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The Nightmarens

The Nightmarens are the main recurring antagonists of the NiGHTS series. They are residents of Nightmare who invade Nightopia [1] and creations of Wizeman the Wicked. Their goal is to steal Ideya, the dream energy from humans.


All of the Nightmarens were created by Wizeman for the sole purpose of stealing dreamers' ideyas. They take many different forms and have a variety of abilities. Their biggest weakness is the Ideya of Courage, which due to its enormous power, no Nightmaren but the first levels can steal it.[2]

Nightmaren Hierarchy

The Nightmarens follow a system where they are ranked as first, second, or third-level Nightmarens:

Wizeman the Wicked

Wizeman, the God of all Nightmarens.

Above all of the Nightmarens, there's Wizeman the Wicked, the God and creator of Nightmare and its inhabitants. Wizeman has many powers including power of creation and reality manipulation. He can also bring Nightmarens back to life as well as reset them (though the latter was only mentioned and never shown onscreen).

Wizeman's biggest weakness is the red ideya of courage. Thanks to it, NiGHTS is capable of fighting and defeating Wizeman. However, according to Wizeman himself, he will never be permanently destroyed as long as darkness still exists within the hearts of humans.

According to the NiGHTS into Dreams japanese manual, Wizeman is said to be a human who for unknown reasons, is deprived of any ideyas and is somehow trapped in the Night Dimension. According to the same manual, Wizeman was also the first intelligent life in the Night Dimension.

First Level Nightmaren

Reala (left) and NiGHTS (right) the only first level Nightmarens.

First levels are the highest ranked and most powerful Nightmarens. NiGHTS and Reala are the only first levels, and are notable for their superior flying ability and their ability to paraloop. First levels also appear to be quite strong, as NiGHTS has been seen carrying and throwing giant objects as well as giant Nightmarens, such as Cerberus.

First Level Nightmarens were created to be Wizeman's second-in-command over the other Nightmarens, but much to Wizeman's surprise, NiGHTS decided to rebel.

In Journey of Dreams, First Level Nightmarens are meant to wear a Persona Mask as a symbol of loyalty for Master Wizeman. Something that NiGHTS doesn't do due their rebellion.

According to Jackle's Japanese bio in NiGHTS into Dreams, Wizeman intended him to be a First level, but something failed during his creation.[3] This implies that First Level Nightmarens are difficult for Wizeman to create which may explain why he keeps trying to make NiGHTS his minion again.

Second Level Nightmaren

Puffy, an example of Second level Nightmaren.

Second levels are below power and rank to first levels, but above third levels. They dwell in their own Nightmare and draw NiGHTS and the visitor there after NiGHTS had been freed from their prison.

Each second level and Nightmare are allocated to a Nightopia in order to invade it, lead the third levels, and retrieve NiGHTS for Wizeman. According to the now unavailable NiGHTS into Dreams English website, the Second level Nightmarens have the ability to create their own worlds due to being more intelligent then Third Level Nightmarens.[4]

The second level Nightmarens are Jackle, Clawz, Gillwing, Puffy, Gulpo, Donbalon, Girania, Chamelan, Bomamba, Cerberus, and Queen Bella.

Third Level Nightmaren

Examples of third level Nightmarens. From left to right: Hollow, Verol, Cuttle, Kircle and Shleep.

These are all the minor Nightmaren creatures that appear throughout the gameplay and come in many forms, from the iconic Shleeps to the small Beezes. Their purpose is to invade Nightopia and steal ideyas. They will attack NiGHTS, but are easily dispatched by NiGHTS with Paraloop, Drill Attack, Touch Dash or Touch Loop. They serve as obstacles during gameplay.

They are also known to chase and eat Nightopians in Journey of Dreams. Third-level Nightmarens are easily beaten if Helen or Will toss Blue Chips at them.


The following Nightmarens levels are unknown:

Unnamed Shapeshifter Nightmarens

A Nightmaren disguised as Helen's Mother.

During the dreamers' intro cutscenes in both NiGHTS into Dreams and Journey of Dreams, the first Nightmarens to be seen are dark and deformed creatures with red glowing eyes who were disguised as humans before showing their true forms. In NiGHTS into Dreams, they appear as deformed monsters. In Journey of Dreams, they appear as dark smoke-like creatures with sinister smiles.

These Nightmarens have a very unique behavior, as they completely vanish after seeing the light and are not seen again after the intro cutscenes. It is unknown to what happens if they got the dreamers, or if they follow the usual level system. However, they can manipulate the environment, just like the second level Nightmarens. They also appear to have the ability to either teleport or turn invisible, considering that they appear out of nowhere in Will's intro. It is uncertain to what the limits of their shapeshifting abilities are, seeing that one of them was capable to shapeshift into a projection of Helen's mom in Helen's dream, for example.


Selph is a scrapped character from NiGHTS into Dreams who was originally going to appear in the game as a secret boss.[5] Their level is unknown and as they were going to be a secret boss (which would be something unique for them), they might not even follow the usual level system. In fact, Selph is speculated to not even be a Nightmaren.

Goodles and Unnamed Bird-like Nightmarens

Goodles concept art

Goodles are grinning imp-like Nightmarens from NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams who's main tasks are to apprehend NiGHTS and guard their captures. [6] They ride unnamed bird-like Nightmarens. When NiGHTS escapes from the NiGHTS Capture, they will try to escape from the latter with the keys.

Goodles and the Birds are similar to third level nightmarens, as they are small, are defeated by a single attack and turn into an orb after being defeated. However, they don't appear among the third level nightmarens from NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams in the concept arts. Additionally, since they are the ones to be trusted by Wizeman and Reala to guard the keys holding NiGHTS inside the cage, it'd be odd for them to be third levels nightmarens, as these are the weakest nightmarens.

Gulpo's Fish Minions

Gulpo's fish minions.

Several red fishes surrond Gulpo's tank in his boss fight in NiGHTS into Dreams. They can be used by both NiGHTS and Gulpo to attack each other. It's unknown if they are actually Nightmarens or just items created by Gulpo, though if they are Nightmarens and follow the Nightmaren system, they can be assumed to be third level Nightmarens due to their small size and simplistic design.

Bomamba's Cat Minions

One of Bomamba's cats.

Although it is not definitive to what level Bomamba's cats are, it can be assumed that they are most likely third level Nightmarens, as they can be defeated with a single attack, similar to the rest of the Nightmarens from that level.

Cerberus' Crows

During the Cerberus fight, it is possible to spot some crows flying around, but is not known if they are Nightmarens. It is likely that they are just part of the aesthetics in the battlefield Cerberus created.

See Also

  • Unnamed Scrapped Nightmarens: List of Nightmarens who were scrapped or turned down during the game's development.
  • Selph: A popular deleted character from the NiGHTS series.



  • Reala's description from the NiGHTS into Dreams English website. Notice how it states that him and NiGHTS are some of the few 1st Level Nightmarens.

    In the (now unavailable) NiGHTS into Dreams English website, it is stated in both the Nightmarens description and in the Reala's description that NiGHTS and Reala are some of the few first level Nightmarens. However, no other first level Nightmaren besides these two ever appeared in the games.
  • The Nightmarens are said to have a soul of their own, which was revealed at the end of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, where Wizeman said he would reset NiGHTS by replacing their mind and soul.
  • In the NiGHTS into Dreams game files, there are unused sprites of third level Nightmarens eggs.[7] This suggests that the Nightmarens (at least the third level ones) were planned to be able to reproduce.
  • According to Owl, the Nightmarens are born from the light.[8]
  • Chamelan and Verol, and Gillwing and Pole are the only Nightmarens to be based on the same animal (chameleon and tadpole respectively), but to belong to different levels.
    • Gulpo and Girania (who are second level Nightmarens), and Mamu, Party and Balooga (who are third level Nightmarens), are all based on fishes, though different species of fish.
  • In the Archie Comics, it's implied that at least the first and second level nightmarens are antiheroes rather than villains, however they still follow Wizeman's orders because they all fear him. In their single appearance in the fifth issue, none of the second level Nightmarens (Jackle, Puffy, Gillwing and Clawz) expressed remorse over their creator's demise and they attacked Reala, who self-declared to be the new ruler of Nightmare.
    • However, none of them appeared to have any good intention, they all appeared to just care about themselves and power. It's very likely that they would continue destroying Nightopia.
  • Queen Bella, Crewles, Goodles and Bomamba's cat minions are the only nightmarens who can't fly.