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Nightmare Fuel / Mario & Luigi

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Superstar Saga

  • If you listen to recordings on the Oho Jee Island left by researchers there, an Oho Jee got caught on fire, attacked one of the researchers and turned that researcher into one of them.
  • When you battle Cackletta in the Hoonversity, she adopts an abominable appearance before you battle - and spends the final chunk of the battle in that form. Luckily, if you're quick enough, she shouldn't take more than a couple of turns to finish off after transforming.
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  • The original depiction of the monster in Guffawha Ruins. Not only is it shown breathing fire and eating a poor Toad alive, it's rumored to brutally murder its victims by breaking their bones, stripping their flesh and sucking their blood. Can't really blame Luigi for being so terrified to go there. And when you do, the monster is just a stone head that was angry at the rumors.
  • This was the first Mario game to feature apparent actual death of NPCs, mainly Toads.
  • Cackletta possesses Bowser and turns him into a mutant hybrid of the two. And to defeat her, you have to go inside Bowser, fight Cackletta's soul, and attack her heart.
  • Joke's End. It's the Slippy-Slidey Ice World (minus Frictionless Ice) of the game. In contrast to the smiling faces littered all over the other areas, Joke's End has expressions of despair littered all over. Frozen. It wouldn't be so bad if this weren't the music.
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    • The music's even worse in the remake...
    • The statues found in Joke's End depict great suffering, with hands placed over their ears and tears streaming down their cheeks. It's almost like the place is the hell of the Beanbean Kingdom - and it is. The theme of the Beanbean Kingdom is laughter, and Joke's End is the final resting place for cruddy jokes. The miserable-looking statues covering their ears may be meant to represent just how horrible a bad joke can be to the people of Beanbean.
  • Many of the places that Cackletta involves herself with? Yeah, they become this.
    • The Mario Bros.' first visit to the Beanbean Castle Town is a classic example. The houses and buildings are all wrecked and innocent civilians lie on the ground like they're on the verge of death, and when you talk to them, the way they talk sounds eerily like a kid's version of PTSD. The music makes it feel like you're walking in a graveyard.
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    • It gets worse. You end the game with the town in this state. Yeah. After having a nice town for a good portion of the game, it's reduced to this sorry state by Bowletta during the endgame.
  • Fawful. Despite his Laughably Evil Fountain of Memes nature, he's still a scarily competent villain in-story. His inventions alone have sunk the Koopa Cruiser, constantly impeded the Bros' progress, and essentially given Cackletta a second chance at life. And it gets even worse during Minion Quest, where we see him Brainwashing Bowser's minions, even the Koopalings, not to mention he was apparently the one who led the first raid on Beanbean Castle Town (which we get to see in all its fiery glory) complete with the ever-haunting music. Makes you wonder who's really pulling their weight in all this...

Bowser's Inside Story

  • Much of the game takes place inside Bowser's body. Which is strangely maze-like and platformer-esque. You have to manipulate Bowser's organs at times to get Bowser moving or affect him. The idea that Bowser has these characters running around inside him affecting his bodily functions and messing with his insides is very grotesque. Plus, some of the enemies are odd, virus-like versions of regular enemies such as Goombas. Enemies that Bowser inhales can damage him internally by attacking his body, and all the Toads are infected with a disease that makes them inflate in size and roll around uncontrollably.
  • Giant Battles always start with the soon-to-be-fought Humongous Mecha crushing Bowser. For a few minutes, he literally dies.
    • Super Peach's Castle in particular is a very creepy boss. It looks decidedly monstrous, with bright red eyes resembling Fawful's glass lenses, many sharp protrusions, and a mouth that looks more than capable of destroying things. It also spawns a black hole behind Bowser that can pull him in (although it also ends up with an additional void behind it which it can similarly fall into) and constantly attempts to push him into it, trying harder and becoming more difficult to prevent as the fight goes on. The fight ends with both it and Bowser being pulled into the holes behind them, and Bowser must leap out and smash it repeatedly while making sure to time it correctly, lest he be hit with its spikes. The creepiest part of the fight, however, is what happens if Bowser loses all his HP in the black hole - It just closes, enveloping him entirely within an instant. Either you just witnessed Bowser, and by extension the bros and everyone else stuck inside of him, be erased from existence, or trapped in some hellish dimension created by the Dark Star's powers. Neither is pleasant.
      • You wanna know the worst part? Even if you do well the whole fight, it is very easy for the castle to deplete your HP and kill you towards the end. Between the slow damage of being trapped in the black hole and leaping out to be hit by its spikes, which it raises even before the final part of the battle, does an immense amount of damage, and if you're not careful in the very final phase (which only begins once its HP is down to a sliver), it's easy to go from having a solid amount of HP to having none and getting enveloped by the black hole, even if you've been doing well the entire fight, and you can't heal once the final act of the boss begins.
  • The final boss fight. Literally EVERYTHING in the Mario universe is on the verge of destruction, Fawful has transformed himself into some really freaky spider-like/bug-like thing, and is inside Bowser's body, transforming his stomach into something mutated looking. And his face... It's really disturbing to think about.
    • Said mutation is made even worse in the remake, where there are numerous holes in the background structure... most of which are arranged in the shape of Fawful's deranged grin, aimed right at the camera.
  • The song that plays in the grounds of the Fawfulized Peach's Castle is incredibly ominous.
  • The Dark Star in general is creepy - it is literally an embodiment of evil that can absorb other beings to use as a source of power, as it does to Fawful. Then he turns into an evil version of Bowser sporting a mohawk that even shrieks.
    • When tracking it down in the Airway, the bros encounter it several times. On at least two of these occasions, its aura envelops the two and causes them to start gasping for air.
    • The Airway in general is quite creepy, thanks to the Dark Star. Besides its occasional appearances and boss fight, its influence visibly affects the area, with several odd, black features that aren't present elsewhere showing up, such as around the pipes, and every enemy encountered sans the Airnapses are visibly influenced by its presence, with enemies like the Air Cheeps sporting a similar color scheme, an image of a black star on their bodies, and glowing red eyes.
    • The Dark Star's potency for nightmare fuel comes to a head when it manifests itself as Dark Bowser. Put simply; imagine an Artifact of Doom, with no altruistic qualities to speak of, desiring only to bring darkness and despair upon the entire world and perhaps even beyond - and its physical form is a copy of one of the strongest, and, in-universe, scariest characters in the franchise. Basically, if it were not for the original Bowser himself, the Mushroom World would be lost in a flash.
  • Fawful might seem hilarious at first, and... well, he is, but he's by far one of the most disturbing villains in the franchise when you think about it. For one, he actually managed to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, and took over both of the main royalty's castles (Peach's and Bowser's). Then, he awoke the Dark Star and absorbed its power, and even when he was defeated, he only turned into a creepy dark spider thing that ends up fueling Dark Bowser. During the final battle, he's extremely creepy, what with his jumpscare when he grows huge, and he has several creepy attacks, such as this one. Finally, even when both he and Dark Bowser are defeated, he he blows himself up in a last ditch effort to kill the Mario Bros., which also makes him one of the only recurring characters in the franchise to actually die, and one of even fewer to die on-screen.]] That, coupled with the fact he is almost completely evil with no redeeming qualities and the fact he rose from being a lowly dragon to a threat to the world, arguably makes him one of the creepiest villains in Nintendo's history.
  • The effect of Malatone Formula:X from Bowser Jr.'s Journey. Those that take it become much stronger, gaining a purple aura and increased stats at the cost of losing their mental faculties, much like some actual steroids. Dieter outright states that it alters 97% of the user's DNA.
    • Somehow, it gets worse when the BFF take it in the final battle. Before that, when they used Captain abilities in battle it was preceded by a small quip (Dieter's "I am here to play games with your lives." before he uses his Doppleganger Attack, for example). Now? Nothing but zombie-like groans and murmuring.

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