Amnesia: The Dark Descent/Nightmare Fuel

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The creators of Amnesia the Dark Descent set out to make one of the scariest games ever. They did.

  • Just imagine the intense pain during the reforming into the grunts, including having to have your genitals ripped off, or sewn together in case of a female
  • The torture chambers are packed to the brim with this. The accompanying diagrams do *not* help matters.
    • A bronze bull that's hollow inside, with the makings of a campfire beneath it. The game explains precisely what the Baron and Daniel use this for, if the implication wasn't enough for players to get on their own.
      • Oh, and by all means - light the campfire set up beneath the bull.
      • Made worse if you know that those bulls were not invented by the developers. Those things were actually used in real life.
        • One thing people forget to mention is that the brazen bull was designed with a brass horn like instrument in its mouth. The horn sounded like a call of a bull. You can imagine that is hard to breath in the bull, so the occupant used the horn to inhale and exhale oxygen which gave it that horrible sound. The occupant would try to avoid the part that was in direct contact with the fire, but, because of the nature of metal and the fact the victim was usually naked, this did not help much. All that occurred was the victim prolonging their own life while entertaining or putting the fear of God into guests. The designer of the bull was killed when the King, who ordered it made, wanted to hear the horn (that was already installed in the device) tested. He slammed the door shut and burned the designer alive thus claiming the bull's first victim. Yeah, that's pretty horrifying to say the least.
          • Supposedly he did it because he felt the creator was a sick, sick man to make such a thing. Even more supposedly, he took the guy out before he died. Then threw him off a cliff.
    • Cramped cells that aren't even big enough to lie down in... and are conveniently connected via pipe at the ceiling to the cell next door, allowing the victim in Cell 1 to hear the agonized screams of the victim in Cell 2.
    • A room that contains nothing more than a heavy, iron weight with chains attached to it, along with a pulley system connected to another set of chains. Just give the winch a few cranks and see what happens.
    • A classic Iron Maiden, which pops open as you approach it, giving a Shining-esque sequence of blood spilling forth. The flashback contains textual Eye Scream.
    • A place to string someone up by their legs... a diagram placed next to it shows two men using a lumberjack saw to saw from the groin to the chest.
      • Also done in real life for apostasy.
      • Adding to this was a flashback (thankfully in note form, rather than visual) between Daniel and the Baron, in which the saw became lodged in the man's hip, and they couldn't get it loose.
    • You know that pyramid-shaped object you find in one of the rooms? It's called the Judas Cradle, invented during the Spanish Inquisition. Want to know how it works? You hang the person by their torso and feet, they're stripped naked, and there are several techniques on how to use it. You can drop the victim onto the pyramid or slowly lower them onto the tip so that they sit there for an extended period of time. The pyramid is basically acting like a spreader. You want more details? Machines of Malice looked at it best and shows how it WORKED. (Please note, that it starts up about this particular piece at around 8:02.)
  • Perhaps the most disturbing part is how Daniel willingly believed every assertion that the Baron told him in regards to their victims' crimes.

Daniel: *Cutting into the chest of a still-alive man* Paint the man, cut the lines. Cut the flesh, watch the blood spill - let it come! *mockingly* "Please, I didn't do anything! Blah Blah Blah!"

  • The Reveal as to why Daniel took the amnesia brew in the first place - in his journey to keep himself safe from a creeping shadow, he went out with the Baron and kidnapped the family of a farmer to use as Sacrificial Lambs as a way to forestall the shadow. The breaking point was when Daniel chased down one of the young girls that had escaped, and killed her in the process.
  • One dedicated fan made a video showing what would happen if a Brute Servant came knocking on your door. You'll never sleep comfortably in your own home ever again.
  • And there's one section where, in order to progress through the sewer system of the castle, you have to drill a hole in the head of a corpse, insert a copper tube into the hole, and stick yourself on the needle to give yourself an injection of a vaccine.
    • And seconds after this, you turn to the door and what happens? A goddamn monster happens. The only rooms to hide in are full of corpses.
      • Naked corpses. Naked male corpses. In a pile. Not to mention that you more than likely have to hide behind them to stay alive.
  • The invisible monster in the flooded basement will scare you out of a year's growth.
    • Just shut the door. It can't get you if you shut - IT'S BREAKING DOWN THE DOOR!!!
  • The Prison Level. Most people give up in sheer terror because the place is swarming with monsters, and is very dark. The monsters literally seem to be everywhere.
  • The fact that the first piano you encounter (the one that shuts itself) has two sets of 3-keys (i.e., F F♯ G G♯ A A♯) next to each other in the center freaked the shit out of me. How the hell do you play that thing?! Does it just repeat?! Or does it create...B♯?!
    • Not to mention the black keys are directly on top of the white keys. The graphics are high enough you can't even just attribute it to graphical error; there is some weird shit going down on that piano.
    • Continuing on, after it shuts itself and you go to another room, it begins to play perfectly (both pianos do this). One of the monsters? A piece of remaining humanity?
  • The room where the first vitae experiments took place. It's essentially a taxidermy room, with a severed dog's head in it. The room immediately after that has a cupboard with at least 3 dead bodies, all nothing but bones. Plus in the background there's the sound of another dog yelping in pain.
    • Though, the severed dog's head becomes Nightmare Retardant if you have a sick sense of humor.
      • (Holds dog in front of camera.) "I'm ridin' Beat I'm ridin' my ghost dog!"
      • The crescendo is the end, when he tosses it away and you hear glass smashing off-screen.
    • Same goes for the stuffed rabbit. Watch Lanipator's let's play for the moment.
  • The worst part about the monsters is actually how they appear often enough and yet seldom enough to cause extreme panic and paranoia.
    • Oh, and the deal about Alexander not having any female corpses around, and the ever famous Mr. Face? Mr. Face may have once been a woman. Look closely.
  • While there's the possibility of Alexander having innumerable servants through the years, the bulging eye and twisted hand and the messed up leg and distorted mouth of the servants depicted in these diagrams from the torture rooms could suggest that Mr. Face and Mr. Tall have been around a long, long time.
  • "It feels like my chest is going to burst!"*rip*
  • In the sewers, you can find the shattered body of the first humanoid monster that was pursuing you (by this time, another has shown up). What killed it? The Meat Moss? The other monster? Whatever it was, it gives you the willies to think of it.
    • It can be the same case of the severed dog head. If you have a sick sense of humor, it's just nightmare retardant. Plus, you finally get to see what they look like. Check out Lanipator's let's play and watch that moment. He's a little unfair since a torso would weigh upwards of fifty pounds, so of course Daniel would have problems throwing it.
  • The grunt servant at the top of this page. What the hell is that?!
    • Seems like they are Alexander's servants, and they were afflicted by the Shadow. Alexander can still maintain some control over them, as in the ambush at the end of the game. But thats only when Alexanders realizes you are in the castle. The rest of the time the servants want to kill you.
    • Many signs indicate deliberate, careful mutilation rather than mutation caused by the Shadow. Alexander would have a need for servants who are absolutely loyal, easily sacrificable and replaceable if needed, and capable of inflicting mad terror in their subjects just with their appearance. Grisly mutilation + alchemy = Mr. Face. They were presumably hooded or otherwise disguised around Daniel before the game, since he commented on their abnormal behaviour, but not appearance.
  • This one's a bit of Fridge Horror, as you're not likely to notice it unless you're the type that double-checks everything: in the Cistern, there's a container. When you first go near it, you can hear incompherensible muttering from inside. When you turn the valves elsewhere in the room, water begins to pour in - and the muttering turns into anguished howling. Once all the valves are open, the voice goes silent. So apparently, by opening those valves you unintentionally drowned someone.
  • More subtle than most of the examples here, but still quite worthy of noting: the game's Sanity Meter is a graphic of a brain, and if you mouse over it you get a brief description of your state. These descriptions can include stuff like "hands shaking and head pounding". If your sanity is low? "..." WHAT THE HELL.
  • The monster in the Justine expansion. It gets worse when you realize you can occasionally hear it saying "How did this happen?"
    • The reveal that the player character is Justine may not seem horrifying at first, but think about it: The monster mentioned above, along with the other two you meet later on? Yeah, you did that to them. You weren't brainwashed, you weren't forced to, you weren't mind controlled. You blinded them and trapped them down there of your own free will. It doesn't help that they used to be men.
  • Subtle one, but there are portraits of Alexander scattered around the castle. Look at one with low sanity. Just try it.
    • It can also act like a Nightmare Retardant if you realize he now looks like an owl with no feathers. Or it can make it worse when you realize that there are plenty of clues that suggest Alexander isn't human. Maybe his current form is a mask and that's his real face. YYMV, but it can be scary and silly at the same time. At least he looks like the monster he really is on the inside or at least Daniel's perception of that monster.
  • Three words: Back Hall Fountain. Ok, it's a bit creepy at first [1] [dead link] (Look at its face for God's sake!), but then it gets progressively [dead link] worse. Not even the calm music playing in the background can save you now.
    • Add a bit of Fridge Brilliance or Fridge Horror. See the corpse that suddenly appears? Turn around and what do you know, the corpse just disappeared. It just vanished in the air? It was a bug? Or... is there something in the room with you, and it took the corpse out of there?
      • More fridge horror: look at those legs in the fountain, and where the water lands. Later, a red, pulsating blob appears above them. Even later, the fountain is flooded with blood and a corpse appears where the bulge was.
  • Malo, in the Justine expansion. Just...everything about him. Especially if he kills you and he makes a noise that sounds disturbingly like...gnawing.
  • Let's face it, this game is pure horror. No place, not even the Back Hall, is enough comforting. Not only the monsters, but the entire paranoia fueled corridors, always keeping an eye behind you, and beyond every corner. The thought that there's something always following you is enough to keep you on heels. And this game proves that, yes, Nothing Is Scarier.
  • The first run-in with a servant. By some degree of luck, you figured out how to get the hell away and sobbed in a corner for five minutes. You come back out,'s gone? It's gone! Not taking any chances; just b-line straight for the exit! Made it. God damn, I never want to go back in there. At least now I'm safe. Then as soon as you walk forward after the screen loads-- SHRNK! You took damage?! B-but I got out! D-did it chase me?! Run, run, RUN! You look back to see it was only the first instance of the Shadow's decay expanding...though you don't know that yet. All you know is, you're never going in that fucking room again, and the game agrees with you.
  • Some of the messages writen in blood in Amnesia Justine are REALLY screwed up. Some that stick out in this tropers mind are "Death shall move across the floor", "They who burrow waits beneath", "Stay alive", "Lonely", "Suffer the trial" Made worse by the fact you sanity meter will decrese the moment you enter the tunnels and won't stop going down untill you find the exit. What could possibly have gone through Justine's twisted mind to make her write those messages...In blood no less.
  • The Downer Ending of the game is this made even worse when you hear The shadow replay the voices of Daniel and Alexander's victims right before killing Daniel. And Daniel's screams DO NOT make anything better
  • In Justine, after dealing with a rather annoying puzzle involving slides, you proceed to a large storage room that is rather well-lit. Then, a sudden gust extinguishes all lighting in the room, and the door inexplicably locks behind you. Then, the uncanny combination of clanking chains and wheezing heralds the beginning of a monstrous hide-and-seek game against a blind foe who attempts to track you through sound. Pray you don't slip and knock over a chair.
    • To emphasize the danger you are in, Justine, who up to this point remained unperturbed by the horrors she has witnessed, is now fighting (unsuccessfully) to suppress her fear. This can result in situations where the creature is not 2 meters away, and you are trying to desperately drag yourself away from the gasping abomination.
  • In the original, you come to a hall with a piano early on. You go down the hall past a fireplace and through a doorway that leads to another hallway with a piano. The piano play themselves. It's supposedly a hallucination, but what you don't hallucinate is a cave in. You then have to break through the wall and go out another way. If you backtrack to the fireplace. You will hear a noise behind you when you face the door. You turn around and, ten feet away, THERE'S A GRUNT MARCHING TOWARDS YOU!! And he disappears in a cloud of smoke. Phew, just another hallucination. It's a good thing there's no such thing as monsters and oh shit, that was a hallucination made by your past self's memory. Daniel has SEEN a grunt before he got amnesia and if he has, then what about the other prisoners like the little girl?
  • La Caza will ruin suits of armor for you.
  • In the mod "White Night", you're walking up a flight of stairs after (maybe) finding a key when you suddenly see a note... And it tells you to run and not look back... Suddenly, creepy music begins playing as loud sounds sound from behind you...