Follow TV Tropes

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

Following

Nightmare Fuel / Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers

Go To


  • The entire story mode has this, but especially Darkrai. While usually he's portrayed as misunderstood and maybe even heroic with a self-defense mechanism, this version's Darkrai isn't. He's a cunning, ruthless nightmare master who's behind almost all of the below and admits it. He also sent poor Azurill into an infinite nightmare for the fun of it, and his plan is to send the world into an infinite nightmare so that he may rule. His first attempt was the bad future, in which he essentially corrupted a god. He then sends another god after you, and lures you into a final battle in which he gangs up on you.
  • Advertisement:
  • The beginning of the game itself. It shows a black screen, with a storm sounding in the background. There's a ominous dialog between two people, one telling the other to hold on. Then, the other person screams, with a large thunder noise/teleporting noise.
  • Your first assignment as a guild member is to retrieve Spoink's lost pearl. No big deal, right? Unless you remember that one of its Pokédex entries states that if a Spoink doesn't keep its pearl balanced on its head, it dies. No wonder the little guy was so frantic...
  • The first time you have a vision can be freaky, especially if it's the first time you play the game. You're just talking to Azuril and Drowzee, then all of a sudden the screen flickers a bit. Then, cue the Scare Chord slashing noise, when all of a sudden the screen goes black, and the screen gets cut in half diagonally, showing you a soundless scene. This keeps happening throughout the game, but at least you'll know what will happen.
    • Piplup's first vision in the anime special, at the very least, isn't near as nightmarish; it's just Sunflora picking out the team's gear for the trip. The second vision, on the other hand... well, let's just be glad Piplup was there to warn Chimchar and Sunflora that a bridge would give way.
  • Advertisement:
  • According to Bidoof's Diary, Croagunk sneaks into the men's bedroom and watches Bidoof sleep while smiling creepily.
  • Think about it: in the Future, the sun never rises and time never passes. Primal Dialga is top dog. Thus, if you die, you will be stuck in that dying state for eternity. Given the fact that the world has become morbidly peaceful from the cold, still, lifeless silence that comes with the destruction of time itself, death is more welcome than trying to survive and eventually going insane from the dark, depressing atmosphere.
    • What might be the worst part of "Into The Future". Soon after you and your partner are dragged into the Bad Future, you're set up for execution. And it's not a quick and easy sort, either - the method involves Sableye using Fury Swipes, meaning that you would've been torn to shreds by their sharp claws. Fancy being stuck in that state for all eternity, or worse, dying there.
    • Grovyle being tortured by that Spiritomb, which went up his nose, and the expression of pure agony on his face.
      • It really makes you wonder what that Spiritomb was doing to him to cause him so much pain...
      • Spiritomb in general. Not only does he torture Grovyle, he does the exact same thing to Celebi during the 5th episode of Sky. Makes you glad you defeat him in time, doesn't it?
  • Advertisement:
  • The thought of being hunted in a dark, future world by a creepy ghost like abomination and razor clawed beasts is not a pleasant thought. The thought gets even less pleasant when your partner warns that Dusknoir could come back to the present and hunt you down...meaning Dusknoir could easily chase you down again, meaning you're not safe ANYWHERE.
  • Time/Darkness also has the little issue of you dying. YOU. The game works hard to get you to imagine you truly are the MC in the game and then it kills you off, and you watch other characters mourn over you. Yeah, you come back, but geez.
    • And not long after you come back, the game asks you if you want to kill yourself.
      • And don't forget that once you decide that you're not going to kill yourself, THE GOD OF SPACE (as in the time/space variety) decides that he's going to kill you anyway, and takes you to the Spatial Rift, which is almost as bad as the Future is, even though you don't spend as much time there as you do the future.
  • Dusknoir and his second mouth.
    • His backup plan in the third game involves Literally destroying Grovyle's soul and then possessing his now-empty body, traveling back to the main time period, befriending the Guild members and then destroying them in one fell swoop. Of course, he doesn't thanks to a foreshadowed Heel–Face Turn, but the implications are not good at all.
  • So! You've just been told that to save the world, you and your best friend should kill yourselves! And talking to your dear friend and trusted confidant about this, your partner wavers back and forth, wondering whether or not to do just that. Come the next morning, you wake up and they're not in bed anymore.
    • Add onto the fact that you live in the face of a cliff, which hangs over an enormous body of water. Let that sink in for a while.
  • And while it's pretty tame compared with all the above, ceiling Kabutops can give you a bit of a start.
  • Right before the post-credits final boss battle, your partner seemingly has a Face–Heel Turn and asks you to join him. He clinches it by saying "The world of darkness is going to be wonderful, [Player Name]."
    • This sentence was just as bad. "Darkrai won't want just me... he'll get rid of me..."
    • Despite the fact that it was an illusion, the idea that your trusted partner, who's been to Hell and back with you, just gave up and went over to the Big Bad and begged you to rule with them because they know that without you they'd be killed, but they weren't going to go back on it.
    • Not only was it scaring you as the character, it was scaring Cresselia as well. It was hard to tell that it was just a nightmare.
    • During the battle near the end, Darkrai can sometimes stand there and stare at your character, watching carefully.
      • This is, however, an action typical of CPU-controlled Pokemon, whether an enemy or a teammate. If a Pokemon attempts to use a non-damaging move, but is stopped by its Status Checker IQ Skill, it will "watch carefully" instead.
  • Consider how the Adult Fear sequence must seem from Azumarill's point of view. Just think about it: You have two darling children, your pride and joy. But then you get sick. So sick that you're bedridden and can't take care of them. Your dear, sweet boys comfort you as best they can, insisting that they can run errands for you and take care of things while you concentrate on getting back on your feet. And you might be a bit leery, but you've got to trust them. And besides, you know the town is safe. it's a pretty close-knit community, and you trust the shopkeepers and the locals enough to know they'll look out for your kids. But despite all that, your children are still abducted in broad daylight, right in the middle of town, by a seemingly friendly and helpful stranger who singles out your youngest for his own nasty intentions. And all this happens while you're so ill you can't do anything about it, and you only find out after it's all played out.
    • Somehow the fact that the abductor is a Drowzee makes the tone of the whole situation a bit creepier, somewhat funny, or a little of both.
  • Azurill's nightmare was creepier than it could've been. There's no food, your hunger increases faster, and there are Pokémon to fight in his dream...
    • It may take you a while to catch on, but pay attention to just which species of Pokémon are in the nightmare- Among others, Wigglytuff, Chansey, Spoink, Spinda, Croagunk, Skitty, and Meowth- All of these are either friendly residents of Treasure Town or members of the guild, or Pokémon the player and the partner can potentially be. Yep, in Azurill's nightmare, his friends are out to kill him.
      • Just the fact that almost every Pokémon in the dungeon are cute 'Mons generally associated with happiness and fairies (Many being retconned to Fairy in Gen VI) adds a weirdly disturbing aspect to it.
  • Time/Darkness/Sky doesn't always even need the storyline in order to be scary. Ever picked up an Itemizer Orb and used it on an enemy Pokémon? What did it turn into, and what did you do with the resulting item?
    • Also the misspelled items (such as the Oren Berry) in Sky. Imagine your character getting hungrier and hungrier every move, starting to lose HP. You eat those items to keep your hunger calm, only to realize that they nailed a status effect on you.
    • Then, if you dare, you can eat the X-Eye Seed.
  • There are some dungeons, particularly the Northern Desert, where the cracks on the walls are shaped like certain holes in a certain story...
  • The music from Limestone Cavern in the Team Charm special episode really sends tingling chills down the spine.
    • Depending on who's listening. Many people find the track calming.
    • While on the topic of the game's music, the tracks In The Future and Planet's Paralysis are quite creepy.
  • Team AWD has renown for being cunning and devious, willing to do anything for treasure. They're also all dark or poison types.
    • Ultimately subverted. They're actually nice people (though Weavile is a bit of a bitch) and only fought Team Charm due to a misunderstanding, and when Ditto reveals the truth of the treasure to them (its a Time Gear) they agree to leave in peace and neither side seems to hold any grudges. Hell, in the post game, they actually end up giving you helpful tips and advice for tackling Zero Isle.
    • This leads to some fearful dissonance for another reason entirely. Simply put, even after the Team Charm episode, the player still doesn't know how much of it is true. Some of the NPCs were part of the subterfuge; others weren't. Weavile denies almost nothing. All you can really be sure of is that they don't intend to freeze the world. While knowing that someone is greedy and malicious is scary in itself, it's an even worse fate to never be sure about it... because then you can't be certain that defeating them is the right thing to do. Though the fact that Team AWD are wandering around in Treasure Town without people batting an eye and can even enter the Guild (which has its own special security system for scouting out bad Pokémon) suggests that they aren't bad Pokémon, at least in the present day.
  • The fifth bonus episode of Sky gives us Grovyle nearly getting electrocuted to the point where his soul would be destroyed.
  • You probably know that you can turn around and talk to your teammates right? Well, in the fifth Special Episode in Sky, Dusknoir joins you (playing as Grovyle) for a while. If you turn around to talk to him, what's one of his lines? "Feeling nervous? Having your back exposed to me..."
  • As pointed out in the Headscratchers page, if Caterpie and Azurill are considered children in the game's universe, does that mean that all unevolved mons are children? That children are being sent down into incredibly dangerous dungeons?
    • It doesn't help that the guild's theme song is marching music.
    • It actually is canon that you and your partner are considered "kids" (Chatot addresses you as such when you first meet him). However, he also acts as though you are significantly younger than most of the other members of the guild, so at least sending children to do this type of work isn't considered normal in this 'verse.
    • As seen below, you can recruit Pokemon after immediately hatching from eggs, so you pretty much in a sense are "recruiting babies" Which is kind of odd since they are born already fully fluent in speech and preset character traits.
  • The fact that you can occasionally receive eggs from missions marked with "???" as the reward in Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky can be a bit of Fridge Horror all on its own; but add in the fact that said egg is usually from a species in the dungeon you just visited as opposed to your client's species...
    • Given how the eggs are apparently picked up in dungeons, either 1) your client saved it from all the hostile Pokémon, which makes you wonder what would have happened to the poor newborn Pokémon if it had hatched in there, or 2) your client stole it from its parents. Neither implication is good.
  • In Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky, some wild Pokémon explode upon defeat.
    • This happens randomly if a Pokemon has the ability Aftermath.
  • It may or may not have gone unnoticed, but given the fact that you and your partner were described as badly hurt by the Guild members after your battle with Grovyle, it's implied that had Dusknoir not stepped in, Grovyle could have easily killed both you and your partner.
  • The fact that EVERY SINGLE BOSS has the desire to murder you, and none seem to have any problem with it. Even Team Skull at the very beginning of the game because your partner has a weird rock. Not to mention the Trio of Protectors (Mesprit, Uxie, Azelf) will basically do anything to protect the time gears, Uxie summoning a Mirage Groudon, while Mesprit prefers up and fighting you head-on, and the clan of Electric Pokémon in the Amp Plains just want to kill you for stepping on their land. Even after you defeat them all, they still want to slaughter you and your partner! And they would've, too, if Dusknoir hadn't stepped in.
  • And that is just in the first half of the game. The second half and post game is far darker. Alright, Azelf doesn't actually attack you or Grovyle, he just covers Crystal Lake in a layer of impenetrable crystals. But played straight for everyone else. And then we have the Dark Future, with Spiritomb. And then the Hidden Land and Temporal Tower, with Dusknoir and Primal Dialga. The Graduation Exam is a nice break from the death, but then we have Froslass, who wants to freeze you like she did Scizor. Next, there is Cresselia (actually Darkrai), who attacks you after Azurill's nightmare. And then there is Palkia in the Spacial Rift, followed by a second illusory Cresselia who try to erase you from existence, with you only being saved by the actual Cresselia. Then there is Darkrai, the real one. So about ten bosses all want to kill you.
  • The dark future is bad enough by itself, but the worst part about it is the Sableye's methods of executing prisoners. They tie them to pillars and about two or three of them gang up on you and use their Fury Swipes attack until death eventually occurs.
  • Darkrai's backup plan to smother the world in an infinite and expanding nightmare is very disturbing for several reasons.
    • A Pokémon that cannot wake up will eventually die from malnutrition because they cannot take in any food or water unless they are force-fed.
    • A Pokémon that cannot wake up cannot exercise as well which means that their body will slowly self-destruct via atrophy. (First the muscles become useless and then the organs start failing.)
    • A Pokémon that cannot wake up will eventually die of exposure. (Freezing to death, drowning, hyperthermia, incinerated from falling into lava.)
    • A Pokémon that cannot wake up is completely defenseless from being eaten alive by predators or scavengers.
    • A Pokémon that cannot wake up can actually die from being scared to death. They will become so stressed from the endless amount of fear from being stuck in a nightmare and unable to do anything about it that they'll eventually suffer a heart attack.
  • Near the end of the fifth Special Episode in Explorers of Sky, Dusknoir has a Heel–Face Turn and rescues Grovyle from a trap he led him into. Primal Dialga's response is to give a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Dusknoir. What makes it particularly striking is that cutscene violence in the early PMD games is typically limited to one, maybe two strikes. Primal Dialga hits him four times, and the contrast to the usual way makes it seem brutal, even with the limitations of the 2D sprites.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report