NASU is the Famicom game found in Madotsuki's Room. The graphics and sound highly resemble authentic Famicom/NES hardware capabilities, although the game itself is fictional.
It is named after the Japanese word for eggplant (なすび, nasubi), a type of fruit native to Asia.
The player plays as a red character largely resembling a bird or Tengu. They are able to walk left and right across the screen using the left arrow key and right arrow key, respectively. They can also jump by pressing the interact key, which is essential for collecting points. To exit the game, the Esc key is held.
NASU is a very simple arcade game in which the objective is to catch falling eggplants in the player character's mouth. Failing to catch a single eggplant will result in a game over. Each eggplant is worth 10 points.
For every eggplant collected, there is a 1/50 chance for a pink bonus eggplant to appear, bouncing from the left side of the screen to the right. Eating the bonus eggplant is worth 300 points, and it does not result in a game over if not eaten. It is possible to get an additional 1,000 bonus points by catching a normal and bonus eggplant at the same time.
By performing a button combination nearly identical to the Konami Code (left, left, right, right, up, down, up, down) in NASU's title screen, the player character's head is replaced with an eggplant. Doing this greatly improves the chances of a bonus eggplant appearing. While this is likely a reference to the Konami Code, it may also refer to Kid Icarus for the Famicom, where some enemies transform the player into an eggplant with legs.
Playing NASU with this trick enabled will not update your high-score after losing.
A fully playable online version made by a fan was published on Newgrounds:
- According to unused code in version 0.09, the NASU player character was originally going to appear in the Dense Woods A and Windmill World, transporting the player to FC World C in an unused event called NASU Link.
- It is possible that NASU wasn't the only minigame intended to be included in Yume Nikki, since it is redundantly the sole member of the separate menu that appears when interacting with the Famicom. This is supported by the Thumbs.db files of version 0.04, which contains images of a scrapped game called Severed Head PK.
As NASU is one of the few activities Madotsuki can partake in while in the real world, it is very likely to have some effect on her dreams.
The NASU game is notable for its bright red colors. The background clouds, the player character, and the game over flash are all bright red. Such a bright color could possibly affect Madotsuki's eyes, possibly causing eye strain. This may appear in the form of the Toriningen, who have bright-pink eyes when in their lunatic form. The Number World Toriningen can also send Madotsuki to the ああああああああ event when made lunatic, which can make either a red "あ" character or a pink, bloodshot eye cover the world's floor. The Toriningen also slightly resemble the NASU player character with their long snouts and humanoid appearance. Other notable instances of bright red include Strober, Big Red, and even the droning likes of Hell and occasional bits of red interrupting the otherwise monochromatic White Desert (with characters like the Bloody Touching Monster).
The flashing red of the game over screen could also carry over into Madotsuki's dreams through the various neon-color and flashing image characters (such as the Shield-Folk, Aztec Rave Monkey and FACE) that appear. It should also be noted that one neon creature, the Neon Parrot, bears a striking resemblance to the NASU player character.
The constant looping tune that plays whenever the NASU game is played may be responsible for the short and looping tracks that play in Madotsuki's dreams, assuming that the music is meant to be diegetic (meaning that the in-game characters can hear the world's music playing).
The inclusion of a Famicom in Madotsuki's room may also reveal the time period the game takes place in, as a Famicom is a rather outdated console by today's standards, but it isn't unusual for someone to own and enjoy using one. Even the television in her room appears to be an outdated design. This may indicate that the events of Yume Nikki take place sometime in the recent past. Alternately; it could be that because she never leaves her home these items represent the time period when she changed and stayed indoors, hence nothing is updated or new.
Madotsuki playing NASU in the manga.