by Daley Wilhelm
This article contains spoilers for Dream Daddy.
But one of the endings is.
Last week the much anticipated dad dating simulator Dream Daddy created by the Game Grumps captivated the Internet with a punny, original concept that charmed players with an adorable aesthetic, wholesome meme-ery, and of course those handsome, datable dads. The game, announced only about a month ago, offers a Dadsona-creator, mini-games, and according to the last bullet-point of the features on Steam “Secretssssssss.”
Data miners may have already discovered one of those secrets. And it’s a dark one.
For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, dating simulators feature multiple endings with your multiple love interests, some “good” (Happily ever after!) and some “bad” (You break up, he moves away, he’s actually in a cult, etc.). In Dream Daddy, your objective is to seek a “good end” with one of the seven eligible dads. However, one of those dads isn’t so very eligible.
Dream Daddy features Damien “Goth Dad” Bloodmarch who looks like a stereotypical vampire and Robert “Bad Dad” Small whose hobbies include hunting cryptids, but it’s Joseph “Cool Youth Minister Dad” Christiansen that has the more complicated background. Joseph is married to his aptly named wife Mary, making the player a kind of interloper should they choose to pursue this prim blonde.
Another ending with Joseph has him try to reconcile his miserable relationship with his wife, and since he does not wind up with the player, this would be considered a “bad end.”
But it gets worse.
One data miner found a disturbing transcript of another ending with Joseph, one a little off-kilter considering the good vibes this game exudes. The player awakens in a dungeon with Joseph in a priest’s outfit and a much different demeanor. He reveals that the reason why all the dads in the cul-de-sac are so datable is because he had systematically murdered all their spouses for his dark, occult purposes. The player and Mary then team up to defeat Joseph. The assets and art from this ending reflect an entirely different tone from the rest of the soft, pastel Dream Daddy art.
Dating sims have done this before, most notably Hatoful Boyfriend, with it’s dystopian premise and plethora of endings wherein the hapless player ends up beheaded, dismembered, or assassinated quite frequently at the hands (wings?) of the pigeons she tries to woo. Fans have theorized that this “cult ending” was meant perhaps to be a Halloween DLC. Players have tried desperately to actually trigger the cult ending, but so far to no avail. The closest players have gotten is a brief moment with Joseph’s wife, Mary, wherein deeper implications seem to be hinted at.
For me, this adds another layer of intrigue into a seemingly simple but nonetheless delightful take on a frequently tired and/or overtly sexualized genre. What’s truly even more interesting about this bonus ending is that this dark secret seems to be an open one–meaning that the cult end is referred to in-game.
Bad Dad Robert casts aspersions on Joseph’s character, seeming to warn the player about what the Cool Youth Minister could be capable of. On one of the dates with Robert, you might catch of glimpse of a dark figure dragging a body in the woods. There’s also Robert’s tattoo, a kind of compass/eye/demonic script which one sharp eye found also appears on a clock and even on a cross.
Currently, Dream Daddy is still a little buggy, it’s release having been pushed back in order to remedy this. But hey, for a game that appeared so quickly and gained an immense following overnight, it’s a great game complete with all those secretssssssss.