6 MORE Horrifying Moments In Video Games!

MoreHorrors

We gamers put ourselves through a lot, and we do so in the name of fun. We tell ourselves t”his is entertainment,” before we open that creaky door and enter a room to fight a gargantuan living mass of bone and jagged metal with nothing but a pipe and a prayer. I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, and over the years I’ve seen some truly horrifying things. When a stranger asks me about my escape from Raccoon City, my vacation in Silent Hill, or my time aboard the USG Ishimura, I answer them with a thoughtful silence and a thousand yard stare. It’s the only way.

If you’re reading this then you undoubtedly have tales to tell and therapy sessions to endure, so let’s get this started with a look back at six more horrifying moments in video games.

Beware of spoilers below!

Returning to the Ishimura – Dead Space 2

The first Dead Space was a remarkable achievement in action horror gaming and a fresh take on the zombie genre. It was gorgeous and terrifying without disarming the player with a clunky, difficult to control character, and it added a new term to the gamer lexicon with strategic dismemberment. Its sequel managed to successfully build off the foundation of its predecessor by injecting more action into the gameplay without sacrificing the horror fans had come to expect from the franchise. The elementary school is an area that stands out to many, but to me it paled in comparison to Isaac Clarke’s forced return to the USG Ishimura, where the horrors of the original game took place.

A sense of dread is masterfully built up as Clarke explores the long emptied halls of the Ishimura without anything really happening for a good 15-20 minutes. Those minutes stretch on forever as you’re kept on the edge of your seat, anxiously waiting for something to happen. When something finally does happen, it still manages to be absolutely terrifying.

Splash Monster – Amnesia: The Dark Descent

I’ve come to affectionately refer to the most terrifying denizen of Amnesia: The Dark Descent as the “Splash Monster” because it’s caused such irreparable harm to my psyche that giving it a cute name is one of only two ways I can get over the fact that it absolutely terrifies me every time I play that game — the other is therapeutic coloring, in case you’re wondering, but that rarely works as I’m always too afraid that if I stray outside the lines the invisible bastard will take me away Slenderman style to some horrible hell dimension.

The flooded hallways this creep calls home make up one of the most cleverly designed levels I’ve ever seen in a horror game. You can’t see the creature that hunts you unless you jump off a box and into the water, but if you do that you alert the thing and this always ends with my character dead and me lying in the fetal position on the floor of my apartment.

SHODAN’s Big Reveal – System Shock 2

Sadly, System Shock 2 is a hugely underrated gem of a game that I’ve taken upon myself to bring up every chance I get in hopes that enough people will buy it — now well over a decade old — forcing Irrational Games to give me the sequel I’ve been aching for.

Huge spoiler here, by the way. For the first half of the game you’re being led through the dangerous corridors of a horror-infested space ship by Dr. Janice Polito, a woman who seems to know her way around the vessel. You come to think of her as a friend, that is, until you finally make it to the room where she supposedly is only to find out she’s been dead the whole time. That’s where SHODAN decides to unveil herself, with a lovely flair for theatricality, as the puppeteer behind Polito. You were doing that malicious rogue A.I.’s bidding the whole time.

Thankfully, you get to kick her virtual ass at the end of the game, but even over a decade after its release and that deception still stings.

Alma Rapes You – F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

No means no,” said absolutely no one to Alma.

Anyone who’s played F.E.A.R. 2 had to have felt bewildered, and possibly a little violated, after witnessing the ending. It’s an intensely strange ending because you essentially get raped by the game’s evil psychic girl turned hideously malnourished psychic woman, Alma. The game ends with an obligatory forced encounter with a “boss” that isn’t terribly satisfying, than you wake up from the dimension where you just laid down the law to find you’re being violated. I just… wow. At least now I know how those mannequins felt.

Meet The Chainsaw Man – Resident Evil 4

As far as first encounters with an enemy in a horror game go, the first time you meet the chainsaw-wielding Ganado in Resident Evil 4 stands out as one of the more terrifying ones. The fact that Capcom decided to throw this dude in at the beginning of the game when we had only just begun to get used to Resident Evil’s new reboot smell only makes this even more horrifying.

The first time I fought this guy I remember thinking there’s no way he’d kill me with one hit from that chainsaw — take my health down to a sliver, maybe, but not immediate death — because I had only just started playing. Insta-deaths were reserved for later in the game, or so I thought. I went full power, shotgun all the way, baby. The only problem is this guy can take a lot of shotgun shells. After I had emptied my gun into his chest and saw him start to get up, I politely requested with a flurry of button presses that Leon hurry the fuck up with the reloading. Unfortunately, like me, Leon still hadn’t gotten used to the new Resident Evil, so I was forced to watch as he took a chainsaw to the neck.

Brilliant.

This Game Is F**king With You – Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

On a scale of 1 to 10, how awful of a person am I that upon hearing about Silicon Knights’ financial troubles the first thing that came to my mind was damn, now I’m going to have to wait even longer for an Eternal Darkness sequel? I’m thinking a solid 7, maybe? I feel bad for them, or more specifically, the people that work for the company, and I wish them all the best, but seriously, someone needs to get on this.

The best feature in Eternal Darkness was also its most innovative: the sanity meter. The idea is simple enough. Crazy awful things happen to your character, sapping away at their sanity — a feature Amnesia went on to borrow — and once the meter is drained your character goes bonkers. Their head might explode, the walls might bleed, or worst of all, you might get a (fake) error message saying your game is corrupted (this idea was later used in Batman: Arkham Asylum). Sanity’s Requiem was easily one of the best games to release on the GameCube and it’s certainly among my top three horror games on the console. Hopefully we’ll get more of it in the future, and preferably sooner rather than later… I can feel my sanity meter draining already.

That’s it, folks! If I missed a game, or games, feel free to berate me in the comments below. By the way, if you missed my first batch of horrifying moments, you can read them here.

Have a question? Feel free to ever-so-gently toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting.

 
  • diapers

    The original UNREAL game; the part in the hallway when the doors slam shut, then the lights slowly shut off (one by one), after which the grunting sounds become audible. It only freaked me out the first time through, but I remember the primitive interwebs a-shudder when the game first came out. I’ve never played Amnesia… something to look forward to.

  • foreverunderdog

    One of the scariest moments I had with a game came way back when Resident Evil 3 first came out. After my experience with the first two I was confident that if I came into a room and found it too be too much trouble at the time all I had to do was go back out to collect my thoughts…and then I met NEMESIS!!!

    I remember being freaked out on my first encounter when I found out it actually spoke and it yelled ‘STAAAAARS’, I knew then I was dealing with a evil being a bit brighter than your run of the mill zombie. Running straight for the nearest door for safety and then abit into the room I then hear the chilling sound of the Nemesis music play and then it dawns on me, HE KNOWS HOW TO OPEN DOORS!!!

    After being hunted through room to room and never looking back untill I found a place that it did not follow, I realized this was a whole new enemy in the Resident Evil World I was up against.

    I then went throughout the whole game in fear of him.

    • SchismOctopus

      That moment when he breaks through the glass with a rocket launcher…I dropped my controller. From that point on I knew the game was not going to be easy, and that NEMESIS was going to make my life hell. Also adding that he would just pop up depending on which route you took..I’m gonna go play that game now. ahaha

  • Kwonkicker

    Dude anyone remember Dino Crisis? Whenever a Raptor would jump out or when the T-Rex burst through the window? I couldn’t sleep for a week…

  • wildgator25

    Thank you so much for including Eternal Darkness. That game will always stick with me as one of the best horror games ever. I think I replied on your first article, but the girl in the bathtub was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever experienced in gaming. Oh the good times!

  • foreverunderdog

    Almost forgot I have to give a shout out to Adam for including Eternal Darkness, an epic and unique GameCube game I used to own which I remembered had a very compelling storyline which involved 12 playable characters over different time periods!

    One of the many moments in the game that actually had me jump out my seat occurred in an upstairs bathroom. It came across as relatively safe area. The bathroom was nice and clean and completely unlike the ones found in Resident Evil. The bathtub was empty and there was no sign anything horrifying could possibly happen here. Just out of my own curiosity, I decided to walk up to the bathtub to see if I could interact with it. The second I did an image appeared of Alex, the main character , dead in a bathtub filled with blood.

    What made it worse for me is that the impact of this shocking visual was accompanied by a woman’s scream which pierced the silence.

  • Skull-And-Crossbones

    finally someone mentioned the ending to FEAR 2! it’s not everyday you get raped by a ghost lol. the funny thing about it is while i was playing through that game i kept getting the feeling (in a half-joking half-serious manner) that she wanted me. then after she raped me i was like “Did she just do what i think she did? No. Wait what? That can’t be right. Seriously? Did she really?”. then sure enough in the 3rd one she’s pregnant with his child lol

    • diapers

      Indeed. Right after I finished the game, I called up a friend of mine who did some of the level design for Fear 2 and asked him who’s crazy idea it was for the man-rape-by-Alma. Apparently they were all sworn to secrecy or something, because I couldn’t get anything out of him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.turney.58 Joshua Turney

    I walked in on my little cousin playing a my little pony videogame on my console when I was 16. Most frightening experience i’ve had in my life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zach.caylor Zach Caylor

      Hysterical….

  • AlicMack

    Call of Cthulhu also used the sanity meter really well. Plus when you realise all the townspeople have rifles and a blood lust and you have no weapon, maintaining your sanity while sneaking around for half the game becomes difficult.

  • VersaVulture

    Oh God… Eternal Darkness. I remember being in 7th grade and scared of ANYTHING horror. I got into horror in 10th grade, but I somehow convinced my parents to get me Eternal Darkness. It scared me to no end, but I ACTUALLY FINISHED it. One of the scariest moments was the error message, but I HATE bugs. There’s a sanity effect where a photorealistic cockaroach crawls across the screen. I swear it was real that I hit the TV trying to kill the bug only to realize that it was part of the game. I will NEVER forget that moment!

  • ThunderDragoon

    I never got to play Eternal Darkness, but watched a friend play it when it first came out. I need to get it.

  • SchismOctopus

    I can’t remember how many times I died at the beginning of Resident Evil 4..oh maybe I can go around him. Nope.

  • FadedLineVigil

    First time you meet a Regenerator in RE4? Terrifying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zach.caylor Zach Caylor

    Returning to the Ishimura was one of the most evil things that has ever been done to a player. I think that it was worse the second time around, all those white tarps covering everything…just awful. The worst part was those long solid black darkness tunnels where the only thing you had was your weapon light and it was either far away flood lights or those blue flares.