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Nightmare Fuel / Final Fantasy VII

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The pic on the right shows a close-up of the very same Eldritch Abomination that sums up the Nightmare Fuel of the whole Final Fantasy series so well, it's been chosen as the image for the page made for that exact purpose.

There's a REASON for that.

It's not like the sequel was any better, though.

The Original Game

  • The nightmare begins with the line "I'm going to see my mother." This seemingly innocuous line, combined with Sephiroth's now apparent insanity and "Those Chosen by the Planet" kicking in at full force lets you know without a doubt that something terrible is about to happen. For the rest of the game you'll be one step behind Sephiroth, chasing a trail of blood, fear, and horribly mutilated corpses.
  • The fact Shinra Inc. essentially runs the world as an autocratic megacorporation with a mixture of resource dependency, military might that includes genetic monstrosities and dangerous supersoldiers, puppet rulers using controllable authority figures, extensively streamed propaganda, and espionage agents that secretly stamp out any dissent is pretty terrifying for the average citizen especially since Shinra is run by corrupt corporate sociopaths who only care about power and profit and will sacrifice entire towns of people at their leisure. Worse off, there are genuinely benevolent people like Zack Fair and Cissnei working for Shinra Inc. that have been manipulated into believing the company is for the best for bringing its own form of progress to many despite its many questionable practices, making them work against others who want to be free of Shinra's influence until it's too late.
    • The revelation that the Shinra Electric Power Company uses machines built to forcibly extract the Lifestream from the earth and process it into efficient and ubiquitous Mako energy and effectively run the world turns nightmarish when you realize the Lifestream is essentially the mass of the souls of all living organisms (including their memories, emotions, and knowledge) generated and funneled into the Planet as its source of Life. Shinra had been converting the souls of humanity into fuel for profit and this had been going on for decades! Not to mention the fact it was mentioned if Shinra kept depleting the Lifestream's energy then the Planet would atrophy and essentially die along with everything on it.
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    • And pertaining to the above, the drastic actions that Shinra take when they cause the Sector 7 Plate of Midgar to drop onto the slums below, killing two town's worth of people in the span of half a minute. No evacuation notices, no warnings, no damns given by any of the executives besides Reeve (to the point of Palmer clamoring for a tax hike). It's bad enough that countless lives were sacrificed just to (fail to) wipe out AVALANCHE, but then you realize exactly why President Shinra is so damn blasé about it without even being concerned for two bombed reactors: all those deaths just made more Mako fuel for the company. These people would genocide the world if there was a profit to be made, and not even flinch!
    • The headless Jenova scene. The fact that she has SQUID EYEBALLS for nipples is bad enough. It almost looks like her headless body is a severely deformed face.
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    • You know when something is scary when an in-game character summed it up the best.
      Barret: Where's its $#&* &@ head?
    • The creepy music and heartbeat sound effects didn't help one bit, either. The image itself is terrifying but adding the music, heartbeat and beeping noise made things ever worse.
    • And the scariest part about JENOVA? You see and fight her scattered limbs, you see her severely downsized form, you see her reborn form... but you never see the planet-destroying original.
    • The way that the whole Nibelheim Reactor scene is built up is nothing short of terrifying. The red lighting, the nightmarishly organic-looking wires straight out of H. R. Giger and (as pictured above) that weird doll/deathmask THING hanging there. We think it's Jenova, but then Sephiroth to rips it out (and it sheds Tears of Blood) before showing the actual creature. Oh, and did we mention her/its external biological system, complete with a seven-chambred HEART? Or the fact that the doll and room are vaguely shaped the same way, with it's blood-red cable connecting its torso to the floor's ventricle-shaped layout?
      • On a related note, the scene a little while before this, when Sephiroth and Cloud (really Zack) infiltrate the reactor to find out what's wrong with it. Cloud comes upon Sephiroth contemplating one of the energy pods, and eventually after a conversation where it's clear Sephiroth is already starting to get a hint of the truth about himself (and cracking over it), he gestures to Cloud to look receive a horrifying image of the once-human (a former SOLDIER) that has been exposed to much higher amounts of Mako energy. Cloud innocently helps set Sephiroth on his path when he asks him (after Sephiroth talks about the different results from different exposures to Mako) how he's different from other SOLDIERs. Cue Sephiroth breaking down as he realizes he too is a monster...and then the scene ends with one of the pods breaking open to spill its (presumably) dying experiment out on the floor... As a coda to this, keep in mind it was actually Zack witnessing this. Zack, who actually was a member of SOLDIER, and was likely having similarly terrifying thoughts here of what the Mako energy might have done to him. And then we eventually learn that after the destruction of Nibelheim, both he and Cloud were held prisoner under the mansion to be further experimented on by Hojo. They manage to escape thank goodness, but...
    • Or how about Jenova∙SYNTHESIS, which is most likely Jenova's true form? A Biological Mash Up that looks vaguely like the torso of a human woman with some sort of weird doll mask for a face (not unlike the mask thing covering her in the Nibelheim Reactor), two extremely long, tentacle-like arms that each have three long blade-like claws, a weird purple hairdo and other purple and blue growths that almost resemble the petals of a flower... all of which are attached to a large shell-like body, which conceals a giant heart-like organism exposed to the air.
  • The specters of the Gi tribe underneath Cosmo Canyon. See here. It's just A TORSO YOU'RE FIGHTING? The spine just dangles there...
    • The only thing that's Nightmare Retardant about this is that Gi Natak is the easiest boss in the entire game if you have an X Potion (like the one you could pick up earlier in that very dungeon) to throw at him. If he takes one, he goes down instantly.
    • Also from Cosmo Canyon, Bugenhagen says that the Planet's death is not far away. Horrified, Cloud asks how he knows this. He says "I hear the cries of the Planet," and we are treated to a creepy, siren like sound, and the actual screams of pain from the Planet. See the scene here, starting at 1:36.
  • It's a small detail, but the Jenovan Reunion scene where a giant eye unexpectedly opens in the rock wall. It's creepy in it how it quietly hints that there's an Eldritch Abomination Weapon sitting right there.
  • Who Am I? . An insanely disturbing and unsettling tune that plays more than once throughout the venture and it's usually when Cloud's going bat shit insane. It haunts many a player to this day. It's also a Dark Reprise of the Main Theme
  • The scene where the team 'escapes' from the cell block is still terrifying. You fall asleep in your cell, only to wake up later and find the cell door mysteriously open. You look outside and find the guard has been horribly murdered. You get your friends out of their cells and you see that everyone on that floor is dead. And the pod holding Jenova has been burst open, leaving a huge bloody trail up the elevator. You follow it, trailing this massive blood smear up multiple levels past scores of dead employees while the creepiest music ever plays. Not to mention that there is no victory theme, when you win a battle... All that's there is that frigging creepy music. And it ends with the Big Bad up until this point slumped over, dead, a sword in his back. Then you get introduced to the REAL Big Bad. The fact that you don't actually see Sephiroth yet & are just working off of this, coupled with Cloud's obvious mix of fear, hatred, & reverence further increases his creepiness.
    • Our introduction to the secondary antagonist, Rufus Shinra, follows immediately afterwards. The sinister Shinra theme music is playing at the time, and if you speak to your allies, they build him up in a way that is just chilling. Tifa says, "I wonder what kind of a person he is." Aerith says, "I've heard no one's ever seen him bleed or cry." Barret says, "I heard that he'd been assigned somewhere else for a long time". And Red XIII simply says, "I only know his name." And then when you run outside to meet him in person, his utter coldness towards your interference and his own father's death, plus his speech on how he intends to rule the world through fear, firmly establishes him as a warped person who's utterly detached from humanity.
    • Even the common Mooks you encounter at this part are rather grotesque (such as Brain Pod, Vargid Police and the Zenene.) Fighting these critters alongside the ominous background music was freakish enough for younger players.
    • There's also something incredibly unsettling about the fact that, despite all the carnage and bloodshed on the upper floors of the HQ, if you head back downstairs and check the lower floors (you can't actually explore them, since your keycards were confiscated, you can only see them from the stairwells), you can see that everyone else is going on about their business as usual. Not even aware that their boss and many of their co-workers were brutally murdered just a few floors up...
  • Hojo. What's wrong with him? Well...
    • After the Nibelheim fire, he kidnaps its survivors, including Zack and Cloud, and subjects them to horrible experiments for four years. Only Zack and Cloud make it out with any semblance of sanity left.
    • The thirty-plus years he kept Vincent to experiment on him, turning him into an immortal shape shifter trapped in a coffin until Cloud and Co. freed him.
    • For that matter, nothing says, "I love you, honey" like getting your girlfriend knocked up with an alien baby that nearly kills her and drives her insane!
    • Hojo really is the king of all assholes in Final Fantasy VII and that's saying something. Not only does he have no ethical standards at all, he's insane to the point of self-destruction and is the father of the Big Bad who also wants to wipe out everything. At some point, he figures out the truth of what Jenova actually is and what it would mean for him and the planet (by the time he starts rambling about Reunion Theory), and he simply does not care.
    • Not to mention Hojo tried to mate Aerith and Red XIII for an experiment as an "attempt to save both races from extinction". It's best not to think about the details.
    • There's not just what he did that's terrifying, but also what he turns into during your boss battle against him. Say hello to Helletic Hojo. His third form crosses the Bishōnen Line, so it's not as scary, but his second form wouldn't look out of place in Resident Evil.
  • The worst part about Hojo is that his evil is so visceral and personal. When all we know is that he's an eccentric Mad Scientist who delivers sass towards the other villains, he seems almost likeable. It's hearing about what he does to his test subjects, coworkers and his own family which turns him into an object of horror.
    • Did he ever truly love or even care for Lucrecia, or did he just see her as an incubator for his latest project? Did Lucrecia do this willingly or did he string her along with false affection and obfuscate what the end results would be? Sadly, Lucrecia did agree to experimenting on her unborn son, but she never knew exactly how bad things would turn out to be...
    • The most disturbing part is how his final scene is framed as if he's deluded enough to think he's making a Heroic Sacrifice. He could have easily escaped during all the anarchy of the Shinra HQ raid and become a Karma Houdini, but instead he throws himself to his death against the protagonists in order to send power to Sephiroth, and finally refers to him as his son. This man is so twisted and nihilistic that he's never cared about a single other human being, especially his son, and now he'll kill himself out of "love" for a world-destroying monster. Because Sephiroth is now a successful experiment, and that's all Hojo ever cares about.
      • If anything, Hojo's reappearances as a purely emotionless villain in the Compilation are less terrifying than this man who's deluded himself that he knows what emotions are.
    • The sheer fact that every single bad thing, the plot, is somehow caused by Hojo. He's practically Jenova/Sephiroth's Dragon and Greater-Scope Villain simultaneously. Not bad for a minor character!
    • After going with Vincent to the mountain cave where Lucrecia is hiding to hear her story out, come back and visit it again. Nothing happens, not even background music; it's one of the few places in the game to have complete silence. On top of that, the area is labeled as "???". Slightly mitigated if you meet the requirements to unlock Vincent's Limit Break manual and Death Penalty weapon, in which case you'll find them here.
  • The Shinra submarine, which is required to progress the story at a certain point, can cause you to run into Emerald Weapon. Emerald Weapon has a chance to appear directly outside of the Gelnika, causing you to enter battle completely unwillingly.
    • Seriously, the Gelnika itself deserves a proper mention. All of the monsters are mini-cosmic horrors, one of which vaguely resembles a half-decayed dog head which attacks you with its giant, lolling TONGUE. Another monster which looks like a mass of internal organs attacks you with "creepy touch" which gives you "sadness." Meanwhile the setting is a creepy, grimy, battered plane sunken underwater, with water constantly dripping in the background and areas where murky water is actually pooling up in the lower levels. The whole place could break open and flood at any moment, and its appearance overall gives the feel of a derelict alien ship crash. Add in the enemies here and it comes off like something out of the Alien franchise. The only thing that helps is the background music.
  • The freaking Yin-Yang that you have to fight in the room where you find Vincent. Not only does it look like a zombie, but anytime it uses an attack, you have to sit there for a minute and watch it twitch in a disturbing fashion. A number of the other Shinra Mansion monsters were also freaky. In the PC version, when you go into battle at that point, BGM does not change. Now imagine battling Yin-Yang once again. At least they were decent enough to play the victory theme after that.
    • Hell, Nibelheim. There's something unsettling about the place to begin with, mainly because the haunting "Anxious Heart" music is its BGM, but there are several factors that make it a rather nightmarish place. The Mind Screw that occurs if Cloud visits his mother in the flashback, Mt. Nibel and its' interiors, the Nibel reactor, the Shinra mansion, the entire incident with Sephiroth, and the mansion basement where Hojo did all his horrible experiments AND locked Vincent away. But worst of all is when you revisit the town. It's been rebuilt from the ground up exactly as it was five years ago, with all the townspeople acting like nothing ever happened to it, so maybe Cloud was misremembering things the whole time. There's also people in black cloaks hanging around all over town, moaning about "the great Sephiroth" and "the Reunion". A report letter to Hojo found at Tifa's house is the only thing that explains what's going on here. The townsfolk are Shinra staff members assigned to act like civilians and keep what happened in Nibelheim five years ago a secret, and the cloaked "Sephiroth Clones" are the surviving townsfolk whom Hojo experimented on in order to prove his theories on the JENOVA Reunion. In the attic of one house, there are even two children who have been turned into these things! It's really hard to sleep after finding all this out.
  • The Sephiroth Clones in general. In a game full of bright polygonal characters they stand out for being dark, formless blobs that have no distinguishing features whatsoever. They first appear in Nibelheim, mumbling about Sephiroth, but as the game goes on they degrade worse and worse until, near the end of disc one, several of the clones walking to the reunion suddenly keel over and die for positively no reason, and to make things worse as they block your path when you try to interact with them to move them they convulse and then suddenly disappear. Just before this you also see one of them commit suicide, as it jumps off the cliffside right before you can reach them.
  • Cloud's random Sephiroth/Jenova induced freakouts are just unsettling.
    • The piercing noise that accompanies the freakouts deserves special mention.
  • A whole bunch of people die in Sector 7 (or rather, under Sector 7). Also, the Planar Shockwave in the beginning of the game... if you don't make it out of the reactor in time...
  • Hell House! A house... THAT GETS UP ON ITS OWN AND DECIDES IT WANTS YOU DEAD!!! Then when you beat it up a bit, out pops a head and several limbs!
  • Super Nova, an attack that the final boss uses against your team, which shows a meteor plowing through just about every planet in the solar system, before crashing head-long into the sun, causing a supernova, even to the point of getting around those pesky laws of physics by causing it with a star too small to become a supernova on its own. That in itself is scary, but let's look at the attack animation again. Notice something familiar about those planets being blown up? Like, say, their names? That's right, that meteor isn't just causing a supernova in any solar system; IT'S CAUSING A SUPERNOVA IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.
    • The original Japanese release simply had the ending second or so where you see a wide shot to a celestial boom and the characters take damage. The western versions added the space sequences. Later in Crisis Core, you get an email from one of Sephiroth's admirers going on about his signature Super Nova attack. So it's simply something he does semi-commonly even when he was more man than monster, not a real Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
    • Then again, Sephiroth wasn't a giant seven-winged monstrosity back in Crisis Core. Indeed, all the planet-shattering may not have been literal, but who's to say that his final form didn't boost his signature attack to ungodly levels regardless? After all he's essentially a god now, so if he hadn't been killed in this fight, he'd have the power to destroy whatever he pleased a la Kefka.
    • The fear really goes up as the attack animation is happening alongside the theme One-Winged Angel.
  • The Midgar Zolom. No, not that snake in the marsh, the one you find. On your way to Junon you have to cross a marsh with a gigantic 100-foot snake living in it that will massacre your party if you try to cross it on foot. No biggie, you catch a chocobo and get across. But on the other side you get a cutscene where you see a Midgar Zolom VIOLENTLY IMPALED on a massive dead tree, with blood streaming down the trunk. The sheer brutality was horrifying. It gets better when you realize who did it. The giant snake that devours your body like popcorn if you try to fight it? Sephiroth spiked it on a tree without breathing hard. And that's when it sinks in just what sort of person you're dealing with...
  • Sephiroth. Every single time he showed up, something horrible happened, like the deaths of civilians, Cloud having his massive breakdown, Aerith's death, and the infamous scene of that evil smile as he burned Nibelheim to the ground. When he showed up in that game, you knew something horrible was going to happen.
    • One of the worst bits has to be in the Temple of Ancients, just before he attacks Tseng. You're having some sort of vision of the past, seeing the Turks search the temple, and then Sephiroth shows up, and he looks straight at you. You're not sure if he's just able to see Cloud & co., or if he can actually see you playing the game.
  • If you enter a certain room in the Honeybee Inn or whatever it's called, Cloud encounters... well... himself? What's going on in this part isn't exactly clear, but the general idea you get is that Cloud is really, seriously messed up inside - much more so than you're expecting at that point. The brief interaction they have, as well as the music playing in that room, is very creepy.
    • It's "the real Cloud" that Cloud encounters, his true self inside of him that's not acting upon a combination of Zack's memories and JENOVA cells. He speaks to Cloud at other points in the game as a voice inside his head. In this particular "conversation", he's telling the outer Cloud that he can't run away from his past because "it's started moving again." "It" referring to JENOVA.
  • The BGM to the very first area you play in, "Mako Reactor", deserves mention in that it welcomes you, as you begin the game, like - for lack of a better comparison - a kick to the face. It was so creepy, that the Lighter and Softer FF title "Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales" used it for the freakin' Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Don Corneo is the resident pervert who picks women to come visit his mansion so he can spend time alone with them. You infiltrate his mansion with transvestitism and go looking for Tifa to find he has a DUNGEON in his basement. Let's be clear - this is not your typical bondage-club "dungeon" either. It's a medieval torture dungeon. However, it's strongly implied that Corneo uses it like an S&M dungeon. Not even the hilarity of Cloud in a dress can make up for how deeply icky the whole thing is.
    • It gets worse: at that point, Corneo has been looking for a bride for a while, and one of the locals mentions that he chooses a girl from a stable of three, and the other two go to his thugs... and this happens every night. So where are the brides going? Down the trapdoor in Corneo's bedroom. That leads to a sewer.
      • It gets even worse: A sewer where Don Corneo's gigantic man-eating monster pet Rapps lives!
      • All of this points to the revelation that Don Corneo is a serial-killing rapist who preys on trios of women, gives two to his thugs to be ravaged and never seen again, and picks each of his brides to be fed to his pet monster when he is finished with them and the fact he's been at this for a while with no one stopping him beforehand showcases how horrible the setting really is.
  • Dyne. In Barret's flashback, he's the kindest, most loveable father you could meet. Now? He's a batshit insane Omnicidal Maniac. When you meet up with him in person, Barrett duels him and tries to snap Dyne out of it. Dyne does come to his senses, but he's so stricken with grief that he kills himself.
    • Oh, he's not just gone insane, he starts to talk about killing Marlene to take her back to her mother. It's enough to push Barret into the fight at last, when at the start of the scene he was so unwilling to kill his best friend that he just stood there and let himself get shot.
  • That whole part where Cloud has his Heroic BSoD and becomes catatonic for a portion of the game, and it's up to Tifa to snap him out of it.
  • The Forgotten Capital a.k.a. The City Of The Ancients. There are no encounters, the environment feels completely dead, and the haunting music lets you know that something really horrible is about to happen...
    • Even worse: the name of that solemn, haunting music playing in this dead city? 'You Can Hear The Cry of The Planet.' Yes, yes we can...
  • The Weapons are pretty scary in the FMV cutscenes. See for yourself.
  • During the latter half of the game, whenever you walk into the overworld map, you're greeted by the haunting sight of Meteor in the sky as it's approaching the planet, accompanied by The Great Northern Cave, a low key, ominous tune that really sinks in the feeling that the whole world is doomed and fighting it is only delaying the inevitable.
  • The scene with Cloud and Aerith after Cait Sith "sacrifices" himself at the Temple of the Ancients: After the party obtains the Black Materia, Sephiroth appears, causes Cloud to have a major freak-out, and manipulates him into handing it over. After Sephiroth leaves, Cloud is still freaking out, this time over what he has just done. All the while, Aerith is knelt down next to him, consoling him and telling him that it wasn't his fault. Cloud, still in freak-out mode, proceeds to pummel the living crap out of her. He stops only when the third member of the party knocks him out cold.

Crisis Core

  • Crisis Core recreates the game's famous Nibelheim disaster with better 3D. And a Spooky Painting of a girl in Zack & Cloud's room. Despite not doing anything (that we know of) walking up to it prompts you to push X to examine it. Whereupon Zack will comment on how creepy it is. No other paintings in the room are considered noteworthy enough for examination.
  • The Genesis Copies. These were SOLDIERs, regular guys, that got injected with just a bit of Genesis' cells, stuffed in Mako tanks, and get turned into mindless drones, stripped of everything that give them their individuality, even their physical appearance, in a process that is potentially very painful. Gah. Made even worse when you think that, when Genesis first deserted Shinra, the SOLDIERs he took with him came of their own free will out of loyalty to him and they were the ones that wound up as the Copies. And some fans say Genesis isn't that evil.
  • In the final mission and also the final area of the game (Banora Underground), you can see a shoulder of Emerald Weapon sticking out of a large formation of crystal.

Dirge of Cerberus

  • Vincent's backstory is both horrifying and sad. There's one flashback scene in Dirge of Cerberus in which we see Vincent locked in a test tube, just after being infused with the Chaos Gene. It does keep his body from decaying and returning to the Planet, but its overwhelming power means that Vincent can't control it on his own. Cue the transformed Vincent clawing and banging against the glass, growling and hissing as Lucrecia's panic increases. Had she not implanted him with the Proto-Materia in time...
    • There's also a short scene from the original game recreated in Dirge of Vincent waking up on the operating table - and discovers his Galian Beast form. Cue bloodcurdling scream.
    • After the Shinra Mansion stage in Dirge, Vincent's Proto-Materia (the one thing that keeps Vincent's will from being overtaken by Chaos) is stolen. He almost immediately starts to spasm and writhe in pain. Later on, while aboard the Shera, from Vincent's perspective, Chaos very much wants out (the screen is washed over red and blurred), but Vincent manages to muster enough strength to restrain himself. When he regains full consciousness, there are huge claw marks on the wall.
      • This ties back to the original game. What's Vincent's reaction when he learns his final Limit Break, Chaos? "I'm becoming less human..."

The Remake


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