Rise of Nightmares (ライズ オブ ナイトメア) is a survival horror video game developed and published by Sega for the Xbox 360. The game was revealed to the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, and is designed specifically for Kinect. It is the first M-rated Kinect game released.


The game begins when a couple of prisoners attempting to escape from the dungeon they are imprisoned in. After breaking out of their cell, they found a door but it was locked, one of the prisoners pulled a nearby lever which unlocked the door, however it also let loose the other creatures that were locked in the dungeon. They made it to the hall and saw a door, however a monstrous masked figure suddenly appears, they panicked and ran towards the door. The door was locked and it also turned out to be a trap, the wall closes in and kills them both.

While on vacation in Romania, Josh and his wife Kate are on a train with several other tourists. During the train ride, Kate is about to tell Josh something when she discovers he was hiding a bottle of alcohol, hinting at a drinking problem. Angry, she walks out and heads to the dining car. Josh comes across a Romanian man who tells him that his wife left a letter for him, and then Josh reads it. It says that Kate is sorry for getting angry at Josh and that she wasn't herself lately and also says for Josh to meet her at the dining cart. Feeling guilty, Josh heads to the dining car to apologize. On his way, he encounters many travelers, such as an elderly man - Gregor; a student - Lin; two ballerinas - Sacha and Tasha; four teenagers - Monica, Max, Aaron and Katja, heading to a rave they heard online; an English psychiatrist - Jane; two Romanian military officers - Odessa and his comrade; a Romanian ticket collector; a Dutch businessman - Peter; and Yeli, a fortune-teller who gives Josh a grim prediction. He then proceeds further only to find the car covered in blood. Bursting into the car, he find his wife being carried away by Ernst, a large man wearing an odd-looking mechanical mask. Odessa's comrade tries to stop the man, but is ripped in half. Josh and Yeli follow, catching a glimpse of a strange man who is laughing manically. Suddenly, the train derails. Josh awakens to find the train in a river, and tries to save the ticket collector but fails. Odessa yells at him to run due to the incoming rapids and Josh successfully makes it to shore.

Josh along with the other survivors, consisting of Lin, Odessa, Monica, Max and Gregor all took refuge in a nearby cave, with no way calling for help. Frustrated by their predicament, Peter walks away from the cave into the forest only to be killed by something off screen. Panicking, the survivors, except Gregor ventures further into the cave until they fall out of a slope into a swamp. While making their way across, Odessa is pulled under and presumably killed, causing the remaining survivors to panic. After escaping the swamp and walking through the forest, they come upon a cemetery where they meet up with another group of survivors, Aaron, Sacha and Tasha. Lin wanders into a cellar and is heard screaming. Josh runs to help and finds her panicking, saying she saw a corpse move. Josh investigates and the corpse, along with several others reanimate and attack. Lin runs away and Josh fends them off before pursuing her. Josh exits the cellar and finds that all the survivors have run off due to the zombies. As Josh makes his way through the cemetery, he hears a scream and watches as Monica is decapitated by Ernst and then thrown at a wall. Ernst then subdues Josh, who loses consciousness.

Josh awakens to find that he has been tied to a chair by Viktor, the mad scientist responsible for the zombies. Max is tied up as well, but is soon killed by Viktor. He is about to kill Josh when he gets a phone call and exits urgently, leaving a zombie nurse to finish the job. Fortunately, Josh is rescued and freed by the Romanian who told Josh of Kate's letter, and they attempt to find their way out. The two make their way though a hall when the survivor inspects a fresh bloodstain, only to end up bisected by a trap. Josh fights his way through a horde of zombies and encounters Jane, but she is kidnapped by Ernst. He later comes across a ringing phone. Josh answers and hears Kate begging him to help, followed by a woman's voice telling him that he will never find her,and a projector shows footage of a webcam with a mysterious woman next to Kate, who is captive in a torture chair. He continues to find strange bedrooms; in one such room, there is a crib and a doll making sounds of crying. He then finds a sewing room, filled with dresses and mannequins, one of which resembles like a zombie. He advances to a cave to find that the two Russian ballerinas are now zombies. The strange woman from before traps him in with the zombie twins. After he defeats them, he wanders outside to a courtyard.

In the courtyard, he hears someone asking him to help him out of the shed. The man, Marchosias claims to have been Viktor's employee once, also claiming to know how to release Kate. He has Josh search for the key and when freed, Josh is surprised to find that his head has been sewn to the body of a small lapdog. The man tells Josh that he will only help him if Josh helps return him to his human state. After being restored, he gives Josh the key to the tall tower and tells him there's a surprise at the top. Josh then wanders to the top of the tower to find the raver couple, now resembling marionettes. He kills them, and then is transported to a cave, where he picks up a mystical weapon, Azoth, that attaches to his left hand.

Josh eventually finds Kate, but she is strapped to a table with Viktor and Ernst next to her. Viktor tells Ernst to kill Josh, but Josh defeats him. Near death, Ernst becomes more human, and lets Josh and Kate escape. In a fit of rage, Viktor brutally murders Ernst. Josh and Kate run into a forest, but Kate is entranced by a sudden music that starts playing, and she wanders into a sacrificial site. Viktor is there, but dressed as his wife Mary. He opens up a portal, but Josh destroys the towers that created it, and Viktor is burned to death by an electric strike. However, before he can reach Kate, Marchosias knocks Josh unconscious.

Josh wakes up to find that he is strapped to a vertical table, with the bodies of Viktor and Ernst present too. Marchosias reveals that he was fascinated by Viktor, and will use Josh in order to reincarnate him. Out of Viktor's corpse he pulls out an eel- like creature, and inserts it into Josh's mouth, making Viktor take the body of Josh.

Josh then reawakens to find himself in a prison cell, in the body of Ernst. He sees Kate walking along with Viktor, who is now in the body of Josh. Kate now believes that Viktor is Josh, and that Josh is Ernst. The two leave Josh/Ernst in his cell. Soon, Josh hears Aaron and Katja, who have escaped from their cell, an event that happens at the start of the game. They open all the cell doors, and Josh tries to follow them, but they scream and run away because they think that he is Ernst. Aaron and Katja run into a trap, and are crushed by two walls. Josh escapes, and also has the advantage of Ernst's two chain hands that can kill an enemy from a distance.

Josh runs after Kate, and sees her walking off with Viktor in Josh's body. He follows, and meets Marchosias. He then reveals an altered Jane, and tells her to kill Josh. Josh overpowers her, and she goes into a mental breakdown. As she starts to burn up, she jumps onto Marchosias, and they both burn together. Josh staggers out into the forest, and collapses.

He wakes up to see Yeli dancing in front of him, saying that before Josh can kill Viktor and claim back his body, he must enter the dream realm to learn why everything happened, then she stabs him with a dagger that sends him back to the train. Josh can also hear the inner thoughts of the train's deceased passengers at the time, revealing some dark secrets about each of them before disappearing. Lastly, he sees Kate who is concern about their failing marriage and hopes that revealing her pregnancy, a fact Josh didn't know may change his attitude. Viktor then appears by her side, saying that she is the same as his wife Mary. Kate then disappears, leaving only Viktor who runs away after noticing Josh's presence.

Next, Josh is led to Viktor's memories with Mary. At first, Mary and Viktor were happy because they could have a baby. Then, Josh learns that Viktor tried to make the baby genetically perfect but accidentally killed it, and Mary shouted at him. He strangled Mary to death mindlessly, and then he vowed to learn how to resurrect the dead to bring Mary back. He then sees Viktor dressed in Mary's clothes, and then Josh goes into Viktor's dream world to defeat him. Viktor scolds Josh, saying that his baby is gone, before Viktor suddenly turns into a complete robotic being. Josh finds Yeli's dagger, and stabs Viktor in the heart.

Josh wakes up to see that in real life, he has stabbed Yeli. Not only that, but he is in his own body, and not Ernst's. Josh coughs up Viktor's eel, and it dies. Yeli then tells Josh that Kate is at the ritual site, and she charges his Azoth. She then dies next to the body of Ernst. Josh proceeds to find Kate, and he is teleported to a staircase where he can hear Viktor and Mary. They are arguing, with Mary saying that Viktor killed their baby. Josh then arrives in Mary's dream world, a mystical land of floating islands. Josh finds Mary tending to his unborn baby. Mary demands that he leaves but Josh refuses and she battles him. She is actually a massive demon that flies, with another head in her heart-like body. Josh eventually kills her with the Azoth. Josh then takes back his baby, and the dream stops.

In a post- credits scene, Josh and a pregnant Kate are leaving Romania on a train. As Josh leaves, he bumps into a man, his face and body badly burned and bandaged. The man sits down near Kate, and opens his suitcase to reveal three small phials with the parasites in them. The man at Kate with a sinister grin and then laughs, and the game ends.


Character Voice actor Motion capture
Josh Gideon Emery Justin Kay[1]
Kate Amy Ellenberger
Viktor Fleischer Braeden Marcott Braeden Marcott[2]
Mary Fleischer Kristina Klebe
Yeli Thea Mercouffer
Marchosias Liam O'Brien
Aaron Jon Curry
Katja Ann Christine
Max Max Vaughn
Monica Jessica DiCicco
Jane Mary Birdsong
Peter Jim Ward
Lin Zinnia Su
Gregor Fred Tatasciore
Sacha and Tasha Anastasia Baranova
Odessa Liam O'Brien
Odessa's comrade Unknown
Conductor Unknown
Ernst Unknown
Roland Childs Unknown N/A


Rise of Nightmares was developed by Sega CS3, not to be confused with the already defunct division of the same name with Producer Satoshi Ito and Director Ryuta Ueda at the helm of the project.[3] The development team conducted research on alchemy, tarots, and histories of supernatural science as influence for the game's story and setting.

The development team hired American composer Ron Fish to compose for the game's soundtrack, citing Eastern European music as influence due to the game's setting. According to Ueda, it took about a year and a half to two years to develop the game.

The game was first announced at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, featuring a teaser trailer. The game was also in attendance for E3 2011. Originally intended to be released on August 16th, 2011[4], the game suffered delay for a month, eventually being released on September, 2011.


Rise Of Nightmares has received mixed reviews. GameSpot gave it a score of 5.5, praising the visual atmosphere and variety of weapons, but claiming that the motion controls of the game are unnatural and awkward. Joystiq awarded the game a score of 3.5/5 stars, praising the potential of the motion controls, but stating that the story of the game "is hackneyed at best and nonsensical at worst."

In other mediaEdit

Sega has formed the production company Stories International and teaming up with Evan Cholfin for film and television projects based on their games with Rise of Nightmares as an animated project.[5]


  • According to Satoshi Ito and Ryuta Ueda, the reason that firearms were not included in Rise of Nightmares was because the story is about an ordinary people, and firing around a gun is not very common as guns don’t simply grow on trees, therefore it would've required a lot of work to obtain one in an unfamiliar foreign country. They also stated that it's more "challenging" and "terrifying" to directly fight with bare hands or using weapons rather than playing by firearms equipped.
  • Due to Rise of Nightmares being developed by Sega, many fans have associated the game with the company's other popular zombie title, The House of the Dead and many had thought that it was being developed by the same team. Contrary to popular belief, none of the game's development team members actually worked on The House of the Dead, with the exception of Ito himself who previously worked as one of the designers for the first The House of the Dead game.