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Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

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Moment pages are Spoilers Off by default, so all spoilers were removed. Proceed with caution. You Have Been Warned

For the nightmarish Pokédex entries, check here.
  • Compared to the bombastic and somewhat happy title screen of the previous game showing the box legendary, all three intros of this era end with Sinister Silhouettes of the box legendary cloaked in blue/pink/red flames with no trace of the main theme anywhere, instead having an ominous droning sound along with the bleeping sounds from the very beginning. Given how the stakes go higher than the events of Hoenn, expect more than just control over the climate of the world...
  • Giratina. A terrifying-looking Legendary Pokémon, Dragon/Ghost-typed, that the Pokédex makes no attempt to hide how fearsome it is. Namely, the fact both it and in-game lore state that Giratina was banished from the real world due to its unhinged, uncontrolled violence, and given the fact that it was likely done by Arceus, the Pokémon equivalent of God, there is quite a ton of fans who believe this Legendary to be their version of Satan, or at the very least a demon or fallen angel.
    • The Ghost typing adds to how eerie it is, particularly due to the Pokédex claiming it can appear in ancient cemeteries. Furthermore, there is something chilling about the entries that say it "silently gazed upon the old world" after it was banished. This means that this creature, isolated from humanity and other Pokémon, has been watching them from its prison for eternity without any hopes of leaving.
    • Its infamous appearance in Platinum, when Cyrus' plan and the Lake Trio's interference awakens it at the Spear Pillar. It emerges from a pitch-black hole in the ground, its eyes glowing a deep, sinister red, actual darkness dripping from its shadowy figure on the ground. It's such a big moment that even Dialga and Palkia have to step back, and the Lake Trio, who has been maintaining a steady flying formation up above, break formation and flutter around in disarray. It extends its wings, which reshape into what seems to be claws ready to strike, smiles at the player... then leaps RIGHT AT THE SCREEN!
    • The Distortion World, Giratina's domain away from the human realm. Described as a realm opposite the real world, it's a place without rules, light or logic, where landmasses simply float in the air and waterfalls float upwards, with a large, dark void always beneath your feet as the player has to traverse it towards Cyrus and Giratina. Not only do you have to go through this place devoid of life with that disturbing music in the background, you will sometimes see Giratina's Origin Forme flying fast in the background, always close to you, waiting for the moment when you'll inevitably have to fight it.
      • Adding to this place, Giratina's Origin Forme can be scary in itself. Now the creature is fully serpentine, with its mouth now formed by parts of its golden "crown" sliding apart, not to mention its wings being turned into creepy streamers with spikes at the end. This form is also responsible for further fan comparisons between it and Satan, given that it has six spikes along its body and six of those streamers on its back, added to the Altered Forme's six legs, all of which references the so-called Number of the Beast, which also leads fans to believe the Distortion World is the games' version of Hell itself.
    • Turnback Cave, Giratina's domain in the human realm, isn't as warped as the Distortion World, but that doesn't make it any less scary. There's a very ominous vibe to the cave with its maze-like structure, dense fog, and lack of anything besides pillars with vague clues on how to navigate. It's moreso in Diamond and Pearl, since the location appears out of nowhere and first-time players will likely have absolutely no idea of Giratina's mere existence.
    • In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, while Giratina is still located and catchable in Turnback Cave, an uncatchable Superboss is located in Ramanas Park's Distortion Room, which is physically a one room-sized match for the Distortion World and inexplicably has you walking on the ceiling. Awakening the Origin Forme Giratina there will summon a shadowy Level 100 version of it.
  • The villain, Team Galactic's leader Cyrus, is no joke. Unlike Giovanni (a mafia boss who at least treated his grunts well) or the Aqua and Magma leaders (who were ideologically misguided but still did what they did for the sake of Pokémon/humanity), Cyrus is a sociopath whose plan involves erasing all of the known universe to make one only for himself, and he successfully manipulated an entire team of followers to help him do so. He has no regard for life, whether human or Pokemon, and is always icily calm when you run into him. This all makes him considerably creepy for such a light-hearted franchise.
    • In Platinum he's arguably worse. Before, he openly dismissed the idea of Pokémon welfare as he tortured the Lake Trio into creating the Red Chain, and even admits to his own team being expendable for the sake of his selfish desire for a world "without spirit". Now in the unified plot, his lack of emotion starts to crack the further you approach his endgame, showing a tinge of psychopathic excitement when it seems he has Dialga and Palkia under his control, culminating with the aforementioned encounter with Giratina, where he remains stoic up until the moment the Legendary finally strikes and drags him into the Distortion World. You meet him there and he talks about how the two worlds are like the sides of the double-helix, needing each other for balance, and saying it's all pointless as he'll single-handedly defeat Giratina and destroy everything. Even in the face of Giratina's wrath, he STILL insists he's going to succeed.
    • His Villainous Breakdown, where his emotionless determination finally succumbs and he lashes out at both the player and Cynthia, selfishly choosing to stay in the Distortion World as he realizes he himself isn't immune to his own rage. The man is choosing a Fate Worse than Death out of his own inability to admit to his own emotions.
  • The Old Chateau, scary to the point that the nearest Gym Leader refuses to set foot there. This place is haunted not just by ghost-type Pokémon, but by human ghosts too. There's also a painting with glowing red eyes that follow you around. The background music that plays when inside the Chateau is also perhaps one of the scariest pieces of music in the whole franchise. Oh, and it’s also the location of the Ghost Pokémon Rotom.
    • The two human ghosts who appear in the Chateau. One is a butler, who appears in the dining room. The other is a little girl who appears in one of the rooms on the second floor. She only appears if you enter the room directly to the left of the one she’s in, meaning while you can see her, the Player Character can’t. Their sprites don’t walk, giving them the illusion of floating when they move around, and if you try to follow them they’re nowhere to be seen.
      • In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, walking into the room with the portrait will trigger the sound of a man crying, and again if you look away from portrait. Both ghosts appearing are now accompanied with a childish giggle.
    • Rotom can be encountered by interacting with the TV on the second floor of the mansion, but only at night. Despite not being a legendary, the generic legendary battle music (which can be quite unnerving) still plays while battling it.
  • The laboratory in the Galactic Veilstone Building, with creepy music, vats with ambiguous objects floating in them, and scientists who put the Lake Trio through such pain to create the Red Chain that even they feel awful about it, and secretly begin to question Cyrus's goals.
  • Encountering a roaming legendary can be this. In the postgame, there can be up to five legendaries roaming the region. Unless you stick to the Battle Zone where they don’t appear, or specifically avoid them using the map on your Pokétch, you can encounter them unknowingly at any time. All except Cresselia have a different battle theme than regular wild Pokémon, which can give you quite the shock if you’re not expecting it.
  • The Dark-type Pokémon Darkrai is literal Nightmare Fuel. It is said to give people and Pokémon around it nightmares, although some of its Dex entries state that it’s a defense mechanism. Its ability, Bad Dreams, drains the health of sleeping Pokémon.
    • If you go to Canalave City in the postgame, there’s a sailor whose son has been stricken by an unending nightmare, presumably because of Darkrai. In order to wake him, you need to retrieve the Lunar Wing from Cresselia by taking a boat to Fullmoon Island. The sailor’s name? Eldritch.
    • The Member Card event, which was released exclusively for Platinum in 2009. The card gives you access to the previously locked Harbor Inn in Canalave City. Upon entering, a man will put you to sleep and you will wake up on Newmoon Island, where you encounter Darkrai. When you wake up after doing the event, the man who put you to sleep is gone, and upon exiting the inn a sailor will approach you and say that you were asleep for a long time and the inn has been abandoned for 50 years.
  • For a Pokémon repeatedly stated to be a creator and watcher, Arceus has quite a terrifying presence. Essentially the Pokémon version of God, this being is said to have created not only the Sinnoh region, but all of the Pokémon world and its inhabitants, so you have a Legendary of untold power in this game that created the very world you live in, often compared to Mew as the very first Pokémon in the lore. So imagine you, a ten-year-old child, having the ability to confront God and capture Him in a tiny ball so you can befriend him and pit him against other creatures he helped create. Arceus can be nightmarish just from how much power its existence alone entails.
    • The Hall of Origin. A pocket dimension sitting right above the Spear Pillar, inaccessible in-game without major DP-only glitches, since the key item to access it was never officially released note . Regardless, playing the Azure Flute at the entrance of the Spear Pillar lets you access the towering mythical staircase leading to the Hall, where it's only you and the "Original One". The place is eerie and off-putting, compounded by a disturbing track as you approach Arceus. It's actually the first section of the game's opening in reverse.
    • Arceus' battle theme, which is rather simple compared to other Legendary themes in the series, consisting of a simple drum beat and two different types of horns. That being said, the simplicity adds to how imposing it is, utterly nightmarish and evolving into a frantic beat as it nears the end.
  • Sendoff Spring. The hidden fourth lake of Sinnoh, it's small, isolated and the only significant feature is a pier that extends from the top of the cliff over the lake, not from the shore of the lake itself. Given that, the name and the map description saying that it was 'kept secret', the overall impression is that this is a place where people go to kill themselves.