Freeware J-Horror: The Boogie Man Translated

Everyone should have a favourite freeware Japanese horror game. For me, Yume Nikki takes top spot. It’s an uncomfortable journey through weird dreamspaces, occasionally too vague and empty to maintain its grip on my nerve-clusters, but never far removed from the next jarring moment of dread. The first two entries in the Strange Men series, from designer Uri, don’t have quite the same unnerving charms as Yume Nikki but they’re certainly worth a look. Now, translator vgperson has released an English version of The Boogie Man, the third game in the series.

I haven’t played this yet but if it’s anything like the previous two games – The Crooked Man and The Sandman – it’ll involve hauntings and a somewhat melancholy mystery. Uri makes the games in Wolf RPG Editor and you’ll also find a translation of Mermaid Swamp, my personal favourite of her creations, at vgperson’s site. Think David Cronenberg’s Splash.

As for The Boogie Man:

“Keith Baring is a cold, devoted detective whose boss decides he needs to take some time off. While on a tour of an old castle with his wife Helena, she makes a startling confession to him. Keith goes to bed bewildered – but things only become stranger as the Boogie Man’s game begins…”

vgperson’s site is full of information about Japanese horror games, including several translations and notes on those translations were applicable. She worked closely with Uri on The Boogie Man, providing translations for voice actors during development – that’s allowed her to provide plenty of insights into the development process as well as the plot. I haven’t looked at the translator’s notes yet because I’m avoiding spoilers but the translation notes for the previous games were a good read.

It’s a good week for horror. I already had Albino Lullaby and SOMA fighting for my time, and now I can add The Boogie Man to the list.


  1. drygear says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve never heard of any of these games before except Yume Nikki. I like weird J-horror
    I didn’t have the patience to play all of Yume Nikki, but there’s a really good Let’s Play I saw. She uses subtitles to explain everything so there’s no talking over the sound. link to

  2. Jokerme says:

    Thank you very much. I love these kind of games. These are the real horror games for me.

    I think I played The Crooked Man, but not sure if I finished it. Now that the series is complete I can enjoy all of them.

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Thank you! I need something to pull me away from MGSV and at the same time tide me over until SOMA (in regards to horror, anyway).

  4. MrFinnishDude says:

    That picture was made by Jamie Hewlett, for the 2010 Gorillaz Album “Plastic Beach”. The character in it is called the Boogieman and you can see him in the music videos of “Melancholy hill” and “Stylo”. He is chasing the band’s bassist Murdoc, in order to collect his soul which is way overdue.

    I think using the image is ok because it is a fan game, but at least give some credit to the artist and the original work.

    • Jakkar says:

      Thank you <3

      I flailed a little bit when I couldn't find anyone properly crediting the origins. Chilling character. The way he grips the… Porpoise? Dugong? Manatee? Sea cow? with his claws, before being chased away… Comical, strange, but also legitimately unsettling.

      … *goes to cheer up with Superfast Jellyfish*