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Nightmare Fuel: Pikmin
Sure, Pikmin looks like a charming little game, but just beneath the surface lies all sorts of horror...
Please note that creatures exclusive to one game will be listed in that specific game's folder, not in general. If a future title adds a previous-exclusive, it will be moved to the general folder.
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The Sunset. Thinking about hordes of already dangerous enemies is unnerving enough, but if you left any Pikmin behind, you can see them as you fly away, desperately trying to flee the beasts but failing ever so miserably...
It gets better. These predators start showing up even if there's no pikmin left behind. They're not being super persistent, either; they've been conditioned to associate a rocket and/or Onions departing with an easy food source. By desperately rushing to safety, left behind pikmin put themselves right into the food bowl.
The story of Pikmin involves Olimar getting stranded on an uncharted planet, and he resorts to using the assistance of aliens that may very well have attacked him on sight. The very idea of that is somewhat scary...
Olimar actually mentions this in a journal entry wondering why the Pikmin never bothered to attack him.
The Pikmin die in various ways, but the number one has to be when they get electrocuted in the sequel. They get shocked and reveal realistic skeletons!
Many enemies' method of attack is to devour your Pikmin.
It's even worse when a large, dangerous enemy comes into view at the side of your screen, and you hadn't noticed it there before.
The Candypop Buds in both games are somewhat disturbing. You throw Pikmin into them, and they are mutated into the colour of the Bud.
In the second game, this is the only way to get Purple and White Pikmin.
The Pikmin make their death cries as they are thrown into the damn things!
The ship notes they seemed to be antsy to get into it. If that makes things worse or not is another matter.
The whole idea of slowly killing your enemies by throwing tiny ant-like things onto your foe's body until they die is some pretty bad Nightmare Fuel for anyone who's afraid of insects. Not to mention that then your corpse will be taken to their hive and used so that they can make more Pikmin to kill all your friends. Granted, most of your foes want to kill you, but still... what a horrible way to die.
Land-based Blowhogs. They have blank, crescent-shaped eyes, and pretty much look like horrible white blobs from hell. The fact that the fire variant can easily kill Pikmin doesn't help.
The Armored Cannon Beetle is a miniboss from the first game who attacks by inhaling air and then shooting a giant freaking boulder out of its mouth.
In Pikmin 2, you encounter their larvae who are all over the freaking place, but you also encounter the Decorated Cannon Beetle. This thing has rocks that follow you around until they hit you or something else.
White Pikmin are poisonous. Olimar can take advantage of this by throwing them into the mouth of an enemy—the pikmin, who adoringly and obediently follow him like children or pets.
Some monsters tend to randomly fall from the sky or dig up from underground. Said monsters can be harmless like a bulborb or dangerous like the freakin' Waterwraith. It doesn't help that almost half of the total number of bosses come out of no where, such as the Beady-Long Legs and Burrowing Snagret.
Arachnophobes are going to have a hard time playing these games since there are many spider-like monsters in each game. Especially Pikmin 2 which has four of twelve bosses being giant, murderous spiders.
The premise of the game itself. Olimar is stranded on a hostile planet where even the air itself is out to kill him, no-one knows where he is, no-one is coming to save him, and - if he can't repair his ship - his life support will fail and his family will never know what happened to him.
The Emperor Bulblax from the first game. He is the largest enemy in the game by far, and can take the entire day to kill! The Emperor attacks by tongue lashing your Pikmin, jumping on them, and roaring at them to startle them. When half his health is gone, he will do this gigantic jump where he flies off the screen and than slams back down!
The Smoky Progg. Oh jeez the Smoky Progg. A nearly unstoppable DEMON FROG made of smoke (that leaves a trail of the same noxious smoke wherever it goes), who, upon hatching, makes a beeline for your Onions and TEARS YOUR PIKMIN OUT OF THE EARTH to disembowel them. That, and it's implied to be a larva of the already creepy Mamuta which has been mutated (and apparently pissed off) by you disturbing its egg. Its anatomy is perplexing to the point of it resembling a Eldritch Abomination, and upon dying, the entire thing MELTS, leaving nothing but a small pearl.
And those Pikmin it kills? They were still buried in the ground when it killed them. It's killing babies.
The baby of the Mamuta attempts to eat the babies of the creatures that smashed its egg. That's quite a drive for revenge there.
Or it could just be wracked with unimaginable pain and lashing out at the squishiest, most fragile thing nearby.
The Bad Ending of the original Pikmin was disturbing; Olimar's life support system fails, and he perishes on the planet, so the Pikmin take him back to an Onion and Olimar is turned into a Pikmin himself.
The Puffstool from the first game. You're walking along in the gloomy Forest Navel, when suddenly this begger pops up. Right then, let's just attack it like any other enemy. Wait, what the-? Spores? OH GOSH, my Pikmin now have these creepy-ass mushroom caps instead of flowers, and they're attacking Olimar! After that failed attempt, This Troper only took Olimar along, and slowly beat it to death with Olimar's weak punch attack. Nothing in hell would make her go through that again.
Mushroom Pikmin in general are incredibly creepy. They lose all facial features besides their eyes, which become white and soulless, with no pupils to be seen. On top of that, they admit a creepy, almost child like giggle when walking around the Puffstool, and when attacking Olimar, they sound almost gleeful to be doing so. This can't but make one wonder if it's the effects of the spores, or if the Pikmin have darker feelings towards Olimar than what they seem...
The Nova Blaster part from the first game. "What could you possibly mean," you ask? That thing is capable of blasting through and destroying STARS. It's a doomsday device. And it's the size of a BEAN CAN. Sweet dreams.
Fortunately, it's implied by Fridge Logic that the thing is fake and Olimar got scammed.
The Titan Dweevil... Oh God the Titan Dweevil. You reach the final floor of the Dream Den, Louie is sitting on this huge pile of treasure, so you approach him to help him and collect the treasure, when this bastard rises out of the ground and begins to use those treasures as deadly weapons. His attacks include throwing electric beams, spraying water to drown Pikmin, firing a flamethrower, and poisoning the ground. All of these you can rescue Pikmin from, except the electric attack. But that's not all: after defeating the Dweevil, Louie drops on the ground and remains motionless, and Olimar writes in the entry on the Titan Dweevil that he actually wonders if Louie was controlling him.
It gets even worse when you think more into it. Dweevils only replicate that which is latched onto them. So, let us ignore all of the firepower for a moment — no, seriously. Because really, most of those tools aren't seriously even meant to be weapons in the first place. ...But then you add Louie. You add a human mind to it all. Now, you have one of the most massive creatures in the series not only armed more effectively than even the Waterwraith, but has the intelligence to use the tools to their full potential. Jesus, how badly would the ecosystem be thrown out of whack if this living war machine ever left the Dream Den?!
Man-at-legs... His attack involves pulling out a high pitched buzzing laser and then blasting your characters to oblivion with a machinegun. Literally nothing in the game attacks like this. To boot, Olimar notes that this thing has no natural predators whatsoever, and wonders if the mechanical part controls the creature. Of course, it could be that the Man-at-Legs has no predators precisely because of the gun.
The Dweevils in this game attack using elements which most Pikmin are injured by, but there is one type that takes the nightmare to another level: Volatile Dweevils. These bastards carry bomb rocks on their backs, and kamikaze attack anything nearby.
Even worse, these guys love to fall out of the sky when you pick up treasure.
The Segmented Crawbster smashes into the arena and starts stomping around furiously. Get to close to it, and the bastard will dash and roll at you at full speed.
The God damn Waterwraith. In concept, it shouldn't be weird or disturbing at all: a giant clear flubber-looking thing on stone steamroller wheels. But mainly it was the fact that it couldn't be killed. Or damaged. At all (at least not until the final level of the cave it's found in). And if you took too long on a floor, it would suddenly drop in out of nowhere and start chasing after you. The unearthly gargling noises didn't help things, either, nor did the fact that your ship freaks out when it first appears, yelling "RUN! RUN AWAY!"
And the music! Oh God the music! The Submerged Castle already has spooky music, than the freaking Waterwraith SLAMS INTO THE ROOM, makes noises, and the tense chase music begins. Most gamers panic as soon as the music starts.
Correction: Gamers tend to panic once they hear the loud whistle of the Waterwraith's wheels randomly falling from the sky and smashing to the ground with an audible *SMASH* and then along comes the bastard itself on top with another *SMASH*. Then the terrifying music starts.
Even worse, the Waterwraith has really good enemy A.I. It will attack wherever it can deal the most damage and it never stops chasing you. The thing is like the Pikmin version of Michael Myers.
Don't forget that it's implied that the damn thing is just a hallucination.
The Empress Bulblax, a huge bloated sausage of a Bulborb that constantly gives birth to these little larvae from her rear end, and when you kill it, it violently explodes, leaving just the saggy head and legs.
Some of the treasures from Pikmin 2 are slightly odd. There are multiple everyday objects such as jewels, vegetables, and container tops (like shoe polish and Snapple jar tops), and Nintendo objects (like a Game & Watch, a controller d-pad, and a joystick) but there are also oddities like a lobster claw, action figures, and even a pair of false teeth. I do believe this is meant to suggest that the planet is actually Earth.
This actually brings up some creepy thoughts...
One of the treasures is called the "Silencer". It is an undead-like doll head, and it constantly blinks while being moved. In the Japanese version of the game, it is worth 666 Pokos.
Any Metallic underground stage. The Pikmin that accidentally sail over the edge, fall into an eternal abyss, you can actually hear them cry as they fall down! Some enemies can be tricked into walking off, and if they do, they disappear. If they were carrying treasure, it reappears near where it fell off.
Two enemies, the Gatling Groink and the Spotty Bulbear, will get back up after being defeated if left alone for too long.
The Gatling Groink is some type of goldfish that has been converted into a mobile artillery platform. It attacks by launching mortars at your Pikmin, attempting to blow them into oblivion. It also has some kind of shield on its forehead. The Spotty Bulbear is easily one of the more vicious non-boss enemies, but there is a Challenge Mode stage with scary music that makes you fight 3 of them at the same time, with Dwarf Bulbears. As mentioned, if left dead for too long, all 3 will get right back up.
More horrifying, the only way to stop these creatures for good is to take them back to an Onion. Whatever it is that Onions do to turn dead enemies into Pikmin, these enemies are STILL ALIVE when it happens.
If you are in a dungeon when fighting a Gatling Groink or Spotty Bulbear, you need to take them to the ship instead. It's never explained how the ship deals with this, so one can only imagine what it would need to do to keep them from getting up.
The Challenge Mode in Pikmin 2 contains some interesting quests, and many of them are hard, but some of them are scary. The worst offenders are:
Red Chasm, which makes you fight 5 Red Bulborbs and several Dwarf Bulborbs in a series of small passages.
Concrete Maze, a seemingly empty maze that on the second sublevel becomes populated with Kamikaze Volatile Dweevils that drop from the sky to blow you up.
Subterranean Lair, which contains 3 Spotty Bulbears and several Dwarf Bulbears. Even if you kill the 3 Spotty Bulbears, if you don't bring them back to the ship, they can get right back up and cause even more problems.
Secret Testing Range, which has you fight 2 Gatling Groinks on the first sublevel, and the Man-at-legs on the second sublevel.
Cave of Pain, which is a very narrow cave with boulders and enemies of various kinds falling from the roof.
The Bully Den, which is without a doubt the worst offender. When the timer hits 270, not one, but TWO WATERWRAITHS ENTER THE DUNGEON. 1 has the key, while the other has the creepy Silencer treasure.
Now just look at the PAL boxart for Pikmin 2◊. AWWW look at the Pikmin holding a BERRY!!! And then just look at the background for little bit..... AH SHAZZIT!!! Even worse is that I just noticed this while I watched this video.
Once the debt is repaid in 2, Louie gets left behind on an alien world filled with hostile critters. A world whose air he can't even breathe, and he doesn't even have a ship to take refuge in. He's found at the lowest level of a dungeon, riding an enormous armed monster. Once retrieved, Louie is one of the treasures, labeled King of Bugs. Unlike most items, he moves, but just to rock back and forth.
The Glutton's Kitchen in the sequel seems bright and cheerful at first, but it raises a lot of questions...how did an entire playroom get buried beneath the planet's surface? Furthermore, it becomes somewhat unsettling without the Solar System upgrade, as the entire cavern is dark (except for the last floor) and may also have a Spotty Bulbear hunting you down...
The bulbmin. First, you kill their mother right in front of them. Next — hmm, you're a little low on Pikmin — you use your whistle to make them do whatever you want. And guess what? Most of the enemies they will fight are other Bulborbs. THEIR OWN FAMILY. Finally, after everything you put them through, you leave them behind to die, since they can't leave the dungeon you find them in.
Not to mention, the Bulbmin (technically pikmin) are willing to eat other pikmin and bulbmin...
That's not even getting into their nature. Those who haven't seen them may be thinking they are some oddly colored Pikmin. No. They are bulborbs with Pikmin sprouts. Those sprouts come from Pikmin who have become parasitic and buried into the beasts. Not only that, but young ones are as aimless as Pikmin, adults are like bulborbs. That implies that the Pikmin control them when they are young, but as they grow, their brain matures normally while still being controlled, effectively suppressing childhood and forcing them to grow up by taking orders, and very confusing to tell if the parasite is in control the whole time or if they slowly give up control of the higher brain functions of mature bodies.
The Segmented Crawbuster has probably the most disturbing death in the whole game. It lays on its back, writhing and screaming while its soft underbelly steams, shrinks, and disappears. It then curls up to reveal the silencer, a creepy baby doll head. Yeesh.
This footage of the third game shows, among other things, the Vehemoth Phosbat, a glowing, roaring moth-like creature in an area dark enough to make it next to invisible before it lights itself and attacks. It might not seem bad in the video, but imagine actually playing the game and encountering it. It doesn't help that it seems the player needs to activate the light sources by walking in the dark over to said sources.
The plot of 3, which involves a food shortage. There's also the fact that if you don't get enough fruit to sustain the captains, they'll have to cut their mission short and return home to a dying world. Except that they can't return home, because their ship is missing a part that lets them travel fast enough to make it. The Game Over screen shows them in their ship, too hungry to go out again.
It also means that Olimar and Louie will be left on the planet to die.
Thanks to the upgraded graphics of the Wii U, Pikmin 3 is visually gorgeous. Unfortunately, this update is also applied to the enemies of this◊ game◊, and the realistic graphics combined with their cartoonish designs creates an Uncanny Valley feel to them.
The final boss is a seemingly immortal shape-shifter that chases you through the final area. Bad enough, you may think, but what's really disturbing is that it's chasing you so it can keep Olimar for no determinable reason; the first time you see it, it's lovingly stroking Olimar's helmet.
What makes it worse is the level of intelligence this thing has in conjunction with its ability to phase shift. What is phase shifting? Altering states of matter. It can be a solid, a liquid, or gaseous state, as well as imbue all these states with different elements. And this creature, with this godlike power, isn't even angry at Olimar. It thinks it's protecting him. So, take all that you've read, and apply a Papa Wolf mentality. Finally, see all the enemies fought there? All of whom are natural predators of Pikmin? They're made of the Plasm Wraith. It's intelligent enough to recognize how to stop the creatures most likely to come for Olimar, probably because some attempted to save him before. In conclusion? Imagine, being trapped by a creature that can literally do anything, holds every single card, can render you unconscious for days at a time if it so chooses — and you're its only focus. Nothing else matters. Meaning every ounce of this abomination's power is being used solely to keep you. Brrr.
The sounds it makes and the background music as it chases you through a maze is scary as hell.
Not to mention the musicbeforethe encounter when you first arrive to (or return to retry saving Olimar) Formidable Oak is haunting on its own.
When raining, the music is given a little more of a tune instead of the near-silence it normally has. However, that theme is hardly any better, being a rather grim, soft sounding remix of the Final Trial from the first game.
At the top of the stump at the beginning, there's a dirt mound. Getting Pikmin to dig through it reveals a rather disturbing data file:
Journal Entry #10 Captured again... over and over. No matter how many times I try to escape, I find myself atop this tower. Each time, I awake to see that another day has passed. The grip of this wretched beast is taking its toll on me. My only hope is for someone to save me from this torment... Going dark again... - Captain Olimar
The Arachnorbs manage to be not-spider enough to not trigger arachnophobia, but Pikmin 3 introduces a new type that spins a web and will actually eat trapped pikmin, the fact they spin their webs in places where your winged pikmin are guaranteed to carry items through means that if you don't deal with them first, your entire squad of fliers can be made to be at its mercy.