The following examples have their own pages:
- A rather large portion of Metroid II: Return of Samus is nothing but Nightmare Fuel. After you leave the main tunnel with its heroic-sounding theme song, the side areas are completely silent other than a few random, tense, ambient sound effects...until the Jump Scare of an evolved Metroid heading straight for you, completely with a frightening Scare Chord. And, unlike most Metroid games, the Metroids themselves are everywhere...
- On that note, the environmental design was wonderfully creepy, especially since this was on Gameboy. The game starts on the surface, and the tension slowly rises as Samus uncovers an abandoned Chozo weapon factory deep beneath the earth, which itself is above the Nest. It's best symbolized by the Ice Beam pickup, found in the lair of the Metroids, with a partially destroyed Chozo statue showing that whatever happened here, it didn't end well for the Ancients. It certainly helps that the simple graphics coupled with the stark, isolated darkness of the caves of SR388 help to drive the 'hostile alien world' feel home. On top of that, as you explore deeper into the caves, there is less and less of the other non-metroid native life in the caves all the way until the final area, where there are nothing but Metroids.
- The Metroid Queen's area is pretty spooky, too, especially when you've worked your Metroid counter down to 1 and are rolling through a random tunnel...when suddenly it jumps back up to 9. Cue the classic Metroids attacking you en masse, and like the first game your beams don't stack, so if you didn't go back and get the Ice Beam, you're in trouble.
- The entire intro sequence, with Space Station Ceres having dark, isolated halls with all the murdered scientists sprawled over the place. With the build-up to the title screen, it is framed exactly like a horror film.
- Ridley's notorious Glowing Eyes of Doom intro is one of the most pants-pissing introductions for a character imaginable. Imagine roaming through a dark base, bodies piled up and everything laid to waste...you see the Baby Metroid, seemingly safe and sound inside of a container. Meters above, you see a pair of glowing yellow eyes, scowling sadistically at you. As Ridley comes into full view, he lets out his infamous screech, his Leitmotif starts blaring, and before you know it, you're shooting at him. Worse is that he does this again later on in Lower Norfair - and this time, you're locked into a full-fledged boss fight with him, where you will die many, MANY times.
- The room in Crateria that contains the sealed entrance to Tourian. For starters, it's filled with statues of the four major bosses that need to be defeated in order to access the area. These are creepy enough on their own, but seeing them all together (even if it's just as statues) takes it to a whole new level. Second, the music in this room is a very foreboding ambient track, which dials up the creep factor even more. Third and finally, it's possible to stumble across this room shortly after starting the game. While seeing all for bosses together might not frighten someone who's already defeated them, it certainly could have that effect on a first-time player, who is being shown right away the monstrosities they will have to face. It also might not even be clear to a new player what this room is for, and that it won't be of use to them until later in the game, adding Empty Room Psych and Nothing Is Scarier to the mix.
- The whole sequence with Crocomire in Super Metroid. Forcing the creature into a pit of lava and watching its flesh melt off. Creepy. Oh, and then its skeleton pops back out for a moment only to crumble before you. Harmless but still freaky.
- Making this worse is the fact that Crocomire doesn't attack you until you attack it first, which implies that Crocomire is really just a peaceful creature and wants to be left alone, and that the Space Pirates stuck it in there purely because they wanted it dead For the Evulz. It's also in one of the few rooms in Upper Norfair that has the lava from Lower Norfair, and Crocomire might have survived the Ring Out if it had been the lava from Upper Norfair.
- Draygon is arguably worse. Her battle starts off with a surprisingly effective Jump Scare, and when you see that she looks like a Gigeresque horror, you'll see why. Her body pulsates in a disgusting manner, her eye looks mucus-coated and cancerous, her mouth looks like something out that wouldn't be out of place on a Yautja, and if you look closely, there are at least three parts on her body that resemble human faces. After you've killed her, you are subject to seeing her own children starting to eat her corpse. What the hell, Nintendo?
- Well, it was probably them burying her, but it could be both.
- The music for Spore Spawn, miniboss of the Brinstar area. The boss itself is kind of creepy, but it's this strange medley of piano music and tribal drumming that's really spine-tingling.
- Worse, it reappears for Botwoon, the miniboss of Maridia.
- "Item Room Ambience" is an ambiguously disturbing remix made entirely out of mysteriously telephone-ish beeps with an extremely dark and ominous silence note in the background. Imagine waking up to that in a dark room in the middle of the night. Who needs sleep anyway?
- Mother Brain's theme is effectively Oh, Crap! in musical form. Mother Brain herself is quite intimidating as well, seeing as it fakes you out into thinking the battle will just be a copy of the original's final boss. Nope. Instead, we're treated to a grotesque, snarling, drooling monstrosity that towers over you, who then proceeds to kick your ass. The music conveys the feeling of hopelessness quite well.
- Her roars also sound horrific, with most of them being in the same tone of the rather purely evil sounding music. It really does hammer home that you are face-to-face with a biomech abomination that you simply cannot fight.
- Brinstar has numerous man-eating things in the floor and ceiling that trap you and deplete your health. While they do let go after a few seconds, they're still all kinds of "yuck" to look at. One area has a floor and ceiling comprising nothing but these creatures.
- There's something very ominous and eerie about the temple area of Lower Norfair, made worse by the chanting in the background music.
- The Crashed Ship. Until you defeat Phantoon (itself an exceedingly unnerving opponent) and the power comes back on, you are literally traversing a haunted wreck. There's no scientific explanation for it either, as far as you know you're simply being assaulted by ghosts. No other enemies either, just ghosts. And the ghosts? They're clusters of skulls fused together, waiting in invisibility and periodically attempting to appear into you then disappear. Good night!
- The room with the boss statue. A way of informing the player of what horrible monsters they'll have to fight (three of which warrant their own descriptions on this page). And you will have to visit this room at least once, because the statue's destruction opens the path to the final area. But what really pulls it together is that horrible, haunting ambiance that reeks of paranoia and likely impending violent death.
- The sequence leading up to the Big Metroid is pretty unnerving, especially for a first time player. The music changes to let you know there's a boss nearby and there are several dried husks of enemies that turn to dust when you touch them, including a Torizo. Then along comes a giant sidehopper that you can't damage no matter what you do, only to see a HUGE metroid swoop in and suck the thing dry in seconds. You're next, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it... until it leaves you with one unit of health remaining.
Metroid Prime 2 Echoes:
- The Dark Troopers. Right at the beginning, seeing the troopers you've been sent to rescue being turned into freakish automatons and turn their weapons against you. What makes it worse is finding the log books of marines who have either been ambushed or driven insane. One of the freakiest ones was the trooper who got away from the enemies, and as he was heading for the central building sees something in a hole, "Hello... Who's there?.."
- They'll eat me. Eat.
- A more detailed look at the Dark Troopers' character models reveals a few unsettling features. They have Ing tentacles growing out and wrapping around their bodies and purple, skull-like faces with glowing red eyes. The Dark Missile Trooper has it even worse, as not only is their skull even more exposed, they seem to have a piece of shrapnel embedded in it. If the Ing didn't mutate them to look more horrifying, these particular troopers were already decaying or partially eaten by Splinters. The concept art for the Dark Troopers is even more horrifying, playing up both the Body Horror and their possession.
- Scanning the dead troopers at the very beginning of the game, one of whom was confirmed to have "at least thirty" attackers involved in his death, or the one who died of cardiac arrest."Chemical levels in the body suggest a state of extreme fear at time of death."
- And it's...just...the horrible way they move. The jerky, "puppet with too few strings" motion, more zombie-like than a lot of actual game zombies. Especially when you're just starting out, and this music starts playing...
- Seeing dead marine corpses all over the floors and walls with almost no sign that could confirm how they died is creepy in itself. Such as the ones in the "hive" that drop from the ceiling when you enter this one room! Suspended from their necks like they were HANGED!
- Emperor Ing. What's not to be terrified of? An immensely powerful, mutated Reality Warper far stronger than any other Ing. He's powered by about a quarter of the planet's energy, can regenerate by leeching off said energy, and can take many different forms. Some of his attacks are almost impossible to dodge, and he's only capable of being hurt under specific circumstances.
- The Grenchlers from Echoes. The roars and appearance, they can swim AND jump really high and far which means there is pretty much no way to avoid them...
- Quite possibly the scariest part of the game: The Dark Grenchler.
- Dark Aether, a nightmarish version of the planet Aether in which you quickly lose energy when not standing in a light-provided safe zone. The enemies in Dark Aether are even tougher versions of their normal world counterparts. And that's without mentioning that it's home to the Ing.
- Some of the rooms in Torvus Bog's subterranean area have strange platforms that extend from the walls. The game never tells you what their purpose was, but if you look inside them you'll see some suspiciously shaped forms... and a look at the internal data reveals that these "platforms" you have to jump on are actually Luminoth graves.
- Quadraxis; an enormous war machine whose every step makes the ground tremble. Armed with a laser-guided annihilation reaction cannon, a powerful force field generator, and a hatred of all life courtesy of the Ing twisting it to their own ends, it is a formidable foe, as are its smaller, like-minded cousins, the Quads. On top of all that, the Luminoth created it.
- The new weapons made available to Samus certainly qualify. First off, the beams are pretty insane. There's the Dark Beam and the Light Beam, both of which are obtained relatively early, and both of which are potentially devastating weapons. The Dark Beam has the power to freeze a target in a chunk of solid darkness with its charged shots. As in, the stuff the ING consist of. When charged, it sends off a massive chunk of solid darkness that has a better chance of freezing stuff. The Light Beam has the power to set anything on fire. When charged, the Light Beam essentially becomes a semi-homing shot-gun that fires a slew of tiny sun-charged lasers. One person should not be allowed to have both weapons.
- The fourth beam-weapon you get, the Annihilator Beam, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The in-game description states that its shots consist of a mix of matter and antimatter, essentially making it controlled chaos in a gun!
- The Missile Combos are even more disturbing. The Sunburst is the Super Missile for the Light Beam, that fires a single, slightly bigger orb of light that explodes and damages everything within range. The Darkburst is the exact opposite, in that it fires a single, huge chunk of darkness that explodes and either kills the enemies or drags them into a nightmarish dimension whose atmosphere will swiftly kill them. And then there's the Missile Combo for the Annihilator Beam... It is so powerful that it breaks the universe itself. And you can just get away with using it against the planet's native wild-life.
- And don't think Nintendo didn't anticipate that you would set stuff on fire with the Light Beam. Unlike the Plasma Beam in Prime, you actually get to hear the enemy scream in pain as they burn to death.
- The core concept of Aether's backstory is terrifying and, next to Hunters, the closest that the series has ever come to a Cosmic Horror Story. Imagine this: you're a peaceful race with no real enemies who lives a life that, by most standards, is pretty close to utopian. One day, something unknowable and unspeakable flies out of the sky and slams into your planet so hard that it becomes dimensionally unstable and opens a door to a Dark World version of your world. This dark world has a horrifically lethal atmosphere and is populated by an incredibly aggressive and hostile race of completely alien beings who either cannot or will not communicate with you, start bodyjacking your race almost as soon as you learn that they even exist, and quickly overrun you. You start producing Killer Robots to fight back against those things under the assumption that they can't possess mechanical beings, only to quickly find out that they have zero issues possessing those as well. With nothing left to fall back on, all that's left is to pray for some sort of miracle that you have no reason to believe will actually come. Thankfully, Samus does come, but it is only due to sheer dumb luck, and the Luminoth were within a hairsbreadth of complete annihilation due to cosmic caprice by the time she got there.
- The game over screen is incredibly morbid even for this series; showcasing Samus' heart visibly flatlining inside of her body as what seems to be her Power Suit going out with her judging by the flashing errors. The screen is rather quick, but it makes quite the best of its time...
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption:
- The Game Over screen for this game consists of a slowly expanding pool of Samus' blood on a white background. If that's not enough, if you get Terminal Corruption, the blood is blue.
- Corruption adds the GFS Valhalla, complete with logs of the Aurora unit slowly being corrupted with Phazon.
- What makes the Valhalla even creepier is that you don't encounter much life on the ship: Aside from mutated Metroids and the occasional Phazon-mutated creature, all you have to keep you company are the mangled corpses lying in various states of agony, creepily quiet music, and the occasional shuddering of the structurally unsound ship.
- You can use the scan visor on corpses to determine how they died. While you can do that in multiple places, the death messages are creepiest in the Valhalla. One of them saying that the trooper was trying to crawl towards the exit before being attacked from behind, but there are probably far worse "gems".
- Some deaths include getting impaled with a scythe before being tossed into exploding canisters, a PED malfunction eating a Trooper alive, phazon grenades, explosive decompression due to broken visor, self-inflicted and friendly fire while trying to remove Metroids, and getting attacked through walls by phase-shifting Metroids.
- Two of the last trooper corpses you find in the Valhalla belong to two PED Troopers whose PED devices explosively ruptured; when you find them, their corpses are impaled and suspended from the Phazon tendrils, looking almost as if they were crucified. Worse still, scans reveal that the Phazon is consuming their flesh, and shooting the two troopers reveals that there's nothing left inside their armor.
- Oh, did we forget to mention that these Metroids can now phase through walls? Because they can now phase through walls.
- Whatever you do, don't look out the windows of the Valhalla; that entire nebula out there? Metroids as far as the eye can see, some of them MASSIVE.
- Particularly freaky is when you see one of these Metroids floating lazily down a hall...and then you notice that it's dragging a corpse behind it.
- To add to the effect, after a certain point bright flashes near you allow you to see your own Phazon-corrupted face◊. Considering that at that point you've already seen what the stuff does to Space Pirates and your fellow bounty hunters, you might be a bit more careful with the Hyper Mode. Not that it matters, of course.
- Then there's the part where you open a door, everything's fine, everything's good. Then the second you open the door a dead Pirate's corpse greets you and instantly decomposes!
- The fun doesn't stop there: If you've played to the end of Super Metroid before, as you'll probably recognize exactly what caused the Space Pirate to decompose: having its life sucked out by at least one Metroid.
- Then when you investigate further, you find dozens of these drained Pirate corpses littering every passageway, and you can learn the gruesome details of how each one died. Heck, you can even see the claw marks that one of the Pirates left in the wall in his dying moments.
- Venturing deeper, you pass by several trapped Metroids, but they do nothing, as they are properly contained. Then you acquire the Seeker Missile, the lights go out, and you KNOW what's waiting for you on the way back. And if it's your first run, PRAY!
- This one's even worse because it's self-inflicted; as noted you bypass all these properly contained Metroids (who do nonetheless try to eat you, it's unnerving to see one try), but when you get to the room with the Seeker Missiles, there's an energy cell powering the entire place. By now you've probably encountered at least one so you know taking it will disable things. Thus, the feeling of dread when you know that taking it (which you HAVE to do) will release the Metroids. Once the power's out, the game uses the music to put you even more on edge, to boot!
- Then you learn that this mutated breed of Metroids can not only phase through walls, but missiles as well.
- The Body Horror Samus experiences thanks to the Phazon in her body. First, there's the Facial Horror; as her corruption progresses, she gets Tainted Veins on her face, along with a combination of Glowing Eyes of Doom and Black Eyes of Crazy. Also, after defeating the first Leviathan guardian, Samus keels over and pukes up a mess of radioactive sludge, on-screen. Finally, if you use Hypermode for too long, you get a Non Standard Game Over in which Samus becomes an exact copy of Dark Samus.
- After Gandrayda is defeated, she goes through a Shapeshifter Swan Song, finally settling on Samus' form. As Dark Samus appears to absorb her the way she did the last two bounty hunters, Samus knows there's nothing she can do to help Gandrayda, and essentially goes through the epic mindfuck of watching herself die horribly. Even worse is that Samus herself is pretty corrupted by this point, and the dying Gandrayda shows her just how corrupted she's become.
- Omega Ridley is pretty horrifying in concept; he's a sadistic cyborg space pirate dragon-like alien pirate/terrorist, and you can clearly tell that Ridley himself is pretty much just a living corpse under the cybernetic enhancements. Even as a cybernetically-enhanced corpse, he still takes a large amount of effort to put down, and even after Samus defeats him again, the zombie cyborg Ridley manages to escape the destruction of Phaaze.
- Corruption also features a sort of Fridge Nightmare Fuel. In the first one, Phazon damaged you until you had the Phazon suit. Even then, the stuff in the impact crater still damaged you. In Echoes there was no protection against it, it would always damage you. But after you get the PED suit, Phazon can heal you. It is some of the most toxic and corrosive stuff in the history of the series, and it's healing you. That's how corrupted you are. To drive the point home, the energy refills change after you get the PED suit. Before you get the suit, scan data shows that the energy pick ups refill X amount of energy. After you get the PED suit, they now change into phazon energy and scanning them says you'll get X amount of phazon back as if you're feeding off the corrupted stuff to stay alive.
- Phaaze is pretty much a planet made out of Nightmare Fuel. Before going there, you are only 75% corrupted, and your ship can still sense that it's Samus that tries to use its facilities. Once you land on Phaaze, there is a quick cut-scene in which Samus becomes fully corrupted. As a result, her own ship can't even sense that it's her anymore, and to make matters worse, you're stuck in infinite Hyper Mode. On the bright side, you can't die due to lack of Energy. On the not-so-bright side, your 100% Phazon-Corruption-rate means you're only one step away from dying every second, meaning the atmosphere and any hostile attacks can actually kill you if you're not careful. And since your ship doesn't recognize you, you're stuck on that planet until you slay Metroid Prime/Dark Samus for good. Playing this part of the game right before sleeping is not a good idea if you actually want to sleep.
- The Aazelion, a creature found on Phaaze, is the page picture for good reason. In one of the last rooms on the planet before the final boss, Samus falls down a shaft... and is suddenly ensnared by the Aazelion, which slowly drags Samus towards its mouth in an attempt to eat her. It's even worse on Hypermode difficulty, as the creature's increased health makes it all but impossible to prevent it from taking a bite out of Samus. To add fuel to the nightmare, the Aazelion is one of the few creatures in the trilogy that has no records in Samus' Scan Visor, and was only expanded upon post-release by the creature's designer; it's essentially a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
- After killing the Infant Leviathan in the Genesis Chamber and before jumping down the final shaft, take a look around with the Scan Visor. You'll see some weird looking growths along the wall and, naturally, will want to scan it. Those "growths" are actually husks of several Metroid Primes.
- One of the cooler features of the game is the ability to sometimes see Samus's eyes inside her visor while playing. As you become corrupted, her eyes go from Green( non-ped suit), to blue, to blue with some strained blood vessels, blue with glowing eyes, and finally deep blue glowing eyes, with tendrils made of pure phazon crawling up her face!
- The Stinger ends the game, and by extension the trilogy, on an ominous note. After reminiscing about her fallen comrades, Samus leaves Elysia, heading off for more adventures. Mere seconds later, a sleek, blue and green ship slowly and quietly hovers into view, engaging its engines before jumping after Samus. After years of speculation, it's since been confirmed that it was none other than Sylux. You know, the one who wants to burn the entire Galactic Federation to the ground out of sheer hatred? He has been known to successfully shadow Samus, after all...
Metroid Other M:
- Metroid: Other M has some good scares, but the best one is retroactive. Throughout the game, you've been encountering distinctive Power Bomb doors; you've probably been looking forward to coming back and opening them all. Then the cinema before the final fight reveals that those aren't doors — they're dormant insectoid cyborgs strong enough to kick your ass. Next time you play, good luck passing one without shuddering...
- At one point, you're running through a big glass tube overlooking a lava lake in Sector 3, including the first sight of the Vorash, a lava-dwelling fish jumping in the far back. Suddenly midway through, the game goes all Matrix-y and the Vorash jumps out right under you, shattering the section of tube you're in and swallowing you whole if you don't use the Sense Move in time. And the fun doesn't end there. Right after, you have to run through the area right below the tube and the Vorash is still there. Not only do you have to worry about the heat, you have to worry about getting Swallowed Whole (which is again, an instant game over in this situation), and one badly-timed jump into the lava is a death sentence.
- What about Other M's reshowing of Mother Brain's One-Winged Angel form? She was scary enough in 2D!
- Remember Nightmare in Fusion? Turns out, it's back as a boss. And it even shows off extra aggressive mannerisms while actively screaming like a baby when its face is revealed.....and that thing used to just float around with no other indications in Fusion, until its Other M appearance has it act all rabid.
Metroid Prime Federation Force:
- Remember the Metroid egg that the Project Golem squad retrieved? The Stinger reveals that someone broke into Federation HQ and has made off with the newly hatched infant Metroid, and that someone is most likely Sylux.
- As if Metroids weren't scary enough already, this picture makes them look like halfway realistic animals... and the accompanying description of death by Metroid will make your skin crawl.
- Samus' mental breakdown in the manga is pretty terrifying.
Ridley: You don't know. Maybe I even ate your "mama" so that my cells can live, hm? Is she here — or here?! AT LEAST PAY YOUR RESPECTS!
- Not to mention Ridley's cruel description of how he devoured the flesh of all of Samus's loved ones. Just merely saying that is horrifying enough, but Ridley goes further by taunting her of where her mother's cells could be. It's no wonder that Samus fears only him.
- Hell, Ridley in general's pretty scary; he's a freakin' near-unkillable draconic space terrorist (hell, it takes an planet-scale bomb to actually kill him), and also murdered Samus' mother in front of her (and indirectly killed her father as well), making him an extremely frightening foe, and he's certainly one of Nintendo's most sadistic villains (he takes a cruel delight in describing the exact way he killed the parents of his archnemesis, after all). Ridley is so dark of a Nintendo villain that, when he made his playable debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he singlehandedly darkened the game with his presence and surprisingly violent moveset. This is most notable in his initial reveal, which shows him killing Mega Man and Mario, firmly showing that someone just invited a monster into Smash.
- Worse is, now that he is in Smash Bros., compare him to other Nintendo villains. While most of them are gleefully evil like Bowser and Ganondorf, they usually have some sort of redeeming quality in that they may have loved ones, standards, goofiness or just simple tact to their evil. Ridley? To make a long story short, his manga incarnation is outright listed as a Complete Monster, and it is heavily implied in Ultimate that it's how he also acts in the games. A space pirate terrorist, who is Nigh-Invulnerable, also bearing such a violently insane, sadistic and calculating personality...Ridley is truly a nightmare to behold.
- Sylux is one of the biggest mysteries in the series and what is known about him does not paint a pretty picture. His first onscreen appearance consists of slaughtering a Federation squad while giving a decidedly inhuman roar, his equipment consists of nothing but stolen experimental GF tech, and he holds such an unfathomable HATRED for the Federation to the point that this seething grudge even extends to Samus by mere association. He has successfully been shadowing her for quite some time as well, as shown by The Stinger to Corruption. Nobody, in-universe or out, knows just who or what he is or what his plans are, and if he truly was the culprit at the end of The Stinger for Federation Force, he now has an infant Metroid in his possession.
- From the Prime Trilogy: Dark Samus, the Metroid Prime's reincarnation. Just about everything about her is terrifying, but just to elaborate: imagine Samus if she went absolutely batshit on, or was made out of Phazon with goals of corrupting the universe with it. She is immensely powerful, able to attack then seize full control of the Space Pirates - yes, this includes Ridley - and corrupt Samus' fellow bounty hunters and force them to fight against her. She had also managed to survive long enough to get into four different encounters with Samus (the last being her final defeat), and in fact damn near achieve her goal of corrupting the universe due to how toxic Phaaze's atmosphere was in the first place - and just like Ridley, it takes a planet-scale bomb just to kill her, alongside having her link herself to the core of the planet itself as well. She is also one of Nintendo's absolute vilest of villains only possibly second only to Ridley himself, and that alone speaks volumes.
- TIME BOMB SET--GET OUT FAST!