While amazing music is a staple of this series, the Game Over tune succeeds way too well at creating a chilling atmosphere with its Scare Chord, all the more reason why players should not screw up.
In the first game, your character falls lifeless onto the floor with a spotlight shining on them with the narrator asking the player if they want to continue. Select "Yes" and your character will spring back to life and you will reply the level you died on. But if you say "No", the screen will fade to black with the narrator saying "Game Over" with accompanying text and ominous music playing before you go back to the title screen.
In the second game, your character's trophy falls onto the floor in a void of darkness with the narrator asking you to continue. If you say "No", the screen fades to black with the narrator saying "Game Over" with the aforementioned Scare Chord. This continues in the third game's Adventure mode.
The "Warning! Challenger Approaching" alarm in 64 suggested a mood of "get ready to fight!" However, the alarms in Melee and Brawl sound more like some abomination is heading your way and you need to get out of there fast. Notably, Brawl's just sounds like a police siren, still alarming, but Melee's is an alarm with a distant-sounding echo.
Playing in Stamina Mode can get kind of unsettling. Instead of knocking fighters off the stage, you just beat them down until their HP drops to 0. The final hit is rendered in slow motion with the loser letting out a Death Cry Echo, and then their lifeless bodies just lie there on the field.
Olimar's Pikmin, as well as Rosalina's Luma, can die. Not KO'd, they simply die. Luma might just disappear, but the Pikmin deaths come complete with the chilling cries and ghosts from their home series.
Super Smash Bros 64
Metal Mario never says a word, he doesn't even flinch when hit, and worst of all, he never runs. Instead, he does an Unflinching Walk towards the player, who he does not see as a menace.
One of the most haunting original BGMs to ever come from the franchise is the Lonely Piano Piece playing right after defeating the Hand in the original N64 title. The so-called "Game Clear" music is indeed a lonely piano piece, but a horribly demented and off-key one, at that. It essentially sounds like Pyrrhic Victory in musical form.
Super Smash Bros Melee
This◊ image appears when you clear All-Star Mode with Peach, making her look unusually sinister.
The Brinstar Depths stage is a giant piece of space debris that could be spun around by Kraid. Plus, not only is the stage creepy in that Kraid just comes out of nowhere from the lava and roars at the player, but the music is actually rather chilling.
This game introduces Crazy Hand, the more sinister side of Master Hand. While fighting Master Hand is not entirely unlike one's action figures trying to kill one's hand; Crazy Hand, on the other hand, is much creepier, since it idles spastically, has a few oddly creepy attacks, and is a tough boss, since it almost always brings Master Hand along.
Giga Bowser's introduction in Melee. Just after getting to the end of Adventure Mode and beating Bowser, Bowser's trophy suddenly lurches back on stage with a loud thud, and then mutates into a colossal, far more vicious-looking, SNK Boss version of Bowser, being much stronger and unable to be grabbed. And his transformation ends with a silent roar, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom that freezes in frame while the actual fight starts loading.
The Lip's Stick is introduced in this game. While it's toy-like aesthetic and utterly non-menacing appearance doesn't seem too scary, the effect it causes is slightly unnerving to think about. It causes a plant to grow out of someone's skull as it causes them agony. Look up Cordyceps and their effect on insects - the concept is the same.
As mentioned in the 64 folder, Metal Mario, especially how he's introduced. He falls from the sky head-first and lands on the Battlefield stage still stiffly head-first before falling over...and then extremely fluidly stands up to face the player while ominous music plays. Should you have Luigi unlocked, he joins as Metal Luigi and the creep factor becomes doubled.
Super Smash Bros Brawl
Overall, this game takes the Darker and Edgier approach, with more realistic textures and darker themes, so this game has plenty of scary moments, most especially in The Subspace Emissary, the game's Adventure mode. It is home to some of the most terrifying and unsettling moments in this game:
At the beginning of the campaign, the arena gets nuked with a Subspace Bomb, which basically pulls that part of the world into another dimension for Tabuu to do whatever he wants with. The characters flee before it is bombed, and the arena reappears later in the Subspace Maze for a boss fight, but nobody seems to care about rescuing the audience: nevermind the Inferred Holocaust to the R.O.B.s who got sucked into Subspace.
During The Ruined Zoo, after the Porky battle, Wario shows up with his Trophy Gun. He tries shooting at Ness a few times, but Ness dodges with ease. Then, he decides to aim at Lucas instead. Ness takes the blow for him, and Wario then approaches his Trophy and manages to scare Lucas away. We're then treated to the lovely scene of Wario maniacally laughing at the fact he essentially just killed a child. The lightning effects don't help matters.
In the Halberd Interior level, there's a room the player passes through with nothing but unreachable glass cages that appear above and below them. It showcases various enemies you've faced throughout the mode, except for one: Mizzo. On the bottom row of cages, second to the right, there is this enemy that appears nowhere else in the game, and it's just... stuck there.
Donkey Kong's first appearance shows him smashing a Koopa Troopa into the ground, sending green shell-shards flying everywhere. While Koopa Shells are treated as clothing for Koopas in the Marioverse, here it seems more like Donkey Kong crushed his spine.
Pikachu stuffed into a jar and electrocuted, used as a source of electricity, doesn't look like a pleasant time for it.
Samus getting worfed by Ridley: grabbed and scraped against the wall. It is fairly striking in its sheer brutality. So much so it got worked back into the Metroid series in Other M. Wall scraping and all.
The player faces a Giant, purple, yellow-eyed Diddy Kong, corrupted by Shadow Bugs, almost bordering on SNK Boss on the higher difficulties due to his massive size and power.
Mr. Game and Watch has no concept of right or wrong and is able to be controlled by just about anyone, and is totally willing to go along with it no matter how mistreated his kind is, similarly to Wreck-Gar's Transformers Animated incarnation.
Aside from the Dedede Brooches, trophies cannot self-revive after a fighter falls in battle. While they are simply not conscious, they could be sealed in a trophy for a very long time... and they could stay that way if the victor of the match hates them that much, or are much of a Jerk Ass (like Wario).
When Link and Zelda revive Ganondorf in the SSE, he seems to be recovering from the beatdown Bowser laid on him (he's groaning and holding his head like it got hurt really badly). This implies that the trophy characters feel any pain they receive in trophy form.
King Dedede and Bowser face off in the Subspace realm at some point, and in the background, there's Master Hand, just lying there, apparently bleeding to death.
The eerie Subspace themes providing a chilling, tragic rendition of the normally uplifting main theme of the game, getmoreunnerving as you progress.
Consider this: In the already unsettling Subspace levels, saving all characters isn't mandatory. It's up to the player to decide if one character deserves to be left lifeless forever or not. Plus, for all the player knows, they might just forget about one character and might not be able to find them, leaving them stuck there for a long time.
The Save Rooms in the Great Maze is desolate, with the sky being ripped apart to reveal the eerie darkness that is Subspace. The music is a slow, unsettling arrangement of the once triumphant main theme of the game.
Tabuu, the mastermind behind the Subspace Emissary. He's a floating digital ghost, borderline SNK Boss with highly damaging attacks, including his signature, which can kill you in one hit on standard difficulty. This guy controlled Master Hand though chains of light planted beneath his skin, hence the "bleeding to death" bit mentioned above. No one even knows where he comes from, and he does not say a word. He just comes out of nowhere, and in one scene, even when the player thinks our heroes have finally fought their way to the heart of Subspace and they are ready for the final battle, Tabuu just "kills" them all at once before they can do anything. Their Mass "Oh, Crap!" is rendered in slow motion for added drama. And when you return to the world map after this scene, none of them are available to select as playable characters.
The various enemies you face in the Subspace Emissary are also unnerving to think about.
Armights fly out of the background with a creepy Evil Laugh when they appear. An Armight appears to be some sort of mutated, blue-skinned, dismembered head with two pointy tentacles and a Roman helmet. Funny mustaches aside.
Floows: floating, shadowy, wraith-like creatures with beady, red eyes that follows the player everywhere and regenerates as fast as they can be damaged; their main attack is to stand in place and let out a ghastly, tortured shriek as hundreds of smaller ghosts fly out of its body. The bio on its Trophy say it harbours "pent-up resentment" and "one part sadness, one part madness".
Puppits: corpse-like things with really long claws that just hang lifelessly from a string until they come across the poor unsuspecting character in their way, then they start attacking like crazy. Their trophy description points out that "nobody knows what's on the other end of the string".
Shaydas are giant black entities with big swords for arms. And incidentally, they appear similar to the writhing shadowy mess in the picture at the top of this page, although they are unrelated.
Bombeds decapitate themselves to attack, and then run around like a beheaded chicken until they grow a new head and repeat everything all over again. Their heads are bombs.
Bucculus hides in the ground so you can't get at it until it attacks and often won't notice it until it ambushes you, and drains the life out of you with giant spiky lips.
This game introduces Final Smashes, very powerful and sometimes cinematic special attacks. But some of them aren't so pleasant.
Captain Falcon's Final Smash knocks a couple of characters near him onto an F-Zero track, where they look up to see Captain Falcon racing towards them in his Blue Falcon, which crashes into them and sends them flying. Anyone sensitive to real-life car accidents are better off not thinking about that one too much. Plus, most F-Zero machines usually go over 900 km/h on a regular basis, so getting hit by something that fast WILL hurt. And finally, using it against the younger fighters (Toon Link, Ness, Lucas, etc.) may make it a little uncomfortable to watch, even if said young fighters are perfectly capable of holding their own in a fight, they're still kids.
Mr. Game & Watch's Final Smash involves him turning into a giant octopus that hovers around with its undulating tentacles, with a constant ominous and unnatural humming sound throughout the whole thing.
When Pit summons Palutena's Army, the Centurions actually die after striking the enemy, as pointed out by the trophy: "their deaths are not in vain".
Luigi's Final Smash, the Negative Zone, is an incomprehensible attack that inverts the colors of an area and makes opponents easier to knock away and gives them status effects. It's supposedly the manifestation of Luigi's negativity.
Link has an alternate costume that turns him into Dark Link, complete with black clothes, grey skin, and red eyes, which, while freaky, isn't too bad. Toon Link on the other hand, with his bigger, cat like eyes, also has a Dark Link alt, resulting in a much creepier costume. They both retain these in the next installment as well.
Even without prior knowledge of the Mother series, the boss battle against Porky is scary, either for the spider robot or for the boy in question - Porky - trapped inside it, apparently screaming; in fact, the entire Ruined Zoo level seemed to be slight-to-extreme Nightmare Fuel, because of how it contrasts with the brightness of the SSB world, and starts with Lucas from Mother 3 chased by an unstoppable Pig King statue. Prior knowledge of both Porky from EarthBound and the actual Ruined Zoo from the first Mother, if added to the picture, makes it worse.
Norfair in SSBB has lava plumes and occasional lava run-off appearing on left or right taking that portion of the screen, and sometimes, a huge lava flow comes straight at the screen and you have to take shelter from it.
The conversation with the Colonel if Snake uses the radio successfully while facing Luigi. They begin with discussing Luigi's second banana status but eventually move on to Luigi's magic powers. Suddenly the Colonel trails off and starts chanting "Lalulelilo... lalulelilo...": so either the Colonel is actually the fake Colonel from Metal Gear Solid 2, or Luigi just took over his mind. It's kind of creepy either way.
Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3 DS and Wii U
Master Core, the True Final Boss of Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U is perhaps the most terrifying thing in this entire series.
To get to it, you have to play Classic Mode on 5.1 Intensity or higher. You'll come across a path separate from Master Hand where it appears you'll be facing Master Hand and Crazy Hand. Choose that path, and you'll be facing a more intense battle between the hands, and the battle proceeds as normal, and then you do enough damage to Master Hand. Then... something goes horribly wrong. Crazy Hand suddenly disappears while Master Hand floats to the center of the stage, and the hand writhes and convulses before exploding open. A black mist fills the stage, comes together, and at long last, we see Master Core. You see that monstrosity at the top of the page? That's what you're facing. This shapeshifting abomination is the first true SNK Boss for Super Smash Bros., and it's horrifying and difficult from the beginning of the fight to the very end. For every significant hit you land, it sprays a bloodlike fluid for a few moments. Plus, the black, perpetual writing substance it commands, known as The Swarm, covers up its name and percentage on the touch screen. Oh, and if you play on 8.0 or higher Intensity (9.0 in Japanese versions), you're forced to take this path and you MUST fight it. Have fun!
The boss has multiple forms depending on the Intensity you're playing on. The higher it is, the more forms there will be. At the highest intensity, here's what you'll face:
Master Giant is the first form you face. It is a giant humanoid shadow golem that spurts out two extra arms. It's powerful and can even pick up the stage and send you straight into some energy blasts. It can also tip the stage with you still on it to throw you off. To say nothing of its shockwave attack, where the golem starts shaking violently before letting out a chilling scream that can push you right off the stage. One way to interpret this form in particular seems a little sad, seeing how it looks like it is in pain when it uses certain attacks. Before unleashing its energy wave attack, it will grab its head and shake erratically. It clenches its chest and shudders before forming two extra arms to grab the player, and recoils as it withdraws them. One of its attacks even involves forming a huge, tumor-like growth on its head, which the golem struggles to support. Still unnerving, but somewhat sad if given thought, especially with how it sounds like it screams after you defeat the final form.
Master Beast is the second form you face. It is a quadruped beast with a scorpion-like tail, which can also topple the stage and throw it out of balance as it jumps around, as well as temporarily go into the background and then charge straight onto the stage, chomping your character, usually knocking them out.
Master Edge/Sabres is third form you face, which consists of five swords that can do lots of damage pretty quickly, easily comboing your character and juggling them.
Master Shadow is the fourth form you face, a giant sized version of your character in the same shadow-like mist, turning the match into a Mirror Boss.
And finally, the Master Core itself: the last form just looks like a bigger Smash Ball. There's seemingly no time limit, and all you have to do is rack up enough damage to send it off stage. But... if you take too long to kill it, it'll actually rise up and kill YOU! But if you manage to dodge its attack, it'll actually self-destruct. And, if you listen closely after you send it off stage, you can hear something that sounds like screaming.
The music as you're fighting this... thing, is eerie, creepy, dire, and tense. It gives you the feeling that you REALLY should not lose. It's essentially the main theme of the game, but all corrupted, and it sounds... wrong. There's one part of the track that sounds like a cassette tape played in reverse, among the next part. And, here is the best part: Nearly two minutes into this wonderfully chaotic track, it goes silent for a bit, and there's some beeping. It's morse code, and it spells out: Master Core.
There is actually an exclusive form in the Wii U version... Master Fortress. The exact workings are unknown at the time of writing... But what is known is that Master Core has become an Eldritch Location, complete with internal veins along the walls and what appears to be stomach acid! Additionally, it has some sort of self-defense mechanism with creatures what look like different types of enemies made out of the Swarm. Even what it appears to be its immune system tries to destroy your character. It was already terrifying enough when it didn't have a biology!
You are given a Heart Container before entering into Master Fortress. Any player can expect to die at least once against Master Core's other four forms; being given a Heart Container to prepare for Master Fortress basically screams "YOU WILL DIE HERE".
The Orne, much like the Ultimate Chimera in Brawl, does a One-Hit Kill. While the Chimera is simply a goofy-looking magenta lion-like creature, the Orne looks little less goofy.
There is something unsettling about the way Lucina's looking at Luigi◊, and the Final Smash's glowy affects are not helping at all.
9-Volt's "Gamer" mini-game from Game and Wario is a stage in the Wii U version and 5-Volt is as terrifying as ever. 5-Volt is 9-Volt's mom and she appears in his room, trying to catch him playing video games when he should be asleep. But her appearances, accompanied by the music, make her absolutelyterrifying, much more terrifying than a regular mom should be!
Wii Fit Trainer, a newcomer to the series, has some traits that make them a little stranger than the other fighters.
Their pale white skin and extremely faint facial features make them fall into the Uncanny Valley.
Their cries of pain when they get hit are a bit unnerving, considering how emotional they are in contrast to their other calm and collected voice clips.
Little Mac's Wire Frame hoodie costume can look more than a little creepy. Especially the victory poses where Doc Louis cheers him on and he strikes his badass poses, but under the neon green hoodie isn't a human face, all you see is a neon green grid. Doesn't help that the Wire Frame costumes are The Voiceless, making it unsettling during battle, especially since Little Mac can be one of the more devastating characters.