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Nightmare Fuel / The Caretaker of the Ruins

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While the more quirky canon series had its expressions of nightmare inducement, The Caretaker of the Ruins somehow takes it a step further.

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  • Throughout the Ruins, there is no sign of any monsters. There's no Flowey that pops up to greet Frisk, no monsters that randomly encounter them in the course of their journey, no talking rocks or wise Froggits. There's just them and the Ruins' caretaker Chara. It is jarring for someone particularly close to canon. Turns out the reason for the strange absence of monsters is Chara not wanting any witnesses for what they're about to do...
  • Remember the harmless spike trap Toriel escorted you through? Here, the spikes operate the same and lower when Frisk nears their platform. However, that doesn't apply to the platforms on the correct path. Stepping on a wrong one will cause it to lower, only to abruptly rise and skewer the unfortunate fool who stepped incorrectly. Frisk learns this the hard way - thank God for the power of determination.
    • There is a clear view of Frisk getting impaled through the head.
    • Unlike Toriel, who will closely aid Frisk through the puzzles, Chara does nothing but stand and watch. They're perfectly willing to send a child off through a hazardous environment with a smile and a wave. Later on, it's shown that this was not ignorance on Chara's part, but a subtle effort to purposefully kill Frisk.
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  • In the cracked floor puzzle, stepping on a wrong tile causes Frisk to fall through the ground. But instead of leaves, there are more spikes. Cue Frisk's second death.
  • Chara turning on Frisk. It is sudden and jarring; not a moment ago, they were behaving amiably and kindly towards the child. The next minute, they pull out a hidden knife with clear intent to kill.
    • When Frisk attempts to run away, Chara effortlessly stops them with one arm and stabs them in the back. Through the act, their expression is coldly indifferent and detached. For them, murdering a child is the same as any mundane task.
    • After a LOAD from the aforementioned death, Chara calmly traps Frisk and kills them again. If not for Frisk's sudden escape, they would've killed Frisk over and over until they stopped coming back.
    • Think about this from Frisk's perspective. You're a child being "guided" through the Ruins by this seemingly kind caretaker. They take you to their home, allow you to rest, feed you and talk a little with you. Then, they actively try to kill you. You haven't any clue why, and the only thing you can do is run through a world you're not the slightest bit familiar with in order to escape.
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  • When Frisk manages to make it a bit far into the outskirts of Snowdin, Chara becomes more and more desperate to stop them. At first, it seems like they're terrified at the risk of getting caught. Then, a red-eyed, flame-wielding Asriel confronts Frisk, and it becomes unclear as to why Chara's so panicked. After all, they have a very powerful ally against Frisk, right? Thankfully, Asriel doesn't seem as willing to murder Frisk as Chara is.
  • It is once again made clear how terrifyingly apathetic Chara is when it comes to killing. A restrained Frisk is screaming and begging for mercy, but the only response they get is a knife readied to kill them again. If not for Asriel's intervention...
  • Even though Chara doesn't have the magic power Asriel does, they still have a bit of a mental hold on him. There are times where interactions seem less like a spouse speaking to a spouse and more like a boss speaking to a subordinate. They have no qualms threatening Asriel either, albeit subtly.
  • Child/Teen Chara. However you wished to view them in canon, they have more than their fair share of creepy here. Finding humor in accidentally poisoning Asgore? Check. Cracking jokes about a child getting killed in their fall down Mount Ebott? Check. Being more concerned about possession of the child's Soul after death than their survival? Check. Preparing to ''strangle'' said child while they're in a coma just to obtain said SOUL? Check.
  • Chara has died before. In a flashback we see Chara actually dying of buttercup-poisoning. Sure, they manage to bring themselves Back from the Dead by subconsciously reloading their Save Point for the first time, but still: the sight of a young child slowly withering away and being forced to watch as their best friend abandons them on their deathbed is...unsettling to say the least.
    • Right after they discover their powers Chara repeatedly commits suicide in order to test their limits. They even do it right in front of Asriel one time.
  • The entirety of Interlude: Bravery. We see Asriel and Punchy Kid die, both in a very gruesome manner, the origins of Asriel's scar and just how far Chara is willing to go to make Asriel obey them.
    • Asriel's gory demise. His entire chest gets perforated. You can even see part of his spine in there.
    • Chara's Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Asriel's death. Their eyes suddenly turn red, they start to scream "Murderer!" over and over again and ultimately strangle Punchy Kid to death. The next panel shows severe scratching marks on their hands and a dead Punchy Kid with blood under their fingernails lying only a few feet away.
    • Punchy Kid's death in the second timeline. Chara delivers a swift kick to their head, and Punchy Kid cracks their skull on the floor from the fall. It's hard to look at, to say the least.
    • Chara's decision to not reload again, after Asriel gets injured by Punchy Kid, in order to make him fear humans. Also the sheer nonchalance they show when they collect a dead child's soul.
  • Chara's death at the beginning of Chapter 5. We see Chara desperately trying to get to the door by dragging themselves across the floor and repeatedly begging for someone to help them. They ultimately bleed out and we see their soul breaking while their conscious literally falls into a dark void. Luckily Frisk subconsciously reloads at this point, but you can kinda get why Chara looks a bit shaken up in the next panel.
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