An OFFiCiAL look at the characters in NiD. See separate character BiO's for more in depth reading and opinion. Here you can see what is missing in detail from the western story.
Name: Claris Sinclair
Age: (U.S)14 (JP)15
(Official U.S) 'Today is Claris' chance to show her family she has stage talent. The stagelight flares on, and her heart starts racing. The directors are out there, watching. Claris approaches the microphone, but something's not right. A small voice inside tells her that everyone will laugh. A few seconds pass, and the voice grows louder. No longer able to bear it, Claris runs off the stage.'
JP) 'A 15-year-old
girl who lives in the suburb of Twin Seeds city. Since Claris was born and grew
up in an artist's home, being creatively gifted was something expected of her.
Continuously looking up at her dream of standing on a stage in a musical, it
has always been her childhood ambition. However, Claris always stood in the
shadows of other spoilt children, far too shy to prove herself on stage. Although
one day her big chance to fulfil her dream became more than a dream...'
(Claris of the real world, and the beginning of an adventure)
'Claris auditioned for the first general invitation of the headlining musical made for Twin Seeds centennial commemoration celebrations. She had passed a brilliant primary examination. The second audition came that day. Claris was completely spun by the width of the stage and the force of the hot spotlight in which she stood for the first time. Her knees began to wobble, her throat became dry, her voice becoming husky. Infact the spotlight was so bright it had become impossible to see the very judges watching her-- Although she would have to wait until the evening for the audition results poor Claris had already lost all self belief and hope completely. Feeling that she had lost her dream.
"It's not for me, something just wasn't there..." She murmurs into a deep sleep from the tiredness of daytime. Trying to forget the importance of what she had wanted so much. However, it became obvious it mattered a lot in her subconscious and soon her fears were being played out at the hands of the evil spirits of Nightmare, pouncing mercilessly full of sin on even the good heart of Claris. The intense spotlight burned down strongly making her suddenly aware of all her physical flaws and her inexperience. Claris devoid of any hope in her voice, runs from the stage trying to find an escape from her tormentors. Finding a wonderful shrine she soon discovers the creature NiGHTS who is being held captive within.'
Name: Elliot Edwards
Age: (U.S)14 (JP)15
(Official U.S) 'Elliot is playing basketball with his classmates. Some of the older kids from school show up and challenge Elliot and his friends to a game. A teammate passes long to Elliot, who is just feet from the net, but the star player on the other team steals the ball. A long pass downcourt and a slam dunk finishes the day. Elliot walks back home, alone.'
JP) 'A 15-year-old
boy who lives in the central square of Twin Seeds. Very intelligent and faultless
in all that he does, especially at school. He always tries his hardest and comes
out the cool kid. Especially so in his favourite sport of Basketball. There
are the guys who gain respect amongst classmates and are the objects of everyone's
adoration, Elliot is one of them. However, that sort of reputation and admiration
can be quickly replaced by another person. He is a well known member of a very
cool City group. But it is this very style that finds him involved in an incident
(Elliot of the real world, and the beginning of an adventure)
'That night in his sleep, Elliot's dreams are a repeat of an incident that happened the same afternoon. Elliot was out as usual enjoying a basketball game with his friends. Then suddenly, a High School student's group intrudes, stealing their ball with the greatest of ease. The loud slam dunk putting an end to the day and his respect. The ball is thrown into Elliot and the court seems to melt away. Elliot all at once remembers the anger of his humiliation over and over again. But he is playing against someone he can never hope to beat, his pride keeping him from acting awkward. Hiding his shame behind a poker face he stands alone in silence.
And then faces the creatures of Nightmare as his dream replays the days entire humiliation. Elliot runs around blindly trying to escape from the horrible fear- when suddenly the world shines, spreading, and he runs into the world of Nightopia. Elliot stands on edge for a while, afraid that his pursuers will return, looking around the area slowly. Then finding NiGHTS, looking at the wonderful shrine and the amazing being he had never seen before. Looking at the Maren trying to smile...'
The SonicTeam done well in creating two lead characters that many people could relate to in their teenage years. I think we've all been in a situation were we need to find some courage within ourselves. Sometimes small petty annoyances can seem like the end of the world when you're growing up. Getting emo over a basketball game isn't exactly WW3 but that's the point i think, its a personal fear and anxiety that the kids had to overcome. Everyday life. The mundane. Some people say that Claris had the toughest deal having to audition and all, but being looked down upon by your peers and feeling like a failure can be enough to give you bad nightmares. So i think the dreamers had it pretty fair and square in terms of reasoning behind their bad dreams. I always feel pretty bad for Elliot because a lot of people forget about him and concentrate on Claris instead, which is a shame as he's a neat kid. A bit of a corndog but good at heart. Why do all the children wear the same style of clothing? Fans and Archie speculate that it's school uniform, who knows. Maybe GAP went commercial in Twin Seeds >_>.... can any hardcore fan from 1996 say they didn't do the shirt thing at least once? XD
Everyone knows a Claris and everyone knows an Elliot. Furthermore everyone knows what it's like to get the heebiejeebies and end up with nightmares running riot during shuteye.
(Official JP) '100 years of history. Twin Seeds City. The home of heroes Elliot and Claris, is a town of the near future, which is not too far off from our own present day. The Seeds Tower is commonly seen as the symbol of this town, rising high over the central square situated in the heart of the city, it can be seen from miles around. Elliot's home is an apartment right beside the Twin Seeds Tower. A basketball court is located nearby and he enjoys hanging out with his friends there, playing every chance he gets, almost daily. Claris lives in a large house on the other side of an expressway, in the Suburbs of Twin Seeds. Her house also has a garden and seems to be the richest residence in the area. Perhaps someday soon we shall come to live in a city such as this...'
Twin Seeds is a pretty modern place said to be based on a mishmash of capital cities around the world. A lot of fans say NYC but the Sonicteam intended to make the city as collective as possible. Very American in flavour yet with that edge of European flair. Art Deco in style. Some fans are even psychotic enough to go comparing maps and landmarks, ahahah (no not me XP) The timeframe is speculated to be the same of that as the other Sonicteam title Burning Rangers, the teens make a guest appearence in the game along with space station area's being twinned with the Earth. Not quite a metropolis and not exactly rural the City is set against a backdrop of big hills, a large amount of motor/expressways and is situated on the shore of some body of water. The sea? A big Lake? Harbourside sounds more like the sea. Nobody knows. Wherever Twin Seeds was based on the weather sure is nice. Enough to grow palmtrees. The main thoroughfare of the City is the busy TwinSeeds St. Every city has one. And mostly every city has something like TwinSeeds Tower, Edinburgh does, London does, Chicago does, NewYork does, Tokyo does. Like a focalpoint of collective dream subconscious. The Tower plays a huge part in the game, seeming at times like the pinnacle of the heights the teenagers have to reach for their ambitions. Looking like some bizzare futuristic mix of the NYC Chrysler, a rocket ship and some sort of organic tree/flower the game uses its symbolism in a lot of other game cameos and merchandising. There's more than meets the eye to Twin Seeds Tower. Many fanfictions and Archie portray the tower as being a gateway to the dreamworld. NiGHTS sure does perch up there a lot.
Gender: no set gender
(Official U.S) 'In their dreams Elliot and Claris have seen NiGHTS, a being capable of flying freely through the sky and performing the trickiest of aerial acrobatics. But what is NiGHTS? A spirit? A memory? Whatever he, she or it is, NiGHTS plays an important part in the upcoming battle with the evil Wizeman.'
(Official JP) 'Nightmaren of the first level created as Wizeman's right-hand man. Having the craziness of the original Nightmaren, the free wild character of this individual suffers much misfortune. Wizeman's spell is cast, confining the creature to the space of a dream. NiGHTS excels in flight ability compared to the other Marens. NiGHTS can fly as freely through the air as a fish swims the sea. If NiGHTS flies in a circle a hole can be made in the air, creating a deadly paraloop. Furthermore, since it's body can also be changed at will shapeshifting, there's no place NiGHTS cannot venture to such as underwater or ice. Will the day come when NiGHTS will be released from Wizeman's spell and be free to fly the skies again?'
Both the Japanese and USA/UK descriptions of NiGHTS were very simple and vague. Other than what he could do, nothing much about his rocky past with Wizeman is known. But this was a good thing because it made fans guess and use their imaginations. The Japanese version describes more of his/her personality and his superiority in skill over the other Maren. He works best as a mysterious character. We're hoping the SonicTeam will keep NiGHTS this way in the future.
The deal with NiGHTS' gender-
A very large Dilema indeed.... XD
NiGHTS is not singularly male in character. NiGHTS is not singularly female in character. NiGHTS is not genderless either. He's multi/dual gendered. Most fans refer to him as 'he' or 'she' because typing the non defining 'NiGHTS' out all the time can get tiring and impersonal. Would you like to be referred to by your name constantly in normal conversation? lol. Also being referred to as an 'it' is pretty rude.
So MANY people argue about NiGHTS' gender like there's some kind of mystery behind it that remains unsolved but there is no mystery. NiGHTS is multi gendered on purpose. The SonicTeam created him this way so he would appeal to more gamers and undoubtedly hark back at the anima/animus dream archetype. For those who aren't familiar with Jung the concept is that Anima is the female aspect of the male unconscious and the Animus being the male aspect of the female unconscious. We have both aspects potentially inside us making us very changeable creatures not bound or defined by physical law. NiGHTS seems to be a personification of that free spirited side to us. Some people see NiGHTS as being one set gender or the other, but that's okay as long as they aren't claiming to be 'canon' as it's very misinformed and annoying. The Archie comics scripted NiGHTS merged/dualised as being whatever gender the dreamer was, but this isn't really true. Not all girls see NiGHTS as a girl. Not all guys see NiGHTS as a guy. Quite the opposite infact. And furthermore, not all dreamers see themselves as the gender they actually are in real life while asleep. A boy could be a girl. There is no law. Mmmmmm androgyny.
Also in demonology and general spirit lore a lot of spirits are multi gendered.
Point being- NiGHTS is whatever the dreamer sees him as. He is chaotic and seems to have no physical rules. A shape shifter and a very mischievous individual in the real sense of the word. This isn't stopping the SonicTeam from ruining the myth behind him in a sequel though and making him one set gender. Personally, i think being the controversial way he is makes him more kick ass. No other SonicTeam character is like NiGHTS. Simply put- this hero is unique. And might i add that NiGHTS has helped various fans become comfortable with their own sexuality in their lives. Can any other video game character lay claim to that?
yet people still argue <:| Please for the love of Nightopia EDUCATE YOURSELVES:
(the entire UK SSM Naka/Ohshima interview can be read in the ARTiCLES section)
Name: Wizeman The Wicked
( ワイズマン )
(Official U.S) 'In the world of Nightopia where our dreams are played out, an evil being is gaining tremendous power. He is Wizeman the Wicked, and through his creations the Nightmaren, he captures precious dream energy from humans. If he is not stopped, he will rise from the subconscious and enter our world. No power on earth will be able to stop him. '
(Official J.P) 'The ruler of Nightmare-Wizeman, a Visitor deprived of any Ideya, had begun advancing to try and extinguish Nightopia! "If all Ideya are lost, Nightopia will disappear... And my Nightmare will rule over all!'
Wizeman is the big bad boss of the game. In the Japanese version of the story Wizeman wanted to destroy Nightopia so his posse could have control of it. But oddly most fans don't realise that this is different from the U.S version in which Wizeman's plan is to enter the waking world. He would have possibly done both, but it's one of those regional things such as 'a pian escaping the dreamworld to beg Claris and Elliot' that never happens in the original JP story. So Wizemans intentions are never really clear. Fans speculate over Wizeman having his own reasons for wanting to escape the dream world, suggesting good and evil are simply a personal perspective. But i think the clue is in the word 'Wicked' personaly, lol. There again, if humans had no fear we'd have no concerns or safeguards and the world would be wreaked anyway. So once more, fan perspective. In the development stages of the game Wizeman was refered to as 'Nightmare'.
of two first level Maren that were created to be Wizemans right hand men. He
has an absolute loyalty to Wizeman though he is a cruel and brutal character.
He has a flight ability almost equal to NiGHTS, and he can paraloop too.
Reala has many problems with NiGHTS because of their equal ability and opposing charcater. Therefore, they consider each other to be rivals. And, it was Reala's doing that NiGHTS was confined.'
(Official U.S) 'Reala is one of Wizeman's closest henchmen. Like NiGHTS, he is a tremendous flyer. However, he has a cruel and brutal personality and is NiGHTS' number one rival.'
A firm fan favourite, Reala is one of the most charismatic of the lot. Although the SonicTeam refer to him as a male some fans still see him as having NiGHTS' dual gender aspects. Archie comics refer to him as a 'mime', but he sure speaks a lot for a mime. The majority of fan perspective on Reala sees him as the sexy dangerous nympho sadist or the misunderstood loyal servant of his master just doing his job. Either way he has been touted as one of the top most memorable bad guys of video games over the years. He appears on the 1rst of april every year in Christmas NiGHTS and was available to play in VS Mode on the original Saturn game.
Name: Nightmaren (Maren)
(Official U.S) 'These creatures have overrun Nightopia. Though not as strong as Wizeman's henchmen, many of them can attack. You lose 5 seconds on the timer if one of them hits you. Get the jump on them by grabbing them first! There are 10 types of minion in total.'
various Nightmaren who were created by Wizeman who is the ruler of Nightmare.
Among them, the most barbarian and feebleminded are the third levels.
They always only think about "What should we do to scare the visitors?" And then take action in doing so.'
The most important thing to note about the Maren is that they fall into a heiracy of levels. First level being NiGHTS and Reala who have free will. Second being the Boss Maren and Third being the minions who inhabit the stages in Nightopia to scare and harm the dreamers. In the FMV for the original game the Maren took on a more sinister shadow monster form to scare Claris and Elliot, so it is presumed that the Maren can also shapeshift like NiGHTS in order to do their job of confusing and scaring dreamers. Created by Wizeman some fans hold the belief that all Maren were once Nightopian residents that changed due to Wizeman, in the same way Mepians occur. Maren will eat Nightopians, chase them and basicaly act as their name suggests.
Name: Nightopian (Pian)
(Official J.P) 'The innocent and cheerful residents who live in the dream world of Nightopia are the Nightopians. They love happy things and show happy dreams to the visitors who visit the dream world. They sing and dance. They'll please you by all possible means.'
Nightopian's or Pian's for short, are a wonderful addition to the NiGHTS universe. Not only did they run on Artificial Intelligence (A.I) but they also controled the dreams music depending on their collective mood towards NiGHTS. Carefree, happy creatures their vunerability stemming from not working as a structured group like the Nightmaren. SonicTeam used the concept of the Nightopian and developed the Chao system in Sonic Adventure. You were able to breed Pian in the original game by hatching eggs or hurling a Nightmaren into a passingby Pian thus creating a warped crossbreed of Nightopian called a 'Mepian'.
One of the rarest things you could find in NiGHTS into Dreams was a critter often refered to as the 'King' or 'Super' Pian. SuperPian builds a floating palace in each level made up of a series of pink tubes and what looks like little abstract birdhouses. Videos of this can be seen in the Video section. Research on how to create the exact SuperPian formula is still under research thanks to Malan from NiGHTSintoDreams.fr
Oh and they don't talk. Thankyou Archie.