Well, I'm still working on a game over at GDL, posting like crazy and burying King of Ferret's posts. So, I'm giving him a bit of a break while he's got a post on top by making a general call here. My apologies to Reverend Rob, who sent in an email earlier that included a request to stop linking to TV Tropes, since he'd like his life back. Sorry about what I'm about to do.
For those who aren't interested in signing up and catching up on my posting spree over there, I've got a platformer-RPG concept I've been developing. The characters are cartoonish animals, but the plot is intended to be a bit serious. I'd like to include a bit of Nightmare Fuel to show that this game will not be meant for kids. Suggestions would be appreciated, especially for a Japanese-style haunted house I'll be including for an early level.
So, I think I'll borrow from the creepy past for inspiration:
Earthbound: Giygas still gives me the jibblies. The squishy devil's machine, the Ness face, each bit of music, especially the creepy track that plays when Pokey reveals Giygas isn't just some monster in an evil machine, but has gone up to Cosmic Horror. I think one thing that just sticks with me is "You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas's attack!" Although they replicate some fairly mundane game attacks, it's the idea that there's something coming at you, it's going to hurt, and you don't know how or why. How do you defend against something like that? It certainly doesn't help that I found out where the scene's inspiration came from.
Zelda: ReDead. Wall & Floor Masters. The Zelda II death & Game Over screens when I was little. Plenty more to mention.
Final Fantasy: Not quite the same, but I don't think I've quite recovered from my first encounter with a Tonberry.
Super Paper Mario: The white death aftermath of the Samur-Guy world. To me it somehow suggested an erasure more thorough than simple death. Oh, and Mimi's transformation. I got my brother to agree when I replayed and showed it to him.
Metroid: When I first started playing the game, I thought the atmosphere was hostile. Obviously Samus taking her helmet off in Norfair would cook her alive, but I think at the time I played the first game, my science classes were getting into the bad atmospheres of other planets, so I thought the entire planet of Zebes was dangerous for her without the suit. The thought extended into other games until I saw her take off her helmet on Talon IV in Prime. Until that implied every planet was 'M-class', I always felt a tightness in my lungs, thinking Samus's energy level was the only thing separating her from toxic atmospheres. Crocomire. That region of Tourain were everything was sucked dry by the now-huge Metroid hatchling. The hatchling itself. Mother Brain's unstoppable power beam.
Metroid Prime: The Game Over screen showing her life support failing. The only other Game Over I watched from Prime was the corruption alternate on planet Phaaze. Metroids were creepy enough before, but reading Pirate logs about how they apparently drain life force without so much as sucking out a single drop of body fluids contributed.
Mario 64: Reading the TV Tropes entry, and someone just had to list that evil toothy piano. Jibbly-jibbly-jibbly...
Portal. Just... Portal.
Just about any game that involves deep water and finite oxygen.
Okay, I'm going to take a few moments to get my skin to stand still on me.