NiGHTS into Merchandise: A Brief Overview of NiGHTS Merch

The NiGHTS franchise may not be nearly as big as Sonic, but its had its fair share of merchandise over the years, much of which is now rare, expensive, and/or obscure. I thought it would be fun to explore some of what’s been made over the years. This is far from a complete list, but we’re at least going over some of the more interesting bits of merch NiGHTS has had in the last 25 years.

NiGHTS into Dreams UFO Plushies

NiGHTS into Dreams didn’t receive much in the way of plushies, but it did get one set of them…which were made exclusively for SEGA’s UFO Capture devices. For those unaware, these devices were claw machines, and could often be found in arcades. The NiGHTS plushies have been rare and expensive for decades, and a single one of these plushies typically commands a price of hundreds of dollars. If that sounds familiar to you Sonic fans, its because Sonic the Fighters had a plushy line that was distributed the same way, and is now just as rare and expensive.

There was also a line of Christmas SEGA plushes that includes many NiGHTS characters, as well as a line of small NiGHTS plush key chains. I think these were also for UFO Captures, but I’ve been unable to confirm that for his article. NiGHTS was also part of a 1996 SEGA keychain figure line, though I’m not sure how those were distributed.

NiGHTS into Dreams Soundtrack

Released days after the NiGHTS game on July 11, the OST was released exclusively in Japan for ¥28,000 under the PolyGram record label. Not an especially remarkable release, but it was at least enough for Sonic Team to include it amongst Christmas NiGHTS’ extras (which is where the photos for the plushes came from).

NiGHTS: Flying Through the Sky Without Wings (storybook)

In December of 1996, NiGHTS received a storybook adaptation. Published by Futabasha, the 54 page book was written by Kyoko Inukai and featured illustrations by Takumi Miyake. It’s a loose adaptation of the game’s story, though with many details changed or written out. The basic premise of Wizeman creating NiGHTS, and seeking to conquer Nightopia, remain intact. The story only features Elliot, as he learns to find the courage within himself. Outside of Reala and Wizeman, none of the other Nightmaren bosses appear. The ideya are nowhere to be found, instead replaced by a “red energy” likely inspired by the red ideya of courage.

The book would later be reprinted in 2008 and sold with the PS2 re-release of NiGHTS. The book was never translated into English, though TRiPPY over at nightsintodreams.com was able to get a fan translation done, which you can find here.

NiGHTS into Dreams… Tiger Electronics LCD Game

NiGHTS was one of the many SEGA IPs to get adapted into an LCD game by Tiger Electronics. The LCD game was released in 1997, and was also eventually re-released as part of Tiger’s “Pocket Arcade” line and as a game for their R-Zone LCD console.

NiGHTS into Dreams… Archie Comics

Sonic wasn’t the only SEGA series to get a comic adaptation from Archie. In late 1997, Archie Comics released a three issue NiGHTS mini series featuring writing from Dan Slott, as well as pencil breakdowns from renowned Sonic cover artist Patrick Spaziente and pencil finishes by Knuckles comic artist Manny Galan. The comics aren’t completely divorced from the game story, and does share some similarities. Just as in the games, NiGHTS was a creation of Wizeman who rebelled. Wizeman seeks to open a portal to the waking world. 

It’s in the finer details where things diverge. Instead of taking any human’s dream energy, Wizeman needs the energy of specific dreamers who only come about every 100 years with “red ideya.” His initial attempt to do this, which is foiled by NiGHTS, inadvertently leads to the founding of the city of Twin Seeds, where Claris and Elliot live 100 years later.

The mini series would ultimately spawn a second three issue mini series in July of 1998, written by then Sonic writer Karl Bollers, and with pencil finishes by Sam Maxwell. After this second mini series, the NiGHTS comic was canceled. It has never been collected in a graphic novel or re-released digitally. There are, of course, ways, but you’ll need to find that for yourself.

NiGHTS PaPetch

Unsurprisingly, NiGHTS merchandise would take a break for awhile. The next bit of merch in this run down was released 9 whole years after the Archie Comics, in December of 2007. Released as part of a line of mini figurines by besidegames called PaPetch, the above figurine was released alongside NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams as a pre-order bonus in Japan.

The figurine was just a little over two inches two and based on JoD’s NiGHTS design.

NiGHTS & Reala from First4Figures

In 2015, First4Figures released a NiGHTS resin 12.5” statue as part of its SEGA All-Stars line. The statue came in both regular and “exclusive editions,” priced at $210 and $235, and limited to 1000 and 500 pieces respectively. The exclusive edition lit up.

Years later, in 2017, F4F held a vote to gauge interest in a Reala statue, which had been in production but was in danger of being canceled due to perceived lack of interest. The statue was made available for pre-order last year, and is being sold in both standard and exclusive variants for $330. As with NiGHTS, the exclusive edition lights up. Reala is scheduled to release in Q3 2021, and can still be bought here.

And the rest…

There’s more NiGHTS merch, of course. There’s promotional pillows, clothing, stickers, and probably other things I’v missed. SEGA’s US shop currently has a jigsaw puzzle, a shirt, and a Christmas ornament. My personal hope is that NiGHTS might receive something a bit more than some clothes and puzzles, but a bit less than a $200 statue. Here’s hoping we might get another plush that isn’t a super expensive collector’s item one day!

25 Years of NiGHTS (Part 2)

For Part 1 of this article, go here.

The Cameos

Though no new NiGHTS game was on the horizon by the late 90s, Sonic Team and SEGA still had plenty of love for the purple dream jester, and they demonstrated that a lot. Sonic Adventure featured an entire NiGHTS themed pinball table, which likely served as many Sonic fan’s first exposure to the character. When Dreamcast party game Sonic Shuffle’s multiplayer was played on December 24, NiGHTS replaced Lumina. Sonic Adventure 2 featured NiGHTS on numerous level assets and featured a chao based on them. The cameos continued even after the Dreamcast.

Sonic Pinball Party gave NiGHTS a second pinball table, and the character was playable in both the Sonic Riders games and SEGA Superstars, a mini game collection for the PS2’s Eyetoy. NIGHTS popped up in Billy Hatcher as a special unlockable character, and also starred in NiGHTS Score Attack, a special mini game that could be downloaded to the GBA over a link cable from both Billy Hatcher and Phantasy Star Online.

For over a decade, this was essentially how NiGHTS stuck around. It wouldn’t be until 2007, eleven years after the original game’s release, that this finally changed.

The Sequel

Takashi Iizuka had often talked about wanting to do a NiGHTS sequel, and finally got his chance in late 2005, after the completion of Shadow the Hedgehog. My mid-2006, NiGHTS Journey of Dreams was in full production for the Wii. Though some have speculated JoD may have been originally planned for HD consoles, Iizuka later confirmed it was built from the ground up for Nintendo’s system.

After a small delay, JoD launched in December of 2007. It would not be as well received as its predecessor, receiving mixed-to-positive reviews. The game also likely didn’t sell especially well, though sales numbers appear to be hard to confirm.

JoD kept several aspects from the original, including its 2.5 perspective, its focus on flight, the timer for NiGHTS, and the ability to link rings and blue chips together for higher scores. Unlike the previous game, players needed to chase down nightmarens riding large birds in order to collect keys to free NiGHTS, and there is no incentive to run the timer down. Instead, JoD encourages players to simply complete its stages as quickly as possible. 

JoD also introduced a lot of brand new features, such as multiple missions per level, a significantly more fleshed out plot, an online multiplayer mode, and most infamously, platforming levels starring the children. It also has an area where Nightopians can be interacted with called “My Dream,” which is essentially a barebones chao garden. This open space can be filled with random objects from the game’s levels, as well as Nightopians and Nightmarens, which are sent here via paralooping. 

JoD does a lot to try to modernize NiGHTS. While it has the same number of levels as its predecessor, it stretches those levels out by giving each five missions that reuse assets, including the aforementioned platforming sections. It also features loads of cutscenes and voice acting for all the characters.

JoD’s plot is essentially a reboot of the previous game, but with new kids: Helen and Will. The game features a new helper character, “Owl” who essentially serves the same purpose as Tikal and Omochao. Aside from NiGHTS, Wizeman and Reala also make a return. Everyone is sporting new, more complex designs.

There is a lot I could say about JoD, but that’s best left for another article. To this day, it continues to serve as the only other full game in the NiGHTS franchise. It would not be the last NiGHTS game released, however. The original would soon be getting a remake.

The Remake

Just a few months after the launch of JoD, SEGA launched a full remake of the original NiGHTS for the PS2, exclusively in Japan in February of 2008. It featured completely remade visuals, Christmas NiGHTS, and a complete port of the Saturn original. Each copy of the game also came with a second printing of the rare NiGHTS story book. The PS2 version featured additional timed events in Christmas NiGHTS, including special summer and Halloween outfits for Claris and Elliot, and a special Halloween skin for NiGHTS. Unfortunately, the game didn’t sell particularly well, charting just over 6,000 units. The remake version of the game is also infamous for featuring somewhat slower speeds, as well as inferior (potentially 8-way directional) control instead of full analog.

This version would later become the basis for the HD remake, which as released on Xbox 360 and PS3 four years later in 2012. This remake presented NiGHTS in HD for the first time, and featured true 16:9 widescreen as opposed to the stretched 4:3 widescreen of the Saturn and PS2 games. It included all the special features of the PS2 version, as well as all the control issues. These issues would later be patched, though.

NiGHTS into Dreams… HD continues to be available for both Xbox and Steam users, and can also be played by anyone who has Game Pass or PS Now, making it far more accessible then it once was.

The Legacy

NiGHTS hasn’t had a single release of any sort in nine years, but as with before JoD, the character hasn’t disappeared.

NiGHTS was a playable racer in 2012’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and inspired a whole DLC level in 2013’s Sonic Lost World. NiGHTS, Reala and Wizeman all returned to Archie as part of their World’s Unite crossover event. They appeared as “buddies” in 2015’s Sonic Runners, and inspired a costume in 2017’s Sonic Forces. Elements from the games even popped up in Sonic’s 30th Anniversary Comic and orchestra just last month!

Finally, NiGHTS as a brand has recently made a return…as a slot machine in certain casinos. I can’t say I’m exactly happy about that, but it does show that someone somewhere still sees value in NiGHTS as a franchise.

With Iizuka expressing an interest in returning to NiGHTS yet again, there is yet hope that we’ll be seeing the purple dream jester again in a proper game. Until then, we’ve still got 25 years of games and legacy to remember them by.

SEGA 60 Kicks Off Week of Content With Wallpapers, Avatars,

SEGA’s 60th anniversary website is having a weeklong celebration of Sonic this week, and they’re starting things off with some Sonic avatars and wallpapers. The wallpapers utilize the 30th anniversary render released earlier this year, while the avatars use Sonic Mania stock art. To download them, you can either sign up over 60th anniversary website (which nets you a free copy of NiGHTS for Steam), or check them out below:

Continue reading SEGA 60 Kicks Off Week of Content With Wallpapers, Avatars,

SEGA Celebrates 60 Years With 60 Days of Discounts, Free Games, Competitions, and More!

SEGA’s 60 years old this year, in case you weren’t aware! SEGA’s been celebrating this with all sorts stuff, including their current Steam sale and Sonic 2 giveaway. But they aren’t stopping there: starting today, SEGA is running a 60 day long celebration. During this celebration, they will be:

  • Releasing four free retro-inspired mini games.
  • Discounting more of their games.
  • Running giveaways and Competitions
  • Putting out exclusive interviews

And “more” according to their tweet announcing this whole thing. As of today, SEGA is giving away free Steam copies of the Sonic Team classic NiGHTS into Dreams to anyone that signs up at their 60th anniversary website, here.

The website will provide free wallpapers, avatars and early notification of prize giveaways to anyone who signs up. If you want the free NiGHTS code, don’t dawdle, because they will only be provided for ”as long as codes last.”

The four free mini games, which will only be available for a limited time, include a prototype for a proposed new Golden Axe game made by the now-shuttered SEGA Australia, a Yakuza/Streets of Rage mash-up, a Fantasy Zone-inspired Endless Space game, and a retro tank battle take on SEGA’s Company of Heroes franchise. Click the links I embedded in each to go to their Steam pages. These games will be released daily starting October 15 and will only be available until October 19, 10 AM PST. So, again, if you want these don’t wait.

SEGA will surely be doing lots of Sonic and Sonic Team related things during this, so stay tuned for all that!

NiGHTS into Dreams, Sonic Adventure 2 now on PSN

NiGHTS into Dreams and Sonic Adventure 2 have finally debuted on the American PSN store. Both games are available for $10 apiece. I don’t believe Sonic Adventure 2 needs any endorsement around here, but I would strongly recommend NiGHTS into Dreams. Download, play, love!

These two games should be arriving on the European PSN store tomorrow. XBLA users can expect them on Friday. For the launch trailer and screenshots for SA2HD, go here.

[UPDATE] SA2, NiGHTS into dreams… HD Spiralling to Consoles in October

UPDATE: HD screenshots are available for your viewing pleasure after the jump! Original article below!

Crusaders of dreams and adventurers of the world, mark your calendars and ready your wallets!

SEGA has just announced the exact dates and prices for the upcoming HD rereleases of both Sonic Adventure 2 and NiGHTS into dreams…! And by ready your wallets, I mean ready your wallets. Both games are set to come out at the same time.

Playstation Network users will find both Sonic and NiGHTS’s returning journeys on their market on October 2nd for 9.99$ (US), while the XBLA versions of the two classics will be available on October 5th for 800 MSP each! No word on the PC version’s release, but gamers on that field might want to prepare themselves in advance.

The Battle Mode DLC, which will compliment Sonic Adventure 2 just as the DX Mode DLC did for Sonic Adventure, is priced for 240 MSP/3.49$ (US). It is here where the multiplayer mode will be fully expanded on, with more maps and playable characters, as well as the unlocking of Chao Karate.

NiGHTS fans will be pleased to know that Christmas NiGHTS will be a packaged bonus for NiGHTS into dreams…!

So, which one of these two highly anticipated titles will you be picking up first? Or will you end up getting both at once? What are you looking forward to the most in both games? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading [UPDATE] SA2, NiGHTS into dreams… HD Spiralling to Consoles in October