Nightmare Fuel / Metro 2033
One of the many abominations that threaten Artyom and mankind as the Metro inhabitants know it...

This is your source for all the horrific moments to be found in Metro 2033, as well as the page for all the nightmarish moments in its sequel Metro: Last Light. Now purchased from THQ by Deep Silver, this fledgling franchise based on the Russian novel runs on horror, what with all the dark atmosphere, human potential for cruelty, the threat of human extinction, Mind Rape, horrible mutants, and perhaps things still worse...

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    Metro 2033 Book 
  • The book is full of them too. Glukhovsky has a good way of setting the mood and making use of Nothing Is Scarier.

    Metro 2033 Game 
  • The whole premise of a nuclear apocalypse driving people underground only to be hunted down like prey by the grotesque creatures that lurk in the tunnel.
    • And there is implications that they are all that is left of humanity. Tens of thousands of human beings, population dropping one a day to ravenous mutants.
      • The Expanded Universe says no. Starting from a short novel by Glukhovsky himself, set in the rural Russian Far East, to several authorized novels by different authors that are much Lighter and Softer.
  • The simple fact that paranormal elements exist in a world that was metaphysically exactly like ours until the bombs fell. The nukes hit so hard they fundamentally changed reality. Even if the bickering Metro inhabitants were to retake the surface, even if the nuclear summer eventually brings clean air and water, things will never be the same again. Humanity can never again claim to understand the world through science or claim they aren't scared of the dark, not while ghosts and anomalies and outright Eldritch Abomination entities like the Great Door exist.
  • The brilliant use of Nothing Is Scarier - for instance, when you are sent into D6 or the Lenin Library, both of which are scary enough on their own. One especially terrifying scene is when Artyom is recovering the documents from the military archives to get the location of D6. You sit there, helpless, watching Arty rattle through noisy filing cabinets, fearing that a hungry Librarian will be drawn to the racket, obviously almost as hurried and panicked as you are. You can practically hear your Silent Protagonist mumbling something along the lines of, "Oh shit, where is it? Shit! Where is it? Oh shit, where the FUCK is it? Oh shit, Oh shit, OH SHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT..." You're waiting for something to happen, and, even though nothing does, it is one of the scariest moments in a scary game.
    • There are several places where you can find a pile of spent brass on the floor, usually behind some kind of makeshift barricade. A smear of fresh blood can be found on the floor nearby, which can be followed around the corner to the partially-devoured remains of the poor bastard who had more mutants than ammo handy. Had you arrived an hour or two sooner, he might have made it.
  • Say what you will about a game not set in the United States, there is no denying Soviet and Russian architecture is scary and foreboding. The metro tunnels falling apart, the husks of destroyed buildings on the surface, all give off this sinister, ominous vibe. The remains of subway cars teetering perilously off crumbling underground bridges, rusted doors that groan open, water dripping from the ceiling and pooling in radioactive puddles, all combine and make the Metro a terrifying place to be.
  • D6, just D6. It's a legendary military bunker, supposedly filled with weapons, food and ammo. The whole thing is shrouded in an aura of myth, almost like the American Area 51. When Artyom and company arrive there (on an automated train that somehow is summoned to their location), the whole place is eerily abandoned, the automatic air recirculation system not working. In the Redux version of 2033, the entrance level of the complex is shrouded in noxious gas, making it near impossible to see clearly. Its incredibly unsettling exploring the facility, moving through the pristine tram cars sitting on their tracks, gas making it impossible to see more than a few feet in front of you. Even worse, there's evidence that something happened here. There are no bodies, just bloodstains and bullet casings strewn everywhere. The whole place just gives out a creepy vibe, Nothing Is Scarier at its finest.
  • During the Library level (specifically the level Alley in front of the library itself), the Kremlin and its iconic steeple mounted stars can be seen. In-universe, the rumor among survivors is that something unimaginably evil lives in the basement of the Kremlin, a remnant of a supposed biological attack on the Russian leadership. It is said that looking at the Kremlin's stars hypnotizes all who gaze upon it, and are compelled to travel to the Kremlin, where they are killed. Though no such effect occurs in the game, there is no doubt something is off about the Kremlin; what can be seen suggests it is fairly pristine compared to the rest of the city, and like D6 it gives off an unsettling vibe.
  • Perhaps even more terrifying is the fact that the people within Moscow's metro still engage in warfare and all of the behavior that drove them there in the first place. Makes you wonder if mankind will ever learn from its mistakes...
  • Nosalises are generally not very frightening in most encounters, as they attack in large, unstealthy, groups and are so noisy that they can be heard coming. However, some variants are pretty nasty - the plated variants found in D6, which just. Won't. Fucking. DIE!
  • Don't forget the visions Artyom faces! Sure, the Dark Ones want peace, but what they do to the player is Mind Rape in the most disturbing way possible.
  • The Librarian mutants, no thanks to their horrifying appearance and them having the strength to kill you in a few blows. Those monstrosities give Mr. Face a run for his money, which is really saying something.
    • Add in that it is implied in game that they are mutated humans much like the dark ones. That is just two examples, imagine how many are all over the world given the 6 billion population.
    • Their breathing. Those low, horrible, rattling breaths, in rooms full of holes that they can leap through, as they hunt you.
    • Also note their morphology. Most of the mutants are easily recognizable derivatives - Lurkers and Watchmen are rodents or possibly canines, Nosalises are allegedly moles or possibly pigs, and Word of God says that Demons are the ultimate fate of the tigers in the Moscow Zoonote . What do the Librarians look like? Humans, or gorillas – an equally likely prospect, since they could also have been zoo animals. Not that a gorilla origin helps, really...gorillas are still intelligent and strong beasts that no one would want to tangle with in a dark, confined library, and the radiation and crazy biowarfare agents have only given them more of both characteristics.
    • In Metro 2033 Redux, a diary entry by Artyom has him wondering if they were indeed humans, and the reason they back down when you hold eye contact ("Never show the beast your back!") isn't a dominance thing, but because seeing humanity in your eyes, they remember what they once had.
  • The Lurker mutants are no slouches in this department either. If you fall down into their burrows, the last thing you'll hear is the sound of those little pink mutant bastards eating you alive. And don't get us started on what you see on the game over screen. Sweet dreams!
  • And if those two monstrosities weren't enough, we got the Watchers/Watchmen, thought by some to be the adult variant of the Lurker, that appear on the surface. Fighting them isn't that bad, but their howls in the middle of the radiated wasteland...
  • There's a reason why the locals from the Riga station don't visit Nikki to fulfill their desires. She's sexy, yes, but if you pay her, a large man will pop out of nowhere and give you a sucker punch. Next thing you know, all your money is gone.
  • In the Lost Catacombs level, Artyom and Bourbon run into a large room while escaping some mutants. You should have known something was wrong when the nosalises refused to enter the room. Or when you noticed the room was littered with dead bodies who have not been looted.
    • What makes it even scarier is that there is no clue on what the hell that thing was. No other ghost, anomaly or dark one related phenomena bears resemblance to what was in that room. Like the River of Fate in Last Light, it appears to be a spot where reality simply ceased to function as we know.
      • To hammer home just how dangerous this phenomenon is, you are saved from it by a Dark One. The main antagonists of the game, depending on your point of view, went out of their way to rescue you from this evil door that pretty much tried to eat your soul.
  • Voices in the pipes. Don't listen for too long. Gets far worse in 2033 Redux, where listening too long results in a multitude of shadowy hands reaching out of the pipes and trying to drag you down with them.
  • On the way to D6, the Ranger team finds a two-headed skeleton. A fresh one. There's no indication of any recent human presence in the place that would move an additional skull and carefully lay it down next to the other either.
  • The Biomass.
    • In the book: intelligent Biomass.
    • ...and then you think about it some more, and come to realize that the Biomass in-game is also rather intelligent as well. After all, it is smart enough to attack the reactor control room in order to stop the control rods from being raised (and therefore depriving it of power). Going even further with that Fridge Horror: D6 was a military installation before the war, host to perhaps hundreds of workers. It's so isolated, even decades after the fact, that there are no lifeforms within its main area except for the biomass and the giant amoebas it sends after you. There aren't even rats and hardly any skeletons. That means that the only thing that it could possibly have originated from was human beings. Artyom's journal points out in 2033 Redux that there are shell casings all over the floor, suggesting that a battle took place at some point— this raises the terrifying yet all-too-plausible possibility that the former residents of D6 were devoured by the biomass.
  • Human opponents have long and disturbing death cries. A sound of people coughing up their organs after a home-made black powder pipe-bomb goes off inside the bonfire they were sitting around and fills them up with shrapnel is unsettling.
  • From the soundtrack we have A Dog In The Boiler, an eerie as hell song with a disturbing title that wouldn't be out of place in a Silent Hill game.
  • The Silhouettes, ghosts that inhabit some of the tunnels in the Metro. Spectral shadows of those who died that relive their deaths over and over, and if they touch you, you die. It doesn't stop there, either...
    • If you're paying attention during Chase, you'll see ghosts off to the side. Including the ghost of a Dark One. Think about this. Why would a Dark One have died in the tunnels near Exhibition? The only explanation is that that's where Hunter died.
    • Furthermore, seeing the ghosts reliving their final moments as you walk through the tunnel with Khan becomes even more terrifying when you realize the ghosts move into the position where their former bodies still lie. A woman attacked by a mutant, and man swarmed by bats...their bodies are still there. Then you get to the subway car and see the ghost of a child attacked by the ghost of a nosalis. If you follow the ghost's position, all you'll see left of both of them is a human skull. The ghostly scream that accompanies this just makes it worse.
  • Metro 2033 Redux adds several new scary moments.
    • Dead City has a hidden apartment complex where you encounter the ghostly shadow of a hanged man, as well as a broken-down TV that glows Poltergeist-style.
    • The area under the bridge in Frontline has dead Reich troops lying about in full combat armour, who look like they're alive until you push them over, revealing them to be nothing but bare bones. Three of them are found sitting around a campfire that's somehow still burning, reached after walking through an area where an anomaly deactivates your flashlight.
      • And still more troubling, the area where you find them is full of poisonous gas. The skeletons have no gas masks on, but they are all calmly seated, and behind them is a box full of fresh, unused masks.
  • The corpses littered throughout the game are different kinds of unsettling. Some have parts of their face and head chewed away, exposing the skull underneath, others have limbs torn off. It's obvious that the mutants love chewing on human corpses and leaving them strewn about.

    Metro Last Light 
  • Speaking of which, we have the new trailer for Metro: Last Light showing how the nuclear apocalypse began in Moscow and how an infant (who may be Artyom) was taken into the metro in the first place. Good luck getting sleep after watching the chaos and hearing the screams.
  • Artyom goes to the surface more often in the sequel. You get to truly appreciate the alien landscape of ruined Moscow as well as the crazy that inhabits it. One part has him and a companion stumbling upon the burned out wreckage of a passenger jet. There is plenty of mind screw until you get to the cabin where you encounter an eleven alarm hallucination of the plane and its passenger's final moments. Imagine being stuck on a plane that gets disabled by an EMP and coming from the cloud line at 200MPH to see a mushroom cloud in the middle of Moscow. It's a newer, more advanced plane with fly-by-wire electronic controls that got zapped by the EMP, rendering the plane a dead-stick. The pilot struggles to get any response from his now-useless controls while the copilot screams that Domodedovo International Airport's air traffic control is gone and freaks the fuck out. And you get to watch all the way to the point of impact. For those with a fear of flying already, this becomes a true worst case nightmare scenario. Helpless with plenty of time to think just how you may die.
  • An optional point in Metro: Last Light: During "The Dead City", you can see the silhouette of a corpse illuminated by a light in a piece of open sewer, and when you check on the place where the body should be, a Nosalis jumps out and scares you. But that's not it. What is, is when you get to the other side a few minutes later. You stand there, in the place where the Nosalis and the body were, and now it's your shadow on the wall. Except for a few seconds, your shadow is missing all its FLESH, leaving a moving skeleton, still wearing gear and a helmet, silhouetted on the wall.
  • Everything regarding "The Dead City" is just plain creepy. From all the whispering, crying, and the laughing of the ghosts, to all of the other strange phenomena, such as the mysterious phenomenon that you encounter, or hear about in the audio recordings left by various surface explorers over the course of several years.
  • The shadows of people in Last Light that are only visible when they are not in the center of the viewpoint are disturbing as all hell.
  • There are a whole bunch of little rooms alongside the tracks in "Regina", which Artyom can explore; most of them contain mutants, ammo, weapons, etc...however, the last one is a bit different. Your first clue that something is off is the bloody corpse lying outside of the door that vanishes into thin air after a few seconds, accompanied by strange whispering sounds. Go inside, and the whispering starts again, and you'll notice numerous human shapes visible only in the corner of your eye, including a hanged man. Stay longer, and the whispering eventually increases in volume till it sounds like it's RIGHT in your ear, and all the ghostly shapes fully materialise. Men are writhing in agony on hospital beds, bottles of medicine clatter against the walls, and the whole spectacle goes on for several interminable seconds before it all suddenly stops, and all the ghosts vanish. At least you get a weapon and two moral points out of the whole thing.
  • Spiderbugs. An arachnophobe's worst nightmare. Sure, you can literally kill them with a flashlight, but it's still nerve-wracking trying to fight groups of them in tight spaces. There are whole stretches of tunnel that they've completely taken over, where even the Nazis fear to tread, covered from top to bottom in thick webs and fleshy, pulsating egg sacs. Worse yet, Artyom theorises in one of his diary entries that they may not actually be mutants, but rather some kind of monster that's been around since time immemorial, choosing now to emerge from the darkness since mankind no longer rules the world...
  • Listen carefully to some of the enemy chatter, and you'll hear some rather scary ghost stories. In "Bandits", the titular brigands during the stealth section tell two such stories. The first is apparently about the Darkness anomaly that you later encounter in "Undercity"; a guy is walking down a pitch-black passage with his buddies, and they walk into a strange black cloud that disables their flashlights. He suggests that they leave, and his friends respond in voices unlike their own, saying that they'd rather stay. He uses his lighter to illuminate the area, and the mist is flowing in and out of his friends' mouths, and they scream at him to turn off the light. The guy runs away and never sees them again. The second story is about a malevolent entity called the "Tunnel Master"; those who are contacted by him suddenly say, "I've been summoned by the Master," and walk off down a dark tunnel, never to return. According to the bandits, even if you tie down someone who's been summoned, they'll simply chew through the ropes and escape.
  • Courtesy of the Faction Pack DLC, the Librarians are back, and by god, they're worse than ever. They've been redesigned to look even scarier, with much thicker and heavier limbs (the better to tear you apart with) and faces that look like the demon spawn of a Cave Troll and the Predator. And due to the structure of the mission (you can only get better equipment as you progress deeper and deeper into the library, bringing back artefacts to exchange for filters and weapons), it's entirely possible to run into one while carrying substandard equipment— joy.
    • On a related note, there is a constant moaning sound that echoes across the library basement. Whatever it is, it sounds like it is in horrific pain and makes that part of the level even creepier than it already is.
  • As you approach the Church at nightfall, there's this sound that could either be singing or screaming coming intermittently from one of the ruined apartment tower blocks. Although you never have to go in there, but..
  • The "Spider Lair" mission from the Developer Pack DLC is specifically engineered to be terrifying, and it works. Trapped in an abandoned missile silo FILLED with hundreds of Spiderbugs, unarmed, and quickly finding both of your friends dead, it really emphasises the "survival" part of "Survival Horror". Even after picking up the Flamethrower, the sheer amount of spiders coming at you in the dark while your filters quickly wear out keeps the heart racing all throughout. And in the end, after barely escaping the spiders' lair, you belatedly remember that you're no safer on the surface, and the last thing the unfortunate Stalker sees is a Watchman pouncing on his face.
  • Khan and Uhlman's level from the Chronicles Pack may be one of the most disturbing ones yet— quite fitting, given Khan's central role in it. The early push through the ruined train car has some really intense ghost imagery, complete with overlapping voices in your ear and shadowy specters running straight toward you, only to disappear, and ends with Uhlman falling unconscious just as he experiences a Flashback Echo of the passengers' final moments. Then, there's the inexplicable flood of rats that nearly devours the pair, which is only warded off by the return of the Anomalies from the first game. However, the worst may be the end— when Uhlman and Khan reach Polyanka and run into what might be the two ghostly Metro dwellers Artyom met in the novel, followed by an emotionally powerful extended flashback to when Khan and his friends at Polyanka were attacked by a massive swarm of Nosalises, brutally killing almost everyone in the station and forcing a desperate Khan to leave the others behind to prevent them from spreading to the rest of the Metro.
  • Falling into the water and getting Eaten Alive by Shrimps. You expect a typical video game drowning death, but then you see one of those armoured freaks swimming toward you, mouth wide open...
  • The part in "Regina", after you open the airlock and have to put on your gas mask— the silence is suddenly broken by the howl of Watchmen, a mutant you don't normally find in the tunnels. One of them spawns directly behind you if you take the left path and explore the crashed subway train.
  • The introduction to Last Light, where you play as a nameless Metro dweller on guard duty by a campfire with your friends. There's suddenly screaming from down the tunnel, and a group of Dark Ones appear right in front of you. The people near you are suddenly replaced by frenzied mutants trying to tear your throat out, but every time you shoot them, there's a flash and instead of a mutant, one of your fellow guards is in its place falling down dead. The sequence concludes with a mutant trying to bite your face off, and as you stab it in the skull your character finds himself only face-to-face with a dead human. The nameless Metro dweller collapses to the ground, staring at the blood on his hands while a discordant screaming soundtrack begins to build up, and he's too broken to resist at all as a Dark One reaches down to do ...something to him. It's never made clear whether or not this is a dream Artyom had or an actual event, but it's a darn effective demonstration of just how horrifying the Dark Ones are to the people of the Metro.
  • Naturally, a creepy game has to have creepy music, like the track "Rustling in the dark" with even the title being unsettling.
  • One of Artyom's diary entries (from the level Torchlight) is particularly chilling:
    "The tunnels and stations of the Metro are but a part of the subterranean construction projects carried out in the long ages of Moscow’s history. The Dukes would build secret passages and hideouts, the tsars would construct catacombs and reliquaries - and even then, centuries ago they would routinely stumble upon even older passages created in times immemorial, and perhaps even not by humans. Caves, underground riverbeds… Nobody really knows what’s there around the Metro stations, above them or below them. There are no maps, for the cartographers never come back from their expeditions… And those strange, nightmarish creatures inhabiting the catacombs - were they really born of radiation? Could they have always lived there? Perhaps they would just avoid men before, but now, feeling that our end is near, that we're no longer the masters of the Earth, they got braver and now approach us closer and closer to finally jump us and feed on us while we're still warm?"