There’s a brief exchange from Kentucky Route Zero that succinctly condenses the otherworldly atmosphere of Fragile Dreams. A fellow companion asks, “Do you believe in ghosts?” to which your protagonist elegiacally returns, “I do believe a place can be haunted.” Fragile Dreams suggests a re-interpretation of survival horror in similar terms, foregrounding what it means for lonely souls to reach out into a hostile, unforgiving world and the poetic beauty that sits amongst the fragile beings that populate it. In particular, the game asks questions about human behavior when faced with individual death amidst even greater catastrophe and sadness. The unpopulated post-apocalypse setting accentuates these themes surrounding trauma, guilt, existential isolation, and what it means to live as a human being, concluding that even ghosts can offer a fleeting moment of emotional reprieve when you’re one of the only people remaining in the world. Fragile Dreams incorporates familiar survival horror locations such as derelict amusement parks, grimy interiors, uncanny subterranean hallways, etc., but these spaces serve not to conjure a sense of fear but of loneliness, sublimity, wonder, and mystery amidst the spiritual world.
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