Reala is the one other first level, and the only nightmaren that matches NiGHTS in power. Due to differences in personalities and goals, he and NiGHTS are enemies.
NiGHTS has the ability to dualize with Visitors, a process where NiGHTS and the Visitor merge into one. This ability, when used with a Visitor bearing a red ideya, allows NiGHTS to escape Ideya Palaces and NiGHTS Captures.
It is likely that NiGHTS reflects the Jungian "shadow" and "eternal child" archetypes.
In NiGHTS into Dreams, NiGHTS's personality seems to be left intentionally vague, although NiGHTS is said to be a mischeivous character and is almost always seen with a smile on their face. Also, NiGHTS moves in a showy and proud manner.
NiGHTS tends to take a calm expression most of the time, which seems to be in contrast to NiGHTS's more excitable personality in Journey of Dreams. Some people also interpreted NiGHTS to have a more nightmarish or believed NiGHTS is supposed to be what the viewer wants it to be.
In Journey of Dreams, NiGHTS exhibits an energetic, curious and fun-seeking personality. The manual states that NiGHTS will scare or make fun of people, and does not have a strong sense of right and wrong. That said, NiGHTS shows a sweet nature throughout the game and teasing remains lighthearted, though NiGHTS is impatient and impulsive. NiGHTS also calls for a "fair fight" when Reala tricks NiGHTS, indicating an offended sense of honour.
NiGHTS is quite proud and acts with flourish, scoffs when Owl indicates they might be frightened and seems to make a statement to rise to Reala's challenges without help.
NiGHTS dislikes revealing their identity as a nightmaren and is displeased when Reala refers to them as such. Helen is horrified to learn that NiGHTS is a nightmaren, which NiGHTS is deeply upset by and is too distracted when Reala paraloops Helen. This likely shows that NiGHTS wants to be friends and feels rejected when people judge them for being a nightmaren.
NiGHTS, in their most recent design, has a thin, humanoid form, beige skin and large blue eyes with vertical slit pupils. NiGHTS' hands and head are not connected to a visible body, with their body seemingly made only apparent by their clothes. They wear a purple and white unitard; or possibly purple unitard with a white shirt; the sleeves are baggy with purple and yellow cuffs. NiGHTS' clothes are embroidered with silver thread on the arms and legs.
NiGHTS also wears a pink and red jacket accented with yellow star buttons and yellow trim, with blue crystal studs in the collar. A small orange ruff collar is inside the jacket collar.
NIGHTS's boots are half pink and purple, striped with yellow in between. Atop their head is a violet-striped, two-horned jester cowl.
A notable feature on NiGHTS is the large red-pink jewel on their chest. The purpose and origin of this jewel is unknown; it is commonly thought to be a red ideya or perhaps mixed ideya, and/or allows NiGHTS to dualize. This jewel matches the one on NiGHTS' persona and seems to be linked to the jewel Reala has. The notion that the jewel is a red ideya piece is confirmed in the comics.
NiGHTS into Dreams...
NiGHTS is a 1st Level Nightmaren (the most advanced and powerful) created by Wizeman. They were very mischievous and disliked being ordered around. After rebelling against Wizeman, NiGHTS is imprisoned in an Ideya Palace. The only way NiGHTS can be freed from the prison is by merging with either Claris or Elliot who possess the Red Ideya of Courage. NiGHTS helps them collect their stolen Ideya from the Nightmarens, but their freedom is only temporary. If time runs out, NiGHTS will be pulled back to the Ideya Palace leaving the child to find their way back to NiGHTS and try again.
The children have lost their Ideya due to stress in the waking world and became targets for the Nightmares. NiGHTS is eager to disrupt Wizeman's plan and helps the children conquer their fears, reclaim their Ideya each night, and ultimately defeat Wizeman.
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams
Some time after the events of NiGHTS Into Dreams, NiGHTS comes into contact with two new Visitors from the city of Bellbridge, Will and Helen, who possess an Ideya of Courage. This gives them the strength to free NiGHTS when they are swiftly imprisoned at the beginning of each story by Reala and his underlings.
NiGHTS often wanders off on their own throughout the game, leaving the player in control of the Visitor. This occurs most often at the Dream Gate, leaving the Visitor to encounter NiGHTS already beyond the Door to Nightopia (or floating by the Dream Gate fountain if you want to take a fly around). NiGHTS and the Visitors battle vicious 2nd Level Nightmarens and even Reala himself on an occasion, regaining each child's Ideya in the process.
In the normal endings, Wizeman becomes frustrated with his servants and steps in to take NiGHTS back himself, dragging Helen down as well. NiGHTS is then imprisoned on the top of the Bellbridge clocktower and is rescued by the children after they unleash the true power of the Ideya of Courage. They face Wizeman, dualizing into two NiGHTS to stop his evil plans. When he is defeated, the children wake up with renewed determination.
In the True Endings, the final Ideya of Hope appears on the staircase, but Wizeman is waiting. NiGHTS is knocked out and dragged down alone, with Wizeman planning to remove NiGHTS' consciousness and replace it with one that will make them obey him. The children finally realize the mistakes they have made and gain new resolve, jumping into the abyss to rescue NiGHTS, unfortunately Reala appears once they free NiGHTS and NiGHTS must battle him a final time to reach Wizeman. As darkness envelopes Bellbridge, the three Dualize and face Wizeman the Wicked together, but he taunts NiGHTS with the knowledge of their demise should Wizeman be defeated. The children can't bear to lose NiGHTS, but are reassured of their own strength and free will, so they work together to defeat him.
After NiGHTS, Will, and Helen defeat Wizeman, NIGHTS gives a final bow before fading away into white light. It is unclear whether or not NIGHTS "disappeared forever" as after the credits the child of choice is seen sleeping in their bed and then the camera pans out towards the clock tower where you can see NiGHTS on the top on the spire, imaginary flute in hand, peacefully watching over the city. It is possible this meant disappearing from only Will and Helen's dreams forever and not the Night Dimension in general.
Another NiGHTS game is not confirmed. While there is a desire, and demand, for further NiGHTS games the decision is in the hands of SEGA.
NiGHTS, along with Reala, are set to be few of the many characters who will appear in the upcoming Archie Comic, Worlds Unite.
Flight: NiGHTS possesses great flight capabilities and is fast and graceful, this is notable among nightmarens, which typically fly. In NiGHTS into Dreams, NiGHTS can fly through a hoop to activate a trick ribbon, which allows the player to gain points by performing stunts.
Dualizing: NiGHTS has the ability to Dualize with Visitors, with this NiGHTS and a Visitor can assimilate with one another or become in sync, to do this the two must touch or at least hold hands. While they are Dualized, the Visitor literally becomes NiGHTS and either one can be in control of the other's movements, mostly NiGHTS. This also helps them to escape the "NiGHTS Capture" as Dualizing with a Visitor who possesses the Red Ideya of Courage is enough to break NiGHTS free of the inescapable cage. This is a required ability when using NiGHTS in both games.
Drill Dash: NiGHTS can also use an attack called the Drill Dash, which is their most basic attack. With this ability, NIGHTS is able to attack and defeat a simple 3rd level Nightmaren. The Drill Dash can also help NiGHTS move or fly twice as fast merely to catch up with Goodles in Nights: Journey of Dreams. The Drill Dash is a possible reference to Sonic the Hedgehog's Spin Dash as both abilities require a form of spinning (Sonic spins into a spiky ball while NiGHTS spins into a spiral or a screw) and can be used to attack enemies and move faster.
Strength: To some extent, NiGHTS is shown to have strength above that of a normal person as they can move objects and wound creatures (or in which case a Nightmaren) three to four times their size.
Transformation: NiGHTS is also able to transform into a boat and a roller coaster, as well as rolling up in a ball to roll down slides (a possible reference to Sonic Team's title character Sonic the Hedgehog). In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed, NiGHTS is able to take the form of a race car, a speedboat and a jet plane. In Journey of Dreams, certain transformations, such as dragon (impervious to wind) rocket(acceleration)and dolphin (swim in water) require the use of personas, it is unknown as to why.
Paraloops: NiGHTS can create small portals called Paraloops with 'Twinkle Dust' that emits from their hands by flying in a circle. This ability sends who or whatever gets sucked into an unknown space, but in Nights: Journey of Dreams the Paraloop simply sends Nightopians (and apparently Nightmarens) to the My Dream world. This ability is also useful in collecting Blue Chips and certain other items. NiGHTS' Paraloop is considered as a hammerspace for the items they have collected and a portal to other locations for creatures.
Dream Flute: If counted as an ability, NiGHTS possesses what is called the Dream Flute, which is an invisible or otherwise imaginary instrument that NiGHTS plays, usually when they are alone, to keep themself calm, relaxed and at peace. When one hears NiGHTS playing the flute, the music is almost always the melody of the theme song, "Dreams Dreams".
Energy Bolt Projection: In some games, NiGHTS can shoot deep purple bolts of energy.
Night Mode: NiGHTS will send themself and the enemy into the night sky, in which NIGHTS will shoot a powerful blast of energy, then will make the moon shoot a beam of moonlight down on the target.
Dream Diamond: NiGHTS summons a blue diamond, and can make it shoot a ray of blue energy.
NiGHTS comes from the dream world of the Night Dimension, and takes shape according to the thoughts, ideas, personalities, and will of the Visitors (humans from the waking world). NiGHTS lives alongside Owl, a brown owl who acts as the elder and guide in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, and the Nightopians. NiGHTS however, is a Nightmaren and henceforth, the origin of creation is in the dark realm of Nightmare. NiGHTS does what they can to stop Wizeman from taking over the Night Dimension.
Interaction with other characters
The Visitors (Claris, Elliot, Will and Helen): NIGHTS is kind toward the children in both games, helping all four of them to defeat Wizeman on two separate occasions. NiGHTS shows the children around different Dream Worlds and works together with them to dispatch numerous Nightmaren and overcome their fears.
Owl: NiGHTS seems have mixed feelings about Owl, finding him quaint yet tiresome. NiGHTS tends to act rude toward Owl by being extremely quick to interrupt or push Owl out the way when he tries to teach something. NiGHTS is likewise testing of Owl's patience, but Owl refers to NiGHTS as a "carefree rascal" in a friendly manner.
Wizeman: NiGHTS has a particular hatred for Wizeman and is glad to put and end to his goals, while it's stated that NiGHTS disagrees with Wizeman's goals. It's unclear as to the exact reasons, though it seems likely that at the very least, NiGHTS simply values freedom for themself and others.
Reala: NiGHTS and Reala's relationship is awkward and seems to reflect mutual feelings of betrayal, NiGHTS tries to brush Reala off and Reala tries to persuade NiGHTS to return to Wizeman, before the situation escalates into a fight.
Creation and conception
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 lizuka, the lead game designer, stated he felt that with Hoshino, they captured the style used for the character in the original game.
Sonic Team wanted NiGHTS to appeal to a wide audience and be relatable to everybody regardless of gender, therefore it was made clear that the character has no gender of their own. It is also sometimes believed their apparent gender depends on the Visitor that NiGHTS is interacting with.
Referring to Nights into Dreams, IGN said "NiGHTS was essentially Sonic 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.
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 NiGHTS' "vocal personification (may not 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."
NiGHTS also starred in Archie Comics' 3 comic adaption of Nights into Dreams as well as another 3 comic mini-series about Nights coming to the real world. NiGHTS is also a playable character in Sega Superstars, Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, and Sega Superstar Tennis. However, in Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, NiGHTS can't speak. Also, in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sega Superstar Tennis, NiGHTS appearance is that of NiGHTS in Nights: Journey of Dreams. Players can also fly as NiGHTS through familiar Nights into Dreams landscapes in Sega Superstars which involved using a special motion sensor camera called the EyeToy.
Christmas Nights into Dreams
NiGHTS starred in a single level demo game for the Sega Saturn called Christmas Nights into Dreams that featured many date-related events not available in the original game. Around the Christmas season, NiGHTS' outfit changes into a red and white Santa-like outfit to match the change in scenery.
Over the years, NiGHTS has made many cameos in other Sonic Team games, including Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure DX (in the Casinopolis level), Sonic Adventure 2 (in the City Escape and Radical Highway levels), Shadow the Hedgehog, as in Lethal Highway, the title screen appears in a billboard without any text. In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, the player can raise a Chao that resembles NiGHTS by giving them Fly animals and Chaos Drives. NiGHTS also appears in Sonic Pinball Party and has their own pinball board themed after NiGHTS into Dreams. Another appearance is in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg as a hatchable creature. The Circus Hat in Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg resembles NiGHTS' purple jester hat and allows you to roll an egg by walking on top of it. NiGHTS also appears in Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Shuffle, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Rush, Sonic Rush Adventure, Sonic Rivals, Sonic Rivals 2, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Battle, the 3DS version of Sonic Generations, Sonic Lost World and most recently in Sonic Runners.
NiGHTS has also made a guest appearance in Phantasy Star Online I & II Plus, in an Episode 2 quest.
NiGHTS has also appeared in Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing as the flag waver (fulfilling a similar role to Lakitu's in the Mario Kart series). According to Sega, NiGHTS' addition was last minute due to the fans' demanding their inclusion in the game. Sega has also rumored that NiGHTS might become a playable downloadable character based on the sales of the game. NiGHTS is an unlockable character, alongside Reala, in the sequel, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed. Both can be obtained through the career mode trophy races by having enough stars and unlocking them after reaching them.
- Though NiGHTS is technically genderless, they are generally referred to as a 'boy' in the in-game dialogue to simplify the matter as referring to something as an "it" would be considered rude. Though they have a feminine-like tone to their voice, they were meant to sound like that of a child as the dreamers are children.
- Many of the casino, carnival, and bingo stages in the Sonic games were named and/or themed after NiGHTS (i.e. a pinball game in Casinopolis in Sonic Adventure).
- According to Naoto Oshima, NiGHTS is much like Peter Pan. a character created by Scottish-born English author JM Barrie (though personality-wise NiGHTS is closer to the 1953 Disney movie version of the character voiced by Bobby Driscoll, albeit less pompous and judgmental). They both are capable of flight and aerial moves like flips and twists, are childlike, they never grow up or age, and take children with them on adventures in their worlds. The only difference is that Neverland is a "real" physical place (at least in the original novel and Warner Brothers movie adaptation) while Nightopia is a dream world that exists in another dimension and can only be visited in a human's dreams or subconscious.
- NiGHTS also has a hotel named after them as seen in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations on Radical Highway. They also have their outfit as a downloadable content for the avatar in the game, "Sonic Forces".
- For some reason, all of NiGHTS' cameos in the background of Sonic Adventure 2's Radical Highway were removed and replaced with chao images in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.
- NiGHTS has appeared in more Sonic games than their own games.
- NiGHTS is thought by some to be a minor Sonic the Hedgehog character since they were created by Sonic Team as well as being referenced several times within the Sonic universe. However, a crossover game has never been planned.
- Along with Sonic, Amigo, Bonanza Bros, Toejam & Earl, Ristar and Billy Hatcher, NiGHTS is one of SEGA's most popular characters.
- In Sonic Riders, the announcer switches between genders when describing actions NiGHTS has taken. Such as when taking flight "Looks like NiGHTS just grew wings because he's flying" and when landing a perfect trick combo "And she makes a nice landing!", among others.
- When chatting with a fan, NiGHTS's voice actress. Julissa Aguirre, stated inspiration for her voice for NiGHTS came from Hermione Granger played by Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies.