Dreamcatcher Extends The Mystery Behind The Crown With Alternate Reality Teases

One of the best at pre-comeback teases in the K-Pop industry, Dreamcatcher keeps up the intrigue as the road to new music continues.

Dreamcatcher Extends The Mystery Behind The Crown With Alternate Reality Teases
Dreamcatcher take a group pic at the 2023 Changwon K-Pop World Festival. Source: hf_dreamcatcher (Twitter)

A Brief Note

Hey folks! Before we get started with the usual Dreamcatcher news, I wanted to let you know that I’m participating in Extra Life, the annual 24-hour video gaming livestream event that raises money for children’s hospitals and the critical research and care they provide for kids. This is my 5th year with the event (I’ve raised $5,000 over 4 previous years), and if I raise $1,000 I’ll get a tattoo integrating the Extra Life logo! Game Day is November 4th, 2023 and if you want to donate or see where I’ll be streaming, you can check out my Extra Life fundraising page. Whether you donate, stop by to watch, or just signal boost this link, your support is appreciated by me and by children’s hospitals!

It’s fairly inevitable at this point that I’ll be doing an article on Dreamcatcher Mystery Codes at some point. The build to comebacks, long a tradition in the K-Pop industry, has always been fun with this group, and it’s part of why I follow them so heavily.

That said, the last few mystery codes have been fairly easy to solve from the fans’ standpoint, and Dreamcatcher and Dreamcatcher Company decided that this time, they were going to up their game. Last week’s update, filled with a flurry of images, videos with hidden messages in them, and cryptic, creepy messages got people interested, but more importantly, kept the intrigue going. Let’s check out what Dreamcatcher did this week to further build up the suspense, along with everything else they were up to!

This was the week of more individual activities from Dreamcatcher, and things kicked off with SuA’s Chat Time, a mini radio show-type livestream where DJ SuA answered fan-submitted questions. Some fun tidbits included SuA talking about the true value of friendships, her laughing over the stream’s audio issues and a fun surprise that Siyeon, JiU and Yoohyeon sang solo versions of Dreamcatcher songs to help provide some radio themes. SuA’s time during Wendy’s Youngstreet means I’m still holding out hope that a place will give her a chance at her own show someday, but until then, I’m more than happy to take this as a substitute.

Dami brought us another episode of Dam Tok Bang this past week and in it she decided to search for and react to things on the internet about her. This was especially funny when she fixated on a particular wiki entry about her outing to the library to correct as well as her time in MINX as the “cute maknae”, but it was also nice to see that she found reactions to her from fans as well. It looks like I’ve got to up my game here at The Low Key Geek to make sure that these articles come up even in Naver search, eh?

And lastly we got another episode of SingCarLive, this time with two fans who were traveling from elsewhere in South Korea to Seoul for a few days. The lack of a language barrier did help a bit this time around for Siyeon to be able to feel a little more comfortable conversing with these two, and there were some pretty funny questions such as “who nags the most” (it’s SuA) or about MBTI, but also some insights about song difficulty and how fans get into Dreamcatcher. Siyeon then served up Taeyeon’s “Stress” to fans Minyoung and Jisu on request, and displayed that main vocal skill that’s gotten her a ton of attention lately in Dreamcatcher’s live gigs. It was, as always, a fun and casual conversation, well-suited for Dreamcatcher’s main vocal.

Speaking of live gigs, Dreamcatcher did have the last one they’d scheduled for October, a performance at the 2023 Changwon K-Pop World Festival, which served as the finals for a global K-Pop cover group competition. With two songs (“BONVOYAGE” and “BOCA”) and the charisma from a really cool tunnel walk intro in their pockets, Dreamcatcher did their part to provide entertainment to a really neat event for talented international dancers and cover groups. As a bonus, Changwon is near SuA’s hometown of Masan, meaning her family was able to attend and see their all-rounder K-Pop family member deliver another cool couple of Dreamcatcher songs.

Archenemy99 puts up a poll about “opening the door”. Source: ymenehcra99 (Twitter)

The main attraction of this week, however, was the ongoing ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that Dreamcatcher Company has been running in preparation for the upcoming comeback for the group. With a couple days in which fans continued to be puzzled about the clues that were presented, the “archenemy” X/Twitter account took the time to present a thread of in-character clarifications in which they said that they wanted a bit more serious, rather than joking, commitment to helping them “find the crown”, that only the X/Twitter and YouTube accounts were real, and that someone being at their door every day  was part of the issue. A poll was then put up about opening the door the next time they showed up, or not, with InSomnia overwhelmingly favoring opening the door to see what might happen.

A second letter arriving for archenemy99. Source: ymenehcra99 (Twitter)

The result was a second letter, one which had the same crown as was seen briefly in last week’s YouTube video, and a set of new, cryptic messages. The writer, who seemed to be talking to themselves or of split mind, talked about desiring and then not wanting the crown to seek it, then seemed to start over at the end. This was, understandably, just as disturbing as the last correspondence, and still left some open questions about what this obsession of crowns truly meant.

October 27th brought a limited item to the Dreamcatcher official store. Source: Dreamcatcher official store

All eyes then turned to the store event on the 27th that the C video referred to, and fans who had just taken in Dreamcatcher’s performance in Changwon rushed to the Dreamcatcher official store website to see what the item was. Answers, however, seemed to be not forthcoming in an obvious way. The mysterious item, titled “Mirror with the Perfect Crown”, was sold in extremely limited quantities, one per person, and the description in Hangul, with one line purposefully overwritten with another about hoping for a “lucky 99th person”, added to the intrigue. The items, predictably, were quickly sold out, and I managed to snag one of them before they were all gone.

At a nominal base cost before shipping of just under $6 USD, and with the fact that the item itself seems no wider than a photocard and half its height at 56 x 56 mm, it’s hard to tell what it might be. Logistically, if a single winner from the 99 doesn’t check in, I would assume Dreamcatcher Company’s ARG has a fallback - but it seems fans won’t find out til next week when they begin shipping. Rampant speculation about this latest item ensued, and even if it turns out to be a small novelty piece of Dreamcatcher merchandise, it nevertheless has been a curious turn in an already high-effort promotion.

The archenemy account posts a new mirror picture. Source: ymenehcra99 (Twitter)

It also didn’t help that a brand new image dropped on the archenemy account at the same time. A curious mirrored image of a hand being darkened while its reflection seemed clean set off a new round of ideas and thoughts, from another Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass theory, to further proof of a vampire concept, to continued thoughts about Dreamcatcher returning to the world of a previous MV, whether “Deja Vu” or the Nightmare series. Whichever way that things turn out, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to more, especially as Yoohyeon, in an attempt to help things along, took to paid chat subscription platform Fromm to try to help fans along with the original text message mystery code. The unscrambling of “aim caorwn” is “i am a crown”, but putting the unscrambled and scrambled portions on top of one another and drawing lines between the old positions and the new reveals something interesting:

The Roman numerals which form in the middle of the lineup read “11 22”, making a November 22nd, 2023 comeback date, one that has been speculated about since the BONVOYAGE” Farewell version video had a 22 on a calendar, a potential likelihood. We’ll know definitively this week, it seems, but between Yoohyeon’s helping hand, the items soon-to-arrive in fans’ inboxes, and all of the intrigue of the story continuing (we still don’t know what the obsession with 9’s is about), this has been one of Dreamcatcher’s most intricate pre-comeback promotions yet. As always, you can count on me for all the latest in the hype leading up to new Dreamcatcher music, so for all that, and more, I’ll see you here next week!