- The manual describes how Ganon got his hands on the Triforce, corrupted the Golden Land, and became a beast.After vanquishing his own followers, the leader stood triumphant before the Triforce and grasped it with his blood-stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou hast a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule.
- The basic soldiers have very good AI and will actively chase you if they see or hear you. They can also disguise themselves as shrubs and only appear when you cut one, or hide in grass to snipe you with crossbow bolts.
- Agahnim stations guards right outside Link's house, meaning he knows where Link lives.
- Link is framed for Zelda's kidnapping at the start of the game, and while most in Kakariko Village don't buy it, there are a couple of people who will rat you out upon making close contact, having a guard appear and have the peaceful village replaced with something more menacing until you either escape somewhere or kill the guard. The first time it happens can give you quite a shock.
- The music in the Dark World before you obtain the Moon Pearl. Try accessing the map screen and you see a lifeless, gloomy, twisted version of Hyrule laid out while that music is playing. The lack of warning before this segment, combined with how sudden the atmosphere of the game changes is downright unsettling at best, but seeing as many people started playing this game as kids, it wouldn't be surprising if they lost any sleep from this segment solely.
- Both the Light World and Dark World dungeon themes give one a sense of desolation and dread.
- The entirety of Skull Woods and its dungeon, as well as Mothula.
- This is the first dungeon where the Wallmasters make their ceiling-falling debut. (Though they were in Zelda I, they came out of walls in that game.) Even though they aren't as terrifying as the 3D ones, just think of being a kid playing this game for the first time and randomly getting grabbed, pulled up to the ceiling, and returned to the entrance by a disembodied hand.
- Goriyas are fairly large, they mirror your moves (the red ones also shoot fireballs), and there are black hollows where their eyes should be. Did anyone miss the boomerang-throwing they used to do?
- The most common enemies you fight in the Light World are brainwashed human soldiers, members of Hyrule's military. You're killing members of your own side whose minds have been enslaved by their enemy. Its something to think about, especially as you can kill them in gruesome ways like freezing and shattering them.
- It gets worse when you talk to one of the soldiers around the castle, before you get to the ones that attack you, who says that everybody around him seems to be turning evil, and surrenders to the likelihood that whatever is doing that will get him soon.
- Agahnim is probably one of the most competent Zelda villains; he kills the King and apparently vaporizes the maidens, including Zelda—the latter right before Link's eyes. When he's defeated the first time, he transports Link to the Dark World. The only reason that Link survives is because Agahnim had no way of knowing that Link has the Magic Mirror, or possibly no way of knowing that it can warp Link back to the Light World. After you defeat him in Hyrule Castle, various changes occur in enemy layouts, with most of the talkable people outside vanishing with soldiers openly patrolling the village.
- In the opening to the game, you can see the Hyrule King reduced to a skeleton on a throne.
- If you exploit some glitches to battle and defeat Agahnim early in the game before you get the Magic Mirror or Moon Pearl, you get transported into the Dark World, where you get transformed into Bunny Link and can do absolutely nothing beyond wandering around helplessly until you eventually get killed. In addition to being a scary enough concept in itself—not helped by the somber "Bunny Link" theme playing as he gets pelted by spears and bombs from the assorted enemies—the horror of the situation is turned Up to Eleven when you realize this was the fate of everyone who wandered into a magical transporter or got zapped into the Dark World by Agahnim.
- This is the first game in the series where Ganon has the entire Triforce, rather than just the Triforce of Power, which makes him almost completely unstoppable. According to Hyrule Historia, this is the same Ganon that killed the Hero of Time and took the Triforce of Courage from his dead body.
- A telepathy tile in the Swamp Palace explains that objects exist simultaneously in both worlds, and that the state of the object in one world affects the other. With that in mind, think of the trees. In the Light World, certain trees have goodies that fall out when rammed into. In the Dark World, the trees standing in the same place as those trees are people you can talk to. Puts "Quit bothering me, and watch where you're going when you dash around" in another light, doesn't it?
- Blind's Hideout. At one point in the dungeon, you find one of seven lost maidens you are to rescue. So after leading her into a big, empty room with a big patch of sunlight, she screams "GYAAGH! TOO BRIGHT!" and it's actually Blind, the boss of the dungeon! The young, pretty "maiden" is now a big, ugly red monster that floats around the room, shoots fireballs everywhere and sends out his multiple heads to do the same thing.
- Some of the artwork follows this interpretation, going so far as to show Link, back turned, express dawning horror as the fake Maiden has transformed into Blind, like something out of a horror movie.
- Reading certain headstones in the Sanctuary's cemetery will cause a ghost to pop out of the top of the grave and give you chase, albeit slowly and through levitation.
- The entrance to the Misery Mire dungeon looks like a nightmarish monster face◊. It's almost worse in this artwork◊.
- There's something unsettling about Turtle Rock and its pits. Some of the areas show lava bubbling far below you, as though you're traveling through the upper caverns of an inactive volcano (something that would be mirrored in Lorule's Ice Palace, inhabiting the exact same spot on the map in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds), but most of the time you're traveling along platforms over empty, pitch black chasms. In fact, the B3 floor◊ is essentially an underground valley into said black abyss that cuts off on either side of the map, meaning that the room is ENORMOUS and bigger than you can see in-game. The thought of Link falling into that...
- For added horrific fun, there's the pitch black room in B2F that has you gliding around another pit into the abyss while only able to see a few feet in front of you. There's only a few traps in the room, but it's huge, maze-like, and the thought alone is chilling...
- Those rather ominous looking eyes on the walls starting in Misery Mire and are everywhere throughout Turtle Rock and a few places in Ganon's Tower. You'd be forgiven for thinking they're nothing but mere creepy decoration on the walls, but it's sure to startle you when they fire a LASER at you the minute you step into their line of sight. Said laser cannot be blocked until you find the Mirror Shield midway through Turtle Rock.
- There's an especially creepy moment with one of them in Turtle Rock in the room you find the Compass. Likely you think nothing's going on until you go to open the chest, hearing a strange sound like something slamming as you pull the Compass from the chest. Return to the door and you find it's a solid wall with the eye ready to blast you where the door was! It's a seriously frightening moment since it's the only time in the game this happens and comes out of nowhere. Said trap can be overcome when you realize that the door opens in the wall when you're not facing northward and you can exit if you hold a charged Spin Attack and walk out backwards, but many players likely just used the Mirror to warp back to the beginning of the dungeon for thinking there's no escape.
Nightmare Fuel / The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past