Up until this point, Dreamfall Chapters has taken place almost entirely in two sprawling cities, one in a fantasy world and one in a sci-fi world. In Book Four: Revelations we finally leave the cities and see some of the stunning locales the fantasy world has to offer.
When we last left our heroine Zoë, she had arrived in the fantasy world of Arcadia and had been captured by the rebels. After clearing up that little misunderstanding, Zoë sets about trying to unravel the ominous clues she has been given and then heads out into the wilds of Arcadia to awaken the first dreamer and hopefully save all reality.
While the early books of Dreamfall Chapters felt like somewhere between a slow build and treading water, Revelations plows full steam ahead toward the ending. Zoë covers a ton of ground in this outing, going to locations new and old, visiting with old friends from the original The Longest Journey, and even chatting with a god or two.
Kian’s side of the story, on the other hand, involves his infiltrating the island concentration camp that the magic races have been imprisoned in. In Revelations, the Azadi are shown to have gone full-Nazi. They even have their own Dr Mengele overseeing the whole camp — who happens to be a Kian fangirl in a disturbing twist.
As with the last chapter, the game’s dialogue (outside of young Saga’s, anyway) is the game’s high point. And while there are numerous minor graphical glitches — awkward character movements and clipping errors — the characters’ interactions tend to overshadow these problems.
Enu remains adorkable as she and Zoë bond, and Kian and Liko have the opportunity for a heart to heart (based on your choices). But it is Crow that once again steals the show with his comedic dialogue. His banter with Zoë, as well as Crow’s constant snide observations, are a much needed facet of the story. Zoë needs someone to play off of — to be the straight man to — and Crow brings levity to the drama and creates a sense of fun adventure. But even Crow is granted one solid dramatic scene when he finally learns about the death of April Ryan back in Dreamfall.
Speaking of April Ryan, Revelations finally addresses April’s true fate. While told in a cryptic fashion, thanks to Abnaxus’s unique way of viewing time, those invested in the The Longest Journey‘s protagonist will be happy to know there are more than a few answers to be found in this book.
On the gameplay side, your choices from past episodes start to affect the game in massive ways — i.e., based on what you have chosen, main characters can and will die.
More than that, the game enjoys playing on the fact that you, the player, know things that have happened that neither Zoë nor Kian do. From back in Dreamfall, we know that there are mysteries in Brian Westhouse’s life — ones that now cast his actions in a diabolical light. So how you react to him becomes one of meta-gaming. Zoë really has no reason not to trust Brian as he has helped her in the past, but you as the player do. The question is, do you trust your gut or Zoë’s — and is the game actively trying to trick you?
As is expected for a game in this genre, there are several more puzzles in Revelations. They are, in most cases, relatively straight forward: There is an obvious impediment and a solution to it in your nearby surroundings. One puzzle even sees the return of Zoë’s dream powers from the first book in a pseudo-boss battle — though I have to admit, I have no idea how I solved it (which is a bit vexing). If there is one theme to the puzzles in Revelations, it is to remember to look up, down, and behind you for solutions.
Revelations ends with an interlude and our third visit to the house between worlds. No longer a little girl, Saga is now 14; and her solitary existence, her father’s overprotectiveness, and her general teenage rebellion are all coming to a head.
This interlude also contains the single best puzzle of the entire The Longest Journey series of games. To escape the house, Saga must find three magical seals and break them. To break them, she must sift through fragments of her father’s memories, selecting the correct ones to break the seal.
While the puzzle can certainly be solved through simple trial and error, what’s great about the puzzle is that it is a thematic one. Not only is it a listening puzzle — which is rare to begin with — but it requires you to digest what each memory is about and find the ones that share a common theme as well. On top of that, the memories provide a lot of backstory about Saga’s early life, meaning the puzzle acts as both brain teaser and exposition. It’s fantastic.
Dreamfall Chapters: Book Four: Revelations handles its role as the penultimate chapter well. It sets up the story perfectly for its final climax with Zoë heading back to the world of science and Kian on his way to confront the masters he betrayed. Moreover, Revelations leaves hanging more than a few tantalising questions to keep you eager to come back one last time. Who is the prophet, where does Brian’s loyalty lie, how will Saga factor in to the final act of the story, and how will your choices made so long ago affect the story’s ending?
Frankly, I can’t wait to find out.
Dreamfall Chapters: Book Four: Revelations was released on 3 December 2015.