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Nightmare Fuel / Fallout: New Vegas

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Don't worry, I won't have you lashed to a cross like the rest of these degenerates. It's useful that you happened by.

I want you to witness the fate of the town of Nipton, to memorize every detail. And then, when you move on?

I want you to teach everyone you meet the lesson that Caesar's Legion taught here, especially any NCR troops you run across.

-Vulpes Inculta to the Courier, should you reach the ruins of the town of Nipton.

Although civilization has been rebuilt in the Mojave, the world is still a post-apocalyptic hellscape, so expect dangers and horrifying moments that will keep you up...

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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  • The Courier themselves; even if your karma meter is pointed at very good, you might have slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of people/animals, destroyed whole armies and flattened tribes at the near end of the game. It's no wonder why the Powder Gangers call you their "Grim-fucking-Reaper" after you save a town from their attack.
  • Meeting Mr. House. Like President Eden, he's seemingly a computer, but claims that being so is merely his only way of prolonging his original existence as a human. But despite his claims of humanity, his monitor displays a face, and it never changes. It's stuck in one neutral pose, and it reeks of the Uncanny Valley.
    • His original design was even creepier.
    • And then, if you hack his terminals, you find his true, shriveled, barely alive form. And just to drive the point home, the game classifies him as an Abomination instead of a human.
    • And so does his home, the Lucky 38 Casino. From outside, it's lit up, and can be seen for miles. When you get in, you find a place that's squeaky clean, uncharacteristically intact for the wasteland, and horrifically barren and silent, especially considering what a casino usually is like. And this isn't even because of the usual reason buildings are empty in Fallout, as New Vegas is packed with people. You know, without anyone telling you, that no soul has stepped in for over two hundred years. Mr. House just doesn't trust any humans, and so the only other things in his casino are his trigger-happy robot guards.
    • In Lonesome Road, Ulysses will imply that siding with House will likely end with "Your face on a robot's screen".
  • Some find Yes-Man a little unsettling in all his... over-enthusiasm. "Easy Peasy!" is funny right up until you realize you're alone with a Psychopathic Manchild. Being a securitron, he's also one glitch away from grinding you into paste.
    • He's disturbing from the first moment. You hunt Benny to the 13th floor of his hotel, barely armed, and search his suite to find no one there. Instead, there's a hole in the wall, opening into a very different room, and something is smiling at you. A hulking security robot with a big cartoon grin on its chest-mounted TV face. Then he casually offers suggestions about exterminating entire groups of people like the Great Khans ("they're dirty people") and murdering Mr. House. He'll hurl General Oliver screaming from Hoover Dam, if you like. Oh, and then at the end, he says he's upgrading himself to be more assertive. You might feel bad for him, for being a sentient being who's mentally compelled to betray his creator and to tell you your actions are wonderful no matter how many people you kill. But then, when he comes back online, who will really be in charge of that army of rocket-launcher robots? And what does Yes-Man want? Although Word of God has stated that all he wants to do is serve the Courier, and indeed makes sure he can only serve the Courier in the Independent ending.
  • The White Glove Society, and their casino, the Ultra-Luxe. They're dedicated to being the utmost elegant, luxurious, and sophisticated organization in the Wasteland. But their masks are creepy, and almost every White Glove wears one, complete with a voice changer. According to them, it's to form a mysterious atmosphere, but many characters just say they're creepy. Making things weirder, they were also cannibals before Mr. House came along, and some of them still are. You get to hear stories about people who've gone missing over the past few months, such as a bride a day or two before her wedding. Unless you have a high stealth level, you won't have a gun to save yourself with if they suspect you're onto them. Their weapon of choice is a loaded cane; somewhat unsettling when you compare their methods to everyone else. To top things off, the Ultra-Luxe is almost futuristic in design, making it feel totally alien in the Mojave.
    • The kitchen and basement area of the Ultra-Luxe, in contrast with the rest of the casino at least, feels a bit too much like a Torture Cellar as you walk through it trying to prevent someone from being eaten. Granted, it's basically just an industrial kitchen, but in context, it still feels creepy. Oh, and if they're short a main course, you can sell them one of your companions.
  • When reaching the second floor of REPCONN headquarters, there is a security poster with two huge accusing, staring eyes. If the player happens to be in first person when reaching the second floor, it can be very unsettling and startling.
  • The background music track "Metallic Monks" from Fallout. It has an air raid siren that increases in volume. A dog pipes in with a frightened yelp. The siren gradually fades and march-tempo drums pick up, interspersed with what sounds like a frantic Morse transmission. It gives off a chilling feeling. The bombs are striking points all over the world and it's too late to run.
    • It's likely you'll first notice it playing at night time in Freeside. This song, which is pretty much an audio flashback to when the bombs fell, hammer in how much civilization has suffered from nuclear war when paired up with Freeside's violent streets.
  • Clanden in Gomorrah, and his Snuff Tapes. These tapes contain horrific scenes of murder and violence that the player thankfully never sees. According to the narration, the Courier supposedly hears Clanden engaging in violent sex with women, and then hears the sounds of visceral and violent murder being carried out. Confront him about it? He maintains his normal demeanor while threatening you:
    Courier (paraphrased): I think the Gomorrah bosses would be interested in hearing these tapes.
    Clanden: I think I should kill you before you have a chance to show those tapes to anyone. What do I have to lose?
    Courier: I'll keep the tapes, but you leave Gomorrah and never come back.
    Clanden: Fuck it, I was getting tired of this place anyway. I can find girls to play with somewhere else.
    • If it makes you feel any better, you can kill Clanden at any point in the quest that leads you to him, and the game won't punish you for it. Walk in and shoot him without even talking? Cachino doesn't care. Have the bare minimum conversation with him and then report back to Cachino? He tells you to go back and cap the bastard. Blackmail him with the tapes and tell him to leave and never come back? Perfect opportunity for a bullet in the back of the head; Cachino doesn't care. In fact, Clanden is so evil killing him gives you good Karma.
    • Speaking of Cachino, the sidequest involving Joana reveals he's brutally beaten and raped her several times. And this is the guy you have to work with for the good outcome when dealing with the Omertas, making him the Token Good Teammate by default. Really, the only way to feel clean afterwards is to help him wipe out the Omerta bosses, then with your alliance now over, wait until his back is turned before putting two bullets in the back of his head.
  • In and around Camp Searchlight, you can listen to the song "City of the Dead" (the theme to Necropolis in Fallout) and sometimes you can hear ghastly wails interspersed with the music. There's also a loud droning noise that possibly simulates an emergency siren. Add metallic screeching sounds and it's one disturbing track.
  • In Vault 22, there is another unsettling track (The Vault of the Future) that features steam hissing and metal clanking, while an eerie metallic tone plays. Then deep, mumbling voices and hissed whispers become audible. It's also possible for a keen ear to hear computer keys clacking. It isn't just an ambient track. It's an echo of what the Vault used to be like: methodical, garbled talk of the past Vault scientists running a test that would spell doom for Vault 22. At the very end of the track, there's an odd creaking noise, like something swinging from a rafter. The track is almost as bad as the infernal whispering in the Virulent Underchambers from Fallout 3, and reminiscent of a track from Super Paper Mario called "River Twygz Bed".
  • Check out Mick & Ralph's more closely. Everything is normal until you go upstairs where there's strange meat in the refrigerator (later removed in a patch). Those familiar with the Fallout series will know what strange meat is, but maybe Mick and Ralph didn't. Maybe they just ended up buying it from someone without knowing what it was. Then you look in the oven and found a strange meat pie...
    • In fact, one of the nearby NPCs mentions that someone not too long ago sold people in the town the meat; he even explicitly mentions that it made people sick in a way that only human meat would, but nobody believed him when he said so. Then the guy died and someone else moved into his place... and found a whole lot of human remains in the crawlspace.
    • It'd certainly explain why Mick & Ralph's contains that hidden room where they now keep their special inventory. If they bought the place from the cannibals, what was that room previously used for?
    • Speaking about that, go to Sloan, inside the Mess Hall and look what Jas had made for workers. Rat meat, fresh vegetables, strange meat pies...
  • Try walking around Freeside for a while. Occasionally, you'll hear the loud terrified scream of someone being attacked.
    • It's worse than that. You can hear the sound and try running towards it to kill a thug... only to find no one there. Especially for good players. There's that aching feeling that, even after saving countless lives, there was one you could never help...
  • The Broc Flower Cave. Just imagine this: You're wandering through the Wasteland, minding your own business, when you come across a cave named after a flower. "This cave should be easy," you think to yourself, "After all, it's named after a flower!" Nope. The only enemies are giant rats, which sound easy right up until you fight them. They have a powerful attack, move very fast and are hard to hit, and there are dozens in the cave. Especially when you're up on a ledge and the rats below spot you, and they run off trying to find a way to get up to you. You can't see them anymore, but you know they're coming.
    • Now imagine this: you've beaten the game once, and decide to take the Wild Wasteland trait for a second playthrough. You find the cave again. Remembering you found the incredibly-useful Ratslayer in that cave, you decide to pop in again to grab it for this playthrough. The giant rats are now even bigger.
  • Ranger Station Charlie. A normal NCR outpost at first, but when you enter after Ranger Andy asks you to check on it, you see that everyone inside is dead and the bodies are rigged with mines. On and under a desk in the entrance room are two audio logs, the first of which is an NCR ranger reporting that a raider attack has been thwarted with no casualties and saying a patrol has returned. The second is a message from the Legion to whoever finds the station.
    Legionnaire: This is a message to the NCR from the Legion. We are coming for you. Run, and we will catch you. Hide, and we will find you. No matter what you do, you are all going to die. We took one of the women alive.
  • The Big Bad of the game, Caesar's Legion, is introduced in the most horrifying way imaginable. The player is asked to investigate a town that has lost contact with the outside world, and has started to billow smoke. Upon arrival, everything is surprisingly quiet, and then one man runs out acting happy as can be, loudly boasting that he won the lottery, and seemingly too crazy with laughter to explain any further. Then you enter the town the way the guy left, and start to see that every other person in town has been crucified, and then you learn the "lottery" allowed that man to go free. A closer investigation reveals the mayor was burned on a pile of tires, some people got enslaved, some got decapitated for a quick death, and the runner-up got his legs crippled but was left alive and free. After you arrive, the loathsome bastards who committed this atrocity just... saunter off as you arrive, leaving you alone amidst the ruins, the crucified bodies, the burning...
    • The worst part about this? Have a look around Nipton. You'll find that for all of Vulpes' talk about how Nipton was a wicked, sinful place that was planning to sell out everyone in the town for a pittance... it turns out it was true.
    • Crucifixion has, of course, been real-life Nightmare Fuel for the last 2,500 years, but the Legion's resourcefulness somehow makes it even more horrible - they use cut-down utility poles. This may serve to remind the player how easily a mundane object may be converted to an instrument of death, and that millions of these things line the highways. The Legion will never run out. It's also a Shout-Out to The Stand, where one society crucifies people in the same way.
    • Although not really the worst part, the hardest part about this is you encounter this event early in the game. Early as in, still pretty low level. After the talk with Vulpes, there's nothing stopping you from killing him and all of the others to avenge the town - unfortunately, you know that would be a bad idea, as they would very easily wipe the floor with your low-level ass. There's nothing you can do except watch them walk away, unless you're willing to deal with Legion assassins if you do kill them (which, since Vulpes and company scale with your level, is possible to pull off) and a far more difficult journey to Novac.
    • One thing that can make this event even more creepy is if you decide to show up in NCR armor, because hey, it's good early game gear that can be scavenged from a number of possible sources. Except that wearing it makes Vulpes and his whole crew instantly hostile. So you walk into this horror show, having no idea what's going on, seeing all these corpses, and then out of nowhere you have a small army of Legion killers pouring out of the woodwork trying to kill you...
    • Legate Lanius. You hear several nasty stories about him being a violent brute who's difficult to kill during the game and you know you’ll meet him sooner or later. When you finally meet him, he’s actually very intelligent, which makes him even more scary and dangerous.
    • In Cottonwood Cove, you can come across a family wearing bomb collars inside of a pen. The mother desperately pleads with you to help them. While this is more of a Tear Jerker, the nightmare fuel kicks in during one of the possible outcomes to this quest: you can attempt to disarm the bomb collars, but if your explosives skill isn't high enough, the collars go off. It's made all the worse by the mother screaming in horror that you're doing it wrong, before her head splatters all over the place.
  • In addition to the back-breaking labour and implied rape, Silas, one of the Legion's centurions, has managed to add a personal touch to Legion's cruelty. His collars are fitted to slaves just tight enough not to choke them, but will also force them to spend their lives in horrific pain and discomfort.
    • After you confront Benny at The Tops casino, Vulpes will greet you right outside in an NCR civilian disguise offering you the Mark of Caesar. If you have any Legion Infamy, he tells you that you've been pardoned, but you shouldn't screw the Legion over again. The scene itself isn't that scary, but considering that he virtually always seems to know where you are and that he can sneak in and out of New Vegas as he pleases...
      • If you have Arcade as a companion when this happens, he remarks that either New Vegas security is lacking or Legion spies are actually just that good.
  • In various spots in the game, one in Michael Angelo's workshop, you can see framed portraits of scenes or people from Fallout 3's Tranquility Lane. It was probably just thrown in as an Easter Egg, but still....why are there scenes and people from a simulation framed on walls?
  • According to J.E Sawyer, all women in Legion territory are either enslaved or raped until their bodies can't stand anymore. And they have the largest amount of territory in the Fallout universe. Suddenly the prospect of living in ransacked communities with the constant threat of hungry Deathclaws looks a lot more appealing.
  • Vault 22. Stay out!! The Plants kill!
    • The worst part about it is that the Spore Carriers aren't even marked as NPCs. You're walking along, minding your own business... Monkey on a stick! Pissed-off green things!
    • It should be noted Randall Dean Clark's second wife was one of the Vault Dwellers from 22 and she didn't become a carrier. But then, it's also straight up told to the player via Randall's notes that the Vault Dwellers ate the others.
    • When checking one of the terminals, you come across a note saying that since the lead researcher is away taking care of his sick wife and daughter, and the author is taking over. To find access codes to the deeper sections of the vault, you need to enter a Vault's living quarters - occupied by two adult spore carriers... and one child spore carrier near a child's crib.
    • Then there's the realization you get after reading the logs about the spores. That they're still in the air. The air you're breathing. Keely's notes says she's unaffected solely for being a ghoul, but you? It's too late. Of course, you're unaffected for no apparent reason, and while the cybernetics you get in Old World Blues can provide one explanation why, if you haven't been to Big MT yet, it's quite a horrifying realization...
  • Vault 11. Going inside, you see campaign posters stating the candidates' rivals are evil, so vote for them, not me. That's just odd, though, right? You keep going. The winner of the vote becomes overseer for a year, before sacrificing themselves in the depths of the vault, or else the entire vault gets killed. Potential for Heroic Sacrifice at least, right? You keep going. The vault quickly divided into voting blocs, and started using their status to sentence men to death for being lucky at poker, and extorting sex from their wives under the false pretense of sparing them. Okay, that's bad, but at least the Overseers are shown for once to be 100% on the up and up, for once in the series, right? You keep going. The last Overseer used her power to abolish elections in favor of a computerized lottery, leading the voting bloc in power to riot and causing the deaths of all but five of the vault dwellers, who kill themselves. Well, that's bad, sure, but it doesn't compare to some of the other vaults we've seen in the series, right? Then you get through the sacrificial chamber, itself Nightmare Fuel where a calm, polite voice invites you to reminisce upon the good moments of your life while thanking you for your needful sacrifice just before unleashing a squad of killer robots on you. And after all that, you find out the whole test was designed so that if the Vault refused the sacrifice they told was necessary, they're rewarded for valuing human life. Not a single death needed to happen.
    • To be clear, the survivors refused to offer anyone for sacrifice, and were driven to suicide after finding out the truth. Just imagine the years of stress, drama, and psychological torture they endured, culminating in an outright violent riot, just to find out that absolutely none of it was necessary.
    • And just to make it even more disturbing, the message indicates that the designers expected the sacrifices to end fairly quickly or never happen at all, as it congratulates the residents for their compassion and refusing to sacrifice a single life to save themselves.
    • Also, if you look around the entry area with the note about the five survivors, you'll notice that there are only four skeletons.
    • The worst part about it is the fact that many players know that the Vaults were never meant to save anyone. They were, for all intents and purposes, experiments to see how humans would react to long term imprisonment in tight, enclosed quarters. Many of the Vaults in both Fallout 3 and New Vegas are filled with horrifying, terribly immoral tests to measure just what a human would do in that situation... and then you remember that message. Even the people who designed the Vaults thought that people wouldn't willingly sacrifice so many of their own.
    • After you finish the vault, the cheery looking posters that show up on the loading screens take on a sinister new meaning.
  • Vault 34: The fact that every resident had access to some rather impressive weaponry, while food supplies were very low, ended up causing a revolt. During the revolt, reactor goes nuts and floods the vault with radiation, killing most of the residents and leaving a frightening number of feral ghouls. The truly scary part? You meet a resident who had left the Vault only a couple of years ago, because he thought he was becoming a ghoul due to his hair falling out. You also get a message from residents who are still trapped and need help. This means that the aforementioned events didn't happen a couple hundred years ago: they may have happened as early as a week ago!
    • Even worse, the deluded sap who abandoned the vault because he thought he was becoming a ghoul... He was Chris Haversam, the reactor technician. His absence may have caused the radiation leak and turned his neighbors into for-real ghouls.
  • Vault 19: The logs show it was deliberately half-filled with people showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia; the other half was a group of sane people. The Vault was an experiment to see if they could drive the sane people mad by having a self-sufficient reactor crew working all hours of the night under their feet, making barely heard noises, their intercom chat whispering on the system above, and generally making life miserable for everyone up above without realizing it. Medical records showed everyone was mad, but only half of them were genuine. The Vault's experiment, from what little can be derived by the logs and the overseer's terminal, was to see who would survive, the slowly going insane experiment group, or the already insane control group.
  • Poor Vault 3. A control vault with no experiments, the inhabitants were very nice and well adjusted, but a bit naive. When they first opened the Vault, the Fiends were among the first groups they met. The Fiends promptly slaughtered everyone in the Vault and moved into Vault 3 themselves.
  • The Fiends themselves who moved into Vault 3 are no better. It seems that some of them are too blitzed up their eyeballs to notice that several people have OD'd in the Living Area and have been dead for some time.
  • "The Coyotes." It sounds like a simple enough quest at first - just investigate some missing people. By its end, however, you will have a crippling fear of teddy bears, slavers, and an unmeasurable hatred for Cook-Cook.
    • Just about anything involving Cook-Cook counts. The guy buys slaves, and in one recent case, bought three girls and a boy, then forced the girls to watch as he burned the boy alive. Then his rape of both Corporal Betsy and Pretty Sarah; the latter he not only raped, but burned just enough to let her live.
    • Not to mention Cook Cook's Berserk Button - killing his pet brahmin Queenie (which is its own source of squick) makes him go into a frenzy and kill everything around him, including the other Fiends. That's right, not even his own followers are safe from his psychopathic rage if pushed a little.
    • Even better, cut dialogue from the other three Fiend leaders - Driver Nephi, Violent and Motor-Runner - reveals all of them warning the Courier to stay away from Cook-Cook, especially a female Courier. These three are the worst of the Fiends and even they know how monstrous Cook-Cook is.
  • In Goodsprings Cemetery it's possible to hear ghostly whispers. It seems like that would be the only place to hear them, but no. The whispers can be heard anywhere in the game. Either it's because of the tortured souls who died from the bombs, or thanks to the Courier's near-death experience. Since whatever horrors in Dunwich locations exist in the Fallout universe, then ghosts probably exist as well.
  • Wandering through the irradiated Camp Searchlight, a former NCR outpost bathed in a sickly green haze and filled with feral ghouls, but the town's fire station holds the big surprise. All seems relatively well, going on a merry scavenger hunt, until you walk through the station's doors and straight into a Radscorpion Queen literally half the size of the garage and bigger than a military truck.
  • Imagine, if you will: you're wandering about the Mojave Wasteland, taking in the view, all by your lonesome. Next thing you know, the camera pans over to a stern-looking woman wearing opaque sunglasses and a ranger hat. It seems you've run afoul of the NCR, and they're getting sick of it, so they sent a hit squad to tell you that you have three days to change your tune, or the next time they come, they'll shoot to kill. At the very least they give you time to set things right: Legionary assassins won't spare you any such mercy...
  • The Matthews Animal Husbandry Farm near Camp Searchlight has a sad and frightening tale to it. You find journal pages scattered around the greater property written by the son/daughter of the Matthews family (their gender and age is unknown). Their parents had left to trade with the NCR at Camp Searchlight, but never came back. After a few days, the journal writer goes to Camp Searchlight to look for them and discovers it in its current irradiated state. The writer finds their parents, who have been turned into feral ghouls from the radiation and attack, forcing the journal writer to kill them in self-defense. The writer then takes their parents bodies back to the farm and buries them behind the house. Clearly scarred from having to kill their own parents, the writer then begins to get increasingly worried and paranoid that the farm animals will also become ghouls and attack them as well. Eventually, this paranoia becomes so great that the writer imagines a full-blown Animal Farm scenario where the ghoulified animals are all conspiring with each other to kill and eat them and then take over the farm for themselves. Deciding that it's Better to Die than Be Killed, the writer kills themselves by burning down their house with themselves inside as a big flaming "screw you" to the supposedly murderous animals.
    • It's worse. All the (perfectly non-murderous) animals at the farm are labelled in the UI as "Malnourished [Animal Name]". The reason the writer thought the animals were turning into ghouls was because they weren't feeding them properly and they were just getting thin.
  • Jacobstown. Technically, there's nothing bad about the town; it's full of friendly people who're just trying to get along with their lives and stay safe. Thing is, they're super mutants, and to those who only played Fallout 3, they're the Always Chaotic Evil monsters you got used to shooting in the face (with the exception of Fawkes). This time around, they're perfectly safe. It's just... very unsettling the first time.
  • The Nightkin are back from the older games in glorious 3D gameplay. Basically, imagine a super mutant with a blue skin tone, except it's invisible. All you need to know. Their standard form of greeting seems to be appearing out of nowhere three feet in front of you with a big-ass rebar club swinging right for your face.
    • Well, there's one more thing you need to know: they're all completely bonkers. For some reason, Stealth Boy use not only becomes addictive for Nightkin, but also causes them to develop schizophrenia. So, as if all of the above wasn't bad enough, they're usually acting on the orders of some voice in their heads, which makes their motivations entirely unpredictable.
      • And you get one, named Lily, as a companion. She acts like a sweet old grandmother, calling you "dearie" and "pumpkin" and the like. This may seem nice and/or cute, except for the fact that she's over seven feet tall and sounds like a demon. Then there's what she says when you decide to check her inventory: "Grandma's got a present for yoooooou!" *shivers*
      • And even though she's probably the sanest and nicest of the Nightkin you encounter, she's still insane: with her first seeing you as her grandson and her Ax-Crazy Imaginary Friend Leo, who when she gets low enough health in combat, will take over her and make her go into a berserk rampage.
  • Nightstalkers. Half-coyote, half-rattlesnake, all temper and venom. They come running at you. And perhaps if you're unlucky, shooting them in VATS sometimes doesn't work, because the shots just miss even though they're up close.
    • One particularly terrifying moment comes just after you've circled the mountain pass west of Nipton and are heading up to Novac. Out of freaking nowhere, a huge pack of Nightstalkers may just show up. If you're lucky, they'll pounce on the Legion patrol hiding behind a billboard. That in itself is pretty freaky, though, because those bastards will tear recruits apart like wrapping paper, then come after you with all the fury of a starving beast.
    • Take a look inside Bloodborne Cave. You fall off that ledge near the entrance, and find yourself in a room full of corpses. Then, the next room over, you see something big moving around, and realize you're in the nest of the Legendary Nightstalker. And the only way out is through...
    • In Charleston Cave, some of these goddamned things are cloaked via the stealth boy they chewed.
    • Adding to their fear is what they represent in game. Encountering a normal rattlesnake is bad enough and they are a well known danger in the American west. Fallout gave them legs.
    • In the third DLC, Old World Blues, you come across parties responsible for the creation of the whole Nightstalker breed. That's bad enough. Then you discover how some of those people initially thought they were just mangy coyotes. That's a little worse, but kind of funny. Then you read about how the first Nightstalker nearly Swallowed Whole the first person who looked at it and only failed because the victim was obese. Holy crap.
      • Think about that for a moment: swallowed whole. This implies that, like snakes, Nightstalkers are capable of unhinging their jaw and stretching out their mouth and stomach to the point of swallowing whole a creature much larger than them, and then slowly digesting it. Now picture Nightstalkers managing to overpower someone and swallow them alive.
  • Everyone remember the Centaurs of Fallout 3? They got worse with newer, even more mutated forms that often appear alongside the "normal" ones. Thankfully, they seem to only appear in highly irradiated areas. Then again, the ones in the Devil's Throat, near Bitter Springs, are as big as a Deathclaw and twice as horrible. Thankfully, they have no Damage Threshold so they go down pretty easily.
  • Did you think the original Deathclaws were tough? New Vegas has new, even stronger, Mother and Alpha types... and let's not even get started on the Legendary Deathclaw. The addition of the Damage Threshold mechanic means that their hide is as effective as a suit of basic military-grade Combat Armor, if you don't have armor-piercing ammo or a BFG, you are screwed, because those things run fast.
  • Ghouls, especially of the feral variety. Complete with the same creepy, raspy cry they had in Fallout 3.
    • Most normal ghouls are rather nice, at least. In fact, the only hostile ghouls in Vegas you are likely to run into are the feral variety. They have a rather frightening tendency to detect you before you find them. You will step into a room, hear the howl of a feral ghoul entering its Caution/Danger status, but not see it. They also have a tendency to inhabit buildings with narrow corridors and low lighting. You have no idea where they are coming from, until one suddenly rounds a corner or smacks you in the back.
    • If you take the road to the Mojave Outpost, past the California Sunset Drive In, you might come across a couple of feral ghouls just wandering around the sides of the road. You don't expect them to be out in the open; you expect creatures like giant ants and bark scorpions. But that's not what makes it creepy. This is a well-travelled road. What makes it creepy is that you have no idea where they come from.
      • They're coming from the Mesquite Mountains Crater, which is one of two craters in the Mojave that were made by nuclear bombs. It's heavily irradiated, and filled with feral ghouls. If you persist to the far end of the crater, you'll find that a non-feral ghoul was making his home there... until he was killed by his Ax-Crazy Mr. Handy.
  • Cazadores. Giant wasps the size of dogs that are ridiculously fast, hard to hit, and can soak up quite a few bullets (Seen at this page's image). As if that wasn't enough, they evolved from tarantula hawk wasps, which are considered to have one of the most agonizing stings in the insect kingdom. If an inch-long wasp can knock a grown man down, what do you think they can do when they're two feet long?
    • As revealed in Old World Blues, the Cazadores aren't mutated creatures of the wastes - they were deliberately made like that by scientists of the Big MT. Except they never knew that Cazadores could reproduce, or that they found a way out of the Big MT...
    • Swing by Zion Canyon for an evening. Yao Guai? Meh. Giant Cazadores? Run. Imagine a wasp the size of a bear. And there's almost nowhere in Zion Canyon where they can't spawn. At least the game is kind enough to de-spawn them and all the other wildlife in the canyon during the final quest - a godsend, given that you're not allowed to fast-travel during it and are likely to be over-encumbered from all the loot Graham refuses to carry for you.
    • So you're checking out Silver Peak Mine, hoping maybe you'll get lucky and find a Stealth Boy so close to Jacobstown. Nope! Cazadores! But Wait, There's More!! As soon as you start climbing towards the upper "floor" of the mine, you meet the Legendary Cazador. Twice as big. Twice as fast. Twice as poisonous. Twice as many hit points. Twice the Nightmare Fuel!
    • They are even worse as you play on Hardcore. Imagine bringing companions along, and having to sit and watch your companions slowly succumb to the poison, completely helpless, because for some reason they're incapable of using antivenom. Thankfully, the datura antivenom from the above Honest Hearts can be used by companions, but stil..
    • And it gets worse. Far, far worse. Cazadores are mutant tarantula hawk wasps, which reproduce in a manner that almost certainly had something to do with the eventual body horror of Alien. A female hawk wasp will paralyze a tarantula with its sting, then lay eggs inside its body. The crippled spider then slowly dies as it never fully recovers from the poison sting, and then eggs hatch, with the spider eaten alive from the inside by wriggling larvae. These things have spread from Big MT all across the Mojave, using living animals as hosts and sustenance for their young.
    • Even the mere sight of them in the distance is unsettling, especially for those more sensitive to insects, as they move like actual flies darting back and forth across the desert; well, if flies were the size of a motorcycle. The one benefit is that having a bright blue-gray exoskeleton will make it much easier for you to spot them, and then either reach for a gun or run for the hills.
  • Speaking of giant bugs, very early on you are directed to travel to a town via a highway. A quick look at your Pip-Boy reveals the town in question is directly east whilst the highway does a long loop south, so why not save some time and cut across the desert, right? Scorpion Gulch is why. Those giant radscorpions were horrible to look at in the first game, but not so tough. Now they're back with a vengeance - shooting them now only pisses them off, they've got little cousins which pour forth without number out of dark holes from sheer canyon walls, and their poison will send you mad, if the scuttling, hissing sound of half a dozen of them eating you alive doesn't do that first. Stick to the roads.
  • Geckos. Sure, they may not be the most threatening or dangerous animals around, but their appearance and behaviour can be more unnerving than any other animal. When they turn hostile, they're locked onto you immediately like moths to a flame, with their faces locked into a silent screaming expression. Not to mention giant variants in Zion. Worse yet, imagine those screaming faces popping out of nowhere while exploring dark caves...
  • Occasionally, you come upon a dead giant radscorpion being swarmed by giant ants, and a line of ants carrying it off to their nest stretching past the horizon. This is exactly the kind of behavior you'd expect from any kind of ants, but at this scale, it's horrifying.
    • Even better. At one spot, you find ants that look almost identical doing something similar. Except these are fire-breathing giant ants, and what they are trying to cart away are the charred remains of a cow.
  • Lakelurks aren't really that scary. Sure, they're ugly as sin, and that sonic attack is extremely overpowered, but they aren't that bad. Just ask the guys at Camp Guardian. Except you can't, because the Lakelurks maimed them all and then dragged their unconscious but still living bodies into the caves to be devoured. You can find a survivor who's so horrified he quits the NCR on the spot and runs for California as fast as his crippled legs can carry him.
  • You may recall Fallout 3 having corpses rigged with explosives, right? Well, we have that here too. Well, except they aren't corpses. They're dismembered, living people, begging you to stay away and kill them. You'll only realize they're rigged after trying to talk to one!
  • Even though it's actually a good thing, you get a slo-mo kill cam whenever the last enemy in an encounter goes down, even if you were never aware of them in the first place. So your trusty sidekicks run off by themselves, leaving you alone and wondering where they went... *SPLORTCH* smash-cut to a monster's head exploding in slow motion.
  • Even the game's glitches can be terrifying. Due to the not-infrequent occurrence of enemies glitching through small solid obstacles, the player can't assume that something that appears "trapped" - in a cage, under a trailer, between rocks, etc. - is going to stay that way. In particular, a certain caged group of bark scorpions might seem like easy pickings for a low-level player, until one randomly and suddenly pops out of the cage and into the floor of the room with the player, its poison stinger gliding through the floor like a periscope.
  • Any time the twitchy corpse bug goes into effect. Especially if the corpse fell near a wall, it'll smack into it and make little thudding sounds that sound like someone running quietly. And they'll be doing that any time you enter that area for the rest of the game.
  • Whenever a Wild Wasteland encounter is triggered, a creepy theremin tune plays and a Vault Boy icon with spiral eyes appears along with the text "...".
  • There's a locked room in the Primm hotel with Psycho and Med-X scattered on a desk, and a skeleton on the bed. There's a second skeleton in the bathtub, along with more Psycho and Med-X, a switchblade, and a very dark stain just outside the tub. No points for guessing what happened.
    • And at the same room, there's a ransom note. Just think about it for a while, when you read it.
    Mr. Petersen, if you want to see your wife alive again, bring the cash in small unmarked bills to the Bison Steve on Tuesday.
  • One of the empty rooms in Novac is dark and contains a number of drugs and medical equipment. In the bathroom, we see a trail of blood that ends with two bloody hand prints in front of the toilet where a Jet canister is located. Drugs Are Bad, okay?
  • Near the end of Veronica's personal quest, you visit the Followers' outpost and are told to come the next day because the guy in charge isn't there at the moment. 24 hours later, you return to find that the outpost, formerly lively and bustling, is now shrouded in darkness, with bodies and blood everywhere. Bad enough, but then Veronica raises the octane number:
    (weakly, voice dripping with horror) No. Nonononono...
  • Unlike Fallout 3 or Fallout 4, it's entirely possible to kill almost every single NPC in the game, with the only exceptions being Yes Man, the Gun Runners Vendertron and the various children. There's no practical reason to do this unless you feel like it, but this results in some otherwise usually populated areas like Freeside being really creepy and feeling like Ghost Towns. There's also the idea that just one person and perhaps a couple companions can ultimately wipe out almost the entire population of the Mojave, potentially with little to no struggle if you're at a high enough level.
    • Adding to this is the fact that even after you wipe out an entire portion of the map of its NPCs, the ambience sounds don't stop, which makes the game feel really Uncanny Valley. If you want an example, just kill everybody inside of a Casino then sit in a corner and watch as the cheering, hooting and laughing in the background plays over the bloody massacre you just caused. If anything, it makes it sound like your character's having a psychotic breakdown.
  • While wandering through the wasteland, you may occasionally hear the sound of distant gunfire and maybe even an occasional explosion. In the wasteland, no one is safe. Someone, or something, is always getting shot.
  • Dummied Out content reveals that there are voice lines for the companions that were recorded for when they catch on fire. They all realistically scream in pain and horror. The worst one is definitely Veronica who gives a high pitched shriek that keeps playing even after the flames are put out, and she also cries, adding a Tear Jerker to the Nightmare Fuel. Felicia Day really nailed the chilling scream. Most likely it was cut to give players a fair chance of still being able to sleep after playing.
    • Arcade's scream is also rather unsettling because towards the end of it, you can hear him choking on the smoke, which is Truth in Television. Most victims that die from catching on fire die from smoke inhalation and shock before the fire can destroy their organs.
     Dead Money DLC 
  • The Sierra Madre Villa, the Casino, the residents, the environment, the backstory... and pretty much everything else.
    • The only comfort you have is that your partners aren't interested in the treasure of the Sierra Madre. They're much more focused on other things than the gold in the Sierra Madre vault, which eliminates the risk you would have to deal with if you had companions who were there for the money. Unfortunately, they all still have a Berserk Button that, if pushed, can eliminate your fragile alliance with them...
  • That weird laughing sound the holograms make if they see you.
    • The security holograms provide plenty to be afraid of. If you go into their line of sight for too long, they'll turn yellow briefly, then red, at which point they start chasing after you firing laser attacks that can instantly cripple your limbs. Worst of all, you can't directly fight back. The only way to deal with them is to find the emitter and take it down.
    • The "staff" holograms (bartenders, shopkeepers, entertainers, croupiers) are harmless, but quite unnerving. They're mute and expressionless, and sometimes the only real source of light in an area, creating an eerie spectacle.
  • Beep... beep... beep... beep beep beep beepbeepbeepBEEPBEEPBEEP BOOM!
  • The Ghost People already look creepy as hell, with their hazmat suits, bestial gait, and the fact that they can spring out from anywhere in the fog... Then you learn they were originally the maintenance staff of the hotel who, thanks to effects of the Cloud, are trapped forever in their hazmat suits and have mutated into something... no longer human. Then there's the fact they try not to kill their prey and instead drag them off somewhere to do God-knows-what to them.
    • Dean specifically recommend you save one bullet to kill yourself in case this happens to you.
    • One theory is that there's still a bunch of those hazmat suits lying around, and the Ghost People force their KO'ed victims into these hazmat suits, effectively turning the victim into a new Ghost Person.
  • Dog/God. Especially God, who sound like he's about to kill you any second despite his calm tone, and will try to do so if he's treated badly by the Courier.
  • "Dog? Master wants you to pull on your chain as hard as you can..."
  • Similar to one of the situations in Fallout 3, you stumble upon a family trapped inside the Sierra Madre's theater. On the ground are two adult skeletons, one with a revolver, a doctor's bag and closest to the child, who has a teddy bear lying next to it, are several Med-X syringes. Trapped, and facing death by the holograms or starvation, they took the only option out.
  • Vera was also trapped in the Casino, and loaded up on every chem available to her to dull the pain from her terminal illness as the casino is in lockdown and the security holograms massacre everyone inside. Security holograms in her own likness wander around the same level repeating her final words in a spooky resonating mirror of a life lost over 200 years ago all the while trying to disintegrate you with their eyebeams. She's terrified, she's trapped - and the machines are still recording her. She's just another ghost of the Sierra Madre, a ghost that can kill you thanks to their deadly hologram technology.
  • Christine's imprisonment prior to the Courier arriving in the Sierra Madre. Trapped in an auto-doc for weeks while the machine performed its grisly task of operating on the poor gal. Mind you, there wasn't enough medication to keep her calm and it ran out an hour into her claustrophobic nightmare of being trapped in a tube while metal instruments cut her up, in the dark for days or even weeks before finally being let out. No wonder she's utterly adamant against going into the elevator.
    • You can go right ahead and experience a little of this yourself, before you rescue her. When you arrive at the Madre, you have three radio frequencies that you can tune your Pip-Boy to. Two are just other two companions talking to themselves while waiting, while Christine's is just breathing and a plaintive knocking-on-metal sound. Occasionally, there starts up a whirring drill noise, the bane of everyone visiting the dentist, with clicking and the knocking and breathing frantically speed up.
  • On your way to rescue Christine from the malfunctioning Auto-Doc, you can detour into the nearby rooms on the first floor to scrounge for supplies. One of these rooms is filled with headless corpses, presumably collared by Father Elijah, and no indication is given as to what, exactly, happened to those people. Even Dean Domino, a self-centered jackass who admits he only cares about you because of your linked collars, lets you know whoever did this is screwed up.
    • Talking with Father Elijah gives you more than enough information to piece everything together. All the information, and threats, that he gives you, in order to fulfill his plan, and keep you alive through it all, was learned by pure trial and error. The fact that they lost their heads to the same neckwear you're wearing is obvious. We just don't know what caused the collars to detonate.
      • Dean himself either killed them or took their already dead bodies to the clinic to examine the collars' mechanics, for the better or worse. Either way, he put them there.
  • While heading to the Bell Tower, the courier will pass through what appears to be a mortuary. One of the slabs has an arrangement of black candles that seems to resemble an altar of sorts. Why? By who? No explanation. Absolutely no information or hint is given, and the only thing you know about the area is that there is a high Ghost People presence there.
    • There's also a bunch of embalming fluid you can find there. It has no function and little worth. There's something ineffably creepy about it.
  • The villa has its own ambience of tortured moans and wails, same as the ghostly whispers the player can hear when wandering through the desert with the radio off. As if the distorted “Begin Again” music filtering through the air wasn’t enough.
  • Activating the greeting hologram in the casino is not advised, had one been playing for a long length of time. The eeriness of seeing one of the usually hostile Vera holograms being frozen on the stairs is enough to spook the player out... but then the music starts. A garbled recording of the haunting 'Begin Again', echoing through the room. Oh, and you can hear the Ghost People trying to break in after you. Sweet dreams.
  • Bear traps. All they do in-game is harm your legs, but their actual purpose is to, you know, trap the victim. You know how easy it is to step on one when running from The Cloud and the beepings, right? Now imagine how many before you that may have suffered this fate, being trapped and waiting impending doom from either The Cloud, the collars or the Ghost People.
  • The ambient sounds are creepy as hell. Especially the metallic clattering that sounds a bit like a rusty metal gate rasping open. There's also a noise that sounds like a rumbling, distorted version of a nuclear warning siren, repeating forever and ever since the bombs dropped hundreds of years ago.
    • Getting close to a concentrated Cloud pocket results in a slow, rhythmic thumping that sounds like nothing so much as an enormous heartbeat.
    • In some areas, you can hear faint whispering.
    • The slowly tolling bell coming from the Salida Del Sol church.
  • The "Bad Ends" for Dead Money:
    • First Bad End: Instead of paying attention to not one, but two warnings before entering the final vault, the Courier gets locked inside the vault and slowly dies. Your dying image becomes yet another hologram in the Sierra Madre.
    • Second Bad End: The Courier sides with Elijah, joining him on his crazed mission of vengeance and domination as he unleashes the Cloud upon the Wasteland, covering the bright and cheerful Mojave with a deadly cloud that kills everything in its path.
    • The third Bad End was cut from the game, but the narration by Elijah is still in the game: Take the second Bad End above, but instead of cooperating, Elijah traps the Courier in the vault, and then manages to reroute the ventilation and turn the vault into a Gas Chamber and kill the Courier with the Cloud. With the Courier out of the picture, Elijah's now free to unleash the horrors of Sierra Madre on the Wasteland at large, wiping the slate clean and waiting for the world to Begin Again.
    • Elijah's Motive Rant in the Vault about why he wants the Sierra Madre. It's a way to create and destroy nations. The Cloud and the Holograms would kill every living thing where they're deployed, and be virtually impossible to counter. The collars can force people to do his bidding, or die. He doesn't even need to collar everyone himself, since his own slaves can do it for him. The vending machines can supply food, weapons, ammo, medicine, building materials. Now Elijah is old, so he'll most likely die before he can finally set his plans into motion. But he's also an evil genius with access to both the technology of the Big MT and Sierra Madre. It's not far-fetched to imagine him finding a way to cheat death, especially since Mr. House accomplished exactly that. This is Elijah's vision of the future, a second apocalypse, genocide, widespread slavery. Even the Legion isn't as horrifying. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

  • Related to the above; the player has the chance to turn the tables on Elijah and seal him in the vault. The Courier can then listen in on his radio as Elijah goes from desperate pleading to furious threats, before the vault starts to lose power, leaving him trapped in the dark. Finally, his broadcast begins to loop on one last chilling line.
  • Outside of the Non Standard Game Over bad endings above, most of Dead Money's endings range from heartwarming, bittersweet or sad. However the ending where only Dog is alive is particularly chilling. The Psychopathic Manchild heads back west, trying to find ways to satisfy his neverending Horror Hunger. Small communities disappear overnight, the brahmin, the dogs, the people, all devoured.
    Honest Hearts DLC 
  • "Honest Hearts" is honestly the most light-hearted of the DLC... this doesn't keep it from being utterly terrifying on occasion. It all starts simply enough. The Courier gets a message telling them about an expedition to Zion Canyon. Enticed, they head out to meet with the people they will accompany. After a few minutes of chatting and getting to know your new companions, you all set out. Then everything goes to hell. As soon as you arrive, the White Legs ambush you and begin killing your allies one by one as they scream in fear. Because this is a scripted event, they all die, leaving you to face the White Legs alone. Oh, and due to a rule the leader of the expedition had, you were only able to bring 100 lbs (maximum) of equipment with you.
  • This DLC also finally lets the Courier come face to face with Joshua Graham, the infamous Burned Man himself. He even becomes a companion! Plus, his whole body is covered in bandages from his horrible wounds. He also helpfully tells you that every night he feels the pain of being burned alive and nothing, not even chems, can do anything about it.
    • If you choose to help him exterminate the White Legs sometimes when killing them, he lets his colors past his normally calm gravely voice.
    Joshua: Yesss...
    • Not helping is Graham's incredibly scary leitmotif. There's some Ominous Latin Chanting, a few well-placed bells, and overall a sense of creeping dread throughout the whole thing. It'll make you sit up and take notice when you speak to him for the first time at the Dead Horses' camp. It's terrifying when he's reciting the above scripture.
      • Not to mention, that song is actually a tune from Fallout 1, "Acolytes Of A New God." It plays inside the Cathedral. Presumably, this is intended to represent the reverence that Dead Horses have for Joshua, but it can also be seen as a representation of Joshua himself; even though he's found his religion again, he can still be just as brutal as he was before...
  • One quest seems innocent enough - get high on some of the local stuff and kill a bear. Easy, right? Well, once you start you'll be tripping out as you make your way to the beast's lair. Along the way you'll come across some spore plants and spore carriers from Vault 22. Then the "Ghost Of She" appears and attacks you. Due to effects of the drug, mystical ability possessed by the Yao Guai itself, your own mind freaking out due to fear, or some combination of the three, the Ghost Of She catches fire and splits into several Giant Yao Guais. Which one is real? It doesn't matter, whatever is causing you to see multiple Ghosts of She also forces you to kill them all. Only when the last one falls can you breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Honest Hearts has a fridge version too. Daniel mentions that the White Legs killed children, pretty brutally.
    Daniel: "They beat children in... in... beat them in their beds while they slept."
    • Now imagine you're a 6-year old child and you wake up in the middle of the night and there's a scary white-paint-faced, dreadlock-wearing, half-naked tribal over you who then beats you to death with a club. Didn't help that they also stripped the bodies naked and nailed them to cliffs around the city.
  • Go to the Zion Valley Welcome Booth and take a look at the drawings on the rocks behind the toilet. Looks like Slenderman still lives hundreds of years into the future.
  • When you go to the scout bus to get the compass, try to keep from imagining why all those little skeletons are there, surrounded by lunchboxes and toys...
  • The enemies themselves are all gigantic. Giant radscorpions. Zion mantises and green geckos are bigger than their Mojave counterparts. Even some of the Yao Guai are giant varieties. And, as mentioned above, giant fucking Cazadores.
  • A lot of Randall Clark's journal entries are quite sad. A few of them though are downright chilling. One in particular:
    August 22nd
    10 sets of tracks 1/2 mile NE of canyon entrance. Barefoot???
    August 23rd
    Saw them through scope. Corpses walking around. Finally gone crazy. Dementia maybe.
    August 24th
    I'm not crazy, they're real. Goddammit they are real.
    • How about his run in with the survivors of Vault 22? Some were infected and slowly beginning to become Spore Carriers, while most had resorted to cannibalism, slaughtering the Spanish survivors already living in the valley and abducting the rest.
    February 13
    Recon during night. Well-organized, sentries along most approaches, but stream not covered. [...] Women and children still in pen. Will try to infiltrate by stream tomorrow night.
    February 14th
    • In revenge, Clark launched a one-man guerrilla warfare campaign against them, whittling their number from 118 down to just 34. Eventually after 10 months, they decided to leave, writing a note warning of a demon that beset them... but not before eating their dead.
    • His account of the Great War from his perspective is just chilling, describing the immediate minutes and months of the bombs falling. Complete with being forced to give an old couple blinded by the nuclear blasts a Mercy Kill with his rifle. And when he passes through that same area in scouting what's left of Salt Lake City months later, he notes how he couldn't find their bodies.
  • The caves Clark used as his survivalist shelters are Paranoia Fuel, littered with mines, hidden traps and the rotted remains of those who attempted to explore said caves; if the remaining Spore Carriers don't kill you, the bear traps and explosives likely will. No wonder the Sorrows take their "Father in the Caves" so seriously.
    Old World Blues DLC 
  • The Mojave Drive-in with Old World Blues installed. Nothing like walking to the top of a hill in the middle of the night and seeing a giant blue-tinted eye watching you in the distance.
  • The Big MT. Imagine being stalked by creatures who have had their brains removed and skeletons wielding laser weapons. Not ghouls, skeletons! In automated Power Armor, specifically. This is where nearly all the mutant horrors of the Mojave Wasteland came from, including Nightstalkers and Cazadores. It's also responsible for how the Sierra Madre ended up a toxin-filled ghost town full of hazmat-suited zombies. This is where the plant monsters of Vault 22 were first born. This is where Chinese prisoners of war and American citizens were taken and experimented on. This is where people are still being experimented on by beings who don't even know what morals are anymore. This is the Big MT, and you're all alone. No companions, just you, a bunch of random appliances, and a talking stealth suit.
  • The Trauma Override Harnesses are one of the saddest and creepiest enemies in New Vegas. The suit itself was designed to return a soldier to a predetermined home base when he got too injured to move himself by overriding the motor functions of the wearer and 'walking' him. Being a prototype, the suits had a few errors which ultimately led to the suits walking and attacking with their wearers kept captive in the suit until they eventually died (of exhaustion, dehydration, starvation, exposure, any number of things). Over two hundred years later, the suits are still walking around with the remains of the test person still inside. As they move, the player can hear the bones of the dead person rattling in the suit. If you have the Wild Wasteland trait on… well, "Who turned out the lights?"
    • Think about it, the suit was forcing the soldiers to move around, while they had a broken limb. And a broken limb isn't necessarily a fatal injury, so most likely the people in the suit died of thirst or starvation, unable to stop the suit from moving their bodies around.
  • Little Yangtze. No matter how you put it, no matter how much lovely jazz music your Pip-Boy may be playing, it's still a Death Camp whose prisoners were fodder for experiments that would make Nazi scientists shudder with terror. Who were the prisoners? Chinese people living in the USA, who were considered "dissidents" and described as potential "research subjects". If the knowledge of the experiments won't make you feel sick, the rows and rows or graves in the camp will. You can read the journals written by a camp guard before the bomb, and he's just completely callous about the whole thing. His reaction to the "Total Pacification Collars" coming in? He's glad he can finally have a good night of sleep.
    • As another parallel to Nazi atrocities, the various elements of the Holocaust were very often described in bureaucratic euphemisms. The thing about imprisoning people in camps because of their race/ethnicity in time of war is a real thing too. During World War I people of German descent, including citizens, were sent to concentration camps in Canada and the USA. In World War II the same thing was done to people of German, Italian or Japanese ethnicity.
    • And there are ghouls there, labeled "Survivors". First they were imprisoned, then they were trapped there for centuries. Not to mention that when Elijah showed up, he experimented on/tortured them all over again. And then you will probably end up killing them, though by that point killing them is mercy.
    • By the by, the ghouls were trapped there by Elijah putting bomb collars on them. If the ghouls try to run out of the compound, their heads explode. You can literally kill the whole camp by getting their attention and just standing outside of the main gate. Elijah put bomb collars on possibly immortal people, forcing them to remain in a small prison yard until they eventually couldn't take it anymore.
  • The Cuckoo's Nest, which, despite its innocent-sounding name, is a den of absolute horror. Piles of mutilated bodies and bits of organs are scattered around everywhere and the whole cave is filled with lobotomites. Worse, you have to go here to retrieve the personality of one of The Sink's inhabitants (and get one of the achievements). Who is it? Why, the Toaster, of course! His personality holotape is on an altar between two human skulls as if it's part of some Satanic ritual.
  • After exploring both Vault 22 and Zion Canyon, you thought you were done with spore carriers, right? Well, they also appear in Old World Blues... including Patient Zero.
  • The Legendary Bloatfly, hands down. Bloatflies are The Goomba of the Fallout universe, sometimes weaker than Radroaches, but this one can tank nini-nukes and can kill any player in 3-4 shots tops. What kind of sick experiments did this fly go through to become so dangerous, or do we really want to know?
  • In one of the houses in Higgs Village, there is a room with teddy bears sitting up on red stools. There are also naked mannequins in the adjoining room. They don't do anything...but who set the bears up? The only reasonable explanation is Dala, but she's too terrified to leave the Think Tank, which in turn means that no-one's been in that creepy house in a long, long time.
    • Again in Higgs, House #103. Find a birdcage key or pick the basement door, find a basement filled with animal cages, some big enough for humans, some small enough for teddy bears. There’s blood and medical equipment all over, and a dog hide on one of the operation tables. Again, apparently the war couldn’t come soon enough!
  • Weirdly enough, the normally wacky and light-hearted Wild Wasteland trait provides one. Normally, when you go to get Gabe's water bowl, you can just get it and leave. Put Wild Wasteland on? A pint sized deathclaw named Stripe pops out of the dog house and runs at you. How cute, right? Sure, until you find out it's got as much health and as much killing power as the Legendary Deathclaw. And you probably won't see it until it slashes you for a One-Hit Kill.
  • Your first encounter with the damaged or berserk Securitrons will likely be this. Consider: the first one you encounter in the Mojave saved your life and is genuinely friendly toward you, and further all other Securitrons are a symbol of House's own bizarre brand of law and order, complete with their fairly non-threatening chubby cop faces. Now, imagine you spot the familiar boxy-blue hulled robots patrolling the perimeter. The only warning you have these aren't the same droids you're used to comes if you have a high enough Perception to notice they're hostile from the outset. There are two variants; one simply has a circle with a line drawn through its face, while the other has a twisted and distorted face, similar to the Swamp People from "Point Lookout" in the previous game. None of these bots are capable of effectively communicating with you, so instead they'll constantly broadcast static, which your Pip-Boy helpfully translates as gibberish. The best part? The crux of Mr. House's main quest involves upgrading his Securitrons to the Mark II operating system, which makes them significantly more difficult to kill in combat. Doctor 0, the man responsible for these machines, has them running the Mark VI OS.
  • At the very end when you confront the Think Tank after meeting Mobius, there's a chilling atmosphere that wasn't there before. For one thing, instead of a tranquil blue, the room is a dark red. And as you enter, you see them lined up in a row like they were the first time you met them. Only this time, they lost their comedic relief and pose more of a threat because you know what they're capable of. The doctor with No Indoor Voice, the Dr. Venture expy, the amorous scientist with a fetish for humans, the doctor with the repressed childhood trauma and overdramatic voice, and the unintelligible? Gone and replaced with potential enemies.
  • There's a (thankfully) cut ending where you could side with the Think Tank. The effect this has on the Mojave is not pretty. To highlight the more gruesome details: Goodsprings is crushed by blocks of hexcrete, Primm's inhabitants are fried to death, Camp Searchlight becomes home to giant carnivorous plants, a fungal STD emerges from Gomorrah that causes the victim's genitals to burst like a pod, giant man-eating Battle Brahmin emerging from Black Mountain (while its radios broadcast a staccato static), Legion East brain-scrubbed into thinking that they were in ancient Rome on the moon, and the NCR re-educated into believing they were in a nationwide version of Tranquility Lane. And throughout all of it, the Think Tank remained motivated by science.
  • The sheer isolation of the Big Empty. Ulysses describes it as "so deep in the desert, there's no turning back". People who wandered in in the past were kidnapped by security robots and lobotomized. You're utterly alone, in a place beyond the Wasteland, spoken of only in myths...
    • Made much more effective by the fact that, through out the entire DLC, you do not meet a single human character, except for the enemy Lobotomites who just shoot at you on sight. The former human characters, the brains, have all gone Ax-Crazy and only see you as nothing more but a strange scientific anomaly that they wish to keep doing research on. Meanwhile, Dr. Mobius is initially friendlier than the Think Tank, but once he reveals that he was behind the insanity that fell upon them, you will not want to stick around him for much longer either. The only true friends you have in the DLC are all the personality cores in The Sink when you turn them all on, but they're nothing but A.I. By the time you leave Big Mountain and return to the Mojave, you will sigh in relief once you finally talk to another human again.
    Lonesome Road DLC 
  • Lonesome Road brings a new terrifying horror to the wastes - the Tunnelers. Imagine a glowing, reptile-like humanoid that hits just as hard as a goddamn deathclaw. But they're smaller (thus harder to hit), can crawl on walls and ceilings, come in packs, can pop out of the ground under you, bred quickly, and eat up a crapload of damage. And these things are apparently slowly tunneling their way towards the Mojave.
    • In fact, the first time you encounter a tunneler is underground, while chasing a deathclaw (or just waiting for it to go away). The deathclaw is running away, gets trapped in an abandoned truck, and is effortlessly killed by a tunneler.
    • About halfway through The Divide, the Courier must travel underground on a funicular car to proceed. During the whole ride, explosions are going off all around you and making the player worry that the car might crash. Then, as if nothing could get any worse, swarms of these bastards start climbing up the sides of the car and begin attacking you. When the ride is finally over, you then have to make your way back above ground by going through a destroyed hotel filled with even more Tunnelers. It's the least fun funicular ever.
  • The name of some areas alone is nightmare fuel. The Cave of the Abaddon in particular stands out. ("Abaddon" literally means "destruction", and is commonly accepted as the name of an angel of death.)
  • Deathclaws. Spawning. Everywhere. The things will spawn on right on top of you when you go into certain buildings. And when walking the Lonesome Road, you come across a trailer on a highway bypass that's splattered in blood. When you go inside and walk down to the far end to see what's in that ammo box, a goddamn Deathclaw leaps on top of the trailer, takes down ED-E in one hit, and comes into the trailer after you. It's a scripted event, however a wise player can simply first cover the roof of the trailer in landmines which will literally blow the deathclaw sky high when it first appears, turning the encounter into Nightmare Retardant. But even if you manage to kill that Deathclaw, chances are you've alerted the other three just down the road...
  • At the end of the Divide, you come across a small cave. Inside is a rotted skeleton and a dead deathclaw. After picking up a distress signal holotape from the corpse, you discover that they were trying to kill a giant deathclaw that was pinning them down. Well... the corpse is over there, so they killed it, right? Wrong! Just around the corner is a special giant Deathclaw named Rawr, surrounded by corpses. And just then the cave entrance crumbles behind you, trapping you inside. Have fun with this SNK Boss!
  • At the beginning of Lonesome Road, you find the Marked Men. At first, it's pretty obvious that they've been driven insane from radiation and want to kill you. But it's not that simple; they're cannibals, and not just mindless cannibals that chew on corpses; there's a Hopeville basement where there's skeletons hung up on meat hooks and hacked corpses on tables, right next to an old kitchen. The radiation has made them insane, but kept enough of their humanity so they can gut you like a pig on the butcher's hook. Oh, and did we mention that their appearance is due to the Divide's windstorms stripping the flesh from their bodies, leaving their raw muscle exposed to the elements? The only thing keeping them alive is the Divide's high residual radiation, and even that does absolutely nothing to dull the pain.
  • The Divide in general appearance. Throughout all the Fallout games, you've seen destruction and death, seen the remnants of once proud cities, stared across blasted plains of wasteland, observed the vile corruption of places like the Pitt, Sierra Madre, and Point Lookout. Observed the Old World horror shows of the Big Empty, and the Vaults. Even saw brief snatches of hope in Oasis and Zion. However, it all pales in comparison to the amount of destruction in the Divide. In the Divide, there's only destruction, death, and devastation. This place isn't a place of honor, no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here, nothing valued dwells within the Divide (well, except for good loot. And nukes. Everybody wants nukes). It's a place best shunned and left uninhabited.
  • You can find old pre-war terminal entries written by a particularly jingoistic Type-2 Eagleland base commander who describes a commune of hippies protesting against the war and nuclear weapons outside the base. The hippies were rounded up by the military and shipped to Big MT to be used in experiments there.
  • The Courier's Mile is horrifying, not only because of the locals (who are mildly peeved with you for setting off a nuke over their heads), but because it gives a window into what it must have been like directly after the two-hour nuclear exchange that killed the world 200 years earlier; all nuclear glare and bleak desolation. Oh, and the background radiation silently screws with your Pip-Boy's motion sensor. Your trusty tool shows safely empty surroundings, and you probably won't notice something is wrong with it... until a deathclaw is chewing on your head. And not just any deathclaw! An irradiated deathclaw! So now it's chewing on your glowing bones.
  • Speaking of Ulysses, there's the man himself. Talking to him through ED-E reveals that he knows about the history of the Old World and knowledgeable about a lot of things in the Wasteland. He's cryptic as to his actual aims, but very cool and calm, and obviously has some well thought-out ultimate goal. When you finally meet him face to face, you find out that goal is to use the remaining ICBMs in the Divide to destroy your home. If your Courier has sided with either the NCR or the Legion, he's trying to destroy either his own former enemies or one of the more brutal and nasty factions in the Wasteland. But if your Courier is independent, he'll just aim the nukes at the Mojave. It's kind of terrifying to break through the veneer of a Warrior Poet and find an Omnicidal Maniac willing to slaughter untold thousands of innocents and obliterate one of the few remaining bastions of human civilization just as a means to get back at the Courier and/or prove a philosophical point.
    • The DLCs actually build up how horrible Ulysses is of a person. The creeping... not terror, exactly, but disquiet, is incredibly unnerving and culminates when you finally meet the man. He arranged for your death in Goodsprings; taught the White Legs how to destroy entire civilizations; tipped Elijah off about the Sierra Madre and is thus indirectly responsible for the fates of every person Elijah forced to run that gauntlet; got the Think Tank to start lobotomizing any humans to enter the Big MT; and finally attempted to blow up the Mojave.
    • You don't meet Ulysses in person until the end of the DLC, but if you're observant, you can spot him standing in the distance a couple of times before that. Unlike your conversations with him through ED-E, Ulysses doesn't try to interact with the Courier during these appearances. He simply stands there, silently judging you before disappearing.
    • Really, Ulysses takes the whole concept of an Unknown Rival to its ultimate, most horrifying conclusion.


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