I’ve played many games in my past that dealt with dreams and the misgivings of sleep. Where there is a nightmare there is a victim, and where there is a dream there is a cut-scene. I wish, then, that the same may be applied to my own troubled, subconscious state.
For the past two weeks I’ve been waking up feeling like I just got out of an intense therapeutic session, with no recollection of the details, and no means to backtrack. Technically I should be feeling good, and according to a multitude of online sites with random referential standards, the more I don’t remember my dreams, the deeper my sleep was. What then is taking place in my overbearing self, and why am I in constant need of substantiation if there’s clearly nothing wrong? To answer that, I have decided to turn my attention to video games.
Over the years, many game characters have been employed to ease the minds of gamers by offering fantastical solutions to real problems like sleep deprivation and depression. Psychic powers, magic, illusions…you name it, and it’s probably been covered before. What if each of these characters had a profile for you to browse and choose from? There’d be some sort of Almanac that includes them all, complete with their services, requirements and conditions. Listed below are the characters that popped in mind faster than a kernel in heat.
Note: Should your desired character have died during or after the story-line of his/her respective game, some basic summoning will be required from your end in the form of replaying the game.
Aerith Gainsborough : A descendant and the last of the Cetra, an ancient race with powerful magical abilities, Aerith is capable of communicating with you in your dream state to assist you in clearing your mind. Though having been raised in the slums, Aerith is meek in nature and always affirms her will to look after herself. She wants people around her to not worry about her, regardless of her state or social standing and instead aids them in overcoming their own problems. It is very difficult to resent her presence and energy and she quickly rose to fame with her inert gift to comfort and heal any who seeks her. Her first recorded sighting was on the streets of Midgar selling flowers to passersby, and was unfortunately last seen in the Forgotten Capital.
First recorded appearance: Final Fantasy VII (PS, PC 1997)
Accepted ailments: Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder (CRSD), Klein-Levin Syndrome, Irregular Sleep Wake Rhythm Disorder, Rebound Insomnia
Alundra: Hailing from the quaint village of Inoa (earlier records of his origin were not found) and identifiable by a peculiar scar on his forehead, Alundra goes by inspiring names like Dreamwalker and Releaser. He is said to have the ability to unbind your subconscious by entering your dreams as you sleep, putting himself in a halcyonic state throughout. Alundra’s services may currently be limited to a handful of minor grievances, but they come free of charge and hassle. He is a nomad by spirit and a healer at heart.
First recorded appearance: Alundra (PS, 1997)
Accepted ailments: Sleep apnoea, insomnia, arousal disorder, delayed sleep phase disorder, Hypersomnia, paranoia.
Disclaimer: Since the Melzas incident, Alundra is not taking any more incarnation and possession cases. Should you suffer from either and fail to inform Alundra prior to his leap, you will be charged with falsifying of evidence under the Dreamwalker Universal Law.
Ryan: If you’re an adrenaline junkie and not one to settle for healers surrounded by bright auras, Ryan is your man. The proverbial anti-hero, Ryan is an out of job bartender who is plagued with strange dreams on a nightly basis. Where some see him as a psychotic and deranged individual, others see in him an answer to their worries and direct contact to God. He is a shaman who transmutes and communicates by way of a ‘Dreamweb’ that embraces his vision and leads him down a desired path. Though he may not access your dreams per se, he is experienced in the workings of the mind and will offer you much in return for your time. He has been convicted with multiple accounts of 1st degree manslaughter in the past, a horrifying fact that has lead seekers to contact him exclusively in an informal manner.
First recorded appearance: Dreamweb (PC, 1994)
Accepted ailments: Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), Free-running Disorder (FRD), Hypnagogic Hallucination, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), Psychosis (severity is identified via case-by-case judgement), Nocturnal Paroxysmal Dystonia