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Nightmare Fuel / Fate/Zero

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"In the end you all die."
As nightmare-inducing as Fate/stay night is, there are reasons why Fate/Zero is considered Darker and Edgier—and considering the writer, Darker and Edgier indeed.

WARNING: Unmarked spoilers ahead!

  • Joy to the world, the anime adaption gives us a very nice animated look at what Zouken put Sakura through when she was a child. It's absolutely, utterly horrifying and disgusting. If you don't have a fear of bugs and (specifically) worms, you will after this scene. Zouken, you will burn in hell for this...
    • The scene previous to this one gives a pretty good view of a clock, which shows that the time was around 11pm. And Zouken said that put her into the wormpit "since sunrise". That is like, 18 hours straight? It really is a miracle that Sakura is even breathing.
    • Even worse when you realize that Zouken has been doing this to children, his own children, his children's children, etc, for centuries. Every generation, a child of the Matou family is subjected to exactly what happened to Sakura, but for Sakura, it was 'only' a decade. The others lived out their entire lives under Zouken's cruel penis-with-teeth worm fingers. And he had to learn his craft from someone, right? How old is the Matou family? Much too old.
    • It doesn't make Zouken's actions less horrible, but Byakuya and Kariya seems to be doing fine (until the latter signs up for himself), so I guess they don't have the habit of training their heirs in the worm pit unless there is a reason. (The reason for Sakura being she is from another bloodline, and for Kariya his lack of training and needs to become master-material in one year.) For people married into Matou family (e.g. Shinji's mother), however...
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    • Not quite, Zouken (as Zolgen Makiri) may very well have been the first head of the Matou family, and was clearly always the head in the following centuries. Which implies he came up with this depraved, hellish method of immortality himself.
    • There's also the fact that Sakura is naked, and (in the dub, at least) Zouken states that she had been "violated from head to toe." That is all kinds of messed up.
  • Again from the anime, Ryunosuke Uryu and Caster's introduction is full of nightmare-inducing images. It doesn't help that both of them are amoral and insane.
  • Sola torturing Kayneth might not be as extreme as all the other examples mentioned here, but boy is it both creepy and nightmarish.
    • Probably because there are no Eldritch Abominations, serial killers, no cruel spells beings cast, or other supernatural aspects, just a paralyzed man who's lost his reason for existence (his magic), failing his family, being emotionally manipulated—and then, when it doesn't work, physically mutilated with the threat of being reduced to a limbless husk—by the one person he cares for.
  • Oh, and Caster's lab. Oh gods, Caster's lab. Think Kirei's basement from Fate/stay night, just with a lot more blood and a lot less purpose. It consists of the still alive bodies of men, women, and children carved up and turned into instruments, artwork, and furniture. The animated version was forced to tone this down because of broadcast standards.
  • Episode 10 has a very Slasher Movie feel. Ryunosuke being the villain and Rin being the focus character. Children go missing and then Rin decides to look for them in another city. She sees Ryunosuke mind-controlling kids and leading them away by the hand. Then she finds his lair. Then it's a Moment of Awesome for Rin. Then Rin nearly gets jumped by one of Caster's tentacle abominations, and Kariya gets to pull an awesome Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • The worst part, this is the anime TONING THINGS DOWN by expanding things. The anime has Rin save the children (one of them being a friend of hers and the reason why she went after Caster in the first place) before the monster almost eats her, the light novel and manga, on the other hand, has Rin being confronted by the monster, saved by Kariya and taken to her mother right as she's about to enter Caster's lair, preventing her from saving the children (one of them being a friend of hers and, as mentioned above, the reason why she went after Caster in the first place). And the manga actually makes it worse later: At one point in the anime, Waver and Rider find Caster's lair and Waver vomits from what he sees but that we, the viewers, don't. In the manga, what makes him vomit, and that we unfortunately see, is what Caster has done to Rin's friend, just to make sure we know that she failed.
  • Just Berserker possessing a JASDF F-15J with the pilot still inside. With the pilot helpless to do anything, Berserker accelerates the jet to unimaginable speeds, until the pilot is reduced to Ludicrous Gibs from the G force. Also said jet's destruction at the hands of Lancer.
    • Caster's monster eating one of the planes with the pilot still in it.
    Command: "Report, what do you see? Report!"
  • Episode 16: There's something extremely unsettling about watching Lancer's complete meltdown as he dies with his honor completely crushed, raving madly at everyone present.
    • Those orange eyes pouring blood... There's nothing worse (or sadder) than seeing Lancer cursing the world with that expression...
    • It's also very unsettling that Lancer's voice suddenly turned so fittingly dark and terrifying. Hikaru Midorikawa may have played some terrifying villains, but none of their voices in their worst came close with how he did Lancer's last moments in how terrifying it is.
    • Kayneth begging for a Mercy Kill soon later. The manga still manages to make it worse. At least it's just a stab in the anime. In the manga... Saber had to behead Kayneth and we're left to see Kayneth's bodyless head rolling on the floor, and drawn in a big size too!
  • Episode 17: Kirei's betrayal and his murdering of Tokiomi. The rather gleeful smile Kirei has before stabbing him is especially unnerving.
  • Episode 18: Kiritsugu witnessed a horrific event during his childhood. His Precocious Crush transforming into a Dead Apostle and then setting off a Zombie Apocalypse. He has a front row seat for seeing people getting eaten. The Church's executors and the Mage's Association show up and kill the Apostles, followed by the mages deciding to torch the island to preserve the Masquerade. Finally, he finds out that all of this was caused by his own father, who couldn't care any less about it.
  • Episode 21: Kariya's strangling of Aoi is played in a disturbingly sexual way, and Kariya's wailing once he realises what he's done is haunting.
  • Episode 22: First, it is extremely unsettling to see Kirei snap at Irisviel because he can't stand an Artificial Human with genuine feelings, when he, a genuine human, can't feel real emotions...
  • Irisviel's (Angra Mainyu's) scream of terror as Kiritsugu rejects the Grail by shooting the apparition of his own daughter in the head. Worse, it's unclear how much of this is the actual Iri in the Grail, and how much of it is just Angra trying to con Kiritsugu into killing the planet.
  • Both of Kiritsugu's background episodes are filled with this. The Dead Apostles, the bees...
  • Every time The Dream Fades Before Dawn #3 begins to play. While the first half is identical to the first iteration of the song, the second half quickly descends into creepy ambience and sounds, culminating with an off-key, twisted, and haunting version of the main melody of "Let the Stars Fall Down" and "Manten". Considering that this plays when Irisviel falls into the corrupted Grail and Kiritsugu is shown just how his wish will be granted, it can be said that the song serves as the theme of Angra Mainyu.
  • Gilgamesh's proposal to Saber was squick for a number of reasons. First, he got her attention by nailing her to the ground with a sword through the leg. Second he tells her to marry him, and then makes it clear he doesn't care whether or not she wants to.
  • Kariya's death is a mixture of a nightmare and a Tear Jerker. Through sheer force of will, body ravaged beyond belief, he manages to walk slowly from the aftermath of Saber and Berserker's final duel-to-the-death to his home. There, he descends into Zouken's hellish basement where Sakura's innocence was robbed and says out loud that he's there to save her. He creates a Hope Spot as he imagines taking Sakura away to reunite with her family, including a healthy Aoi; reality reveals Kariya's corpse on the stairs, which then falls to the floor and is slowly devoured by Zouken's worms.
  • One for the Einzbern Consultation Room, but based on Iri's comment before Lancer arrives about how fast the Greater Grail shows up, and how dark her comments can get at times (or the Jerkass behavior of driving Lancelot insane again), it's very well possible that Angra Mainyu could be staging takeovers on Iri and directing the Servants to the Greater Grail while Iri may want to genuinely help them.
  • Pretty much every time Kiritsugu confronts Kayneth. He's an utter Combat Pragmatist that believes war and violence should be as horrific as possible and not glorified to discourage people from entering wars... And these fights show it:
    • When Kayneth realized the Mage Killer was coming for him he had no fear: the hotel had been evacuated after someone (that Kayneth rightly deduced was Kiritsugu) warned about an arson, so there was no danger for The Masquerade, and the last floor had an immense amount of traps, easily able to stop a Mage. Then Kiritsugu blows up the whole hotel to kill two persons. Oh, and he had Maiya ready to shoot Kayneth and Sola-Ui if they left before the explosion.
      • After the demolition, Kiritsugu remarks that he's going soft, as he took care of avoiding collateral damage this time.
    • Having survived the above, Kayneth comes after him. And then, after a battle in which they figure out each other's tricks, Kiritsugu uses his secret weapon, the Origin Bullet. What Kayneth is experiencing is every single Magic Circuit in his body severing itself and then rebinding wrong, taking away his magic-including his most prized possession, the El Melloi crest-and crippling his body in atrocious pain. And he would have died in such pain, had Lancer not rescued him.
    • Lancer's death, mentioned above, is the direct result of Kiritsugu's actions: he has kidnapped Sola-Ui and signed a geas contract that meant that, as long as Kayneth had Lancer kill himself, he would not cause any harm to either of them through any action. Kayneth is sure that this time they'll at least survive... And then, Maiya shoots them both, killing Sola-Ui on the spot and giving Kayneth a painful deadly wound. And when Kayneth begs a Mercy Kill, Kiritsugu simply points out he can't. Good thing Saber was willing to grant it even without being ordered to...
      • Lancer's and Kayneth's deaths are the actions that prompt Irisviel to call him out. It was that horrifying.
    • And to make the above worse... It's implied none of the above is the most horrific thing Kiritsugu ever did.