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The genre is sometimes called "Cosmic Horror", LovecraftianFiction, or Weird Fiction. Very likely to use ParanoiaFuel and invoke an atmosphere similar to {{Room 101}}; both tropes play with the fear of that unknown ''thing'' that happens to traumatize all those who encounter it. A DespairEventHorizon or a DownerEnding can be used to add to the depressing atmosphere. Compare/contrast with GothicHorror (on which prose the first Cosmic Horror Stories, like those from Lovecraft himself, borrowed), DarkFantasy, CrapsackWorld, MindScrew and ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. CosmicPlaything could be viewed as this on a much, much smaller scale.

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The genre is sometimes called "Cosmic Horror", LovecraftianFiction, Lovecraftian Fiction, or Weird Fiction. Very likely to use ParanoiaFuel and invoke an atmosphere similar to {{Room 101}}; both tropes play with the fear of that unknown ''thing'' that happens to traumatize all those who encounter it. A DespairEventHorizon or a DownerEnding can be used to add to the depressing atmosphere. Compare/contrast with GothicHorror (on which prose the first Cosmic Horror Stories, like those from Lovecraft himself, borrowed), DarkFantasy, CrapsackWorld, MindScrew and ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. CosmicPlaything could be viewed as this on a much, much smaller scale.

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* YouCantFightFate


* ''Series/{{Chernobyl}}'' can almost be considered an actual RealLife version of a CosmicHorrorStory. The show is a bleak five-episode miniseries dramatizing the worst nuclear accident in history, and a major theme is the lack of control humans over the imaginably powerful and destructive forces of nuclear energy and radiation. Characters scramble to try and contain the accident as it threatens to bring about the deaths of millions of people in Europe while incomprehensible horrors erupt around them and kill hundreds, if not thousands of their comrades. The environment is left forever altered, with the half-life of some of the dangerous elements released by the accident being tens of thousands of years long.

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* ''Series/{{Chernobyl}}'' can almost be considered an actual RealLife version of a CosmicHorrorStory. The show is a bleak five-episode miniseries dramatizing the worst nuclear accident in history, and a major theme is the lack of control humans have over the imaginably powerful and destructive forces of nuclear energy and radiation. Characters scramble to try and contain the accident as it threatens to bring about the deaths of millions of people in Europe while incomprehensible horrors erupt around them and kill hundreds, if not thousands of their comrades. The environment is left forever altered, with the half-life of some of the dangerous elements released by the accident being tens of thousands of years long.

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* ''Series/{{Chernobyl}}'' can almost be considered an actual RealLife version of a CosmicHorrorStory. The show is a bleak five-episode miniseries dramatizing the worst nuclear accident in history, and a major theme is the lack of control humans over the imaginably powerful and destructive forces of nuclear energy and radiation. Characters scramble to try and contain the accident as it threatens to bring about the deaths of millions of people in Europe while incomprehensible horrors erupt around them and kill hundreds, if not thousands of their comrades. The environment is left forever altered, with the half-life of some of the dangerous elements released by the accident being tens of thousands of years long.
--> '''Legasov''': You are dealing with something that has ''never'' occurred on this planet.


** ''Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters2019'' not only has Godzilla coming back, but now also throws in [[OmnicidalManiac King Ghidorah]] whose mere presence is considered a "living extinction event". Even though newcomer kaiju Rodan is technically a hero, he doesn't even try to limit collateral damage and couldn't care any less about killing any humans that get in his way.

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** ''Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters2019'' not only has Godzilla coming back, but now also throws in [[OmnicidalManiac King Ghidorah]] whose mere presence is considered a "living extinction event". [[spoiler:he's also revealed halfway through the film to be an alien horror who fell from the stars and seeks to terraform Earth to his liking.]] Even though newcomer kaiju Rodan is technically a hero, he doesn't even try to limit collateral damage and couldn't care any less about killing any humans that get in his way.


* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8019901/1/Of-Sheep-and-Battle-Chicken Of Sheep and Battlechicken]]'' ''full stop.'' While not much more apparent in the first installment than in canon MassEffect, the sequel pieces, and the additional information document ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8632057/1/Fear-Unrelenting-Seen-Darkly Fear Unrelenting, Seen Darkly]]'' ratchets up the Cosmic Horror ''hard.'' What would drive powerful, reality warping machines such as the Reapers, to recoil in pure ''terror?''

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* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8019901/1/Of-Sheep-and-Battle-Chicken Of Sheep and Battlechicken]]'' ''full stop.'' While not much more apparent in the first installment than in canon MassEffect, ''Franchise/MassEffect'', the sequel pieces, and the additional information document ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8632057/1/Fear-Unrelenting-Seen-Darkly Fear Unrelenting, Seen Darkly]]'' ratchets up the Cosmic Horror ''hard.'' What would drive powerful, reality warping machines such as the Reapers, to recoil in pure ''terror?''

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* ''VideoGame/{{Darkwood}} takes place in a dark forest in Poland that no one inside knows how to escape. The people there, including the player, gradually are mutating and falling apart. [[spoiler:Eventually, we come to find that the massive tree at the center of the forest is luring the inhabitants to sleep and become apart of it. The player can submit to it and join a comforting dream or [[HeroicSacrifice burn themselves and everyone trapped by the entity in flames]]]]


* ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'' combines this with ReligiousHorror (and virtually every other horror subgenre): Humans are just pawns to a war between Heaven and Hell. It's mere chance, not the way you lived your life, that determine if you will go to one or the other. Also, going to Heaven isn't exactly a good thing because GodAndSatanAreBothJerks; while there ''is'' a benevolent entity that is even more powerful than both of them ''combined'', she's too busy taking care of the whole Multiverse to pay attention to the comics' main setting. Also, the Spawn franchise as a whole deals a lot with Fatalism (a heavy element of Lovecraftian stories) and the idea that fighting Evil is pointless.

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* ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'' combines this with ReligiousHorror (and ([[Main/{{Troperiffic}} and virtually every other horror subgenre): subgenre]]): Humans are just pawns to a war between Heaven and Hell. It's mere chance, not the way you lived your life, that determine if you will go to one or the other. Also, going to Heaven isn't exactly a good thing because GodAndSatanAreBothJerks; while there ''is'' a benevolent entity that is even more powerful than both of them ''combined'', she's too busy taking care of the whole Multiverse to pay attention to the comics' main setting. Also, the Spawn franchise as a whole deals a lot with Fatalism (a heavy element of Lovecraftian stories) and the idea that fighting Evil is pointless.


Answering "No" to more than two of these means that the work is probably not a Cosmic Horror Story, although it may share tropes with the genre. (Note that the scale and stakes of the story is allowed to go much lower than the above implies; the fate of the world need not be at stake to qualify as a Cosmic Horror Story, as long as the implication remains that The Universe is Scary and some truly horrific things can happen if you look too deeply remains clear.)

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Answering "No" to more than two of these means that the work is probably not a Cosmic Horror Story, although it may share tropes with the genre. (Note that the scale and stakes of the story is allowed to go much lower than the above implies; the fate of the world need not be at stake to qualify as a Cosmic Horror Story, as long as the implication remains clear that The Universe is Scary and some truly horrific things can happen if you look too deeply remains clear.deeply.)


* Does the Big Bad have any [[ApocalypseCult human worshipers or servants]]? If the said villain can destroy the world with a mere finger lift, why hasn't it done this already? Odds are it's probably [[SealedEvilInACan locked away, or locked out]][[note]]Or it just doesn't care about Earth, in the same way you don't care about any one particular stone in the gravel in your driveway[[/note]]. And that's where its agents or worshipers in the mortal realm come into the fray. Their goal is typically to open the door so that the Big Bad can enter. Expect the cult's leader to be [[TheDragon the secondary villain]], and be [[ManipulativeBastard very charismatic]]. And there's a good chance that if he's not killed before the Big bad enters, the Big Bad will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]] After all EvilIsNotAToy.

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* Does the Big Bad have any [[ApocalypseCult human worshipers or servants]]? If the said villain can destroy the world with a mere finger lift, why hasn't it done this already? Odds are it's probably [[SealedEvilInACan locked away, or locked out]][[note]]Or it just doesn't care about Earth, in the same way you don't care about any one particular stone in the gravel in your driveway[[/note]]. And that's where its agents or worshipers in the mortal realm come into the fray. Their goal is typically to open the door so that the Big Bad can enter. Expect the cult's leader to be [[TheDragon the secondary villain]], and be [[ManipulativeBastard very charismatic]]. And there's a good chance that if he's not killed before the Big bad enters, the Big Bad will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness kill him anyway.]] After all all, EvilIsNotAToy.



* Is the tone of the work deeply pessimistic about the possibility of the antagonist being defeated completely? If it isn't, the work is more likely to be LovecraftLite. Usually the best option to defeat the Big Bad in a standard cosmic horror story is to prevent its human worshipers and servants from opening the door or getting it's attention.
* Even IF the heroes do manage to by some miracle of fate save the day, are they not driven irreversibly mad by their experiences, or did they have to make one hell of a [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice]], [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu or did they only stop it temporarily and eventually it will rise again causing the cycle to repeat?]][[note]]Or simply delay it's eventual destruction of reality?[[/note]].

Answering "No" to more than two of these means that the work is probably not a Cosmic Horror Story, although it may share tropes with the genre. (Note that the scale and stakes of the story is allowed to go much lower than the above implies; the fate of the world need not be at stake to qualify as a Cosmic Horror Story, as long as the implication that The Universe is Scary and some truly horrific things can happen if you look too deeply remains clear.)

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* Is the tone of the work deeply pessimistic about the possibility of the antagonist being defeated completely? If it isn't, the work is more likely to be LovecraftLite. Usually the best option to defeat the Big Bad in a standard cosmic horror story is to prevent its human worshipers and servants from opening the door or getting it's its attention.
* Even IF the heroes do manage to by some miracle of fate to save the day, are they not driven irreversibly mad by their experiences, or did they have to make one hell of a [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice]], [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu or did they only stop it temporarily and eventually it will rise again causing the cycle to repeat?]][[note]]Or simply delay it's its eventual destruction of reality?[[/note]].

Answering "No" to more than two of these means that the work is probably not a Cosmic Horror Story, although it may share tropes with the genre. (Note that the scale and stakes of the story is allowed to go much lower than the above implies; the fate of the world need not be at stake to qualify as a Cosmic Horror Story, as long as the implication remains that The Universe is Scary and some truly horrific things can happen if you look too deeply remains clear.)


* Creator/RobertWChambers's book ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'', which was an influence on Lovecraft himself, and he made references to it that [[TheWeirdAlEffect are now better known than the original source]]. Filled with MindScrew and TakeOurWordForIt.

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* Creator/RobertWChambers's book ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'', which was an influence on Lovecraft himself, and he made references to it that [[TheWeirdAlEffect [[WeirdAlEffect are now better known than the original source]]. Filled with MindScrew and TakeOurWordForIt.


** Depending on whether you consider ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' to be a DistantSequel instead of just a SpiritualSuccessor it crosses over into LovecraftLite as the protagonist is finally able to destroy the Stone-Like for good at the [[HeroicSacrifice cost of his own life.]]


** Depending on whether you consider ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' to be a DistantSequel instead of just a SpiritualSuccessor it crosses over into LovecraftLite as the protagonist is finally able to destroy the Stone-Like for good at the [[HeroicSacrifice cost of his own life.]]



** ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'' ends with [[spoiler: all of humanity being trapped in an endless GroundhogDayLoop of extinction and recreation by the Stone-Like.]] Depending on whether you consider ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' to be a DistantSequel instead of just a SpiritualSuccessor it crosses over into LovecraftLite as [[spoiler: the protagonist is finally able to destroy the Stone-Like for good at the [[HeroicSacrifice cost of his life.]]]]

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** ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'' ends with [[spoiler: all of humanity being trapped in an endless GroundhogDayLoop of extinction and recreation by the Stone-Like.]] Depending on whether you consider ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'' to be a DistantSequel instead of just a SpiritualSuccessor it crosses over into LovecraftLite as [[spoiler: the protagonist is finally able to destroy the Stone-Like for good at the [[HeroicSacrifice cost of his life.]]]]


Imagine a [[CrapsackWorld universe]] where even the tiniest spot of hope for the future is [[WideEyedIdealist blindness in itself]], the insane StrawNihilist yelling about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt in the [[BedlamHouse asylum]] is actually [[OnlySaneMan the only one with a clue]], and [[CuriosityKilledTheCast too much curiosity about the true nature of the world is a precursor to a]] FateWorseThanDeath. A universe where [[PunyEarthlings humanity]] is preyed upon as a mere plaything for all kinds of [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm inconceivable]] horrors, and all our ideals are naught but cruel illusions; a universe which [[TheDarkTimes was once ruled]] by such {{eldritch abomination}}s from the depths of space long ago. Nor are they dead; they merely wait, [[SealedEvilInACan and soon they shall wake]]. They shall return to rule this world, [[LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair and all our grandest achievements]] shall have been [[AllForNothing in vain]]. For all our blind {{hubris}} we are but mice in the wainscoting, making merry while the cat's away--but even today, the world is more dangerous than we may know.

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Imagine a [[CrapsackWorld universe]] where even the tiniest spot of hope for the future is [[WideEyedIdealist blindness in itself]], the insane StrawNihilist yelling about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt in the [[BedlamHouse asylum]] is actually [[OnlySaneMan the only one with a clue]], and [[CuriosityKilledTheCast too much curiosity about the true nature of the world is a precursor to a]] FateWorseThanDeath. A universe where [[PunyEarthlings humanity]] is preyed upon as a mere plaything for all kinds of [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm inconceivable]] horrors, and all our ideals are naught but cruel illusions; a universe which [[TheDarkTimes was once ruled]] by such {{eldritch abomination}}s from the depths of space long ago. Nor are they dead; they merely wait, [[SealedEvilInACan and soon they shall wake]]. They shall return to rule this world, [[LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair and all our grandest achievements]] shall have been [[AllForNothing in vain]]. For all our blind {{hubris}} {{pride}} we are but mice in the wainscoting, making merry while the cat's away--but even today, the world is more dangerous than we may know.



* Are the antagonist or its minions so alien in appearance or mentality that simply being near them or ''[[BrownNote even seeing them]]'' is [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow enough to drive a human to madness?]]

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* Are the antagonist or its minions so alien in appearance or mentality that simply being near them or ''[[BrownNote even seeing them]]'' is [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow enough to drive a human to madness?]]



* ''VideoGame/SunlessSea'' jumps straight into cosmic horror, dropping most of the zany aspects of its predecessor and bringing you an underground ocean populated with ancient monsters, increasingly otherworldly {{Eldritch Location}}s, AlienGeometries, and a constant supply of ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow.

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* ''VideoGame/SunlessSea'' jumps straight into cosmic horror, dropping most of the zany aspects of its predecessor and bringing you an underground ocean populated with ancient monsters, increasingly otherworldly {{Eldritch Location}}s, AlienGeometries, and a constant supply of ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow.[[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow things not meant to be known]].

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