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Nightmare Fuel / EarthBound Beginnings

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WARNING. All the Spoilers below will be unmmarked.

  • The first playable minutes of the game have an oddly sinister feel to them: you're a child sitting in the middle of a sparsely decorated room (with a background track halfway between familiar and nostalgic), when suddenly a lamp tries to kill you, and you must save your sisters (who also have weirdly minimalistic rooms) from another lamp and a Creepy Doll.
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  • While not nearly as famous as the one in the sequel, the final battle against Giygas is actually pretty terrifying when placed into an appropriate context. If you were playing as a child in 1989, this was probably the very first video game battle you'd experience where everything you thought you knew about playing games doesn't help you. You can try and try with all your might, using all the amazing powers you'd earned during your adventure, but no matter how hard you try, he will just continue mocking your ineptitude, telling you your only options are to give up or die. Coupled with the white-on-black contrast of his sprite, the ear-bleeding eeriness of his "music", and the fact that there's a good chance you're in a dark room, for the NES, that was some pretty unnerving stuff.
  • A small one, but the quest to find Pippi is chock-full of Adult Fear. To start, Pippi runs off somewhere and disappears for a long time, which greatly distresses her mother. When Ninten finds her, she is hiding in a coffin in a cemetery that is occupied by zombies (not to mention, there are three other coffins containing zombies inside them, so first time players will just have to pray that they picked the correct one), and she's totally unprotected. There is an unused sprite titled "Gang Zombie" that resembles Pippi's clay model, implying that if Ninten hadn't found her in time, she would've been found and turned into a zombie. Then there's the fact that she has no father to speak of, which gives off some more horrible implications as to why she ran off in the first place...
  • The Rosemary's Mansion is an enormous Haunted House that manages to be dark to the point of almost complete blackness in spite of the numerous torches hanging from the wall. Thanks to the borderline maze-like architecture, you'll probably end up spending a while there as you look for the haunted piano that teaches you the fourth melody, fighting off all kinds of undead mooks on the way and occasionally hearing laughter and even death threats from thin air. The spooky cave music doesn't help, either.
  • Once you arrive in Youngtown, the place Ana's mother and many other people in America were supposedly last seen in, you'll notice that, with a few exceptions, all of the adults in the town have disappeared apparently abducted by aliens, leaving only children in the town. The fact that there are mostly only kids, who seem to be younger than Ninten, Ana and Lloyd, in the town is a bomb of Adult Fear on it's own.
    • The fact that the town is mostly only populated by children is just the cherry on top of the cake. The kids clearly DO NOT know how to handle the situation and they all seem terrified about what's happening. Just taking a look at the town is enough to figure this out: without enough adults to take care of the state of the town, weeds and trees have grown all over the place, giving the town a maze-like appearence. Two kids have tried to take up the roles of City Guards by standing in the town's entrace and the swamp that leads to Ellay, but if you attempt to speak with them, they get scared. If they are scared of simple 10-12 year old kids (though, it's hard to blame them considering the situation and that they are little kids) imagine if Youngtown had ran the same fate as the western portion of Spookane and got invaded with monsters, which wouldn't be unplausible considering the enemies you encounter later on in the swamp, which is right next to Youngtown, on your way to Ellay. And just more food for thought: Youngtown is the only town in the game that lacks hospitals, think about that for a moment.
      • But Wait, There's More! If you speak to the town's children, they're all confused and clearly want their parents back, with some of them asking Ninten and co. to play with them. This does nothing but expand the already thick layers of Adult Fear the connotations given in Youngtown already have. The music that plays while in the town clearly reflects the desperate situation these kids are going through.
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    • The worst part about Youngtown? with the exception of the swamp that leads to Ellay, which is infested with monsters and other hostile creatures, it is completely isolated from the rest of the country because of the bridge connecting the railroad tracks between Union Station in Merrysville with Youngtown being broken. There a a few NPCS in the game that talk about people going to Youngtown and never been heard from again, but what almost NO ONE knows is that most of the kids in Youngtown are alone and isolated from the rest of the world. The Adult Fear is taken Up to Eleven.


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