Nightmare Fuel

They’re not joking, either. Yikes.

A couple of weeks ago, I managed to finally complete “The Way Home” on Pokémon Violet. To say it was unforgettable would be underselling it. Seriously. That was probably one of the best stories I’ve played through in a Pokémon game.

Also, Area Zero is an absolute mindfuck. No joke. This place gave me horror vibes. If you want to know why, just hit the jump. You are warned: there are spoilers.

The Music. Holy shit. It starts innocently enough, then we have a chorus, synthesizer, and droning. It’s just unsettling to hear.

-The atmosphere. Everything is brightly lit. There are sparkles in the air. There are a lot of Pokémon in the area. Oh, there are also abandoned buildings, some of which are being overgrown by crystals that are of the same nature as the Tera crystals that you use in battle. Yep, nothing creepy here!

-So. Many. Moths! Which happen to be a symbol of death. Again, not creepy at all.

-Some of the Pokémon are outright aggressive. I ended up bum-rushed by multiple Chansey, who usually run away from me. No, this time, they ran at me, which was weirdly disturbing.

-Did I mention that it was brightly lit? Even though from the surface, the crater is shrouded in clouds. There shouldn’t be any sunlight getting in but this place is brighter than most of Paldea. There’s no actual nighttime darkness, either.

-The Paradox Pokémon. Iron Bundle loses its head when you defeat it. Oh, you thought that was a Hydreigon? Nope. Iron Jugulis creeping on you. The battle music is also unnerving. The robotic cries don’t help either.

-You have to walk. Your dragon is suffering PTSD and doesn’t want to come out of the Ball. So you’re stuck walking through this area. You’re seeing everything up close!

-The professor starts to behave…oddly. When you find out why, it’s an epic mindfuck.

-There’s another Raidon. It’s aggressive. AND IT KILLED SOMEONE WHILE TRYING TO KILL YOURS.

-The final battle. I don’t want to spoil it but wow.

-You’re with your in-game friends, but I swear, it felt like a horror movie. Nemona would have been the first victim; she literally didn’t have a clue what she was facing and how dangerous things were. Arven knew enough to be dangerous but not enough to get the hell out. Penny was the only one who had any common sense. My respect for her skyrocketed while we were there. She said what I wanted to say.

-The professor and Arven. That whole scene is a massive gut punch.

-At one point, you cannot battle with your own Pokémon. Their Balls are locked shut. I had never felt like I was backed into a corner during a Pokémon game. But it really added to the atmosphere.

-I played this at night. In a dark room. Yeah, I had some trouble falling asleep afterwards.

The annoying thing is that I’m not completely finished with Area Zero. I’m going to have to go back if I want a shiny Iron Valiant. I won’t be trying until that bug is fixed but maybe next time, I’ll visit the crater during the day. Maybe I won’t be quite as disturbed next time.


About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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