Nightmares are disturbing and horrifying events / occurences that haunt Simon throughout the entire game. Whenever Simon enters a nightmare, the vision around him will start moving in a blurry (and probably dizzy-like) way.
After the introductory cut-scene, Simon will wake up in a tiny apartment with a camera in his hands. The rest of the building is completely pitch-black, and the only way to progress is for Simon to photograph the white crosses around the building, which will reveal both the way forward and disturbing occurences.
While crossing a particularly long hallway, Simon will run into a huge screaming face (called "The Face" or "Facehead") yelling right at him. Simon will then black out and wake up in an alley.
Simon enters this nightmare sequence after he sees hallucinations of a Stranger in a corridor with a table lamp pointing at the wall. The area then turns dark. After a few seconds, it's illuminated and shown as a bloody corridor.
While walking along the way, Simon sees boards with words written in blood on them:
"WHAT DO YOU THINK?"
"DO YOU LIKE THIS?"
"YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING..."
"IF YOU JUST COULD UNDERSTAND"
"I NEVER' WANTED THIS"
Simon then has to pass a twisted way before reading the door at the end, with the final writings:
"I JUST WANT YOU TO DIE... JUST... DIE"
Along the way, the player will have to put up with beeping-like sounds repeating over and over.
The ceiling appears to have changed into a series of books flying away. This probably represents the stress and trauma Simon has from his book. The books look similar to the ones in the endings where Simon kills himself
When Simon enters the room, he'll find himself in another corridor, this time with normal walls (not bloody like before). However, as Simon moves further into the nightmare, hands will poke up from the floor, screaming can be heard, and Simon's health slowly drains.
Simon will need to run as fast as he can to reach the door leading to the exit of this nightmare.
When Simon gets into the roped-off apartment, he'll descent a stair that's in the middle of the room. He then finds himself in a dark corridor, while hearing the doctor talking about his patient. He then finds a door that leads him to a room with a face (the same one from the first nightmare) spasming around. Once Simon defeats every enemy here, a cage in front of him will be opened, revealing a door. Simon reaches the door but Sawrunner brutally appears in front of him as the door's destroyed. The floor collapses and Simon finds himself in a dark place. He runs toward the only light in the distance, which is a room. Simon enters this room and goes through the door, ending the nightmare.
Simon faces several blood-covered platforms in an endless void with several deformed humanoids (probably copies of Simon) screaming and self-harming in floating cages. The player has to be very careful when jumping around the twisted path.
Simon then finds himself in an asylum with a pattern of doors, with a note on the floor as a hint on which doors to cross.
The note "My Life" says:
That fateful night, the child lay upon the road, broken.
"Why did you have to walk that way so late, young man? Why did you have to be so foolish?"
Disillusioned and embittered by his parents' words, the child was broken physically, broken mentally. The men in white placed him in the rolling chairs, how he laughed! How he laughed!
And so he lived what remained of his life. One day fate smiled upon the chid, and so he came upon the implement of his destruction, decisions! Decisions! The outcome was not certain - Pro capty lectoris, habent sua fata libelli.
The door pattern to proceed is in the order Car - Wheelchair - Gun - Book.
After the rooms, Simon finds himself in a partially-twisted hallway. A door at the end leads to a bloody maze. Once getting down there, sounds of metals rubbing together start, and Simon will find himself being chased by Hangmen. He has to find his way out of the maze to escape this nightmare.
(NOTE : You should save your progress before getting to the maze, as there's no way to get back up.)
There are several maps on the walls to help navigating the way.
Once Simon reaches the door, a cut-scene is played, showing a short conversation between a doctor (probably Dr. Purnell) and someone hidden behind the wall, telling about Simon's problems, both physical and mental.
After the cut-scene, Simon is shown falling to his knees and tries to crawl his way to the door. As soon as he gets out of the maze, he slams the door back and takes a while with some heavy breaths to clam down after such disturbing event. Then Simon stands up and opens the door again to see if the Hangmen are still there, only to find that the area has turned to normal, with no blood or the Hangmen there anymore. He shuts the door and proceeds; chapter 5 "Leaving This For Good" starts.
This nightmare takes place when Simon enters a cave-like area in the forest. When he approaches the entrance, screaming sound, then unknown and disturbing noises, can be heard.
As Simon gets near the door leading further inside, it suddenly breaks open, beginning the nightmare.
Simon eventually will reach a "slide-at-the-sides" fall, where he has to use the edges on the two sides to slide down safety. Once down there, he'll run into a narrow area with lots of "slapping doors".
The first part of this nightmare has these moving doors on the floor. Simon has to time his move to get pass the doors ; if he falls through a door while the gap is opening, the height from there to the bottom below is enough to kill him instantly.
Eventually, Simon will get to a part where these "slapping doors" are on the two sides of the wall. This time, he has to avoid being hit by these hazards. While a door is in its "open" position, nothing happens if Simon touches or runs into it, but the space left of the other side is not big enough to get through, Simon has to wait until the door closes. If the door slams at Simon when he's passing by, it's an instant death.
When Simon passes the last moving door, he'll run into the monster Upper. After killing it, Simon gets to the door behind it. The nightmare ends there.
Final Nightmare - "Bad" Endings (1, 2 and 3)Edit
Once Simon reaches his house and finds the book, a cut-scene is played showing that "true" Simon in reality kills himself with a gun pointing at his mouth when he pulls the trigger. Now it's all in his twisted head.
Chapter 8 "My Life Ends Here" starts with this nightmare.
Caught off guard by twisted music (the OST is named "Fucked") with the words "shit", "fuck" and cries "I'm sick!", "I'm so fucked!", Simon is lost in ever-changing and moving bloodied corridors, where many book pages fly in the endless void, all of them with SUICIDE written in blood on it.
The paths can be hazardous due to sudden changes that might cause the player to fall and die, forcing them to retry.
Before fighting the final boss (Sick Simon), Simon has to climb several floating open books (again with SUICIDE pages) before jumping in a floating arena where an elevator will take him to the boss lair.
The fight begins with Sick Simon, in a wheelchair in a cell protected by bars, using his power to throw items at Book Simon. At this point, he's completely out of reach with normal melee weapons, and immune to all kinds of damages.
A while later, the first wave of Headless appear.
Each wave of the monsters has one that will drop a valve upon death; there are four valves (which means four waves of monsters to fight during this nightmare) that must be put on the walls to take down the bars protecting Sick Simon.
Once the bars are down, the player approaches. Sick Simon lowers his head, probably as a sign of giving up all hopes to continue living any longer, before getting brutally and mercilessly beaten up by the player before being knocked off his wheelchair. The player then starts strangling the passed-out Sick Simon to death.
While strangling Sick Simon, both the player and he will start losing health.
Once Sick Simon is dead, the player collapses as well. The ending cutscene then is played.
Final Nightmare - "Good" Ending (4)Edit
It begins as Simon returns to his home, looking for his mother. He discovers the book that the real Simon wrote in reality, while staring at the book, picks up the gun ready to commit suicide. Then Book Simon, who is covered in blood, opens the door to his apartment, which leads him to the final nightmare sequence.
Simon goes after Book Simon out of his room. As soon as he reaches the hallway out of there, the area is shown as a pitch-black void with several hands (with lots of bleeding wounds on the writsts, representing Simon's self-harming that can be seen when using morphine) and eyeballs rolling around. During this nightmare, there's no Stamina Bar, as Simon is sitting on a wheelchair (his movement, because of this, is limited as well) and armed with only a Browning to kill Book Simon.
Book Simon will often appear in the bloodied corridor and shoot at the real Simon and he will need to kill Book Simon to escape the nightmare. He uses the following weapons : a Glock, a Shotgun, a Machine Gun, and a Sledgehammer and a Flare at the end.
However, in reality, the Book Simon he kills is actually two police officers that break into the real Simon's flat, attempting to stop him from killing himself during a psychotic episode.