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Ecco
09-02-2016, 04:33 PM
Hey I love NiGHTS on Saturn, I can get A's on every stage, but I still have a couple questions.

--The music changes are awesome. Does anyone have a list of the different forms of the songs, so we can know if we have the best version or not? If the song for a stage has reached its best version, I'd like to know...

--Can someone explain the AI life system please. I know that we should be nice toward it, and it encourages more advancements in the AI, such as touching an egg, or walking by the little guys. Also the other enemy-creatures should get drill-dashed, which can cause them to mate with the other AI and create new creatures.

So is there more to the AI, or is that it? I want to see the AI get more advanced, so I wonder if I should be doing something else with it?

Ecco
09-10-2016, 03:25 AM
Hey everyone don't jump at once lol. For anyone interested, I'll answer my own questions.

But first: For anyone who doesn't know: NiGHTS is a fantastic game that I hope everyone experiences at some point in their life. It's from Yuji Naka and Sonic Team, and it must be their single best game ever made. NiGHTS is on-par and better than the entire 16-bit Sonic series. :cool: It also looks rough in screenshots, but in motion it looks amazing.

The short answer to both of my questions is that apparently, no one knows for sure the exact details of how these things work in NiGHTS. As unbelievable as that is, for a game released in 1996! The Saturn itself is so overly-complicated and convoluted, that there has been very little insight into NiGHTS' game mechanics, along with the rest of the Saturn library. Apparently the games are almost impossible to do anything with at all, including just seeing how any of the games are running exactly.

What we do know is that the music changes and improves or declines, according to how NiGHTS treats the AI life, called the "A Life." NiGHTS has to act nice toward the A Life, for the creatures to become happier, and the music improves, accordingly. Specifically, he has to fly slowly by the A Life, which makes them happy, instead of flying quickly to scare them, or worst of all, doing a loop to kill them! They also occasionally leave little striped Easter-eggs that NiGHTS can touch gently, to make them hatch, thus producing more happiness for the A Life.

The way the music improves is profound and ingenious. Each song has up to 7 different sections, such as an intro section, then a section for the start of the main theme, then the second section of the theme, then the middle section of the theme, etc. As the music improves, it will be one of these sections that changes to an improved version, while the rest of the song stays the same as last time. The next time the A Life becomes markedly happier again, it will be a different section of the song that improves. The section to improve seems random. In practice, the gradual and unpredictable improvements in the songs, are just amazing.

Also, in case people really don't know this game, I'll post a YT video. If you guys like the classic Sonic series, you would probably love NiGHTS even more. Just look at this beautiful chaotic gameplay:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFxH6-g8FGQ

Prince Talmit
09-10-2016, 03:30 AM
You may in fact already possess the most advanced knowledge of NiGHTS among western gamers.
As I'm sure you're aware, the North American instruction manual provides scant explanation of the game systems, and magazines followed suit and failed to present the game in an in depth manner.
I'd wager 99.9% of people who play NiGHTS don't have the slightest idea of the depths of the game.

I can report the US Prima guidebook does not offer any meaningful insight to the game.
A number of guidebooks are available from Japan, perhaps one of those holds some answers.
And then there's the manual for the PS2 release that might also be a source for explanations.

moon
09-10-2016, 05:45 AM
Does anyone have a list of the different forms of the songs, so we can know if we have the best version or not?

Among the six primary stages there are 33792 possible permutations in total ( see below ) .. so that list would be a little long ;)




Permutations


Spring Valley
4^7 = 16384


Splash Garden
4^6 = 4096


Mystic Forest
4^5 = 1024


Frozen Bell
4^6 = 4096


Soft Museum
4^6 = 4096


Stick Canyon
4^6 = 4096



Fortunately, someone took the time to record each stage will all sections set to one of the possible moods.




Angry
Content
Happy
Cheering


Spring Valley
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbPsctb8hGU)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJWU4WZiNLA)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYtvp8Sz0iU)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRs0DtMdrW4)


Splash Garden
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-sOkjinvT0)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoyIXbY40M)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ep58LJ4_Aw)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1nDavYLDJA)


Mystic Forest
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llcSPcYCNZQ)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB4Cg9_akuE)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCnwp89eEcY)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akIxPAbb36I)


Frozen Bell
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE6q-Fld0PM)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqwn7QH2Mxs)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tnb08mtzr3Q)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5FbmcC61Rk)


Soft Museum
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s20czV49eIM)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqacKkrut-o)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfxtFg4Zduc)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=946wlAdUo34)


Stick Canyon
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE762znSGpw)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjCJi7d1SVI)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOe2WsdILpg)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YXDDw0lu_0)

Ecco
09-10-2016, 01:42 PM
Among the six primary stages there are 33792 possible permutations in total ( see below ) .. so that list would be a little long ;)



^Ha thanks, I asked that before I realized how complicated the music system is lol.

The tables and links you posted are awesome, I'll definitely check them out!

Ecco
09-10-2016, 01:50 PM
You may in fact already possess the most advanced knowledge of NiGHTS among western gamers.
As I'm sure you're aware, the North American instruction manual provides scant explanation of the game systems, and magazines followed suit and failed to present the game in an in depth manner.
I'd wager 99.9% of people who play NiGHTS don't have the slightest idea of the depths of the game.

I can report the US Prima guidebook does not offer any meaningful insight to the game.
A number of guidebooks are available from Japan, perhaps one of those holds some answers.
And then there's the manual for the PS2 release that might also be a source for explanations.

Cool, I didn't actually know that the magazines of the day completely failed to have any depth, it's good to know. I think I must have stopped reading gaming mags at that point, so I only remember the TV commercials for NiGHTS.

Also I have the manual but I haven't looked at it much either. I can say, though, that the hints in the game, tend to be confusing what they're talking about, if someone didn't know anything about the game yet lol.

And it's definitely true that most people who play it, probably don't take the time to understand its depth either. I saw a YT video where a guy showed his friends NiGHTS and he made it look easy as he got A's and B's, but he failed to explain to his friends why the gameplay is so challenging and deep, and his friends thought it looked stupid lol like a game for preschoolers or something lol.

cabear
09-10-2016, 01:54 PM
I learned more today then i did back in '96 playing this thing. all i knew to do was to get the blue balls and keep looping stuff. If i could find my nights controller i should give this a run again.

Ecco
09-10-2016, 01:59 PM
One question I always wonder is: Whether the score, or the number of times playing a stage, somehow affects the A Life. I'm inclined to think that, for example: More time spent playing and getting good scores, probably increases the A Life creatures, or might make them leave more easter-eggs to hatch into even more A Life.

However, I don't think I've ever seen anyone explain if there's a dynamic like that (i.e. the rate of A Life increasing in numbers or easter-eggs, from the number of times playing a stage, for example).

Ecco
09-10-2016, 03:11 PM
I learned more today then i did back in '96 playing this thing. all i knew to do was to get the blue balls and keep looping stuff. If i could find my nights controller i should give this a run again.

Cool, go for it! The changes in AI and music take place over time, so hopefully you have a way to save your Saturn games over time. There's supposed to be a watch-battery in the back of your Saturn, but it seems that often these are missing or dead. And there's also a memory cart that I've never owned.

...

For anyone who isn't already very familiar with NiGHTS: Here is the basic strategy, which is not obvious in the game, at all:

Each stage has 4 sections, each with a grade.

In each section, NiGHTS has to first collect 20 blue orbs as fast as possible, then hit that floating chamber to make it explode. Bonus time begins, with all the blue orbs now changed to gold orbs.

Now here's where it's really not obvious: During Bonus Time, NiGHTS can return to the pavilion and move onto the next section. However, that's the wrong thing to do. NiGHTS should avoid the pavilion until his time is almost gone, in the single digits. For example, if you have 96 seconds left on the timer when Bonus Time starts, then like 90 out of those 96 seconds should be spent drawing out Bonus Time as long as possible, collecting as many gold orbs as you can.

This means that each section of each stage, requires some level memorization, to efficiently race around each section a few times, before moving onto the next section. NiGHTS is essentially a racing game, with each section requiring a few repeating loops.

Focusing on the AI is cool but the time spent usually detracts from the actual score. So sometimes I will just play stages specifically to focus on the AI and not worry about the score for these cases. Also playing as the kids and walking around the stages in 3D can be a good way to find eggs to help hatch, although this also usually leads to a bad overall score too lol. Regardless, the kids are really fun to play as. :cool:

midnightrider
09-10-2016, 11:38 PM
I don't recall how I came across this video, I may have been looking into something about Sonic at the time, but:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTkt4Kd1MLI

Kind of illustrates something. I gave Nights a try once, and I didn't get it at the time. Still haven't gotten back to it though.

Also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOolx2CjGdU
(Apologies to Shinobiman if he had shared this in the past, or was planning to in the future)

Benjamin
09-11-2016, 03:55 AM
Fortunately, someone took the time to record each stage will all sections set to one of the possible moods.




Angry
Content
Happy
Cheering


Spring Valley
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbPsctb8hGU)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJWU4WZiNLA)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYtvp8Sz0iU)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRs0DtMdrW4)


Splash Garden
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-sOkjinvT0)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoyIXbY40M)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ep58LJ4_Aw)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1nDavYLDJA)


Mystic Forest
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llcSPcYCNZQ)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB4Cg9_akuE)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCnwp89eEcY)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akIxPAbb36I)


Frozen Bell
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE6q-Fld0PM)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqwn7QH2Mxs)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tnb08mtzr3Q)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5FbmcC61Rk)


Soft Museum
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s20czV49eIM)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqacKkrut-o)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfxtFg4Zduc)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=946wlAdUo34)


Stick Canyon
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE762znSGpw)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjCJi7d1SVI)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOe2WsdILpg)
♫ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YXDDw0lu_0)



Aptiva!

Thanks for posting that. You know what we need? A program which cycles through the songs randomly changing the moods of each section. It'd at least be a whole lot easier than recording every possible rendition, and even then a big part of the appeal is how seamless the music changes are. That's one thing which disappointed me when I got the soundtrack way back then; the piecemeal nature of the CD recordings really don't do the soundtrack justice by having to break it up into set songs with a defined ending.

It's funny how the soundtrack is easily the greatest thing about the game, but it ties into something so utterly useless. I doubt we'll see anything like it again. I can't see an AAA studio devoting time to develop the soundtrack as complex as NiGHTS', and no indie developer could even attempt something of that scale for something as "trivial" as the background music to a game.

Prince Talmit
09-11-2016, 05:23 AM
I doubt we'll see anything like it again. I can't see an AAA studio devoting time to develop the soundtrack as complex as NiGHTS', and no indie developer could even attempt something of that scale for something as "trivial" as the background music to a game.

UGA took dynamic/evolving background music to the next level with Space Channel 5 Part 2. Every person rescued then joined Ulala's entourage and added to the BGM.
I've always wondered if there is a connection within the sounds teams between NiGHTS and SC5p2. Or if at the very least United Game Artists were aware of what Sonic Team had done and expanded on it.

Benjamin
09-11-2016, 03:21 PM
UGA took dynamic/evolving background music to the next level with Space Channel 5 Part 2. Every person rescued then joined Ulala's entourage and added to the BGM.

Didn't that just apply to the school kids carrying instruments in act 2? I love the game and have not noticed ably change whatsoever in the soundtrack dependent upon who you've rescued except for that specific part, and even then it's just a layer of instrumental sounds over the default soundtrack.

bultje112
09-12-2016, 03:23 PM
Hey I love NiGHTS on Saturn, I can get A's on every stage, but I still have a couple questions.

--The music changes are awesome. Does anyone have a list of the different forms of the songs, so we can know if we have the best version or not? If the song for a stage has reached its best version, I'd like to know...

--Can someone explain the AI life system please. I know that we should be nice toward it, and it encourages more advancements in the AI, such as touching an egg, or walking by the little guys. Also the other enemy-creatures should get drill-dashed, which can cause them to mate with the other AI and create new creatures.

So is there more to the AI, or is that it? I want to see the AI get more advanced, so I wonder if I should be doing something else with it?

you can literally check this by using your nights savefile in christmas nights and even change the music for each level

Ecco
09-13-2016, 02:00 AM
you can literally check this by using your nights savefile in christmas nights and even change the music for each level

Yes I can't wait to buy Christmas NiGHTS but unfortunately, I only have the main game right now.

I enjoyed the videos posted in the thread. I like the Scottish guy who dislikes NiGHTS at first, but then explains how he grew to understand it and love it.

Videos of the HD version of NiGHTS actually don't look appealing to me personally. In HD, the scenery just looks like generic 3D scenery (and I don't tend to enjoy modern 3D graphics in general).

On Saturn, there's magic in how Yuji Naka and Sonic Team managed such a beautiful game with such rough graphics lol. For example, it's almost impossible to pause the game and get a clear screenshot of anything, but in motion it all becomes beautiful.

For me, modern 3D graphics have no such magic, I always feel like someone just placed objects around, there's nothing interesting or impressive... HD NiGHTS just recreates NiGHTS in modern, boring 3D that's entirely less appealing...

This also ties in a bit with the plot of NiGHTS, the Saturn's rough 3D graphics fit for a dreamworld. But HD perfect graphics don't resemble dreams at all lol.

Ecco
09-24-2016, 04:41 PM
There are definitely a few interesting videos out there about NiGHTS.

Here's one that compares the Saturn gameplay with the remake for XBox360 & PS3.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTqxDugHe_s

Ecco
09-24-2016, 06:27 PM
I've been playing NiGHTS Pinball in Sonic Adventure, which is actually a sweet pinball game, but I can't get the hang of triggering that flying sequence over the city.

Here's a video of it and I still can't figure out what exactly I'm not doing to trigger it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc3NKcJJp9g

Can anyone explain exactly how to trigger that city-flying sequence?

Ken
09-24-2016, 10:54 PM
I've been playing NiGHTS Pinball in Sonic Adventure, which is actually a sweet pinball game, but I can't get the hang of triggering that flying sequence over the city.

Here's a video of it and I still can't figure out what exactly I'm not doing to trigger it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc3NKcJJp9g

Can anyone explain exactly how to trigger that city-flying sequence?

Wow, I wasn’t aware of that scenes existence. After the watching the video I put in Sonic Adventure to see if I could figure out how to trigger the scene and I triggered it twice in a row on accident except it looked similar to this video (https://youtu.be/Nixu1zB0S1I?t=4m57s)rather than the one you posted. Also in an earlier part of the same video, the person playing triggers the scene in a similar way to the video you posted. (https://youtu.be/Nixu1zB0S1I?t=4m34s) My guess is in order to trigger the scene, you have to aim Sonic at certain spots on the board to trigger the warp which seems to be two of them one below the capsule and one above it.

Ecco
09-24-2016, 11:27 PM
Also for NiGHTS Pinball: That sequence of flying through Spring Valley seems automated. But it's not.

If one taps the L/R triggers and also moves the joystick, the camera can be swung around wildly. Sonic's path too. It always ends with Sonic entering that tunnel back to the main board, but I think I've managed to prolong the sequence longer by disrupting the path.

I don't have any kind of set-up to record this but I hope people try this. It makes that sequence much more fun than just being automatic. :cool:

Blades
09-25-2016, 12:42 AM
There's a spring I think. I've definitely done that a lot in SA.

I want a Dreamcast NiGHTS.

Ecco
09-27-2016, 02:39 AM
So where are all the NiGHTS hacks?

I could never find any... until just now!

1. There's a SNES hack that is literally just a slideshow of screenshots from the Saturn FMV's. It looks nice but... what is the point of a screensaver.

2. I just got into Sonic Robo Blast 2. Not sure what the name is about, but this is a great homemade 3D Sonic game! Built on a Doom engine apparently. I'd recommend everyone download this. It's goal is to make a 3D Sonic game without the problems in the official games, like bottomless pits everywhere. Graphics are primitive but awesome.

And I was surprised it has NiGHTS special stages! Using Super Sonic as NiGHTS. Gameplay seems just like NiGHTS and this might be the only new content of NiGHTS gameplay that exists anywhere!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QHRUqadiS4

Ecco
09-28-2016, 02:20 AM
In actual NiGHTS, that menu music turns out to sample Home Alone! Someone must have really loved the movie I guess:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X_5p5nbsf0


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCGAa79_CD0

Ecco
10-29-2017, 01:10 PM
I've been going back to NiGHTS recently and I realized something new.

I've described it as mostly pointless to play as the kids, who can move around the stages in real 3D movement... However, it is really fun, and the kids can make friendly contact with Nightopians, and their easter eggs, to make them hatch. But usually it results in a bad grade. For example, if we're playing as NiGHTS, and if we don't reach the pavilion before the timer runs out, then we become one of the kids, and we'll walk back to the pavilion, for a guaranteed "F." Similarly, we can just start the stage by walking around as one of the kids, and just not become NiGHTS. Doing this usually guarantees a bad grade.

HOWEVER I learned that it IS possible to play as the kids, PLUS get a good grade. The way I've found is to start the stage as one of the kids, and not enter the pavilion; instead go collect 20 or more blue spheres. At that point, the kids are able to jump into the container-thing, to complete the 1st course. However, we should NOT do that, because when they go back to the pavilion, the course will be completed and we'll get an "F."

Instead, the kids should collect 20 blue spheres and D0N'T jump into that container-thing. Rather, they should then enter the pavilion to become NiGHTS. As soon as NiGHTS reaches the container, we'll have bonus-time for almost the full time of the course, which is tons MORE bonus-time than we normally have. (Because usually we spend a portion of the total time, as NiGHTS bringing those 20 spheres to that thing, and the remainder becomes bonus-time. Here with this approach, the kids don't use the timer to get those 20 spheres, so NiGHTS gets almost the FULL time is bonus-time.)

Doing that, I've managed to get A's and B's for the first course of a stage, so it's definitely a viable option. (Up till now, the only way that I knew to get good grades, was becoming NiGHTS immediately. It's nice to know that there is this alternative, and that the kids can be used in a productive way, after all.)

Benjamin
10-29-2017, 02:03 PM
Yeah, but it's unnecessary. The kids are good for farming Nightopians. I've always found it hard to do that well with NiGHTS. Too easy to paraloop. Getting As is easy enough though. The only difficult course is Stick Canyon, particularly squeezing in a second run on that last route.

Ecco
10-29-2017, 05:03 PM
Yeah, but it's unnecessary. The kids are good for farming Nightopians. I've always found it hard to do that well with NiGHTS. Too easy to paraloop. Getting As is easy enough though. The only difficult course is Stick Canyon, particularly squeezing in a second run on that last route.

^Right, playing as the kids is unnecessary, but it can be a nice break from the normal gameplay, and I was excited that they can be used to actually make progress, contrary to what I always thought.

Also, it's possible that it gives more of a benefit than we're realizing, because it makes nearly ALL time as bonus time, which doesn't happen when playing normally. Maybe it's the way to get the very best score, in the 1st course?

Blades
10-29-2017, 05:32 PM
I've been going back to NiGHTS recently and I realized something new.

I've previously described it as mostly pointless to play as the kids, who can move around the stages in real 3D movement... However, it is really fun, and the kids can make friendly contact with Nightopians, and their easter eggs, to make them hatch. But beyond that, I've described it as pointless because it results in a bad grade for the course.

For example, if we're playing as NiGHTS, and if we don't make it back to the pavilion before the timer runs out, then we become one of the kids, and we'll walk back to the pavilion, for a guaranteed "F" for that course.

Similarly, we can just choose to start the stage by walking around as one of the kids, and just not enter the pavilion to become NiGHTS. Doing this usually guarantees a bad grade.

HOWEVER I learned that it IS actually possible to play as the kids, PLUS get a good grade too.

The way I've found is to start the stage as one of the kids, and not enter the pavilion; instead go collect 20 or more blue spheres.

At that point, the kids are able to jump into the container-thing, to complete the 1st course. However, we should NOT do that, because afterward, when they go back to the pavilion, the course will be completed and we'll get an "F."

My realization is that it can work out for a good grade, if the kids collect 20 blue spheres and D0N'T jump into that container-thing. Rather, they should then enter the pavilion to become NiGHTS. Now we'll have bonus-time as NiGHTS for the full time of the course, which is tons MORE bonus-time than we normally have. (Because usually we spend a portion of the total time, as NiGHTS bringing those 20 spheres to that thing, and the remainder becomes bonus-time. Here with this approach, the kids don't use the timer to get those 20 spheres, so then becoming NiGHTS means the FULL time is bonus-time.)

Anyway, doing that, I've managed to get A's and B's for the first course of a stage, so it's definitely a viable option for the first course of any stage. It's a big deal because up till now, the only way that I knew to get good grades, was becoming NiGHTS immediately. It's nice to know that there is this alternative, and that the kids can be used in a productive way, after all.

Great info.

I love games with depth like this so things can still be figured out decades after release.

Ecco
10-29-2017, 08:26 PM
Great info.

I love games with depth like this so things can still be figured out decades after release.

Yeah NiGHTS is amazing that it's still mysterious. Besides that NiGHTS itself is deep, the Saturn hardware is convoluted and difficult to analyze, apparently, so its games are also hard to analyze. For example, the A-life in NiGHTS is apparently still not 100% understood by anyone, how exactly it works. I still wonder how to multiply the most Nightopians lol

Also NiGHTS just seemed to lack proper directions or translations. For example, no one seemed to know that the kids could be used to actually get an A on the 1st course, and maybe the developers actually intended us to play that way for the 1st course of each stage, but no one ever thought of it lol. Clear directions could have made a difference for that.

Baloo
10-29-2017, 08:30 PM
The way to get the best score, As on every loop is to play as the kids and collect 20 blue spheres, then avoid the clock and walk back to the gazebo and become NiGHTS. Play as NiGHTS, and fly through each level, flying OVER the gazebo after each loop, timing each loop to go through as many times as possible before time runs out, collecting as many objects as possible.

Then you have to find out the trick to beating each boss on a 2.0x points bonus in each round.

Also, if you want to play Christmas NiGHTS, you can buy the Steam/PC port and it comes with both games in one for much cheaper.

Blades
10-29-2017, 08:32 PM
^Omg.

Benjamin
10-29-2017, 08:53 PM
Then you have to find out the trick to beating each boss on a 2.0x points bonus in each round.

This is the most important and difficult part of the game. Once players realize that they can do multiple runs of a level before time expires, it's not that hard to get an A on each course. Those bosses though... I still can't get the Gillwing achievement on the 360 port. On that note...


Also, if you want to play Christmas NiGHTS, you can buy the Steam/PC port and it comes with both games in one for much cheaper.

As good looking as the Steam and 360/PS3 ports are, they're not worth playing over the Saturn game. The game is truly made with the Saturn analog pad in mind. Anything else just feels wrong and awkward.

TrekkiesUnite118
10-29-2017, 09:13 PM
As good looking as the Steam and 360/PS3 ports are, they're not worth playing over the Saturn game. The game is truly made with the Saturn analog pad in mind. Anything else just feels wrong and awkward.

I have a Saturn to USB adapter that supports the 3D pad, and that's not really the issue. The issue is that the Saturn version runs at 30fps, while the Steam port for some bonkers reason is capped at 29fps. This means every second there's an odd 1 frame stutter and it really throws things off. I couldn't figure out why I found the port so hard to play until I threw fraps at it to see if my PC was just struggling with it. I haven't played it since.

Blades
10-29-2017, 10:57 PM
^That is strange. I don't think the PS3 port has the stutter.

Baloo
10-29-2017, 11:50 PM
Interesting. Is this the case for every system? Didn't realize it, but have only played about 2 hours worth of the PC port. Don't remember the lag though. If that's the case, then you could always emulate it through MEDNAFEN. No UI yet to the emulator, but plays Bin/Cue Saturn files excellently, and has disc swap settings too. Played through all of Policenauts English Patch in Mednafen with no problems.

TrekkiesUnite118
10-30-2017, 01:03 AM
It's not necessarily a lag, it's just running 1fps lower than it did on the Saturn. It's more of a brief stutter every second.

It's kind of hard to expalin but you can sort of see it in this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INI9f5ii7Uc

Basically focus more on the scenery scrolling by and you can notice every now and then it's like someone gave a light tap to the brakes or something.

Saturn for comparison:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp3lZFlpYNk

Ecco
10-30-2017, 11:37 PM
Ha so Baloo already knew the trick with the kids for the 1st course. Good job figuring that out, I never did until just now lol.

Re: the ports of NiGHTS: I'm not sure if I can spot the stutter in the YT vid, but I can say that the upgraded graphics seem much less interesting. I felt this way for the Wii "sequel" as well, it's just not appealing when it's just a bunch of modern polygons moving around. I find the Saturn graphics great for making a beautiful experience out of its limited graphics lol. (Also, the ports have a "Saturn" mode, but it's not the same graphics.)

So I definitely think real hardware is the way to go, and if not, then I'd look for a good Saturn emulator, though I've always heard that Saturn can't really be emulated properly. (Someone mentioned emulation so maybe it's gotten better in recent times?) I also think the NiGHTS pad is necessary to properly play the game.

Re: the Saturn graphics, we should acknowledge its limitations, to appreciate it more. For example, much of the sprites are really 2D, including all the rings are actually 2D, just animated to look 3D. So apparently NiGHTS has too much for the Saturn to actually render in 3D. One CPU cranks out real 3D for the environments and certain sprites, while the other CPU adds all the 2D sprites. So we're always seeing a picture combining output from both CPU's. It's one reason the game looks so unique: 3D environments with short draw-distance, 3D sprites plus 2D sprites including false-3D rings, polygons that always look rough and jagged: It all makes for a great dreamscape. :cool:

TrekkiesUnite118
10-31-2017, 12:11 AM
Re: the ports of NiGHTS: I'm not sure if I can spot the stutter in the YT vid, but I can say that the upgraded graphics seem much less interesting. I felt this way for the Wii "sequel" as well, it's just not appealing when it's just a bunch of modern polygons moving around. I find the Saturn graphics great for making a beautiful experience out of its limited graphics lol. (Also, the ports have a "Saturn" mode, but it's not the same graphics.)


It's definitely there. Watch the Steam video then the Saturn video, the Saturn version looks smoother by comparison. It's very similar to the issue MarioKart 8 has on the Wii U where every 60th frame is a duplicate of the 59th frame making the frame rate effectively 59fps. Only here it's 29fps so it's a bit more noticeable as that last frame is on screen for twice as long. It's not your typical frame drop where it gets choppy. It instead more like every second someone hit the breaks on the camera for 1 frame. You can see it in how the camera moves against the scenery, it seems a bit jerky when compared to the Saturn version.

As for Journey of Dreams graphics, I felt they were quite nice. I think they looked a bit nicer than the HD remakes graphics as they used nice textures and had some nice modern effects applied.

Sik
10-31-2017, 12:38 AM
For example, much of the sprites are really 2D, including all the rings are actually 2D, just animated to look 3D.
Er, nope. The rings are made out of multiple 2D sprites arranged in the 3D space (think of like e.g. the buildings in the arcade version of Thunder Blade, which are also made out of multiple sprites). So rings are actually a mix of 2D and 3D in that sense.

Ecco
10-31-2017, 03:05 PM
Er, nope. The rings are made out of multiple 2D sprites arranged in the 3D space (think of like e.g. the buildings in the arcade version of Thunder Blade, which are also made out of multiple sprites). So rings are actually a mix of 2D and 3D in that sense.

Ah OK. It's still pretty crazy that one of the most common 3D effects in the game is not really 3D (except how you mentioned their 3D arrangement), the rings are built of flat sprites that don't rotate or change. It works because it's a dreamscape, and the rings seem like they're made of orange energy, or something. It works for NiGHTS but I imagine that the effect had very little usefulness for other games.

The other 2D sprites are more obvious, like the blue spheres, which works because they're round, so their appearance doesn't have to change, as we move around them. I'm not sure if the stars are real 3D or just animated 2D. The Nightopians all seem 2D, especially obvious for the "enemies" who always have the same exact side view lol.

Sik
10-31-2017, 05:51 PM
The stars are 2D sprites, though it seems the ports replaced them with 3D models.


Ah OK. It's still pretty crazy that one of the most common 3D effects in the game is not really 3D (except how you mentioned their 3D arrangement), the rings are built of flat sprites that don't rotate or change. It works because it's a dreamscape, and the rings seem like they're made of orange energy, or something. It works for NiGHTS but I imagine that the effect had very little usefulness for other games.
Super Mario 64 loved to use 2D sprites for spheres, often together with polygons to build a 3D model... yeaaaah.

2D sprites in a 3D space seemed to be pretty common among 2.5D platformers too, probably because they could easily restrict from which angles they could be seen (as you don't get to control the camera). It all was ditched by the following generation where it was always worth it to just spend a few more polygons to avoid things looking ugly (and sprites would only get used as an explicit stylistic choice by that point).

Team Andromeda
10-31-2017, 06:46 PM
The stars are 2D sprites, though it seems the ports replaced them with 3D models.


Super Mario 64 loved to use 2D sprites for spheres, often together with polygons to build a 3D model... yeaaaah.



And for the trees and you see 2D effects on used for the railings on the bridges ect, even Model 3 would use 2D effects in games.

Ecco
10-31-2017, 11:30 PM
^Cool, interesting. I haven't played much Mario 64, or 2.5D platformers. It's nice to know that they used 2D sprites mixed into the 3D.

By the way, when I said that NiGHTS' rings would seem of little usefulness in other games, I meant specifically those rings. They fit for a dream simulation, but stylistically, they seem too abstract for most games... Like, how many games could really use monochrome 3D rings of flat ovals? lol

Do you guys know any other games with similar rings?

Sik
11-01-2017, 12:17 AM
Well, replace the spheres with patches of grass or whatever (at the time plants were usually billboards too) and it probably has many more places where it'd fit.

But yeah, spheres on their own like that only really work in surreal settings. If you did the special stages from Sonic 2 in 3D you'd find those (forgot if the special stages on the Saturn version of Sonic 3D did the spheres thing)

Ecco
11-01-2017, 12:46 AM
It's definitely there. Watch the Steam video then the Saturn video, the Saturn version looks smoother by comparison. It's very similar to the issue MarioKart 8 has on the Wii U where every 60th frame is a duplicate of the 59th frame making the frame rate effectively 59fps. Only here it's 29fps so it's a bit more noticeable as that last frame is on screen for twice as long. It's not your typical frame drop where it gets choppy. It instead more like every second someone hit the breaks on the camera for 1 frame. You can see it in how the camera moves against the scenery, it seems a bit jerky when compared to the Saturn version.

As for Journey of Dreams graphics, I felt they were quite nice. I think they looked a bit nicer than the HD remakes graphics as they used nice textures and had some nice modern effects applied.

Yeah I think I see the stutter, probably, but the upgraded graphics look so strange to me overall, which is probably why I have trouble seeing it. I'm sure the stutter is really obvious when actually playing it.

Re: the upgraded graphics, and also the graphics of the (non)sequel on Wii:

I think I just don't have much taste for modern 3D graphics. Saturn NiGHTS is beautiful chaos, and its broken graphics lol are a huge part of that, plus they lend themselves to a dream world.

NiGHTS games with modern 3D graphics just don't look very interesting, and I feel the same for most modern games. For example, that new Mario game (with the hat) looks like animated plastic characters and world, very uninteresting IMO.

The Wii NiGHTS game also made the camera perspective more consistent, while the camera is more chaotic in the original game. Sure the Wii game has better visibility but it's so bland and boring to see the perfect angle all the time lol.

Also, I really disliked the womanly changes and voice they gave NiGHTS on Wii, I think it really ruined the character, for me, at least. Originally NiGHTS is gender-androgynous, and the character is specifically meant for the player to choose the details of his identity. On Wii, it's killed by NiGHTS looking and sounding like a British woman lol.

Ecco
11-05-2017, 06:30 PM
Question: Which boss do you guys prefer, when going for high score? I've been using the fish boss, because it can be fast and efficient; I've gotten the score 1.8x with him. (I don't think I've gotten 2.0x with any boss.) Reala is the most fun, but also can be tricky. How about you guys?

Notes:

The more I've played with the kids for the 1st round, wandering and collecting spheres, before turning into NiGHTS: I'm now fully convinced that this was what the developers actually intended. It makes sense logically, because the kids can collect almost ALL the spheres in the stage, before turning into NiGHTS, so of course this is the way for best score. (Whether the kids are on some kind of unseen-timer, I have no idea, but the important thing is that this works for getting the very best score of the 1st lap.)

Jumping through rings as kids seems pointless, except the rings do add to the score, so they're actually worth jumping through. :cool:

I've noticed that the HUD sphere-counter maxes out at 99 spheres, never gets to 100. However the spheres keep adding points, apparently the same, without the counter changing. Assuming this is not just an oversight, I'm guessing that it locks at 99 so that players don't expect some prize for reaching 100. (There are no lives in NiGHTS, so no extra life.)

The floating alarm clock speeds up after maybe 2 minutes or so. I believe this shows that the devs meant for us to play as the kids for roughly 2 minutes before turning into NiGHTS.

After a stage, the score-screen can sometimes glitch out if we smash buttons inclu. A plus Start, to restart the stage, resulting in a glitched combination of the kids falling down in that stage-selection sequence, mixed with the score screen. I'll have to grab a pic; there doesn't seem a clear sequence here, just mashing buttons.

More about the graphics in general: I'm guessing the dream setting was partly based on the developers knowing that they couldn't possibly achieve realistic graphics on Saturn, so making it a dream is a nice way to explain how surreal everything is, and it let them use all kinds of ridiculous elements that only make sense in a dream. I consider the dream-setting as brilliant.

The use of 2D sprites is impressive for essentially pushing the Saturn beyond its own limits, to create a 3D world that the Saturn couldn't really achieve with real 3D. NiGHTS was possibly the Saturn's biggest headliner-game (in the US) and showcases the console's limits, as it "cheats" with 2D sprites, to over-achieve what the console could really do. It also practically guarantees that most games won't be on-par with NiGHTS, as it pushes the Saturn beyond what it can really handle.

I only noticed recently that these "switches" use featureless, solid-color 2D sprites, to cut down on polygons:
13595
^Those switches could only be used in an unreal setting. Also, look at how inconsistent those blank polygons are, compared to the beautiful water and texture-mapping of the stage. It often seems that the texture-mapping is more advanced than the basic polygons used. (Same for the light-effects, as seen when the orbs of light spin around the kids' bodies, shining light on their blocky polygons. It's funny that even the stage-select screen can't properly handle the kids' sprites, with their square feet, and with their polygons slightly overlapping and glitching a bit.)

Breeding A-life requires the Saturn to save, so I put a watch-battery in mine. I still don't know exactly how it works, but I'm still guessing that the more we play a stage, and the better we score, PROBABLY the more A-life increases. Also, obviously walking or flying slowly by the A-life, makes them happier, and they probably breed more. (All of which enhances the music.)

More A-life actually brings severe slow-down when they're on-screen. I don't mind, I grew up with Genesis and NES, so I actually enjoy slow-down, as we're "breaking" the game by pushing it beyond its limits of working right.

One quirk is that in NiGHTS, the slow-down can break the controls a bit. The kids might not jump, and the triggers might not change the camera, they both might need multiple presses if there's a ton of slow-down.

I've also been looking at what exactly causes slow-down, and it seems the 2D sprites as well as the 3D graphics BOTH cause slow-down.

Finally, I've taken some pics of the A-life creating new breeds. This would be interesting if people have not seen the AI create new lifeforms:

13596
^Basic changes of color.

However, here are some strange ones:
13597

13598


13599

Blades
11-05-2017, 10:26 PM
More about the graphics in general: I'm guessing the dream setting was partly based on the developers knowing that they couldn't possibly achieve realistic graphics on Saturn, so making it a dream is a nice way to explain how surreal everything is, and it let them use all kinds of ridiculous elements that only make sense in a dream. I consider the dream-setting as brilliant.

I heard the dream setting was chosen because of the creators' interest in Jung's anima and animus ideas, among other psychological ideas.


Nidcom: NiGHTS into Dreams has a lot of symbolism, you and Sonic Team did a lot of research into dream studies and Jung's Dream Archetypes. It is speculated that each character in NiGHTS is influenced by a specific Archetype. What Archetype inspired NiGHTS, if any?
Yuji Naka: NiGHTS, a hero, originated in “Shadow” which means another side of the self as defined by Jung in his dream definitions. Elliot and Claris, who have strayed from the dream world, originated from Jung’s Animus and Anima. Persona items that appear in the Wii version originate from Jung's dream theory, too.


Nidcom: Is it true that Cirque Du Soleil played a big part in the inspiration of the game design? Was there a show in particular? A NiGHTS Cirque Du Soleil show would be fantastic!
Yuji Naka: It was Cirque du Soleil that contributed the most inspiration for creating NiGHTS. At that time, Mystère was playing at Las Vegas' Treasure Island. I was so overwhelmed by the imagery of the world of Mystère when I saw it for the first time. Even to this day, that is one of my favorite shows. I hope that a lot of people will go to see that show. Cirque du Soleil is great.


Nidcom: Many years ago I read an interview with Sonic Team where the sources of dream research were discussed. Jung and Freud were mentioned but a third name 'Friedrich Holtz' was said to be central to NiGHTS into Dreams. Can you tell us a bit about this man and how his work influenced the game? We have tried to research Holtz for many years yet we have found little about him.
Yuji Naka: He is one of the psychologists who followed Jung's thoughts. He too defined dream elements as much as Jung, and showed us "another world" which we called the “Dream World.” NiGHTS also reflects the thoughts of scholars who researched these dreams.

Source (http://www.nightsintodreams.com/?tag=pc-nights). There are other sources, but I can't recall them off the top of my head.

cabear
11-05-2017, 11:23 PM
oh god this talk of Jung and Freud and Holtz is bringing me back to first year philosophy in college haha

i spent some time with Nights using the tips and new information this thread as opened up and i just wish i could enjoy it more. I can appreciate the game for what it is, but it's just not my gig. it's a shame though cuz it really is a beautiful game.

Ecco
11-06-2017, 01:58 AM
I heard the dream setting was chosen because of the creators' interest in Jung's anima and animus ideas, among other psychological ideas.

Source (http://www.nightsintodreams.com/?tag=pc-nights). There are other sources, but I can't recall them off the top of my head.

Thanks, interesting. Maybe I'm assuming too much inspiration from the Saturn's limitations lol.

While I never liked Freud, Jung is interesting for his work touching on spirituality, like his belief that we share a mystical consciousness that we're all connected to. He also believed in ghosts (or was at least open-minded about ghosts), so it's consistent if we'd like to interpret the Nightopians as friendly ghosts that show up in our dreams. :cool: (I like to consider them as visits of our deceased pets, who we are making happy by visiting them... but that's just me lol.)

Also, I've read forums that psychologically OVER-analyze NiGHTS, especially the Wii game. Much of the beauty of NiGHTS is that it's meant for the player to interpret, how we want to. Then fans try to spell out exactly what each stage symbolizes, like saying the stages show the boy's feelings about his father or whatever lol. It really ruins it lol.

Cirque du Soleil makes sense as inspiration, if we look up pics. 13604

Also the Sonic games are a clear inspiration for NiGHTS, the flying loops at the end of S3&K sparked Yuji Naka's imagination for a game like that.


oh god this talk of Jung and Freud and Holtz is bringing me back to first year philosophy in college haha

i spent some time with Nights using the tips and new information this thread as opened up and i just wish i could enjoy it more. I can appreciate the game for what it is, but it's just not my gig. it's a shame though cuz it really is a beautiful game.

^Wish I could help you get into it more. Is there something that ruins it for you? Despite all the depth of music and A-life, it's essentially just a racing and collecting game lol.

Team Andromeda
11-06-2017, 04:58 AM
The use of 2D sprites is impressive for essentially pushing the Saturn beyond its own limits, to create a 3D world that the Saturn couldn't really achieve with real 3D. NiGHTS was possibly the Saturn's biggest headliner-game (in the US) and showcases the console's limits, as it "cheats" with 2D sprites, to over-achieve what the console could really do. It also practically guarantees that most games won't be on-par with NiGHTS, as it pushes the Saturn beyond what it can really handle.


The game started out as a 2D title and then became 3D. I really don't know why you go on about the game using 2D assets and make out that's cheating, when it was what all 3D games do, even today. It's like saying Forza 7 is cheating because its uses 2D models mixed in with full 3D models for the crowds. You talk of slowdown and in Rally 2 on the DC, if one puts in the cheat to remove the 2D crowd, you get a locked 60 fps update, its happenes more so back inthose days.
I wouldn't even say its the game that pushed the Saturn the most either, many other Saturn games are really working the hardware more.

What was really nice about NiGHTS was that no other game looked like it, played like it or even sounded like it. But I wouldn't class it as my fav Saturn game or even at the time, has the game that pushed the Saturn the most

BonusKun
11-06-2017, 06:44 AM
This thread taught me something about NiGHTS I never even knew...

Ecco
11-06-2017, 02:36 PM
The game started out as a 2D title and then became 3D. I really don't know why you go on about the game using 2D assets and make out that's cheating, when it was what all 3D games do, even today. It's like saying Forza 7 is cheating because its uses 2D models mixed in with full 3D models for the crowds. You talk of slowdown and in Rally 2 on the DC, if one puts in the cheat to remove the 2D crowd, you get a locked 60 fps update, its happenes more so back inthose days.
I wouldn't even say its the game that pushed the Saturn the most either, many other Saturn games are really working the hardware more.

What was really nice about NiGHTS was that no other game looked like it, played like it or even sounded like it. But I wouldn't class it as my fav Saturn game or even at the time, has the game that pushed the Saturn the most

Thanks, honestly I did not keep up with games of that time, or even the Saturn library, so I guess I'm out of touch.

I pulled away from gaming after Genesis; the time period seemed dominated by Mario 64, and NiGHTS was a quiet, hopeless competition against Mario 64: A huge, slow 3D adventure. NiGHTS is a fast, small game of mostly 2.5D gameplay, lacking mass appeal, and lacking graphics hardware that could compete, but pushing out graphics that seem overly-ambitious for Saturn. The 2D sprites are a big part of NiGHTS containing as much as it does, and which couldn't have been done in real 3D, so I thought it was impressive lol.

Also NiGHTS has some crazy slow-down, which might not be obvious until we have several Nightopians on-screen, bringing it to a crawl. Which makes it seem that it's pushing the Saturn about as far as possible lol.

It's true that I should become more familiar with games of that time.

Here's another pic of some strange Nightopians, wearing sunglasses I think:

13607

Team Andromeda
11-07-2017, 03:38 AM
I pulled away from gaming after Genesis; the time period seemed dominated by Mario 64, and NiGHTS was a quiet, hopeless competition against Mario 64: A huge, slow 3D adventure. NiGHTS is a fast, small game of mostly 2.5D gameplay, lacking mass appeal, and lacking graphics hardware that could compete, but pushing out graphics that seem overly-ambitious for Saturn. The 2D sprites are a big part of NiGHTS containing as much as it does, and which couldn't have been done in real 3D, so I thought it was impressive lol.
13607

NiGHTS came out 1st and the Saturn hardware came out 2 years before the N64 and so one would expect the N64 to have a better 3D feature set, in just the same way one would expect the Dreamcast to be a jump over the N64 or Model3 a jump over Model 2 all coming 2 years latter down the line.
NiGHTS was a game the team wanted to make, if would to have been a Mario rival game, it would have been a Platform game, rather than a score attack game. Also its rather silly to make out that slowdown is asking too much of the hardware and that means the hardware is weak. There's slowdown in Zelda OT on the N64, there's some slowdown in Sonic or even in Thunder Force IV on the MD, or if one looks at Wave Race 64 not only does it have a unlocked framrate, it also runs in a bordered window display (not full screen) and low res and uses 2D assets, does that mean the N64 is rubbish and weak

Now and again a game will hit a point where is slowdown for a sec or 2, unless you like Ninja Gaiden and spend over 4 years of having your code being optimised

bultje112
11-07-2017, 04:25 AM
Thanks, honestly I did not keep up with games of that time, or even the Saturn library, so I guess I'm out of touch.

I pulled away from gaming after Genesis; the time period seemed dominated by Mario 64, and NiGHTS was a quiet, hopeless competition against Mario 64: A huge, slow 3D adventure. NiGHTS is a fast, small game of mostly 2.5D gameplay, lacking mass appeal, and lacking graphics hardware that could compete, but pushing out graphics that seem overly-ambitious for Saturn. The 2D sprites are a big part of NiGHTS containing as much as it does, and which couldn't have been done in real 3D, so I thought it was impressive lol.

Also NiGHTS has some crazy slow-down, which might not be obvious until we have several Nightopians on-screen, bringing it to a crawl. Which makes it seem that it's pushing the Saturn about as far as possible lol.

It's true that I should become more familiar with games of that time.

Here's another pic of some strange Nightopians, wearing sunglasses I think:

13607

wow, never saw any slowdown at all in nights. must be because I'm playing the pal version on a pal system. same happened with sonic jam (sonic 2)

Ecco
11-07-2017, 12:51 PM
NiGHTS came out 1st and the Saturn hardware came out 2 years before the N64 and so one would expect the N64 to have a better 3D feature set, in just the same way one would expect the Dreamcast to be a jump over the N64 or Model3 a jump over Model 2 all coming 2 years latter down the line.
NiGHTS was a game the team wanted to make, if would to have been a Mario rival game, it would have been a Platform game, rather than a score attack game. Also its rather silly to make out that slowdown is asking too much of the hardware and that means the hardware is weak. There's slowdown in Zelda OT on the N64, there's some slowdown in Sonic or even in Thunder Force IV on the MD, or if one looks at Wave Race 64 not only does it have a unlocked framrate, it also runs in a bordered window display (not full screen) and low res and uses 2D assets, does that mean the N64 is rubbish and weak

Now and again a game will hit a point where is slowdown for a sec or 2, unless you like Ninja Gaiden and spend over 4 years of having your code being optimised

OK I fact-checked: You're right that Saturn was 1st (late '94 in Japan, and mid-'95 elsewhere), while N64 came out mid-'96. So Nintendo did have a little over a year more to spend on the N64 hardware.

However, both GAMES came out in 1996, so NiGHTS was indeed directly competing with Mario 64. (They released within a month of each other, and with all the hype for Mario 64 before release, it's safe to say that Sega knew the hype, and developed NiGHTS as a direct competitor to Mario 64.)

Also, the Saturn really didn't pick up any steam that 1st year (in the US), and NiGHTS seemed its first / only big game. So regardless that N had more time for hardware: In public consciousness, the Saturn mostly was non-existent until NiGHTS was competing with Mario 64, and making Saturn compete with N64.

Basically that's all just to say that the two games and consoles were indeed direct competitors in '96, perfectly fair to compare, and the console release dates did give N an edge for hardware, but did not give Saturn an edge for popularity, as the public didn't really acknowledge the Saturn's existence until '96.

Also re: hardware, it would seem that Sega thought its console could compete with N64 in '96, despite graphics differences, the Saturn at least still had an edge for CD media vs. cartridge. (If not also an edge for game design, as I find NiGHTS much more interesting than Mario 64.) In retrospect, 32-bit versus 64-bit seems ridiculous, but that seemed Sega's strategy in '96.

Re: Slow-down:


wow, never saw any slowdown at all in nights. must be because I'm playing the pal version on a pal system. same happened with sonic jam (sonic 2)

I don't know about regional differences, but I wouldn't have expected the Saturn to run differently in different places?

Anyway, the slow-down in NiGHTS is not really there until we have several Nightopians on-screen (which means our Saturn must save our progress, because it takes a lot of replays, to get a bunch of Nightopians).

And I'm not talking just a little slow-down, I'm talking MASSIVE, game-breaking slow-down, whenever there's 5 or 6 Nightopians on-screen, gameplay absolutely slows to a crawl, almost frozen. The game might run at 25% its proper speed, and it even breaks the controls, like the kids might need the button mashed a few times before they jump once.

So NiGHTS definitely breaks itself with slow-down, once we accumulate Nightopians. I know it's not necessarily the same thing as pushing the console to its hardware limits, so I suppose the question becomes: How well does NiGHTS make use of the Saturn hardware, and when NiGHTS is almost frozen, does it reflect on the hardware or just the game design? (Since the Saturn was out for over a year already, and since NiGHTS was a 1st-party big title, I would have expected NiGHTS to make good use of the hardware?)

bultje112
11-07-2017, 01:53 PM
then I perhaps never had so many nightopians on one screen. I have played the games extensively though.

Team Andromeda
11-07-2017, 02:46 PM
OK I fact-checked: You're right that Saturn was 1st (late '94 in Japan, and mid-'95 elsewhere), while N64 came out mid-'96. So Nintendo did have a little over a year more to spend on the N64 hardware.

However, both GAMES came out in 1996, so NiGHTS was indeed directly competing with Mario 64. )

I thought you were just trolling and that post just it confirms. So there's no point in continuing

robotscandance
11-07-2017, 03:04 PM
Also, the Saturn really didn't pick up any steam that 1st year (in the US), and NiGHTS seemed its first / only big game. So regardless that N had more time for hardware: In public consciousness, the Saturn mostly was non-existent until NiGHTS was competing with Mario 64, and making Saturn compete with N64.

Basically that's all just to say that the two games and consoles were indeed direct competitors in '96, perfectly fair to compare, and the console release dates did give N an edge for hardware, but did not give Saturn an edge for popularity, as the public didn't really acknowledge the Saturn's existence until '96.


that was not the case where I grew up. The Saturn was all the rage in '95.

bultje112
11-07-2017, 03:19 PM
same in portugal and spain.

Ecco
11-07-2017, 03:57 PM
I thought you were just trolling and that post just it confirms. So there's no point in continuing

Not trolling, I don't know what country you're in, but Saturn was mostly ignored in US until NiGHTS. Before that, commercials focused on Saturn football games and sports games, which was not exciting in 1995. It's not like there was ever a lack of console sports games.

Also I thought it was obvious that NiGHTS and Mario 64 were both attempting to create the next big 3D mascot platformer-type game, with very different approaches.

Team Andromeda
11-08-2017, 01:03 AM
Not trolling, I don't know what country you're in, but Saturn was mostly ignored in US until NiGHTS. Before that, commercials focused on Saturn football games and sports games, which was not exciting in 1995. It's not like there was ever a lack of console sports games.

Also I thought it was obvious that NiGHTS and Mario 64 were both attempting to create the next big 3D mascot platformer-type game, with very different approaches.


You are and you are not being fair or correct. The Saturn came out in 94 and the N64 in 96, it had nearly 2 years of extra development and back then a year made a huge difference in hardware tech. Also, the Saturn was doing rather well in 1995 and early 96. VF II was selling the Saturn in Japan with biggest amount of pre-orders for a game ever and outselling the PS at a hardware ratio of 8 to 1 , Sega Rally on the Saturn was the fastest selling CD-ROM game ever in Europe at the time and people were talking of and playing the likes of Virtual Cop, Tomb Raider, never mind the PS success in the US and Europe.

NiGHTS didn't sell well, but it wasn't made as SEGA's answer to Mario, it was a game the team wanted to make and SEGA allowed its elite consumer team to make it; It was a great time when SEGA allowed it's CS Teams to experiment and make try new stuff.

Ecco
11-08-2017, 02:42 AM
You are and you are not being fair or correct. The Saturn came out in 94 and the N64 in 96, it had nearly 2 years of extra development and back then a year made a huge difference in hardware tech.

Re: Console release dates:

Ok, Saturn was late '94, and N64 was mid-96. So it's most accurate to say it's about a year-and-a-half difference. (Saturn released late November '94, so I think of it more like an early '95 release.)

So yes, we agree that Nintendo had the big benefit of that time to design the N64 hardware, after the Saturn.


Also, the Saturn was doing rather well in 1995 and early 96. VF II was selling the Saturn in Japan with biggest amount of pre-orders for a game ever and outselling the PS at a hardware ratio of 8 to 1 , Sega Rally on the Saturn was the fastest selling CD-ROM game ever in Europe at the time and people were talking of and playing the likes of Virtual Cop, Tomb Raider, never mind the PS success in the US and Europe.


I don't think we are really disagreeing about anything, and I think our perspective depends on our location: You're talking about Saturn selling well in Japan & Europe, while I was saying that the US basically ignored the Saturn its first year, before NiGHTS. (Outside JP, Saturn released mid-95, and it was 1 year later, mid-96 for NiGHTS.)

Also I should say that I was mostly talking about my memory of the mid-90s, more than I was trying to make a historical statement lol. It's possible I had an exaggerated impression back then.

1995: I mostly remember commercials for Saturn football games, baseball etc. and I was very uninterested. 96, I remember a commercial blitz for NiGHTS, on TV, in magazines, and even the stores had big cardboard displays of NiGHTS. (I thought it looked cool but confusing, and even on TV I could never get a clear idea what the game was like. NiGHTS was the peak of my personal interest in Saturn, and I never even got to play it until years later. I never knew anyone with a Saturn, and even today, I think I only have one friend with a Saturn, and that's just because he's a Sega fan too, I've never actually seen his Saturn lol.)

So those are my impressions from the US. I know the Saturn sold better elsewhere, largely because Sega released more games in other areas. Here the focus on sports games was boring to non-sports fans, and mascot platformers still ruled the world, so Sonic's absence was felt, and not filled by NiGHTS, and everything was destroyed by Mario 64 actually delivering the 3D mascot platformer that the world wanted lol.


NiGHTS didn't sell well, but it wasn't made as SEGA's answer to Mario, it was a game the team wanted to make and SEGA allowed its elite consumer team to make it; It was a great time when SEGA allowed it's CS Teams to experiment and make try new stuff.


Good points about Sega's team given freedom for NiGHTS, and I tend to think of it as Yuji Naka's best game ever. :cool:

I think we have different impressions of what NiGHTS was supposed to be. Maybe it's a regional thing, and maybe the US loved mascot games more than other places? I always thought NiGHTS as the competitor to Mario, and I also thought NiGHTS was supposed to fill in for Sonic on the Saturn... maybe I'm wrong but those were always my impressions. Obviously it didn't work out for Sega, either way lol.

Now to keep the thread interesting, here is a great video on the various glitches in NiGHTS:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsl5DPj_KY

Team Andromeda
11-08-2017, 04:29 PM
Ok, Saturn was late '94, and N64 was mid-96. So it's most accurate to say it's about a year-and-a-half difference. (Saturn released late November '94, so I think of it more like an early '95

A year and a half was massive back then, just compare the difference between the N64 and Dreamcast or PS2 and XBox. Every six months or so, each new GFX card would be packed with a better feature set.


I don't think we are really disagreeing about anything, and I think our perspective depends on our location: You're talking about Saturn selling well in Japan & Europe, while I was saying that the US basically ignored the Saturn its first year

I know the Saturn didn't sell well inthe USA, but I use be a sub to Gamefan back in the and they were hyping loads of Saturn stuff in 1995 and going ape over the likes of Skeleton Warriors. If SEGA really meant NIGHTS to take on Mario, it would have been a 3D Sonic game . NiGHTS was a hard sell, how do you sell a score attacl game to the casuals ?


nd I also thought NiGHTS was supposed to fill in for Sonic on the Saturn.

I would put to you that was more Clockwork Knight given it played a traditional platform game. NiGHTS was just Sonic Team go at making a new IP before they worked on Project Sonic for the Saturn. Its a shame NiGHTS didn't take off, but I miss the days when the SEGA CS teams were allowed to go nuts and makes games like Panzer, Rez, Space Channel 5, JSR and so on

Ecco
11-09-2017, 09:26 PM
A year and a half was massive back then, just compare the difference between the N64 and Dreamcast or PS2 and XBox. Every six months or so, each new GFX card would be packed with a better feature set.



I know the Saturn didn't sell well inthe USA, but I use be a sub to Gamefan back in the and they were hyping loads of Saturn stuff in 1995 and going ape over the likes of Skeleton Warriors. If SEGA really meant NIGHTS to take on Mario, it would have been a 3D Sonic game . NiGHTS was a hard sell, how do you sell a score attacl game to the casuals ?



I would put to you that was more Clockwork Knight given it played a traditional platform game. NiGHTS was just Sonic Team go at making a new IP before they worked on Project Sonic for the Saturn. Its a shame NiGHTS didn't take off, but I miss the days when the SEGA CS teams were allowed to go nuts and makes games like Panzer, Rez, Space Channel 5, JSR and so on

^Good info and good points. I agree N64 had a significant benefit for releasing later than Saturn.

And you're right that Saturn had more media attention than I remembered from 22 years ago lol. I checked YouTube's TV ads from '95 and yes, non-sports games are featured more than I remembered. However, a lot of that is just quick flashes of gameplay, which I found forgettable in '95, quite literally, because we can barely see the games, let alone get excited about them. Plus, I think my geographic area must have gotten a concentration of the sports ads anyway lol. I definitely remember Saturn football and sports ads repeating a lot, and that's my major memory of Saturn ads before the push for NiGHTS.

Re: NiGHTS and his place among '95 mascot games: You've made a lot of great points for your views that disagree with mine. :cool: Thanks for a good conversation.

...

Now here are a couple more strange Nightopians that I've found / bred.

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^Looks just like that common enemy, which it's obviously bred from.

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^Not sure what's up with the small bird head, wearing sunglasses lol.

He is sweeping because some A-life actually have jobs like that, which they pass along through their different generations lol.

Team Andromeda
11-10-2017, 03:55 AM
However, a lot of that is just quick flashes of gameplay, which I found forgettable in '95, quite literally, because we can barely see the games, let alone get excited about them. .

That was common practice, Hardly any TV advert for a game back in the day showed that much gameplay be it for SEGA, SONY or Nintendo game. I don't think its any different now for TV adverts.

Ecco
11-10-2017, 01:07 PM
^Yeah that's also a good point re: TV ads. While I remember '96 had commercials more focused on NiGHTS, I also remember that it was never quite enough footage to really see what the game was like.

Now that I think about it, the only TV ads that I remember showing a lot of gameplay for one game, were the early '90s ads for Super Mario World and Sonic 2.

...

I previously tried to post about glitches, but it seemed my post itself glitched out lol.

Here are pics of the glitch I mentioned earlier, when the score screen super-imposes the stage-start sequence. The colors look washed-out because they really are washed-out when it happens. I still don't know what triggers this glitch, maybe button-mashing on the score-screen, while pressing A-start. Or maybe it just happens every so often, for no reason at all.

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Ecco
11-10-2017, 06:21 PM
Also, I took some pics when the game was having massive slow-down. The following pics show the game running at half speed or less. Some examples might be further influenced by off-screen sprites, I suspect. And the Pians' animations can also add to the slow-down, like the bubbles in this first pic:
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This one only has five Pian sprites (don't miss the one in the top-left corner):

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Here is slow-down with NiGHTS (6 Pian sprites):

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Here is slow-down that doesn't look obvious, except a couple Pians were crying, so their tear-drops seemed to really slow everything down lol. (You can see tear-drops against the dark blue.)

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And speaking of the Nightopians crying, it only occurred to me recently that they must cry from that alarm clock getting too close to them, since I'm not making them cry from my own actions.

Ecco
02-13-2018, 04:53 AM
It's well-known that the kids can jump out-of-bounds in the Soft Museum, but I don't think anyone has mentioned that the same thing is possible in the cave in Mystic Forest:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUNkYibliBI&t=12s

Ecco
08-15-2018, 05:01 AM
Small glitch but I was excited lol, since no one seems to have acknowledged any glitches in Christmas NiGHTS.

I don't know if people have noticed that Sonic can jump out of bounds into a small area, during the boss fight.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTspOGHDca0

Jeckidy
08-19-2018, 02:16 PM
I just want to mention: This 90s K-pop song ('Last Festival' by Seo Taiji and Boys) reminds me a lot of a song from NiGHTs, as well as sounding like the Bubble Bobble main theme at the same time! Very charming:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4eFP7geG1s

Ecco
08-25-2018, 12:20 AM
^Nice, certain parts of the song do sound very similar to NiGHTS' music.

I finally took a video of the massive slow-down I was talking about, caused by too many Nightopians.

If no one has seen this happen, then it's probably interesting to see what happens when you accumulate a lot of them:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75407LtJu1U

Ecco
08-30-2018, 12:11 PM
Strangely I just realized a discrepancy with my copy of Christmas NiGHTS, apparently.

People have photos showing the title changed to "Winter NiGHTS" but my copy never says that title lol. Mine just says "NiGHTS: Limited Edition" during the winter as well as the warm months.

Here is someone's photo of "Winter NiGHTS:"

14388

I tried the same exact date and mine still says "NiGHTS: Limited Edition." But it does have that same picture of NiGHTS and the background.

The forum won't let me upload my photo of my own game right now.

EDIT: I would have to assume it's a regional difference. Japan did get their own version which I would have thought was the same, besides the JP language. But maybe this is one small difference in how the title works?

Ecco
05-24-2020, 01:21 PM
It's been a long time but years ago, I bought Journey of Dreams for the Wii, as a present for my friend's birthday or Christmas. I really disliked most of the substance of the game, like I thought they ruined NiGHTS as a character imo. They made NiGHTS seem much more feminine and seems voiced by a middle-aged british woman lol, so they really lost the original non-gender quality of NiGHTS. Also I disliked the gameplay changes on Wii, etc.

Anyway the one stand-out part of the game was the Dream Gate which was the hub world of the game, that you can hang around, unlimited time. It's a dark twilight / night environment with a fountain and glowing bits of the stage. Great song that might be the best music in the whole game:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxHp6TlrZR8

Sometimes I imagine buying a Wii and a copy of the game, just so I can leave it running in the Dream Gate lol.