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|“|| Am I not the most wretched and selfish of fortune's fools? Oblivious, I live in a training ground for prostitutes; my mentor is an abuser and purveyor; I've been complicit with my sister's murderer, and the killer of my family, as he corrupted my mind! I sought relief from my pain and you turned me away from the truth!
The Dollhouse was a domain of Wonderland that was a colorful, childlike town made from life-size doll houses. It became a dark, abandoned, defiled wasteland and the lair of the monstrous Dollmaker who resided in a towering workshop looming over the domain in the horizon. Alice Liddell had to defeat a series of dolls and puzzles to reach the heart of the new corruption of Wonderland.
The dollhouse symbolizes Alice's loss of innocence, the loss of innocence of children and contains themes of identity. This disturbing rendition of a corrupted child's paradise acts as a wake-up call for Alice to realize the truth before it's too late - if Alice fails to search the deepest recesses of her memories, mind and subconscious, she will "die" psychologically.
Alice: Madness Returns Edit
After Alice escaped the hallucination of Rutledge Asylum, she found herself in Hyde Park. She also found a wounded Insane Child who warned her about the new evil that overpowered the Queen of Hearts. The child died shortly after, leaving Alice to encounter a mirage of her house on fire.
She was then transported to the Dollhouse, where she met the Insane Child Leader. The leader asked for her help, as well as kept her up-to-date with Wonderland's situation albeit in a cryptic manner. However, the approaching Doll Girl prevented the Insane Children's leader from continuing further and forced the group to hide.
When Alice reached the end of the Dollhouse, she met the Dollmaker, an incarnation of Dr. Bumby in Wonderland. The Insane Children were the incarnations of the Houndsditch children, who became his sinister dolls, and in the real world, his child prostitutes. Her eyes are opened to the monster he was and the abuse she and children everywhere had suffered at his hands, including her own sister. It became Alice's sworn duty to punish him for his deeds.
Upper area Edit
The upper part of the world had many colorful districts. Most of the houses were detachable and able to form new paths for Alice. They also had vibrant interiors like pictures, plushies, and wooden blocks. Some of the furniture inside the house had messages written on them and most were decorated with blood.
The domain had huge dolls in several areas that acted as pathways, while dolls on the swings that were covered with protruding nails acted as obstacles for Alice. There were also a large amount of discarded doll parts found in almost every area of the Dollhouse.
Underground area Edit
The underground part of the Dollhouse was almost the exact opposite of the upper part and acted more like a prison than a haven. There was a lack of color in the area and the lack of childlike furniture. There were morbid depictions of dolls, glass cages containing different horrific objects, wax figures, meat, nails, screws and knives. There were huge piles of junk like damaged baby dolls and skeletons in the basement and breakable objects became porcelain baby doll heads.
- Fort Resistance
- Dolltown (in underworld)
- Dollmaker's Workshop
Residents and creatures Edit
- Bitch Baby
- Colossal Ruin
- Doll Girl
- Drifting Ruin
- Insane Children
- Insidious Ruin
- Menacing Ruin
- The Dollhouse is primarily inspired by the work of Mark Ryden, who is known for creating pictures of innocent, young girls in abstract atmospheres. Similarities include children with abnormally large eyes, vibrant pastel coloring, mixtures of animal meat and children, re-use of singular eyes (possibly all-seeing eyes) and many other intricate, abstract art.
- The underground cellars portion of the dollhouse appears to be influenced by Jan Svankmajer's Alice, including visual elements such as meat, knives, and skeletons.
- There are huge storybooks with Humpty Dumpty and the Jabberwock as they appear in Through the Looking-Glass on the covers found in certain places of the Dollhouse. The Humpty Dumpty book can be found in Frog's Way, while the Jabberwock book can be found in the Fort Resistance level.
- In Dollgirl's Pursuit, there are three dead mice with dark glasses and cane in a jar, which could be a reference to the "Three Blind Mice" nursery rhyme.
- There is also a skeleton-cat with a large top-hat, which is probably a reference to Dr. Seuss' Cat in The Hat.
- There are doll heads with alchemical and astrological symbols on their forehead in some of the shelves found in various houses.
- There is a doll representing the White Rabbit in an area of the Dollhouse.
- The Toy Soldier was a planned enemy for the Dollhouse that was cut from the final version although it can be seen in the Extra Content, as well as several locations around the Dollhouse. It appears in Frog's Way, once just after leaving Fort Resistance, and again when collecting cubes for the picture puzzle.
- Another planned enemy that was scrapped was the Dog Baby, which was originally meant as a pet for Doll Girl. Although its combat was scrapped, it can be seen somewhere in the underground section of the Dollhouse and in the Extra Content.
- Giant versions of both Doll Girl heads can be found in the Dollhouse, mostly near Fort Resistance, and in Frog's Way, Snail's Trail, and associated locations.
- There are many heavily scarring hints about child prostitution in this level serving as foreshadowing the player, such as:
- Entering a doll's crotch area as a door (Frog's Way)
- Pictures of dolls or children with a price in the corner indicating some sort of sale (like Bumby selling them as sex toys for pedophiles and possibly abusing them himself)
- Beds soaked with blood (representing hard and painful sexual intercourse, and in, sadly, many cases, raping to the point of bleeding)
- Pictures of eyes on everything, even cribs (symbolizing voyeurism, or, in some cases as it has been called, pornography)
- Levers becoming grotesque contraptions involving eyes and a mouth on a stick
- Statues of babies in perverse sexual positions. One has its eyes covered with barbed wire, possibly symbolizing how Alice is blind to the truth. Another is a fusion of dolls in a white liquid. Many are naked and bound by rope.
- A lamp made of a leg
- A chair with legs as an armrest
- Mirrors with SAVE US on them
- Dessert items like cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are infested and defiled with insects such as cockroaches, which could symbolize the defilement of something "pure" and how children could be viewed as "dessert".
- Alice goes through the Dollhouse, unaware and oblivious of the truth of what Bumby is really doing, despite being shown many hints and clues, and is guilt-tripped at the end because she turned a blind eye. The player does so as well, and regardless of whether or not the player has suspected the truth, so too does the player face possible guilt.
- The dollhouse the orphans were playing with in the lobby of Houndsditch looks exactly similar to the houses present during the Dollhouse domain.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dollmaker's Workshop. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
- ↑ Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Hide Park. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
- ↑ Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Fort Resistance. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
- ↑ McGee, American. (2011). The Art of Alice: Madness Returns. Milwaukee, OR: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59582-697-8.
- ↑ Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Frog's Way. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.