Alice Wiki
Alice: Madness Returns Wonderland
Red Queen outlineThis article is about the location. For the music piece, see "Dollhouses".Red Queen outline
Location Northwestern hemisphere
First appearance Chapter 5
Dress gained Misstitched
Series Alice: Madness Returns
Location on map
Dollhouse map
Further information
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!
Alice Liddell to the Dollmaker upon meeting him[1]

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[]

Alice meets the Insane Child in Hyde Park

The Insane Child warning Alice of the Dollmaker.

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.[2]

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.[3]

Alice confronting the Dollmaker

Alice finally meeting the Dollmaker.

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.[1]


Upper area[]

One of the upper Dollhouse rooms

One of the rooms in the upper part of the Dollhouse.

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[]


The underworld of the Dollhouse.

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.


Residents and creatures[]



A piece reminiscent of the Dollhouse domain by Mark Ryden.

  • The Dollhouse is primarily inspired by the work of Mark Ryden,[4] 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.

Three blind mice in a jar.

  • 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.
  • Both upper and lower areas show numbers on the walls for Alice to follow in order. However, in the upper portion, these numbers go up to 9, while the final number in the Dollmaker's lair is 666 (in popular culture, 666 is considered the number of the Satanic Beast of the Biblical Book of Revelation, and also identifiable with the Antichrist. Furthermore, it echoes the Red Queen's labeling of the Dollmaker as a "hellraiser"). The numbers may also be a nod to the number placards that Bumby places on the orphans he pimps out to others.
  • There is a doll representing the White Rabbit and a statue of the Mad Hatter in an area of the Dollhouse.[5]
  • 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.

Hints of child prostitution.

Dollhouse furniture

Various hints and clues.

  • There are many heavily scarring hints about child prostitution in this level serving as foreshadowing the player, such as:
    • Doll Girls becoming unclothed when fighting them
    • Entering a doll's crotch area as a door (Frog's Way)[6]
    • Entering a doll's anus area as a door (Snail's Trail)
    • 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, loss of virginity, 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.[7] Another is a fusion of dolls in a white liquid.[8] Many are naked and bound by rope.[9]
    • 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". They could also be seen as a attempt to manipulate a child by using treats as a means to entice, persuade or console them.
    • The faint cries of children that can be heard periodically as Alice makes her way through the Dollhouse.
    • Spiked pistons repeatedly jabbing into slabs of meat are seen as a common obstacle throughout the lower levels, likely alluding to sexual intercourse, particularly of a forceful and likely painful kind. This and the pictures of meat on display in the upper levels could also refer to the unkind term "a piece of meat", which is used to describe someone who's only worth to someone else is what they can provide with their body, referring in most cases to acts of a carnal nature. Bumby was also selling off children like butcher would sell meat, as a product and little more.
    • A Memory of Doctor Wilson saying Children can be seen as toys for adults, a Memories of Nurse Pris saying "every tool has a purpose" as well as a Memory of Bumby saying everything has a "place".
Child prostitutes

Bumby preparing children for sale.

  • 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-ridden in the end because she turned a blind eye. This is further emphasized during Alice's conversation on the Infernal Train with the transformed Caterpillar. The player in effect is also oblivious to what is happening to the children, and regardless of whether or not the player has suspected the truth, so too does the player face possible guilt.
  • Once Alice discovers the underworld of the Dollhouse, the upbeat music of the upper area changes to a more sombre tragic melody (particularly after Fort Resistance is conquered), a possible auditory sign Alice has now woken up to what is really happening around her.
  • The darker, junkyard-like area seen below the upper portions of the Dollhouse (prior to entering the lair of the Dollmaker) could be acting in contrast to the upper areas in a representation of how Alice, and the player, can actually see the corruption going on, but avoids directly interacting with it, just as Alice witnessed Bumby's abuse of the orphans in the real world yet did not act against him. Even with the emblems of perversion and horror permeating into the upper Dollhouse, the area is still generally childlike and colorful; Alice is still under the impression that the innocence of the Dollhouse is untouched, in spite of evidence to the contrary, and is continuing to deny what's in front of her.
Houndsditch orphans

The dollhouse in Houndsditch.

  • The dollhouse the orphans were playing with in the lobby of Houndsditch looks exactly similar to the houses present during the Dollhouse domain.
  • There are numerous incorrect anatomical models and diagrams scattered around the lower levels of the dollhouse, such as a stag beetle with a skeleton, a bird with the lower half of a human skeleton and a diagram of a fetus growing inside a human skull. This could be referring to how Bumby was incorrectly using his knowledge while treating his patients, or perhaps something that makes just enough sense on the surface to pass as something that would work, the cracks only appearing upon closer examination or in practice. This was how Bumby maintained his image with both the masses and his peers.
  • The contrast between the colorful, innocent Dollhouse and the Dollhouse underworld's taxidermy-like displays and specimen boxes could symbolize how Alice and Bumby view children respectively. The deterioration of the Dollhouse and its underworld's presence in Alice's mind could show how much Bumby was altering her views to match his own: to him, children were simply objects for dispassionate study, violent use and display, with no identity of their own beyond Bumby's own warped perceptions.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dollmaker's Workshop. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
  2. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Hide Park. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
  3. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Fort Resistance. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
  4. McGee, American. (2011). The Art of Alice: Madness Returns. Milwaukee, OR: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59582-697-8.
  5. Spicy Horse (2011-06-14). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Frog's Way. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
  6. Screenshot (Image). Retrieved on May 5, 2017.
  7. Screenshot (Image). Retrieved on May 5, 2017.
  8. Screenshot (Image). Retrieved on May 5, 2017.
  9. Screenshot (Image). Retrieved on May 5, 2017.