I'm probably one of about... well, two people who switched on their Sega Saturn this morning to catch this once-a-year treat.
Christmas NiGHTS, Sega's 1996 Christmas giveaway to Saturn owners, included calender-activated features on the run-up to December 25. But it wasn't limited to Christmas - on April 1, there was a sinister surprise in store. And it still works today...
Above: I wasn't really up at 5am playing Christmas NiGHTS today, honest
You head to NiGHTS' palace to dualize with him as usual... only he's not there. In his place is Reala - NiGHTS' nightmarish sibling. Reala flies around with exactly the same moveset as NiGHTS, but while the gameplay may be the same, the feeling is not.
Above: Yup, that's right folks. This used to count as 'graphics' in 1996
Above: Fun fact: Reala was the only character to speak in the original NiGHTS into Dreams, saying: "There is no NiGHTS". That's very true today
This is such an easy thing to put in your game and I'm amazed calender-specific functions aren't used more. As it is, it's just one of the many ways this game keeps giving, year after year.
Above: Still going strong, some 15 years old. Anyone else still play Saturn?
01 Apr, 2010