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Nightmare Fuel / Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

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Aciel says hi.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • Humanity dies in a flash of light as the Conception begins. That flash of light, followed by the Magatsuhi flowing out from buildings you see before Tokyo wraps itself up into a ball? That's humanity being wiped out in the blink of an eye without a fighting chance! And you can only watch.
  • When the Young Boy transforms you into a demon against your will by dropping a wriggling leech-like creature into your eye, which then burrows straight into your brain. And this is all done from a first-person perspective. Watch it here.
  • The lyrics to the normal boss theme. They sound like gibberish... but then you listen closer.
    We'll sacrifice the Son of Heaven!
    Man's greatest glimpse of fire red!
    Oh how they're lost in their prayers for our greatest god!
    Let me sleep, please! I am a man, half human!
    I am tired as heart and person weaken!
    On the name of God! I will not crack!
    Can you hear them?
    God! I will not crack!
    Can you hear them?!?
    • Even the demons are begging God for help in this setting. Something has gone seriously wrong.
  • The fierce battle theme. The lyrics, which also sound like demonic tongues when you first hear them, evoke images of our hero being put on the spot by an inquisition. Additionally, some lyrics are sourced directly from the King James Bible, specifically the Book of Revelation which is already pretty damn scary.
    I'm the lord and savior!
    I have your back to the wall!
    Strike without grace!
    Drink of the wine of the wrath of God!
    One more God rejected! I'm the lord and savior!
    One more God rejected! I have your back to the wall!
    One more God rejected! Strike without grace!
    Thou shall not oppose the wrath of God!
    FEAR! Fear god and give glory to Him
    For the hour of His judgement has come to you.
    NOW! When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released
    Judgement has come to you!
    • Fierce Battle's vocal stems are in the files, and while the voices were never conventionally soothing to begin with, they can be downright unsettling without any music.
  • The Manikins, while more or less friendly and personable individuals, usually twitch-spasm every other second.
    • Good lord, Gozu's priestess. The first time you enter Gozu-Tennoh's chamber, you're confronted with THIS. note 
  • Sakahagi, who happens to wear a bandolier made of Manikin faces that he killed and skinned himself, and also goes through those twitchy palpitations that most Manikins do.
    • The scene where Sakahagi summons his Demon Girimekhala. At first it looks like a gigantic rising shadow emerging from the ground as Sakahagi makes use of his ill-gotten and murderously obtained Magatsuhi...and then the shadow's massive, yellowish eye opens and you're confronted by a Demon with no weaknesses who, if you've been going for a Physical build, the Demifiend cannot even ''attack' at this point effectively.
  • Yuko possessed by Aradia. While Aradia's words give her the impression of a cryptic but supportive personality, Yuko's body twitches like a Manikin in overdrive and teleports like mad. It's more or less the picture of insanity, especially since Yuko's face is hidden from view by a near-formless "mask".
  • Isamu after his awakening in the Amala Network. Not only does he have the same "disembodied empty faces" motif that Sakahagi has, Isamu's extra faces are not clothing. They're growing out of his body.
    • Also when the second phase of your fight against Noah has a giant, creepy version of Isamu's head sticking out of a giant fetus's body.
  • Chiaki after gaining Gozu-Tennoh's power. Actually a bit less creepy than Isamu in body, but her right arm being some roiling, seemingly boneless-at-times thing would be enough to give anyone nightmares... of course, her crushing a Manikin's face and tossing him away like a rag doll add a lot to it too.
  • Before the Nightmare System fires and after escaping the Mantra HQ, go back up to the arena where you fought Thor. You'll see a pair of Pretas and a Manikin, who explains that whoever loses to the guards are eaten alive by the Pretas.
  • Aciel's pre-fight cutscene, pictured. At first he's just a bald head wearing a crown, half-submerged in the ground... then he lets out a roar and lunges at the screen, revealing a mouthful of fangs. They wiggle, too, which is way creepier than it has any right to be.
  • Kabukicho Prison. One side's sunny and the only notable thing are the many empty rooms. The another side is chock-full of Manikins being tortured and drained of their Life Energy. Brutally. Routinely. Normally.
  • Learning the identity of the Merchant and the Killer in the Fourth Kalpa, and a lot of very hard truths about the Manikins' origins.
  • The Diet Building. The place looks ominous enough already... and then the bizarre architecture and the illusions start kicking in...
  • The Labyrinth of Amala's doorways open with a disgusting, organic sound. And they beat and pulse, just like a heart. See the implications?
    • The third Kalpa, you now have a reason to fear. Dante decided to use it as a hunting ground, with you as the prey. He is literally the only NPC that has a field sprite, and is actively hunting you down!
  • The Reveal as to the true identity and fate of Hijiri. He's heavily implied to be Aleph from Shin Megami Tensei II, in a particularly cruel form of "Groundhog Day" Loop. Live juuuust enough to see the world die, suffer in the Vortex World, die, be reborn in another world as the Conception begins. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum. And the worst part? He has no way of affecting the outcome of any one of them. Ever.
  • Thinking too much about the Conception, God, Lucifer, humanity and the demons' natures can lead to some pretty horrific conclusions. God keeps hitting the Reset Button over and over and over until he gets a world without free will; no one left to oppose Him. Lucifer wants to end the whole of Creation to fight the final battle with the Demi-Fiend leading, and humanity's the one in the middle...
  • A psychological example during the battle against Lucifer in the True Demon Ending. The Moon Phase for the battle is listed as "Dead." Just to reinforce the fact that you destroyed the multiverse.
    • Worse, when Apocalypse‘s Diamond Realm DLC came out, it seems that this Demi-Fiend is the ideal choice of the Axiom, as Stephen is out to save him. How bad was YHVH’s control in the Amala to the point a Class X-5 apocalypse was a necessity?
  • The water in the pools of Mantra Headquarter is kind of muddy. Then you saw some of the Manikin's clothes in the pool. Combined with the pile of dirt behind the bars in the deserted mall, (which have some Manikin garment stuck in it), you'll soon realize how bad their suffering is under the constant abuse of the Mantra's demons.
  • Some areas such as the Great Ginza Underpass, Asakusa Out/Indoors and the stations have ambient themes that are very unsettling that wouldn't be out of place in Silent Hill. Asakusa Indoors in particular which its ambient theme gives the area a Nothing Is Scarier feel combined with machinery still active and the walls and floors stained with blood from Sakahagi's massacre on his fellow Manikins, you'll be enticed to look back to ensure no one else is behind you.
  • The old man (actually Lucifer) has the most subtle and chilling smile. Unassuming as it is, when you understand the context of why he is smiling, you realize that you are nothing more than a pawn to him. A pawn that can cross the board to become the needed piece in his game to checkmate YHVH.