“I have seen the end, and I fear it”
~Generic-User-Name (2013), said to create a dramatic opening quote for this Halloween article.
So, you’ve read the title of this article and yet you still want to read on? Such hubris…such folly. For the uninitiated; this is an article where I talk about some straight up scary shizzle that I have witnessed in them video gizzles. This isn’t my first rodeo however, you can see last year’s one here. Although you should know that last year’s article hasn’t aged well and looks weird…some say it’s because updates to the site have improved the quality of articles and hence have made older ones look worse, but I choose to believe that the old article contained so much evil and horror that it warped the very image alignment of the article itself. Still feeling brave? We’ll see about that.
In last year’s article I pretty much mentioned all the stuff I thought I could mention for an article like this, but new releases and looking at games that aren’t necessarily known for their horror have opened up some new avenues…avenues that run red with blood. Now, you may wonder why I don’t mention obvious games like Amnesia or the recently released Outlast, that’s because I haven’t played those games (yet), but the future is looking bright for horror games so I should have more material for next year’s one, but you’ll have to survive this one first. Ha…haha…hahahahahhahahah…..HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAH. (WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD)
#1. The Last of Us – Hotel Basement
Oh The Last of Us, probably my favourite title this year (GTA:O updates dependent), what a game, a game that turned out to be much more survival-horror than many were expecting. There are quite a few scares in this game, the design of the enemies, the sounds they make, the way they move, meeting a bloater for the first time, meeting a bloater for the second time and who could forget, meeting all the subsequent bloaters. But the first, ‘I-should-write-about-this-for-Halloween’-moment came when Joel fell down the elevator shaft in the dilapidated hotel, plunged into darkness and deep water, Joel is separated from Ellie and has to find a way out. There is an eerie quietness to this whole thing, right up until the point where you have to turn on a generator in order to open an electronically locked door.
Seems easy enough, you foolishly think to yourself, and then the generator roars into life and then it doesn’t stop roaring, and then the roaring sounds like it’s coming from somewhere else and then THAT’S NOT THE GENERATOR AT ALL! You’ve kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest and they are about to swarm, you begin to sprint, following the cables that lead from the generator to the door, OH SHIT! A BLOATER!, but it’s ok because you’re faster and you’ve arrived at the door…why isn’t it opening? What do you mean I need a keycard!? You frantically search the area for a key while trying to outrun or outfight the numerous stalkers/bloater, eventually you find it and get through that door, but you’ve done so with more grey hairs than you had beforehand.
2# The Last of Us – Humans
Sure the clickers are disgusting, scary and vicious but it’s not like they can help it, unlike the human NPCs you’ll come across in the wild. These people have survived 20 years of brutality in some cases, and you don’t do that without becoming brutal yourself. Throughout your journey you’ll discover certain truths about the people you’ve been killing. Some like to pretend they need aid, some will kill on sight just to search your pockets, but the worst will chop you into pieces and use your flesh as sustenance during the harsh winter. “C’mon generic”, you say, “that’s not as scary as a monster”…Firstly, how dare you try to undermine me in my own article you piece of trash, and secondly yes it is because we all know, deep down that when it comes to it, we can do things that would make the devil blush. The real horror is in the mirror (but, like, in a post apocalyptic mirror).
3# Call of Duty 4 – Wait…Call of Duty 4?
Yes, Call of Duty 4, otherwise known as that game you’ve been buying every year since 2007 (but that’s a different horror, am I right?). It’s become pretty easy to see COD and immediately roll your eyes (except at the fish counter…sorry) but COD 4 was a defining moment of this generation, the game was excellent and deservedly broke into the mainstream. Back then, I didn’t have broadband so I couldn’t even play the online part but I still loved the story mode and one moment really stood out. It was still early in the game, your character, Jackson, is in the middle east shooting bad guys, as is par for the course, you make it to your evacuation chopper and some radio chatter indicates something about a nuclear weapon but you’re too busy mopping up the last few enemies to care, and then there is a flash of light. Your chopper gets tossed around and crash lands, Jackson, barely alive, limping and breathing heavily, crawls out of the chopper and looks around at the man-made hell that is before him. Everyone around him lies dead, vehicles are burning, dust is blowing violently in the air, a large building crumbles in the distance, you feel isolated, Jackson falls to the ground and dies moments later. Truly horrific and a stand out moment of this generation.
4# Resident Evil 4 – Regenerators
RE4 was one of the best games of the last (last?) generation and was a joy to play, however I felt it was more of a mixed bag in the horror department. The whole opening village area was brilliant, it had a thick, almost suffocating, atmosphere to it which made up for the less scary ‘not-zombies’ with some stand out scenes such as the ‘Dr Salvidor’s coming to get you’ moment and the lake monster. I felt the horror took a back seat to action from that point onwards however. That is, until you come across the regenerators; you’ll hear them before you see them, their wheezing and intermittent breathing instantly raises concerns in your mind about Leon’s safety for the immediate future, after all, how are we to know if Leon has health insurance? Then you’ll see them, and they look about as good as they sound, they reminded me of aliens, but if aliens were scary if that makes sense. But Leon is a capable guy and has quite a collection of weapons thanks to the creepy, immortal, British pervert who follows you around for the whole game so you start blasting these things with bullets and tearing off limbs, but your maniacal laughing is cut short when the limbs grow back…”Right, regenerators…”
5# Pokémon Blue – Lavender Town
It’s been quite some time since I’ve played a Pokémon game, but the majority of my memories are of it being upbeat and kid friendly, like the show that came after, it is exactly this ‘niceness’ that makes you feel wrong when something dark is happening. The first time I noticed this was Lavender Town, it’s the music that hits you first and it was creepy, I’ve seen many creepy pasta stories on that tune alone, but unfortunately I wasn’t brainwashed by it so I can’t confirm their validity. Lavender Town was home to a tower that, if memory serves, was called the Pokémon Tower and DID NOT HAVE a beam that swayed from side to side running up through the centre…which I WOULD HAVE FOUND bizarre now that I am wise enough to question the reality that is presented before me, perhaps an explanation WOULD HAVE BEEN given in-game IF SUCH A THING WERE TRUE but that’s not the point. The point is this tower is full of graves for dead Pokémon.
You learn that team rocket murdered a pokémon (or does murder not apply to a pokémon?), a marowak while trying to save it’s baby cubone. The ghost pokémon that you encounter in the tower are supposedly the ghosts of the pokémon buried there (how does that even work? Who thought that would be a good idea?). You also meet your rival in Lavender Town and it’s implied that his raticate died as a result of your earlier battle with him, not that I noticed at the time, but when I did learn of it, it added to the uneasy feeling of Lavender Town that contrasts with the cheerfulness of the rest of the game.
And that’s it for this year’s Halloween special, I doubt anyone has had the courage to make it this far but just in case, I should probably close out this article. Disagree with my choices? Do you have better ones? Tough shit.