Voiced by Ikue Otani (Japanese, Sonic Shuffle), Elara Distler (English, Sonic Shuffle), Yukari Tamura (Japanese, Journey of Dreams), Julissa Aguirre (English)
The eponymous character of the series, NiGHTS is a carefree, mysterious being that flies around the world of dreams. They're interested in anything new and unusual, including Visitors, and tends to do their own thing, for the most part. NiGHTS has a tendency to be unthinkingly rude, especially towards Owl, but they generally act in fun, and means no harm.
- The Ace: By the end of both games, they've managed to defeat all of Wizeman's forces and is capable of fighting Wizeman on equal terms.
- Anti Anti Christ: NiGHTS is a Nightmaren created by the Big Bad Wizeman for the sake of stealing a human's ideya. They choose to be The Hero instead.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: They have a tendancy to be distraced by whatever looks like it will be more fun at the moment, the biggest example of this is the Octopaw missions.
- Berserk Button: Being under anyone else's control or authority. It's the main reason they rebelled against Wizeman, and also why they don't get on great with Owl in the second game.
- Beware the Nice Ones: In the Reala fight in Journey of Dreams, NiGHTS basically snaps at Reala, picks a fight, and then proceeds to beat Reala up so badly that the other Nightmaren is forced to retreat.
- Big Brother Mentor: A bit more like this to Will and Helen than Elliot and Claris. Understandable, as Will and Helen are 12 while Claris and Elliot are 14.
- Disney Death: In the true end of Journey of Dreams, after helping to destroy Wizeman, NiGHTS seemingly dies. The Stinger shows that they're alive and well.
- Fake Brit: In the sequel, NiGHTS inexplicably has a British accent, despite their creator and fellow Nightmaren having no such trait.
- Friendly Enemy: Usually acts like this toward Reala.
- HeelFace Turn: Had one before the series started, going from one of Wizeman's servants to the main force opposing him.
- Hellish Pupils: Both NiGHTS and Reala are subtly cat-eyed.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the true end of Journey of Dreams, they help to destroy Wizeman, even knowing it will mean they will die as well. They survive.
- Idiot Ball: In the sequel, they are constantly being captured.
- No Biological Sex: As a living nightmare, NiGHTS has no true gender and both looks and sounds really androgynous.
- Peter Pan Parody: NiGHTS bears many resemblances to Peter Pan, most notably being defined by their ability to fly and the freedom it embodies. In NiGHTS: Journey into Dreams, this is much more prominent, being a carefree Trickster Archetype with the voice of young boy (according to Word of God anyway) and the Clock Tower iconic to the game resembling the Elizabeth Tower to accent it.
- Purple Is Powerful: Is designed with purple/violet colors, and is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) Nightmaren created by Wizeman.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: In JoD. Friendly, playful and flamboyant to contrast Reala's rough stoicism.
- Shapeshifting: Besides transforming into a dolphin, a dragon, and a rocket by means of Persona Masks, NiGHTS takes on the shape of a boat and a roller coaster car.
- Shadow Archetype: Unlike many other shadow archetypes, they are not focused on the negative. Instead, they bring out the positive traits of the Visitors, that are hidden deep down, and makes it part of its own personality. Will's determination and Helen's bravery are just two examples.
- Sharing a Body: The children in both games can dualize with NiGHTS, which allows them to fly in their form.
Voiced by Jasmine Allen
An aspiring singer with a serious case of stage fright, Claris finds her way into Nightopia after a disastrous audition.
- Curtains Match the Window: Both her hair and eyes are pink.
- Continuity Nod: Her voice actress sings the "Sweet Snow" version of "Dreams Dreams" in Journey of Dreams, and quite well, in fact.
- Daddy's Girl: One of her levels signifies her love for her father.
- Happy Holidays Dress: In Christmas NiGHTS, although it's cut in a way that could also be a Sexy Santa Dress.
- High-School Sweethearts: Implied to be this with Elliot at the end of the game. Even more so in the ending for the Christmas game.
- Informed Ability: She supposedly has a beautiful voice, but this doesn't shine through until the sequel gives her voice actress the chance to sing one of the game's main tunes.
- It Runs in the Family: Claris comes from a family of artists.
- Older Than They Look: She's actually 14 years old in the first game.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her hair and eyes are pink. Her clothes are also designed to complement them.
Voiced by Cameron Earl Strother
A friendly, popular boy who loses confidence in himself after the local Jerk Jock and his friends push him around. He then finds his way into Nightopia...
- Curtains Match the Window: Both his hair and eyes are blue.
- David vs. Goliath: He plays basketball against older, more experienced kids. His lack of confidence in himself as he faces the competition becomes a source of his nightmares.
- Heroic Resolve: As with the other main characters, but Elliot's is especially focused on in the storybook.
- High-School Sweethearts: Implied to be this with Claris at the end of the game. Even more so in the ending for the Christmas game.
- Older Than They Look: He's actually 14 years old in the first game.
- The Hero: In the comics and the storybook.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has blue hair as the logical contrast to Claris.
Voiced by Victoria Ashby
A child prodigy who is gifted at playing the violin. She's very close to her mother, and finds herself in the Night Dimension when she begins to have nightmares out of guilt for sacrificing her time with her mother for her social life.
- Action Girl: She spends a lot of time running around Nightopia by herself, fighting nightmarens.
- Big Fancy House: It's clear her and her mother are well off. From what we see of her house in Helen's intro, it's massive.
- The Chick: When Helen's not busy being an Action Girl, she's this.
- Damsel in Distress: Gets this a few times, especially when Wizeman kidnaps her in Will's route.
- Designated Victim: Gets kidnapped more than any other Visitor.
- Duet Bonding: With her mother.
- Informed Attribute: Like the other children in the series, she possesses the rare Ideya of Courage. Despite this, she's afraid of nearly everything and near the end of the game, she actually loses her red Ideya, something none of the other kids ever did. NiGHTS even lampshades this at one point.
- Pink Means Feminine: Not to the extent of Claris, but she has her elements. There's her pink jacket, along with the formal pink dress she wears in the ending.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Helen is terrified of the dark.
Voiced by Riley O'Flynn
A lonely boy whose favorite hobby is soccer. He's very close to his father, so when the man leaves for a business trip, Will's loneliness leads to nightmares. It's after this he finds his way to the Night Dimension.
- Child Prodigy: At least at the game of Soccer.
- Humble Hero: Compared to Helen, who shown to come from a very well off family, Will is just a normal kid.
- Kid Hero: More so than Elliot, because he's a little younger.
Voiced by Jeff Kramer
An elderly, owl-like Nightopian, he serves as a guide to both Helen and Will throughout Journey of Dreams. He panics easily in bad situations and is irritated by NiGHTS' childish antics.
- Butt-Monkey: He gets thrashed on, mocked, and ignored a lot throughout the second game.
- Cool Old Guy: While his exact age is never specified, he's a very affable grandfatherly figure. The only thing we know is that he was there long before Helen and Will were even born.
- A Dog Named "Dog": He's a large owl, named after his own species.
- Grumpy Old Man: He doesn't always like NiGHTS' childishness.
- Mister Exposition: His main purpose in the story is to explain Nightopia to the kids and thus the players. In the game, he is used to give players hints on how to proceed.
- Older and Wiser: At least he says so. He teaches Helen and Will about the game mechanics and scolds NiGHTS for acting up.
- Remember the New Guy?: Journey of Dreams treats him as an essential part of the world of Nightopia and someone who has always been there, while there was no mention of him in into Dreams at all.
- Talking Animal: A talking Owl, although this is mainly thanks to him being a living dream.
- Team Dad: He tends to act as the grandfather to the other characters. Indeed, when Will learns that NiGHTS is a nightmaren, Owl is the one who helps him come to terms with it.
Voiced by Roger L. Jackson
The ruler and creator of Nightmare. Wizeman created the Nightmaren as well. He seeks to rule over the Night Dimension (and the waking world in the US version of NiGHTS into Dreams) and is especially interested in corrupting Nightopia.
- A God Am I: Granted, he is implied to be a god, but that doesn't stop him from acting out this trope.
- All-Encompassing Mantle: Most of his body is covered by his cloak.
- Archnemesis Dad: Created NiGHTS, but is perfectly willing to destroy them for defying him.
- As Long as There is Evil: Ties directly into his Type I Immortality, being the seeming source of it.
- Big Bad: He is the source of all conflict in both the original game and its sequel.
- The Blank: His face seems to be totally blank, save for something that could be a mouth.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He makes no bones about the fact that he's evil, and in fact relishes in it.
- Dark Is Evil: He is the leader of the Nightmaren, and an evil being bent on world domination.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He is given a guttural, distorted distorted Voice of the Legion in Journey of Dreams.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: In each palm of his hand, there is a red eye. They're most prominently seen in the cutscene following Donbalon's defeat.
- Floating Limbs: Six disembodied hands.
- God of Evil: He's really the only character implied to be a god, and being able to create Nightmare and the Nightmarens certainly attests to that. The evil part comes with his being the Big Bad.
- Immortality: Type I. It apparently doesn't stop him from being destroyed in the good ending of Journey of Dreams, however.
- Shoulders of Doom: He wears large, armored shoulder pads.
- Spikes of Villainy: His head/helmet is covered with long, wavy spikes.
- Was Once a Man: His backstory, at least in the Japanese manual for the first game, states that he was a Visitor who was deprived of his Ideya.
- You Have Failed Me: In the second game, he tends to pull this a lot on second-level Nightmaren, and even threatens to do this to Reala.
- "Bedishino NiGHTS"
Voiced by Casey Robertson
NiGHTS's rival. Unlike NiGHTS, he's cruel and insidious, willing to do just about anything to get what he wants. He is completely loyal to Wizeman and is constantly out on missions from him.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Considers himself to be superior to NiGHTS and desires to fight them in order to please Wizeman.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He makes no qualms about being a villain, and is easily loving every second of it.
- Circling Monologue: Gives one to Helen while revealing that NiGHTS is a Nightmaren to destroy her trust in NiGHTS.
- Cool Mask: Given one called a persona in the sequel.
- The Dragon: Reala is Wizeman's most trusted servant, and he is blindly loyal to his master in return.
- Dragon Ascendant: Briefly in the comic book adaption.
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Though for all we know, it's his actual skin.
- Evil Counterpart: To NiGHTS. They are both Nightmaren who resemble devilish harlequins, but while NiGHTS is kind and caring, Reala is cruel and sadistic.
- Giggling Villain: Becomes one in Journey of Dreams. The original characterization was much colder and serious, with his only dialogue being a cold order for NiGHTS to fight him.
- Hellish Pupils: In NiGHTS into Dreams, Reala's pupils are round and huge with points at the bottom (and assumedly, also at the top, though the top part isn't visible). In Journey of Dreams, he has vertical slit pupils like NiGHTS does.
- Jerkass: Due to his ego as well as his utmost cruelty. Proven to be the polar opposite of NiGHTS.
- Mirror Boss: In the first game, NiGHTS can only harm Reala by trapping him in the paraloop, and must do so while Reala tries to do the same thing to them.
- Mondegreen: His single line of dialogue in the first game is stated to be Nightmaren for "Let's go, NiGHTS". However, it has been confused for the even darker (and yet more in-character) line of "There is no NiGHTS".
- No Biological Sex: Though he appears masculine, Reala is a living nightmare and has no real gender.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Maintains this attitude towards NiGHTS in both games.
- Perpetual Frowner: His default expression. When he does smile, it's always just to be condescending.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: He is the evil counterpart to NiGHTS, and his wardrobe is mostly red and black in contrast to NiGHTS' purples and pinks.
- The Rival: Due to equal skills and opposing personalities, Reala is constantly led into rivalry with NiGHTS.
A second-level Nightmaren created by Wizeman. He appears as a body-less hood with gloves and boots. Only appears in the first game.
- Boss Banter: Speaks in gibberish during his boss fight.
- Cheshire Cat Grin
- Circus Synths: "Jackle, the Mantle" is his funky battle music, which plays inside his surreal Circus of Fear-like arena.
- Deal with the Devil: He does this in the Archie comics version of the story, promising the two main characters' desires in exchange for their Ideya.
- Improbable Weapon User: Razor-sharp tarot/playing cards.
- Insane Equals Violent
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family
- Mad Oracle: Implied, what with his Tarot Motifs in the Japanese version.
- Slasher Smile
- Weaksauce Weakness: He can't do anything without his cape.
A rather harmless fish Nightmaren that swims around in a giant glass tank. The first boss of the first game.
A fat, round, bouncing, pink rabbit-like Nightmaren that apparently can sing opera.
An odd Nightmaren that looks like a cross between a frog, bat, and dragon. One of the few re-occurring bosses, appearing in Christmas Nights.
An ever-grinning cat Nightmaren that jumps around a horizontal, ferris wheel-like contraption on exploding mice.
A clown Nightmaren that bounces around like a large balloon, hence the name. First boss of the second game.
A Giant fish Nightmaren, clad in knight-like armor. Has a thin mustache, and a penchant for eating its enemies. Sinks into the ground to avoid them as well.
A witch Nightmaren who fights on top of a tiltable table. Fights by firing blasts, and using her cat familiars as rocket projectiles.
A vicious dog Nightmaren that appears to be three orbs with dog-like auras, bound to each other by chains.
- Chained by Fashion: All three are bound together by two chains. NiGHTS has to use this fact to defeat Cerberus.
- The Dreaded: Both Reala and NiGHTS are terrified of this thing.
- Energy Being: The third Cerberus is revealed to be this in the second fight.
- Hellhound: That mad old dog. Even the other Nightmarens fear this creature.
An odd chameleon magician Nightmaren that wears a stage magician's tuxedo, top hat, and cape. Seems to drag opponents into its own realm, and uses playing cards to fight for him.
A giant spider Nightmaren, dressed like a British queen. Fought above a lava-filled hole on grate platforms. Seemingly likes to spin silk balls for no reason.