The Courier him/herself, even if your karma meter is pointed at very good, you might have slaughted hundreds, if not thousands of people/animals, destroyed whole armies and flattened tribes at the near end of the game. It's no wonder why the Powder Gangers call you their "Grim-fucking-Reaper" after you save a town from their attack.
Meeting Mr. House. Like President Eden, he's seemingly a computer, but claims that being so is merely his only way of prolonging his original existence as a human. But despite his claims of humanity, his monitor displays a face, and it never changes. It's stuck in one neutral pose, and it reeks of the Uncanny Valley.
And so does his home, the Lucky 38 Casino. From outside, it's lit up, and can be seen for miles. When you get in, you find a place that is squeaky clean, uncharacteristically intact for the wasteland, and horrifically barren and silent, especially considering what a casino usually is like. And this isn't even because of the usual reason buildings are empty in Fallout, as New Vegas is packed with people. You know, without anyone telling you, that no soul has stepped in for over two hundred years. Mr. House just doesn't trust any humans, and so the only other things in his casino are his trigger-happy robot guards.
House's underground bunker. It's not so bad going in, just turrets, robots and radiation. Going out... all the guard robots are dead, and now the soldier Securitrons are lined up against the windows, staring at you with their unmoving faces. It's unnecessarily creepy. Not to mention Victor is never seen again after that little event. What the heck happened to Victor?
You can actually find Victor at his shack in Goodsprings, permanently disabled.
He's safe and sound at his doorman post in front of the Lucky 38. But that's now the only place you can find him.
In Lonesome Road, Ulysses will imply that siding with House will likely end with "Your face on a robot's screen".
He's disturbing from the first moment. You hunt Benny to the 13th floor of his hotel, barely armed, and search his suite to find no one there. Instead there's a hole in the wall, opening into a very different room, and something is smiling at you. A hulking security robot with a big cartoon grin on its chest-mounted TV face. Then he casually offers suggestions about exterminating entire groups of people like the Great Khans ("they're dirty people") and murdering Mr. House. He'll hurl the NCR general screaming from Hoover Dam, if you like. Oh, and then at the end he says he's upgrading himself to be more assertive. You might feel bad for him, for being a sentient being who's mentally compelled to betray his creator and to tell you your actions are wonderful no matter how many people you kill. But then, when he comes back online, who will really be in charge of that army of rocket-launcher robots? And what does Yes-Man want?
Word of God says "more assertive" only means someone else can't turn Yes-Man against you like you did to Benny and Benny did to Mr. House. He's still your Yes-Man, but now he's only your Yes-Man.
The White Glove Society, and their casino, the Ultra Luxe. They're dedicated to being the utmost elegant, luxurious, and sophisticated organization in the Wasteland. But their masks are Nightmare Fuel, and almost every White Glove wears one, complete with a voice changer. According to them, it's to form a Mysterious Atmosphere, but many characters just say they're creepy. Making things weirder, they also were cannibals before Mr. House came along, and some of them still are. You get to hear stories about people who have gone missing over the past few months, such as a bride a day or two before her Wedding. Unless you have a high stealth level, you won't have a gun to save yourself with if they suspect you are onto them. Their weapon of choice is a loaded cane; somewhat unsettling when you compare their methods to everyone else. To top things off, the Ultra-Luxe is almost futuristic in design, making it feel totally alien in the Mojave.
The kitchen and basement area of the Ultra-Luxe, in contrast with the rest of the casino at least, feels a bit too much like a Torture Cellar as you walk through it trying to prevent someone from being eaten. Granted, it's basically just an industrial kitchen, but in context it still feels creepy. Oh, and if they're short a main course, you can sell them one of your companions.
Clanden in Gommorah, and his Snuff Tapes. These tapes contain horrific sounds of murder and violence. You hear Clanden engaging in violent sex with women, and then hear the sounds of visceral and violent murder being carried out. Confront him about it? He maintains his normal demeanor while threatening you:
Courier (paraphrased): I think the Gomorrahh bosses would be interested in hearing these tapes. Clanden: I think I should kill you before you have a chance to show those tapes to anyone. What do I have to lose? Courier: I'll keep the tapes, but you leave Gommorah and never come back. Clanden: Fuck it, I was getting tired of this place anyway. I can find girls to play with somewhere else.
If it makes you feel any better, you can kill Clanden at any point in the quest that leads you to him, and the game will not punish you for it. Walk in and shoot him without even talking? Cachino doesn't care. Have the bare minimum conversation with him and then report back to Cachino? He tells you to go back and cap the bastard. Blackmail him with the tapes and tell him to leave and never come back? Perfect opportunity for a bullet in the back of the head; Cachino doesn't care.
Speaking of Cachino, the sidequest involving Joana reveals he's brutally beaten and raped her several times. And this is guy you have to work with for the good outcome when dealing with the Omertas, making him the Token Good Teammate by default. Really, the only way to feel clean afterwards is to help him wipe out the Omerta bosses, then with your alliance now over, wait until his back is turned before putting two bulletsin the back of his head.
Check out Mick and Ralph more closely. Everything is normal until you go upstairs where there's strange meat in the refrigerator. Those familiar with the Fallout series will know what strange meat is, but maybe Mick and Ralph didn't. Maybe they just ended up buying it from someone without knowing what it was. Then you look in the oven and found a strange meat pie...
In fact one of the nearby NPCs mentions that someone not too long ago sold people in the town the meat; he even explicitly mentions that it made people sick in a way that only human meat would, but nobody believed him when he said so - and then they found half-buried human remains underneath the place the meat was sold from.
It'd certainly explain why Mick and Ralph's contains that hidden room where they now keep their special inventory. If they bought the place from the cannibals, what was that room previously used for?
Try walking around Freeside for a while. Occasionally, you'll hear the loud terrified scream of a woman being attacked or raped.
It's worse then that. You can hear the sound and try running towards it to kill a thug... only to find no one there. Especially for good players. There's that aching feeling that, even after saving countless lives, there was one you could never help...
Not really, on many occasions you would see a freeside thug (which you can kill easily) or two chasing down a freeside citizen.
Also in Freeside, you can see some children chasing a rat, if you kill the rat, the girl bends down to it and starts ripping it to pieces and eating it raw.
Several or even all of the kids do that, it seems to be random. What's disturbing is their cheerful "Thank you, Mister/Miss!" if you talk to them; it's easy to think they were playing a game until the rat wound up dead and they started eating it.
The Broc Flower Cave. Just imagine this: You're wandering through the Wasteland, minding your own business, when you come across a cave named after a flower. "This cave should be easy," you think to yourself, "After all, it's named after a flower!" WELL YOU'RE WRONG. The only enemies are giant rats, which sound easy right up until you fight them. They have a powerful attack, move very fast and are hard to hit, and there are dozens in the cave. Especially when you're up on a ledge and the rats below spot you, and they run off trying to find a way to get up to you. You can't see them anymore, but you know they're coming.
Now imagine this: you've beaten the game once, and decide to take the Wild Wasteland trait for a second playthrough. You find the cave again. Remembering you found the incredibly-useful Ratslayer in that cave, you decide to pop in again to grab it for this playthrough. The giant rats are now even bigger rodents of unusual size.
Ranger Station Charlie. A seemingly normal NCR outpost on the outside but when you enter you see that everyone inside is dead and the bodies are rigged with mines. On and under a desk in the entrance room are two audio logs, the first of which is an NCR ranger reporting that a raider attack has been thwarted with no casualties and saying a patrol has returned. The second is a message from the Legion to whoever finds the station.
Legionnaire: This is a message to the NCR from the Legion. We are coming for you. Run, and we will catch you. Hide, and we will find you. No matter what you do, you are all going to die. We took one of the women alive.
The Big Bad of the game, Caesar's Legion, is introduced in the most horrifying way imaginable. The player is asked to investigate a town that has lost contact with the outside world, and has started to billow smoke. Upon arrival, everything is surprisingly quiet, and then one man runs out acting happy as can be, loudly boasting that he won the lottery, and seemingly too crazy with laughter to explain any further. Then you enter the town the way the guy left, and start to see that every other person in town has been crucified, and then you learn the "lottery" allowed that man to go free. A closer investigation reveals the mayor was burned on a pile of tires, some people got enslaved, some got decapitated for a quick death, and the runner-up got his legs crippled but was left alive and free. After you arrive, the loathsome bastards who committed this atrocity just...saunter off as you arrive, leaving you alone amidst the ruins, the crucified bodies, the burning...
The worst part about this? Have a look around Nipton. You'll find that for all of Vulpes' talk about how Nipton was a wicked, sinful place that was planning to sell out everyone in the town for a pittance... it turns out it was true.
Crucifixion has of course been real life Nightmare Fuel for the last 2,500 years, but the Legion's resourcefulness somehow makes it even more horrible- they use cut-down utility poles. This may serve to remind the player how easily a mundane object may be converted to an instrument of death. And that millions of these things line the highways. The Legion will never run out. It's also a Shout-Out to The Stand, where one society crucifies people in the same way.
Although it has to be pointed out that the Legion doesn't do Crucifixion properly. Real crucifixion involves nailing the person to the cross. The Legion just sorta strap them on.
Actually, there are multiple forms of crucifixion, and the Legion is using the kind that was standard in Ancient Rome: Where the victim is tied to the cross, and the cross is placed upright; There, the victim would eventually die of exposure, starvation or thirst. The form used on Christ was one reserved for particularly hated criminals; Ironically, this form can arguably be considered more merciful; It is more painful, but the victim dies more quickly. With the standard form, the victim could be up there for days, and the position that the crucified are held in gets more and more painful the longer the victim is up there.
Although not really the worst part, the hardest part about this is you encounter this event early in the game. Early as in still pretty low level. After the talk with Vulpes, there is nothing stopping you from killing him and all of the others to avenge the town. Unfortunately, you know that would be a bad idea, as they would very easily wipe the floor with your low-level ass. There's nothing you can do except watch them walk away, unless you're willing to deal with Legion assassins if you do kill them (which, since Vulpes and company scale with your level, is possible to pull off) and a far more difficult journey to Novac.
One thing that can make this event even more creepy is if you decide to show up in NCR armor, because hey, its good early game gear that can be scavenged from a number of possible sources. Except that wearing it makes Vulpes and his whole crew instantly hostile. So you walk into this horror show, having no idea what's going on, seeing all these corpses, and then out of nowhere you have a small army of Legion killers pouring out of the woodwork trying to kill you....
If you don't kill Benny at The Tops casino, you will find Vulpes just standing right outside there in an NCR civilian disguise, telling you that you are pardoned and that you shouldn't screw the Legion over again. The scene itself is not that scary, but considering that he virtually always seems to know where you are and that he can sneak in and out of New Vegas as he pleases...
If you have Arcade as a companion when this happens he remarks that either New Vegas security is lacking or Legion spies are actually just that good.
In addition to the back-breaking labour and implied rape, Silus has managed to make Legion slavery even worse. His collars are fitted to slaves just tight enough not to choke them, but will also force them to spend their lives in horrific pain and discomfort.
According to J.E Sawyer all women in Legion territory are either enslaved or raped until their bodies can't stand anymore. And they have the largest amount of teritory in the Fallout universe. Suddenly the prospect of living in ransacked communities with the constant threat of hungry Deathclaws looks a lot more appealing.
Vault 22. Stay out!! The Plants kill!
The worst part about it is that they're not even marked as NPCs. You're walking along, minding your own business...Monkey on a stick! Pissed-off green things!
Speaking of Vault 22, part of the background noise sounds like someone talking.
There is some Fridge Horror to this as well. The vault probably housed at least a few hundred inhabitants, yet you only encounter maybe a few dozen or so Spore Carriers inside. The door to the vault is open. If you have played Honest Hearts, you know that some of the Spore Carriers managed to travel to Zion Canyon. So where are the other Spore Carriers that didn't remain or go to Zion Canyon?! It should be noted Randall Dean Clark's second wife was one of the Vault Dwellers from 22 and she didn't become a carrier. But then, it's also straight up told to the player via Randall's notes that the Vault Dwellers ate the others and raped the women.
When checking one of the terminals, you come across a note saying that since the lead researcher is away taking care of his sick wife and daughter, he's taking over. To find the access codes to the deeper sections of the vault, you need to enter a vault living quarters - occupied by two adult spore carriers...and one child spore carrier near a child's crib.
Then there's the realization you get after reading the logs about the spores. That they're still in the air. The air you're breathing. Keely's notes says she's unaffected solely for being a ghoul, but you? It's too late. Of course, you're unaffected for no apparent reason, and while the cybernetics you get in Old World Blues can provide one explanation why, if you haven't been to Big MT yet, it's quite a horrifying realization...
The Spore Carriers/horribly mutated humans were Vault Dwellers and therefore "pure" humans. Consider the Enclave's genocide virus in Fallout 3. The reason it does what it does is because of "airborne FEV" subtly altering the DNA of humans outside the Vaults (this is stated by President Eden.) A similar effect caused by the radiation and other factors in the wasteland (consider the difference in effect of the genocide Curling-13 virus in Fallout 2 between the Arroyo tribals and the Vault 13 pure-strain humans) may also confer immunity to the Vault 22 spores the same way being a ghoul granted Keely immunity.
Vault 11. Going inside, you see campaign posters stating the candidates' rivals are evil, so vote for them, not me. That's just odd, though, right? No. The winner of the vote becomes overseer for a year, before sacrificing themselves in the depths of the vault, or else the entire vault gets killed. Potential for Heroic Sacrifice at least, right? No. Too bad the vault quickly divided into voting blocs, and started using their status to sentence men to death for being lucky at poker, and extorting sex from their wives under the false pretense of sparing them. Okay, that's bad, but at least the overseers are shown for once to be 100% on the up and up, for once in the series, right? No. The last overseer used her power to abolish elections in favor of a computerized lottery, leading the voting bloc in power to riot and causing the deaths of all but five of the vault dwellers, who kill themselves. Well, that's bad, sure, but it doesn't compare to some of the other vaults we've seen in the series, does it? No. Get through the sacrificial chamber, itself Nightmare Fuel where a calm, polite voice invites you to reminisce upon the good moments of your life while thanking you for your needful sacrifice just before unleashing a squad of killer robots on you. Survive, and you find out the whole test was designed so that if the vault refused the sacrifice they told was necessary, they're rewarded for valuing human life. Not a single death needed to happen.
And just to make it even more disturbing, the message indicates that the designers expected the sacrifices to end fairly quickly or never happen at all, as it congratulates the residents for their compassion and refusing to a single life to save themselves. Oh boy, were they wrong!
Also, if you look around the entry area with the note about the five survivors, you'll notice that there are only four skeletons.
The worst part about it is the fact that many players know that the Vaults were never meant to save anyone. They were, for all intents and purposes, experiments to see how humans would react to long term imprisonment in tight, enclosed quarters. Many of the Vaults in both Fallout 3 and New Vegas are filled with horrifying, terribly immoral tests to measure just what a human would do in that situation... and then you remember that message. Even the people who designed the Vaults thought that people wouldn't willingly sacrifice so many of their own.
Vault 34: The fact that every resident had access to some rather impressive weaponry, while food supplies were very low, ended up causing a revolt. During the revolt, the reactor goes nuts, and floods the vault with radiation, killing most of the residents, and leaving a frightening number of ghouls. The truly scary part? You meet a resident who had left the Vault only a couple of years ago, who left because he thought he was becoming a ghoul due to his hair falling out. You also get a message from residents who are still trapped and need help. This means that the the aforementioned events didn't happen a couple hundred years ago: they may have happened as early as a week ago!
Even worse, the deluded sap who abandoned the vault because he thought he was becoming a ghoul... He was Chris Haversam, the reactor technician. His absence may have caused the radiation leak and turned his neighbors into for-real ghouls.
Vault 19. The logs show it was deliberately half-filled with people showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia; the other half was a group of sane people. The Vault was an experiment to see if they could drive the sane people mad by having a self sufficient reactor crew working all hours of the night under their feet, making barely heard noises, their intercom chat whispering on the system above, and generally making life miserable for everyone up above without realizing it. Medical records showed everyone was mad, but only half of them were genuine. The Vault's experiment, from what little can be derived by the logs and the overseer's terminal, was to see who would survive, the slowly going insane experiment group, or the already insane control group.
Poor Vault 3. A control vault with no experiments, the inhabitants were very nice and well adjusted, but a bit naive. When they first opened the Vault, the Fiends were among the first groups they met. The Fiends promptly slaughtered everyone in the Vault and moved into Vault 3 themselves.
The Fiends themselves who moved into Vault 3 are no better. It seems that some of them are too blitzed up the their eyeballs to notice that several people have OD'd in the Living Area and have been dead for some time.
"The Coyotes." It sounds like a simple enough quest at first—just investigate some missing people. By its end, however, you will have a crippling fear of teddy bears, slavers, and an unmeasurable hatred for Cook-Cook.
Just about anything involving Cook-Cook counts. The guy buys slaves, and in one recent case, bought three girls and a boy, then forced the girls to watch as he burned the boy alive. Then his rape of both Corporal Betsy and Pretty Sarah; the latter he didn't just rape, but burned just enough to let her live.
Why not all of the Fiends? They're fucking monsters, including the big three you have to take out for Three-Card Bounty: the name above who's famous for burning/raping/being a good cook; Violet, who herself is not much of a challenge save for her vicious pack of wild dogs; and Driver Nephi, who's taken out reportedly a dozen NCR soldiers with only a golf club. Let's not over start on their leader, Motor-Runner...
A major bit of Fridge Horror is the fact that other than himself and a few fiends there are no other people at Cook-Cook's encampment. Nobody tied up, nobody half dead from torture, no corpses. The implications clearly being that Cook-Cook serves most of his victims as a meal once he gets done with them. Those three women with the boy? They were probably brutally raped, roasted alive, and served as a main course in that exact order. After all... what better way to dispose of the bodies?
Wandering through the irradiated Camp Searchlight, a former NCR outpost bathed in a sickly green haze and filled with feral Ghouls, but the town's fire station holds the big surprise. All seems relatively well, going on a merry scavenger hunt, until you walk through the station's doors and straight into a Radscorpion Queen literally half the size of the garage and bigger than a military truck.
There is an animal farm near Camp Searchlight that has a sad and frightening tale to it. You find journal pages scattered around the greater property written by somebody (their gender is never mentioned.) Apparently, their parents left to trade at Camp Searchlight and did not come back, so after several days they set out there to find it in its current, irradiated state. Eventually they find their parent who have been turned into feral ghouls from the radiation and is forced to kill and bury them, and ending up living on their own. Through the entries you can see this person slowly devolves into paranoia and fear, thinking that that the animals of the farm are trying to eat them. Eventually the paranoia get so bad, that they end up setting fire to the house with themselves inside, and either being burned alive or dying of smoke inhalation.
It's worse; he or she thought the animals were becoming ghouls like his or her parents because he or she wasn't feeding them properly. All the animals remaining at the farm when the Courier arrives are 'malnourished'. They got thin and he or she mistook them for ghouls and burned his or her house down to escape them.
Jacobstown. Technically there is nothing bad about the town, it is full of friendly people who are just trying to get along with their lives and stay safe. Thing is, they're Super Mutants, and to someone who only played Fallout 3, they're the Always Chaotic Evil monsters you got used to shooting in the face. This time around, they're perfectly safe. It's just...very unsettling the first time.
The Nightkin are back from the older games in glorious 3-D gameplay. Basically, imagine a Super Mutant, except it's invisible. All you need to know. Also, their standard form of greeting seems to be appearing out of nowhere three feet in front of you with a big-ass rebar club swinging right for your face.
Well, there is one thing you need to know; they are all completely bonkers. For some reason, Stealth Boy use in Nightkin not only becomes addictive, but also causes them to develop schizophrenia. So as if all of the above was not bad enough, they are usually acting on the orders of some voice in their heads, which makes their motivations entirely unpredictable.
And you get one as a companion. She acts like a sweet old grandmother, calling you "dearie" and "pumpkin" and the like. This may seem nice and/or cute, except for the fact that she's over six feet tall and has a voice like a person who's possessed by a demon. Then there's what she says when you decide to check her inventory: "Grandma's got a present for yoooooou!" *shivers*
Nightstalkers. Half-coyote, half-rattlesnake, all temper and venom. They come running at you. And due to some strange glitch, shooting them in VATS sometimes doesn't work, the shots just miss even though they're up close.
One particularly Nightmare Fuel moment comes just after you've circled the mountain pass west of Nipton and are heading up to Novac. Out of freaking nowhere, a huge pack of Nightstalkers may just show up. If you're lucky, they'll pounce on the Legion patrol hiding behind a billboard. That in itself is pretty freaky, though, because those bastards will tear recruits apart like wrapping paper, then come after with all the fury of a starving animal.
Take a look inside Bloodborne Cave. You fall off that ledge near the entrance, and find yourself in a room full of corpses. Then, the next room over, you see something big moving around, and realize you're in the nest of the Legendary Nightstalker. And the only way out is through...
In Charleston Cave, some of these goddamned things are cloaked via the stealth boy they chewed.
Adding to their fear is what they represent in game. Encountering a normal rattlesnake is bad enough and they're well known danger in the American west. Fallout gave them legs.
In the third DLC, Old World Blues, you come across the parties responsible for the creation of the whole Nightstalker breed. That's bad enough. Then you discover how some of those people initially thought they were just mangy coyotes. That's a little worse, but kind of funny. Then you read about how the first Nightstalker nearly Swallowed Whole the first person who looked at it and only failed because the victim was obese. Holy crap. Turns an attack from one of those things into Fridge Horror...those things aren't simply trying to bite/poison you, they're trying to eat you.
Everyone remember the Centaurs of Fallout 3? They got worse with newer, even more mutated forms that often appear alongside the "normal" ones. Thankfully, they seem to only appear in highly irradiated areas. Then again, the ones in the Devil's Throat, near Bitter Springs, are as big as a Deathclaw and twice as horrible.
Did you think the original Deathclaws were tough? New Vegas has new, even stronger, mother and Alpha types... and let's not even get started on the LegendaryDeathclaw.
Ghouls, especially of the feral variety. Complete with the same creepy, raspy cry they had in Fallout 3.
Most normal Ghouls are rather nice, at least. In fact, the only hostile Ghouls in Vegas you are likely to run into are the Feral variety. They have a rather frightening tendency to detect you before you detect them. You will step into a room, hear the howl of a Feral entering its caution or danger status, but not see it. They also have a tendency to inhabit buildings with narrow corridors and low lighting. You have no idea where they are coming from, until one suddenly rounds a corner or smacks you in the back.
If you take the road to the Mojave Outpost, past the California Sunset Drive In, you might come across a couple of feral ghouls just wandering around the sides of the road. You don't expect them to be out in the open; you expect creatures like giant ants and bark scorpions. But that's not what makes it creepy. This is a well travelled road. What makes it creepy is that you have no idea where they come from.
Cazadores. Giant wasps the size of dogs that are ridiculously fast, hard to hit, and can soak up quite a few bullets (Seen at this page's image). As if that wasn't enough, they evolved from tarantula hawk wasps, which are considered to have one of the most agonizing stings in the insect kingdom. If an inch-long wasp can knock a grown man down, what do you think they can do when they're two feet long?
Giant wasp-monsers that are incredibly tough to kill, fly surprisingly fast, and can infect you with a lethal poison. Now imagine stumbling upon a place called 'Cazador Nest'.
As revealed in Old World Blues, the Cazadores aren't mutated creatures of the wastes, they were deliberately made like that by the scientists of the Big MT. Except they never knew that the cazadores could reproduce, or that they found a way out of the Big MT...
Swing by Zion Canyon for an evening. Yao Guai? No problem. Giant Cazadores? RUN. Imagine a wasp the size of a BEAR. Even worse? There's almost nowhere in Zion Canyon where they can't spawn. At least the game is kind enough to de-spawn them and all the other wildlife in the canyon during the final quest - a godsend given that you're not allowed to fast-travel during it and are likely to be over-encumbered from all the loot Graham refuses to carry for you.
So you're checking out Silver Peak Mine, hoping maybe you'll get lucky and find a Stealth Boy so close to Jacobstown. Nope! Cazadores!But Wait, There's More!! As soon as you start climbing towards the upper "floor" of the mine, you meet the Legendary Cazador. Twice as big. Twice as fast. Twice as poisonous. Twice as many hit points. In other words, twice the Nightmare Fuel.
They are even worse playing on Hardcore mode. Imagine bringing companions along, and having to sit and watch your companions slowly succumb to the poison, completely helpless, because for some reason they're incapable of using antivenom. Thankfully, the datura antivenom from the above Honest Hearts can be used by companions.
Speaking of giant bugs, very early on you are directed to travel to a town via a highway. A quick look at your Pip Boy reveals the town in question is directly east whilst the highway does a long loop south, so why not save some time and cut across the desert, right? Scorpion Gulch is why. Those Giant Radscorpions which were horrible to look at in the first game but not so tough? They're back, shooting them now only pisses them off, they've got little cousins which pour forth without number out of dark holes from sheer canyon walls, and their poison will send you mad, if the scuttling, hissing sound of half a dozen of them eating you alive doesn't do that first. Stick to the roads.
Occasionally, you come upon a dead giant radscorpion being swarmed by Giant Ants, and a line of ants carrying it off to their nest stretching past the horizon. This is exactly the kind of behavior you'd expect from any kind of ants, but at this scale it's horrifying.
Even better. At one spot, you find ants that look almost identical doing something similar. Except these are fire-breathing giant ants, and what they are trying to cart away are the charred remains of a cow.
Lakelurks aren't really that scary. Sure, they're ugly as sin, and that sonic attack is extremely overpowered, but they aren't that bad. Just ask the guys at Camp Guardian. Except you can't, because the Lakelurks maimed them all and then dragged their unconscious but still living bodies into the caves to be devoured. You can find a survivor who's so horrified he quits the NCR on the spot and runs for California as fast as his crippled legs can carry him.
Go to a graveyard at night and you can hear whispering.
You may recall Fallout 3 having corpses rigged with explosives, right? Well, we have that here too. Well, except they aren't corpses. They're dismembered, living people, begging you to stay away and kill them. You'll only realize they are rigged after trying to talk to one!
Even though it's actually a good thing, you get a slo-mo kill cam whenever the last enemy in an encounter goes down, even if you were never aware of them in the first place. So your trusty sidekicks run off by themselves, leaving you alone and wondering where they went... then *SPLORTCH* smash-cut to a monster's head exploding in slow motion.
Even the game's glitches can be terrifying. Due to the not infrequent occurrence of enemies glitching through small solid obstacles, the player cannot assume that something that appears "trapped"- in a cage, under a trailer, between rocks, etc.- is going to stay that way. In particular, a certain caged group of bark scorpions might seem like easy pickings for a low-level player, until one randomly and suddenly pops out of the cage and into the floor of the room with the player, its poison stinger gliding through the floor like a periscope.
Any time the twitchy corpse bug goes into effect. Especially if the corpse fell near a wall, it'll smack into it and make little thudding sounds that sound like someone running quietly. And they'll be doing that any time you enter that area for the rest of the game.
Mods are not exempt from this either. Take, for example, some of the monster designs from the popular Monster Mod.
Rad Horrors, which are basically giant heads with chicken legs.
FEV Mutants, which are Super Mutants so ghastly mutated that they look like they're half-ghoul.
Evolved Ghouls, which go beyond a simple Centaur re-skin and goes into something far, far worse.
Someone who was quite clever managed to somehow make a mod where, among other monsters, they managed to stick Mutants from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.
The mod in question is under review, but there's the Wasteland Edition of it. They bring back Behemoths from the last game and it includes a special variant called Man on Fire. Have fun!
Whenever a Wild Wasteland encounter is triggered, a creepy theremin tune plays and a Vault Boy icon with spiral eyes appears along with the text "...".
There's a locked room in the Primm hotel with Psycho and Med-X scattered on a desk, and a skeleton on the bed. There's a second skeleton in the bathtub, along with more Psycho and Med-X, a switchblade, and a very dark stain just outside the tub. No points for guessing what happened.
And at the same room, there's Ransom note. Just think about it for a while, when you read it.
Mr. Petersen, If you want to see your wife alive again, bring the cash in small unmarked bills to the Bison Steve on Tuesday.
Many of the ambient soundtracks. For instance, "Dungeon 8", which is creepy enough in the main game, but even more so in Lonesome Road.
Near the end of Veronica's personal quest, you visit the Followers' outpost and are told to come the next day because the guy in charge isn't there at the moment. 24 hours later, you return to find that the outpost, formerly lively and bustling, is now shrouded in darkness, with bodies and blood everywhere. Bad enough, but then Veronica raises the octane number:
(weakly, voice dripping with horror) No. Nonononono...
Dead Money DLC
The Sierra Madre villa, casino, residents, environment, back story... and pretty much everything else.
The only comfort you have is your partners are not interested in the treasure of the Sierra Madre. They are distracted by other things to notice there is the chance to strike it rich which would have killed you much quicker if you had companions that was here for the money. Yet they all have a hair trigger Berserk Button that once pushed condemns them. And also you...
The weird laughing sound the holograms make if they see you.
One theory is that there's still a bunch of those hazmat suits lying around, and the Ghost People force their KO'ed victims into these hazmat suits, effectively turning the victim into a new Ghost Person.
And then Fridge Horror kicks in when you visit the Big Empty and find a perfectly functional hazmat suit. Doesn't corrode or get stiff, actually has decent poison resistance, isn't hard to communicate in and the cowl even has an NVG in it. The Ghost People were the result of a heartless "experiment within an Experiment" for no other reason then For Science!.
Christine's imprisonment prior to the Courier arriving in the Sierra Madre. Trapped in an auto-doc for weeks while the machine performed it's grisly task of operating on the poor girl while she was still awake. Mind you that there wasn't enough medication to keep her calm and ran out an hour into her claustrophobic nightmare of being trapped in a tube while metal instruments cut her up, in the dark for days or even weeks before finally being let out. And then when she gets to her part of the plan to get into the casino, the Courier can force her to crawl into a tiny room full of moving mechanical parts in the dark...
You can go right ahead and experience a little of this yourself, before you rescue her. When you arrive at the Madre, you have three radio frequencies that you can tune your Pip Boy to. Two are just of the other two companions talking to themselves while waiting, while Christine's is just breathing and a plaintive knocking-on-metal sound. Occasionally, there starts up a whirring drill noise and clicking, and the knocking and breathing frantically speed up.
Dog/God. Especially God, who sound like he is about to kill you any second.
"Dog? Master wants you to pull on your chain as hard as you can..."
Similar to one of the situations in Fallout 3, you stumble upon a family trapped inside the Sierra Madre's theater. On the ground are two adult skeletons, one with a revolver, a doctor's bag and closest to the child are several Med-X syringes. Trapped, and rather than be killed by the holograms or starve to death, they took the only option out left to them.
Vera was also trapped in the Casino, and loads up on every chem available to her. The recordings of her last thoughts wander around the same level, repeating her final words in a spooky resonating mirror of a life lost over 200 years ago. She's terrified, she's trapped—and the machines are still recording her. She's just another ghost of the Sierra Madre, a ghost that can kill you thanks to their deadly hologram technology.
The "Bad Ends" for Dead Money: First Bad End: Instead of paying attention to not one, but two warnings before entering the Final vault, the Courier gets locked inside the vault and slowly dies. Your dying image becomes yet another hologram in the Sierra Madre. The Second Bad End: The Courier sides with Elijah, joining him on his crazed mission of vengeance and domination as the combined force unleashes the Cloud upon the Wasteland, covering the bright and cheerful Mojave with a deadly cloud that kills -everything- in its path.
While heading to the Bell Tower, the courier will pass through what appears to be a mortuary. One of the slabs has an arrangement of black candles that seems to resemble an altar of sorts. Why? By who? No explanation. Absolutely no information or hint is given, and the only thing you know about the area is that there is a high Ghost People presence there.
There's also a bunch of embalming fluid you can find there. It was no function and little worth. There's something ineffably creepy about it.
Maybe this is what the Ghost People do to the People they drag away?
Activating the greeting hologram in the casino is not advised if one had been playing for a long length of time. The eeriness of seeing one of the usually hostile Vera holograms being frozen on the stairs is enough to spook the player out...but then the music starts. A garbled recording of the haunting 'Begin Again', echoing through the room. Oh, and you can hear the Ghost People trying to break in after you. Sweet dreams.
In Sierra Madre casino, behind the stage, there are three skeletons. Two of them are adult sized. Between two of them, is a smaller, child sized. Little bit further is a pistol...
Bear traps. All they do in-game is harming your legs, but their actual purpose is to, you know, trap the victim. You know how easy it is to step on one when running from The Cloud and the beepings, right? Now imagine how many before you that may have suffered this fate, being trapped and waiting impending doom from either The Cloud, the collars or the Ghost People.
Honest Hearts DLC
"Honest Hearts" is honestly the most light-hearted of the DLC... this does not keep it from being utterly terrifying on occasion. It all starts simply enough. The courier gets a message telling them about an expedition to Zion Canyon. Enticed, they head out to meet with the people they will accompany. After a few minutes of chatting and getting to know your new companions you all set out. Then everything goes to hell. As soon as you arrive the White Legs ambush you and begin killing your allies one by one as they scream in fear. Because this is a scripted event they all die leaving you to face the White Legs alone. Oh, and due to a rule the leader of the expedition had, you were only able to bring 100 lbs (maximum) of equipment with you. Fortunately, Follows-Chalk soon shows up to give you a hand.
This DLC also finally lets the courier come face to face with Joshua Graham, the infamous burned man himself. He even becomes a companion! Plus his whole body is covered in bandages from his horrible wounds. He also helpfully tells you that every night he feels the pain of being burned alive and nothing, not even chems, can do anything about it.
If you choose to help him exterminate the White Legs sometimes when killing them, he lets his colors past his normally calm gravely voice.
Not helping is Graham's incredibly ominous Leitmotif. There's some Ominous Latin Chanting, a few well-placed bells, and overall a sense of creeping dread throughout the whole thing. It'll make you sit up and take notice when you speak to him for the first time at the Dead Horses' camp. It's TERRIFYING when he's reciting the above scripture.
Not to mention, that song actually a tune from Fallout 1. It plays inside the Cathedral. Presumably, this is intended to represent the reverence that the Dead Horses have for Joshua Graham.
Something else that's scary with Joshua is that he's otherwise a really nice bloke. It's scary that a legitimate Nice Guy can be just as brutal as an evil Blood Knight.
One quest seems innocent enough, get high on some of the local stuff and kill a bear. Easy right? Well, once you start you'll be tripping out as you make your way to the beast's lair. Along the way you'll come across some spore plants and spore carriers from vault 22. Then the "Ghost Of She" appears and attacks you. Due to the effects of the drug, mystical ability possessed by the Yao Guai itself, your own mind freaking out due to fear, or some combination of the three the Ghost Of She catches fire and splits into several Giant Yao Guais. Which one is real? It doesn't matter, whatever is causing you to see multiple Ghosts of She also forces you to kill them all. Only when the last one falls can you breathe a sigh of relief.
Honest Hearts has a fridge version too. Daniel mentions that the White Legs killed children, pretty brutally.
Daniel: "They beat children in... in... beat them in their beds while they slept."
Now imagine you're a 6-year old child and you wake up in the middle of the night and there's a scary white-paint-faced, dreadlock-wearing, half-naked tribal over you who then beats you to death with a club. Didn't help that they also stripped the bodies naked and nailed them to cliffs around the city.
Ulysses only makes their description even worse once they learned from him...you were killing the legacy of his tribe, a tribe that was destroyed by Caesar and became this horrific ghost of it's former self and out willing to kill for him. The fate of those assimilated under Caesar is brutal to say the least, even by it's most loyal members and how everything good and noble about the tribe is completely eradicated and instead is replaced by savagery and complete loyalty to the Legion, no ifs or buts.
They brought me before the campfire one night, showed me how they changed themselves, how they wore their hair now. It was like my entire dead tribe in the firelight, teeth grinning red in the dark - eager corpses, blood-covered ghosts. They... had taken my braids, the way of the Twisted Hairs, as if it showed they were like me, of me... while every knot in their braids spoke of raping, violence - and ignorance of what the knots meant. They thought to show respect... defiled it. Lost myself in trying to read the braids they wove, when I remembered they had put no meaning in it. They had no history of what it meant. They didn't even know the insult in the twists, knots... and Dry Wells came rushing back, the White Legs circled like that... It was like looking at the dead of my tribe, reborn as ghosts - hateful, hungry, bowing to Caesar. Another history... gone, carried by me alone."
Go to the Zion Valley Welcome Booth and take a look at the drawings on the rocks behind the toilet. Looks like Slenderman still lives hundreds of years into the future.
When you go to the scout bus to get the compass, try to keep from imagining why all those little skeletons are there, surrounded by lunchboxes and toys...
The enemies themselves are all gigantic. Giant radscorpions. Zion mantises and green gecko are bigger than their Mojave counterparts. Even some of the Yao Guai are giant varieties. And, as above, giant Cazadores.
A lot of Randal Clark's journal entries are quite sad. A few of them though are downright chilling. One in particular:
10 sets of tracks 1/2 mile NE of canyon entrance. Barefoot???
Saw them through scope. Corpses walking around. Finally gone crazy. Dementia maybe.
I'm not crazy, they're real. Goddammit they are real.
How about his run in with the survivors of Vault 22. Some were infected and slowly beginning to become Spore Carriers, while most had resorted to cannibalism, slaughtering the Spanish survivors already living in the valley and abducting the rest.
Recon during night. Well-organized, sentries along most approaches, but stream not covered. [...] Women and children still in pen. Will try to infiltrate by stream tomorrow night.
In revenge, Randall Clark launched a one-man guerrilla warfare campaign against them, whittling their number from 100 down to just 34. Eventually after 10 months, they decided to leave, writing a note warning of a demon that beset them... but not before eating their dead.
Old World Blues DLC
The Mojave Drive-in with Old World Blues installed. Nothing like walking to the top of a hill in the middle of the night and seeing a giant blue-tinted eye watching you in the distance.
The Big MT. Imagine being stalked by creatures who have had their brains removed and skeletons wielding laser weapons. Not ghouls, SKELETONS! In automatedPower Armor, specifically. This is where nearly all the mutant horrors of the Mojave Wasteland came from, including Nightstalkers and Cazadores. It's also responsible for how the Sierra Madre ended up a toxin-filled ghost town full of hazmat-suited zombies. This is where the plant monsters of Vault 22 were first born. This is where Chinese prisoners of war and American citizens were taken and experimented on. This is where people are still being experimented by beings who don't even an idea of what morals are. This is the Big MT, and you are all alone. No companions, just you, a bunch of random appliances, and a talking stealth suit.
Who has the whinging, clingy personality of a beaten housewife or Stockholm Syndrome victim, no less
The Trauma Override Harnesses are one of the saddest and creepiest enemies in New Vegas. The suit itself was designed to return a soldier to a predetermined home base when he got too injured to move himself by overriding the motor functions of the wearer and 'walking' him. Being a prototype, the suits had a few errors which ultimately led to the suits walking and attacking with their wearers kept captive in the suit until they eventually died (of exhaustion, dehydration, starvation, exposure, any number of things). Over two hundred years later, the suits are still walking around with the remains of the test person still inside. As they move, the player can hear the bones of the dead person rattling in the suit. If you have the Wild Wasteland trait on… well, "Who turned out the lights."
Little Yangtze. No matter how you put it, no matter how much lovely jazz music your pip boy may be playing, it is still a Death Camp whose prisoners were fodder for experiments that would make Nazi scientists pale with terror. If the knowledge of the experiments won't make you feel sick, the rows and rows or graves in the camp will.
And there are ghouls there, labeled "Survivors." First they were imprisoned, then they were trapped there for centuries. Not to mention that when Elijah showed up he experimented on/tortured them all over again. And then you will probably end up killing them.
By the by, the ghouls were trapped there by Elijah putting bomb collars on them. If the ghouls try to run out of the compound, their heads explode. You can literally kill the whole camp by getting their attention and just standing outside of the main gate. Elijah put bomb collars on possibly immortal people, forcing them to remain in a small prison yard until they eventually couldn't take it anymore.
One End pretty much confirms all the fears you may have about the potency of the Think Tank. An Evil Courier's brain gets bored and decides to unleash all of Big MTs secrets... whatever happens to the Mojave, there isn't much left afterward.
The Cuckoo Nest, which, despite its innocent-sounding name, is a den of absolute horror. Piles of mutilated bodies and bits of organs are scattered around everywhere and the whole place is filled with lobotomites. It really doesn't help that its inside a cave on the edge of the Big MT's map. But the worst part of all is that you HAVE to go here to retrieve the personality of one of The Sink's inhabitants (and get one of the achievements). Who is it? Why, the Toaster, of course!
After exploring both Vault 22 and Zion Canyon, you thought you were done with spore carriers, right? Well, they also appear in Old World Blues... including Patient Zero.
Weirdly enough, the normally whacky and light-hearted Wild Wasteland perk provides one. Normally, when you go to get Gabe's water bowl, you can just get it and leave. Put Wild Wasteland on? A pint sized deathclaw named Stripe pops out of the dog house and runs at you. How cute, right? Sure, until you find out it's got as much health and as much killing power as the Legendary Deathclaw. And you probably won't see it until it slashes you for a One-Hit Kill.
There is a (thankfully) cut ending where you could side with the Think Tank. The effect this has on the Mojave is not pretty.
At the very end when you confront the Think Tank after meeting Morbius, there's a chilling atmosphere that wasn't there before. For one thing, instead of a tranquil blue, the room is a dark red. And as you enter, you see them lined up in a row like they were the first time you met them. Only this time, they lost their comedic relief and pose more of a threat because you know what they're capaple of. The doctor with No Indoor Voice, the Dr. Venture expy, the amorous scientist with a fetish for humans, the doctor with the repressed childhood trauma and overdramatic voice, and the unintellegible? Gone and replaced with potential enemies.
Lonesome Road DLC
Lonesome Road brings a new terrifying horror to the wastes - the Tunnelers. Imagine a glowing, reptile-like humanoid that hits just as hard as a goddamn deathclaw. But they're smaller (thus harder to hit), can crawl on walls and ceilings, come in packs, can pop out of the ground under you, bred quickly, and eat up a crapload of damage. And these things are apparently slowly tunneling their way towards the Mojave.
In fact, the first time you encounter a tunneler is underground, while chasing a deathclaw (Or just waiting for it to go away). The deathclaw is running away, gets trapped in an abandoned truck, and is effortlessly killed by a tunneler.
About halfway through The Divide the Courier must travel underground on a funicular car to proceed. During the whole ride explosions are going off all around you and making the player worry that the car might crash. Then, as if nothing could get any worse, swarms of these bastards start climbing up the sides of the car and begin attacking you. When the ride is finally over you then have to make your way back above ground by going through a destroyed hotel filled with even more Tunnelers. It's the least fun funicular ever.
The name of some areas alone is nightmare fuel. The Cave of the Abaddon in particular stands out. ("Abaddon" literally means "destruction", and is commonly accepted as the name of an angel of death.)
Deathclaws. Spawning. Everywhere. The things will spawn on right on top of you when you go into certain buildings. And when walking the Lonesome Road, you come across a trailer on a highway bypass that's splattered in blood. When you go inside and walk down to the far end to see what's in that ammo box, a goddamn Deathclaw leaps on top of the trailer, takes down ED-E in one hit, and comes into the trailer after you. There is no way to kill the Deathclaw beforehand; it's a scripted event. And even if you manage to kill that Deathclaw, chances are you've alerted the other three just down the road...
At the end of the Divide, you come across a small cave. Inside is a rotted skeleton and a dead deathclaw. After picking up a distress signal holotape from the corpse, you discover that they were trying to kill a giant death claw that was pinning them down. Well... the corpse is over there, so they killed it, right? Wrong! Just around the corner is a special giant Deathclaw named Rawr, surrounded by corpses. And just then the cave entrance crumbles behind you, trapping you inside. Have fun.
At the beginning of Lonesome Road, you find the Marked Men. At first it's pretty obvious that they've been driven insane from radiation and want to kill you. But it's not that simple. They're cannibals. And not just mindless cannibals that chew on corpses; there's a Hopeville basement where there's skeletons hung up on meat hooks and hacked corpses on tables, right next to an old kitchen. The radiation has made them insane, but kept enough of their humanity so they can gut you like a pig on the butcher's hook. Oh, and did we mention that their appearance is due to the Divide's windstorms stripping the flesh from their bodies, leaving their raw muscle exposed to the elements? The only thing keeping them alive is the Divide's high residual radiation, and even that does absolutely nothing to dull the pain.
The Divide in general appearance. Throughout all the Fallout games you've seen destruction and death, seen the remnants of once proud cities, stared across blasted plains of wasteland, observed the vile corruption of places like the Pitt, Sierra Madre, and Point Lookout. Observed the Old World horror shows of the Big Empty, and the Vaults. Even saw brief snatches of hope in Oasis and Zion. However, it all pales in comparison to the amount of destruction that is in the Divide. In the Divide there is only destruction, there is only death, this is the picture of devastation. This place is not a place of honor, no highly esteemed dead is commemorated here, nothing valued dwells within the Divide. (well, except for good loot. And nukes. Everybody wants nukes.) It is a place best shunned and left uninhabited.
Here's the real kicker. The reason the Divide is as bad as it is? It's all your fault.
Speaking of Ulysses, there's the man himself. Talking to him through ED-E reveals that he is very learned about the history of the Old World and knowledgeable about a lot of things in the Wasteland. He is cryptic as to his actual aims, but very cool and calm, and obviously has some well thought-out ultimate goal. When you finally meet him face to face, you find out that goal is to use the remaining ICBMs in the divide to destroy your home. If your Courier has sided with either the NCR or the Legion, he's trying to destroy either his own former enemies or one of the more brutal and nasty factions in the Wasteland. But if your Courier is independent, he'll just aim the nukes at the Mojave. It's kind of terrifying to break through the veneer of a Warrior Poet and find an Omnicidal Maniac willing to slaughter untold thousands of innocents and obliterate one of the few remaining bastions of human civilization just as a means to get back at the Courier and/or prove a philosophical point.
The DLC's actually build up how evil Ulysses is. The creeping...not terror, exactly, but disquiet, is incredibly unnerving and culminates when you finally meet the man. He arranged for your death in Goodsprings; taught the White Legs how to destroy entire civilizations; tipped Elijah off about the Sierra Madre and is thus indirectly responsible for the fates of every person Elijah forced to run that gauntlet; got the Think Tank to start lobotimizing any humans to enter the Big MT; and finally attempted to blow up the Mojave.
Really, Ulysses takes the whole concept of an Unknown Rival to it's ultimate, most horrifying conclusion.