The Red Nightmares look just like standard Nightmares, appearing as humanoid chameleon-like beings with thick forearms, spiked backs, and horns, with glowing markings on their bodies and purple smoke emitting from their backs. However, unlike regular Nightmares, they have a pinkish-red colored skin and their glowing markings are cyan.
The Red Nightmares and the rest of Dark Gaia's Minions came into being when Dark Gaia broke apart at the beginning of Sonic Unleashed due to its premature awakening by Dr. Eggman. These fragments were then spread across the earth and became Dark Gaia's Minions, with the Red Nightmares amongst them. They first appear in Cool Edge Act II: The Ice Floe.
As an empowered version of the Nightmare, the Red Nightmares are faster and stronger than the normal Nightmares and possess more health, but they are still weaker than the regular Deep Nightmare. They usually appear in groups of at least three or more.
Like their relatives in battle, the Red Nightmare fights with hand-to-hand combat, but in a more aggressive way than the regular Nightmares. They usually strike with their stretchy arms and can perform body flips that cause damage to Sonic when they land on him. They are also capable of aerial attacks; if Sonic jumps into the air, the Red Nightmares can jump up and knock him down again. When fighting defensively, they can nullify the damage from the player's attacks by guarding (which can be broken with the right combo attack or be automatically lowered after a while).
Upon the reconstruction of Dark Gaia by Dr. Eggman, all of the Red Nightmares (along with the other types of Dark Gaia's minions) were returned to the beast, who was later defeated and sealed within the planet's core.
Powers and abilities
The Red Nightmares are able to move around by emerging from black puddles on the ground. As a Dark Gaia minion, the Red Nightmares can possess people by latching onto the deepest, darkest part of the heart, and generate despair, negative emotions or even erratic behavior that are completely opposite to the person's personality.
Being evolved forms of the Nightmare, the Red Nightmares possess strength, speed, and durability above the regular Nightmares. The Red Nightmares also possess elastic bodies, allowing them to stretch their limbs over a slightly larger area.
The Red Nightmares have a certain degree of skill and cunning in terms of hand-to-hand combat, being able to fight opponents with combos and guard against attacks with their arms.