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Nightmare Fuel / La-Mulana

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Mongrel who disobeyed the warning.
Taste bitter death.
Naturally, La-Mulana's titular Temple of Doom is riddled not just with challenging puzzles and enemies, but ways to scare away archaeologists from exploring further in their journeys.

Warning! Unmarked spoilers below as per Spoilers Off wiki policy!

  • The sacrificial pit of Chi You in the Confusion Gate, where a seemingly endless line of virgins fall down a tall pit to their death on the spikes below. Their blood is dripped onto the mini-boss Chi You, who regenerates HP whenever a drop of blood drips onto him. Somehow, the old 8-bit graphics do not make this any less shocking and disturbing, and the creepy music (which by now has been drilling itself into your head for an hour or more) doesn't help matters, either.
  • The Confusion Gate is filled with large head-statues which look entirely too happy. The aforementioned sacrificial pit has several of them.
  • In the remake, solving Eden's sole puzzle. Which dissolves the Uncanny Atmosphere and reveals the Eden's true nature as the Confusion Gate / Gate of Illusion, along with a high-pitched scream as the area's true colors come into view.
    • The music of the Gate of Illusion. Especially when you activate the Tree of Eden — dispelling the Eden illusion, revealing the true nature of the Gate of Illusion, and hear a particularly loud form of the sacrificial maidens' scream!
  • The Mother's third form in the original game. A giant, pale-faced version of the Virgin Mary who rains crosses and Tears of Blood that explode into walls of flame. Also, it's holding a skeletal baby.
    • In the remake, said baby fights alongside the ghastly skeletal version of Mother's second form by firing a laser beam at you!
    • Crossing into Fridge Brilliance, The Mother's Japanese name is 聖母 ("seibo") which means "Holy Mother", which is another name for the Virgin Mary.
  • The Giant's Graveyard, a frozen hellscape littered with the corpses of long dead giants. The careless way the bodies seem to have been tossed down and left to rot is totally at odds with the majesty of the Giant's Mausoleum and really rams home the futility of their race's plight.
  • The background in the Temple of the Moonlight has demonic faces woven into walls made out of red vines or tentacles.
  • Tiamat in the original. She has a very creepy and distorted facial expression when doing a certain attack, and another one after losing a certain amount of health. If she kills you, this Slasher Smile tends to be the last thing you'll see before the Game Over screen...
    • In the remake, she slowly loses her composure as you attack her, eventually devolving into a wide-eyed monster delivering a chilling smile down at you.
    • Tiamat in the remake in general is frightening, from her entrance, looming over you with glowing eyes, and striking with destructive, hard-to-avoid attacks that rip through your health like paper.
  • Around the end of the original game's secret Maze of Galious area, the game reunites fans of the game that inspired La-Mulana with the Bony Dragon, the boss of World 1, except he's wearing pajamas — made from human skin.
  • The remake's Shrine of the Mother looks utterly grisly. Skeletons hang from walls, there are entire shelves of bones, and the place is littered with skull walls and crush traps. It's implied that the skeletons are former life forms that tried to bring Mother back into the sky and failed; had Lemeza not come along to put Mother out of her misery, humanity as we know it could've joined them. The Shrine after being transformed isn't much better: The place is wrecked and there are tentacles pulsating throughout the area.
  • The trap sound itself can send many a player into a panic, especially since the traps they entail cause substantial damage or break puzzles at best and outright kill the player at worst.
  • The first time you get blasted by a Bolt of Divine Retribution will make you paranoid as hell, justifiably so. The remake somewhat lessens this by putting blue eyes in rooms where you can get zapped, although arguably, knowing which rooms can get you zapped can make solving puzzles much worse.
  • In the remake, if you enter a Developer's Room without the correct software combination, there will be no one there, but the developer's corresponding BGM will still be playing. Prepare for a Jump Scare if you're entering the room in the Gate of Illusion, because that room triggers the "scream" version of "Wonder of the Wonder"!
  • The remake's Hell Temple, has a room that is empty AND is silent. And there is no reason ever to enter it, as the relevant puzzle involves covering it up with a block.
  • While en route to unlock the Hell Temple, at one point you get taken to the "Burning Cavern". It's an offshoot of the Inferno Cavern featuring only a lava pit that goes on forever and ever and ever, unless you figure out the obscure solution to the next puzzle.
  • The infamous "don't read this again" tablet in the Mausoleum of the Giants. When you first read it, it warns you not to read it again or else you will "suffer the pain of death." It's not joking. Reading the tablet again not only heralds the trap sound, it increases the game's difficulty permanently. In the PC version, there are also three giant glowing red skulls that faces you momentarily (pictured above) before shattering.
  • That horrifying sound that plays when you're under the effect of a life-draining attack, such as the Anubis death beams, as well as Viy's and Palenque's Collision Damage.
  • Grab that out-in-the-open Ankh Jewel in the Twin Labyrinths, we dare you. It's a trap and will explode into bats if approached. Did you really think the temple would simply let you walk up and grab a valuable treasure that easily?
    • Even worse if you've never actually found an Ankh jewel before reaching this one (which is very possible), meaning there's a good chance you have no idea what it really is and thus is a very obvious trap.
  • The remake adds a number of One-Hit Kill traps not present in the original, which can come off as a shock to players of the original version.
  • The track that plays when you're in a boss room with an Ankh Jewel in your inventory, Requiem, is a loud, eerie, and incredibly foreboding piece.