Nightmare Fuel: Epic Mickey
Pictured: Animatronic Donald. Now, as a friendly reminder: He's one of the good guys.
Kill the mouse take his house.
Yeah, Epic Mickey
. Joining the Nightmare Fuel
-ish ranks of the family tradition.
Picture everything you loved as a kid about Disney
. Now picture it in a broken down Amusement Park of Doom
. Basically, you get this game
. We're as surprised as you are that it only got an E rating.
- Warren Spector is actually aiming for Nightmare Fuel in the first place: after speaking of luring people in with nostalgia and then surprising them, he stated "On top of that, I really want to scare kids. I want to go to Disneyland and see a 10 year old kid crying: oh mommy, the clock tower's going to come to life and eat me! That's my fondest dream. Disney scared the pants off me when I was a little kid. Disney needs to scare kids!". Going by Nightmare Fuel, the fact he's doing this on purpose makes this title, although only potentially, as scary as a Silent Hill game, especially considering the fact that this is the guy who brought us the legendary and terrifying System Shock series.
- Some of the early concept art had this effect as well, even more so when coupled with the rumored released soundtrack which sounds like a twisted and mind screwing version of the soundtracks Walt used in his older movies. For example, there's a cyborg-like◊ Eldritch Abomination of a mash-up between Disney characters. Of course, fan artists took the concept and ran with it, with very predictable◊ and definitely unsettling results as well. Yep.
- The initial concept art implied a more steampunk-style Disney game. The twisted, blasted landscapes and run-down Disneyland landmarks are one thing, but this◊ is quite another, what with the elephant-bot (which looks like it came right out of 'Pink elephants on parade') with hooks for hands, soulless dead eyes, and a skeletal, spindly torso which barely even resembles an elephant, and the equally horrifying no-eyed-one-armed Goofy-bot on the right. Also the disney-character-mashup that borders on Body Horror, mentioned above. As far as official art goes, there's later artwork◊ from the cover of Game Informer, and, for an even scarier version of the Phantom Blot, there's the one that wouldn't look out of place in an◊ Iron Maiden album cover.
- The developers originally planned to put the song "It's a Small World" in it, only played backwards.
- This concept art of Oswald mixed with the Blot, back when he was going to be the main villain.
- The opening sequence has Mickey Mouse essentially being dragged to a hellish dystopia by an Eldritch Abomination.
- The cutscene right after the opening sequence is arguably even worse. Mickey, strapped to the Mad Doctor's table, is threatened by a robot with a creepy eye, wielding giant scissors, a drill, and a chainsaw, all of which stand mere inches from his face. He then nearly has his heart ripped out of his body. The terror factor is lessened somewhat by the fact that the final tool is a toilet plunger, but even then, Doctor Who fans familiar with the Nightmare fuel they have to deal with themselves may argue that being plungered to death is a legitimate concern.
- In another cutscene, Gus has a flashback to the thinner spill that started the whole plot off in the first place. In the flashback, we see four extras watching, essentially, a tsunami of thinner overtake the area they're in. Three of them run out of the way, but one stands rooted to the spot, watching. When the wave passes, he's not there anymore.
- This picture◊ reveals the Shadow Blot's true form: big enough to squash you like a bug, who at the end of the game you've got to fight it from the inside.
- The Clock Tower and the demented grin◊ it sports. The music doesn't help matters, either, which in turn are made worse by adding the lyrics being sung by children: this idea, as a little piece of trivia, was originally going to be used in the game. Music aside, the Clock Tower is also made immensely disturbing because of how you fight it when using Thinner: basically, you have to melt the blue metal armour it has covering its brittle mechanical hands, so that when it pounds the floor to attack you, the force shatters them apart. Not only does the impact look very painful (anyone who's ever broken their arm by hitting something will concur), but the hydraulic pipes that line the exposed arm start bleeding profusely. Its face even starts bleeding after intense damage; then, after breaking its arms up completely, the tower mutters a few lines about how his time is up, then, in a mini-cut-scene, one of the arms falls off, its face falls into the thinner lake, and the remaining arm stump blindly feels for its missing head before falling off itself. You then have to walk on them to leave the area. Finally, in the ending, where you see what happened to everyone after you left, you can see the clock tower still in pieces floating in the thinner lake, unable to move and eternally in intense pain. The "What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?" aspect is all over the place with this boss.
- Notice how the Clock Tower's yellow face is washed away in the beginning of the boss fight. This means that you're not only fighting a creepy Slasher Smile: you're fighting the equivalent of a smiling skull.
- Mickey literally melting after being unable to escape the thinner pools. Because thinner is this game's equivalent of the Dip from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and even Oswald's kids can fall in there.
- The Asian dragon head around all the toon backdrops is creepily realistic.
- Ortensia's fate: Taken for Granite. She is revealed to be fine at end.
- The three towers of Dark Beauty Castle you have to set fireworks in, where the Shadow Blot goes out of his way to make scary entrances at every turn. The last level takes place inside the Shadow Blot, where you have to retrieve Mickey's heart.
- The enemies that can only be found in the last level are lost cartoon souls trapped inside the Shadow Blot and as such show such features as their zombie-like gait, their gurgling sounds, and their vaguely cartoonish shape. They can't actually die, but they are literally destroyed once you clear the Bloticles from their area of the Blot. These are Disney Toons, just like Goofy, Horace, or Mickey himself. Gus says, "It looks like they melted... I hope that freed them... somehow...". In a sense, they got their freedom via Cessation of Existence.
- It's subtly shown that Oswald originally planned to kill Mickey and steal his heart after he found the pieces of the Moonliner Rocket. He has a change of heart by the end, but it doesn't make it less unsettling.
- Mickeyjunk Mountain, at first, is just a cool mountain made entirely up of retro Mickey merchandise; it stops being "cool" as soon as you realize that this is Oswald's hideout, so Oswald most likely built the entire thing, spending spent all that time collecting Mickey stuff and trashing it to make a sort of a mocking monument. Basically, it's an unsettling Mickey-based Stalker Shrine. Then, we find out that the real Shadow Blot is imprisoned at the peak. As you travel higher up the mountain, blue smears start to appear on the ground. Take a good look at them. The ground has been stained with the paint of dead bunny kids. You can still see their terrified expressions. In the highest outside level of Mickeyjunk Mountain, where you turn and see on the side of the mountain what essentially is a colossal Mickey Mouse skull. And if you go over to the bars separating you from the thinner river, it's staring right at you.
- Said Mountain is also made unsettling by the disembodied Mickey heads (like the Mickey spray cans you have to paint in), thanks to their venture on uncanny valley with their giant, black, unblinking eyes.
- Those "spray cans" are actually gas masks. And like the rest of the stuff in this zone, they existed in the real world, though even the Disney Archives only has pictures and an incomplete piece of one.
- Also, Oswald's kids basically eat blottlings for breakfeast. No, really. They literally just eat them alive when one gets close enough. Considering what we learn about Blotlings in Epic Mickey 2...
- The true Shadow Blot is eerily reminiscent of Chernabog. Additionally, towards the end, he takes over Dark Beauty Castle and thus also decides to imitate Maleficent, with his horns curving and ink oozing from his arms to resemble long robed sleeves.
- The Mad Doctor himself. The things that he implied for cutting up Mickey (scissors, drill, chainsaw) before settling for a plunger is funny at first, but had he not needed his heart, he probably would have gone for the first three methods just to satisfy his own sadistic interests, the same as he did when he tried to cut off Pluto's head so he could stick it to a chicken's body in the original short.
- In the Ticket Booth area after Slalom, at the very beginning of the game, one might notice that some of the dolls are arranged like either some of the dolls jumped off a building and others are looking at their broken bodies from the top of the building, or the dolls on the building have pushed the broken dolls off.
- The Bloticles worm their way around, and through, everything you see, as well as suck up all the paint around them by merely existing. And you see them in every friendly region you've been to. That is, they've invaded every corner of Wasteland. Nowhere is safe. Everywhere you go, the Bloticles are there.
- Captain Hook turning his crew into robots.
- Near the beginning of the game, you'll be given an option: Save Gremlin Calvin, or get some E-Tickets. If you go for the E-Tickets, Calvin's launched and won't reappear later in Gremlin Village. This particular moral choice doesn't get an epilogue, so exactly what happened to him is up to you.