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NiGHTS (ナイツ,Naitsu?) is the eponymous protagonist of the NiGHTS series. NiGHTS is a genderless first-level Nightmaren who lives in the dream world of Nightopia, which takes shape in the Night Dimension according to the thoughts, ideas, personalities, and will of the Visitors, humans from the real world. As a Nightmaren however, NiGHTS' origin is henceforth the dark realm of Nightmare.
NiGHTS was one of the most powerful creations of Wizeman, a malevolent entity from NiGHTS' realm, and was meant to steal Ideyas, the energy of dreams. However, NiGHTS was a remarkably mischievous free spirit who did not like taking orders, so Wizeman imprisoned them. NiGHTS subsequently rebelled and allied themself with Visitors to stop Wizeman from taking over the Dream World and eventually, the Waking World. However, NiGHTS' motivation was simply because they did not like Wizeman, not because they were inherently "good".
NiGHTS' personality is described by Iizuka as "a mirror of the child's personality." This personality was based on one of Carl Jung's personality archetypes: the Shadow. NiGHTS' speaking role in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams was performed by Julissa Aguirre, who gave the character a British accent. In addition, NiGHTS was made genderless, leaving the impression of the character "totally up to the player" so that both boys and girls could identify with the character, according to Iizuka. This incidentally created Sega's first openly non-binary character.
NiGHTS is a slender, humanoid first-level Nightmaren with beige skin, large blueish-purple eyes with vertical slit pupils, and thin eyelashes. Their head and hands are not connected to their body in any visible form, as it is seemingly only made apparent by their clothes.
Originally, NiGHTS wore a brightly-colored suit consisting of purple unitard-like legs with pink and yellow feet and two white buttons in front of the waist, a pink vest-like torso with triangular ends, yellow lining and star buttons, a large red jewel on their chest, baggy white sleeves with yellow and purple cuffs, a wide purple collar around their neck and over their shoulders, and a purple two-horned jester cowl with dark purple stripes.
Beginning with NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, NiGHTS' attire takes on a new, slightly altered appearance. NiGHTS now wears a defined red and pink sleeveless jacket over their suit, with a yellow trim, star buttons, buttoned shoulders, and a folded collar with blue crystal studs on the front, as well as a small orange ruff concealed in it. Additionally, silver embroidery is present on the arms and legs of NiGHTS' suit and the white buttons are absent from their waist.
In Sonic Adventure and its enhanced port, Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut, NiGHTS appears as a pinball game which features elements from NiGHTS into Dreams.... The pinball table features an image of NiGHTS in the center with the NiGHTS into Dreams... logo below them. Upon getting a reward in the slot machine, the same font featured in the NiGHTS series is used for the text. In the missions, NiGHTS' picture can be seen on a small billboard next to Tails' shop. NiGHTS themself can also be seen in person in the NiGHTS pinball game in Casinopolis. They appear to be floating over an Ideya Palace when Sonic loses his last ball.
NiGHTS also makes a cameo appearance as a Chao. The Neutral Fly Type Chao resembles NiGHTS, while the Dark Fly/Normal Type Chao resembles Reala, or an evil-looking NiGHTS.
In Sonic Shuffle, when the date on the Dreamcast is set to 24 December, NiGHTS will make a cameo appearance. They replace Lumina as the guide, although the voice will still be Lumina's.
NiGHTS also makes a cameo appearance as a Chao. The Neutral Fly Type Chao resembles NiGHTS, while the Dark Fly/Normal Type Chao resembles Reala.
Sonic Pinball Party
In Sonic Pinball Party, NiGHTS appears along with a NiGHTS-themed pinball game, featuring many elements from NiGHTS into Dreams.... Sonic Pinball Party is the only game where NiGHTS actually interacts with Sonic, as NiGHTS helped Sonic free Amy and Tails from Dr. Eggman's hypnotism. NiGHTS is also a level two competitor in the Egg Cup Tournament.
Due to popular demand to make NiGHTS a playable character in the first game, both NiGHTS and Reala appear as playable characters in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. They appear as the vehicles while a Nightopian and a Nightmarian drive them, respectively. When the player gets a All-Star Move as either racer, they'll control NiGHTS or Reala for a limited time. A NiGHTS related race-track, Dream Valley, also appears in the game. Because NiGHTS is a playable racer in the game, Ristar replaces them as the flagman.
In Sonic Runners, NiGHTS appeared as an equipable buddy during two of the promotional events for the game. When they are equipped, the music changes.
In Sonic Forces, a Costume set designed in the image of NiGHTS is unlockable in-game with the bonus edition for this title.
NiGHTS behaves childishly and mischievously, never for a moment thinking of the consequences of their actions, for example sometimes scaring people just for fun. However, they are playful in nature and NiGHTS' actions can mostly be considered childish. As an overly free spirit, NiGHTS detests being ordered around or restrained and freely flies through the skies of Nightopia. NiGHTS is full of curiosity and loves anything new or unusual.
Although NiGHTS does not have a strong sense of righteousness, they are unhappy about Wizeman's attempts to eliminate Nightopia. They also enjoy showing Visitors around and generally see them not only as allies against Wizeman, but also as companions. Sometimes, when very relaxed, NiGHTS will pull out an invisible flute and start playing.
NiGHTS is shown to be rather sympathetic toward some of their enemies, such as Reala, which is a trait that is easily turned against them. They care greatly for the Visitors, even letting themself get captured so that the Visitors would not be harmed.
Powers and abilities
NiGHTS' trademark ability is flight, as they are able to fly freely and gracefully through the air. Besides flying, NiGHTS shows various other abilities in both of their games. NiGHTS can create small vortexes called "Paraloops" if they fly in a circle and cause an intersection of their Twinkle Dust, a bright substance emitting from their hands when they fly. NiGHTS is also able to use the Drill Dash, a technique where they spin vertically and propel forward at high speeds, obliterating obstacles and dispatching enemies in their way. NiGHTS is able to morph their body to transform into different things and gain new abilities accordingly, including a dragon for gust resistance, a rocket for acceleration, a sled for traversing snow, or a dolphin for swimming.
NiGHTS also has the ability to Dualize with Visitors, in which the Visitor and NiGHTS' bodies assimilate and the pair become one for a temporary amount of time. During the duration of the Dualized state, NiGHTS' own power is enhanced by the Visitor's.
NiGHTS is often seen playing an invisible flute on numerous occasions, with this being called the "Dream Flute." They plays "Dreams, Dreams", the theme song of the NiGHTS series.
NiGHTS is kind towards the children they encounter, Elliot Edwards, Claris Sinclair, William Taylor, and Helen Cartwright. They help all four of them defeat Wizeman on two separate occasions. NiGHTS shows the children around different Dream Worlds and works together with them to dispatch numerous Nightmaren.
NiGHTS lives alongside Owl, a brown owl who acts as elder and guide. 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 them, but to no avail.
NiGHTS shows a special distaste for Wizeman the Wicked. NiGHTS was once loyal to Wizeman, but eventually began to view what Wizeman was doing as wrong and in need of being stopped. NiGHTS also wished to have free will, which Wizeman did not allow; NiGHTS therefore decided to rebel. Their hatred for each other is strong and neither show mercy in battle.
NiGHTS is glad to put a halt to Wizeman's plans, and has defeated Wizeman in combat twice. Any orders given to NiGHTS by Wizeman are in vain, as NiGHTS simply continues the rebellion against the creator of Nightmare. It should be noted that the reason that NiGHTS rebels against their master is not because NiGHTS is good and Wizeman is evil, but simply due to NiGHTS' extreme dislike for Wizeman and his ideas. He is also regarded as NiGHTS' "father."
NiGHTS' relationship with Reala appears complicated, as they behave very much like rivals. NiGHTS seems to still hold Reala as a friend or at the least, a former one, while Reala pities NiGHTS for rebelling against Wizeman. Reala often plays on NiGHTS' mercy, using it as opportunity to imprison them. Reala sometimes refers to NiGHTS as a "sibling" and would later on nearly always will try to talk NiGHTS into surrendering before starting a fight.
In his review of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, Kevin Vanord of GameSpot described the character as an "androgynous jester." Vanord cited NiGHTS as being "smoothly animated," but said that their "vocal personification [won't be] everyone's cup of tea."
Referring to NiGHTS into Dreams..., IGN said that "NiGHTS was essentially Sonic in the air." The IGN review of the game's sequel, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, called NiGHTS a "mysterious creature," while noting that the voice acting was "decent, if not a bit over-the-top."
NiGHTS' theme song is "Dreams, Dreams," the main theme of both NiGHTS games. It is also the same song NiGHTS plays an instrumental version of on their Dream Flute.
Despite Sonic having visited a dream realm in Sonic Shuffle, he did not encounter NiGHTS there, although NiGHTS can be found in the game as a cameo. It should also be noted that Lumina and Void bear heavy resemblance to NiGHTS.
The first time Sonic appeared in full 3D was in the limited edition Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams..., where he was an unlockable character in the Sonic the Hedgehog into Dreams... minigame. In the minigame, Sonic is only playable in the Spring Valley stage, and the original game's Puffy boss is re-skinned to resemble Dr. Robotnik. The gameplay mechanics are also modified. NiGHTS is not present and Sonic can wander around the area freely, as Claris and Elliot do, to obtain the Ideyas without any time limit. The music is a slightly remixed version of "Final Fever", the final boss battle music from the Japanese and European versions of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
NiGHTS is considered to be one of Sega's most popular characters, along with Sonic, Amigo and Billy Hatcher.
NiGHTS has made more cameo appearances in the Sonic franchise than any other non-Sonic related Sega character.