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Video Game: NiGHTS Into Dreams
"The part I feel most proud of is that we succeeded in affecting people without using words."
Yuji Naka

"If there's one game I regret never creating, it was "NiGHTS".

From the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog comes this series of thus far two video games about a dream demon flying through a surreal Dream Land while fighting nightmares and helping children learn Aesops by exploring their dreamscapes. Nostalgia Filter has turned the first one, released in 1996 on the Sega Saturn, into a legend in Videogame Culture, more or less. The second one, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams for the Wii was released in 2007 after an 11-year gap, and suffers from a bit of Unexpected Gameplay Change.

On its sixteenth anniversary, July 5th, 2012, SEGA announced an HD remastered port of the original game (based off the Japan-only PlayStation 2 version) for Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC through Steam. You can watch the announcement trailer here. The Christmas-themed Christmas NiGHTS was also added in remastered HD version as Unlockable Content for clearing the main game.

Features quite a bit of trippy and surreal (not to mention beautiful) art.

It also has a comic adaption in the late '90s, which can be found here.

Wizeman and several Nightmarens appear in a Pre-Order Bonus level in Sonic Lost World, where they team up with that game's Deadly Six.

A Character Sheet now exists.


This video game series provides examples of:

  • Acid Trip Dimension: The boss fights from the first game take place in these.
  • Action Girl: Helen from Journey of Dreams, especially when she rescues Will.
    • Though it's mainly just that one scene that portrays her like that, since most scenes after that play around with her fear of the dark which causes her to lose her Ideya of courage near the end of the game.
      • There's also the fact that she ends up running around without NiGHTS' help quite a bit, beating up Mooks along the way.
  • All-Encompassing Mantle: Jackle. Only it kind of... encompasses empty space.
    • He also keeps his cards in there.
  • All Just a Dream: The entire premise of the series.
  • All There in the Manual: The Japanese manuals give much more backstory than the US versions. There's also an official storybook that gives more information on the relationship between NiGHTS and Reala.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Bomamba has a whole swarm of black cats. They're the source of her magic power.
  • And I Must Scream: Before the Bellbridge level in Journey of Dreams, Owl warns the visitors that being tossed into the black sea that surrounds the Hub Level would most likely strip them of their Ideya, lock their consciousness in an eternal nightmare, and put them in a coma in the waking world. When they are eventually forced into the sea by Wizeman, their will and their Red Ideya manage to spare them from this fate.
  • Anime Hair: In the first game.
  • Ambiguous Gender: NiGHTS, and fanfic writers take full advantage of this.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Averted in the second game.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Wizeman pulls this in the first ending of Journey of Dreams, although it's subverted in the true ending.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: How NiGHTS is characterized in Journey of Dreams.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: A Ranks.
  • Cats Are Mean: Clawz. Bomamba, to an extent, since the cats are her weapons and her weakness.
  • Character Title
  • Chasing Your Tail: Most of the bosses, and all of the flight stages.
  • Child Popstar:
    • When you achieve the incomplete ending on Journey of Dreams, whoever you got it as sings the credit music.
    • Helen herself employs the trope, being a skilled violinist.
  • Christmas Episode / Holiday Mode:
    • Christmas NiGHTS, a demo version of the game that would be affected by the Saturn's internal clock. Considered quite the collector's item nowadays, even though it was provided for free with certain magazines.
    • The Steam version's title screen will go into "Christmas NiGHTS" or "Holiday NiGHTS" mode depending on the system calendar.
  • Clock Tower: This is the final "race" stage of Journey of Dreams, and it precedes the final boss.
  • Continuity Nod: Elliot and Claris can be unlocked for use in the Hub Level in the sequel.
  • Crapsack World: Although never seen, one could argue Nightmare, being the inverse of Nightopia.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Claris (pink hair and eyes) and Elliot (blue hair and eyes)
  • Damsel in Distress: Arguably Claris in the comics.
    • After saving Will in her second dream, Helen becomes this, requiring a rescue on two occasions.
  • Dark Reprise: The main theme from the games gets a makeover when the player gets a game over (a more melancholy song if the time runs out on a regular level, and a Last Note Nightmare when the player loses in a boss fight). The most well-known version of all is whenever the titular character fights Reala, with the refrain of these battles is an angry, fierce reprise of "Dreams Dreams". Another instance is the first few seconds of the final boss fight in the original game.
  • Disney Death: NiGHTS in Nights: Journey of Dreams.
  • Dream Land / Magicant: Nightopia, the game's main setting.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The kids in both gain the ability to fly in the final stages. Dual NiGHTS during the final battle in both as well.
  • Evil Twin / Cain and Abel: NiGHTS and Reala.
  • Expy: NiGHTS hirself was expied for Sonic Shuffle, as "Lumina the Dream Fairy". On Christmas (whenever the Dreamcast's internal clock decides it's December 25), Lumina actually turns into NiGHTS.
    • Which is honestly somewhat reminiscent of some of the more bizarre applications of Suspiciously Similar Song, in that Sega owns both franchises and, thus, wouldn't need to make an Expy for NiGHTS...
  • Foe Yay: invokedNiGHTS and Reala, with the latter seemingly making it a point of capturing the former every other level or so (and getting up close and personal about it).
  • Friendly Enemy: Sort of. NiGHTS expresses concern for Reala when the other fakes an injury in Journey of Dreams, and the two apparently chat from time to time when they're not beating the crap out of each other.
  • Go Karting with Bowser: NiGHTS plays tennis with Reala in Sega Superstars Tennis, and the two apparently have quite a bit of fun doing so.
  • Go Out with a Smile: NiGHTS in the true ending.
  • Green Hill Zone: Splash Garden, Spring Garden, Aqua Garden, and Pure Valley.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: NiGHTS seemingly performs one of these to take out Wizeman for good during the true ending... only to be revealed as still alive in The Stinger.
  • Hub Level: Dream Gate in Journey of Dreams.
  • Kid Hero: Claris, Elliot, Will, and Helen.
  • The Lost Woods: Mystic Forest and Memory Forest.
  • The Maze: Crystal Castle.
  • Monster Clown: Reala, Jackle, Donbalon, and possibly even NiGHTS itself qualify for this trope.
  • Mirror Boss: Reala, especially during the first game.
  • Morphic Resonance: During the course of the two games, NiGHTS shapeshifts into a mermaid, a sleigh, a dolphin, a Chinese style dragon, a rocket, a boat, and a roller coaster. All of the forms keeps NiGHTS's color scheme and, in a few cases, its face.
  • Ninja Butterfly: Owl.
  • No Biological Sex: NiGHTS.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Gillwing, a gigantic boss creature from the first game, with a ball-shaped body that's all mouth, evil eyes, and wings sprouting from his cheeks, and a long thin spike-ridged tail.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Guess who.
  • Pass Through the Rings: You do this to refill your dash gauge, with combos adding time on the clock — and on top of that, it's the point of a few levels.
  • Personal Space Invader: The Awakers.
  • Pinball Spinoff: In Sonic Pinball Party, of all places.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Claris (pink hair and eyes) and Elliot (blue hair and eyes).
    • And Helen has a pink jacket in the sequel.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: The Reala battles in Journey of Dreams are more or less a game of dodgeball with explosions.
  • Pronoun Trouble: NiGHTS, whose androgyny causes a lot of people hiccups.
  • Puzzle Boss: All of them, but especially Bomamba.
  • Really 700 Years Old: NiGHTS and Reala are both implied to be this. Then again, they aren't human.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The games are made based on Jungian psychology, so they are peppered with things like archetypes and Personas as gameplay and story elements.
  • Rubbery World: Soft Museum.
  • Scenery Porn: Totally expected, considering who made the game. What especially makes this impressive is that the Sega Saturn had major trouble running most polygonal games, and it executes this game beautifully.
  • Shadow Archetype: NiGHTS is a rare positive example in fiction, embodying the positive traits of the protagonists that they've denied and suppressed due to their problems.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Stick Canyon and Lost Park.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Frozen Bell.
  • Sprint Meter: The Dash Meter.
  • Timed Mission: All of them.
  • Trickster Archetype: NiGHTS, of course.
  • Updated Re-release: A remake with updated graphics came out in February 2008. In Japan.
    • And an HD rerelease came out in October 2012. Globally.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Persona in Journey of Dreams.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Invoked whenever anyone thinks NiGHTS has a gender at all. Somehow, it doesn't stop the Yaoi between NiGHTS and Reala.
    • Or any relationship involving NiGHTS that ignores this.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Reala, Jackle, Donbalon, and possibly NiGHTS at some point.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Reala is surprisingly absent from the ending of the second game, and the yellow Ideya is nowhere to be found. Only the latter is averted in the true ending.
    • It is implied that NiGHTS kills Reala during their second fight, both by the name of the battle theme "A tragic revenge" and by the fact that the first thing the player sees after the fight is dark specks flying through the air meaning Reala may have somehow exploded.
  • Widget Series

Mutant MuddsPlay Station NetworkNoby Noby Boy
Neverwinter Nights 2Fantasy Video GamesNinety-Nine Nights
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super HeroesUsefulNotes/The Fifth Generation of Console Video GamesPanzer Bandit
Nightmare NedVideo Games of the 1990sNightshade
Mr BonesSega SaturnNight Striker
Michael Jackson's MoonwalkerCreator/SegaThe Ocean Hunter
NightSkySteamNoitu Love
Rally XXbox LIVE ArcadeNinē-Jump

alternative title(s): Ni GHTS Into Dreams
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