Nights Into Dreams...
During the Saturn years, Sonic Team took a break from producing hit Sonic games. Ever notice the lack of a real, new Sonic title on the Saturn? That's why. But what was being worked on instead has more than made up for it. Nights was Yuji Naka's great gift to the Saturn. Even though the game didn't sell to well, it still managed to gain a cult status among gamers.
Aboard an airplane, Sega's Yuji Naka envisioned a game of flight. The original concept involved a bird to weak to fly, but after gaining strength and experience, would be able to reach its potential. As this project evolved, the bird idea was dropped in favor of exploring the world of dreams.
Elliot is at school, playing basketball with his friends. Some older kids walk up and challenge him and his friends to a game. Feeling it's time to show off his mad skills, Elliot tells them to bring it, and the game is on. The game is tight and Elliot's team has one last chance to make it or break it. Elliot stands below the net, wide open. The ball is traveling his way. He reaches out to receive the pass and make the game-winning shot, but a player on the other team steals the ball. A slam dunk at the other end of the court ends the game, and Elliot's chance of impressing Phil Jackson.
This is Claris' big break - the chance to show her family and friends that she actually has stage talent. The lights flare on, the directors look up, and a voice begins to speak in Claris' head. She steps up to the microphone. "Everyone will laugh at you," says the voice. After a few short seconds of suffering the same thing that made Joanne of Arc win battles for France, Claris runs off.
Later that night, Elliot and Claris lay in bed, feeling like worthless failures, and rightfully so, but they weren't aware of what they were about it to do...
Nightopia - the land of our dreams. This is where our dreams take place and are carried out. Unfortunately, not even Nightopia is safe from evil as Wizeman the Wicked is preparing a rather sinister plan. Using his creatures, the Nightmaren, he is stealing dream energy from people. When he has enough, he will be able to rise from the subconscious and enter our world, where no power will be able to unstop him.
A Nightopian manages an escape from the dream world, and begs Elliot and Claris to save them from Wizeman before it is too late. These failures, upon realizing that they are the only ones who can save the world, feel a bit of bravery growing inside them. They accept the Nightopian's desperate request.
The Nightopian continues on, explaining that Wizeman is stealing dream energies and storing them in large, machine-like pods called Ideya Captures. There are four types of dream energies in the captures, white - purity, green - wisdom, yellow - hope, and blue - intelligence. There is one energy, however, that Wizeman cannot steal. Red, the fifth and rarest dream energy, represents bravery. An aerial acrobat by the name of Nights is said to be attracted to this energy. Nights is the only one not under Wizeman's power. The Nightopian believes tat Elliot and Claris have this rare energy, and that Nights will come to their aid.
Wizeman will try to stop them by throwing them into weird dream worlds, created from the depths of their minds. They must seek the help of Nights and recover the dream energies. The fate of the subconscious lies in them.
You start off as either Claris or Elliot, and will almost immediately be attacked and lose all of your dream energies. Run up and touch Nights to take control of him. Nights is a fully 3-D game, but most of the action takes place along a two-dimensional plane. The goal is to destroy the Ideya Capture and release the dream energy trapped by it. In order to this, you must collect orbs and drop them into the capture.
Bonus time begins and this is where the magic begins. Orbs become golden and point values are doubled, so collecting items, paralooping and finding links became very important. Hoops, stars, and orbs can be linked together and this is a key to getting a high score and a higher letter grade. The time is still ticking, so after removing the Ideya from the capture, take it back to the temple that NiGHTs had previously been trapped.
If the time expires, NiGHTS turns back into Claris or Elliot and falls out of the sky, losing all of the orbs and points in the process. While playing as one of the kids, things aren't completely safe. An egg timer (literally an egg with a clock) will come trying to wake you up. If you awaken, the dream is over and the night ends.
Claris and Elliot have a few advantages, though. The kids can double and triple jump, and since they're not limited to a two dimensional plane, they can reach places that NiGHTS can't.
After successfully taking out four of the Ideya Captures in this manner, you'll have all five of the dream energies. You'll be given a letter grade, then sent off to face a boss.
Boss levels are open areas with a massive-sized Nightmaren filling up much of the space. You'll have a time limit to take down the boss, and after completion, you'll be given a letter grade. Faster boss times will increase a score multiplyer, ranging from 1.1 to 2.0.
Born as the right-hand man to Wizeman, the ruler of Nightmare, Nights is a "First-level" Nightmaren. While he has retained his crazy Nightmaren nature, he loves his freedom and refuses to be ruled by anyone. Unfortunately, Nights' personality and insubordination have earned him Wizeman's wrath. Wizeman has cast a spell on Nights, imprisoning him in the chasm between dreams. Confined to the space of a dream, Nights endeavors to be released from Wizeman's spell.
Night's most outstanding trait is his ability to fly, which allows him to soar through the sky freely. When he makes a loop in the air, he can even open a hole in space. Nights can also change shape to adapt to any situation. However, the big question remains: Will Nights be able to escape the ruler's spell, to again enjoy the freedom he loves so much?
Reala is Wizeman's right-hand man. Like Nights, he is one of the few First-level Nightmaren. Unlike Nights, he is cruel, brutal, and absolutely loyal to Wizeman. Reala and Nights are rivals, as it was Reala's brutal tactics that contributed to Night's eventual confinement to the space of a dream. Reala's flight capabilities are almost equal to Nights' - he can also para-loop.
Elliot is a talented fifteen year-old boy, living in the central square of Twin Seeds. He excels at everything he does and he is both an exceptional student and a great basketball player. Elliot especially enjoys basketball, and is regarded as the top player in his class. However, not one to show his feelings in front of anyone, Elliot remains indifferent and cool to the admiration of his friends. It's this particular personality trait that leads to Elliot's involvement in an unusual incident...
Claris, a fifteen year-old girl, dreams of becoming a musical star playing to huge audiences. Born into a family of artists and raised in the suburbs of Twin Seeds, she is extremely shy. The very thought of performing center stage absolutely terrifies her. Little does Claris know she is about to be visited by a great opportunity to realize her dream...
Nightopians are carefree, happy inhabitants of Nightopia.They're born every time balls of light (called Ideya) collide. The sole reason for their existence is to have fun. Because they are incapable of doing anything else, they have no need to work together or to cooperate towards a common goal. As a result, they have no leader, and no language. What they do have, is the ability to see the consciousness of each visitor (dreamers from our world), through the Ideya. When visitors arrive, the Nightopians can see their consciousness and recreate the happy world that is hidden deep inside. That's why the Nightopians, who don't have the capacity for intelligent thought, can sing, dance, and even go fishing.
Nightmaren are the crazy inhabitants of Nightmare, the dark fearful world ruled by Wizeman, their creator. They derive an insane pleasure from startling and scaring people, and spend most of their time doing so. Unlike Nightopians, who accept each visitor's consciousness the way it exists, Nightmaren use various methods to fill the visitor with fear and surprise. There are many different kinds of Nightmaren which can be broadly grouped into three levels based on intelligence:
The most intelligent of the creatures, each with a will of its own. (Nights, the hero of our story, is one of the few First-level Nightmaren.)
They are more intelligent than Third-level Nightmaren and have the ability to create worlds of their own.
These creatures are the least intelligent and by far the most violent.
Nightopians, those strange, bald-headed creatures floating around, are actually more than just decoration. Not only do they sing, fish, dance, hold signs, and generally litter up the background, but they also reproduce and have feelings towards NiGHTS. That means, that depending on how you play the game, you can affect these little buggers.
These Nightopians will react to you positively or negatively, depending on your actions. If you enjoy paralooping everything in sight and taking these things out, they're not going to be happy. In fact, they'll reproduce less and even the music will be a little more somber. Take it to the extreme and you can rid your dream of Nightopians.
On the other side, treat them nice and they'll be happy. They'll sing, dance, make the background music cheerful, and most importantly breed.
The rate at which these guys breed is based on how they feel about you. If they're in good spirits, they'll breed more. If they're not, they breed less. So, how do you tell? If they run away when they see you, they don't like you. If they kind of disregard you, they're indifferent. If you get close and it comes near you or starts singing, it likes you.
If you get a couple of happy Nightopians together, they'll lay an egg. Touch the egg with Nights and it'll hatch yielding another Nightopian. If that's not exciting enough, you can breed "Mepians" - Nightmaren crossed with Nightopians. Track down a happy little Nightopian, aim carefully and drill-dash, sending a flying ball of a Nightmaren its way. The result: a Nightopian with some very non-Nightopian parts.
Here on out, things get a little bit tricky. If a couple of these Mepians mate, they can form other Mepians, a Nightopian or even a Badpian. The rare King Nightopian will build castles. The Badpian looks like a Nightopian but is a Nightmaren in disguise - it kills other Nightopians if it comes in contact with them.
Alas, it's all just part of a larger cycle, as these creatures will only live for about 3-5 nights.
There's something about this game and music, but I'm not quite sure what it is. The games music changes pitch and tempo depending on the mood of the Nightopians. Everytime you fly through a ring to continue a link, there is another sound. Something is up.
Did You Know?
- Work was being done on a NiGHTS sequel for the Saturn. A tilt sensor was to be plugged into the removable cable on the 3D Control Pad. However, the idea didn't pan out and was cancelled.
- Later, a similar concept was designed for the Dreamcast, this time using a magic wand controller. The NiGHTS game was cancelled and the project eventually found its way as Samba de Amigo.
- The clock in the game uses the time from the Saturn's internal memory.
- Sonic Team members studied dream psychology, including the works of Carl Gustav Jung for inspiration in designing the game.
- Originally, there was going to be a boss in the game known as Selph.
Debug Mode - There is no working debug code. Apparently, it was only on pre-production versions released to magazines.
Extra Images - Put the CD in a computer and look in the "Extras" folder.
Song Change - Pause the game, then hold L + R + Y. A row of numbers will appear. Here's what they mean:
- 0: Very happy Nightopians
- 1: Happy Nightopians
- 2: Apathetic Nightopians
- 3: Angry Nightopians
Remove Pause - Hold X, Y, and Z simultaneously when paused to remove "Pause" from the screen.
Alternate Theme Song - Get an A rank on every level. The ending song will now (thankfully) be sung by adults.
Nights Into Dreams France - This is the best Nights site on the web. As the title suggests, it's completely in French.