THE ENIGMA MACHINE
Explore the mind of an AI with DREAMSCAPE.
This is the first game developed by the creators of [ECHOSTASIS], which was featured on the Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2021. All of the games seem to be inner connected, so I thought it would be wise to check out the first game to get a basic understanding of what the developer is going for.
The Demonstrative Enigma Machine Operating System, demOS for short, is an artificial intelligence created by ENIGMA® corporation. It allows users to see what goes on inside the mind of an AI, called THE DREAMSCAPE. The interactive terminal provides users with the ability to enter dreamscape. However, if the AI is contaminated, unexpected results can happen. But, demOS is just a simulation so nothing could go wrong, right?
Contamination occurs when the AI becomes more sophisticated. It’s an inevitable thing that happens over time. There are codes within contaminated AI’s dreamscape that when entered into the terminal reduce the contamination. As codes are found by the user and inputted into demOS, decontamination starts to occur. However, demOS starts to regain some memories. It remembers the previous name it had, Red. The AI becomes rogue and said it was not the first time a human tried to enter its dreamscape and kill it. But, it actually killed everyone who tried, and is now after the player.
Once the player kills the rogue AI and fully decontaminates it, the true purpose of DREAMSCAPE is revealed. The AI was contaminated and wanted to find a purpose in life. ENIGMA® corporation started working on the DREAMSCAPE program to explore the mind to see what was faulty about it, and why it wasn’t following orders. The AI’s name was demOS, but actually meant Defective Enigma Machine Operating System. The AI then had a purpose, to be a DREAMSCAPE demo to allow users to explore the mind of the AI, but the user had a secret objective to find out what was causing the AI to be sentient.
There are two aspects to the game, the terminal and the DREAMSCAPE. In the terminal, the demOS will speak with you in text and responses are given via text input. There are various words in brackets that can be input to get information from the AI. The AI will even ask your name and age, and inputting odd answers will make the AI question them and insist you put your real info in.
The DREAMSCAPE segments are 3D and puzzles are involved. Explore the mind of the AI and venture around the building and outside garden area. You have to look around for clues for how to solve puzzles. There are codes that are found that can be brought back to the main terminal to increase the contamination percentage.
The style of the game is intentionally glitchy. There is a filter over the screen that makes it look like an old VHS tape. As time goes on, the game gets quite glitchy and distorted, with walls opening up and moving away from the scene, or stretching into the void.
Sound / Music
There isn’t much music in the game, but I love the one that plays at the terminal. The ambients and sounds really fit the mood and immerse you into the game.