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NiGHTS Special Stage Preview

Mystic - December 6, 2011

We’ve been talking about this a bit on the chat and forums recently, but we haven’t actually shown anything on the main page, so it’s time to provide some new information about the upcoming NiGHTS special stages. As with the last preview post, everything you see here is a work in progress and subject to change, so don’t take these screenshots to mean that the final versions will look exactly like this. Click on the images for far more detail.

Special Stage 1

The new special stages are based on our main single player zones, so the first one is based on GFZ. This area is large and simple, with a low blue sphere requirement, easily shown by the red background in the upper left of the HUD signifying that the requirement is already met.

Also, the powerups that were previously invisible while active are now visually represented on-screen for the duration. The helper is now a flicky, which you can see in the middle of all the particle effects in this screenshot.

Special Stage 2Special stage 2 is based on THZ, and is much larger, with multiple rooms, and several indoor areas. The difficulty level is still extremely low, so feel free to relax and continue to get a feel for the mechanics.
Special Stage 3Special stage 3, following the pattern, is based on DSZ. It’s impossible to drown in the underwater sections, but the level is quite large and has a large blue sphere requirement.
Special Stage 4

Special stage 4 is a revamped version of Slumber Circuit Zone, retextured to look like CEZ. The track layout is mostly the same, but the object layout is pretty heavily modified, and starts to up the difficulty level a bit.

Like the helper, the super paraloop powerup is shown by a red spark trail for the duration. As an additional aid, the name of the powerup is written out for a few seconds after grabbing it, to clarify what it does. This should help players actually learn what the powerups do, as we’ve found a majority of SRB2 players don’t know what the NiGHTS powerups do.

Special Stage 5Special stage 5 is a revamped version of Spring Hill Zone, retextured to look like ACZ. Some of the extra territory has been removed to streamline the map, such as the long loop around the lake, and the stage is now much faster-paced in general. The time limit is also quite strict and the object layout has been moved around a bit in places.

Not shown are special stage 6 (RVZ) and special stage 7 (ERZ), which are both not far enough along to provide screenshots that aren’t missing objects entirely and displaying weird things like time limits of several hours. Expect the difficulty of those two stages to be quite brutal when we do have them completed. While we hope to have NiGHTS special stages included in 2.1, like everything else we preview, they will arrive when they’re actually done. The user interface and HUD improvements are already in 2.1, though, so the cleaner implementation and user-friendliness changes will be included in the next release regardless.

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