Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game

Go To
The Shadow Realm is the least of your worries right now.
  • An archetype known as "Gimmick Puppets" is generally accepted as the archetype with the creepiest art. All of the monsters within the archetype are evil looking-puppets, like "Gimmick Puppet Nightmare." Literally, nightmare fuel.
    • One specific card, "Gimmick Puppet Dreary Doll," had to be completely redesigned in order to be exported from Japan to the rest of the world. The original artwork is a childlike puppet that is covered in bloody bandages while sitting in a coffin. The new version it still unsettling, but it makes it look more like a toy instead of a dead child.
    • Another "Gimmick Puppet" monster, "Gimmick Puppet Shadow Feeler," can be visually linked with the human centipede from the film The Human Centipede: First Sequence.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Appointer of the Red Lotus. Dear God!
  • Several of the images on cards could be counted as this. For instance, the card Final Countdown has twenty flames floating in a circle in the sky as a malevolent face forms in the clouds.
  • Some cards have images that are strange, grotesque, or just plain WTF. Some notable examples are "Eternal Rest", "Spirit's Invitation", and "Life Absorbing Machine".
  • Advertisement:
  • There is the implication in the story behind the cards that Invader of Darkness is some sort of Evil Overlord who is something like Darth Vader. And that, going by the number of cards searching for him, he probably did something unspeakably horrific. And there's how he probably did in Gagagigo, leaving the poor guy for Kozaki to repair, who probably has a Evil Plan of his own going... yeah, Invader is the Big Bad.
  • Magic Drain. Naked white haired vampire sucks a guy's blood and it looks VERY rape-ish.
  • Parasite Paracide. TCG Artwork: a simple insect with a few worm-like tentacles. Pretty tame as long as you're not an entomophobe. OCG Artwork: the same insect embedded in a guy's face, with its tentacles protruding from his face and mouth. Ewww.
  • Tribute to the Doomed shows a old, ragged mummy taking a living person and mummifying him alive.
  • Dark Jeroid has a lot of Vagina Dentata going on, its real head is on its crotch, and one gets the feeling the weakening effect is the opponent monster being squicked.
  • The trap card Tragedy. In the OCG, it shows a guillotine. In the TCG, it's 'censored' to show a lass who looks distressed, with an evil looking chap looming behind her, from the darkness. Said evil chap has a blood red moon behind him, which happens to be full, which happens to have an effect on him...
    • Another example, although much less scary than the above, of censorship making things worse is the monster Mystic Tomato. The original artwork makes it look like a Jack-O-Lantern, but in the TCG, its a tomato with a bit-too-realistic monster face.
  • Some say that the creepiest card in existence is Il Blud. Il Blud is an evil.... thing with a dark, small face (with glowing red eyes) wearing a jail suit, complete with ball and chain attached to its leg. This wouldn't be so scary, save for the huge fucking rip in its stomach with a giant, distorted face staring at you like something out of a creepypasta!
  • Many of the earlier cards were REALLY unnerving, but one of the worst was Sorcerer Of The Doomed. It basically looks like an aged corpse with a malevolent expression and a body suit of horrified faces. The flavor text also helpfully states that it is a master of life-extinguishing spells.
    • Much of this comes from earlier cards being based directly on Kazuki Takahashi's designs from the manga. Compare the original Manga to shows like ZeXal, and you'll realize that the manga treads much, much more heavily into the Horror genre than any subsequent iteration of the franchise.
  • The Evilswarm archetype in the Duel Terminal packs. Where their 'predecessor', the Steelswarm, were just ruthless invaders without purpose or cause beyond wanting to destroy everything, the Evilswarm archetype is introduced with the reveal that the Steelwarm may not have been in full control of their senses . . . as the Evilswarm archetype consists of various monsters from other Duel Terminal archetypes — every other archetype, in fact — twisted and warped from their original forms by the the Evilswarm virus, a Hate Plague that renders their victims not only distorted but also unable to convey their thoughts, rendering them either a prisoner of their own bodies or at the very least no longer themselves — to wit, the flavor text on the only Normal Monster among them is BACKWARDS just to show how hard it is to understand them and their line of 'thought'.
  • The Wicked Worm Beast. Look closely at its card. Is this thing a humanoid monster with worm tendrils... or (more likely) a human corpse being controlled by a monster worm parasite?
    • In the manga, this card killed Kaiba when Yami Yugi gave him the Experience of Death penalty game.
  • The army of Monster Clowns. Mystic Clown,Dream Clown,Crass Clown,Saggi The Dark Clown... the list goes on...
  • Pumpking the King of Ghosts. Can you imagine seeing this thing in a pumpkin patch? A huge one-eyed pumpkin with jagged teeth giving you an evil eye. Shudder.
    • In the old console games, he's even worse. Take a good look at him in the Falsebound Kingdom.
      • Who says you need the old games to get spooked by Pumpking? Try summoning him as Bonz in Duel Links to get a special animation of Pumpking rising from the depths of the earth, surrounded by candles implying you've given Pumpking what he needs to complete a ritual to bring himself to life.
  • Necroface has a freaking porcelain horror movie doll with some freaky tentacles smashing out of its face, not to mention that bubbling mass coming out of one of its eyes.
  • The OCG artwork for Axe of Despair, featuring a grisly looking skull-like face with an axe blade sticking out the side of it. In fact, Dueling Network, a simulator that always uses the original artwork, uses the TCG version of that card.
  • Dark Hole, which shows an extremely creepy black hole-looking thing. What makes it creepy is if you look close, it resembles a giant eye, which causes Fridge Horror to make you wonder, is this a hole or some other being's eye?
    • Well, if you look closely, there appears to be stars surrounding it, suggesting that it is an Unrealistic Black Hole.
  • Relinquished. Even its effects are unnerving (It steals the opponent's monsters to power itself, if you do damage attacking it, it deals the damage back to you as well, and it sacrifices whatever monster it equips to itself it would be destroyed, hence the OCG name of the card, Sacrifice). And when it merges with the Thousand-Eye Idol...
  • Fiend Comedian's TCG artwork looks slightly creepy with that grinning host. Its OCG artwork on the other hand.....
  • Ultimate Offering's OCG artwork gives off a very disturbing cult vibe.
  • In mid-2014, some images of Korea's Judge Mats were revealed. The reactions to Outer God Nyarla's artwork can be summed up as: "Oh my GOD, WHAT IS THAT THING?!"
  • Infernoids are demons sealed under the Naturia Sacred Tree along with the Qliphort. In an attempt at obtaining the tree's power, Winda accidentally released them. The Infernoid and Qliphort immediately burned the Naturia Forest in blue flames and sealed her into a battery cylinder to power themselves up. They possibly turned Construct's marionetting powers against her, as seen in Shekinaga's artwork.
    • And as we later see, even after turning Construct into Shekhinaga, they weren't done with Construct yet. Infernoid Lilith, who is apparently in charge of the Infernoids, forces a Fusion on a frozen Shekhinaga - most likely done by Shrit as Nekroz of Trishula - and tricks him into trying to freeze her too in order to seize the Trishula power and become El Shadoll Anomalilith. Possibly meaning the Shaddolls' Heel–Face Turn may be reversed by force, and the Shaddolls, irony of irony, forced into service to mechanical demons bent on creating their own Sophia.
  • There's just something incredibly... off about the figure in Stygian Dirge.
  • The "Amorphage" archetype may be just as nightmarish as the aforementioned Gimmick Puppets, if not more so. Lore suggests they are the result of an alchemic process used by "Vector Pendulum" that turns innocent animals into draconic abominations with eye-like ... things in various places of their bodies. Sounds scary enough, right? Now take into account that each and every card associated with this archetype depicts said innocent animals in MID-TRANSFORMATION. And to cap it all, some of them even look as though they're decaying or outright MELTING.
  • The fates of the Dragon Horn Hunter and the girl present in the "Forbidden" series of quick-play spell cards. Turned into Humanoid Abominations for trying to provide medicine for her village and stealing. Crosses over with Tear Jerker.
  • Metamorphosis. Depicts a creature mutating into a different one in a freakish manner, looking like the new creature is growing from the old one's back and taking it over. The fact that there's an eye and mouth visible in the mutation doesn't help.
  • The art of Call of the Grave shows a large, freakish zombie with glowing eyes and sharp fangs and fingernails.
  • Wall of Illusion is disturbing and downright strange. It's some kind of wall made of bones and what looks like flesh with a woman's creepy face growing out of it...
  • The equip spell card Falling Down, which shows Warrior Dai Grepher undergoing a Painful Transformation into Dark Lucius LV 4, certainly qualifies. Blue skin? Check. Visible veins? Check. Horns pushing through skin? Check. Glowing Eyesof Doom? Big check!
  • Jawsman. Jesus Christ. It's some humanoid figure with a bunch of mouths with razor sharp fangs all over its body.
  • Due to their otherworldly appearances, the Arcana Force Archetype monsters can be pretty creepy. Oh, and they were inspired by Silent Hill. One particularly creepy one is The Moon, which can best be described as an alien-like creature with a huge brain piloting a masked biomechanical construct.
  • Corroding Shark, A zombie shark with its flesh rotting and tearing off, revealing its bones. Oh, and the Japanese artwork features this thing bleeding profusely, with its organs visible. You can probably see why that wasn't included in the international release.
  • Bottomless Trap Hole, in both artwork and effects. The artwork shows a monster falling down a bottomless pit inhabited by what appears to be leering malevolent spirits. The implications are made worse by its OCG name: "Pitfall of Naraka". You're condemning the victim straight to an eternity of torment in hell.
  • Malice Doll of Demise straight up looks like something out of a horror film. A doll with crazed eyes, a creepy smile, and worst of all, it's hunched over from holding an axe that's about the size of the monster itself.
  • Gate Deeg is disturbing even by the standards of the really old cards and almost seems like a precursor to Il Blud. Its stomach is ripped open, being held together by sticks, and within the inside is several monsters, all with glowing red eyes...
  • The story depicted in the Eldlich series. A group of mages attempted to perform a ritual on a mysterious stone to summon forth great wealth... only for the wealth to be revealed to be sentient. The gold and jewels transform into Eldlich the Golden Lord, an undead evil, who then coats parts of the mages' bodies in gold, allowing him to take control of them while their exposed flesh slowly rots away. He then covered the entire land with gold to tempt others to come to take the treasure... then convert them into his golden undead servants who are forced to kill more treasure seekers. The card art depicts living people screaming as their flesh becomes encased in liquid gold and then later their half-rotting corpses forced to serve the vain Golden Lord.
  • Most cards in the TCG with artworks that may seem too frightening or have blood get censored, however there are a few cards in the TCG such as Snake Fang, which has a lovely close up of a snake's mouth open and it's teeth in a dark background with blood on the teeth, and it didn't get censored in the TCG version probably via oversight.
  • The only reason people still remember the two Twin Long Rods monsters are their creepy designs. Twin Long Rods #2 is a serpent-like... thing with bulging eyes from the sides, exaggerated lips, an open mouth to fully display its teeth, and two tentacle-like tails that it can apparently use as weapons. However, #2 pales in comparison to the OCG-exclusive Twin Long Rods #1, one of the most hideous-looking monsters ever printed. It reaches Gag Lips territory, has a Slasher Smile expression (#2's expression is more angry than sadistic), and the lower half of its body closely resembles a giant butt. No wonder it has never been internationally released!