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Nightmare Fuel / Final Fantasy VI

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This is before the World of Ruin, by the way.
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Face it. The Nightmare Fuel seen in the Final Fantasy series may well have debuted in Final Fantasy IV and popped up again in Final Fantasy V, but this is where they got serious for real.

Keep in mind this game inspired the less fantasy-ish route the series took with further installments, with a parallel route filled with increasing horror following the former.

Bring your brown pants. You'll need them.

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Moments subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.


  • The Cultists' Tower. First off, its theme is fucking disturbing; it sounds like some religious death march music with some eerie chanting in the background. Next, we have an entire cult that sprung up out of complete fear of Kefka and they march in a circle in front of this tower without end. The most disturbing thing? Strago is amongst them; believing Relm to be dead, he was so overcome with grief he actually turned to worship the same man that caused her "supposed" death. She's alive, of course, and comes to snap him out of it, but damn.
  • The poisoning of Doma Castle. This is where Kefka firmly first establishes himself as such an utter and soulless psychopath that even his Emperor doesn't look fondly on this action. Granted, his dialogue is a little over-the-top and enjoyable, but then you see the water turn purple and all the citizens of the castle dropping dead. It's not a pleasant sight. But the worst is when Cyan, retainer of the castle, finds his king and his wife and child all dead due to the poisoning. Seriously messed-up.
    • Also, everyone except for Cyan and a sentry had died in Doma. When Cyan enters his room and walks to his son in the bed and Owain falls to the ground, it's horrifying. There is a dead CHILD on the Super Nintendo screen.
      • This also gives Cyan some kind of PTSD because only he and a sentry had survived. If you go to sleep in Doma Castle the World of Ruin, and Cyan is in the party, he has a nightmare and doesn't wake up in the morning. The three characters who are with him have to enter in his Dreamscape to save him, as three psychopathic triplets, the Dream Stoogles, want to eat his soul, and Wrexsoul, a monster formed by the souls of the dead in the War of the Magi, is eating him from the inside. Even worse, he was brainwashed by this monster to the point that he was willing to relinquish his soul out of deep despair and out of shame for his failure in protecting his family, his kingdom, and not being able to stop Kefka from destroying the world, and even when you save him, it takes the souls of his wife and kid to snap him out of it.
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  • Shadow's various Flashback Nightmares, especially if you didn't know about them, happen to sleep in an inn with Shadow in the party, then hear that godawful buzzing sound....
  • Some of the enemy sprites in this game are pretty nasty. Humpties are pretty grotesque, looking like round, wrinkly, naked humanoid shapes, and they also use hugs/their own odors as a special move, which is so disgusting it confuses whoever they try it on. Brainpans could easily be images from a drug-induced nightmare, honestly being smiling flying zombie Buddha heads, and Crullers resemble twisting intestines covered in discolored tumors.
  • Getting to see Kefka outright kill Gestahl on-screen, and then kick his corpse around for fun while you're totally powerless in doing anything. Consider that Emperor Gestahl was an absolute bastard that was willing to slaughter and destroy entire countries to rule it all, and he ends up the Lesser of Two Evils because Kefka finally snapped enough to slip his leash and fry the guy dead on the spot.
  • The World of Ruin. The music, with that bone-scrapingly discordant pipe organ.
    • In the original release and the Game Boy Advance version, the waters of the World of Ruin were a sort of rust-brown, giving the impression they were filthy and polluted. In the iOS remake of the game, the water looks like an ocean of vibrant blood.
    • Peepers, the squirrel-like monsters on the first island of the World of Ruin. The way they just... die without being hit. It really hammers home the fact that this world itself is dying.note 
    • Returning to Narshe, a bustling mining town in the World of Balance and the first town in the game, only to find a monster-infested ghost town with only one human inhabitant left. It doesn't help that the music changes to the same eerie ambience as the World of Ruin's map theme.
  • The cutscene at the end of the Floating Continent, which depicts most of the world being destroyed. An entire continent is split in half by massive, city-sized explosions and people fall into the created chasms to their deaths. The entire thing is driven home when we see the explosions visible from space as the music fades out.... The intro to the World of Ruin just adds more despondent salt in the wounds.
  • Celes's attempt at SUICIDE! That's right, SUICIDE in a Final Fantasy game. While this scene only occurs if you failed to save Cid, the fact that it's easy to fail to save Cid means it's common for players to see it. Celes barely even knew the truth about him being her uncle until now and yet is so overcome with grief she attempts it. You even watch as she takes the jump off the cliff. She lives, but still, yikes.
  • FFVI is full of creepy bosses. One of them is Chadarnook. It is a painting of a sexy woman that transforms into a freaking demon.
    • The location where it's found, Owzer's Mansion is also really unsettling, since the paintings come to life without warning, there's a Creepy Changing Painting of Maria (Celes' lookalike opera singer), and you get sucked into one painting of a chair, where an old woman takes the chair.

  • The Collapsing House in Tzen in during the World of Ruin arc. Celes has to rescue a child trapped in a collapsing house and escape before the 6-minute timer runs out, while Sabin holds the house. If time runs out, Sabin will not be able to hold the house and will be crushed, causing a Game Over. However, according to an interview with the developers, letting time run out would originally have caused Sabin to die for real! While a few games of the series before this did something like that (often in Final Fantasy II, in Final Fantasy IV, with Tellah (who dies for real), Cid and Yang (who survive, although injured) and Palom and Porom (who petrify themselves to allow the others to escape), and in Final Fantasy V, with Galuf, who dies over halfway through the game and his grandaughter Krile takes his place), the fact that he could have died if you didn't save the child inside that house in time is just horrifying. Not to mention that originally, if afterwards you go to sleep in Tzen, that would trigger a night-time cutscene where Edgar desperately tries to find his brother's body. Fortunately, the developers changed that because the World of Ruin was already dark and scary enough as it was.

  • Just the fact that at the beginning of the game, the beautiful, lush, vibrant world that the characters take for granted has about a month left to live, at least in the way that the characters know it. And not a single person knows or even suspects that such a cataclysm will occur, except for Kefka.

  • The ghosts pursuing you on the Phantom Train. Until Sabin brings some levity to the situation by leaping over the train cars with Cyan (and possibly Shadow) in tow in order to escape, the entire scenario just seems so hopeless. Dozens of ghosts are pursuing the party at every turn, all the while moaning that there is nowhere to run or hide, and that they will not escape. It's like something out of the Evil Dead movies.
  • The Empire's capital of Vector is one of the more ominous moments. The citizens don't seem to care at all about what's going on outside of the city. The Emperor himself is more concerned with consolidating his remaining power and pacifying the Returners than actually addressing any of the myriad issues going on. And half the city is on fire, yet nobody seems to notice. And that's before you set foot in the Magitek Factory...
  • The Final Boss itself, in all of its four-phase glory. After all the hell the cast had to go through, they finally confront Kefka only to be confronted with the Statue of the Gods: a structure composed of multiple tiers covered in human, demonic and angelic facsimiles with organic-looking machinery all throughout, that channels the power of the Warring Triad. Kefka effectively designed a blasphemous monument to his own godhood and a testament to those he stepped over to reach it, and by itself it's extraordinarily powerful despite being completely inanimate. It also doesn't help that there was no prior warning to its existence, as the player is forced to battle it first to ascend to the true final battle, and at least one Word of Saint Paul implies it to have been the entire dungeon itself turned to life as one final obstacle.
    • Then after gradually destroying the tower, you're met with the game's opening organs and choir — and the sight of Kefka himself before a heavenly background, as what amounts to having become what can only be described as Lucifer having ascended to become God with an intent to destroy all of creation. In most of the rest of the series you either fight an Eldritch Abomination or a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere that happens to be godly in power, but Kefka has the power of creation and destruction at a whim, already destroyed the world, and is by all means the cornerstone of all magic and power in what's left of life. It's perhaps one of the most striking moments in the franchise history as he descends, because something so wrong exists and he revels in the absurdity of it. There's also the fact that he precludes That One Attack with what looks like a screaming face of himself and the heavens rumbling from the imminent Nuke 'em he's about to inflict on you.

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