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Nights (ナイツ Naitsu, trademarked as NiGHTS) is a video game character and the protagonist of the games NiGHTS into Dreams... and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, developed and published by Sega. Although NiGHTS is referred to as a 'he' in the in-game dialogue, it should be noted that all Nightmaren are in fact genderless. And though NiGHTS is genderless like Reala and the others, (s)he should be repectively called either a 'male' or a 'female'. The character wears a purple jester style hat and outfit, with a diamond-shaped red jewel on his/her chest (in the Archie Comics mini-series, this is a shard of Ideya sphere that broke off and latched onto his/her chest).
NiGHTS' first appearance was in the video game NiGHTS into Dreams... for the Sega Saturn. The second game in the series, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, is for the Wii. NiGHTS also appeared in the sampler game Christmas NiGHTS for the Sega Saturn. NiGHTS has a role in Sega Superstars Tennis as well.
NiGHTS has appeared in numerous other games besides the series, including Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX (in the Casinopolis level), Sonic Adventure 2 (in the City Escape and Radical Highway levels), and Shadow the Hedgehog (in Lethal Highway, the title screen appears in a billboard without any text). Also in Sonic Adventure 2, the player can raise a Chao that resembles NiGHTS. NiGHTS also appears in Sonic Pinball Party, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, Sega Superstars, Sonic Riders (as a secret character), Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
NiGHTS has also made a guest appearance in Phantasy Star Online I & II Plus, in an Episode 2 quest.
Creation and conceptionEdit
Naoto Oshima was the original NiGHTS designer and Kazuyuki Hoshino was the character designer for the video game NiGHTS into Dreams.... Though NiGHTS into Dreams... was left without a sequel for over a decade, the character continued to appear within games developed by Sonic Team as a cameo, showing much affection for the character and the game. This led to the eventual sequel, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams.  Naoto Oshima had left SEGA by that point, so Kazuyuki Hoshino was placed in charge of character design for NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. Takashi Iizuka, the lead game designer, felt that with Hoshino, they captured the style used for the character in the original game. 
The character's personality is described by Iizuka as "a mirror of the child's personality." The player is supposed to become NiGHTS, thus being either gender depending on the interpretation of the player. They wanted the character to speak more often in Journey of Dreams, so they decided to give the character a voice to play into the fact that the player decides the gender. NiGHTS' voice is supposed to sound like that of a child as the dreamers are children and therefore does not mean that NiGHTS is female. The character was also given an English accent to meet the style of the games. 
NiGHTS is a first-level Nightmaren, created by Wizeman to steal Red Ideya. Despite being one of Wizeman's most powerful creations, NiGHTS is a remarkably mischievous, free-spirited being who did not like taking orders, specially evil ones. In response to the disobedience, Wizeman has cast a spell to keep NiGHTS imprisoned between dreams and out of the way. NiGHTS asks for the assistance of Claris, Elliot, Will, and Helen in defeating Wizeman and gaining freedom. NiGHTS' rival is the first-level Nightmaren, and his/her sibling, Reala.
NiGHTS acts childish, never for a moment thinking of the consequences for his/her actions. Sometimes NiGHTS scares people for fun, but most of the time, (s)he is very chivalrous. NiGHTS likes new and unusual things, but hates being bound and told what to do. Sometimes, when very relaxed, NiGHTS will pull out an invisible flute and start playing "Dreams, Dreams".
The flight capabilities of NiGHTS are superior to any other Nightmaren, being able to move freely in the air like a fish swimming, appearing to be swimming the breast-stroke. When (s)he flies, a bright substance called "Twinkle Dust" emits from his/her hands.
NiGHTS can increase the flight speed with Drill Dash, and can also create small portals called Paraloops with his/her Twinkle Dust if (s)he flies in a circle.
Besides flying, NiGHTS shows various other abilities in both games.
NiGHTS shows the ability to transform into just about anything (like a a bobsled, boat, roller coaster, dragon, rocket and dolphin), an ability that was expanded upon in the sequel with the introduction of each persona mask. Even without the persona masks, NiGHTS is still able to change forms and abilities accordingly, as well as rolling up into a ball to roll down slides. This allows NiGHTS to go about anywhere.
NiGHTS also plays an invisible flute. (S)he can be heard playing "Dreams Dreams", the main theme of the series, on it when (s)he relaxes.
NiGHTS comes from the dream world of Nightopia (also referred to in-game as the Night Dimension) and takes shape according to the thoughts, ideas, personalities, and will of the Visitors (humans from the real world). NiGHTS lives alongside Owl, a brown owl who acts as the elder and guide in the sequel, and the Nightopians. NiGHTS, however, is a Nightmaren and henceforth his/her origin of creation is in the dark realm of Nightmare. NiGHTS does what (s)he can to stop Wizeman from taking over Nightopia and eventually, the real world.
Interaction with other charactersEdit
NiGHTS sometimes scares or makes fun of people, but is playful in nature and shows kindness to Visitors.
The Children: (Claris, Elliot, Will and Helen) NiGHTS is kind towards the children in both games, helping all four of them to defeat Wizeman on two separate occasions. (S)he shows the children around different Dream Worlds and works together with them to dispatch numerous Nightmaren.
Owl: NiGHTS shows disrespect for Owl on a regular basis, but also shows a sort of friendship with the old bird. Owl often seems frustrated with NiGHTS' rambunctious behavior, and occasionally lectures him/her, but to no avail.
Wizeman: NiGHTS shows a disliking for Wizeman and his ideals mainly because NiGHTS gained free will upon his creation in Nightmare. NiGHTS feels that what Wizeman is doing is wrong and that he must be stopped. NiGHTS is always willing to help out with others and is even ready to give his/her own life to stop Wizeman.
Reala: NiGHTS' relationship with Reala appears complicated. (S)he seems to still hold Reala as a friend or at least a former one, while Reala pities NiGHTS for rebelling against Wizeman. Reala often plays on NiGHTS' mercy, using it as an opportunity to imprison him/her. Reala sometimes refers to NiGHTS as a "sibling".
In his review of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, Kevin Vanord of GameSpot described the character as an "androgynous jester." Vanord said, "NiGHTS is smoothly animated", but said its "vocal personification [won't really be] everyone's cup of tea." Vanord wrote, "The jester is genderless...and the accompanying voice is, well, correspondingly confused. But whether you think NiGHTS sounds like a young woman or a young boy, it's a good fit for the character."
Referring to NiGHTS into Dreams..., IGN said "NiGHTS was essentially Sonic the Hedgehog in the air..." The IGN review of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams called NiGHTS a "mysterious creature." The IGN reviewer noted, "strangely NiGHTS and all other characters in Nightopia are from England?" but said the voice acting was "decent, if not a bit over-the-top." In the English version of the game, NiGHTS is voiced by American voice actress Julissa Aguirre.
See also Edit
- ↑ Game Credits for Nights into Dreams... at MobyGames
- ↑ NGamer exclusive - Nights: Journey of Dreams interview
- ↑ Nights Journey of Dreams Takashi Iizuka interview from 1UP.com
- ↑ GamesRadar: Nights team prefer Gamecube pad to Wii-mote
- ↑ Nintendo Life - Interview: Takashi Iizuka Talks Nights
- ↑ GameSpot: Nights: Journey of Dreams for Wii Review
- ↑ IGN: NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams Review