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Nightmare Fuel / Super Mario Odyssey

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Beware of unmarked spoilers below!


  • The Deep Woods, a lower area in the Wooded Kingdom, is terrifying. It's dark and moody, with shadows obscuring everything unless you actually get near them or, as of the February 2018 update, by using the Coin Filter in Photo Mode, and you have no map or compass while down there, so you can easily get disoriented. The area also has absolutely no music, only ambient noises, which adds to the creep factor. There's also a hostile Tyrannosaurus rex living down there who patrols the beaten path, wearing a fedora to protect himself from the Capture ability, and immediately gives chase if he sees Mario. Your pulse will race if it's close enough to shake the ground but you don't know exactly where it is.
    • What makes the T.Rex worse is that the previous one encountered by Mario (and the player) was asleep and thus posed no threat. So to suddenly see one awake and active, roaming in the distance and shrouded in darkness, your heart will certainly drop.
  • As a 3D Mario game harking back to Super Mario 64, Mario has plenty of creatively nightmarish ways to die.
    • One of his deaths that is of particular notice is his drowning animation in the demo version, which looks to take more cues from his eerily-graphic and realistic animation from 64. This seemed too disturbing even for an E10+ rated Mario game that it became the only death animation in the entire game to actually get Bowdlerised for the final release so that it would look more like the Death Throws of most of Mario's other deaths.
  • Before you reach the Metro Kingdom, try hitting any of the boom boxes you find throughout the game. You won't hear a song. But what you will hear is Bowser laughing accompanied by creepy music. Hit it again and again and you'll hear Peach calling for Mario and for help, accompanied by a continuation of the music, and again Bowser laughs. It's one creepy Easter Egg...
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  • The Mechawiggler is disturbingly realistic and has very fluid, fast movements, not to mention it makes a horrific shriek.
  • Unagis from Super Mario 64, now renamed Maw-Rays, make an unholy HD return, and appear in deep underwater sections of the Seaside Kingdom to get a bite of some fresh Mario. They even appear in a secret area of the Mushroom Kingdom set in Bubbly Clouds, and one particular Power Moon requires swimming down a small tunnel with a large black hole at the end. You're led to believe that the hole is a warp to a secret Power Moon. It is not. You will soon find the gaping maw of a Maw-Ray coming straight at you, and the screen, giving you less than a second to quickly enter the tunnel on the right.
  • As the current page image proudly shows, one of the bosses is a massive, bigger than a castle (as in Bowser himself stands on the bridge of this thing's snout), black, lightning-wielding Smaug-esque dragon fought in the desolate crumbling ruins of an ancient kingdom surrounded by ominous thunder clouds. What's really jarring is the dragon doesn't have the typical cartoony design you'd expect to see in the Mario-verse (like the Rex from Super Mario World or Draggadon from Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker); it has a realistic-looking, dark, fantasy-esque design you'd expect from Monster Hunter or Skyrim. After seeing a monstrosity like that, you have to wonder what other unholy beasts are roaming in the other kingdoms.
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  • Cookatiel's Family-Unfriendly Death, falling into and boiling alive in the giant pot of stupendous stew, complete with sizzling sounds and bubbles coming up from where she fell in before she finally explodes in it.
  • The "ghosts" of New Donk City. For whatever reason, when travelling through the city, the NPCs you can see from a distance will fade away as you approach and the actual interactive NPCs fade in. It's most likely to give the illusion of a large populace without having too much on-screen activity, but it's a very eerie effect. For example, there's a man dancing in the corner of the park where the jump-rope game is. Approach him and he just... vanishes.
  • There's a post-end game area of New Donk City that is shrouded in darkness, reducing your vision to a few feet around you. You see the screen shake and then you're suddenly confronted by a towering Stairface Ogre. You have to navigate here up a tower whose narrow ledges are constantly patrolled by the damn things.
  • Mario has a zombie costume. His eyes are blank white and never blink or close, his skin is a ghastly greyish-green, and on top of that, he has an axe stuck in his head. And it's also nightmare fuel in-universe: it triggers Bowser and Luigi's "scared" dialogue.

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