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Nightmare Fuel / Borderlands 3

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  • The Children of the Vault are not only a large and heavily armed cult that has absorbed many bandit gangs, but are apparently able to steal powers from Sirens and use them for themselves. Sirens are among the strongest beings in the Borderlands universe, and the twins are able to rob them of their powers entirely, with Lilith being their first victim. This has also allowed Troy to go against the natural order and imbue himself with Siren powers, despite that it's a Gender-Restricted Ability. His tattoos being red and frayed in comparison to the more fluid-looking tattoos Sirens normally sport demonstrates how wrong and unnatural this "male Siren" is. In an added bit of horror, Tyreen's tattoos don't glow when she uses her powers, Troy's do.
    • Speaking of Troy, both twins have one half of the same power, parasitic healing. Tyreen can absorb powers but Troy needs those powers to prolong his lifespan. Troy's existence may have saved Tyreen's life because if he didn't exist then Tyreen would have been akin to vampire, draining the life of others to prolong her own.
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  • Tyreen has the power to leech energy from living beings, and plans to do this to multiple Vault Monsters to become super-powerful. The results of this on her followers are... not pretty.
  • How the Children of The Vault came into existence in the first place. Years of being cannon fodder for companies like Dahl, Atlas, and Hyperion, being target practice for the Vault Hunters and subjected to genocide by the New Pandora Army have pushed the bandits to the breaking point. Now imagine every Bandit and Scav from the previous games joining forces, and they're said to number 10 billion strong. Scary thought, huh?
  • Even worse is the possibility that Affably Evil gangs like the Hodunks, Zafords, and Captain Scarlett's pirate crew could have been forcibly conscripted into the Children of The Vault with next to no say in the matter.
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  • According to the cosplay guide for the Female Psycho, Psychos aren't just the ordinary kind of crazy, but are being actively driven insane by something — and it can happen to anyone in the galaxy, not just on Pandora or Elpis. This is exemplified in an early quest where a "sane" Psycho wears a tinfoil hat (that Claptrap wants to use as an optional replacement for his antenna) and asks you to break nearby dishes that are trying to brainwash him. He's actually remarkably polite (by Pandora's standards) and coherent (by Psycho standards). When you've destroyed the 3 dishes, he thanks you for stopping the brainwashing transmissions... saying "the soothing voices" have stopped, and then attacks you.
  • The circumstances leading to Maya's death. Tyreen tries to drain Ava only for Maya to take Troy hostage in an attempt to stop her. Troy panics and grabs Maya's arm which makes both their tattoos light up slowly causing both of them to realize that Troy doesn't need to absorb his sisters powers specifically after all. Up until that point Troy really believed his was Blessed with Suck and his powers were useless. Maya essentially brought her death on herself because neither she nor Troy believed he could defend himself from her until she accidentally proved he could.
    • Maya is then killed in a horrifying manner, being slowly Reduced to Dust while screaming in pain and terror as Ava helplessly watches. Maya's skin even cracks when she's dying!
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  • An ECHO log you can find appears to center around Rhys and Zer0 discussing Rhys's girlfriend, Sasha, who has disappeared so well that Zer0's spies are unable to find her. In Tales from the Borderlands, Fiona disappeared without a trace, and we still don't know what kind of fate she met. Now Sasha is gone, with no explanation as to why. Are the sisters cursed? Did the Cult go after them? What is so terrible that it makes a hardened conwoman disappear off the face of the six galaxies without any contact whatsoever?
  • Near the end of the game, Troy goes into such a massive power trip that he Phaselocks Elpis and tries to ram it on Pandora, so he and Tyreen can open the Great Vault, free the full extent of the Destroyer, drain it and become gods. Seeing Elpis so close to the surface is the stuff of nightmares. It takes Lilith's Heroic Sacrifice to stop Elpis from crashing.
  • A quest-giver begs you to find a friend who was kidnapped by bandits. Sounds heartwarming, except when you do find said friend, he actually went to these bandits for protection. It turns out that the quest-giver is actually the leader of the Fingerbiters who wants to remove the fingers from his "friend" for stealing a gun. Oh, and he's right outside the door.
    "We're on the blood-path now..."
  • Anointed enemies. These are COV bandits that are immune to Cryo and have powers of their own, but some of them will calmly walk towards you as they shoot you with their finger laser. They don't jump in your face, scream in your face, or even run away from or towards you. What does Eridium do to make these bandits act like Terminators (and it's most likely Eridium is the cause as defeating them will crystallize their bodies).
    • And the sidequest of how Troy experimented with this power, either trying to transform prisoners without blowing them up or making prisoners fight against an Anointed.
    • The first Anointed you fight. For context, the previous story boss is a Goliath. This boss is a Goliath with its skull already exposed and two/three times bigger than that, and it can also shoot energy balls.
    • That's not even mentioning how exactly making them is possible in the first place. Maya's siren powers, which Troy stole.
  • The COV killed and tortured the Sun Smashers Clan, in that order. In fact, you do rescue one who was reduced to a brain in a jar and rescue her mind from a virtual reality. it was awful for her.
  • You help bake a birthday cake for revenge, gathering some spiderant eggs for the batter and gunpowder for revenge. Those ingredients are tame compared to the eyeballs and fingers on the cake, and this is a three-tier cake with a butcher knife on top. It doesn't help that when you complete the quest, there are already orders for more of this cake.
  • Maliwan's brutal sociopathy among its soldiers. Though played for Black Comedy, the fact that their troops actively compete to see who can be the most evil and gleefully talk about how they're laying waste to a world of pacifist monks shows that the atrocities that Hyperion committed in Borderlands 2 were not isolated. In fact, if you look and listen closely while fighting the Maliwan soldiers, their troops are pretty much bandits but with less outright insanity and much better weaponry. During the Ratch'd Up side mission, Glenn refers to a Maliwan soldier named Gary as being cannibalistic and insane even before being turned into a ratch.
    • The war between Atlas and Maliwan shows how powerful and brutal corporations have become. Maliwan's invasion of Promethea has likely caused thousands of casualties and many more innocent civilians turned into refugees just because Maliwan wanted more power and control. They even burn down non-Maliwan shelters in refugee camps, seeing them as "violations of their non-competition policy." The Head of Maliwan's Mergers and Acquisitions Division, Katagawa Jr., views the devastating and destructive invasion of Promethea as a corporate "merger" and downplays the suffering and terror he is causing to an entire planet. On top of that, the way in which Katagawa obliterates landmarks on Promethea with his laser, while Played for Laughs, further shows how sociopathic some corporations have become.
    • While Katagawa himself can be more smarmy than scary, the fact remains that he murdered nearly ten of his siblings without a care in the world on his pleasure yacht, and actively asks Tyreen to feed on his other siblings and place the statues in the Zanara as a twisted sort of "Family reunion." The fact that his pleasure yacht is also his favorite assassination spot doesn't help.
    • What's even worse is that if anything, this bid for power actually worked seeing as his father's only reaction to the bloodbath was to name Katagawa Jr. his legitimate heir and promote him to his current position.
  • Saurians are a new creature found on Eden-6. They resemble bipedal dinosaurs with large heads and scaly bodies, but most of them are quite small and easy to kill. Then you meet the Tyrants, Tyrannosaurus-Rex sized Saurians who are capable of breathing fire. From the perspective of someone fighting them, the Tyrants seem to be a maw of gigantic, grinning teeth rapidly advancing on them while spewing fireballs. The fact that the armor on their heads resembles a decayed skull with empty eye sockets doesn't help.
    • There's also the Saurians that were upgraded by scientists, namely the Saurian Hivemind, one of those camera bots...connected to a Saurian in a jar. And it talks, both about how it dealt with the scientists and how it views the Saurians it tests against you.
  • After defeating the Agonizer 9000, Pain and Terror are left helpless on the ground. The arena is completely silent, with no music and absolutely no noise from the crowd. In order to advance in the story, the player is required to execute both of them, and both explode into a bloody mess when shot. The way in which the two are executed is fairly unnerving, especially if one looks at Pain and notices the look of fear and desperation on his face.
    • The Agonizer 9000 itself can be pretty frightening, even considering the fact that it's a giant SkeleBot 9000, taking a closer look at it reveals some nightmarish details. The corpse of a psycho is impaled on the spiked chunk of metal attached to its shoulder, and inside its arm is a cage with another dead psycho who was pulled apart.
  • An Echo log reveals that not only has Mr. Holloway not given up on hunting Gaige, but he's become more obsessed with her than ever, ranting barely coherently and flooding the galaxy with his deathbots.
    • Guns, Love and Tentacles goes further, revealing that Holloway's vendetta got so intense that Gaige was forced to leave the Raiders and spend the last seven years on the run and in hiding. Keep in mind, despite all his wealth and influence, Holloway is mid-tier at best compared to the other main corporations of the galaxy, and Gaige is a veteran Vault Hunter whose killed entire armies of bandits, monsters and Handsome freaking Jack. Just what the hell is Holloway capable of that it caused Gaige to spend the last seven years running for her life?!
  • One of Typhon's logs on Athenas indicates that the local monks aren't as virtuous as they seem, with one of them offering Typhon a large sum of money if he were to "bring another Siren," (with the implication of kidnapping one by force) and at least one other monk wants to sell out the monastery to Maliwan so he can regain the power he had before Maya returned. Not even a pacifistic religious order is safe from greed and corruption in this universe. Thankfully, Typhon flat out refused the job, but it makes you wonder how many of the bandits out there looking to traffic Sirens are working on the monks' dime, like the one who tried to kidnap Angel.
  • Despite the Children of the Vault being neutralized with the death of the Calypso Twins, there are still future threats in the upcoming DLCs waiting to fill the void and strike. Who or what could be lurking out there in the Six Galaxies?
    • We've got one answer: a casino built by Handsome Jack that's still full of Loaders and maddened guests. It's not all that terrifying, but it's still unnerving to think that so much of Jack's influence survives even seven years after his death.
    • The next threat is a cult that worships an Eldritch Abomination that may rival The Destroyer in power.
  • In the Halloween event, you gain access to Heck, Borderland's version of Hell. Here, you fight undead Maliwan soldiers, ratches and the ghost version of Captain Traunt. So where are all the psychos you killed? And why does Heck have a stained-glass window of the Calypso Twins?
    • One respawn station quote mentions that if you awaken on an endless, burning hot plain and see demonic creatures, you aren't in Hell, you are in Pandora; as it mentions hell, it seems that the Borderlands universe has two horrifying afterlives and that Pandora can be just as bad. Not even dying can improve your life in this universe.
  • Remember how in Borderlands 2, Angel said her claim that the Destroyer being a Universe-destroying Eldritch Abomination was a fabrication of Handsome Jack designed to trick the first game's Vault Hunters into getting rid of the monster for him so he could plunder the Vault's Eridium? Well, turns out that was untrue and Angel was right the first time: the Destroyer really is a universe-destroying monster which according to Nyriad's logs could eat stars so fast it didn't even need to stop and chew, and required the sacrifice of the entire Eridian civilisation in order to imprison it within the Great Vault, which is actually the whole of Pandora!
  • Mayhem level 4 gives enemies enough health/armor/shields it turns the entire game upside down, especially if playing solo. Enemy encounters you casually walked through earlier now turn into long battles where cover is extremely important, enemies take a lot of punishment to fall, and heavy enemies become horrifying tanks that just refuse to go down. And to make things worse, enemy shields can still replenish, so you need to keep firing to even stand a chance. It gets easier once you adjust, but the enemy buffs are impressive enough a player trying the mode out will feel overwhelmed for a good while.
  • Rhys is lucky that he only had to deal with AI Jack controlling his cybernetics. All the Jack doppelgangers have Jack's DNA that cannot be removed by surgery, which seems to naturally contain traits like nicknames and a desire to strangle kittens. If Jack's death hadn't screwed them over, the Vault Hunters might have faced dozens of fighters as amoral as Jack. And if Jack's DNA can affect people that way, what is in a Psycho's DNA?
  • Once he runs out of cash, Pretty Boy pays the final repair of Jackpot using his blood. According to the dialogue, the mechsuit just sprouts needles out of nowhere and starts draining him. Made even worse by his mech suit's health bar switching from armor to normal health, which carries it's own horrific implications.
    • Pretty Boy's exsanguinated and charred corpse. *shudders*
    • Shortly after that, Timothy is forced to save everyone by using the laser bars on his cage to amputate his hand so you can activate an override out of his reach.
  • Scraptrap Nest. My God, the Scraptrap Nest. The years of hiding from Jack's sanctioned pogrom of the Claptraps has corrupted their programming so badly that they've turned feral and aggressive to anyone residing in The Compactor, and are genuinely frightening to face.
  • Guns, Love and Tentacles as a whole would be this. To start, most citizens of this DLC world have completely black eyes with runny streaks. Blobs of flesh that litter the landscape. And toilets have tentacles with eyes poking out of them.
  • That's not to mention the giant monster you can see in the horizon. Thankfully, it is already dead...
    • Wait, it turns out this monster's heart is still beating even when the body's dead, and its nickname is "Eater of Hearts".
  • Mancubus can be mistaken as an evil guy when you first see him. It doesn't help that, in an ECHO you find shortly after, someone stopped hearing voices when they entered the Lodge. In another quest, he is able to acquire a recipe from an evil book that possesses anyone looking at its pages, including the librarian.
  • Cursehaven is what it sounds like. Everyone in that town is afflicted with a different curse, from continuous dancing to breathing through their abs.
  • You think the Calypso's cult was bad? The DLC's cult, the Bonded has omninous chanting, mass sacrifice, and tentacles. Both as part of their costumes and attacks. Some of the enemies have shields with beating hearts in them.
    THE HEART STILL BEATS
    THE HEART STILL BLEEDS
  • Vincent, one of the cult leaders of the Bonded, doesn't seem impressive as a miniboss. However, his death releases his host from the possession and Wainwright gets possessed instead, falling into the abyss against his own will. And apparently Vincent is not picky of his vessels as he once possessed a little girl.
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