Happy birthday, Nights into Dreams!

Nights into Dreams, one of SEGA’s most iconic titles, turns 28 today.

Released on 5th July 1995 on the SEGA Saturn, received widespread acclaim for pretty much everything: immersive graphics, interesting gameplay, and a soundtrack that makes me cry (more on that later).

The game is split into seven levels, or “Dreams” and you play as one of two characters: Claris and Elliot, navigating those Dreams until you reach a boss fight in Nightmare. But the thing that really sells the game for me is the flying mechanic. Soaring through the air and various rings with the most exquisite music was heaven, playing the game as a 6-year old.

Nights was developed by Sonic Team, starting in 1992 with the concept and actual development and programming between 1994–1995. The development team started with 7 but soon grew to 20 with Yuji Naka leading (you know, the guy who co-created Sonic and got charged with insider trading at Square Enix).

Okay, let’s talk about the soundtrack and why it makes me cry. Firstly, it’s sublime and if you haven’t heard it before, remedy that (preferably by playing the game but if not, it’s available on YouTube and Spotify). I first played the game back in 1996 when I visited my cousins in America. They had a SEGA Saturn and, to this day, I’ve not played on one since then so it was a once-in-lifetime moment. Playing the game was a dream and when I had to go home, I was super sad. So sad, in fact, that I cried in bed the first night back because all I could hear in my head was the soundtrack. It still gets me to this day. I like to think that Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki, and Fumie Kumatani wanted to create timeless moments with their compositions and they certainly achieved that.

With all that said, many happy returns to NiGHTS, and go play it however you can!

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