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Nightmare Fuel / Final Fantasy XII

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As a Nightmare Fuel page, spoilers are left unmarked.

Final Fantasy XII may be a nostalgic Call-Back to the previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, so it also has its share of frights.
  • The Espers. While they are your summons for the game, they look either uncanny or more grotesque than previous' games summons, not to mention having incredibly dark backstories that all boil down to failed attempts to Rage Against the Heavens. To note:
    • The woman attached to Zalera was a shamaness that the Esper fused to himself, and now literally manipulates—that scream during Condemnation isn't just for spooks.
      • The animation for Zalera's super move, Prime Lv. Deathnote , replicates Zodiark's Darkja with the woman's skull coming at you.
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    • Cúchulainn already looks creepy, with his jiggling fat and reptilian grin, but his Blight move has him burst out a scorpion tail to strike the ground and poison the environment. The Bestiary says he looks so monstrous because he swallowed the world's corruption.
    • Mateus did something similar to Zalera and trapped a woman to his own body, in this case an ice goddess, to serve as his meat shield as he fought the gods. Said gods not only had him struck down, they also did so to said ice goddess, despite her complete lack of agency in the whole process.
  • Nabudis, or what's left of it anyway. There is a reason why it's called The "Necrohol", and it's hard to imagine that anybody once lived there. The creepy music, along with the swirling mist and the fact that monsters can jump at you at any moment, really drives the point home.
    • It's an eerie mixture of realistic and fictional effects of an atomic fallout, given that Nethicite is Ivalice's own Fantastic Nuke. The now-called Nabreus Deadlands are a leftover of Nabudis' expanse, with both flora and fauna mutated into horrifying abominations (one enemy is even stated in the Bestiary to be the kingdom's war horses mutated into undead monsters) and Mist swirling in the air in high amounts. Worse, the Baknamy now swarm the place and attack would-be travelers by going invisible amidst the fog, ambushing the player in packs when you seem to only find one wandering around.
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    • The Necrohol of Nabudis. The former home of the Royal Family, once a lush and vibrant palace, now a destroyed, rotted corpse of its former self. Monsters roam the empty halls, the Baknamy have taken it for themselves as well, and the Nu Mou sealed three powerful beasts inside it sometime after Nabudis' destruction, including the Esper Chaos. Keep in mind that, at some point in history, this place was Prince Rasler's home.
  • Guess what happens when you run out of time to defeat both Demon Walls? They run you straight into the wall, complete with them giving you a sinister and scary look before doing so.
    • You'd think the weaker (read: mandatory) wall would be less creepy than its optional counterpart. NOPE. It's harder to get a "crushed to death" game over on it because the battleground is longer and you can stop it temporarily (or speed it up if you're not good at picking out the braziers along the floor), but at least the stronger wall doesn't end its instant game over cutscene by focusing on the wall's face (complete with eyes flaring!) before abruptly cutting to black to give you the game over screen. GAH. The optional demon wall's scene ends with the player actually seeing it smash into the wall, not just end on an evil face shot.
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  • The Nalbina Dungeons. Vaan spends a nightmarish time in these gutters, which are basically the lower portions of Nalbina Fortress sealed off and made into improvised cells by the Imperials. Dead bodies litter the floor and piles are stored and burnt in one of the rooms. An arena is used to execute prisoners at the hands of three horrifying Seeq barbarians, and last but not least, the place is sitting right atop the Barheim Passage. A prisoner even mentions that they're unable to sleep, given the sounds coming from the place in the darker hours. As a reminder, the Passage is home to zombies, ghosts, and Zalera The Death Seraph. An itinerant worker at Nalbina even notes that people will sometimes hear a woman's cry coming from the depths.
  • Some of the Hunts can be this. Some of the time, the backstory of each petition is more horrifying than their actual targets.
    • Marks like the Thextera and the Braegh are stated to attack trade caravans passing through different terrains of Ivalice. Makes one wonder how often these people are attacked or killed in the line of duty just to get some goods across the country.
    • The Bestiary defines the Wraith as an agglomerate of the souls of people who died during the construction of the Garamsythe Waterway, most of them fathers and family men, making the creature become attracted towards lone children who wander into the Waterway. The petition is put up by Lowtown resident Milha after a Seeq child encountered the ghost.
    • Something seems off the second you accept the hunt for the Croakadile. Sadeen, the petitioner, is found at the Giza Plains during the Rains, where the nomad village would usually be stationed, except he's by himself in the cold rain and he talks to the party with very long pauses, almost begging them to get back the ring the creature ate. He also flickers when you step away from him, and a Moogle near the save crystal will comment that he doesn't see the "sad-looking man" the party is seeing. Sadeen, as it turns out, is the ghost of Elder Brunoa's former lover, who died trying to get the ring back from the Croakadile. Your hunt was petitioned by a spirit so he could pass on to the afterlife in peace.
    • The Antlion hunt, which allows the party to venture deeper into the Lhusu Mines, is ripe with Adult Fear. The petitioner is a woman whose children ran off into the mines after a disagreement, and this landed them right near the nesting place of the giant man-eating bug. You essentially kill it as it was about to hunt for the two.
    • The Ixtab, a Reaper-class enemy (which are already known for being horrifying) that the Garif High Chief asks you to slay, which is an embodiment of the collective anger of deceased Garif who died at the Henne Mines. What they fail to inform you, however, is that they were killed by Imperial Troops for the sake of their nethicite experiments.
    • If the player waits until the Dry season to talk to Nanau and Roaklo at the Giza Plains but without defeating the Gil Snapper, Roaklo will comment on how he feels weaker and feverish, the implication being that the creature being released cursed him with an illness. Would he have died if the Snapper wasn't resealed in time?
    • Popol, a resident of Nalbina Town, stole an old axe from the Necrohol of Nabudis, causing his dreams to be haunted by a Deathscythe, which repeats the message "surrender the axe" over and over. The creature, a manifestation of the souls who perished in the Nabudis disaster, is slowly draining him of energy through fatigue. Like with the Gil Snapper, it's likely Popol would've died of exhaustion if the party hadn't intervened.
    • The Deathgaze hunt, which takes place aboard a Skyferry, meaning your leisure flight is interrupted by a giant Aevis wyrm landing on the sky deck and threatening to destroy the ship mid-flight.
      • What helps to set the tone is the Mood Whiplash, and not just because you're asked to kill it for a BET of all things. Basically, every time you board an airship for "leisure cruise" at an Aerodrome or talk to the petitioner, your chances of encountering the creature increase. Eventually, instead of the cheery Skyferry theme and personnel briefing, you're met with complete silence and the flight crew calling for anyone who can slay the beast. Cue "Giving Chase" suddenly blaring loudly and the passengers and crew in sheer panic, unprepared to fight the monster. Even worse, if you happen to be on a ship full of Imperials, none of the highly-trained Archadian soldiers are a match for the thing, several of them lying down hurt around the main deck.
  • Both the Great Crystal and the Subterra will randomly Jump Scare you with undead enemies that spawn right in front of you. Sometimes, they're rare game that are even tougher to kill, and in the Great Crystal, you'll get Evil Spirits that can summon even more undead. In the Subterra, this isn't as bad... unless you're in the center ring, where the enemies will never stop chasing you. The Mistmares will teleport after you, but the sloshing sounds of Abaddons chasing you is far more unnerving.
    • In a way, the two areas are thematic foils to each other: both are optional areas and part of a canonical path you must follow, said canonical path leading to a powerful focus point of energy used by the Occuria, and both are filled with high-level enemies, most of them undead. Both are also equally terrifying, although this is one of the ways the two diverge:
      • The Great Crystal starts off well-lit (and only gets brighter the closer you get to the Core) but becomes progressively darker the higher you go. Several of the enemies are undead, such as the Forbidden and the Shadonir, and not only high-leveled, they also seriously love inflicting status effect moves that usually deal all of them at once, or simple One-Hit KO attacks en masse to effectively wipe out the entire party in very little time. The area itself also has the most unnerving Dissonant Serenity to its atmosphere, with its music theme being calm and wondrous to accompany the possibly-frantic escapes the player will have to do to avoid the enemies here as much as possible, or run towards the timed gates they need to open in order to continue climbing. About the only "light" the party will encounter at the peak is Ultima, the Holy-elemental Esper, and that battle in itself can be petrifying for an unprepared player.
      • Subterra is eternally dark, with even the light the player can (and needs to) provide via Black Orbs not being enough to enlighten it fully, although it does help. Undead enemies patrol all three floors (along with Abaddon and the occasional Mistmare), with the same preference for status moves as the enemies at the Great Crystal, along with continuous swarming and respawning. Worse, this is the area where the Magick Pots stay at, legitimate traps for any player who doesn't know how to handle them properly. The dungeon is concluded by the Elite Mark "Shadowseer", a dark-based entity who summons the previous guardian entities fought during the main climb towards the Sun-Cryst plus the Phoenix fought at the Penumbra floor, at an area called "Hell's Challenge". While arguably not as difficult as Ultima, it can still easily overwhelm an unprepared party. Finally, the soundtrack for the dungeon is nerve-wracking, using the second portion of "Ashe's Theme" for great suspense effect and establishing well how there's a danger in every corner. The Zodiac re-release replaces it with the original track "Gloom", which instead gives a feeling of depression and despair.
  • Do you want to be terrified by the lore alone? Read the Bestiary in the Clan Primer, which provides very insightful commentary and descriptions of the foes you've defeated, with many notable examples. To highlight a few of them:
    • Chimera Brains and Gorgimeras, cockatrice-like creatures with human faces, in both cases said to be the result of sorcerers punished by magical powers beyond their control. Gorgimeras were forced to inhabit the body of cockatrices, Chimera Brains are the result of a Painful Transformation into these creatures.
      • The additional entry for the Chimera Brain is a brief Apocalyptic Log of a poacher who tried to eat one of the Chimera Heads that can be looted from these beings. The very next entry is a notice from the Empire that said poacher is "no longer at large", with the investigation into his demise terminated. Did he die from eating it? Or given that Chimera Brains were once human, what COULD have happened to him? Especially given that the loot description says the Head is used in alchemy and only rarely appears in the open market...
    • Chances are high that if the enemy is from the Undead genus, their description will involve at least one variation of And I Must Scream or a Fate Worse than Death. Dead Bones, for instance, are humans who made a Deal with the Devil to avoid death, yet died all the same, cursed to become walking skeletons infested with dark energy that keeps them in eternal agony. Crusaders are warriors who laid siege to old civilizations, cursed by their deceased victims to wander for eternity as armored skeletons. The "ghost" class is no better, with Necrophobes being spirits so afraid of death they refuse to accept their own, and attack passerby just for believing they're a threat. Zombie-class enemies like the Shambling Corpses wander with broken, jagged mouths and are often said to be restless souls chasing dreams never achieved in life. But scarier of all is the Reaper class, malformed monstrosities with huge scythe-like hands that prey on the living and eat their souls, having two Nightmare Faces on top of each other, with some like the Etém even being hinted at being composed of multiple wrathful souls.
    • The "nameless inklings" present as additional pages in the Bangaa species entry are both this and Tear Jerker material. The tale is told from the point of view of an unnamed man and his travel partner who made a living in Nabudis during its glory days. Though they grew apart, they stayed in contact, until the man was called by the kingdom to enlist and patrol the borders when the war came, leaving his partner behind. On the day they were announced to return, he saw his partner in a dream where he couldn't hear him due to the loud wind blowing, waking up in tears for seemingly no reason. When they returned, the Midlight Shard had already reduced Nabudis to a barren wasteland, and its people were now undead roaming the territory, with the man's partner among them.
  • Yiazmat. For the longest time, this was the ultimate "superboss" for the Final Fantasy franchise and gaming as a whole, and with good reason. Not only is it Nightmare Fuel in lore, it's Nightmare Fuel in terms of gameplay as well:
    • First and foremost, its design. Even going by the thinnest possible definitions for a dragon or wyrm, none of them even remotely look like this, not even in this game, with only the Hell Wyrm being similar due to deliberately being Yiazmat's less-powerful counterpart (and even then it's very strong). The thing is just uncanny to look at, having no visible face and a very abstract design, with giant and colorful energy rings on its neck and wings while its body looks like an animated, draconic suit of armor. It effectively shows its Light Is Not Good nature with how it looks;
    • Secondly, the fight itself, the main reason why this thing provides the page image for Marathon Boss. It is the ultimate definition for a Damage-Sponge Boss, with a little over 50 MILLION HP to take out, as well as several different magical abilities, One-Hit KO chances on its normal attacks, and worst of all, casting Reflectga on your party so it can bounce off Renew at itself, meaning you're essentially starting the entire fight over. At a high-enough level in the original version and with the proper gambits set, the least amount of time to beat this boss was TWO HOURS without breaks.

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