The Loop (TV)
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- The infamous Sonic drowning music frequently reduced players to tears while playing through Labyrinth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog, if only because of how louder-in-comparison and unexpected it was. The Sonic Adventure games feature an orchestrated version of it, complete with realistic drowning; and, last but not least, Sonic Colors has an even more ominous-sounding, better orchestrated version of the track, as heard here. What makes drowning in Colours even scarier is Sonic's body language during it, depicting an even more realistic drowning. However, arguably the worst version is the Sonic Generations one, which combines the fast tone of the regular version with incoherent drumming.
- At a game show panel at an anime convention, one of the backdrops to one of the hard questions was a "Labyrinth Zone Dance Party". Missing the question leads to the water level rising drastically, with predictable results.
- A version of the song With Lyrics has fun with it.
- Tails lampshades this in Sonic Generations by saying the water in Chemical Plant Zone makes him really nervous.
- The And I Must Screamness of the games, concerning the woodland animals' Unwilling Roboticisation.
- Robotnik's classic western design. Once an adorable spherical humanoid with traits of both eggs and walruses, his cutesy appearance was changed when he hit American and European shores, and he was molded into this amuch more menacing creature. It was kinda for the better, though, since even the original Japanese Robotnik set up huge polluting factories that ruined the environment and powerful airships to bomb the land and seek dissenters, which was in direct contrast with his playful and cute appearance.
- Sonic's eyes, as well as those of a few buddies of his, look a bit too much like a single eyeball with two pupils.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
- In the 2-player vs. mode, when one player finishes a level, it starts a 60-second countdown for the other player to try and finish. The drowning music is once again involved (see above).
- The Chemical Plant Zone is mostly remembered because of the quickly rising purple water, making any comeback to the surface more and more difficult as time went by, eventually culminating in an inevitable instance of the drowning countdown. In Sonic Generations, Tails' remark about how "I don't know why, but that purple water really makes me nervous" drives home how even Sega is aware of the level's infamy.
- Aquatic Ruin Zone had weird stone faces, randomly activating arrow traps, and of course, water for Sonic to drown in.
- The teleportation boxes freaked out some people as well, what with the music and the whole screen turning white as seen here.
- In this game as well as Sonic 3 and Knuckles (see below), there's a few kamikaze enemies (starfish in Metropolis, shark missiles in Hydrocity).
- There's a Dummied Out level in the beta called the Genocide City Zone. That's because the developers wanted an English word with a "strong" meaning; once they found out what it meant, they changed it to "Cyber City Zone" before scrapping it.
- The inescapable spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone, able to trap even Super Sonic.
- Messing with savestates on this game and Sonic 2 Retro Remix with an emulator can result in a messy outcome.
- Failing to reach One Hundred Percent Completion has a rather unsettling implication: Tails probably dies.
- The real nightmare music is in the American soundtrack--Namely, the boss music and the Game Over music. The boss music is simply creepy, but the Game Over music is outright scary. This is in sharp contrast with the sountrack's JP/EU counterpart, as there those two tracks aren't are scary: the JP Boss music has an Affably Evil feel to it, and the JP Game Over music is more like Sarcasm Mode in musical form.
- On the other hand, the boss music is used to nightmarish effects in the game's hidden sound test, resulting in this scary Easter Egg.
- However, while the main tune of the Japanese Metallic Madness Bad Future music sounds catchy, the laughing men in in the Japanese boss music are in this song and sound evil, this time.
- "Pinball Fortress" may sound cheesy. It isn't.
- Unlike milder Badniks, Rexxon tries to eat Sonic whole...
- Sonic Spinball in general is the franchise's Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: in this level, the music is disturbing enough, but the painful "hitting-the-boss" sound for the boss is way too fitting.
- The next one has four disembodied Robotnik heads that vomit blood every time they're hit.
- Fall down the drain during that boss battle, and Sonic falls to an area where he is hanging mere feet from a lava cauldron by a chain.
- The fully-functional Roboticiser with eyes.
- The Game Over music is pretty Jump Scare-inducing.
Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
- Sandopolis Zone's Act 2, set inside a huge pyramid with a scarier version of Act 1's theme playing in the background. About a quarter of the way through, you'll land on a capsule that dispenses a crowd of ever-growing ghosts.
- Its even worse when you're playing as Knuckles in that part of the act: given his story happens after Sonic's one, the ghosts are in the red zone already, and ambush you as soon as the act starts, without rings. Fanart fuel, nightmare fuel.
- Ice Cap Zone has a (normally) Knuckles-only section where you must glide from wall to wall while avoiding icy spiked balls. Hacking confirms said spike balls can hurt Super Sonic as well.
- The Glowball bonus: the one with the glowing balls and you have to go up, trying not to fall to that thing chasing you. All set to scary music, as always.
- The music for Carnival Night zone.
- Red Mountain, a Norfair-like U-rated hell, with the addition of walls with cells containing ghosts dressed in prison uniforms and scary spiders.
- Chaos' final form, as seen in the intro to the game. A gigantic lizard head made of water materializing out of a building.
- The Lost World has creepy music, a spooky underground city and dark areas. Kinda unsettling.
- Eggman's "You fool. Away, before I make mincemeat out of you..." line.
- The Mirror House segment in Twinkle Park with Amy. It has an initially innocent BGM that soon gets abruptly dark.
- The Limestone cave level has yet another example of spooky music.
- The Continue music. It's like you're in a between-life-and-death limbo.
Sonic Adventure 2
- At the beginning of the last story, listening to Gerald's pre-execution speech and his taped diary is rather unnerving and ridiculously out of place in a -previously- kid-friendly game. The Superlative Dubbing doesn't help.
- Crazy Gadget has Eggman's voice echoing throughout ARK as he threatens: "You're too slow! Sonic, if you don't come here, she will die!". Despite the target of said threat being the normally annoying Amy, such a serious threat by Eggman is bound to place any player in a hurry, let alone Sonic himself.
- Meteor Herd, Knuckles's final stage, has its orange goop.
- Final Rush (Sonic) and Final Chase (Shadow) are both set in pretty much outer space: falling down a Bottomless Pit here has the added graphical effect of burning from atmospheric re-entering.
- The games has a Degraded Boss, story-wise at least: Artificial Chaos from Sonic Adventure. A mook-ish-ly weak version of the same Chaos seen in said game.
- In the Dark Story, the prelude to the second fight with Tails is made disturbing by Eggman threatening to blow Amy's brains out with More Dakka than could possibly be necessary, let alone the lack of any hint that Sonic might have somehow avoided dying cold and alone in the empty void of space, and in a particularly gruesome and spectacular fashion at that.
- The sinister-looking ghosts with yellow eyes that jump out at you unexpectedly, namely in Pumpkin Hill and Pyramid Cave among a few others.
- A little fact filled with Irony: players practically have to let Knuckles drown to get the breathing collar.
- Biolizard, a freak lab Eldritch Abomination of a Final Boss (ironically, its One-Winged Angel form, Final Hazard, is made Nightmare Retardant due to how comparatively easier it is).
- Lost Colony is a very dark stage, with eerie red lines within the walls that glow on and off rhythmically. It is also the very site of a government conspiracy that led to the unjustified mass murder of innocent researchers and a terminally ill 12 year old girl.
- Final Fortress is perhaps Eggman's most massive Airborne Aircraft Carrier to date, and when you're in the level, you're surrounded on both sides by dark mechanical corridors, flashing lights (that actually do nothing to light up the place), metal conduits, and caution markings. All of this happens thousands of feet in the air, in the middle of a massive lightning storm. The music is quite possibly the most mournful, ominous, and heavy piece of music ever made for a kids' game.
- Metal Sonic's transformation into his One-Winged Angel form in the starting cutscene before the fight against Metal Madness in Last Story, and his scene in the cutscene before Sonic goes Super Sonic, can both be scary to younger audiences: perhaps as a form of Audience Surrogate to that, the six year old Cream is shown during the scene being hugged by Big due to how terrifying it is to her (probably doubles as a mini Crowning Moment of Heartwarming).
- Egg Emperor, Eggman's Implacable Man of a final mecha. The Boss Battle takes place on the aforementioned Final Fortress.
- Arguanly, the ghosts in Hang Castle/Mystic Mansion. The appear out of nowhere, have a creepy laugh, simply fade when hit and even the characters admit that they make absolutely no sense. And if that's bad enough, imagine dropping into a room swarming with them, with walls that appear to be made of TV static. Oh, and in case you were going to get vindictive and try to Chaos Inferno all of them...they're immune to Team Blasts. Have fun.
Sonic Advance series
- Sonic Advance 2's That One Boss is the Egg Saucer, that can deliver One Hit Kills at will, and is (initially) piloted by a brainwashed Knuckles, although the special battle theme used only for Knuckles may be either more Nightmare Fuel or just plain awesome.
- The first Sonic Advance uses a fairly pleasant -- and unused anywhere else in the game -- sprite depicting Eggman's "pointing" artwork as an after-credits message, as a stinger, telling the player "Hey, go collect all the Chaos Emeralds!"... with a pitch black background. The message in the second Advance game, on the other hand, has a slightly modified of the Eggman "menacing-and-greedy" sprite from the Sonic Advance 1 intro, still with a black background, telling the player to collect the Chaos Emeralds, but this time in all caps with a Scare Chord thrown in for good measure. The image itself can be seen at the bottom of this page.
- It doesn't help that collecting any of the Chaos Emeralds, especially the last two, is absurdly difficult. The Special Stages in this game are thoroughly Nintendo Hard.
Shadow the Hedgehog
- The game as a whole, also thanks to its Multiple Endings. In one, Shadow killed Eggman and threatened to finish off Sonic. Then Black Doom's revealed his master plan involving paralytic gas.
- Black Doom is implied to be an Eldritch Abomination messing with your mind. Particularly notable is how, on the Dark routes, Shadow unquestioningly obeyed Black Doom's orders, with said orders being about terroristic attacks.
- During the final fight with Black Doom in the Last Story, if you take long enough, you get to hear Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Eggman choking to death, cheering you on in battle until their last breath.
- The Digital Dimension track, the first half of which is a hellish landscape with creepy gargoyle statues and skeleton hands that try to drag you into a pit. In-Universe, Storm the Albatross states to be scared of it.
- Rumor has it that this track nearly gave the game an E10+ rating.
- In the game, all characters can attack each other. These attacks change as the racers collect rings and level up. Most of the attacks are quite cartoonish and comical, but Sonic's Level 3 attack happens to be spinning into another racer and repeatedly and brutally smashing them into the ground as Sonic spins, while the sound of bones cracking is heard.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2006
- Mephiles the Dark's introduction from Sonic the Hedgehog 2006: He slouches over and walks as though a puppet on strings with his creepy staring eyes, able to talk without moving his mouth, all with this music playing.
- At the start of the last story, Mephiles appears out of nowhere and instantly kills Sonic. Even though Sonic comes back to life eventually, it still happened.
- This game is the first, and thankfully only, to feature a realistic-looking Eggman so far. Unfortunately for Eggman, he was never meant to look realistic in the first place, and therefore attempting to cash in "serious, realistic-looking next-gen games" only resulted in Eggman falling deep in the Uncanny Valley.
- The Mephiles boss fight involves him summoning an entire swarm of mini-Mephiles which will dogpile Shadow while making creepy, high-pitched noises.
- Solaris is the god of the sun and time, it also happens to be an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Dark Gaia, when he goes One-Winged Angel, he transforms in a really disturbing manner, and the final product is somewhere between Starfish Alien and Eldritch Abomination. His head is a Venus flytrap filled with eyes, the whole thing enclosed in tongues with two huge ones hanging down.
- And Sonic hitting Dark Gaia's eye, causing it to ooze green liquid.
- In the opening Eggman actually manages to tear the Earth apart.
- The Werehog could be a subversion of this trope due to ligher tone of this game. However, the only reason why Sonic has not been negatively influenced by Dark Gaia's power mentally is become of his Heroic Willpower, the Werehog in nature is not harmless nor good at all, it is only Sonic's willpower that keeps the evil nature of the Werehog under control.
- The closest Eggman has gotten to a true Moral Event Horizon in the games: He tried to capture an entire alien species, the Wisps, just so he can use their life energy to power his machines, which could've brought the Wisps to extinction if Sonic and Tails failed to stop him. Eggman's master plan was to use them to power a mind-control weapon that's powerful enough to enslave the entire universe. This is first time in the games where Eggman truly borderlines the Complete Monster territory, which is not surprising considering the writers for this game are the same ones behind MadWorld and Happy Tree Friends.
- From the Wii version, there's this music, which in the DS version is orchestrated.
- It actually makes sense as it's actually an 8 bit version of Eggman's theme from Sonic '06. So it's a bad guy theme and a very menacing sounding one at that.
- The Time Eater kidnapping Eggman after the Death Egg Robot boss fight. Eggman screaming for Sonic to save him doesn't help at all.
- The appearance of Time Eater. We find out that it's actually an Eldritch Time-Destroying Mecha found and utilized by Dr. Eggman of the future right after his recent defeat from Sonic Colors. Even worse, when Eggman explains how he found Time Eater, the player is shown gray scale images that show the rotound scientist discovering said monster in deep space with Orbot and Cubot, as his is their fate at the end of Sonic Colors. However, once Eggman sees Time Eater, he goes after it on his own, leaving Orbot and Cubot in deep space forever.
- The implications that Sonic's friends may actually be self aware while petrified: According to Tails, when he was petrified, he felt like he was helplessly floating in a limbo without a body. Tails even says he's going to have nightmares from it, we can't blame him.
- The newly-designed GUN truck. After exploring the high-def redesign of City Escape, a player who hasn't seen previews would expect the truck to simply drive down a hill at reasonable speed like the original, but now it's much bigger, it's even faster, and it's been equipped with three gigantic saw blades and rocket boosters, with the worst regard to human safety, as it proceeds to smash through a building quickly. About all those cars that were just knocked about, they explode upon touch.
- It's also pretty frightening during the Classic Stages. It skirts the line of the Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror, where its sporadic slamming into walls, crashing into you and anything else around you, actually smashing you against the wall if you aren't careful, and trying to drive into a wall while you're not even there is either terrifying or hilarious.
Sonic Lost World
- Virtually every line Zazz says to Sonic. "I'm gonna skin you alive!" "You're going home in a box!" This is one violent, unhinged maniac.
- Dessert Ruins 3. Just after a fun race down a giant honeycomb in a desert, THIS comes out of utterly nowhere. Nothing in here makes any sense whatsoever: Giant donuts move in synchronization in the background despite not being alive, the entire backdrop is an endless pink void you can easily fall into forever, and the music there is just unnervingly diabetic. What the hell did Sonic get into?
- Near the end, the Deadly Six do something Robotnik has failed to do: successfully make a Badnik out of Tails..
- Lava Mountain. Sonic is totally alone, and has to fight the Six one by one. Even though they're comic relief baddies, they're presumably left to die in the flaming mountain.
- The very last level, Hidden World. The land is colored a sickly multicolored mixture like blended Play-Doh, and pulsates slowly as if it were actually alive. The last act is filled with these teratoma...things that reside in little formaldehyde bubbles up until Sonic jumps off them and they pop to reveal the hostile contents within. Near the end, a GIANT teratoma monster starts chasing Sonic down, and it's not afraid to eat its own kind.
- The Deadly Six taking over Badniks, and making them all fire at their creator: Dr. Eggman.
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing has the haunted mansion racetracks: the scariness, here, is a given, considering they come from House of the Dead.
- The Game Over screen for Sonic 3D Blast: instead of the words "Game Over" simply flashing on screen after the last life is lost, the screen turns a pale blue as the letters for "Game Over" appear, set to the Game Over theme from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, then at the very end, the screen just explodes.
- Metal Sonic's appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 4's alternate ending is a bit unnerving, when unexpected.
- Doctor Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine in Scenario Mode. Whenever you're losing, your enemy will have this look on their face that makes them seem like they want to molest you.
- One of the most creepy moments was the open interpretation of the incomplete ending of the Game Gear version of Sonic 2, in which Tails gets kidnapped by Dr. Robotnik. If you don't collect all the Chaos Emeralds throughout the game, then you do not gain access to Crystal Egg Zone and have the bad ending credits, at the end of which Sonic looks up and sees a constellation of Tails in the sky, which could very well pertain to the fox's death. Youtube user Whoisthisgit had a field day with that one.
- The bad ending to Knuckles Chaotix: Metal Sonic Kai destroys a whole city, making it go up in flames. "Genocide City", indeed.
- The Game Gear game Tails Adventure has a boss where you're trapped in a room and must use Tails's mini-robot to defeat a crazy old bearded duck scientist. To do this, you have to navigate the robot through a tiny maze to reach a rock you must push onto the boss's head. He looks startled momentarily, then falls on his back and stays that way.
- The arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog can be a little frightening. The story of the game is that Dr. Eggman/Robotnik has captured Sonic, Mighty, and Ray and puts them on his island that contains various death traps. The object of the game is to run from the beginning to the end in each level in one piece. The catch is the aforementioned traps such as giant tornadoes, gigantic stalactites, spike walls, and circular blades (which Eggman can activate with a push of a button). There are more in the game; the point is that it shows how determined Eggman is and how far he will go to destroy Sonic and friends. You can hear in his voice during the course of the game that he really loves torturing Sonic.. That scream he lets loose at 1:14 proves this.
- Sat AM Sonic the Hedgehog features Robotnik's Roboticizer: living things go in, robot slaves come out. Who are completely aware of everything that happens to them and that they're forced to do.
Robotnik: Snively, what color is my heart? (Thrusts Snively into a Gross Up Close-Up of his mouth)
Snively: I-I don't see a heart, sir...
- In one episode, Sonic had a nightmare about about Princess Sally being put in that machine, and all he could do was watch.
- "Sonic's dad isn't really a Mobian anymore. My dad simply isn't". Scourge is just plain creepy.
- A Chaos Emerald-fueled Dingo was poised to destroy Mobius.
- Eggman's descent into crazy in both the American comics and the UK ones is just unsettling. Good thing some things just tell you the writer is One of Us.
- And then when he starts regaining his composure, it turns out he kept a few features from his original body.
- Having the resident Anti-Hero Shadow screaming mutely and twisting in pain was somewhat disturbing.
- Super Sonic in Sonic the Comic. Unlike in the games where Super Sonic is merely a super-powered form of Sonic's who has complete control over Chaos Energy, he is Sonic as a super powered sociopath who wants nothing more than to kill and seeks to cause complete chaos and destruction preferably slowly, and is always becoming more powerful.
- Megatox. He's really keen to drown Sonic in his Mega Mack body, a slow and painful way to die. he also wants to do this to all of Mobius one day.
- Sonic X is by far the darkest show up to date, as it has intense violence, some blood, child death, and killing, there is actually a part of the anime that has a scene in Eggman's labs showing how he places the little animals into his badnik. They are placed in little ball prisons and then scooped up and jammed inside the robotic shells, while they are still conscious and frantically trying to escape. The giant bots' lifeless eyes then light up as they activate and begin an immediate test run blasting Sonic targets.
- The official social media is normally funny -- like, no, really funny -- but the concept that "enlightenment can happen in one frame" certainly raises... questions. Questions not limited to, but including whether or not they were high when they had this epiphany: IN ONE FRAME. EVERYTHING. CHANGES.
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