The Nightmare of Mensis is one of the first locations you can access that's extremely not normal. A dream realm said to have been created when the entire School of Mensis - a later offshoot of Byrgenwerth - projected their minds into The Nightmare together. They apparently shed their physical bodies, or maybe that's a nice way of saying they all just dropped dead, and collectively created a distorted little reality consisting mainly of a huge, gothic castle and a whole lot of fused, deformed corpses.

...Not to mention all the eyeballs everywhere, which don't move, but sometimes have spider legs. Beautiful!

But from the tallest tower in the castle, there shines a strange light that causes frenzy, like an evil lighthouse. What's doing that?!

What's doing that is, of course, a huge gigantic monstrous brain, impaled on giant iron spikes and wrapped up in chains at the top of the tower. This gorgeous design is covered in what look like merged and melded Messenger bodies, or perhaps they're degenerated human bodies? The misshapen mass is also covered in unreasonably large eyeballs, some unreasonably larger than others.

The thing about this poor little gargantuan brain is that, except for the maddening gaze thing, it is completely defenseless and unaggressive. It's only driving you insane by looking at you, after all. That's no crime! MANY of us are known to be looking at things!

The Brain is, thus, not even a boss battle; you can free it from the chains, dropping it down into a dark pit, and it'll do nothing but watch as you hack into it all you want.

Designwise, I love the disturbing absurdity of the brain's huge goggling eyeballs, not to mention the gnarled and pitiful giant arm it has just sort of uselessly splayed on the ground. It truly feels like something mercilessly yanked out of its natural environment, perhaps forced into a physical form it was never adapted for.

Killing the poor brain gives you the living string item, which looks like it might be some kind of parasitic worm, but is also hypothesized to be an incomplete Umbilical cord, which is another important concept to the setting that we'll be getting to in another review, but for now, we finally get to talk about my FAVORITE concept in the game, the one I keep putting off for those who didn't already know all about it. Straight from the living string's description:

"The immense brain that Mensis retrieved from the nightmare was indeed lined with eyes on the inside, but they were of an evil sort, and the brain itself was terribly rotten."

THIS is what Professor Genius Willem really meant by needing more eyes. Just like this. Right on the brain. Where else would they go?! I mean, look, it's simple: you need as many eyes as possible to see as good as possible, see, that much is clear, but NOT on the OUTSIDE, ya dummy! THINK for once! It's not the eyes themselves that KNOW what they're seeing! The images are formed in the BRAIN! It's the BRAIN that actually processes and perceives and understands, see, THROUGH the eyes! The eyes are the brain's windows into reality! But the poor thing only gets those two meager eyeballs that stick out of your skull, see, and all the way on the ends of their nerve cords where they poke out of your head seeing NOTHING but the physical surroundings outside of your body! THAT'S not what we're trying to see! That's not how you get a look at all the secret cool stuff! Don't you GET it?! Don't you SEE!?! It's your BRAIN that needs more eyes!!! You need more eyes for IN your head, not just ON it! THAT was Doctor Logical Provost Willem's big revelation! Your brain needs its OWN eyes! And lots of them! More eyes and more eyes and more and more eyes on your brain in your skull on your brain so your brain can see more and see better and see more things you could SEE more THINGS if your brain just had its OWN more and more eyes to see so much more and the POINT is, SEE, just SEE HERE a minute, BUB, the POINT IS.........Willem the Brilliant is a VISIONARY with the sanest ideas in the world, who is not crazy at all, and furthermo