It’s almost Halloween and lots of people (including me) are playing and talking about horror games. I love the supernatural, spooky, creepy, eerie concepts in all forms of media, but I didn’t start playing horror games until much more recently in my life. I found these things in many of the non-horror video games I’ve played, which is perhaps why I love some of them so much. So today, instead of talking about horror games, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite spooky moments in non-horror games. (This post contains spoilers).
Lavender Town? Sure it’s creepy, although I think it’s a bit overrated in terms of creepy things that happen in the pokémon world (see creepy pokédex entries). To me, it’s more melancholy, with the creepiness mostly stemming from creepypastas. However, it does set a precedent for having a creepy place in a pokémon region. One of my favorites is the Old Chateau – a haunted house in Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum.
You’ll find plenty of ghosts in the Old Chateau, both pokémon and a couple human. It’s more spooky than scary, and the house is so cool looking – I’d love to make a candy haunted house inspired by it (maybe next year). I’d also love to see how the Old Chateau looks in Gen 4 remakes. The fact that it appears empty sets it apart from Lavender Town for me. In Lavender Town, you’re fully aware of the ghosts, but the Old Chateau has this eerie feeling where you’re not quite sure what to expect.
The Legend of Zelda is another series with a lot of creepy, horrifying monsters and places. Majora’s Mask is almost a horror game, containing much more explicitly dark content than the other games in the series. You’ll hear many people citing redeads and dead hands as the stuff of nightmares. It’s terrifying when creatures grab and hold on to you, slowing killing you rather than just slashing at you.
One of my favorite creepy moments in Zelda is in the basement of the Ancient Cistern dungeon in Skyward Sword. After you descend from the beautiful upper portion of the dungeon, you are met with a floor covered with bones that crunch as you walk on them, toxic waters, and a zombie version of bokoblins. But the scariest part? When you climb a spiderweb string to reascend, zombie bokoblins will start climbing after you, trying to grab you and pull you back into the depths of the dungeon. Scary silent realm goddess trials who?
I have to say, I really wasn’t expecting anything supernatural when I started playing Uncharted, but boy was I wrong (and terrified). I knew something was up when I entered a room and there was ammo…everywhere…but not really any places to hide. Strange for a game I’ve mostly been able to play using stealth. I was already nervous about being ambushed – shoot ’em up isn’t really my play style – but I definitely wasn’t thrilled when I realized I would have to fight these guys:
Thanks for the shock, Naughty Dog. I also liked the hallucinations and djinn in Uncharted 3. Although you learn that the djinn are a result of your hallucinations, they still pose quite a threat. There’s a bit similar to this in Rise of the Tomb Raider DLC, with hallucinogenic flowers and the Baba Yaga witch.
I hope you enjoy your weekend before Halloween! What are your favorite spooky moments in video games?