If you’ve ever heard of the PS1 cult classic LSD Dream Emulator, then you might already recognize this art. It was created by the game’s producer: Osamu Sato. This trippy exploration game has gained quite the reputation over the years for its aesthetic visuals and for the fact that it rejects most common game principles such as having a clear objective for the player to accomplish. At the start of the game the player is given a diary based on the dreams that director Hiroko Nishikawa recorded for a decade (see Lovely Sweet Dreams). The music and environment changes completely based on your actions making it so each playthrough is entirely unique. Depending on what objects you interact with, you can see very psychedelic dreams or dark and catastrophic ones.
Each time you do an action in the game (such as running into a moving object or falling off the map), your progress on the dream chart is recorded and a day advances. The chart has four labels that produce different visuals: Upper, Dynamic, Downer, and Static. Different cutscenes and pages of the dream diary will be unlocked depending on your actions. There is a “Flashback” option in the menu where you can review your progress.
Many players try to see the dark parts of the game by running off the map and “killing” their character, but this won’t necessarily produce a downer dream—sometimes an upper one is generated instead. People have tried to write guides on this but how exactly the game evaluates your actions is unknown. Still to this day there is much unknown about LSD…
Since the game was never officially localized outside of Japan, physical copies are quite rare and coveted. LSD Revamped is a popular fan-made version of the game that tweaks the original in a more user-friendly way. The web author describes it as:
“The genre isn’t adventure, it’s not action, and it’s not even an RPG. If I had to define a genre, it would be a ‘walking dream emulator’.”
Ironically during the same month that the original LSD received its full English patch via fan translation, digital artist Osamu Sato held his “GRATEFUL IN ALL THINGS” art gallery at B-GALLERY in Tokyo. The exhibition is free and available from 5/25/2020 – 6/7/2020:
Osamu Sato is a graphics designer and photographer originally from Kyoto that has created digital art exhibitions and also worked as an artist for Sony. He has traveled abroad and used many of his photos as design materials for his works. He also produces music. In his website biography it states his ideas are drawn from both consciousness and unconsciousness in his intellectual level. These ideas are clearly reflected in this exhibition as some pieces appear to have a sense of identity.
“GRATEFUL IN ALL THINGS” is not only the name of this art gallery, but also his latest music album which I managed to purchase along with a T-shirt:
I am very grateful that I could make it to this exhibition. I respect artists that reject the principles set before them and seek to create things in their own methodical way. I hope to attend more of his events in the future and continue to deconstruct the human mind.
For more information, please see:
4 thoughts on “『GRATEFUL IN ALL THINGS』art gallery by Osamu Sato & Deconstructing LSD”
I wish I could see this myself. I’m not usually a fan of games that have walking around and looking at things as their main features, but LSD is weird enough to be interesting. Same with Yume Nikki and games like it about dream imagery.
Right? I love how the LSD revamped makers called it a “walking simulator” because that’s the best way that I can think to define it. I love the questionable object detection and the fact that you could randomly warp and advance days in the original. Yume Nikki is also one of my favorites! It’s been ages since I played it but I still remember how eerie it is for a 2D game. I want to see more like that! 🙂