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Nightmare Fuel / The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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That energy covering the land is called Malice. And it will slowly consume the rest of Hyrule.

Unmarked spoilers below. Read at your own risk!

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  • Just starting the game is oddly terrifying. If it's your first time playing, you don't even get a title screen, just a soundless, black screen with an oddly ominous "Press A to start." Then you think it's just another "Prophetic Dream wakes Link up" opening, only for Link to be revealed to be coming out of some kind of stasis. Why was Link in some kind of stasis? The traditional three hearts of starting health have never felt more inadequate, as a Blue Bokoblin (as in a level 2 version of the basic enemy) can and likely will one hit kill you. A few minutes in, and after activating the first tower, you see what you're up against, an Eldritch Abomination that swirls around Hyrule Castle and roars into the sky in rage. And there you are in your ratty starter clothes and rusty sword, tasked to defeat that. By the time you're done with the Plateau, you've ostensibly learned how to play and progress, and have been given the basic tools needed to do so, but what you've actually learned is how completely unprepared you are to even begin this journey. Oh, and if you're going the direction the game is gently asking you to, it's entirely possible to get surprised by a giant rock monster immediately upon getting off the plateau.
    • Fridge Horror also kicks in when you consider the following: Zelda is barely keeping Ganon contained in Hyrule Castle, and it's all but spelled out to you that her power to do so will eventually run out. Most of the NPCS you meet, especially younger ones like children? They have no idea they're living on borrowed time.
  • The designs of the mummified Sheikah monks found at the end of every shrine have a rather grim inspiration: the practice of self-mummification performed by certain Eastern monks in Real Life history. This process is a form of ritualistic suicide through a diet of preserving agents, slow self-suffocation (sometimes using devices to keep them in the lotus position) and/or live burial. The body is then displayed in a glass case. The Champions' Ballad DLC has one of the monks twitch their fingers and you can hear his skin crackling as he starts to slowly rise from his sitting position and gets into a battle stance. To see what is basically a mummy suddenly start moving is quite unsettling.
  • A testament to the realism in this game include the unsettling ragdoll death animations. If Link dies from falling, he just keels over in pain. No comical gestures, no last movements, he just dies in pain. Defeated enemies can lie dead, limp on the ground or slumped on a wall. It's pretty jarring.
  • There's an area called the Floret Sandbar, and there's a Shrine in the middle. There's also a meadow of flowers surrounding it. However, if Link tries to take a shortcut and just walk across the flowers, a nearby NPC, Magda, will scold him. Do it enough times, and Magda gets furious and injures Link.
  • Link can actually eat parts of some enemies he kills. Yes, it's in the form of elixers, but the thought is still disturbing.
  • You can be killed by lightning strikes if you are wearing metal weapons during a thunderstorm.
  • Every now and then, the moon rises with a really harsh red glow. And the closer it gets towards midnight, the faster the clouds move, elements of malice and darkness start appearing no matter where you are, and whatever music is playing turns into some ominous, demonic ambiance, complete with always-creepy backmasked notes. When midnight strikes, the player is greeted to a cutscene of the blood moon, where enemies are shown to respawn. These happen pretty often and it can be really unnerving to see this without warning, especially if the player has just defeated a tough enemy and will have to defeat it again. Thankfully, the cutscene itself can be skipped and mere seconds after midnight, the sky returns to normal, but it is still a very disturbing scene to witness.
    • Hino at the Dueling Peaks Stable has an interest in the Blood Moon. Try chatting him up when it's in the sky. The instant the moon is high enough in the sky to start affecting your surroundings Hino takes off, but if you think he's running because he's frightened you're sorely mistaken. Instead he starts running meaningless laps around the stable while screaming "Arise, monsters!" in bright red text, and if you talk to him afterwards he can only comment on how red the moon is in mad joy. His overworld speech bubble also uses red text at this moment, which no one else in the game uses.
  • Some of the Towers, due to location or danger getting there, are a bit unnerving.
    • The Wasteland Tower is surrounded by murky brown water that sucks you under if you fall in. You can't swim in it, there's only one place you can stand at the base, and the only place to replenish your stamina is very high up. If you don't have a few stamina upgrades or items that can refill the gauge, you will fall and drown in it. And if you think you can use Magnesis to make platforms with those metal blocks, you'd best be patient, as it's so deep it takes at least two blocks per platform.
    • Trying to climb Central Tower. For one, just getting there takes a ton of stealth and determination because the area is full of Guardian Stalkers. Then, when you finally reach the place, you see that there are four guardian turrets that target you on your way up. Luckily, this tower has a ton of steps you can hide behind. But another real struggle is getting down. Because the guardians you had to dodge and evade to get there can all see and target you.
    • The Woodland Tower, much like the Wasteland Tower, is absolutely surrounded by a large bog. It is considerably easier to scale, but it's in the middle of a former military camp crawling with monsters. The half-sunken structures hold monsters and you have to climb them in order to be able to glide to/climb the tower. And you better clear them out, too; they have bows and they will shoot you down.
    • The Ridgeland Tower is in the middle of an enormous pond... surrounded by Wizzrobes and Lizalfos. They all use electric attacks (which make you drop your weapon in the lake), do massive damage even if you dodge, and there are far too many to deal with them efficiently. And if you don't kill them, they'll gang up on you and keep shocking you so you can't fight back. You'll basically have to watch Link get brutally killed while you can't do anything.
    • Akkala Tower is atop an enormous fortress absolutely covered with Malice. Evidently, the fortress was Hyrule's last hope, and it was eventually overcome. The strongest fortress only served as a temporary, futile defense against Ganon. Even worse, you have to navigate the entire place with nothing but a thin shard of metal being the only thing separating you from falling into the tar-like Malice.
      • Not to mention that there are the remains of a GUARDIAN at the top of the tower. How the hell did it get up there?!note 
    • Gerudo Tower is a nightmare come true if you're even remotely afraid of heights — or falling. It's an exceptionally tall tower that, at first glance, appears to sit in the middle of a lake that's surrounded by a circular rock face. It's easy to charge at it without noticing more than that. But once you paraglide to it and begin to climb, it becomes clear that there are no steps — if Link's stamina hasn't been heavily upgraded and/or you possess few or no elixirs/meals to restore stamina, Link cannot make it to the top. And if you run out of stamina and fall? That's not a lake down below — that's a bottomless pit that looks a bit like the sky, and the tower appears to continue endlessly down into it. The alternative is to try and walk up the winding road on the outer edge of the pit, to where you can paraglide to a higher point on the tower, but this path contains no shortage of Bokoblins and Lizalfos that will be more than happy to knock you into that pit given half a chance. If you didn't upgrade your stamina for option A, you better have upgraded your health for option B.
  • The shrine shrouded in darkness. It's a pitch-black island (Typhlo Ruins) just north of the Lost Woods, and you can barely see anything even with a torch. The island is covered with Keese and bottomless bogs. And the real kicker? There's a Hinox on the island that you have to fight by the light of its eye. In addition, the Hinox has the Shiekah artifact you need to finish the quest and get the shrine.
    • Thankfully, you can simply glide down onto the Hinox's belly from somewhere higher up and snatch the key to the shrine from around its neck, all before it awakens to fight you. Though just stumbling across the thing, lying hidden in the darkness, probably still counts.
    • Nearly every area in the game is visible from a distance. You could usually see some of the layout and details of these areas, but the Typhlo Ruins? It's not as though it was visible from the offset and becomes dark once you enter for its trial. As you view it from afar, it's completely shrouded by a thick, pitch-black fog with only a few trees and stone structures peering out of it, even during the daytime. It's very unsettling and gives off quite a foreboding aura. And after activating the Woodland Tower to reveal the ruins' location on the map, its layout is completely obscured on said map unlike most other areas. It'll likely creep out players on their first playthrough once they notice it, wondering what could possibly be lingering in there.
  • This game's iteration of the Lost Woods is the most disturbing in the series. The Lost Woods in the series usually had gimmicks where you could figure out where to go, and looked harmless enough. Here, not only does this game have barely any clue on how to traverse through it, but this game has the most eerie and disturbing design of the Lost Woods. To elaborate, the "ogre trees" that make up the bulk of the Forest all look demonic and withered, as if they were actually from the Dark World. The forest looks like it was burnt down as well. Worst of all is the mist, which is present throughout the entire area. It exists solely to mess with the player, and it also serves as the mechanic that forces Link to return to the start. If Link strays from the path, mist fills up the screen and something laughs at the player while Link can be heard faintly gasping in shock... or possibly pain. If the player tries other options like gliding into the forest from a higher area, they will be met with a screen full of mist, forcing the player to follow the somewhat vague path through the forest.
    • A bit of Nightmare Retardant: the laugh you hear? It's clearly the same clip used for the friendly Koroks.
    • The game actually does give you a hint on how to travel through it. One NPC in the game mentions that he was once lost in there, but made it through okay as long as he followed the wind. The way to get through? Pick up a nearby torch and follow the trail of embers that the wind makes.
  • Dragon's Exile, the far southwest area of the Gerudo Desert. Continue towards it and you get caught in a perpetual sandstorm that reduces visibility to near-zero and scrambles your Sheikah Slate map. That's the worst part: no map means no warping. You have no easy escape route if you get lost or run low on health. The only way to unscramble the map is to leave the area or find the Leviathan skeleton, shrine, and Great Fairy Fountain, which is easier said than done if you get turned around a lot. And if you end up getting autosaved in there while you're lost... sucks to be you. Oh, and go too far out, and you'll hit the edge of the world. There is a bit of Nightmare Retardant though: if you place one of the five glowing pins on a portion of the map before entering the sandstorm, the Sheikah Slate will still be able to detect it. Pin the dragon's skeleton and you'll be able to find your way.
  • A bit of Nightmare Fuel and Fridge Horror when making your way up to Zora's Domain for the first time. The Zoras have been looking for a Hylian to aid them and direct them up to Zora's Domain, where you must travel by foot. Since you can't go through the water, you are not accompanied by a Zora unless you're by a section of the road that's by the water. However, Lizalfos, Octoroks, a Wizzrobe, and a Moblin are rife at nearly every part of the path, making it extremely treacherous to go about the path for anyone who isn't Crazy-Prepared. It's implied that the Zoras have been asking any Hylian for aid... and you also find loads of Soldier's and Traveler's Swords, Shields, etc, at various monster encampments along the way, and even the Prince seems surprised that Link actually made it up there. Just how many Hylians died just because they wanted to lend a helping hand?
  • Retaking the Divine Beasts is pretty unnerving. You're inside of a possessed piece of ancient technology that was just trying to kill you moments ago, and it's still moving around either hundreds of feet above the ground, a lake you can never hope to swim out of, in a huge sandstorm, or in the center of an actively erupting volcano.
    • All of the Divine Beasts contain so much Malice goo that the air inside looks polluted from it. If your playstyle was one where you ran from story beat to story beat, the inside of Vah Ruta was most likely your first encounter with Malice. Seeing this unnaturally glowing purple sludge growing everywhere for the first time is not only nightmare-inducing, but could also make you feel disgusted or even sick with revulsion.
    • Continuing from this, there's the fact that the four Champions were killed inside and by their own weapons, taken out by the possessed Divine Beast, then spent the next century haunting their interiors.
    • The first few objectives in Vah Rudania take place in the dark. Link can only see a few feet in front of him.
    • According to this, the initial themes of the divine beasts, as in, before you claim the first terminal, have been reported to contain a specific morse code signal in one of their audio channels, albeit very faintly. Said Morse Code signal? AN SOS SIGNAL. Whatever AI or self-diagnostic system is left, or was even there on these things, has been desperately trying to broadcast a call for help for the past 100 years.
    • Your first look at some of the Divine Beasts qualify as well, specifically Vah Ruta and Vah Naboris; the former half-submerged beneath East Reservoir Lake, spouting an endless rainfall from her trunk, the latter stomping through the desert amidst strikes of lightning, cloaked by a thick sandstorm. Seeing something so huge and powerful only makes the thought of actually going inside it all the more horrifying, and the fact that you'll inevitably hear them before you've even had a chance to see them doesn't help matters.
      • Barely seeing them from a distance isn't much better. Noticing Vah Rudania crawl around the volcano from a distance can be startling; if you weren't aware of it from the trailers, chances are you'll just notice some movement on the volcano one day and feel your blood run cold as you see something massive is actually crawling on it. Vah Medoh isn't much better; it's visible from almost everywhere, which is creepy, but when you realize it's moving you may become paranoid; most people thought it was a floating island or city at first. Picture something that big, with the freedom to fly right over you and destroy a city.
    • If you float down from Shatterback Point and try to get close to Vah Ruta, she'll roar and blast you away with an enormous, if harmless, dome of water. What's startling about this is that she will do this with no warning. (Vah Naboris at least gives you a clear preparation before shooting Link with lightning.)
    • Vah Medoh simply flies in a circle, refusing to leave the area, and shoots down anything that catches its notice. The Rito are essentially being held hostage by an immense weapon of mass destruction hovering directly over their already-small settlement. If it wanted to, it could completely wipe them out.
    • You can actually walk up to Vah Naboris before ever beginning the quest to retake her.note  The thing is, getting near Naboris is absolutely terrifying. If you get within several miles of it, you enter a sandstorm where everything is dark, anything beyond a certain distance is reduced to a shadow, and you can't even see the sky. There's no weather readings or even a map on the Sheikah Slate, so you can't teleport away and will have to wander aimlessly. Naboris itself is simply a massive, hulking shadow walking around, and there are no other signs of life within its stomping grounds. There's no NPCs or enemies to interact with, and there is a distinct lack of background music, or really any noise at all. Out there, it's just you and the Beast.
      • Despite the inhospitality of the desert region, it's actually pretty full of life, to the extent that it's fairly difficult to get away from it. Outside the settlements, Lizalfos roam every square mile, as well as Bokoblins, not to mention the Moldugas that claim various territories. However, the area near the Champion's Gate where Naboris is walking around is completely devoid of any life at all, making it quite clear that Naboris has killed anything that got close enough. No wonder the Gerudo are nervous about it getting closer and closer to Gerudo Town.
  • Malice itself is pretty unnerving. Following Calamity Ganon's entrance, pools of malice pool around various spots of Hyrule. Touching it can sap your health, but has no effect on Ganon's monsters. It gets worse when you see eyes and mouths formed from the pools of malice. They just look...eugh.
  • Eventide Island. Found in the furthest southeastern sea, this island is pretty far off from civilization. Most players may be attracted there out of curiosity or the like, but as soon as you step foot onto the island, a Shiekah Elder suddenly forces you into a trial. The goal is to find the three orbs and set them into their appropriate holders in the island. The catch? They strip you of ALL of your items, armor, and weapons, leaving you functionally stranded on the island with nothing to help you but your wits and Shiekah Slate with only the promise that they'll be returned if you pass the trial. The horror sets in that the island is naturally infested with monsters, ranging from Bokoblins, Moblins, Octorocks (which now include land variants!), and even a single Hinox who conveniently has one of the required orbs around its neck. Losing items and armor can be extremely jarring for anyone playing... and the worst part is that you can't save while on the island, meaning that you must complete the island's trial in one run and getting a game over on the island sets you back to the last bit of landmass you were on. Not to mention this is potentially the only part in any Zelda game where being Crazy-Prepared isn't nearly as effective as it normally is (you keep your Hearts and Stamina wheel, and you also keep any upgrades you made onto the Shiekah Slate as well). And God help you if the Blood Moon rises.
    • There is another No-Gear Level in the game — the DLC Trial of the Sword. And it's also the game's resident enemy gauntlet, too!
  • After coming such a long way to Kakariko Village on foot, you might try to tame a horse found at the entrance of the village to move around more quickly. But the problem is that the horse will move of its own accord and take you straight to a fully functional Guardian with nowhere to hide.
  • Crimson-dyed Barbarian Armor is kind of gross-looking. It makes Link look like he's been covered in blood.
  • If you get into a tough fight while on horseback, your horse can be killed. Not only is it rather depressing to see, but the horse's corpse lies limp on the ground for quite a while until it inevitably vanishes. It's rather disheartening. They can actually be brought back by the Horse God for the hefty fee of 1000 Rupees, but that doesn't diminish the shock and horror one feels the first time they realize their horses are mortal.
    • Malanya himself can be this. Before reviving a horse, he can see the circumstances under which the horse died. If he sees that YOU killed your horse, he will frighteningly chew you out before claiming he was joking. He will revive your horse but he is still visibly VERY angry with you for what you've done. You WILL be careful with your steeds after one visit to Malanya.
  • Strangely, getting the Master Sword is one. Usually, the process is full of hope and badassery. In this game, however, pulling the Master Sword from the pedestal slowly drains your hearts. If you don't have thirteen heart containers, the process will sap your life force away until nothing is left.
    • The Deku Tree will step in at your last quarter-heart of health and stop you from dying until you get thirteen hearts. However, this only happens the first time you try to pull the sword. Every time after that, you will die if you do not have enough hearts. A player could easily return time and time again with each heart upgrade in hopes of pulling the blade free, only to perish in the attempt, until they finally have enough to survive.
      • Also, bear in mind that this is Fi inhabiting the sword, the kind, if a bit cold and slightly annoying with her "help" sword spirit from Skyward Sword. Be it because she doesn't want Link to fail again, or because she's furious he completely drained her power, she is perfectly willing to kill him if he's not strong enough to wield her.
  • The fate of the Great Fairies can definitely count as one. Due to a century of neglect, they have become trapped in putrid, thorny buds. Their only hope is that somebody both wealthy and generous enough to lend up to 10,000 rupees can save them.
    • Tera in particular might have had it even worse than her sisters. Not only is her fountain the hardest to access, being situated at the very edge of the wastes of Gerudo Desert, but it's hard not to notice that it's also located directly beneath the bones of an enormous beast. There's a strong implication that she'd been Eaten Alive by the Leviathan in life, and remained trapped inside it until it had perished and its body decomposed. It certainly might explain where her Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies came from if she was alone for so long.
  • Not having a proper outfit or solution to handle extreme temperatures is pretty nightmarish. You're venturing through an unfamiliar land as your hearts start to drop. Chances are you have very little health (since the very start of the game is likely when this happens) and you frantically venture through the world as fast as you can; eating the few healing items you have and hoping it's enough.
    • And when you eventually fail, you see Link collapse and die. The hero of Hyrule, dropping from exhaustion as he slowly freezes to death.
  • In the Ridgelands of Hyrule, a short ways away from the area's tower, you may find an area known as the Breach of Demise. In the middle of the very lush and green ridgelands, this place stands out as incredibly eerie and lifeless. The plantlife consists of white, dry grass and leafless trees, and the cliffs are an unnatural white, bony color. Said bony cliffs almost look like faces that are screaming, and the skull huts of the few Bokoblins in the area only enhance the effect. As for why it has its name? It is implied to be the place where Demise and his army of demons burst forth from beneath the surface as told in the intro to Skyward Sword. For reference, Skyward Sword is the very first game to take place in-universe. Breath of the Wild is last so far. The idea that the place still hasn't recovered after thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years just shows how infernal the area really is.
  • The Horned Statue in Hateno Village. This thing already looks freaky enough, being a hunched over and horned version of a Goddess statue, but it is actually a demon trapped in stone by the Goddess Hylia. Then, if you try and pray to it like a normal Goddess statue, it decides to take away one of your hard-earned hearts, just to be a jerk.
    • After convincing the statue to return the heart, you can visit it again to swap heart vessels for a stamina meter upgrade (or vice versa). However, considering what is sealed in this statue, you are essentially bargaining with the devil.
  • Combined with Fridge Horror: the Leviathan skeletons are giant bone structures of what appear to be whales. And they're all in bizarre locations. One is in the desert, one at the foot of Death Mountain near the northern chasm, and one deep inside a mountain cave in Hebra Province - probably the most landlocked portion of Hyrule. How did they get there? Did they fly? There have been flying whale-like creatures in the series previously: the Wind Fish, Levias, and Oshus, the Ocean King. The one on Death Mountain stands out because of the large bony plate on top of its skull, which was only seen on Levias; the one in Gerudo Desert is a baleen whale with visible wing bones, a dead ringer for the Wind Fish; and the one frozen in the Hebra Mountains closely resembles a humpback whale, which was Oshus's true form, While this is a neat bit of Arc Welding, it directly implies at the very least Levias is dead, and possibly that all three are. Being that they were huge, powerful, and immortal, meaing whatever killed them could not have been good. It also brings up questions about what happened to the worlds that two of them are explicitly necessary in order to exist.
  • Imagine that it's your first playthrough of the game, and you're happily exploring the Faron region's forests and waterfalls, or perhaps climbing around Death Mountain. Then you turn around...and a massive, hundred-foot long dragon is staring right at you as it silently flies through the sky. Congratulations—you just met one of the guardian spirits of the world. The good news is they're harmless, and while they conjure orbs of their personal element, they won't go out of their way to hurt you. But there is something terrifying about the fact that these truly gigantic creatures—bigger than any sub-boss or boss in the whole game—are simply hovering around with no warning or foreshadowing about their existence (save a single journal or a few NPCs mentioning them). It's perfectly understandable that players might be scared out of their wits upon randomly meeting such an enormous beast.

  • Ganon returns as the main antagonist, and is so dangerous that no one could do anything but seal him in Hyrule Castle for the past 100 years. Ganon now takes the form of a massive dark entity that encircles the castle. He is simply known as Calamity Ganon, a being of pure evil and malice that is so powerful that his mere existence corrupts Hyrule. This is very easily Ganon's most terrifying and monstrous iteration. He even first shows up, in the castle, as a giant beating heart made of Malice hanging from the ceiling.
    • When the player actually fights Ganon, one can see that his first form is a Humanoid Abomination that looks like a combo between his Ganondorf form and a Guardian. He sprawls around on multiple legs like a massive spider. Upon his defeat, the roars he makes before he explodes will forever haunt you. His second form is even worse. He becomes a giant boar creature, dubbed Dark Beast Ganon, which is absolutely massive. Zelda explains that Ganon has pretty much given up reincarnating just to unleash absolutely everything he's got just to kill you. And considering how strong Ganon usually is, and that he's finally reached his peak of strength here even with the risk of a Final Death, it is horrifying. Even then, Zelda mentions that Ganon will someday return from being sealed away, meaning he's still not finished off.
    • The ages have not been kind to Ganon. The only way one can tell that this monster was once Ganondorf is the sight of what is possibly his original human skull with magitek coursing through it, as Link has interrupted his reincarnation/rebuilding of it. Usually, Ganondorf has some sort of cocky chessmaster qualities to him before engaging in combat with Link. Here, he's a primal beast, hellbent on destroying Link and the rest of Hyrule.
    • In short: Ganon, in this game, has essentially become Zelda's Giygas, losing his mind and body in exchange for ultimate chaotic power.
    • As with most 3D Zelda games since Ocarina of Time, almost all bosses have a small caption or presentation before their name. The fact that Dark Beast Ganon's is Hatred and Malice Incarnate is just plain horrifying. He isn't just a stronger, more corrupt version of Ganondorf like previous Ganons were. This is the very evil and his hate towards the Hero that has assumed a physical form!
  • The Blight Ganons are incredibly powerful creatures that killed the four greatest warriors in the land one hundred years ago, and now inhabit the divine beasts. Everything about them shows them as malicious yet tortured creatures that want nothing more than to kill everything in their path. They all have a red, fleshy appearance augmented with bits of Guardian technology and the same Shiekah teleportation that you have. And, when you do defeat them, their shrieks of pain and rage would cause a ReDead to run as fast as possible in the opposite direction.
    • Fireblight Ganon is a lumbering beast that stalks you through the arena. He's also the first subversion of a Tennis Boss; hitting his fireballs will make them explode point-blank.
    • Waterblight Ganon has an absurdly long spear that can hit you from across the room. When he Turns Red, he floods the arena and throws a lot of ice blocks at you.
    • Thunderblight Ganon is a very fast beast that does massive damage and can make you drop your weapons should you get hit by an electric attack. This thing Turns Red not once, but twice.
      • To make matters worse, Thunderblight Ganon resembles Krasue, a famous ghost in several Southeastern Asian cultures, with how it looks like it has half of its body missing and what looks like blood oozing from its severed spinal cord.
    • Windblight Ganon shoots lots of laser beams and tornadoes, and he almost never misses. After he Turns Red, he brings up reflector beams which redirect his shots to hit you better. He also constantly teleports, which makes aiming difficult, as his only Achilles' Heel is getting shot in the eye twice.
  • The Guardians can be pretty alarming as well. They are massive Magitek hexapod machines, can do a ton of damage if their attacks hit, and seem to be both fast and ferocious. One early trailer has Link doing everything he can to just get the hell away from one of them, not even bothering to fight it, and the E3 2016 demo shows that they should be approached with extreme caution.
    • That many of them are lying around, completely defunct and rusted over, is a little creepy as well as eerily reminiscent of the fate of the Ancient Robots in Skyward Sword. What happened to them, and how did some survive whatever took down their brethren? Or worse: were the still-functional ones revived by something? If so, for what purpose?
    • The release date trailer shows at least a dozen Guardians attacking at once, utterly destroying whatever town they've been unleashed upon in the trailer. Good luck, Link — you'll need it.
    • Even more frightening is how powerful they are. As this video shows, their only weak spot is their singular eye, but these guys are incredibly durable and can take a lot of punishment. Also, a single shot from their Eye Beams can shave off six hearts from Link, potentially killing him on the spot if his heart meter is low enough. If one Guardian can give Link this much trouble, imagine what it was like for Hyrule when a whole army of these things attacked.
    • Early on in the game, the Guardians make traversing the traditionally-peaceful Hyrule Field a nightmare. Imagine: wandering through the bright fields, having just left the Plateau with only 4 hearts. All of a sudden, you hear an aggressive piano riff, and a red reticle appears on Link's body. You've already seen a Guardian at this stage... but those weren't able to run towards you at mach 5. With no horse, you can't outrun it. With only a traveler's sword and a few arrows, you can't fight it. All you can do is hide in the tall grass and pray it loses track of you. When a Guardian spots you, it gets highlighted on the map as well. No other enemy gets this treatment, which shows just how dangerous the Guardians are, and the game wants you to know it.
    • Under the Lomei Labyrinth Island, there is a chamber filled with dead Guardians. Walk a bit around, and you will quickly realize that a large portion of them are still alive and you will be targetted by their lasers from all sides.
  • In any other game, Hyrule Field is a generally non-threatening hub world that allows the player to get their footing early in the game before venturing out into the world. In Breath of the Wild, it's jarringly different, teeming with powerful monsters, and generally should be steered clear of for at least the first hour of the game.
  • The Lynel. It's like a Chimera crossed with a Centaur and looks like something straight out of Dark Souls with its red eyes, enormous amount of HP, and the ability to slaughter you in one hit. It breathes fire when it’s pissed. For bonus horror, its face resembles Ganondorf's. And there's more than one. You'll be terrified to encounter one if ill-equipped, or if you just haven't yet perfected the art of perfect dodges and blocks to initiate a flurry rush. Try to keep them away at a distance? They'll hunt you down with a barrage of deadly accurate arrows. Try to put it on ice with an Ice/Blizzard weapon or tase it with a Thunder Spear? Think again, as they're immune to all elemental effects (except for Urbosa's Fury, and that only stuns them for a bit.) Try to escape? They will sometimes teleport after you.
    • It gets worse. In the ruins of a coliseum, there is a lone Silver Lynel that waits for you. Like the original games, monsters would have different levels of strength depending on their color... so how strong is this rare silver Lynel? It has more HP than the final boss, and can easily kill you in one hit.
    • It doesn't stop there: the first DLC pack introduces GOLDEN LYNELS. They're even stronger than the Silver Lynels, and they're so bad they're exclusive to hard mode. That alone should be enough to terrify you.
    • Also from Hard Mode: Lynels on the Great Plateau. Lynels in the starting area, with you woefully unprepared when you come across it. Nowhere is safe.
    • For many people whose first Zelda game was the original on the NES, A Link to the Past on the SNES, or Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Lynels were already Nightmare Fuel. Seeing Lynels in 3D for the first time ever in this game turns that Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven.
    • You know what's really pleasant about Lynels? The locations are always the same, but the color (a.k.a. strength) of the beast permanently changes every few Blood Moons based on the amount of camps you've cleared (aside from the one near Zora's Domain, which is always red), and its weapon is random. Unless you want to just keep farming the one in Zora's Domain (which is a waste of weaponry after a certain point due to its relatively minimal loot drops and weak weapon drops), you better buckle up and get ready for one hell of a fight when you go on the hunt. note 
  • The Stalnox, the Stalfos version of the Hinox. It's freaky enough if you're travelling along during the day and stumble upon a giant skeleton laying on the ground, but it gets truly unnerving when night falls and the bones rise up into a terrifying beast that towers over you. Then as you fight it, it starts tearing its own bones off to use as weapons. Even worse is that it drops weapons. Weapons that likely came from other travelers who weren't nearly as strong or prepared as you.
    • Although it quickly becomes a Moment of Awesome if you can kill the one in Hyrule Castle's basement, because then you get the Hylian Shield.
    • There's a Stalnox hanging around the relatively peaceful Akkala Plains, specifically in the area between Tarrey Town and East Akkala Stable. Just imagine riding through the lush autumn fields at night and suddenly seeing an enormous skeletal beast just standing there in the distance.
  • The "fleshy" Hinox also definitely count. Imagine that you're peacefully wandering along when you start to hear an odd grumble coming from nearby. You go to investigate...and discover a slumbering beast so massive that Link is literally ankle-height to it. Thankfully, Hinoxes are always found sleeping...but if they wake up, God help you. They stand about thirty feet tall, have a single glowing eyeball that blinks sideways, are strong enough to rip entire trees out of the ground to use as clubs against you, and, unlike other monsters, barely make any noise as they attack, which is somehow even creepier. The worst part? While attacking their eyes seems like an obvious strategy, the Hinox are smart enough to begin covering their faces with one hand as the fight goes on. That's right—It Can Think.
    • Take a close look at the Hinoxes as you fight them. Most monsters simply screech or rush at Link endlessly. What do Hinoxes do as they stare at the hero? They lick their lips. That's right—Hinoxes eat people whole. Now consider how many NPCs wander around the world, and how massively fat the Hinoxes are...brrrr.
  • Naydra, a dragon infected by Ganon's malice. As a result, it is possessed, given a darker coloration, and has gooey eyes of malice scattered along its body. As you fight it, this theme plays, which is a Dark Reprise of the Dragon theme. The circumstances of the fight can also be terrifying depending on how acrophobic you are and/or how soon you do this fight (since Mount Lanayru is close to Hateno Village, where you'll most likely go after Kakariko Village on your first playthrough). It occurs at one of the highest points in the world, it's so cold that the Warm Doublet or a spicy meal alone won't be enough to survive it, and you have to ride updrafts to go even higher. All in a dark blizzard. It's a good thing Naydra doesn't physically try to grab you out of the sky, because it always feels like it could. However, if you do this fight before getting proper cold resistance gear, you also have to worry about the effects of the spicy food you ate wearing off, having enough spicy meals left from the climb up the mountain, and dying of hypothermia.
  • Any time a swarm of Keese flap their ugly little wings towards you. Keep in mind that Keese only have one eye in this game, so an entire flock of them looks like a bunch of creepy disembodied eyeballs fluttering right at you.
  • The Yiga ninja clan can be rather frightening, because they're normal people who are basically a cult that worships Ganon. They're Ninjas, and they're very good at their jobs. As the Evil Counterpart to the Sheikah, the clan's members won't hesitate to catch you off-guard. Their preferred method of trying to assassinate you is to disguise themselves as seemingly ordinary nameless NPCs (a banana salesman, for example). They seem totally fine until you talk to them, after which they'll reveal their true selves and attempt to kill you. They're some of the biggest sources of Paranoia Fuel in the game, and soon you might find yourself not being able to trust anyone. Low on supplies and see a salesman in the distance? Who's to say that that guy isn't a Yiga ready to murder you as soon as you ask him for some help, swiping away any hope you might have had in the process?

    Sequel Trailer

The trailer for the as-of-yet-unnamed sequel to Breath of the Wild, shown at E3 2019, may be one of the most terrifying previews yet for any piece of Nintendo media.

  • In the first seconds of the trailer, a heartbeat can be heard in the background. A small case of foreshadowing, considering what Link, Zelda and the viewers find when they reach their destination.
    • The start of the trailer the heartbeat is slow, almost labouring. At the end? Faster, if not the pace of a regular, healthy heartbeat, no longer afflicted by what was holding it back.
  • Throughout most of the trailer, distorted female singing can be heard in the background, with a weird backmasked effect. Some have noted that a portion sounds like the Game Over theme from the original game...
  • As Link and Zelda draw closer to the source of the dark energy, they discover a ghastly sight: a mummified corpse resembling Ganondorf posed in an eternal scream of pain, held in place by a single glowing hand. The music becomes extremely unnerving, and the trailer briefly shows some other clips, such as a blast of Malice, the glowing hand grabbing Link's hand, and a shadow showing the hand approaching a large, screaming, humanoid figure (presumably Ganondorf). And finally, Zelda looks on in shock as the corpse goes limp, presumably free of the hand's grip. Its head then moves 90 degrees to face the camera, all accompanied by the sound of cracking bones, as Cursed Eyes manifest inside the empty sockets.
  • The sudden wide shot of Hyrule Castle and the surrounding area. For a few long seconds…nothing. The faint rumble of the earth moving. Then you see the profile of Hyrule Castle changing—it's going skyward. Just what could possibly have been laying underneath the castle for so long, and how is it pushing Hyrule Castle up from below? Just what have Link and Zelda stumbled upon this time…?


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