that no matter what happened, whether you killed yourself or got fired, the next morning you still had to come in to work. No matter what you did, it never actually made a difference, not until the very end, when finally everything added up together had enough force to cause a universal catharsis.

As for the comment that it would make a good short film--while that would indeed be very nice, I think a game really is the best medium. By controlling the man, the player is forced to identify with him, and by having to actually go and find these tasks to carry out, the player is actively thinking about all the possibilities of how they can break out of the routine.

This is, by the way, the most amazing discussion I've seen on this website in a long time. Nicely done, Molle Industria, and nice choice, JIG.

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The ending was a bit...pessimistic. It made me sorta sad. I didn't really get the message of this game. Can anyone explain?

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KING OF THE DUDES December 28, 2009 1:13 AM

I think this game has a particular meaning for everybody, depending on their way of seeing things. I personally found this game pretty interesting and i like the ending, that lets you think of the end by yourself. But I like pretty much the theory of the ghost that Mazz made up, it's very likely!

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The last one is where everyone is gone, go to the end of that line of cubicles, and see another man like u do suicide.

[Edit: Spoiler added ~ Kayleigh]

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Very clever little game.
Here's how i interpreted the ending.

The old woman in the elevator said that you will be a new person. So when you've done all the steps you wake up as a new person, without a wife, an old lady to talk to and a job at some office that has just gone bankrupt. Then you walk to the roof and you see your previous self jump off the building. That's where the game ends. So now you're not dreaming anymore, but everything you had was taken from you. But it could've been worse. It could've been you who jumped off that building.

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I found out that you don't have to do 6 days, how? Here you go:

Day 1

Go naked or with clothes to the homeless guy

left after you exit the elevator

Day 2

Leave your home naked, exit the car while driving to work, go either left or right off the screen, pet the cow, get back to your car, drive to work, wait for the leaf to drop and catch it and finally enter the building to get fired for not wearing a tie

Day 3

This time we finally put on some clothes before leaving the house, head to work and walk past your cubicle to the emergency exit, jump off the roof

Day 4

Go naked or with clothes, doesn't matter at all, no wife to greet you, no elevator lady, no traffic

no homeless or cow either btw

getting to work, there's no annoying boss and you can just walk through the building to see yourself (?) jump down

so yeah... not necessarily 6 or 7 times needed to complete the whole game

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So yea you can complete the whole game in 3 runs through it but I like it anyway. You can get the leaf and cow at one time with one other part either jumping off the roof or going to work naked. Then one day for jumping off the roof or going naked and another for the homeless guy.

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thisgameisart January 6, 2010 4:48 PM

I believe this game was meant to show how boring our routine has become. As ''drones'' of the system we tend to follow the same boring routine and forget to enjoy the little things in life. It reminds us that theres life and creativity outside ''the system'' and that u must not be afraid to break out of it. In the end it shows that when everything collapses and everyone is gone (like our economy and capitalism)... you are still alive since you were able to break free from this infernal cycle.

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Pixelated Author Profile Page January 8, 2010 9:52 PM

Wow. Just a truly thought-provoking, affecting game here. I'd take this over 'Gray' any day, huh.
Thoughts on the ending:

From the advice of the elevator lady, he wakes up ready for his 'new' life, however it is. Anything would be better than the life he had, right? A new life would be much better.
But apparently not. The small things of every day are gone, leaving nothing but an empty feeling. Now more than ever, he is well and truly alone. And now he's stuck there.
Now he'd do anything to go back. If he could go back and kiss his wife, go back and work hard enough to get a promotion.
About the final suicide part though, I'm not sure what to think. It is possible that the man he saw was the last of all the people of his life to leave him behind, alone. It was chilling, though, that scene: for the only time in the whole game, the music cuts off to give way to an eerie emptyness as we watch the final, inevitable happening. Everything is gone now; the business, his wife, his friends, his work. His life.
I guess this game is just trying to convey, very powerfully, that life is very precious. Don't take anything for granted; before it all disappears, take hold of it and do the best you can. Even the most monotonous of lives are precious and should be valued, before it's all gone and you don't have the chance anymore.

All in all, a stunning game. Is definitely getting my vote in the 2009 competition for this category. Just stunning in every way. A common message, but delivered very powerfully and attacks you right where it hurts.

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I liked it. It's fun to read all the interpretations, but in the end I simply liked the bleak atmosphere of it all and trying to figure what to do differently. Also, as Dora noted, the music is indeed slick! I need that song!

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It's very similar to films made by a certain famous filmmaker

David Lynch. Specifically, it reminds me of Mulhulland Drive. The man has already committed suicide because he lost his job because his company ent under. The last day you see is actually the day he killed himself. The other days he is given the chance to see the opportunities he missed on the last day of his life; but in the end he dies anyway.

The entire "dream" might actually be the last moment of his life... what happens just before he falls over the edge.

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I liked the music and I liked the art, but the rest of the game I really didn't care for. I was ok for a day or two, but by the time the 3rd day rolled around, I was ready for a conclusion and felt a bit robbed when it finally ended. It probably didn't help that I

missed the cow (as I stopped in traffic, but didn't press space) and

made it through a full week on what I thought was the last day before looking up the walk through.

The game definitely sets a tone, but there's not really much of a message.

The final scene might of had a bit more impact if I didn't have to jump through all the hoops first (ie, picking what I wanted to see during a set number of days and having some sort of impact) and if I hadn't killed myself so many times only to be reincarnated.

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Number XV Author Profile Page January 16, 2010 3:35 PM

I feel bad saying this but it was very... dull

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Haha, I knew that at the end. Good story and I never thought "I" will see "myself" jumping way down, perharps it's just "my" colleague?

For those who needs tips:

put off the alarm; get dressed; turned off the tv; talked to wife; pressed button for elevator; talked to the old lady in elevator (to see how's your progress); talked to homeless man; drove the car, talked to boss; sat at your cubicle; jumped from the building; got off from your car; patted the cow; caught the leave; wore without a working attire"....and the story will be ended soon.

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I was relieved at the end...

At first, I was disappointed when everything was empty and there was nothing to interact with. Even the mundane small effects like the leaf and the cow kept me engaged before everything disappeared. I was upset when I walked into the office and nothing was there to interact with (or yell at me for not being dressed again). The final frame seemed like my only hope to free myself from the empty gameworld and when I arrived I was thrilled to see anything different, even if it was a clone committing suicide, I was grateful that the developer ended the game there and did not leave me stuck in a souless, empty world in which I would've wandered around for hours trying to solve a puzzle with no solution (I originally thought that is the kind of statement they were going to make). I guess I am thankful for the end whatever it might be.

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TheMusicGirl Author Profile Page January 21, 2010 12:48 AM

This is a really creepy game, but I liked that the person tried to go for something different. I was waiting for a good ending, like, everything turned colorful (I saw the black and white thing to tie in) but apparently not.

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BlockJuice January 22, 2010 10:06 PM

I'm not sure about the interpretation of the ending, but here's how I think it went.

It's probably trying to show that if you followed that same routine over and over, you...might have killed yourself like everyone else did? The moral is nice, but the way it conveys it is a little extreme.

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Personally, I see nothing negative with

the cow, the leaf, etc. disappearing.

On the contrary, the one thing that one could learn at the end of the game is

that being limited to interacting with four people, a leaf, a cow, and little more, is a plot device. Didn't you all look eagerly for more things to interact with? My take is: that's the new man. He saw it all in the micro-world he live in, and luckily for him, it did contain some beautiful things to look for. The game ends because there is no more to do in this world; outside it, the possibilities are endless.

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 4:15 AM

what i think the ending was about was

that he had dreamed himself a better life but he eventually woke up to himself to find that his old life was back his wife left him 2 days ago the elevator lady wasn't real his friends and co-workers had been fired because they had gone bankrupt so they killed themselves and he got there just in time to see the last of his co-workers kill themselves.

i know its long but i had tons of thoughts.

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Sebastian January 28, 2010 4:55 PM

Well if i look at my life its similar
Same routine over and over and over and over and over and over.
wake up.get dressed.go to school.come back.play on the PC.go to sleep And repeat.
everyones lives are like that however much you deny it when you look closely its true

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Wow. I think the art style enhanced it a lot & suited it way better than out-&-out ART imaging. However, the real thing is the insane message. I think it means (not long, plain & simple):

If you try to "break the laws of the universe", like if you try to make a better life by being different, 2 things happen:
1-Everything gets messed up because of the choice to be rebellious & try to be different.
2-You realize everyone is trying to do the same thing, & that actually, it's more different NOT to be rebellious, rather than to try to break the mold.
Moral: Things are meant to be. Trying to make it better WILL make it worse. It can ALWAYS get worse.

I actually kind of like these "depressing" games, because they kind of put me at rest...
8 1/2 out of 10 :)

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Loved this game entirely for the ending. I didn't think the end was really depressing...

The beginning and middle parts of the game WERE sort of depressing. The stereotypical monotonous/soulless life of a businessman. When the "jump" option appeared, it felt appropriate to question whether this grey life was one worth living.

However, when I woke up after killing myself and there was nobody around anymore, I felt lonely. I missed my wife even though she barely spoke to me, I missed the creepy elevator lady, the leaf, and most of all the cow! When I got up to the roof and saw (what I interpret as) myself, I wanted to tell myself to stop. Because the life I had, miserable as it seemed, was not nearly as bad as the loneliness/nothingness of death.

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Very well done. Nice art style. And any possible interpretation I could have of the game has been covered above (frankly, I'm not sure what interpretation I'd feel most strongly about). But it's a good game, and it makes you think.

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TheMusicGirl Author Profile Page February 21, 2010 1:05 PM

That's some freaky stuff.

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sunnylauren4 February 21, 2010 6:59 PM

The game is superbly done, and the message it conveys is one of my passions: the evils of being trapped in a routine. Kudos to the author for creating such a powerful work of art. I plan to play any other games the author has created or will create in the future.

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Pretty ironic game, sad ending though.

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Here is what I think about the end:

Remember when you heard the elevator
lady say you will be a new person? Well,
think about it - everyone was gone, your wife,
the traffic, and your workers. And so, you have
literally become a new person, and you are standing looking at yourself - your old life,
jumping off the building, killing itself, so you
may begin your new life as a new person, all from the beginning.
There you go.

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Keep.One.Step.Ahead Author Profile Page March 1, 2010 10:59 PM

I find it funny that a lot of people were expecting

a happy ending. I think that in itself says something; we've all been conditioned to expect a happy ending from games. After all, why do we play them? I think even more than other media, we want our games to deliver a rush of joy. When they don't, we feel a little empty. The cold ending here is employed in much the same way it was in Goodbye Solo, if you've seen that film. Like that film, this game can be seen as both an affirmation that the human condition is cruel and that it is awe-inspiring.

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downpour_guy Author Profile Page March 10, 2010 8:26 AM

This game really touched me.

I played it and every interaction made me feel something.

Some made me feel really good about myself.

The meeting with the cow, made me feel warm inside. The only other living thing in the whole game he has a real connection with isn't a human! I thought it was ingenious. Showed how lonely the guy felt.

And then the visit to the graveyard with the homeless man, I don't know if was supposed to make me feel good about myself, but it managed to do it. Gave me a "Hey, it could be worse than this." kind of feel. Although this and all the other interactions had another meaning to me, I will mention this later.

There were others with the opposite feeling.

When he jumps off the building. Didn't see it coming. I had to hold my jaw up, it dealt with it in such a casual way.

And the catching of the leaf. The "inevitable death" scene, as I like to see it.

But all of these have an eerie overtone, that even the happy moments have a dark side.

The suicide moment is an obvious one. I feel this is his inevitable demise, or it has already occured.

The catching of the leaf tells me "No matter how hard you try to stay on the brach, you will eventually wither and drift off on a breeze."

The visit to th graveyard I feel was aimed at giving him (or ourselves) a little bit of peace with the thought of death. The mans line of "Would you like to see a quiet place?", or something along those lines, really said to me "This place isn't so bad, at least it's quiet and there are no distractions". (Would people disagree if this scene was the moment he passed to the after life?)

The cow moment was a final farewell to even the most inane things. He saw a cow and thought "I'm never going to see a cow again once I die/pass on". Also, I think that in a certain religion the cow symbolises the after life? Anyone able to verify this?

And finally, the naked day. This is the day he breaks free of the routine of life. No longer does he have to take part in waking/dressing/eating/drinking/working/sleeping.

And the final day, he witnesses the birth of not just a new person, but a new world for him to shape to how he wanted it to be. The man jumping at the end I feel does not literally happen, but there aren't many was to say "There is nobody else here." without looking too ambiguous.

Thankyou for reading.

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Timohept March 11, 2010 2:09 AM

I played this game, and paused for a while to think about its meaning. After I beat it I wasn't really sure if that was all there was to beat. So I stumbled upon this site and started reading. I read every single comment/reply and I'd like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and quenched my thirst for interpretation. I would give my own, but I spent so much time reading them all that I now find myself too tired to think too deeply. So I guess I get to sleep on it...or continue my dream.

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discordance March 18, 2010 10:58 AM

I think you can actually find a positive in the ending, everyones gone because they too were bored with their monotonous lives, you showed them how to be free, whether they jumped or simply left they followed your example and freed themselves and have awoken from the dream. Or you could have just been playing different workers each time.

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I finished the whole game.

I must say, that was deeply unsettling.

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The man jumped off the roof in his dream, but the other man jumped for real.

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The ending was creepy and unsatisfying. Everything else is good.

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supadude April 10, 2010 9:47 PM

i found a bit scary.

I viewed all the content like the cow and the hobo and the leaf. i also got fired. but the creepy thing is that every one is gone at the end

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I did the suicide before the leaf, so it was pretty clear to me that he was dreaming and didn't go to hell...At least, I don't think that hell would have the leaf to catch. But I kind of wish I'd done the suicide last because I like that idea :)

Personally, my favorite part about the color scheme was the fact that whenever there was a light in the background he blended into it and the two were indistinguishable. Very appropriate :)

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Noumenon April 19, 2010 8:02 PM

Subtle nailed it:

The other days he is given the chance to see the opportunities he missed on the last day of his life; but in the end he dies anyway.

I don't know how that makes him a "new person," though. Any ideas?

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Anyone else see the

new video?

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SlightlyEvilAnon June 5, 2010 8:24 AM

I'm thoroughly surprised that so many people report jumping last. From a game design perspective, jumping is probably the most likely outcome other than the normal routine. You just have to keep going right until you run out of space, then interact.

The other two obvious ones are the homeless man (it shouldn't take the average player too long to realize "hey, I can go LEFT here and break out of the normal routine!") and getting fired, which is the only outcome that competes with jumping in its obviousness.

So the outcomes players will likely encounter first will be jumping and getting fired, with the odds slightly favoring it being in that order, but not significantly so. The next thing discovered will almost certainly be the homeless man. The last two will probably be the leaf and the cow. The cow will almost certainly come last because there's no indication you can get out of your car while driving, while the leaf (being the only colored object in the game) draws enough attention that a bored player might stop and stare at it for the few seconds necessary for it to break free.

So the most likely order of outcomes for any given player from a game design viewpoint is:

Jumping-->Fired-->Graveyard-->Leaf-->Cow

You may notice that these basically go in order from most depressing to least depressing. At the start, you're driven insane by the monotony of routine and choose to end it all. Then you try to break the routine and lose everything for it. After that you leave entirely to go to a quiet place where you contemplate death, but do not embrace it. Then you stop to examine a leaf on the way to work, finding fascination in such a small thing. Finally, in an act of spontaneity that breaks up the routine of many other commuters (who probably appreciate it less than you), you reach out and connect with another living thing.

Every step of the way, you have an old woman in the elevator, there to tell you just how close you are to "being a new man." Because of the way video game reward systems work, you're set up to expect that after completing the five steps, you'll be rewarded with a difference in the world. There will be more color, more hope, SOMETHING.

But when you wake up as a "new man," you find the world entirely empty. You can explore, but there's nothing left to see. And at the very end, you see yourself, as you were on the first day you tried to break the routine. Jumping.

There's no way to know for sure what a player will think when they get to that last screen until the game is already finished, they've already played it, and you can ask them. There's no design decision that pushes players in one direction or another. But my first thought was "Oh, I bet I can walk over and stop him from jumping." And I'll bet most players had a similar thought (though perhaps there's was the more ambiguous "I wonder if I can stop him from jumping?" or the pessimistic "I bet I can't stop him from jumping," but probably not something along the lines of "I wonder what'll happen when he jumps"). So, really, you are a new man on that last day. You've gone from a man who sought to break the monotonous cycle of life by acting self-destructively or irresponsibly to one who can be both patient and spontaneous in their pursuit of some new thing, something worth living for.

Of course, in real life, you can't jump off the building and then wake up the next day and look for some other way to break the routine.

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I agree most with SlightlyEvilAnon, I read all the others and they made me think, but it was his which really connected, possibly because I did do it all in roughly that order. This is a wonderful game, I love the music and the looks and I love the way the ending really makes you think and think deeply.

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I think that the ending is brilliant, there's no-one home. the woman in the elevator is gone and your usually busy commute to work is calm. when you reach work your boss is no longer there to fire you for not wearing clothes and no-one sits at the cubicles. And as you get to the edge where you jump off, you see a man jump. it's like everyone else already had and i felt at the end of the game there would be a choice for you to jump aswell. it was quite an emotional game and great artwork aswell. I loved the message aswell although i havent quite decided what exactly it is yet.. anyway 10/10 loved it

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Silence July 3, 2010 5:30 PM

No comments on the non-necessary interactions? I'm curious as to what the alarm and TV might do for the endings? I know the first couple of times I always turned the TV off (It was an eyesore) and I turned the alarm off as well once I realized I could. I'm curious as to whether or not they affect the gameplay at all.

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definately enjoyed the game and reading through all of the comments, i definately think it's a good way to show a contrast... The protagonist lived his routine over and over but along the days decided to not follow suit for a while, enjoy life a bit here and there, enjoy the beauty of stuff. After he interacted with things they began to go away, kind of like take time in the moments you have now because they are fleeting.

But also I don't think he kills himself in the end. He watches the last of his co-workers jump to their deaths

but since he was able to do something different and be a normal human he didn't have to go that way. So I guess don't be so busy with your routine that you can't do something with your life along the way. Give yourself an identity and define yourself.
Another good game that's like this is "The Company of Myself" has a very good story... although it strongly reminds me of shutter island...

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Anonymous July 3, 2010 11:12 PM

Comment on the ending:

I think the message is that everyone he knows is having the same problem, so in the end, he sees someone jumping off a building...

The music is strangely depressing though.

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mariosblade July 5, 2010 9:45 AM

Well, the way i think the ending goes is

Your watching yourself jump off the building.

Just my opinion

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Anonymous July 6, 2010 3:23 AM

Ken, what new video? Does it involve this?

[Look here: http://jayisgames.com/archives/2010/05/link_dump_friday_166.php -Jay]

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The Philosopher. July 6, 2010 12:59 PM

This is the kind of game that makes you think. Even if you're not a very thoughtful sort of guy. This man, this one man, "living" his life day after day, looking for something to do to CHANGE, really makes us think of our own lives: We, maybe without knowing it, see ourselves in this unnamed clone. We live through our life, in a pattern, but in the end, hope to change. And, if we do change, maybe the whole world will disappear, as though we were the glue that held the world together, even through our dull, repetitive life. And, if we try not to change, but instead go about our normal lives, we might just destroy ourselves to save the world.
I see the whole story as a mirror of this world. How many of us can truly say that we have not, at one time, wanted to CHANGE? And, as well, how many of us can say that we, at least at one time, felt that our life could never change, and we were doomed to live our lives as always, and yet, in one small action, could change the world forever.

Thank you for your time.
The Philosopher.

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I realized what the ending was about. The person that jumped off the building at the end was one of his co-workers. They all got tired of their lives and killed themselves. That's why everyone is gone. Meanwhile, you are the one who stopped to enjoy life and decided to follow a different path each day, therefore you weren't as inclined to jump off the building because u weren't depressed from a repetative life.

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i think that,in the last one, the man who falls is a coworker who is admiring the view, when some dozy nut in boxers walks out.
He jumps back in horror and falls.
And noone else is there because the company has gone bankrupt and every one else has left, but nobody was bothered to tell him,as the announcement was made at work and he was late. Simple.

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A person ;D July 10, 2010 5:48 AM

I dont get it at all if it is good to do all those things like

pat cows and go to work hardly dressed

then why are you all alone at the end? And the wife isn't very loving either :( I like the game but it is very confusing and depressing

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jessica July 13, 2010 2:18 PM

I find a lot of meaning in this game... Especially when the homeless man lead him to a graveyard. But the best meaning is probably when he touches the cow. He has no face or expressions, but somehow you can tell the look on his face and what he's feeling. I love it.

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I think... one of the more interesting factors of the game is that

you can go back and do each of the "bad" endings (suicide, getting fired) more than once but you can only have the "good" experiences (graveyard, leaf, cow) once per game.

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Hmm.. I think my interpretation of the ending was a bit different to the others I've seen here..

[spoiler]
Throughout the game, everyone and everything you meet is static or somehow collapsing. Your wife, your boss, the elevator lady, and all the other workers basically do the same thing every day. The cow and the homeless man are static.

So, the message is that breaking out is all very well - provided you're the only one doing it. The moment everyone breaks out, everyone ends up losing. So even if life is bad, just escaping is selfish, because everyone else needs you to soldier on.
[/spoiler]

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Anonymous July 28, 2010 2:21 AM

Warning: long.

I must agree, having read all your commentaries that the game's essence is "horrible and pretentious" - though its form is neither ugly nor ill-designed...

Do you really believe that (as I take it) nothing you can do will make your life better? Though you will find minor beauty/comedy in that which is conspicuously different (going to work in underwear, or taking advice from a homeless man, or petting a cow), or liberating (suicide, recklessly stopping a car in traffic), is it ultimately the case that everything is pointless, so pointless in fact that, as far as the game's allegory is concerned, it can disappear?

I do not. Everything matters. In life, everything worth doing is hard (no sense of this in the game, breaking the routine is mindlessly easy, and if not for UI design glitches, like not telling the player that he/she can exit the car, every path is both easy and obvious), and conversely, everything hard is worth doing. Breaking the routine just 'cause, is not going to change things, but neither is accepting it because "it could be worse".

So, it doesn't matter if the last guy jumping is the original player character or not. The world, after several attempts to break out of the routine, is still not good, better, or at least ok (- an empty world might have been ok for some players, so the suicide at the end dispels any doubt). Over 10,000 years ago, the human race was supposed to go extinct - there was a drought, they had no water. But we are problem-solvers par excellence; if we do anything well, whether as individuals or as a species, it is the constant resolution of problematic factors in our world to render it closer, though never perfectly equal nor constantly closer, to what we believe to be Good. Homo sapiens survived due to this solution-seeking approach, and would have been wiped out if the alternative and converse attitude as suggested by this game ("it could be worse than not having water, we should be content with life as it is") were adopted.

And so, the game *is* horrible AND pretentious.

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Anonymous August 1, 2010 3:25 AM

I didn't think of the days as a literal dream, like many people here did. I just thought that it didn't matter what you did-you could get fired, stop traffic for miles, or even commit suicide- nothing would change.

I read all the interpretations here, and they're all lovely. But now I'm not really sure what exactly to think of this game.

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I think the end is great, shows that everything can be even worse. There's nobody there, you have no wife, no boss, no job (you cannot sit and work), you are alone, well... you have no reason (!) to live. If you finally decide to suicide... there already is someone else. S..t!

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My jaw dropped at the end. That game really spoke.

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Once I saw that everyone was gone, I expected to find the last of them (Wife, since she's most recognizable and furthest from the office) jumping off the building, not just an out of body experience.

Great game, fantastic music, and a good article.

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Lexie32397 August 23, 2010 7:52 PM

this is how I see the ending

I found the ending to mean how much we take for granted. We get up and hear our wife to tell us to hurry up because we are late. The traffic always moves at a certain speed at a certain time. Our boss tells us what we do wrong and what to do now. Our friends at work sit at their desks all day. But when you get up and no one is there you realize what you had after it is already gone. Then you see the man jump. you stand there and just watch it all unfold beneath your eyes. You have to decide the rest for yourself. Do you jump? Do you go home and sit there with no one else to talk to for the rest of your life? Or do you go out and find your wife, find the elevator lady, and find your true happy ending?

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Did anyone notice the chart showing how the company's stocks were dropping throughout the game? Considering that, here's how I interpret the ending.

The man was having dreams concerning the company and his mundane life, and as such was trying to figure out how to change his life. Comitting suicide distanced himself from the company in that death was preferrable to the monotony. Getting fired for doing something fun broke the monotony, and broke his fear of losing his job. Contemplating death with the homeless man in a quiet place rather than going to work showed him that there was more to life, and he shouldn't take it for granted. Touching the cow was, again, a break from the normal world as a whole in that he's enjoying something no one else thinks to stop and enjoy. Finally catching the leaf shows how he's learned to love nature and not so much the overall artificial world. Then, at the end, the company has collapsed (as evidenced by the stock-market line on the chart) and everyone panicks, many committing suicide, like his co-worker at the end. He does not, however, because he's no longer so hooked into his routine that he can't break free of it. He's fine without the company, fine without the routine, and thus the dreams saved his life.

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Okay.... I think I'm too positive.
I interpreted it as

The person jumping off the roof is also getting free, like you had to in the game. I was personally shocked when the guy you moved around the screen woke up the next day as if he hadn't jumped off the roof. But it made me assume that maybe there was a big swimming pool or something and he just fell in and swam out (also it might be only like a two story building so it's not TOO high?). So then in the end you're just watching all the other players who are playing the game do the "jump off the roof" step... and that made the game seem much lighter.

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I was confused by the alarm clock, the television, and being able to talk to your wife or your boss.

As far as I can tell, whether or not you do these things does not make any difference.

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OK it is either a sunday and everyone is sleeping, apart from the dude who commited sucide...
OR they are throwing me a surprise birthday party in the office when i return
OR! They are throwing me a MASSIVE party in the basement, and the guy who jumped is a trained sky diver. (Who wears a suit and has see through ropes and a see through helicopter) LOL xx

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I didnt do it in the order you posted. First day I went to the cemetary. Now that I think of it, it kind of sets up the whole game for me. Day 2 was a normal day. Day 3 was nude day. Day 4 was suicide day. Day 5 was cow day. The i got online to read about the leaf. So fining the leaf was the last thing i did before I saw the jumper.

To my I thought the jumper was myself. That I was actually the owner of the company and had gone bankrupt. With no money left and my business ruined I decided to kill myself. The last day was me watching the reason I have the same dreams over and over.

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I had a pretty unusual interpretation of the ending. I saw the exit sign past my cubicle so I

jumped off the roof

first. After that everything seemed to me to be telling the guy "hey, you didn't have to do that. You could have done this other thing instead." The end was really sort of bittersweet for me because he's learned to break free from the crushing routine, but

it's too late. He's already dead.

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So, I met the maker of this game today. Apparently, he's a professor at my college. Guy hardly looks older than the rest of us, but I suppose I'm a bad judge of age.

So, I got word of god on the ending. It's apparently in part out of laziness, but if he intended any meaning, it's that you're not the only one doing these small acts of defiance.

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Clockworkjester1295 November 1, 2010 1:29 PM

Hello, everybody
i loved this game, i found i could really relate to it with my own life, which sounds depressing, yes, but it supported many of my own beliefs. I often found myself giving a slight 'nod' as i discovered some of the interactions. One in particular that hasnt been discussed is the Homeless man. He hasnt been mentioned alot on this thread so i would like to say why he seemed to apeal to me the most of all the interactions

He tells your character "i can take you to a quiet place" and then you arrive, standing by the homeless man in the middle of a graveyard. To me, this seems to say "the world is a noisy and annoying place. The only people that get rest are those who are dead in their graves." yes, its a depressing message, but if anybody found any aspect of the game cheery and warm, i would be suprised

That is what i got from that particular reaction. This is a great game, and i will be recommending it to many of my friends.

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I think an interesting take on this story is that you're not necessarily just this one man; you may be many of these men.

They all look the same, searching for something more. This allows the one part of the game I was confused about: The ability to live your life after jumping off the building (Which I did in step one)

and as you take control of the last guy, you see another jumping off the building. Perhaps this was the man who is saved.

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Anonymous December 5, 2010 2:30 PM

What's odd about the game is that you can also take it the other way around.

... You were the most important person in the company. You held it together...

Because you went on your little "5 changes" routine, you caused an entire company to collapse. (stocks fall)

With the loss of work, you wife would leave you.

With the loss of the company, all your co-workers, even your boss disappear.

What you see at the end isn't "you" falling, but in reality your co-workers dropping off the edge (during the depression of 1920's in America business men actually leaped from top of buildings because of the great loss in stock and mounting debt)

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How about this interpretation...

At the end of the game, when I was seeing the co-worker on the roof, I wanted to be able to stop him from jumping. I couldn't, but I WANTED TO.

If I (the main character, and as the player controlling that character) had simply gone to work every day and never broken out of my routine, I wouldn't have wanted to stop the co-worker from jumping. More power to him.

By extrapolating this lesson onto real life, I see how there is more to enjoying life than simply sticking to the routine I have carefully crafted for myself. Sure, it's comfortable and safe, but in the end, it's rather not worth living without a fresh experience every once in a while.

This game has re-enforced the lesson that life is meant to be lived, not watched.

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For a while, this game sorta creeped me out. And I was horrified at the ending. But then, I started reading everyone else's comments on the ending and I found one that I agree with.

The elevator lady kept on saying, "X more steps until you become a new person".

My view on the ending:

Everyone is gone. I didn't understand that part. But the man jumping at the end...I got a feeling that the man wasn't a co-worker or anything. I got the feeling that the man was the player's "old self". The old self was dead and he could become a new person. It would make sense of the elevator lady saying "X more steps until you become a new person".

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McSpuddles December 11, 2010 6:33 AM

Suddenly there she was in, a field. "Moo" she thought, realising she was a cow. She was confused, she'd never been a cow before. She'd never been anything before. There was the drone of a nearby road and a man walking towards her in his underpants. "Moo" she thought again. The man drew closer and laid his hand gently on her fuzzy head. There was just time for one last confused "Moo" thought before she simply stopped being.

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Shaft Can't Die December 12, 2010 3:10 PM

I believe that the game wishes to remind people to break the daily routine. To do something different from time to time. For example walking to work instead of always taking the car. In the end, when you have taken 5 steps and become a new man, you witness what should have happened to the old you if you hadn't changed. Your wife would have left you, your company would go bankrupt. And you would have jumped. Or it's just a symbol that your older self has died.

It's interesting that the companys chart is showing a clear downfall. I do not know why it is that way. Does the company loose when its workers begin to realise they do not have to live that life? or perhaps its just a detail to ensure us something is different.

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Phil hunter December 13, 2010 8:43 AM

Very interesting game, albeit a slightly depressing one. I think there is no right or wrong answer to this game, it is designed to make you think and a lot is left to personal interpretation.

It can be a reflection of the boring monotonous life that a lot of people lead, especially in this overpopulated yet underhumane world. The repetitive music, the lack of warmth of a human interaction and the banality of his day to day life really sets the bleak mood.

This really reminds me of the film Network (1976) and its powerful message. For me the lesson here is that there are a lot of people out there in that situation and a bit of kindness or friendliness to strangers or people can really make a difference in someones life. Not just petty small talk, but creating a connection with another human being. It shows there are still people out there that are human and do actually care for the well being and happiness of others. Spread the love people. :)

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The way I see it is that, in the end, all that defines your life is removed--your wife, job, yet most importantly the connection with other humans. Look at it this way, every day you change something in the dream, it dissapears the next day. The cow is gone, the leaf is gone and the homeless man is gone. Upon ceasing your life, you basically cease the very factors that define your life. This is just an opinion.

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i think that on the last day its the same man but his company has gone bankrupt while he was asleep.
everyone else was fired.
his wife left to do some shopping.
th old lady in the elevator went out to get a life.
the homeless person stayed at the cemetery.
the cow got moved by a farmer.
the person he saw "jump" was actually the last person in the the company who was just getting a last look of the city from the rooftop when you walk in. thinking he was the only person there the man recoils in shock and falls to his death. thats my theory.

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It's a frustating game!

By the end of the steps, he should live better, as a better man. Instead, he kills himself, like there's no hope of good living...

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Anonymussssss January 1, 2011 5:20 PM

This reminded me of Groundhog Day so much... except Groundhog Day ends happy...

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I don't know, I felt a lot like I did

after I watched the movie Stranger than Fiction.

I had the same, "whats up with this?" Depressed feeling. Still, its an intriguing game, great that you can think about it forever, leaves an impression.

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How do you beat the game?

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i get the game completely except that it was scary at first.

first he is a man that wishes to stop the simplicity of his life and he commits suicide and than like the old lady said after he's dead he is a new person that is why no-one is there because he isn't married and the company is bankrupt and no-one works there anymore. he sees the man he used to be jump off the building.

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This is an interesting game, depressing yet positive, similar to ImmorTall (which I highly recommend). The both have a similar message, which is as follows:

Get out. Do something. Don't be boring. Don't be normal. Pet a cow. Catch a leaf. Go to work in your underwear. Follow that homeless guy. Even jump off a building. Don't just mind your own business. Even if there are some things you can't stop, like death, don't let them stop you. Be random. Be cool.

-Trev

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i think that the end of this game you see not your co-worker jumping but your-self and the day you jumped wasnt a dream and that u go( when all the others are gone)as a spirit to see your mistake, to see all that had gone after you decided to take your own life. well thats in my opinion.

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I'm jumping!!! I'm scared 2!!

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It seems like I had a slightly different experience with this game than what anyone posted here. This is kind of long.

When I first played this game, I had no idea what to do. I went through the first day, walked through my office and onto the balcony and saw that there was an option to jump. The website I had found the link on said "Then he cracks, and rebels against this insidious routine" so I figured jumping off the building was what they meant and that it was the end of the game. I didn't jump, instead I went back to my cubicle and went to work.

The game started over. I wondered to myself 'are the only two choices I have to work or to jump?' The woman in the elevator told me "5 steps and you'll be a new man." I wonder if this was a way to encourage me to commit suicide.. five steps off the building and I would die and become 'a new man.' When I got off the elevator, I wondered on a whim if you could go left instead of right, and I did. There was a hobo who told me he could show me to a quiet place. A graveyard. This seemed to be encouraging me to commit suicide as well, so I could have peace. The next day started and I went to work. When I got out of my car, I noticed one of the few colored things in the game..a leaf falling off a tree. I caught it and wondered if it was supposed to be some sort of metaphor, that I was supposed to let go and jump to my death, like the final leaf on a tree. So I went and I jumped. I was surprised to see that the game didn't end. The game wasn't leading me to suicide, like I thought, because nothing significant happened afterwards. Was that it then?

I finally looked up this walkthrough and saw that I was supposed to be looking for 5 different things. It made sense after that, and I went on to pet the cow and go to work with no clothes. But for most of my gameplay time, I thought the goal of the game was to commit suicide.

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Whoa_is_me April 21, 2011 10:56 PM

I think that the game is really about this man who is being crushed by industry and consstant routine and finally decides to change. wheather in a dream or not, he wants to do something, anything, different. In this story, he sees nature, the cow, and the leaf. He excppiriences death, the cemetary and the homeless man. He also sees that as he finds out whoo he is, the industry falls. [spoiler] When he kills himself at one point, i think that is a place where he just dosen't get it. either that, or he really wants to get out of this dream or maybe even hee wants to test to see if he IS dreaming. [spoiler] but at the very end, when he sees the man die, i think he is seeing another person lose hope because they didn't change. Didn't see the cemetery or just simply stop to catch a leaf. The last man, i think, was crushed by a failing industry.

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I think he was trying to say this.

Anyone else noticed the the companies profit started going down the minute you started slaking off and not going to work? The creator might be trying to say that every one is significant in their own way and that the man may be vital to the process.

I also don't fully get why it is called every day the same dream. Is all of what you do right up until the end (when you watch someone else die) a dream and the reality is that you are very VERY alone?

And what about the old lady, she said you would become a new man. the final step (i.e) killing your self, did that make you a new man. Is that why you see yourself die? are you in fact not yourself but a new person that is now one of the other employees? And who knows who you actually watch die.

I have so many questions about this game, I can't stand not knowing the reality of this game.

This game was incredible.

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IyashiiOtaku June 27, 2011 4:44 PM

For anyone interested in the story mentioned somewhere above, it's called "Lines" from Invasion of the Road Weenies by David Lubar.

About the game itself, I get the vibe that it might have been a different person each day. I mean, they all look the same. Could it have been several different people you were playing as? Or, it was a version of hell, or simply a dream that you can't wake of from. Either way, the game was creative and eye-opening.

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Jacoblahr July 23, 2011 11:12 PM

I think the ending could be much happier, saying that his life actually did mean something, because

if he stopped and changed it, his company crashes, his wife is alone, the old lady has no one to talk to, and the either the employee jumped because he lost his job, or that was you jumping that changed it all.

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I've read the first page of the comment section, and I feel that most people have a very depressing view of the message compared to mine (even though mine didn't quite add up).

Playing the game, I thought it would tell me that a job wasn't everything. Even though you go through a dreadful routine every day, and even though you hate your job and have no relationship to other people (not even your wife), life can still be beautiful. Life is what you make it, and if you choose to do something every day that makes you happy, the routine of lie doesn't bother you that much. In the beginning of the game I felt that it was very monotonous and depressing, but as I advanced I found that I was beginning to care less and less about the stuff that was similar and focusing on the new experiences; catching the leaf, touching the cow - basically beginning to see all the stuff that life is beside a job. But then, as I thought I had learned to appreciate the beauty of life, I woke up to all the stuff I appreciated gone. Every living thing had disappeared, even the cow and the leaf had left me, and the world felt more dead than ever. As I wander past the places that meant something in my life, desperate for someone or something to interact with, I see a guy just like me about to commit suicide. My heart hopefully skips a beat as I think this is what I was supposed to do; save the man, who is just like me before I became a new person, and show him all the wonderfulness I have found in life, but before I can get to him, he jumps. It didn't make any difference at all, and even though I tried so hard to change my life, none of it made a difference.

Maybe it's because I don't agree with that conclusion, but I feel that it's wrong. I loved the game, but the ending made me feel empty and depressed. I think I would have liked it better if the ending had showed us how the small things make life beautiful, and how you are able to change your life to the better, but I saw nothing of that. I saw an ending that told me that no matter how hard I try, the world will always be monotonous and dull - in fact, it can only get worse. And I refuse to believe that. Sure, much of my life is the same, but I feel happy anyway, because I am able to do all the things the man learned - go another way, catch a falling leaf - and appreciate the beauty of that. I truly believe that the small things in life makes all a difference, and no matter your current situation there will always be a road to happiness. You just have to find it. This game told me that the small things make no difference and life will always be gray and dull - and if you try to change that, it only gets grayer and duller.

In the end, I cant decide whether I like this game or not. I appreciate the open ending and the fact that you can decide for youself, but I would love to hear the developer's thoughts about the game.

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Midwinterain September 28, 2011 4:35 AM

I agree with 'Hmm's interpretation, it makes the most sense

"But the man jumping at the end... I got the feeling that the man was the player's "old self". The old self was dead and now he could become a new person. It would make sense of the elevator lady saying "X more steps until you become a new person"."

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I've been reading all of these comments, and one struck me: "I'm embarassed to admit that I didn't notice that

the wife was gone."

That's when I realized what I thought it meant.

Yes, I agree with all that have been said, but I think it also sort of touches on 'you don't know how much you love something until it's gone.' The wife, around the 5th dream, it must have been boring to say hi to her. Same with the boss, the cubicles. But when they're all gone, you start to panic. One of those monotone co-workers never meant much, until they were jumping off the building...

But we'll all jump one day.

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i just wish the ending had been a bit better so that we wouldnt all have to try to explain it!

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I have made a slow start but now I'm finally learning the right approach to play. I appreciate the guidance.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlY1Vw4pkdNvcfcLPDnEnrlLgVwwDQ9J7I Author Profile Page June 25, 2012 6:51 PM

i think of his new person as a

consequence for breaking his routine and now he has to keep going on with life with no-one

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I think the reason why he saw the man commit suicide at the end was because that man was him, the old him, so now that he is a new person, the old him is gone, or dead. That's why that man was the only other person there, because technically they are the same person. If you think of it that way, it's not sad at all because he said goodbye to it all, to just being one more faceless shadow trapped in the dark depths of endless routine.
So he died. But he was remade, reinvented, and reborn.

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I think the game has the message that some people are living the same day after the same day. They are affraid to or they just dont want any change in their lives. And so they are living and having the same days. Living the same day over and over again. For maybe 80 years. Just because they are afraid of any change into their lives. They just keep doing what everyone else is telling them. Like your boss on your work that tells you what to do and how to do. They keep following the same direction as the others instead of following their own path.

About the end i believe that all the people you saw in the game left, Just because they started to have some change into their lives. As for the guy as who you play cant accept the fact that everyone else has changed. So i guess in a dream he sees himself jumping of the building because he gets crazy. Just because he cant accept it.. He cant accept change...

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my interpretation of the ending

I think the ending says to the player not to be a person who jumps, rather be a person who pets a cow.

interesting game, not a usual one

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Personally I love games like this, with a deeper meaning, even if the deeper meaning is somewhat dark. In this case, I think the ending means this:

Did you notice that nearly every single person in the game was exactly the same? Same job, same clothes, same look. Who's to say that they don't all have exactly the same life you do? And if you decided to jump... Wouldn't it stand to reason that they would too?
That's why everyone is gone. They all took the same path you did. At the end you have become a new person as promised, but the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Perhaps you are a ghost, or maybe it really was a dream after all. Either way, the way I interpreted it was that you are looking at the last person left, who inevitably makes the same choice you did.
I wasn't expecting a happy ending, if only because early on the game seemed to be pointing toward a story line that attempted to echo real life. And in real life, the unfortunate truth is that not everyone gets a happy ending.

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The Casual Critic Author Profile Page June 25, 2014 10:27 PM

Every Day the Same Dream is haunting and beautiful, taking a minimalist approach to an incredibly relevant topic and forever embedding the theme of defying convention to its players.

My Thoughts on the Ending:

The man on the final day is now walking through a world in which he has found deviation from the standards of his past lives. Everything that chained him down, as well as everything that redefined his outlook on life, is gone. He is walking through an empty vision, one in which he is finally the centerpiece that transcends the world he once knew. The story ends with the man seeing a doppelganger jump off of the building. This is a representation of the character's growth: the death of his confinement in the world of uniformity and the beginning of the man's life as a distinct entity.

Sometimes the simplest games have the greatest depth. In this case, the poignancy of Every Day the Same Dream shines through.

9.5/10

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gamzees.miracles Author Profile Page July 19, 2014 2:17 PM

Loved the style of the walkthrough! Great game tbh

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gamzees.miracles Author Profile Page July 19, 2014 2:21 PM

I really liked the ending. My interpretation is

He changes his life, correct? I believe that to change you have to leave people behind, hence the empty world. I am still thinking about the jump, but I think its about how pointless it all can feel

very powerful for a simple game

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