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Nightmare Fuel / Plague Inc.

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Spoilers Off for Moments pages. You have been warned.
Pictured: An extreme version of actual brain parasites. Be afraid.

Remember Pandemic? That online game where you infect the world and watch it die? Plague Inc. is this concept, scarier, much more accurate, and much more realistic. By the end of your infection, this will invariably creep out some players.

  • The very premise. Killing off humanity in the most varied way possible with a variety of disease types.
  • The music across all three modes.
    • The normal music has creepy undertones, but not too much.
    • The Neurax Worm music is a different story. A piano plays to an incredibly creepy bass, and for added measure, random noises that sound like worms play for Paranoia Fuel. For bonus points, with the right set of headphones/earbuds, those noises can sound like they're actually coming from inside your skull.
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    • The Necroa Virus music. Sounds definitely like something you'd hear in a George A. Romero film.
    • The Simian Flu music has interjections of primate calls, giving you the feeling that humanity is on the brink of extinction.
      • The Evolved Simian Flu removes the drums for the first round of the song. It sounds almost peaceful the first time around, which can be unnerving to those used to the mobile version of the track.
    • The Shadow Plague's music, with its use of mostly orchestral instruments (including an organ, no less) and Ominous Latin Chanting sounds like it came straight out of Bloodborne. Fitting, as the theme is centered around blood and vampires.
      • Supposedly, the chanting heard in the Shadow Plague's theme is in Etymological English and has a translation... which sounds like a haunting ritual.
    The Blood of...
    The Blood of...
    The Blood...
    His grasp will choke the world
    His gifts will perfect us
    The shadow changes all
    God beckons the twilight
    He is undying, He is eternal, He is god incarnate
    His reign carries into the absolute eternity.
  • Some sound clips can play above the music, such as children laughing and singing, medical equipment, the cawing of crows, coughing... real subtle.
    • In the Steam version of the game, occasionally you can clearly hear a child singing parts of "Ring Around the Rosie" near the end of the game (More specifically, "...ashes, ashes, we all fall down..."), and in the mobile version the sound is slightly longer (again, "Ring-a-round the rosie, A pocket full of posies, Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down...").
      • It gets even worse once you realize that the song has been frequently rumored to be about the bubonic plague.
    • In the Necroa Virus soundtrack a respirator and a cardiograph provide the backbeat for the music.
  • The Neurax Worm is a Puppeteer Parasite taken Up to Eleven. At first it'll start off harmless, as described by scientists; but by the time you've upgraded, humanity won't be able to react quickly enough to stop the infection from spreading, and the cure can be stopped in a single upgrade of a symptom. The image of the plague also changes from a Petri dish to a worm sitting on a brain with tendrils extending inside it, eventually expanding to all of the brain, turning it a sickly orange, and causing flesh bubbles to pop out. The worm seems almost intelligent in its symptoms, such as causing people to fly to a specific country in order to infect it, even if that country has closed off its airports (or has no airports). Another symptom involves violent attacks against anyone who isn't infected, and active attempts to stop cure research. The starting blurb mentions that the worm has been dormant for millennia only to be uncovered by excavation. Additional news mention people worshiping the worm, achieved with the Transcendance symptom. Notice how it gives a massive boost to Severity.
  • The Necroa Virus is your typical zombie affair, except Our Zombies Are Different. This plague can be the result of human experimentation gone wrong, a plague from ancient Egyptian tombs and mummies, or from the remains of Chernobyl, infecting animals. The symptoms can become remeniscient of Left 4 Dead style zombies, and the on-screen news is horrifying. To list some examples:
  • Smallpox and the Black Death are scary on their own. What's worse is they begin with high lethality, so if you don't spread quickly, you lose. The symptoms are also highly disturbing, and are the real deal.
  • The Mega-Brutal Update brings us several terrifying Scenarios: Frozen Virus, Artificial Organs, and Nipah Virus.
  • Frozen Virus is a more apocalyptically frightening scenario. When you begin, you have to evolve DNA Repair in Abilities. When it's fully evolved, you'll get the ability to "reshape human temperament". The meaning of that soon becomes clear as you start killing; one thing you'll notice is that some of the symptoms are borrowed from the Necroa Virus, leading up to this. For those too nervous to tackle the link, it's Neanderthal Regression, i.e. mutating everyone back into primates. The win condition for the Frozen Virus is borrowed from the Neurax Worm: Infect everybody, evolve the 2 final lethal symptoms, and watch as this begins and ends. It's not a pretty thing to see.
  • The humble Parasite's Symbiosis ability, which makes itself less severe by merging with host DNA and finally burrowing into the host's brain to escape detection, is completely horrifying. Turn Severity down to zero, get a couple of harmless but infectious symptoms like coughing and sneezing, and quietly rack up the environmental and transmission buffs until the world is 100% infected without the disease even being noticed. Wait for enough DNA bubbles to get the DNA for fatal symptoms and hit the kill switch. Humanity won't be able to do a damn thing about it on any but the highest difficulty level.
  • The City Cams in Evolved showing the collapse of society in many different countries.
  • The Scenario Creator. Thought the horror was only what Ndemic could conjure up? Now the fans have their own brand of horror to unleash.
    • Though the horror becomes a lot weaker when you consider the fact that a lot of custom scenarios are silly jokes, and even those who are serious tend to crack jokes every once in a while.
  • Even the Christmas scenario has its dark side: for starters, the fact that the world has become such a fascist hellhole that just BEING HAPPY is banned. It's played for laughs, but try to imagine what such a world would be like in Real Life: being forced to work all the time, or having your political career ruined because you were accused of laughing—not at an inappropriate time or place, just laughing, period—both of which are alluded to in the news ticker.
  • And now, with the latest update, we have the Shadow Plague... ho boy. For starters, it's an amalgamation of the Neurax Worm, Necroa Virus and Simian Flu all in one, so anything scary there applies here as well. What distinguishes the Shadow Plague is the fact that the world at large initially has no idea that a vampire is causing random killings, instead associating it with a blood cult or a blood-drinking serial killer. Evolving the disease grants the ability to turn any infected into demented supporters that gladly incite revolt for you as you conquer the Earth. Getting every person on the planet infected with this condition wins the game too, just like the Neurax Worm.
    • The symptoms of the Shadow Plague are outright unnatural, and even the most basic form of the pathogen causes severe bruising as opposed to being asymptomatic like other plagues. It's little wonder that the plague is seen as threatening the moment it gets discovered.
    • Also, this pathogen has multiple possible origins: either deep in the Transylvanian woods, where Dracula lived, a deep Turkish cave network hosting infectious microbes which mutated the first vampire, or a sacrificial pit under Stonehenge.
  • Mutation 15 brings us a few new official scenarios, including one called "Where is Everyone?" where the world population is heavily slashed—by heavily slashed, we mean from over 7 billion to a few hundred thousand. Nothing Is Scarier is in full effect as we're given little more than a few vague suggestions in the scenario description as to what happened to 99.996% of everyone on Earth. And everything goes From Bad to Worse as now you must kill what's left of humanity.
  • The trailers for both the original app game and Evolved are just as creepy. The original trailer is being narrated by one of the scientists (who is clearly infected with the disease) in the form of an Apocalyptic Log, explaining how humanity has fallen to the illness just moments before he presumably dies. Evolved can be considered a prequel to that trailer, taking place during an autopsy where the researcher checks one of the deceased patients infected with the pathogen, then moments later he finds that reports of the disease are spreading outside of China, requests the entire facility to be shut down and inform the authorities at once.
  • Even the symptoms are terrifying, as they are in Real Life. You get to craft your disease with such lovely ailments such as Necrosis, Hemorrhagic Shock, Dysentery, and Total Organ Failure. Combine all of them into one and you'll essentially get a Cruel and Unusual Death combined with No Kill Like Overkill. Just imagine if there was a real-life disease with all of these.
  • The Official Scenario Fake News is funny in concept because you can create false rumours to deceive people. As you get further into the game however, you eventually drive people off the rocker to the point you can make the deceived public do anything to destroy fact checkers before they expose your news as fake. You can make the deceived impersonate actual fact checkers, hire fake experts to the point of getting actual politicians involved, shuffle information to confuse the already informed public, and basically do any horrible thing to sabotage the opposition before your scandal is exposed as a farce. In the end, you succeed into driving humanity insane to the point that nothing is considered the truth anymore, and your reward for beating it is three biohazards. Part of the horror is also Truth in Television, with the sheer power of media, the Internet and how easy it is to forget that you shouldn't believe in everything you see or read.
  • Remember the "X Executes the Sick" popup that tended to happen when the shit really hit the fan? The Bio Weapon in Cure Mode lets you do exactly that with the "Extreme Measures" ability; wherever your field agents are, the infected are getting shot. If you try for a Pacifist Run, good luck; the gimmick of the Bio Weapon is that its lethality and infectivity increase the more countries it infects (Bet you wish it worked like that in the base game), so the more you let it escape its home country, the harder it will be to contain, and the more you'll wish you'd killed Patient 0 when you had the chance. It's telling that most Mega-Brutal strategies tell you to not even bother with the vaccine; just shut down the continent and place "Extreme Measures" at a bottleneck country, and then just wait for the Bio Weapon to burn itself out. The rate at which the Godzilla Threshold is crossed when you're playing the other side is frightening.

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