Nightmare Fuel / Doom

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For games with their own pages, see:

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    Classic series 
  • Doom... Demons everywhere, but maybe turning them into Ludicrous Gibs is even scarier.
    • From the demon's perspective? YOU. They were slaughtering everyone in seconds a moment ago, and here comes the lone survivor, a guy who punched his superior officer for ordering him to engage civilians and fell asleep before you invaded.
      • Also further to note that the Doomguy is proportedly the only survivor of using the berserk packs- and uses the entire box of them. A single one of them is enough to kill someone. And he could probably punch his commanding officer to death in a single hit, and gib them much like the demons.
  • The face in the HUD also keeps getting bloodier as you take more damage. In some versions, a big hit when low on health makes the head explode.
    • If you pick up a new weapon when his health is in its lowest range possible, Doomguy will still smile with blood all over his face, which is unnerving, if still badass.
  • The Cyberdemon. What's worse than a hulking 10-foot abomination with horns like a goat and red wires where its abdomen should be? One with a rocket launcher for an arm, and a robotic leg that makes a loud clunking noise with each step it takes. The moment you hear its blood-curdling roar in the distance, you know things are going to get serious real fast. The Cyberdemon has only one attack, but it's potent enough by itself to make this beast the deadliest enemy in the entire game - it shoots three high-velocity rockets in direct succession of each other, aimed directly at their intended target. Depending on where you're standing relative to the Cyberdemon, you might have up to three seconds to evade the ensuing blasts, which can and often will take over 100 health points in a single hit. And with a grand total of 4000 hit points and imperviousness to splash damage, the Cyberdemon is by far the toughest creature to take down in the original game.
    • The opening of E2M8, the infamous Tower of Babel where you first fight this bastard, gives you a nice taste of what's to come in the form of dead and fucked up Barons of Hell on walls. You know those big badasses that you fought in Phobos Anomaly and occasionally in Episode 2, who were the toughest monsters in the game thus far? Yeah. What you're about to face is much worse.
  • You've defeated the Spider Mastermind and in the act proving yourself too tough for hell to contain, so the demons give you an easy break and open a portal to let you back to your home world. Cue a grassy field with golden skies and a bunny, Daisy, roaming around to a blissful flute-and-birds tune. The screen then scrolls and the tune becomes more off-key, distorted, and evil as a burning city comes into view and the bunny's severed head is impaled on a spike (now pictured on the right). For those who played the original versions of Doom, this was the end of the game!
    • The ZDoom source ports and its derivatives supports mouse for the menus, and it uses said severed bunny's head as the default mouse cursor.
  • The Spider Mastermind. A creepy-ass demon with a brain that's far too big, on a mecha platform with four spider-like legs and a powerful chaingun that will tear you apart if you're too close. And you can't dodge the thing like you can with the Cyberdemon's rockets — your only option is finding cover, and FAST.
    • And in Doom II, you find out that Spidey is a mommy — and her little Arachnotron babies are every bit as bad as her with their plasma guns.
  • The first time you enter E3M9, you will feel a sense of strong deja vu. Basically, the first half of this secret level copies E3M1, including layout and enemies. But when you reach the "exit", things go completely different. The walls lower around you, and the game decides to unleash a fucking CYBERDEMON upon you, with cube structures provided for cover. Just a simple thought that you can encounter the Cyberdemon again after you killed him on E2M8 is chilling. And this is without talking about the fourth episode of Ultimate Doom, which also has the cyberdemons on some levels.
    • And if you decide to backtrack to start of the level (and you must do this in order to exit this nightmare), you will quickly discover more alcoves that you didn't see at first. And they contain enemies, of course.
    • Another chilling moment comes when you enter the gray room with blue skull. Without any warning, you are teleported to the far corner of the room you were about to enter. Thankfully, the enemies don't spot you immediately.
  • In Doom II's map "Dead Simple", once you killed all the Mancubi, the walls would come down, surrounding you with hordes of Arachnotrons.
  • At the end of the first major episode (MAP11) of Doom II, the room containing the master control switch has walls entirely comprised of stitched together corpses.
    • In the same map, upon grabbing a key you have a first encounter with the most powerful non-boss monster in the series: the Archvile. An incredibly fast and tough skin-and-bones humanoid that towers over you and can easily resurrect the demons you used up so much lead to put down, the Archvile should be your top priority in any firefight where one is present. It also roams around with a deep, evil laugh, and lets out a high-pitched shriek upon being alerted to your presence. When it engulfs you in flames, you better hope you find cover before they flicker out...
    • The Archviles make some creepy sounds; evil laughter and weirdly pleased moans.
  • In Doom II's MAP16 (The Suburbs), there is a small rectangular building with 4 doors - you can open any of them... only to see that it's completely overfilled with bones and corpses, so you can't enter.
  • The "pantry" you encounter near the end of Doom II's MAP27 (Monster Condo), which is filled wall to wall with hanging and skewered corpses. The level's eerie music (think an even more somber take on the already sinister-sounding hook from Pantera's "This Love") makes it that much worse.
  • Despite their relative weakness compared to other monsters, the noise made by former humans as they wander around is quite disconcerting. If you are extremely low on health and hiding from a Chaingun Guy or a horde of Zombiemen, imagining them marching toward your hiding spot while making those horrible groans is enough to make you panic. And much like Spidey, you can't dodge their attacks.
  • The scream the Big Bad of Doom II makes when you fire a rocket into the hole in his head that the monsters come from.
    • And that's only the half of it: as soon as the noclip cheat reveals the True Big Bad, whose head is actually residing in a small room, while it's impaled on a stick... Hey, the hint to the beast's real identity is even here, in his only spoken quote (consider reversing that):
      Oremor nhoj, em llik tsum uoy, emag eht niw ot...
  • MAP05 of TNT: Evilution qualifies as Nightmare Fuel and makes the developers into Magnificent Bastards. The level starts in a thin hallway with other, shorter ones protruding out from the sides. Walk to the end of one hallway, the wall behind you opens to reveal another hallway, this one filled with monsters. Clear them out, go down the next hallway, sequence repeats. When you go down the third hallway, you've probably caught on by now, so you go down that one backwards... and then the hallway extends and you still get ambushed from behind.
    • MAP11 from The Plutonia Experiment. Start off with the music from the ending of the original game, see a backpack and a switch in the room ahead of you. And then you look to the left and see a ton of Archviles frozen in place behind a fence — and when you hit the switch, they un-freeze and teleport out into the maze you're just about to enter. The level is quite fittingly named "Hunted".
  • It's bad enough that the red key maze in "Halls of the Damned" (E2M6) is nearly pitch dark, but it gets worse when you realize that it's dotted with Monster Closets, which open with no warning.
  • The side maze that eventually leads to the chainsaw in "Nuclear Plant" (E1M2) is very dark with fairly erratic lighting, along with the unsettling moaning of former humans as they search for you.
  • E1M3 contains one of your first tastes of the insidious tricks the game can and will pull on you. See that conspicuously-placed keycard on the dais? Grabbing it causes the lights to go out and a Monster Closet to open right behind you, forcing you to fight off a crowd of baddies in near pitch-black darkness.
  • The final level of the first episode of Doom, "Phobos Anomaly", ends with your marine stepping on a teleporter that plunges him into a black abyss where you are constantly losing health either from simply touching the floor or being assaulted by a barrage of barely-visible monsters. You stay there being ravaged by these things until you run out of health, at which point the next episode begins. It truly becomes nightmare fuel if you only have the Shareware version as this is where the game would end, leaving you to wonder what exactly happened to your hero when he stepped on that teleporter.
    • The level itself is very unsettling. It's dark, the music is creepy, there are no enemies to be found (at least on lower difficulties), and you start in an area filled with ammo and power-ups — which makes it pretty obvious that a big fight is coming up. Then you take an elevator up into a big pentagram-shaped room and are greeted by a loud, scary demonic roar as two of the biggest and scariest-looking creatures you've encountered yet appear to fight you.
  • Doom 64 remains less well-known than Doom and Doom II, but it manages to take the classic Doom gameplay and make it much scarier, with darker graphics, more muted and grim colors, and one absolutely creepy soundtrack. Gone are the heavy metal-inspired tracks, replaced by incredibly unsettling ambient music
    • And those aren't even the worst of it. You want the definition of unsettling ambiance? Here's the theme for Breakdown. Have fun sleeping tonight!
    • The Pain Elemental looks rather cute in Doom 2, but in Doom 64, they are much worse to look at. They have two mouths on either side of their body and summon two Lost Souls at a time. The souls charge at you constantly and can overwhelm by sheer numbers and kill you alarmingly fast if you're careless.
    • The PlayStation and Saturn versions of Doom are no slouches either. Like Doom 64, the rockin' music has been replaced by a dark, creepy, and unnerving soundtrack from the same composer. The PlayStation version goes the extra mile by giving these games a much darker atmosphere with its colored lighting.
  • So many of the wall textures are downright creepy. There's giant stone demon faces, red-eyed horned gargoyles (which sometimes spew blood from their mouths), scrolling walls made of distorted, anguished faces, switches that look like laughing harlequins... and that's not even getting into the Meat Moss walls.
    • In the Suburbs level of Doom II, there's a house where one of the gargoyle faces is behind a wall that covers the entire face except for the eyes. Just two glowing red eyes, eternally peeking into some guy's living room.
  • The Soul Sphere contains a haunting, silently pulsing face, implied to be an actual trapped human soul.
  • Title theme from Doom II is a creepy, chaotic melody that sounds like something from classic slasher movies.
  • E1M5, Phobos Lab. The level itself really isn't that unusual compared to other levels in the episode, but as its background music, it has the aptly-named Suspense. The four (or five, if counting the secret) maps before this one had upbeat tunes fitting well with either run-and-gun shootouts or action-thriller standoffs. Then this song comes on, fully intent on scaring your pants off. The kicker? This map is the setting of the first title screen demo in every version of the original Doom. Imagine being a small child and seeing it (and the demo player's inevitable demise) as one of the very first things upon booting the game up for the first time.
  • E2M4, Deimos Lab. Not only is the music incredibly spooky with its low-key sense of dread and foreboding, but the level is very dark, often claustrophobic, and several walls are covered with creepy imagery, one of which is an endless band of human faces seemingly melted together, all frozen in expressions of pain and terror.
  • In the first Doom, there are a few levels that have mutilated Marines hanging by chains from the ceiling...and still moving. They're somehow still alive, but there's nothing you can do to help them, and nothing they can do but struggle in vain to escape. Unless you're playing Brutal Doom, which allows you to put them out of their misery.
    • Speaking of Brutal Doom, there's also the poor bastards you encounter in one level near the end of the Hell on Earth Starter Pack wad. They've been captured and horribly tortured, and scream and cry out for you to help them. The only thing you can do for them is end their pain the only way you know how.
  • While Lost Souls are hardly the deadliest enemies in the game, the way they rush at you with their fangs bared and a horrible hiss is pretty unsettling. In Doom 64 and on Nightmare! in the original, they become a greater threat, flying at you constantly and hurting you alarmingly fast if you are careless.

    Mods 
  • Brutal Doom has its own page.
  • Less so with the original Doom, but the Aliens custom mod is certainly scary. When you're holding a Pulse Rifle, and there's a dark corridor lit only by a sporadically blinking light, and you hear strange sounds coming from potential corridors in that darkness, willing yourself to press the "forward" key is an exercise in futility.
  • This is a video of a grown man screaming like a little girl while playing the Doom 2 mod Ghoul's Forest 3. Ghoul's Forest 2 and 3 are quite possibly the most terrifying mods for Doom 2, for that matter. The entire concept is that you're hunted through a dark forest by giant floating super-fast monstrous heads who pop up unexpectedly and kill you in seconds.
    • The backstories of the ghouls are creepy: the Big Bad Yurei is the ghost of a pissed-off girl who was abandoned in the Forbidden Forest. The Creeper is the spirit of a baby, the Sjas was a psychotic jester who was executed by the king for a certain joke, the Jitterskull was a Giant warrior, Choke was his demented brother who killed himself. Frostbite (who only appears in the multiplayer mod Ghouls vs. Humans) died of frostbite, so now he can breathe ice and swallow people whole like the Jitterskull.
    • The Yurei is an interesting villain, in that she attacks you by making disturbing images pop up and take the entire screen, with predictable results for the player. Yes, that's right, a boss who directly assaults the player.
    • The mod is made worse with Icy's addon, which adds a clown; a skull that makes the Jitterskull look like a joke; and a Sjas-like mist cloud that is absolutely relentless. These new ghouls use the terrifying creeper scream. There's also a chance that, instead of the Yurei, the final boss will be the entire cadre of ghouls at once.
  • The Skulltag Armageddon 2 multiplayer map pack is infamous for the "By Day, By Night" level. It's a map that alternates between day and night. By day? Cheerful demon massacring, upbeat music. By night? The entire map goes dark, the music turns into a creepy Drone of Dread, and the monsters are... different. And the Eyesores appear. Eyesores are ghouls, just like the ones in The Ghoul's Forest. Imagine a demented, deformed face on spidery legs which runs around like it's on crack, makes weird "kekeke" sounds and can kill you in seconds. And there's an entire crowd of them attacking you all at once.
    • The final boss of the map: Clowny. An invisible face which flies around the entire (big and open) final area and pops up suddenly in front of a player for an instant-kill and a Jump Scare. And sometimes it somehow ends up inside the mazelike building you've been in before, forcing the players to brave its silent corridors, expecting the bastard to jump out from behind every corner...
  • The Happy Time Circus series is the very definition of horror, especially the second one. Wandering through an abandoned ghost town with lots of silence and empty moments, only to have an area completely enveloped by Monster Clowns that you may or may not be able to handle? Oh, Crap!...
    • The areas that take you through Clown Hell (which is also slowly encroaching on the town itself) are no less horrific. Bright, cheerful, flashing colors in extremely low light conditions produces a highly unsettling effect, and the heavily distorted circus music sometimes heard in these places doesn't help one little bit. And as you might have feared, Pennywise Itself makes several appearances throughout both mods, along with It being a boss-level monster in the first one and the boss in the second.
    • In the midst of all this, you'll also need to escort "Fluffy" back to Clown Hell. You won't like Fluffy, and Fluffy doesn't like you; Fluffy is a fast-moving, unkillable severed rabbit head that can phase through walls to chew off your face, and you have to outrun him through a narrow passageway in a dense thicket where the tiniest misstep will allow Fluffy to gain on you. Good luck, and keep some extra underpants; you will most certainly need both.
  • The Equinox mod, at first, might make you do a double-take when you realize such a well-made mod is from the same guy that made the infamous "nuts.wad". Then, about map 13 or so, you infiltrate an alien space ship. It is incredibly dark, very cramped, the music is creepy, and it is filled to the brim with Arch-Viles.
  • Unloved is the mod that you always wanted to play but hoped no one would ever make: it's a high-res megawad that borrows much of its atmosphere from the Silent Hill series and it's exactly as terrifying as that description would suggest — while preserving the run n' gun gameplay of classic DOOM. If you ever wanted to prove people wrong who insist that horror games should be weaponless, this .wad is it. note  Highlights include a dank, extremely gory prison/torture cellar decorated with grotesquely mutilated bodies and bloody faces stretched over frames like canvas, a gloomy series of corridors and cageways suspended over a black void that could have come straight out of Silent Hill 3, and a stage called "The Living Room," which is precisely what it sounds like (combining this mod with Brutal Doom greatly enhances the effect here, as the fleshy, intestinal-looking walls will now endlessly squirm and writhe). Finally, there's an area cryptically named "Lost Childhood," which features a hauntingly sad BGM track and strings together various eerie, but familiar settings like an infant's playpen, classrooms, a public restroom/shower, the hallways and sanctuaries of a church, et al; together, these details seem to tell an unsettling story of their own, but any specifics are left to the player's imagination.
    • Even better (or worse), Unloved has now been spun off into its own game (by the creator of the original mod) rendered in Unreal Engine 4, with completely new and grotesque monstrosities to replace the old Doom sprite monsters and a procedural level system ensuring you'll never feel safe and comfortable. Those of you who found the atmosphere and design of the original mod disturbing but just couldn't get past the dated mid-90s sprite graphics, rejoice... or despair.
  • While the first The City of the Damned map is plenty spooky and atmospheric enough, the second installment "Apocalypse" is more horrifying in every possible direction. Imagine the game Blood with all elements of Black Comedy stripped out, now add in chilling Apocalyptic Logs scattered about that tell the story of what happened to the town and several scripted events like the ominous sirens that sound off now and then. The soundtrack to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is also put to very good use throughout the mod. Oh, and those sirens? When you hear them, stop what you were doing and get to a shelter. FAST.
  • The (sadly unfinished) Ghostbusters Doom Game Mod for Doom, which recreates scenes from the movie, fulfills this trope with its first level - the haunted library. While the original film scene was quite amusing, its recreation in the mod is much creepier.
    • And then three levels later, you have to investigate a haunted mansion, in the rain, with creepy music, and corpses everywhere, and the corpses start standing back up. They take way too much punishment just to shoot off one of their arms — you have to deal just as much damage a second time to get one to stay dead.
  • Eternal's Epic 2 wad is a collection of egyptian themed levels, city levels and spaceship levels. One of the spaceship levels, level 13, takes place in this very eerie, dark, grey and white spaceship made of what seems to be rotting tissue. The soundtrack for this level is definitely creepy, very different from the others. The battles are exclusively with arch-viles (arguably the creepiest enemies in vanilla Doom), most of them used through teleport-traps. Health pickups? Aside from a secret soulsphere, the only health pickups are accessed through computer panels marked with a scarab, restoring 20 health each.
  • Pirate Doom is a light-hearted and very fun Total Conversion most of the time, and when it goes for spookiness it's usually in a tone closer to The Haunted Mansion than Silent Hill. That is, until you get to the mist-shrouded Lost City and tangle with the masked warrior tribesmen lurking within. The tribesmen are very weak enemies, but because they're small, fast, numerous, and relatively quiet, you'll often turn around and see their huge, grinning, bug-eyed mask right in your face. They're also animated to giggle before shooting at you, so you'll frequently turn around to see one right behind you, just standing there giggling. It's creepy. Oh, and the Arch-Viles that have hitherto been absent from the game? They've been converted into the tribe's shamans.
  • 7869.wad can be called "Nothing Is Scarier: The Game" and for a damn good reason. When you launch it, you will receive a cryptic drawing of cacodemon staring right into your soul, while a bloodcurling scream is heard. And that's only beginning of the nightmare. When you start the game, you will appear on E1M1 from the first Doom. The layout is same, as well as textures. Yet something is wrong. First of all, all monsters and items are gone, and the music that accompanies your experience can hardly be heard, and it is not pleasant. The level's name is Hanger, not Hangar. Your HUD face is also completely absent and you are given a pistol with only one bullet in it. When you go through the level and enter the exit room, the door suddenly shuts behind you, and a Cyberdemon appears RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! That monster kills you, and then you are presented to various pictures of dead dogs, gore and human penises while reversed version of E1M1 soundrack cues. After the jumpscares are gone, you appear on MAP02 from Doom 2. Somehow you obtain a shotgun and 40 shells. Once again, the level is void of enemies, weapons and items. And once you step out of your starting area, the music abruptly stops too. While travelling through this nightmare, you will notice that doors required to unlock the switch to unlock one of the pathes are not red, but rather yellow. The sky is different as well, being black starry sky over moonlit mountains. It still gets worse though. Once you reach the exit room and flip the switch, nothing happens. You have to go outside to notice that a new path has opened, that is out of place on MAP02. You follow the river to find yourself in the forest. Also, you will get a good view on the sky: it has planet Earth above the mountains. You get to the house, where everything seems normal (besides a creepy TV image, which is animated). It also has a red keycard on the table. You need it to access the red door. You will hear strange chants coming from the next room, which is locked. Once you enter the room, you will see another TV with static over its screen and a marine with the pistol. And that marine starts shooting at you. Whenever he shoots you, he sustains damage himself, so it is increadibly easy to kill him. After that you get a rather messed up static screen and a message "So you get here?" After that you will be transported into the third and final level of this nightmare: a round arena with a switch in the middle of it. The level's name is simply "Get Out". And this is not over yet! When you press the switch, you get greeted by a photo of a messed up corpse with its face and stomach being horribly mutilayed with a message "YOU ARE DEAD" and then you get transitioned to the same horrible photo. All this while the reversed music from E1M1 plays, along with screams and the chanting. Consider reversing it. It is not sweet (start from 16:48).

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/DOOM