The Dreamsong video-game walkthrough

In 2010 I published my first iPad game, Quexlor, Lands of Fate. It was top-down dungeon crawler produced by as a community project where the lead programmer did all the planning, app submission and other technical details. The game was published more or less on schedule, and those final steps of acutally publishing are the hardest part.

A few years later I finished (or stopped working on) The Dreamsong, a game that I designed and programmed by myself. It probably took five years. This was mostly due to world building and coming up with a story.

Play it online (requires a keyboard):

This post is a step-by-step walkthrough. Learn about the game’s pixel graphics, origin and inspiration here.


The Dreamsong is a single-player platform adventure game done in a retro style with a 16-colour palette pixelated graphics. It was inspired by the Commodore 64 version of Dale DeSharone’s 1984 game, Below The Root. This was before he worked on Zelda.


The hammock

In the beginning, you wake up in the hammock of the tree of life. Climb down and go to Una the Stargazer.

Climbing down from the hammock in the tree of life

Una gives you a lantern and tells you to seek the balalaika in the Forbidden Cave.

Una the Stargazer next to her caravan

Forbidden Cave — the balalaïka

Go left and jump down the valley, climb up the hill and enter the Forbidden Cave.

Down towards the forbidden cave

Jump past the rats and scorpion (drawn like the one in Pitfall) and pick up the balalaika and an extra spirit point. Climb up the hole and exit.

The balalaika in the Forbidden Cave

Go back to Una. Touching her gives her the balalaika and she rewards you by teaching you the dreamsong and gives you musical notes.

Ahab on the back of his slave whale

Ahab, Jonah and the whale — the cello

Una tells you to go seek Ahab in the Eastern Sea, so leave her caravan and go right.

Jump into the sea and swim to Ahab’s slave whale and jump on. Ahab tells you he won’t help until he has the cello.

Jonah inside the belly of the white whale

Swim down and find the white whale. Go near it and it will swallow you. Throw a musical note to Jonah and he’ll give you the cello. When you are spit back into the ocean take the cello back to Ahab.

Ahab lies down and becomes transparent

Dante and the underworld

Ahab gives you Charon’s Obol so you can enter the underworld and plead with Dante to forgive Ahab’s curse.

Swim down and to the left to the entrance of the Cœur (underworld or core). Avoid the rats and flying devils (same graphics as in To Tame A Land) and jump down to Dante. He will say you must find his drum.

Cave of No Return — the drum

Ride the lava bubble (just like in the Apple II game Conan) up and to the left to enter the Cave of No Return. With the Obol, Charon will take you across the little lake so you can enter the Cave of No Return and get the drum.

In the Cave of No Return, ride Charon’s ferry across the water to the left side of the cave. Jump up the wall and get the drum. Throw some musical notes at the crab guardian and it will produce spirit so you won’t die so easily.

Secret waterfall escape from the underworld

Go back to Charon’s lake and swim down to fall through the secret waterfall and then in the next pond do the same. You’ll be back in the underground air pocket. Swim out of the underground air pocket and back into the ocean. Go right and up, back to the entrance of the underworld. Jump back down to Dante and give him the drum. Dante will now tell you to find the clarinet and give it to the Piper, but he starts a countdown by beating on his drum. You must finish the game before the drum stops.

Top exit from the underworld

Ride a lava bubble up to the top of the underworld and jump off to the left right before the bubble pops at the ceiling. Go left and climb out the exit to end up in the valley.

Western cave stairs

Climb up the hill to the left, jump in the sea and swim left to enter the Western Cave. Inside the cave, jump and climb your way all the way to the top and exit the top.

Side quest: a broken hearted Yeti

Optional but recommended: fall down to the left to find the Yeti. He’ll give you his broken heart.

Walk on the clouds

Walk across the clouds to the tree of life. Jump passed the empty houses, all the way to the top and go right. Avoid the piper at the top. His musical notes will “kill” you and send you back to the hammock.

Eastern Cave — the clarinet

Jump into the void to the right of the tree top and fall down on the clouds near the top of the Eastern Cave. Inside the cave, climb up to the right where you’ll find the clarinet.

At this point you can win the game by going back out the entrance you just came in and then going to the piper. But it’s hard to approach the piper because he can see you coming and his musical notes will send you back to the hammock.

River in the sky

So instead, jump down the Eastern Cave until you come across Yeta, the female Yeti with the broken heart. She’ll give you her broken heart and she’ll unlock the River in the sky.

Go down and left to exit the Eastern Cave. Cross the Eastern Sea and climb up the cliff, pass by Una and the cross the steppes all the way to the left. When you get to the Western Sea, you’ll see the River in the Sky which looks like rain falling upwards.

Unite the Yetis, get the moccasins

You can climb it like a ladder, up to the Yeti. Touching him now causes Yeta to transport there. Reunited, they award you with moccasins.

Defeat the Piper

Climb up to the piper who doesn’t play his pipe cause he can’t hear or see you with the moccasins. Touch him and he explodes with musical notes and disappears.

Hot-air balloon

A balloon falls from the sky. Ride it to the top of the clouds and you have won (like returning to Kansas in The Wizard of Oz).

The four main characters, Una, Ahab, Dante and the Piper appear and play the dreamsong on their instruments. They each have some wisdom and tell your accomplishments. You’ve won the game.

Extra: The Well of Hope

The Well of Hope is another shortcut back to the top of the Eastern Cave. It lowers and raises on its own and if you can reach the bucket while it drops into the ocean, you can ride it like an elevator into the sky and then jump off onto the clouds.


Other things to do: unknown. The shipwreck was originally meant to play a role but it didn’t make it into the final game. In the story (which continued to be written after the game was finished), there is a map in the shipwreck.

There are also areas where you can walk through walls in the Eastern and Western caves. Like secret passages.