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Nightmare Fuel / Yu-Gi-Oh!

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Ah, Yu-Gi-Oh!. Filled with wonderful Children's Card Games. It's not like anything in a series like this could be scaryOH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT?!

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  • While some fans tend to think of the Shadow Realm as one of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise dub's worse changes, little do they realize that it actually works as a Fate Worse than Death itself. This is especially prominent when Yami Bakura duels Bonz in the Season 2 dub, defeating him and not only sending him to the Shadow Realm for the rest of the show, but taking his friends with him.
  • Several of the Shadow Games from the original manga and the Toei anime are incredibly dangerous, and many of them are from the main hero's Superpowered Evil Side.
    • The very first chapter has Ushio beating Jonouchi and Honda up and forcing Yugi to pay him or he'll do the same to him. When Yami Yugi awakens, he challenges Ushio to a game involving money and a knife. They'd take turns stabbing the bills, balanced on their hand, and whoever stabbed their hand first would lose. After fighting the urge to swing the knife as hard as he can, Ushio tries to stab Yugi, but is given a penalty game where everything he sees looks like money. He's seen the next day happily playing with leaves and trash.
    • The ZTV director filmed a documentary about bullying by making his assistant director beat Yugi and Jonouchi up. His Penalty Game was to see everything as a pixelated mosaic, which is represented by his eyes becoming pixelated. The digital coloring of the manga makes it even worse, as the colors are bright and full of static.
    • For Sozoji, simply being a horrible singer wouldn't be too bad a character trait, but in his attempts to get people to listen to his horrible singing, he committed extortion and beat up an innocent person before deliberately tormenting him with horrible singing while having the gall to blame it on Yugi. Sozoji's Penalty Game was to be deafened by the sound of his own heartbeat.
    • Kanekura's Penalty Game is disturbing. Ammit towers over him, preparing to eat his heart, and the shock gives him a heart attack. Neither Ammit itself or Kanekura's shocked face is decent to look at, to say at least.
  • The chapter when Jonouchi has been forced back into his evil gang, but when he rebelled, they took him to a warehouse where they tortured him by beating him and electrocuting him with a taser.
    • Hirutani's gang tries to hang Yugi with a chain, and would have if Jonouchi hadn't saved him.
  • In Chapter 5 Anzu gets knocked out with chloroform and it's implied that the guy who knocked her out wants to rape her.
  • Shadi's Trial of the Mind in the manga had him brainwash Anzu by rearranging her Soul Room, then placing her under penalty of death to test Yugi.
  • Imori and his soul-eating Dragon Jar in Chapters 46 and 47 of the manga (and episode 18 of the Toei anime). In the manga Imori states that it takes the Jar about 3 months to fully consume a victim's soul, implying that you spend 3 months being eaten little by little. Worse, Yugi was imprisoned there briefly.
  • Some of the things that happen to the Puzzle are kind of shudder-inducing, especially looking back on it knowing there was a soul trapped inside the whole time. If Jonouchi had thrown the center piece of the Puzzle somewhere else, Yugi might never have solved it.
    • The dub has it that Pegasus set up the tournament because he could only take the Puzzle if he won it in a duel. Presumably, Yami could mind trip people from inside the Puzzle if they tried anything else, which we see in the manga with Otogi's father. It seems to imply Yami is slave to whoever rightfully 'wins' the Puzzle, which could have been a villain like Raphael or even Kaiba when he cheated to win way back in Duelist Kingdom.
  • Kaiba's first Penalty Game was the Experience of Death, where his mind was trapped in a card and he was killed by the monsters there over and over. After suffering nightmares and a growing, bitter drive for revenge against Yugi, he put together Death-T, an amusement park deathtrap specifically designed to kill Yugi. He nearly kills Yugi's grandpa as bait to get him to climb the tower, using a simulation of the Experience of Death and tearing up his fourth Blue-Eyes. When Yugi's friends arrive to help he has no problem with killing them too, including Honda's infant nephew.
    • Death-T level 1 is a laser-tag style game, but Yugi's friends' guns are just toys, while Kaiba's hired guns (all former soldiers and assassins) have weapons that deliver a fatal electric shock to whatever they hit. The Toei anime toned this down to them using lasers, which still wounded Jonouchi.
    • Death-T level 2 is in three stages, the first being a dark coaster ride in real electric chairs. Kaiba's butler tortures the group in the hopes of hearing them scream, as whoever screamed first would be electrocuted. The second level has Yugi and his friends reach into numbered holes to get a key, with only one being right. If they took too long to figure out the puzzle or grabbed the wrong one, a guillotine would fall and cut their hands off. The third stage is probably the worst, as Kaiba hired a serial killer named the Chopman and forced one of Yugi's friends to battle him one on one, with a TV screen installed so they could watch. The Chopman's weapon of choice is the chainsaw. The Toei anime instead had a killer robot the group had to stop with a number puzzle, cutting out the rest of the level.
    • Death-T level 3 is a room where blocks fall from the ceiling to crush the group, apparently killing Honda when his jacket gets stuck between two blocks.
    • Death-T levels 4 and 5 are games of Capsule Monsters and Duel Monsters, respectively, with the loser suffering from the Experience of Death simulation. When Yugi beat Mokuba, Seto subjected him to the same treatment, and just before winning against Kaiba Yugi was one turn away from death.
    • The Toei anime added a scene where Ryou Bakura helps out the group in Death-T, pointing out that Yugi's grandpa and Honda are trapped in an hourglass filling with water. To save them Jonouchi and Miho had to play a real-life fighting game against Aileen and Ryuichi under penalty of their deaths.
  • Mokuba Kaiba was a total sadist in his early appearances. In his first duel with Yugi, he stated that if he won, he'd cut off one of Yugi's fingers. In his second appearance, Mokuba poisons Jonouchi and forces Yugi to play Russian Roulette with poisoned and non-poisoned meals for the antidote, but if Yugi loses, Mokuba will kill Yugi and keep a bottle of his blood as a trophy.
  • The scene of Pegasus receiving the Millennium Eye. In the manga, the scene itself is more ambiguous, Shadi's men merely approach Pegasus with the Eye and what seems to be a knife, and the next thing we see is Pegasus' silhouette and his screams. The anime is much more blatant with Shadi pushing the artifact into Pegasus' eye socket whose face obviously shows pain and then hear his scream. The anime even adds a scene of him trying to get back on his knees, groaning, while holding the left part of his face. Then there's the scene with Dark Bakura taking his Eye out, licking the blood off it. Also, unlike the anime, Pegasus ended up dead from this, and we're treated to a shot of Pegasus' corpse, with blood coming out where his eye used to be.note 
  • The Millennium Items themselves, thanks to their evil intelligence and their possession of an independent mind to a degree. When Shadi puts on the Millennium Ring on a graverobber, it stabs him in the chest and burns his body to the bone because it deemed him unworthy. Pegasus' reaction at the scene speaks for itself.
    Shadi: The Millennium Items' ownership is for those whose soul is worthy... Therefore the souls of those who don't deserve them will be burned to death...
  • The creation of the Millennium Items. Who would want to wear something made of gold and the melted remains of 99 massacred villagers?
  • An early scene in Millennium World has Thief King Bakura march into the throne room with Atem's father, who is a mummified corpse, and Bakura is dragging him along the floor with a rope around his neck. Atem then shoves Bakura away from him, and lifts the corpse in his arms, looking at the thin slit that reveals his eyes. Naturally, his sadness turns to anger pretty soon after.
  • Given there's never so much as a panel showing it, Atem's death and sealing in the Puzzle. Likely in the middle of battle, but the real terror is how young he was, and that his body was annihilated, leaving his soul to be trapped a tremendously long time in the darkness.
  • Dark Bakura and the Millennium Ring are terrifying. Just think about it. You're a shy, quiet, good kid. Then one day, your Adventurer Archaeologist father gives you a shiny little trinket from ancient Egypt, and suddenly, everything changes. You find yourself with strange gaps in your memory and people around you start going into comas for no apparent reason. And most of the time, these victims are your friends, who you were just playing a friendly tabletop RPG with the day before. Then you finally make a new friend with a similar pendant, and then you start hearing a voice in your head. And it wants to skip the comas this time and outright kill your new friends. Oh yeah, and that voice also turns out to belong to some twisted combination of the vengeful spirit of an ancient tomb robber that looks a lot like you, and an Eldritch Abomination. It can take over your body at will, flawlessly imitate your voice and behavior, and do all sorts of horrible things and leave you to suffer the consequences. And no matter what you try to do about it, that accursed pendant of yours just Won't. Go. Away. This thing has you at its mercy, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.
    • Imagine being in the friend's shoes... get screwed by the dice and the Eldritch Abomination that's possessing your friend turns you into an role-playing NPC doll that will say the same line for all eternity.
    • It's one for Yugi, too. Sure, the results turned out OK for him most of the time, as his friends are saved inexplicably from danger and people bullying him mysteriously stop, but he still has memory gaps and has a very similar artifact. Bakura's troubles could easily have been Yugi's, and when Dark Bakura inevitably points out the similarities between himself and Dark Yugi, he's not altogether wrong to do so.
    • Yami Bakura willingly harms himself for the sake of a plan in Battle City, leaving his host wondering what the hell "happened to his arm." He also impales his hand on the Monster World board in the manga to stop Bakura from interfering.
    • In the Egyptian arc Thief King Bakura steals the pharaoh's sarcophagus and drags it around behind his horse as a bargaining tool, in the manga dragging his mummy around. His monster host is impervious to the sealing powers of the Millennium Items, and he's still as evil and wicked when the monster is temporarily removed from him.
  • In the dub, Umbra and Lumis make the Shadow Realm terrifying by describing how Yugi and Kaiba will fall through the skyscraper ceiling if they lose the duel...
    Lumis: But you'll never reach the bottom.
  • Dark Marik was created by the hatred and pain Marik had to go through as a child when he was forced into the tomb keepers ritual by having the sacred script knifed into his back. The dub said it was tattooed, but that made it worse. To achieve that level of detail in a tattoo without the aid of modern needles, it's most likely that Marik's was inflicted using a method that the Inuit people used; taking a needle and thread, dipping it in ink and sliding it through under the skin like you're sewing. It leaves nice clean lines and it's reasonably hygienic, but it hurts so much. To prevent the ink from fading you need to get it quite deep under the epidermis. In amongst all the nerves. Seeing the level of detail in the thing, it's a safe bet that it would have taken days to do it. Most likely with a handmade needle, much thicker than the one in your sewing kit, with rough jute thread to pick up the ink, and the ink itself would probably be some horrible concoction. Sandpaper string. Covered in caustic ink. In the soft skin on your back. For days.
    • Another creepy thing with Dark Marik is when a semi-transparent part of his face stretches to the side, usually when Marik is particularly angry or about to do something exceptionally evil. It's possible this is showing Dark Marik's personality fragmenting further under stress, as Dark Marik himself isn't a fully-formed personality when it took over Marik's body. In the Japanese Manga/Anime, Dark Marik gradually devolves from simply hateful to a slavering animal wanting to hurt everyone he can, however he can. Dark Marik was born from Marik's displaced rage and pain; if Dark Marik's original motivation was "Kill and hurt those who hurt us!", without Marik to moderate it, the motivation gradually deteriorated to "Kill and hurt everyone who gets in my way!" and then finally "KILL HURT KILL HURT".
    • Yami Marik's awakening in the anime is done with a terrifying green-tinged fish-eye lens as Marik screams his head off.
    • Yami Marik is so evil and psychotic he freaks out Yami Bakura briefly. During their Shadow Game, the evil spirit is visibly frightened by the conditions—losing Life Points causes your body to be eaten by the darkness and disappear.
    • Yami Marik killed Marik's father in the dub by sending him to the Shadow Realm (where he died) and stabbing him to death in the Japanese version of the anime. All of that pales to how he killed him in the manga, where he skinned him alive. Even worse than how Marik's father was killed in the manga is why. He brutally tortured and then murdered (or so he thought) Rishid in front of Marik to punish him for sneaking outside, all while laughing and taunting his son about it like a psychopath.
    • In the manga, the scene following Marik's father's murder is extremely disturbing and heartbreaking. In the anime, Rishid was able to make Marik switch back to his normal self and then cradled him in his arms like a baby to try and calm him down. In the manga, he is able to make Dark Marik go away, but then proceeds to pass out due to blood loss, and normal Marik thinks he's dead. Understandably, normal Marik is terrified and hysterical; his father is dead, his older brother is almost dead, there's blood everywhere, and it's implied that he thought Ishizu (who had been smashed through a wall by Dark Marik) was dead as well. Given what he'd done, plus his childhood, it's not surprising he snapped.
  • Normal Marik could be just as bad as Yami Marik at first, with his plans escalating from standard death traps to mind-controlling Yugi's friends into a death match duel where no matter who won someone would die, which even Kaiba found abhorrent. Yami Marik later takes credit for these actions in the manga, saying that he buried Marik's conscience so he'd commit worse and worse crimes.
  • Dark Necrofear. Even in the dub, that thing was creepy as hell. In the Japanese version, when she dies, the viewer is treated to a lovely shot of Dark Necrofear's eyes burning out of her head. This was, understandably, cut out of the dub.
  • Despite the dub having most deaths be replaced with the Shadow Realm, the Realm itself is a place of darkness, pain, and agony where monsters feast on your body and soul as you slowly disappear into oblivion—meaning you can die horribly and painfully while already dead. Any soul sent there increases the power of a Millennium Item, and it's implied the bearer of an Item can leech off trapped souls for extra power.
    • Yami warns Yugi during their duel with Pegasus that his soul would be shredded if he stayed in the Shadow Realm too long, and Pegasus planned to send Yugi's friends—unprotected humans—there. Arguably the worst part is that since Battle City on 4Kids used the Shadow Realm as a catch-all Hand Wave for avoiding saying a character died, practically anyone with a tangential connection to the Millennium Items can initiate a Shadow Game and send people to the Realm.
  • Pegasus's Toon cards. What happens when the wacky, colorful, silly cartoon characters turn their antics on you? You get a bug-eyed, cackling Blue-Eyes with a mouth full of exaggerated fangs, or a big red Ryu-Ran who laughs as it inhales to blast you to ash with nostril flames. They look like classic American animation Toons, but they are Toons in a card game based around ancient shadow magic and interdimensional monsters, and they are terrifying! Even the non-Toons Pegasus uses are creepy, like Bikuribox, a Jack-in-the-Box who pops out, reaches into its mouth to pull out a giant gleaming scythe, then launches forward on its spring with an Evil Laugh to slice you into ribbons.
    • How Pegasus creates his Toons—by sending them into Toon World and sealing them inside, if they want to or not. He's essentially conducting Mind Rape on the original monster to turn it into a Psychopathic Manchild of itself. And let's not even get into the idea that Duel Monsters are supposed to be the incarnate souls of humans. Just think about what the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon and Toon Dark Magicians mean in terms of Kisara, Mahad, and Mana.
  • Right after Bandit Keith loses to Jonouchi in Duelist Kingdom, Keith decided to confront Pegasus in the hall. He held out a knife and demanded that Pegasus give him the prize money. Pegasus' guard prepared to take out a gun, but Pegasus insisted there was no need for a weapon. Pegasus said that he was aware Keith had cheated against Jonouchi and that he intended to punish him. Pegasus inflicted the "Hand and Gun" Penalty Game on him. Keith's hand was then slowly turned into a gun, which he was forced to use to play Russian Roulette with, killing himself.
    • This was changed in the anime, in which he was thrown out of the castle and into the ocean hundreds of feet below. Not initially as scary, until a flashback in a later episode shows him almost drowning.
  • Slifer the Sky Dragon/Sky Dragon of Osiris appeared to be doing its best to invoke this on Yami Yugi when he fought it, and it was working. He even says that he's frozen in actual fear. The best example is in the manga, even in a cage, protected from the God card, Yami Yugi was practically crapping himself. And then the cage disappears... and Slifer wastes no time in lowering its head so that it's mere inches away from Yami Yugi and eyeballing him with a snarl.
  • Then there's the scenes where the Egyptian Gods attacked the members of Pegasus's excavation team for daring to find them. The photographer winds up trapped in the same room as Obelisk, but the cameraman decoding the hieroglyphs is attacked in his hotel by Slifer/Osiris, and we get a lovely shot of Slifer being revealed in the lightning as it coils around the building and snarls at him while he screams in terror. Think of it as a slasher movie where the killers are the freaking Egyptian Gods. The dub cuts out a shot of the photographer being defenestrated, which in a way is even scarier for not seeing exactly what happened.
  • Marik's cards are all pretty sinister, but Viser Des takes the cake. It's a torture device that forces itself on an enemy's monster, slowly driving a pair of screws into their temples until it crushes their skull. Even worse is that Marik makes duelists feel this pain with his shadow magic.
    • In the anime, Viser Des was replaced by Holding Arms, a sentient pair of shackles. While not as horrific as Viser Des, Marik's magic makes it real, so it's able to forcibly capture Mai, bind her to a magically-conjured rock, and attacks by electrocuting her. The latter was cut from the dub.
  • The Doma/"Waking the Dragons" arc. The whole soul-stealing thing was bad enough, but then Yami used the evil Seal of Orichalcos card only to lose his duel. Yugi took his place so he wouldn't lose his soul, but then a vision of Yugi had him used said evil card... not to mention the revelation of who the Orichalchos Knights were behind their helmets—the souls of the friends Dartz had captured.
  • Kuribabylon, a larger Kuriboh with two fangs and a horn. Normally it's just as cute as the original Kuriboh, but when Yami Yugi corrupts it with the Orichalcos card, its fur changes to dark blue, its eyes glow red with a malevolent glare, and its two fangs become a big wide smile of long sharp teeth. That's one scary cottonball you've got there, Pharaoh.
  • When Black Magician is possessed by the Orichalcos, he struggles against it for awhile before giving a sinister grin as he enjoys the power-boost. Given that he's the spiritual remains of a priest who could subdue the part of Zorc Necrophades that was sealed inside the Millennium Ring, this speaks volumes of how dangerous this kind of magic is. Orichalcos doesn't force you under its power, it tempts you.
  • There's a point in the first duel with Raphael where Raphael uses a card that suspends Yami Yugi from one arm in the air, presumably while it steals cards from his deck. It's a minor thing, but it underlines the helplessness of the situation, and cards that have physical affects on the player could often be said to fall into this category - they're more pronounced because the card game is generally such a non-contact sport.
  • Yami is dueling Weevil, who tears up a card saying that it's the Seal of Orichalcos that Yugi is trapped in. Yami goes berserk and uses the whole "monsters are real" aspect of the Seal to beat Weevil to a pulp with a spell card that gives his monster almost limitless attacks. Tea freaks out for good reason.
  • Guardian Dreadscythe, a darker zombified version of Guardian Eatos wearing a mask. It's big, intimidating, almost impossible to defeat, and by the look in its eye it likely takes pleasure in destroying its enemies. It's also implacable, as it cannot leave the field if you draw enough cards, and will just keep attacking.
  • Mai has a moment when she first duels against Joey in season 4. Initially, Joey wants to prolong the duel to try to talk Mai out of it, knowing that if she loses, she'll lose her soul. Mai immediately replies back, dead-seriously, "I have no soul." Needless to say, this surprises everyone in the room, including her own teammates.
  • During Rafael's second duel with Yugi, the latter activates a card that brings up one of Rafael's memories. Said memory? Dartz telling him bluntly that his family is dead and making him confirm it by digging up their graves with his bare hands. As if that wasn't bad enough, he turns up a pair of skulls, implied to be those of his brother and sister, and we get a lovely detailed close-up of the skulls in his hands. Shortly after, Dartz makes him use the Seal for the first time, which triggers the transformation of Guardian Eatos into Guardian Dreadscythe. A transformation which, if her reaction is any indication, was extremely painful. No wonder much of the scene was cut in the dub.
  • In the manga, Japanese anime, and English dub, at the start of the Memory World arc, Yugi's grandpa gives us a flashback of when he took the Millennium Puzzle out of the Pharaoh's tomb. But in every single version, the puzzle is the only thing that's in the burial chamber of the tomb. The Pharaoh's body isn't there. One of the beliefs of ancient Egyptians was that the body needed to be intact to allow a spirit to enter the afterlife, so if something happened to the Pharaoh's body he shouldn't have been able to enter the afterlife. That was the reason the Pharaoh couldn't pass on in the first place. In the manga, it was confirmed that sealing himself in the Puzzle destroyed his body. He was already trapped forever between life and death, sealed in the Millennium Puzzle. The Ceremonial Battle was what was needed to allow him to pass.
  • In chapter 21 of the manga, there's Kujirada's digital pet who, apart from looking absolutely disturbing and scary, eats other pets.
  • The duel against Pandora (Arkana) during Battle City. Most of us know that in the manga and Japanese anime, it featured buzzsaws that would cut the loser's feet off. In both versions of the anime, however, Yugi manages to save Pandora before the thing can touch him. He has no such luck in the manga, where one can actually see the buzzsaw draw blood from what's probably one of his legs' major arteries before Yugi saves him. Even worse? Right after Yugi leaves, Marik looks into Pandora's memories and stirs up any and all suicidal thought's he's had before, meaning that the moment he wakes up, he'll go and kill himself. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be the good half of Marik.
  • The Ventriloquist of the Dead's Penalty Game. Trapped for the rest of the life in an illusion to be tortured by a very disturbing-looking, Chuckyesque puppet version of himself.
  • In the manga, Marik hypnotizes Anzu and forces her to take a pill, presumably a Cyanide Pill, between her teeth. If Yugi does not duel Jonouchi, Marik will force her to swallow it. In the anime, he made her handcuff herself to a seat, with a giant box wired with explosives above her head. and then released her so she'd be Forced to Watch the duel itself. What's more is that this was one of the rare instances in the 4Kids dub where Never Say "Die" is averted, so the audience knows that Marik's not playing around anymore. Even worse although Tea is freed from the trap in both versions, we still see the explosives go off, albeit harmlessly in water. Now imagine if they had been used on their target. Sweet dreams...
  • Another example from the Battle City arc, the fate of Seeker, the first Rare Hunter (and Exodia-user) that was defeated by Yami Yugi, especially in the dub. Just picturing what a then-faceless villain was capable by witnessing a fully-grown, hyper-confident duelist reduced to screaming for forgiveness in quite visible terror was unnerving enough, but seeing the poor man's eyes, bulging with veins and shaking with fear until the pupil slowly fades away into lifeless Blank White Eyes, with the subsequent involuntary breakdance/seizure thing that Marik forces his unwitting, zombie-like puppet to perform was extremely unnerving.
    • There's also how Marik possesses him in the manga which makes it even more disturbing to view. While the eye symbol just appears over his head in the anime, in the manga his forehead actually transforms and swells into the symbol's shape, with him screaming in agony the entire time as it happens until he's taken over.
  • In the duel with the Paradox Brothers, Yugi uses the Mystic Box on a spider-like monster called Jirai Gumo. When it opens, we get to see the lovely picture of an already creepy spider with swords sticking through it. This was so disturbing that the dub changed it to the card having the swords stick into it.
  • There's a verse in the American song "Face Up, Face Down" that's a little on the creepy side.
    What's wrong now, you look so sad.
    Losing your soul doesn't feel that bad.
    Those you love have told me so,
    and soon my friends, you too, will know.
  • Ms. Chono's true face, coupled with her pretty one cracking apart and falling off.
  • Yami Bakura growing a duel disk right out of his arm in the manga version of the Memory World arc.
  • The 4Kids dub added some Nightmare Fuel before Yugi's battle with Pegasus, where his grandfather pleads with him to stop Pegasus, for the world's sake. If he had this much power with one Millennium Item, imagine what he could do with two, and if Pegasus collected all seven, he could unleash Armageddon upon the entire world.
    • Considering the reveal of what would happen had Zorc Necrophades not been defeated? It’s not inaccurate to say Yugi's grandpa spoke the truth…
  • Kaiba's vision of Mokuba being trapped inside the rotting Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, then seeing himself melting.
  • In the Legendary Heroes arc, Kaiba is trapped in a virtual reality video game and chained to a pillar by a Witty Phantom, who is based off of Pegasus's personality and shares his voice. To make things worse, the monsters plan to sacrifice him in order to summon the Mythic Dragon, and the Phantom refuses to let Kaiba sleep as he'd been programmed to torment his captives.
  • During Pegasus's duel with Kaiba in Duelist Kingdom, he tries to get the soulless Mokuba to duel in his place. When Kaiba relents and plays Pegasus's way, he toys with him at first before utterly curbstomping him.
    Pegasus: Now I have two things you care about, Kaiba. Your dragon and your brother. Let's see what else I can take.
  • The scene where Pegasus stalls Kaiba's hacking attempts with Funny Bunny is made frightening in the dub, as the bunnies chant "Hey Kaiba!" off-sync in creepy tones.
  • The final story arc of the anime begins with Ryou Bakura running for his life, taking shelter in a church. Even though the Millennium Ring is no longer with him, Yami Bakura's voice reaches him and tells him that he will collect the Millennium Items whether he likes it or not. When Ryou tries to refuse, the church's stained glass windows shatter around him and he screams, clutching his head as Yami Bakura gloats that he's waited long enough for the ultimate Shadow Game to commence. When next we see him, Yami Bakura has taken over.
  • Marik's shadow game with Mai. In the manga, after losing Mai was tortured and fed upon by scorpions. In the anime, she was trapped in an hourglass and lost her memories of everyone who cared about her.
  • Episode 28 of Duelist Kingdom is freaky enough, with a cult in Pegasus's basement and ancient dueling rituals that kill a guy, but the dub makes it worse. Pegasus says that every soul he sends to the Shadow Realm increases the power of his Millennium Eye, implying that he was leeching off of Solomon Muto, Mokuba, and Kaiba for power. He plans to capture Tea, Tristan, and Bakura in the same manner, and use the Millennium Ring to increase his power even more. It's also hinted that if he got all seven Items he'd destroy the world by accident in his quest to bring Cecelia back.
  • The scene where Pegasus steals Mokuba's soul, especially in the anime. Pegasus is cold and ruthless all the way through, intercepts Kaiba seconds before Mokuba would have been freed, and mockingly congratulates him on having gotten this far—-right after scene after scene of the Kaiba brothers vowing to see each other again.
  • Just before Yugi duels Pegasus, Ryou Bakura says that the outcome of the match wouldn't matter at all. It's a very good thing Pegasus was a man of his word.
    Ryou: Pegasus holds all the cards right now. As long as he holds his prisoners, we're going to be at his mercy no matter what the outcome of the game.
  • Siegfried/Zigfried may not be as evil as the other villains, but in the right lighting he looks just as scary as they do.
  • The scene in the anime where Marik mind-controls Bandit Keith. Despite Keith being a jerk, his screams of pain and terror are really unsettling as Marik dominates his will repeatedly. When Yami Bakura helps free his mind, Marik tries to reassert control... and Keith goes completely crazy and ends up burning the entire warehouse down to get rid of the voice in his head. In the Japanese version he also shatters the Puzzle of his own free will as he believed that was where the voice was coming from.
  • The fire scene in the manga's Dungeon Dice Monsters arc and the anime's lead-in to Battle City. Yugi is surrounded by flames while the Puzzle has been shattered and chained to a post, and he won't leave until it's put together and freed. He'd have died if Joey and Tristan hadn't saved him.
  • Yami Bakura's plan with the Change of Heart card was to make Yugi kill all of his friends.
  • Despite ostensibly being holograms, Duel Monsters respond like actual living monsters in some situations. For example, in "Master of the Magicians", Arkana's Dark Magician looks genuinely terrified when Arkana casually sacrifices it for a cheap shot at Yugi's life points, later shooting him a vicious glare as Yugi laid out the Dark Magician Girl's powers. An even earlier example also happened with Mai's Harpie Lady Sisters' reactions to watching Black Luster Soldier vaporize their pet dragon right before their eyes, being a mixture of shocked and horrified disbelief. Another later example happens with the Dark Magician Girl crying as she is forced to attack Yugi after Dark Bakura took control of her and forced her to do so. Think about what this all implies for every monster that's ever been destroyed in the game.
    • In the same episode with Arkana, one of his cards has Yugi's Dark Magician chained up and taken out of the action, allowing Arkana to attack Yugi directly. The camera even takes a moment to focus on DM's face as his master is attacked and he's unable to protect him. Imagine how he must be feeling, especially since he's actually the reincarnation of the Pharaoh's most loyal protector—the same Pharaoh who's currently under attack.
  • Thief King Bakura's death in the manga and anime. Yami Bakura disposes of him by turning his entire body to sand, and in the anime he's conscious enough to realize what's happening to him and cry for help before he collapses.
  • Normal Bakura under the control of both Yami Bakura and Marik in Battle City is very unsettling in the manga. The sheer fact that Bakura has essentially no free will at this point and is not even aware of it is already bad in itself, but his general expressions and behavior also make him creepy. There's a scene in the anime of Yami Bakura messily eating a steak. In the manga, however, it's normal Bakura who's eating... with an unnervingly vacant expression.
  • This face Yami Bakura makes as he gloats that the Pharaoh's life is under his control in the Memory World RPG. It comes out of nowhere. His facial expressions become increasingly more unhinged as he gets closer to defeating the Pharaoh in the RPG. Not even the three Egyptian Gods can faze him, given that he knows for a fact that Zorc can defeat them, which he knows because part of him is Zorc.
    • This horrific, Off-Model face as he gloats is reminiscent of Zorc.
    • Even the normally composed Yami Yugi is aghast that he's been seeing his ancient enemy, the cause of his thousands of years of torment in the Puzzle, throughout the entire series and had no idea until just now.
    • Just the reveal itself is Nightmare Fuel in of itself. The menacing and malicious Yami Bakura isn't just the soul of Thief King Bakura but also a fraction of the ancient evil God that nearly tore apart all of the, at the time, known world and likely would have continued after destroying all of Atem's kingdom. It brings to mind how he mentioned back at Duelist Kingdom that Yugi had no idea what kind of danger he was facing and now you realize just how right he was.
  • When Yugi and his friends attempt to find the Pharaoh's name, they learn the wish made on the Puzzle must be returned to it in order to pass—meaning Yugi's friends must fall into the abyss. Thankfully, everyone manages to survive, but Yugi's anguish when he tells them that they were his wish really hurts to see.
  • When Yugi and friends first want to follow Yami Yugi to the world of Memory, Bobasa warns them that in order to learn the truth, Yami Yugi will have to experience his death for the second time and if they follow him, his friends will have to helplessly watch. Thankfully it doesn't end up that way, but the reactions of everyone (especially Anzu) are pretty heart wrenching. For Yami Yugi too, since learning his past turned out to be experiencing first hand. It's ambiguous if he realises he may end up dying in the game just because he wanted to get his memories back.
  • In the manga and Japanese sub, whenever a character's monster is hurt in battle in the Millennium World arc, their summoner coughs up blood. There's two occasions where Atem is coughing up big gouts of the stuff.
  • This line from Yami Bakura in the anime's Memory World arc.
    Yami Bakura: The only question is who will lose their soul to the shadows first? Any guesses? ...Come on. It's a game! You should try and have fun!
  • Panik/the Player Killer of Darkness, who threatens to burn Yugi alive in the anime and hang him in the manga. His strategy revolves around using the Castle of Dark Illusions to conceal his entire field in darkness and launch attacks where no one can see them. When he loses the duel to Yugi in the anime, he tries to kill him with flamethrowers. He fails, but it's his malicious thought that counts.
  • In the anime version of Duelist Kingdom, Yami Bakura can use Duel Monsters cards in reality. After restraining Pegasus's guards with Chain Energy and finding they were still pursuing him, he sicced Man-Eater Bug and Morphing Jar on them to dispatch them to the card graveyard, where the Reaper of Cards killed them.
    • Man-Eater Bug and Morphing Jar are nightmarish in themselves in the scene since they're both intangible making them invincible to harm yet fully capable of harming the guards. The fact that they wind up in the graveyard after an Eat the Camera shot courtesy of Morphing Jar implies they were Eaten Alive. It's arguably worse in the 4Kids dub as the removal of their guns means that they can't even try to fight back like in the original and instead try in vain to run for their lives.
  • Yami Yugi has a very chilling line in the dub as Kaiba tries to goad him into surrendering by threatening to fall off the castle.
    Kaiba: You can attack the Blue-Eyes again and wipe out my remaining Life Points, but if you do the resulting shock waves might cause me to lose my balance.
    Yami Yugi: Don't tempt me!
  • In the Virtual World, the Big Five plan to hijack everyone's bodies to escape. They succeed with Tristan, whose mind is placed inside an Acrobat Monkey robot, then take turns sharing his body when they duel Yugi.
  • In the anime, Gozaburo's original plan when he adopted Seto was to use his body as a vessel for Noah's mind. In the Virtual World, he then plans to digitize the entire world and rule it in the dub and destroy 97% of the world and rule the 3% that's left in the Japanese version.
  • After being betrayed by Gozaburo, Noah snaps and laughs madly before Mokuba is able to calm him. He goes to help Yugi and his friends find a way out... only to trap them in their worst memories while he claims Mokuba's body for himself to take over KaibaCorp. Noah then plans to keep everyone's minds trapped inside the computer system and destroy it with a missile, killing everyone there. His line when he first takes over Mokuba really sells it.
    Noah: Thanks, Mokuba. I owe you my life.
  • Gozaburo Kaiba turns into a horrific monster at the end of the Virtual World arc, even appearing in reality briefly to try and kill Seto.
  • Noah spent years trapped in his virtual world and was driven mad by every other person saying the same lines over and over.
  • In a single duel, Yugi's Dark Magician almost gets a thousand knives thrown at him, is narrowly saved from a guillotine, and gets chained to a cross while he watches helplessly as the Pharaoh for an attack!
  • Yami Bakura's duel with Bonz and his gang has him invoke this, telling a scary story about his Headless Knight card to freak them out. When he wins the match, he either kills them, sends them to Hell, or sends them to the Shadow Realm, depending on the version. Either way, they never show up again even after his defeat.
  • The apparent explanation why Atem is so dangerous when he first starts possessing Yugi is pretty scary. In the Memory World arc, we see he Used to Be a Sweet Kid. But then when he starts possessing Yugi later, he's basically a sadistic vigilante. Apparently it's because the whole time he was in the Puzzle, he was conscious. And all alone... for thousands of years...
    • Both sensory deprivation and long-term isolation are known to quickly degrade one's sanity, as discovered by psychiatrists looking into how solitary confinement affects the mind. After only hours of isolation, an inmate can experience hallucinations. Sensory deprivation can cause similar effects even quicker, thought to be because the mind tries to stimulate itself in the absence of external stimulation. Mere weeks living in these conditions can drive a person completely mad... thousands of years is a hellish ordeal that can barely be comprehended properly. It's frankly a miracle that Atem was able to recover any semblance of psychologically coherent or stable behavior at all, and his initial ability to function (if unstably) probably has a lot to do with the implication that he borrowed and copied aspects of Yugi's identity and mind.
  • Joey's duel with Weevil in Season 2 is just plain creepy thanks to his insect deck. Probably the scariest thing about it though, is the card that Weevil managed to sneak into Joey's deck called Parasite Paracide. It turns every monster card Joey puts onto the field into an insect type. The transformation is gross to say the least, but what happens to Joey's Panther Warrior is just disturbing. After the parasite infects it, it writhes around in Panther Warrior's head before a tentacle bursts out of his mouth! Probably one of the few times 4kids actually made the right choice by cutting that clip out.
    • There's also Weevil's Insect Queen. Her giant spider-mantis body is frightening enough, but her almost human like face is truly the stuff of nightmares. Want more? She gets stronger by eating the other cards Weevil places on the field.
    • One more: Leghul. It's not a particularly strong monster, but Weevil uses it to attack Joey's life points directly. And it does so by biting Joey's leg!

    Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time 
  • They killed Grandpa and Pegasus with a falling building, although it's all undone by the time Yugi, Yusei, and Jaden defeat Paradox.
  • Paradox fusing into Sin Truth Dragon. His facial expressions, the groaning in pain, the roar followed by the dragon shrieking, and the fact that he refers to it as "himself" are all very unnerving.

    Yu-Gi-Oh! Video Games 
  • DarkNite and Nitemare come out of nowhere in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories, can overwhelm you within turns, and come with broken cards. Their lines are oddly cryptic and mindscrewy.
    • And somehow, in Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, they became even worse. Yeah, bet you thought Heishin was the Big Bad, didn't you? Well, he outlived his usefulness, was turned into a card and then BURNED UP. And even if you manage to defeat DarkNite, he transforms into Nitemare, who looks something like a mummy who decided to invest in Magitek.
    • DarkNite doesn't die after Forbidden Memories. He only returns to wherever he came from, which makes him more than capable of returning—which he does in The Falsebound Kingdom.
    • Losing to DarkNite causes him to laugh madly and make a scary face as he gloats over the world being his.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards has Arkana, who tells you that the loser of the duel will be chopped up. Even worse, to reach him you have to talk to an NPC who says that other people have been going to the card shop and disappearing, implying he successfully killed other duelists.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction has the Chevaliers, green lizard-like creatures with Pegasus's original hair. There's very little detail given on them save that Chevalsky turned them into what they are now. They ambush you in a locked, otherwise empty cable car.
    • The first vision you receive from a Millennium Item is from the future-telling Millennium Necklace. It shows Reshef burning the world to the ground, and even Yami Yugi is consumed by the flames. The opening has a similar image of Pegasus surrounded by flames with a wicked grin on his face, which is also repeated in the game's ending.
    • The theme for Pegasus's castle.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour has evil duelists (Rare Hunters, Bandit Keith, the Paradox Brothers, etc.) who chase you down at night and start a Shadow Game. If you lose, your soul is sent to the Shadow Realm and you get a Game Over.
  • 7 Trials to Glory has the bonus dungeon Shadow World, represented as "???" on the map. You can duel a bunch of evil characters there as well as some background NPCs. The most frightening is probably Arkana, who threatens to cut you to pieces if you lose. Yami Bakura also gets a Slasher Smile if you duel him, which he repeats whether you win or lose.
    • The box art for 7 Trials to Glory has a very scary-looking Yami Bakura on the cover.