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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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