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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Here's the first thing Reala says to a lost and confused little boy at an abandoned theme park in Journey Into Dreams:
      Reala: Oh how I've waited for this moment! The opportunity to get you all alone, dear visitor! Now, how exactly should I go about getting what I want? Hmm?
    • From the beginning of the game of the second game:
      Owl: Go over and touch NiGHTS. You'll see what I mean. That is, of course if you're into that sort of thing.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: That horrendous Jump Scare Helen has when trying to enjoy her childhood, showing her mother furious with her! Is the player supposed to interpret Helen feeling guilt? Or that her mom [isn't a very nice person in real-life at all?
  • Angst? What Angst?: NiGHTS certainly takes their entire species basically being out to get them in stride, although they do display signs of being bothered by Helen's reaction to learning that NiGHTS is a Nightmaren.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Despite being NiGHTS' Evil Counterpart, Reala is a total pushover. Defeating them is a simple matter of trapping them in a paraloop three times. Their only attack is to try to do the same to the player, but it's incredibly easy to avoid and barely impacts the mission time limit.
    • Wizeman in the second game. He's not particularly difficult to take down and goes down much easier than he did in the first game.
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  • Contested Sequel: The general consensus is that Journey of Dreams doesn't live up to the original. While some believe the original blows the game straight out of the water, the game does have its share of defenders who believe it's still a decent game in its own right. Some would even argue that it's better than the original game for expanding the formula and increasing its length and replay value.
  • Complete Monster: Wizeman the Wicked Was Once a Man who visited the dream world; however, he turned himself into something far worse. Fancying himself as a god, he ruled over Nightmare with an iron fist. When one of his top henchmen, the titular NiGHTS, betrays him and tries to fight back, he traps them in a strange, gazebo-like place, before they are eventually rescued. When his minions fail to defeat NiGHTS, he punishes them with cruel methods, such as crushing them in the palm of his hands, sending them falling to oblivion, or simply verbally abusing them throughout the games. His worst act comes in Journey into Dreams, when he traps several visitors in an And I Must Scream state, leaving their consciousness in a never-ending nightmare, and in the waking world, trapping them in a permanent coma. Being perhaps the poster boy of Vile Villain, Saccharine Show, Wizeman might just be one of the worst villains Sonic Team has produced.
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  • Creepy Cute: NiGHTS is a slightly odd example, staying mostly on the "cute" side with big starry eyes and sweet smile. NiGHTS is thinner then any human should be,and has something of a ballet-dancers physique, and those eyes could most definitely be uncomfortable; they're a step 'above' cat-like. Combined with the way it moves, it also veers into disconcertingly beautiful and graceful territory.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jackle, to the point where people who never played the original game love the card-throwing crazy.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Some people can be very insistent about ensuring that the title character's name is capitalized as NiGHTS, not Nights or NIGHTS.
    • NiGHTS is genderless. Claiming otherwise tends to start internet was that can last months.
  • Foe Yay: NiGHTS and Reala.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The "Sonic the Hedgehog Into Dreams..." minigame in the Christmas NiGHTS sampler allowed players to roam freely as the blue blur in the NiGHTS engine, which many believed would have been perfect to use for a proper 3D Sonic title for the Saturn. Not only did such a game never appear on the system, but when Yuji Naka later saw early footage of Sonic X-treme and believed the NiGHTS engine was being used without his permission, or something very similar to it, he threatened to quit the company if the game went forward with it. The incident is seen as one of many contributing factors to that game's cancellation.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The kids version of "Dreams Dreams" in the first game can become this when you consider the female singer, Jasmine Allen, was brought back to sing the "Sweet Snow" version in Journey of Dreams over ten years later.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One of the major criticisms of the first game is that it's incredibly short and can be beaten within a couple of hours. It wasn't seen as a big deal when it was first released, since its addictive gameplay and replay value in getting higher scores made up for it, and it was still longer than many other arcade ports for the Saturn and its competition. But being re-released in a time where long campaigns are the norm, its short length stands out and was likely the reason that the sequel went to great lengths to avert this.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Although the Christimas NiGHTS sampler is worth hunting down because it offers so much content it's almost like a companion game of its own, the "Sonic the Hedgehog Into Dreams..." minigame is a huge draw for many fans of the blue blur, especially after the bitter aftertaste of Sonic X-treme's cancellation and was the closest thing to a true 3D Sonic game at the time. More so with the minigame's exclusion in the PS2 and consequently HD re-release.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Non-binary people like NiGHTS for having an Ambiguous Gender.
  • Mondegreen: Famously, Reala's line of "Beadichinoa Naitsu" ("Let's go, NiGHTS") has become "There is no NiGHTS". This one's notable in that many fans used it as a defining element of NiGHTS's and Reala's relationship (and NiGHTS's relationship with Wizeman's forces/all of Nightopia in general) for years.
  • Claris' opening with the judges turning into demons and chasing her through a psychedelic landscape.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • The Chamelan from the second game is often disliked, simply due to the fact that he's a copy of Fan-Favorite Jackle.
    • Will and Helen from Journey of Dreams are not nearly as beloved as Elliot and Claris. Fans generally think they have uninteresting designs, their actors are poor, and for having their stories be far too long.
  • The Scrappy: Helen from Journey of Dreams. The general consensus is that her story is wasted, her actress is terrible, and that she comes off as incredibly selfish at times. The biggest problem is, however, her cowardice. Fans got quickly annoyed with how Helen was terrified with everything and wondered why she possessed the Ideya of Courage, especially after she loses it near the end of the game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: In the first game, doing a loop was not only a way to defeat enemies, but it would kill any Nightopians unfortunate to be nearby. It was thankfully rectified in the sequel, which is actually required to save them in one stage.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Back when the first game was released for the Saturn, it was acclaimed by both critics and fans alike for its colorful and imaginative visuals and characters, fantastic soundtrack, and addicting fast-paced gameplay, showing the world what the Saturn was actually capable of. In some circles, it was seen as the Killer App of the Saturn, on par with competing powerhouses Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot. The characters have appeared in countless cameos since then, and even Shigeru Miyamoto laments that it was a game he wishes he had made. But with the game's HD re-release, many of those who had never played the game before have expressed confusion to what the hype was all about, citing its short length, minimal story, and the objective of the gameplay not being completely clearnote , while admitting it was probably considered groundbreaking and revolutionary for its time. Many fans who experienced the game when it first came out still adore it to this day and praise it as a underrated masterpiece.
  • Sequelitis: The second game, Journey of Dreams, was not nearly as well-received as the first one, with major sources of criticism being its poorly optimized controls and the heavier emphasis on gameplay centered around the human characters.
  • Tear Jerker: In the "Yellow Ideya" ending when NiGHTS reveals that they know that they'll die if Wizeman is destroyed, saying that they've "known it all along", and then fights him anyway. After Wizeman is defeated, they take one final bow and dissolves into light. Also counts as the character's Moment of Awesome. Helen and Will's reactions don't really help either. The shots of them waking up and crying, with their tears falling onto whatever they're holding, only adds to the sorrow of the moment.
  • That One Boss:
    • Jackle. Unless you know the right pattern to fly in to avoid his cards, that timer will be down to zero in seconds. Once you hit him and separate him from his cape, you'll be desperate to follow him to make sure he doesn't grab it again, otherwise you're back to square one.
    • Wizeman's battle in the first game. The fireballs and giant snowballs are easy enough to dodge, but the rows of stones will trap and kill you if you misjudge their movement. The worst is the tornado formed like a time glass — there's a small hole right in the middle of it, but you can only fit if you Drilldash, and it's very easy to miss.
    • For a first boss, Donbalon can be a real pain in the ass. He’s pretty annoying, creepy, and laughs at you constantly. The premise is simple, just throw him to the top of the obstacle-filled stage. But the controls and quirky physics will cause a misbounce, and just one will ruin your A grade run. If you grab Donbalon near a block, the game can easily glitch, causing the nightmaren to rocket off at speed in a random direction (usually downwards).
    • Bomamba, a witch whom you have to beat by tilting malevolent cat heads into holes. Odd physics mean it's mostly luck if any fall through. It's timed, too, just to add insult to injury.
    • Chamelan is a Guide Dang It! sort of boss. Once you know what to do, executing it isn't too hard... so long as you don't dawdle at all and have reasonable luck.
  • That One Level:
    • Stick Canyon. It's packed with all kinds of neat mechanics and gimmicks, but the timer doesn't allow you to get the most out of the level, and you'll likely run out of time in the middle of the roller-coaster-like ride. You'll need a good memory of the stage's layout and either be quick or skip some things to get that A Rank.
    • The Sky Concert. It's a rhythm-based level with flight controls, and you'll have to be adjusting your speed often to hit the higher and lower notes on time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Journey of Dreams. Trying to expand the length of the game by introducing gimmick levels, some of which are repeated throughout the game, and having a larger story with voice acting did not sit well with the fanbase.
    • The PS2 and HD re-releases were also criticized for having worse and less precise controls than the Saturn version, the latter of which was addressed with a patch, but is still considered inferior to the fluid controls utilized by the 3D Saturn Pad. Their ports of Christmas NiGHTS are also missing several bonus modes and features including the ever popular "Sonic The Hedgehog into Dreams..."
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Many players enjoyed the idea of traveling on foot in the original game, as Claris and Eliot were allowed to explore the 3D stages freely that their on-rails companion NiGHTS normally couldn't. Aside from many fantastic details that most players wouldn't notice by playing the game normally, certain Nightopian eggs could only be reached this way, and Eliot could even ride in an elevator to reach the top of the metal tower in Stick Canyon. Unfortunately, being chased by the clock and not being able to get high scores without using NiGHTS only seemed to discourage this type of play, which was why the "Sonic the Hedgehog Into Dreams..." minigame was praised for removing the clock and allowing for free exploration, even just for one level. The sequel attempted to remedy this by having stages that only took place on foot, but instead of allowing players to roam freely on the flying levels, these unique levels had players traveling on a linear path and were criticized for their slow pace.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: YouTuber DiGi Valentine takes issue with Reala's redesign for Journey of Dreams. He points out that Reala's original design is consistent and simple enough, yet still an excellent visual contrast to NiGHTS. But he complains that Reala's redesign adds so many new and inconsistent details, like a pink ruff with samurai-like armor, and describes him as looking like "a Hot Topic reject circa 2003."
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The first game looked absolutely phenomenal on the Saturn when it was first released, showing an explorable 3D world with several small details that many thought the system wasn't capable of pulling off. Journey of Dreams is no slouch in the graphics department either, but when it was discovered that an emulation hack allows the game to run at 60fps, the game looks absolutely phenomenal, leading one to wonder if it's how the game would have normally run if it was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as originally intended.
  • Waggle: Playing Journey of Dreams using the Wiimote soured many impressions of the game, which required players to aim a pointer at the screen that would guide NiGHTS. Using the Wii Gamepad or a Gamecube Controller is much more preferable.

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