Nightmare Fuel / Wreck-It Ralph

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cybugclip_2516.jpg

Clyde: Nice share, Ralph. We've all felt what you're feeling and we've come to terms with it.

It's not surprising some scary bits are gonna get covered. Why? Well, let's see... it's directed by Rich Moore, it's a Disney movie, and it's about Video Games. Oh, the potential.

Warning, Spoilers.


The Film

  • This isn't the only Wreck-it Ralph arcade game in the world. There may be many other Wreck-it Ralphs around the world who possibly are as miserable or even more miserable than the one in this movie. Though this one at least got a happy ending, the same may or may not be said for the others.
    • Ralph himself points out how lucky he is to have 30 years under his belt without having been plugged out. Who's to say other Fix-it Felix games haven't been, as Litwak put it, "put out to pasture"?note 
  • It can be a little disturbing Fridge Horror: it's never stated what happened to Fix-it Felix Sr. It's possible he never was part of the game, which means Felix actually has/had a father, but no memories of him? In a way, this is worse than Calhoun's story.
  • Surge Protector is the Game Central Station. He is everywhere.
  • The Cy-Bugs in general. How they can adapt to just about anything simply from eating things. Anything. And these guys eat a lot of things. Every time they eat something, start visualising it merging.
    • The merging aspect is perhaps the most horrific part of their biology for the characters who have to deal with them , especially if they eat a sentient being. Nightmare Fuel, And I Must Scream, and Tear Jerker all in one.
    • The way that they swarm and crawl around once they've invaded Sugar Rush is just nasty. If you're an entomophobe, expect to cover your eyes a few times during this film.
    • All those THOUSANDS of Cy-bugs you saw in Sugar Rush were bred by one.
    • The cry the Cy-bugs make when they are killed.
    • The bright colors of the Cy-Bugs that almost overrun Sugar Rush made them look creepier, which is pretty close to real life: Bright colors for some mollusks, arthropods, reptiles, and others usually means they're poisonous.
    • What's also scary about the Cybugs in Sugar Rush is that, yes, they do look like ridiculous candy coated Cute Machines but they are just as violent as the ones in Hero's Duty.
  • Consider Fix-It Felix. The way these games usually go, the player controls an avatar until lives are exhausted, so Ralph always wins in the end. We saw Felix's "death" routine at the party. Felix must die many, many times every day, yet it has no effect on his upbeat personality.
  • If you die in game other than your own, you're GONE. Your home game will suddenly be without a major character. If that character is the hero or the villain, center of the entire game, that's a quick ticket to OUT-OF-ORDER for your entire home game. Ralph's wanderlust could have doomed his entire home game, especially if he had managed to get himself killed.
  • The whole flashback as Felix describes Turbo's story, especially at the end when the arcades are wheeled out. The angle and music make it look like a funeral march, and considering these arcades are virtually individual worlds with sentient inhabitants, that's not too far from the truth.
  • What happens to actual glitches in arcade games? Are they all doomed to live lives of isolation in Dummied Out levels as long as their game is plugged in? And worse, not have anyone to call out to because glitches cannot leave their home game?
  • Markowski, the soldier from Hero's Duty. After only a week of being plugged in, he's completely shell shocked and petrified out of his wits by the thought of fighting Cy-Bugs. He's walking into walls and reciting a Madness Mantra, the sight of a tiny insect is enough to make him scream in terror. A normal playthrough is clearly hell on Earth for him — and yet that's exactly what he'll be forced to do, over and over and over, until the day his game is unplugged.
    • It's implied that he's programmed to act this way, but if anything, it makes it even worse, since it means he has no choice at all with how he acts.
    • Technically, it's worse for Calhoun — Markowski, as one of hundreds of generic soldiers, could presumably take the occasional day off for a therapy session and no one would notice. Calhoun is a major game character guiding the player — no matter how scared, hurt, or emotionally compromised she is, she has to be there. It's a beautiful, if morbid, sentiment in its own right; she is a soldier, an officer of war in the name of peace. Through hell and high water, rain and hail, glitches and power outages, she has a duty. A Hero's Duty. Calhoun is the real hero of Hero's Duty because she endures all these horrors without hope of relief.
  • Some additional Fridge Horror: Remember the scene where Ralph throws his medal at the screen and dislodges the "out of order" sign? That sign isn't part of the game. Video game characters and objects can interact with real, physical objects. Man, it's a good thing the game world doesn't include any murderous psychopaths or mindlessly destructive monsters. Oh Wait!.
    • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You if anything got loose...
    • Even if anything like a Cy-Bug got loose, it'd probably be the size of a fly. While one is just a flyswatter away from death, an army of them is pretty much just a swarm of bees eating everything they can get a hold of. If you think any old light is going to stop them, think again. In the real world, aside from bug zappers, there aren't too many bright lights that act like those beacons... so while they might not get to extreme levels, their potential to wreck havoc is still considerable, similar to swarms of pests inside homes.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror: If a game gets unplugged, the characters in it can at least evacuate to the surge protector or another game, although they'll essentially be homeless. So what happens to all the characters in all the games when the arcade itself goes out of business? Now think about how popular arcades were in the eighties and nineties, and how many of them have closed down since then...
    • Let's make this worse. At the beginning of the game, Ralph casually mentions "All those guys from Asteroids - who knows where those guys are." Did they not get out in time?
    • In real arcades, machines are moved about and cords are tripped on all the time. Also most arcades turn things off during the night. Also, what if a blackout occurs? Most games wouldn't get any kind of warning.
    • There was once a murderous madsprite that managed to effect the real world before. Evil Otto killed two people. Why he stopped is anyone's guess, because he sure didn't change his ways.
  • There's a brief scene after Ralph's rampage around the track where we see one of the candy audience members chasing after its own rolling head! It's Played for Laughs. Extremely dark laughs, but it is basically a monster appearing out of nowhere and injuring spectators.
  • More Fridge Horror for you. King Candy's explanation about what will happen to glitches if the plug is pulled easily explains why, with PC games, some glitches can be fixed simply by reinstalling the game. Non-glitched characters can presumably escape and seek refuge somewhere until the game is reinstalled, at which point they return, which is why they are still present when the game is installed again. But the reason the glitches are gone is because in the process of uninstalling you killed them horribly!
    • A positive note: Don't forget patches. Which heal major game problems without needing to uninstall, as well as add new content. Just imagine if Sugar Rush was for the PC, and Vanellope wakes up one morning to find out she's not only not glitched anymore but has new racetracks and new racers. On the other hand, it would be pretty disorienting to suddenly find oneself in new clothes and everyone acting different. Kind of like The Twilight Zone...
  • The Fungeon. Vanellope's cell is a Monster Clown-filled, Circus of Fear!
  • In this movie's reality, glitches cannot leave their game nor can they be killed within their own game making them practically immortal. Want some pure Fridge Horror? Think about real video game glitches, some can be terrifying as hell. Now imagine being trapped with those glitches for the rest of your life.
  • Turbo. Just... Turbo. His attitude, his demeanor, and his physical appearance. He's responsible for destroying two entire worlds, and all because of his ego.
    • The scene where he is attacking Vanellope, and his true form is revealed. All the closeups of his glitching, screaming face (with pale skin and yellow teeth) are quite intense, and very jarring compared to what King Candy had been like up to this point. Vanellope is pressed up against her seat in sheer terror and who can blame her?
    • Turbo's appearance as the King Cy-bug, and his death, where he is incinerated. We get one last look at Turbo's face, as he screams in fear.
    • The fact that he knows he is flying straight into the boiling Coke geyser and is helpless to stop himself from doing so.
    • When Turbo finally dies notice how he does not stop screaming until he is completely gone.
    • "Let's watch her die together, shall we?" This is probably the most nightmare-inducing line in the entire movie. Think about it: Ralph has known Vanellope for not even two days, and she's like a little sister to him. And now Ralph is being held hundreds of feet in the air by a monstrous King Candy/Cy-bug hybrid and forced to watch one of the only real friends he's ever had get eaten alive by an army of Cybugs.
      • To give an idea of just how terrifying that line is, a Cracked.com article argues that the plot of Wreck-It Ralph shares many similarities to the movie Taxi Driver... and uses that line as proof that the animated kid's movie is actually the darker of the two.
    We're trying to imagine Scorsese going over that scene with the Taxi Driver cast, and Harvey Keitel saying, "Jesus, Marty, can we change that? This shit will give people nightmares."
    • The very idea that King Candy/Turbo is insane and resolute enough to pull one up on the cy-bug assimilating him and assimilate IT instead. As he said, his new form is unstoppable and he can take over any and all games as he wants.
    • Just Turbo by himself is one seriously creepy-looking character. The gray pale skin, large sunken yellow eyes and teeth; he's almost a zombie.
    • "I should thank you... Buuuuut it'd be more fun to kill you!"
  • If, as theorized above, virtual objects can interact with real objects, then what would have happened if the Cy-Bugs were not stopped? Once they'd wiped all the arcade games clean, they probably would have broken out of the virtual world and started attacking and infecting gamers in the real world! A truly terrifying thought.
  • These two lovely freeze frame bonuses of Turbo's reveal. Sweet dreams!
    • To add to it, Turbo even flashes his signature thumbs-up (along with a creepy fluorescent-yellow grin) at the camera for a very brief second. No, really.
    • Not to mention there is one frame where Turbo actually has a skull (with his eyes still there) for a face!
    • It's worth noting that the viewer, up to this point in the film, has only seen arcade characters -including Turbo- in either their 2D sprites -as seen by humans in their respective games- and/or 3D models, as they appear in the game universe. But then Turbo, during his reveal, appears in a very blocky/pixelated 3D model of his 2D sprite appearance as seen in some of the above shots. Needless to say, seeing this hybrid abomination of the two forms of the game characters during the transition from King Candy to Turbo is really freaky to say the least.
  • King Candy's Imagine Spot of Sugar Rush being unplugged. Because Vanellope's a glitch, she wouldn't be able to escape with the rest of the characters, and he imagines her pounding on the barrier keeping her in the game, screaming in terror as Sugar Rush collapses around her.
    • Not to mention that exact scenario almost happened scene for scene (too close for comfort).
    • It also demonstrates how damn aware King Candy is of the morbid situations he creates for other video game characters for the sake of his own self obsession, especially with how dark and thorough the whole Imagine Spot is and how King Candy indirectly details the repercussions of all his past actions with fake concern he knew to be expected from a good guy; he even knows the term "going Turbo". Add to that how gleefully sadistic and murderous a bastard Turbo proves to be towards characters that try to steal his spotlight, it suggests he wasn't just apathetic to dooming other game characters to deletion in his actions: he outright took cruel enjoyment thinking about it.
  • Calhoun's traumatic flashbacks of her previous fiancee, triggered by Felix calling her "one dynamite gal", can resonate too close for comfort for those who have some sort of emotional trigger.
    • Even more Fridge Horror for you all. After the Cybug ate King Candy/Turbo, he fused with it, right? So imagine what Calhoun might have been shooting at after her fiancee was eaten during the wedding.
  • The part where King Candy tries to beat Vanellope to death with a car part. It just shows how vulnerable she is to danger.
  • The teaser poster. It is just an image of Ralph's angry 8-bit head imposed on a black background, which can be unnerving to some.
  • The idea that a villain could rewrite your beliefs and relationships, simply by messing with your code.
  • Vanellope's glitching could catch you off guard especially if you don't expect it.
    Ralph: That thing (medal) is my only ticket to a better life.
    Vanellope: Oh yeah well now it's my [glitching] TIIIIIIIII.
    Ralph: What the?
  • The scene where Ralph interrogates Sour Bill is funny... but when you stop to think about it, Ralph really was hurting Sour Bill quite badly. Bill himself comments being licked feels like sand-paper. Try taking a card of sand-paper and running your finger over it (higher grit for more fun). Press in hard and rub. Now imagine that getting forcibly rubbed across your face, possibly repeatedly. Not so funny, is it? If Sour Bill weren't a piece of hard candy, the whole scene probably would've been a lot more ugly.
  • The flashback of Turbo invading the usurping racing game. Note that unlike his Sugar Rush invasion where he pragmatically disguises himself to function in the game, here he just spazzes the game, distracting the players and even attacking and glitching the racers. He wasn't just trying to take over the game, he was trying to sabotage it and put it out of action out of spite for stealing his thunder. It's even creepier after getting a video game perspective of Turbo doing the exact same thing to Vanellope as he did the racer.
  • The movie puts unsettling emphasis on characters whose psychosis are completely wracked from being stuck as a (usually) unchangeable program in a video game. It's creepy how vindictive or bitter some get towards other characters simply for being other bits of the program at their expense (Gene for example, obsessively getting Ralph ostracised by everyone in Fix-It-Felix, out of petty spite for simply being the part programmed to throw him off the level building every game) while other characters such as Turbo just seem to completely and utterly lose their mind and even find ways to reprogram and destroy the game, in a way of rebelling against the creators.

Meta

  • There are literally dozens of Wreck-It Ralph askblogs/roleplay blogs on Tumblr. Most of these are relatively harmless and kid-friendly. However, there are a few out there that are pretty creepy.
    • fixit-felixbug. Basically, an AU (alternate universe) version of Fix-It Felix, made into a gigantic, bloodthirsty Cybug/human hybrid. It's a pretty big break from the cute little handyman we all know and love from the film.
    • candycaneforest-lurker. Another RP blog, this time featuring an extremely jacked-up version of King Candybug (who is referred to here as Lord Candycane or Lurker). The main "story" of this blog is that after the events of the film, Turbo/King Candy respawned in Sugar Rush, due to him programming himself into the game. However, since the coding of the Cybug that ate him is now mixed in with his own, he respawned as the Cybug monster he appeared as in the movie's climax. Unable to show himself to the gamers, he haunts the epynomous Candycane Forest, a permanently glitched part of Sugar Rush, plotting his revenge against Vanellope and Ralph. Most of his RPs usually involve other bloggers' OCs getting lost in the woods, only to be discovered by Lurker. He'll seem friendly enough at first: after a bit of polite chitchat with the characters, he'll invite them to his lair for tea. It's only after they've had several cups of sickeningly-sweet "Lollipop Twist" tea and a slice or two of the character's favorite flavor of cake that the unfortunate RPer finds out what Lurker really meant by "I'd love to have you for tea"...
    • creeper-pasta Simply put, a post-movie Turbo who "imperfectly regenerated after burning to death in the "beacon". His glitchy code was further corrupted by Sugar Rush resetting while he was still in it. He now stalks the internet as a code-hungry, power-tripping, creepypasta nightmare virus... " Don't let his stature fool you - his other forms aren't as safe - and certainly not the type you'd like to come face-to-face with.
      • Creeper's trip to Pokemon Y, as seen here. Now with free Apocalyptic Log!
      • Really, that whole trip could warrant its own page. It begins with Viola arriving at a Pokemon Center in the midst of the insanity, with everyone seeking shelter and panicking in the confusion. Someone notices that Calem is behaving strangely. Then, his mouth and eyes start bleeding and a freaking swarm of tentacles burst out of his head. An invariable swarm of Lovecraftian Pokemon proceed to wreck up the place, including an Espurr that makes Serena, Tierno, Shauna and Trevor's heads explode with its psychic powers, nearly doing the same to Viola until her Vivillon knocks her away... and it's implied that this resulted in the Vivillon being corrupted as well, seeing as she proceeds to kill Viola with Infestation. Things start looking up toward the end of it all, when Diantha leads a rebellion of survivors against Creeper. This lasts about five seconds before Creeper decides to bring a warped and horrifying looking version of ARCEUS into the mix. That's right, Creeper managed to corrupt GOD. The truly terrified look of defeat on Diantha's face as Arceus emerges is both this and a Tear Jerker, and the only saving grace at this point is that Arceus proceeds to put them all out of their misery immediately afterward.
      • The aforementioned look of defeat has a touch of "God has abandoned us" to it. Which is especially terrifying because that's literally what happened in this case.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/WreckItRalph