Nightmare Fuel / Star Fox

You couldn't expect a game franchise about antropomorphic animals piloting spaceships to be a possible source of Nightmare Fuel... until you remember it's made by Nintendo.

Then you manage to understand the reason behind such Mood Whiplash, Surprise Creepy, and Surprisingly Dark Villains. Because, well, it's Nintendo after all.

  • The transformation of Pigma Dengar into half-machine thanks to the Aparoids in Star Fox Assault...truly a Fate Worse than Death.
    Daddy screamed REAL good before he died!
  • When you blow up Andross' face in Star Fox 64, it turns into one of two things: a robot head (on easy route) or a giant brain (on hard route). Both are terrifying.
    • This should not in any way suggest that his first form - a giant, disembodied head with floating robotic hands - is not damn unsettling in its own right. Because it is.
    • A Huge Holographic Head floating in space is pretty much routine in Star Fox, but the one in the very first game may rank as the creepiest due to the untextured polygons and basic early 90s geometry combining for an Uncanny Valley effect. In addition, when taking the hardest path to this fight it will blow up and then reassemble into a face that looks either like a demon or a dog for a bonus battle.
    • Star Fox 2 has Andross using a rather unsettling looking twin-colored mask in the battle against him, which you break apart by shooting the eyes (as it retaliates by firing what looks like beams of lava at you, and it likes to fake you out by seemingly ramming into you, only to teleport away). On the higher difficulties, the head and hands combo makes its debut in the series proper.
    • After you kill Andross's brain, the entire lair starts to collapse, and Andross, in the most menacing tone, declares "If I go down, I'm Taking You with Me!" Andross EXPLODES afterwards, the screen fades to white, Fox screams, and for several seconds there's...nothing. Not even music. Several seconds of complete inactivity, long enough to make the player wonder "oh no, did Fox survive?" Thankfully the silence is broken by James's intervention soon enough.
    • The Escape Sequence. Explosions line the tunnels and you have to follow James out for a safe escape. Trouble is, he will boost periodically, forcing you to do the same lest you lose track of him, and if you take a wrong turn, you'll fly into a cloud of explosions and die instantly. With Fox's horrifying scream, for good measure.
  • Also in 64, whenever Fox is killed, one of his teammates cries out "NO!"... unless all of his wingmates are down, or he dies in the final Venom stage, where all you hear is Fox's screaming. He's truly alone...
  • The RedEyes in Star Fox Adventures. Words cannot describe the brix that were shat by the players when they stepped out of the Arwing for the first time and saw freaking enormous T-Rexes roaming everywhere! And for half the level you can't even kill them! And don't even mention the RedEye King.
  • Also in Adventures, Dragon Rock. The music and visuals alone are very unsettling, and then there's the imprisonment of dinosaurs, the enemies within, and the boss Drakor.
    • Moon Mountain Pass is also really unsettling, with it being a meteor that crashed into Dinosaur Planet and was the origin of the SharpClaw tribe, having a bizarre alien-looking landscape, green fire, and creepy as heck music and enemies.
  • Out Of This Dimension from the original. Mind Screw doesn't even begin to cover this... The intro to that level is Pepper trying and failing to reach Fox and co. as if they just disappeared. And then at the end of the level, the words THE END pop up in front of Fox, who's just stuck there. Until the player dies. You literally get trapped in another dimension with no way out and Corneria is doomed. This level may very well be a Downer Ending or a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • This isn't the last time star fox would end up like this. In Star Fox 64, in the asteroid belt or in Sector X, you can activate a warp. This'll lead to the team flying through a strange multicolored space filled with spinning glowing blocks and the only enemies are strange constructs made of static. The music doesn't help either. Get through this trippy sequence and you'll find yourself warped across the map. It's good that it ends but still it's just so strange like you have to wonder...what exactly ARE those things you fight in the warp and what are they doing there?
  • The horrible grin of the "laughing meteor" from the SNES original: [1] — the thought of a giant, evil looking grinning THING floating in space is extremely unnerving for some.
    • Doubly unnerving about them is that in Level 3's Asteroid Belt, they actively home in on your ship.
  • The Aparoids. They are able to possess not only machines, but organic life forms as well. It doesn't help that until they are fully assimilated, their victims are still aware of what they are doing. They start out pretty tame: they're brightly colored and have a few funny-looking forms. Then in the later levels we see them assimilating everything. More and more they resemble techno-organic hybrids that just seem disturbing. Then there's what happens to Pigma... not a well-liked character, but holy crap, that is not a pleasant fate. And what he becomes has the following exchange in a deep, almost demonic voice:
    Fox: Looks like he's already gone... who or what are you!?
    Aparoid: We will answer. We are the ultimate existence. You cannot resist us. You will join us.
    • Then there's the Aparoid Queen. She speaks in the voices of the deceased or assimilated... including James McCloud. The psychological horror she's inflicting on the heroes by this is evident in their reactions. And the only coherent thing she says in her true voice?
    Queen: All for us. Everything in the universe exists for us! Bow before us! SUBMIT TO US!
    • Seeing Corneria City almost entirely ruined is either this or depressing as heck.
    • What's more is that you have to gun down infected Cornerian troopers patroling the streets. A prelude to what happens at the end of the mission...
    • Speaking of the mission's end... General Pepper's flagship gets overtaken, forming the boss of the stage. Most of his dialogue is him either begging Fox to kill him before the Aparoids fully convert him into one, or apologizing for attacking, fully aware of what's going on but powerless to stop.
  • Aquas from 64. The level quickly gets very dark (you can use your unlimited torpedoes to brighten things up slightly, but it doesn't always help), with endless quantities of hostile sealife appearing out to the gloom to attack you. Even the boss of the level, an enormous clam called Bacoon, manages to be pretty scary when you first approach it and can't quite make out whether or not it's actually an enormous mouth.
    • That's even without the depressing/horrific backstory of the planet mentioned in the official strategy guide: The boss of this level, who existed long before Andross, commanded thousands of the starfish enemies to the planet's polar caps and had them explode, instantly melting the polar caps and flooding the entire planet, killing all non-aquatic life.
  • As seen on the main page for the original game, the Star Fox team is depicted looking like realistic animals in artwork. Needless to say, they look incredibly freaky. Thank goodness Nintendo stuck with the cartoony look in-game afterwards.
  • How can we forget about Vulcain? This... thing has 3... things in its face. Are those goatees? Mandibles? Let's not forget it bleeds when you destroy an arm (it's technically lava, but still). Speaking of it's loss of arms, it still goes on without them, and uses ITS LAVA BLOOD TO ATTACK YOU. And not to mention this monster's death. Its head pops off , with that same lava blood spurt, and then it sinks into the lava. Drowning and decapitation... have fun sleeping tonight. Now Falco and Peppy's quotes make a whole lot of sense.
    Peppy: THIS is the enemy's bioweapon?!
    Falco: Andross is an insane fool!
  • There's something intimidating about the Sector X boss, Spyborg, in Star Fox 64. It's an unfinished robot that's gone haywire and managed to destroy the entire base holding it. Earlier in the level at certain points you'll come across its arms flying through and you're wondering "What the heck was that?!" Then you reach the boss and you find it staring at you with those blank...soulless eyes...
    Spyborg: Destroy. Destroy. I will eliminate all enemies.
    Spyborg: You are an enemy.
    Spyborg: (After its mid-fight fake-out) The view is clear. Destroy. Destroy.
    Spyborg: (At low shield) Where is the enemy?! (spins around wildly, arms outstretched)
  • Leon Powalski himself.
    • As noted, he is the most formal Star Wolf member, but the most sadistic too. He likes to torture his victims. In Star Fox Assault, he is the assassin of the team. He is actually the most feared member of the team.
    Leon: I think I'll torture you for a while!
  • The music for the Black Hole in the original.
  • The Warp Zones in 64 are pretty damn freaky. They're psychedelic and weird and have all kinds of strange shapes floating through them...and if you crash your ship into any of them enough times, you die.
  • A small one occurs in Area 6 and the lower Venom path with the calls you can answer. You answer, expecting it to be ROB 64 sending you supplies or lending you the Great Fox's firepower, but instead it's Andross, who then taunts you as you continue your mission. His text box is red instead of blue too (even Star Wolf gets blue text boxes!), just to make his dialogue more menacing.
    Andross: Ah, the son of James McCloud!
    Andross: Those tin cans are no match for me!
    Andross: (If the player has low shields) Ha Ha Ha! You will never defeat me! I'll make those fools pay!