Protagonist of Yume Nikki.
Madotsuki is a human girl and the character the player controls through the game's events. She has brown hair, which is done into twin braids with red hairclips, and an expression only consisting of two closed (or squinted) eyes. She wears a pink long-sleeve shirt, which is sometimes interpreted to be a sweater or hoodie, with a window-like design consisting of a red border and a 3-by-2 grid pattern of gray and white squares. She also wears a dark purple skirt and red shoes.
Madotsuki is a girl shrouded in mystery. Most of her identity and life are entirely left up to the player's interpretation, with any official hints of these factors being shown in abstract and vague forms during her dreams. Although there is no indication of her age given in the game, she is often depicted as a young person, likely in her pre- or early-teenage years.
Her life in the real world (or at least what the player gets to see) is all confined to her small room. She can go out to her balcony, play NASU on her Famicom console, sit at her desk and write in her diary, or go to sleep in her bed, with the latter having the most significance due to allowing the events of the game to take place.
The word "Madotsuki" means "windowed", as in to have a window (like a windowed house). The name appears in the menu as the name of the player character, and (in the Japanese original version) is one of the two instances of kanji writing in the game. The only other time kanji is used is for the message that appears when sitting in Madotsuki's desk chair in the dream world.
"Madotsuki" is not a word used as a name in Japan—in fact, it may not even be her true name at all. It could be thought of as being a metaphor; more a description of the character as the player's 'window' into the dream world or the game itself rather than a literal name. It could also be a way to preserve the game's theme of loneliness by giving the character a functional, dehumanizing name rather than a personal name. The name "Madotsuki" is also similar to the colloquial Japanese term for 'windower', a person who spends a long time looking out the window; that is, a daydreamer, which fits with the game's theme of dreaming.
It has been noted that when her name in romaji is reversed (Madotuki in Kunrei-shiki romanization), it becomes Ikutodam: 行くと駄目 or 行くとダメ ("iku to dame"), a commonly used phrase that means "it is useless to go/leave." This may be a coincidence, though it also eerily describes Madotsuki's state of living, in which she refuses to leave her room, or it may represent Madotsuki not wanting to leave her dreams, as they are far more expansive and interesting than her single real-world room.
Elements in Madotsuki's dream world appear to hint at various aspects of her character: her mental and emotional state, her past experiences, her interests, etc. Various aspects of the game such as the effects and various events seem to hint at these the most. Some appear to have a more cheerful, silly, or whimsical feel to them, such as the Neon effect and the Witch's Flight event. However, others seem to show a more dark, violent, or unnerving side such as the Severed Head effect and the Uboa event.
The overall atmosphere of the dream world appears to shed light onto Madotsuki's emotional state, as most appear to be disturbing in nature and are typically made up of dark voids with black floors, only using a single parallax image to depict what the background would look like, such as in worlds like Eyeball World and Forest World. Despite this, there are still dream worlds that appear to give off a more positive or relaxing aura such as the Sky Garden or FC Field.
It is also possible that Madotsuki may just be a typical lucid dreamer trying to find a release by exploiting her dreams for fun and self-discovery, as shown by her ability to know she is dreaming simply by feeling for any physical stimuli after pinching her cheek.
- The only time she is seen with her eyes open is when she uses the Cat effect, revealing them to be red. However, many have speculated that this is just a result of the effect, rather than their natural color.
- When the player attempts to perform an action without certain conditions (such as using the Demon effect without any rain), Madotsuki will make one of two small noises indicating she is unable to perform the action. These noises appear to be the phrases "dame" (ダメ) and "muri" (ムリ), which translate into "no good" and "it's impossible", respectively. This is the only instance of her audibly speaking words/phrases in the game.
- An image of a human figure that somewhat resembles Madotsuki appears on a very ancient Paracas poncho. Interestingly, many examples of Mesoamerican imagery can be found throughout the game. A full scan of the poncho can be found here with more info found here.
- A picture book released in 1993 titled REX Yume Nikki (part of Kadokawa's REX series) features a girl who somewhat resembles Madotsuki on its cover. Interestingly, Kadokawa is the company that made RPG Maker, the engine that was used to make the game.
- Madotsuki's shirt design resembles a simplified version of the CJK character 囧. This character can mean "to shine" or "window", matching the theme of Madotsuki's name. It can also be used as an emoticon expressing sadness or shock. In Japanese, the Kanji means 'clear' or 'bright', which could be a small indicator of her personality.