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In the nights, dream delight
I want to see you standing there
"The part I feel most proud of is that we succeeded in affecting people without using words."
Yuji Naka

Developed by Sonic Team for the Sega Saturn in 1996, NiGHTS into Dreams... is Sega's most iconic game that doesn't feature an anthropomorphic, blue hedgehog.

NiGHTS into Dreams... features a minimalist story revolving around two children, Claris and Elliot, both of whom have something troubling them. Claris is extremely nervous about her upcoming performance at a talent show, and Elliot had a nasty encounter with the local school bully. Uneasy, both children go to sleep that night and in their dreams they discover Nightopia, where they meet NiGHTS, a playful spirit that has been imprisoned by the God of Nightmares: Wizeman the Wicked.

The main objective of each level is to collect enough "Blue Chips" in order to recover objects known as "Ideya" from Wizeman's minions: the Nightmaren. The controls are separated into two distinct styles: the children and NiGHTS. Claris and Elliot can only walk on the ground and are constantly chased by an "Alarm Egg", which will wake them up and end the game if it catches up to them. NiGHTS is able to "dualize" with one of the children, doing so will allow NiGHTS to leave the prison temporarily. NiGHTS can fly, perform complex aerial acrobatics, and drill through the air very quickly. After all the Ideya in a level has been recovered, NiGHTS will be teleported to a boss fight.

The game also features a complex (for its time) Virtual Pet system known as "A-Life". Every stage is inhabited by child-like creatures called "Nightopians", which will react to your actions around them. Hatching their eggs and protecting them from hostile Nightmaren will please them and cause them to react positively when you approach. Harming or acting recklessly around them will scare them and cause them to run away from you.

NiGHTS into Dreams... was heavily inspired by the theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and is well-known for its trippy (yet gorgeous) visuals, and extremely catchy soundtrack. NiGHTS has become a Cult Classic, and despite the low sales, is considered one of SEGA's most iconic franchises.

Christmas NiGHTS was released only a few months after the original game, during the Holiday season of 1996, also for the Sega Saturn. It features only a single level, which is just a Christmas-themed reskin of the Spring Valley level and Gillwing boss fight from the main game. Christmas NiGHTS features a plethora of bonus content, including an extensive Holiday Mode, which reacts not only to the date but also the time of day.

The original game was ported over to the PlayStation 2 in 2008. It features a few technical enhancements, Christmas NiGHTS as a game mode, and some additional bonus content. This port was never officially released outside of Japan, however it eventually served as the foundation for an HD Remake in 2012, for Steam, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

A proper sequel was released in 2007 for the Wii. Unlike its predessecor, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams features a more traditional narrative, with a larger cast of characters and greater emphasis on world-building and character development.

The NiGHTS and Sonic The Hedgehog series have always been closely intertwined with each other. Christmas NiGHTS features a tech demo that has the honor of being Sonic's first foray into 3D gameplay, predating Sonic Jam by about six months. Likewise, NiGHTS and other related characters have made numerous appearances in various Sonic games, including a few outright crossovers. In fact, it's not inaccurate to say that NiGHTS has made more appearances in Sonic's games than they have in their own.

A six-issue miniseries by Archie Comics was published in 1998. Unrelated to that, "The World of NiGHTS into Dreams..." made an appearance in the Worlds Unite crossover event, also by Archie.

NiGHTSintoDreams.com is a dedicated fansite that has been consistently updated with any relevant NiGHTS news since 1999. It features an extensive archive of just about everything NiGHTS-related that you can think of, including interviews with Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka.

    open/close all folders 
    Main Series Games 
  • NiGHTS into Dreams... (Saturn, 1996; PS2, 2008; Steam (PC), PS3, 360, 2012)
  • Christmas NiGHTS (Saturn, 1996)
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (Wii, 2007)

    Spinoffs and Crossovers 
  • Sonic Pinball Party (GBA, 2003)note 
  • Sonic Riders (GameCube, PS2, Xbox, PC, 2006)note 
  • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (PS2, Wii, 2008)note 
  • SEGA Superstars Tennis (PS2, 7th Gen Consoles, 2008)note 
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (7th Gen Consoles, 2012)note 
  • Sonic Lost World (Wii U, 3DS, 2013; Steam (PC), 2015)note 

    Notable Guest Appearances 
  • Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast, 1998; GameCube, 2003; PS3, 360, Steam (PC), 2010)note 
  • Sonic Shuffle (Dreamcast, 2000)note 
  • Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast, 2001; GameCube, 2002; PS3, 360, Steam (PC), 2012)note 
  • Phantasy Star Online and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GameCube, 2002 and 2003)note 
  • EyeToy: Play and Sega Superstars (PS2, 2003 and 2004)note 
  • Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (7th Gen Consoles, 2010)note 

    Comics 


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 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

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