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Nightmare Fuel / The Infinite Loops

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Sure, the Infinite Loops are all fun and games. Until the fun stops and the screaming starts.

This page is for directly-stated horrors. For more indirect ones, see Fridge.The Infinite Loops.

The Setting in General

  • Sakura Syndrome. Imagine a nigh-unstoppable being with knowledge spanning several universes, who doesn't care about anyone else and just does whatever they want, because it's not like anything will stick when the universe resets.
    • And its counterpart, Setsuna Syndrome, though on a much lesser scale. It's when a Looper is determined to make sure everything follows a "predestined" path. Apparently some of them can get very violent about making sure this happens.
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  • The Loop That Never Was, and the implications of its destruction. It's gone, completely and utterly, from time and space, forever. No-one, not even the Admins can remember it, and Yggdrasil can't restore it. And it's implied other universes have gone the same way before.
  • Eiken is this in-universe for pretty much every Looper, due to how it's set up as a crash-recovery Loop. No Pocket, no Loop-powers. The mind-crushing boredom is absolute agony for Loopers, who will avoid it at all costs.
    • Except for Naoki, who can be a normal human, not an Unwitting Pawn of Lucifer and the Great Will, and doesn't have to hurt his friends. Indeed, he considers the place paradise.
    • Billy is also unaffected by Eiken, and in fact quite enjoys it. With the exception of Naoki, actually enjoying Eiken is a sign of a diseased mind and a potential MLE.
    • Most RvB Loopers enjoy Eiken, with Sarge regularly marrying "Sensei Sensei".
  • As funny as they can be, the idea of the Elevator Saga snips (being trapped in an elevator for extended periods of time as time and space bend in strange ways around you) is absolutely terrifying, even without claustrophobia. That's not even getting into the Mind Screw and reality warping that results.
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  • Any Malicious Looping Entities. Some are merely insane and bring that along with them, causing irreparable mental damage to even the most stable Loopers. Others actively seek to ascend to the same status as the Admins - which necessitates the destruction of their own branch.
  • The Crisis Across Infinite Loops. Due to Le-Eyo's Force-Activation Program, anyone can Awaken in a Loop should they survive to the end of the current one. It doesn't matter how much the other Loopers hate them or how insane they are. While in some cases the new Looper is harmless or friendly (such as Napstablook for the Undertale Loops), it can just as easily be a villain. Many Loopers have been going on killing sprees to avoid anyone nasty screwing up their Loops.
  • In a way, the Loopers themselves to non-Loopers. Imagine that, out of nowhere, your lover/friend/enemy starts acting completely different or using powers they definitely shouldn't have or be using. More then one Looper has exploited this to mess with foes. Shantae once used it to terrify the villain of her Loop, Risky Boots, into a Heel–Face Turn. While this did work out in the long run (as it allowed Risky to start Looping), it's still terrifying to think about.
    • Building on this, there's just the sheer amount of power that loopers have. It's been said that a looper who's been around for a while could beat anyone they want to the point where some loopers were actually challenging themselves to run their Baselines without fighting or killing anyone.

Loops With Their Own Folders

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    Mega Man Loops 
  • The attempts by Hephaestus to get the universe Looping can get incredibly unsettling, but worst of all is the one when Roll is made the Anchor. Her brother goes off to fight Wily, same as usual, and then disappears without a trace. Some time later, Wily reappears, and reveals he's killed Rock and put his remains on display.
  • Reverend Dark, a devout robot supporter who shows up in some Loops. From Roll's point of view, even Xander Payne would be better than him. And then there's his habit of having his brain placed in a robot body.
  • The thing that apparently possesses Dr. Light in one of Blues' failed Loops. We never learn exactly what it is, but it's pretty clear that whatever it is, it's not supposed to exist. And by the time Blues realizes he's in danger, it's too late. It's practically a relief when the Loop fails seconds later, otherwise god only knows what would've been done to him.
    • It counts as in-universe nightmare fuel, since Blues is still traumatized by it for a long time after.
    • And then, come Chapter 11, it returns, and gets inside Blues.
  • The Crash, already disturbing in its effects and implications, gets expanded on in the last failed Loop. It starts off dark and goes from there: Dr. Wily doesn't show up, but someone's producing various robots labelled "Model-(designation)", ultimately reaching Models X and Z, all but outright stated to be X and Zero themselves, who abduct the Anchor from the Loop That Never Was. After defeating Model V (also known as Vile), Rock, Roll, and Blues are knocked out and abducted. And then they meet the mastermind behind everything so far: Dr. Wily, Sigma, Weil, and Dr. Albert, all apparently merged into one being, with the thing that Blues encounter beforehand at the wheel. And it knows about the Loops, and it wants to spread. And now that it has the Loopers, it's going to do just that, with a creepy-ass machine of some kind that all four Anchors happen to be attached to. But something goes hideously wrong, and the last thing Blues can recall before everything goes dark is reality itself screaming. And then? Crash.
  • Waltz. Sweet mother of mercy, Waltz. Imagine a dangerous, unstable version of Roll. Now give her the ability to copy her enemies' weapons just by being near them. Then give her the ability to Loop. She's completely insane and ruthless, willing to kill anyone she sees, and near-impossible to keep down.
    • Even worse is the hint that she's not completely crazy, but that this fact just makes her angrier.
    • Waltz states in chapter/page 39 that she can hear her Unawake self, quite a decent person for a change, in the back of her head, asking who she is and pleading for her to stop. All that, because Roll grabbed her hand.

    Shin Megami Tensei Loops 
  • Naoki's breakdown. Already ground up by countless Conceptions, losing his friends every single time, forever unable to change anything, alone with a demonic Split Personality, his Pixie, Black Frost, and sometimes the Fiends to talk to (who really don't seem very healthy company), then placed in the Sugar Bowl that is MLP after a particularly horrifying Bureau Loop (which apparently had very little, if any, effect, other than making him innately mistrust Equestria, just to underscore how brutal and violent he'd become in the end), confronted with the fact the ponies, the monsters who wrought such sheer madness, live in a relatively quiet, peaceful Loop where villains can be defeated - and redeemed - with The Power of Friendship, and infected with the Delphinus Parasite? He explodes with sheer, utter insane wrath. Eons after eons of Sanity Slippage... breaking in a single instant.
    • The rationale behind the responsible entity, Naoki's Shadow. Normal Shadows want the original to die so they can take their place. This thing is a Loop-aware Shadow - an aberration that understands the idea behind the Loops, and has adapted. Since it can't kill Naoki, it seeks to have him labeled as a MLE by specifically targeting Equestria, one of the most influential Loops, ensuring every Looper's response when confronted with him will be violence, meaning no one will help him, ever. And it's smarter and more ruthless than normal Shadows, capable of outright memory editing and sensory tampering. While it later gets stopped, by that time it has nearly driven Naoki to outright attempt Ascension and collapse the entire timeline just to make it stop.
    • The Conception is made agonizingly worse. As one of the most corrupted Loops, so far, it has not demonstrated a single Variant, and only a minuscule amount of Fused Loops. The bitter knowledge there are better worlds beyond while stuck in a vicious Bleak Death World where all other humans are dragged into murderous insanity with no way to change it makes it look Naoki's rampage was more of a when than an if issue.
      • And yet, Naoki is painfully aware he's better off than Aleph.
  • The White talk to the recently-Looping Sovereign, and taking advantage of his lack of understanding of what's going on, talk him into unleashing a destructive blast by simultaneously destroying the Catalyst and the Yamato Perpetual Reactor. While it would allow Sovereign and the Reapers to Ascend to Yggdrasil's level, it would also completely wipe out the Mass Effect timeline. Sovereign, terrified, is fully aware this is pure insanity, but he's so crazy and desperate, it overwhelms his reservations and starts following the White's orders.
    • And apparently, the White managed to talk a bit with Naoki before being defeated. His quiet breakdown at the victory party implies they managed to get some good barbs in, indirectly and eventually pushing him into the outright crash he suffered at Equestria.
  • Flynn and Isabeau are constantly trying to get their friends Walter and Jonathan to Loop... only to fail each and every time because their friends somehow die. Every. Single. Time.
  • The Junkyard. Anyone who loops there is infected with Atma, which immediately forces them into a cannibalistic rampage. It is noted that most people who Loop there need therapy in MLP afterwards.
    • First of all, any Fused Loop with the Junkyard leads in a societal collapse.
    • There was one time when Lady from Devil May Cry Looped in there. Her breakdown was so bad that the local Loopers had to get Naoki Kashima of all people to help comfort her.
    • There was also that Fused Loop with Persona 4. Yu - who was replacing Serph - was suddenly consumed by his Persona almost immediately among awakening and when he came to the first thing he found out was that the leader of an opposing tribe had been replaced by his uncle. A character from the brightest Persona game having DDS as their Formative Loop...
  • Remember that rule that Loopers can't have new kids in the Loops? Well, Reiji Kido's Loop starts in high school (Persona 1) and ends with Persona 5, which is about 20 years later. He canonically has a son named Takashi in the three-year mark. Let the Fridge Horror kick in.
  • While it's not talked about much, the Persona 2 loopers live in perpetual fear of Nyarlathotep (the in-loop one), and go on high alert at the slightest hint of his presence. This is not helped by the fact that the Rumour Curse follows them everywhere. And worse? Nyarly is loop-aware.
  • The ever-mysterious Edit, which apparently fixed everything wrong with Amala. What triggered it? All the Amala loopers growing as insane as Naoki did.

    Doctor Who Loops 
  • Normally, the Doctor's Loops are generally light and fluffy (the normal horrors of that universe aside), but then comes a horrific variant of the Reality Bomb. It's not a Reality Bomb, and its builders aren't Daleks - they're ponies. It's a conversion bomb, designed to turn every living thing in every universe into a mindless pony. All topped off with a ponified version of Davros' speech... given by Twilight Sparkle.
    • The explanation for why the ponies took living beings from the 27 worlds as well: They needed a control group.
  • The Doctor describing one of his failed attempts to save Donna, by making her a Fact like Jack Harkness. It didn't work, and just meant Donna kept coming back to life and dying, over and over and over again, until all the Doctor could do was crash the Loop to avoid hearing her screams.

    Star Wars Loops 
  • Darth Charybdis, AKA Sith Jar Jar. Imagine Jar Jar Binks, but one who breaths fire, speaks in a demonic Voice of the Legion style a la the Son, and has deadly mastery of a four-bladed lightsaber. The scariest part is, this Variant Loop has happened more than once. Any Jar Jar you meet could very well be Darth Charybdis, playing the fool before he guts and sears you alive.
  • The Star Wars Loops have an unusual number of Variant Loops where counterparts to everyone from Mace Windu to Padme could be a bloodthirsty Sith Lord next time you wake up.

Miscellaneous Loops

    Crisis Across The Infinite Loops 
This is for specific parts of Crisis Loops. The main description is at the top of the page.
  • The fact that the only way to stop a potential bad Looper is to kill them. Imagine not knowing what was going on and out of nowhere, someone who you may not even know yet shows up to murder you.
  • Dimentio nearly looping. Mario, Peach, and Bowser can't find him from his hundreds of clones and everyone knows he will be an MLE if he Activates. If a Mythos Hacker hadn't stepped in at the last second, things would have been bad.
    • In his haste to kill Dimentio, Mario missed killing the Shadow Queen and the Black Paint, meaning that either of them could have been the new Looper. Thankfully for everyone, the far nicer and far less evil Vivian was Activated.
  • Zombozo being one of the Ben 10 Crisis Loopers.
  • Because the Kirby Crisis Loop turned out to be a Loop that fused the games with the anime, that version of Nightmare and Customer Service both started Looping.
  • Even though the Crisis was dealt with, the event has loosened the restrictions on villains Looping. Time will tell what this could entail...

  • The destruction of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica universe, by Kyubey's manipulations. Even worse is that there were at least some Loopers inside it at the time, and Madoka herself had genuinely thought that she was doing the right thing. And worst of all is that Kyubey not only survives, but escapes into the rest of the Loops, free to try his plan again on every other world.
  • The fact that Kid Miracleman could beat down Loopers like Edward and Alphonse, and that they could only beat him through trickery and playing at his childish feelings of wanting to prove himself. If they didn't then it was likely that Kid would have gone on his canonical rampage through London right then and there.
  • Яeverse The Loops - An error when activating the Cardfight! Vanguard Loop that allowed the forces of Link Joker to start trying to take over the multiverse, and affect currently-running Loops. It was bad enough that activating Cardfight! Vanguard (a quarantined Loop!) was the best possible solution. Even after it was dealt with, the fallout ended up traumatizing the Admin of the Transformers Loops, Pandora, when her Loopers considered genocide to be the best option available to them.
  • Hurricane Billy. Imagine something so ineffably stupid, so thoroughly dumb that their stupidity is contagious. Once Billy began Looping, he crashed multiple Safe Loops, pissed off Caboose, succeeded in killing Han Solo, Anakin Skywalker, and Twilight Sparkle twice, terrified two experienced Amalaverse Anchors by replacing every single person in the Loop with copies of himself, drove Kyubey to drink in public, and is solely responsible for Gendo Ikari Looping, amongst other crimes. A unanimous vote decreed that Billy would be labeled an MLE. Many loopers prefer to crash their loop instead of spending any time near him.
    • And it gets worse! Several other Loopers have told stories about how Billy screwed up their Loops. Easily the worst one was Kirby revealing that Billy replaced HYNESS. Everyone takes a sip of their drinks when they learn about this.
    • Goetia, mentioned further down in this list, always responds to Billy's appearance by teleporting into Chaldea the second he shows up, killing him and them immediately destroying the planet and crushing the loop while claiming that "destroying this timeline is a mercy."
  • When the Fire Emblem Loops start destabilizing, the Admins start looking for the reason. It's Morgan. Their solution? Rewrite the entire baseline, so that Morgan ceases to be. And the worst part is, they didn't even look for a solution beyond this.
    • Thankfully, it has ceased to be canon to the mainstream Fire Emblem Loops, but it has become one of Robin's recurring nightmares.
  • The implication that the Anchors of Attack on Titan are starting to succumb to Sakura Syndrome. Three Anchors, almost soul-bound from their devotion to each other, succumbing to Sakura Syndrome is very, very bad.
  • During a cross Loop between Ace Attorney and Five Nights at Freddy's, the Purple Man gives an utterly creepy Motive Rant, with lights flickering as he speaks with a smile on his face, right before he jumpscares the courthouse in Springtrap.
  • While they downplay it...Five Nights at Freddy's is Looping. It can show up in crossovers everywhere.
    • And yes, the Anchor is the security guard, making it so that the Fazbear Crew, when you Loop into their restaurant, can be their old, homicidal selves without any forewarning. And quite a few have met death at their hands.
      • During the above Ace Attorney snip, it was hinted that The Puppet was looping through a Blink-and-You-Miss-It moment. If you casually read through it, it doesn't seem all that important, but actually analyzing it reveals the implications.
  • Aisha once killed the Black Circle Wizards by filling them with Morphix until they exploded.
  • Jurassic Park can prove to be this if it's the Telltale Games version of the Loop. AKA the version of canon with the Psychotic Troodons with a paralyzing venom that drives you insane and immobile so that they can rip open your chest cavity and lay their eggs in you leaving you to be eaten alive by the soon to hatch babies. All of the native Loopers hate the Troodons, possibly even more than the Indominus.
    • One Fused Loop saw Henry Wu sell dino DNA to Umbrella Corp.. We aren't given many details, save that one mutant derived from a t-rex managed to destroy half of Raccoon City before the nuke hit.
  • The Evronians. A nigh-unstoppable race of Emotion Eaters numbering in the billions, going around space on a Planet Spaceship and making a new one out of a planet every time their numbers become too great on one of the already existing ones, going around space to turn every sentient into an emotionless slave and armed with weapons that do that in one shot. That's their basic description from their series, but the Loops turned it up to eleven when DIO Brando (an MLE) mentioned in passing that they once drained him.
  • The SCP Foundation is Looping. That alone should be enough for panic, as many of the things that come from that place are enough to make even a hardened Looper shudder.
    • SCP-682 itself ended up facing Naoki Kashima... and 682 laughed him off. Note, Naoki was molded to kill YHVH, so 682 laughing him off makes one wonder what other kinds of threats 682 laughs off as well.
  • The Koprulu Sector is Looping. While Raynor is the Anchor, Sarah Kerrigan is a Looper. And by extension, the Zerg as a whole.
  • The Xenogears Loops are considered hell Loops because the Baseline is brutally unforgiving and soul-crushing, and prone to Null Loops. Which means if the local Anchor is not present, the plot cannot be derailed.
  • For reasons unknown, 1984 started Looping. While more experienced Loopers can handle it, it's still not a pretty place to end up.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Loops are this for the rest of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Loopers, because they are trapped in an inter-dimensional war. Jaden once found himself as a general in an army committing genocide, and the 5D's Loopers were less than pleased with the Dystopian Cyberpunk setting of the Synchro Dimension.
    • For that matter, the situation of the local Xyz Loopers. In every single loop, no matter what they do, Heartland will get destroyed, they will lose their families and friends, and there will be people they cannot save. Every. Single. Time. The normally cool-headed Yuto snaps quite badly on a Looper who assumed that "card game Loops are easy".
    • Many of the variants that come out of ARC-V are downright horrifying. Loops such as "The Power of Yu" and "Yu Duel School" end up with most the local loopers getting an Superpowered Evil Side and razing the world to the ground. Thoth had to personally interfere to stabilise the former.
  • In a Fused Loop with Doki Doki Literature Club!, Ultimis are pleasantly saying goodbye after what can only be assumed as shenanigans because they're... Ultimis when Primis appears to confront Ultimis and explain what is happening. Primis Nikolai then calls out his drunken counterpart, smashing his Berserk Button immediately. The once-jovial drunk Soviet turns murderous and immediately attacks with a flamethrower before ultimately forced to stop fighting by Monika, leaving the rest of the Loop incredibly tense as the Literature Club try to piece together the shattered group. It's a chilling reminder than no matter what, Loopers young and old personify Beware the Silly Ones.
  • Peach having a flashback to a prior Loop where Mario surrendered to the Shadow Queen. And because a Stealth Anchor was present and it was a Null Loop, The Bad Guy Wins. The flashback ends up pissing Peach off so much she goes Super Saiyan without even realizing.
    • Speaking of Paper Mario Loops, while Vivian came out of the Crisis, the one who followed her isn't as pleasant - Sir Grodus. And he's Stealth Looping, meaning that no one is aware of him yet. And his first major derail? Murdering Beldam.
    • Even worse? In a later Loop, he managed to take out Vivian, who was Awake at the time. While he didn't start Looping that long after her, she is still more powerful then he is, so that is terrifying.
  • After Nightmare brushes him off one too many times no matter what he says about why friendship is good for him, Marx hits his Rage-Breaking Point, dropping his normal gadfly personality and going into a full on rage in his Soul form. When Nightmare still doesn't listen? Marx pulls him into his blackhole move and is implied to have either killed him or subjected him to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Most people tend to forget that while Alucard does invoke his... less serious side, he's still a Humanoid Abomination in Baseline, a fact reiterated when he visited Fodlan and Byleth convinced him to fight the Agarthans. Needless to say, we're lucky to only see the aftermath of Solon's death by Alucard and then the actual act of Thales' own by a ghoul army. Byleth's reaction said it all.
  • Rottytops' Awakening ends up taking an extremely dark turn. Her, Bolo, and Sky are in Shantae's mind and find an area of the Mermaid Factory they haven't seen before. Upon entering, however, they quickly discover it's an outright slaughterhouse this time. Both mermaid and human alike are forcibly moved into various machines to kill them in Techno Baron's cruel scheme. It proves to be so horrifying that Bolo and Sky can no longer go on.
    • What makes it worse is that this is Shantae's memory of the place. Meaning that, most likely, she was unable to save a lot of those people. Bolo even points this out to Rottytops when he bails out with Sky.
  • While, yes, Five Nights at Freddy's and 1984 are prone to being hell for visiting loopers, at least the anchors are some of the more decent people in their loops (The night guards and Winston, respectively). Twisted Metal on the other hand, has Calypso as the anchor. Yep, that's right. The jerkass, Literal Genie from hell cannot be killed unless there is another anchor present. While he is at least somewhat civil with other loopers, it is still a very scary thought.
  • Duncan has a flashback to a Danganronpa loop where things didn't go very well for him. To wit, he Awakened right as he was found guilty for a murder and, when he tried to save himself, discovered it was a null loop, meaning he had no powers to fall back. And all he mentions of what happened in the execution was being beaten to death with police clubs.
  • The Grand Order branch. Mention the loops? Write about the loops? Be an AI looper and get in a computer to see what's up? Make even the slightest allusion to the loops? Goetia will instantly destroy the planet and crash the loop. And no, he's not looping, and he's not loop aware (anymore). That's his baseline power. There have been countless crashes in Grand Order because a Visiting Looper said the wrong thing at the heat of the moment. And the worst of it? The attack is so sudden that nobody has time to react, and Goetia cannot be killed without fulfilling some very specific circumstances - aka the non-looping Romani Retconing himself at a very specific point. Ranma LOST to this guy. RANMA. The only way to bypass Goetia is to hold conversations either via telepathy or in a Pocket. Oh, and the Big Bads after Goetia only get worse.
  • Nightmare's plans for the loops? The sale of Dark Matter. He captures Zero and keeps it in his Pocket and plans to force it to create monsters for his business, not even caring about how dangerous keeping large amounts of Dark Matter in a small place is. Even worse? The only loopers who actually know that he's up to something are Meta Knight, Duncan and Vivian. And only one of them is from the same loop as Nightmare.