NiGHTS (ナイツ Naitsu), also spelled as Nights, is the series' titular character as well as its main protagonist. NiGHTS is a First-level Nightmaren created by the god of NightmareWizeman the Wicked, with the purpose to do evil, destroy the world of the dreams and steal human's dream energy (known as ideyas), but he disagreed with his creator's goals and rebelled against him all by himself, NiGHTS is confirmed to be a genderless being, [1] however, he is refereed as a "he" in all types of media.

Reala is the one other First-level and the only Nightmaren that matches NiGHTS in power. Due to differences in personalities and goals, they and NiGHTS are enemies.


In NiGHTS into Dreams, NiGHTS' personality seems to be left intentionally vague, although NiGHTS is said to be a mischievous character and is almost always seen with a smile on its 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 their more excitable personality in NiGHTS Journey of Dreams. Some people also interpreted NiGHTS as being more nightmarish, or believed they are supposed to be what the player wants them 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[2]. That said, NiGHTS shows a sweet nature throughout the game and teasing remains lighthearted, though they still can be impatient and impulsive. NiGHTS also calls for a "fair fight" when Reala tricks NiGHTS, indicating an offended sense of honor.

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.

Also, NiGHTS dislikes revealing their identity as a Nightmaren to visitors, and is displeased when Reala refers to them as such. Helen Cartwright is horrified to learn that NiGHTS is a Nightmaren, which upsets NiGHTS so deeply they fail to notice as Reala Paraloops Helen. This likely shows that NiGHTS wants to be friends and feels rejected when people judge them for being a Nightmaren.

It is likely that NiGHTS reflects the Jungian "shadow" and "eternal child" archetypes.

Physical Appearance

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 its body seemingly made only apparent by their clothes. It wears 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' boots are half pink and purple, striped with yellow in between. Atop its 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 Archie Comics, where it was revealed that the Ruby on NiGHTS' chest is a shard of the Red Ideya of courage which latched on to the latter's chest.


NiGHTS into Dreams

NiGHTS is a First-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 they can be freed from the prison is by merging with either Elliot Edwards or Claris Sinclair, who both 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 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, William Taylor and Helen Cartwright, who both possess the Red 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 clock tower 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, but Reala appears once they free NiGHTS, and so they 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 deals 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 of 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.

Worlds Unite

NiGHTS, along with Reala, are set to be few of the many characters who appeared in the Archie Comic, Worlds Unite


Flight: NiGHTS possesses great flight capabilities and is fast and graceful, this is notable among nightmarens[3], 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 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 the most basic attack. With this ability, NIGHTS is able to attack and defeat a simple Third-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.

Touch-Dash: When NiGHTS grabs third level nightmarens, he can drill dash into them, throwing them with more strength.

Strength: To some extent, NiGHTS is shown to have strength above that of a normal person as it 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 NiGHTS: 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 its 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 Dreamworld. This ability is also useful in collecting Blue Chips and certain other items. NiGHTS' Paraloop is considered as a hammerspace for the items it collects and a portal to other locations for creatures.

Touch-Loop: When NiGHTS grabs third level nightmarens, he can make a loop around them making them disappear.

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 it's been alone, to keep themselves 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".


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.


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 to have mixed feelings about Owl, finding him quaint yet tiresome. NiGHTS tends to act rudely 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 an 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 themselves and others. He is their father.

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.

Gender Debate

"Men or women, we all have dreams, so I thought that the residents in the dream world shouldn’t have a gender, rather, the form of the characters should be determined by the person who is dreaming." [4]
―Yuji Naka about the characters gender.
The characters gender (specially NiGHTS' gender) is a very infamous detail which has caused a lot of debates among the community, many people question if NiGHTS is actually a boy or a girl while others try to prove NiGHTS actually belongs to a specific gender, however, Yuji Naka himself already confirmed in an interview that every resident from the world of dreams is genderless, including NiGHTS, RealaNightopiansOwl and others, [4] even characters like PuffyBomamba and Queen Bella, who have a very feminine design and go by female pronouns, are actually genderless, even though NiGHTS is genderless, he is referred as a "he" in all types of media and his voice actors are females most likely to make him sound like a child, after all, many young girls and boys in movies, TV series and video games are voiced by women, Wizeman, who is confirmed to be male, is the only exception, he is the only resident from the world of dreams to have a gender because he was actually a human before getting trapped in the world of dreams and becoming the God of all the nightmarens.

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, so it's up to the player to decide how they want to see NiGHTS. [5] There's also a popular belief among the community where they believe NiGHTS' gender will change depending on the visitor he dualizes (fuses) with, if NiGHTS dualizes with a male visitor, NiGHTS will become a boy, if NiGHTS dualizes with a female visitor, NiGHTS will become a girl and when he is not fused, he will become genderless.


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 their "vocal personification (may not be) everyone's cup of tea. As previously mentioned, 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."[6]



NiGHTS in Game Gag 1P Comic Sega-hen

NiGHTS also starred in Archie Comics' 3 comic adaptions of Nights into Dreams as well as another 3 comic mini-series about NiGHTS coming to the real world, NiGHTS along with Reala, Wizeman, Puffy, Elliot, Claris and Nightopians also appeared in Game Gag 1P Comic Sega-hen, a 1997 Japanese Gag Comic from the Gēmesuto Komikkusu series dedicated to SEGA games.

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.

Other Cameos

To see complete list of NiGHTS appearences, cameos and references click here

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 Shuffle, 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 also rumored that NiGHTS might become a playable downloadable character based on the sales of the game, but announced that there would be no further DLC after the release of Metal Sonic and Death Egg.

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.




  • NiGHTS has being confirmed to be genderless many times by the game's developers and it's completely up to the player to decide how they want to interpret and see him as, despite that, he goes by male pronouns in the games and all other types of media, being even called "Mr. NiGHTS" a few times and his voice actors are females most likely to make him sound like a child, after all, many young girls and boys in movies, TV series and video games are voiced by women.
    • Yuji Naka, the lead programmer of NiGHTS into Dreams, said in an interview: "Men or women, we all have dreams, so I thought that the residents in the dream world shouldn’t have a gender, rather, the form of the characters should be determined by the person who is dreaming." [4]
    • Takashi Iizuka, the lead game designer of NiGHTS into Dreams and director of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, said in an interview: "NiGHTS is neutral, and therefore has no gender. The impressions of the character with regards to gender are totally up to the player." [5]
    • Despite being referred by male pronouns in the canon, it's not wrong to refer to NiGHTS by using "She" or "They", because again, NiGHTS is completely up to the player to interpret.
    • The main reason for the concept was because Sonic Team wanted to make everybody able to relate and project themselfs into NiGHTS regardless of gender, another character who would have the same concept 19 years later would be Frisk from Undertale (though, unlike NiGHTS, Frisk is referred by "They" in the canon).
  • Nocturn

    NiGHTS reference in Danny Phantom/Nocturn, the ghost of dreams, making Danny sleep.

    NiGHTS was referenced in Nickelodeon's animated TV series Danny Phantom in the episode Frightmare, where Nocturn, the episode's main antagonist, is a ghost with dream related powers who happens to wear a purple jester like hat, which was clearly inspired by NiGHTS' hat, the episode was aired four months before the release of NiGHTS Journey of Dreams.[7]
    • Even though none of the show's writers ever confirmed if NiGHTS, in fact, influenced Nocturn's design, it's pretty safe to assume NiGHTS did, due to the coincidences. (Similar hat, dream releated powers and NiGHTS Journey of dreams being in development at the time).
  • In the Archie Comics, It is revealed that the ruby on NiGHTS' chest is a shard of the Red Ideya of courage which latched on to his chest.
    • It was also revealed in the NiGHTS Archie comics that NiGHTS rebelled 100 years before Elliot and Claris were born, confirming NiGHTS age to be at least 100 years old, Reala, Wizeman, Jackle and Clawz were all witnesses of NiGHTS' betrayal, making them at least 100 years old as well.
      • It should be noted that their ages and the meaning of the ruby could be different in the game series.
  • Yuji Naka once said in an interview, that NiGHTS has a jester-like appearance because jesters can look cheerful and happy but also evil and mean spirit, fitting with the world of the dreams thematic.[4]
  • In NiGHTS into dreams, when the time runs out and NiGHTS unfuse with either Elliot or Claris, he says "Adeema" which means "Good-bye" in dream language, a ficctional language created for the game. [4]
  • The idea for NiGHTS name, which all of it's letters but the "i" are written with caps, was imagined from the gem on NiGHTS' chest, it's also because Yuji Naka wanted to differ NiGHTS' name from the word "Nights". [4]
  • Curiously, NiGHTS has a ruby on his chest, rubies are the birthstone of July, which happens to be the month that his first game was originally released in 1996.
  • 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 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, Arle Nadja, Beat, Ulala, AiAi, Vyse and Kazuma Kiryu, 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' voice actress, Julissa Aguirre, stated inspiration for her voice for NiGHTS came from Hermione Granger played by Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies.
    • During the time of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams's release, Julissa used a promotional image of NiGHTS as her Twitter icon / Twitter profile picture.
  • NiGHTS is the main protagonist of the entire series.


  2. NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams manual "Characters: NiGHTS"
  3. NiGHTS into Dreams manual "Cast introduction: NiGHTS"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5
  5. 5.0 5.1
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