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Wizeman the Wicked is a Visitor.
In the games, Visitors are able to create Nightopia through their personality, memories, hopes, goals, and interests. It makes sense the the realm of Nightmare is Wizeman's Nightopia, a la Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant. Wizeman created not only a Nightopia, but an entirely different plane in the entire Night Dimension. And he can't wake up.
This is because he came without the Ideya of Courage, and has yet to find his own Ideya of Courage. After all, he sends all of his creations and dreamed-up people to get things for him, and you only need to hit him, what, three times in the game? Because of that, he has stayed locked in the Night Dimension for years and years, perhaps even defying the laws of physics and aging and being Really Seven Hundred Years Old (I read somewhere that sleep slows the aging process by a significant amount, though that might be debatable). He's been stealing Ideya from other Visitors as compensation for his lack of a Red Courage Ideya, yet ironically, the Red Ideya is the only Ideya he cannot steal, nor keep.
So he goes on, creating more and more Nightmarens and becoming the God of Nightmare. For years he has been trying to get a Red Ideya, but has failed so often -- so very, very often -- that over time he has completely forgotten what he had initially set out for. He loses himself, going crazy to try and get at his Red Ideya, that he leaves his waken life completely, even forgetting that he is a Visitor. This causes problems for his 'Real Life' body, which is still asleep. While the Wizeman of the Night Dimension goes on a reign of terror and malice, in a desperate attempt to finally get his blasted Ideya, the Wizeman of the Real World is still a child, doodling designs for Nightmaren and the faces of other Visitors, but only as a subconscious reflex. In fact, Wizeman has become convinced that getting a Red Ideya will wake him, forgetting that it is of his own free will that he awakens.
Whatever little boy Wizeman may have once been has been lost, leaving behind a broken child in the Real World and a heartless overlord in the Night Dimension.
- Wizeman being a Visitor was confirmed in his backstory in the original.
Helen's mother went to Nightopia when she was younger.
At the end of Journey of Dreams, when Helen plays NiGHTS's song, she nods and has a nostalgic smile on her face. When she was younger, she managed to get through the Dream Gate without losing her Ideya, and met NiGHTS, who helped her overcome her fears the same way s/he helped the protagonists. That's precisely why she has such a look on her face: not only is she proud of her daughter, but she recognizes the song and has instantly figured out what happened.
Everything in the NiGHTS series is based on true events.
The creator of NiGHTS was once quoted as his inspiration for NiGHTS coming to him in a dream. The series is, of course, about children going into their dreams and conquering their fears and nightmares. Notice how the goals for each human character outside the dream world are completely realistic goals for children to have; boy wants to defeat rival basketball team, girl wants to overcome stage fright to audition for a singing role, girl wants to balance time with mother and time with friends, boy wants his dad around more in order to boost his self-confidence. Nothing fantastic, nothing magical. Just normal kids who all happen to have access to a unified dream dimension where a certain jester-like humanoid creature lives. If these kids can go there... why can't anyone? Anyone including, say, a grown man who works for a videogame designing company?
The meat of my theory is this: NiGHTS met the game's creator in a dream. They became close friends within the dreamscape, and NiGHTS begins to tell the man stories of other dreamers s/he has met. The man, after listening to these stories, decides basing a new game off these stories is easier than being original, and so begins creation and production of Nights Into Dreams. Sadly, NiGHTS' visits with him soon become rarer until s/he stops appearing altogether... until eleven years have passed, when NiGHTS finally returns with new stories to tell.
To add slight credence to my theory, listen to this: according to the 2000 US census, there are 29 people in the US named Elliot Edwards, the same name as the male protagonist in the first game. Granted, it also says there is only one (or fewer) person in the US named Claris Sinclair, and the data given for Helen and Will can be thrown out the window as they clearly live in England and not in the US. Still...it makes you wonder.
Journey of Dreams is actually a prequel to NiD.
NiGHTS has two separate personalities, one male and one female.
NiGHTS is androgynous by Word of God, yes? This is because xe’s both male and female. The Visitor meets the personality that he or she would feel more comfortable with. This is evident because NiGHTS acts very differently in each dream in Journey of Dreams, and also because either NiGHTS doesn’t seem to know about the other Visitor’s existence until both children rescue hir in the clock tower. By that point, NiGHTS’s personalities had again merged into one.
- He-NiGHTS is the personality that Will meets. He is the calmer, considerate, tougher half.
- Reala refers to him as “he.”
- He is often found calmly sitting and playing his flute. In fact, this is the first impression you get of him in the game. He can and will act quickly, but he explains his intentions to Will before taking action.
- He is very respectful of Owl, letting him be Mr. Exposition and taking his advice seriously.
- He considers the black sea to be a serious threat.
- He is more attentive to Will’s feelings and readily does what Will wants when asked.
- His being a Nightmaren doesn’t seem to bother him, as he keeps sitting and playing his flute when Reala reminds him of the fact. He seems a bit more sensitive about Wizeman being his father, enjoying listening to Will talk about the good times he has with his dad and dodging Will’s questions about his own father.
- When he talks to Reala, he does so calmly, not giving Reala all of the attention that he wants. While he does challenge Reala to a fight, he does so in the same calm tone of voice that he always uses towards his brother, and when it appears that Reala is injured, he tries to help him.
- Reala knows that he-NiGHTS values Will’s safety most, and gets him to surrender in the desert by taking Will prisoner first and threatening the boy’s life.
- She-NiGHTS is the personality that Helen meets. She is the hyper, abrasive, more emotional half.
- Reala never refers to her with a gender-specific pronoun, only calling her “sibling.” Note that he doesn’t call her “brother.”
- She basically dive-bombs into the game, showing her more wild tendencies from the start. She-NiGHTS is very gung-ho, readily throwing herself and Helen into dangerous situations without much preamble and vehemently denying her being afraid of anything.
- She sees Owl as a fussy old bird, encouraging Helen not to waste time listening to him. And then there’s the scene where she and Helen just laugh at him for several minutes…
- She quickly dismisses the black sea’s danger to Helen’s soul as “just a story.”
- She is a bit more self-centered, openly mocking Helen’s fearfulness, leaving her alone in a forest that she'd just said a moment ago was dangerous, and being reluctant to help Helen with her dream until it's obvious that the girl is truly upset.
- Her being a Nightmaren appears to weigh heavily on her mind. In an early scene, she enters wearing her persona, but quickly throws it away and changes the subject when Helen asks about it. When Reala tells Helen that NiGHTS is a Nightmaren, NiGHTS freezes up, unable to deny it, and spends the rest of the scene standing there uselessly.
- She-NiGHTS’s relation with Reala seems to be a bit complicated. In his first appearance, Reala shoves her against the door and strangles her, probably because he doesn’t want to give her the chance to attack him, which, knowing the rest of her personality, she would quickly do. However, she may have met with Reala off-screen, since she enters one cutscene wearing her persona. When Reala shows up in the Forest of Memories, she-NiGHTS hesitates, is easily put down by his persuasion of Helen, and apparently gives up without much of a fight after Helen is sent out of her dream world.
- Reala knows that she-NiGHTS values Helen’s trust and friendship most, and disables her by telling Helen that NiGHTS is a Nightmaren. Helen’s reaction at being “betrayed” was enough to make she-NiGHTS lose her desire to fight back.
- NiGHTS hirself is only really there when the two personalities are combined. Xe is more mature than either half, calmly accepting hir “death” at the end of the game. Xe has he-NiGHTS’s calmness, she-NiGHTS’s fearlessness, and exhibits the caring for hir friends that both halves show.
Nightmarens' entire bodies are invisible except for their heads.
NiGHTS doesn't seem to have wrists or a neck, and just look at Jackle.