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Anime Detour 2010

27 April;  Author: TRiPPY

Meet location: Anime Detour – Minnesota USA
Date: April 23-25th 2010
NiDcom regulars who attended: Infractus, Zero-Shift, Level 99, Andersam, Sierra



Level 99:
Oh, I'll write up my full report over the coming week, but first…
 

[Jaws theme]

Duh dunnn……..

Duhh dun dun dun dun dun……

REEEEEEEE REEEEEEEE REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

 

Also, I think I win, hands down:

IT'S SO BAD YOU COULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED IT

-To continue reading click the button-

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Community Gatherings

27 April;  Author: TRiPPY

There are a lot of NiGHTS fans out there- sometimes we're even in the same place at the same time (god forbid). Traveling miles by the mighty power of airplanes, trains, boats and the slightly less exciting foot. This page here is a collection of meetings we've had as a community with photos and goodtimes(TM) attached. If you would like to attend a future meet, keep an eye on our forums for anything happening near to you. If more than 2 of you met up and you have a story to tell or photos to share email me and I'll include it in this archive here :)

Archived:

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The campaign forum:
Discuss and read the latest news [ HERE ]

 

Fan Videos:
 
If you have a video to add, please leave a link in the comments below.

 


Fanart:
Send us your NiGHTS into ASR related artworks.

Join the Facebook Group:
Remember to invite all your friends!

Twitter Tag:
What the campaign started from, a simple hashtag.
#DontForgetNiGHTS

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Ok. As of this point, what is about to happen right now will be the LAST and final stretch of the Don't Forget NiGHTS campaign. This moment is potentially crucial and i would appreciate having as much of your attention as i can for this. Forgive the length in which this post may be but try and read all of it.

This campaign has brought us acknowledgement from SEGA/SUMO in the form of NiGHTS becoming a flag-waver in All-Stars Racing. The news was fantastic and it made a lot of fans VERY happy to see this kind of response from the companies involved. However, we do have our goal to get NiGHTS playable via DLC. And this is what the last stretch is based on.

There will be one last wave of emails to show support for NiGHTS Downloadable Content HOWEVER (and it is important you read this part) we will be handling the wave of emails differently this time.

We are very appreciative of NiGHTS becoming a flag-waver and of S0L to come here and give us an exclusive. It proves we have been heard and therefore i don't want this final wave of emails to be a nuisance.
Last time we listed a number of different email addresses and i asked you all to individually email them yourselves. This can become annoying, especially to busy companies like SEGA/SUMO. Having hundreds and thousands of emails come in all over the place again will just cause irritation and that's not what we want. However, we still want to show support for DLC without offending the company so how do we conduct this last wave?
We send one single email containing ALL the emails from you, the supporters.

This is how it will work -
We will ask you to send us your emails in favour of the campaign, we will round them up into one file documenting all the support we can get for NiGHTS DLC and i will personally direct the email to SEGA myself. I will send it through a route to the company in which i believe will get forwarded to those who need to read it most.
The reason for doing this last wave via this method is as i said before, less of an annoyance yet it will still contain the same amount of numbers that SEGA might need to see in order to convince them that NiGHTS is still a worthy investment.

Why are you continuing the campaign even after NiGHTS has appeared as flag-waver? -

The flag-waver is a step in the right direction in the company listening to the outcries of the fans. However, our goal stands on having NiGHTS as a downloadable playable character. And there are reasons for this -
- 1 – DLC does cost money to make. To make NiGHTS dlc SEGA would need to consider it a worthy investment in that it would make a profit. By showing support for NiGHTS dlc it proves to SEGA that NiGHTS is a worthy investment as people would buy the dlc.
- 2 – By showing that NiGHTS is a worthy investment it'll also make it known to them that the character is still a worthy part of their catalogue, therefore these kinds of incidents happening again in the future will be less likely to occur (some people still can't believe NiGHTS is not playable).
- 3 – This will further push things like porting the NiGHTS remake to XboxLiVE/PSN in our favour (but we'll get on to that kinda campaign later after this out the way ;P)

Why are you taking our emails? Why can't we email SEGA ourselves? -
As i've previously stated, we are thankful for the flag-waver making an appearance and do not want to offend the company by sending loads of emails in their direction. It's messy and it's annoying. We don't want to disrespect them however we still want to show support, so gathering everybodies support in to one single email means we're still showing numbers but in a more tidy manner.

It's just a racing game. All this fuss over NiGHTS in a racing game? -
As i briefly mentioned before, this will stem further than ASR. For now, ASR is where it has started as NiGHTS was rudely misplaced. By showing support for NiGHTS (and further more actually buying DLC of him) we are giving SEGA an understanding of how much we support the character. This can strengthen future petitions like ..

Why make fuss over ASR? We should have just asked for NiGHTS into Dreams ported to XboxLiVE/PSN -
..like this, for example. People couldn't understand why we were not petitioning for this instead and the reason for this is because there had never been a reason to worry about NiGHTS' status until this incident happened with ASR. If we know where NiGHTS is and the company understand how we feel about the character, if sometime down the line we ask nicely for NiD to be ported then we'll most likely be heard out, rather than if we just started asking out of the blue. As i said before, this situation had me worried and so i acted to try and fix it. From this point onwards things have at least the possibility to move forward in regards to other things involving NiGHTS.

Still, it's just a racing game -
But it's a very FUN racing game and i have a feeling it will sell quite nicely. It would be a shame for NiGHTS not to be part of the selectable roster in something like this.

What if DLC is already planned, won't we just be bothering SEGA? -

On the contrary. This is another reason why i want to send everything in one email. If NiGHTS dlc is happening then we're doing nothing but further showing support for the cause and reassuring SEGA they're making the right move. If NiGHTS dlc is not currently being planned then we're giving SEGA some more numbers to check on in hopes of convincing them to make it happen.
No harm is being done with this last wave.

Why are you only campaigning for NiGHTS? What about Ristar/Vectorman/ToeJam&Earl/TheOriginalOutrunFlagman/MARIO? -

…dunno if you noticed but we're a NiGHTS community? biggrin.gif
In all seriousness though, for the character that we are fans of of course we are going to campaign for that character. However, there's nothing stopping anybody else out there asking for other characters via DLC. If it's any character that members of this forum are also fans of i'd encourage them to join those campaigns too. At the end of the day i'm a fan of SEGA but this is the community and the fans i work for and i'm campaigning for that character.

NiGHTS dlc NEEDS a show of numbers for support of it. This last wave can really make all the difference. If you have emailed before we strongly encourage you to email for this last wave too.
DLC costs money, we need to show SEGA that money on NiGHTS can be well spent. This community would not survive on it's own if NiGHTS really wasn't as good a character as we know he is. The NiGHTS property just needs to be handled with a little more care, that's all smile.gif

SO …how do you show support via email? Well, here's what we need you to do -

Similar form as before, copy and paste this into an email -

Dear SEGA

I am writing this message to show my support for NiGHTS in hopes that you can make him become a playable character for Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing via Downloadable Content. I will support NiGHTS dlc by purchasing it should you make it.
Please let NiGHTS race in All-Stars Racing

yours sincerely
-
(your name)

This is the base form of the email. You can add upon this message should you wish to have more to say in your own words but this is what you need to be telling SEGA. A copy-paste is an easy option but it might be worth more should you build upon it a little. Either way is good though.

Send your email to our address here -
nidsubz@googlemail.com

We will include your email address in the email we send to SEGA along with your message. After that we will no longer keep hold of your email address, we just want to get these number counts to SEGA so they can see the support. We will not forward your email to any other company other than SEGA themselves. It is purely for the sake of this campaign and showing support.

There is a deadline for these emails to reach us.
The deadline is the 25th February. Right in the middle between the USA release and the UK one.

In closing, i have one last thing to say in regards to this last wave. If you ever cared about NiGHTS' past and/or future, if the character has ever meant anything to you at one point in time, push aside all the things that went wrong and just notice the character for what it means and/or meant to you.

Support now to have NiGHTS get his DLC and support now to get us ready for the future.

It doesn't take 5 minutes to copy, paste and send us an email. And every single email will make a difference, believe me.

Let's try and make this happen. We are so close to reaching our goal.

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SEGA have invited DiGi and I to a two day mystery trip to Alton Towers next month. To say we're excited is an understatement. More details as we get them!

Read more in our forums [ HERE ]
(This is vaguely reminding me of Charlie and the Chocolate factory lol)

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SEGA Guinness Event

18 December;  Author: TRiPPY

March the 18th 2008- DiGi and i were invited by SEGA to come down to London and represent them in a large Guinness World Record attempt. The record chosen to set for future cosplayers was 'The most Games characters gathered in one place'. An easy record to beat since no such record previously existed! Hah!

What unfolded in those 24 hours was perhaps the most fun I've ever had on 48 hours insomnia. Besides… what kind of SEGA fanboy would you be if you could soundly sleep in SEGA HQ? I kept having to pinch myself and check DiGi wasn't just a hallucination brought on by the inflight meal.

From finding out Sonic hides Scottish heritage to being gatecrashed by Richard Jacques. Singing Sonic R songs badly late at night, being on TV and DiGi getting nekkid under a bridge… it was the stuff of DREAMS.

So here is the essential NiD.Com Guinness Report! Enjoy.

Money, Tickets, Passport!
Forged documents. Check.

So Sunday night we were phoned by ArchangelUK making last minute checks with us about our flights, what we'd be doing etc etc. It was at that point we were informed that BBC 1's children's Newsround was also going to be in the media crowd attending. This of course made us laugh our faces off because DiGi had just had to study the show for his college course and my brother thinks Lizo is THE MAN. (Newsround is pure 90's British nostalgia). Suddenly the rumor that the famed Paul O'Grady show was going to be there seemed small in comparison to the MIGHT of NEWSROUND. C'mon! So with this in mind we continued packing our suitcases and skipped dinner entirely. Probably not the best of ideas.

That night I'd gone to bed super early… like some kid at christmas willing time to go faster. DiGi however had just signed up for a subscription on Phantasy Star Universe (AotI) and sat up to 3am hitting ugly things with sticks for money. He then came back to bed at said time to tell me i had an email. I get a lot of emails. This one however was from my pal Jess so i sat up in a drunken haze to read the thing. I returned to bed to find i couldn't get to sleep again. So for the remaining hours spent in bed i stared at the ceiling trying to think of a million witty things to say to reporters who might ask about my costume or NiGHTS. I swear i had a ton of them. Like how to promote NiGHTS in under 10 seconds using flowery words like 'unique' and 'masterpiece'. Needless to say i forgot all of them by the time 9am came around.


Up and at 'em DiGi dear!

We waited for what seemed like an eternity at Edinburgh Airport for our mysterious BA flight to appear, only to realise we were so early the self service machines wouldn't let us check in and then proceeded to malfunction. Cue some sleeping and sitting around for over an hour. There was an incident at an 'EAT' cafe where DiGi tried to explain his real name to a woman bringing us a cheese sandwhich… who i think just chickened out and saved her grace by waving instead of shouting. Pity really, the pair of us get cruel lollage from having crazy surnames to torment people with.

One bottle of caffeine later we were on our merry way! On takeoff we were treated to the most amazing view of the River Forth as the sun cast big shadows of the bridges across the water. It's an odd thing sitting on an airplane munching on a sandwich above the clouds at sunset realising that SEGA are paying for you to be a few thousand feet in the air (It's at that point you get worried lol). That sort of set the mood for the rest of the trip really, SURREAL.


Like i said. Surreal.


After much running down subway tunnels and a crazy amount of trains… no REALLY we found a train in a WALL at the airport!, we arrived at SEGA HQ. Immediately it became obvious that compared to other offices I've seen- this is a place where WORK gets done. I could tell that by the mini golf setup on the floor. Arcane scribblings on the walls, sacred Virtua Fighter plushies… A COPY OF THE HURRICANES ON THE MEGADRIVE. These folks mean business! Joking aside i was very impressed. The urge to go all-out ninja and dig for an beta of NiGHTS 8 the second Kevin turned his back was very tempting, but we were distracted by the decapitated head of Sonic on one of the desks. I then proceeded to steal Sonic's shoes for a bit… which actually didn't look too weird on me (should i be worried?).

Much talking and laughing was done, then we ended up creating something of a veritable monster of a podcast show for you folks. LIVE TO AN AUDIENCE OF ONE! Poor Echohawk… XD Anyhoo, the podcast is now available for download down at the media section on this page. It involves hilarious singing and harassing various members of the Sonic community to ask us questions via MSN. I don't think an anonymous 'WHERE IS JACKLE DAMMIT?!' to Iizuka would have went down so well a second time. So that didn't happen, but it's fun all the same.

After all that talking we were pretty parched so took a magical trip to the SEGA kitchen. Yes a kitchen… but not just ANY kitchen… this kitchen has GEORGE FOREMAN GRILLS. TWO OF THEM. DiGi instantly flew into a fit of jealousy as see, his life ambition is to own such a wonderful piece of kitchen godmodery. Also, SEGA seems big on recycling, in every room, kuedos SEGA, save those trees!

Anyway, just before DiGi and i tried to catch 40winks i had a highly amusing run in with one of the latenight cleaners in the mens bathroom (who i felt obliged to say HELLO to since i was probably the only woman in the entire building, with red hair, in a trenchcoat, lol). As i skuttled to my chair for the night i suddenly became paranoid that the office was haunted since A- it was so cold and B- The radio in the main office had turned itself on for no reason. But spooky thoughts were quickly replaced in my brain by the LARGE LOOMING MEDIA EVENT that was taking place in under 6 hours. 

I started getting dressed at about 4:30am just to be on the safe side as knowing my luck my costume would explode/burst into flames/stop fitting me after 24 hours. Unfortunately i was ready about 3 hours too soon so we sat watching the World Ping Pong Championship on the big plasma TV at the end of the room. SEGA have a thing for pingpong i swear. It was in these bizarre early hours of the morning while half asleep i decided one day I'd work here come hell or high water as it was such a nice place. With a George Foreman Grill. I could totally man the kitchen.


I could also totally clear them out of cool shoes and merch.

I had only just started to nod off when the first manager type person walked in the door. The sight of the three of us drooling in our sleep, a decapitated Sonic, suitcases all over the floor and NiGHTS with what looked like a hangover probably woke him up pretty fast. He was a nice guy, pleased to see we were helping out and quick to tell us the big boss was due in in the afternoon. Needless to say getting to say hello to Mike Hayes whilst dressed as NiGHTS, representing you guys, would have made me look like a fruitcake with a slice of lemon on the side, so luckily we left the office a little bit earlier than we should haha. It was really funny walking down SEGA's corridor to the lift dressed as NiGHTS, i got some priceless looks. But everyone seemed really laid back and nice. Sort of what i imagined the offices at STC Fleetway to be like when i was 12 and didn't realise what offices were actually like. Pfft.

A lot of subliminal marketing to the confused general public of London, walking and trying to keep my balance later, we found a Taxi and were whisked off into a chilly Tuesday morning.


Our enthusiasm knew no bounds. We got there over an hour early! Sonic (bagged and tagged) took up all of the room in the taxi so i was happy to get out and walk again. Even if it WAS freezing and windy and right beside the River Thames. I'll be honest, standing outside of the Tate Modern gallery it looked bleak… we were the only ones there. The situation was becoming funnier as tourists walked past waiting to get into the art gallery behind us. I'm walking art baby! But i figured the more confused people got the more they'd remember NiGHTS, so it was all good. At one point it became so windy we used Sonic's bodybag as a windbreaker, it didn't do much, so i gave up and put my hat on. Rendering myself deaf but toasty.

And then LO! From out of nowhere a nice young chap sat beside us and started to get changed into a costume. SCORE 1 FOR TRiPPY. I'd been trying to advertise this event in any way i knew how… so this guy was like finding the golden fleece. We all turned our attention to the Millennium bridge, keeping an eye out for anyone in large dayglow costumes. Often mistaking members of the public for cosplayers who were just wearing mad coats. One by one our little group got bigger (and more hyperactive). We were then bestowed with the presence of Mr Gordon Freeman complete with crowbar in a bag. Then it all sort of got VERY busy in the space of 15 minutes with cosplayers turning up left right and center! It's amazing how friendly cosplayers are, nobody seemed to feel left out or awkward, everyone was just having so much fun!

At around 11am Guinness turned up along with various members of the press. But… the Sun bus was nowhere to be seen. DiGi started to look positively mortified. There was no way he could get changed into the Sonic costume inside the Tate Modern… so we had to be RESOURCEFUL. I think the resourceful came from Arch' as it involved DiGi getting his kit off a few feet away under the Millennium Bridge XD; Sonic really IS the fastest thing alive when its a breezy day in London and he's wearing boxers. Fastest costume change EVER. As soon as we walked back to the cosplayer crowd he was instantly mobbed by fans wanting photos. 

The next few hours were a colorful blur of posing for photos, being interviewed by magazines and nearly having my chest gemstone snatched by overcurious Final Fantasy cosplayers. Shiny is hypnotic.
When my fellow cosplayer Orihime turned up dressed in her infamously cute Amy costume i skipped over to say hi… completely OBLIVIOUS to the fact I'd left mute DiGi standing with Mr musical manlegend Richard Jacques. Well it's not every day Richard Jacques teleports out of nowhere to say hello. I recognised him instantly but because i was so tired i think my brain was telling me he was something of an illusion along with the 80something game characters jumping about.


LEGEND

Eventually it turned out the Sun's bus was actually THERE… just parked very far away from the Tate Modern. So after being subjected to a media PIT while being squashed on the millennium bridge i had to guide DiGi through some backstreets to the big red bus. Our costumes meant we couldn't actually FIT on the bus, so we got to stand at the front, which worked out better in the end. Although the very cute (and scary) Mario Army decided to ask Sonic some very personal questions while we were supposed to be posing for the press. One kid even tried to start a fight with him, ahaha.


That's a look of FEAR.

Tails however fared a little better. I swear down, Vger was the best Tails EVER. EPIC TAILS. He was completely crazy (all cosplayers should be like him!) From bizarre dance routines to accidentally forgetting to take his Hawaiian shirt off, he was gold. When i look through these photos i still can't stop laughing.

As things wound down after lunchtime people started to head home while we hung around for a little bit longer to get DiGi out of the costume. As soon as the giant head was off he finally got the chance to say hello to Richard and shake his hand. Smiles all around and the promise of breakfast DiGi, Arch, Sonic and I fell into the nearest taxi and returned to SEGA HQ. After packing all our luggage back up we were introduced to the best sandwich shop ever with a mighty selection of cakes. We said our sad goodbyes to Arch' and set off in an ever so emotastic way to catch our plane.

Our journey back to Edinburgh involved missing an airport train to gatwick and getting lost in the underground, so it was all a bit hectic. But seriously, one of the best days of my life. Being able to represent NiGHTS and SEGA to the media and public was fantastic and I'd do it all again at the drop of a hat… most probably not my own hat though as it got a little bit squashed in my suitcase thanks to the BA luggage people. Which i suppose is an excuse to start working on a Journey of Dreams cosplay at some point… hmmm…

24 HOURS OF AWESOME

Video and Press links

 

BBC1 Children's Newsround
[ViEW]
Techdigest.Tv Report
[ViEW]
NGamer Magazine
[READ]
The Sun
[ViEW]

PRESS
Radio Dreadux Podcast at SEGA HQ: [LiSTEN]
SEGA Europe Blogs:
[READ]
Official Xbox360 magazine: [READ]
The Sun: [READ]
Gamespot: [READ]
SEGA Europe Flickr: [READ]

Eurogamer: [READ]
GamingBits: [READ]


Photographs taken on the day (50 total)

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48

Thanks to: MCM Expo forums, Amecon forums, Sonic Stadium, Cosplay.Com, SEGA and everyone who turned up on Tuesday!

 

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SEGA in MY House?

6 December;  Author: TRiPPY

Back in January 2008 we had the incredibly surreal experience of not only NiGHTS 2 finally becoming a reality after 12 years but SEGA bringing it to our -house- to demonstrate it for us before release. Needless to say it sounds like the sort of caffeine driven lie any fan could spout but – no – really. SEGA came to our house.
How many gaming companies do that for their fans? It's little things like this that remind me why i still love SEGA so much, they still listen.

It's probably a good idea to start here with this forum topic since we'd been joking about SEGA bringing NiGHTS to us, then it actually happening haha:
http://www.nightsintodreams.com/forum//index.php?showtopic=1384


Gaze upon the slightly worrying yet sexy Dev Wii in my bedroom.

It was a day of cheesecake, sparkly reunited joy and adult chickenpox. But all around amazing. Back in January I'd been so hyped to finally play Journey of Dreams that i never actually got around to writing up what went on. I think i muttered something to the fans about 'give me a few weeks I've been wanting to play this game for 12 years', then toddled off for a lot longer than that to play the thing to death. We have some video of the day but rather than upload a massive 3 gig video of us sitting yelling at the TV set – I'll break it down into screencaps. For a detailed report of what Arch' from SEGA thought you can read the blogs here:
http://blogs.sega.com/europe/category/nights/
(or just keep reading below since i copypasta'd them for nostalgia's sake)

1. If it looks too good to be true it usually is. Mr Dev Wii eats retail code discs for breakfast. Poor Arch had been given the wrong Wii to bring all the way to Scotland to demo NiGHTS on.
Cue our horror.

2. Any longtime hardcore NiGHTS fan will know… you remember those nightmares you'd wake up from back in 1999 or 2001 where SEGA come to visit your house with a copy of NiGHTS 2 and then it doesn't work. We got to live it. FOR REAL!

Cue the tears of a broken man.


3. Our forum moderator Jof was overcome with grief (as the photos obviously show). But something SEGA probably doesn't understand is how much patience waiting 12 years non stop for a sequel gives you. This to a NiGHTS fan was just a small technical hitch. We famously carry some kind of fandom curse so this was normal. This called for practical thinking! Problem solving! The sort of DEEP THINKING that only true NiGHTS fans could co-

Oh yeah! We had our own Wii. Duh.

SO BEHOLD!
*RAPTURE!*


NiGHTS 2 on my TV, not just some horrible delusion.


Girly screams all around.

And what is the first thing you WANT to know, VITAL to gameplay enjoyment for the next 12 years?

CAN WILL BE THROWN OFF THE EDGE OF DREAMGATE?
Unfortunately no, but we'll forgive them…. somehow.


Ok forgiven. NiGHTS isn't all flowers and rainbows. This pleases us greatly.
As does verbal smackdown… and the fact they left THAT line in. You know the one ;)


NiGHTS can HEAL THE SICK with his tight spandexy powers, see how much life is brought back to this poorly man plagued by the deadly adult chicken pox. He can walk again! Especially now that he owns more NiGHTS merchandise than SEGA itself.

SEGA gives DiGi +9999999 revive.

All is good in the world. Game enjoyment was had, bags were screamed over, copious copies of JoD were handed out and laughter ensued. Today was a great day.
But it wasn't over yet! It's a mandatory requirement that any SEGA representative stepping into our household MUST answer to the fans and be thoroughly interrogated via our Dreamcast show. Which went swimmingly well. You can download show06 here:

http://www.nightsintodreams.com/?p=101
(includes HOT EXCLUSIVE GOSSIP on Shenmue 9!!)

Afterwards we set him free but SEGA now knows the NiGHTS fanbase is SERIOUS BUSiNESS. After the mind control wore off AAUK returned to England and wrote up the following SEGA journals:

 

ArchangelUK & The Dreamers of EDiNBURGH:
Pt 1 – Up, Up and Away

What do ArchangelUK, £900 bottles of cognac and the Paralympics team of Gibraltar have in common? As it happens we were all at Gatwick airport last Thursday, though whilst the cognac was gathering dust and the Gibraltans were off to some sort of training camp I myself as the Online Community Team’s resident representative for all things Nightopian was off to Edinburgh to the very heart of the NiGHTS fan base.

The reason for this was very simple – it was a lot cheaper to send me to them then get them down to us. :)

So, armed with a bag full of NiGHTS merchandise a suitcase containing a Wii (and looking at the weather a sense of foreboding) I marched off to do battle with the airport check-in system… at 3:45am.

Let me tell you strange things happen at 3:45am, for a start paying £20 for the slim chance of winning a Ferrari they’ve somehow got into the departures lounge sounds like “a good idea” – you imagine yourself with “Magical Sound Shower” blaring from the speakers as you zip along the straights of Malibu. Feeling rather worried by this and keeping the £20 firmly in my pocket I instead headed straight for the arcade and blasted off a quick few laps on OutRun2.

Speaking of arcades is it me or is the entirety of the Arcade system now solely resting on machines produced by SEGA and Namco? I swear there are more SEGA machines around than any other publisher – and the rest seem to be Time Crisis.

The plane boarded on time and we were soon in the air, the pilot finishing his welcome by inviting us to “enjoy all the marvellous facilities we have on this aircraft… Not.” So as we sailed into the sky with the strains of Dreams Dreams 2008 in my ears I was really looking forward to the trip, I was even looking forward to the surprisingly tasty looking in-flight breakfast which was served pretty much immediately.

Yup, everything was going smoothly… and then I made the mistake of opening my tub of orange juice.

Like some sort of cosmic switch the plane all of a sudden lurched sideways as we hit a terrible bout of turbulence which did its best to cover me in the orange liquid. I clamped my palm over the top of my cup in desperation to try and prevent further spillage but still I fear looked rather like the recipient of shrapnel wounds from a Tango grenade when all was said and done.

We landed on time (and for a while on one wheel) at Edinburgh airport which seemed surprisingly small and as I set foot for the first time on Scottish soil I was pleased to see that absolutely no stereotypes about Scotland were to be seen. Yup it was windy, rainy, cold, bagpipe music was playing as I entered the arrivals area and the first man I saw was in a kilt trying to sell me shortbread. Absolutely no stereotypes at all.

After a brief scare when I almost left my case at the airport I exited to find freezing sheet rain and dragging my belongings onto the shuttle bus rode off to my hotel room and my first meeting with TRiPPY and DiGi…

Posted by ArchangelUK in NiGHTS on 4:24:11PM Jan 23, 2008

ArchangelUK & The Dreamers of EDiNBURGH:
Pt 2 – Play The Game

For those who used to get Sonic the Comic back in the day you may well recall that there was an artist who kept getting her work featured – Lynne Triplett. It might surprise you to know that Lynne and TRiPPY are one and the same, and with bright red hair you’re not likely to miss her. As one half of the “First Couple of Nightopia” (TM AAUK, 2007) and with partner in crime DiGi Valentine (himself resplendent with a signature tuft of bright green hair) aiding and abetting, she has lead the NiGHTS fan base for more years than it’s polite to say.

Having got the word that the guys had arrived I zipped down to the lobby to find them there along with NiGHTS forum mod Jof and TRiPPY’s brother Derek. So you have ArchangelUK, TRiPPY, DiGi, Jof and Derek – it seems someone was letting us down on the wacky names front.

Later it was revealed he was a DeZ. Oh well.

We went to catch a bus back to the Triplett household and talked Journey of Dreams, Reala, original NiGHTS, SST, SEGA, Sonic Wrecks and many other things. I was pleased to see DiGi who had literally dragged himself off his sick bed of the last week, having spent all that time suffering from a rather nasty case of adult chicken pox as he was devastated at the thought of missing out on my visit.

Awww.

However as he waivered somewhat standing up I did fear a stiff breeze might blow the poor guy away, so feeling a bit guilty I reached into my AAUK branded bag o’ tricks and produced, with no fanfare, a copy of Journey of Dreams which I thrust beneath his astounded eyes. DiGi held it like he might accidentally break it for a few moments before issuing an excited squeak – but in a manly way, right DiGi? TRiPPY and DiGi examined the game which they had been waiting 11 years for – and wouldn’t be out to the general UK populous until tomorrow – and began chattering earnestly, a bit more life back in DiGi which I for one was very pleased to see.

A short adventure with some excitable dogs later, one of whom called Smudge didn’t want to let me off at our stop – an agent of Wizeman perhaps – we arrived at their flat and I stepped through TRiPPY’s bedroom door into… the largest amount of purple I’d ever seen in my entire life.

The room was completely done up in NiGHTS’ colour scheme – there were statuettes and plushies, posters and artwork everywhere. In the corner stood on a mannequin TRiPPY’s NiGHTS costume which apparently takes about 6 hours to put on, I assumed DiGi was joking about that but TRiPPY’s nervous laughter suggested otherwise. I was also pleased to see a large variety of Sonic merchandise as well as pretty much every SEGA console known to man.

Here’s a photo of TRiPPY in said regalia:

“Du-al-ize!”

Yes, both terrifying and alluring at the same time. I think…

Everywhere I looked, everywhere, was just a mass of NiGHTS… I didn’t even know there was half as much NiGHTS paraphernalia in existence as I saw in there.

Anyway to business! I began setting up the Wii I’d dragged with me from SOE HQ all the way to the south of England and then all the way up to Edinburgh. Oh dear. The green frontage of that Wii was not a good sign…

I popped the game in and my fears were realised, I’d been given a Dev Wii and it wouldn’t play the retail code – NOOOOOOOOO! Luckily TRiPPY had a Wii, but it did mean that they would not be able to see any of the more advanced levels and see the unlocked items to begin with. So after I got the Tutorial out of the way for them I let them loose on Journey of Dreams, while I muttered some rather choice language as I packed the console back up again.

Soon the room went very quiet as people concentrated, trying to get the highest number of links possible and while the boss levels proved deceptively tricky at first – Jof being our savior and getting us past them – there was nothing but grins around the room. Even from Derek and he’s not a NiGHTS fan at all!

Time was marching on but I’d been very open in my desire to be used as much as possible by the guys, so it was time to start thinking about the dreaded Dream Cast podcast.


Posted by ArchangelUK in NiGHTS on 5:08:54PM Jan 25, 2008

ArchangelUK & The Dreamers of EDiNBURGH:
Pt 3 – Of Merchandise and Cheesecake

With sinister clowns, magicians and giant fish vanquished it was time to try out the multiplayer. TRiPPY was keen to take people on and as the former World Record holder for defeating Wizeman had every right to be confident. Unfortunately Jof beat her, then DiGi beat her, then her brother beat her… then I beat her.

Whoops.

However she’s been practicing like crazy and no doubt will be up for a challenge should you ask her at any time.

After that we recorded the podcast where I answered a load of questions from NiGHTS fans to the best of my ability. Having already helped provide them with various answers with the interview with Iizuka-san, fan base questions instead were in the “who the heck are you” and “why are you here” bracket as opposed to the “what are the fundamental changes in control methodology” bracket. Though when you bare in mind my answer to “What is your role at SEGA?” was “ham and cheese” you can guess how things went.

The podcast is up on NiGHTSIntoDreams.Com now if you’re interested (parental advisory – explicit DiGi in places).

Speaking of cheese, TRiPPY had a hankering for some cheesecake but first I had a little matter of giving out some rather splendid gifts courtesy of SEGA. From my magic bag I pulled seemingly endless goodies including Sonic t-shirts, NiGHTS posters, a Sonic 06 mug, glow in the dark NiGHTS stickers, soundtrack samplers, the Japanese NiGHTS pre-order toy, Ghost Squad, Golden Compass, Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Rivals 2.

Poor DiGi was half-buried under a mountain of merchandise by the time I finished, unable to move.

That would have been all, but for the bag within the bag. Ah yes, in a major merchandising coup I pulled out a Japanese NiGHTS bag, the same bag that had been given out in ridiculously limited quantities at the Tokyo Game Show.

The reaction was PRICELESS, a sort of strangulated yell followed by diving and grasping and clutching with great excitement and lots of thank yous.

I dunno about you guys, but rather think they liked it…

It was at this point that TRiPPY REALLY needed some cheesecake, so as we were now all rather on the hungry side ourselves it seemed only right that we go out for some food. Catching a bus which took a small eternity to arrive but thankfully had no excitable pets on board we made our way back to Edinburgh city centre. All of this of course was great for me because it allowed me to return to my hotel room and dump the accurs’d Wii back there with a shake of my fist skywards… or at least southwards.

So where to? Well, a restaurant presumably so having tidied myself up a bit I raced back downstairs to rescue Team NiGHTS – or more specifically the reception staff from this odd collection of youths sitting in the lobby of their swanky hotel.

Having found a bar called the Filling Station, which was filled with various examples of motoring Americana, we sat down and ordered drinks. Not really being in the mood for anything too strong I ordered an Appletizer which was roughly about the same time I found out about the Heathrow crash.

Yes, trust me guys there’s nothing that makes your day than to find out there’s been a mysterious airplane crash on the airline your flying back on the very next day. So while I was sipping my drink thinking as soon as I left tomorrow the wings would fall off or I’d find out that the pilot had mysteriously been replaced by a hippo, the guys placed their orders and talked about the game some more.

Oddly enough the topic at hand was Owl and what a great character he was. This was odd as I was sure Owl would annoy the hell out of everyone (Visitor. Visitor. Hoot. Visitor. Yes. Ho ho. Visitor.) Including myself but that was until people saw NiGHTS’ reactions to Owl.

You see if you are a Visitor who gets a little tired of Owl keep an eye on NiGHTS in the cut scenes. Ignoring the one prior to the water ball level in which Owl nearly drowns… to howls of laughter from Helen and NiGHTS. NiGHTS is often rolling his eyes and looking incredibly bored at the old bird’s hooting and generally not giving a, well, hoot.

TRiPPY made a very good point too about NiGHTS being somewhat snappy in places, i.e. “Dual-ize” in that NiGHTS is as you may recall still a Nightmaren despite also being a “carefree rascal”.

The food arrived shortly afterwards, I forget what mine was called but it was essentially an inverse pizza apparently full of ALL THE CHEESE IN THE WORLD. As such I completed about half of it, which I suppose gives me a D rank.

Other topics flowed through the meal including NiGHTS’ voice artist (and the voices in general), speaking with Iizuka-san, creating NiGHTS artwork, how DiGi was NOT going to use the stickers I’d given him for an urban advertising campaign as I didn’t want to end up with some street fine thank you very much and how amazing, apparently, NiGHTS’ ass had been rendered on the signature artwork.

Yesssss……

TRiPPY demolished her slice of cheesecake in near record time all the while making lots of ‘mmmm’ noises which considering the rest of us had no desert didn’t go down too well. The meal was paid for and we left, but where to now?

We decided to march up to Edinburgh Castle – as you do – and risk the wrath of the ghosts and ghouls…

Posted by ArchangelUK in NiGHTS on 12:45:34PM Jan 31, 2008

 

ArchangelUK & The Dreamers of EDiNBURGH:
Pt 4 – Journey’s End

You’d thought I’d forgotten about this hadn’t you? Well we’d left my story, which was a while ago now, as we had just finished the podcast and a slice of cheesecake had been sacrificed to the great TRiPPY beast.

Now apparently, as it was really cold and damp it was a very good idea to go up to Edinburgh Castle – this was especially neccessary so we could yell “Yay castle!” at the ancient edifice. You may have guessed I was beginning to wonder what was in the cheesecake following this statement – but I wanted to go and see it regardless so up we went.

The castle was of course closed and the Queen wasn’t in – which was very rude of her, I’m from frickin’ SEGA! But the views from atop the very, very steep hill across Edinburgh were truly fantastic. A twinkling cacophany of white and yellow lights and the sound of the wind… and somebody taking out their frustrations on a pay-and-display machine.

Having discovered it was even colder where we were, we turned tail and walked back chatting about this and that. I was told of how the current streets of Edinburgh are built over the streets of old which was done so to trap the plague victims and wipe the slate clean – judging by the large steps on either side of the road this had been happening a lot. Edinburgh also has so I’m told one of the most haunted graveyards in the country, the ghosts and ghouls within being none too pleasant. Tourists coming out with mysterious injuries inflicted up them, cuts and bruises – TRiPPY recalled she came out of one of the trips with a massive bruise on her thigh. That the ghosts were angry and vengeful.

“I’m not surprised if you lot keep paving over people.” Was my reply.

Seeing Jof off at the train station we went back to the hotel where I wished everyone goodnight where I went off to a very comfy bed and a slice of banoffi pie and a coke from room service (I paid before you lot say anything). The next day myself, DiGi and TRiPPY met up to kill time before I had to go off to the airport again.

I was rather desolate to find that Gamestation had recieved a delivery of Wiis in that very morning – if only I didn’t have the accurs’d Dev Wii I could have bought one and taken it home with me! NOOOOOOO!!! We moped around and had breakfast before I had to get my bus to the airport, the highlight being a tramp outside the job centre who started yelling at me that I was a bum for no reason whatsoever.

The time came for goodbyes and I departed for pastures more Southern, but even then there was a twist in the tail. Only a few days later (as some of you know) TRiPPY and DiGi through a series of unfortunate events were forced out on the streets and ended up having to rough it. Several of you have asked me how they are and the good news is that they are indeed safe and well in a new abode.

In fact Miss T and Mr D were helping me with something else a bit closer to home yesterday – keep an eye out for details on that!



Posted by ArchangelUK in NiGHTS on 11:52:39AM Mar 19, 2008

 

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Our Takashi Iizuka Q&A

16 November;  Author: TRiPPY

November 2007:

It's not very often you get contacted by SEGA out of the blue, nor is it very often you're given the chance to have some questions answered by one of the original creators of NiGHTS into Dreams -represented- by SEGA. Ohohoh.

Takashi Iizuka, producer, director, and lead designer of Journey of Dreams was in London's SEGA headquarters to promote his new game. Community manager Kevin Eva (Also admin of Sonic Wrecks ) attended to represent the .Com, as DiGi and I couldn't attend due to busting our bank flying out to Amsterdam SEGA Benelux a few weeks prior on short notice to play the JoD Beta D:
Mr AAUK went armed with a selection of obscure questions I'd written up regarding both the original and the new game.

Thanks to Mike Taylor from NintendoLife we have audio/video and a transcript of the interview. Mike was also there asking questions along with G from SEGANerds. Consider the following to be the 'epic combi meal' of our Websites' joint efforts.

Media:
-DOWNLOAD AUDiO FULL Q&A INTERVIEW- (.MP3)
-DOWNLOAD JOURNEY OF DREAMS IiZUKA GAME DEMONSTRATION VIDEO- (.3GP)

Interview Transcript:

Nintendo Life: When did development for Journey of Dreams start?
Takashi Iizuka: The idea came about 2 Years ago. Development began 1 and a half years ago

Nintendo Life: Years ago rumors came about, for a game called Air NiGHTS, a proposed sequel for the original game. Motion control was rumored to be the main idea for the game back then. Was Air NiGHTS a real game, and did it have any bearing on Journey of Dreams?
Takashi Iizuka: At the time SEGA had been playing with the idea of motion control on their consoles. Air Nights was a prototype game testing out the technology. Nothing came of it, and development stopped.

SEGANerds: Where did you come up with the idea for the My Dream segment of the game?
Takashi Iizuka: It was developed from the A-Life system in the original NiGHTS. While the original only allowed you to interact with A-Life in the missions. You now have a separate, small world, the beauty of A-Life, is it creates a place where the developers will not be able to predict what will happen.

SEGANerds: Why did you decide to give NiGHTS a voice? And why did you choose a female voice?
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] Well the original game had voice clips for NiGHTS, but in Journey of Dreams I wanted to use more voice acting. The voice helps to add depth to the game play, and tell the story in the cut scenes.
NiGHTS is neutral, and therefore has no gender. The impressions of the character with regards to gender are totally up to the player.

SEGANerds: Will there be any unlockable content in Journey of Dreams? Like with Christmas NiGHTS – you could unlock Sonic.
Takashi Iizuka: There will be some unlockable features, but I cannot say what they are. They are meant to be a surprise. But if players get high rankings, they will unlock features.

SEGANerds: Is there anything you would have liked to have changed or added to the final release of Journey of Dreams?
Takashi Iizuka: No, nothing more. I feel that we have implemented everything we wanted to. I think we did everything we could do with the Wii’s features.
Nintendo Life: [JOKES] Nothing more you could so. Perfect!
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS]

SEGANerds: Which control method do you prefer?
Takashi Iizuka: I personally prefer the Wiimote controls, as you get the feeling of free flying with these controls.
But I suggest that fans of the original may wish to use the GameCube controller, as it is more like the Saturn controller, and is what players will be used to, at least at first.

NiGHTSintoDreams.com: Some people say that BellBridge (the game’s fictional setting), resembles parts of London. Is there any truth to this? And if so, why did you choose this setting?
Takashi Iizuka: Well like the character of Sonic is designed to be more like American style, NiGHTS has been designed to be more like that of European. So that is why the stages have the look of a more European setting.
It is also why the characters in NiGHTS have English accents.

NiGHTSintoDreams.com: How many people worked on NiGHTS Journey of Dreams?
Takashi Iizuka: There were 26 developers from Sonic Team USA working on the game. With the sound and CG developed in Japan.

NiGHTSintoDreams.com: Why was Jackle not included in Journey of Dreams? Is the Chameleon boss meant to be a replacement? In addition, will we see Jackle again?
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] Well really I like the character, but if we created all the characters again we would be looking at the same game. We only wanted to keep Wizeman and Reala. [LAUGHS] It is a new game.

(*)NiGHTSintoDreams.com: The second biggest mystery of NiGHTS! What did the deleted boss Selph look like? Apparently there was a deleted boss from the original game called Selph.
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] How do you know about Selph?
NiGHTSintoDreams.com: ‘They’ know.
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] They, who is they?
NiGHTSintoDreams.com: Fans.
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] Ah, ok.
Well the idea for the character existed, but he was never actually created.(*)

Nintendo Life: In Journey of Dreams, NiGHTS has different masks, which he can use. What is your favourite mask?
Takashi Iizuka: It depends on the situation; I like the Rocket mask because you can use it to create your own strategy.
But my favourite will have to be the Dragon mask.

Nintendo Life: While we were having a play of your game a little while ago, we noticed that there is a counter in the game. The counter seems to change with each night you play. Does this have any effect on the game at all?
Takashi Iizuka: No. It is just there as a counter, for you to know how long/many times you have been playing.

SEGANerds: NiGHTS used the Saturn’s internal clock to add new game play/secrets to the game, depending on the date. Will the same feature be used in Journey of Dreams?
Takashi Iizuka: No. For the Saturn, it was a new feature and a new challenge.
With the Wii, the Forecast Channel is the new challenge. However there will be seasonal events within the game, which will appear in the My Dreams section.

Nintendo Life: It has recently been announced that NiGHTS is being remade for the PS2. Will the game be released worldwide? In addition, are there any plans for a Wii version, perhaps on the Virtual Console?
Takashi Iizuka: There are currently no plans for the PS2 version to be released outside of Japan.
Nintendo Life: [TUTS]
Takashi Iizuka: [LAUGHS] It is being released in Japan, due to the high demand for the game. So there are no plans for a worldwide release… for now. As for Virtual Console there are no plans for a release either… for now.

NiGHTSintoDreams.com: For gamers who played NiGHTS into Dreams obsessively, you could unlock rare Nightopians called King or Superpians. Will there be any rare Nightopians in Journey of Dreams?
Takashi Iizuka: In the My Dreams section of the game it is possible to mix Nightopians with the Marens (baddies) to create new creatures.
There will also be Superpians.

Nintendo Life: Thank you very much, for your time and for making a new NiGHTS game.
Takashi Iizuka: Thank you.


Are we finished yet? Heck no! The following Monday morning we were sent a parcel of glee from SEGA, fiendishly gathered together during a meeting with Iizuka-san later on to discuss our lovely fanbase (THAT'S YOU GUYS). Here's some pictures of our amazing Christmas gifts!

Box Art
The unreleased USA BoxArt… signed by Iizuka!

poster


A -massive- Japanese Journey of Dreams promo poster. Signed by Takashi Iizuka for me and DiGi XD Needless to say, Ebay will never see this sucker for no sum of money. I want to get this framed… need to find a frame BIG enough…

And as a super extra Christmas gift Arch' showed Iizuka some of my most popular pieces of old artwork. Iizuka was 'very very very impressed' and apparently 'enthralled'. Paradox was his favourite one. Aha I'm a big sap and cried about it. Dude. Then… HE SIGNED MY ARTWORK O_O… I kid you not.

Paradox by TRiPPY- Signed by Iizuka . Unspoken Tragedy by TRiPPY- signed by Iizuka
*snicker… he signed Reala's Butt teeheehee*
( That's one case of art stealing I don't think I'll report XD )

SEGA we still adore you T_T even after all these years, it's seriously heartwarming to see the creators connect to their fans in this way.
Thank you so much!

THE BIG SELPH MYSTERY
If you've listened to the audio for the above interview you will have heard the part at which AAUK asks Iizuka about the boss Selph. Iizuka seems somewhat shocked as to how we would know about a boss that didn't even make it into a beta. He speaks to his translator in Japanese thinking that it probably wouldn't be noted or understood. But we wouldn't be very good NiGHTS fans if we just took his translators English answer would we? :) ha ha

Our Japanese staff member Seiya listened to the conversation between the translator and Iizuka and told us exactly what is being said. It REALLY goes like this -

(*)—TRANSLATIONS—
*AAUK asks about Selph*
Translator to Iizuka- "What is it? Such a boss was in the plan of original NiGHTS?"
Takashi Iizuka to translator- "Yeah, it's true. I had thought I wanna add a boss called Selph to original NiGHTS."
Translator to Iizuka- "Well, is it ok if I tell it (in English)?"
Takashi Iizuka to translator- "OK. Maybe Naka had already told it before."
Translator to Iizuka- "Ah, so they know… But why was it deleted?"
Takashi Iizuka- "Because… The original story of  NiGHTS already had been made perfectly. So I thought the boss isn't needed anymore. So I deleted Selph."
-

And that's the truth behind the famous deleted boss, Selph. Iizuka himself was responsible for Selph's deletion.
This most certainly wraps up the entire myth as to what Selph originaly was, and now we know. He was indeed 100% a boss character but was removed because the story was as good as it could be….which now brings up the speculation as to what made Selph so important that he changed the flow of the story.
And uh.. sorry to the lovely Mr Yuji Naka who actually DIDN'T tell us about Selph. We kinda figured that one out ourselves ;)

 

NiGHTS fanbase – we're a sneaky lot.

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