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Nightmare Ned is an adventure game released in 1997. It was developed by Creative Capers Entertainment and published by Disney Interactive Studios. It centers around Ned Needlemeyer, a young boy with an overactive imagination who dealt with problems through his nightmares. The nightmare realms were in a style that bore a resemblance to Tim Burton's work.
One day, Ned Needlemeyer, a 10-year old boy, arrives from school just as a storm is coming. He finds out that his house is empty and finds a note left by his mother, telling him that herself and Ned's baby sister, Amy, had to pick his dad up from work and should be home by 7 p.m. Ned then decides to spend his free time eating junk food and playing video games. Ned continues to enjoy himself until a lightning strike causes a power outage, turning Ned's video game off, ending his enjoyment. He hears the phone ring upstairs and goes to answer it, but there is no one at the other line. Ned then sees a shadow of a tree and confuses it for a monster. He tries to run away, but the phone cord trips Ned and he thinks the monster has got him. He soon realizes that it was just his fear getting the best of him and and decides to go to bed. Just as Ned walks to his room, five shadows follow him and sink into the quilt on his bed. Just as Ned falls asleep, a pair of monster hands grab hold of him and his blanket as his room breaks apart and falls into empty space. The hands then spiral the blanket around, sending Ned falling down a twisted void. As Ned is falling, the shadows who were following him introduce themselves, the Graveyard shadow, the Medical Shadow, the School Shadow, the Attic, Basement, and Beyond Shadow and the Bathroom Shadow. When Ned falls out of the void, he lands on a giant, gloomy version of his bed called the Quilt, which acts as the main HUB for the game. It contains passageways to five realms:
- The Graveyard
- Medical Nightmare
- Alcatraz Elementary School
- Attic, Basement, and Beyond
- The Bathroom
The player must help Ned overcome his fears by changing the shadow creatures to things from reality who are somehow connected with each problem. Ned can interact with certain objects and defeat and ward off enemies with his yo-yo. Each time Ned returns to the quilt, the player uses up one hour (there are only eight tries before Ned awakens). Hours can also be lost if Ned gets "clobbered" too many times. Each of the realms are linked to one another by secret passageways, which Ned can enter to transport from world to world. The game is won when all five shadow creatures are changed and Ned awakens in his parents' arms.
- Main article: Nightmare Ned (TV series)
The game inspired a short-lived television series which ran from April 19 to July 5, 1997 on ABC. The show focused on Ned Needlemeyer, who in each episode would face a problem in the real world. He would then fall asleep and face his problem as a dark, quirky nightmare. At the end of each episode, Ned would wake up and resolve the problem. The show had only 25 episodes before it ended. The show was cancelled due to causing the producers to over-budget and some parents complained the show to be too frightening for children.
The show's premiere date was also the tenth birthday for Ned's voice actor, Courtland Mead.