Ruby’s YouTube Recommendation: DiGi Valentine’s ‘Searching For Selph’ Uncovers Nights Into Dreams’ Lost Character

Ruby’s YouTube Recommendation: DiGi Valentine’s ‘Searching For Selph’ Uncovers Nights Into Dreams’ Lost Character
Image: Ruby Innes / Kotaku Australia

Good tidings to all the gamers, goblins, and ghouls! I present to you a new weekly post: Ruby’s YouTube Recommendations!

If you’re anything like me, you spend hours on YouTube. I’m an absolute fiend for a good deep dive, investigation, rabbit hole, or goofy video. YouTube is the perfect environment for that, allowing the average smart fella (or fart smella) to whip up a video essay, gameplay video, or descent into madness around a specific niche.

While we here at Kotaku Australia have hopes to do something of our own on the video-sharing website at some point, I thought in the meantime it would be neat to sit down once a week and share a gaming-adjacent video from YouTube and discuss a little about why I like it.

First up, a gorgeous video essay on Sega Saturn classic Nights Into Dreams.

Into the data mines

First off the ranks, let’s talk about data mining. The various data mining communities in the gaming world are more dedicated to a sweet little morsel of content than any person I’ve ever seen. If they get even a whiff of a pixel that isn’t seen in the finished product of a game, they go hog wild. It’s not only incredible to see, but the work that they do to figure out just what that pixel was supposed to be? Second to none.

Sometimes data mining can be a pain in the arse for the average joe to understand, which is why videos collating the findings as well as extra digging into developer responses can be eye-opening for people wanting to know more. That’s where DiGi Valentine‘s Nights Into Dreams essay ‘Searching For Selph’ comes in.

Nights Into Dreams and Searching For Selph

DiGi’s video dives into the recent data mining done on SEGA’s 1996 title Nights Into Dreams, a game that is considered ‘one of the greatest games of all time‘ and has garnered quite the cult following. The video focuses specifically on the discovery of a mysterious unused character found in the game’s data, ‘Selph/Self’.

It is a fantastic piece of investigation work into what happened to this character, and includes everything from interviews with developers that worked on the original game to icons, 3D renders, and hidden references to the character of Selph/Self within the games’ code. As someone that’s always admired this game from afar, I found that the video is great for fans of the series and people who have never heard of it alike.

DiGi also has a fantastic ongoing series on the channel called ‘Who Dat?’, which he describes as, ‘a show where I breakdown, analyse and review the design, personality and importance of a Video Game character.’ You can also support DiGi’s work on Patreon.

This weekly post will also double as an opportunity for creators to feature their work! If you’re in the business of making YouTube videos diving into niche gaming content, investigating lost game media, or just doing any cool shit with games, OR you have a favourite creator that you’d like us to spotlight, let us know!

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