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Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon Colosseum
aka: Pokemon XD Gale Of Darkness

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With its barren landscapes, gang-riddled towns and malicious organizations, Gothamesque Orre predates Sinnohnote  as the series' first dedicated Nightmare Fuel Refinery, and is still one of the biggest. Get your Cresselia ready before you start reading; you're going to need it.

NOTE: This page contains Nightmare Fuel from both Pokémon Colosseum AND Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.

Unmarked spoilers below.

  • Cipher itself is easily the most despicable villainous organization in all of Pokémon history and the most dangerous and competent. The first admin Wes runs into in Colosseum, Miror B., might look and act like a silly Disco Dan, but he's competent enough to overrun a town by himself, something that not even Ghetsis succeeded in despite having vastly more resources note , and it only gets worse from here. Taking control of the economy is also only their stage one — their true head Greevil wants to create a group of impossible to purify Shadow Pokémon to take over the world.
  • Phenac City, with Colosseum's Big Bad Evice as its mayor. The fact that the chief of the biggest crime syndicate in Orre is running the city should give anyone nightmares, but XD manages to top that with not just the mayor, but nearly everyone in town - the real civilians are locked below the Gym, the Gym Leader included - being a Cipher agent in disguise. It's immediately clear that there's something wrong when you arrive, with the music shifting between the tranquil Phenac City music from the previous game and ominousness.
  • The deserted cruiser S.S. Libra in XD, with no music but the sound of the wind and the sand pelting against the outside of the ship...
    • Also, how a ship got out in the middle of the desert in the first place - the Pokémon onboard were jacked by Cipher while the ship itself was being psychically carried by XD001. A Lugia, one so completely twisted that it's physical appearance changed. This time the syndicate doesn't fool around: they literally kidnapped an entire ship as a weapons test. And the only reason it crashed in the desert at all - they wanted to bring it intact to their base, to Mind Rape all the Pokémon inside - is because of a "slight miscalculation".
    • Imagine being carried through the air on a terrifying voyage, only for gravity to suddenly reassert itself and send you hurtling to your doom. And the two crewmen you see thrown overboard are reported missing, but never found.
  • Cipher's plan is just as bad as the organization itself. "Seal the hearts of Pokémon" may sound cheesy for an Evil Plan, but the real horror is what it implies in practice - they Mind Rape a Pokémon by stripping it of all sense of compassion, emotion, and empathy, leaving nothing except a soulless, heartless killing machine behind. It's also a Deadly Upgrade in XD, thanks to the Pokémon refusing to receive items from the trainer and sustaining damage at the end of each and every turn of the battle (when in Reverse Mode at least.) Not even Pokémon Centers can do anything about Shadow Pokémon other than healing them.
    • The Mind Rape is no more evident than a rather uncommon occurrence in both games; Hyper/Reverse Mode.
      • Hyper Mode can be seen as a form of Sanity Slippage. These Pokémon have such corrupted hearts that they will attack anything; even their own trainers. They also deny help in the form of Items from their trainers, and their Shadow Rush move, a move that can only be known if a Pokémon is a Shadow Pokémon, has an increased chance of getting a Critical Hit. They are practically denying any Trainer's help and doing the fighting themselves.
      • In Pokémon XD, Shadow Pokémon are no longer capable of using any attacks aside from Shadow ones (at least when first caught), and there is a much wider variety than just Shadow Rush. They often affect both Pokémon in double battles, including status moves that cause confusion or harshly lower the Defense stat. Additionally, their Reverse Mode will still harm them but will not cause them to disobey or attack their trainer. In other words, Cipher had improved on the old Hyper Mode and made the Shadow Pokémon much more efficient.
      • Shadow Pokémon were considered in-game by Cipher to be Pokémon that were turned into weapons incapable of feeling love. They're denied true emotion and can feel nothing except sheer rage. Kind of like the Daleks, but can be cured.
    • The Mind Rape can also be seen as an unnervingly accurate metaphor for real-life cases of shock and self-injury stemming from abuse or trauma. Multiple continuities show Pokémon having personalities similar to young children, especially Togepi who is said to share its happiness with others: this doesn't keep an ex-R&D Hordel in XD from giving players a Shadow Togepi with a request of purifying it.
    • It also is highly disturbing when one realizes that Shadow Pokémon include such peaceful, naturally kind creatures such as Miltank, Chansey, and Kangaskhan. The idea of them being turned into horrible, heartless monsters is not something one wants to comprehend
  • The actual owners of Shadow Pokémon fall into four categories - people who want to set them right (Wes, Rui, and Michael), people who don't know the deal they got, people who want them for their power, and the members of Cipher. Ranks in said organization are typically indicated by how many Shadow Pokémon the members possess - lowly grunts typically have one or two, with higher-ups having up to four. Greevil has a grand total of seven, four of which are legendaries, and one of which (XD001, that is, Shadow Lugia) is so thoroughly corrupted that its physical appearance even changed to reflect this. Considering Cipher is one of those Names to Run Away from Really Fast, it's easy to see how the whole group beats out Cyrus in terms of sheer evil.
  • Ein, the man who created the Shadow Pokémon project. Everything about him is chilling, from his total lack of remorse for mind-raping numerous Pokémon to his resemblance to Sosuke Aizen to the fact that he wants to make it impossible to purify Shadow Pokémon.
  • Nascour. His white hair is Medusa-like, he wears a skirt along with his uniform, and he was toting the red iris/black sclera look before Master Albert on top of that. He's essentially the face of Cipher in Colosseum (Evice, aka Es Cade, is the real boss, but Nascour runs things overtly to keep heat off him). He also promises, before your fight with him, to show you "the humiliation of total domination" before the spectators at the Realgam Colosseum.
    • Also, when fighting him there is no music at all. All that can be heard is the crowd chanting "BATTLE! BATTLE! BATTLE!" endlessly. Every time you faint his Pokémon, they boo as one voice; every time the player's party suffers a defeat, they all cheer for him. Essentially, the definition of Villain with Good Publicity taken to a ridiculous extreme with a colosseum full of Es Cade's fans.
  • The Ceiling Peon is the last thing players need when their team is on its last legs. Struggling through some abandoned complex looking for a healing machine, and a Peon drops right in front of trainers, pulls out their Pokémon, and whips theirs out. Unlike the other teams, Cipher employs Ceiling Peons regularly in all of its installations. Taking this even further, one Ceiling Peon ambushes the player on the elevator during the ONBS raid.
  • Here's a list of some Shadow Pokémon owned by Cipher's higher-ups: Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Lugia, Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross. 7 Legendaries and 4 "semi-legendaries". Cipher was able to not only CAPTURE what equates to gods and demi-gods (something any Pokémon player knows is not easy), but also corrupt them; imagine what could be done with other species given the time and research...
    • Since Cipher uses Team Snagem to capture Pokémon for them, and before he quit, Wes was known as one of the best they had, there's a good chance he's partly responsible for the Mind Rape of those Pokémon. Not to mention all the destruction they've caused.
      • Partial Tear Jerker here, when you realize in Pokémon Colosseum, you are playing as a criminal attempting to atone for his crimes by undoing his work. And one of the first places he visits after quitting with a literal bang is pretty much a bar.
  • Lovrina's Death Glare when she's ready to battle for the second time. You suddenly realize then that you've underestimated her. And even long before that, she's still fairly creepy despite her Perky Female Minion attitude, such as promising to "punish" her underlings multiple times and sporting a Slasher Smile in her battle intro, implying she's more evil than she seems on the surface. She thankfully becomes a Friendly Enemy to you in post-game coliseum battles, and knowing what she's capable of, you'd best hope it stays that way.
  • Ardos is one of the big reasons the people of Orre have trouble sleeping at night. To put bluntly, his vileness would make even Ghetsis and Cyrus look like small potatoes.
    • He set a record for his time as to how low a villain will stoop to deal with the player trainer — whereas the leaders of Teams Rocket, Magma, and Aqua all ceded when their plans tanked, he suggested to Big Bad Greevil that they take off and detonate Citadark Isle with you on it! He advised mass murder (the Peons still on Citadark are apparently expendable) as a way of dealing with you. Not even Ghetsis in the video games and Lusamine pre-Ultra would willingly approach this level of depravity. Ardos' actions are easily overkill compared to Ghetsis, and Lusamine had to be intoxicated by Nihilego to even go far enough.
    • The Orre Colosseum has rematches against the Cipher Admins, and all of them give out titles when you defeat them. Ardos' is "Cipher's Biggest Enemy" — and the message bearing that title basically amounts to a death threat! Keep in mind that every other Admin now acts as a respectful Friendly Enemy toward you, but Ardos just makes it clear that he will not relinquish his hatred.
    • Ardos also vows to rebuild Cipher after Greevil gets vanned, and this is after the group's second collapse. Considering that only Team Plasma ever managed a second attempt, this means Cipher's going for round three, and very well could make good on that threat. Only Team Rocket have ever managed a third attempt, and this would put Cipher at their level.
    • Speaking of Ardos and Greevil, the entire thing with their family is a nightmare. Greevil forced Ardos and his brother Eldes to watch as he created his Shadow Pokémon empire from the ground up, and what's worse is that he never even called them his sons. N as a Puppet King was bad, but when it comes to Ardos, it's much worse; if there ever was any goodness in him, it's long gone.
    • Greevil's intended endgame with the XD project involved developing Shadow Pokémon that did not rely upon trainers, and could act autonomously for the leader's interests. While this project is nightmarish in and of itself, Ardos is hellbent on rebuilding Cipher and all its work, and not even Arceus knows where that research will lead. Suddenly, one becomes quite grateful for Cipher's absence from the Rainbow Resort...
    • Last but not least, this guy is still at large. And we don't even get any confirmation on where he ends up after this. Volo is the only person comparable to Ardos in terms of heinousness (and their approaches were different) and faces no real accountability over his schemes, but at least we can be sure he won't be there for another round. Ardos obviously does and he outright tells Michael that he WILL.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon XD Gale Of Darkness