Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Nightmare Fuel: Video Games
Do you think you can handle all the terror listed below?
Notice that some games in the list are not entirely targeted to grown-ups, but the fear factor is bad enough to scare adults.
Note: Spoilers can be quite abundant in this section, so reader beware!
Afflicted. You're a health inspector checking out a seedy bar in a horrible neighborhood. Just the health violations you find are seriously squicky, but then you start finding body parts. Worst of all is where you find the second hand.
You're used to attacking targets with massive, well-supplied and tactically balanced armies that have siege weapons and heavy myth units to blow the crap out of anything that bothers you is not helpful. In this level, you get your four heroes, a few one-use myth units, and a couple human soldiers. Yeah, they're enough, but that doesn't shake a sort of extreme nervousness and vulnerability that will keep you up at night.
The Lovecraftian Interactive FictionAnchorhead starts out with a yuppie and her new husband moving to a beautiful rambling mansion in a sleepy New England town. The first day of the story plays like a simple mystery story, only mildly creepy, about the origins of the house. Things go downhill, especially after you reach the basement.
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Arronax spends nigh-on two thousand years in a magical cage in the bloody VOID. Completely alone, barring the rare occasions when the psycho who put him there comes to gloat about how he's going to use his identity to carry out a massive Xanatos Gambit that will let him literally wipe out the entire planet. There's four walls to look at, a door which he can't even get near, and just enough room in the magical shell to stand up if he's feeling punchy, he won't age there and he won't ever die unless someone breaks into the shell and kills him. And you can choose to leave him there for all eternity.
Also, the game introduces Templar stalkers who will mug and try to backstab you when you least expect it.
The arcade version of Battletoads is Darker and Edgier than its previous installments. One of the major contributions is the second boss, a giant serpent (or snake, your call) whose only attack is to lunge himself on your playable character like he is coming at the screen to chomp on him. When said attack is successful, not only will a chunk of the PC's (playable character) health be depleted, but they will also be screaming in a agonizing way with blood squirting out of him (unless the player wriggles free). When the PC's health is gone, he will finish eating him. When the serpent/snake is defeated, though, his head will be ripped out with blood gushing out while his head wriggles uncontrollably.
Some of the captures in Battle Chess. Rooks eat Queens, Queens incinerate most pieces, Pawns send Bishops down deep holes in the ground that close up right away, etc.
One game for the Sega Genesis was Beast Wrestler, which involved genetically engineered monsters slaughtering each other for the sake of entertainment. Even then, the game's cover art◊ was pretty gruesome.
In Black Shades, it's possible to blow yourself up (usually accidentally) with a grenade in level 5. Sometimes, your head survives after being separated from your body by the blast. Some players have flown through the air, looking at scattered body parts in a pool of blood, before the screen goes black.
A sequence a little under halfway into the otherwise-amusing Blood Rayne, when the zombie body-possessing monsters are about to be introduced. You've spent all this time fighting through a Nazi stronghold, and suddenly there is nobody. Anywhere. Nobody shooting. All there is is a freakish, disembodied voice mocking you. Even Rayne gets a little creeped out. And then you find corpses that start rising, and then their heads pop off. It didn't help that the enemies were pains in the backside to actually kill.
The Breach is billed as your standard Zombie Survival game, but that's kinda selling it short. Your standard mooks are Zombies, yes, but quickly diversifies to hideously mutated creatures created by "The Yellow," not to mention the hallucinations your hero receives, it takes it to pretty disturbing levels, pretty quickly. Add the Apocalyptic Log consoles you find littered about, and the fact that rather than dying, you get partially mutated into one of the moth things littered about. The hallucinations get pretty freaky too, particularly the one that shows what will happen to the world if the yellow things ever get out—a man with a flayed skull and a tumor growing out of the back of his head, a hunchback with glassy eyes who constantly vomited blood, and a woman appeared to have tumors for breasts and a head growing out of her groin, all of them with horribly jaundiced skin. The ending's the worst of it all: you've destroyed the monsters and gotten back to Earth, but you're locked in an insane asylum, desperately trying to convince a psychiatrist that no, you haven't gone crazy, and yes, if the experiments continue horrible, horrible things will happen. Then you turn into a monster and apparently eat the psychiatrist.
The Bright In The Screen is a 2D flash game composed entirely of crudely drawn stick figures. It is also quite possibly one of the scariest games ever coded, mostly because of the mysterious entity communicating with you through the screens. You can trust me. I'm a good person.
THIS SCREEN IS USELESS. BUT YOU WILL WATCH IT ANYWAYS. AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.
THESE ARE RED FREAKS. THEY CAN HARM YOU. You have to click to turn the red background white, in order to see the warning and the freak, which is shaking like a crack-addict and bashing its little stick-figure head against the wall.
Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome features a madman who likes to kill people and then arrange their bodies as "artwork" in these big glass tubes at strategic points in his mansion. Two of the more "interesting" pieces are his girlfriend, who he stuffed into a giant orchid up to about mid-torso and an anonymous young man who he dressed up like Icarus and hung on the ceiling.
Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway for the Xbox 360 has an example of this, in the middle of the game, your character, Matt Baker will start to break down from the stress of war and begin to see things, this makes for very tense, atmospheric moments when you are searching the adandoned hospital for Franky.
Brutal Legend is not the type of game where nightmare fuel would be apparent... unless you count the horribly dark Scenery Gorn in some parts of the game, especially near the Sea of Black Tears, the latex-wearing demons you fight and the sometimes jarring music, which are real songs from real bands/artists. Face it, if you don't know anything about Heavy Metal before playing this game, you are undoubtably gonna freak out at multiple things in this game.
The cutscene where Ophelia drowns herself in the Sea of Black Tears while Mr. Crowley plays in the background definitely deserves mention. Both chilling and depressing at the same time.
Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move's American boxarts, SBAM1 for the PS2 and BAM2 for the Sega Saturn replaces Bub and other characters with a screaming man with matchsticks keeping his eyes open and a baby from the pits of the Uncanny Valley blowing blood-red bubbles. What does that have to do anything with cutesy dragons solving puzzles?
Call Of Cthulhu Dark Corners Of The Earth. For the first four hours of play, you're trying to sneak through Innsmouth, with hybrid fish-men tracking you. They have guns and axes - and you're totally unarmed. You don't even get the knife/gun that other FPS games give you. And then there's the navy battleship that gets attacked by Deep Ones, and the Marsh Refinery, and the insane asylum flashbacks.
The arcade Shoot 'em UpChiller was released by Exidy in 1986, but it's still hellishly disturbing even by contemporary standards. Most of your "enemies" consist of helpless people chained to walls and various torture devices, and you're expected to messily shoot the flesh off their bones and activate the devices they're trapped in before you can proceed. What's more, there's no established plot, and the few enemies who actually are appropriately ghoulish don't do anything to hurt you; you're just there to massacre stuff. The most disturbing part of all is that a quick overview of Exidy's other titles shows them to be fairly innocuous and bloodless light gun shooters following different themes such as medieval, western, military and police (a Klansman does show up in the game Crackshot, but it's not all that objectionable since he's a target). Evidently, a boss at Exidy asked his staff to make a Horror-themed game to add to the lineup, and THIS is what they came back with.
They actually ported that to NES of all places. The only other game that might scare someone would be Dr. Chaos, which is a heck of a Mind Screw, gameplay wise. Friday the 13th is mostly startle-scare, but Chaos has the atmosphere of a mad scientist film going for it too!
Even Civilization IV can be made scary, or at least really freaking ominous, as shown in the intro to the Beyond the SwordExpansion Pack. It's pretty much a history of warfare and communications, and the last part concerns recent times. JFK looks at a photo of a Russian plant stolen by a spy, sighs heavily, and picks up the red phone. Fade to an alarm going off at a nuclear missile silo, where the missile is lifted up and the silo doors slide open...
Cooking Breakfast 2, a Game Maker "game", which claims to be an "all time family classic" which is supposed to "learn [you] in seven steps to create your very own breakfast". The true nature of the "game" is something a bit different; to quote two reviewers, "Once you start the game this freaky-looking spinning evil face appears in front of a annoying black-white flashing background," "making a sound that sounds like a a chalkboard being scrapped by a grinder". And it has no exit feature; you have to turn it off via the task manager. If we are to believe the reviews, some people got seizures from this. It is suspected that this game is actually the author's revenge against people who gave his previous games bad reviews.
Covetous flash game, which can be found at Newgrounds. Basically, you can understand that is about a stillborn who resides inside his twin brother's body. The game is about you making your twin get more and more sick, as the stillborn sucks his life and eat up his life force, growing like a parasite inside his body. Each level of the game is more deranged, the twin alive getting visibly affected by the stillborn, who gets more and more aggressive, and speaks more and more disturbing things. It does not help the fact that the graphics are pretty precarious. Oh, and since you play as the parasite stillborn, you get a good and a bad ending. Guess what happens in the good ending.
Creature Shock wasn't able to make up its mind whether it was going to be a fairly straightforward Rail Shooter or a Boss Game. But it did have the spider...worm...things in the latter segment. If you hadn't figured out how to use your shields by the time you first encountered them, they would reduce you to a single hit point, and then scuttle up to the impossibly high ceiling. Once you tried to leave the room, they would descend, grab you, lift you UP to said ceiling, and you got a nice first person view of the dozens of them, just before the one that got you reared up and swallowed you whole. And the entire time you're fighting these things, they make a chittering sound that sounds like nothing so much as a demented giggle.
The otherwise saccharine Crystal's Pony Tale pits you against a disproportionately intimidating figure in the form of the Witch. The opening sequence featuring her is unrelentingly ominous, which is amplified by the chilling soundtrack, and the lack of motivation for the Witch's actions only adds to the unsettling sense of mystery surrounding her. You could look up any playthrough of the game on YouTube and it's a guarantee that around half of the commentators will bring up how badly the Witch scared them as a kid.
Dantes Inferno has plenty of this, and really, it'd be disappointing otherwise, since, you know...it's in Hell.
Dark Fall: The Journal is pretty much Nightmare Fuel in its entirety. The game is set in an abandoned hotel in Campbell Country, and tasks the player with discovering the fate of his brother - one of a team of paranormal investigators who disappeared while investigating the disappearance of the hotel's denizens 60 years prior. Little "screamer" bits are thrown in here and there, including whispers, ball lightning flicking across the screen, and visions of apparitions, but one experience in particular stands out. Suffice to say, one hopes that after the player climbs to the third floor of the hotel the first time, he'd better hope he brought a change of pants along.
The first two levels of darkSector made it out to be a third person shooter with some interesting weaponry. Cue much shouting of "fuck! fuck! shit! arrrgh!" when you first meet the Infected. In a sewer. Where the lights go out. And you are in complete darkness. And all you see is faces and hands reaching out to you with each muzzle flash from your pistol. And the horrifying click when you run out of ammo.
More subtly disturbing is the quality of the voice acting for the Lasrian troopers. If they see the Glaive coming towards them, their final words will be a desperate, pitiful scream along the lines of 'Someone help me!'
Dark Seed. You have an alien embryo implanted in your head and three days to stop the aliens from taking over the world, plus backgrounds inspired by H. R. Giger.
Anyone who is afraid of spiders should definitely stay away from Deadly Creatures.
Dirt. You are a skeleton kitty named Dirt who finds itself underground with no explanation. You tunnel down, finding jewels to collect and odd remnants of life, such as your water and food bowls, tents, camp fires, odd towers and missiles buried away, bottles, eyeballs, doors, drawings and messages to you. There're also the eyeballs with tentacles that do nothing, and the large centipede/worm creatures that don't attack you, but always watch you and talk about how much pain they're in, or ask you what eases your pain, or other such pleasant topics.
The English version somehow makes it even more disturbing by removing the sound effects, so that what happens to your siblings becomes full-fledged Noodle Incident.
The escape-the-room (or, in this case, escape-the-house) game Diversity lets you be "good" or "bad". If you follow the "good" route, the rooms remain perfectly bright and cheerful and you'll completely avoid this trope. If you follow the "bad" route, however, you're in for a steadily worsening nightmare as the rooms become darker, furniture becomes tipped over and trashed, plants die, etc. The nursery in particular becomes a dark, trashed room with "Quarantine" written on the blackboard. And the bathroom...well, if you've just been kind of bad, it'll be dark and dirty, and you'll find the corpse of a cat in the washing machine (which, incidentally, is the same cat that you find alive and well if you take the "good" route instead). If you've been completely rotten to the core, you don't just get dirty water in the toilet and bathtub; you get blood. And a man's head in the washing machine. The comedic-ish ending picture alleviates the horror somewhat, but the sights plus the music (which can become downright sinister in the nursery and cut off entirely in the bathroom) can fit this trope. Heck, just the implication that you are entirely responsible for turning what would otherwise have been a normal house into a desolate ruin (or maybe that the house is reflective of your mind/mood, and if you spiral down into insanity/sociopathy, everything in the house soon follows) is pretty scary in itself.
DoDonPachi, one of the craziest scrolling shooters known to exist in the video game history, has its trademark True Final Boss, Hibachi, who will always give you nightmares and endless frustration, especially in DaiOuJou and DaiFukkatsu! Just listening to the music is enoughtocreep youout, too!!
In the Drakan series, the Giant Spiders apparently take lessons in unnvering people from the Skulltullas in Oo T. Especially the part about the game being over-the-shoulder 3D so it being a good idea to blot out the screen with their ass with a sudden drop.
Also the Anphibian Kraken, the Water Dragon and Torlosh. Also The Temple of Efferd is quite scary...
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: The soundtrack is alright on the whole, but "Faith", the final track, is pretty damn creepy. The song itself is bad enough, but when it ends (2:40 into the track) there are six minutes of silence. Then, static plays for a short while and a little girl's voice calls out "Find April Ryan, save her...". When you aren't expecting it, that makes for one weird and paranoia inducing end to a soundtrack.
Dwarf Fortress. In Adventure Mode, you will often get told not to stray too far from a village if you're alone.If you're foolish enough to, you start hearing incessant cackling. A few turns later, a gang of Bogeymen gangs up on you, most likely beating you to death.
Eternal Champions and its set of scenery kills reached a level of violence and gratuituous cruelty that you rarely see even in more modern games. Pick your "favorite": getting torn apart/eaten by wildlife/supernatural beings, messily squashed by boulders, thrown into giant fanblades, burned or boiled alive, split in half by lightning, painfully dissolving into acid goop, falling into a trapdoor filled with multiple sets of giant buzzsaws, letting mysterious machines mess with your body...
The Exmortis series. Imagine the worst haunted house story you can, and being trapped in it. Now make it worse with particularly nasty graphics. Now include demons. Now toss on the cultist and apocalyptic end of all life as we know it by the hands of these unstoppable demons, to the point where nuclear warheads don't even work.
The Game Over screen for F-22 Interceptor. A large part of it had to do with the fact that it took forever-and-a-half to get the actual Game Over screen to appear: usually, when you fail a mission and crash, the screen just prompts you to push a button to restart the mission. Screw up enough times, though, and you're greeted to a screen that shows a monitor with a giant skull on it, your EKG flatlining, the screen reading "All Vital Signs Flat. Patient Deceased", and right below that in red, bold letters, "You're Dead". See for yourself.
The Macintosh shareware game ''Fred Rogers, Terrorist'. When you are playing in the Neighborhood of Make Believe, where you must kill most if not all the puppet characters, and knock on X the Owl's door, you are met with a squawking vulture creature (aka "Mutated X") that fills the entire playing field. To make matters worse, one time there was a glitch in the game where you defeat X, but without warning another X popped up on the screen. Beat him, then another one appears. And so forth and so on.
Freedom Forceisn't really the place for nightmare fuel, but one level stands out. It starts out with a standard "capture all the robbers and bring their leader to justice!" objective, but the robbers go down quickly, leaving you to track their leader across the city. The standard "people screaming" sound effects play, but they're quieter, supported by strangely ominous music, and it's not entirely clear what's prompting them. Then you find an ordinary-looking civilian, who calls out "Help us!" in a reverberating voice, and mousing over her reveals that she's described not as "Everyday inhabitant of Patriot City" but as "Unusual inhabitant of Patriot City." It's not even surprising that, as you get closer, her face distorts and she attacks you, but damn if it isn't scary. The evil policemen are even worse, if only for the initial shock when they start levitating ("I'm above the law!")
Same series of levels, but a few levels later: You've finally rescued your kidnapped leader, and he thinks he knows where to find the villain. Your party fails to notice the reverberation in his voice. They catch on pretty quickly, but it's quite unnerving before they do.
Gauntlet: Dark Legacy's stage music for Carnival of the Lost is composed of multiple parts, filled with circus-themed screams of death for your (un)delight. By simply listening, you can at least infer that an elephant goes berserk and mauls its trainer, a roller coaster derails and sends the occupants crashing to their death (a derailed, burning cart is seen during this part of the level,) but the major offender is the last part, which plays at the end while you pass a performing stage. It starts out all happy, but then you hear a demonic laugh and the music goes very low and ominous. Then you get to listen as a guy screams as he is sawn in half, then a woman scream as her body is impaled multiple times. The worst part? The audience cheers this on.
Special mention also goes to the Lich.
Gem Craft Labyrinth has some pants-soilingly terrifying features that emphasize just how much of a bad idea going into the aformentioned labyrinth is. After Field A12, the first time you encounter a Demon's tomb, random levels will flicker in and out of view, along with a dark border with long black streaks reaching into the main field of vision of your UI. Sometimes it heralds the arrival of an Abomination, an Elite Mook you can kill for bonus XP. It all comes to a head after the second Gemcrafting Pylon, J10. Around wave 14, the flickering starts up, making your heart beat faster out of nervousness. As more waves pass, the flickering becomes more frequent. On wave 19, an ominous bell tone rings out as your screen is almost entirely consumed by blackness, and a gigantic black something slowly trails under the water...
Ghostbusters: The Video Game has part of what made the original film so great, and what the sequel lacked: A combination of great comedy with a truly freaky movie/game. In no level is this more apparent than "Return to the Sedgewick", which is only merely spooky until you go up to the top floors with Egon. To any Ghostbusters fan playing the game who happens to be arachnophobic, the Spider Witch, from her backstory to her appearance when you fight her, is just disturbing.
And then there's the earlier Library level in which you must go through the children's reading room with Ray. It's dark, the sounds of children laughing and crying fill the air, and if you look through your PKE meter goggles, you can see ghostly little handprints and children's drawings on the walls. And when you leave the room, suddenly a boy's voice shouts "BYE!". You've got that right, scooter.
Peter: [audibly shaken] You'd think I'd be USED to that by now!
The first appearance of Yomiel in Ghost Trick. Cabenela shoots him, his corpse goes rolling back on the stepstool cart...and then the cart comes rolling back and he slowly stands up again. The fact that he's wearing what Sissel believes to be his own face makes it even scarier.
In the same scene, if you get noticed by Yomiel, he stops time and looks right at you, telling you that there's nothing you can do to stop him.
Possessed Kamilla. It's worse if you know that the original plan was for her to shoot her own father.
Gravity Rush: In the part where Kat must infiltrate a school district, one of the students becomes fused with one of the monsters, and the result is very unsettling and terrifying. Made even scarier by the fact that you must defeat the monster within a time limit, if you fail to beat it in time, she will become fully corrupted by the monster.
Speaking of which, this is the ambient music when you break into the Beldingford's Manor. It's as if Kyd time-travelled to the future, played Amnesia: The Dark Descent, came back, and wrote this horrifying track based on his experiences.
The original Homeworld had elements of nightmare fuel as well, namely in the complete annihilation of Kharak and the various instances of ship capturing (which was certainly an instance of Fridge Horror when contemplating the fates of captured ship crews, especially with the ominous line "The subject did not survive interrogation").
Homeworld: Cataclysm was well scripted, well plotted, and had a doozy of an enemy. Having your lower decks scream at you to cut them loose as they get recycled into a fleshy mess is bad enough, but the level where you have to escort a series of refugee ships and you cannot avoid them being hit and all the howling civilians packed inside being devoured and reformed is enough to make you exit the game whilst whimpering "Ohgodohgodohgod". For added fun, play a skirmish and zoom right in on a squadron of fighters as they get hit by a Beast conversion beam, enough to hear the sounds.
The worst part is the distress calls from impacted refugee ships. "Help us! HELP US!!!!"
Hell, just the voice of the Beast is creepy enough. And then of course, the mind wanders into imagining what the transformation must feel like...
Hunter The Reckoning is all about running around killing zombies. Not so bad, right? And eventually, you get used to all the dead bodies lying in the street, yes? And oh, look! Now you've got a mission to get a cute little girl with a teddy bear through a cemetery and into a church where her parents are waiting. Aww, look at her run to hug them! Pshh. The little girl drops the bear, which proceeds to get possessed by...something, grows to a huge size, gains fangs and claws, and then kills the parents with one swipe of its claw. If that was wasn't bad enough, the little girl got to see it, and of course she screams in terror. Not. Fun.
Hysteria Project. You begin by being thrown in a room, arms and legs bound with duct tape. You struggle out of the tape and through the door, and begin your escape through a misty woods. Pretty soon, you notice that you're being pursued by a figure in a hoodie, wielding an ax- which is a hell of a lot freakier than it might sound. When the figure catches up with you, you get schizo mindfuck hallucinations where he seems to be right next to you only to disappear. Getting caught consists of your pursuer rushing at you, striking you with the ax, and a game over screen. Oh, and along the way you find your arm has a very realistic-looking wound cut in a symbol.
The big ass spiders from Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, particularly the Phase Spiders which teleport randomly and the Sword Spiders which are incredibly fast and can slice and dice your party in a heartbeat. For added horror, Right-click on a sword spider. That sound is not natural.
The Temple of Ilmater in Lower Dorn's Deep. Hordes of the the most hideous and powerful undead and brainwashed priests inhabit the place, controlled by an idol of Poquelin. Not to mention Poquelin himself, when you meet him. Plus, you've got the music that plays, which complements the evil atmosphere.
Despite usually being a ridiculous parody of the Survival Horror genre, Illbleed had a couple legitimate freakish moments. For example, the final boss of the first level is the first level's boss grown giant-sized, and he is unkillable. Your only hope is to hop across annoying stones to get to shore and enter a cabin...where you find out he's just a robot being controlled by an operator. The only way to make the guy stop is thwack him in the head, whereupon his head explodes in a shower of sparks and fake (we hope) blood, revealing him to be a robot as well. Asimov never told us about this one!
In Famous has Sasha and her Mind Rape powers. Not to mention a creepy stalker lust she has for Cole.
Infinite Space has the Flux, a region of space where everything is constantly shifting, including time-space particles and the like. Your navigational equipment is all useless. The red background of this area bears quite a resemblence to Gigyas, and you can constantly hear a woman screaming. Before you know it, you're traveling between uninhabited clusters of spacerocks with no way to get back. Not to mention the scene where ALL of Yuri's friends freeze and dissolve into powder.
A good bit into Infinite Undiscovery, players will encounter a phenomenon known as Lunar Rain. This bright, shiny rain will cause wings to grow on your party members as they stand in it, giving them significant stat boosts. Stay in it longer, their wings will grow bigger, and they'll begin to regenerate health. Sounds good, right? Stay in it even longer and they'll begin to take their own actions, ignoring your commands. It's best to run to the nearest town at this point, because shortly, all hell will break loose. The afflicted character suddenly turn pitch black, while their eyes glow red. They'll repeatedly scream out random phrases and screams of agony which range from humorous to downright disturbing. Oh, and they'll attack you and your non-affected party members. If you don't put them out of their misery fast enough, they'll turn invisible.
Did we mention that the first time it happens, you get stuck in a boss fight against Vermified Edward in which you have a time limit before he completely transforms and the game ends? Now, try to imagine why the game would end after that.
Irisu Syndrome. Who knew a Puzzle Game could be so creepy? Take a nice stare at Irisu's face when you die with at least 40,000 points. Watch both endings. Read the text files that you get as you play. And finally, pause the game; you might get lucky and have nothing happen. Might. And then there's Metsu...
The Stationary Bossbattle theme in Iron Tank is much creepier than the normal boss theme, mainly because of its use of the Locrian mode scale.
Jade Empire starts out (and ends) as a fairly cool, enjoyable martial-arts romp with all the right Bioware features. Then you get to the Pilgrim's Rest Inn. Suddenly the misty, ethereal and mysterious atmosphere of the game turns really, really creepy. Not to mention what happens at the Lotus Assassin Fortress. Or what you can do to Death's Hand...
Also worth a mention is the source of Dirge's defilement. The natural order has been so corrupted and twisted that something from outside entered. It commands legions of demons and forsaken spirits, and it manifests only as an orb of energy and ethereal copies of the player character. Being from outside creation, the gods have no authority over it, and even after you fight it, it still traps the souls of countless people in an endless cycle of hatred and warfare...
Journey took everyone by surprise with its Nightmare Fuel. That game starts out peacefully, with the players exploring desert ruins, meeting companions and flying with the cute rag creatures, until you land in a dark cavern with the now awakened War Machines, each with a single glowing eye, who will attack you on sight and tear out a chunk of your scarf. You will spend the rest of the level hiding in alcoves and praying they don't see you as they pass.
The original 1997 release of JumpStart 4th Grade is a good example of Nightmare Fuel because the substitute teacher, a witch, turns children into scary, though goofy-looking, monsters.
Of all the games to contain Nightmare Fuel, Kingdom Of Loathing is possibly the least expected. But the Guy Made of Bees is almost completely out of place. A hideous being that exists as an amalgam of bees, it does nothing but hate all living creatures, and exists only to kill anyone who calls its name. Whenever it shows up, the writing is at a complete loss for jokes. Its story is even worse: an accountant went into beekeeping, and when people started to disappear, local villagers burned down his apiary, only to be attacked by the bees...
Go and play Peter Jackson's King Kong for 12 straight hours, and then close your eyes. You will see megapedes and carnivorous spiders in all your thoughts and dreams. Have fun.
The online flash game K.O.L.M. starts off as a cutesy, if slightly melancholy platformer where you play a young robot trying to rebuild himself to please his unseen mother. As the game progresses, however, it gradually becomes apparent that something is very, very wrong as your mother's tone and words start becoming more and more harsh, and near the end flat out states that she intends to rule the world. Then you pick up the last plot item, and the lair the game takes place in starts to self destruct. Your mother has been leading you to your death this entire time. She's not even your mother. Your mother is dead. She's a computer program, and you used to be a human. Once you realize this, "Mother" has this to say.
You're right. I hate you. You killed me. You killed me. YOU KILLED ME.YOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDMEYOUKILLEDME
The old EA game Labyrinth Of Time. A charming Myst-style game; creepy music, a persistent feeling of being watched, and generally disturbing settings through which you can traverse. Oh, and the entrance into a circus-type maze which is, you guessed it, a smiling clown with a nice, deep and evil laugh that loops forever. While the creepy music is playing.
L.A. Noire is realitively a nightmare-free game for the most part, considering its a crime game. Except, of course...
The homicide investigations where you have to investigate a string of murdered women that were found mutilated and naked.
The arson investigations, where you see the burnt charred remains of various families, and at one point, two burnt children!
The flashback scene of Okinawa where you have to see Cole and the others Mercy Kill the Japanese civillians they had unknowingly lit aflame.
Limbo, an Xbox Live Arcade title. Heavy on the Minimalism and Scenery Porn, this game is basically Little Big Planet, perhaps injected with a little dose of ICO, and then served up with a heaping dish of Nightmare Fuel. Just a fifteen minute preview revealed bear traps that decapitate your character, and huge spiders that kill you or even wad you up into a ball of web that must wiggle and jump its way away from death.
The Limbo spider, even to non-arachnophobes. It is made worse by the fact you are defenseless against it; all you can do is run from it and hope you can finally leave it behind. But every time you think you have, that you can safely put it out of mind, the soundtrack fades to a crackle and its long legs appear again at the left side of your screen, methodically working their way towards you. This is a creature who will stop at nothing to exact its revenge upon you- you know it is not driven by natural urges because you witness it flicking natives off its talons, casually demolishing a village in its pursuit of you, and you alone. Finally, finally it inadvertently damages itself so badly it only has one leg left, and is left pathetically twitching in the dirt. The game insists that you approach it. Does it try to plead for mercy? Does it try feebly to get away? No: Its very, very last action, what it uses its final vestige of energy upon, is to try to stab you and take you with it. A true horror of a creature.
Live A Live in Cube's Scenario had the Behemoth (Even touching it is game over) the lights being turned down and the screeching of the Behemoth doesn't help much. Not to mention the ship will have a hand in trying to kill you, yes the very same ship that you are on has become sentient and is killing off the crew members.
And then there's the hidden Oersted scenario, along with the following final chapter. Never mind the fact that everyone around him either hates him, died protecting him, or betrayed him, but it breaks him and he decides to become a demon king. First order of business was killing the rest of the people of Lucretia offscreen, and turning the once vibrant land into a white, dead, desolate one filled with monsters. Everybody's Dead, Dave.
LSD Dream Emulator has the Violence District. A place where crazy people wander the streets, dismembered corpses can be found in garbage cans, and the corpses of women dangle from the street lamps. Some of these corpses will fall off the lights, then proceed to get back up and slowly move towards you. There is also a crazy guy wandering the streets who will shoot you if he sees you. Oh, and the Grey Man, who has been stalking you all over the damn place? He can be found here quite often.
Manhunt series. Even the somewhat-censored (to avoid an AO rating) second game.
In the mall, where you get to see TV with your famliy members there is a toilet. A mook jumps out at you from behind a door. When you walk in and see the man sitting on the toilet, he isn't moving, and closer inspection reveals his head had a large hole in it.
The "Amongst the Dead" level in Medal of Honor: Underground. Narrow and dark corridors? Check. Walls of skulls and bones? Check. Creepy music? Check.
The same thing happens if you die in Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri. Not a pretty sight.
Firsthand horror of your bioderms dying and in Cyberstorm, there are robots you can use as pilots eventually to migitate the nightmare fuel, but given that they are nothing more than elaborate brain in a jar still pose problems
T-Mek, an arena tank combat game, has similar nightmare fuel moments. When you destroy an enemy tank, the minimap is replaced with an in cockpit view of your opponent's pilot getting chunks of flesh blasted off, leaving a charred, meaty skeleton.
The Secret of Monkey Island: has the extremely unsettling catacombs inside the giant Monkey head, which are composed of body parts, giant mushrooms and lava. The thing about these is that they randomly generate and form a maze, and you can't navigate them without the Navigator necklace, so if you don't know this you can be going round in circles forever (although it will usually regenerate the room in which you came in after going through a few doors).
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: LeChuck's Revenge does a great job mixing creepy creepyness with familiar and funny creepyness. Still, almost everything that happens on the graveyard on Scabb Island happens to be Nightmare Fuel.
Also Guybrush does one of the most creepy and brutal things in the series himself: He rips off LeChuck's leg
Largo catching you in his room is pretty scary if you don't use the voodoo doll in time. This is echoed in the last part of the game when you have to do the same for Le Chuck, except that Guybrush doesn't give you a warning before he bursts into the room..
Rum Rogers Jnr's Basement, in which there is the skeleton of his father in the bath. This is made funny by the fact there's a toaster in the bath (making it anachronistic) but the presence of it is still scary.
The Curse of Monkey Island has one of the darkest sections of the entire series on Blood Island, when you have to investigate the Goodsoup family, especially when you go to the crypt. Blood Island's permanent night has quite a tone of foreboding to it.
Escape from Monkey Island has the Mystes Of Time Marsh in which you occasionally come across your future self. It's extremely creepy if not outright scary, especially as it relies on memory to complete it (if you get it wrong you cause a time paradox and have to restart this section).
Even though most of the monster's designs in the Monster Hunter games are usually just intimidating, a few can look a little disturbing. Namely the Khezu and Gigginox, with both of them having an elongated neck, no eyes, the former's veins exposed and the latter can even sense you by just your body heat and has a nasty tendency to hand on ceilings, and dropping on you, trying to eat you alive. The Yama Tsukami is also a little creepy with it looking like a floating Cthulu head, fortunately it's peaceful in-universe except when approached by hunters. A few of the ecology videos can also be shocking.
The Museum of Broken Memories. Not only is it a major Tear Jerker in many places, but many of the rooms can really get under your skin. Like the Dark Room, where you literally can't see anything and have to blindly grope your way around for keys and doors. Or the Door Room where you try, try, try to get out of a room before the door opens - the fact that you don't even know what the protagonist in that story is running away from just makes it even worse. The Fever Room, however, took the cake for me: you're meant to explore a maze of rooms for several keys. All the while, the protagonist babbles something about "water... rising..." and "drowning", and the more flashbacks you trigger for him/her, the more tilted and water-filled the rooms become, as if the entire place really is sinking, to the point where you can't even open some of the doors anymore.
Myth 2: Soulblighter. The undead are bad enough, but how about an undead that shambles up to your troops and explodes, paralyzing your troops or blasting them halfway across the screen. Oh yeah, and they scream while doing it. Well... it sounds like this. There is also the Myrkridia, a race of half-man half-wolf things. They attack with bare claws and the sound effect is them ripping off parts of your soldiers' flesh. Their attack is so fast that it paralyzes a soldier from shock and before he can react, he's hit by another until he dies. Right before they die, they howl and go berserk attacking anything in their path. The first level you see them in, they rip apart a group of troops about the size of yours in 30 seconds, and then nearly a hundred of these things howl in unison. There are also the trow, which are giants of about 14 ft. tall. You can hear them before you see them, but it doesn't help; they walk faster then you can run. They can take out your toughest units in two kicks which break them apart.
Square Enix's venture, Nanashi no Game, with the exact premise of The Ring—except we have an NES-style RPG instead of videotape. And the game is played in first-person. And it's the first DS game with true 3D sound. (Read: you can hear shit happening behind you.) Oh, and Square recommends playing it with headphones, just to make the 3D sound even more realistic. Yeah, hell no. Not when the game's website is terrifying in and of itself. Not when that NES-style RPG asks you how pathetic you are for even trying to avoid your fate.
Then we have the sequel, Nanashi no Game Me. This clip is fairly innocuous, the scenery notwithstanding. Except the player fellow doesn't quite make that last jump. SPLAT.
Neverwinter Nights. If you're going through the single player campaign, it's late at night, and you're near Charwood, save and quit. Even before you get into the castle, you've got a town where everyone appears to have cotton wool for brains, mildly deranged cultists, and a lunatic has gibbered something scary at you while you stand among the impaled corpses of human beings, then disappeared in a puff of blood-coloured smoke. There's also a bodak waiting for you inside the castle, which is pretty bad news if you don't have good Fort saves.
The soundset in some parts of Charwood was creepy. Lots of unintelligible screaming and muttering, with the only recognizable phrase being a high "Wake up. Please wake up?"
The Nightjar. You are the only remaining passenger onboard the titular dying spacecraft, and the only way to reach safety is through your sense of hearing alone - the game comes equipped with 3D sound and can only be played while wearing headphones - with your only guide being the crew member of another ship. Then it turns out the ship has been invaded by carnivorous aliens, and you were left behind as bait to allow the surviving crew members to escape. Now you spend the rest of the game tiptoeing through the ship's lightless corridors, trying to avoid the sounds of the guests finishing their meal.
"There's something in here. It's eating what I think is the first mate of the Nightjar."
Oddworld does this quite a lot, but by far the most disturbing moment is the bad ending of Munch's Oddysee. It goes from disturbing to nightmarish.
There are worse moments in the earlier games. Imagine a muscular spider the size of a dog with a clawed hand for a mouth. Now imagine a six foot high eyeless scorpion. Now imagine weaponless, One-Hit Kill you, running away from entire rooms full of these, in the dark, over bottomless pits. The games make you do this four times in total.
Heck, the bad endings to Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus. In the former we see Abe get dropped into a meat grinder, complete with little bits of meat/gore flying out, and then in the latter Abe is put in a Tear X-tractor and we get to see him electrocuted to death.
The Asylum level of Painkiller. It's like Shalebridge Cradle lite, which is severe Mood Whiplash compared to pretty much all the rest of the game. It does not help that the ghosts there are invulnerable to Daniel's arsenal. Also, the pained grunt and blurred vision that occurs every time Daniel gets hit can be disturbing.
Made even more disturbing that the outside of the asylum is modeled after the administration builind of the Danvers State Hospital, which is infamous as the suspected birthplace of the labotomy, along with the horrible conditions its mentally deficient residents lived in.
The expansion pack's first level is the Orphanage. There are only two enemies in this level that aren't evil killer children. Made creepier by the fact that this is one of the few minor stages with a story to it: this game takes place in Purgatory, and Children Are Innocent and must go to Purgatory when they die. This orphanage just happened to get demon possessed. Oh, and it's pitch black without your torch. Scary level props, too, such as a huge teddy bear with entrails coming out of a rip in its belly, and a bloody room full of cages with skeletons in them.
The Prison level in the original has a corpse on an examining table that disappears if you hit it too much, as well as a... thing writhing in an electric chair that also disappears once you find the switch to cut the current flow.
The "Forest Theme" from the soundtrack. If lyrics like, "Are you dreaming? He'll soon be feeding," and the disturbing scraping noise don't send you screaming, wait for the wolf's actual voice. Bonus for how creepy it sounds when you're actually playing the game.
As much as it is a funny, over the top game, Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness has some genuinely scary moments. From Episode One: The Mimes. Let alone their dark god... And the Fruit-fuckers jumping out of things like dead seagull corpses.
In Episode 2, as soon as you go back into the bunk room at the asylum after inserting the fuse switch, the lights go off...then you hear loud cackling, and the lights go back on to reveal that the asylum inmates have suddenly appeared. Especially effective if you have the volume turned up very loud.
The "Rabbites" in Episode 3. They're these hideous, rotting, almost zombie-like rabbits covered in blood and having something resembling an intestine wrapped around their necks, and they attack by coughing up blood. Even as a 16-bit sprite, it's still sickening.
Tycho's death in Episode 3.
Penumbra: Overture drops you into an abandoned lead mine in Greenland with no weapons, no map, and nowhere to go but further underground. There are sounds coming from the darkness — insectile skittering, low growls, and occasionally, just at the edge of your hearing, human whispers — and your options for light are a glowstick, which never runs out but illuminates only a few feet ahead, or a flashlight that casts further but consumes batteries at an alarming rate. Even the game mechanics work against you: the combat system is so clumsy it's barely better than useless, and while it's not hard to hide from whatever might be stalking you, looking directly at it from under cover sends your character into a very conspicious panic attack. The sequel, Black Plague, solves the problem of awkward combat by removing it entirely, and adds heaping helpings of Body Horror and Enemy Within. Play with the lights on.
The last level of Perfect Dark. The Skedar were pretty damn freaky looking. They also had a roar that indicated that they noticed you. In the level before the final, you're usually capable of seeing them before they attack. In the final level, though, most of them are invisible. It could be very unnerving to be wandering the temple and suddenly hear a roar without knowing where it came from, and then have a Skedar warrior bearing down on you.
Phantasmagoria. Adrianne Delaney and her husband Don move into an ancient mansion previously owned by a famous magician, and Don ends up possessed by a demon that drove the previous owner to murder his wives in various grotesque ways. The Game Over scene shows Adrianne getting strapped to a chair and gruesomely cut in half by a bladed pendulum.
Regina's death is decidedly the most visceral. The godawful acting doesn't detract much from the mental image of having your throat literally filled with rotting meat until you strangle on it.
Phantasmagoria 2 also deserves a mention. Though the sex and violence is about as much as you'd expect to see on a late night Skinemax horror (and as much bad acting,) it did have some hella creepy moments. Even the good endings were pretty chilling.
There is something very graphical about how the swordfights in Prince Of Persia The Sands Of Time are choreographed, in slow motion and by generally having the main character jump on enemies and stab them hard on their backs while down, every one of them, to truly dispose of them. Ironically, the Darker and EdgierWarrior Within is less effective on inducing nightmares, because the fights get streamlined, and the prince more of a Bad Ass to expect such feats from him.
The entirety of the freeware shmup Psyche Metal: The Bleeding. The main character is a disembodied eyeball that must shoot its way through the Bloody Bowels of Hell. The gore in this game makes Abadox look tame in comparison; for example, the second stage lets you splatter the guts of crucified bodies. One of the bosses is even a giant fetus monster.
Purgatorium. Detailing the gruesome murders of a baby and woman at the hands of the father himself, the man having bricked himself up in the baby's room and committing suicide by setting the house on fire. You soon find out that, the reason you're in this haunted room is because you are the father and reliving the deaths.
The Extra Mode ending of RayStorm is no better. Over 70% of the seven-billion inhabitants of the planet Secilia were killed during "Operation: RAYSTORM" while the remaining 30% would have no chance of survival.
Redrum: Dead Diary may to some be just another hidden object game, but the visuals, music, and did we mention the visuals? The sequel, Redrum: Time Lies is twice as horrifying.
Especially since Dead Diary ended on a hopeful note and then Time Lies had an especially horrifying Downer Ending.
In Rescue On Fractalus, an old, pseudo-3D game where you flew around rescuing downed pilots from aliens, sometimes an alien would disguise itself as a human pilot, and jump up on your ship when you landed for a rescue. It would hammer on your windscreen until either it broke through and killed you, or you turned on your shield and fried it — all this accompanied by very scary sound effects. It doesn't sound like much by today's standards, but for its time it was terrifying (see it near the end of this clip).
Most of the Reservoir Dogs video game is Nightmare Fuel of some kind. If it isn't the cops begging you not to kill them, it's the grim inevitability of 5 out of 6 main characters' deaths, or your ability to cut off hostages' fingers. However, what really qualifies for Nightmare Fuel is Mr Brown's driving level. There's something about playing out what you know to be the last few minutes of life of a man who's just been shot in the head, and add that to the fact that the screen keeps getting splattered with blood, your vision is going, and the wonderful actor playing Brown launching into a 'So, Like a Virgin'-esque speech with a voice that obviously knows what's coming, and you get something that may or not be more disturbing than any of the violence in the movie.
Return To Castle Wolfenstein and its sequel, Wolfenstein, have plenty of horrifying imagery. The second game alone has invisible Nazi assassins that stalk you through the dark and taunt you in the creepiest voices imaginable, deformed mutant monsters from another dimension that look like giant trolls covered in tumours, creeping cyborg beasts that jump up in your face and try to claw your eyes out, and undead, flaming Nazi skeletons that shamble about and toss green fireballs at you.
The final mission of The Saboteur. Some backstory: the game is set during WWII in occupied France. You follow your most hated enemy, who ruined your life and killed your friends and comrades, to the top of The Eiffel Tower. Approaching, you hear screams and pleads for help from German soldiers, who are being slaughtered and thrown off the tower by Dierker, who, if it isn't obvious, is a high-ranking German officer himself. Taking the elevator up, a distraught soldier screams "He's killing everyone!" You're met with bodies strewn everywhere, soldiers hung from the stairwell, an officer who shoots a woman and then himself, a soldier playing Russian Roulette with himself with no bullets, while, the entire time, a general plays a tear-jerking rendition of "Feeling Good" on the piano. When you finally get to the top, your foe makes a saddened speech about how he and all of his comrades have failed and there is nothing left for them. If you take too long to kill him, he jumps off the Tower himself. For a game that's mostly been reasonably light-hearted, this is a real punch to the gut. Ladies and gentlemen, war is hell. Even creepier, if you've seen the film Downfall, you know exactly what these people are thinking, and for the most part, the ones who died here were lucky.
In Saints Row 2, in a cutscene that is a mix of Nightmare Fuel, Crowning Moment of Awesome, and a light Tear Jerker, Johnny Gat delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Shogo Akuji, for ordering the decapitation of his girlfriend, Aisha. After beating him up, and punching him head first through a fucking cement tombstone, he tosses him into a casket and burys him alive, all to the sound of Akujis cries for mercy. Lesson: Don't mess with Gat.
Burning Skeletal Max: Enjoying the ride, Sam? (demonic laughter)
During the boss battle in Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, trying to read Sam's future gives a black screen. Then a sudden white flash. Then a red-pink blur on blackness. Then white. Then a flash of long, needlelike teeth along the top and bottom edges of the screen (outside of the boundary of the vision). Then white. All accompanied by silence.
Scarface: The World is Yours, adhering as it does mostly to real life, is normally not very scary. It takes some guts to not panic after the first time a chainsaw-user soaks up your firepower (unless you've somehow got the SAW already) and closes in to One-Hit Kill Tony. Subsequent encounters usually leave one desperately looking around as that revving noise shows up, hoping to kill him quick, especially when found in the middle of a long mission.
SCP-087-B brings closed spaces, anxiety, and sheer darkness to the table. You just keep walking down stairs endlessly, with the sounds of heavy breathing keeping you company. That is until the game spawns you a playmate: a completely darkened humanoid with a white mask. This guy will either jump in to scare you, or chase you down the halls. The best part? It completely randomizes when he shows up.
And to anyone who has played the game, this just adds to it; "Don't look at me".Don't. Listen.
Siege Of Avalon has multiple occasions where the player is attacked by giant spiders. They don't do much damage, but they look creepy as all get out. Then there are the various caves you have to explore during the game, which are generally filled with stone golems, lizard people (which are cannibals), animated skeletons, or all of the above. The Cave Lurkers are a textbook case, being humans that worshiped an ancient goddess, who protected them, until a sacred object was stolen from her temple. Then the magic that protected them backfired, twisting them all into hideous mockeries of the people they once were, and on top of that made them effectively immortal in their warped bodies, with their minds slowly decaying, never seeing the light of day for hundreds of years. And the lich, which can only be destroyed by one of the people you befriended earlier in the game using a magic that destroys the lich's Soul Jar, but kills him in the process. While you "protect" him from the lich's magical attacks and undead allies. And someone clearly worked very hard on making the underground music as creepy as possible.
If this entry tried to list all of the Nightmare Fuel in Singularity, it would be essentially a long-winded description of the game. The worst, though, is the fact that the game was advertised as an ordinary First-Person Shooter/Puzzle Game. A few minutes after the start of the game, you're happily exploring old Soviet ruins. There are some old audio files around, that'll compel you to turn up the volume. As you walk down a hallway, without warning, a nearby voice screams "MOTHER OF GOD, LET ME OUT!" It goes downhill from there.
Abyss from Soul Calibur 3. He's Zasalamel with skin and muscle stripped off, a tail hanging down, and an organic-looking version of his legendary weapon. Not to mention the intro movie's ending when he transforms into Abyss. Plus, Night Terror.
Space Funeral is a goofy horror-themed rpg that rushes up and down the Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror like crazy and is lighthearted enough to be funny most of the time; however, reaching the Blood Cavern and hearing Ruth White read ominously the poem Spleen from Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil while all you can see is colored red and black is anguishing, to say the least.
Spookats in Spiral Knights are a cross between ghosts and cats. They seem absolutely adorable until they're provoked. Their faces shift from an adorable kitten to either a tortured or rage-filled horror and when they die, their final meow echoes eerily. If you're deep enough into the clockworks, this meow will drastically drop in pitch, just to add to the creepiness.
The backstory behind the trojans can also classify. Souls of despairing/deceased knights crystallize, then attach themselves to statues and become gigantic beasts filled with rage towards anything they see.
Starship Titanic. The weird robots, the massive emptiness of the ship, the weird monkey-gas mask suc-u-bus (and how easy it seemed to be to lose essential items in them), the giant mother suc-u-bus that vomits out a corpse, the dead body in the restaurant, being forced to puree the starlings and weirdly enough, drastically altering Marsinta's personality. Always felt like Mind Rape.
Both parts of Still Life are pretty creepy, the game dealing with serial killers and all. In the first game we get a Jack the RipoffMad Artist who guts women as inspiration for his paintings. We get to compare the dream-like visions in the paintings to the actual crime scenes. And then we get another murderer who pays homage to the first one, repeating his murders several decades later. In the second game, the murderer is a control freak obsessed with movies. He kidnaps women and keeps them in a cellar full of traps, forcing them to reenact his 'scenarios' in their futile attempts to get away. We get to experience it first-hand as one of the characters gets kidnapped early in the game.
After a part of the game, the perspective switches to our other character, an FBI agent who investigates the house. We find a lot of 'souvenirs' from the previous victims but no clue as to where the kidnapped woman is (the previous part ended abruptly, leaving us guessing about her fate). Then we start finding blood stains that match her DNA. More and more of them...
One of the most chilling moments is a very subtle one. While searching the cellar, we encounter a door that looks like an exit but opens to a brick wall, a nasty surprise for any victim who had managed to get through all the rooms. Upon closer inspection we find small traces of some substance on the bricks. A quick examination with a field lab kit identifies it as nail polish. Think about it for a moment and enjoy the mental picture.
The Submachine. It plays games with space-time and drills glory holes through the fourth wall.
Luca Blight from Suikoden II. Just his intro alone is enough to scare someone, and from there, he gets worse as he slaughters anyone he can get his hands on.
This game based off Suicide Mouse (covered on Web Animation). If you thought the source material was scary, you've seen nothing yet. Have you ever watched Suicide Mouse and thought "Gee, all this is nice, but I sure wish I could control Mickey and go to hell"? If so, then this is the game for you. It just gets worse and worse.
Some of the final bosses' attacks in the Super Robot Wars games can be pretty disturbing. Namely Kaiser Ephes from Alpha 3 , which involves him Mind Raping someone with apocalyptic visions of the galaxy, especially Earth, being destroyed and the Edel Bernel from Z.
Super Troll Island's last area is basically comprised of this. If you thought the trolls themselves staring at you was bad enough, wait till you get to the clown area.
The opening cinematic for Supreme Commander, once you understand a few things. The Infinite War has claimed billions of lives. It's a war, and this is the future. Not that bad, right? The only military personell are so elite, there probabally aren't more than a few thousand at any given moment. The discrepancy? Civilians caught in the crossfire.
SWAT 4, somewhat surprisingly, has two levels that manage to be insanely creepy despite the fact that you and your three squad mates are all armed to the teeth (but you are not supposedly shooting bad guys except at the easy difficulty). One is where you infiltrate a serial killer's house to rescue a hostage (who builds a dungeon to hold his hostages); the other is set in an apartment building that's been taken over by a doomsday cult. The latter is worse (even your teammates start getting freaked out) but the former hits a lot harder due to being so unexpected- it's the second level.
During the Let's Play by The Spoony One, he himself was so disgusted by what he found he contemplates just executing the arrestees. In the epilogue of the Doomsday Cult level, it's stated that after Commander Spoony stumbled upon some explosives, the building itself "accidentally" blew up after the officers were evacuated.
Tales Of Graces is certainly one of the more terrifying Tales Of games. And it certainly does explain alot with Lambda rather creepy possession of Richard, turning one of Absel's most peaceful allies into a blood-thirsty maniac. His first "big" scene involves him rising from the dead, his head thumping like crazy before slowly rising up, to rapidly slash at his attacker viciously. What makes it more disturbing is that Richard moves like he is being controlled, not keeping his legs straight, and slumping with a sly devilish look. Not to mention those eyes and evil laugh...Videos are better than words.
Terranigma for the SNES, especially the Castle in Spain, and its boss, "Bloody Mary". The creepy background music and the subverted nursery rhymes, not to mention that that boss is probably one of the hardest in the game, considering the relative strength the main character has when fighting her. The battle goes on interminably. Thinking about it, the truth about the main character and what happens to him after the game is beat...
The Journeyman Project lives and dies by unnatural voices and sounds coming throughout the entire game, but one notable instance includes this scene right after time jumping to a science center in Australia, where you are met by one of the robots, who announces how "I'vE Be En exPeCTinG Yo U...", before shooting you with a tranquilizer, starting the scary music, morphing into a human, and then disappearing. Did I mention you continue to hallucinate said sentence while you're looking for a cure to said tranquilizer?
Time Fcuk is a bit off-putting. You're hearing radio messages from your past and future selves, and some of them seem to have diverged from you a bit. One's teleported into a wall and is screaming for help. One has found a room with hundreds of dead bodies, all of which look like you. Several seem to have gone mad. What's even more disturbing, though, is approaching the end and hearing the messages from your early self, who's completely unaware of what's going to happen to him. Also the message, delivered out of nowhere, "Don't trust Steven! He's lying to us!" It gets even worse when you find out what Steven actually is. He starts as a tumor with eyes, growing out of your head, then grows ("His feet tickle my brain!") into a sort of living backpack, before splitting off and trying to Kill and Replace you.
The intro and the ending. The intro fully lets you know what kind of a fucked up reality you have been thrown into. And the ending shows what kind of a fucked up reality you have unleashed upon the world.
One wouldn't expect a game like Toy Soldiers to have much in the way of nightmare-inducing anything, until the music shifts from the catchy WWI-styled themes and snare drum music to considerably more dramatic dirges as a tank so large it crushes houses, bridges and turrets under it crawls over the hill. All the weapons you've been using up til then don't even annoy it.
All of Kohaku's backstory, but especially the diary. "Help me" indeed. (The poem at the end does not help at all).
There's also the dream where Akiha and Kohaku apparently rape Shiki.
UFO Aftermath. It opens with an image of people in a cinema, but it's abruptly revealed they're decaying corpses. Then you get to see some of the transgenic horrors in close-up (except the Car Crab, which is kinda cool). Then you get to play base attacks where you open a door and a balloon fish nukes your party, standard missions which feature horrific bloated Deathbellows monsters firing a Bee Bee Gun with much the same result, and (should you be having bad luck with the storyline missions) the sight of a horrific carpet of abominable doom scouring your bases from existence as it coats the planet in gunge. Yeah...
The Ugly. To talk about the Nightmare Fuel present in this game would be to spoil the game, but there's a serial killer hiding in your house. He's already decapitated your father, leaving his gouged-out eye in the bathroom sink and his head in the toilet, and has locked himself in your parents' bedroom while he rapes your mother's corpse. And the key to the bedroom, which you must find to defeat the killer, is in your father's mouth. Did we mention that there are also far too many ways to alert the killer to your presence, all of which will result in you being killed in a variety of horrible ways? This game is not for the squeamish, or for anybody, really.
Um Jammer Lammy: If you thought the JPN/EUR cutscene for Stage 6 was unsettling, wait until you see the American version of it. They re-animated the cutscene to be "less scary" and more "kid-friendly", but only made it even creepier. Just that entire scene where Lammy is flung back through time with a VHS rewinding effect, and keeps passing by everyone she met previously, complete with very distorted and creepy-sounding voices. *shiver* Now imagine seeing this as a child who thought that their Playstation was malfunctioning...
In PaRappa's side-story, Teriyaki Yoko's song is absolutely terrifying. The creepy, ominous background music, and (in the EUR/JPN versions) lyrics such as "You don't wanna see me get hurt,/The angel's been mean to me, that's for sure!" and "If I can have, have another wish,/I want the devil to join my next dish!" This game got a 3+ rating in Europe by the way.
Uninvited's Ghost Lady. On top of a freaky death description, her horrendous face was drawn so well in the NES graphics (so well to scare the shit outta you) and the music accompanying it is freaky as hell. The game's setting isn't even helping the situation.
Valis 1: "Cellular Tissue" from the soundtrack. It sounds like it was lifted from a haunted house ride or game.
This video from Valkyrie Profile. A young girl getting overwhelmed by a demon and forced to watch as she murders someone? Made into a slight Nightmare Retardant with the idiot soldiers who just stand there while their friend is getting killed.
Wild Arms. One word: Mother. Anyone that possesses people by devouring them more than qualifies.
Quite a few of the monsters in The Witcher qualify, especially the godawful Arachno-like Kikimores, and not only the big ones and the Queen (which is understood), but even the little ones, springing from underneath the ground and sneaking upon you with that nasty hissing sound in the deserted streets of Vizima by night. They can make you dread the moment you have to come back to the swamps, and their lair is just as bad.
The XIII game shows a bunch of mooks building a snowman in one level. If you use the "action" button on its head, a terrifying musical sting occurs as it reveals the corpse of an innocent backpacker with a final look of anguish frozen on his face.
The fountain in the Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure level Bell Tower of Requim. It has a creepy girl's face, and when you ring the bell, its eyes spin open, its jaw drops, and it emits a horrible screech. Then a blood-like fluid pours out of the eyes and fills the fountain.