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Nightmare Fuel / Fallout 3

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The Centaur, as it appears in this game and the next. Body Horror personified.

Despite its 'art major science' and moments of lighthearted goofiness, there are parts of Fallout 3 that make Silent Hill look like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

    Main game 
  • The Dunwich Building. The name alone should be a tip off that this is not a good place—it's borrowed straight out of a story by H. P. Lovecraft.
    • Feral ghouls, hallucinations, doors that close/open on their own, the tale of a man turning into a mad ghoul and a really creepy altar in the basement.
    • It gets better. As you proceed through the building, you find numerous audio logs created by Jamie (the aforementioned "man turned mad ghoul") documenting his transformation and Sanity Slippage. The final log contains mostly rambling by a fully insane, ghoulified Jaime—and repeated mentions of the name "Alhazred".
    • When you find Jamie, he and a number of other mad ghouls are worshipping the obelisk in the building's basement. Once you cross the threshold of the doorway into the cave with the obelisk, you can actually hear a creepy, disembodied voice chanting "Alhazred" repeatedly. If it wasn't obvious already, you can pretty much conclude that the book you're looking for is the friggin' Necronomicon.
    • By this point in the game you've already seen every kind of Ghoul in every possible situation, yet this area will creep the hell out of you. I kept expecting them to get back up.
    • A lot of the Dunwich horror (heh) is nice and subtle. Bodies disappearing when you backtrack. Turning around to see that the doors behind you have shut. A door suddenly flinging open right in front of you. Too bad if you're concentrating on stalking the ghouls, you can completely miss the scares.
    • Even if you have the Ghoul Mask on, which makes all the Feral Ghouls friendly to you, that place is still creepy. There's no danger, but the darkness and listening to the history of the residents there is disturbing.
    • The room that shows you a brief 2 second-long flashback of what the room looked like before the bombs fell, there's this old guy wearing your average clothes with glasses, computers and office desks in pristine condition, then your character snaps out of it... to see a Glowing One staring at you from not more than five feet in front of you...and he's standing where the old man was in the vision.
    • After the first staircase in the first room of the Dunwich Building, you come across a ghoul who, as you can see if you're sneaking and don't startle it, is on its knees in front of a fire extinguisher's rack - a rack which, mounted on the wall, resembles a cross from his point of view. You might be hit with the realization that whatever was lurking in this building was so terrifying that a feral, 200-year-old ghoul was scared for its soul and, desperately recalling its former humanity, prayed to God for comfort.
    • Let's talk about the building itself. It stands alone in a small canyon, with no other ruins around it... almost as if it wants to be found and draw the idly curious in. The interior is very dimly lit, making it hard to see Ghouls that are a few feet in front of you. Due to decay, the building is near labyrinthine in structure, with staircases, floors and ceilings collapsed. It also gives a feel as if the space itself isn't right. You have to go up in order to reach the pillar where you destroy the Krivbeknih and the exit.
    • Out of all the terminals in the Dunwich building, only one is NOT rigged to explode as soon as your character touches it. On it, there's a piece of speech-to-text software that also covers onomatopoeia (so the sound of people clapping would go to "//applause!//") which was presumably for recording board meetings. There are logs for six or so meetings stored, the first of which is a fairly standard company meeting. The amount of "//unintelligible//" and panicked phrases increases in each consecutive log after that, with the program recording conversations such as two (or more) people barricading themselves in an office. The final entry reads;
      //liquid dripping// Ug-Qualtoth //unintelligible// Ug-Qualtoth. I came, I came. Back this time, deep-temple //unintelligible// screaming, twisting, //unintelligible// //impact sound// No light, no flesh //unintelligible// deep temple born deep temple died. Ug-Qualtoth again, //unintelligible// returned returned //unintelligible// retribution. NOTICE TO USER: Internal memory capacity reached. PagSoft LLC recommends PagMem LLC for all your data storage needs. Please contact your administrator for details.
    • Another entry example comes from a computer terminal in Dunwich. Voice dictation software has logs of various attempts to use it before and after The Bomb. And during, as evidenced by the software admonishing the user that low-frequency background noise voids the warranty. Low-frequency background noise such as the sound of nuclear explosions. The thought of something recording the event in perpetuity is creepy beyond words.
      //unintelligible// Thmmmmmmmmmmkkkkkkkaaaakkkkkkkkaaaaaaaakkkkkkmmmmm //unintelligible// NOTICE TO USER: PagSoft LLC recommends against sustained recordings in a low-frequency environment. Continued use in this manner voids all hardware warranties. Auto-dictator v223 powering off automatically.
    • When facing the door to the entrance, you'll be looking south. After entering, you're now looking north.
  • In Meresti Station, where the vampires are, there can be a glitch where the head used in baby carriage traps falls from the ceiling or bounces around after the carriage trap is set off.
  • In Tranquility Lane, activating certain items in an abandoned house reveals a computer console where a wall used to be. This is a lot creepier than it sounds. The items make an eerie tone when clicked, and a buzz when the order is wrong. Then it feels like creepy Betty Braun will appear at any minute to stop you.
    • And that's for the happy ending for Tranquility Lane.
    • You step into that clean, sterilized world, and look down at those pods, and all you know is something terribly wrong is going on here - and you're going to have to submit to whatever it is if you want to get your father back. And then you actually get into a pod, the screen comes down, and a face flashes across it - just for a moment - before the needles sink into your head. That's the beginning. That's before you try looking at your Pipboy, and realize just how helpless you are.
      • Just in case you were doubting how powerless you actually are, you might start to think that Betty is a little bit evil, and you might think to try to punish her. If you do, she casually tells you that won't work, and that you have to pay for trying...then instantly kills you. She does this even if you activate the failsafe, likely due to an oversight. Regardless of whether you think her ultimate fate is appropriate, you have NO say in the matter; try to do anything to her, and she casually obliterates you.
    • Even that tiny detail has been made disturbing: instead of telling the proper time, the watch your virtual self is wearing is permanently frozen. Just like the ones at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    • Also in Tranquility Lane; "Go make Timmy Neusbaum cry." Sure! "Go break up a marriage." Okay. "Go kill that lady in a funny way." ... Alright... "I want you to take this knife and brutally murder everyone in this peaceful suburb in first person as they run screaming from you." You will end up killing some of them as they hide crying behind their beds. It's just messed up! And somehow, the whole thing being in TV Land black and white just makes it worse.
    • It's very telling that you do lose karma from doing these things! To (most of) these people, this is reality and it's not exactly stated how far the simulation goes to make you truly feel things...
      • It gets even better! If you're astute, you'll notice that when you kill everyone, Timmy is missing. Wonder what happened to him? Check the front of the Neusbaum house; there's a garden gnome there that wasn't before. When you look at it, its name is Timmy.
      • And your father is there -as a dog and probably conscious based on his "responses" to your comments and the fact that he mentions missing being upright or having opposable thumbs-, watching the ten year old version of his son/daughter go about doing evil things and slashing everyone in the neighborhood with a creepy mask on. He doesn't comment on it, probably because he doesn't blame you for it since you do end up saving him, but it must have been strongly unpleasant for sure.
    • Don't forget the 50s sitcom music on perpetual loop as you stab.
      • Even that music is specially creepy. You might have noticed that it has something none of the other songs in the game have - a hard loop break. That is to say, unlike the other music, it doesn't just loop into itself, it restarts. Really sells the "everything is fake" aspect.
    • The worst part is Old Lady Dithers. She's the only one (not counting you, Braun, and [presumably] "Doc") who is aware of the true nature of Tranquility Lane for some reason (some theorize it's because the memory chip Pinkerton stole from Vault 112 to use in Harkness was from her pod). Essentially, she's trapped in a lucid dream. And since we're not given an explanation for why she knows it's a simulation there's no way to know if she's been lucid for a month, a year, or the entire 202 years she's been trapped in the simulation (meaning she remembers all her deaths and resurrections).
      • If you look at the terminal for her pod, it notes abnormal readings - including extreme stress levels, "ERROR" for blood pressure, and a 0.00 degree temperature. It also advises checking the connections, implying that her pod is in need of maintenance.
    • When you get the good ending to the simulation, Betty turns even creepier. How? By switching back and forth from her little girl voice to Braun's old, raspy German accent.
    • Braun's terminal gives you a glimpse at the other 'simulations' he's run before switching to Tranquility Lane, and a brief glimpse into his inner thoughts. It's... certainly not appealing to read how gleeful he is whenever one of the 'residents' suffers a horrific death (In 'Toucan Lagoon', some of his playthings wither away from scurvy, others are eaten by mako sharks. In 'Slalom Chalet', he records an incident where Dithers slipped and impaled herself on an iron fence). It hammers in the fact that Braun has done this for centuries without fail, and only ever got bored of the setting he committed his atrocities in.
    • On a meta level, some players who've done "kill everything" runs in Fallout games may have a revelation: With your ability to save the game, and your freedom to kill almost anyone in the game you want and bring them back to life without anyone remembering by loading earlier saves, Braun's behavior really isn't so different from yours in the end...
  • Entering Vault 87 by asking Joseph of Little Lamplight for help, thus avoiding all of Murder Pass, is still unnerving. It's a tragic, horrible Vault that was one of the doomed ones, but that's not the only reason why. It's trashed and filled with blood, body parts and bones, and a lot of the doors are bathed in a hellish red light. Soon after entering the Vault, there is a door you can open. The red light spreads into a Murder Pass tunnel and there is a naked female mannequin just standing there. The damn thing also seems to be looking right at YOU. Not the Lone Wanderer, YOU. It must be even worse to have gone through hell to traverse Murder Pass only to round a corner and see THAT thing. Plenty of video games have mannequins that come to life, and Fallout 3 has incredibly off-putting supernatural elements. Almost makes one want to fire a mini nuke at the mannequin.
  • If you press Carol, an Underworld ghoul, you can ask her what it was like the day the bombs dropped. Her family was running to their house cellar and her father went back out to help some people in when the bomb dropped. Carol recalls seeing her father vaporized, and only his shadow left. Shadows on walls and streets and prints in shoes were all that were left of some Japanese citizens after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These shadows are still there today.
  • Mirelurks are quite creepy. Maybe it's because they have no necks and their faces appear to be just a mass of stuff. Or how they're always hunched over and shuffle towards you. Or the fact they seem so humanoid at first that they could be mistaken for some sort of horribly mutated wastelander.
    • Mirelurk Kings. Aw, look, they're smiling at you! Just like the Joker!
      • Mirelurk Kings, mutant snapping turtles, are even worse in the concept art, where they are shown with spiked clubs and nets weighed down with human skulls. As seen in this concept art the mirelurk kings were planned on being tribal savages. The idea that these freaks hunting down humans with that sort of intelligence is horrifying.
  • The Feral Ghouls from Fallout 3. Especially that noise they make as they run towards you. And just what they are is horrifying...people who used to be sane and rational that were afflicted with this horrible sickness that can't be cured or gotten rid of. They just degenerate unstoppably. Meeting friendly Ghoul NPCs makes it all the worse because you realize that they're going to end up feral. And even if you help everyone else in the Wastes, you can't help them.
    • Keep in mind, it's been left ambiguous why some ghouls quickly go feral and others from before the War still haven't? Is it a case of genetic factors, the speed in which they initially became ghoulified, further radiation exposure and will they all eventually succumb to that fate? All of the above? The worse theory by far is that going feral has a mental component, that it occurs to those who have simply lost the will to keep on living?
    • Jason Bright was a feral ghoul who recovered his sanity. It was never explained how it happened, yet he saw it as an act of God. So however it happened, there is hope.
    • Making things worse, ghouls are quick little monsters. If you're trying to remain unseen, you'll probably keep your Pipboy's light off. But this makes them near impossible to see, so you'll find them running up on you and mauling you before you can get into V.A.T.S. In a dark subway, or a museum, where hallways converge and there's no way to watch your back, it's inevitable.
    • And then there's the Reavers that Broken Steel adds. Twice the HP of a Deathclaw, twice as fast, deal the same 100 HP damage plus a poison-like drain, throw crippling radioactive gore grenades at range, and occasionally go into an invincible "spazzing" state. Add to that their freakish grinning face and green smoke aura, and you've got a recipe for nightmare.
  • Super Mutants, in all their various forms. Imagine walking around D.C trying to find Galaxy News Radio and then out of nowhere a Super Mutant Brute and several Centaurs just utterly dismember you. And that, as Three Dog says, makes you one of the lucky ones! Super Mutants in D.C. don't normally just kill their victims, they drag them to Vault 87, or what's left of it, and then either eat the victims alive or mutate them with FEV.
    • Taking it further, Fawkes' origin, not to mention all of the horrible things that happened to victims of the FEV virus when they didn't become Super Mutants.
    • Another example, the mocking laughs of five Super Mutants as a group of captives cries for help. Wait, no, the first four were crying for help. The last one was crying in pain as a Super Mutant gnawed on his arm.
    • The failed F.E.V. mutants return in the Fallout: New Vegas mod fittingly named Monster Mod: Wasteland Edition. Think they look bad dead? They're alive and angry in the mod.
  • The freakish abominations that are the Centaurs. See the picture above and add horrible gurgling and the way they move to the list of creepiness.
    • Wanna make them worse? Well, glitches can do this to you. Running in downtown D.C., followed by an army of Super Mutants, rush into one of the Pulowski Preservation Shelters, which normally keeps enemies out. After a few seconds, a horrible mass of crawling meat can appear in the shelter with you, like it fell from the roof. Apparently, Centaurs can enter in these shelters like they are made of air. Suddenly the shelters don't seem so safe.
      • Some sort of glitch sometimes makes super mutants and centaurs spawn right on top of you when you're swimming near the Jefferson Memorial, and they can swim too. You can't escape no matter where you go.
  • Yao Guai. From their milky white eyes, and freakishly matted and balding fur, these things are guaranteed to scare you. Especially if you encounter them when one comes bounding out of nowhere from behind you.
    • The worst thing about them is they don't make a sound. You could be tooling around in the Capital Wasteland, minding your own business, when snarl rip - you just died. It doesn't get better if you're quick enough to VATS them right before they attack. You swing around to an open maw, ready to eat you.
    • And then there are the Yao Guai Tunnels, where as soon as you step in, one of them sprints by, without any time to activate V.A.T.S. And they are everywhere.
    • Somewhat diluted if you have the Animal Friend perk; the super-fast one-hit-killer bears are on your side. They still appear out of nowhere, though.
  • For some reason, loading the game or exiting a place near where Talon Mercs were killed may cause their stripped bodies to come flying towards you.
  • Hope you don't mind giant bugs. Giant bugs that make skittering noises in dark subway tunnels.
  • Just leaving Vault 101 could be frightening enough, even if you've read the Overseer's logs about the world being more hospitable than he thought. Even if nothing attacks the player, seeing how desolate things are—even with Megaton nearby—and not knowing what, if anything, is going to attack you can be awful. It's possible to get attacked by dogs or mole rats if you go around the back of Megaton.
    • Not to mention the first Raider encounter. Maniacal laughing comes out of nowhere and the battle music suddenly kicks up. It's hard to pinpoint where exactly they're coming from even with the Pip Boy.
  • Deathclaws. Super fast, one-hit killing machines. Stumble across one at a low level, and there's almost nothing you can do to stop it.
    • Deathclaw Sanctuary. Maddening labyrinth of dark, damp caves. Very much like The Descent, complete with lovely piles of skeletons and gore, and pools of blood. Except instead of crawlers, you have Deathclaws. Who move around in the tunnels in somewhat random patterns. Very silently. And when they notice you, they don't run at you screaming...they try to sneak up and jump at you from behind.
  • In Fallout 3, open the dev console (usually it's '~'), and type in "tcl". That toggles noclip. Now, take out a shotgun and shoot a standing human until the corpse explodes into giblets. Since tcl is on, the giblets (including bits of skull and whole eyeballs) are still in a humanoid shape. This is known to happen as a glitch as well, and the result is... rather disturbing.
  • There's a place in Marigold station containing a skeleton with a pistol lying next to it. Thanks to the somewhat "overenthusiastic" physics engine, picking up the pistol can cause the skeleton to spasm violently, making it look like it's about to leap up and attack you. For reference, this is in a dark, abandoned subway with creepy music. This also happens with a dead Raider inside a Minefield house upon taking a Pre-War Book.
  • Throughout the game, you can find audio recordings made by the Keller family who were planning to hide from the approaching war in a military bunker. However, one of the logs was made by a horrified teenage girl as the bombs were going off. The sound of her panicking and sobbing for her mother through the static can be incredibly heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing.
    My God... I can see it!...
    • Two fun follow-up facts: one member of the Keller family was so appalled at the thought of living with his father in a bunker for the rest of their lives that he cheerfully records his good-bye and says he plans on taking a "walk into a mushroom cloud." Also, you can find the family bunker, which contains three skeletons, a Glowing One named "Mr. Keller" and a diary entry (cut from the game but still accessible through cheats) about the father's habit of poking around the irradiated ruins...
  • Any raider or super mutant base. They seem to love to decorate their home with human corpses. Or parts of human corpses. On spikes. Or in cages. Or chained to the ceiling.
  • You may previously have encountered a group of hunters who sell "strange meat", and even give you a free sample. It's really good food! ... and then Andale teaches you what "strange meat" really is. You'll be wanting to find those hunters real soon, and bring your best gun.
    • Andale itself is rather creepy. The few citizens act way too polite to make it seem like they're being friendly.
    • And if you think taking a look in the basement or shed isn't creepy enough, step back outside. It doesn't matter if you had no witnesses whatsoever and was using a Stealth Boy when you broke in, all of the town's pissed off residents are right there to give you a Jump Scare.
  • Speaking of Andale, here's the full story. While travelling around the wasteland; you see a chipper town with optimistic residents. They claim their town is constantly voted as the best in the USA, however, the community is small, there's no governing system to prove that claim, and one of the children states he has to marry a girl named Jenny Wilson... who is his first cousin. While wandering around the town you meet Old Man Harris; who frantically tells you leave and to check the basement and shed because the residents are stone cold killers. Considering the wasteland, you don't think too much of the term "killers" but when you check the shed and basement anyway. You find human remains; ranging from skeletons to fresh corpses, all of which confirm Harris' claims. When you leave the final location; you're suddenly ambushed by the town and Jack calmly asks you about your activities. There you have two options;
  • Harold's scream if you burn him. What makes it worse is that Harold wanted you to kill him, because he considered the alternative a Fate Worse than Death. He just would have preferred his death to be quick and painless. And what makes it even worse? He's afraid of fire.
    • Harold's charred, skeletal corpse afterwards. His good eye is burnt out of its socket and his mouth is locked in a permanent scream of terrified agony...
  • During the 'Big Trouble in Big Town' quest, you have to go to an abandoned police station that's crawling with Super Mutants. While there, be sure to check out the computers that have records of 911 calls on them. The one with the woman who can see someone moving outside is positively bone-chilling.
    911 Dispatcher: 911, Do you have an emergency?
    Woman: Please help me, I think there is someone outside, I heard a noise and it looks like someone is out there.
    911 Dispatcher: Remain calm. I'm sending a squad car over, may i please have your name and address for confirmation
    Woman: (sound of glass breaking) I think he's in the house now! Please send help oh my god.. I think I hear him!
    911 Dispatcher: Ma'am I've dispatched a squad car it should arrive within minutes try (interrupted)
    Woman: (sounds of a scuffle)
    Man: Sorry for the scare, my wife just (muffled scream) forgot to take her pills this morning. Everything is ok. (long pause) No need for that squad car either. Have a nice day. (hangs up)
    • Which is the worst possibility? That the above is, as we immediately presume it to be, a case of a police force so apathetic that they let a man break into a woman's home to rape and/or murder her because they just don't care? Or that the pre-World War III world of Fallout was so crapsack that there were enough people going mad with paranoia that police considered it honestly worthwhile to just presume stories like "oh, my wife was just imagining things, she forgot her medicine" are true?
      • That's just the recording. There is no evidence to prove that the squad didn't just arrive anyways. By that time, though, the woman could be long dead, kidnapped, or raped.
  • Funny thing, Nuka-Cola Machines (when they make the flickering noise) make the exact same sound as someone slowly walking down a deep, dark subway tunnel towards you, wielding a lead pipe.
  • Near the exit to Tenleytown/Friendshi Station, two radroaches are there. Thing is, they run right past, and their color is non-hostile on the Pip Boy. Every other time radroaches are encountered, they're hostile, and there's nothing there except for dead ghouls, so what were they running from? Ghosts and unholy gods apparently exist in the Fallout universe. What if the roaches sensed some invisible malicious presence?
  • How about Ymir beating that bartender to death when you first walk into Paradise Falls? When you talk to him, he's the most cheerful guy in the game! Then you talk to Jotun and find out that that sort of thing is normal. And the body stays there. Forever.
  • In Fallout 3, every single vault is utterly dripping in Nightmare Fuel. If anything wanted to hit home what a Crapsack World could be and how sinister some organizations can be. The Vaults were essentially the only hope of humanity ever recovering, but were instead constructed as giant social experiments by the government to carry out immoral experiments on live human subjects, with no intention of saving American citizens. Even the control Vaults that worked as they should were for the Enclave to simply see whether humanity could function in a post-apocalyptic world. If you lived in DC you get the choice of being an FEV experiment, brainwashed with white noise, trapped forever, driven insane by hallucinatory atmospheric drugs, murdered by tons of clones or trapped in a virtual world to be killed again and again. If you are lucky enough you will just be trapped forever but have to endure an iron fisted regime ruled by a paranoid overseer who will kill you if you show the slightest sign of threatening the status quo. If a few hundred years later you stumble across any of the others you might be lucky enough not to encounter any of the horribly mutated or insane residents left or whatever might have moved into the rusted and damaged vaults. Even then you will never ever get full closure on what's happened, only getting the slightest hints as to what exactly went on thanks to journal extracts of residents slowly going mad or about to die. You are probably the only one in the wasteland who has any knowledge of how utterly horrifying things were in there. If the first games offer a small glimpse as to the Vaults' true purposes, then Fallout 3 tore the window from the wall and then swung that window at your nuts for added effect.
    • Vault 87 dripped with full-on horror - the twisted experiments, the shopping trolley cages - but still found space for a heartbreaking diary log about a guy who loses his son and then thinks he has gone insane when he hears the children from Little Lamplight playing outside, including the son who he thought was killed in the war.
    • Vault 92, where musicians were secretly Brainwashed by white noise into becoming killing machines.
    • Vault 106. "Breathe deep in the blue. Relax..." Not to mention that whenever the gas affects the Lone Wanderer and the Pipboy's location map is consulted, there's nothing. It's just an arrow in nothingness. Doors that the player was about to go through vanish when the hallucination starts and when they're over the player is in a different place. Any companions vanish until the hallucination stops, but they're still there, wondering what's wrong with their companion, who's running wildly through the halls and fighting invisible enemies, probably saying who-knows-what (if their "brain terminal" entries are anything to go by). Sometimes, though, they are there to fight the hallucination Tunnel Snakes. The gas is probably affecting the companions too. What did they see?
    Gary clone: "Hahaha, Gaarryyyy!"
    • It gets worse down there in Operation: Anchorage DLC, where a certain Dummied Out holotape contains an interrogation log involving Gary 23 moments before he gets killed by having his arm cut off by an unnamed military interrogator in order to obtain the former's Pip-Boy. You can't help but feel bad for the poor bastard.
    Gary 23: "Gary?"
    Interrogator: "Listen, son, I know Morrill was rough on you. I'm sorry, I really am."
    Gary 23 (Confused): "Gary? G-Gary?!"
    Interrogator (Starts losing patience): "Right. You can drop the act, now. I'm not here to hurt you."
    Gary 23 (Scared): *Subtle breathing* "Gary?"
    Interrogator: *Sigh* "Look, just remove the Pip-Boy and we can part ways."
    Gary 23: "Gary? GARY!"
    Interrogator (Furious): "You know what? FUCK THIS! Hand me that saw, and TURN off the recorder!"
    Gary 23 (Getting his arm sawed off): "Ga-AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH-"
    *Recording stops*
  • The only vault in Fallout 3 that isn't downright run down, horrifying, and filled with super creeps is the vault you come out of, Vault 101. But consider the fact that there are all those inaccessible areas, and those radroaches seemed to come from nowhere...
    • ... also, don't forget the lady's poem about how much she hates the Vault.
    • ... and the near totalitarian government used by the Vault.
    • To put it in more detail, the Overseer is terrifying, one man decides to leave, and does. Causing the Overseer to throw a massive tantrum, kill a suspected accomplice, and alert the entire vault to turn against and murder the escapee's son or daughter, who literally had no knowledge of the escape. Even further he approves of torturing his own daughter to force out information that doesn't exist. Plus, the suspected accomplice is the only trained doctor LEFT in the facility. Because yeah.
  • Minor example in Sonora Cruz. Due to the lighting of the Regulators HQ, her face is completely in shadow except for two tiny specs of light reflecting off her eyes. The effect is rather unnerving.
  • The broadcast towers scattered across the Wasteland can be this as well. Most of them are transmitting a simple message in Morse Code, first sent in the time just after the Great War by survivors holed up underground, but now transmitting on an endless loop ("Hello, hello, this is Echo Foxtrot, are you there? Are you there?" repeated over and over) even after the messages' originators have long since died. Despite this, it feels like a mercy to them to just switch off their transmission once and for all.
  • Did everybody notice those little skeletons at Springvale School, behind some iron gates?
    • Not to mention the bloody handprints on the surrounding walls.
  • The ant queens in Marigold Metro Station and in New Vegas are very prone to glitching through walls. Imagine this acid-spitting, oversized abomination with its tiny wings and bloated eggsack popping up from out of nowhere and into your face. A panic quit and long, throughout scrubbing in the shower is the only known cure.
  • Everything about the Enclave is absolutely terrifying. Raiders, mercs, mutants? Sure, they're dangerous but you'll have your big iron handy when they come around because you KNOW they're a threat. The Enclave is different. It's easy to write Nathan Vargas off as a crazy old man for supporting the Enclave so strongly. But when you live in the Crapsack World that is the Capitol Wasteland, messages of peace and freedom can sound pretty enticing. Then they start promising everybody in the wasteland pure water which will actually wipe out the entire population in an act of genocide.

    The Pitt DLC 
  • Trogs. Skinless mounds of blood and muscle constantly ravenous for flesh, completely aware of their situation and by the time you show up, they're in SO much pain that they're BEGGING you to put them out of their misery! Have the subtitles on, and sometimes when you kill one, their final gurglings will be translated as: "Thank you."
  • The Steelyard in The Pitt. Especially that slave in the stockades...
  • There's a bit in the Supply Plant in the Pitt Steelyard where you hear gunshots as you turn a corner. You're at the beginning of a long hallway full of overturned mine carts, and one has a dead Raider in it and is surrounded by dead Trogs. Creepy? Sure, but pretty much par for the course so far. Then a bit further on, you come across the same scenario — dead Raider in a mine cart, dead Trogs all around. How repetitive, you think as you move forward and look down to search the bodies for some loot... then you look up and see that three Trog Brutes have jumped out from behind the mine cart to say hello. Except hello actually comes out as "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE!!!"
  • In the Supply Plant, there's a closet with a couple of Ingots, a skeleton and a terminal. The terminal spells out a story written by a manager that had to replace his workers with machines (The ones you see walking around the plant). Naturally, the workers were unhappy with that, so they revolt. They try to kill the manager, so he locks himself in the closet. The robots arrive during the chaos. The workers decide to rough the robots up a bit, and that... doesn't go well. The manager writes that all he heard through the night were the sounds of laser fires, screaming and workers begging to open the door. His last entry states that replacing man with machines is always a bad idea. When you log off the terminal, you hear the distant sound of metal clanging slowly approaching. A Protectatron walks by, looks in the closet and simply says MOVE ALONG, PLEASE.

    Point Lookout DLC 
  • The small army of inbred swampfolk that basically worship Cthulhu. The Hills Have Eyes, anyone? If you ever see one or two just looking in your direction and doing nothing else, pay attention. Two more are right behind you.
    • Even worse if you play as a woman; it's probably Gameplay and Story Segregation at work, but there are no female swampfolk. So where do they get more from? That they sometimes sound terribly gleeful about finding you doesn't help...
    • They also don't...move quite right. Their legs don't bend the right way at the knees, at all.
  • The hallucination in the sacred bog. They're even more freakish than the entire sum of all of Eternal Darkness hallucinations.
    • The Schmault-Tec Bobbleheads aren't scary in and of themselves, but they shine a new light and poke fun at the ways the Lone Wanderer must suffer. They mock you, and it's basically your subconscious telling how much being you sucks. The Luck one, the worst of the bunch, tells you that no matter how lucky you can be now, you were already born cursed - to a dying mother and a near-suicidal father in a scarred and ravaged world.
  • Point Lookout itself is almost STALKER meets Resident Evil 4 meets the Shivering Isles from Oblivion.
  • The plot of one side quest is disturbing, to say at least, and involves stealing an occult tome from the swampfolk. To elaborate: you can give it to an old man in a ruined plantation. He promptly retires to his basement, filled nearly to the roof with corpses. Or, you can try to give it to some kind of missionary, only to find her dead, with the word "thief" scrawled in her blood on the wall. Her last words tell you to bring the tome back to the Dunwich Building, whose nightmares are already detailed above. At the conclusion to this quest, the entire room catches on fire.
  • In case you weren't stressed enough, know that the whole place is also bloody Nintendo Hard. That right, even a level 30 perfect character with the Uber enclave Hellfire power armor and the A3-21 plasma rifle will suffer, as in will die a lot if not very careful. Swampfolk and tribals compete with each other for the title of Worst Demonic Spider, and to top it all, if you have also Broken Steel, there will be Feral Ghoul Reavers. You just can't feel safe in Point Lookout, ever...
  • Try going back to the St. Aubin Medical Facility (Underground Lab) after the main Point Lookout quest. This is already after seeing dozens of abandoned mines, POW camps, and serial-killer crime scenes across the swamp.
  • The fighter jet crash site. All those skeletons... with axes jammed into them... There's just enough information to let your imagination run wild thinking about the gruesome fates of the plane's crew.
  • Tobar's brain room. Especially when you realize he had a scalpel, bonesaw, surgical tubing, and tweezers in his shop from the FIRST SECOND you meet him.
  • Turtledove detention camp. Depressing surroundings, 200-year-old robots guarding the place, swampfolk and feral ghoul infestation aside, it has a morgue where POWs are taken in, tortured while kept alive by stimpaks, and when they finally die, have their bodies either cremated or jammed into a wall of remains lockers. This all happened 200 years ago. As part of a quest you have to open one of these lockers to retrieve something, and you find a skeleton of a Chinese spy whose picture you've seen on posters all over the place. To see a worn-down skeleton of that person, 200 years later, is rather disturbing. The most sobering part of this camp is that it's likely that similar camps were built during wartime in real life, and people really were taken into these places, tortured and unceremoniously cremated or stashed away into lockers in walls, to be forgotten. Eerily, the in-game example is still scarier because it's all 200 years ago.
    • Speaking of the dead Chinese spy, there's a side quest wherein you to follow said spy's footsteps and "complete" the mission his superiors gave him 200 years ago. Over the course of it, you learn bits and pieces of how life was in Pre-War China, which is even worse if the references to food lotteries and sparing relatives from persecution are any indication. By the time you reach the long-abandoned safehouse however, the bunker it's in tries to kill you. That spy, it turned out was a dead man the moment he left China, and all for a mission that was ultimately pointless.
  • Room 1K at the Homestead Hotel certainly qualifies. A room filled with bloody carnage. The bodies have all rotted down to skeletons, but its pretty easy to imagine what the room looked like when the bodies were still fresh. Whats worse is the mask you find in the bathroom, implying that this was the work of the Pint-sized Slasher; The fact that the room was never cleaned up implies that the slasher did all this after the bombs fell, that he/she was never caught. It's quite possible that we'll find more of the Slasher's handiwork in Fallout 4...note 

    Mothership Zeta DLC 
  • The Abominations. They're like Ghouls IN SPACE!, but with a creepier shout (if that can be believed), and they charge at you with a look of glee on their somewhat human faces.
    • If you do a little real-world research, you find out that their screams (and habit of pointing at you before charging) are a Shout-Out to the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This does not make them any less creepy. At all.
  • The alien captive recordings in Mothership Zeta.
    • Before you actually see anything scary, you hear recordings, including sobbing from a little girl who just wants to go home, a woman describing seeing a human body that looked like it had been butchered, and screams from people who are being dismembered and turned into abominations. And they've been doing this for centuries!
    • It gets worse. One of the recordings is of a woman whose husband had also been abducted... and turned into an abomination. The recording is of them meeting afterwards. It doesn't end well.
    • How about the guy who woke up to find his limbs had been amputated? Worse when you remember it starts with him being hit with "something".
    Oh man...what did you...why can't I feel my arms...wait...are those...are those my arms? What did you do?! Oh god! Put them back! PUT THEM BACK ON!
  • Seeing the Alien Workers—unarmed, implied to be civilians—just cowering on the floor, whimpering like wounded animals when they see you, can be unsettling.
    • Some of the Abominations thank you after killing them. Like they were begging to die...
  • In a rare case of equal parts ridiculous and paranoia-inducing, the aliens have this strange obsession with a robotic toy horse, Giddyup Buttercup. It all seems like some weird, harmless obsession. Then you come across a room where five people evidently died bloody deaths and one of the toys just standing in the middle of it, unmoving. With glowing red eyes. This is just one of a hundred and nine on the ship. Ultimately, the alien's reason for their fascination with them is never explained.
  • Last but not least... the greatest nightmare fuel of all the one that puts everything to shame IS YOU! You, the Lone Wanderer and survivors now have control of a weapon that puts the Enclave to SHAME! You have a laser so powerful that the crater it makes if fired can be seen from SPACE. You are now the greatest threat humanity has faced since the apocalypse.
    • ...Or you would be if you didn't disable that powerful laser. Sure, you do use another laser weapon against the second Mothership, but it's probably not as strong as the Death Ray. On the other hand, though, that Death Ray must've caused a lot of deaths in the place it hit (which was apparently Ontario, Canada). And that's not even going into wherever the second Mothership's wreckage went down.
    • You wouldn't even need the Death Ray. Imagine what a Wanderer of Evil!Karma who sympathizes with the Enclave could do now that he/she has possession of a friggin' alien spacecraft!!


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