Nightmare Fuel: Final Fantasy IX
We all know that Final Fantasy can be pants-wettingly scary, and the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth installments have their shares, but Final Fantasy IX, as cute-looking as it is, also has some terrifying stuff underneath. And the sequel doesn't disappoint on the scares...
- Admit it; before you heard about the Super Soft and helped Marcus track down the stuff to save him you actually believed that Blank was dead didn't you? Then again seeing him as a stone statue still in posture of throwing you the map of the world was still unsettling wasn't it?
- For some reason, the first quarter of the game despite its moments of brief darkness including the Black Waltzes and Blank's petrification was still pretty cheerful and gave the player a sense of a light-hearted and fun fantasy adventure. And then following Garnet and Steiner's departure BACK to Alexandria and your visit to Gilzalmaluke's Grotto, the game takes a sudden extremely dark turn for the worse. And don't get me started on Burmecia and your first fight with Beatrix...
- The theme that plays when you get to beat Trance Kuja and meet Necron is disturbing. That sad, mournful tune that played with all that moaning in the background? Creepy as all get-go.
- The concept of Necron is beyond even Cosmic Horror Story. You beat Kuja, who wanted to destroy the essence of life itself, then you're faced with the Big Bad, Necron, who is the essence of eternal death, who comes to finish off where Kuja failed. It's a floating statue with a half-destroyed face in a colosseum that ascends into the sky. The colosseum has eyes that blink and watch your party take blow after blow of unpredictable attacks that cause all sorts of status abnormalities.
Necron: AS LONG AS LIFE EXISTS, I WILL REMAIN ETERNAL.
- Yoshitaka Amano's vision of Necron◊ is far more terrifying than the in-game model.
- Atomos can be extremely unnerving and more than a little frightening. Especially during the scene in which it destroys Lindblum.
- The extraction of Garnet's eidolons in Disc 2 at the hands of Zorn and Thorn was greatly unnerving, especially with that creepy Arabian/Sorcerer music playing in the background. The fact she was completely helpless and in a trance unable to do anything made it so much worse.
- Despite her Heel-Face Turn later in Disc 2 and the fact she's undeniably Bad Ass and cool, Beatrix is without question the most terrifying character and has the most difficult boss fights in the early parts of the game for many players. Even before you fight her in Burmecia, Freya recounts a story her love Sir Fratley told her about Beatrix. Apparently she's the most feared knight in the realm that even he, a seasoned warrior is quite reluctant to fight and she's slaughtered more men in war than most can ever hope to achieve. She also led the assaults on Burmecia and Cleyra which left both utterly decimated and littered with corpses. She's so ruthless one can see her as this series's version of Tywin Lannister . It's a pretty chilling backstory and then before you fight her she says something along the lines of "I've once slaughtered a hundred knights single handedly; to me, you two are nothing more than insects . You may think she's just acting tough... and then she uses that dreaded move "Shock" which more than likely will one hit KO you...
- Zorn and Thorn's true form Meltigemini may give Yunalesca a run for her money for creepy One Winged Angels. Their Exorcist-esque spasms when they transform is pretty damn creepy too.
- The whole forgotten continent is creepy, despite it being a pretty big continent, it is very desolate and almost devoid of any type of civilization. The only way to get there is by airship, and by the time you go there for the first time, you are thrown off at the northern part of the continent. Then you have to travel south, encountering extremely weird enemies, until you get to an ancient building named Oeilvert. Oeilvert is a weird place with an anti-magic barrier that seems to be some sort of museum for an unknown civilization. Oh, and the music is very gloomy.
- The creepiness doesn't stop there... While inside the building, you suddenly enter a gigantic dark room with scores of creepy stone faces on its walls. Your party members utter a few confused comments about the situation, and right at that moment, one of the stone faces suddenly comes to life (it kinda edges out of the wall, and its color changes to fiery tones) and says something in an alien language. The statues turn out to be a recording device with animated faces (which doesn't answer the question of WHY besides to impress on visitors the seriousness of the data). It seems that Oeilvert wasn't creepy enough, so they made the boss of the place a demon airship in the basement... which turns into a Humongous Mecha.
- The entire mission to stop the mist at the Iifa Tree is greatly disturbing. First your traveling this maze of roots all whilst facing Zombies and sentient trees. Then you have to travel deep within the tree itself in which your riding on this leaf down a green, hellish spiral of which you get attacked by zombie dragons three times. Then you reach the bottom and you land on this harp-like structure with strings of some green liquid running down to a seemingly bottomless pool of green. Then the boss and the maker of the mist Soul Cage, drops down, explains it's behind the mist and that the mist itself and the green fluid and surroundings of the tree itself is composed of SOULS. You then have to battle it. What makes this worse is that even while you manage to stop the mist now it'll be back soon enough.
- Burmecia. There's just something about the droning music, the endless bucketing rain, the dismal scenery, and, oh yes, the Burmecian corpses scattered all over the place. Oh and by the way, those bodies include children too. You can only imagine the terror that went through the minds of those poor Burmecians when Brahne sicced those Black Mages upon them.
- People say that FF9 is one of the cheerier games in the tone for the series, but, when you think about it long enough, you realize that's it's not true. Through the events of the game, you will witness the deaths of millions through war and genocide. The entire summoner race is immolated to death by a giant death ray. Both Burmecia and Cleyra are destroyed, nearly wiping out the rat people. Thousands die in the attacks on both Lindblum and Alexandria. Kuja kills all the sleeping Terrans by blasting everything to hell. And god knows how many died thinks to the introduction of the Mist. Garland planned to kill every living person on Gaia and he did a very goddamn good job. In short, IX probably has the highest body count of any Final Fantasy game to date - and that's just the deaths we see!
- The poor Black Mages. It's not just that they have such a tragically short lifespan - their deaths come with absolutely no warning. They just 'stop'. The black mages are essentially a dying race; not only are they incapable of breeding, but the factories that produced them no longer function. Sooner or later, that village is going to be pretty much empty except for the Genomes.
- Black Waltz No. 3's Villainous Breakdown. Partly because he shows up again without any real warning, and partly because he's not just having an emotional crisis but legitimately malfunctioning. His "I exist only to kill..." mantra was creepy enough, but to see the most sophisticated Black Waltz reduced to no more than a twitching, disconnected puppet was actually really disturbing. The fact that Garnet tries to reason with him and he can barely even string a coherent sentence together, having lost the ability to think for himself (if he ever even had it)... In spite of all the hell he put your party through, he ends up being surprisingly pitiful. If you let him kill Steiner and Marcus, he goes crazy and starts attacking himself.
- Sections of Memoria are seriously horrifying. A special mention goes to the room that looks like it was designed by Salvador Dali, in which you have to climb over the melting fragmented remains of still-ticking clocks... but the hands-down freakiest room is the one that reenacts Garnet's memories of the power core of the Invincible as it destroyed her village. Since it's her childhood memory and operating under a child's view of the world, the core manifests itself as an enormous staring monstrous eye in the sky, red as blood, and surrounded by a swirling vortex of clouds. It is right there, glaring at you, all the way through the boss fight that ensues... and then you have to climb a staircase directly into its giant glowing pupil to get to the next room. That isn't the worst one in terms of lose of life. The coolest and probably the one with the worst fridge horror is the "memory" of Gaia and Terra colliding. While it seems funny that two planets named after Earth are colliding, the "memory" shows that the planet's are about the same size (well, Earth and Mars sized) and hit head-on. For people who don't realized the implications of that, both planets would be blasted into dust by the force of impact which would kill everything down to the microbial level. Then the moons would collide and anything that was on them would be destroyed. The only good thing to come out of this would be the dust would form a new giant planet with a decent sized moon.
- Actually, a very similar event (Earth and a Mars-sized planetesimal colliding) happened early in the Solar System's history. Earth survived, but shat a brick, which is currently known as the Moon.
- Depending on your personal philosophy Kuja can be seen as worse than almost every other Final Fantasy Big Bad because of one extremely heinous act we learn he committed in Terra: He has committed a massive Your Soul is Mine on thousands upon thousands of souls previously trapped in the Invincible. Those souls include Queen Brahne and possibly Garnet's real mother and father and it is implied he has ticked them into "becoming his energy" voluntarily. He destroyed people's souls and got away with it!