Hace 25 años el mundo te vió por primera vez, ¡les encantaste! Eras algo nuevo, rápido, audaz. Fue un gran reto competir contra alguien grande pero lo lograste, y ahora, tras varios tropiezos, momentos díficiles e incluso caídas aprendiste y nos enseñaste a seguir corriendo, a no detenernos nunca.
Porque, como bien has dicho “Si tienes tiempo para preocuparte, tienes tiempo para correr”
Has sido parte de la infancia de muchos niños que hoy en día te siguen admirando.
Para el Erizo más rápido del mundo 25 años son apenas el inicio, y créeme que yo quiero que sigas aún más.
So I decided to do a style similar to Naoto Oshima’s classic Sonic style art, partially because it’s Sonic’s 25th Anniversary, and partially because I love this style. The background is mega rushed, and it’s not of the highest quality, but more of an experiment in a new style for me. Also, before anyone points out, Sonic’s shoe buckles were originally silver, not gold coloured. :D
Major props to Sonicmark who tutored me through the style.
Q: Strong distinct characters seem to play an integral role in your games. Why is this?
A: Because of Ohshima-san, the artist. He possesses the talent to create such characters and imbue them with an aura. His genius is that he gives each character some charming flaw that makes them even more appealing than if they were perfect in every way.
Yuji Naka, Sonic R interview with Ultra Game Players, November 1997
May I ask what Nights is? (I'm not sure I spelled it the way it goes) I've heard quite a few Sonic blogs talking about it. Would you mind? (I'm also asking bc if looks like you like it and I love asking the people who may gush about it for three pages bc it's the best way to get hyped to join and learn about something you didn't know so) Hope you have a happy day!!
aah thats actually really nice of you to ask, because nights into dreams is definitely a game i do gush about haha.
Well to start off, NiGHTS Into Dreams is pretty much a timed side-scrolling/action game made back in 1996 for the Sega Saturn, it’s closely tied with Sonic because the people who designed and programmed the game (Takashi Iizuka, Naoto Oshima, Yuji Naka) are veteran members of Sonic Team and they pretty much shaped Sonic into what it is now. I believe IGN even referred to NiGHTS as “Sonic in the air”. Even though NiGHTS Into Dreams isn’t nearly as popular as Sonic, I really feel like they go hand-in-hand together as franchises!
Anyhow, the game and story itself is a interesting one. The whole game takes place in the dreams of two troubled kids named Elliot and Claris, in the dream dimension called Nightopia. Deal goes that a being called Wizeman wants to rule Nightopia (and I think the waking world too) so he creates beings called Nightmarens to steal the energy from dreamers and to spread nightmares. Of those Nightmarens created was the cruel and menacing Reala and their mischievous and childish “sibling” NiGHTS. However, NiGHTS rebelled against Wizeman and was then forced to be kept prisoner because of it. Elliot and Claris then meet NiGHTS in their dreams and the three of them join together to stop Wizeman and Reala, all the while being a personal journey for the kids to overcome their fears. A lot more convoluted things and characters were added into the game’s sequel/reboot ‘NiGHTS: Journey Into dreams’, but it still holds the basic plot.
What I find interesting about it though was the ideas behind the game and how hopeful it feels all around. Since the game was aimed more for a European audience (in contrast to Sonic’s American appeal), they made NiGHTS similar to Peter Pan, playing around with the idea of wanting an angelic being and flying character. As for the game’s influence, a lot was inspired from the theories of psychoanalysts Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Friedrich Holtz (NiGHTS’ character being based off the Shadow theory, embodying unconscious positive traits of the players,and Elliot and Claris being based off of Anima and Animus Archetypes, unconscious feminine traits a man possesses and unconscious masculine traits a woman possesses) and the team members studied a lot on REM sleep, as well. If I remember correctly, the team made NiGHTS exist in the dream world so, in some way, NiGHTS actually exists in peoples’ dreams. This was going off of the desire people have of wanting their favorite characters to be real, so it’s pretty endearing! It seems like there was an obvious amount of care and dedication that went into making the characters and story, but also while making it subtle within the game. They’re never really in-your-face about any of these things, but it’s definitely still present.
I think one of my favorite examples of the subtleness is that in the whole game there’s no actual dialogue and most things are left up to players interpretations and their own enjoyment (another example that NiGHTS has no gender at all, and is left up to the player to what they view them as). The only time there is spoken dialogue it’s in no actual language, just sounds that resemble words. The game just genuinely feels like a dream being captured, and because things aren’t directly told to you, you can still make out whats occurring while still having your own personal connection with it.
I’m kind of going off on gameplay now, but there’s a whole lot of fun atmospheres within the game too, the settings just being really vivid but nonsensical in a good and bad way. The nonsense of it builds up the dreamy vibes, but playing it the first time was kind of overwhelming. You really have no idea what to do or where to go, and the settings within the game don’t really help with that because all you see is a contained landscape and a bunch of hoops everywhere; it feels cluttered, in complete honesty. However, when you do get the hang of how to play the game and knowing the paths to take, the experience becomes more breezy and you start appreciating the design more as you play it. (I was god awful when I first played NiGHTS and almost put it down, haha, I don’t blame anyone who can’t get behind the level design.)
The boss fights at the end of each level can be just as confusing though, and because the whole game is timed you’ll be losing a lot and having to start all over. The boss fights can be really easy, since they all involve just headbutting into the enemy, but some levels have obstacles that make it a whole other battle to get through and it can feel like dumb luck when you actually win. Thankfully, the game isn’t merciless; it’ll give you hints after you lose a level or boss, it definitely helps out a lot especially during your first time playing the game.
The music for the game really adds to that atmosphere, though; it’s all really whimsical and upbeat, and some feeling like you’re going on a grand adventure. I think one way I’d describe it is if Sonic Adventure 1′s soundtrack was blended with a style of Disney music. You can appreciate the soundtrack on it’s own without playing the game (Especially Dreams Dreams), but I feel like playing the game adds a certain experience and feeling when hearing the tunes. The soundtrack is never overbearing when playing the game either, and since the levels can be pretty short to play they don’t overstay it’s welcome.
Just a lot of the music reflects on the levels, and while most levels keep a strange and bright setting, the game also delves into designs that also feel wicked, since the dreams can get rather nightmarish (particularly the boss battles). It can reel back that sense of joy and freedom at certain parts, but it never loses the sense of courage it has throughout the game. In fact, the whole entire reason why Elliot and Claris are able to help NiGHTS and make it through the game is their courage. Personally, I think that’s what the game is built up on, overcoming your nightmares head on and realizing the positives within yourself. NiGHTS, as a character, embodies all the great things these characters are, and through NiGHTS they’re able to realize those things and overcome their insecurities. The final levels of the game really nails the message down as well. I don’t want to spoil it, but it definitely felt like a huge moment on how far they’ve all come and a reflection on the whole game itself. It holds the most difficult level in the game, but it’s just so satisfying to experience.
Before I finish off I wanted to talk about the Nightopians, characters that add an A-Life system within the game.They’re these “cute” looking cherubs you can either greet or attack during the game, and I believe the music changes in levels depending on how happy the Nightopians are. I’m certain they were the inspiration and base-ground for the inclusion of Chao and the Chao gardens in the Sonic Adventure games. They’re not nearly as complex, but it’s one of those things to give credit where credit is due. I know NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams also included the A-life system, but I haven’t explored with it much yet.
So…That’s basically what NiGHTS Into Dreams is? I went on long enough I feel, haha. Overall, I love the game for the feelings it brings and how much thought was put into it. The game isn’t perfect, I know, but I can’t help but be so attached to it. It’s just a game that just lets you feel good and also is rewarding to play, despite how short it is.
I can’t say much for the games sequel/reboot though, but my personal opinion on that so far it lost a lot of what made NiGHTS….well, NiGHTS. I haven’t finished the gam,e so I’ll just give in those two cents for now.
tl;dr version: NiGHTS Into Dreams is a fun side-scrolling/action game that became a cult classic and holds personal meanings. It has lots of psychological context within the game and genuinely feels like a whimsical journey in the story and to those who play it. I fully recommend playing it, even though the game can get rather tedious and confusing with its design, it still holds a gratifying experience.Also, apparently I have a lot of things to say about this game and I can’t contain my thoughts about it. Sonic and NiGHTS are proud cousins.
May the dream live on for many years to come. NiGHTS has given many of his fans something special, be it a magical game-session or just fond memories or even dreams. He is something to be celebrated, and is one of the franchises Sega has put a lot of love into.
To the great Naoto Oshima, Yuji Naka, and Takashi Iizuka, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for creating this game and bringing the world NiGHTS to life. NiGHTS is forever in my heart, and in the hearts of his loyal fans.