Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Cave Story

Go To
Just so you know: This is what keeps the island floating in the sky.

Sure it's an adorable game, but it's not so sweet and cuddly beneath the art style...

  • The red flowers that turn mimigas into super strong monsters with no mercy or emotions.
    • One room in Grasstown has a bed with red flower petals scattered on the floor. Then a frenzied Mimiga jumps out of the fireplace.
  • The broken robot you see right before the fight with The Core stands out (In particular, the obviously frantic command to retreat that they give before they short out for good), as does the Undead Core with his bloody faces (the big energy ball-spitting form especially) and Ballos' last form, with the corpses.
    • Also, the blood-red stains on Ballos' face in his last form are what appear to be screaming faces.
    • The stage where you fight Ballos is extra creepy as well. There's something to be said for fighting your boss fight on top of a mountain of skeletons, when every powerful slam into the ground kicking up bones everywhere.
    • Ballos' backstory. Poor guy was sentenced to insanity-inducing torture that made him into the maniac he is today. All because he treated his fellow citizens better than his king did.
  • Post-Waterway Mimiga Village, made worse by the music (especially the enhanced re-release versions). The previously-cheerful village has been turned into a total Ghost Town; the only intelligent life that shows up is Professor Booster if you fulfilled a particular obscure requirement to keep him alive. The same BGM also plays in Santa's and Chaco's houses.
  • Advertisement:
  • And then the revisited Egg Corridor immediately afterwards, which cranks the Scenery Gorn Up to Eleven especially with the bloody remains of half-formed Sky Dragons littering the place.
  • Scenery Porn it may be, but woe betide you if you fall from the Outer Wall.
  • Let us look at it this way: say one day you wake up, you don't know where you have been, you just know that you're hurt, you're weak, and you're lost somewhere in this dark damp cave with no memory of anything that happened. You look about and find one exit, and there you find, either monsters, killer robots gone psycho, twisted abominations, or, above all else, more darkness with a never ending sense of dread, and no way back.
  • In the Sand Zone, one of the puppies you have to rescue is in a pitch black shack. You have to navigate your way around the lightless, BGM-free interior to get to the puppy, and should you make certain wrong turns, there's a pit with a Sandcroc that's waiting to give you a Jump Scare as you land in the pit. The puppy warns you if you get too close to the pit, though.
    • It's also slightly better in the re-releases, where the background has been made a dark blue/purple to contrast with the black tiles. While it won't help you if you're in a brightly lit room, not that you may be when you play that section, it does help dampen the maze-like structure.
  • The Core, pictured above, boasting what appears to be nine eyes. It is also the core of the floating island you're on, and had Misery and the Doctor not chimed in at the last second to explain what the hell you just did and patch up the Core, you would've brought the island crashing down to the surface. Its undead variant is even worse, periodically opening up to reveal a red, demonic face, or More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
  • Did you have Curly with you after The Core, but fail to drain her out in the Waterway? The game will happily spring a sudden dialogue box while you're navigating your way through to inform you that her life functions have ceased. It can make you jump if this is your first time going to the Waterway with her but either don't know that this extra step can be done or forgot to do it.
  • The bad ending, achieved by talking to Kazuma in the Outer Wall and accepting his offer to take you off the island to live a peaceful, isolated life with him. With you having left the conflict entirely, and Curly either dead or in an amnesiac state, there's nothing left to stop the Doctor from carrying out his plan of raising an army of killer Mimigas. Meanwhile, the screen cuts away to nothing and you're presented with a dialogue box reading "End?" as the haunting bad ending theme plays. Congrats, you doomed the world by being a coward.
  • The Plus versions include a bonus scenario, the Wind Fortress. In it, you have to navigate the underbelly of the island with all the risk of falling off the island. After fighting past a guarding wave of Gaudi bugs, you get into an industrialized zone where you encounter Curly copies that attack you relentlessly, to the point of breaking out of replication tubes to lunge wildly at you even without copies of the real Curly's clothes. It all cumulates in a fight with a G-Clone device that is making copies of the real Curly, which will defend itself with a growing army of murderous Curly clones.

You have died.
Would you like to try again? Yes / No


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: