Christmas Nights into Dreams (also known as Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Christmas NiGHTS, or Christmas NiGHTS Sampler) is a promotional sampler disc of Nights into Dreams that was originally released during the 1996 holiday season for the Sega Saturn, and included in the PS2 Sega Ages re-release of NiGHTS into Dreams. Advertised as a mere sampler disc with a Christmas theme, the game is known for a multitude of exclusive bonus content and modes not available in the retail version of the game. Despite only having two variants of one stage, it is commonly viewed among NiGHTS fans as a standalone game.
As a sampler of NiGHTS into Dreams, the first stage from Claris' dream, Spring Valley, is available for both characters to play on. While the stage remains unchanged when playing as Claris, playing as Elliot offers a different stage path unique to the sampler. The most unique feature of Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams is that by using the Saturn's internal clock, the game appearance and presentation will vary based on the time the game is played.
Presumably taking place after the events of NiGHTS into Dreams, the story takes place during Christmas time.
The city is covered in Christmas decorations and the crowd is searching to buy gifts for their loved ones. Among them are our heroes Elliot and Claris. The crowd is strangely in a rush. The crowd, however, mainly Elliot & Claris, feel that something is missing. In Twin Seeds City, the tower is decorated so nicely that it looks like a Christmas Tree. They then believe that it is the star on the tree that is missing. Elliot & Claris decide to go to Nightopia, find NiGHTS, and retrieve the star.
After defeating the boss, NiGHTS finds the star shining in 7 different colors. Unfortunately, the whole adventure was just a mere dream, of course. They did not tell anyone about the dream, but they did know that something amazing was bound to happen. The next day, they meet each other in town. However, Elliot was in a rush and, as a consequence for his clumsiness and lack of patience, slipped on some ice and bumped into Claris. The crowd watches this as Elliot helps Claris up and laughs and the narrator wishes the players a Merry Christmas.
Depending on the time of year the sampler is played, the game may load as something other than Christmas NiGHTS. This only affects the appearance and music of the main game.
- NiGHTS: Limited Edition: When played outside the winter season, the game becomes "NiGHTS: Limited Edition". The game's presentation (title screen, menus and in-game) is similar to that of the full version of NiGHTS into Dreams with no visual alterations.
- Winter NiGHTS: In November and January, the game changes to "Winter NiGHTS". Spring Valley is now covered in snow, and the entire stage is decorated with Christmas objects replacing various items and objects (ie. Ideya Captures are replaced by Christmas trees). A different soundtrack also plays. During this time, the weather will change based on the time it is played.
- Christmas NiGHTS: The core of the game, Claris, Elliot and NiGHTS wear Santa-colored outfits, and the background music is replaced by an instrumental rendition of "Jingle Bells". The game's Christmas story is also enabled, as well as a Christmas-themed boss battle with Gillwing. Beating Gillwing with both characters will show the story's ending, with credits featuring the A Cappella version of Dreams, Dreams.
- New Year's NiGHTS: The game becomes "New Year's Nights" when played on New Year's Day. The game is essentially Winter NiGHTS with a different title screen and song.
Certain alterations will also take place depending when the game is played.
- If it is Christmas, Santa Claus will appear.
- If it is New Year's Day, a message saying: "Happy New Year!" will appear.
- If it is Valentine's Day, some hearts will appear.
- If it is April Fool's Day, The player plays as Reala instead of NiGHTS.
Also, during the holiday season, the snow can change depending on what time you play.
|3:00 AM||Lunar eclipse|
|6:00 AM||Northern Lights|
|7:00 AM||Bright sun|
|9:00 AM||Crescent moons|
|12:00 PM||Rainbows, clouds & confetti|
|6:00 PM||Strange stars|
|9:00 PM||Bright stars|
After completing the stage with either character, the player will have a chance to unlock "presents" with a memory matching game of character portraits, although uncovering a tile with Reala will instantly end the game until the next play. Most content includes various CG art galleries, photos and trailers for the original NiGHTS into Dreams.
- Karaoke mode: A karaoke version of the song Dreams, Dreams plays over gameplay, with lyrics appearing on screen to sing to.
- Time Attack and Link Attack: The player can aim for best time or highest link record in Frozen Bell. This is the only part of the game that allows the player to play as NiGHTS without a time limit.
- Music player: The background music for the main six dreams in NiGHTS into Dreams is made available for listening. As the soundtrack in the original game changes based on A-Life data, here the player can test how certain verses are altered based on various Nightopian moods and manipulate them as they please.
- Sonic the Hedgehog into Dreams: Taking control of Sonic the Hedgehog, this mini-game plays similar to playing as Claris and Elliot on foot without NiGHTS. As there is no time limit or fear of the Alarm Egg, the player is allowed complete exploration of the stage. The goal is similar in collecting Chips and destroying the Ideya Capture, except Sonic is only able to run on foot and jump. The boss fight involves fighting against arch-nemesis Dr. Eggman, although the battle is exactly like that of Puffy with the boss re-skinned to appear like Eggman. The boss stage appears the same, and music is an extended mix of the final boss theme in Sonic CD.
Playing the game on April Fool's Day will have the player play as Reala instead of NiGHTS, and will unlock playing as him as one of the game's Presents. The option to change the game into Christmas NiGHTS regardless of the time of the year is also available.
The Sega Ages PlayStation 2 version of the game is reported to have most bonus content omitted, most notably Sonic the Hedgehog Into Dreams mini-game. But it did have bonus contents of its own, like a Halloween costume for NiGHTS and the children in Mystic Forest if the Playstations 2 internal clock is on October, swimsuits for Elliot and Claris in Spash Garden if the internal clock was from July's 20th up to August's 31st and a battle against NiGHTS if the game was played in April's 1st with Reala as the default boss.
- The music used in the game are "Joy to the World", "Jingle Bells", a Christmas remix of "Dreams, Dreams", and a few other Christmas carols.
- If you play as Reala, he'll still have NiGHTS' "ouch" sound effects when being hit.
- This game was Sonic the Hedgehog's first true 3-D appearance, even coming before "Sonic Adventure".
- The only boss for NiGHTS in this game is a Christmas-themed version of Gillwing. The music that plays during this battle is a remix of his NiGHTS into Dreams theme, "The dragon gave a loud scream". Interestingly, Sonic has a boss of his own, which is a balloon-like version of Dr. Eggman, which can be defeated just like Puffy.