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Nightmare Fuel / Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

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Heavy spoilers for the game below. Also vampires, ghosts, and other nasties. You've been warned.

  • The Ocean House Hotel. Think you ain't 'fraid of no ghosts cause you're a big, scary vampire? Think again. There aren't any enemies: You just get to explore the hotel while the ghosts mess with you. Poltergeist activity, knocking on doors, writing in blood appearing on the walls, the ghosts themselves, and the story behind the house add up to a really scary chapter. Do not play with the lights off.
    • At the very start of the whole mess, you need to open the front door to the hotel, but it's locked. Thankfully the groundskeeper's shed is in the middle of the front yard, along with a bunch of piles of dirt, ditches, and construction equipment like a crane and small bulldozer. Once you go into the shed and pick up the key, you hear the sound of an engine starting, a vehicle moving then nothing. Once you go outside, that small bulldozer has moved itself to the edge of the shed, and its bucket is positioned in such a way that it looks ready to lift or even flip the shed.
    • You end up in the hotel's basement, gradually reading newspapers to determine exactly what's been happening in the hotel. You read one that describes how a family was murdered and their heads found in dryers, and then you put down the newspaper and the door to the dryer right next to you creaks slowly open... There's a sound that's triggered when one puts that particular paper down, like a pair of shoes in, well, a dryer...
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    • In the basement is a crossroad of corridors with rooms. As you approach that middle point where you can turn down any of the four paths, a screaming woman rushes by, panicked and looking back over her shoulder at something chasing her. If you look to the direction she was running from, you see nothing. If you look at the direction she ran to, even if you got there just after she passed out of sight, she has disappeared.
    • The charming picture of said family with the father drawn as a burning demon, after which the words "GET OUT" are carved into the wall in front of you.
    • The game does give you some credit if you manage to steel yourself, though. For instance, after said dryer door opens, you see that the other door is selectable...and you really, really don't want to open it and see what's in there. If you do, you thankfully find the keys to the room where you can turn the electricity on.
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    • Right after you run through the hotel's kitchen wherein a poltergeist completely scares you by suddenly launching every un-nailed-down object at you and making the ovens burst into flames, at once both shattering your eardrums and assaulting your character with damaging effects you sneak down a hallway to a completely normal room. As you climb out of the vent to land in it, you hear a girl whisper: "Run...". Well, if you don't run to the other side of the room and quickly begin climbing the ladder, you get smashed by an elevator. Ouch.
    • Towards the very end, you enter the master bedroom, the whole scene shifts to a flashback of the room back in the fifties or so, you walk across the clean room, and retrieve the amulet you needed to find. The flashback ends, and you're standing on a platform in the room, and it's revealed you've just somehow crossed a broken, skeletal room with no floor.
    • The part where you go to the left side of the hotel in typical explore mode. You turn around and there is an Ax-Crazy ghost murderer right behind you. There might have been a scream. And the sudden exploding lamps and vases only add to the terror. "He's here..." Cue flash of a ghostly cowboy looking silhouette...wielding an axe. Yeah, thanks for that, ghost lady. Can vampires have heart attacks?
    • This is a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but when you first get to the generator room, if you look between to two huge pipes that stick horizontally out of the wall, you can clearly see a man holding an ax in his hands, then when you walk around the pipes, he's gone.
      • Or he appears to be holding a severed arm. And if you don't blink, you see he turns to the side and starts slowly walking. To the corner. That leads to where you're standing.
    • As soon as you enter the Hotel, if you look to the right, the ghost will be standing right there, watching you, with his axe in hand, but immediately after he enters your field of vision the light above him flashes and he disappears.
    • Word of Advice: don't use Auspex while in the Hotel. You don't want to know more enough than being scared shitlessly by the ghosts that lurked in that Hell Hotel. And also, don't play it at night or with volume up.
  • Alastair Grout's mansion. Filled to the brim with bloodthirsty lobotomy patients, more Malevolent Architecture than you can shake a stick at, not to mention a truly epically creepy background tune interlaced with the monologues Grout left on tape that showcase his spiral from mere sociopathy into true paranoid schizophrenia.
    • The female patients with the masks. You enter the mansion, and you see one of them in a corner, and you can't tell if she's crying of laughing. You come closer to help her, and suddenly she attacks you with a knife. And throughout the whole level you can hear them. The laughing. The laughing. It drives you mad!
    • With the Plus Patch installed: There's an optional part of the mansion you can explore with the most bizarre Malevolent Architecture in the game, complete with bloody hallways, furniture on the ceiling, and a fully-recreated house filled with slashed paintings and creepy mannequins that follow you around weeping-angels-style. Worst of all, while inside said house, you'll get random unexplained phone calls from several of the creepy voices that play in a Malkavian PC's head. Hearing those voices outside of their usual context somehow makes them more unsettling as a Malkavian.
    • Remember the Anarch quest where you had to take care of the loud-mouthed ghoul of a missing domiter? Her domiter is also in this labyrinthian wing of the mansion... well, his skeleton and ashes are, having burned to death trying to pull a lever in a strange room in the mansion that seems to have sunlight streaming into it even though it is definitely night time when you visit the mansion. No, the game doesn't even try to explain how that's possible or what Kent is doing there in the first place, which makes the discovery even more unsettling.
  • The More Fun With Pestilence side quest:
    • You investigate the base of the cult that's been spreading disease all over Downtown. Turns out, the guy in charge has been infecting his acolytes and turning them into mindless, brain-eating zombies. You end up finding yourself desperately hacking your way through a literally endless horde of zombies in a dilapidated, run-down building while getting lost in the labyrinthine corridors. Oh, and unlike the bloodthirsty lobotomy patients, these guys don't just attack you. If they get too close, they'll latch onto you and start chewing through your skull to get at your brains while their friends take turns ripping pieces out of your helpless form.
    • Brother Kanker, the nossy responsible for infecting the Downtown homeless. His hideout is in the sewers and it's designed as a macabre church with a corpse crucified to the wall. The man himself is a freaky looking fellow with blood red eye sockets, a scarred skull and has a tumor on his chest. The worst way is the way he talks. He raves about their intention of infecting the world with this plauge and snarls and gasps even while he's talking. He even makes a Malkavian look sane by comparison.
  • The section of the game where you investigate a snuff film. The subject is bad enough. Then they add the screechy music from the hotel sequence and then have warped human husks composed solely of arms grafted to a snarling, fanged head running around trying to eat your face. Then you find the mansion where it was filmed. Wallpapered in human flesh.
    • That horribly distorted "Kill!" as they suddenly jump from 10 yards away straight onto you.
  • The fight against Ming Xiao's true form: a horrible gelatinous blob that can spawn copies of itself.
  • That raptor statue in the corridors of the Museum, which is realistic and just behind a corner. It was lampshaded by a member of the staff too. This moment is even creepier if you spoke with the Seer on the beach and heard her little rap about seeing dinosaurs, and her sudden spiral into absolute terror when she cries "It's open... Oh god... It's Open! Run! RUN!!!"
  • The Abandoned Hospital downtown. As you enter, you meet a guy who's scared out of his wits by what he's seen in the basement. The descent to the basement is as creepy and atmospheric as an Abandoned Hospital with an unknown horror waiting for you should be... then you find out what he's scared of: a vampire who actually has to eat her victims who killed the rest of his reality TV crew and needs him dead to preserve The Masquerade.
    • That vampire also says, "True terror is not the sight of death, but the fear of it." The player advances through a scary hospital, constantly expecting to die a horrible death. Then you find a friendly quest giver NPC surrounded by bloody corpse bits, and in the end she's not that bad.
  • Finding the Tzimisce in their sewer hideout, and face the above mentioned grafted horrors, as well as spiderlike abominations made from a woman grafted to two other bodies that crawl out of the vents in the sewers to eat the dead workers' bodies, while in the background the music seems to form words: "Helllp meee...voices won't leave me alone..." Even once you get out of danger, it's still freaky—a voice from somewhere you can't see that sounds like a deranged little girl whispers to something about staying out of sight.
    • One of those women grafted together? Yeah, she was pregnant, her womb is cut open and the fetus has been stolen When you consider the guy who did this it becomes even scarier.
  • The werewolf chase towards the end of the game. You're up in the mountains, believing that this is just a simple meeting with Nines. A short while later, the sight of a forest fire starts to freak Nines out. If you inquire as to why he's scared, he tells you that the mountains are werewolf territory and that the fire was probably set to drive the werewolves towards the two of you. Nines then gets bowled over a cliff by a werewolf, and you have to deal with another. By this stage of the game, you've probably picked up some heavy-duty weaponry like the flame-thrower of automatic shotgun. They do nothing. What follows is a nerve-wracking chase through an abandoned observatory, with a mountain of teeth and claws right behind you the whole time. You will doubtless find yourself whimpering a bit as the chase progresses.
    • Perhaps the most frightening thing about the werewolf chase is that even the game's cheat codes are useless against it. If you go into the console and turn on the invisibility and invulnerability cheats (notarget and godmode, respectively), it can still see you and hurt you. Whatever keeps the invisibility code from working on it also keeps Obfuscate from working on it. Thankfully, it IS possible to kill it after all, and the game will award you extra XP for doing it. The method, however... Even after the thrashing it gives you, you almost feel sorry for it watching it getting crushed with observatory's closing dome.
  • Andrei is a horrifying looking Tzimisce elder who looks like a cross between a human and the creature from Alien. The fact that he creates horrifying flesh-crafted monstrosities is only icing on the cake.
  • Pisha mixes between this and fanservice. The way she slaughters a reality TV show crew while the player characters are helpless to do anything but watch. Pisha's attractiveness only makes it more unnerving. Her pleasant demeanor and voicework by Mary Elizabeth Mc Glynn either hurt or help the fuel.
  • Certain portions of the Grout Mansion. Specifically, it's a mansion filled with tortured and insane people kept in Hannibal Lecter-esque masks. They've been driven totally mad by Grout and there's nothing that can be done for them but send them to a horrifying grave. That doesn't even include all the other horrible stuff that Grout is keeping there. Such as his dead wife's perfectly preserved corpse.
    • And the reason the wife is a corpse might very well be because Grout decided to remove her entire brain for study. Nightmarish and insanely sweet and sentimental given all the other objects surrounding the body were supposedly objects from their courtship. The fact that Grout is trying to "cure" her is probably his Malkavian insanity manifesting. Might even count as Heartwarming when you consider that Grout considered his wife's Mind/Brain important to him. For a man born and embraced during pre-Freudian era, it was quite a progressive attitude.
    • And it's not helpful later when Bach sets everything on fire and the ghouls are now flaming.
  • The ghouls are particularly nasty creatures by themselves. They're moaning, inhuman, and monstrous things that look closer to Nosferatu than humans. The idea this could be the fate of people like Mercutio or Heather is a disturbing one.
  • The death of Heather combines Nightmare Fuel with Player Punch. Cue Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • The player character themselves can be this, taken Up to Eleven compared to other vampires, given how frighteningly quickly they master their vampiric skills.
    • There's the Nosferatu and their ghoulish appearances. The Nosferatu PC can startle an old woman so badly she either faints or drops dead on the spot. There's a reason why sewers exist in this game.
    • The Malkavian. Some people find the happy Malkavian outfits make their attacks with fire-axes and severed arms all the more frightening. More than the outfits, their "Dementation" dialogue options are freaky. Seriously, you can make people do whatever you want, usually by driving them mad. A bit of flavor text from the Dark Ages rulebook is appropriate here. "Dominate might erase your memories, Vicissitude might reshape your form, but Dementation can destroy your soul."
      • Malks are also equipped with Obfuscate, which means not only can they drive you insane, but you might never even see them coming before they do so.
    • The Brujah PC is equipped with enough Super Strength that they could snap someone's neck with their bare hands. That, combined with the infamous Brujah temper and tendency towards frenzies makes them quite scary to interact with.
  • Every so often in the Hallowbrook hotel, you come across humans that have had their eyes torn out. They were probably food for the Sabbat. Such a life is so hellish, there's no humanity penalty for killing them.
    • Around the earlier parts of the game, if you hang about the Hallowbrook Hotel, you can hear brief sounds of muffled whimpers. Once you are in the building, you can find out that Andrei has been using the ground floor as his personal abattoir, meaning those whimpers belonged to victims you had no idea existed. There is also a slight Fridge Horror there when you realize that you walked past the hotel dozens of times, never thinking what went on behind its doors.
  • Gorgeous Gary Golden, Golden Age Hollywood movie star turned Nosferatu spymaster in just a few nights (by Kindred standards). The conversation with him is... chilling. Even the typically unfazed Malkavian player will demand: "Where. Are. You?"
    • It's especially creepy if you're a Toreador, as he'll maniacally rant about wanting to destroy your beautiful appearance in all sorts of creative ways and express some very deep-seated hatred for your clan—far more so than any other Nosferatu in the game. Given that you're the only non-nosferatu in the Warrens and they're all apparently hidden everywhere around you, the genuine hatred he'll express for the Toreadore PC will make you wonder if you should start running.
  • Some of the Disciplines are this.
    • The Tremere's Blood Disciplines Purge and Blood Boil. The first one force the opponents to ''puke huge amounts of blood'' in pain, while the other boils the blood of the target, making them sway and inflate until they blow into bloody chunks. And not only said chunks can kill your enemies if caught nearby, but you can even pick up the dismembered limbs as weapons!
    • Suicide and Mass Suicide, which both force your enemy/ies to choke themselves to death.
    • The Blood Shield is also pretty scary, not in terms of what it does, but how it looks. Once you activate it, your character is covered head-to-toe in blood—no joke, it seriously looks like they took a dip in a bathtub of blood. And it drips behind them as they walk like something out of a horror film. Just walking around outside with it on gives you a Masquerade Violation and sends people running in terror. And if you turn into first-person, the screen literally goes red, with red blood cells flitting in front of your vision.
    • Malkavian's Vision of Death. It kills, via fear induced heart attack. There's nothing the victim can do to save themselves, and the last thing they see is giant centipedes crawling on their body.
    • Animalism can induce the Primal Fear of predators:
      • Nightwisp Ravens has birds appear to peck the victims' eyes out.
      • Burrowing Beetle generates a bug that latches onto an enemy and burrows into their flesh.
      • Imagine looking behind yourself and seeing a Spectral Wolf about to pounce on you.
      • Bloodsuckers' Communion spawns vampire bats that jump on a person's face to drain them.
      • Pestilence summons a swarm of insects that eat their victims down to the bone.
    • Presence doesn't seem that scary on the surface, but if you think about it, it's actually quite frightening in the wrong hands. It allows vampires to manipulate the emotions of the people around them—several people at once at higher levels. Because it's based in manipulation rather than brainwashing, it's more subtle than Domination, and you might not even notice it happening at all. Worse still, a vampire with Presence can make you believe you liked whatever it is they compelled you to do, and you'd be none the wiser.
  • Andrei the Flesh Crafter's house on King's Way is made and furnished out of people. And the "furniture" might still be alive and aware of what they have become. Time to break out the flamethrowers and Mercy Kill the poor house.
  • Mitnick. Unless he's lying (though in a Old World of Darkness setting, probably not), its very likely that the geeky, cheerful little Nosferatu potentially has more power to cause horrific death, destruction and suffering on a scale that surpasses practically everyone in the game (or perhaps even the entire World of Darkness) up to and maybe even beyond Caine himself. How so? Even as a mortal, Mitnick was able to anonymously obtain nuclear launch codes and sent them to the President. For fun. Now that he caught the attention of the Nosferatu and has been embraced, he's potentially immortal, has access to what he calls "cool toys" and a secret, possibly eons old and globe-spanning information network to play with. Also, a spot of Fridge Brilliance if you had Becket talk about Gehenna: "A mundane apocalypse is much more likely that a supernatural one."
  • In the Nosferatu Warrens, you begin hearing whispers - whispers like the Malkavians usually hear, but you hear them regardless of what clan you are. Are you going crazy? No. Once you talk to Gary Golden, you realize that every Nosferatu in the city lives in those warrens, and most of them are invisible. From the very moment you stepped into the warrens, you were surrounded by them - and you couldn't even see them. Those whispers you hear? They're close enough to whisper directly into your ear. Being the master of shadows isn't just for show. Golden himself is the worst of the lot. He toys with you before The Reveal mentioned above, and gets so under Malkavians' skin they can actually be coherent a few moments if he pushed them hard enough in the torture. Get through his psychological torture, and he reveals that the bodies in his lair are the cast and crew of The Misfits. All of this, one would add, from a character who's ostensibly on your side, and wants you to succeed.
    • Even worse, the first time you leave Imalia's room, the door to the spare room across the way from hers will mysteriously open to reveal a blue blood pack. It's very likely one of the obfuscated Nosferatu playing poltergeist, and if you notice it, it is downright unsettling. Especially because the doors in the game autoclose after a few seconds if you aren't blocking it, so the timing will make the door close again either in your face just before getting to it, or right behind you after walking through.
  • The huge, incredibly creepy portrait of Therese and Jeanette with their father. It becomes downright sinister after you find out that Therese's father used to sexually abuse her. Since both sisters appear in the portrait, it's implied that one of them commissioned the portrait after he died. The reason why a sexual abuse and incest victim would want an enormous portrait of her abuser can only be dark or sad.
  • During "The Hunted Hunter" quest, you'll having to go looking for clues about the whereabouts of a Kuei-jin spy in the local hospital morgue. That alone is creepy, but what's worse is that while the quest is active, the emaciated corpse of the man you were using as a lead will be sitting there in the morgue as you rifle around in his belongings. You half expect the guy to get up and attack you, just given the supernatural setting of the game, and the silent ambience of the hospital certainly doesn't help cut the tension.
  • The Library contains possibly the game's most infamous and malicious Jump Scare. You just stopped the Sabbat ritual, your resources are probably drained from the boss fight and now you must stealth back to the elevator you came in whilst avoiding the oblivious security guards. You hit the elevator button and watch it open...and one of Andrei's creations jumps and claws right at your face while screaming like a cougar! Let's hope the fledgling (and the player) have a new set of pants.
    • Not only that, but Paranoia Fuel kicks in once you get into the elevator and head back down to the basement, ready to fight more of these monsters that somehow must've started to follow you around from Hollywood. The doors open and...there's nothing there. You head to the sewers and you can't help but feel afraid to check every corner, constantly expecting the game to throw another one of those little bastards at you, but it never does. Regardless, you'll be wanting to get back to the surface pretty quickly after that one.


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