Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Oddworld

Go To

For a series of platformers (except Stranger's Wrath) that run on Ugly Cute, Black Comedy and the occasional bout of Toilet Humour, the Oddworld series has a lot of very dark themes and terrifying moments.

  • The entire grim setting of the original two games. Dark, gritty, processing meats with Ludicrous Gibs or bones and tears for profits that drive species into extinction, and filled to the brim with Mudokon slaves that are beaten and tortured as practically a way to kill time. If it isn't the wildlife trying to munch poor Abe down, it's the RuptureFarms security forces that are the size of a small army tearing their way through everything just to kill him. Crapsack World doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • The games feature several different alien creatures, some sentient, some not. Most, however, are terrifying in one way or another.
    • The Scrabs are even described in the first game's manuals as "Territorial nightmares on four legs" and they certainly live up to that description. Between the several-foot long jaw, immense claws and humanoid torsos, they're not the cuddliest things you'll find around Oddworld, and that's saying a lot.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Paramites are not going to win any arachnophobic fans over. Bulky, spider-like creatures with a giant skinny mouth akin to a hand, and one of the more intelligent wild animals in all of Mudos, being able to team up with others of its kinds to corner and rip prey apart (not helping matters that they're inherently more aggressive when in a pack). Watching them suddenly crawl down a web is not a pleasant sight for anyone involved.
    • To some players, especially younger ones, the Mudokons can be rather unnerving, mainly due to their bloodshot yellow eyes, weird foreheads, and the fact that they're the most human-like lifeform on Oddworld.
    • Sligs are the primary henchmen to the Glukkons, and they're such for a reason. They either have piercing red LED visors or glowing red eyes. As soon as they see something move when they aren't supposed to, they immediately open fire or blast it to smithereens, being one of the most aggressive creatures you'll meet. And that's just the gunner or bomber Sligs. Lest we mention the massive, armed to the teeth Big-Bro Sligs...
    • The Fleeches - fast, tiny grub-like creatures who attack Abe with their tongues and slowly eat him with their tongues, with Abe's shriek of pain going up in pitch as he's continuously mauled by them. If that didn't sound horrifying, after attacking Abe five times, they grab him, swallow him, go into Balloon Belly mode and then suddenly return to their normal builds with a few birds flying out, presumably digesting Abe on the spot. Yikes.
    • Despite being friendly, the Fuzzles don't win friends with their looks. They're small fuzzballs with large eyes and mouths full of Scary Teeth. They're like land piranhas, Zerg Rushing anything they're told to by biting them to death. Sure, they may be allies to Munch, but they're harshly vindictive, and will happily get him and Abe killed if their quarma is bad enough.
  • The bad endings of the first three games.
    • In Abe's Oddysee, Abe gets caught by Molluck and left hanging by his arms over a meat grinder (Which also happens in the good ending). After this, Big Face and some colleagues decide to abandon him for not saving enough Mudokons, leading to him getting dropped into the meat grinder and exploding into chunks and blood, with a few spurts flying out as Molluck and his Slig henchman laugh evilly. And since, unlike Abe's Exoddus, Abe doesn't turn into a cluster of birds in this ending, the implication is that Abe just got violently Killed Off for Real.
    • While Abe's Exoddus' bad ending isn't as creepy as the last or following games', it's still creepy in a way. Some Mudokons shut off the self-destruct sequence in a fit of anger at Abe, and knock him cold with an empty bottle of brew, resulting in his capture by the Brewmaster. He wakes up to finding himself stuck in a tear extractor, begging not to get electrocuted. The Brewmaster decides to increase the voltage to the maximum, shocking him in a greater magnitude than anyone else, with him screaming in pain before disintegrating into a cluster of birds.
    • The Munch's Oddysee ending is considered to be the worst of them all. Outraged that they were abandoned to cosmetic experimentation, the heavily-mutilated Fuzzles gang up on Abe and Munch while setting off the alarms, resulting in the Vykkers capturing the duo and killing Abe; the game then cuts to Munch's race ending with him being violently eviscerated for his lungs (which are to be sold). Following this is a newspaper detailing everything going downhill afterwards, with the last can of Gabbiar getting eaten, destroying any chance of the species coming back, the queen Glukkon getting a new pair of lungs, and the rest of the generations of Mudokons being doomed to birth as slaves.
  • The antagonists of the first two games suffered some serious Villain Decay when it came to Exoddus, but only because the game had to be rushed in a nine month development period and Executive Meddling in the process. The teaser trailer for its Video Game Remake as Soulstorm, on the other hand, shows the Mudokons being subjected to horrifying experimentation, lining up for said experiments carrying their own body bags, and being worked and stressed into death and insanity before being filed away with the rest of the corpses. This isn't just Darker and Edgier - this is what Exoddus was intended to be.

Abe's Oddysee

  • The original design for the Mudokon Pop — a Mudokon's head grotesquely impaled on a stick. This was thankfully changed into a more friendly design in the Japanese version and all future depictions of Mudokon Pops, including in the New N' Tasty remake.
    • Abe's reaction to seeing it is particularly frightening, as his delivery in the nightmarish intro is the one time in the cutscenes that his narration breaks from the Creepy Monotone and expresses genuine terror.
  • If you look closely at the spiked barriers in the Free-Fire Zone outside the factory, you can see Mudokon corpses Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on the spikes. This is not only horrifying, but also raises many questions: is this how the Sligs got rid of the dead slaves before Mudokon Pops were conceptualised, or did some Mudokons try to escape before Abe but failed?
  • The unused trailer for Oddysee, Guardian Angel. The trailer shows a nightmarish-looking hovering robot with a Voice of the Legion talking to Abe in what looks to be a waste silo, before going at him with blades and saws as the trailer cuts to the game title.
    Robot: Just because life is doomed and everyone wants to eat you doesn't mean there's no hope! 'Ya need to look within… If 'ya wanna be free!
    Abe Help meeee…!
  • The audio Jump Scare of a Scrab screech that occurs on the copyright warning screen.

Abe's Exoddus

  • The blind Mudokons who have their eyes stitched shut. They're blinded this way to prevent them from knowing that they're digging up their own dead ancestors.
  • The very concept of Soulstorm Brew - a addictive and dangerous substance made from the bones of dead Mudokons and live Mudokon tears that gets Mudokons hooked on it and willing to do nearly anything to get more of it, enabling the Glukkons and Sligs to get Mudokons into "work" for the addictive brew, then kill them off for their tears and bones for the brew, which is then given to more Mudokons to make them work, thus beginning the cycle all over again in a never-ending "gift that keeps on giving".

Oddworld: Soulstorm

  • Just the game's opening, The train is nearing its last stop, being shot at from every angle, all the while Alf and Toby are fearing for their lives. Alf is screaming for Abe to come out and help, who is just in a deep trance. Just hearing Alf scream out Abe's name in their darkest hour is creepy enough.
  • The concept of Soulstorm Brew gets even more Nightmare Fuel added to it. The Glukkons had the Vykkers deliberately make it extremely addictive. They also had them make the withdrawl from it painfully lethal, so they could make sure that any Mudokons addicted to it wouldn't escape. And then there's the fact it's spectacularly flammable. It is much worse for Abe and his friends, for one, because of their actions at Rupture Farms, many have been inspired and already taken upon themselves to escape, not knowing that the brew is what's killing them and escaping is certain death. Abe and his friends only made it as far as the did because Alf had a stash ready and the train they stole had plenty more. Not to mention, they have also been drinking the brew as well, and eventually it will run out for all them and their escapees too. Not even Abe's cure can help because he only made it in small doses and can't possibly make it for everyone in time. It truly became a race against the clock.
  • The Sanctum level wouldn't be out of place in any horror game. It starts as a Blackout Basement cave where you can't see more than a few steps around you, though you do find a flashlight at the beginning, and on few occasions there are very deep shafts the bottom of which you can't see. After mid-point, Abe reaches a zone where he must activate 3 flint-locks, and here he encounters Sleeches: monsters afraid of light that will kill him if they touch him for more than a second. In darkness they have terrifying red eyes and will mercilessly chase Abe unless they're exposed to light - the sight of a bunch of red eyes in a darkness converging towards you really sends chill down the spine.
  • Abe himself counts too. For the first time, we get an idea about the surviving Sligs are affected by his exploits. The Chauffeur recounts seeing his "best friendsies" suddenly blast each other away and Aslik's head of security even mentions some of the survivors being stricken with PTSD. It's just a small glimpse of just how terrifying possession really is when you're not the one in control. This is especially considering some implications in previous games that the victims are at least partially aware of what they're being forced to do.note 
  • The worst ending. Abe, fretting over his bad Quarma having cost him the only means of finding his mother, trips and breaks several bottles of Soulstorm Brew in front of the open train furance. There's a Hope Spot where Toby catches an ember headed for the puddles of Brew, only for another one to land. The brew ignites, and we're treated to a burning Abe trying to open the door to get to the extinguisher. He fails, and the flaming train slams into the Brewery. The brewery explodes, and Molluck's pilot notes that the fires have gotten into the brewery's pipelines to other Cartel factories. Molluck himself knows that he'll be the one to suffer the consequences, and murders the Slig after he insults him. The newspapers after the cutscene reveal Abe's failure has cost thousands of Mudokons their lives in factory fires all over the continent.
    • To make it worse, there is also Fridge Horror in lethal consequences of withdrawal from Soulstorm Brew and the brewery being razed to the ground. This essentially implies the death of all mudokon slaves.