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Nightmare Fuel / Mass Effect 2

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  • In the prologue mission after Shepard is consigned to the void, you can see leaking atmosphere erupting from the back of their helmet, which they quickly notice as well and try to reach. Shepard is unable to seal the breach and begins flailing, clutching at their throat... a motion which ceases as they approach the planet. Possibly simply resource-saving on the cg-animation... or Shepard asphyxiated long before they hit the atmosphere.
    • Seeing and hearing about the damage that was done to Shepard, between being exposed to the vacuum of space, asphyxiating, and then an uncontrolled orbital reentry along with crashing into Alchera. How much of the old Shepard was there before Miranda got to work? How much is left at the end of the game, with all of Shepard's upgrades?
    • You only see some of the damage Shepard's body has while they're being revived. Their heart and arteries are desiccated and dried, Every bone beneath the neck vertebrae is broken and incomplete, with some straight-up gone and the 3D model seems to show Shepard's limbs were separated into several pieces by the impact. It's miracle Project Lazarus worked at all.
  • The audio logs from the empty areas of Omega's quarantine area area downright terrifying if you listen to them and think about them in turn for what they are:
    • A series of logs from an in denial but still very infected member of one of the gangs fighting for control of the area, as he and another are locked in and slowly go insane.
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    • Even worse, an innocent who was locked into his small apartment during the quarantine - believing it all to be an extortion scheme, that he was going to be let out in a day or two. His body is fresh on the bed at the end of a blockaded hallways.
  • Thane's Photographic Memory, specifically the flashes of light and the look of his eyes. And not just his appearance as he lapses into one of his memories; the very idea that he can just immerse himself in one of them so easily. As he explains, you can find yourself in happy memories, or you might find yourself recalling an injury, like your knee getting shot, feeling that pain, seeing the damage all over again. At least in such cases, you can just look at the current state of your body to release yourself from that memory's grip, but to think that at any moment, if you were in some bizarre masochistic mood, without warning, your mind finds itself back in that moment of excruciating pain... Imagine if you had more negative experiences than positive ones. You probably don't need to torture drell all that much; just inflict enough pain enough times, and their own minds will finish the job for you.
  • After you break Jack/Subject Zero out of the Purgatory prison ship, you get a message from one of the escaped prisoners you may have talked to on the ship. He thanks you for giving him the chance to escape and mentions that he's going to carve your name onto the body of his next victim. Not forgetting he promised to kill you too because you took a few pot-shots at him. Don't worry, he'll make sure you find your name carved into said chest just before killing you.
  • Purgatory itself qualifies as Nightmare Fuel. A Hellhole Prison if ever there was one. In fact, the presence of Jack implies that there could be other female prisoners in Purgatory though the only ones seen are male, and you know what would most likely happen if a sex-deprived, psychopathic inmate ran into a weaker prisoner of their preferred gender.
    • Warden Kuril's extortion racket. If you don't pay him to keep your prisoners in jail, he'll release said prisoners... at an unspecified time and place. However safe you think your planet might be with one less criminal, miss one payment and you'll never know if and when that criminal will be out for revenge.
  • In Zaeed Massani's loyalty mission, you're given the choice of helping a bunch of workers escape a burning factory and allowing the bad guy to get away, or abandoning the workers to their fate in order to catch the bad guy. If you choose not to help the workers then for the rest of the level you have to listen to them screaming in agony as they burn alive. Perhaps even more chilling, after a few minutes the horrible screams suddenly just...stop.
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    • This is also similar to what Saren did in the first book and framed Anderson for. Do this and you are Not So Different from him.
  • When you activate Legion, and EDI quotes the Bible when he says that he has 1,183 programs running in him at once. Then, Legion understands it, saying, "Christian Bible. Gospel of Mark. Chapter 5, verse 9. We acknowledge this as an acceptable metaphor." The fact that he knew that is one thing. That particular quote "My name is Legion, for we are many," was from a man possessed by about 2000 demons at once. That's right, not only did EDI compare Legion to a demon-possessed man, Legion knew it and totally accepted it as a legitimate comparison.
    • There's probably more to that seemingly simple acceptance of the name. For the past 300 years, all geth knew about organics was that they were out to destroy synthetics without a second thought. The name isn't just appropriate due to the idea of one body inhabited by multiple minds; it may be that they know how bad their reputation is to all organics, so they may as well be demons to them.
    • The mere fact that the geth have monitored the Citadel races closely enough for Legion to instantly recall specific information from a holy book written by the species that's been active the shortest of all the galactic civilizations, and might well already be to humans then what ancient Mesopotamian religious texts are to us now. That doesn't sound particularly creepy, but then you realize that means the geth probably know everything there is to learn about every Citadel race, and they probably didn't even leave a trace of their espionage at all. Imagine if someone stalked you for decades, learning everything you've ever done, said, or written, and you didn't have a clue that it happened until that person revealed it to you themselves. Paranoia Fuel, indeed.
  • Because Reapers apparently perpetuate their genocidal cycle to reproduce, that would mean Reapers aren't just powerful, they each possess the collected biological and technological might of entire civilizations. "We are each a nation" indeed.
    • And as the game heavily implies that the Reapers only choose the strongest civilizations for reproduction and the Protheans/Collectors are still around...
    • It's even worse than that: If the age estimates of the Great Rift Valley on Klendagon are accurate, and if the Reapers really do repeat the cycle approximately every 50,000 years, that means they've got the combined wisdom and technological might of over 700 extremely advanced civilizations!
      • In Mass Effect 3 we discover that the first Reaper harvest occurred a billion years ago. Assuming that the cycles of extinction occur every 50,000 years, then the number of harvested species - and, therefore, of Reapers in the fleet - reaches a staggering 20,000! 20,000 genocidal, seemingly omnipotent machines coming out of darkness with one goal - exterminate all advanced life. If that doesn't make you shiver, what will?
  • The Human-Reaper. Take the Terminator endoskeleton, which gave James Cameron nightmares. Now make it black, change its grin to a demonic look and grow it a thousand feet high. Oh, and it's powered by liquefied humans.
    • Difficult-to-get content, lines from Legion who remembers when the geth touched Sovereign's minds, strongly suggests that the melted-down humans aren't just killed and turned into raw materials, but still aware, or at least existent.
  • The incarnation of the Human Reaper we see in the games is just the beginning. The Collector Edition art book reveals a few early production sketches and paintings that range from traditional Reaper to human forms. One looks like Sovereign, turned backwards, with a face and exposed brain underneath the cuttlefish crown, with the many tentacles rearranged to look like tiny, malformed limbs. A more human design looked like what can only be described as a gigantic Husk fetus made from running candle wax, three times as big as what we see in the game. Also, what we saw and fought was just a larva in terms of development. Full grown Reapers are all heavily armored behemoths, many times larger than what we faced. The thing in that chamber would have grown, and have gained the equivalent of muscles, flesh, and lots and lots of armor before it was even fit to be "born". Be you unimpressed or already scared shitless by what made the final product, realize that it could have been much worse.
    • In addition, the sound it makes when you shoot the injection tubes is somewhere between a baby's cry and a metallic roar.
    • Speaking of the Human Reaper's fuel... maybe it's time we talked about the trope image. Upon discovering a big assortment of Collector pods (most of them with your crew in them), you recognize Lilith (one of the colonists from Horizon who was talking to the Virmire Survivor) trapped in one of the pods, seemingly unconscious. so it looks like it'll be alright for her. We'll break her out, right? Well... unfortunately no. Next thing we know, there's a hissing sound, her skin seems to be dissolving ever so slightly. She wakes up, and suddenly she starts screaming and banging on the glass of her pod as she begins to decompose and turn a dark, bloody red. Shepard tries to open the pod, but it's already too late, and we hear and watch poor Lilith SCREAM IN AGONY AS SHE IS MELTED INTO PASTE. The worst part? THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO SAVE HER. She dies REGARDLESS of anything you do. It's probably one of the most disturbing things ever when you're just that close to saving an innocent, only to watch them die in the most horrific manner possible anyways.
    • It gets even worse if you take your sweet time getting to the Collector Base. Instead of Lilith, we see Kelly in the pod where Lilith should be, and SHE gets turned into Reaper fuel. Also, half or all of the crew dies.
  • One moment that occurs due to a glitch. After shooting the Human Reaper's tubes and watching it fall, you might see a flash of orange next to Shepard's head in the resulting cut scene. Look carefully. It's the face of the Illusive Man. It's established that he's a control freak who eavesdrops on everyone, and could be watching through their omni-tools, but still. Creepy.
  • The vorcha. Their whole kill'em all, KILL'EM ALL, KILL'EM ALL!!!!! Chaotic Evil schtick (seriously, they want to kill as many innocents on Omega as possible to help the Collectors). However given that they're perceived as being little more than vermin who barely live to see the age of 20 (hard to kill, immune to mass causes of death...yep, space cockroaches), its not surprising. Besides, the Always Chaotic Evil Hat they seem to wear is possibly subverted, as there are references to the existence of vorcha miners and engineers (and, as of Mass Effect 3, actors). On top of it all, many of those living on Omega are probably poorly educated and extremely distrustful of other races considering the cutthroat nature of the world which they inhabit.
  • The science facility that created Jack. A blood-drenched wreck of a building, you can see holding cells that used to be full of kidnapped children, mutant plants now tearing the building apart, Jack's own cell where she was tortured, a giant blood-stain where she killed her first human, and you meet a surviving child who came back and wants to rebuild the facility and start everything all over again. Yikes.
    • The room with nothing but a surgical chair and a light over it. "This is a bad place."
      • They even made children fight to the death for their entertainment/ to observe the results of their experiments.
      • The craziest thing about it, which Jack is barely able to wrap her mind around, is that everything, everything about that facility revolved around Jack's innate biotic abilities, and those experiments were to determine what kind of psychological, pharmacological, and biological environment would be most conducive to enhancing the latent abilities of biotics, without any concern for their well-being. Whatever your place in that hellhole, only your biotic abilities matter, and absolutely nothing else. All the other kids were there to be experimented on, ordered to fight each other, and also to exacerbate Jack's isolation, as shown by the one-way mirror in her room. And all of them were expendable, as only working experiments would be implemented on Jack. As for Jack herself, she would at times be let out of her room... only to fight the other kids, whom she thought were deliberately ignoring her cries from inside her room, and not only that, she was drugged so that she would equate violence with pleasure.
    • The book Ascension present us Gillian Grayson, an autistic biotic little girl. Nothing important except for the awful part that Cerberus is trying to transform her into another Jack. You had to imagine Kahlee Sanders's horrible realization after reading Jack's profile before hiring her as a teacher in Mass Effect 3, that Jack is pretty much what Gillian Grayson will become if the girl falls in Cerberus' hands.
  • Prisoner 403. "I can hear the screaming in my head...it's nice." The obvious assumption is that the dude is mentally unstable. Except this is Mass Effect, where there's a worse explanation for hearing voices, and who knows if he's always been nuts or if he was once a perfectly normal, sane guy who happened to be working with some kind of mining op that discovered an alien artifact...
  • Mass Effect 2 easily tripled the amount of horror in the series. One story mission in particular involves going through the corpse of a millions of years-dead Reaper. It's still dreaming! Cue the space zombies.
    • Considering what we all know about Indoctrination, the mere fact that Shepard and crew voluntarily entered the body of a Reaper is enough to set the tone. The innards of an Eldritch Abomination are every bit as disturbing as you'd expect even without the log entries. "Chandana said the ship was dead. We trusted him. He was right. But even a dead god can dream. A god — a real god — is a verb. Not some old man with magic powers. It's a force. It warps reality just by being there. It doesn't have to want to. It doesn't have to think about it. It just does. That's what Chandana didn't get. Not until it was too late. The god's mind is gone but it still dreams. He knows now. He's tuned in on our dreams. If I close my eyes I can feel him. I can feel every one of us." Eldritch Abomination, indeed.
    • There's one video log on the derelict Reaper that also manages to be fairly scary. It shows two Cerberus technicians talking, and one of them starts reminiscing about the day he got married. Then the other one stops him and says he's talking about HIS wedding day. It turns out both of them have the same memories of that wedding, and neither one can now remember whose wedding it actually WAS. In another video log, the team leader Chandana said that the technology may have decayed over the past 37 million years and that he got that information from listening to the pieces.
    • To elaborate on the innards, there are massive passageways that seem to have no end, and an eerie and chilling lighting to them. Even with this, the walls and ceilings all seem to push in giving a constricted and claustrophobic feeling. It manages to make you feel both isolated and trapped at the exact same time. They way they're arranged, it gives you the feel of walking through the innards of a vast creature, which you are actually doing.
    • One of the researchers is experiencing his colleague's memories as though they were his own. Another one claims to know Chandana's thoughts. Is all of this mere Gaslighting to turn them all Brainwashed and Crazy? Or is this reaper priming these humans for their eventual fate - billions of minds interconnected into one consciousness with all individuality completely neutralized? Acting as one Reaper?
      • Which in turn brings the asari siari religion into a whole new terrifying context. All is one, everything is interconnected, all species are intertwined! Based on The Reveal in the third game about the origins of the asari and the Athame doctrine, was the siari religion started by an indoctrinated double agent in the asari uplift team, to dissuade them from following the teachings of their creator Athame, and embracing an interconnected minds philosophy, priming them for reaping and assimilation?
  • In Samara's loyalty quest, you have to hunt down Morinth, an Ardat-Yakshi, an asari that kills her partner when they meld. Shepard acts as the bait, and goes to her apartment alone. Just before she gets ready to do the deed with them, her eyes turn black and the lighting is distorted. Asari eyes always turn black when melding, which has always been a bit creepy, but when you know that the asari is getting ready to kill you, it is absolutely terrifying.
    • Not to mention the death scene itself should you decide to romance her...
    • There's also the incredibly ominous music that plays while you're wandering around her apartment, and the foreboding talks about death she gives while you examine your things. She also asks you to pledge yourself to her as she starts the meld, and going by the dialogue wheel you can't resist her without an extremely high Paragon or Renegade score. which would've meant Shepard's permanent death if Samara hadn't showed up. The fact that you're completely unarmed for this mission makes you feel that even Shepard, Badass Extraordinaire isn't going to make it out of this one.note 
    • Something else that's horrible? Liara says in the Ardat-Yakshi monastery that Morinth was just hitting her stride. She's already racked up a huge bodycount, mindraped entire villages to serve as cannon fodder, and can match an asari matriarch with centuries of combat training, and she's just getting started. Keep in mind, according to Samara, ardat-yakshi get more and more powerful the more they kill, and Morinth isn't even a Matriarch yet.
    • Because Most Gamers Are Male, the concept of an attractive alien women having her way with people might lose some of its initial impact. But from the genderless Asari perspective, Morinth is a super-powered serial killer/rapist.
      • Not to mention to the rest of the galaxy. Asari are well known for their sex appeal, and the indescribable experience that melding with one brings. Morinth takes that stereotype, and turns it into something horrifyingly perverted.
  • Speaking of Samara, she mentions fighting a Spectre; now that in itself is odd, but what's even odder is who she fought: Nihlus. According to Samara he killed an unarmed civilian, and Samara attacked him because of this, but eventually had to let him go because he threatened to kill more unless she let him go. Now, one could say the unarmed civilian was a unarmed criminal, but it's still worrisome that your mentor-to-be would have been a killer of civilians.
    • It's also another reminder of how terrifying the concept of Spectres really is: you have Saren, the Big Bad of the first game, who's so ruthless in getting his job done matter the cost even before he became indoctrinated, and it's implied from Samara's story that his protege Nihlus isn't that much different, then there is Tela Vasir, a Spectre who's also a double agent working for the Shadow Broker for valauble intels at the cost of doing whatever the Broker requires her to do, even if it means blowing up a building full of innocent people, and there is Commander Shepard him/herself, who at their worst could be as ruthless as both of them when it comes to completing their mission. And all of them are uniquely trained One-Man Army Person of Mass Destruction capable of tearing through anything the galaxy could've thrown at them - moralities be damend, and they will get away with it all because they're above the law.
  • The justicar code in general. If you uphold the law, you've got nothing to fear from a justicar. But if you break the law, you're screwed. Justicars won't stop until you're brought in. Even if you distract her, like Nihlus did, as mentioned above, she will hunt you down with patience and precision. And if you fight back, no amount of begging or pleading will save you.
    Samara: If I must kill a man because he has done wrong, do I really wish to know that he is a devoted father?
  • There are the Husks, which no longer make those electric explosion things, now they just try to beat you to death like normal zombies. Then there are abominations, which are Husks that are ON FIRE and EXPLODE. Then there are Scions, which are three husks melded together into a massive walking turret, and then the motherfucking Praetorians. Praetorians are beetle-like flying things that can also land and fight in melee combat- when they do this, they are almost impossible to destroy. And guess what? They are made by fusing THIRTY HUSKS TOGETHER. THIRTY. Worse, their armor acts as a sort of container- it can open and close. When it opens, you get to see the thirty Husk's heads. Staring at you.
  • Failing Joker's mini-mission near the end of the main story. Joker gets spotted by a Scion, panics, and falls down. You're then treated to a close-up shot of the Scion from Joker's perspective before a massive hulking claw reaches towards you, followed by a gasp from Joker and a Game Over screen. You get another one if you get too close to the Praetorian, which looms over Joker and opens up to show him the husk heads, leaps at him, then you hear a gasp and a stabbing sound followed by a Game Over screen.
  • Listening to Joker's frantic repetition of "oh shit, oh shit, oh shitshitshit..." as the Collectors swarm through the Normandy and haul the surviving crew away to a fate potentially worse than death. Considering the number of horrors he's shot up and flipped off over his career, anything that could rattle Joker that badly is some bad juju indeed. Except that he did all that as a pilot.
    • The screams of the crew members as they're dragged off by the Collectors - particularly Kelly - are just too horrific for words.
  • Towards the end, after you return to find the Collectors have kidnapped your entire crew with the exception of Joker, you're left to wander the halls of the Normandy, and there's not a single man or woman left on the ship. After spending the entire game getting used to the ambient noise and touching tidbits of background banter from your crew members, and getting to know others like Yeoman Chambers and Gabby and Ken, it's damn eerie to wander the ship in absolute silence.
    • And if you delay your final mission too long, it will stay that way for the rest of the epilogue.
  • The inside of a Collector cruiser. The Protheans probably didn't build their ships like that...not to mention the thousands of pods hanging from the ceiling. As you see the first lot, it sort of hits you how bad the Collectors are, but then when you step out into that chamber the haunting feeling of knowing everybody on Earth could be transported in that leviathan rears its ugly head.
    • Get to the part where you first find the pods on the ceiling and EDI will tell you that the people inside probably died when the ship lost power. If you have a sniper rifle, aim it at some of the darker pods on the ceiling. You can see the bodies. And they're twitching. Dead, EDI? You sure?
    • Tali's line sums up the realization better than the wordier descriptions offered by the other party members: -moment of awed silence- "...Keelah".
    • Made all the more chilling by your squadmates pointing out that the Collectors could stick every human living in the Terminus Systems in those pods and still have most of them left over. On one. Single. Collector. Ship. Now recall the Collector Base at the beginning of the suicide mission. Note how small the ship is in comparison to the base and consider how many more must be in there. We only hear of about 3-4 separate Collector ships out and about over the course of the game. That means that for all the havoc the Collectors wreaked on human colonies around the galaxy, they were holding back. Additionally, the suicide mission implies that one Collector base = one construction facility for one new Reaper. Given the final scenes of the game's ending, how many more bases you suppose there might be?
    • Before the fighting starts, someone or something is still out there, SCREAMING. It doesn't help that a scream comes from nearby right as you are told that the ship has apparently been stalking you.
    • The soundtrack is very eerie as well, with a musical sting which happens only when you come out of the chamber and see billions of pods lining the inside walls of the ship at the same time as your squadmate's comment.
  • The Oculus you encounter during the Suicide Mission are pretty terrifying already, considering their beams tear holes through the Normandy even with the armor upgrades, but the really scary part? Cut content reveals that that they aren't automated security machines. They have pilots. Collector drones, who have been taken apart until they are just a nervous system, wired into machinery and suspended in a gel that keeps it from getting damaged in the vacuum of space.
  • The attack on the lab in which Shepard wakes up at the beginning of the game, i.e., "The Lazarus Project." You have no choice but to watch YMIR mechs blast people to bits while being unable to help them, some of them even begging Shepard to help them before their blood is splattered all over the window.
  • The And I Must Scream situation that the Collectors put people in. The Seeker swarms come in and freeze you. You fall to the ground, conscious but unmoving, and you can see them as they come towards you and stick you in pods. You're stuck like that until they melt you down for genetic materials.
  • There's an assignment where you go to a mine after picking it up on a scan. The first indication that something is really wrong? You find a datapad on a box close to the entrance. Know what it says? "If you can read this, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! NOW!" This mission just gets creepier and creepier as you work your way through the winding, claustrophobic mine tunnels, hearing the shrieks and moans of the husks echoing from deep underground. Guess we know what happened to the miners and researchers...
    • This entire assignment plays like a zombie survival horror game: the mine is abandoned, you find the above Apocalyptic Log entry, you occasionally have to pick off a few errant husks as you travel deeper, you hear their moans and shrieks, but you can't tell where they are or how many there are from the echoing, and then right when you get to the spot you have to be on to complete the mission and you think it's almost over...BAM. A goddamn swarm of husks comes out of nowhere and blindsides you, leaving you scrambling just to survive, let alone kill all of them. And to make it even better, half the fucking things ARE ON FIRE.
  • While we never actually see how batarians treat their slaves, we certainly hear the details of it. The conditions of the slaves are horrific that it drove a seasoned soldier who witnessed a batarian slave run to become a traumatized, alcoholic wreck. And then there's what they did to Talitha...
  • The Derelict Reaper is an extremely creepy playing environment. It's effectively a giant corpse of a dead mecha-god that continues to radiate remnants of its evil will. You will come across Apocalyptic Logs that contain messages from a science team sent to study it but went insane, speaking how "even dead gods can dream", and sharing each other's memories. Add in dozens of Husks, cyber-zombies they turned themselves into attacking you at the same time in one of the most intense battle sequences in the game, and you have the makings of the most disturbing and frightening part of the game.
  • Try picking the wrong biotic to accompany your squad through the seeker swarms in the suicide mission. The screams of agony (oh, Lord, Tali, Garrus, and Thane) will echo in your brain. Nice job getting one of Shepard's beloved squad killed.
  • "No carrier, no carrier, no carrier, no-..." Now think about this. When Legion says that, he's trying to upload all his memories and programs (which are the actual geth [not the physical form]) and realizing that he's too far away from a mass relay to get everything he has learned and experienced back to his people, which is the most important part of his society, and realizing that all of the over 1000 people within him would die there.
  • Jarrahe Station. A space station where the VI went nuts. The creepiest part is that there are no enemies. A fight would have at least helped ease the tension. Absolutely everyone is dead, many of them bloodily. The ones in the plasma venting section were clearly killed by it, but the rest? One of the datapads mentions trying to prevent the VI from killing them. You and your crew are using breather masks, so apparently there's no atmosphere in at least part of the station. The only other clue to how happens when you go into the living quarters and the VI locks you in.
    "The living area doors have been closed to quarantine a threat to this station. Advise intruders to engage self-destruct procedures to avoid death by starvation."
    • Look around while you're in the living quarters: there's half a human body lying in one of the rooms. There are no mechs around (if there were, they'd presumably be trying to kill you.) What the hell did that?
  • The end of the prologue. Shepard, twisting in terror (and likely pain) due to a suit breach, trying desperately to be able to fix it. Watching Shepard just... flailing and helpless is surprisingly creepy.
    • Imagine being Shepard at that moment. Paragon Shepard was just getting ready to get the geth mop-up over with so that with the help of the human Councillor, they could start preparing for the Reapers and getting the rest of the galaxy involved as well, only to be stopped short by an (at the time) unknown enemy. Renegade Shepard is just plain seething in frustration at surviving so much hell and stepping on a lot of toes to get things done their way, and then Collectors just go and destroy their ship, and just the idea of not being able to get revenge and make sure those damned Reapers will not destroy the galaxy...
  • The "duct rats" of the Citadel are mentioned in a throwaway conversation during Thane's loyalty mission, but they have some sad stories. Children so poor they play in the duct-works of the Citadel, which nobody really understands since no living race built it. So, from time to time, these kids get crushed, chewed up by fans, dumped into boiling hot liquids, fall into protein vats to be fed to other residents of the Citadel, or even get ejected into space. They also just vanish sometimes. It's suspected the keepers might have something to do with it — and in 3, we see what Keepers do to corpses.
  • Harbinger, especially on Insanity difficulty. Imagine it from your character's perspective. You just finished fighting off a wave of Collector assassins on some moving platforms. Your ammo is nearly depleted and your team is exhausted, only for you to hear in a deep, flanging voice, "I will direct this personally." That enemy you thought was taken care of? Its flesh starts sloughing off and its body glows with yellow light. You shoot at it, but the shields are too strong. Harbinger hurls a supremely powerful biotic singularity at you, enough to rip through your shields just as you take cover, and while you take him out moments later with seconds to spare...you hear his voice, again, from across the room. He's coming for you. He's tougher than anything you've EVER fought, and he'll never, ever stop coming. Until you're dead. Worse still are some of his lines when you kill his current body, just reaffirming how utterly unstoppable he is. Like "I WILL FIND YOU AGAIN."
    • It's even more horrifying if you imagine that Shepard, being A Father to His Men would never risk the teams safety in any circumstance or ask them to sacrifice themselves in order to save Shepard's life. Imagine now realizing that Harbinger isn't interested in your team, to him, they are simply an irritating obstacle between him and you, something to swat aside. And if he defeats them, he won't even take them alive, he doesn't care about them at all. He just wants you.
  • The very end: You've blown up a Human-Reaper with weapons meant to kill squishy organics, wiped out the Collectors, and (maybe) given your fallen crew members a hero's funeral. All is well. That is, until you see the thousands of Eldritch Abomination mecha-gods fast approaching the edge of the galaxy. Which is even worse if Shepard dies at the end.
  • The Project Overlord DLC has a bunch of minor scenes, creeping through a 'dormant' geth ship, fighting through station after station of green tinted robots wading through corpses, a smoke filled geothermal plant that's collapsing around you, and all through it you keep seeing this green face of the out of control VI, making the most ungodly sound you will ever hear in your life.
    • And all of that is just a precursor to what awaits you in Atlas Station.
    • The whole thing is creepy as hell, but it all goes Up to Eleven when you touch the console, glow green, and are sucked into what is pretty much the Matrix, while your companions frantically try to pry open the now-sealed doors. You then find out the REAL story behind the VI, topped off with a hearty helping of Body Horror. You know the bad guy is really bad when the Paragon interrupt is to pistol-whip him.
      • What was done to David goes far beyond how humans were plugged into the Matrix. Plugs that go entirely through his arms. A huge neck brace with even more plugs. Suspended in the air. With two thick tubes jammed in his mouth and presumably down his throat. Eye lids held open for no discernible reason! And conscious the entire time, screaming. Just...look at the poor man.
      • No wonder he was saying "Quiet... please... make it stop..."
    • Remember the face in the last level? It's STARING AT YOU THE WHOLE TIME. Also, those security cameras with the green lights? That's the VI watching you for the entire mission.
    • Try reusing the elevator when you get to the bottom. The doors open, and the elevator's gone. The VI says something like, "Brakes not responding," and the elevator slams down the shaft and shatters. And it's never stated, but subtly implied - you are now trapped in an underground facility, with no communications, at the mercy of an insane VI.
    • The Non-Standard Game Over, which shows EDI getting possessed by David.
    • Shepard's got enough cybernetic implants to be hacked. Let me repeat that. Shepard can be hacked.
  • The sidequest where you must track down the mercenaries with a captured cargo ship. Everything seems normal, the team goes forward, killing mercs and search the ship. Then you go to the med bay and see the withered corpse on the inspection table. Okay, unsettling. When you move forward you encounter a whole pile of same corpses. Given the bad reputation of the mercs, it isn't hard to see that they obviously tortured the former crew to death one by one. Brrh...
  • The "Warp" Biotic ability. Think about what it must be like to be broken down at the molecular level by someone's thoughts. Then there's the Lift and Push abilities. Imagine being lifted high into the air, then thrown against a wall at bone-shattering speeds. Slam combines them both into one happy package!
  • Let's just makes this simple and just say the Reapers fit this trope. Ridiculously powerful sentient starships, that have been causing mass extinction for AT LEAST 37 million years, in order to melt down organics to make new Reapers or destroy their free will through the horrifying practice of indoctrination. Even when dead, they can be dangerous for "a dead god can still dream." When one was destroyed, it took nearly an entire fleet with it, and it wasn't even trying to fight back. They also have brainwashed people as allies and their troops are corpses reanimated by cybernetics and nanotechnology.
  • Jacob's loyalty mission. Miranda lets slip about a ship his father served on sending a distress signal, but the crash was ten years ago. Going to investigate, Shepard and Jacob slowly learn that his father took command during the crash and spent the next ten years turning the place into Richard Laymon's Island, eventually exiling and killing the men and keeping the women as sex slaves, using the planet's native flora-which causes dementia if eaten-to keep them under control.
    • The ending's worth mentioning. As Jacob confronts his father, Shepard notices a male, crazed, standing there like a zombie. Soon he's joined by several more. S\he points them out to the third member of the squad, who will lampshade what they will do to Ronald if Shepard chooses to abandon him.
    • Upping the creepy factor is the partial crew log of a male survivor who obviously hadn't been forced to eat the local vegetation yet.
      Survivor: [static] ... always said no. She even threatened a report if I didn't stop sending messages. But now she's so innocent. They all are. And that look she gives when she smiles... It's sure easier now. What's the harm? We're stuck here any— [static]
    • Records of one of the women being affected, realizing with horror that she can't remember someone's name or face. Bad enough to have this happen, but to be conscious of losing yourself?
    • One last dose of horror. The female crew members had been used as sex slaves. Certainly one or more must have gotten pregnant in the ten years, and yet there are no children around.
  • Remember the Collector Harbinger berates after Shepard wins? He releases control just in time for it to have a last look at Harbinger and watch the blast coming to kill it. Though this might be a release, all things considered. It's more of a look of 'Daddy? Where are you?' the kind of look a child makes when they've been abandoned before realization fully sets in. Which is all the more horrifying - the Collectors as a species know nothing BUT Indoctrination. They have NEVER in their existence been free. It never even knew what it was to be Prothean.
  • Some of the powers for the enemies. For instance:
    • Neural Shock: The salarian who won't shut up, he should be an easy kill for you, right? Next thing you know, you're spasming on the ground, feeling the worst pain of your life. The last thing you see is the salarian inhaling, and aiming his SMG at you...
    • Slam: The bitch on the field, shouldn't she be in a beauty pageant? Those are your last thoughts, as she screams at you, "Fall and die!" and you leave the ground. You hover in the air, thinking what the hell is going on? Then the ground rushes to meet your face.
    • Shadow Strike: What's up with the Japanese girl in the hood? You aim your gun at her and pull the trigger... but she disappears. What the? Where'd she go? Then an omni-blade cleaves into your back, dropping you on the ground.
    • Dominate: Oh, crap, that's a Justicar! She waves her hand, and... hold on, the asari's your ally. But if she's an ally, then... you spin your gun around, and unload a clip into the turian behind you. Wait a minute... why am I doing this?
    • Stasis: The asari? What could she-? What's happening? Why can't I move? OH SHIT, SHE'S COMING RIGHT FOR-
    • Inferno Grenade: That old merc? What could he do? He couldn't hit sh- suddenly, your entire team is on fire. He just laughs at your "goddamn antics", and sweeps a blazing M-8 Avenger in your general direction.
    • AI Hacking: Is that a quarian? What the hell is a quarian doing on the battlefield? What's she doing, anyw- suddenly there's a blast of gunfire from behind you. You turn around, and one of your own mechs is taking aim at your face...
    • Carnage: That krogan's not close enough for a charge attack. You feel a bit more at ease, thinking you can take him at a distance when one of your buddies is ripped apart by a ball of energy that then explodes, knocking you on your ass. The last thing you see is the krogan walking up to your unresponsive body.
    • Reave: A justicar? Oh boy, this is gonna be rough… but you have orders. You raise your gun, hoping to take her out quickly, but she raises a hand, casting some sort of power. Why do I feel so… sleepy? What the hell did she do to me? As you fall to the ground, the justicar walks up to you, and plants her boot on your neck. You can't do anything to resist, only watch as she says "Find peace in the embrace of the goddess." CRACK!
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC: The (current) Shadow Broker is revealed to be a Yahg, acreature said to be more savage as a species than the krogan. When seated behind his desk he's burly, but relatively krogan-sized. When Liara slams his Berserk Button, however, the Shadow Broker stands up...and up...and up...until the party is craning their necks to gawk up at the towering, hulking, very very angry monstrosity. If that wasn't enough, read his dossier after you beat him. While it was nice to see a slaver get his just end, there's a few lines at the end where it shows just how easily one of the most powerful people in the galaxy is killed and replaced...and nobody knows the difference.
  • One obscure side quest drops you on a geth-infested planet where the fog is so thick you can only see about 10 feet in front of you. You have to walk forward, listening to the clicking of the hordes of invisible homicidal robots, waiting for them to pour out of the fog at you en masse.
  • Han Olar's letter, in which he expresses his deep guilt over the woman whose life he sacrificed to save his own, and prays that he is experiencing a dying hallucination, preferring death over his guilt-ridden existence.
  • Here is what happens if you let the timer run out in The Arrival. For those who couldn't make out the images, comes with many things including; burning skies filled with Reapers, cities being destroyed, decimated planets, Kelly's death (this one in particular), and your Squadmates from this and the previous game along with The Illusive Man calmly standing side-by-side and looking reverently up at Harbinger as he descends. Sweet dreams!
    • If you give a more detailed look at the infamous Kelly scene, you realize she's being dissolved into biomass like the Collectors' many victims and the screen goes black as she explodes into gore.
  • Every Non-Standard Game Over counts as this. Seeing Joker scrabble desperately at the floor while a Scion bears down on him; hearing your tech specialist scream in agony as they're slowly cooked in a blocked vent; watching EDI get corrupted by an insane VI; Morinth's Slasher Smile as she melts your brain; watching humanity being slaughtered and mutated by the Reapers...
  • Imagine the perspective of The Arrival from the batarian colonists' perspective. You are just a batarian, not a mercenary or a killer, just a regular colonist, going about your day like nothing is wrong. Then, in what must have looked like forever from where you are standing, cosmic destruction comes straight at you and wipes you and over 300,000 other colonists out.
    • Or worse, imagine you're on another colony in the Viper Nebula. You're talking via Relay channel to your family on Aratoht when suddenly the signal is interrupted by a bright flash of light, and then static. Because the relay is gone and the system is light-years away, there's no way to know that they just got wiped out by a supernova-sized explosion. Instead, all of a sudden Bahak just goes dark, and your colony is cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Then a few hours or days later, a fleet of bio-mechanical abominations descends upon your planet without warning; killing, indoctrinating, and husking anyone they come across. Without the Alpha Relay, there's no way to escape, no way to send a warning, no way to even ask what the hell those things are that are slaughtering your people wholesale. And worst of all, you personally consigned them to that fate, in addition to the colonists you killed directly on Arahtot. Nice job, Shepard.
  • As of the end of the Arrival DLC mission, The Reapers are here; they just haven't reached another Mass Relay yet.
  • The encounter with the most polite krogan in the universe can be really unsetting and even creepy. It's a krogan, in a suit that doesn't look like armor, is extremely polite and will even refuse your help and hope a confrontation won't be necessary. What makes it creepy beside all of that? "Mr. Thax will be making a series of polite calls," and, when asked what will happen to the person who cheated Thax "That depends on how sincere her apology is and how willing she is to correct her mistake." All of this imply that she probably won't get out of this well — as the panicked asari at the spaceport shows, she's frantically telling her associate to make amends, now.
  • The opening cutscene of the game is pretty horrific - the Normandy-1 being attacked by a mysterious enemy ship several times its size, being pretty much torn apart by the attacker, and then you get to control Shepard as he staggers through the ship, alarms screaming and fires & explosions everywhere, along with exterior shots of the once-proud vessel limping through space while under fire with huge burning holes and missing chunks all over, and ending with one last shot from the enemy dreadnought's cannon obliterating the ship that we had come to know & love from the first game, blowing it in half and then shattering it into a thousand pieces, leaving Shepard to plummet down to the planet below.
  • Dissolving and processing people to make them into goo to power the Reaper is bad enough. But the victims are fully conscious. Lilith/Chambers will be furiously pounding on the pod window as they dissolve, screaming in pain and horror, and Chakwas will say she knew she was soon going to face the same fate. The last moments of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands - and, had the Collectors won, the fate of billions more - was spent in horror and pain.
  • Preying Mouth. It's a pretty average-looking gas giant in an average system colonized by the Hanar. Its Flavor Text however oozes Nothing Is Scarier. Nothing about it ever gets explained.
    A hydrogen-helium gas giant, Preying Mouth is a ship-killing enigma, the Bermuda Triangle of the Terminus Systems. There are many theories why ships never return from there: undetectable space debris; old disruptor torpedoes and magnetic mines from a long-forgotten war; even miniature black holes. But what is clear is that too many ships have been lost there for it to be happenstance.

    TRAVEL ADVISORY: Due to the large number of ships lost when attempting to discharge their drive cores in Preying Mouth, the Relic system highly recommends using First Land's complimentary discharge stations instead.
  • While not quite as horrific as some of the other things on this page, there's what the Citadel's like if you let the Council die in the previous game. Racial tension is way up, to the extent Avina says humans are advised not to travel in some places alone. And security has been ratcheted to ludicrous levels. If someone, even Shepard, grumbles to Avina about the sudden increases in security going to extremes, then everyone's favourite super-chipper VI will cheerfully tell you your comment has been noted. Oh, and a member of C-Sec might be along to have a chat with you, please cooperate fully.
  • A minor one from the Shadow Broker DLC: while you're traversing the outside of the Broker's ship, you can use biotics to fling the opposing mercenaries high enough that the tremendous winds catch them and blow them clear of the ship, at which point they're not your problem anymore. Of course, they're no longer your problem because you just threw them off a ship in the upper atmosphere, leaving them to fall all the way to the planet's surface. And if they somehow survived that, Liara notes that the planet's environment is so hostile that the seas boil during the day, and snap-freeze just after sundown.

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