.flow's Title Screen
.flow is one of the earliest and most iconic Yume Nikki fangames, created by lol only two years after Yume Nikki's 0.10. Known for elements of mass body horror, dynamic storytelling and dreariness previously untouched by the fangame genre, .flow stars Sabitsuki (さびつき), a white-haired girl refusing to leave her room. Instead, she uses her computer to explore a world inside her mind, collect effects and exploring places potentially representing a dark past.
The title of the game seems to reference both the psychological term of Flow and the prevalent theme of technology. This suggests that what Sabitsuki and, indeed, the player experience is not a dreamlike state at all, but rather an immersive reality.
The main plot of the game is similar to the original Yume Nikki's, in that it is a sandbox game with very few exploration restrictions. The player must collect the twenty-five effects to unlock two of the three endings, and three "boxes" to achieve the third and final.
.flow is one of the more traditional fangames that stays true to the gameplay elements of Yume Nikki. Effects are collected in a gloomy, sublime dreamscape and the user is left to interpret the events and lack of explicit storyline. The only differences that seem to set this game apart from Yume Nikki is the more concrete subject matter (the deeper aspects of the landscape seem to have a more pristine resemblance to human body parts, where as Nikki's environment requires more interpretive thinking to analyze) and the inclusion of multiple endings.
The story of .flow centers around Sabitsuki (さびつき), who is unable to or refuses to leave her room. She has short white hair and a grayish blue top, a white skirt, and red shoes.
Sabitsuki's bedroom is painted gray, with a TV and game console (through which you can play the minigame Shinsouku Neko (神速猫, God Speed Cat)), a bookshelf, a bright orange rug, and, most notably, her bed and computer. Inversely from most Yume Nikki fangames, the bed is used to save and the computer is used to enter the dream world.
An interesting gameplay element throughout .flow is a series of "forbidden areas" in Sabitsuki's dream world: open doors that cause the screen to break out in static and Sabitsuki to back away. These can only be accessed once all effects have been collected and "dropped off" in Sabitsuki's PC. With effects stored there, the protagonist assumes her alter-ego, Rust, a seemingly more malevolent version of herself with a more pallid color scheme. Looking closer, her eyes are, almost impossible to tell, a deep red. Rust cannot use any effects, but can surpass the barriers that blocked her original form and acquire three boxes in order to unlock a final and more substantial ending to the game, viewed often as the "true ending."
In addition to these differences, Sabitsuki is pursued throughout the game by Kaibutsu, human characters bloodied to various degrees (to the point of missing large amounts of their faces when hostile) that also share Sabitsuki's white hair. Upon capture, Sabitsuki is transported to an inescapable area in a manner similar to Toriningen. However, as Rust, the chasers are replaced by Red Demons, a weaker but faster and much more abundant enemy. Rust can take several hits from these demons, each one decaying her body until finally, on one strike too many, she falls apart and is transported back to the real world. It is highly likely that these Red Demons have a metaphorical meaning.
In .flow, effects actions are used with the Shift key, and after collecting all effects, you can drop them in front of the computer; be careful, though, once all effects have been dropped, they cannot be regained (unlike Yume Nikki). You can get one of the games three endings from here, or continue the game as Rust.
|Sabitsuki wears orange headphones. Pressing Shift causes her to play a couple of tunes and two music notes to pop out of them.|
|Sabitsuki's weapon, used to attack NPCs when interacting with them. Pressing Shift causes Sabitsuki to rest the pipe on her shoulder.|
|Sabitsuki turns into a ghost with a traditional triangle kerchief. Pressing Shift allows her to become transparent and invisible to NPCs, but not invulnerable.|
|Sabitsuki has a big red cyclops eye. Pressing Shift causes her to blink twice.|
|Sabitsuki wears Oreko's helmet. Pressing Shift causes bubbles to silently float out of it.|
|Sabitsuki has white cat ears and tail. Pressing Shift makes her turn into a small white cat and meow. In this form she can enter smaller/lower doorways and access new areas.|
|Sabitsuki wears a blue witch dress, has her hair tied up in a ponytail with a red ribbon and rides a broom, doubling her speed. Pressing Shift makes her get off the broom and walk at normal speed.|
|Sabitsuki holds a watering can. Pressing Shift causes it to rain; subsequent presses change the amount of rain or turn the rain off.|
|Sabitsuki has an orange whistle. Pressing Shift makes her blow it, causing NPCs to follow her. The whistle makes no sound when it is used.|
|Sabitsuki wears a gas mask. Pressing Shift causes her to slightly raise it, revealing the bottom half of her face.|
|Sabitsuki's arms and legs turns into robot parts.|
|Sabitsuki has no arms and legs. Pressing Shift causes her fall over and crawl slowly. Once she falls, she cannot pick herself back up.|
|Sabitsuki becomes a green slime. Pressing Shift causes her to melt, then regain her previous form.|
|Sabitsuki has five arms and has her hair tied up in pigtails, resembling Yume Nikki's Monoko. Pressing Shift will cross all her arms, returning her to the Nexus.|
|Sabitsuki's intestines pour out of her stomach. Pressing Shift causes Sabitsuki to try to put them back in.|
|Sabitsuki has different colors. Pressing Shift makes her change colors (there are 8 different color sets in total).|
|Sabitsuki holds a handgun, scaring away (but not harming) NPCs when fired. Pressing Shift makes her close her eyes and fire the gun in the air. After shooting 5 bullets, pressing Shift makes her reload the handgun.|
|Sabitsuki turns into a purple corpse.|
|Sabitsuki wears a black hoodie. Pressing Shift causes Sabitsuki to lower or raise her hood.|
|Sabitsuki wears a school uniform like that of the Kaibutsu.|
|Sabitsuki's head turns into a TV. Pressing Shift causes her to turn the TV on or off, showing a random image or facial expression each time.|
|Sabitsuki has plants growing around her. Pressing Shift makes the plants grow thicker around her. The plants will not return to their previous form after that until the effect is unequipped.|
|Sabitsuki gets red plus tattoos on her eyes, resembling Smile.|
|Sabitsuki wears a funeral dress. Pressing Shift makes her curtsy.|
There are many NPCs in .flow. None actually speak, but they are often tied together with theories and are possibly part of Sabitsuki's past.
|The main character of the game.|
|Smile (Brother) and Sister||A boy and girl with cross/plus tattoos/markings over their eyes. The boy has been called Brother in lol's art, but he is known best by his filename Smile. Certain effects trigger the Smile event with Brother.|
|A girl who lives underwater and builds strange machines in her house. She gives Sabitsuki the Diving Helmet Effect. Oreko also reappears in other parts of the game.|
|Gas Mask Maid / Cleaner||Seen at The Sugar Hole and in other parts of the game. The character has been called Cleaner in lol's art, but they are known best by the fan-name Gas Mask Maids. Interacting with one causes her to bow.|
|The chasers in the game. Their name translates to "monster". They laugh and usually have a distorted face.|
|Bar Kaibutsu||A lone Kaibutsu at the bar in The Sugar Hole, strikes back if you attempt to hit him with the Iron Pipe. Nicknamed "Gabe" by fans.|
|Fetuses (Red Demons)||The Chasers in the after game. They appear only in one location before the events that lead to one of the endings are triggered.|
|Hana (Flower Girl)||NPC that can be found in Plant Maze, in her own room. She gives Sabitsuki the flower menu theme. Hana is a fan name, from the Japanese word meaning flower.|
|Metal-tan (Gisoku-ko / 義足子)||Mysterious girl that Sabitsuki can find in the monochrome room/place, and the younger version of her in hospital.|
|Sato (Girl in Yellow Dress)||Mysterious girl NPC. A resident of Vomiting Girls World, she can be found standing on the edge of a cliff and seems to ready jump to her doom. In version 0.18, she had an appearance in one special event.|
|Takibi-San (Charlotte)||Girl NPC who can be found in the outside areas of the Alleyway Hospital. She sits near to the street fire and seems to try to warm herself.|
Gameplay Images (Version 0.192)
Gameplay Video (Version 0.09)
|ver.0.193||May 19, 2019||Lol's website|
|ver.0.19||Deleted (bugged version of ver.0.192)|
|ver.0.03||?||Uboachan (Reupload, missing RPG_RT.exe)|