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Nightmare Fuel / Fire Emblem Fates

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Unmarked spoilers ahead!

  • More mundane than some other examples, but this game is the first in the series to change the battle theme if one of your characters is likely to die in the ensuing fight, and this theme consists of "Psycho" Strings. Luckily, this happens only if you're playing Classic Mode or on your last unit in Casual Mode.
  • In chapter 17 of Conquest you'll come face-to-face with the Automaton enemy, which appears to be a small, unassuming (if not uncomfortably realistic looking) wooden puppet in the shape of a small child. Engage it in combat however, and its face splits in half and a buzzsaw springs out to attack you while it wheels around stiffly. Should you land a killing blow on one its character portrait in the damage forecast shows the face cracking. If you're playing Birthright, you can use these as My Castle defenses too.
    • The Nohrian equivalent are Stoneborn, who are supposed to be stone Golems brought to life by magic, but in practice move more like a Blob Monster, with their bodies contorting in unnerving ways. Their method of attacking enemies is by hurling rocks, but they don't thow them: they launch them out of a cavity on their head, usually covered by their Mouth Of Truth face-plate. Yes, they don't even have a face, just a huge gaping cavity. They also throw the face-plate sometimes as an attack. Heck, the face-plate itself could count for this, the realistic Mouth Of Truth gives off a huge sense of Uncanny Valley compared to the game's usual Animesque art style.
      • The Stoneborn can also show up in the level grinding DLC, so you can still see them even if you're early on the Hoshido route... And they might be even freakier there, since there's less context for them.
      • A Stoneborn boss in a later Birthright chapter actually has pre-battle dialogue, which is very unnerving if you don't see it coming, especially since the only dialogue Faceless bosses have is roars. This implies that these things are actually sentient (or at least some of them are) while Faceless aren't, a horrifying thought in itself.
  • In the chapter Werewolf Summit in Birthright, the Avatar and party meet Keaton and his Wolfskin, who state that they've eaten the last group of soldiers to try coming through their territory. Keaton even throws human bones at the Avatar to prove he isn't bluffing.
    • In the localization, Keaton doesn't explicitly say they ate the last group of soldiers, but it's still heavily implied by him showing off human bones that are completely picked clean.
    • Keaton's personal skill can sometimes get you meat in battle. Now, if it activates after he kills an enemy and says "fresh meat is the best", don't think too hard the next time you make your army a steak sandwich in the Mess Hall...
    • To make matters worse, listen to some of Keaton's daughter Velouria's voice clips. She often says things like "I smell raw meat!" or "A-Hunting I will go!" She has just as few qualms with eating people as the rest of the Wolfskins do. Try not to think too hard about what would happen if anyone in the army made them too angry. Worst thing is, Velouria is half human.
  • Fort Dragonfall, a castle built around the remains of a long-dead dragon. When visited early on in Conquest, it's not much different from a normal castle. But late in Birthright... Iago uses his magic to partially resurrect the dragon, namely, restoring its digestive system. While you're still inside it. What seemed like a normal Storming the Castle mission now has you avoiding stomach acid that constantly spawns Faceless. When you get outside, you see the whole fort is moving, and if you look closely, it seems designed to do that, implying that the fort was always slightly alive.
    • To make matters worse, if you look closely at the battle backgrounds in Fort Dragonfall in Birthright, you can see that the walls are constantly moving. They're sinking in and out of the "floor" of the fortress, which is actually the dragon's stomach lining. And on top of that, if you revisit it for Level Grinding, it's still doing that. Did Iago's spell never get reversed or wear off? Who's to say some other sorcerer couldn't come along and fully revive it?
  • Hans' Nightmare Face at the end of Chapter 13 of Conquest where he and his army go on a killing spree and slaughter many Cheve civilians, along with the remaining Hoshidan and Cheve troops. It makes him look more demonic than human, and its sudden appearance feels more like something out of a Survival Horror game than Fire Emblem.
    • The absolute worst part of this chapter is Scarlet's unavoidable death in Conquest by way of Nothing Is Scarier, as Camilla only mentions that she was killed in such a way that she was "clearly made an example of". We are not shown her body, unlike her Revelation death by fireball.
    • Reina and Orochi could count in Conquest as well, also by virtue of Nothing Is Scarier. That's the only map either of them show up on in Conquest, and considering what happens afterwards... It's very likely that Reina and Orochi got rather unpleasant deaths in that route, too.
  • While Garon's groans of increasing discomfort are basically just that, mild discomfort, on the Birthright route, on Conquest they descend straight into this, with Garon convulsing in pain as if having a heart attack or seizure, with a very Uncanny Valley expression on his face as he screams.
  • In the second-to-last chapter of the Conquest route, the player and the cast see that Garon is actually a slimy, melting monster. Ewwww.
    • You can actually see this earlier, for a brief moment in Chapter 15. Azura warns the Avatar that there's something wrong with Garon, and then shows them an image in her crystal ball of Garon with a melting face and what looks like empty eye sockets. Ewww, indeed, and the fact that it comes in the middle of a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment with little other explanation just makes it even freakier.
    • And that brief image you get isn't anywhere near as bad as actually seeing him face-to-face. Slime Garon is huge, much bigger than you'd expect from that crystal ball vision. And the first thing he does is try to murder his entire family for seeing him in his true form. Not to mention the boss theme that plays for him on Conquest, which really sums up the feeling of "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!"
    • Whether he's a slime monster or Blight Dragon, this character has a voiced line on both routes that's incredibly terrifying, especially the first time you hear it.
      Monster!Garon: I'll rip your heart out!
    • The Blight Dragon version in Birthright is almost as creepy as its Conquest equivalent, if only because it comes out of nowhere. Garon's slime form is arguably freakier, but at least the crystal ball vision gives a little forewarning. In Birthright, it looks like Garon's been defeated... and then he suddenly transforms into his dragon form, which is massive and has red Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • While it's also a Tear Jerker, Flora's death on Birthright has her Driven to Suicide via Self-Immolation, on-screen... and right in front of her TWIN SISTER Felicia (who tried putting it out with a snowstorm, but to no success) and long-time crush Jakob. The camera pans away slightly, but as she finally dies, you can briefly see her body crumble to ashes. It's definitely one of the most graphic and sad deaths in the series so far. It's remarkable Felicia manages to remain sane after seeing that, and going by Jakob's comments afterwards, there was a Vomit Discretion Shot.
  • While Azura's death in Conquest is simply her disappearing offscreen to spare her friends and family from witnessing it after Takumi (who was possessed by Anankos) is killed (and in the Epilogue, her spirit appears to actually say goodbye before passing on)... she dies in a very awful way in Birthright, slowly turning into water as the friends and True Companions she has come to love so much, the Avatar and her family (provided she does marry) included, are unable to do anything to stop her suffering.
  • In Revelation, the curse of Valla that Azura, the Avatar, Gunter, and either Felicia or Jakob get after visiting it in Revelation — anyone who speaks of the Kingdom when outside of it will evaporate into water bubbles (similar to Azura's on-screen death at the end of Birthright). In the Avatar's A support with Azura, they nearly kill themselves by mentioning its name, so Azura has to guide them to a spot between the worlds so they can talk properly. So even the slightest slip of the tongue by mentioning the place can kill the unfortunate sap who pulls it.
    • This is so strong that in Hidden Truths even Anankos himself is not immune. His soul tells Severa/Selena, Inigo/Laslow, and Owain/Odin that he cannot tell them exactly who he is unless they're in his world, lest he will "turn into foam and disappear".
  • The Demonic Possession employed by the Big Bad is creepy enough as it is, with the victims' personalities utterly twisted instead of simply being mindless slaves.
  • Most of the time, Ryoma is Hot-Blooded, but still rational, even when he's trying to take you back to Hoshido in Chapter 12 of Conquest. He's adamant that you've been brainwashed, and that it can be undone... until Chapter 25, where you tell him that you killed Hinoka. He becomes enraged, tells you he can't see you as a sibling anymore, and makes it very clear that he intends to kill you.
    Ryoma: Watch as my blade takes back whatever Hoshidan blood remains in you!
    • After the fight, things don't get much better. Having seen Garon and Iago order the Avatar to finish him off, Ryoma makes the choice for them... by committing Seppuku. A player can see this coming (he is a Samurai, after all), but the worst part is how it happens: it's a fully-animated CG cutscene, with very little Gory Discretion Shot to speak of. Not only that, he does it with the Raijinto, a magical electrified sword, so he's electrocuting and disemboweling himself at the same time. Not a pleasant way to go. No wonder this game has a C rating in Japan. (And probably the only thing that prevents the rating being even higher for this scene alone is Bloodless Carnage.)
  • Even when he's not possessing some poor soul, Anankos can be pretty terrifying. He's a dragon with enough power to practically be considered a god and, like all of the dragons that have lived too long in this series, has gone completely insane. He's masterminded the whole conflict between both Hoshido and Nohr, and creates entire armies of familiars and puppets, sometimes from the corpses of other people which still retain their memories, to do his bidding. His real voice ranges from a very deep booming baritone to demonic growling as he rambles on about how he was left forgotten and betrayed by humanity. In chapter 27 of Revelation, the first form he takes is a giant head of a stone statue of himself that is kept perfectly frozen while it talks, and cracks apart whenever he roars. Then his dragon form is revealed and it's freaking massive. This quote from Chapter 18, when he shows up seemingly out of nowhere and tries to kill you, sums up just how terrifying he can truly be.
  • The Heirs of Fate DLC. Like Future Past, it focuses on a timeline where all the child units' parents are dead as well as everyone they know. Anankos obtains a victory and takes over the world like he wanted, but is not satisfied with it and becomes a Multiversal Conqueror. It takes Shigure from the Heirs of Fate and one child from every world he's conquered to defeat him and save the worlds from his tyranny.
    • In addition to this, the first several episodes of the DLC show that the children's parents are all dead, and some of them even died right in front of them! The very start of the first episode shows Female Kana holding the Yato in a fog-covered forest, lost and wandering around, having been traumatized by the Male Avatar's death. Like in Awakening, the very idea of these children losing their parents and living during an apocalypse is pretty unnerving.
    • And that's not all! The majority of the DLC takes place within Valla, and all of the children are afflicted with illusionary magic thanks to Anankos. Thanks to the illusions, the children from Hoshido and Nohr, in addition to thinking that they're within those kingdoms, see the opposite side as Invisible Soldiers, and they're forced to fight each other out of fear. The children's portraits as "Invisible Soldiers" shroud them in purple, shadowy fog, similarly to Mikoto and Arete during Revelation. They can look rather unsettling on certain characters, making some of them look like they have a Slasher Smile.
    • The Reveal that each of the individual children are literally the only survivors from their respective timelines is an equal mix of Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker. It essentially means that they're fighting alongside a bunch of strangers, even the ones that thought they knew each other (including the ones that are canonically related), and although they come to be Fire-Forged Friends, the idea of them not actually knowing their friends and relatives can be seen as a healthy dose of Paranoia Fuel.
  • The curse Azura's under, shown most graphically in Birthright. The Avatar notices she gets a bit tired when she sings, but every time they check up on her, she brushes them off, saying she's alright. Except after Birthright Chapter 14, where they notice her wandering alone. They follow her, and then you watch a cutscene with Azura shivering, hunched on the ground, as these shadowy purple hands crawl out of her skin and claw at her, finally ending with her screaming and collapsing.
    • And that's actually at its weakest. When the curse is particularly strong, it starts to break her body down into water. Like, literally rippling over her skin, crystallizing it, then melting it into the air. The pain is so strong she can't even stand for a while after. And she dies this way.
    • The fact that the Avatar can literally do nothing but watch as this happens to their best friend/possible wife, getting steadily worse because she can't stop using it, because they need her songs to win. It is very eerily like watching someone you love slowly die of cancer.
  • While the players (thankfully) never actually see it, what's known of the infighting in the Nohrian court is deeply unsettling at best, and downright horrific at worst. Tens of concubines, each with their own children, slowly driven mad by their jealousy and paranoia that Garon possibly favors their rivals over themselves. Poisonings, bullying, and even assassinations ran rampant, and were so bad that even the children eagerly participated in it. Eventually, the tensions exploded into a bloody massacre with Xander, Leo, Camilla, and Elise the only survivors, leaving each of them (especially Camilla, who was the eldest surviving concubine kid) with severe psychological scars and all but destroying Garon's kindness and optimism, turning him into the twisted shell of a man he is by the time he dies and is impersonated by Slime Garon.
    • According to Azura's supports with Saizo, she has a nasty scar from a Deadly Prank performed by some of the concubine kids, and in her supports with Arthur, she also states that she once ran away to Windham (the capital) after being harassed by Garon's entourage, which is how she and Arthur met. Based on what's known of the timeline, Azura was a very young girl (8-10 at best) when stuff like this happened note , and the first incidents "officially" confirms that the kids also participated in this bullshit.
    • Taking all of the Nohrian siblings' ages into account makes their history a mix of Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker. Leo was probably around Azura's age, and Xander and Camilla were probably between early to mid teens at the oldest. And it's implied that Camilla (and likely Xander too) were forced to kill some of their half-siblings themselves.
      • It gets even worse than that. Leo is younger than the Avatar, who is around Azura's age. He was even younger than her while all this was going on. And given the Fanon belief that the Avatar was 5-6 when they were kidnapped, if it were true, then the Nohrian siblings and Azura probably weren't anywhere near the high ends of the estimated ages above. Someone give these kids a hug.
      • Additionally, if the above guess on ages is true, then it means that Azura was likely around 5-6 as well, since she's around the Avatar's age and was kidnapped around the same time they were. Why is this horrifying? Because it means some of the concubines/half-siblings attacked a 5-6 year old girl and gave her scars that she still has over a decade later. It makes one wonder just how brutal some of the other attacks must have been...
    • Worse still, it's known that Elise was born around when the infighting stopped. She only got to know Xander, Camilla, and Leo, and likely never knew any of her other half-siblings. The fact that she was amazed to find out Azura was her step-sister in Birthright also shows that she was kept in the dark about that as well.
      • Additionally, Elise confirms in her supports with Leo that she only remembers how Garon was after the concubine incidents messed him up. She is legitimately shocked that he used to be a doting father. While it's not as bad as what happened to her siblings, this still drives in just how bad the Nohrian family had it.
      • And even then, Leo and Elise's supports (and Camilla's with Niles) have them talking about the fact that their mothers never really cared about them. Even after the worst of it stopped, things never got much better. Since Elise was a baby at the time that the most violent infighting stopped, but she still has clear memories of her mother, it's probably safe to assume that things took a while to fully stop, and it went on for longer than was initially assumed.
  • Niles and Subaki's C support ends with Subaki tells Niles to not say hi to him next time he sees him, and Niles tells him he'll simply stab him in the back next time he sees Subaki. Their B support starts with Subaki actually catching Niles in the act of trying to stab him in the back. While Niles' sadism is merely an Informed Attribute in other supports, it runs rampant in Subaki's support, as Niles' reasoning behind the act is only that he wanted to see Subaki's pained expression and that "it wouldn't have been a lethal blow".
  • In Revelaton Chapter 24, the boss manages to be terrifying in a more subtle way than most, but to some extent, that makes it even worse. At first, the resurrected Mikoto seems her usual kind, caring, motherly self, telling the Avatar to trust her and guiding them through Anankos' traps. At first, she seems completely sincere. Then, at the last door, something seems off. As it turns out, she's lying, and has been deceiving you all along. She then states, without changing her usual calm demeanor, that she intends to murder all her children so they can all be Together in Death under Anankos. Seeing Mikoto's motherly love twisted like this (similarly to how Takumi's competitiveness and Middle Child Syndrome was on Conquest) is... unnerving, to say the least.
    • By the way, in that same chapter, when the trap triggers and reduces all of your units' HP to 1, it does the same thing to any and all enemies in the room with you. This "disposable mooks" mentality is subtle foreshadowing of what eventually happens to Garon when Anankos decides he has no more use for him.
  • Two rather horrifying moments occur in quick succession at the start of Revelation Chapter 25. First, the Avatar and Azura decide to split up the group to find the way into Valla's throne room more quickly. This leads to the Avatar hearing Anankos/Gunter repeating the exact same thing he said when Scarlet was killed, and the screen flashes white, only for them to wake up with Gunter standing over them. It's quite the Jump Scare. Then, after everyone reunites, the boss of the map shows up: the resurrected King Sumeragi, who's acting like a complete Blood Knight and has a CG with a Slasher Smile and a Battle Aura. Oh, and just for some extra creepy, said boss has the actual Ganglari, which you can see in the CG of them.
  • If looked at from an outsider/victim's point of view, Corrin's Dragon Fang strikes. Imagine being in a fairly straightforward battle, and suddenly your opponent rears back and start morphing their body piecemeal to attack you. And not even in ways that make sense, they turn an arm into a sharp, pointed lance, then into a mouth. It's no wonder even Hans was reduced to a terrified wreck upon seeing it in the prologue.
    • The example with Hans is also rather creepy, since it comes out of nowhere and isn't explained for a couple more chapters. On a first playthrough, the player will be left wondering what the heck just happened for a little while; it's subtle, but still rather unsettling.
  • Again from an outsider/victim's point of view, Corrin's ability to turn into a dragon. Especially in Chapter 5, because it's very likely that, with a feral mind, the enemies weren't the only ones who were killed by him/her...
    • And speaking of Chapter 5? It actually gets somewhat acknowledged in-universe with the post-chapter dialogue. While the majority of the villagers were likely killed by the Ganglari's explosion, it's just ambiguous enough (combined with Corrin feeling guilty over the whole thing) that you could easily assume that Corrin may have killed a few of the villagers themselves.
  • While not the scariest song of all time, Vanity Judge is a haunting song that clearly highlights how hopeless and/or grim a certain battle is. Best part? This song debuts in Chapter 5 when Queen Mikoto is killed by an unknown assailant, and the enemies that surround the area aren't much better either.
  • Anthony's transformation in Chapter 21. Think about it: despite being Obviously Evil, it's still watching a little kid go through a Painful Transformation, WHILE PLEADING FOR MERCY. Ouch. He's descended into a Madness Mantra by the time you fight him, and it very much feels like a Mercy Kill.
  • Marry Peri to either Odin or Laslow. In their married ending, it's heavily implied throughout the game she's been abducting and murdering random civillians, before disposing of their bodies so well they're never even found. Yikes.
  • Camilla's Yandere tendencies can easily veer into this territory. In both Birthright and Revelation, she wants to be the one to kill Corrin so she can have them back and hold their corpse afterwards, while one of her Private Quarters lines in Revelation and Conquest has her immediately offering to kill anyone Corrin wants if it would make them happy. Then there's her threatening to cut off Selena's legs if she tries to leave her and saying she has several ways of torturing Laslow if he turns against her.

Example of: