Gender: None (assumed Male)
Weight: N/A - is not a physical being.
Faction Ties: Commands the Nightmare Legion.
Role in Game:
Rival character. Nightmare is the Avatar that controls Suzaku in his first appearances in-game, until he is ultimately defeated at the height of his reign. However, the sheer passion Psi displayed towards stopping his grand plans greatly inspires Nightmare, and he continues to hound Psi for his personal enjoyment - first by joining with Psi's body and utilizing that passion for himself, then later by gaining his own form after being forcibly separated by Metal Coat and repeatedly engaging him in fights. Eventually Nightmare notices potential that Psi isn't using, which he prods and pokes at by way of Psi's inbuilt Avatar desires, even going as far as to brutally crush Psi's dreams to push him to breaking point and finally unseal his own Avatar form. After a brutal, destructive duel that utterly destroys a large section of the landscape, Psi still defeats Nightmare and reseals him inside his Chaos Gem of origin. Having helped Psi find both his true power and his real identity, Nightmare carries no further regrets.
Nightmare is an extremely rare case of an Avatar given form without a host - as such, his very existence as well as his ability fluctuates directly with the local influence of Chaos Control, which directly implies he has to be in a region of some kind of chaos for him to even exist, but yet he can still become stronger directly proportional to chaos in the area, even if it's only confined to a single individual. Because Psi was the last host he had before gaining his own form, Nightmare's appearance and abilities loosely mimic Psi's, but with his own twists to suit his brutal and persistent approach to fighting. In particular, Nightmare displays no telekinetic ability, but he can instead summon balls of pure chaos energy sometimes referred to as "Psyche Balls" that he can manipulate in a pseudo-telekinetic manner. Similarly, Nightmare has a unique approach to mind control, in that he generally changes people's perceptions to inspire terror and desparation rather than obscure sight of something entirely.
Nightmare is the Avatar of Combat, and because he isn't bound by a host with preconceptions of their own, he is, for the most part, a one-dimensional character that exists just to fight things. In spite of this, though, he isn't beyond engaging in chatter and egging people on to make them fight him harder, but if it isn't midfight trashtalk or something vaugely related to one person fighting another he generally ignores the conversation entirely and treats it as irrelevant. What's interesting is that Nightmare doesn't actually fight for the sake of winning, rather to be defeated by a challenger at the peak of his ability and go out in a beautiful, climactic blaze of glory that everyone will remember. Suffice to say, while he has his own form he is fighting on an almost constant basis, not just because he's naturally drawn to do so but also because he needs to inspire chaos in order to survive.
Summarization of Fighting Style
Because of his influences from Psi's fighting style, Nightmare carries a few features reminiscent of his moves, but retooled for different purposes. Whereas Psi works by juggling opponents between different ranges, Nightmare simply blows them gradually outwards with his attacks, requiring some pursuit action to extend his combos. Overall Nightmare's attacks are much faster and more persistent than Psi's, but they inflect low damage and very little hitstun at a basic level, requiring a savage amount of pressuring and timing to keep enemies off-balance enough for a practical combo. However, whenever Climax energy is gained in the fight, regardless of which player gains it, his attack power and hitstun effectiveness gradually increases, and given the time he may even gain completely new moves mid-fight to give himself an advantage.
Psyche balls. Nightmare projects two balls of chaos energy and hurls them in predetermined arcs, damaging anything they hit along the way. It maintains more or less the same range as Psi's Deception attacks with a much faster attack rate to boot, but the damage they deal is almost universally low, and still maintain the same close range ineffectiveness as its inspiration. Even the slightest delay between moves is generally enough to escape a combo, so strong persistence is necessary to deal any meaningful damage before Climax buffs start kicking in. Nightmare generally has bad defensive skills, but of his two attack methods, these are the better at countering.
Aggressive melee. Again, like Psi's version, Nightmare trades off raw power for massive speed and low hitstun, requiring very offense-minded tactics to deal damage. While Nightmare can intercept enemies at somewhat longer ranges, they deal minor damage and knock the enemy out of comboable radius, making long distance moves better as combo finishers - the majority of Nightmare's combo ability requires him to be very close, sometimes even suicidally so.
Psyche attack. Nightmare summons a Psyche ball and throws it at the cursor, which then returns straight back to him. Nightmare can throw up to three of these at a time, but much like the rest of his moves they deal only minor damage and hitstun, making them best used to bait enemies in or when you can't get close enough to continue a combo any other way.
Intimidation. Nightmare's eyes briefely flash a bright red in the direction of the cursor, causing lengthy hitstun in every enemy in its vauge general direction. No actual damage is caused in the process, making this move best for pursuing fleeing enemies and creating an opening that can be exploited into an easier combo. There is a lengthy recharge period between Intimidations which prevents Nightmare from spamming the move, instead relegating it to a wildcard tactic instead.
Nightmare Dimension. All of the environment within a screenlength of Nightmare transforms into a shadowy, hellish mass of flesh, steel and body parts, and Nightmare's red aura increases in strength. While the Nightmare Dimension is active, anyone affected in the area suffers a drastic decrease in movement and attack speed, and the hitstun of Nightmare's attacks increases so as to practically allow infinite combos until the Climax wears off. Enemies can still defend and counter normally, though.
Psyche Storm. Nightmare summons an especially large Psyche Ball directly above his head, which shrinks in size as it gradually scatters into a storm of normal size Psyche Balls that disperse in a spiral pattern, loosely attacking all enemies within screen length. While the scattered Psyche Balls can cause decent damage, the main damage potential is in the main one, which causes increased damage on its own if an enemy happens to touch it in the early stages of the Climax. This makes the Psyche Storm an especially effective anti-air move, but still a good all-rounder screen clearer in any other context.
Megaton Punch. Nightmare's fist glows fiercely as he charges up for an excessive period of time, causing shockwaves that push back any enemies or projectiles that approach him. After the attack is fully charged, the player can unleash it at their leisure, causing a lunging jab that causes various amounts of damage, usually heavy, and knocks the victim away a long distance apon impact. The damage dealt is directly proportional to the distance Nightmare had to travel to hit an enemy - so if an enemy happens to be pinned up against a wall by the shockwaves at near point-blank range, they're in for a world of hurt.
Brutality. Nightmare performs a ridiculously long string of punches and kicks without any break in between, slowly but gradually lifting the victim diagonally up off the ground in the process. After prolonging the offensive for a lengthy period of time, Nightmare allows the victim to drop to their knees and fall to the ground, at which point Nightmare ends the Finisher with a football kick to the face, launching the victim into the skyline if it happens to be the fatal blow.
[All of Nightmares sketches happen as a part of en-route-to-mission fights, and as such don't trigger in the traditional sense. These trigger en route to the starting area for Sinister Fields and immediately after Ram Raid, and the sketches trigger regardless of which order you complete them in.]
[In the first encounter, the Nightmare Dimension fades in gradually, and Nightmare himself drops from the sky to block the player's progress.]
Nightmare: Look at you. Skuttering back and forth, completing menial tasks for anyone and everyone who asks out of a compulsive desire to eliminate loose ends. Tell me, where do you come into this? How does this help you better yourself?
Psi: What the hell are you talking about?
Nightmare: Have you already forgotten who you are? You are a one track mind, programmed to seek for your own purposes. You are simply looking in all the wrong places.
Psi: Enough of this cryptic bullcrap! Answer me!
Synn: Forget it, Psi. He's trying to manipulate you. Just beat him up and maybe you'll get a straight answer in his death throes.
Nightmare: I was starting to think you wouldn't propose that.
[The fight comes and goes, standard fare for a vs battle. The actual outcome of the fight does not matter]
Nightmare: You're holding back.
Psi: What? No I'm not.
Nightmare: I should know. I was holding back too. Like a mirror I can only reflect the prowess of the one who gazes apon it, yet you lack the vanity to take pride in your own image.
Synn: Forget this. You're coming with us.
Nightmare: Oh, no I'm not. You're not getting out of it that easy. I will only be taken in a fight with you at your peak. You'd better be ready, because next time I won't be nearly as merciful.
[Nightmare flies off, and the Nightmare Dimension fades with him, allowing the player to progress as normal.]
[The second encounter causes the Nightmare Dimension to trigger instantly, and for Nightmare to attempt an opportunistic attack to try and catch the player off guard. This move can actually damage the player if they aren't careful. The dialogue commences once the player is either clear of the attack or takes a hit from it.]
Nightmare: Time's up! If you hold back on me this time I'll make you regret it!
Psi: Do we have to do this now? I'm in the middle of something.
Nightmare: Always with the questions... you stare in the face of death, and the first thing you do is query. I've had enough! No more questions! No more pleas! No more stalling! Show me what you're made of! Drown me in your potential!
[The fight starts proper. Nightmare is a lot more aggressive this time around, but will otherwise behave as his standard VS AI dictates. Again, the actual outcome of the fight, even if the player loses, will not affect the end result.]
Nightmare: You're still not showing your true power! Why are you doing this to me!? Why aren't you hitting me with everything you've got!?
Psi: I still have no idea what you're talking about.
Nightmare: The lives of everyone around you could hang in the balance until I'm satisfied! Is that not a purpose worthy of your passion!? Not reason enough to fight with every fibre of your being!?
Synn: What the hell makes you think you deserve that kind of attention? We aim to keep you under wraps, not to indulge your sick self-destructive fetish.
Psi: Is fighting really worth getting that worked up over? Isn't it what we fight for that we should be worried about?
[A lengthy silence follows]
Nightmare: ...so that's what this is about. The lives of all these people are meaningless to you. No, there is something else that motivates you. And now I know exactly what it is.
[Nighmare starts to walk off the edge of the screen, turning his back on the player. He stops to deliver one last line, before disappearing and taking the Nightmare Dimension with him.]
Nightmare: I'll see you at your peak yet. And you will be ready the next time I see you, because the answers you seek aren't what you want to hear.