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Nightmare Fuel / Fallout 76

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  • Fallout 76 has a whole army of terrifying new monsters to haunt your dreams:
    • The Scorched: semi-feral ghoul-like victims of a dangerous plague that has driven them to insanity. They combine the zombie-like horror of feral ghouls with enough intelligence and presence of mind to use weapons.
    • Honey Beasts: Enormous, bear-sized honeybee queens whose abdomens have been bloated and distorted into tumorous-looking organic hives for their larvae. They're so disfigured their wings are useless, forcing them to scuttle after you, but they are fast, and their smaller, winged progeny pours out of the holes in their abdomen to swarm anything that gets close. Not that the queen herself is helpless, as she has an enormous set of mandibles ready to rip you apart.
    • Snallygasters: Man-sized, elongated reptilian abominations that scuttle after you, baring a mouth full of distorted fangs and lashing out with a barbed cudgel-like tongue. They combine Eyeless Face with Eyes Do Not Belong There, have no eyes on their head but over two dozen eyes scattered around their backs. Worse still? A Snallygaster Was Once a Man: you can find a terminal in the Advanced Mutations Lab of West-Tek that reveals Snallygasters are the result of human test subjects being exposed to a particular strain of the Forced Evolutionary Virus.
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    • Mole Miners: Disfigured, insane, Mole Men-like humans wearing ominous robes and creepy gasmasks. They seem to have been people who sought refuge from the bombs in the mines, only to somehow be genetically spliced with that most ubiquitous of Fallout enemies, the Mole Rat, by either of the two .
    • The most famous West Virginian cryptid, the Mothman, makes appearances throughout the game, silently stalking the players, resembling an enormous, hooded, insectoid creature wreathed in shadows and with two huge glowing eyes. Sometimes they'll attack the player, making skull-popping screams that sound eerily like the cry of a death's head moth. Other times... they'll just sit there. Watching you.
    • Mega Sloths: Former tree sloths that have been mutated into the semblance of their prehistoric ground sloth ancestor; towering ground-prowling beasts with enormous claws. This sloth is also surprisingly quick, and seems to actively enjoy eating meat, given the trailer displayed it attacking humans.
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    • Mk2 Liberators: Imagine the turrets from Portal, only without the childish voices and with the ability of mechanical spider legs to let them crawl after you. Give them a central energy blaster instead of machine guns, and a head-mounted propeller for hovering or jumping attacks, and you got the Liberators. Worse, they're a Chinese warbot, and it turns out that the Mama Dolces food factory is a cover for a factory to produce these things as part of a Chinese invasion.
    • Radtoads: Man-sized, multi-eyed, fang-mouthed frogs, whose backs are covered in tumor-like eggs which they can kick at you as a biological weapon.
    • The Grafton Monster: A creature that looks more like something out of a Silent Hill game, a twisted mass of flesh in the rough shape of a biped that walks around on its knuckles, with its right arm comparatively slender and its left massively overdeveloped, and no visible head. Oh, but it gets worse: like the Snallygaster, the Grafton Monster is another human test subject from West-Tek. So every Grafton Monster you meet? Was Once a Man.
    • Wendigos: Mutant humanoids that look like an irradiated version of Gollum. They move like greased lightning and attack with long, jagged claws. Worse, like their mythological inspiration, they seem to have mutated from people who committed cannibalism... and it's not clear if the cause was radiation, FEV, or something altogether more supernatural...
    • Scorchbeasts: The Fallout equivalent to a dragon, being essentially a bat version of the Deathclaw, complete with flight and a sonic blast scream. This would be terrifying enough, but they're also the source of the Scorched Plague, and directly responsible for depopulating Appalachia.
  • Throughout the first part of the game, you're likely to come across petrified corpses: people caught mid-action as charred radioactive statues like the people of Pompeii. When you first see them, you might not think too much of it, maybe assuming they're people who got caught in a bomb during the Great War. Then you start finding more of them ... and find them in or on structures that were built after the bombs dropped ... and some that are clearly fairly recent ... and that's when you realize: these petrified people aren't the result of a nuclear bomb, but something much worse...
    • And what's worse? Why, it's actually an infectious disease — or, rather, a fungus that slowly invades a victim's body, transforming them into ghoul-like monsters, and ultimately consumes them, leaving behind the petrified-looking, radioactive statue of fungus. Ready to start the cycle over. This "Scorched Plague" is so horrible that you find a tape from the Vault 76 Overseer instructing you to find a nuclear missile silo and burn the central site of the Scorched to the ground to contain the disease.
    • There's also the fact that wherever there are statues, there are scorched, and there's a good chance the player character might end up overlooking them thinking they are statues only to get attacked.
  • Whilst the "A Personal Moment" quest is mostly a Tear Jerker, there's one horrible thing you find in the second last tape: the Vault 76 Overseer knew about Vault-Tec's plans for experimenting in many of the Vaults, she had the chance to reveal it to the news media... and she covered it up, because she genuinely believed that it was legitimately for the greater good.
  • In the Enclave bunker you meet MODUS the super computer, who combines the worst parts of President Eden, Mr House and possibly The Calculator. You activate a console and MODUS's avatar, a guy who could be best described as a younger Hugo Strange starts talking about how he and the human resident of the bunker had "conflicts of vision" about how to run things which apparently led to Modus killing them all and how you could help him set things right, all the while the lights in the big room behind the console start to turn on revealing the MODUS mainframe itself. Then there's the part where MODUS mentions that he suffered damage to his systems that "disfigured his shining personality" which causes the avatar to briefly give you The Un-Smile before changing back. So basically the Enclave Questline has you rebuilding the Enclave for THAT guy... Wonder how that will turn out.
  • Vault-Tec University is exactly as bad as you expect, with tips for overseers regarding cannibalism, Medical Horror, and child labor in the Vaults and a simulated test Vault in the basement where the simulation led to a total loss of life. You know, typical Vault-Tec. What stands out however is the headmaster's terminal which reveals that the failure of the Vault simulation was actually the headmaster's fault, not the overseer's. The overseer only wanted to test his awful tasting but apparently harmless gruel as a substitute for normal Vault food, the headmaster decided to see what would happen if he poisoned the gruel and left the simulation Vault with insufficient normal food For Science! leading to the students either dying from the poison or starving and the overseer committing suicide. Even by Vault-Tec standards, that's messed up.
  • The holotapes you can find include some genuinely unsettling stories, revealing all manner of horrific or tragic events that took place after the bombs dropped... or before.
  • The holotape series Tales from the West Virginia Hills is going for this, as it's a series of radio dramas based around stories of West Virginian cryptids, and it more than succeeds.
    • "Who Goes There?" tells the story of a young camper named Fred who's abducted by aliens and meets a little girl named Sally... who's got some kind of mind-control device bolted to her head. Then the Zetans turn the device on, and we hear Fred struggling against Sally as she ominously mutters "Time... to... play..." over and over. The narrator describes how Fred lived through whatever the Zetans did to him (which involved putting puncture wounds in his temples), which softens the blow somewhat.
    • "The Beast of Grafton" tells about a couple who hit the Grafton Monster in the road, and try to flee for shelter... only the home they wind up at turns out to be the lair of a Mad Scientist who is making Grafton Monsters by experimenting on human test subjects, who proceeds to capture the teens and turn them into more Grafton Monsters. This may be even worse because it's unwitting Truth in Television in-universe; the Grafton Monster is real, and there are Mad Scientists turning humans into them: they work for West-Tek.
    • "The Mothman Cometh" is about a trio of little kids who climb up to a dangerous railroad bridge, and spot the Mothman — just as the train comes running up the track. The little girl who is telling the story says that the Mothman saved them... and then, after going downstairs, the adults grimly reveal that the Mothman saved her — but it dismembered the boys and left their corpses dangling from trees. And then the Mothman breaks into the little girl's room, screaming horribly; by the time the adults get there, the girl and the Mothman are gone, leaving behind only a broken window and the girl's Miss Nanny, with the Mothman having dismembered the servitor robot.
    • "Sideshow Snallygaster" ends with the carnival ringleader feeding two innocent kids to the snallygaster to cover up the fact that his negligence allowed it to kill at least one man, after which the carnival packs up and heads for new ground, so nobody will ever find out the truth.
    • "Curse of the Wendigo" opens with the Adult Fear of Corrupt Corporate Executive Richard Moore causing a deadly nuclear leak at his power plant through willingness to put profit over health and safety. It ends with the hideously mutated Moore attacking and implicitly eating his own son.
  • Nuka Cola continues to show their true colors in this game, one-upping the utter amorality seen in Nuka World with the notes regarding the product testing in the bottling for four different variants (though, in typical Fallout fashion, it softens the blow by hiding each one behind an adorable animal code-name):
    • Project Sea Lion (Quantum): project notes comment on replacing Strontium-90 with Strontium-85 as it is cheaper to synthesize Sr-85.
      • Some quick reading shows that Strontium-90 is a major product of nuclear weapons fallout and industrial waste, where Strontium-85 is perfectly harmless and often used in medical tracer fluid. Nuka weren't concerned that it was less harmful, only that it was cheaper to make.
    • Project Walrus (Black): a previously unseen coffee-based variant; the project notes state they are replacing the coffee base with Dextromethamphetamine.
    • Project Fur Seal (Orange): uses pear brandy as flavor base...while cutting the intense aftertaste with arsenic
    • Project Angry Beaver (Quartz): to simulate the Quartz effects without causing intense cavities in their customers, they added non-soluble sugar to simulate the beverage's resemblance to quartz. note 
  • The Ash Heap in general is a vision of hell on earth. Smoke pours from numerous abandoned automatic industrial and mining installations that have been left running for years, polluting the surrounding area and blotting out the sky to the point where players are highly recommended to wear gas-masks to avoid lung disease. Add to that the dozen-or-so underground coal mines that have been burning away for god knows how long, creating huge glowing fissures and constant fires and you have a downright frightening area to explore.
    • As part of the Main Quest, the player is told to join the Fire Breathers division of the Responders. The final test involves going into the Belching Betty mine and hitting the emergency switch at the end. Immediately upon entering its apparent something is just wrong with the place. The door is gaping open with several petrified people, a thick flame like cloud hangs in the air, and the terminal next to the door flat out states not to enter because the Scorched were such a problem that the Fire Breathers gave up using this spot, and thus the area is abandoned. After going ahead a bit and fighting some Scorched, you find the bodies of some Fire Breathers, and a holotape. Turns out they were all recruits who were trying to join, but the group slowly begins to fall apart. They lose a person quickly, and this causes the group to argue about what they should do, complete with one member just jumping ship, and the others continuing. By the time you reach the end point, you have gathered two more holotapes, and its apparent the group reached the alarm button the player is needing to reach, and they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of Sorchched in the mines. Combined with the atmosphere, and you have a hellish location and series of events.
    • The town of Welch in particular is covered in signs of a riot gone horribly out of hand. Dozens of robots are strung up from huge improvised barricades and covered in slogans calling for the blood of mining giants Hornwright and Garrahan. And wandering the town are military-grade robots including Mr. Gutsys and Assaultrons that will open fire on sight.
      • Oh and lest we forget poor Garrahan, who worked day night to keep the jobs of her employees secure in the face of rising automation, only for the rioters to turn against her when her big plan failed (Thanks to industrial sabotage by rival and automation advocate Hornwright.) resulting in death threats and groups throwing bricks at her home.
  • The newest patch adds a new cryptid called the Sheepsquatch, a Krampus like monster evolved from the common sheep.
  • Unlike the cheesy Halloween masks you equip the Fasnacht masks have a creepy Uncanny Valley look to them.
  • One of the new drinks you can craft is a radiation immunity granting Gargle Blaster brewed from Nuclear Material and Lead.
  • The existence of Ultracite, a mysterious radioactive crystal that was being discovered in Appalachia prior to the bombs dropping. It was a new form of super-fissile material, so powerfully radioactive it could literally transform ordinary pre-bombs creatures into their Fallout-era mutant selves as a person watched. Atomic Mining Services, the biggest mining company in Appalachia, was desperate to seize control over all stocks of Ultracite — the deadly riots in Welch were provoked by their discovery of an ultracite vein beneath the town, which caused them to try and forcibly evict the entire population. They were so desperate to secure a fat military contract that they filled their headquarters with lethal defenses, resulting in the deaths of many of their own staff, and began conducting biological experiments on exposing animals to ultracite.
    • Oh, and it gets worse: ultracite is somehow connected to the Scorched Plague. Those green crystals you see growing out of the Scorched? Ultracite crystals. The fungus crystallizes into this radioactive mineral as it ages — which is why standing too close to a crumbled "petrified statue" gives you rads.
    • Curious as to why ultracite munitions and lasers are so effective against scorched creatures? Ultracite and depleted ultracite react like matter and anti-matter when exposed, resulting in both substances melting down into a highly caustic glop. When you shoot a scorched creature with a depleted ultracite weapon? You're basically causing them to start melting down from the inside out.
  • If you explore the Enclave bunker, you'll find out just how crazy and evil the Enclave were even before the bombs dropped. One of the files in the brig? Is an audio file of Enclave guards massacring all non-Enclave governmental figures who made it to the safety of the bunker.
  • Exploring the Enclave bunker will tell you the tale of Thomas Eckhardt. The last sitting president of the United States of America. AKA: the man who destroyed Appalachia. An Enclave member and a psychotic who was absolutely obsessed with the War on Communism, Eckhardt meticulously sabotaged the early warning system to place himself into utter power over MODUS, cutting off communication with the other Enclave bunkers at the Poseidon Oil Rig and Raven's Rock, and deleting almost all of the government figures assigned to the Appalachia bunker who'd outrank him from the early warning system, so they were never warned. The one exception, the Secretary of the Treasury, mysteriously succumbed to radiation sickness. Eckhardt wasted no time in seizing command and declaring that they were going to continue the war against the Communists, despite the annihilation of the USA. He did this by claiming they were going to vote on whether or not to renew the attack... and then having the dissidents gathered into a sealed room and executed with a poisonous gas grenade. This cut the entire population of the bunker down to a mere 48 souls — but the madman was in no way dismayed. He seized control of the Liberator robotics factory hidden under Mama Dolces, as well as the bio-organic weapons research left behind at West-Tek. Bolstered by a squad of vengeful soldiers who managed to fight their way from the Capital Wasteland to Appalachia, he began turning various killer robots and monsters on Appalachia's survivors to raise the automated DEFCON level so he could take control of the nuclear silos to commence a secondary barrage of China — which included creating the Scorchbeasts and unleashing the Scorched Plague on Appalachia, which directly exterminated every last survivor in the state. Even his replacement general, who had originally stayed on despite learning the truth from the recordings, ultimately turned on him in disgust at his fanaticism — for which he sedated her and kept her imprisoned, planning to use her control over the nukes against her will. But her men rebelled against Eckhardt's mad schemes and tried to overthrow him; in the chaos,MODUS was damaged, and this somehow enabled it to rebel against Enclave control; it flooded the bunker with a deadly chemical weapon and killed everybody in it. Their rotted corpses are now stuffed into a series of dumpsters sitting outside of the bunker's service entrance. All that death, the annihilation of the remnants of human civilization in this region... all for one madman's obsessions, and all for nothing.
  • Point Pleasant is likely one of the first towns players will visit since it's just a short distance from the vault along the edge of the Ohio river. However, despite it being one of the earliest locations in the game it manages to overshadow some of the horrors the Resident is destined to encounter in later parts of the map at locations like the Ash Heap and The Mire. The town seems pretty mundane at first, just some low level Scortched, a wrecked Responder outpost, a Mothman statue surrounded by dozens of eggs and... a Mothman Museum? Seems a bit creepy, but it's just a small tourist trap filled with junk, right? It likely is... on your first visit, during which you'll notice a locked room you probably can't enter just yet. Oh well, you head back out and forget about the place. Then, several levels later after you've leveled up a good bit and explored most of the world you decide to head back on a whim and check out that locked door. Inside is a small room and a stairway leading into a small basement of sorts. This isn't just some storage closet though, it's some kind of twisted church built by the cult of the Mothman. Here the player will find some extra junk along with a creepy set of Mothman cultist robes. Not much detail is given, but the group apparently left behind a few notes detailing their fanatical devotion to West Virginia's most famous cryptid and the dark rituals they engaged in to summon it... which are dated around the same time as the bombs fell. Given the lore that the Mothmand is a herald of disaster, ruin and death this puts not just the Appalachian wasteland and the Scorched plague, but possibly the entire series in a darker light. Did the Mothman cause the end of the world or did it merely predict it? Did the cult successfully summon it into our reality from another plane of existence or are they merely the result of years of mutation and fallout? Do they truly have any connection to the end of the world or is the whole scenario one big unfortunate coincidence? The lack of answers to these questions may be even scarier than finding out what the truth is...
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