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NiGHTS in action.

NiGHTS is a supplementary level type for SRB2 which emulates the gameplay of NiGHTS into Dreams, one of Sonic Team's most popular games. In a NiGHTS level, the player flies along a pseudo-2D track as a NiGHTS version of their character, flying through hoops and collecting blue spheres in order to destroy one or several Ideya Captures and accumulate points. When the level is cleared, a grade is awarded based on the number of points the player has earned.

NiGHTS is enabled for a map by adding the keyword NiGHTS to the TypeOfLevel parameter of its level header. It is typically used together with Single Player, although it can be also used with Race mode. In that case, instead of destroying an Ideya Capture, players will race against each other on the NiGHTS track. SRB2 uses NiGHTS for its Single Player Special Stages, with an emerald being rewarded for successfully completing each stage. It is also used by several unlockable maps, including Christmas Chime Zone, Dream Hill Zone, and both acts of Alpine Paradise Zone.

3D free roam

NiGHTS levels typically begin with a normal 3D view in which the player is free to explore the level. The player's jump height is increased to 600 fracunits, and both damage and drowning are disabled. The map may contain additional items that can only be reached in 3D view. The player can destroy the Ideya Capture in this mode, though the necessary sphere amount usually can be collected much faster on the NiGHTS track. To enter the NiGHTS track, the player must touch the Ideya Drone.

Not all maps can be explored in 3D view. In that case, the player spawns directly on the Ideya Drone and immediately transforms into their NiGHTS form. Examples of stages that cannot be explored in 3D view are the Single Player Special Stages. The Ambush flag is then checked on the Ideya Drone to make sure that the player dies and respawns once the timer runs out. If it is not checked, the player returns to 3D view and loses all their spheres. The player is then free to re-touch the Ideya Drone to transform once more and try again.

2D track

When the player touches the Ideya Drone, they will transform into their NiGHTS form. Flying on a 2D track, the player has a limited amount of time to collect enough blue spheres to destroy the Ideya Capture and then return to the Ideya Drone. Afterward, they will transfer to the next "mare", or round, of the level. Once the last mare has been completed, the level will finish. Many NiGHTS maps have only one mare and therefore end after the first Ideya Capture is destroyed and the player touches the Ideya Drone again.

Besides collecting blue spheres to destroy the Ideya Capture, the player may also try to accumulate points by collecting as many as possible of the three types of NiGHTS items: rings, blue spheres and hoops. Each of these awards the player with 10 points, although through collecting items consecutively, this number can be raised (see Link section below). Additionally, between destroying an Ideya Capture and touching the Ideya Drone, the player is in bonus time, in which items give the player twice the amount of points that they normally do. When passing by the Ideya Drone again after destroying the Ideya Capture, all items will reappear. Once the player touches the Ideya Drone to end the stage, 50 additional points are awarded for every blue sphere the player currently holds.

If the player runs out of time, they will revert to 3D view. If the Ideya Drone has the Ambush flag set, they will die instead. Taking damage in NiGHTS form reduces the timer by five seconds instead of making the player spill rings or die.


  • Paraloop: If the player forms a complete loop with the star trail that follows them, any item inside the loop will be gathered and collected, while any enemy or boss will be damaged. In NiGHTS races, players caught in someone else's paraloop also get hurt.
  • Drill Dash: Holding the Jump button will cause the player to speed up and rotate like a drill. This can damage enemies, but does not hurt other players in a NiGHTS race. The meter in the bottom left corner of the screen determines how long they can sustain the Drill Dash; it will stop when the meter is empty. Flying through hoops refills the meter.
  • Immediate stop: The player will immediately stop when the Spin button is pressed, or when pressing Rotate Camera L and Rotate Camera R simultaneously.


Links are a score buildup in NiGHTS which is based on how many consecutive blue spheres, rings, and hoops (collectively) the player has grabbed. If the pause between collecting different items is too long, the Link number will reset. The Link number is expressed as the number of collective NiGHTS items – 1. If the player went through three consecutive hoops, that would be 2 Link. If the player collected five rings, a blue sphere, a hoop, and then four more rings, that would be 10 Link.

As the Link number increases, so does the number of points that each item awards. Note that the score value for each Link number is applied to the item that caused the new Link number. For example, getting the object that displayed 1 Link would be worth 20 points.

Link number Points per item Total score
0 Link 10 10
1 Link 20 30
2 Link 30 60
3 Link 40 100
4 Link 50 150
5 Link 60 210
6 Link 70 280
7 Link 80 360
8 Link 90 450
9 Link and above 100 550 + 100×(n – 9)


Main article: Thing types > NiGHTS
  • Axis, Axis Transfer and Axis Transfer Line: These define the layout of the NiGHTS form's 2D track.
  • Ideya Drone: The transformation point into the NiGHTS form. Touching this makes the player enter 2D mode or, if all Ideya Captures are destroyed, ends the level.
  • NiGHTS Bumper: A bumper that bounces the player into a certain direction upon contact.
  • Ideya Capture: This is the item that must be destroyed to end the level. Touching it will unload all of the player's blue spheres into it, and if the sphere requirement is met, it will be destroyed.


Note that in non-Special Stages, rings turn into stars and blue spheres into blue chips. Their effects are unchanged, however.


Main article: NiGHTS power-up

These appear in the middle of predetermined circles of rings and/or spheres upon paralooping around them.

  • Super Paraloop: Doubles the attraction radius of a paraloop for 20 seconds.
  • Drill Refill: Refills the Drill Dash meter.
  • Nightopian Helper: Increases the player's item attraction radius for 20 seconds.
  • Extra Time: Adds 30 seconds to the player's clock.
  • Link Freeze: Prevents the player's link from breaking for 15 seconds.

Christmas NiGHTS

Christmas NiGHTS is a supplementary level type which exchanges a few NiGHTS-related sprites and sound effects to be Christmas-themed. It is used for Christmas Chime Zone in SRB2 v2.2.

Christmas NiGHTS is enabled for a map by adding the keyword Xmas, Christmas, or Winter to the TypeOfLevel parameter of its level header. Note that NiGHTS maps that have this level type still need to have the NiGHTS level type as well.

Exchanged sprites

The hoop sprites are replaced with alternating green and red tinsel, while the star sprites are replaced with bells. In Special Stages, stars still appear as rings.

Thing types affected Regular sprite Christmas NiGHTS sprite(s)
Hoop (Customizable)
HOOPA0 HOOPB0 or HOOPC0 (alternating)
Circles with rings

Exchanged sounds

Sound name Sound replaced Description
sfx_xideya sfx_ideya Finishing a stage
sfx_nxbump sfx_nbmper NiGHTS Bumper
sfx_nxitem sfx_ncitem Collecting a ring/star/bell
sfx_nxdone sfx_ngdone Bonus time start

Bugs and limitations

NiGHTS has some bugs and limitations that should be kept in mind when creating a NiGHTS level.

  • Collision detection near axis transfer points/lines is not perfect. If you collide with an object or wall near the axis transfer line or point, there is a possibility of descynchronizing from the track. As a general rule of thumb, keep areas around the axis transfer lines or points clear of obstacles or hazards.
  • Axis Transfer Lines cannot bring the track to a close. However, using a second Axis on top of the first one, having the player go onto the second Axis, then completing the track can overcome this problem, provided that the Axis Transfer Line and Axis Transfer are not too close together.
  • The Ideya Drone cannot be placed on an Axis Transfer or Axis Transfer Line.

See also

  Game modes [view]
Game modes CampaignUltimate modeMarathon RunRecord Attack/NiGHTS ModeMultiplayer
Gametypes Single Player/Co-opCompetitionRaceMatch/Team MatchTag/Hide & SeekCapture the Flag
Level types Supplementary: 2D modeMario modeNiGHTS
Other: Special StageEmerald Hunt