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Nightmare Fuel / Fire Emblem Gaiden

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This is just a taste of the unholy power that the Duma Faithful can offer.

Fire Emblem has long had its fair share of nightmare-inducing imagery. Fire Emblem Gaiden may have some of the worst of it, and Shadows of Valentia's production values make it even worse.

Unmarked spoilers below!

  • All of the death quotes are fully voiced now. On the results screen, other characters will also vocally mourn their fallen ally. The delivery of the lines really hammers home how tragic death can be.
  • Faye can be seen as a sort of Shell-Shocked Veteran, and she's also a heartbroken soldier. She starts out as a fairly jovial, normal girl in Ram Village with an unrequited crush on Alm, who still pines for Celica. When Faye joins Alm's group and has a Support conversation with Alm, her behaviour is rather unhinged. Faye is nonchalant about her willingness to kill people for Alm's sake, which disturbs him. He's concerned about the toll the war is taking on her. Faye then confesses how she feels and Alm turns her down. She's unhappy about it, and then asks if she can still keep her feelings for him, but he's too dense to notice problems with that to say no. Faye's ending does confirm that she gets married to someone, but also confirms that she still has feelings for Alm and vanishes for days at a time, worrying her family.
    • Even the game mechanics show Faye's mental instability. As the Support between her and Alm increases, Faye gets higher Hit and Crit rates but her Dodge rate drops. This Support is the only one that does this, and the implication is that when Alm is nearby, Faye goes into a berserker-like rampage without any regard for her own life.
  • Berkut, the heir apparent to the Rigelian throne, is another character who is not mentally sound in the slightest. He so desperately desires to prove his worth and his strength any and every second he's on screen. He has an utter hatred for Alm and the Deliverance, and after suffering a defeat at the border, he decides to break a mirror filled with dark magic given to him by Nuibaba, which summons a horde of Terrors from the ground (which provides the page image) that try to drag everyone, both Alm's side and Berkut's side, straight down to hell. Even Berkut himself is disgusted, calling the power hideous.
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  • Fernand himself is equal parts Nightmare Fuel and Tear Jerker. His entire family was killed in a peasant uprising, including his very young stepsiblings who he clearly adored. He's another character who's likely dealing with some kind of PTSD or some other disorder. While it's not to Berkut's level, thank God, it's still quite jarring to see him go from relatively pleasant in the earlier Rise of the Deliverance DLC to progressively snappier by the time of the main game.
  • Duma and his followers. Duma's design is that of a dragon zombie with a big, glowing red eye. His most devout followers are also very unnerving, with unnatural blue or purple skin and eyes that are either a blank white or have black sclera and white irises/pupils.
    • Jedah, the most devoted of his followers, not only sacrificed his daughters to gain power from this god, but he also was willing to steal the soul of Celica by suggesting he would be able to "save" Mila from being sealed away. Also, anyone who breaks the curse explaining his weakness suddenly disappears, likely being killed by Jedah...
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    • In the manga, we are given an artistic interpretation of Duma's sprite, turning the almost melting appearance of Duma in Gaiden into an insectoid monstrosity.
    • Duma's tower is also rather unsettling due to the structure and the two music tracks playing in this dungeon.
    • When certain Duma Faithful get some pre-battle banter, a haunting melody plays that hammers home how wrong Jedah turned a once-proud religion led by the benevolent Halcyon.
  • Shortly after this, we get the scene foreshadowed since the very beginning of the game, except this time we get a close-up view of Celica impaled through the chest on Falchion. And the camera lingers on it for a while.
    • The soulless Celica in general. Imagine seeing your beloved walk up to you, then suddenly pulling out a sword and attacking you in a psychotic murderous rage. Her expressions during the fight don't help either.
      • Even worse, Celica became this way when Jedah had offered her soul to Duma. In other words, he fed her soul to Duma! Her goddamn soul, gone! It's never explained how, or if, her soul was restored when her mind was freed by Mila. She appears sane, and sure doesn't act like a soulless shell, but her soul is definitely gone! It's horrible to think what that might mean post-story.
  • The dungeons. The atmosphere in the dungeons is actually quite eerie, thanks to the monsters that lurk within, their often maze-like nature, and how the only sources of light would be Alm's lantern or Celica's fire and the occasional torch or lamp. Often times the player will be traversing around in the dungeons, only to have an enemy suddenly pop up nearby. If the enemies are human (or appear to be), they'll shout at the player. Generally however, the enemies are usually horrific monsters, who would treat the player to a hellish roar. The music doesn't help matters much either, often being very discomforting ambience.
    • The Sylvan Shrine in particular appears to have been an actual, literal dungeon, and has corpses stuffed in bags and strewn about the floor or hanging from the ceiling. When you return here for one of the Forest Village's sidequests to search for a man held captive here, you find a message that's heavily implied to be written in his own blood.
    • Not helping is how the music suddenly changes to a very tense theme when there's an enemy nearby. It's even worse if you're in an area like the Sylvan Shrine or Duma's Tower, where, depending on where you're standing and the camera angle, you might have trouble seeing the enemy. And yet that theme keeps playing anyway.
  • The Thabes Labyrinth is a massive, ten floor dungeon that shows up in the postgame. The environment grows colder, lonelier, scarier, and tenser the further down you go, down to a music change halfway through, the dungeon appearing darker, and more monsters showing up, as well as some very creepy enemies donning masks.
    • In the dungeon, the player can read some stone slabs that tell the story of the alchemist Forneus and his descent into madness. He had two desires, one was to control the dead to create an army, and the other was to create a singular, perfect being. He created a monster, and this monster would eventually go on to bring the world to its knees. Said monster in question is none other than Grima itself, the massive world destroying monster in Awakening. At one point, it is mentioned that Forneus gave the monster his own blood, and it grew. Forneus is a human, and now this explains why Grima has a horrifying human face underneath its dragon skull.
      • Even worse, the tablet that says Forneus gave Grima some of his own blood cuts off suddenly at the end, implying that Grima killed Forneus then (or at the very least attacked him). And it also gave the two of them a mind link, and Forneus himself seems horrified at just how dark and violent Grima's thoughts are.
    • Worse yet is the fate of the soldiers that were sent to investigate Forneus' lab and never returned. Forneus' diary tablets describe this as "being sent everything he needed for his experiments". There's an alarmingly possible implication that whatever victims weren't used for Thanatophage testing went towards constructing Grima's body. It may well have been more human than dragon in its early stages.
    • The Thanatophages. They're insects that Forneus used to control the dead, by setting down roots in a corpse and assuming control. The fact that a corpse can be brought back to life, controlled by an insect of all things is grounds for Paranoia Fuel. Said living dead would then go on to become the Risen in Awakening.
    • On the ninth floor of the labyrinth, there is a breakable wall. Hiding behind it is a fire dragon, which is sure to surprise any unsuspecting player who dared venture that far. It guards some pretty good rewards though, like a Speed and Res fountain, as well as a chance to find Gold Marks nearby.
      • While there are fire dragons at other points in the dungeon, breaking down the wall and then seeing the last fire dragon roaring at you can be quite the Jump Scare.
    • When the player first jumps into the final floor, the first area is almost completely silent, creating some Paranoia Fuel.
  • Near the end of Celica's part of Act III, we get a cutscene of Rudolf arriving at Mila's temple to imprison her. She initially remains calm, but when she notices that Rudolf brought the Falchion with him, she completely snaps. In a space of few seconds, her irises suddenly shrink, she gives a brief Slasher Smile before switching to expression of pure rage, and unleashes a wave of power that knocks out everyone in the room save for Rudolf - including her own disciples - before trying to blast him with an enormous sphere of energy. Given her descriptions portrayed her as a peaceful and benevolent goddess, this might be quite shocking - and it shows that Mila and Duma really are Not So Different in the depths of their madness.
    Mila: It means, you are in violation of the Accord! DAMN YOU, DUMAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
  • The Rise of the Deliverance DLC reveals that Lukas is quite a damn good actor and liar. Not only did he plan ahead for Slayde's plan, but he also asked Python and Forsyth to round up as many Rigelians as they could to hold them hostage. He then bargains with Slayde to let the Deliverance safely escape from Zofia Castle, and should Slayde not comply, Lukas threatens to behead every hostage. While Lukas never meant to kill them, he sold it incredibly well, even shocking Slayde. Clive was reluctant in giving his approval, while Fernand makes it absolutely clear that he is not okay with this. This bold move proves that Lukas is not someone to be trifled with, especially with how cold and calculating he can be.
  • The Lords of the Grave DLC is about an army of warriors who had fallen in a war, and their coffins were violated and destroyed. They return from the dead to enact vengeance upon the living. They are called Tomb Lords, possess high stats, some in particular having HP so high that it doesn't even show properly, and they're also quite ghastly to behold.
    • Not helping is the fact that they're implied to have been normal humans at one point, and yet somehow they've turned into these... creepy giant things. And even worse, they spawn continuously, and get stronger and stronger, easily overwhelming the player even if they have a high-level party.
  • At the end of Act 4, Jedah teleports Celica's army away when she meets with him at Duma Tower. Jedah assures her that they've just been teleported to the first floor when, in reality, they've been sent into the depths of Duma Temple and are fighting hordes of Terrors. In a way, it's probably better off that Celica didn't know; watching Alm suffer by unknowingly killing his father in an act of patricide was enough to make her agree to offer her soul, but if she knew everyone else she cared about was actually in danger, she would have probably traded it on the spot. You can only imagine what would have happened then.

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