I'm really digging this concept so far. It's like Pan's Labyrinth, Spirited Away, Okami, Little Red Riding Hood, and H.P. Lovecraft came together for a really freaky orgy, the result of which ended up being this awesome lovechild who came out of the womb soloing on an electric guitar or playing spoons or something. ... Okay, so that was a really bizarre analogy, but I meant it in the best way possible. Anyway, one idea I'd like to see implemented would be secret areas, non-essential to the game as whole, that tell a micro-story on their own. I know there's going to be a lot of that already going from one dream state to the next, but I'm speaking more along the lines of secret caverns. Like maybe you find a small hole next to a tree, one that you wouldn't necessary find if you weren't exploring, and it turns out that the hole leads to a small cavern that someone had previously taken shelter in. Within the this little den maybe the previous occupant left a few items that might hint about who that person was, what they were doing there, etc. Maybe an ancestor or someone directly linked to whatever's happening at the center of Black Lake? Each little hidden area you find along the way might further fill in the pieces on this enigmatic person or the larger back story as a whole. Or maybe a side-story? Not entirely relevant to the main plot, but related in some tangible way. I think that may be an interesting device to expound certain non-essential story elements in a fashion that avoids too much hand-holding while simultaneously rewarding the player with a sense of discovery -- like they found something secret that maybe no one else knew about. Some of my favorite moments in games such as the Legend of Zelda were always finding the secrets areas; places you might only find by chance or real exploration. Sadly, the potential these areas possess never seem to be truly taken advantage of. So much more can be done with the idea than just hiding an empty room with a few pots full of rupees.