Every Pokemon is interesting and worth talking about. I don’t play a ton of Pokemon, but I do enjoy the universe and I love learning more about the creatures in it. So, Here’s Another Pokemon! It’s Munna!
Average Height: 2’00”
Average Weight: 51.3 lbs.
First Added In Generation V
I had a friend who never had dreams. He was serious and would get angry at people who suggested he was wrong. Munna wouldn’t really be able to do anything with my friend. That’s because Munna is a Pokemon who can eat people’s dreams and in doing so, it erases the dream from that person’s memory.
A Pokemon that can eat people’s dreams is wild for a long list of reasons. I think the first thing that comes to my mind is how this creature even evolved into this form? I guess things work very differently in the Pokemon universe. But I just don’t see how useful it is for a wild animal to have this dream sucking ability. Then again, Munna is a giant pink ball that floats around. It was never going to be a top predator.
What’s really interesting about Munna is that it can actually suck up dreams AND nightmares. This could be extremely useful for people who suffer from frequent nightmares. Or it could be useful if you are one of those people who have bad nightmares after seeing a scary film. Just grab a Munna and stick it near your bed and tell it to watch for any signs of fear or alarm. If they see your body start to convulse or hear you scream out “Oh no! Pennywise please don’t stick your wet finger in my ear!!” the Munna can jump into action and suck the evil nightmare from your head.
After eating up some dreams, according to Bulbapedia, Munna expels a mist that contains the dream. You can tell what kind of dream Munna has eaten based on the color of the mist. Pink mist means a happy and sweet dream. It also means Munna just ate someone’s happy dream and robbed that person of a wonderful day hanging out with their dead grandfather or something. Seems cruel.
Wait… Maybe my friend was being visited by a Munna every night and having his dreams erased?
Favorite Fan Art
Munna is pictured here expelling some nice and wonderful dream. It was probably a kid dreaming about his cat and how awesome it is to have superpowers. Nice going, Munna.
According to a Pokedex entry, Munna is related to Drowzee. The nose gives it away, honestly.
As far as I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be any documented evidence of what color the mist looks like when a nightmare is eaten. I might be wrong. I like to think it’s pitch black mist.
I wonder if other dream types have different colors? Maybe a really erotic dream is red and a boring dream is grey? Also, I’m assuming some people in the Pokemon universe are selling vape rigs and flavors inspired by Munna’s mist. “Yeah, dude. Try our new flavor ‘Munna Tropical Mist.’”
Best Comment From Last Week
Cotton balls have a million household uses, so good on you, Whimsicott.
Game Freak should continue this trend with a baking soda Pokémon, and a vinegar Pokémon. And they breed to make the most useful Pokémon ever.
A Pokemon that leaves batteries around, but like those really weird sizes that nobody has in their house usually. Like watch batteries or triple-A batteries. I want a whole new type of Pokemon called “Useful.”
There’s plenty of games about fighting and hunting monsters, but not enough games about being a monster and smashing things up. Thankfully there’s Dreams, the incredible creative game that’s led to everything from serialized puppet shows to playable Final Fantasy VII Remake battles. Some intrepid Dreams players have even teamed up to make the perfect giant monster simulator.
“Ruckus: Just Another Natural Disaster” is a player-made level in Dreams in which players take control of a giant but adorable monster and go on a rampage throughout an island metropolis. Players can stomp around, climb buildings, pick up tanks to scarf down, and fire an extremely powerful laser beam, all set to bouncy music.
The goal is simple: Smash as much as you can within the time limit and try to get a high score. News reports pop up on screen as the damage is documented, along with tongue-in-cheek narration. Semi-hidden locations on the island, like a church seemingly devoted to the giant monster and a nuclear power plant that explodes, reward players who explore and smash as much as possible.
While this is a collaborative project, “Ruckus” designer Mori Shiro has documented the development process on their Twitter with posts from as far back as May. It’s fascinating to watch as what was original a diorama of a monster comes to life with little design quirks and becomes the star of their very own game. It makes me long for the return of games like Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and War of the Monsters. Or even just a new Katamari Damacy.
Dreams is still in Early Access, but projects like “Ruckus” really show its potential as a creative tool. It’s a chance to enjoy bite-sized chunks of fun, and for creators to build their dream games. It might be a long time before there’s another giant monster game or unholy Rampage reboot, so I’ll gladly enjoy “Ruckus” for now. Anytime I have a rough day, I’ll consider a quick five-minute smashathon with my cute monster pal.
After an exciting showing at this year’s E3, hype around the Final Fantasy VII remake could not be higher. Its mix of classic storytelling and revamped combat shows a lot of promise. However, there’s been no demo in sight. In the meantime, one intrepid Dreams player has crafted an intense Final Fantasy VII-based boss battle complete with character swapping, magic, and special attacks.
This is one of Final Fantasy VII’s earlier bosses, right before you meet Aeris, and it has shown up in promotional materials already. The “Dreamake” has many of the features that the actually remake will have during combat. Players have control over Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa. Each has their own unique attack animations and a selection of magical spells and fully animated “limit break” abilities to use. It’s not quite as fast-paced as the combat in the remake trailers, but it’s a lot of fun. Air Buster continually respawns, giving ample opportunity to play around. While running around is a bit floaty, swapping character on the fly means you can create a surprisingly cinematic battle.
The Final Fantasy VII remake doesn’t release until March 3, 2020, so creations like the “Dreamake” are perfect if you’re craving flashy buster sword and gun-arm action until the real deal arrives.
Every week it seems Dreams creators are building more and more impressive levels and mini-games. The latest fan creation that has caught my attention is a Star Wars space-combat game where you get to control an X-Wing Starfighter and fight the Empire.
As showcased in a video by the YouTube channel ProjectGenesis, this creation looks and plays like something you might find in a Battlefront game. The level is called Star Wars Forcefighter and was created by PSN user Gauffreman.
This cool creation even features sounds effects and music that sound just like you would expect. And space combat is fluid and really does remind me of Battlefront 2‘s space combat, which for many was the best part of that game.
Forcefigher isn’t a large game. It only features one area and the basic objective of “Shoot TIE Fighters.” Still, an impressive creation for a game that isn’t even technically out yet. Dreams is currently in a paid Early Access period, letting players jump in early for a fee.
Add this level to the already large list of cool stuff made in Dreams, including Dexter’s Lab and Metal Gear Solid’s opening level. What’s next?
We’ve already seen some really cool things being built in the early access release of Dreams on PS4. Now we can add this Metal Gear Solid remake project to that growing list of cool stuff. While it isn’t finished yet, the first footage of the project looks really good.
This fan-made Metal Gear remake is being created by Bear Parker, the global community manager for TT Games, the developers behind the popular LEGO Star Wars and Avengers games.
Parker is slowly making progress on the project. He has run into some issues and limitations with Dreams. As he explains in a video about the project, originally the containers in the level were taking up too much memory and he had to learn a new technique to make them more efficiently. He has also found the sculpting in Dreams to be “fiddly” but hopes to improve and get better with the tools.
There is still a lot left to create and develop, with Parker teasing some of these upcoming additions to the game including, animated environment details and better controls.
Maybe one day we will finally get the modern Metal Gear Solid HD remake fans have wanted? Though it might be this fan or another Dreams creator, who finally makes it.
The early access Dreams Creator has been out for a few weeks and that seems to have been enough time to let players start creating some really cool stuff. For example, a wonderful recreation of the famous fight scene from Captain America: Civil War.
The animation work was handled by the Dreams player Tamir Williams, who says on Twitter it took him around 12 hours to animate this scene.
Williams also credited other Dreams players who made different parts of the scene, like the shield or mountains in the background. This is a good example of how Dreams being so collaborative might help make it easier for more people to create things without, for example, needing to model every character themselves.
A full video recording of the fight was uploaded to the Project Genesis YouTube channel, which is a channel dedicated to cataloging and covering Dreams creations.
The breaktaking painting above is called “Demon’s Penance.” It was created by artist Tomasz Mrozinski using tools included within Media Molecule’s Dreams, released this week in early access for the PlayStation 4. I’ve been staring at it for hours. It’s one of the dozens of games, musical arrangements, sculptures, paintings and strange contraptions I’ve fallen in love in the one day I’ve been exploring Dreams’ impressive creative sandbox.
According to the information on its community page, “Demon’s Penance” is a poster for a game Mrozinski plans to work on when Dreams is officially released later this year. Even if the work never evolves beyond its static, electronically painted form, it’s already touched thousands of members of the virtual artistic community flocking to the creative toolset. It’s been “played” by 3,608 “dreamers,” Media Molecule’s name for community members. Since Dreams creations can be shared and modified by others, “Demon’s Penance” has also been used in 26 other projects.
Dreams is not a game. It’s a massive virtual artistic commune. Users are given tools to create video games, visual novels, interactive art installations, sculptures, animated characters, mechanical constructs and even compose original music. Created works can be shared by community members freely. If a game maker wants to use a piece of music for their platformer or puzzle adventure and the composer allows it, they can grab the tune and integrate it into their work. Users viewing the completed game can see where the music and other borrowed work came from. Credit is automatically given. It’s perfect.
What’s in it for those who aren’t inclined to create? Sweet, sweet consumption. Dreams’ Dreamsurfing mode allows users to search creations by type, keywords or specific tags. Search for ‘The Legend of Zelda’ and one finds a recreation of Ocarina of Time’s Kokiri Forest.
Search for ‘toilet’ and up pops a toilet simulator with interactive pissing action. I guess they can’t all be “Demon’s Penance.”
My favorite means of discovery is the Autosurf option. When selected, it cycles through a random taster of Dreams creations. It’s an excellent way to quickly experience the scope and variety the toolset is capable of producing.
One moment I’m exploring a haunted castle.
The next I am playing pinball.
Then I’m downing a shot of absinthe and looking out the window to witness the night sky transform into a famous painting.
I’m discount Mario.
I’m a bunch of grapes.
I’m racing against the clock through an obstacle course.
I may never create anything in Dreams. I am currently working through the game’s extensive collection of tutorials and lessons to see if anything strikes my fancy. Maybe, once I get the hang of things, I’ll create a tune, or recreate one of my twisted hospital dreams from last year. The game’s visual programming interface seems simple enough. There’s just an awful lot of options and features to figure out.
But Dreams isn’t just about creating. It’s the culmination of Sony’s “Play, Create, Share” philosophy that gave birth to PlayStation games like ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet. Dreams gives creators a place to create, sharers a platform to share on, and players plenty of bite-sized games to play and other creative content to explore.
I am an explorer of digital worlds, and thanks to Dreams I’ve got plenty of exploring to do.
The optimal system for chopping, arranging, and serving cucumber sushi in Overcooked 2 exists only in my dreams. Lately, I’ve had those dreams a lot.
Even if I’ve only played an hour of the strategy cooking game before bed, by the time I get into REM sleep I’m frantically dumping my sous-chef’s hot rice on a plate and rolling digital maki. Sometimes, accomplishing these dream tasks is satisfying. Other times, I wake up wishing I’d just dreamed about my teeth falling out.
One morning, visions of sushi still dancing in my head, I turned to my partner, who had just woken up, and asked him if he’d ever dreamed about video games. It turns out that, in his dreams, events in his over-cluttered Google Calendar are often mapped onto Magic: The Gathering Arena cards, which he assiduously arranges into plays. “Sometimes there are some actual Magic cards in there too,” he said, laughing.
For people who spend a lot of time plugging inputs into video games, the game doesn’t end when their head hits the pillow. The more gamers I asked, the more I learned how widespread video game dreams are. Speaking to psychologists and dream analysts, I found that this widespread phenomenon says a lot about gamers’ unconscious minds and neural wiring.
“Dreams are about integrating our conscious and unconscious lives,” said psychologist Anthony Bean over a call last week. Bean was very much in the mood to talk about the work of the early 20th century psychiatrist Carl Jung, who modernized the study of dreams and believed the same dream can mean different things for different dreamers depending on how their individual lives played out.
Dreams, Bean said, help us process what we did the previous day and what we’ll be doing the next day. If you do something for eight hours straight, like play Overcooked 2, it’s likely to be prominent enough in your mind that your brain doesn’t just forget about it when you’re asleep. Games are especially great candidates for dream topics, Bean says, because they have a “heavy immersion quality.”
“If you see something on television and think it’s really interesting, your consciousness and unconscious are going to continue to process it and how it applies to you,” he said. And since games are by definition interactive, they have even more immersion quality than TV. What surprised me as I spoke with people who dream about games was that their dreams often were not wish fulfillment or best-case scenarios, but instead massively stressful.
“I think I dream about these games because I don’t give myself much unwind time from playtime to sleep time,” said Andy Wright, a 34-year-old software tester, who usually dreams about XCOM 2 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Sunday nights after “marathon sessions.” Combined with stressing over the upcoming work week, he said, it all “coalesces into a restless night of still ‘playing.’”
“Even after I’m done playing, I’m still thinking—consciously or not—of how I would have done things differently,” Wright said. “Should I have moved here? Should I have shot there? How can I improve my next run?”
Liam Dotson, who lives in Virginia and works in politics, told me about a Fallout 76 dream in which he and his wife were searching for nuclear launch codes. “We worked hard and collected them all and returned to our northern Virginia apartment,” he said. “But our two 20-pound cats, who are always up to no good, chewed the red wire and it all blew up.”
Dotson said he could see how his real-life anxieties and gaming habits were combining themselves in this dream. “Under [Trump] we’ve never felt more anxious about any number of things, nukes included,” he said. “And our cats just love chewing on plastic.”
By far, the most common type of gaming dreams that people told me about concerned strategy and puzzle games. Jay Shah told me he dreams about the financial investment spreadsheets he made for the MMORPG EVE Online. Brett Adams told me that, in his dreams, he’s making color matches in Puzzle Quest. Lexi dreams about Tetris bricks. So does Ted. Matt dreams about tactical simulations in Fire Emblem, and Josh dreams of Final Fantasy Tactics.
It’s not that these dreamers were simulating specific gameplay problems and solving them with the same detailed mechanics they would when actually playing the game that day. Often, the in-dream Tetris puzzles were just blurs of color. Shah’s spreadsheets were “definitely gibberish.” Strategy game dreams seem to be more about problem-solving in the most general sense, which is what I experienced with my Overcooked 2 dreams—and before that, dreams about the Switch strategy game Into The Breach.
“Jungian theory would say it’s not necessarily about the text, but the actions happening in a dream,” psychologist Bean said. “If you’re bound by the text you’re being told what to think about the dream rather than let it explore what it means that to that person individually.”
Rachel Kowert, a psychologist who specializes in video games and runs the analytics firm Kitsune Analytics, says that dreaming about strategy games in particular might mean something beyond simply processing what you’ve done that day.
“The function of the dream is solving a problem,” Kowert said. Years of research on dreams shows that one of their primary functions is to find solutions to puzzles we may experience when we’re awake, like planning a wedding or figuring out the right words with which to confront someone. Sometimes, for gamers, those puzzles we go to bed without having solved are more concrete. “For games where problem solving is the primary play mechanic, it’s possible that they’re more likely to be dreamt about, because the evolutionary function of dreams is to solve problems.”
Kowert also said that dreams function to help people remember their waking lives, which is why your dream about Magic cards might also have Google Calendar overlaid on them. “Games are organized things we play, and if that helps you organize memories from your day, it makes sense they would be superimposed on that,” she said.
Your gaming dreams might even make you a better player. Jane Anderson is a full-time dream analyst who has published six books about dreaming. She told Kotaku that dreams about games might help your performance in the game in ways that waking practice wouldn’t. “Your dreaming brain and mind will process any issues that came up for you in playing the game,” she said. “For example, your competitive attitudes, perfectionist issues, conflict issues, any issue that is touched upon or triggered through playing the game.”
“Often your dreams will process these issues without reference to the game itself,” she said, “using different symbols and different dramas.” Once you wake up, you might find yourself better at the game even if you don’t realize how it happened. “When you ‘sleep on it’ you often wake up with the solution to the problem even if you don’t remember the dream,” she said.
Formal studies on how gaming affects dreams, and on how gaming-related dreams impact our daily lives, are few and far between. Although there’s no data-driven evidence that says what my anecdotal research has found—that strategy games are very popular dream fodder—there are studies corroborating the idea that gamers dream differently from non-gamers. According to research by Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta who specializes in lucid dreaming, gamers are more likely to report having lucid dreams, or dreams in which the dreamer has a high level of control over what happens.
People who play a lot of video games seem to have a special talent for disarming violent situations in their sleep, like kicking a gun out of an aggressor’s hands, Gackenbach said. In one study conducted with veteran gamers who struggled with PTSD, -a demographic highly susceptible to nightmares, the subjects were more capable than the average person of getting through hardship scenarios in dreams. Unlike in a real-world war, in which a soldier’s not terribly sure whether they’ll live or die, gamers in games only face digital repercussions for their decisions, which can be empowering when translated into dreams.
“The most common scenario in a nightmare is some kind of chase,” she said. “You can’t get out of it and you wake up and you’re terrified.” Subjects who have played a lot of first-person shooters, she said, do better with these types of nightmares. “With a gamer, when they’re being chased or attacked, they’ve been being chased and attacked for two hours before they went to bed,” she said. “They’ve learned the skill of when to fight back.”
That sense of dream agency can also come from role-playing games, or any sort of “hero’s journey” where the player is hyper-powerful and has total control over their actions. In real life, we can’t just swing an ax at a brick and destroy it, enter every home we pass, run twenty miles, and then defeat a gargantuan dragon. Exercising that level of control is the stuff of dreams. When psychologist Bean talks to his therapy clients about their personal lives and personal goals, he said he always asks them about where the “hero component” is.
“Everything in a game goes into creating the hero who eventually wins,” he said. “If we look at the storylines and types of protagonists [in these games] and put them into the context of the ‘hero’s journey,’ it makes sense why we have these types of dreams.”
“If you identify with a character in a game, your dreaming mind may use that character to symbolise that aspect of yourself, or to try to work out your issues,” said dream analyst Anderson. “Other game characters appearing in your dreams most probably represent how their energies (as you see them) appear in your life, and how you deal with these. Dark or ‘bad’ characters may represent aspects of yourself that you judge as being dark or bad.”
Dreams aren’t just random movies played by your brain. They’re all somehow meaningful, although that meaning isn’t always clear. If you dream about Ganondorf, maybe he’s your dad. Maybe he’s you. Or maybe he’s just Ganondorf and your brain is telling you it wants to play Ocarina again. One thing’s for sure: I’m no closer to figuring out why I dreamed about grabbing the fire extinguisher when I meant to grab the pizza in Overcooked 2.
Dreams, Media Molecule’s sandbox for people to create, share, and play one another’s games, has been in closed beta since December 2018. Now that the non-disclosure agreement for that initial beta has expired, Dreams beta players can finally give everybody else a better look at what the game actually is, and it looks pretty damn cool.
An early build of Dreams was first shown back at PlayStation Meeting 2013, which was the event announcing the PS4. In a tech demo, the studio’s developers crafted a band in-game to play music together. A teaser for the actual game then followed in the summer of 2014, with Sony not officially announcing Dreams until E3 2015. A beta was due out in 2016, but it got delayed twice. The beta didn’t finally get underway until late last year, with the release of the game itself getting pushed into 2019. In short, it’s been a while.
During that time, developers have offered up interviews, previews, and even hands-on demos of Dreams, and while the buzz has been positive, it’s also been hard to glean what the game is actually like. The complex and confusing nature of this game that’s about making games made it hard for the people who had tried the game to clearly convey why they liked it. Keza MacDonald said as much in her own preview of the game last month for Kotaku.
Now that the beta NDAs have run their course, the ongoing trickle of videos and screenshots of player creations has finally helped illustrate how this game works. Even prior to the NDA sunsetting, some interesting creations had been leaking out, including a remake of Kojima Productions’ psychological horror game, P.T. Lots of people have remade P.T. since Konami took it off digital store shelves, but no one had made it within another PS4 game with anything close to that level of fidelity. Dreams trailers often highlight the whimsical, surreal things that can be created in it, but the fidelity of the P.T. prototype also shows just how robust the game can apparently be.
One of the most appealing aspects of Dreams is that you don’t have to learn every one of the game’s design tools to create and share stuff. People can work on just making music or designing a particular character. Other players can then take these individual components and incorporate them into something more complex. One of my favorite creations so far is this person’s fried eggs. They look glorious, on par with foods you can prepare in something like Final Fantasy XV, except in Dreams they can be shared, augmented, and repurposed over and over again for whatever wild idea pops into someone else’s head.
Dreams still doesn’t have a release date, but for a more in-depth look at some of the games people have already started making in it, you can check out this recent video by Media Molecule recapping some of the creations submitted for the recent Dreams Global Game Jam.