Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Creepiest Game That's Not Trying to Be

Video games are sometimes meant to be scary. Sometimes they're not, but still send shivers down our spines. Here's a list of scary moments in games that are clearly not scary games.

  • Ghost houses in Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island: Boos aren't supposed to be scary. They're funny looking ghosts that are about as terrifying as a person covered in a white sheet. The thing that makes them creepy is that when you look at them, they don't move, but creep closer as you turn away. They're like stalker ghosts. Plus the music in the levels gets me antsy. I just want to leave as soon as I enter.
  • The haunted mansion in Super Mario 64: This is a whole different story. The boos in this game were 3-D and their smiles haunt my dreams... But that's not the only scary part. There were numerous eyeballs that stay focused on you, books with sharp teeth flying after you, and a PIANO trying to eat you. The first time I got near the piano and it started coming after me, I almost had a heart attack. And let's not forget the basement. There's a merry-go-round-type thing in the middle. And it played music ingrained in everyone's brain that has played this game. If I were to describe it, I would liken it to a clown with a switchblade hidden behind its back. *shudder* It took me until I was 10 to gather up the courage to get all of the stars.
  • Gruntilda's Lair and Mad Monster Mansion in Banjo Kazooie: Gruntilda's Lair was pretty scary, considering that it's a hub world. A little song that kept you on the edge of your seat, and a new scary thing every room. Let's not even discuss Cheato's rooms. For some reason I just needed to get OUT when I saw him. Anyway, each room had a theme. The first had a giant picture of Gruntilda, just to remind you that you were trespassing in world completely controlled by an evil witch. One had mummies, another was full of spider webs; needless to say, it is not an ideal living space. Mad Monster Mansion was full of ghosts and ghouls. It was cartoony, but in a way, that made them scarier. I tried to avoid this place while on my quest to get notes, but unfortunately had to gather my courage and check every nook and cranny.
  • Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask Skulltula Houses: What's scarier than a half-skull half-spider come down on a web in front of you? One that is fused with a human. The people cursed by golden skulltulas were made skulltulas themselves and now ask Link to kill those cursed beasts so they can become human again. I guess you're supposed to feel bad for cursed people, but I was just weirded and creeped out. I go in there, grab my adult wallet, turn for the door screaming and try not to set foot in there again. In Majora's Mask, there was only one of those guys, but I tried to avoid eye contact. I guess I just don't like monsters moaning for help.
It's kind of ironic that I didn't find Luigi's Mansion scary, because that was basically the only game on a Nintendo console that tried to be scary. I guess it's because the darkness and the ghosts became the norm.

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