For this Christmas I’ve decided to feature perhaps the coolest Xmas game ever, Christmas Nights Into Dreams.
Christmas Nights was originally part of a Christmas themed Sega Saturn console bundle in Japan, and not sold individually. Like most Japanese Sega Saturn games, it came in a cheap jewel cases that cracked the moment you opened it. On this version of the game it clearly stated, “Only This Winter” on the package. Meaning it was intended to be a limited edition game.
In North America it was included free with games like Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition in a cardboard cover. Later it was given away in a issue of Sega Saturn Magazine, packaged in cheap plastic sleeves. You could also rent it at Blockbuster Video.
In the UK it was also distributed free via Sega Saturn Magazine, only it was packaged in a cardboard slip cover. Christmas Nights is also playable on the PS2 Version of Nights into Dreams.
Because it was just a sampler, you could only play the first stage of Nights into Dreams, Spring Valley. The stage is the same while playing as Claris, but changes drastically while playing as Elliot. The coolest feature of this game was the games appearance changed in real time using the Sega Saturn’s internal clock.
The story takes places presumably after the events of the original, during Xmas time. The city is covered with Christmas decorations as the crowd scurries frantically to buy gifts. Claris and Elliot feel that something is missing in Twin Seeds City. They believe it is the star on the tree. So they travel to Nightopia to find Nights and retrieve the tree topper.
Depending on the time of year the sampler is played, the game may load as something other than Christmas NiGHTS. This only affects the appearance and music of the main game.
- NiGHTS: Limited Edition: When played outside the winter season, the game becomes “NiGHTS: Limited Edition”. The game’s presentation (title screen, menus and in-game) is similar to that of the full version of NiGHTS into Dreams with no visual alterations.
- Winter NiGHTS: In November and January, the game changes to “Winter NiGHTS”. Spring Valley is now covered in snow, and the entire stage is decorated with Christmas objects replacing various items and objects (ie. Ideya Captures are replaced by Christmas trees). A different soundtrack also plays. During this time, the weather will change based on the time it is played.
- Christmas NiGHTS: The core of the game, Claris, Elliot and NiGHTS wear Santa-colored outfits, and the background music is replaced by an instrumental rendition of “Jingle Bells”. The game’s Christmas story is also enabled, as well as a Christmas-themed boss battle with Gillwing. Beating Gillwing with both characters will show the story’s ending, with credits featuring the A Cappella version of Dreams, Dreams.
- New Year’s NiGHTS: The game becomes “New Year’s Nights” when played on New Year’s Day. The game is essentially Winter NiGHTS with a different title screen and song.
Certain alterations will also take place depending when the game is played.
- If it is Christmas, Santa Claus will appear.
- If it is New Year’s Day, a message saying: “Happy New Year!” will appear.
- If it is Valentine’s Day, some hearts will appear.
- If it is April Fool’s Day, The player plays as Reala instead of NiGHTS.
Also, during the holiday season, the snow can change depending on what time you play.
|3:00 AM||Lunar eclipse|
|6:00 AM||Northern Lights|
|7:00 AM||Bright sun|
|9:00 AM||Crescent moons|
|12:00 PM||Rainbows, clouds & confetti|
|6:00 PM||Strange stars|
|9:00 PM||Bright stars|