Dreamfall Chapters Closed, The Longest Journey Ended

This is the end, my only cyberfriend, the end. Episode 5 of adventure game Dreamfall Chapters [official site] launched last night and, unless something strange and wonderful happens, that will likely be the end of the whole thing. It’s the end of Dreamfall and it’s the end of its overarching series The Longest Journey.

Developers Red Thread Games drew $1.5 million in crowdfunding for Dreamfall Chapters in 2013, but this tale goes all the way back to the release of The Longest Journey in 1999. 2006’s Dreamfall is a side-story of a sequel and the Chapters were planned to finish that off. Red Thread had hoped to make a proper Longest Journey sequel too and set it as a Kickstarter stretch goal but fell $500k short. So this is the end, beautiful cyberfriend.

“The Longest Journey Home will probably never happen. At least not for a long, long time,” chief dreamer Ragnar Tørnquist has tweeted. He later added, “Funcom owns the TLJ/Dreamfall saga, so it’s really up to them what happens next.”

Say your goodbyes, gang.

To go out with a bang, Dreamfall Chapters has a 66% discount for a short while. It’s down to £7.99 on GOG and £8.15/10,19€/$10.19 on Steam.

Hush. May I ask you all for silence?

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  1. MrFinnishDude says:

    I’ve played the whole saga up to this point, I hope they will bring a satisfying conclusion to all of this.

    • Boronian says:

      I have high hopes, I loved it up to now and I am sure the ending will be great!

  2. Cerulean Shaman says:

    I’m been holding off until it’s finished. I loved the previous two games so my expectations for this one are through the roof.

    • fuggles says:

      Unless this is an amazing ending then you will be disappointed, I fear.

      I love longest journey and dream fall. I am playing this because I kick-started it and want to see the ending. I am not playing them because they are good.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        I agree. There were some good moments, but it grew progressively more boring until episode four; there was a point where I stopped playing altogether. Fortunately I picked it back up, because episode four was good and five is pretty exciting so far.

        That being said, Life is Strange ruined all other adventure games for me, so your mileage may vary.

  3. Lukasz says:

    Chapter five release makes me very very happy.

    but I am saddened that they will not continue with TLJ: Home.

    Not surprised of course as the game is not very popular even though it raised a fair amount of money on Kickstarter. Steam charts says that 1.4k players was the maximum of concurrent players. therefore I suspect they all lost money on the project. Even with Kickstarter funds.

    If they ever make Home I hope it will be simple old school 2d game with spirtes like TLJ 1. The cost of developing a 3d game like Chapters is simply too great for such a niche product.

    • Ricoeur Supreme says:

      Actually, The Longest Journey had 3d models (for the characters) on 3D precalculated backgrounds (think Grim fandango). I’m not sure that type of render is less expensive than pure 3D. That being said, it also isn’t obvious that “even” 2D and sprite are more economic.

      • Lukasz says:

        according to Broken Sword guys, 2d backgrounds and 3d characters were the best way to go in terms of cost.

  4. idkicarus says:

    Any word on “Journeys Birth”, the collection of short stories that was part of the original Kickstarter?

    It’s still sold as part of the special edition of the game on Steam and GOG, but from what I can there hasn’t been a word about it other than the developer posting on a Steam forum in 2014 that it was coming ‘very soon’.

    • Aerothorn says:

      Yeah – it’s been mentioned on the forum/KS updates/dev blog that all such extras basically got pushed off till the game was finished (because they are necessay to ship people their physical copies, etc, which will require the game be done first anyway). So they are basically starting on all of that stuff now – including making a “complete” edition of the game which will insert some backer reward stuff, possible new locations, etc.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    Is this actually worth playing if your cynical about the YA semi-adventure game with identity politics thrown in format?

    • Don Reba says:

      You forgot baby mini-games.

    • nunka says:

      Overlooking your offhanded baiting remark for a moment, as a huge TLJ and Dreamfall fan, I would say this is only marginally worth playing. The contrast between the really well-done art and the spartan, clunky animations (or, often, the lack thereof) is really immersion-breaking… and honestly the whole affair is dragged down by that lack of immersion. Maybe my glasses for TLJ and Dreamfall are tinted with a bit of rose? Either way, I’m a little disappointed with Chapters.

      • Don Reba says:

        I played TLJ and Dreamfall while waiting for Chapters. They really are better.

        • Carra says:

          Played Dreamfall a year or so before the first episodic chapter came out and it still holds up really well.

    • Buggery says:

      Wahey! Take that 17 year old game series.

      Kick it while it’s down! Young adult fiction in this, the industry with titles primarily designed for children, should know its place.

  6. WJonathan says:

    Under there!

  7. Booker says:

    I’m still in shock that it got an actual proper ending after freaking 17 years! This alone is such a major achievement. :D Loved it btw. :)

    • polecat says:

      I have so much affection for this series but it they left themselves so much to do in this last book and I felt it showed a bit as everyone got an adequately tied up ending but often felt rushed. It made me remember how enormously satisfying I found the original TLJ ending. The storytelling and characterisation in this series is its real strength, but my feeling about Chapters overall is that they poured effort into lots of time consuming technical stuff which they don’t have the budget to do quite as well as bigger developers, at the expense of a really well edited story and satisfying puzzles. There is so much to admire and enjoy – Zoe’s characterisation and voice acting are strong as ever, the story (while fraying round the edges a bit as all the strands are brought together) is still engaging, and Saga is fun though you hardly meet her. And while I think the whole thing has editing and pacing problems (made worse by the episodic format) it is still as a whole something I have huge affection for. It’s also good to have someone attempting middle budget adventure gaming – there should be room for ambition and risk taking somewhere between the Kathy Rain and Life is Strange ends of the spectrum.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        Agreed on the ending. It was great because it managed to tie most of the threads together, and it was terrible because the pacing was bad and the gameplay was on rails. It was also overwhelming, and I think it would have benefited from being spread out over a longer period of time.

  8. Unsheep says:

    It’s a shame adventure games are not more popular, it seems most people only have room for Telltale games when it comes to this genre.

    • Geebs says:

      I apologise for being incredibly tedious, but:

      The rubber duck puzzle from TLJ is right up there with the Gabriel Knight scooter puzzle as cornerstones of the argument that the creators of adventure games were solely and entirely responsible for the death of adventure games.

      • polecat says:

        A few bad puzzles not a good reason to give up on meaningful puzzling elements in games. No doubt the trad point and click genre has become more niche but a sustainable and high quality niche thanks to Wadjet Eye and others. And there should be place for Dreamfall type games which go more heavily on story, but the tendency for everything to be on rails is (my view) a developmental dead end as long as there is Netflix!

        • Geebs says:

          I mostly agree with you, really. The first two Monkey Island games are among my all-time favourites, and I liked the Telltale games well enough before they went all “X will remember that, but is too big of a person to ever let it affect any subsequent conversation”.

          The thing is – that puzzle and the subsequent one with the cop (or was it a bouncer) utterly destroyed The Longest Journey for me. I simply couldn’t be bothered to deal with any more puzzles as bad as that, and if I was going to have to use an FAQ I figured I might as well give up. If the puzzles had been trivially easy because of being logical, I would have persisted. That’s not prioritising storytelling, that’s wrecking your own game.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        Likewise, the proliferation of easily accessible walkthroughs that didn’t really exist in the heyday of adventure gaming mostly killed off the worst nonsensical item puzzles.

  9. Wormerine says:

    You can also get it for free on gog during ongoing sale if you buy enough stuff. Got it that way, and will give it a go.

    Longest Journey became my fav point&click game when I retro played it couple years back. However, I didn’t enjoy Dreamfall neither as a sequel nor standalone game, in spite of how visually beautiful it was.

    • Hidden Thousand says:

      Longest Journey to me is magical in a unique way that its creator failed to either realize or reproduce in Dreamfall. I couldn’t enjoy Dreamfall, let alone the episodic continuation of it.
      And today I learned that a sequel to TLJ didn’t get enough funding on Kickstarter. What a sad thing to learn.

  10. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Hey Alice, any chance RPS is going to do a WIT or Verdict now that the whole thing is done?