Per troping policy, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
You're so close now, Da...
It wouldn't be an entry in the Bravely Default franchise without some horror hiding underneath the storybook aesthetics. And boy, does Bravely Default II deliver.
- The story of Roddy, Lily, and their daughter Mona is rife with Adult Fear. Picture the following: You send your ten-year-old daughter to her father's workplace on an errand. Simple enough, she's made the trip multiple times. On that particular day, however, something goes horribly wrong, and your daughter dies. How many real-life horror stories are there about a parent sending their child on a mundane errand, and they end up missing or dead?
- It gets even worse. Mona's death was no accident—she was actually murdered by Folie, holder of the Pictomancer Asterisk. And that's not all she does to Wiswald. She not only uses Mona's death to manipulate Roddy, Lily, and their friend Galahad, but she also uses the power of the Earth Crystal to overrun Wiswald with trees, leaving many people homeless in the process. Not only that, but she also murders countless adults, leaving countless children without their parents. And why does she do all that? To obtain the paint needed for her painting--normal paint simply isn't good enough for her. Needless to say, the party is horrified and disgusted when they learn about Folie's machinations, and for good reason.
- When the party encounters Roddy in the basement laboratory of the Institute, they find him obsessively mumbling over a nightmarish painting of his daughter (the image for this page), which looks more like an illustration out of Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark than a portrait painted by a loving father. Then its eyes glow red, and it starts talking.
- Adult Fear seems to be a running theme in Wiswald. A sidequest has the party look for a little girl who went to find a special flower for Gloria. Upon arriving, Gloria and Elvis see one of the little girl's shoes and drag marks on the ground. Then a monster shows up with the other shoe in its mouth. Thankfully the girl was just hiding, but it's a surprisingly cold reminder that the monsters you fight would have no qualms about eating your party alive, should they defeat you.
- If you, by chance, manage to defeat Adam in the prologue, this catches the attention of Edna and the Night's Nexus... and they prepare to invade your world with the Asterisks.
- When the characters go down into the depths of the Jaws of Judgement chasing after Father Rhydion, they are all understandably horrified to find out what became of the victims. While the player doesn't get to see it, it's fairly clear the characters are all looking at the bottom of a chasm filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of corpses of people who were thrown down there due to anti-fairy persecution. This is especially disturbing for Rhydion because he can spot his own daughter's body among them.
- Really, just Rimedhal in general. The city is caught up with the fear of fairies so much that by the time the heroes arrive, they're in the middle of publicly executing just about anyone accused of being one, and for any reason or no reason at all. You can speak to some of the townspeople after one such event and at least one of them who watched was a horrified relative of the victim. And as the heroes find out later, all of the victims were human, so the townspeople were just murdering people in broad daylight for nothing.
- For context: The party reaches Rimedhal just as a Judgement is taking place. The person on trial is a nameless NPC who allows herself to be walked off the edge of a gaping abyss with absolutely no protest. The party is, understandably, completely horrified that this has been allowed to continue unabated for what is implied to be at least three years, and that everyone goes about their day like nothing happened afterward (only two of the locals disagree with what happened—the brother and the father—but it's too late to do anything about it by that point). When the party returns from Serpent's Grotto, we get to see another Judgement, and it's even worse because we see the build up. A young woman named Margaret comes to the aid of a civilian accused of being a fairy, and Bishop Helio barely has to say anything to get the assembled crowd to turn on Margaret, leading to her arrest. Up on the platform overlooking the Jaws of Judgement, we get to witness a terrified young woman beg for her life as the guards and the civilians—her friends and neighbors—close in, forcing her to fall off the edge. All while the crowd ominously chants, "May the Lord of Dragons watch over you. May the Lord of Dragons watch over us all".
- What's worse is how willing the first woman is to clear her name and prove she isn't a fairy. The populace has been conditioned to see the Judgments as just, some because they genuinely believe everyone pushed off was a fairy, some because they think that their friends and family will be proven innocent anytime now and return to them, and some knowing exactly what is going on and being too scared and powerless to stop the blatant assassination of dissidents and random people to convince the public the trials and church are necessary. The nameless NPC falls under the second classification, and seems confident, if a bit scared, that the one the Rimedhalers worship as a God will swoop in, save her, and prove that she is truly human. And Gwydion, in his advanced age, can do nothing as his beloved followers throw themselves off a cliff but send out Gwilym and hope the Heroes of Light get to Rimedhal quickly.
- Everything about the Night's Nexus is pretty creepy, but especially its appearance. Initially, it appears as some bound humanoid figure protected by two large hands jutting out from a void behind it. These hands disappear in its final form, but it has led many players to believe that it's possible those hands belonged to some other being, implying that the Night's Nexus isn't the only threat to worry about and may have even been involved in its creation in the first place.