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OCRA-0026 - NiGHTS: Lucid Dreaming

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yo, I rarely ever write reviews/critiques for anything because I think it's up to each individual to interpret it their own way; but I had to lay down some massive props for this album.

I'll try not to come across as cock-riding [to any particular artist], incoherent, or Caps-lock abusive. :<

My first major props is for the overall flow of the album. I'm writing this on my third listen of the full project and I really dig the sequences and transitions.

When I saw the artist roster I knew it would be awesome regardless but I was extremely impressed with how smoothly each song segued.

It wasn't at all like "cool, here's a chiptune bit... oh, cool now a jazz bit;" it was like watching a well-scripted movie where each scene led to the next.

Second, I absolutely hated this game (too much Sonic and Vectorman?), and yet I loved the original soundtrack;

You all did a flawless job in making each arrangement unique while still capturing that "dreamy" theme.

I love it when musicians make arrangements so good that it encourages listeners to check out the original;

so I just may give the game another try.

Lastly, the motifs and project themes were super slick and witty.

The "Dreams Dreams" signature never gets old.

I was actually sad at the end of the album because I still had the melodies ringing in my head.:-D

I was surprised that I didn't just bob my head but I also got goosebumps for several parts of the album.

Yo, I guess I didn't realize what amazing talent OCR had because after listening to this album several times I definitely appreciate the musicians here so much more (and the whole community in general).

Not that my opinion makes a difference but I give this a 10 billion out of 10;

and super kudos for the "guest appearance" at the ending from a certain veteran NiGHTS remixer...

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Just been listening to Part 1 of the album. Smiling. =D

Since its toasty outside, I will check out the rest later on.

Awesome job as always.

New post entry: 7/11 9:01am

Now listening to volume 2, quite the shift in gears. But the music is so diverse, its hard to say which track is my favorite.

2-10 O.o I never knew those two were opera singers. (bravo!) Per chance we could hear more duets?

*Btw congrats to both of you =D

I wish this album was in an actual game. It would be divine. ^_^

Edited by Kadosho
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So, my 2 cents on the album.

Whilst I honestly think that each and every piece has a very good quality, I cannot help but to find myself favoring certain pieces. So far, here are the ones that have by far more rotation than the rest (in no particular order):

1-02 Dreams Dreams (Disco NiGHTS Mix)

1-05 Reverse Rain

1-11 The Nemesis Schema

2-01 Beyond the Dream

2-10 Dies, Nox et Omina

Doesn't mean the rest is not good. Nononono. The whole album is great, I am just stating what my favorites are.

Also I want to drop a few words about the great quality of the phsysical copy. The artwork is amazing and the print quality of the booklet, case and discs are up to par. An overall amazing production that was very well worth the required donation price.

Somehow I wanted to review in much more detail. But I have nothing more to say than: that's a damn good album, fellas. kudos and congratz on a job well done!



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1-05 Reverse Rain

Whaat? Even tho I have that (in retrospect) atrocious bell sound in there? This review of the whole album even thought it was the most visually evocative track on the album even... ppl like my work and I'm just going "man, those lead bells are horrible" whenever I listen to it. :D

Also, Dj Mokram needs to do a lot more music... or rather, we need more Mokram music! And disco.

Is there a log of the listening party?

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Also, Dj Mokram needs to do a lot more music... or rather, we need more Mokram music! And disco.
Yeh, i'll agree with that! I gotta try and work with the dude at some point too. He understands my style of rap and i love the level of quality he brings in to his work. It has to happen. The time will soon come!

I was saying to Stevo, i'm kinda impressed with the amount of praise this album has received. I know NiGHTS was always a bit of a niche kinda game, not many people got to play the thing back in the day so i was always a bit worried as to how far this album would travel online ...but bloody hell has it surprised me. Total kudos to the whole project, i feel we went beyond what our target was.

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I have never played either NiGHTS game prior to downloading this album, and I had actually not been exposed to its music aside from a cameo tune in Sonic Adventure.

That said, once I started listening to the album, I was extremely glad I downloaded it. I haven't even properly listened to all of the tunes on the album, yet I know they're all of good quality. Now, if I get the chance, I want to try the original NiGHTS, to see what I've missed.

In short, fantastic job to all involved :grin:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I promised Stevo I'd post this here, so here it is. My review, entitled "Dream a Dream of Remixes."


And now for a project that I’m sure was among the biggest labors of love for the director. Having interviewed Level 99 in early 2010, I know there’s at least one track here he’s quite proud of. But as a whole, I’m sure everyone involved is happy with what they’ve contributed on some level. Released on the 15th anniversary of the original game’s release, this commemorative album has gotten lots of positive reviews. Will this be another such review? Probably; I never really hate anything I listen to. And now, to the meat of the article! Let the music begin!!


1. MattInc – Panzer Nightopia (Message From Nightopia) 2:38

Starts out ambient, and this is a great way to introduce the album. 0:25 brings in some beat. 0:52 brings in some violin or something. And just past the one minute mark brings in more ambience. More of the violin at 1:29. Breakdown and switch-up at 1:58. This really sets the tone for the album as a whole. It starts to fade out slowly, preparing the ears for the next track.

2. AkumajoBelmont, Level 99 – Dreams Dreams (Disco NiGHTS Mix) [Dreams Dreams] 3:20

I love Robbie’s stuff, and with Stevo on board this can be nothing but epic. And 0:19 sets my ears up for a hell of a discotacular experience. Lyrics are great as always. I can imagine Disco Stu from The Simpsons grooving to this. Akuma’s rapid singing in this at parts is really well-done; rapid but coherent. 2:00 brings in a GUITAR SOLO no doubt courtesy of Level 99. Lyrics back at 2:30. 3:00 brings the impending ending with more guitar.

3. pu_freak – From Dusk til Dawn (Fragmented Nights) 4:40

And now, the maestro pu_freak shall play From Dusk til Dawn in A minor. Or something. Regardless, it’s a mellow piano piece, which I’ve come to expect from pu_freak. It slowly starts to build, until 1:02 when it slows down for a purely piano part. Chimes are interspersed throughout. 2:30 brings about another building segment of the song. 3:10 builds even more with a very driving rhythm coming in. What we need is a Rexy/pu_freak epic piano collaboration. It slowly dies down starting at about 4:02.

4. LuIzA – Lies Within Dreams (Deep It Lies) 3:06

And now for LuIzA; this track kicks in right away, with her signature guitar at 0:09! More keys at 0:28. Guitar mixes with the keys for a truly awesome soundscape. Slight breakdown at 1:27 or so with organ-like keys. A major switch-up at 2:04 or so. Sorry, I just got so absorbed into the song I completely forgot to pay attention to timestamps. And now it’s over. Too soon, too soon!

5. Rozovian – Reverse Rain (The Amazing Water) 6:28

Nice and calm to begin with. It slowly builds. I’m expecting a lot of this since the track is so long. As Rozo has said before, length happens. The main melody keeps playing, and the soundscape keeps getting fuller and fuller. I feel like I’m on a journey myself, getting closer to the destination, just by listening to this. And it’s only halfway over. Nice chimes at 3:28 or so. Finally, a timestamp! This is quite an enchanting little track. Okay, maybe little is the wrong word. 4:44 has some nice little instrumentation that just adds to the enchanting effect. I can already tell this track will stay with me long after I finish writing this review. Nice wind instrument at 5:29 or so. This also marks the slow reduction in instruments to bring about the inevitable end of the track. I have to say, this track did have a very aqueous quality to it. Fantastic work, Rozo!!

6. Fishy – She Can Has Long Ears (She Had Long Ears) 3:52

I already made a “can has” joke with the Attention Deficit review, so I’ll refrain from doing so here. Guitar at 0:22! It’s quite epic, I must say, and quite a counterpoint to the previous track. The riffs repeat until 1:14, when they enter a new cycle. I’m just waiting for the guitar solo. This has an awesome atmosphere. Add in the fact it keeps switching styles (at 1:54 is a good example). And the guitar solo comes in at about 2:08. This a very crazy song… I love it!! It keeps switching between guitar and keys. Fake ending at 2:52. It leads into even more epic guitar at 3:04 or so that comes right back into the riffs used earlier in the track. Suddenly, Strago’s theme from Final Fantasy VI popped into my head. Explosion at 3:47 or so ends it.

7. Dj Mokram – The Desert Had a Strange Dream (The Dragon Gave a Loud Scream) 3:20

The title sounds like what a nearly-deaf person would hear the source’s name as. This has a very Arabic feel to it; I’m liking it a lot. A nice mix-up at 1:14 or so. Great usage of instruments; this reminds me Airflare Valley, another Mokram track. Maybe it’s just the desert vibe that does it. Change-up at 2:22 or so. It builds up and builds up until the finale at 3:16.

8. ProtoDome – The NiGHT Has Just Begun… (Under Construction) 2:39

Time for more ProtoDome insanity? The answer is yes! I just can’t get away from this guy!! Nice lyrics, and the singing is pretty good too! The instrumenatation is really well done also. Slight change-up at 1:22. A chipsolo at 1:42 or so. Doo-doo-doo-doo, dah-de-dah…

9. Tryezz feat. DiGi Valentine – New Jack Mantle (The Mantle) 4:27

Sounds awesomely ominous at first, but just gets funky afterwards. Rapping comes in at 0:44 or so. “The beat takes a hold of you…” This line is certainly true; I can’t stop grooving. Nice little changeup at 1:43 or so. More lyrics at 2:15 or so, and main verse at 2:40. “Bounce, bounce, bounce, let me see ya, bounce, bounce, bounce, everybody bounce!” This is also true. I’m bouncing as well! How did they know?!? Another nice changeup at 3:56, except this one heralds the end, as it quickly fades away into memory.

10. audio fidelity, Josh Dunlap, Eric Griffin, Ben Charles – Slumber on a City Corner (Dreams Dreams : In Silent Memory) 4:52

Ooh, jazzy! We last saw Eric Griffin in connection to Jay on Heroes vs. Villains, but this time we have two new collaborators with him! It sounds good, right away. Some horns at 1:25. A bit of a solo at the two minute mark. It’s quite beautiful. Back to the main melody at around the three minute mark. Flute solo at 3:23 or so. Back to the main melody at 3:58 once more. One hell of a soundscape at this point which can only mean one thing; gradual fade out from 4:36 or so until the end.

11. Level 99, prophetik, Avaris – The Nemesis Schema (NiGHTS and Reala) 5:06

“The songs I’m most proud of that I have in progress are one track for the NiGHTS project, called The Nemesis Schema…” So spoke Stevo when I interviewed him last year. Let’s see what his pride and joy has become. Right off the bat, it’s quite ominous. 0:15 begins a very creepy vocal clip. I’m guessing that’s Reala. Epic guitar at 0:36. I can feel the intensity of the track right off the bat; this is one hell of a face-off between the two. I can now see why Stevo was so proud of this song even at that time. More awesome guitar at 1:58. Clock ticking at 2:36 or so, quickly joined by prophetik on the sax. This really breaks up the song while retaining the breakneck speed it had previously. Seriously, this tempo is like hypersonic. Or not; if it was, I couldn’t hear the extremely high levels of epicity contained within. Stevo’s guitar picks up shortly after the sax, and at 3:40 or so it comes back. Seriously, I can’t really keep up with the awesomeness; it takes the entirety of my attention, so quite literally all that is contained here is my train of thought while listening to this. And this song… it’ll be atop my most-played list in a very short time. Sudden end at 5:03. I WANT MORE!!

12. OA, DragonAvenger – Tomorrow Should Have Been Last Night (After The Dream) 3:46

And for a much calmer track to follow the previous. Main melody comes in at 0:20. Peaceful triumphant guitar comes in not too long after. Deia’s voice is interspersed for effect. Seriously, this song is like the polar opposite of the previous one, and that’s a very good thing. If it was the same, spontaneous cranial explosion would occur. A bit of a solo comes in at the two minute mark. Back to the main part at 3:04. A very calm outro for the song, and the 1st Dream, as disc 1 is called.

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1. Sixto Sounds – Beyond the Dream (Gate of Your Dream) 5:51

And now for the 2nd Dream. I’ll be honest, this is the only song on the album I’ve listened to before reviewing it. But hey, it’s a good track. To quote Stevo in the Director’s Comments file, “Sixto must be Joe Satriani in disguise, because if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was the Satch himself covering NiGHTS.” I agree with this. Clearer guitar for a bit of a solo at 2:16 or so. Also, this is Sixto’s longest track to date, which is a very good thing. He’s in top form, shredding riffs in a very ethereal manner, giving the entire song a very mystical, fantastical quality. Compared to most of Juan’s work, this is much calmer, and he pulls it off quite well. 4:47 brings in what quite possibly could be some of Sixto’s most beautiful work. He shreds and shreds and shreds until 5:30, when it slowly comes to an end. Far too soon!

2. AkumajoBelmont – I’ll Fly You (nel cielo notturno) [Paternal Horn] 3:14

More of Akuma’s work. Now while I’m not sure what nel cielo notturno means, or even what language it is, I’m sure this song will be high quality. And sure enough, the infectious rhythm common to most of his songs takes control nearly immediately. As usual, great lyrics and great singing. Does that even have to be said anymore? A slight breakdown at the two minute mark. Chorus returns at 2:36. Great song.

3. Geshen of Balamb – Urban Museum (Suburban Museum) 2:22

How very classical. At least until the rhythm comes into the background of this soundscape. This song’s style seems to be in opposition to the rest of the album at first glance, but upon further listening it fits right into place like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle that you had lost for years. The end is near at 2:06.

4. Benjamin Briggs – She Had Angry Pixels (She Had Long Ears) 3:24

And another chth track! And it’s a remix this time!! Classic chth chippiness here; which is very good. Just like Fishy’s take on the track, this is pretty crazy. Also very chippy, which I love. Instrument change at 1:04 or so. 1:28 brings in an effect right off the NES sound card. Ominous buildup at 1:54 or so which explodes at 2:18 ever so slightly. It keeps building and building, even through 2:44 when another phase kicks in. This is the longest buildup I’ve listened to. It finally explodes at 3:10, right before the end of the track.

5. Sundog – Trans-Siberian Tuning Fork (Take The Snow Train) 6:17

Another long track, a mere eleven seconds shorter than Rozo’s epic. It kicks off ambiently, until 0:36 when some chimes kick in. The motifs that stream throughout the album like commonalities in the subconscious world of sleep are just as present in this song. Sax at 2:14. Nice bass at 3:02. Some cool acoustic guitar at 3:14. This whole song’s atmosphere just changed! This is quite a beautiful track, I must say. More motif usage at 4:50 or so. I really like how pervasive the bass is; it really adds to the soundscape. At 5:49 or so, it starts to build to the finale. At 5:59, the soundscape clears out for the end.

6. Cyril the Wolf, Level 99, Brandon Snell – Clawz Jam (E-LE-KI Sparkle) 3:42

Guitar right off the bat!! It’s quite epic, I must say. Sounds like a jam I’d hear on a classic rock station. Solo at 1:24. Actually, I take that back since this whole song is an EPIC TRIPLE GUITAR SOLO!!! Never thought that joke would become a reality. But hey, I’m extremely happy it has. I’d have posted more timestamps, but this song is just too awesome to pay attention to something as small as timestamps. Just know that the entirety of the song is quite possibly one of the most awesome things I’ve ever listened to. I hope you agree. The end begins at 3:31.

7. José the Bronx Rican – Overnight Cloverleaf (Gloom of The N.H.C.) 4:44

And now for OCR’s resident media man, José the Bronx Rican. Starts out smooth and calm. Another very ethereal track, and everything in it sounds like there was a meticulous amount of attention paid to it. Main melody at 1:18 or so. A nice solo at 2:38. It just keeps going and going, like the Energizer bunny. Back to the main track at 3:54. The end begins at 4:37.

8. Avaris, Level 99 – Restless Depths (Deep It Lies) 3:06

Choir singing to begin the track. It ends quickly at 0:18, as the base of the song is slowly built up one piece at a time. The vocal clips are interspersed at certain parts of the track. Electric guitar at 1:14. This song sounds like it’s setting up the grand finale of the album as a whole, an aural tour of the game world much like these, my aural tours of these albums. Great guitar work at 2:29. The soundscape gets fuller and fuller with each passing second.

9. Level 99 – Twin Seeds Flyby (Growing Wings) 3:45

Ooh, happy sounding. I’m enjoying this track already. Some synth at 0:39 or so, but it quickly gives way to guitar. The two keep switching roles and mixing with each other throughout, giving a very nice cooperative feel to the track. Solo at 1:49 or so. Synth solo at 2:30. The two keep switching places. 2:54 gives of a victorious vibe. It calms down to acoustic guitar at 3:03 in preparation for the end of the track. Vocal clips are present here, of WHOO-HOAAA!!!!

10. Josh Whelchel feat. Danielle Messina, Ryan C. Connelly – Dies, Nox et Omnia (D’Force Master) 6:22

This starts out scratchy, with clear chimes. This will be another intense track like The Nemesis Schema, I can already tell. More chimes at 1:02 or so. The soundscape suddenly fills at 1:20, with ominous bass. Ominous strings join at 1:30, with synth shortly after. The scratchiness falls away, bringing in some horns to really give the track an ominous feel. 2:04 has some drums that really fill it. Some opera singing at 2:22 or so, no doubt courtesy of Danielle Messina; I doubt Josh or Ryan has those pipes. Speaking of Ryan, I’m pretty sure he comes in at 2:50 or so with his own singing. In Latin, too! And they say it’s a dead language! Ominous keys at 3:33 or so. The two sing over each other at 3:54, for a truly epic feel; the instrumentation helps immensely as well. It drops suddenly at 4:31. At 4:42, it starts to build back up with Ryan’s singing; instrumentation returns at 5:02 with Danielle rejoining at 5:04. At 5:35 or so, the song takes on a feel of finality, which makes sense. The end is not too far off at this point. At 5:54, everything slows down, and the piano takes center stage to end it all.

11. Level 99 and The Dreamers – The World Is Dreaming (Dreams Dreams) 5:24

Starts off slow, with source usage right away. Guitar and clapping at 0:22. I can’t help but join it. Singing at 0:44! Multiple vocalists! I’m liking The Dreamers; I want to hear more from them. Lyrics are well-written; wait… is this another version of Dreams Dreams (Disco NiGHTS Mix)? I think it is! What a way to fuse the album into an even more cohesive listening experience! Everyone sings extremely well in this; I’m really enjoying this. A flute solo kicks off at the four minute mark. Pure vocals and clapping at 4:24! Who needs backing music? This group does fine without it; the music returns at 4:44 though. Pure singing at 5:08 brings about the end of the track, as they fade away.

12. Emunator – Sleepless Nights (Gate of Your Dream) 4:30

And now for Emunator’s turn for a beautiful take on this track. It’s slow, but beautiful. The soundscape slowly builds and builds with the resonance of the piano keys. It’s really well done; Wes really, and literally, hit all the right notes on this one. I’d say more, but it’s just a piano remix, which is quite awesome. That also means no real need for timestamps, since there’s only one instrument. So just listen and enjoy the song as I am right now. It starts to end at 3:38 or so, as everything calms down and the soundscape empties out.

13. Skrypnyk – A Dream… (Beautiful) [Gate of Your Dream] 4:20

Just as we entered the Gate of Your Dream to begin the disc, we exit it for the end with Wes’s take and this one. Starts off… interesting. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from Skrypnyk. It builds and builds until 0:55 when the main meat kicks in. It really begins at 1:10. Quite ethereal in its presentation, I must say; a fitting finale for the album. Source usage at 1:58 or so. It’s a beautiful track, which honestly took me by surprise based on the beginning. It just builds and builds, like the final leg of a journey. You know the end is close, and there’s not much that can stop you, so you take your time and truly experience the beauty of your surroundings. The end begins at about 3:28 or so. A vocal clip ends the track. And with that, we awaken from the dream. The album ends in grand fashion.


I’ll start this conclusion off with a revelation. I have never played the original NiGHTS; growing up, I had never really even heard about the Sega Saturn, and it was a system I had completely skipped. To this day, I have still never even seen a Sega Saturn in person with my own two eyes. I know there are many great games on the system, and among them all, NiGHTS is the one I’ve heard the most praise for. The gameplay, the world, the story; all are up there with the greats. And the music… well, if it weren’t for the music, I wouldn’t really be here writing this review, now would I? With this fact comes the realization that unlike the remix albums I’ve reviewed before, this one is of a soundtrack I am completely unfamiliar with. I’m more familiar with the stars in the far reaches of our universe than I am with this game, but as a journalist I trudged on with this review. And you know what? I’m glad I did.

Despite the unfamiliarity I hold with the source tunes, I can easily tell that this album was most definitely a labor of love. As I listened, I began to get sucked into the music and began to recognize the tracks due to the flowing motifs of Dreams Dreams and other tracks. And now, once I am able to, I plan on somehow managing to experience the game for myself. This album… well, I can’t really summarize this album in a brief manner. Everything I can say about it is contained in the track-by-track reviews above. Nothing else can really be said without being redundant, and honestly, not much more needs to be said. I highly recommend this album, even if you’ve never even heard the original music as in my case. All these songs are phenomenal, and all of them are highly HIGHLY recommended. So go ahead, download this album if you haven’t already. I guarantee you won’t regret it at all. Until next time, game on!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Video games seem to have it all. Even from their early arcade days, when the game had a singular, simplistic objective, video games had the populace enamoured. As time progressed, they expanded, evolving into interactive complex stories with surprise twists, with a variety of increasingly spectacular gameplay, not to mention the inevitable increase in graphic quality. One of the things that has always been at the core of great gaming, however, has been the soundtracks. To keep the sound of a game fresh and interesting when you have hours upon hours of playing ahead of you is a feat in and of itself, but audio directors always find new ways to go above and beyond when it comes to catchy game music. But for some of the older video games, from the 64-bit era and beyond, their soundtracks find themselves being lost to the ravages of time despite their superior quality because the sound has become outdated in these High Definition times. Thankfully, a website called OverClocked Remix has made it their mission to remix popular video game soundtracks, bringing a whole new dimension to the catchy tunes that filled our childhood. One of their most recent collaborations is entitled “NiGHTS: Lucid Dreaming,” an album comprised entirely of remixes from the Sega Dreamcast game “NiGHTS into Dreams.”


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  • 1 month later...

Everyone's comments have been so meaningful. Thank you again for all your responses and feedback!

I finally got ahold of that picture of Yuji Naka and Takashi Iizuka holding Lucid Dreaming. Just look at Iizuka's face. LOOK AT THAT JAW ALMOST HITTING THE FLOOR. That was the instant he was told that this was an unofficial fan-made project. :)!!


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  • 1 year later...

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