Nightmare Zone

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Nightmare Zone
Nightmare Zone.png
Also called NMZ
Released 5 September 2013 (Update)
Type Minigame
Members Yes
Location Yanille
Participants 1-5
Skills Combat
Reward currency Nightmare Zone Points
Tutorial No
Music No
Nightmare Zone logo.png

The Nightmare Zone is a combat-based minigame located north-west of Yanille bank. Players enter a "dream" to take on bosses they have previously defeated during completed quests. It is run by Dominic Onion, a mage from Lunar Isle. The dreams that make up this minigame take place in an instance of the King Black Dragon Lair.

History[edit | edit source]

Dominic did not plan on calling his business the Nightmare Zone; it was what the local folk have been calling it. The plan came to him in a vivid dream when he was younger where he saw himself running a successful business from a great structure. He told his father about it, who laughed and said he should be a banker like his ancestors. He refused and wanted to find out what that dream meant, so he studied to find out more about Magic, particularly oneiromancy and dream interpretation. Once he had learned enough, he left Lunar Isle attempting to find the location where he built the huge tower. Since he had not found it or gathered enough money for its construction, he decided to set up a small business north of Yanille selling dreams to people.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

Requirements[edit | edit source]

To begin the minigame, at least five of the following quests must be completed:

The Ascent of Arceuus[n 1] Contact! The Corsair Curse
The Depths of Despair[n 1] Desert Treasure[n 2] Dragon Slayer I
Dream Mentor Fairy Tale I - Growing Pains Family Crest
Fight Arena[n 1] The Fremennik Isles Getting Ahead
The Grand Tree The Great Brain Robbery Grim Tales
Haunted Mine Holy Grail Horror from the Deep
In Search of the Myreque Legends' Quest Lost City[n 1][n 2]
Lunar Diplomacy Monkey Madness I Mountain Daughter[n 1]
My Arm's Big Adventure One Small Favour Recipe for Disaster
Roving Elves Shadow of the Storm Shilo Village
Song of the Elves Tale of the Righteous Tree Gnome Village[n 1][n 2]
Troll Romance Troll Stronghold Vampyre Slayer[n 1][n 2]
What Lies Below[n 1][n 2] Witch's House[n 1][n 2]
  1. ^ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 This quest is highly recommended for Meleeing.
  2. ^ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 This quest is highly recommended for Smoke Barrage/Burst or chinning.

Playing[edit | edit source]

The Nightmare Zone lobby.
Dominic's coffer.

Games are paid for by coins deposited into Dominic's coffer. They can only be deposited into and withdrawn from the coffer in multiples of 1000, up to a maximum of 262,143,000 coins.

Once a game mode is chosen, the player will agree to pay any applicable fees and Dominic will prepare the dream potion on a plinth in the centre of the lobby. Upon drinking the potion, an optional boss customization menu will appear, and after accepting the options the fee is deducted from the coffer and the player enters the Nightmare Zone arena. A dream can be cancelled prior to drinking the dream potion by speaking with Dominic which will not deduct money from the coffer.

The arena can be safely exited at any time by drinking one of the wake potions on the north or south sides of the arena. Another player's dream can be spectated by drinking the red spectator potion outside the lobby area and entering the name of the player.

Quest items previously required to kill bosses are not needed, except for ice gloves. For example, the Black Knight Titan will die without Excalibur, and items such as the magic secateurs are provided for Tanglefoot, a rune pickaxe for Slagilith, the anti-dragon shield for Elvarg, and runes for Chronozon or the Dagannoth mother. All items provided this way have (nz) at the end of their names, indicating that they will disappear when leaving the Nightmare Zone. Magic experience from casting spells by using (nz) runes is heavily reduced, but does not apply to experience gained from damage dealt. Players cannot cast most non-combat spells in the arena, the exceptions being Bones to Peaches and Bones to Bananas.

A bonecrusher can be used here as all bosses drop their bone-variation of drops, Tanglefoot drops leaves, Karamel drops Choc-ice, Dad drops Big Bones, etc. Long bones and curved bones can also drop from monsters that normally drop them.

Warning: For Hardcore Group Ironman deaths are not safe in Nightmare Zone. To avoid losing a life, exit the arena by drinking one of the dream potions on the north or south side of the arena.

Note: Logging out while inside the arena ends the dream, returning the player to the Nightmare Zone lobby.

Game modes[edit | edit source]

Two players participating in a rumble.

There are 3 modes in Nightmare Zone: practice, endurance, and rumble. Each mode has a 'Normal' and 'Hard' difficulty.

  • In the normal difficulty, all quest bosses have the same stats they have in their respective quests, as well as some of the mechanics.
  • In the hard difficulty, the bosses have increased Hitpoints, Attack, Strength, Magic, and Ranged levels where applicable. Their Defence and defensive bonuses remain unchanged, although there are a couple exceptions. Some bosses in the hard difficulty can only attack with Melee or lose some special fight mechanics, such as Ice Troll King and Jungle Demon. Some bosses gain extra mechanics, such as The Untouchable, which reflects 20% of any damage dealt.

The cost of each mode varies depending on type and difficulty:

Cost per dream
Mode Normal Hard
Practice Free Free
Endurance 1,000 5,000
Rumble 2,000 6,000
Custom rumble 22,000 26,000
Custom rumble with
maximum quest points
12,000 16,000

Practice[edit | edit source]

In practice mode, a previously defeated boss can be selected to fight 1-on-1 until either the boss or player dies. Players do not gain any experience or Nightmare Zone points from defeating the boss, and the kill does not count for a Slayer assignment. Drops will be awarded upon defeat of the boss however, such as dragon bones from Elvarg.

Endurance[edit | edit source]

Endurance mode is a 1-on-1 fight with every unlocked boss in waves until either the player dies or defeats all unlocked bosses, earning points for each boss defeated (see 'Points Awarded' in the bosses table below).

Beating every boss in normal endurance mode awards a total of 216,634 points and in hard endurance mode a total of 794,770.

Rumble[edit | edit source]

The interface for customisable rumble dreams.

Rumble mode allows a single player or group of up to 5 players to fight multiple bosses at the same time in a random order with duplicates. A solo player will only ever encounter a maximum of 4 bosses at once. Adding more players to the party increases the maximum bosses in the arena at one time. Killing a boss rewards points and causes another boss to spawn afterwards endlessly until the player dies or leaves.

A standard rumble uses all unlocked bosses. For a higher cost players can select a customisable rumble, which upon starting gives the option to toggle any unlocked boss on or off. However, disabling bosses reduces the number of points rewarded for each kill.

If starting a rumble with a group, all players involved must have the required amount of coins in the coffer. Only bosses that all players involved have unlocked are accessible. Partying with another player who has completed more or fewer quests than you does not affect points gained.

To start a rumble, a player must first speak to Dominic, and if grouping up, invite other participating players within the enclosure. Leaving the enclosure automatically removes that player from the group. Once the hosting player drinks the Dream potion, players in the group will be prompted to either join the shared dream or leave the group.

The maximum number of points that can be gained in one hard rumble is 1,048,575 () points.

Players can be in the Nightmare Zone for 6 hours before being 6 hour logged.

Power-ups[edit | edit source]

A player using the Zapper power-up in Rumble mode.

In Rumble mode, there are power-ups that spawn in the arena randomly and giving the player that activates it a temporary advantage. Power-ups disappear after 1 minute if they are not activated.

  • Recurrent damage adds an additional hit which deals 3/4 of the initial damage. For example, hitting a 35 will deal an extra 26 damage. The extra damage does not give experience. This power-up is red in colour and lasts 45 seconds.
  • Zapper damages nearby monsters over time, and the attacks have a max hit of 8. The zapper does not damage bosses immune to normal attacks (such as the Dagannoth Mother and Tanglefoot). This power-up is purple in colour and lasts 1 minute.
  • Power surge fills the player's special attack bar and regenerates it by 20% per tick. This power-up is yellow in colour and lasts 45 seconds.
  • Ultimate force instantly kills all the bosses present in the arena. Points are not rewarded for those bosses death. This power-up is white in colour.
    • These kills will, however, count towards a Slayer task (if applicable) and grant Slayer experience as long as the player dealt at least 1 damage to the assigned monster.
    • Additionally, any bosses killed with Ultimate Force will not drop their 100% drop unless the player has dealt at least 1 damage to them.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Slayer training[edit | edit source]

Some monsters within the Nightmare Zone provide Slayer experience when killed on task. While this offers a lot slower experience than training Slayer normally, it can be a decent low-effort option for some players.

In order to start an instance, five bosses must be selected. To maximise Slayer experience per hour, it is recommended to use other bosses that are easy and quick to kill such as Count Draynor, Trapped Soul, Sand Snake, and King Roald. The use of all power-ups is recommended, including Ultimate Force if at least one point of damage has been dealt to the Slayer task monster.

Slayer task Monster Slayer XP gained (hard mode) Quest
Birds Evil Chicken 120 (240) Recipe for Disaster - Sir Amik Varze
Birds Giant Roc 250 (255) My Arm's Big Adventure
Black Demon Black demon 157 (255) The Grand Tree
Dagannoths Dagannoth Mother 126 (252) Horror from the Deep
Green Dragon Elvarg 80 (246) Dragon Slayer I
Ice Warrior Kamil 146 (312) Desert Treasure
Lizardman Corrupt Lizardman 50 (150) Tale of the Righteous
Scabarite Giant Scarab 137 (280.5) Contact!
Troll Dad 126 (264) Troll Stronghold
Troll Arrg 150.5 (299.6) Troll Romance
Troll Ice Troll King 161 (287) The Fremennik Isles
Vampyre Count Draynor 35 (210) Vampyre Slayer
Vampyre Dessous 220 (299.6) Desert Treasure

Bosses[edit | edit source]

All monsters that can be encountered within the Nightmare Zone are listed in the table below. The more quests the player has completed, the more monsters the player has access to. Many bosses provide increased experience per damage dealt, such as Dad, Moss Guardian, Arrg, and the Ice Troll King.

Point values increase based on the number of bosses included. The point values shown below are the maximum points that can be given, which assumes all quests have been completed and all bosses are enabled.

In a team, points are split between those who attacked the monster. The person who did the most damage will take a larger percentage of the maximum points from that monster. In Rumble mode, the only bosses that appear are those that all participating players have access to.

Headless Beast, Kamil, Elven Traitor, Essyllt, and The Inadequacy are all immune to movement inhibitors from ice spells, bind, snare, and entangle.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Players can purchase various rewards and imbues from a chest near Dominic Onion. These can only be purchased using the reward points obtained inside the minigame. Players can have up to 2,147,483,647 points at once.

Resources[edit | edit source]

The rewards for participating in the Nightmare Zone.

Resources include certain Herblore ingredients, elemental runes, and items that are only obtainable via the minigame, such as herb boxes and scrolls of redirection. Players can only buy up to 15 herb boxes per day.

Ironmen can only buy scrolls of redirection from this tab.

sold at
GE priceGP per point
Bucket of sand.pngBucket of sand200450.23
Dragon scale dust.pngDragon scale dust7501400.19
Compost potion(4).pngCompost potion(4)50001220.02
Air rune.pngAir rune2550.20
Water rune.pngWater rune2550.20
Earth rune.pngEarth rune2540.16
Fire rune.pngFire rune2560.24
Rune essence.pngRune essence60140.23
Pure essence.pngPure essence7020.03
Herb box.pngHerb box950010,507.70[n 1]1.11
Vial of water.pngVial of water14540.03
Scroll of redirection.pngScroll of redirection775N/AN/A
  1. ^ Herb box value approximated based on data located on its page.

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

Certain items can be imbued with the reward points. Imbuing an item provides extra bonuses and appends an (i) to the item name. Imbued items can be uncharged, which removes the bonuses from the item and refunds 80% of the reward points used to imbue it.

Item Imbued Bonuses Points required
Black mask (i) Black mask (imbued)[n 1]
  • 15% bonus to Magic and Ranged accuracy and damage on Slayer tasks.
  • +0 Magic and Ranged attack bonuses instead of negative bonuses.
Slayer helmet (i) Slayer helmet (imbued)
  • 15% bonus to Magic and Ranged accuracy and damage on Slayer tasks.
  • +3 Magic and Ranged attack bonuses instead of negative bonuses.
  • +10 Magic and Ranged defence bonus instead of a negative bonus.
Salve amulet(i) Salve amulet (imbued)
  • 15% bonus to Magic accuracy and damage against undead monsters.
  • 1/6 (16.67%) bonus to Ranged accuracy and damage against undead monsters.
Salve amulet(ei) Salve amulet (e) (imbued) 20% bonus to Magic and Ranged accuracy and damage against undead monsters. 800,000
Ring of the gods (i) Ring of the gods (imbued) Doubles the Prayer bonus and gives the effect of the holy wrench when equipped. 650,000[n 2]
Ring of suffering (i) Ring of suffering (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 725,000
Berserker ring (i) Berserker ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Warrior ring (i) Warrior ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Archers ring (i) Archers ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Seers ring (i) Seers ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Tyrannical ring (i) Tyrannical ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Treasonous ring (i) Treasonous ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 650,000
Granite ring (i) Granite ring (imbued) Doubles equipment bonuses. 500,000
Total 7,825,000[n 3]
  1. ^ A black mask (i) can be used to assemble a Slayer helm (i).
  2. ^ Imbuing this item requires having a holy wrench in the inventory in addition to the points.
  3. ^ Total includes only one each of the imbued versions of the black mask or Slayer helmet and the Salve amulet or Salve amulet (e).

Benefits[edit | edit source]

A player uses an overload potion.

Benefits include certain potions that can only be used within the minigame. The potions are sold by the dose and are automatically stored in the nearby barrels, with each barrel being able to hold up to 255 doses of each potion. Players can freely withdraw the desired number of doses of each potion before entering a dream, empty vials are not required. Upon death in a dream, any unused potions are not lost.

All Nightmare Zone potions (excluding overloads, due to the damage dealt) can be drunk extremely quickly and do not delay any hits. Like combo foods, 28 doses of absorption potion can be drunk at the speed of cleaning an inventory of herbs, by clicking on them one by one. This can also be done with food/other potions with Nightmare Zone potions, without delaying any hits.

Item Points per dose Effective cost[n 1]
Super ranging (1) inventory image Super ranging (1) 250 276.52
Super magic potion (1) inventory image Super magic potion (1) 250 276.52
Overload (1) (Nightmare Zone) inventory image Overload (1) 1,500 1,659.11
Absorption (1) inventory image Absorption (1) 1,000 1,106.07
  1. ^ Based on average value of herb boxes.

Development history[edit | edit source]

The overall concept for the Nightmare Zone, derived from RuneScape's Dominion Tower minigame, was first mentioned on 19 April 2013 in the Developer's Blog for the game's third content poll, in a section detailing the development of future content and asking players to come up with some designs, keeping in mind the limitations of the team's development tools. One example the team gave was written as such:

An aged guardian stands by a lever near the Yanille bank. When you talk to her, she lists the boss monsters of various quests that you have completed. You select which one you'd like to fight again. Once you're ready, you pull the lever. You are teleported into a cave that looks exactly like the KBD lair, but instead of the KBD you meet the monster you wished to fight. It's a private cave, so you'd have the monster all to yourself. If you win, you get rewarded with yellow tokens. The aged guardian exchanges these for degradable yellow armour that absorbs monster damage but not PVP damage.
— Mod Ash & Mod Nexus, Content Developers

The concept, well received by players, was later expanded in another Developer's Blog on 13 May 2013. The blog outlined a provisional list of quests with bosses that the player would be able to re-fight, alongside Endurance and Rumble modes. The rewards mentioned in this blog offered only consumable resources (ex. flax, essence, and herblore ingredients).

First poll[edit | edit source]

An updated blog was released on 5 June 2013, which added fees for entering a dream, a hard mode for both Endurance and Rumble modes, in addition to offering more rewards alongside the aforementioned consumable resources:

  • Sets of degradeable tier 50 and 65 melee, ranged, or magic equipment. Charged with reward points, they would have had a random chance to restore health during combat.
  • Teleport scrolls to runic altars
  • Teleport scrolls to player-owned house portals

The minigame was put to a poll the next day in Old School feature poll 5 – Dom Onion Cave, and more..., passing with 77.4% of voters supporting the minigame's development, though all the offered rewards failed to pass. The poll also let players vote on the location and name of the minigame. The location with the most votes was Yanille (30.5%), while the name with the most votes was Nightmare Zone (25.2%).

The other locations, in order of popularity, were:

  • Edgeville (24.8%)
  • Varrock (15.75%)
  • Seers' Village (11.8%)
  • Falador (11.2%)
  • East Ardougne (5.9%)

The other names, in order of popularity, were:

  • Dom Onion's Cave (21.6%)
  • DreamArena (21.2%)
  • Dominic's Den (17.1%)
  • Domain of Morpheus (14.8%)

Rewards poll[edit | edit source]

The Nightmare Zone's reward shop as it appeared on release.

With the Nightmare Zone's release on 5 September 2013, the reward shop only offered resources and potions used inside the minigame. After player feedback, more rewards were offered in a Developer's Blog on 13 September 2013, and were polled five days later in Old School feature poll 10: New Rewards.

Imbues[edit | edit source]

The first set of rewards included using reward points to imbue certain rings and equipment:

  • Imbued Fremennik rings would have their stats doubled.
  • Imbued diamond rings would have a +5 Stab bonus, with +4 in all other Attack bonuses
  • Imbued dragonstone rings would have +5 Attack and Defence bonuses
  • Imbued onyx rings would have +6 Attack and Defence bonuses
  • Imbued black masks would have their negative Attack bonuses removed, and would give a +15% accuracy in Ranged and Magic, and a +15% damage bonus in Ranged, alongside the mask's original bonuses.
  • Imbued crystal equipment would not have their stats degrade with each degradation stage.

All imbues, excluding the jewelled rings, passed the poll. The imbued black mask would later receive a +15% magic damage bonus in another poll, while imbuing crystal equipment was removed with the release of Song of the Elves, where their stats no longer degrade at all.

High-level potions[edit | edit source]

The second set of rewards included tradeable ingredients to create higher level potions.

  • Super anti-fire - Requiring level 89 Herblore to make (and level 93 to create the barbarian mix version), the potion would provide complete immunity to regular dragonfire (and reduced effects for the King Black Dragon's dragonfire attacks) for an unspecified amount of time.
  • Energy renewal - Requiring level 92 Herblore to make (and level 96 to create the barbarian mix version), the potion would fully restore run energy, and keep it at 100% for 30 seconds.
  • Super prayer - Requiring level 94 Herblore to make (and level 98 to create the barbarian mix version), the potion would restore 4 more prayer points per dose than a normal prayer potion, with the added benefit of being able to restore above the player's maximum Prayer points.

All three failed the poll; the super antifire potion would later be released as part of Dragon Slayer II, and the stamina potion could be considered as a reworked energy renewal potion.

Quest point cape (t)[edit | edit source]

Early testing by Mod Ash of recolouring the cape's trimmed section.

The quest point cape was offered to be trimmable upon completion of an Endurance dream alongside a small stat increase.

  • Completing a normal Endurance dream would trim the cape blue, increasing the Defence bonuses from +9 to +11 and giving it a +2 Prayer bonus.
  • Completing a hard Endurance dream would trim the cape red, giving it +1 in all Attack bonuses, in addition to the blue-trimmed cape's bonus increases. This would give the red-trimmed cape identical bonuses to a fire cape (excluding its +4 Strength bonus).

Both cape trims failed the poll. The quest point cape would later become trimmable on 5 March 2015, upon the completion of all Achievement Diaries.

Other[edit | edit source]

Other rewards offered include:

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
13 April 2022

Bosses now spawn with reduced delays in endurance fights.

2 April 2020

Some spammy messages that played in Nightmare Zone when a boss transitions to another form instead of dying have been filtered.

25 July 2019
(update | poll)

With the release of Song of the Elves, Crystal equipment no longer degrades from use and therefore are not able to be imbued.

4 July 2019
(update | poll)

With the release of the Forthos Dungeon, red spiders' eggs have now been removed from the resource shop. Prior to its removal, it cost 300 points.

10 January 2019
(update | poll)

With snape grass and potato cacti becoming farmable produce, they were removed from the resource shop. Prior to their removal, they cost 175 and 1,250 points respectively.

6 October 2016

Rock cakes and explosive Digsite liquids can now hit through the absorption potion in Nightmare Zone.

10 March 2016
(update | poll)
  • Players can select their own set of bosses within normal and hard dreams by selecting the customisable options after selecting Rumble mode for 20,000 coins or 10,000 with maximum quest points.
  • Practice mode is available for free for all bosses.
18 February 2016

The Nightmare Zone versions of Fareed and Flambeed will no longer have a chance of dropping weapons on the ground when you have a full inventory.

21 May 2015
(update | poll)

The Ring of the Gods can now be imbued at Nightmare Zone for 650,000 points with a holy wrench in inventory.

3 April 2014

Items at NMZ no longer show their colour tags.

17 October 2013
(update | poll)

The Nightmare Zone reward shop now has Bank PIN protection.

10 October 2013

We have also made the overload potion in Nightmare Zone hit you for 50 hitpoints of damage when you drink it, in a similar way to how it worked before EoC.

3 October 2013

The overload effect from Nightmare Zone now resets itself more quickly if you leave unexpectedly.

26 September 2013
(update | poll)
  • The Seer, Archer, Warrior and Berserker rings can be imbued, improving their combat stats.
  • Crystal bows and shields can be imbued, making them keep their combat stats unchanged as they degrade.
  • Black Masks can be imbued, giving you combat bonuses when using Magic or Ranged attacks against your assigned Slayer target, and improving their combat stats a little.
  • The reward shop now sells Scrolls of Redirection that can be used to change the destination of a 'Teleport to House' tablet. You can choose a destination of any player-owned house portal, or Trollheim.
  • The reward shop now sells vials and a limited supply of herb boxes.
19 September 2013

Some balancing changes have been made in Nightmare Zone to favour players who've completed a wider variety of quests, not just the Lunar series.

12 September 2013
  • The Dagannoth and Gelattinoth Mothers no longer notify you about their colour changes if you've left the Nightmare Zone arena.
  • Nightmare Zone now plays more appropriate music for the Ice Troll King.
5 September 2013
(update | poll)

Added to the game.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Dominic Onion is a play on "Dominion" as the minigame resembles the Dominion Tower in RuneScape.
  • Trying to cast the Lunar spell Dream while in a dream within the Nightmare Zone yields the message: You cannot perform Inception here. Dreaming within this dream will inevitably activate your Kick (i.e. death)., as a reference to the 2010 sci-fi movie Inception.
  • There is a very small chance for a cow to appear inside a dream. According to Mod Mat K (confirming player speculation), this is an easter egg referring to the cow in the area to start a dream, which couldn't be moved when the minigame was developed due to the lack of a map editor.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 9 August 2017. (Archived from the original on 26 April 2020.) Mod Ash: "I don't see any in the list that look like they'd be classed as undead."
  2. ^ Mod Mat K. "Legitimately unsure how the Cow got into NMZ?." 13 May 2015. Reddit Forums.