Video Game / 40 Winks
We're here to send that grumpy Nitekap to beddy-byes!
Winks are happy little creatures who bring good dreams to humanity. Their job is also to stop the HoodWinks, their Evil Counterparts who bring people nightmares. And for the most part, this cycle of giving dreams and stopping nightmares goes smoothly... until Nitekap, a mad scientist/sorcerer-type guy with raging insomnia, decides that if he can't sleep well at night, well, no one will. He and his sidekick Threadbear kidnap all of the Winks until there are only 40 left, and even those he manages to snatch up.

Enter Ruff and Tumble, a pair of siblings who have taken it upon themselves to rescue the Winks from Nitekap and Threadbear. Fearlessly, they enter the world of dreams to hunt out the missing Winks. Armed with only a candle and a teddy bear (and the ability to transform into a number of more powerful forms), the two siblings set out to stop the evil Nitekap and ensure the world's good dreams continue for all eternity!

This platformer was released in November of 1999 exclusively for the original PlayStation. However, it's been rumored a Nintendo 64 version of the game was planned, advertised, and completed—but unusually, it's not entirely clear whether or not it was released! Wikipedia claims the game's release was cancelled, but there's a full English-language ROM image available on the Internet that seems to imply it did see some sort of physical release in Europe, and of course, some claim to have seen or purchased it themselves. It's an Urban Legend of Zelda on a huge scale, related to an entire game's existence.

The PS1 version definitely exists though, and isn't difficult to find (indeed it's included on the PlayStation store's PSOne Classics) —so it's perfectly tropeable for us, of course. Now, where to start...?

This game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Tumble, especially in her Ninja and Superhero costumes.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Zig-zagged with Threadbear. On one hand, he's a threatening-enough boss, and The Dragon to Nitekap. On the other hand, he's so beleagured, he almost falls into Minion with an F in Evil status.
  • Big Bad: Nitekap.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Haunted Hijinks in it's entirety.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Ruff and Tumble, respectively.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Drip Drop Swamp, in Ancient Adventures.
  • Child Mage: The Magician transformation.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Ruff and Tumble to each other; the only difference being their hair color, hair style and color of their pajamas.
  • Down the Drain: Pirate's Ahoy, complete with many of the trappings appropriate to it.
  • Dream Land
  • Eternal Engine: Some of the space levels are a bit like this.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The Ninja costume has a spinning attack you can use while running. Keep pressing the button, and you'll keep spinning—but do it too long, and your character gets dizzy!
  • Evil Brits: Nitekap and Threadbear.
  • Evil Counterpart: The HoodWinks to the Winks.
  • Exploding Barrels: Appears once in Haunted Hijinks, some parts of Astral Antics, and in abundance in Pirate's Ahoy.
  • Exposition Fairy: Wakey Wakey the alarm clock. In early levels, you can touch icons of his face for advice, but in later ones, he just describes the levels to you.
  • Floating Limbs: Both the Winks and the Hoodwinks have feet but no limbs. Wakey-Wakey also has hands and feet but no arms or legs.
  • Gangplank Galleon: There's a whole pirate-themed world!
  • Goomba Stomp: It's doable, if not always feasible.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The titular 40 Winks, of course, but also the 12 DreamKeys in every world, necessary to face the boss.
    • Within the levels, you've also got to typically find all 40 cogs to complete it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Nitekap just needed a good night's sleep is all.
  • Hub Level: The house is the main hub, but each of the individual worlds also has its own hub from which you access the sub-levels and enter the world's race.
  • Idle Animation: They will usually yawn and stretch in place.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: There are three Game Over cutscenes where the game taunts you for your failure.
  • Kid Heroes: Ruff and Tumble.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Goes hand-in-hand with Prehistoria, as it often does.
  • Little Miss Badass: Tumble, especially in her transformations.
  • Little Professor Dialogue: Tumble in the opening cutscene, on the origin of dreams.
  • Lost Woods: Witch Way Woods, as part of Haunted Hijinks.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Your basic ranged attack, when not transformed, is a scream attack.
  • Ninja: The Ninja costume, of course.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: There are underwater vents that spew breathable bubbles. Just running through them is not enough, however; you have to linger on them to get a full-sized gulp of air.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: Even the Mooks in the very first levels of the game have ridiculous amounts of health! You yourself have 50 "Zzzs," but they drop away fast.
  • Palette Swap: Most enemy types have two or three different color variants. They're pretty much the same in terms of damage and health, they just provide some variety.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Tumble wears a pink nightshirt, while Ruff's is blue.
  • Prehistoria: The prehistoric level, Ancient Adventures, of course. However, its individual levels hop around a bit in theme.
  • Punny Name: Threadbear is a pun on both his status as a teddy bear, and on "threadbare," or worn-down. There's also Ruff and Tumble...
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can choose between playing as Ruff (male) or Tumble (female), but they're identical. In the N64 version, however, a second player could control the one you didn't.
  • Racing Minigame: Each world has one, against Threadbear's Champion in that area. The N64 version would've had/does have (depending on your opinion on things) multiplayer racing.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Aww, wookit the cute widdle Winks!
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Tippy Toe Temple.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ruff's scream attack is actually much more high-pitched and louder than Tumble's.
  • Simple Staff: Tumble's Ninja costume uses one.
  • Space Zone: Astral Antics.
  • Speaking Simlish: Most enemies, otherwise this trope is averted.
  • The Unfought: Nitekap.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The caveman form's special attack, which pukes bones all over your enemies.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: "Ruff" and "Tumble"?