Nightmare Fuel / Persona 3

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What the world looks like at midnight, for an hour.

  • The game's relentlessly dark and foreboding tone is established right from the opening cutscene. You see the protagonist walking through the streets of Iwatodai, people talking... and then a girl (Yukari) attempting to summon her Persona with her Evoker... but without knowing all of this, it looks like she's about to commit suicide.
    • The mere idea of summoning personas via shooting yourself in the head. The Evokers may not function as real guns (though it should be noted the Japanese version explains that they are refurbished models of the actual thing), but summoning still involves pointing a weapon (or something that looks like one) to your head and pulling the trigger. No wonder Yukari was scared out of her mind, and the protagonist didn't exactly look too pleased when he did it either.
    • Worth noting is that most of the characters who use Evokers put them to their temples, presumably to avoid having to look down the barrel of something that closely resembles a pistol. The only exceptions are Yukari, who tucks hers under her chin... and Ken, who tilts his up towards his face. Something is seriously wrong with that kid.
  • The cutscene of a random student finding himself in the Dark Hour for the first time. Imagine it's midnight, and the world suddenly becomes much darker than it's supposed to be. He turns around just in time to see an array of oversized coffins towering over him, surrounded by a large puddle of blood. The student's heavy breathing is accompanied by a strange dripping noise... which turns out to be a shadow coming right out of his eye, leaving him screaming in agony as he falls to his knees.
  • The protagonist's first summon. Right after Orpheus shows up, Thanatos claws his way out of Orpheus' body. You get to see Orpheus's head wobbling dangerously on his neck before hands just burst out of the neck, throwing the head aside, and the whole body just wriggles in the most unnatural way before long arms shoot up through the neck-stump, grab the body and then tear it apart in a shower of gore, revealing Thanatos. Which then proceeds to rip the Magician apart while screaming in fury.
    • The wailing roar that Orpheus makes when first summoned isn't exactly reassuring either.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the first movie. Not only does Makoto have a flashback to his parents' deaths (already creepy enough), he grins the most evil slasher smile as he summons Orpheus for the first time. And then, when Orpheus gets some hits in (setting the roof on fire!), Makoto clutches his head and Orpheus imitates him, before his body starts convulsing from Thanatos inside. Makoto then lifts his head up and SCREAMS IN AGONY as his eyes glow bright blue. And then Thanatos bursts from Orpheus, who then proceeds to tear up the Shadow. Not helping is the reddish tint the Shadow now has when Thanatos crushes its final arm.
  • The Reaper in general, but it's what it represents that takes the cake: Stay too long on one floor and Death itself starts stalking you. Not to mention the deeply unsettling sound of rattling chains that signal it's approach.
    Mitsuru: "I sense Death. Retreat at once!"
  • How about Apathy Syndrome in general? The idea that you, your best friend, your mother, your partner, or anyone else you know could be out wandering the streets in a semi-catatonic state, slowly starving to death or dying of thirst, totally helpless to every sadistic whim of random strangers?
    • Given the similarities and parallelisms between Apathy Syndrome and some forms of depression, this is most likely to be the desired effect on the player.
  • Throughout the school year, you will see missing person reports posted by the police, and all of these missing people end up in Tartarus, falling victim to the aforementioned Apathy Syndrome if not rescued in time. Think about it from the victim's perspective: You're lost in a dark, eerie maze, with otherworldly creatures ready to tear you apart, for hours...which is Tartarus being merciful, because of the way time flows inside; by the time you're rescued, if you're rescued, days or weeks will have passed, with your loved ones most likely scared and very concerned about where you've been. No wonder they leave you rather generous gifts (such as a big pile of items that block Light and Dark attacks) when you rescue them!
  • The side effects of Persona-suppressing drugs can be downright scary. Just ask Shinjiro according to Episode 1 of Persona Stalker Club, a Persona-themed variety show airing on Nico Nico Douga, he has to wear winter clothing in the summer because his body can't regulate its own temperature.
  • Mitsuru's Grandfather was into human experimentation and this resulted in the 12 Shadows. It's also stated he experimented on his own granddaughter, Mitsuru, at a young age to get her a Persona.
  • Nyx. She is the actual personification of Death, responsible for creating Thanatos, the Persona that claws out of you in the beginning, and the Reaper that stalks you in Tartarus. Oh, and this thing is the Final Boss. She isn't all that terrifying if not for the fact that she is merely fulfilling her purpose; when humanity becomes too self-destructive, she will descend from her shell in the Moon and brings upon The Fall. That's right, Death itself thinks that humanity wishes for the end of the world, and so she comes to grant that!
    • The Fall itself is a very horrifying way to wipe life off the face of Earth. Every single living thing will be consumed from the inside out by its own desire for destruction. Thus everything, everywhere, will lose all sense of self and become a mindless, soulless shell that can only moan and whimper, completely unaware of its own death. And if the protagonists challenge this fate, Nyx Avatar warns that the protagonists will suffer an even more horrible fate, and then die. And in the end, Nyx proves to be unkillable even after you defeat her Avatar, and The Fall is only averted after the protagonist sacrifices himself to prove that it isn't the time for her to end humanity yet. She will come back, if humanity's mind calls her again.
  • Later when Nyx's true form is revealed, people who believed in the apocalyptic rumours that Takaya and Jin were spreading throughout Port Island start randomly exploding into shadows in ecstasy!
  • The Persona 3: FES disc contains some cut tracks and beta versions of tracks, two of which are work-in-progress versions of "The Voice Someone Calls". They're much creepier than the final version; the first version is simply an eerie ambiance, while the second version has faint traces of the drum beats, which sound more like footsteps in this version.
  • The cutscene you see after you defeat "???" in The Answer. Enjoy the sight of someone dissolving, one layer of flesh at a time; starting off by giving you a good eyeful of Minato's blood-red, skinless, eyeless face.
  • Not to mention the final boss of The Answer! Not helping matters is its true nature, similar to Nyarlathotep in the previous games, this thing is coming from the Collective Unconscious, as humanity's unconscious desire to die. Think about that for a second. We, all of humanity, actually desire death to come.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/Persona3