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No one should die... in pain...

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    Legacy / A Realm Reborn (1.0-2.55) 
  • In the opening cinematic, you learn that Malboro's saliva is capable of melting armor.
  • One of the first things you see when starting in Gridania 1.0 is a Treant eating wolves. Clearly Eorzea is a dangerous place.
  • The End of an Era in Legacy was probably one of the prime examples of a Downer Ending in gaming; even though Nael van Darnus is dead, he's succeeded in sending Dalamud into a collision course with the planet. Then it's revealed that Dalamud isn't a moon, but a prison for Bahamut, who bursts free and nearly scorches Eorzea to cinders. While Louisoix manages to stop him, Eorzea is changed forever.
  • Despite the T rating, the game is filled to the brim with grim material. From the monstrous serial killings of young women and their facial mutilation (described but thankfully their corpses conveniently have masks), to the more Ax-Crazy members of The Empire brutally slaughtering people explicitly. The player even has to carry corpses multiple times throughout the game, including of their fellow Scions after it gets raided while the workers involved barely care at all. This and all the harsh language and sultry material make it seem like the Bloodless Carnage is the only real barrier between the ratings, while also firmly establishing that Eorzea is irrevocably tainted by horrors and warfare all around.
  • When you reach Revenant's Toll with the purpose of infiltrating the Garlean fortress nearby, you hear the story of Glaumunt, the NPC who helps you to do this. His homeland was conquered and his family lived under Garlean rule when he was a child. As a boy, he would witness his strong older sister and mother being "visited" by Garlean soldiers with him eventually realizing what this meant but being helpless to stop it. Eventually they tried to escape only to be quickly found out. Rather than having to face their abuse under Garlean rule again, his mother and sister flung themselves off the cliffside. For all their talk of bringing stability and peace to conquered nations, all Garland really does is abuse, slaughter and plunder.
  • The Ultima Weapon's entrance. You think you've beaten Garuda, but her subjects' worship makes her unbeatable. Then Gaius appears, and taunts her. She responds by forcing the captive beastmen of the other primals to pray to Ifrit and Titan, and with a push from Garuda, they manifest right then and there. All three primals you have fought are in one place. Couldn't get any worse, right? But then Ultima Weapon drops in. Ifrit attacks it first... and is defeated in seconds. And is then absorbed into Ultima Weapon. It then makes short work of Titan, absorbing him too. Garuda is the only one left. Up until now, Garuda hasn't shown anything other than contempt for everything other than herself. But faced with Ultima Weapon, she expresses pure fear for the first time. But she's unable to stop the inevitable; once Ultima Weapon gets a hold of her, it crushes her head, absorbing the third primal. This thing has the power of three primals, and is in Garlean hands.
  • Tempering. Not only can a primal convert someone to their side in a burst of power — with no way to prevent, dodge, or block it, unless you have the Echo — there is no known way to reverse the process. Tempered victims are actually routinely killed off by the good guys as a result of this, because they view it as a Fate Worse than Death and leaving them alive only serves to potentially strengthen the primal that has them under control. Worse, while tempering immediately twists loyalty to the primal, Color-Coded for Your Convenience isn't necessarily enforced. Tempered sylphs are generally identifiable by their purple coloring instead of green (although they still have the power to shapeshift so even that isn't a certain thing), but we see friendly Amalj'aa with red clothing that help new Black Mages, and tempered soldiers wearing the clothes of their country as they commit treason. The Beastmen tribe and Summoner quests only augment the horror here : *anyone* can be tempered or claim someone else to be tempered.
    • What's worse, is that it's known that staying in an area that's strongly aspected in one type of aether (such as water or fire) often causes harmful effects. For those who cross the point of no return, if they're lucky, they'll suffer a quick death with as little pain as possible. If they're unlucky, they'll begin suffering (painful) mutations caused by overaspecting in that aether, which will likely kill them, just more painfully. As the Tempering process involves the Primal giving a burst of power with the aether they are attuned to, this protects them from most of the lethal affects of overaspecting but still has its other drawbacks of causing disfigurement, mutations, and pain if the Primal so chooses. Of those tempered by Ifrit, it seems the most extreme we've seen thus far is some "Tempered" enemies near Za'harak appearing to be ashen and soot covered with eyes as black as coals. For Leviathan's "Drowned", as seen in Sastasha (Hard), this goes as far as him inflicting pain with it and causing those who have failed him to become more and more disfigured, replacing their heads to become more Seakin creature in appearance, such as that of a giant squid or jellyfish like, while the courtesans and serving ladies who were loyal to those pirates have been turned into lahmias (snake/fish bodied creatures) and pleading with or getting enraged at the players seeing their new appearances. Let's be glad that the other Primals we've seen thus far are not as interested in Tempering the spoken races for their own reasons.
  • The hedge sculptures in Haukke Manor's courtyard. Looming humanoid figures with holes through their heads — a reminder that the lady of the hous has been murdering beautiful young women and shredding their faces beyond recognition...and, as the tooltip of one of these corpses implies, quite possibly raped...
    • Even worse, it's probably based on Elizabeth Bathory, a Real Life blood queen.
      • And then Hard mode makes it worse, when we're shown just how easy it is to turn a normal person into a demon with the Succubi turning Wood Wailers, who went to clean up the place after you were last there of any remaining threats, via their Demonize power. Now think back to some of the enemy names from the original Haukke Manor mode...yeah.
      • The release of Heavensward has added another layer of horror to this tale. Deep inside the Great Gubal Library is an old journal which reveals that its author, a Sharlayan scholar, was the one who convinced Lady Amandine to transform herself into a Succubus, and even helped oversee the ritual. He quickly realized he had made a terrible mistake once the ritual was complete and voidsent began overtaking the manor.
  • A great deal of The Lost City of Amdapor certainly qualifies. For anyone familiar with Nausicaä, the ruins in this dungeon bear a striking similarity to the forgotten kingdoms grown over by the toxic jungle, and you can plainly see the horrifying corruption spread far into the distance - what isn't obscured by clouds of choking spores, at any rate. Worse yet is the initial boss, a half-decayed, still-living goobue that routinely devours your fellow party members. If you don't kill it fast enough, the lifeless corpses of your comrades will be regurgitated onto the pock-marked stone flooring. And then you get to the interior of Amdapor, seeing the marvelous architecture that once made up the whole city, and discover Diabolos at the end...and then that music starts playing...
  • The previews for Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard) showed the final boss arena to be littered with pentagrams, runes, and the name "Avere" repeated over and over again in Eorzean script. Avere was the name of the tank of an NPC party who shows up during the initial main story Tam-Tara questline. He died because his fiancee Edda, a Conjurer, couldn't keep up on heals. She originally kept his severed head so that she could give him a burial...but all signs point to Edda trying to resurrect him using Blood Magic.
    • Later previews showed Edda with a giant, terrifying, demonic-looking head that has vaguely Ahriman-like features, except that its arms are its nerve endings.
    • Previews also showed Edda self-harming in order to power up said head. The animations for it are...unsettling.
    • Later, once you do the dungeon (and are in a party willing to read the 'Torn Folio' lore items), Edda specifically references the player character, giving an added touch of skin-crawling regret for earlier sympathies, and shades of My God, What Have I Done?.
    • The ending of the quest, "Corpse Groom": After you defeat the Avere-head, Edda accidentally falls from the platform to her death. You go outside to assure her old teammate that it's all over — and he looks across the chamber to see Edda standing there looking at him with the creepiest Slasher Smile. The way Edda appears wouldn't look out of place in Fatal Frame. He promptly flees, you turn around — and she's not there. Sure, Paiyo's exaggerated facial reaction's kinda funny, but still...
    • Another terrifying thing is the way she dies. Not the fact that she fell, but the fact that she's smiling as she falls...
    • And worse? Yoshida has stated that he isn't quite finished with Edda's story, which means we haven't seen the last of her.
      • She's back for the Palace of the Dead.
    • She can occasionally appear for a few seconds in any of the three main towns. One of the places she can appear is in the Acorn Orchard in New Gridania. The Acorn Orchard is a playground filled with children.
      • Could also double as a Tear Jerker, however, as Edda might be looking at the life she and Avere could have had but will never have again.
  • Midgardsormr evokes this easily. For 15 years, everyone has presumed he's been dead and his charred body is a reminder of the first major defeat, and failure at invading Eorzea, for the Garlean Empire, at the terrible cost of transforming the once beautiful river, waterfalls, and forest-filled Mor Dhona into the landscape it is today. In reality, he's just been asleep for all these years, quietly observing and calling to his followers and children, none to happy for the actions Ishgard has taken against Dragonkind. His first act upon beginning to stir awake is to begin calling his children to gather the Dragon Horde together to prepare for a massive assault on Ishgard. His second act is to question the Warrior of Light's accomplishments while easily stripping them of Hydaelyn's protective light, draining the power of the 6 elemental crystals they've gathered and forcing them into a covenant with him. Oh sure, you've still got free will, but from here on out the Mother Crystal isn't going to come bail your rear out of another no-win situation like she did with protecting you from Ultima and neither is your new "friend".
    • Worse yet, because you are now somehow bound to the Guardian of Silvertear you are, by all accounts, a Heretic according to Ishgard culture. The only reason you aren't considered one yet is because the Scions and Midgardsormr won't, or haven't, revealed this fact to them so far. If they do, the fragile alliance with the Scions and the City-states with Ishgard WILL break and then you'll be dealing with yet another faction as your enemy.
      • On the other hand, given that as of Patch 2.55 Estinien, who is similarly bound to Nidhogg, is cooperating with Ishgard against the Dravanian horde, the chances of you being declared a Heretic have decreased.
    • Also, comparison between the English and Japanese versions of the dialog makes it clear that according to Midgardsormr, Hydaelyn has no issue with this and it was apparently part of a pact they had previously made. Meaning the Mother Crystal is willingly forsaking you in order to let Midgardsormr test you, simply because he asked her to.
  • Nabriales' fight. Up until now you've been protected by Hydaelyn. But, thanks to Midgardsormr, that's no longer the case. Additionally, unlike Lahabrea, he has no need to take things lightly on you nor does he taunt you into risking to have to kill a friend of your own to temporarily banish him. You get to find out just how much the Ascians at this point have been holding back their true power. And despite you finding out that the Scions have had the tool needed to call forth a massive amount of aether all this time in their possession, it still isn't enough to destroy a trapped Ascian, who can very much fight back even when sealed in a White Auracite gem. It takes the Heroic Sacrifice of Moenbryda to give you the extra aether needed to destroy Nabriales. And if Midgardsormr's words are anything to consider, hers might not be the last death needed to repeat this process to other Ascians.
  • Even Hildibrand, the side story meant to be lighthearted and hilarious, is not immune to this. In 2.5, we learn that Ul'dah's shady dealings even extend well into the past when the ancient nation of Belah'Dah split into Ul'dah and Sil'dih. Namely, Ul'ah created "Trader's Spurn", aka zombiefication powder, which turns anyone struck by it into a zombie. And they used it during their war with Sil'dih. Then, just to Kick the Dog a little more, they set up a secret organization known as the "Arbiters", whose role was to alter the historical records to make Ul'dah look good by blaming the creation and use of Trader's Spurn on Sil'dih. The truth, when revealed, horrifies one of the Arbiters so about what's been hidden in the past she resigns her position and calls for reformations, if not the total removal, of the Arbiters.
    • To rub more salt in the wound, those ruins you see near the Golden Bazaar and by the edges of the Sagoli Desert? That's probably what was left over during the war and the zombies you see roaming around are likely the former residents of Sil'dih, who are now wandering aimlessly, still seeking revenge on Ul'dah (which is probably why they attack the players who wander by).
    • Additionally, we learn from Gilgamesh just how frighteningly easy it is to summon and create a primal. It does not require any pre-established "godhood" or "saint" status with a flock of believers. It just takes Crystals, a strong desire, and prayer for any being to exist. And it takes as little as one person, with about a dozen and a half crates of crystals to do so. It may not be as strong as the traditional idea of what a Primal is, but a formidable foe nonetheless.
  • The fight against Nael deus Darnus in the Binding Coil can be pretty intense from how hard it is, but the soundtrack is borderline horrific. About a minute and thirty seconds in this hellish wailing enters into the track, and it morphs with more voices until it sounds like an air raid siren. This segment of the track sounds more like Silent Hill than Final Fantasy and really sticks out as a result. Have a listen.
  • On the subject of Primals, 2.5 gives us a proper Odin Trial. And what do we learn from it? Odin is possibly not the True primal, rather his sword Zantetsuken is. And each time Odin is defeated, as Zantetsuken is immensely aetherically dense, no one gives pause to wonder why that doesn't disappear, figuring it's just an exotic metal weapon. Meanwhile, Zantetsuken just slowly gathers aether back to itself and forms a new wielder and body. Worse yet, it takes just any fool who wants to wield the sword itself to touch it to be instantly tempered by it.
  • Fighting Cerberus, a 3-headed monstrosity, in the World of Darkness is unsettling enough by itself, but once he breaks free from his chains he gets a lot more aggressive. The beast hurls up what looks like purple vomit and standing in it makes the monster instantly rush at you and tear you to shreds for a One-Hit Kill. If you managed to get shrunk by the Gastric Juice and go in the vomit, Cerberus swallows you alive and the game actually transitions into a new "area" where you get to wander around inside the boss' stomach and it pulsates to boot. Now you're slowly taking damage (and it builds up over time) from the stomach acids and blob creatures with one too many eyeballs spawn and attack you. The only way out is to damage the stomach walls enough until you're forced out through regurgitation. During your time in the stomach, the battle music gets quieter and muffled to add to the creepy factor and you're completely separated from the alliances that are still fighting the creature from the outside.
    • Also, if Cerberus dies with people inside, he won't regurgitate. Players can use Return or wait for the game to push them out, but the first time it's pretty jarring. Fortunately, this was fixed in a hotfix shortly after 2.5's release and the players are pushed out as soon as Cerberus dies.
  • Raubahn in 2.55's story. Up until now, Raubahn has been a fairly stoic character and can handle almost any situation pretty rationally and calmly, but 2.55 shows what happens if you push him to far. The Sultana is killed, and Raubahn is in complete grief and denial about her death. Meanwhile, Teledji Adeledji is taunting him about burying the sultana and how she must have felt gracious that someone "cut her strings." Raubahn has none of it and proceeds to cleave Teledji in two, all while showing a glimpse of his face that almost seems demonic while he does it. He targets Lolorito next, seemingly bent on going on a murderous rampage, but gets his arm cut off by Ilberd. And then, after Ilberd admits to killing the Sultana, he flies into yet another murderous rampage and lets out an inhuman roar. Even though he regains his senses and helps the Warrior of Light and the Scions escape, this drastic character shift in Raubahn is unsettling.
  • Nanamo's death scene is utterly chilling. One moment you're having a rather nice chat with the Sultana over her abdication of the throne and her plans for the future of Ul'dah, one part of said plan being your support of Raubahn as her would-be idea for a republic roughs itself out. Then she takes a slow sip of her wine...and then it hits. Her likely last healthy heartbeat rings out as her eyes go wide, the poison taking effect as she silently chokes and reaches out to the Warrior of Light for help, before slumping over onto the floor, dead. It's absolutely jarring seeing one of the most kind hearted and unanimously good characters you've come to befriend and likely respect be murdered so gruesomely. The fact that it's the framing for a series of Wham Episodes doesn't help anything.
  • The fat chocobo minion pet is adorable and tumbly, then you get it and read its minion description in the journal. How did it get that fat as a hatchling? It cannibalized its siblings.
  • While you never get to witness it, Novv tells you his backstory when you gain the rank of friendly in the Sahagin beast tribe and it's quite chilling. Novv was the infamous Scarlet Sea-Devil during his heyday and when he came back home one day, he found his entire clutch completely slaughtered with bodies of his children piled on top of each other while only a few hidden eggs survived. Novv couldn't do anything but howl and cry until he had no energy left to mourn, and from there he decided to take his remaining unborn children and move elsewhere so he can raise them away from the violence while retiring from his pillaging and killing ways. You can only imagine the anguish Novv felt seeing his family taken from him with their bodies serving as a reminder for what he had done.

    Heavensward (3.0) 
  • The Dusk Vigil, the first dungeon you unlock in Heavensward is full of this. Like the Stone Vigil in ARR, it's a ruined Ishgardian fortress. Unlike the Stone Vigil, it wasn't ruined by dragons, but by the sudden freezing cold and snow brought on by Dalamud's fall. A series of journal pages left by one of the sentries chronicles how the vigil fell: The commander of the fortress, Ser Yuhelmeric, refused to let himself or his men leave their post. Then sections of the fortress collapsed due to the weight of the snow, with the journal writer noting that they are running out of supplies to treat those wounded in the collapse. The trapped and freezing sentries eventually conspiring to mutiny against Yuhelmeric, some of which were the commander's most trusted officers. Yuhelmeric cuts them all down with his axe, then when asked about food, the commander ominously states that Halone the Fury has blessed them with a bounty of fresh meat. The final entry is the writer falling to despair about never seeing his family again, then noting he shouldn't see his family again after what he's done to survive up to this point.
    • To compound on this. You are initially sent there on a quest by Ser Yuhelmeric's father to retrieve a family heirloom. Gifted to his son on the day of his marriage, the heirloom was stolen by Inquisitors when they falsely accused his wife of heresy, with the father hinting what their true motivations for taking her into their custody were. However by the time he proved her innocence, they had "interogated" her for days and left her a shadow of her former self. To rub salt into the wound, the lost heirloom itself appeared on a statue the inquisition comissioned for the Dusk Vigil but the family couldnt prove anything. This is indicated as the true reason Ser Yuhelmeric refused to abandon the Dusk Vigil and the extremes he went to do so. The warrior of light's journal notes that they will be leaving out the details of Ser Yuhelmeric's actions when returning the heirloom to his father.
  • While it's satisfying to destroy King Thordan and his Heavensward in the final battle, it's Thordan's What the Hell Are You? moment with the Warrior of Light that gets creepy as they're framed in black and white like they're an unholy monster. Even moreso if the WoL is a white mage.
  • The Dark Knight quests. Despite having survived many ordeals (which may have included the Calamity itself, a war with the Garlean Empire, the beast tribes constantly summoning primals, and even the betrayal in Ul'dah by the Monetarist and Crystal Braves, the player character/Warrior of Light has remained stoic through it all. Then, one day, they come across a fallen knight in black armor and find a Soul Stone. Nothing at all unusual to them as the WoL at this point; Heck, the skills and transfers of abilities to them will probably be useful, right? Well, this soul stone reacts much more differently than the others before and, after blacking out, the WoL finds the fallen knight is somehow alive and well, and knows them by name. You, in character, don't question this. Matter of fact, you almost get a sense of familiarity from this "Fray". At first, there's nothing too unseemly, but as you delve further and further into your new Dark Knight powers, people start noting you've changed a bit, and are acting differently now. Then the Wham Episode hits, and Fray reveals they are you, or rather, the persona of your psyche that has suffered pain, loss, anger, betrayal, fear...some of which are from people whose lives you've saved. You aren't the invincible, unflappable hero you think you are and you, the WoL, can fall into darkness just as easily as anyone else can.
    • And then there's the completely insane noblewoman that replaces Fray as the questline's Big Bad.
      • At the very end of the questline, Ystride, said noblewoman, gives you, Riella, and Sidurgu a chillingly demented Motive Rant/"The Reason You Suck" Speech. She madly claims that Riella's death is "the will of the Fury" before laughing maniacally. And finally, just to cement how truly far past the Moral Event Horizon she is, her last act before Sidurgu finishes her off is to give a deranged Slasher Smile.
  • The cutscene you get if you fail to defeat Bismarck before he wrecks the island you're fighting him on. You get a special cutscene where your character is in pain and unable to keep fighting, and they look towards the other direction to see Bismarck flying towards them, mouth wide open. As the screen fades to black, the last things you hear are ground breaking followed by a swallowing sound. This is, so far, the only cutscene in the game where it actually shows your character die.
  • Azys Lla, full stop. It's essentially the Allagan version of Big MT, and is where they conducted the research behind almost all of the horrific, mechanical or gene-spliced monstrosities you've faced to date. The fact that the various interfacing nodes are entirely cavalier about what went on there (and that one of the areas is a museum, meaning this place was a tourist attraction before Allag's fall) demonstrates just how far gone the Allagans were, culturally, by the end.
    • The nodes also demonstrate that the Allagan would randomly conscript citizens for dangerous tasks, with the worst example being a node that recruits test subjects for the city's "compliance systems". The node expresses disappointment that the robots failed to kill you.
    • Worst of all, this place is also the Can for The Warring Triad, and the aftermath of Thordan's actions weakened the seal. Cue the Warring Triad questline, as the Scions seek to prevent another Calamity.
  • The Vault Conspiracy in 3.1. As it turns out, Ystride was far from the only dangerously unstable member of Ishgard's clergy. The absolutely insane lengths the Vault Priest and Ser Seninough go to in a desperate attempt to deny the truth of the Dragonsong War and to undermine Aymeric's reforms are downright chilling.
    • The demented Slasher Smile The leader of the conspiracy makes when he tries to throw an innocent girl to her death. All while madly claiming that her death will be your fault for your "heresy". Hilda mentions if you speak to her after completing 3.1, that despite whatever methods the Inquisition use on him, the Priest refuses to confess and tell who the other conspirators are. And that apparently he still has that deranged smile on his face to this day.
  • Calcabrina is the final boss of the Antitower dungeon introduced in 3.2. The boss that gave many players nightmares as a still sprite with creepy music is now fully animated in high definition (with remixed creepy music). Have fun.
  • Nidhogg in Estinien's body. He arrives with large eyes growing out of his right forearm and left shoulder surrounded by grotesque black flesh and sprays Vidofnir's blood over the symbol of peace the Ishgardians had just unveiled.
    • The sheer brutality of his attack on Vidofnir, and the message its meant to send. Nidhogg has fallen so far that he no longer cares if you're Ishgardian or Dravanian. If you try to come between him and his revenge, he will stop at nothing to utterly destroy you.
  • The boss of the Fist of the Son in Alexander, Ratfinx Twinkledinx. In spite of his hilarious name, he manages to be terrifying, as he is a mad scientist Goblin who performs his experiments on other goblins. The floor of his arena has a large number of discarded Goblin gas-masks strewn about, and Goblins never remove their masks. Midway through the fight, you find out what happened to his test subjects when you are attacked by a grotesque chimera beast that appears to be formed from many goblins fused together. Suffice to say, even the Illuminati are probably happy when you kill Ratfinx.
  • 3.4 has Arbert, the Warrior of Darkness, reveal why he is so desperate to kill the Warrior of Light. Arbert and his companions came from another world (known as The First since there's thirteen similar worlds) and said world is being destroyed by a flood of light. Like the Warrior of Light, Arbert and his party were just normal people looking for some jobs and they eventually became the slayers of the dark and heroes to everyone. They fought the evils back until they ceased to exist, which meant that light was now completely unstoppable and is now consuming their world. Unlike the Void, which is the result of The Thirteenth world being consumed by total darkness, a world of pure light is a white void where nothing can exist. That's right, the void created by the darkness, while twisted, still has some form of life while the void created by light has nothing. To even travel to the world where the Warrior of Light resides in, Arbert and his friends had to die in order to transcend with the power of Echo and he did the deed himself so no one else would have to. It's no wonder he is desperate to fix what went wrong; if The First is completely consumed by light, then Arbert would have lost everything and failed.
  • 3.5 reveals the true face hidden behind the Gryffin's mask: to the surprise of nobody, it turns out to be Ilberd, more deranged than ever. Blinded by his hatred, he devised a plan to sacrifice his fellow Ala-Mhigo refugees and channel their anger thanks to Nidhogg's eyes inside of him, in order to become a Primal even more powerful than Bahamut. Holding both eyes in his hands, Ilberd voluntarily falls to his death with an unsettling smile on his face. The next scene completely averts the Disney Villain Death trope, as we see the impact leading to Ilberd's death (with a gruesome sound and the screen flashing red, no less), and we have a monstrous shot of the piles of bodies of everyone who died for his twisted ideal (with dark, gloomy lighting and lifeless expressions, suiting people who got slaughtered). Just when you may think he failed his objective, as he is dead, alongside everyone else, the eyes react, and they gather the energy and seething hatred of everyone who died nearby to form and give birth to a new Primal. This is scary on a whole new level, as Primals so far always needed followers and crystals to allow themselves to exist: this one is able to sustain himself on lingering pure hatred alone. And just to ramp things up further, an echoy version of Answers (the same song played during the Calamity and the fight against Bahamut Prime) plays in the background.
  • Teleportation seems like such a trivial thing that you don't think about it too much, but when something does go wrong, it can be extremely chilling to see what happens and you get to see two people suffer from it. Y'shtola and Thancred during the bloody banquet in 2.5 escaped by using Flow, a spell that is too dangerous to use and works like an unstable Teleport/Return. Y'shtola could not find a way to an aetheryte, so her body was drifting in the aetherial sea and was slowly being dissolved by it. The only way for her to escape was from the aid of the White Mages in Gridania and if they had acted any later, she would have been completely consumed by the aether and died. Even though she escaped, she lost the ability to see naturally and has to rely on using her own body's aether to see, even though it is slowly killing her. Thancred manages to escape on his own, but he winds up in the Dravanian Forelands completely naked and exposed to the wildlife. While he managed to get help and fend for himself, his time spent in the aetherial sea robbed him of his magic to the point that even basic spells like Teleport and Return no longer work.

    Stormblood (4.0) 
  • Zenos shortly in the main story shows firsthand why he is so feared when he does a surprise assault on Rhalgr's Reach. His forces brutally slaughter many of the innocent people there, nearly burning the place to the ground, with Zenos himself easily defeating the Scions there, even nearly killing Y'shtola. And then comes the first Hopeless Boss Fight in the game where he defeats the Warrior of Light so thoroughly that one of his katanas breaks. With that event any sparks of rebellion the Scions were hoping to fan in Ala Mhigo is quickly snuffed, forcing the Scions to look elsewhere.
  • The final boss of Doma Castle: Hypertuned Grynewaht. A Garlean captain being hideously transformed into a gasping, screaming, enraged beast is unpleasant enough. The fact that it happens to be Grynewaht — a character who'd been treated as nothing but a harmless joke villain and a source of comedic relief in a large number of otherwise-tense Garlean cutscenes — only makes the whole thing far, far more horrifying. Special mention goes to the voice acting during the fight; Grynewaht's usual fairly deep voice and prideful demeanour are completely gone, instead replaced with infuriated shrieking, and his constant grandstanding is swapped for insane madness mantras that seem to imply that he's just barely capable of knowing he's soon to die. As per all tragic boss fights, the Warrior of Light can only close their eyes in pity after defeating him.
    Grynewaht: DIE DIE DIE!! WE GO TOGETHER!!!
  • On another note with Zenos, the backstory about when he crushed the Doman Liberation Front. As part of the MSQ, the Warrior of Light gets to meet the remains of the Doman Liberation Front in their hideout-and there aren't many left. As part of the quest, you talk to Lyse, who is talking to a man who is telling her about Zenos, and how he did it. He goes into a story-told in sepia-toned screenshots-where he discusses how his strategy worked out and was like nothing they had ever seen-which involved most of his Legion not even taking the field, and still suddenly turning the tides when they thought they had him retreating. This part isn't so bad, more of an impressive account of his tactics. But it resulted in Zenos eventually cornering a number of the Liberation Front(and quite a few of them). He was alone and unarmed. He then discussed the results, which is the terrifying part. While there were very few gory details given, knowing Zenos' immense size, inhuman strength and brutality, you don't need a particularly wild imagination to picture what happened when the giant Legatus got his hands on those poor guys, and making them watch as he destroyed each one that he caught, in his attempt to at least get one of them mad enough they would be a challenge to him. On the imagination note? One of the pictures shown were of the dead, broken bodies strewn everywhere around his hulking form as he grabbed one of their katanas from the ground for the first time, taking notice of the weapon. They were placed in such a way where all of their heads were hidden, along with most of their upper bodies, as if to maybe spare the viewer the sight. Whether that was done on purpose or not? Up to the viewer to decide, but either way, have fun getting that potential image out of your mind.
    Doman Liberation Front Member: And then he stood before us, his cornered prey. Alone and unarmed. He beckoned us to come forward and fight for our lives. One by one, my comrades charged. Fearless and unflinching, he would dance amidst their blades for a time, and then draw close, as if to embrace…One…after…another. He made us watch. Do you understand? He made us watch. I do not think there was any joy in it. Nor justice, nor morality, nor meaning. To him, the weight of one life is no different from that of a thousand.
  • In a similar light we see that the Empire is not just satisfied with magitek experimentation but have started experimenting on their very people like Mad Scientists to disturbing effect. Of note are the Roader enemies which look like skinned hulks with their limbs attached to wheels, heavily implying that the empire has been creating Body Horrors of their own people, or worse, the enslaved subjects of Ala Mhigo. And that is to say nothing of the Resonants, which gives those imbued with it with the power of the Echo, allowing such things as precognition or even fusing with and controlling primals.
  • We all got to see Exdeath in Deltascape V4.0, and he occasionally summons his true tree form's head in when he uses The Decisive Battle, and not to mention how he's engulfed by the Void at the end of the battle...just like in Final Fantasy V. But doesn't it feel like something's missing...? Something imp- OH DEAR GOD SAVAGE, NEO EXDEATH IN FULL HD 3D GLORY WHY!!! Well, at least he's not a seemingly endless mass of demons and monsters as his sprite back in the SNES days implied as they gave him a tail patterned after his tree form, but still.
  • The Koja monsters (and its similarly named brethren) roaming around in Yanxia are the same monsters from Final Fantasy VI (the buddha head/face enemy). Being in 3D for this game, they look slightly creepy until they open their mouths to attack with 1000 Needles; inside you can see their many blood soaked teeth and they're even growing on top of their tongues. Because they share the same animations as the Flans, the Kojas melt when they die. Seeing a face just melting into a puddle upon death is outright terrifying and rather disgusting to boot.
  • The Sirensong Sea, the first dungeon of Stormblood, is as nightmare-inducing as Tam-Tara Hard. First, it comes absolutely out of nowhere. You're just sailing to Othard, nothing big... then mist surrounds you. Weird mist. Then the ship is assailed with Voidsent-like jellyfishes and you got to fight them off until you collide with an island. You proceed to make your way through the place, fending ghosts, undeads, wildlife and even a few demons as you cross a ship graveyard akin to the one at Umbra Islands. Some of the undeads' design are terrifying, such as the second boss, which is a kind of skeletal Living Shadow that makes blue flames. Finally, you reach the source of the mist and the abominations: a haunted lighthouse still filled with the corpses and souls of the sailors that got wrecked by the place. And, finally, the final boss itself: Lorelei, an either demonic or siren-like being that has been luring sailors here for ages. Sweet dreams...
  • The main story quests in 4.1 gives us the nightmare scenario of a Primal manifesting right in the middle of many innocent people. The leader of the dreaming Ananta summons Lakshmi during a meeting of people who were deciding to form a government for Ala Mhigo along with some Scions standing guard, intending to brand all of them. Most of the ensuing battle is spent frantically running all over the arena preventing people from falling under Lakshmi's influence rather than attacking Lakshmi herself, and even with a fellow Echo-user you are eventually just overwhelmed; only Fordola's Big Damn Villains prevents a disaster. It's a sobering example of just how easily someone could smuggle crystals into a hapless town or city and brainwash everyone in it in a matter of minutes, reminding the player that while Primals aren't much of a threat to them, they're a catastrophic threat to everyone else.
  • 4.1 also gives a pretty chilling insight of how the Echo can make one be Blessed with Suck. While visiting Fordola in jail, the Warrior of Light has a flashback showing her Start of Darkness as a child when her father was killed by angry Ala Mhigan citizens since her parents were supporters of the empire. As soon as the Warrior of Light comes back to reality, Fordola has her own Echo flashback involving the Warrior of Light themselves as she sees their past pain and constant battles all the way back to A Realm Reborn. While the flashback is just quick screenshots of the past, it scares Fordola enough to have her wonder how the heck the Warrior of Light can still press on knowing that people betrayed them and how they'll always have to keep fighting. Later on, you find out that Fordola constantly sees the memories of the Ala Mhigan citizens and the jail guards, which shows her their pain and suffering that she caused during her time with the Skulls. The worst part is she can't control it or make it stop, thus she is subjected to guilt almost non stop and is forced to relieve what she done to people over and over. It's no small wonder that she wanted to be executed.
  • In 4.1 we see the cost of the Garlean's experimentation and alterations of the body. The Alliance is examining the research facility in Ala Mhigo. They've removed the corpses from the equipment and placed black tarp over the bodies. If you get to a high enough vantage point, you can see there's easily over a hundred different bodies of all races in this one room alone. This is far from the only such facility in the Empire.
    • Afterwards, Raubahn brings up a sobering possibility: if Aulus sent his findings back to Garlemald, and they're able to reproduce his work, you might be going up against other Resonants - maybe even an entire legion of them.
  • You're always told about how mad King Theodoric was during his reign as king of Ala Mhigo, but the Drowned City of Skalla shows just how much of a monster he was towards his own people. Some of the monsters you kill near the end of the dungeon were actually people that served the mad king. When you kill them, they have their final words before dying as themselves such as cursing Theodoric, seeing the light, or just plain wondering why the king did what he did to them. The final boss is even worse since, according to its Triple Triad card, it was actually Theodoric's cousin who had tried to calm him down and was accused of treason by him. The man's punishment was being transformed into a monster. The people suffering such punishment had to endure it for years. They were probably still self aware the whole time.
  • Asahi's true colors during his confrontation with the Warrior of Light. His affable demeanor completely shatters and is replaced by sheer, barely restrained rage as he ferally snarls that the Warrior and all of Ala Mihgo will pay in blood for Zenos' death. The way he stares down the Warrior of Light looks almost exactly like how Zenos did before the final battle, only with barely constrained anger instead of twisted joy.
    • It gets worse: Zenos is still alive.
  • In the 4.3 MSQ, Asahi restores Yotsuyu's memories by reintroducing her to their abusive parents, letting her murder them. He takes the opportunity to convince her to abandon all hope of a better life and summon a primal to satisfy her rage. When the Warrior of Light defeats her, Asahi shoots her prone body twice before running up and kicking her several times, cursing her for becoming Viceroy of Doma instead of him and taunting the Warrior of Light's inability to protect her without breaking his diplomatic immunity and sabotaging the peace process. The maniacal look on his face as he does it says it all: Yotsuyu's own ruthlessness was nothing compared to the people behind the scenes who encouraged, manipulated, and exploited it.
    • It also gets worse: Zenos's body is possessed by the Ascian Elidibus, who masterminded the plot to summon the Primal with the Emperor himself. The Greater-Scope Villain has finally gotten off his throne and is making his move, and has an incredibly powerful host body to boot. At least Zenos himself is dead, right? Wrong: his spirit used the Echo to possess a random Eorzean troop, and he still intends to pursue the Warrior of Light. He can't be killed, and every death he suffers just means someone else gets taken over. So now there's two Zenos' running around: one augmented with dark magic, and another that can't die.
  • The revelation that Zenos came back from the dead via his artificial Echo puts Fordola's wish for death in a new light. Either she's aware of what the Echo can do and is plotting to escape that way, or she isn't aware and doesn't realize that she might not be able to die.
  • 4.4, while not showing anything violent, does have a few particularly very scary moments. During the meeting with the Alliance, Thancred, Y'sthola, Alisae, and the Warrior of Light all suffer from an excruciating headache while hearing a voice telling them to change the course of history, talks about two worlds, and a calamity. They all regain their senses, but Thancred collapses onto the floor and is unconscious. After some investigation, Kan-E-Senna theorizes that what everyone experienced was them being "called", as in someone is calling their souls. In Thancred's case, it seems like his soul was successfully spirited away and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Uriagner also confirms that he too suffered from the same experience as the rest of the Scions. When he meets with the Scions in the Rising Stone, everyone experiences the same thing again and this time, Y'sthola and Uriagner both collapse like Thancred did. Alisae is completely beside herself and sounds like she's about to break down in tears seeing that her friends are dropping like flies. The scariest part is the same thing could happen to the Warrior of Light at any time.
    • It gets worse in The Stinger: Alphinaud and Shadowhunter come across a rebel camp only to find that the inhabitants have been slaughtered, with no sign of combat or injury at all. Shadowhunter immediately recognizes how this happened: Black Rose, a highly lethal chemical weapon that the Empire was developing in secret in Ala Mhigo, before Gaius van Baelsar ordered the project scrapped and all traces of the weapon destroyed due to the sheer devastation it causes. Not only did the Garleans recover some data on the project that escaped destruction, but Black Rose has now been perfected - and as the Empire has shown, they have absolutely no qualms about using it.
  • Varis has to be in the mother of all messed up situations. Despite him coldly refusing to mourn his own son, he's appropriately horrified when Elidibus reveals he's using Zenos as his new host. And Varis can do nothing, as it turns out Garlemald, and by extension, Varis' beliefs, were built on lies. His people and Empire were never meant to save anyone; they're all pawns of the Ascians. And who should remind him of this? HIS OWN GRANDFATHER, the man who founded Garlemald, who is also an Ascian and has no qualms reminding Varis that he's nothing but a puppet. Despite his ruthlessness, Varis is in a terrifying position; he has to helplessly watch his son's corpse be paraded around, watch Elidibus summon primals using Imperial soldiers as proxys, and know that his entire life is a lie and that any attempts at fighting back are futile.
    • Solus himself gets to show off his own effectiveness as a nightmare fuel inducer, the man is such a chessmaster that he was able to orchestrate the rise of the Garlean Empire, a world power, on a lie with no-one outside of Varis the wiser, is able to break established rules of Ascians by resurrecting himself in a new body thanks to Varis's unwitting assistance, and even without the clone bodies, Solus does mention he can possess any body and mold it into his image. His goal to resurrect Zodiark with the rejoining leads him to cause endless amounts of death in the story, such as ensuring that his first temporary death would lead to a succession crisis that resulted in a massive amount of dead Garleans in the resulting civil war, which Solus notes with a sense of subdued deranged glee. Suffice to say Solus is walking paranoia fuel and shaping up to be an effective Big Bad.
  • The cutscene that rounds out Stormblood has Varis and Elidibus discussing the events at the frontline. Elidibus notes that Solus isn't there, but while Varis just brushes it off as him doing his own thing, Elidibus muses that he's taking advantage of current events as he departs. After he does, a scientist approaches Varis and tells them they're ready to begin producing more Black Rose at his command. Varis just remains silent as he stares at the Garlean symbol above his throne, and the camera fades to black on his face... Before it fades right back in on him giving us a Slasher Smile for the ages. It seems that Varis has decided to become the monster the Alliance thinks he is.

    Shadowbringers (5.0) 
  • The reveal trailer shows the Warrior of Light looking extremely haggard and just... tired as he staggers through a wasteland all alone. His Echo shows him flashbacks of the Calamity that kickstarted a A Realm Reborn as well as their experiences (previous trailers) in Heavensward and Stormblood. A nearby gremlin mocks the Warrior of Light, saying there's nothing left to fight or live for. When Kiribu, the warrior statue from the hard mode version of the Lost City of Amdapor, descends from the sky, the gremlin joyously proclaims that the Warrior of Light has met his end and that he is a nobody. Kiribu's opening attack breaks the Warrior of Light's bow as he goes flying backwards before he swaps to Warrior. Every move he makes, Kiribu easily counters and breaks the Warrior of Light's weapon. From Warrior, to Dragoon, to Monk, and to Samurai, everything the Warrior of Light tries, Kiribu just No Sells it. Just when she has him under her heel and is about to finish him off, the Warrior of Light switches to Dark Knight, unleashing a huge shockwave that vaporizes Kiribu. We then see the Warrior of Light shrouded in a completely dark aura as the voiceover narration states that the Warrior of Light must become the Warrior of Darkness. For the Warrior of Light to switch sides heavily implies that Arbert's warning about light flooding the world is coming to fruition. And the fact that the Warrior of Light couldn't even defend himself unless he became a Warrior of Darkness along with the narration stating that this catastrophe is even worse than Bahamut leveling half of Eorzea scream one thing: The world of Final Fantasy XIV has reached its Darkest Hour.
  • The Sin Eaters. Embodiments of Pure Light that seek to kill and consume the ether of the living or convert them into more as they Flood the World with Light. These angelic, humanoid, beastial, and eldritch horrors of pure white not only have Resurrective Immortality, ensuring they can eventually win through sheer attrition as their numbers increase and their enemies suffer Deader Than Dead, they have even come to dominate part of The First society and live in luxury as they bring about the world's end.
  • According to Solus in the E3 Launch Trailer, Hydaelyn, the Mother Crystal herself isn't a goddess, but an Elder Primal. Everything we've done, every action and every sacrifice to aid Her is protecting this world, was to aid a Primal. Even Minfillia sacrificed herself for Her and we were doing it for the very type of creature we were sworn to slay.
  • Very early in the story, you get to witness someone transforming into a Sin Eater, and it is not pleasant at all. Tesleen, the kind caretaker who was close friends with Alisaie, gets impaled through the heart by a Forgiven Dissonance, as she tries to save an infected child. First she screams in horrific pain as the terrible light ravages her body, making some seriously wrong faces in the process, then she starts puking out light aether as it starts leaking out from her eyes and later covering her entire body... and then she transforms into that... THING in the page image above. Even worse, she still manages to get some last words in, asking Alisaie to forgive her before she flies off, leaving poor Alisaie in tears. The entire sequence manages to be utterly heartbreaking, awfully nauseating, and ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING all at once, and wouldn't look out of place in Parasite Eve or Resident Evil. The infected child only adds to the eeriness of the entire scene, as he's so far gone that he does nothing but stare, straight-faced and unresponsive as Tesleen horrifically mutates right in front of him. If you thought only the darkness was bad, think again. It gets worse when you reach your first dungeon on the First; Tesleen is the dungeon's second boss.
    • The first dungeon has a whole bunch of more subtle horror floating around. A sizable number of other Sin Eater conversions are seen, ranging from wildlife to a livestock field to much of the populace of a city market. This underlines how dangerous these monsters can become, as even a single Eater can turn a 'recruitment drive' into an army.
    • There are also a lot of corpses. Which is odd, at first, since Sin Eater conversion leaves feathers, rather than a body, and even weak Sin Eaters love to gorge on the flesh of the living. But when faced with those options...
  • The fact that Sin Eaters were once creatures and people is scary enough. Alisaie explains that once someone is exposed to the excess Light, their aetheric balance completely breaks down and they undergo a transformation, one which there's no going back from. What makes it worse is if a Sin Eater plants their seed insides someone (usually by wounding them) they are screwed since now it's only a matter of time before they turn. Once that happens, the person is sent away to a remote location where they can do minimal damage when they transform. The victims are then placed under care by caretakers where they are given their favorite food mixed with a poison that kills them so that they can die with a happy memory and not turn into a Sin Eater. Symptoms of someone becoming a Sin Eater include becoming listless and their skin turning hard like plaster.
  • When you finally meet up with Urianger, he tells you of a vision he saw on his way to the First and the details are terrifying. The Empire unleashed Black Rose on all of Eorzea, killing countless people with the gas so potent that not a single soul was spared. Not even children. All nations collapsed and society as a whole devolved into nothing more than mindless tribe-like states where might rules all and law no longer exists. To make matters worse, Urianger shows that the Black Rose even claimed the lives of the Scions. Not even the Warrior of Light themselves were spared from the Black Rose. If the Warrior of Light had continued on the path they were on before being pulled to the First, the 8th Umbral Calamity would have became a reality.
    • Made worse by the fact that Urianger lied. It wasn't a vision that he had. It was a future that the Crystal Exarch lived through and conveyed to him.
    • It gets even worse when the Tales from the Shadows sidestory "A World Forsaken" elaborates on the fallout of Black Rose: It didn't just affect our nations, even Garlemald was part of the collateral damage, as their ceruleum and magitek ceased to function. Their very own weapon bit them back.
  • The rejoining of shards to the Source was always a bad thing, but you were never told about how bad it truly is until the Crystal Exarch explains it to you; each shard is attuned to a different element. Over time, that element builds up in aetherial energies. One untimely event is all that it takes to break the barrier that stands in between the shard and the Source. Once the barrier is broken, all of the shard's aether is transferred to the source, causing a major disaster. The element attuned to the shard magnifies the disaster so much that it becomes a Calamity on the Source (for example, a Calamity based on the element of earth could shatter and rearrange continents aka the fall of the Allagan Empire). In turn, the shard is then "rejoined" with the Source and is erased from existence. Countless lives, civilizations, histories, and societies are all erased with a rejoining and there's been seven so far.
  • The Flood of Light on the first is a terrifying thing to see. When you meet up with Alisaie, you can see a massive wall of what looks like crystallized light with building structures caught up in the wave. Alisaie points out that when the balance was tipped too heavily towards Light, Light itself began to swell within the land until it burst and created the Flood of Light. She also points out that beyond the cracks of the halted Light are lands that are filled with nothing but a white void. The primordial light behind the frozen Flood is so strong that life simply cannot exist. When you get the world map of the First, you see the continents in the middle are surrounded by a white circle. Said circle represents the Flood itself and it was rushing in from all directions. If it wasn't for the intervention of the Oracle of Light, the entire world would have been consumed by Light.
  • The Lightwardens, some of the highest-ranking of the Sin Eaters, are not only extremely powerful, but are also truly insidious. They maintain the pall of light that blankets the First in sickly light. They call and command smaller Sin Eaters. If one of them is struck down, their essence flows into the nearest available container of aether (which is most likely the poor soul who killed it) and reshapes it into the Lightwarden's true form. They are a Square Enix take on a light-based Archdemon from the Dragon Age series!
  • Titania's first appearance. They make their presence known by invading the minds of every single living being in Il Mheg, angrily raving about how bored they are and demanding that someone come "play" with them. Considering that they also happen to be a Lightwarden, it's more than a little offputting to see what is essentially a giant Sin Eater show sentience and emotion.
  • As silly as the pixies playing with the Eulmoran army like toys looks, it also shows the nightmarish implications of messing with The Fair Folk. One minute you're standing there, and the next moment, you're a leafman. You find an inexplicable puddle on the ground? The Fuath have claimed their next victim, pulling you in to drown. The fact they have the power to snuff you out instantly one way or another goes to show how scary they can be despite their cute, playful, if not mischievous demeanor.
  • Vauthry, AKA Innocence, the disgusting leader of Eulmore who looks like a giant mass of flesh with a baby's head. When he's not demanding interlopers cut flesh from their own bodies to feed his pet Sin Eaters, he's screaming and flailing to kill whoever pisses him off. Innocence's transformation into his Lightwarden form is a sickening sight to behold: the obese man twists and jerks in obvious pain, three antenna-like wings sprouting from the gaping hole on his back, his body levitates on its own, every ounce of his fat flesh bulging in a very disturbing way, until light shines through his eyes and mouth and he ascends to his angelic form.
  • Urianger reveals some of his studywork over the last five years, unifying the different theories of aetherology for two separate worlds. Unlike the Source's naming of the concepts of active aether as Astral and passive aether as Umbral, the First, with its far closer examination of these materials, has realized that active living aether is better identified as Darkness while static aether is Light-aspected. Puts a rather drastically different take onto the Ascian "oh, mournful voice of creation".
  • The contents of the Amh Araeng dungeon are quietly terrifying. The first two-thirds of it are simple enough and even goofy, since the bosses are an armadillo and a local flavor of golem using some animations from Construct 8 to make it basically a Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann reference. And then you get to the lowest level of the mine, and you finally begin finding Sin Eaters. Critters, right?... not so much. You find Sin Eater... golems? Slimes? A Sin Eater salt elemental? This really drives home the threat: the Primordial Light will consume everything it touches. Everything. Not even constructs are immune. The Lightwarden doesn't help either, being a disc with a face on it, in command of a huge array of disembodied wings.
  • During one conversation, after it is revealed that the world as we know it is actually fourteen parallel fragments of the Ascians' homeworld, Emet-Selch lets slip that because the races of the post-Sundering worlds only contain a fraction of the aether and lifespan as the Ascians during their prime, he hardly considers non-Ascians to even be alive. As far as he's concerned, killing a non-Ascian wouldn't really be an act of murder, because how can you murder someone who never really lived to begin with? Imagine if this mentality is the norm among the Ascians, seeing us as no more worthy of respect or life as ants!
  • The player character absorbs the light of each Warden they slay in order to bring back the night sky. After a few Warden slayings, Y'shotla senses something is wrong when they didn't recognize the Warrior of Darkness at first due to how much their aether had changed. After clearing the level 77 dungeon of its Warden, the Warrior of Darkness suddenly keels over as light starts bursting from their body with a sound that sounds like glass breaking. The screen cuts to black and "Duty Complete" appears on screen without any fanfare. Once they return back to the Crystarium for some rest, they speak to Ardbert's ghost when the Warrior of Darkness keels in pain again as light radiates from their body. Even Ardbert, who can't feel anything since he's a ghost, manages to get zapped by the light!

    The Warrior of Darkness's situation gets much worse later on. By the time the last Lightwarden is slain, the Warrior of Darkness completely keels over while Emet-Selch mocks them for not being strong enough to contain the Light. Ryne intervenes, but says that she was only able to delay the inevitable and if the Scions don't find a solution to the problem soon, the Warrior of Darkness will transform into a Sin Eater themselves. Ryne also mentions that all the light the Warrior of Darkness absorbed is putting such a strain on their soul that it's starting to crack. By the time the party reaches Emet-Selch after the Final Dungeon, the light inside the Warrior of Darkness completely overwhelms them, has them puke up light aspected vomit like Tesleen did, and they are redcued to weakly staggering towards Emet-Selch before collapsing. Luckily for the Warrior of Darkness, Ardbert fuses his soul with theirs, which buys them time in holding the Light back. During the Final Battle, the Warrior of Darkness uses their excess light to protect themselves from Hades's overwhelming darkness before using the remainder on the White Auracite to finish him off. Sure, the Warrior of Darkness's soul gets restored in the end, but the amount of pain they had gone through and the knowledge that they could become the very thing they were fighting against is pretty terrifying in its own right.
  • From the start, it's pretty clear that Eulmore isn't providing meol for the starving villagers out of the goodness of their hearts. Even more strange is the reaction by the townsfolk: they may be going hungry, but claiming that it's the 'best thing they've ever tasted' seems very, very off. It's not until near the assault on Eulmore that the truth finally comes out: meol is ground-up Sin Eaters. While that's horrifying enough in and of itself, remember that Eulmore regularly discards its suddenly-worthless bonded citizens by turning them into Sin Eaters. Oh, and those with an excess of Light turn into Sin Eaters as well. Eating all that Light-polluted food for untold years means that the townsfolk are easily susceptible to brainwashing, and if they eat it even longer eventual transformation into Sin Eaters. The whole city is trapped in a horror show of brainwashing, mindless excess, and eventual cannibalism!
  • The final confrontation with Vauthry. After defeating Ran'jit once and for all, you and the Scions burst into Vauthry's throne room...only to find him gorging himself on the above-mentioned meol, utterly ignoring Alphinaud's "World of Cardboard" Speech. Ryne then realizes the truth: Vauthry hasn't been safeguarding Innocence, he is Innocence, having been raised and trained since birth to be the Sin Eaters' ultimate leader. This is then confirmed by Vauthry snapping his own neck in the party's direction, Exorcist-style, before giving by far his most deranged rant yet (and considering how deranged his rant upon realizing Alphinaud had insulted him was, that is really saying something).
    • And this is all reinforced by the sheer amount of Dissonant Serenity that Vauthry displays as he enters said rant. To see a man who, until now, has had all the patience of a toddler dismiss the Warrior of Light and their claims with barely even a flicker of annoyance and nothing but total calm is disturbing. And even when he devolves into yet another ground-pounding tantrum, he just as swiftly recovers and goes back to his detached state of serenity. The sheer sense of Mood Whiplash is jarring.
  • Thancred's solo fight against Ran'jit drags on so long that in order to make some headway and gain the upper hand, Thancred uses a special technique that makes him invisible at a cost. While Thancred is invisible, the music completely cuts out and all you can hear is a heartbeat while the screen pulsates in purple. The status effect from the technique, Fading Fast, states that Thancred's aether is quickly draining draining him and if he doesn't cancel the effect in time, it can kill him. After you use the technique a second time, the game states that your pulse is starting to quicken. By the third time, Ran'jit sees through the illuison and will always counterattack to bring Thancred out of his invisibility. Thancred's really pushing his body to its absolute limit as the heartbeat gets even faster when you have to use Souldeep Invisibility. By using this skill, another status effect called Vital Signs kicks in, which state that Thancred is literally halting the flow of aether in his body to maintain strong invisibility at the cost of moving very slow and damaging his vital organs. By using his "Leap of Faith" attack afterwards, Thancred manages to at least force Ran'jit to retreat, but the strain on his body makes him collapse and pass out as his cheek is bleeding from his wounds. Thankfully, Thancred is found by Urianger off screen and is revitalized, but the amount of strain he put on his body during the fight wasn't pretty.
  • The final dungeon is a recreation of what Emet-Selch's home world was going through before Zodiark intervened. The entire city is on fire and buildings are collapsing everywhere as monsters invade. At the last segment, you're above the planet in outer space where you can see down below that the entire world is being destroyed from within as the continents burn and crack apart, making it very similar to the world's end sequence in Final Fantasy VI.
    • What's worse is that even the leading Ascian scientists don't know what the direct cause of the planet falling ill is. A sound emanated from the earth driving Ascians mad and causing their Creation Magicks to manifest every negative emotion they had into misshaped horrors of skulls, spikes, etc. based on every primitive fear, even the planets aether and life was being withered away by this mysterious force leaving most of the planet lifeless. The final horror faced in the third wave of the disaster, However, was not born of the Creation Magicks and resembled something out of a H.P. Lovecraft story. Which is the worst part, no one knows where the final wave came from, not even the Ascians who are supposed to be the monsters of the story.
    • The Amaurot dungeon is basically a guided tour through one of the original literary sources of Nightmare Fuel: the Book of Revelation in [[The Bible]]. The bosses are referenced to various beasts described by St. John, up to and including the final boss with multiple heads and “upon his heads the name of blasphemy”. The seas turning to blood and fire raining from the sky are events that happen during the apocalypse. Instead of locations as you go through the ruined city, you get descriptions that are taken from Revelation as well. It literally is the end of the world as a dungeon.
    • Normally the Ascians don't manifest something unless they want it to be manifest, not even when they feel a strong emotion like fear. Whatever the sound was, it took out the Ascians ability to consent to creating creatures, and then made every negative emotion manifest against their will.
  • The Stinger to the Shadowbringers story. Zenos is back. Not only did he cheat death with his artifical Echo, but he beat Elidibus, using a body that was considerably weaker than his own (which was under Elidibus' control), and even without anything like Auracite he convinced Elidibus to get out of dodge. And his first order of business upon getting his body back is to kill his father and cause the Empire to collapse on itself, with later plans to take Zodiark or Hydaelyn's power for himself - and given the revelations the Shadowbringers story brought to the table, he could probably do it. And he went through all of this just for another chance to kill you. Super-Persistent Predator doesn't even become to describe this man, and this scene highlights with frightening clarity just what kind of monster the Warrior of Light will have to face.
    • Not only that, but the way he commands fear and respect from the leader of the Ascians and the Emperor during the confrontation implies that he himself is a greater threat than either of them. It's very possible that Zenos, being the most "personal" enemy of the Warrior of Light/Darkness, and by far the most individually dangerous being encountered so far, could very well be the ultimate villain or final boss of the entire story.
  • The quest involving Akadaemia Anyder shows that despite it being a recreation based on Emet-Selch's memory, Amaurot is still able to effect the world around it, as shown when an Ondo tells the player that something came out of the city. In the dungeon proper, much like the Amaurot dungeon, the Ascians are clearly fleeing from something that apparently broke all their creations out. The panic gets to the point that at the end of the dungeon an Ascian sacrifices himself to create a powerful guardian that the party needs to put down. And even after the dungeon is over neither the Ascians nor Ondo can figure out what exactly caused this incident. The beast turns out to be Archeotania, who still roams the Tempest after this quest as a massive FATE boss.
  • The quests leading up to the Eden raid has Uriagner surveying the Empty, an area that is completely devoid of life thanks to the Flood. The whole zone is just a white barren wasteland where life cannot be supported and being in the area for too long can sap your strength. Uriagner comments that ninety percent of the First is barren like the Empty. To further prove the point, when you fight Eden Prime and it unleashes its ultimate attack, the view cuts to outer space and the world is seen as nothing but white landmasses and clouds. That's what most of the First is like. If Minfilia hadn't stopped the Flood, the entire world would look like that.
  • People becoming Sin Eaters is terrifying enough, but you get to witness some people who transform right before your eyes and they still retain their sense of self. However, you can tell their human selves are are quickly fading. In the level 74 tank role quest, you see one of the Cardinal Virtues attack a helpless scavenger and he transforms right before your eyes while begging you to help him. As soon as the cutscene ends, his human self is gone and you have to put him down.
  • Patch 5.1 allows us (and Krile) to experience Estinien's mission in Garlemald just after Zenos murdered the Emperor. While escaping the palace, the final obstacle Estinien faces after an otherwise-basic gauntlet of foot soldiers and Magitek is Arch Ultima, a prototype replica of the Ultima Weapon. Whereas the Weapon was wholly robotic, Arch Ultima has an organic component in the form of an eyeless Garlean man partially fused into the back of the machine, which unleashes a bloodcurdling scream as it is activated.
    • Even worse, Ultima Weapon had one Heart of Sabik through which to cast Ultima. Arch Ultima seems to have four.
  • The Stinger for 5.1:
    • We get treated to the absolute hell Garlemald is undergoing now that the Emperor is dead. True to Estinien's word, the capital is in absolute chaos from the civil war ensuing, with Zenos perched up on one of the buildings watching the capital burn. Then comes the sudden appearance of a white-robed and hooded person that knows who Zodiark is. The robes aren't Elidibus', but if it is him under a different guise, then it raises some serious concerns over what plans Elidibus would have.
    • The fact Zenos recogizes the "Soul" of the person garbed in white makes things even more terrifying. If it isn't Elidibus, who the hell else could Zenos know to be around?
    • Following that, it cuts to Eulmore, whose living conditions are starting to improve now that the Daedalus Stoneworks are back in operation. As the Gatetown folk are chatting about their newfound lives, the camera pans to...Ardbert? But wait, didn't Ardbert already merge with the Warrior of Light? So why does he appear to be alive? If one would recall, Ardbert's and his companions' bodies were left behind when his group traversed to the Source, his companions' bodies eventually becoming the Cardinal Virtues with one (if not all) felled by the Warrior of Light. Then you realize...what happened to Ardbert's body? His was unaccounted for until now. Someone else must be using his... And the answer in 5.2 is none other than Elidibus!
  • After the Copied Factory raid, the player gets to explore the place on their own. It is mostly innocuous except for a room full of what looks like 2B corpses. It seems very well that 9S still hasn't gotten over his hatred and bloodlust for 2B and A2. A more subtle disturbing note of the raid is the final area being coated in what the dwarf helpers describe as "flour". Those experienced with Yoko Taro games can quickly tell that such "flour" means only bad things...
  • The 5.2 trailer shows some horrible things to come. Zenos is now on the First and walking through Amaurot. Something else is also happening to make Cid cough Blood from the Mouth as well. To make matters worse... DALAMUD has returned!
    • It turns out that Zenos walking through Amaurot is a recurring dream he's having, but it's still foreshadowing he'll end up in The First that's scary enough. As for Dalamud, it turns out to have been a star shower that turns out to be a Mass Empowering Event that allows everyone in the Crystarium to hear Hydaelyn's voice and the presence of Dalamud itself is in the Ruby Weapon fight.
  • The star shower in general has some pretty disturbing implications. It causes all of the Cyrstarium residents who see it hear Hydaelyn's voice. The implication as Urianger points out is that the Echo isn't so much a gift as much as a latent part of mortals whose original forms were sundered. Between this incident and Zenos having dreams of Amaurot and suddenly Emet-Selch's final request of "Remember that we once lived" takes on a more ominous tone.
  • The Ruby Weapon is a biomechanical monstrosity designed by the Garlean empire to work as an anti-Primal weapon, explicitly noted to be stronger than the Ultima Weapon proper. It has a monstrous face, freaky whip-like fingers, and feet that look closer to hooves. It can and will repeatedly cast Optimized Ultima at you. You know, an improved version of the spell which in A Realm Reborn is essentially a Fantastic Nuke.
    • While the Ruby Weapon is already freaky on its own, the true purpose of its use is revealed: it forces the driver to merge with it, and if the machine is activated in Oversoul mode, it essentially rewriters the person. Ruby Weapon's is none other than Nael van Darnus.
    • Phase two of the fight has a disturbingly biological Nael burst out of the Ruby Weapon's neck, smiling in a deranged way, and then transforming the battlefield into a mockery of the Battle of Carteneau, with ruins of Limsa, Gridania and Ul'dah in the background, and Dalamud looming above. Nael throws repeated Meteor-like attacks at you, all the while ranting insanely about her devotion to Dalamud. Meanwhile, the soundtrack is going full on Ominous Latin Chanting.
    • The conversation after between Gaius and Cid makes it clear that its something so horrible that both men are furious, as the last moments of the pilot must have been agony. They also bring up the worrying possibility of this technology being used to revive other notable Garlean soldiers, most of which would be extremely difficult for anyone other than the Warrior to defeat.
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    General 
  • Status ailments are either mildly annoying or can be downright crippling in battle, but stopping to read the description for some of them can be downright terrifying, even though you don't get to see the graphic details:
    • Deep Freeze: You're basically a Human Popsicle.
    • Digestive Fluid: Your body is covered in acid that's breaking down your body.
    • Assimilation: Occurs when fighting the Ozmashade where looking at it during its gaze attack causes your body and mind to slowly become one with it.
    • Gradual Zombification: You're slowly becoming a zombie.
    • Seduced: Your mind is controlled by the enemy.
    • Paralysis: Your nerves are dead, which is why you randomly stop moving.
    • Throttle: Your windpipe is crushed and death will soon follow.
    • Unwilling Host: A parasite controls your body movement and seeks to spread itself to other party members.
    • Miasma: Your lungs are failing.
    • Shifting Sands: Sinking into quicksand, followed by death if you're fully buried.
    • Petrification: You're a rocky statue.
    • Terror: You're so scared out of your wits that you can't do anything.
    • Brink of Death: While the game only states that all your stats are cut by 30% after being revived twice, knowing that your character is so weak that they are on death's doorstep isn't pleasant. What makes this worse is that at the release of Stormblood (4.0): this decrease of stats have been modified at a increase by 20%, making a whopping total of 50%.
    • Acceleration Bomb: You have a bomb stuck to your body that will explode if you move at all when the timer reaches zero.
    • Salted Earth: The ground is so devoid of life that simply standing in it will damage you.
    • Nanoparticles: If the effect stacks too much, your organs and tissue will waste away via atrophy.
    • Chaos: You suffer a mental breakdown while being drawn towards Ramuh.
  • The song "Answers - Reprise" is a short version of "Answers", but with a strong echo and reverb added to the lyrics. The song itself is already pretty intense with the lyrics alone, but having the song play with the added effects just adds to the creepy factor as if you know something terrible is going to happen. The song usually just plays during The Rising event as a tribute to everything that happened before the fall of Dalamud in 1.0, however, it also plays after Illberd begins the summoning of Shinryu, whom he explicitly states to be even stronger than Bahamut. The developers intentionally made the scene similar to events of the Calamity that led to the chaos that was Bahamut, song and all.

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