Nightmare Fuel / Mortal Kombat
Meet Baraka!

People would be lying if they said that the bloodiest fighting game series of all time hadn't given them the most gruesome nightmares at least once.

Mortal Kombat

  • Sub-Zero's infamous spine rip fatality, which contributed to the creation of the ESRB (the American content ratings system for video and computer games).
  • Kano rips your heart out.
  • Scorpion rips off his mask to reveal that his head is nothing but a skull, shortly before burning you to cinders.
  • The Bottom of the Pit in the uncensored versions is littered with impaled corpses and severed heads stuck on spikes. Not a fun place to visit for many reasons.

Mortal Kombat II

  • The Pit II's stage fatality, more frightening than the first. Your character uppercuts the opponent off of a bridge from a tall height, and then the view the player is given transitions from the usual side-on view to a top-down view of the victim flailing their arms about while accelerating towards the ground, then shattering their spines with a loud "CRUNCH!" when they hit the jagged rocks below.
  • Scorpion's "breathing fire at his opponent" fatality as portrayed in this game. When he performs the fatality and his opponent is reduced to a pile of bones on the ground/floor, said bones are still glowing from whatever is left of the fire.
    • However, there is Nightmare Retardant in the form of the famous "Toasty!" sometimes playing after the enemy is reduced to bones.
  • The Living Forest stage features a dark forest filled with live trees. The trees have dark soulless eyes, unsettling looks on their faces like they want to eat you alive, and will often groan while making a horrific facial expression. Some trees are just stuck in a horrific facial expression. There are also corpses strewn about that have apparently been killed by the trees. Often one of the game's characters will appear, sneaking a peak at the fight from behind one of the trees in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. According to one comic, the Living Forest originated from Edenia, and it used to be called the Laughing Forest, as the trees were very jolly and full of mirth.
  • Baraka is a creepy-looking character, especially when he does his Mortal Kombat II victory pose when he turns to the screen, bows his head and looks up at the screen.
  • Mileena. Body of an intoxicatingly beautiful woman, jaws like a bear trap, skills of a deadly warrior. Plus, add in her insane, almost childlike personality and you have one of the most chilling (and popular) characters in the Mortal Kombat series.
    • Mileena's Fatalities are especially horrible because several of them (whilst still over-the-top), tap into Primal Fears of being Eaten Alive, whilst emphasizing just how crazy she is. "Man Eater" has her cartoonishly suck up her opponent like a string of spaghetti before puking bones/gore across the stage. "Ferocious Bite" has her bite into her victim's neck and then rip their head off with her teeth. "Be Mine" and "Face Feast" have her tear off their head and nosily chew chunks off of it before throwing it away. Finally, "Tasty Treat" has her straddle her opponent and then rip open their midriff so she can eat their living organs out of their torso.

Mortal Kombat 3

  • Sheeva's fatality. She strips you to the bone, skin first!
    • That blood-curdling scream.
  • Kano rips your entire goddamn skeleton out instead of just your heart.
  • Smoke, in one of his fatalities, kills himself. AND THE ENTIRE PLANET WITH HIM.
  • Cyrax's ending has him stuck in the desert, buried up to his waist, fully functional but unable to move.
    • He will be in the background even if he is in use.
  • A lot of the imagery surrounding Outworld's merging with Earth is pretty nightmarish, especially the blood red vortex above Kahn's tower.
  • Kabal's fatality, in which he screams at the screen, showing his horrifying true face, and then literally scares the foe to death. The Mortal Kombat Trilogy version has a much nightmarish sounding scream, and when he screams at the screen, his head was a little closer.
  • Scorpion's fatality in ultimate. You're dragged into hell and beaten to horrific, off-screen death by a massive army of his clones. The ''Psycho'' Strings do not help.

Mortal Kombat 4

  • Sub-Zero's ending, specifically when Quan Chi's head rolls right in front of the camera after being blown up by Scorpion.
  • Reptile has a fatality in which he gnaws the skin off your head.
  • Meat. A skinless living corpse clad only in a thong with a dangling eye and blood oozing everywhere.
  • The Game Over sequence. It's not the inevitable impact with the ground. It's the set-up, especially the music, what really drives the point it home. Five seconds of this are more than enough to make you desperate to pop another quarter or to beg the character to just die already. It doesn't help that in the arcade version of the game, the well darkens slightly as the chosen character is fated to make impact unless you pay up.
  • This game had a special type of grab called "Bone Breakers", which meant grabbing an opponent's limb and cracking it at the elbow or knee (with the knee being especially gruesome by bending the opponent's knee backwards). Sickening "Crunch!" obligatory, obviously.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance

  • Drahmin, who appears to be a muscular corpse with flies buzzing around him, is quite disconcerting.
  • Li Mei's ending is horrifying. Especially since it turned out to be canon.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

  • Zombie Liu Kang
    • His Possession fatality, later inherited by Shang Tsung. He becomes a light, enters your body, and forces you to rip off your own head, revealing his own head under it.
      • Even worse, doing this on Shujinko, depending on the console, will wield one of two occurrences. On the PS2, PSP, and GameCube versions, after Liu Kang forces Shujinko to rip off his own head, Liu Kang's own head does not appear. On the Xbox version, the moment he rips off his head, the game freezes with a sudden, loud buzzing noise that is actually quite common for the console in general when it experiences errors like this.
      • However, this can be seen as a Funny Moment when this fatality is performed on female Kombatants.
  • Mileena manages to finally replace Kitana and nobody is the least bit suspicious, just imagine what would have happened to Edenia if that had been allowed to continue.
  • Dark Raiden. The caring and compassionate thunder god of the past is gone and has been replaced by a merciless and cold-hearted jerkass who is quickly growing tired of humanity.
  • Havik, to some extent. Take his 'Human Pencil Sharpener' fatality. It's bad enough to have a dude with a skull face eating your arms, but then to puke up your blood afterwards is just awful! See for yourself.
  • While relatively mundane in execution, Sub-Zero's "Chest Stomp" Fatality gains a new level of horror as it's one of the only Fatalities in the whole series where the victim audibly pleads for their life. To wit, Subbie freezes, then shatters off his opponents legs, then stares menacingly down at his foe as they crawl backwards, the whole time begging him not to kill them as he ominously advances. For most characters, it's a fairly humorously hammy chain of Big No's, but Mileena sounds genuine enough to evoke images of a helpless woman cornered at the bottom of a dark alley.

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks

  • In the recreation of the Living Forest from MK2, it's possible to throw your enemies to the trees. They can also throw you in order to be eaten alive by those trees if your opponents do the stage fatality on you - and there are corpses hanging from the branches... which struggle to get free, and then abruptly slacken!

Mortal Kombat 9

  • When Ed Boon said that this would be the bloodiest game of the series, he wasn't making stuff up. The amount of material is enough to guarantee this game its own page.

Mortal Kombat X

  • Like the previous entry, the game has enough material to warrant a separate page.