Lost Odyssey’s dream sequences or North America’s introduction to sound novels

By Spencer . March 1, 2008 . 1:58am

Besides releasing Mystery Dungeon games Chunsoft is also well known for making sound novels. The experience is very much like reading a book, only in an atmospheric setting with a gentle soundtrack. When Kaim dreams players are treated to interactive prose peppered with PowerPoint-like text transitions. While the moving text has new effects (and probably related to Office 2007) the Thousand Year Dream sequences are probably the closest thing to a sound novel in North America.


In case you haven’t seen one of the dream sequences in Lost Odyssey skip to around two minutes and forty seconds in the clip below. I think this should be self-evident, but since this is a story sequence there are spoilers in the video.



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  • Chris

    I can’t sit through those things anymore. The game moves slowly enough on it’s own.

    Companies like Square and Mistwalker need to find a way to have impressive production values *and* make the game and it’s battles move along at a decent pace.

  • I absolutely love the dream sequences, the stories themselves are wonderful but the atmosphere that the sound and visuals gives only enriches them.

  • Aoshi00

    Absolutely loved the novels on my first playthru (some made me on the verge of tears), as expected from the award-winning novelist Shigematsu Kiyoshi. Liked them so much that I bought the collection of novels in book form as well. The English translation was nicely done and conveys just as much emotion as the original.

    I actually wish some dream sequences to be turned into a full fledged FMV, such as “Seth’s Dream — Part 2”, brilliant story telling at its best.

  • Aoshi00

    Also you’re right, when I was playing LO, it reminded me of the horror sound novel Imabikisou, except I didn’t like the setting in that game (hallucinating drugs?), though I’ve only read the 3 stories from the Jpn demo.

  • thaKingRocka

    i have just started the game, and i haven’t really been able to get much done, but i have been really impressed by the quality of these dreams. i’ve seen three of them so far, and they were actually … moving. that’s not a word i use often.

    just a quick note, maybe the second dream with the soldier would be better to showcase here. for those of you curious to see, don’t let this video be your first time seeing this stuff. it really deserves the full experience. save it for the game.

  • The dream stories are quite moving and lovely, I won’t hesitate to buy the book if it is ever released in english or spanish.

    However, as much as I like them and I read all of them when they come out, I can’t help but to think that there could have been a better way to implement them into the game. Either with more than just some landscape images and the ocassional Kaim sketch, or taking them out of the disc entirely and include a book or something with the instruction booklet, for example. It doesn’t HAVE to be in the game as, in a way, the package and its contents are still part of it and can be used for different things (like Kojima showed us with Meryl’s codec frequency).

    I don’t know. I love them, but I would try to do something different.

  • I don’t know, I think working them into the game was the smartest way to do that. It makes them far more intrinsic to the experience. Merely putting them into a manual separates them too much to do either the game itself or the dreams justice… And really, I’ve found most people don’t even bother to look in there to begin with. I haven’t even opened the manual for the game yet.

    There’s also a lot to be said about the order in which these are unlocked. If they were all just presented to you at once, I personally would be far less likely to read any of them. The current system links them to exact moments in the game and I think they are made much more powerful through that.

    Plus, if they were much more involved graphically, I think it would bring us to a point where we’d just ask “why isn’t this just FMV?”. I really was happy that they didn’t even contain voice acting.

    This is all just my opinion, obviously. I am sure other people would rather just sit down and read them. It would have been nice if a book of the dreams was included with the game. Most of them could fit on a page or two.

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