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Nightmare Fuel / Haunting Ground

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  • Fiona starts off the game with amnesia, in a cage, surrounded by instruments clearly used for torture and butchering, and wearing nothing more than a sheet.
  • "Endless Zero"'s lyrics seem to imply Ayla wanted Fiona's Azoth for herself.
  • Each of the stalkers fits this trope in some form.
    • Debilitas is three times the size of Fiona and can’t speak coherently, reducing his mindset to that of an infant. Many players seem to find his antics funny until he knocks Fiona over, whereupon he can pound her body to a pulp or pick her up in a bear hug, which breaks her back.
    • Daniella is considered to be one of the most disturbing characters in horror gaming, and for good reason. There are many things that are wrong with the seemingly emotionless maid, ranging from her fixation and jealousy of Fiona, her unpredictable and unstable outbursts of mania and her twisted belief that she is merely a homunculus in the guise of a beautiful woman that can never be "complete", unless she takes out the source of Fiona's Azoth: her uterus. What makes her unique among the stalkers is that Daniella is capable of switching back to "normal" at random - Fiona can stumble across the maid cleaning in various parts of the castle as if nothing had ever happened. It may seem as if all is well, but Daniella will inevitably resume the chase when you least expect it.
      • If she manages to grab Fiona's hand, Daniella starts laughing in an odd tone and stands completely still while Fiona desperately tries to get away.
      • If Daniella spots Fiona, she may point and hiss at her.
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    • Riccardo wants Fiona to birth him a clone of himself ("LET ME INTO YOUR WOMB!"), and then it turns out he's a clone of her father. Yes. Let the implications sink in.
    • Lorenzo is a dirty old man who can't walk, but get him on his hands and he becomes the fastest character in the whole game. Then he regains his youthful appearance and can teleport right in front of Fiona. He also has instant-kill attacks.
  • The music in the game, while sparse, is chilling in its own right. Then you realize that the music has stopped, and one of your pursuers is on the other side of the door you were about to open.
    • Many first time players likely experienced a severe fright because of how the game uses its music. When Fiona is hiding and the stalker leaves the room for a bit, the game will give a "Coast is Clear" message. This seems like an okay to leave the hiding spot, and sometimes it is... but, more often than not, the stalker's theme will pick up again, and chances are they will reenter the room before the player understands it was a false alarm. These precious few seconds will be enough for the stalker to return, preventing Fiona from hiding again and possibly even giving away the hiding spot entirely. The player needs to wait for the normal ambient music to resume in order to guarantee that the stalker has given up.
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  • Examine the figure sitting on the couch in the Old Mansion - it's a mummy. If you leave the room and then go back to it, the mummy will be in a different position. Yeah, it moved.
  • A room in the Old Mansion houses a massive mammoth that appears to have barged through a wall and died upon impact with its eyes wide open. If you walk past it while taking a closer look at its eyes, you can see the mammoth's pupils following Fiona. It's no wonder Hewie always gets uneasy in this room.
  • The strange hand that comes out of the crypt in the graveyard. Seriously, what the hell is that thing?!? Made even more horrifying when you give it a white mandragora and hear the thing being eaten alive. When it's done, you can hear something shuffling away... Kinda makes you not want to go down there after all.
  • There are two cutscenes that the player can receive after playing through the game once. The first is before the Riccardo battle, where an unconscious Fiona is being given an ovulation test by him after he's obviously stripped her down and redressed her (in a dirty gown, mind you). The second is immediately after the same battle, where Lorenzo crawls to Riccardo's body and sucks his Azoth out.
  • If you go into the kitchen near the beginning of the game, you can trigger a cutscene where Fiona watches as Daniella stirs a pot. When she lifts the ladle, a red liquid drips down from it... along with what appears to be blonde hair. Go back to the kitchen later on when Daniella isn't in there and examine the pot; Fiona herself will say that it looks disturbingly like human hair. Remember Fiona's mother? Take a moment to let that sink in. Even more horrifying is that Fiona is forced into having dinner by Daniella, and she actually eats some before getting sick.
  • In the Old Mansion during Daniella's chapter, Fiona finds a room with a carousel inside. She returns to it after moving some rooms around to find it bloody and rusty.
  • The corpse in the torture room, which is apparently still alive. Go on, try to take the key from it before solving the puzzle.
  • Panic Mode. You have little control over Fiona as she runs around tripping and slamming into walls. There's a good chance that she'll also fall over and remain helpless on the ground for an extended period of time. The creepy voices in the background repeatedly saying "Fiona" don't help. And did I mention that the screen goes black and white?
  • The various ambient and chase themes are creepy or pants-crappingly scary for similar reasons, perhaps even more so given the chase themes' tendency to speed up or slow down based upon how close to or far away from you the stalker happens to be at the time. Here are the four main sets:
  • The failed homunculi scattered throughout the castle.
    • They are naked, deathly pale, and basically braindead. They remain stationary and merely repeat a random action, ranging from mumbling incoherently to licking the floor.
    • One of them will actually lash out at Fiona if kicked too many times.
    • There are also the "baby" homunculi, which Fiona accurately describes as looking like "fatty clumps of meat." Upon seeing Fiona, they squeak and run at her; if they manage to catch her, they hold onto her legs, rendering her immobile, and let out a continuous, high-pitched screech.
      • One room has several of them suspended in tanks, seemingly dead. If the player examines them and then goes to leave the room, the sound of shattering glass will be heard as one of the homunculi breaks free of its tank.
      • It is possible to come across one of them being cooked alive, screeching and all. A disgusted Fiona will comment that the more she looks, the more it resembles a child.
  • Each stalker seems to represent a distinct and dark aspect of rape or human sexuality and how various instincts and urges can turn people into monsters, desperate victims, or both. They all desperately want something from Fiona physically.
    • Debilitas obviously represents innocence in that he does not know that his actions are hurtful to others. He lacks the intelligence to understand and resist his powerful "urges." If he catches Fiona, he will attempt to play with her, which, given his massive strength and innate aggression, results in him killing her. The most common death at Debilitas' hand is a bear hug. If Fiona doesn't break out of it or Hewie doesn't stop him, Debilitas snaps her spine, killing her, after which her body will go limp.
    • Daniella represents sexual jealousy and repression. She also acts out of physical (and quite possibly sexual) abuse at the hands of Riccardo. She is so desperate to become a real human woman that she attempts to rip Fiona's uterus (which houses her Azoth) out of her in an extremely brutal and gory way.
    • Riccardo does not see Fiona as an actual human, but rather a vessel meant to give birth to him. His intentions towards Fiona are arguably the most sexual in nature of all the stalkers. Additionally, of the three stalkers who want the Azoth, he is the only one who doesn't want to take it from Fiona; rather, he wants to claim it, much like the notion of claiming someone's virginity or innocence.
    • Lorenzo's motives are quite similar to Riccardo's, although he seems to place a particular emphasis on gaining power. He intends to hunt down a very non-consenting girl and forcibly take her Azoth for himself. Similarly, a rapist often does not rape for physical pleasure, but because sexual assault is physically and emotionally devastating for the victim while it gives the rapist a great degree of power.
  • And should Fiona die at the hands of a stalker? You get to see the words "Acta Est Fabula" ("The story is done") bleed onto the screen, complete with the horrible sounds of the stalker desecrating poor Fiona's corpse, with each getting more and more insidious as the game goes on:
    • Debilitas plays with Fiona's body like a child with a new toy, possibly tearing her limbs off in the process.
    • Daniella moans and laughs hysterically as she cuts out Fiona's uterus.
    • Riccardo whispers "Yes, Azoth..." as fabric is heard being shifted around, shortly followed by him moaning in ecstasy.
    • Old Lorenzo hacks and slurps noisily as he drinks Fiona's Azoth.
    • Young Lorenzo does the same as the above except with a triumphant laugh and some grotesque tearing noises.
    • Flaming Lorenzo yells "Azoth! Eternal life!" and cackles with anguished laughter as we hear his flesh being melted away by molten fire.
  • If the stalkers trying to kill Fiona wasn't enough, the castle itself has a number of traps and dangerous rooms that will also kill her should she carelessly traverse them:
    • The Red Marionette room is decorated with countless eyes on one wall that will shoot needles at Fiona should she try to just walk by it instead of deactivating the trap.
    • A dimly lit hallway found right before Debilitas' boss fight is filled with spiked pits and has a near-invisible path that only Hewie can detect. One wrong step and Fiona is screwed.
    • There is a Truth and Lies rooms where examining the wrong object will lock Fiona inside and unleash a swarm of flesh-eating bugs.
    • An Iron Maiden serves as an unlikely and unreliable hiding spot for the player to use in the torture room... Should Fiona be caught hiding inside it by Daniella, she'll happily lock her in and activate the trap.
    • One corridor has a suit of armor wielding a crossbow at the end of a series of tiles, where stepping on the wrong tiles three times will result in the suit of armor shooting an arrow at Fiona.
    • Perhaps the most gruesome, the rock crusher can potentially kill Fiona should she step onto the conveyor belt while it's turned on. Not only does she get flattened to paste off-screen, but you also get to hear the grisly noises and see her remains afterwards.

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