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Nightmare Fuel / Dying Light

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Being a game set in the zombie apocalypse (at least, in one city), there's more than a few instances of this.

  • As any good zombie game should, the game goes to great lengths to hammer home the message that Humans Are the Real Monsters. The most frightening antagonists in the games are the uninfected. Rais is the most obvious example, as he has been referred to as more monstrous than the monsters roaming around, as well as the villains from the sidequests Fan Zone and Chasing Past. One survivor NPC put it best:
    Survivor: Why? Because humans are goddamn unpredictable. Biters, you know what they're gonna do. They're gonna bite.
  • For many gamers, the Bloater strain of zombies are walking Jump Scares. They very often appear in tight corridors or rooms, barely make a sound and most of the time, will explode right next to you. They also look horrifying, and will not explode unless you're close enough to them until they start seizing.
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    • Your very first encounter with one of these beasts is in an abandoned building, triggering a brief cutscene in which main protagonist Crane is surprised by a Bloater and almost killed by its explosion.
    • It doesn't help that the game trains a player up to this point to kick or slash at enemies that suddenly appear in close quarters... which will ensure death if the enemy appearing is a Bloater. These foes are virtually guaranteed to be fatal JumpScares several times before the player's muscle memory develops the correct reflex for the situation.
  • The "Harran Virus" is a biological weapon created by the GRE that is extremely advanced, mutating people into a variety of zombies including virals, toads, goons, volatiles, demolishers, screamers, bloaters, and several variations of the zombies. However, the scary part comes with the appearance of volatile nests, dark rooms, caves, tunnels, and even buildings filled with mounds of corpses, and the volatiles are created from these. One side-quest mentioned below deals with this.
  • The Virals. Unlike the other infected, which have been taken completely by the infection, these poor souls have been infected by the virus fairly recently, and seem to have a shred of humanity left. Not enough to keep themselves from attacking anybody uninfected nearby in an Unstoppable Rage, but enough so that if you beat them hard enough or even swing at them, they will collapse and beg for mercy or for you to stay back for a few seconds, before the virus takes back control and they turn rabid again.
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    • Fridge Horror sets in when you listen to one of the alert sounds that play when you make enough noise - listen close enough and you can make out a viral screaming "RUN AWAY". Combine that with the fact that Virals never bite, only kick and punch, and you've got a perfect recipe for a Tragic Monster . Someone with enough self control to warn other survivors and keep themselves from biting, but not enough to sate their own blood lust.
    • And in other regards, they also possess a higher intelligence when it comes to combat. As when you engage them, they can block, dodge and even time their attacks. It's one thing engaging anyone who has recently turned and is going completely psychotic on your ass, it's another when they possess the brainpower to fight you on more even terms. In The Following their intelligence is at an all-time high. They will mimic other biters and shuffle around to try and make you drop your guard before alerting the others, and when mixing in with biters when attacking you, they will hang at the back and nip in to take quick swipes at you before retreating again and letting the other zombies have a turn, and when showing up with other vitals, they will work as a team to bring you down. And as a final note, they will deliberately try to limit your movement when you are fighting a Spitter, Goon or Demolisher.
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    • Sometimes, if you've killed a Viral by cutting off its head, it will continue to flail around for a second before falling over. It makes you wonder just how powerful the virus is if even the quintessential anti-zombie method isn't a perfect solution. Even worse is the possibility that the Viral, rather than its muscles simply refusing to stop twitching, is still alive in the seconds before it finally collapses...
  • The Demolisher. Imagine The Tank and The Charger from Left 4 Dead combined into one frightening monstrosity. Not only that it is a hulking beast of a monster that is incredibly strong, but it is also very agile and will not hesitate to ram you from across the battlefield with its ear-splitting roar. Coupled with the fact that this thing is also wearing body armor that protects against massive damage, you going to need a lot of strength and a lot of luck.
    • Late in the game, the Demolisher will become a normal enemy that you can encounter in freeroam. Good luck.
  • For all the rewards you get for staying out at night, nothing will have the player's pulse start racing like getting noticed by a Volatile. Just one Volatile is bad enough, but it's never just one; that one will make sure every single Volatile within earshot knows you're there, and suddenly you have a whole swarm of one of the most dangerous enemies in the game hot on your heels as you bolt for the nearest safe house. And they're faster than you.
  • It's hard to decide whether the Volatiles are worse with the flashlight on or off. With it on, they're covered with so many open sores that then look like they've been skinned alive. With it off, the only things that you can see are their eyes, glowing in the dark like some sort of predatory animal.
  • The Screamers are, by their nature, pretty unnerving, but finding one in the bowels of Rais' tower is even worse. What was a child doing there in the first place, even before Rais got everyone infected to slow down the player? There really is no possible good answer to that question. The fact that the Screamers don't seem to leave the place where they were when they first turned makes this even worse.
  • One of the least challenging quarantine zones, an apartment in Old Town, is also by far the most unnerving. Old music plays constantly while you wander the mostly deserted halls, coupled with a child (a Screamer, which you can find in a room hidden behind a bookshelf) crying somewhere in the distance. The lights are out, and occasionally locked doors will start to shake as something groans on the other side.
    • Combines with Tear Jerker once you find the source of the music: A radio playing in a room on the top floor where a group of survivors had locked themselves in. No one survived.
  • In one of the earliest missions in the Tower, you have to travel to the unsecured 13th floor. Near the windows overlooking Harran, there's an infant's stroller with the infant missing, surrounded by blood. Possibly made worse by the fact that there's only one zombie on the 13th floor, the brother of one of the survivors in the Tower. There's a special kind of horror in knowing that your family member was driven insane by disease and killed a child.
  • The Fan Zone mission. After being informed that there was someone calling for help in the Fan Zone, Crane goes over there to check it out. Instead he finds bodies and a laptop replaying the message over and over. Then the person who set this up reveals himself, an insane psychopath using the distress call to lure other survivors in, before hunting, torturing and murdering them for sport, which he gleefully reveals to Crane as he scrambles around in the vents in a game of cat-and-mouse against the madman.
  • In the sidequest "The Bunker" in Old Town, Crane has to travel to a hotel in the western part of the sector, the Shangri-La. The hotel itself is nothing special from the outside, inside it is a maze of blood stained halls, corpses with their heads missing littering the floor, barricades and all manner of chaos. Zombies locked inside several rooms will attempt to break through when the door is approached. On the ground floor, there is a room filled with chewed up dead bodies, with legs and arms sticking out. It is all very unsettling, especially if visited at night.
  • In one of those three-story homes just over the hill from the docks, you can faintly hear music from outside. Get inside and on the top floor, you come across the source of the noise: a television set playing cutesy children's music for a show of some kind. Turn around and one of those tall cabinets is seen, left open. Inside is a teddy bear, a blanket, a light, and doodles left on the inner wall. Travel around the other levels and you'll see blood smears all over the place, and yet, the doors are locked and no bodies are inside. Kind of makes you wonder what had gotten in and where the child that had been there has gone...
  • The Following has one of the worst examples of Kids Are Cruel ever. After hearing a child cry for help over the radio, Crane goes to the warehouse where the kid and his brother are trapped, only to discover it's a trap set by a group of kids to lure people in the warehouse where they have to fight a Demolisher. Once you manage to kill it, the kids run away and you gain access to their base where you see a lot of wallets, telephones and bags, leaving Crane baffled at how many fell into the trap. You will probably want to kill those murderous kids afterward.
  • There is a side-quest in The Following called "Ascend Over Flesh" that activates when you complete Jasir's "Two Roads Diverged" quest. He tasks you with finding two special herbs inside of a secluded hut owned by Sabit, a survivalist type that Jasir seems to admire. When you're at his hut you'll notice immediately that there's a huge cave-in underneath his hut that has caused the floor to collapse. As you investigate for the herbs you hear a startling sound come from further into the cave, and Kyle is beckoned to investigate. It warns you that it is a Volatile nest and it is brimming with activity, but you press on anyway. As you descend further, you hear Sabit tell you "It Burns...Mercy." Immediately you'll see that Sabit has been transformed into a Volatile breeder, and he's basically begging you to put him out of his misery. Kyle's response upon seeing Sabit, a man who once walked casually around during the night as the dangers of the virus ran rampant, is apt; Holy Fuck indeed.
  • There's another side-quest in The Following that puts Tragic Monster to a tee. Kyle is instructed to silence the Screamers in the infested town nearby, and so you get to that. But in one of those spots, you hear a child giggling and laughing, and as you draw closer, you can find, in a room, a Screamer staring at the TV and watching a children's program.
  • The Night Hunter. Thankfully it's a optional encounter, but the first time a player experiences a Night Hunter invasion can be terrifying. Imagine a zombie that can move around like Spider Man and constantly emits piercing howls as it chases you. It possesses a bevy of nearly supernatural powers, including the ability to knock out your UV lights and the ability to summon hordes of lesser zombies. It's strong enough to send a full grown person flying dozens of yards with a single strike and fast enough that outrunning it even in a car is difficult. Also, that screaming? It's echo location. The second you hear it the Hunter knows exactly where you are and there is no way to hide from it.
    • The worst part is that this is a super powerful monster being controlled by a human, meaning you're not up against some mindless beast. Your opponent is fully capable of planning and outsmarting you, using all of its incredible abilities to ruin every defense you can come up with.
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