[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/knights_nightmare_ds_4392.jpg]]

-->''Knights really isn't too different from [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative the other]] [[NintendoDS stylus-driven]] [[BulletHell bullet hell]] [[TurnBasedStrategy strategy RPGs]] out there.''

The third installation of Sting's ''VideoGame/DeptHeaven'' cycle--confusingly designated "Episode IV" and chronologically placed between ''YggdraUnion'' and ''[[RivieraThePromisedLand Riviera]]''--and released for the Nintendo DS, ''Knights in the Nightmare'' tells the story of a mortal kingdom suffering a sudden influx of demons, which have killed most of the realm's knightly defenders. Compounding matters, the good King Wilmgard has vanished, and his political opponents seem to consider this a wonderful time to make their moves.

The player controls a disembodied spirit called the Wisp, brought (back?) into the world by a mysterious armored woman named Maria. The Wisp must recruit the souls of the dead knights, combat the demons, and piece together what precisely is happening to this world.

The game was localized in North America by {{Atlus}} and released on June 2nd. Keeping with ST!NG's habits, a PSP version of this game was recently released, with a bonus [[YggdraUnion Yggdra]] mode available.

Please note that this page, for the sake of the majority of players using the English language translation, uses {{Atlus}}' Romanizations of character names, although most of the older entries for KnightsInTheNightmare across the wiki use those by [[StingEntertainment Sting]]. Both Romanizations are listed on the character sheet, for those who wish to compare or clarify who's being talked about.

This game is particularly noteworthy for the [[GenreBusting extremely unusual gameplay elements]] that it uses; it's an odd combination of time-management, strategy, reflex, and BulletHell. None of the soldier units you control are in danger of being attacked, but the wisp (which is basically your stylus pointer) IS. It's also got a rather obtuse plot; unless you're paying attention, expect to get lost.

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!!Knights in the Nightmare utilizes these tropes:
* ActiveRoyalty
* AffablyEvil: Melissa, of all people, is not interested ''at all'' in following the orders of Zolgonark and Capehorn. She'll heckle you if you're in the way of getting Ancardia, but that's it. [[spoiler:The only actually "evil" things she does are killing Wilmgard in the first place and eating Zolgonark...]]
* AfterTheEnd
* AllThereInTheManual: Having played the other games in the series makes things a lot easier to understand. As for the canon bible and the extra materials, a few pages of them are available [[http://community.livejournal.com/disaresta/50904.html here]] (spoilers!). If you want the rest--well, we hope you know Japanese. Or are really, really good friends with someone willing to do the translation work.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Each scene has its own limit, but most of the problem comes because you can only have 4 equipment slots.
* ArmyOfTheDead: [[spoiler: Every. Single. Knight. You. Encounter. And you're the dead general, of course. Averted by Maria and Meria.]]
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: This seems to have been the idea behind everyone's names.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Wilmgard. [[spoiler:Not even death stops him from kicking ass.]]
* AxCrazy: Mellia.
* {{BFS}}: Leonil's sword.
* BigEater: Lucia.
* BloodKnight: Leonil.
* BodyHorror: So. Many. Examples. The most tragic is hands-down [[spoiler:Piche]], though. Poor baby.
* BoobsOfSteel: Good God, Melissa, you're going to put somebody's eye out with those!
** Subverted with Mellia, who despite being the smallest-chested of [[spoiler:the different versions of Marietta]], is also the most destruction-happy.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler:Gunther]].
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:Algiery and Piche]].
* BreakableWeapons: Each and every one. Even ''upgrading'' can make them break.
* BulletHell: The main challenge of the game.
* ButNotTooBlack: One dark-skinned NPC girl in armor is called "Tanned Knight."
* CallingYourAttacks: you will hear a lot of these; hi-skill ones are especially nice to hear.
* CelestialBureaucracy: Asgard.
* CharacterPortrait: Every single knight has a unique one, other than RedShirt ones (AKA Nameless) that are in cutscenes or in item/XP collection optional stages who have generic portraits.
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler:Hector is shown to be pulling the strings, laying the groundwork for his grand scheme in RivieraThePromisedLand]].
* CloudCuckooLander / ChildrenAreInnocent: Primea is sometimes an example of both tropes.
* ColorCodedElements: [[color:green:Sanctity]], [[color:purple:Darkness]], [[color:red:Fire]], [[color:blue:Ice]], [[color:yellow:Lightning]], Neutral.
* CuteWitch: Vienna and [[spoiler:Pamela]]. Many of the Priestesses also qualify.
* DeadToBeginWith: It would be easier to list who isn't dead by the time game starts. Here's a hint: The wisp's soldiers are all deceased knights which it can briefly materialize to attack its enemies. Before each new level, we usually get to see a flashback cutscene of the new knights in that area and what they went through just before they died.
* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler:Marietta, of all angels, did this with Zolgonark for power, which backfired spectacularly.]]
* DemBones: One of the possible monsters.
* DemonicPossession
* DestroyableItems: You wanted the Key Item in that treasure chest? Too bad, you got it to 100% damage. Hit Reset and try again.
* DieChairDie
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Wilmgard and all the knights, who ''technically'' were never dead in the first place. Aside from anyone you Transouled, they all get better in the good endings.]]
* TheDogBitesBack: Zolgonark decided to mess with [[spoiler:Marietta]] and hide Ancardia [[spoiler:with the Accursed most likely to step on it and break it]], and enjoys demeaning and insulting Melissa. [[spoiler:In Maria's route, first Maria beats him up and then Melissa eats him. In Mellia's, Mellia herself can do both.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* EmergencyWeapon: Your knights' normal attacks. They do damage equal to the knights' level when the first enemies in the game have several hundred HP, making any attempt to defeat anything with them an exercise in futility. They do, however, create a large shower of crystals, perfect for restoring enough MP to use proper attacks.
* EmotionlessGirl: Vishnah.
* EnemyWithout: [[spoiler:Maria and Mellia are respectively good and evil sides of Marietta, separated due to the deal with the devil above.]]
* EverythingIsBetterWithExplosions: ...or at least Mellia seems to think so.
* {{Expy}}: Many. Aquina is one of [[RivieraThePromisedLand Malice]], Leonil of [[YggdraUnion Leon]], Primea of [[YggdraUnion #367]], Bonita of [[YggdraUnion Gulcasa]], Vishna of [[YggdraUnion Zilva]]...
* TheFaceless: Vienna.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: [[spoiler:Zolgonark in Maria's route is set up to be the final boss. However, after you defeat him, Melissa shows up and fuses with his remains to become the final boss. In Mellia's route, he can be the final boss, depending on your choice.]]
* FusionDance: [[spoiler:Melissa and Zolgonark do this to become Melad Margus, the being of heresy.]]
* GenericCuteness: see also OlderThanTheyLook
* GenreBusting: You are unlikely to be able to classify what, exactly, this game ''is.'' You may even struggle to properly describe what its ''components'' are. Let's try: A little bit of BulletHell mixed with InterfaceScrew (the enemy is shooting at the wisp, YOUR CURSOR, rather than the soldiers you animate), some RealTimeStrategy with TurnBasedStrategy hybrid elements... and some RPG elements for the various ghosts you control. That's not even getting into the ''really'' weird stuff like hitting the switch between "Law" and "Chaos" to switch modes for characters' hitboxes across the map.
** You want a shorter description that includes comparable games? Here it is: ''{{Ikaruga}}'' meets ''{{Persona3}}'' meets ''FinalFantasyTactics''. Put it in a blender, add the InterfaceScrew, subtract "Bullet Absorb" from ''Ikaruga'', and you got this game. [[MindScrew Don't think too hard on it.]]
* GlassCannon: Maria has incredibly low VIT (7.77), despite her physical strength. She's the only character that recovers it between chapters, though.
* GottaCatchEmAll: Getting all the knights.
* GratuitousEnglish: Atlus's English release cleaned up a lot of this throughout the game's menus and interface. But for just ''one'' example of it... compare this [[http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z22/jcdietz03/KitN_Jap.png Japanese]] screen to the one used for the [[http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z22/jcdietz03/KitN_English.png English]] version.
* GuideDangIt: Try to find [[spoiler:Marietta's staff]] without any help.
** How about [[spoiler:Zolgonark's Soul Crucible]]?! How the hell is anybody supposed to realize that [[spoiler:the item is actually in the first scene after the breakable object resets]]?!
* HeroicSacrifice: The player can power up any character by sacrificing others. Although it's not that big of a deal, since almost every character is already dead to begin with, and the whole Transoul action is basically merging two souls to make a mightier one...
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Yelma gets killed off by Zolgonark, a being that she helped summon. Made even funnier since she actually tried to pull off YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness on Zolgonark.]]
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: ''Everyone'', especially the main heroine(s). How do they move around in that getup?
* TheIngenue: Piche.
* InterspeciesRomance: [[spoiler:Wilmgard and Algiery.]]
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: Gunther.
* KansaiRegionalAccent: In the Japanese version, all the Lemonoug people have a slight Kyoto-ben dialect. Not noticeable in the English script, obviously, where standard English was used to render every character's speech.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Yelma.]]
* KickTheDog: Yelma, and how. [[spoiler:The fans only lament that the Wisp could not get to give her a sound beatdown for the sheer number of evil acts she did.]] To a lesser extent, Capehorn.
* LadyOfWar: Maria and Mellia, [[spoiler:who are technically the same entity]]. Many of Wilmgard's knights are this, as well.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia
* LegionsOfHell: The main force of opposition.
* LightIsNotGood
* LimitBreak: Sort of.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, LoveDodecahedron, ''and'' CastOfSnowflakes '''[[LogicalExtreme in spades]]''', all of which are important to normal gameplay and the storyline. This is because Transsoul-ing is affected by relationships, races, classes, and several other in-game mechanics, and these can all affect the Knight being given the soul.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: English PSP version, which even causes a little bit of lag on scenes and sprite animations.
* MacGuffin: Marietta's staff Ancardia.
* MacGuffinDeliveryService: Couldn't we, I don't know, wait to fight [[spoiler:Alier]] until [[spoiler:Yelma is ''NOT'' standing right next to the king's crystal-encased body]]?!
* ManipulativeBastard: Yelma.
* MeaningfulName: The original Romanization of Algiery's name is "Alighierie", as in Dante. The best ending can be considered an analogue/extended ShoutOut to the DivineComedy, with Wilmgard as Dante, Maria as Virgil, and Algiery as Beatrice.
* MindScrew: In the artbook, [[WordOfGod one of the game designers]] admitted that even they had trouble keeping track of the plot.
** Also, do NOT try to classify the gameplay into a genre. It is an exercise in futility. See GenreBusting above.
* MoreDakka: There's reason why this game is considered "a bullet-hell RPG."
* MsFanservice: Melissa and Mellia were designed for this role, according to the character designer. To a lesser extent, Marietta and [[spoiler:[[FullFrontalAssault Melad Margus]].]]
* MultipleEndings: There's a couple of endings for each of [[spoiler:the four faces of Marietta]]; which four endings you can get are determined by whether you're playing Maria's route or Mellia's.
* NeverGrewUp: [[spoiler:Pamela]] and, according to the World Guide, [[spoiler:Yggdra]].
* NiceHat: Most wizards and priestesses wear one.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:During Maria's route, in Stage 46, after you beat Zolgonark, Melissa comes out and fuses with the remains of Zolgonark to become almighty Melad Margus, the final boss of that route.]]
** [[spoiler:During Mellia's route, if you find Marietta's staff in the secret stage, Mellia will break it and this will automatically lead to the bad ending of Mellia's route.]]
* NintendoHard: Playing on just the normal difficulty is an exercise in badness, as the screen can quickly be blanketed in projectiles.
* NoFourthWall: Dahlia and [[spoiler:Pamela]].
-->''"I hear level-up music in my head! *giggle*"''
* NoblewomansLaugh: Yelma.
* ObviouslyEvil: Guess which side of [[spoiler:Marietta]] Mellia and Melissa represent.
** Also, Yelma.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Too many to list. I am also not sure why they draw many characters (A LOT of the female knights, even some male ones too) to be so cute.
* OmnicidalManiac: Zolgonark and [[spoiler:Melad Margus]].
* OptionalPartyMember: Everyone, technically. Most stages have a default group of knights the Wisp can use; to permanently recruit any character, the player has to find an item connected to them hidden in a previous stage, with the exception of the first, of course.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: ''Every'' villain is guilty of this.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: Look no further than the Wisp.
* PsychoticSmirk: Mellia goes around with a face that proudly proclaims "I eat babies".
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: [[spoiler:Mellia doesn't rage so much as gleefully charge on at the prospect of making Asgard (among other things) go asplode.]]
* RedBaron: King Wilmgard is known as the Lion Heart King. Also, all of the knights are revealed to have nicknames in the artbook - some of the nicknames there are particularly badass (Wrath of Night, Iron Rose, Scarlet Fury) and some... aren't. (Innocent Apprentice, Sullen Axe, Passionate Youth)
* RedOniBlueOni: Subverted; Marietta and Maria have red and gold coloring and blue-oni personalities, while Melissa and Mellia wear blue and purple and act more like they're red oni.
* ResetButton: What happens in the good endings.
** [[spoiler:Arguably, those endings where Melad Margus is allowed to go on her destruction spree are a ''literal'' ResetButton for the entire universe -- this is implied in a Marietta flashback at the end of Mellia's route.]]
* SadisticChoice: At the end of Mellia's route, as long as you didn't defeat Scoppio. Which is more important to you -- order or friendship? And no, you can't TakeAThirdOption.
* SealedEvilInACan: Zolgonark.
* SelfImposedChallenge: Many. The most popular are "Get all the knights" and "continually NewGamePlus from Easy Mode to Nightmare Mode [[NoCasualtiesRun without ever using Transoul]]". ...Also, [[MeaningfulName Nightmare Mode]] is ''in itself'' a SelfImposedChallenge.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Nordich, who first appears to be little more than a spoiled brat.
* ShipperOnDeck: A handful of female and male knights get gossipy and humorous over who the prince is marrying.
* SmugSnake: Capehorn and Yelma.
* SociopathicHero: Mellia. She's just so over-the-top that you can't help but cheer for whatever insane thing she's doing. [[spoiler:There is also the fact that she [[RageAgainstTheHeavens can pull a successful Nessiah]] without manipulating several countries first...]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Meria/Melia/Mellia, which has been officially and unofficially written ''all three ways.'' A lot of the knights' names suffered from this, too, until they were given official spellings by Sting. When the game was translated by Atlus, however, a lot of these romanizations were discarded, some due to being too long (i.e. Willemgard becoming Wilmgard), others for unknown reasons. Naturally, this causes a lot of difficulty between longtime Dept. Heaven fans that use Sting's translations and newer/foreign fans going off of Atlus's names, especially if the same character had a dramatically different name.
* SpoilerOpening: PSP version, [[YggdraUnion as]] [[VideoGame/BlazeUnion usual]].
* StarcrossedLovers: [[spoiler:Wilmgard and Algiery. Also, Piche and Nordich.]]
* StopPokingMe: Not your knights really, but rather monsters. You can 'talk' to them by bringing the wisp onto the square they are in and pressing the arrow button, which is really putting the stylus on their face. Do this with a monster and they will say an annoyed quote.
-->"Don't touch me you dork!"
-->"Stop staring at me!"
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Maria.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The voice acting, if not the text.
* TakingTheBullet: Poor [[spoiler:Maria and Mellia]].
* ThemeNaming: A number of the bosses' names seem to be derived, to one degree or another, from the zodiac, particularly when the Japanese spellings are taken into account:
** [[spoiler:Jamie - Gemini]]
** [[spoiler:Rivulia - Libra]]
** [[spoiler:Gunther - Cancer]]
** [[spoiler:Dotaurus - Taurus]]
** [[spoiler:Scoppio - Scorpio]]
** [[spoiler:Leonil - Leo]]
** [[spoiler:Aquina/Aquiline - Aquarius]]
** [[spoiler:Capehorn - Capricorn]]
** [[spoiler:Vilgo - Virgo]]
** [[spoiler:Piche - Pisces]]
** [[spoiler:Sacchito - Sagittarius]]
** [[spoiler:Alier - Aries]]
* TomatoSurprise: [[spoiler:Algiery, who is eventually revealed to be one of the Tiamat.]]
* TragicMonster: [[spoiler: Piche, Nordich, and Gunther]].
* TraumaCongaLine: [[spoiler:Poor King Wilmgard, having to watch all these awful things happen to his kingdom ''posthumously''. Of course, he winds up taking route A and ''improving the situation by force'' because he is just that badass.]]
* TriangRelations: Piche, Nordich, and Alier.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Mellia's route.
* VisualNovel: In the cases where it's not a strategy bullet hell game, it's firmly this for half of the time.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The Mehse sure don't. [[spoiler:Freaking Asgard.]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: The cutscene after Scene 30.
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