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Nightmare Fuel / Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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  • The way Talion's wife is killed by the Black Hand - just a slight slash of the throat that almost seems like a caress. The gentleness of the murder makes it that much more horrific.
    • There's also the murder of their son Dirhael, which literally overflows with Adult Fear: Talion and Ioreth being forced to watch as their son is held down like a pig for slaughter and they can do nothing to help him.
    • In fact, the way Talion's family are murdered (in front of him before dying nonetheless!) just sends a chill down many spines, especially its very dark nature and tone of the execution scene and it's just the first few minutes into the game!
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  • Most Uruks are out of their damn skulls, but some captains (often with the nickname "the Spike") have no words for you—only creepy smiles and insane giggling; grunts, whistles, and sucking of teeth, chattering their teeth like a World War Z zombie; or bloodcurling screams in your face. The worst part of it is that it doesn't stop at the intro; the noises these guys make will haunt you till you put them down. And then there's the chance they can come back from death...
  • Talion is this from the perspective of the orcs. Very much so. Imagine this: You are an orc, spending his day as an orc usually would, with things like bickering among your own kind and abusing human slaves For the Evulz. You hear rumors about the Gravewalker, who is apparently able to jump at you from above or even turn you against your own kind, as some kind of puppet, but you dismiss these as nonsense. Then all of a sudden, your camp is attacked by the very same Gravewalker, who easily dispatches most of the camp using a Flash Step technique, with you being unable to stop him at all. To make matters worse, the archers posted in towers suddenly start you. In all the chaos, the last thing you see before you is the Gravewalker, reaching his hand towards you. After that, the only thing you can think of is serving the Bright Lord, killing your own kind in his name. The fun thing is that the orcs in the game itself reflect these aforementioned fears themselves, by actually conversing about them, and, in battle with Talion, some of them even run away in fear, exclaiming things like "That's unnatural!" Also, once you start branding a large amount of orcs, some captains motivations will start turning to fears that they will be next to be branded or be betrayed by their fellow orcs, doubts in their mind that they can resist the wraith's will if ever they are caught...
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  • An Uruk's motives for running away from Talion are rightfully understandable. It is possible to encounter a branded captain, vomiting uncontrollably, rambling about how he "saw the groveling" and "heard the whispering" and begged that "the filth" would not touch him anymore. The effect of branding is truly a terrible force to be reckoned with that no man, monster or beast should have to endure.
  • The attack on the Black Gates. It comes completely out of nowhere, overwhelming what limited forces the Rangers still have there. And, as shown in the tutorial flashbacks, it's not just fully grown rangers stationed there; they also have their families there. Though Dirhael and Ioreth are the only shown casualties, what of the other women and children...?
  • There's something sad and horrific whenever you see a lone slave sweeping up the dusty ruins of a stronghold, now infested with orcs.
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  • Caragors. Fast? Durable? Relentless? Truly, they are an alpha predator worthy of Mordor, and more so, your fear and respect—but mostly, fear.
  • Seeing Celebrimbor's death from his perspective is pretty unnerving. Also counts as a Tear Jerker, considering both the event and what happened just before.
    • To clarify: Sauron, in his Annatar guise, beats Celebrimbor to death with a smithing hammer. By "his perspective," we mean Celebrimbor's point of view. And then there's a wet-sounding crunch on the third or so swing, which still doesn't kill him, and you get a nice view of Sauron flipping the hammer around to the pointy end before he finishes the job. Immediately before this, you get to see Celebrimbor bound in chains and forced to watch as Sauron kills his captive wife and daughter with a single swing from his mace — there's a Gory Discretion Shot but that doesn't stop you from hearing their desperate screaming as he approaches them.
    • Want a bit more? Listen to the sounds made on the fourth and last swings before the flashback ends. Look at how much blood is dripping off the thing when it's flipped around for the final swing. It's not hard to imagine that Sauron beat Celebrimbor until his head split open, then buried the spike of the hammer in his brain.
  • The Wraith's Domination ability is legitimately frightening. The focus shot of his rotted, twisted face, the intensity he puts into the effort, and the sheer terror of the orc really sells it.
    • He also says other lines, mainly in Elvish, such as "Edwenno o gwath! - Ochedin Valannor! - Nan iChir Gelair!". note 
    • Immediately followed by a speed zoom right into the hapless uruk's eye, which would be pretty horrific even if they weren't so ugly.
  • Graugs. Massive monsters that literally eat trolls for breakfast, and can squash the above Caragors like fliesnote  - and you, if you are not careful. Then you have horned Graugs...
  • Some Uruk Captains and Warchiefs can only be permanently killed by beheading them, killing one by any other way may result in said Uruk coming back to you bearing the scar you gave him last time. Do it to the same Uruk enough times, and he will become increasingly disfigured to the point of having to wear a sack to cover up his face, making the already hideous creature even more gruesome to the eye.
  • When Lithariel gets captured, both the Tower and the huge Uruks holding her give off vibes that would be very much I Have You Now, My Pretty if they had been human. Whether there is anything sexual there or not, their express intentions to make things "slow" make it clear that her death would be a torturous one.
    • The Tower in general is a dose of nightmare fuel: The Body Horror on him is taken Up to Eleven, and when you enter his stronghold he makes the corpses turn to look at you. You look at his throne, see it's empty- then the camera pans around, and suddenly he's there again. The guy is just a walking nightmare.
  • The fortress at Ered Glamhoth ("Evil Hosts"). Aside from a small horde of Uruk at the front door, the place is completely silent and filled with decomposing corpses hanging from walls or impaled on spikes - corpses that turn and watch you move.
    • According to the appendix entry for the region, everyone in Mordor regards Ered Glamhoth with superstitious dread. Even the Ungol steer clear of it.
    • During Talion's duel with the Tower in there, aside from the Tower taunting him from the shadows, the voices of his wife and son can be heard taunting him for failing to save them. The things Dirhael says to his father are particularly cruel and spiteful as the Tower tries to break Talion's will to fight.
    Dirhael: You taught me to fight, only to watch me die...I renounce you as my father...Mother cries tears of joy, because we are free of you!
    • Ioreth also gets a creepy moment; during the battle, she can be heard telling Talion "We will be together again. Soon. Forever" Sounds romantic? Think again. The inflection that Laura Bailey places on the word "Forever" makes it sound like that reunion would be less joyful and more nightmarical.
  • It's a rainy night. You've just barely escaped from a fortress swarming with orcs, and are now running for your life from an angry horde intent on ending your miserable existence. Just as you stop to catch your breath, the camera pans to reveal your nemesis — and he has zero qualms about killing you again. To top it off, he's immune to melee, ranged, and stealth, never flees, and has a poisoned weapon. Run.
    Orc: How many times must I kill you, tark?
  • The final encounter with Gollum. Talion is handed one more artifact from him - that he's discovered that links to the Wraith's past - and after the scene and Talion starts to wake up, Gollum attempts to bash his head in with a brick whilst demanding to know where his precious is.
  • The final words of the main game: "The time has come for a new Ring." This cannot end well. It doesn't.


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