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Nightmare Fuel / Life Is Strange

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You got that right, Max.

Following Nightmare Fuel policy, all spoilers are unmarked!

  • The giant tornado at the start of the game that provides the page image, especially when it throws a boat at the lighthouse, causing it to collapse and nearly crush Max.
  • The moment in Episode 2 where you have to save Chloe from getting run over by a train. Every single moment is tense and terrifying as the train gets closer and closer where Chloe is begging you to help and seems to be getting closer to tears the closer the train gets. Luckily you can reverse time to give yourself more... well... time to help her but that's only a temporary solution until you manage to rescue her.
  • Then it gets worse later on in Episode 2, when the entire campus stands outside in the middle of the rain to watch Kate on the rooftop of her dorm building. As soon as the player sees her she immediately jumps and falls to her death, but thanks to Max's time powers she's able to stop it from happening... only this time her powers are failing due to overuse, forcing her to freeze time and run to the rooftop to stop Kate. Just when the player thinks they can easily persuade Kate from killing herself and simply reverse time whenever they make the wrong choice, Max's powers stops working at the worse possible moment. Make too many wrong choices and fail to calm Kate down, and she will jump off the roof one last time...and she will be dead for good.
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  • Nathan pulling a gun on Chloe.
  • The red binders that show up at the end of each episode, which each have a girl's name on them, including Rachel. They're rather ominous when we first see them, but it gets worse in episode 4 when we finally see what's inside them: they're Jefferson's photo collections, depicting his drugged and helpless victims.
  • The fact that Nathan was allowed to stay in school despite the faculty being aware of his blatant psychological issues, including said drawing. The drawing also makes it abundantly clear he's responsible for the vandalising of Max's room in Episode 2, given the creepy drawing left behind matches his style perfectly.
  • The strange phenomena taking place in Arcadia Bay start out harmless enough, but quickly spiral into truly scary things. A snowstorm and solar eclipse are weird, but not bad. In Episode 3, birds and fish are dying in droves (in the normal timeline) and entire pods of whales are beaching themselves (in the alternate timeline). As of Episode 4, there's a second moon in the sky. No one wonder people think the apocalypse is near. Worst of all, it's very heavily implied that Max's power is causing all of this. Yeah, that's right, all your rewinding to correct your mistakes and save lives is fucking up the universe.
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  • The ending of Episode 4. Someone drugs Max. She uses her power to travel back in time to warn Chloe, but the rewind doesn't remove the drugs in her system and Chloe is too slow to avoid getting shot in the head. Before Max passes out, she sees her attacker, Jefferson, standing over her with complete disinterest for her well-being. In the Episode 5 trailer, Max can be heard begging Jefferson to let her go as he prepares another syringe.
  • What became of Rachel Amber. In the Dark Room, Chloe and Max find posed photos of her, and one looks like she's in a ditch. Chloe knows that it's in the junkyard, so they run to that spot and start digging until there's a horrible odor and what looks like hair. Chloe immediately melts down, sobbing and screaming. Rachel Amber had been Dead All Along.
  • The barn in Episode 4 and the secrets it holds. Underground is a bunker modified as a photo-shoot studio specifically designed for young girls, drugged beforehand, to pose in undignified and sexual poses to fulfill the depraved desires of their captors. The photographs hidden in the red folders are especially creepy as the subjects are clearly doped on drugs, completely unaware of what is happening, and worst of all: this has been going on for a long time.
  • Inside the bunker containing a photo-booth studio set up for kidnapped and drugged young girls is a shocking anime-esque picturenote  of a young girl graphically tearing her throat out, where tentacles with eyes erupts from the gaping wound, and one tentacle also emerges out of the corner of her eye. Not only does it look out of place (although perhaps not, given the location it's found), there's no context or meaning behind the picture, which makes more disturbing.
  • The photos of Kate and Rachel, which are tearjerking as well as terrifying. In one photo, Kate is staring at the camera, but she's so heavily drugged that her eyes are glazed over and she looks dead. In another, a crying, bound Rachel is huddled in a dark corner, tearfully glaring at the camera, sobered up just enough to be aware that she's been kidnapped by a teacher she trusted.
  • If you look around the junkyard just before the ending of episode 4, you can find the words "YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIE" written in blood on one of the walls. Alongside that is the message that the girls wrote earlier (Rachel/Chloe/Max was here), but with Chloe and Max's names circled and the line "Rachel IS here."
  • You know that tornado that's been getting closer and closer with each episode? Well, upon completing Episode 4, it'll be on the main menu screen! The once calm and peaceful shot of Arcadia Bay is turned into something right out of a disaster movie.
  • Nathan's room in Episode 4. Drawn curtains, a creepy projector slide-show running on constant repeat, posters of women in heavy bondage, a broken lamp, and absolutely worst of all, a photograph of Chloe, curled up in a ball, clearly high out of her mind on the floor. And there's also the rest of his photography: Max notes that he clearly has talent and an artistic eye, but his subjects are all unsettling at best. You can see photos of the dead birds and whales in his room. If you made the decision to lead Frank's dog to the road in Episode 3, you'll find a photograph Nathan took of its corpse (although in episode five Frank can tell Max that Pompidou survived getting hit by that car. Though that means that Nathan willing took a photo of a horribly injured dog). His Everyday Heroes submission is a (possibly candid) photo of a lone man in a junkyard. Oh, and all of his photos are in black-and-white. Nathan's other art is pretty unnerving as well. If he messes up your room, he'll leave a crude picture he made of Max's severed head lying on the ground. He makes something similar of Warren, which you can find on Warren's door.
  • Photographs in the game that don't use character models are rendered in a colourful, simplistic style. Then Episode 4 happened. We get to see several photographs of Chloe, Kate and Rachel all doped up on drugs and tied up/posed for the camera. What makes these photographs especially jarring is that while they don't use the character models, they are all rendered in a photo-realistic, clinical style, which makes the girls look more like posed corpses than living.
  • The Prescott Family. To begin with, they are the ones who help keep Arcadia Bay alive and well and have plans of taking over the town. However, a handful of the people whom Max can talk to are suspicious about them. And they have the right to be. It also becomes apparent that as you learn more about the story, Nathan is not the only one in the family who is a threat.
    • Nathan's dad Sean has his own issues. He has threatened Principal Wells, who is oblivious of their despicable deeds, that he will cut off the school's funding should he not expunged any complaints about his son. He has also texted Max that he will sue her and her family if she does not stop accusing Nathan. And while he does try his best to "guide" his son, he does not seem to care about his well being at all. And what is the one thing that truly makes him a bad influence? He created an underground bunker, aptly named "Stormbreaker Bunker", that was supposed to be a storm shelter. It is under an old barn and it costs him about $1.4 million to build. Sounds fairly reasonable and generous of him, until you learn that it has become more of a rape dungeon called "Dark Room" where young girls are taken, drugged, and taken pictures of in disturbing poses. Courtesy of Nathan and Mark Jefferson.
    • It also runs in the family and they just love taking advantage of their power. One of the notes that Max can discover in the barn is a letter from a Prescott who threatened someone that if he didn't pay his debts, he would make his life a "living hell."
  • Mark Jefferson himself has his moments even before he is revealed to be the Big Bad. The first line that you will hear from him right when you get to control Max for the very first time is already unsettling.
    Mr. Jefferson: Seriously though, I could frame any one of you in a dark corner, and capture you in a moment of desperation. And any one of you could do that to me. Isn't that too easy? Too obvious? What if Arbus chose to capture people at the height of their beauty or innocence?
  • Going back to the junkyard scene in the start of the game. All the clues that Max (and maybe the player even) missed. The syringes... The tattered shirt that looks like the shirt Chloe lent Max. The one that belonged to Rachel. The one Max thought was trash. And knowing that you walked over Rachel's grave.
  • The teaser trailers building up to episode 5, Polarized. At first, it seems to be just a cheap way to build up hype, with teaser trailers 1 - 3 re-using footage from each of the episodes. However, as they slowly repeat the phrase "Prepare to Weather the Storm" in quick flashes of the oncoming storm, it begins to dawn on the player just what a perilous situation Max is in... and then the fourth teaser trailer hits. Max, tied to a CHAIR, with her hands unable to move.
  • Better yet, the first quarter of episode 5 really ramps it up - Max being injected by Jefferson in the last episode and being tied up renders you near helpless, even with your powers. Jefferson unwittingly stumbled on the best way to render your powers ineffective.
  • Everything that happens in the Dark Room in Episode 5 is horrible, but most of all the scene where Max gets saved by David. First, Max escaped once using time travel, almost reaching a Happy Ending, then undid everything to save Chloe, just to end up in the Dark Room again, and Chloe dead. Now Jefferson is seconds away from killing her when David intervenes, just to be knocked out. Max has to rewind and get almost killed again so that she can warn David. Given the fast pacing of the scene, you need to rewind several times before getting the right solution with the right timing. Looking at it from Max's perspective, she has to live through almost killed by a deadly dose of drug several times, trying but not knowing if there is really a way to escape or she just delays her doom until she runs out of power and dies. Going through all those failed attempts is annoying for the player, but it must be horrifying for the character.
  • In Episode 5, Max blacks out after saving Chloe and stopping Jefferson from targeting Victoria and ends up in a jarring and psychologically nightmarish mix of all of the events that have happened.
  • Max's nightmare sequence in Episode 5 is full of this:
    • There's a rather disturbing moment where she watches her fourteen year-old self burning the photo of young Max and Chloe and reluctantly allowing William, Chloe's father, to die and thus correct the timeline. This is after having tried to save him once but at the cost of Chloe having become paralysed and slowly dying of respiratory failure in his place instead. Shortly after watching herself burn the photo, Max receives a message from William:
      William: Hey Max, would you say hi to Chloe and Joyce? Don't forget to remind them that you let me die.
    • There's another sequence where a bunch of birds randomly smash against a window. If you approach Kate's desk in the same sequence, it will either be surrounded with the words "I WANT TO DIE" etched into the desk and floor over and over (if she survived) or a large pool of blood (if she jumped). You can also find the group photo of Max and all her classmates. Except...all the eyes have been cut out. During the same sequence, every photograph in the room looks normal when you approach to examine it, but changes to a creepy alternative when you do. Highlights include an image of a doe in a forest changing to Max and Chloe at Rachel's grave, several of Jefferson's magazine cover shots (which change to have Max's head) and aforementioned group photo.
    • It's brief, but there's a downright unsettling moment where Jefferson appears out of nowhere to ask you if you'd like to spend the rest of your life in his dark room. That's creepy enough, but then you get four dialogue options which are all things you would never say, like "I love you, Mr. Jefferson" or "Thanks for killing Chloe." You have to choose one of them in order to proceed, and when you do, Max will suddenly act very out of character, which is doubly frightening because for a brief moment, it feels like Max is out of your control.
      • The most disturbing one is probably "Thanks for killing Chloe", because many players who chose this option most likely expected Max to go into Sarcasm Mode and call Jefferson out. However, she literally thanks him for killing Chloe, calls her a bitch and says she only got her in trouble all the time.
    • The section in the Two Whales Diner where every single notable citizen of Arcadia Bay begs Max not to let them all die, with many of them adding on the guilt by saying things such as "Who will take care of my husband and baby?" and "I'm just a teenager, I still have so much more left to do."
      • That's not the only unnerving thing in the diner. Going in further will result in Max being confronted with a doppelganger of herself, wearing almost the exact same clothes, except for her shirt, which has a deer on it. Other Max proceeds to talk down to real!Max, dragging her friendship with Chloe through the mud and accusing her of being a Hypocrite, as well as wasting her powers. Thankfully, Chloe appears to tell other Max to Shut Up, Hannibal!, but the disturbing stuff doesn't end here. Instead of reacting to Chloe's rebuffing of her accusations, other Max simply looks into her camera with a dissonant smile and the scene transitions to a freeze-frame flashback of Max and Chloe in Chloe's car. What's creepy about this, is that presumably real!Max isn't the one moving to the next scene, it's other Max. Or was it?
    • At one point, you have to sneak through a large nightmarish area, hiding from people such as Jefferson or Nathan, but also Warren, who you are actually friends with and who is now making weirdly rape-ish threats. Later you also meet a bizarre enlarged version of principal Wells, searching for you with a light like the lighthouse. If you explore this section thoroughly, you can find Warren's locker, filled with photographs of women in sexual positions with Max's head pasted over theirs, dozens of disembodied Max heads stuck on the walls and a stitched doll version of Max. This is also an optional photo-op.
    • If you accepted alternate Chloe's request in Episode 4, checking your text messages during the nightmare sequence shows a text from Joyce warning Max that she was caught overdosing Chloe and that she can't hide from her punishment even in alternate realities.
    • Max also receives a text from Rachel Amber:
      Rachel: Hey Max, Rachel Amber here. Just wanted to introduce myself. I'll be seeing you soon. Real soon.
  • For anyone who felt sympathy for Nathan: imagine being in his shoes when he left his final message for Max as you hear his voice break from fear and despair.
    Nathan: Max, it's... it's Nathan. I just wanted to say... I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt Kate or Rachel or... didn't want to hurt anybody. Everybody... used me. Mr. Jefferson is coming for me now. All this shit will be over soon. Watch out, Max... He wants to hurt you next. Sorry...
  • The entire nightmare sequence is itself a source of this, because it is never explained. We have no idea what caused it, and are left to wonder what the significance of this bizarre collection of images and events is supposed to be. Two possibilities come to mind: either Max is suffering from intense Sanity Slippage which is causing her to review all of the story's plot points through some dark mental filter, or worse, the universe itself is aware of how she's been screwing with time and is actively trying to end her existence.
  • In the alternate timeline, Chloe tells Max she actually remembers feeling her back snap.
  • In the first episode, looking for tools is horribly tense. You're not in any danger, really, but the more creepy shit you find, the clearer it is that David is a paranoid bully with a gun cabinet in his garage and an excuse for his behavior in his pocket. If you've ever had to deal with an abusive parent, or spent time with a friend who did, you probably know quite well why erasing your tracks is important.
  • The Dark Room situation is already disturbing, but at one point Max wakes up, with Victoria gone. Because, as Jefferson states, he already killed her. Not only that, but Max has also been repeatedly injected with memory loss drugs, and you go back and forth through time with no idea what has happened or when you are. Also, Victoria's parents may not find out their daughter is dead, as they're killed by the storm.
  • The teaser for Life Is Strange 2. It's footage from a cop's dashboard camera. The footage is mostly normal, showing the officer out on patrol... until he stops at a house, calling in a "10-10"explanation . He strides towards the house, reassuring an unseen person that everything will be alright... when suddenly he and the car are blown across the street by a blast of force strong enough to overturn the car. The trailer cuts to the teaser imagewhich is ... with a police radio desperately calling for backup playing over it. Yikes.
    • The gameplay trailer reveals that this was the work of Daniel Diaz, the brother of the protagonist Sean and one of the neighbours seen at the end of Captain Spirit. After Sean gets into a fight with another teenager, an officer tries to arrest the two brothers, accidentally shooting their father when he comes too close and causing a massive blast that knocks everyone out. Sean then awakens to find Daniel unconscious, his father and neighbour both dead and the entire block flattened.

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