- Episode 7 takes an exact scene from the game, Sector 7's upper plate collapsing on the lower sector, and makes it even more terrifying than the source material, by playing it straight but just by adding in the horrified screams of the citizen's just before their deaths. Then cut to President Shinra cackling from his balcony as he observes his plans.Shinra: Breakfast is served.
Shinra: Heidegger, Reeve DOES have a point.
- Before that, when discussing the plan in question, Reeve is warning Shinra of how bad of an idea that sounds. His response?
Reeve: *sighs in relief* Thank you, sir.
Shinra: Our PR will take a noticeable hit, and if our consumers take issue with our actions, they are more than welcome to sign up with one of the OTHER energy companies. Oh, wait. We crushed them under our chocobo-skin shoes. And much like them, this AVALANCHE group will feel the full force of Shinra. I am willing to utterly and completely destroy our enemies. No matter how many "omelets" need to be made. Do I make myself clear, Reeve?
Reeve: Yes... Sir.
Shinra: And besides... *the camera cuts to an outside view of the Shinra Building* Who could possibly stop US?
- Dr. Hojo isn't nearly as demented as his original self... no, he's far worse. His usual tendencies are there, and every scene with him in it does not play his demented nature (entirely) for laughs. Here however, he's revealed in his second episode to have a fetish for interspecies breeding (which just so happens to be in his experiments), which Cloud, Barret, and even Tifa are disgusted with. Then there's his voice... sweet Ifrit, Edwyn Tiong can sound creepy when he wants to.
- The scene where Cloud sees a headless Jenova starts off just as creepy as the original game, but then we're briefly shown a short montage of disturbing flashbacks, overlaid with Zack's voice repeating "You did nothing wrong" and ending with Cloud collapsing and screaming out. Tifa actually runs over to see if he's alright and tries to calm him down.Cloud: J-J-Jenova-!
Tifa: Shh, Cloud, it's just a word. Just a word. Repress. Repress.
- Episode 10 is chock full of this. Where do we begin?
- Cloud's nightmare. Rapid cuts, discoloration, distorted imagery, and shots of Sephiroth and his past actions, ending with a greeting in Sephiroth's voice.Sephiroth: Good to see you, Cloud.
- The results of Sephiroth's killing spree are just as horrific as they are in the original, if not more, given the Troll remark that Sephiroth gave Aerith: "Follow the blood" indeed.
- Which is made worse if someone imagines Sephiroth saying it exactly how Aerith describes, gasp and all. His greeting to Cloud was intimidating enough, but his voice with his direction to Aerith...Aerith: (gasp) ''Follow the blood."
- Which is made worse if someone imagines Sephiroth saying it exactly how Aerith describes, gasp and all. His greeting to Cloud was intimidating enough, but his voice with his direction to Aerith...
- When the party discovers President Shinra's body, they mention Sephiroth. There's a flash of lightning that paints the room white and creates Sephiroth's silhouette next to his sword and treats us to his name chanted by the music.
- Cloud's Tranquil Fury when he's finally had enough of Tifa's crap at the end of the episode. The bursts of increasingly eerie music that play in the background as his rant builds momentum only add to the unsettling atmosphere of the scene.
- And if you are aware of the canon material (or were paying attention to episode 3), which wouldn't be an insignificant portion of the viewer-ship, then it becomes a case of Dramatic Irony as you'd know Cloud's recollection of the event is at least flavored by Zack's memory of the scene.
- The look of disturbing glee Aerith gives in The Stinger after Cloud vents at Tifa is either funny or frightening. Or both.
- Cloud's nightmare. Rapid cuts, discoloration, distorted imagery, and shots of Sephiroth and his past actions, ending with a greeting in Sephiroth's voice.
- The confrontation between Cloud and Sephiroth at the end of episode 11 is played nearly as straight as it was in game except Sephiroth's VA was somehow able to make him sound even creepier than in the original dialogue.
Sephiroth: You admired me so much, and now you've experienced the pain I've felt for so long. We finally have something in common... Isn't that what you've always wanted? To be JUST. LIKE. ME?
- Abridged!Sephiroth stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the cast. No matter the context, he maintains his creepy monotone and menacing presence. There's comedy to be had by everyone's reactions certainly, but it also serves as a sharp reminder that Sephiroth is dangerous.
- One moment that stands out: in the game, Sephiroth kills everyone in Nibelheim because of his new belief that Humans Are Bastards. When confronted in the reactor in Abridged? He tells Cloud he personally singled out and murdered his mother to make him "just like his hero Sephiroth", an act of both malice and pettiness that's above even his canon portrayal.
- There's something equally disquieting about the fact that Cloud and Sephiroth's shared Say My Name moment starts looping and looping until it glitches out and the memory ends. Cloud's false memories are probably riddled with gaps like that.
- Episode 12 continues the trend of Sephiroth being a monster with the change to the Midgar Zolom: it's upset and rampaging because Sephiroth killed its mate in an extremely gruesome manner. Given how cordial it is once Aerith pulls her Androcles' Lion, it's possible Zoloms aren't as vicious as they're treated as in canon, making it seem less like self-defense taken to the point of overkill and more like flat out murder.
- Really, when you get down to it, Sephiroth in general. Among Team Four Star villains, he's in a league of his own. Freeza, Cell and The Major were plenty terrifying in their own right, but it was usually offset by their wicked sense of humor. Sephiroth doesn't even have that going for him. He's introduced as The Comically Serious, sure, but after his FaceHeel Turn, he is played dead seriously and darkens the mood of whatever scene he shows up in, as if he missed the memo that this series is supposed to be a parody.
- The noises the Nibelheim Reactor Mutant makes. It's no wonder Cloud refuses to elaborate on it further, despite Red XIII's insistence.
- Despite being played for laughs, the sight of the dead Midgar Zolom is still an unnerving display of Sephiroth's power, showing just how powerful he is compared to the party, and how woefully outmatched they are.
- Aerith refusing to heal Tifa after she's poisoned. Yes, the poison isn't actually lethal, but it's still Murder the Hypotenuse mindset just short of actual murder.Aerith: ...Out of mana.
- After the battle with Jenova BIRTH in episode 14, Aerith proves just how possessive she is of Cloud when she smashes a materia simply because the summon, Shiva, was considered beautiful by him. And of course, makes it seem like an innocent accident.
- Dr. Hojo implying to have had "experimented" with Aerith's birth mom. It's enough for Cloud to cut the group's vacation short.
- In Episode 16, there's a mass shooting at the Gold Saucer. Coming after two very deadly mass shootings in the U.S in the months before the episode's airing, one of them being Las Vegas, a similar place to Gold Saucer, the scene is a little bit...real.
- In Episode 17, it's revealed that the head of the complaint department is paid by Dyne by being given his victims coats after he kills them. Worse yet, he's said that he's been present when Dyne's killed them a few times. Even if it is played for laughs, it's still rather unnerving.
- Why does Dyne murder countless people at random? Shinra didn't have a real reason to kill people, so he's decided that he doesn't need one for himself either.
- At the end of episode 18, Red mentions how fathers always break their promises and should never be trusted. When Barret asks if he has father issues, Red, in a complete 180 from his usual demeanor, starts snarling like a feral animal. Barret's reaction is most likely the viewer's reaction. And, arguably, the fact that he instantly switches back to his usual nice personality afterwards, then snarls again at each mention of his father, makes it more unnerving.
- Episode 19 took a common interpretation of the petrified Seto crying meaning that he was still conscious and made it explicit: He's very much alive, very much conscious, and very much in AGONIZING pain.
- Episode 20 features the debut of Vincent, who's amiable right up until he mentions Hojo, his voice dropping down to a demonic level before just as suddenly snapping back to his calm even tone. If he gets that angry just talking about Hojo what's it going to be like when he and Hojo meet in person?
- The Season 3 trailer is just overlapping, distorted voices that are vaguely recognizable as the party's, but one voice in particular stands out: Sephiroth's. It's three simple words, and the delivery is chilling.Sephiroth: You're too late...
- Followed by a shot of Aerith's White Materia hitting the ground, and the series logo on a black background with the first few notes of Aerith's theme playing. The moment is coming...
- Episode 21 starts with Vincent transforming into a werewolf and eating the Materia Keeper. Cloud and Tifa are scared silent and the screen is coated in bug guts. That can't be pretty...
- The implication that the real reason Cait Sith often talks just to fill empty air is so he doesn't have a moment to close his eyes and hear the sounds of the Sector 7 plate being brought down on dozens of innocent civilians, and their accompanying screams of terror.
- Episode 24 has Sephiroth gaining the Black Materia. Both Sephiroth and Aerith screaming Cloud's name as he cries out in distress is terrifying.
- Before that, Cloud's breakdowns due to Sephiroth's influence. He keeps repeating "Reunion... Black Materia..." over and over in a Madness Mantra. Then, when he appears to snap out of it, Cloud is eerily calm, which is even more unnerving. Worse still, if you listen carefully during the madness mantra, you can hear Cloud's voice shouting, "I'm Cloud!" over and over again.
- Considering it often gets overshadowed by "One-Winged Angel" as Sephiroth's theme, AinTunez manages to make "Those Chosen By The Planet" stand out and even more unsettling, by making the chanting less bombastic and more creepy, to accentuate the evil of Sephiroth whenever he's onscreen.
- Before Aerith's death, she talks about how she wants to say goodbye, and wants to tell Cloud something, but it comes out jumbled, with one clear sentence from Sephiroth:Aerith: (distorted, lowered sound) You're Cloud, never forget that. x3
Sephiroth: You're Cloud, and you're too late.
- Sephiroth's murder of Aerith has Sephiroth in full Kick the Dog mode and giggling like a creepy child. Cloud's determined response is also scary, for just how serious he is about it.Sephiroth: What hurts MORE, Cloud? Holding another dead loved one in your arms... Or breaking your promise to her?
Cloud: The only thing I'm going to break... is your neck.
Sephiroth: *laughs evilly* Very well. You will find me at the Reunion. The Northern Crater. Go there... You puppet.
- Sephiroth's departing words and his delivery of said words can send a chill up a spine.
- Throughout Sephiroth's taunting, the beautiful piano version of "Aerith's Theme" gets drowned by an eerie version of "Those Chosen By The Planet" that doesn't stop until Sephiroth leaves the scene.
- Fridge Horror example: The Jenova-LIFE fight is removed here, accentuating the fact that it wasn't just a piece of Jenova in Sephiroth's form that killed Aerith. More than in the actual game, it might as well be Sephiroth's actual body that was there that impaled Aerith. It doesn't help that the Sephiroth that's there isn't dismissing Cloud's emotions like in the original scene, but is openly gleeful about the murder and rubs it in Cloud's face like he with the latter's mother to rile him. While the original may be ambiguous about who's really running the operation, in this canon, it's all Sephiroth and his pettier evil that's at play.
- Following the "burial", unlike in the original, there's no dramatic declaration of his identity and mission. Cloud only says one thing, and it's terse, no-nonsense, and dripping with Tranquil Fury. It makes what he says almost like a direct order, and nobody's in the mood to even say anything about it. It definitely sells how hard a cold-hearted murder like Aerith's hits and the amount of anger it would induce.
Nightmare Fuel / Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged