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Nightmare Fuel / Fable

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Meet the Balverine.

WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.

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    General/Multiple Games 
  • Balverines. They're quick, they're aggressive, and they often appear in large packs.
  • Hobbes are sometimes Played for Laughs, but their lairs in Fable I and II aren't. They're also much creepier with The Reveal that they're children turned into monsters by nymphs/dark whispers.
  • The general state of Albion in the first two games. It's gorgeous and idyllic, but there doesn't seem to be any government. There are few authority figures, and in both games, the leadership of Bowerstone is held by Lady Grey and Lord Lucien, both of whom are corrupt and evil figures. The areas outside the cities are overrun by bandits and nightmarish creatures, and the guards aren't enough to keep the roads safe. Smaller settlements like Oakvale or Oakfield are completely at the mercy of well-organized bandit or cultist raids. Albion appears to be a failed state like Somalia, and that's before you start counting the doomsday threats looming in every game.
    • The third game is a mixed bag. There's some government going on now, with an army! Oh, but at the same time, there's heavy industrialization, massive wealth inequality, pollution...

    Fable I 
  • Darkwood is dark and creepy at any time of day, and often infested with balverines, hobbes, bandits, nymphs, and trolls.
    • Early in the Trader Escort quest, you and the two titular characters run into another trader who says he was bitten by something. You're then given the option to a) allow the trader to accompany your party or b) turn him away. If you choose the first option, near the end of the quest, the trader turns into a balverine and you have to kill him.
      • Though if you're quick, you can reach Barrow Fields before he turns and he's apparently just fine once he's out of Darkwood.
    • During the same quest, any bandits in the regions you traverse go straight for the traders. Be sure you have obtained the Heal Life spell by this point.
    • The Chapel of Skorm, where you can sacrifice innocent people to rack up some evil points. Or you can kill the two cultists. One problem, though: If you kill the cultists and return to the Chapel later on, the cultists will have re-spawned.
  • Undead aren't particularly scary or anything, but when you kill them, they explode in a shower of dust and bones, and release a screaming ghost.
  • Beyond the Demon Door outside Rose Cottage (the one you have to give a romantic token to) is a cave furnished with a four-poster bed draped in ribbons and such...and a rack, cage, head vice, and chains attached to a wall. Even worse, this is outside the house of the woman whose grandson you save from the Hobbe Cave, whom the kid implies abuses him.
  • The Hobbe Cave. It starts with a pile of bones outside a cave entrance and a sign saying "Abandon All Hope." It features a Cannibal Larder filled with bones and crude bags full of dismembered human limbs. The bandit prisoner you can find in the "Hobbe Cave" quest mentions seeing his buddies get dragged off one by one and he heard their blood-chilling dying screams.
  • Grey House is spooky enough the first time you visit (basically, think Mordor, except on a much smaller scale), but after you go into the house itself and rouse the Undead inside, it's worse.
    • When/If you return to Grey House, there are Undead everywhere. Congratulations; you've brought on a localized Zombie Apocalypse.
    • Worse, Grey House, like Windmill Hill, is located very close to the otherwise-peaceful settlement of Barrow Fields.
  • Lady Grey's origins: In order to come to power as Bowerstone's Mayor, she trapped her sister Amanda in the cellar of their childhood home and left her to die.
    • And her old diary (found inside Grey House's cellar) implies that Jack of Blades convinced her to do so.
  • Windmill Hill, an abandoned locale which is crawling with Undead. Worse, it's in fairly-close proximity to Bowerstone.
  • Lychfield Graveyard is described in-game as "the haunted resting place of generations" and it's not at all hard to see why. As you and the groundskeeper make your way across the graveyard to find Nostro's tomb and to collect Nostro's armor and sword, Undead continuously rise up out of the ground to attack you and even manage to kill the groundskeeper while they're at it.
  • The treatment of the Hero of Oakvale's family, namely Theresa having her eyes cut out by Jack of Blades and left in the woods to die, while Scarlet Robe is captured and likely tortured by Jack.
    • Not to mention the torture the Hero himself goes through when he is imprisoned in Bargate Prison. His bloodcurdling scream after the scene cuts away from him in the cutscene drives everything home.
  • Bargate Prison, in general.
    • To elaborate, it's a bleak prison set in the desolate northern regions of Albion. People sent there are never seen again. The guards there have gone completely rogue and become cruel, and the Warden fully encourages this. Prisoners spend all their time in their cells, never seeing the sun except once a year where the guards force them to race around the prison. The losers are sent to the Torture Chamber. Oh, and the Warden will make you listen to his poetry.
    • After you beat the Rescue Scarlet Robe quest, you can return to Bargate Prison...only this time, it's completely abandoned. Somehow, that makes the place even scarier.
  • The Kraken.
    • If you check your mini-map in the menu while passing through the Underground Chamber, you can see a red dot (red dots indicate enemies) in the middle of the pool, or if you aim your bow/crossbow at the pool, the crosshairs will turn red. Either way, the implication is clear: The Kraken's down there the entire time as you make your way into Bargate Prison. Cue Paranoia Fuel vibes.
    • In the past, Thunder and Whisper, on their journey to Albion aboard a ship, came upon a nest of those monstrosities.
  • Another scary location is the Necropolis where you have to find the Glyphs of Inquiry. It's the frozen ruins of an ancient city where the ghosts of the people who died in a long-ago cataclysm wander about along with the occasional Undead and balverine.
    • During the Necropolis quest, if you unearth a wrong tablet, you get attacked by Minions and Summoners.
  • In The Lost Chapters portion of the game, Jack of Blades' disembodied voice periodically taunts the Hero after the completion of the Necropolis quest, especially when he tries to sway the Hero to perform all the 'evil' options (kill Thunder, Briar Rose, and the Guildmaster).

    Fable II 
For a relatively silly game, Fable II sure doesn't skimp on the Nightmare Fuel.
  • The first appearance of the new, improved Balverines is quite unnerving.
  • Hollow Men are particularly bad as you can hear the wisps entering the ground, but you can't see where they are.
    • Especially when you wander near a Gargoyle. You know they can't hurt you, but sweet mother of God, they don't help.
  • Finding out what Hobbes really are: Transformed children.
  • Lady Grey's tomb, with the beetles under the sand.
  • And then there's the Banshees, who attack by sending shadowy creepy children after you, taunting you in their spooky voices all the while. The Banshees themselves also whisper to you about things your character has done in the past.
    • The Flavor Text says they "demoralize their victims by telling them everything they don't want to hear," which means it may or may not be true. However, chances are once they start telling you a story, like how Rose didn't die straight away from Lucien's shot, but heard Sparrow get blown out the window and even had time to cry before Lucien finished her off, or how Hammer secretly blames the Hero of Bowerstone for the death of the Abbot and has vowed revenge, most players will be horrifically compelled to listen, as a Banshee is invulnerable as long as her creepy shadow children are alive and attacking you.
  • During the third chapter "The Hero of Skill," there's a sub-quest that involves buying Brightwood Tower and spending a night there. You enter a Dream Land where you're turned back into a child and its ruled by a living treasure chest called "Chesty" who puts his 'Super Best Friend' through a gauntlet of "little children" (Hobbes), his other Super Best Friends (Hollow Men), and doggies (Balverines) before finally sending you home with the horribly depressing message "We'll be so lonely without you. And die." Not scary enough yet? OK, how about the fact that it's a Psychopathic Manchild chest?! Every time it shows up, it tells a delightful story about games it likes to shooting the legs off an adventurer and letting him crawl to what he thinks is safety but is actually a swamp infested with flesh-eating insects? Quote: "That's one of my favorites. Maybe we can play it sometime!"
    • You can even do it twice.
  • Wraithmarsh, in general.
    • The fact that the region's theme is essentially a Nightmare Fuel version of the original Oakvale theme doesn't help...especially as you look out at/pass through the ruins of the village itself and realize that one of the best towns in the first game is now nothing but a haunted ruin.
    • At one point, you wander into an abandoned building, you turn and OH CRAP, THERE'S A BUNCH OF HOLLOW MEN SWARMING RIGHT AT YOU!
    • The ground will shake occasionally, and no reason is ever given for it, though the theory is that that's the Hollow Men making the ground shake as they pop up. Regardless, it isn't explicitly explained, and it is creepy as hell.
    • The story of how Oakvale became Wraithmarsh is as chilling as it is saddening, especially when Theresa relates the tale to the Hero via Guild Seal. Apparently, one villager (the future Reaver) made a Deal with the Devil for immortality. And because of one man's selfishness and fear of death, a bright and beautiful hamlet is reduced to a cursed, monster-infested wasteland. It also drives home the series's Central Theme of how a simple choice, be it good or evil, can have far-reaching consequences.
    • A street sign reads "Whatever was written here has been erased by time." Creepy and sad all at once.
    • Also, it's all but outright stated that Wraithmarsh is also Darkwood from the first game. Except now that everyone in Oakvale died thanks to Reaver, Darkwood is spreading. Wraithmarsh is even worse than Darkwood. At least Darkwood was regularly traveled by merchants, it had human enemies in the form of bandits, there was a merchant camp and a bordello you could visit, you know, human presence. Wraithmarsh has none of that, and once again, it's spreading.
  • "The Perfect World."
    • For regular Nightmare Fuel, try Homestead/Serenity Farm. It's all nice and cozy until you look up at the sky... (also the rather creepy glitch that occurs if you look up and to the left of the windmill).
  • Try lingering in Terry Cotter's Army. It's bad enough on its own, but after reading his final journal...
    • It might even be a example of Nothing Is Scarier or Paranoia Fuel: "Any minute now, these statues will come alive and kill us." Even better, your dog will growl when you walk in the cave full of inanimate suits of armor. The dog normally only growls when there are enemies nearby, but the cave simply doesn't have any enemies...
    • And it gets worse in the "See the Future" DLC. You stumble across a cave filled with the suits of armor, including a skeleton with a journal surrounded by them, all apparently looking at the body. The journal's creepy enough...but a few of the suits explode and are revealed to house the blue shadow creatures.
  • The Terry Cotter's Demon Door is part Paranoia Fuel as well. After you walk in, you're treated to a nice house. And then you find Terry's bedroom...and then you have to go to the cave at the back to find the treasure.
    • Terry's bedroom! It's dark, except for a weird unexplained ball of electricity floating on the ceiling. His skeleton is on the bed, surrounded by inanimate suits of armor.
  • Most of the "See the Future" DLC has some manner of Nightmare Fuel in it, especially the Cursed Snowglobe. When you start off, it's just sorta-weird naked guys who look like they're painted certain colors (red, blue, or yellow) and drain the color from everyone and everything. No one seems to be dead, or even in danger; just annoyed. But later, you find a schoolhouse, and you can read the teacher's book...that says she found one of her students in such horrible condition that she only describes the amount of blood splattered everywhere, while her classmates stood grinning around her. Then she decided it must have been an accident.
    • In the same section of the DLC, one of the lengthy key puzzles leads you to find an invitation from Chesty. You find the house with the 'by invite only' sign, and go inside. Immediately, there's a long table with long-dead skeletons sitting in the seats, and coat racks with similar skeletons. There's a note from Chesty saying how happy he was to spend time with his super best friends, and something about a mirror...enter the floating mirror upstairs, and you find a fog enshrouded area with a bottle of red dye...underneath a suspended skeleton, contorted by almost Hellraiser-like chains that extend into the fog.
  • The first Hobbe cave. You help a man there terrified of going in to rescue his son, who has been kidnapped by Hobbes. He mentions then that he had always heard stories that Hobbes were all once small children who were captured by Hobbes and turned into them. This is the start of a variation of Apocalyptic Log that is heard from afar as the player runs around another path to get to the man's son. The sounds and the fate of both the boy and his father are enough to make anyone feel like they want to throw up... Not to mention there is no way to stop it from happening, even if you kill his son, he will just... fall over dead.
  • There is a Demon Door, Memory Lane, with a chest at the end of a small, grassy road...lined with tombs, gnarled trees, and other junk. Off to the side is a wooden cabin you can't go into. If you look in the window, you see that the cabin is stuffed with white statue-like versions of characters from the game staring out at you. It doesn't help that the area is totally silent.
  • A lot of the Demon Doors, actually. Winter Lodge is a good example. When you walk in, it's a prettily-lit, idyllic winter path, with a warm, inviting house at the end. Walk through the door and, in a flash, it turns to a ruin, with skeletons and torture devices strewn about the area, which is now lit in dull, stark colors. And there's a screeching metal sound when the flip happens, that isn't found anywhere else in the game.
  • A minor one, but when you first pass through the Bandit Coast with Hammer on the main quest to the Crucible, a distraught Lilith stops you and asks for your help. She explains that her son has been taken by Balverines into the nearby Howling Halls. Once you enter, it is revealed that Lilith is actually a Balverine who has lured others into her den to feed her Balverine children. There are several hints leading up to the discovery such as the Balverines refusing to attack Hammer and Sparrow when they're with Lilith and said woman's name, which is that of a female demon from Jewish mythology.
  • The Shadow Court quest. Once you gain enough renown for Reaver to give you the time of day, he tasks you with taking his Shadow Seal to the Shadow Court in Wraithmarsh, BUT what he, Jerkass that he is, neglects to tell you is that you have to make a Sadistic Choice: Keep the seal and allow the Shadow Judges to take your youth (the "good" option), or give the seal to a scared, crying girl and allow the Judges to take her youth instead (the "evil" option). If you keep the seal and get your youth drained, you gain glowing red eyes.
    • The Shadow Judges themselves provide a massive heap of Nightmare Fuel. They're shadowy, Grim Reaper-esque beings with red eyes and scary, deep voices. Oh, and there's something absolutely chilling about them telling the Hero that, when the sacrifices stop, they will come for Reaver.
      • The worst part about the Shadow Judges is that, apart from Reaver's backstory with them, you know absolutely NOTHING about them. At no point in the series is there any reference to what they are or what they want beyond the sacrifices.

    Fable III 
  • The Reliquary where you have to find your Hero parent's treasure for Sabine is a dimly-lit and quiet (except when you're battling Hollow Men) environment. The eerie, ethereal music does not help ease the apprehension the whole place generates one bit.
    • Even better, if you peruse the bookshelves you find in the entry hall after you first enter, you find two copies of a tome titled Darkness Descends on Albion, foreshadowing what's to come much later in the game.
    • And to top that off, the Reliquary, an area where Hollow Men come up from the ground to attack you, is located right underneath Brightwall Village (accessible through Brightwall Academy), making it much worse than Bowerstone in the very first Fable game (which was located fairly close to Windmill Hill, an area crawling with Undead).
  • Mourningwood isn't a particularly nice place, filled with the the souls and bodies of apparently hundreds of soldiers, and Logan sends anyone he doesn't like there because he doesn't expect them to survive.
  • Silverpines is also pretty bad, dark, forbidding, suspicious, and filled with Balverines.
    • The place is absolute Paranoia Fuel. If you're walking anywhere but in the town itself, it's perfectly reasonable to be walking slowly at all times, constantly turning the camera to view your surroundings with your rifle already in hand, ready to blow Balverines away at a distance the instant you spot them. And then they run at you.
  • The Sunset House quest has you finding a ruined mansion in a remote location in the middle of Mourningwood. At night, though, the beautiful ghost of the mansion reappears, and you might manage to return it to the real world. Bad idea. The house is home to a creature of terrible evil that drove the old owner to suicide by burning down the house in an effort to stop it. His skeleton is dangling from the ceiling as you enter. The bedroom is worse. Whatever happens, don't go to sleep, or you'll meet the creature that haunts this place... and it turns out to be your old Super Best Friend, Chesty. He wants to play chess on a giant chessboard with living statues, but decides to just kill you instead when he gets bored of that. Then he gives you the house. Except Chesty's probably still there, lurking in the unseen corners.
    • The game refuses to allow you to move your family into that house, and if you sell it, it will just sit empty as no one will ever actually move in. There's probably a very good reason for that.
  • The first encounter with the Crawler and its spawn is quite well done for a non-horror game. It starts with a fight with the glowy-eyed shadow creatures, then every moment you look around, you feel it's onto you. Except it isn't. It is only when it has lulled you into a false sense of security that it attacks again, harder this time.
    • And it does that TWO times, creating a very strong Paranoia Fuel for the player. Very unnerving to play when it's the middle of the night.
    • Its lines don't help much, especially not "You are tainted..." and the infinitely echoing hiss "He is ours. He is ours." And as for what it does to Walter and the shop windows during the climax, words can't describe.
    • It's the way Walter starts freaking out the longer you spend in the Crawler's temple when you reach Aurora. At first, he tries to be brave and shrug off the general scariness of the temple. Then he starts to get more and more unnerved the farther in you go as you're exposed to horror after horror. By the time you reach the end, he's SCREAMING TO GET OUT OF THE DARKNESS.
    • The Crawler infects the world with Darkness that appears to eat away at the world; he even manages to do it to the Sanctuary, which pretty much means NOWHERE IS SAFE!
      • Go through game. Reach final battle. Need to pause for whatever reason. Scream.
    • "Are you blind yet? ARE YOU BLIND YET?"
      • It would almost fit into Large Ham...if it wasn't so damn scary!
    • Walter's eyes when you free him from the darkness bindings. Oh, God. His eyes. It initially appears as though they'd been removed until, right before you have to leave him behind, the darkness fades enough that it's just a dark outline around normal-seeming eyes.
    • And after all that, once you get out of the darkness and into daylight, you'd THINK you'd be safe, right? The Crawler continues to torment you outside of the temple, showing you mirages in broad daylight, all whilst apparently delving into Walter's mind, digging up his own Nightmare Fuel for being afraid of the dark and mimicking his disembodied voice. Long story short, day or night, the Crawler's already able to do anything to you from anywhere.
    • The ending to the quest "Darkness Incarnate." After rescuing Walter, as you lead him out of the tomb, you are pursued towards the light by the Crawler hissing after you.
      The Crawler: He is ours.
    • The Crawler's "children."
      The Crawler: Darkness shall spread across the world...
  • The golden gates. Look at them closely for long enough and you will notice something...uncanny.
  • In the late game—Treasury Value: 0/6,500,000. Projected Civilian Casualties: 6,500,000.
    • It gets worse when you go into minus figures while trying to be a good guy.
      • You think that's bad? Try going into the final battle when you're in minus figures and walk the streets of the towns afterward. No shops are open, there's nobody walking the streets...why? Because you tried to be a good person and almost everyone died for it.
  • Demon Doors in general tend to be this. Not so much the doors themselves, but what lies beyond them. All it takes is for one of the interiors to freak you out for you to start getting on edge whenever you enter one. It doesn't help that sometimes the most innocuous Door request can yield the scariest results.
    • As a case in point, Millfields has a Door asking you to challenge the perception of societal aesthetics (i.e. get fat and wear something ridiculous). You complete the request and it opens to Twitcher's Curtains, a spacious cavern covered in giant cobwebs that span the entire cave wall (keep in mind that the webs encountered everywhere else in the game are as big as, or slightly larger than, your character). As you approach the treasure, you can see even bigger webs in the background and you get the feeling that something might be back there... Nothing else really happens except for something screaming/roaring at you as you try to leave. Keep in mind that most Demon Doors don't have any music in their interiors, which makes the roar from nowhere even worse. It doesn't help that trying to look back into the cave results in nothing. Everything looks the same.
  • The Veiled Path. Walking through the sand and up flights of stairs down a long, winding path that is lined with rows and rows of Sentinels. They're just statues, though...which just makes it worse. You're horribly tense, waiting for them to come alive, and their eyes are glowing. But they don't move. They just...don't move. It's almost a relief when a live one comes stomping down at you at the end of the path, though the statues themselves never do attack you.
  • The Hero's appearance when you become a tyrant in trying to save Albion from the Crawler. Your skin turns pale and your eyes turn solid black. It's absolutely bone-chilling to see. And the worst part about it? You end up looking like that because you made compromises in trying to save your kingdom.
  • In the final part of Traitor's Keep, as Commander Milton extracts the Hero's essence, the Hero lets out a bloodcurdling scream of pain that lasts for at least a minute.
  • One of the more darkly humored loading screen posters advertises a trepanning procedure.

    Fable: The Journey 

Alternative Title(s): Fable III, Fable II