Video Game / NiGHTS into Dreams...

"The part I feel most proud of is that we succeeded in affecting people without using words."
Yuji Naka

From the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog comes this series of thus far two video gamesnote  about a jester-like being who flies 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 Video Game 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, Play Station 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bad Dreams: What the visitors in both games are trying to overcome.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: A Ranks.
  • Cats Are Mean: Clawz. Bomamba, to an extent, since the cats are her weapons and her weakness.
  • 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, Nightmare is implied to be this, being the inverse of Nightopia.
  • Crystal Landscape: One of Helen Cartwright's Dream Lands in Nightopia manifests as Crystal Castle, also known as the Land of Glass. As its name implies, the world and everything in it is made of a crystalline glass.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Claris (pink hair and eyes) and Elliot (blue hair and eyes).
  • Cutting the Knot: Gilwing, the first boss of NiGHTS into dreams... is normally defeated by repeatedly flying into its head, causing it to lose a section of its tail each time. Or you can paraloop the tip of its tail, killing it instantly.
  • 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: Nightopia, the game's main setting.
  • 11th-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.
  • Flight: An ability that NiGHTS possesses. As a matter of fact, a number of characters in the game are capable of flight.
  • 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.
  • Fusion Dance: NiGHTS and the children work together by dualizing, granting NiGHTS certain benefits.
  • Genre Roulette: Of the musical variety, sometimes going hand in hand with Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly. Musical styles used in the series often range from Pop-R&B ("Dreams Dreams"), Rock, ("E-LE-KI Sparkle") Orchestral, ("Fragmented NiGHTS" and "Know Thyself!"), New Jack Swing ("The Mantle", "Dreams Dreams: Sweet Mix In Holy Night"), Reggae ("Al-Di-Da: Peppermint Version"), Trip-Hop, Downtempo, and J-Pop.
  • 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 Valley, 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.
  • Jump Scare: One takes place in Helen's opening cutscene. An image of her mother appears on a store window... Which quickly turns into a monster that shatters the window and startles both Helen and the player!
  • Kid Hero: Claris, Elliot, Will, and Helen.
  • The Lost Woods: Mystic Forest and Memory Forest.
  • Magical Clown: This trope is strongly prevalent due to most of the characters being dream creatures. For example, we have NiGHTS him/herself, a magical jester who was born from nightmares, but made a Heel–Face Turn and uses his/her powers to fight other nightmares. There's also Reala, NiGHTS' Evil Twin, who stayed on the dark side. Some of the bosses fall into this category as well: for example, Jackle, a clown-like Death Dealer, and Puffy, an opera singer who resembles a clown due to her big red lips and colorful costume. The sequel gives us Donbalon, a ball-like clown.
  • 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, their face.
  • No Biological Sex: NiGHTS.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Nightmaren are child-terrorising, soul/ideya stealing servants of an evil diety in the clash between good and evil, NiGHTS's, Reala's and Jackle's jester hats are reminiscent of demonic horns too.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Nights