Ninety-Nine Nights

Ninety-Nine Nights
Developer(s) Q Entertainment
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios
Designer(s) Sang Youn Lee
Tetsuya Mizuguchi
Composer(s) Pınar Toprak
Takayuki Nakamura
Shingo Yasumoto
Yasuo Kijima (arranger; original music by Antonín Dvořák and Antonio Vivaldi)[1]
Engine Fame Tech 1[2]
(a.k.a. Blue Engine[3])
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s)
  • JP: April 20, 2006
  • NA: August 15, 2006
  • PAL: September 1, 2006
Genre(s) Hack and slash, Action
Mode(s) Single player

Ninety-Nine Nights, (Korean: 나인티-나인 나이츠, Japanese: ナインティ ナイン ナイツ), is a fantasy hack and slash video game developed for the Xbox 360 by an alliance between Q Entertainment and Phantagram; video game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi served as producer for the game. The game features hundreds of enemies onscreen at any given time, and borrows heavily from other video games of the genre, most notably from the Dynasty Warriors and Kingdom Under Fire series'.

The game was released in Japan on April 20, 2006, in North America on August 15, 2006, and in Europe on August 25, 2006. A demo of Ninety-Nine Nights was released on a DVD-ROM as a pre-order bonus in Japan, and on July 28, 2006, one was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo is free and available in all regions.

A sequel, Ninety-Nine Nights II was announced at Microsoft's Tokyo Game Show press conference in 2008,[4] and released in 2010.

Game design

Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes developer Youn-Lee was involved in creating the game; the game had only six months development time - development kits were received in September 2005, and the game was released in March 2006 in Japan.[5]


Ninety-Nine Nights met with near universal acclaim for its graphics when released. The tone and quality of this game had made drastic changes from other similar games, and graphically was one of the "better" games of its time. The graphical style is for the most part distinctly Western, while set in a fantasy universe.

The games visual design takes cues from medieval fantasy and high fantasy and includes Orcs, goblins and trolls, whilst the games in world architecture in human areas is medieval, typically of the romanesque style. Plot-related characters follow a similar character design strategy to most fantasy role playing games. However, the main characters show some characteristics of an East Asian video game - similar to that of role playing games - large 'baby-like' eyes on one character and the standard teenage leads.

The ubiquitous snow, tropical forest and rocky desert scenarios make their respective appearances in the different levels, amongst others.

Individual soldiers each have their own unique appearance, randomly garbed in a "mix and match" fashion from the available pieces of armor and other items of clothing. In-game cutscenes are rendered using the in-game character models.


This game is of the crowd combat subgenre, in which players battle hundreds of foes simultaneously. Combo moves are performed by using various combinations of the two main attack buttons, while the jump and dash buttons can initiate other actions or specialty attacks. Individual enemies are generally quite weak, typically being unable to perform any combos or block with any effectiveness.

There are seven different characters with different play styles, although only one character, Inphyy, is unlocked at the beginning. Successfully completing each character's story will unlock one or two new characters, until they have all been revealed.

After completing levels in Ninety-Nine Nights, a player's performance is scored, with both a letter grade and 'points' being awarded, depending on how well the player did. Points can be spent to unlock extras, such as concept art and character bios.

The title has limited role-playing elements, with characters gaining levels and being able to select which weapons and accessories to equip. These performance-enhancing items can be found in the different stages or are awarded for excellent performance, providing benefits such as increased attack power. As the characters gain levels they learn additional attack combinations, but there is no opportunity for skill customization.

Another key component of the title is the "Orb Attack" / "Orb Spark" element. Killing enemies yields red orbs that are stored up until the "Orb Attack" bar is full. Once the bar is full, a player may press B to enter "Orb Attack" mode, where the character can use powerful attacks to slay groups of enemies. Enemies killed while in this mode drop blue, not red, orbs. Once a player has stored up enough blue orbs (which usually requires several "Orb Attacks"), he or she can unleash a super-devastating, screen-clearing "Orb Spark" attack. Killing enemies yields the occasional equipment drop, which you can equip any time during a map as long as you are not retaliating from an attack, in midair, or in the middle of an attack.

The orb collection mechanic is not unlike that found in Onimusha: Warlords except that it is automatic. The orb attacks are comparable to "Musou attacks" in the Dynasty Warriors series, in that the player is invulnerable while making them, although in Ninety-Nine Nights, such attacks are significantly more powerful.

Each character has their own unique attacks, weapons and orb attacks, as well having their own questline (of around four stages on average).

Game mechanics

The gameplay differs somewhat from previous games in this genre as enemy soldiers put up virtually no resistance. Players will routinely mow down thousands of such troops per level using various attack combinations. The Orb attacks effectively act as "nuke buttons", destroying vast formations of enemy soldiers, with only boss characters and some formation leaders unaffected.

Each level takes the form of a series of smaller battles which are often interspersed with cutscenes. Although there are usually several objectives during a level, progress through levels and the game is mostly linear.

In a stark contrast to the cannon fodder foes, the boss characters are typically quite challenging and can inflict massive amounts of damage in a short period of time.

Playable characters

Non-playable Characters (NPCs)

There are two types of NPCs that appear in the game: the common soldiers that make up the ranks of the armies and the characters who have important roles to play in the story. Here are the names and descriptions of some of the important NPCs encountered in the game, as provided in the game's booklet.


Review scores
Game Informer7.5/10
OXM (US)7.5/10

Ninety-Nine Nights received mixed reviews from various media outlets. On the review aggregator GameRankings, the game had an average score of 63% based on 81 reviews.[6] On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 61 out of 100, based on 66 reviews indicating mixed or average reviews.[7]

IGN and GameSpot gave it relatively poor review scores of 5.6 out of 10 and a 5.9 out of 10, respectively. On the other hand, Play Magazine awarded it a score of 90% in its review, while the Official Xbox Magazine gave it a 7.5 out of 10. The Japanese magazine Famitsu awarded the game a score of 31/40 (8/8/8/7).[8]


  1. "Ninety-Nine Nights". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  2. "Fame Tech 1 intro". Blueside official website.
  3. "Behind-the-scenes of Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom". IGN. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  4. Christopher Grant (8 October 2008). "Microsoft's TGS 2008 Press Conference". Joystiq.
  5. Robert Purchese (26 October 2010), "Xbox Live policy slows 360 KUFII release",, Eurogamer
  6. "Ninety-Nine Nights Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  7. "Ninety-Nine Nights (xbox360: 2006): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  8. "Ninety-Nine Nights Reviews(+famitsu).". Gamekult. April 14, 2006.
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