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Nightmare Fuel / God of War (PS4)

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  • If you can spot them in the demo trailer, there are some eerie ghost figures that float hidden in the background. While they don't appear hostile, they are more unnerving than the actual enemies fought in the video. Turns out this was a prototype for the light elves, though as noted below this isn't particularly comforting.
  • A new console generation means newer and more violent ways to kill enemies. The God of War series was already over-the-top, but some of the new kill animations just serve to remind that Kratos is still a killing machine. One lovely example is grabbing a Wulvur's jaw and ripping it off, along with the entire front section of the creature.
    • Hræzlyr, while a violent raging monster of a dragon, gets it pretty bad from Kratos. Blowing off bits of his armored skull, including blowing out the nasal cavity, is certainly horribly painful. But then for the crown jewel, Kratos impales its throat on a giant sap crystal. The type of crystal that explodes when exposed to electricity. Hræzlyr is a lightning-breathing dragon. You can see where this is going.
  • It's a short moment, but when Atreus turns around after praying over his mother's dead body, the camera shifts over to Kratos standing in the doorway and covered in shadow while his theme song plays which consists of terrifying, deep-sounding chants. It actually can be a terrifying moment for a child to realize that their mother is dead and the only one who can take care of them is this intimidating, cold tower of a man who at this point of the game, barely acknowledges Atreus.
    • It's also terrifying for the audience, because Kratos here looks less like a player character than a horror movie villain come to bring death to the child (which he is).
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    • Kratos' aura of menace never fully dissipates even as you play as him. Of particular note is when he's en-route to recover the Blades of Chaos. The music and atmosphere (the deep chants return and a storm starts moving in, with thunder and lightning as you return home) are enough to make your skin crawl, evoking the feeling that some nameless dread is on it's way to sow death and terror. Then it dawns on you; that is exactly what's happening.
  • The Stranger himself counts, as he is one of the only characters in the entire series who can match Kratos blow by blow, and prove to be an insurmountably difficult opponent for Kratos just to disable, let alone be able to actually kill... but that's not the scary part. The scary part is his almost stalker-ish, Blood Knight attitude as he pummels and torments Kratos, with an added bonus of pure Adult Fear after he finds out Kratos has a son and takes more of an interest in him.
    • There's also The Reveal of who the Stranger really is: Baldur, the near-universally beloved Messianic Archetype of the Norse Pantheon, whose death was supposed to herald Ragnarok. Freya's desperate gambit to keep him alive by granting him true immortality has backfired massively, as he can no longer feel any form of sensation or feeling, and has gone completely insane from it.
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  • The Aesir Gods are just as bad, if not worse, than the Olympians. Odin is a treacherous paranoid madman obsessed with the future and preventing his own death, Thor commits murders and genocide for fun, Magni and Modi are violent assholes and gods only know what Modi wanted Atreus for, Baldur might have once been nice but now he's a demented blood knight thanks to centuries of sensory deprivation in return for immortality that he didn't even want.
  • Adult Fear kicks in during a moment when Atreus goes to chase off a boar and suddenly he is separated from Kratos. He begins searching for Atreus and you can tell this is serious when you notice the worry in Kratos' voice. Anyone who searched for a lost one in the woods can sympathize with this. Thankfully, Atreus is found by someone friendly.
  • Atreus' growing sociopathy after discovering that he is a god. He becomes arrogant, aggressive and violent. Kratos tries to quell this because he fears that Atreus will start following in his footprints or repeating his history. Their disagreement over this gets so caustic that for a certain span of the game, Atreus has a small chance to actually refuse to resurrect his father with a stone, quipping his usual "whatever" for this point in his development as the game reloads a checkpoint. No button prompt, just a son deciding he no longer needs his father and abandoning him as dead weight.
    • Atreus starts displaying all too familiar traits including the power of Spartan's Rage. Then it is revealed Atreus is Loki. Loki is suppose to bring forth Ragnarok, which is described in Norse myth as a battle that ends with the gods killed and the world plagued by various natural disasters and swallowed by a great flood and the only survivors will be two mortals. What’s worse is that if the murals of Jötunheimr are any indication what will set Loki off and on to Ragnarok will be the death of his father, (Kratos). Now recall God of War III and how Kratos' own battle against the Olympians, which started with the death of his first family, ended; with the gods killed and the world plagued by various natural disasters and swallowed by a great flood. Despite Kratos' best efforts it would seem Atreus is doomed to walk down the exact same path as his father.
    • After retrieving the Black Rune, Atreus angrily rants at Sindri for always complaining about Brok, a thunderstorm beginning as he rants. This implies that the grandson of Zeus did in a childish tantrum what the Ghost of Sparta never could. If this was indeed a plan of revenge by the giants, then that plan will be more devastating than the decimation of Olympus.
      • Alternatively, it could be symbolism regarding Thor. Keep in mind, thunder in Norse mythology was said to be Thor whenever he got angry or killed a giant. Earlier in the game, as Kratos goes off to collect the Blades of Chaos, a rather nasty thunderstorm is seen brewing. And given how Modi appears when we see him later on...
  • One that can be terrifying if you think about it. The giants prophesied the entire story, and it is not so subtly implied Faye wanted all of this to happen. Sure, the motivation here is FAR more sympathetic, given that the giants were being pursued by extinction by Odin, instead of desires for power like in Greece, but just imagine if that is the motivation. All Kratos wants is for his brutal past to leave him, and to ensure the gods leave him alone. Several gods have manipulated him in Greece with that pledge, and Kratos wants to prevent Atreus from going down that path. While Faye is never blamed, imagine the very person you love prophesying that your son will repeat the VERY same mistakes you did, with the kicker that YOUR death will be the one to set him off the deep end. Kratos feared Atreus would repeat his mistakes, and it appears that his wife manipulated her last request to ensure that happened.
  • Kratos's state after his first fight with The Stranger. Kratos is gasping for air, spends several minutes on the ground before getting up and walking slowly hunched over. Keep in mind, this is the mortal who killed several gods and monsters in quick succession back in Greece and he wasn't tired at all, even in exhausting fights against Hercules and Zeus. The only time Kratos was this badly beaten was after the Colossus of Rhodes fell on top of him, and that was due to arrogance. In subsequent fights, Kratos struggles against the Gods. And keep in mind, these were MINOR gods. If Atreus's vision is any indication, Kratos will die because Thor will kill him. It shows just how much more stronger the Norse Gods are in comparison to the Greek Gods, who themselves, were not slouches in fighting.
    • It is equally plausible that Kratos drew a great deal of his power from Greece's divine magic existing in the world, and with its destruction he robbed himself of a great deal of his original power and that's not even getting into the fact that he had released the power of Hope from within him which was what had originally given him the strength to kill Ares and Zeus. It certainly doesn't help that the Blade of Olympus was deactivated when he impaled himself upon it, and assuming he left it behind somewhere in a ditch he can't use that anymore. Though it might also be that the physical toll of being beaten up by countless mythological beings and Greek gods (especially his bout with Zeus) has finally caught up with him, and as a result he's starting to show his "age". This would ironically make his own "weakness" (at least compared to what he was capable of in the past) a failure of his own design.
    • Another possibility is that Kratos is simply older then in the previous games, as even Zeus was shown to have aged. Kratos was likely in his mid 30s when he killed the Greek Pantheon, and depending on how much time had passed since then, he could be pushing the divine equivalent of 50.
  • The beating Thor gives Modi off-screen is not only sad, but outright terrifying. Kratos had trouble fighting his sons, but Thor beats Modi so badly that even though Modi nearly defeated Kratos earlier, he can't even stand now. It indicates just how dangerous Thor will be, when we see him in Atreus's vision.
    • This also horrifically confirms everything Mimir and other characters have said about Thor. Up until this point it could have been put to a bias narrative from the Giants who were all absent and whom Mimir was on good terms with. It wouldn't be the first time in a God of War game that someone misled the players for their own gain but after seeing what Thor did to his own kid it's all but confirmed he's the exact sort of dangerous sociopathic murderer Mimir and giants claimed. Even with is godly durability Modi could barely stay upright kneeling.
      • In the Prose Edda Thor wore a belt that doubled his strength. If true, given how the series tweaks mythology, then Thor is essentially someone on 'Roid Rage.
  • Seeing Freya absolutely seething with hatred towards Kratos and swearing she will bring upon him unimaginable pain and then parade his corpse across the Nine Realms after the man killed her son Baldur, who by the way was about to kill her. Freya was once your ally and treated Atreus with affection, like an aunt would to her nephew. Kratos trusted her to save Atreus when his illness flared up. To see her so full of hatred and anguish afterwards is both startling and heartbreaking. Keep this in mind: Odin cursed her so she can't use a weapon, not even to defend herself. It's later hinted that she might persuade him to change his mind. Then there is the fact that she was once Queen of the Valkyries. You thought the new Queen Sigrun was tough? Imagine how tough Freya must be when she gets her fighting spirit back!
  • The war in Alfheim is an afterthought, but creepy. The dark elves are going on a genocide against the light elves, stealing the light with biological contraptions; according to Mimir, this has been going on for a long time. There are also hints that the light elves started this, and, if the dying words of a Dark Elf General are anything to go by, it was a "grave mistake" to help them. (even if they're acting peacefully now; a last ditch attempt at a Gandhi gambit, perhaps?). As Kratos points out, they are seeing the end of a war, not the start, and there's no clear morally superior side.
    • Mimir's explanation of the situation in Alfheim also carries a dose of sobering reality about the Forever War between the Light Elves and the Dark Elves. It's been going on so long that neither side remembers why it started. All they know is hate for each other because for them that's how it's always been.
  • Mimir's predicament before he was found by Kratos and Atreus is a terrifying one and possibly hints of how cruel Odin can be. To elaborate, Kratos and Atreus finds Mimir bound to a tree — not tied or chained to it — but his body is fused with the tree, with only his head having any semblance of movement. He's been there for more than a hundred years. He's also missing an eye, and from what he reveals, Odin came there and tortured him in various ways every day for the past one hundred and nine years. It makes you wonder what horrors Mimir had to endure at Odin's hands that the idea of having his head chopped from his body with the uncertainty of being brought back from the dead is better. As Mimir himself puts it:
    Mimir: (referring to his bound state)This... this isn't living.
    • In one random dialogue Mimir reveals that he used to go by a different name: Robin Goodfellow, aka Puck. According to him he used to cause unspecified mischief against humans with some friends in a distant land, and got away with it as long as he kept the forest lords amused. And then one day they weren't amused. The Fair Folk are confirmed to exist, and they may be as dangerous as the Aesir.
  • Adult Fear strikes hard in the final confrontation with Baldur as Freya's attempt to stop the fight binds Kratos but Baldur dodges and incapacitates her. Then to Kratos', and likely the player's, horror Atreus gets between Baldur's punch and Kratos and takes the blow for him, reducing the poor child to a wheezing wreck splattered in blood. Thankfully the only real harm done to Atreus is the force of the punch knocking the wind out of him as once he recovers his breath, it turns out it's not his blood.
    • The Adult Fear is on Freya's side too as she figured out Krato's name and identity. Once Baldur punched the mistletoe in Atreus' quiver, breaking the spell on him, there was nothing between him and the Ghost of Sparta, whose crimes actually surpass Thor's.
  • Also counts as a Tear Jerker moment; in Jotunheim, if one looks out into the distance beyond the mountain they can spot an endless horizon littered with the corpses of fallen giants.
  • Móði. He is constantly saying he wants “the young one”/Atreus and after threatening Mimir, Móði will also say "Jealous?. Want me all to yourself?" and "Got big plans for you, kid". If you die to him in battle his brother might say “the young one is yours” Magni also says he doesn’t understand what's wrong with this guy. Later when he appears again, he says he wants to make Atreus his “new brother”. As a father, Kratos must be restraining his intense desire to crush his skull.
  • The Stinger after the credits, Kratos and his son are awakened from their sleep by a storm so violent it threatens to rip their home apart. As the wind howls and lightning rains all over the place they run outside to see Thor's hulking figure waiting for them in all his godly, terrifying glory. No threats, no shouts, no speeches, he simply sweeps his fur cape aside and prepares to draw Mjolnir. The God Of Thunder has arrived.
  • While it's unknown if it'll play a part as far as the series' canon is concerned, it's worth noting that in the myth, Baldur is destined to return following Ragnarok. If this does come into play, it's safe to say he'll be very unhappy.
    • If this is the case, it makes Freya's actions a case of Fridge Horror. Everything she did, cursing her son with invincibility and immortality and driving him to insanity in doing so, was All for Nothing.
  • The game is absolutely horrifying from the Aesir's perspective; to them, they single-handedly wiped the Jotnar and prevented Ragnarok. They then discover another Jotunn and send Baldur to investigate and get rid of them. Only for Baldur to return defeated from the battle; thinking not much of it, they send Magni and Modi because they were formidable during the Aesir-Vanir war and are prophesied to survive Ragnarok. Only for Modi to return alone and announce Magni's death. The former is then beaten to a pulp by his father and is soon killed by a child not long after he returns to Midgard. They send in Baldur again but he is eventually killed as well, leading to the earliest stage of Ragnarok...
    • And unlike the Greek pantheon, corrupted by Pandora's Box as a side-effect they should've seen coming on top of their petty conflicts among one another, the Aesir were nowhere near as bad off. Had things stayed to the prophecies, they had at least a hundred more years of power and little to get in their way. Here comes the Spanner in the Works that entered the scene out of nowhere as far as they could tell, and Odin and Thor's own paranoia about some "mere half-Jotunn" ended up kickstarting their prophesized downfall a century too early. And with their downfall comes another inevitable cataclysm for the world, something Kratos already inadvertently caused and tried to mend once before. From Kratos' own perspective, you also have the Adult Fear of the entire Aesir after his son's head because they kept getting in the pair's way, and a second End of the World as We Know It to deal with and try to get his son through.
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