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Nightmare Fuel / Call of Duty: Zombies

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Modern Warfare | Call of Duty: Black Ops | Call of Duty: Black Ops II | Call of Duty: Black Ops III | Call of Duty: Ghosts | Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare | Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare | Call of Duty: WWII | Zombies Mode
They're coming...

As befitting a zombie horde mode, Zombies has loads and loads of Nightmare Fuel for you to chew on. That is, if the Nightmare Fuel doesn't chew on you first.


  • Dr. Edward Richtofen, and what his occupation is. Especially how demented he was, first getting Maxis and his Daughter teleported to the Moon Base, perfectly willing to kill Samantha, him taking Tank Dempsey, Nikolai, and Takeo and experimenting on them in horrible ways. And then in Moon, he takes control of the Zombies by manipulating the other 3 into doing his bidding...all so he can live out his own sadistic pleasures. What a bastard.
  • Samantha, period. Her creepy psychotic laughter, and her deep, raspy screams intertwining with her innocent voice as she sends zombies to kill the players.
  • A subtle one, but the zombies start out in Nacht Der Untoten as simple pale skinned, orange-eyed Nazi soldiers... only Uncanny Valley at worst, right? But then the skin of the models slowly decays through each successive map...
  • Starting with Mob of the Dead, a few maps have had jumpscares. Basic images you can only really access by sighting up a certain area with a sniper scope, but some of them are still pretty creepy...except for Classified's;
    • Mob of the Dead: Viewing the fireworks above the map gives you this terrifying, muted face.
    • Origins: Looking at the fire in the church tower gives you a grisly skill with the moon in one eye socket.
    • Shadows of Evil: A green light near the boxing ring will show you a still of the Ultimis!Richtofen from Origins, except...Zombified. Then the Zombies comic and Classified revealed this to actually be canon.
    • Blood of the Dead: A gap in the new area of the map you spawn in is perhaps the worst; it's the Shadowman, in his Apothicon form, lunging at you. Even locked within the Summoning Key, he's still with you. Watching you.


World at War season

  • Imagine this. You have just completed Call of Duty: World at War's main campaign. You, for some reason, feel like watching the credits until the end. Out of nowhere, this cutscene plays where you find yourself awakening from some kind of crash. Your vision is hazy and some figures are approaching you. One of the figures starts running towards you, and right before it attacks you, it cuts to black and the title card appears. This was how some players first experiences of Nazi Zombies was. Especially before Waw's first map pack was released.
  • The audio logs in the Nazi Zombies bonus mode In Call of Duty World at War, especially the logs in Der Riese.
    • And of course, the Hell Hounds. "FETCH ME THEIR SOULS!!". It does not help that they can easily kill you, and half of them EXPLODE.
  • Nacht Der Untoten:
    • TheSmithPlays, a Zombies-geared YouTuber, admitted to playing the game at a friends house, and on the way home, he ran. Play the map and it’s not hard to see why.
    • First of all, the moment the actual gameplay starts. ‘Round 1’ appears in blood red writing, and a laugh that can only be described as demonic is heard. For anyone who’s playing Nazi Zombies for the first time, that alone might tempt you to switch it back off again.
    • The location. A random, half destroyed bunker in the middle of god-knows-where. You know you are alone; no one is coming to help you.
    • Then, barely visible through the fog, the zombies come. No matter how many you kill, every round, more start coming. You realise this can only end one way.
    • The writing on the walls, on the doors. ‘Help’, or at least what would be ‘help’ if finished, is scribbled on the door. You probably aren’t the first one to have this happen to them.
  • Verruckt as a goddamn whole. Special mention goes to the screaming when you activate the drill in the bloody chair and the voices you hear, including the sound of a baby crying.
  • Shi No Numa has a man hanged by his parachute from the roof of the first room you start in (later revealed to be Peter McCain, a man who infiltrated 935). If you throw a lot of grenades at it, the corpse will eventually fall down. The more eerie part is that touching it is instant death, but instead of killing you it will restart the entire game over, including online multiplayer.

Black Ops season

  • Call of the Dead is mostly a love-letter to horror films and the works of George Romero, and it comes with plenty of Nightmare Fuel to go with it. The setting is an eerie, abandoned Group 935 outpost in the middle of a Siberian wasteland. The zombies emerge from the freezing water, as does George himself. When it's quiet, all you can hear is the sinister ambiance track, "A Cold Wind Blows", aside from George's ever-persistent moans and taunts as he keeps hunting you.
  • The Napalm Zombie and the Shrieker from the map Shangri-La. ESPECIALLY the character models for them.
  • The loading screen of Shangri-La, which shows a tornado tearing apart the temples of the supposed paradise. The imagery may be confusing, but the piece of music that plays is terrifying. It really gets across the feeling of this being the penultimate map of Black Ops, and how everything is about to come to a head, whether you're ready or not.
  • Moon is an appropriately quiet and eerie map given its set in the cold vacuum of space (on the Moon, of course). There's little sound, and the mysterious MPD that you know is not of this Earth and soon enough discover is how Richtofen plans to take over the zombies and succeeds.
    • The Easter egg also gave us the first direct hint at the hidden evils of the series, far greater than Richtofen. Samantha warns him, "The darkness will swallow you whole! Something far more terrible than you lies here!" We later learn that terrible "something" is the Shadowman and the Apothicons.
    • The backstory in the audio logs is pretty creepy as it shows how Richtofen became insane: he teleported to the Moon and touched the MPD, and began to hear voices from the Aether. He lost his mind and we later learn the Shadow Man was manipulating him all along to bring about the destruction of Earth. After you complete the Easter Egg, if you are playing as Samantha in Richtofen's body, and go near the MPD, you can hear the incessant whispering from the Aether.
    • Maxis comes up with a way to save Earth from Richtofen: blow it up. He has the gang launch three nukes laced with 115 at Earth, reducing it to a crumbling, lava-filled wasteland.

Black Ops II season

  • Mob of the Dead is probably the darkest Zombies map ever. Satanic images, mostly unlikable protagonists, chilling soundtrack, Body Horror even for the undead, and a general sense of hopelessness. And to cap it off, it is all but said to be a "Groundhog Day" Loop, and will keep happening forever. Thankfully, Weasel breaks the least until Blood of the Dead reveals that he never did.
    • Satan himself is strongly implied to be the source behind the zombies, since Samantha couldn't possibly have been in control of the zombies in this purgatory.
    • The Mystery Box looks like it literally rises out of Hell itself, since the platform it's on is ablaze with a constant fire.
    • There is also a pit of lava early on in the map, below the first Cerberus head. If this doesn't confirm the mobsters are on the verge of eternal damnation, nothing will.
    • Stanley Ferguson ominously reports how in the real world, Sal, Billy, and Finn turned on Weasel, lured him to the roof of the prison, and gutted him, leaving him to bleed out. As grisly as this is, the fact that the three were almost immediately executed for their crime is the cherry on top.
  • Picture this: You listened to Dr. Maxis' commands throughout the whole Black Ops II storyline, right? After all, he was as much a victim of Richtofen's machinations as you were, so surely he's the Big Good out to save the world, right? So you complete the final Easter Egg of Buried, a very difficult one, and think that it's finally done, you can fix this. Unfortunately, Maxis' plan ends with Earth being destroyed...just so he can reunite with his Daughter...bummer, man! Even worse? This was the canon ending, until Monty reset everything.
    • If you've completed the Easter Eggs in Richtofen's favor, he assumes ultimate power and declares the entire Earth to be his plaything. Maxis is helpless as Richtofen kills him, and eternally damns Samantha's soul. Even worse? Richtofen begins possessing Samuel's body and can't get out.
    • When all four players have successfully completed Maxis' quests, and you completed the last step, Maxis ominously roars for you to press the button, and to commence "the purge". That more than anything signifies that you have made a grave mistake, but even still, you might as well press the button since you've come this far, right?
  • Buried is notable for being the defining example of a Downer Ending in the series. It's the canonical end of the Ultimis timeline, meaning that despite everything, Earth is destroyed and humanity with it, all because of two scientists at war with each other's egos. But even worse? Neither wins, because both are just pawns for the Apothicons and the Shadowman, who have been manipulating them to help destroy the Earth from the start.
  • The setting by the time of Buried in general. The Earth has been a wasteland for ten years, and the debris from the missiles is only just clearing up. Most of humanity is dead by this point, which means that for once, there's a very real and frightening reason why you don't encounter any other people. Buried is in general a desolate, hopeless place and ultimately where the Earth suffers damnation. Even the sight of the Pack-A-Punch is unnerving, since it's nestled in the gazebo, lonely for decades and powered by a giant battery ( we don't learn it was Monty who put it there until later). The whispering from the mansion is also creepy, as is the creepy ambiance since you're literally at the end of the world.
  • In Origins, Maxis began to succumb to 115 infection. Richtofen's solution? Lobotomizing him and putting his brain in a jar. You can find Maxis' emaciated, gnarled corpse with its' scalp missing, and Maxis' head empty and his face frozen in a scream.

Black Ops III season

  • Shadows of Evil. The entire thing. From the setting, to the storyline behind it, to the sacrifice rituals, to the giant alien starfish that causes the apocalypse somehow, Shadows of Evil doesn't pull its punches with the nightmare fuel.
  • Some of the jumpscares the maps like to pull. More often than not they will put something in the far distance, which requires a sniper rifle scope to see. You scope in, look at the scenery, and then the jumpscare appears. Most of the time they aren't that creepy, they just surprise you. Shadows of Evil?
  • So, you don't find zombies scary anymore? Well, Zetsubou No shima has dog-sized spiders, one the size of a truck, plants that eat zombies and a giant zombie/plant hybrid thing that will eat downed players. Not to mention the whole thing happend on an island where Division 9 had been experimenting with plants. The atmosphere is such that you'll be glad zombies are attacking because you won't be alone anymore.
    • For bonus points? One of those zombie/plant hybrids (named Trashers)? It's the original Takeo after Division 9 experimented on him.
    • If the player survives up to Round 50, they're rewarded with a glimpse of something huge and monstrous living out in the swamps beyond Division 9's facility.
  • Gorod Krovi brings dragons to the table. and they look like spawns of Deathwing.
  • Revelations:
    • The Apothicons, period. Not only do they turn out to be the most evil entities in all of the zombies story line, but they're also colossal monstrosities that put the dragons from Gorod Krovi to shame.
    • The House was supposed to be a perfect world, right? The Shadow Man completely shatters it, reducing it to small islands floating in the Aether without any sun or peace in it, in a few minutes.
    • The new version of Mob of the Dead really plays up the hellish atmosphere of the map (since it pretty much was set in Hell to begin with). When you are on the second floor and are standing over the dark, inaccessible area (on the other side of which is the open jail cell), you hear nightmarish moans and cries from the damned. And you just know three of them are inevitably Sal, Billy, and Finn, now condemned to suffer for all eternity. It's really quite horrific to listen to and also rather heartbreaking since you can do nothing to help them (even if they deserved it or not). With the way the below area is all dark and you only hear the wailing while standing over it, you could easily interpret yourself as standing over the brink of hell itself.
    • In the ending cutscene, we get a stern reminder of how powerful Monty really is. As he talks to the four, he says that they have no place in his world and he should erase them. Which he then does, without changing his expression, tone or anything while we see our four heroes completely powerless to stop him. Thankfully, he changes his mind before they are completly erased.
  • The Zombies Chronicles map pack spiced up some of the classic maps, and by spiced up, we mean "made more frightening".
    • Shi No Numa gets a greatly enhanced ambiance with incessant, eerie laughs and cries from hyenas and other animals.
    • Kino gets more stylized, saturated lighting that makes it look creepier and more psychedelic.
    • Moon gets some kinda cheesy sounding round music, but the enhanced visuals make the MPD and space look more imposing.
  • The loading screen after you end a match of Zombies in Black Ops III. It’s shots of the woods, in the dead of night, with the sounds of the zombies moaning. That’s it.

Black Ops IV season

  • Thought everything was okay after the Apothicons were defeated? Nope, turns out in another universe, the zombies are still very much a problem even without the Apothicons and 115.
  • The new Mystery Box appears to be formed by the corpses of petrified, innocent people. At stations where the box is absent, you can see those poor souls helplessly still flailing around slowly.
  • In IX, a man is sacrificed by some ruler and a horrific, visceral boss zombie monster erupts from his chest, Prometheus style.
  • The ending cutscene. The golden masked man who has been announcing the entire thing gets pissed off at Scarlett after she demands freedom is denied and spat in his face. Cue him ordering their execution, and everyone except Bruno panics as the axe wielder raises his axe. Cue a swing and a cut to black, whereupon we see Diego's severed head, bleeding, as well as the other's corpses.
  • Primis arrives in Alcatraz, which is even scarier than before thanks to next-gen technology and rendering. The ensuing chase as Primis attempts to flee the horde contains numerous close calls as they try to fight off the zombies in such tight quarters. And ultimately, they're in the same situation as the mobsters were - they're trapped in Purgatory, with no way out.
  • The cinematic trailer for Blood of the Dead really plays up the hopelessness of the situation Primis finds themselves in. It shows many awesome moments, but the overall tone of the trailer is despairing as each of the characters are desperate for a way out; they are tired of fighting and all are on the verge of giving up. Richtofen looks lost for answers and a plan, Nikolai is upset to the point of throwing down his weapon and letting the zombies tear him apart, Dempsey sits alone in the warden's office looking at a revolver in a shot eerily similar to contemplating suicide, and Takeo screams in rage drenched in the blood of countless demonic zombies. Blood of the Dead plays up all the horror of Mob of the Dead but makes it clear that, unlike the unrepentant mobsters, Primus are losing their will to continue in this unrelenting nightmare... and that this might be the end. Accompanying it are scenes of Brutus dumping Takeo's dead body into the sea, chaining Nikolai up over a river of lava, Dempsey slowly crawling over a pile of fallen corpses, and Richtofen sticking his hand in lava, covering it with horrendous blisters and bloodied skin. Have it all played to a redux of "Where are We Going" with a sombre choir and new lyrics and you have a trailer which effectively emphasises "This is Hell".
  • The new radios recorded by the Warden, who is revealed to have killed himself so he could revive as Brutus in the purgatory dimension. He heard a voice from the Shadow Man in his head, who instructed him to kill Sal, Finn, Billy, and Weasel (though by this point Weasel has already died), and also to capture and make Richtofen suffer. It's truly unnerving to hear the Warden come unravelled due to his delusional loyalty to his evil master.
    • We get to see the Warden's human corpse in his bedroom and it's nothing short of horrific. His body has been fried by the electric chair he used on himself, and there's barely any skin left. His rib cage has been ruptured as well.
  • The "NO ONE ESCAPES ALIVE" sign now appears on the roof, among the debris of the Icarus. Thought you could escape via plane? Think again.
  • And just to keep going, Blood reveals another grisly, and somewhat sad, revelation; Weasel never broke the cycle. It's him, Sal and Finn that attack Brutus at the end of the Easter Egg, not Sal, Finn and Billy. He's still there. Even with the Zombies and Brutus, he kept getting killed by the others. He had to keep repeating the cycle, over and over and over again. For god knows how long.


Example of: