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"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, into a legend in Videogame Culture, more or less. The second one was released in 2007 after an 11 year gap, and suffers from a bit of Unexpected Gameplay Change.

On its fifteenth anniversary, July 5th 2011, SEGA announced its interest in re-making and/or re-releasing the original NiGHTS to no official announcement

While there's been no word on new a NiGHTS game, the franchise has survived in several comic adaptations, NiGHTS and Reala even taking part in the Sega/Capcom crossover comic "Worlds Unite", along with the twins guest starring in several Sega crossover games.

Tropes used in NiGHTS Into Dreams include:
  • 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 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. Though the creators have claimed that NiGHTS is genderless, Reala acts in a clearly male (if Ambiguously Gay) manner and NiGHTS has a female voice actor. Then again, Nightmarens could lack biological sex and NiGHTS simply hasn't pinned down a gender.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Averted in the second game.
  • Anti-Anti-Christ: NiGHTS. They were created to be The Dragon to Wizeman but they defected to protect dreams.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones/Beware the Silly Ones: As nice and goofy as NiGHTS may be, when they engage in battle, they are utterly unstoppable. They managed to Kill the God.
  • Blue Eyes: NiGHTS, Reala, Helen, and (to a lesser extent) Will.
    • NiGHTS's eyes are purplish-blue, though.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Cutscene Incompetence: So much of Journey of Dreams wouldn't happen if NiGHTS remembered to use their powers in the cutscenes.
  • 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.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: If you wanna unlock the True Endings in Journey Of Dreams, you need a C or higher on all missions.
  • Dream Land / Magicant: Nightopia, the game's main setting.
  • Evil Twin / Cain and Abel: NiGHTS and Reala.
  • Expy: NiGHTS (him/her)-self 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 The Jimmy Hart Version, in that Sega owns both franchises and, thus, wouldn't need to make an Expy for NiGHTS...
    • Sega probably wasn't in the mood to make it a crossover.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The endings to Journey of Dreams imply that the adventure took place over eight hours. Justified since dreams can run on Narnia Time.
  • The Fool: NiGHTS, full stop. The kids from the games can also count.
  • Foreshadowing: NiGHTS' nature as a Nightmaren is hinted at several times in Journey of Dreams before the Internal Reveal. They know everything about all the Nightmares they encounter, they recognize and know Wizeman personally, and, most critically, look just like Reala.
  • 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.
  • Gender Bender: NiGHTS itself is gender neutral, but combines with both boys and girls. Not that this stops fans from claiming that they have a canon gender.
  • 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.
  • Killer App: As much as the Saturn ever had one.
  • Little Boy Blue Note: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Seven Hundred 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.
  • 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 Rerelease: A remake with updated graphics came out in February 2008. In Japan.
  • 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.
  • Widget Series