Happy Halloween 2020, everyone!
While this year hasn’t been the best for outdoor activities and offline partying, there’s still cause for celebration for the spookiest time of the month. We’ve done our scariest moments in gaming history and our top Castlevania picks already, so what’s next?
These are our favourite scary monsters in video game history. Whether they’re 8-bit or in full 3D glory circa 2000 and beyond, these freaks & ghouls scared the bejeesus out of us.
In no particular order, here they are!
Biggy Man (from Splatterhouse)
This creepshow may not look like much now, but back in 1988, he was every arcade gamer’s nightmare. See, Splatterhouse from Namco was a 2D action game quarter muncher, and the gruesome chainsaw hand-brandishing Biggy Man is meant to be a paywall. He will murder you super-quick in the third stage and require you to put in quarters until he is dead.
And the only reliable way to kill him? It’s with a shotgun. You actually get one at the start of stage 3, so the trick is to not use it until Biggy Man pops up at the end. It’s tougher than it sounds unless you’ve played this game a 100 times.
His 2010 equivalent in the decent-but-kinda-flawed Splatterhouse remake is pretty scary and memorable too. Unlike the arcade original, our main hero’s fight against Biggy Man is tiered hack-and-slash style. At least the monster’s allergy to buckshot is still consistent.
Stalker (from Dead Space 2)
The Dead Space series from then-Visceral Games are pretty awesome sci-fi horror titles, botched by the third game thanks to its renowned publisher EA’s cock-ups. Still, we give a toast to the game that introduced Necromorphs to the gaming lexicon.
These mutations and aberrations are already insidious and horrifying to look at and fight, but which ones in our collective experiences gave us nightmares? Is it Isaac’s dead girlfriend/apparition Nicole? Is it the exploding Necromorph babies?
Nope, it’s the Stalkers.
They freak you out with their undead bird-like call, their head pokes out unnervingly, they attack in groups and flank you always, and they deal huge damage super-quick if you’re not paying attention. Every fight with them is usually in an area with so many blind spots and crates; perfect for an alway-hiding group of undead jerks to pounce upon unsuspecting engineers named after sci-fi book authors.
The Witch (from Left 4 Dead)
Valve’s multiplayer shooter Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 remains one of the best online co-op gaming experiences. Nothing beats trying to shoot down and survive hordes of zombies. What makes these games even more memorable are the different types of zombies, and the most iconic one is the Witch.
What makes The Witch so special is how downright scary they are. No matter how many hours you’ve put into Left 4 Dead, the presence of a Witch will always terrify you. Why? You will always hear a Witch before they see one.
As you look for the source of the creepy wailing and sobbing of the Witch, shining your flashlight onto a Witch will make it immediately pounce on you with lightning speed. The only thing that can save you now are your teammates coming to rescue.
Clickers (from The Last Of Us)
In the world of The Last Of Us, the fungus infects hosts through spores or inflicting injuries (like biting or scratching) on other living things via their host bodies.
Unlike zombies, dead human beings can’t be infected or become hosts. What’s unique about the Cordyceps virus is that it can only infect living people. However, these people still ‘die’ as a result of being infected, as the Cordyceps gradually replaces their body.
To protect themselves from infection through spores, humans wear gas masks, though spores or ‘nests’ of spores can often only be found in enclosed places like the sewers or inside buildings.
As for examples of Infected, the most common types are the Runners, the first and weakest stage of Infected. However, the most iconic and popular type has to be the Clickers, who is named after the chilling clicking sound they make.
Clickers are blind (as grotesque mushrooms have sprouted from where their faces were), but they can locate prey using echolocation or sound vibrations. In the game, getting grabbed by a Clicker means instant death.
Check out one of the bigger Infected we faced in The Last Of Us Part 2:
Big Daddy (from BioShock)
The BioShock games were first-person immersive sims and shooters, but the heart of the story is essentially the atmospheric horror elements. No gamer will ever forget the first time that they faced a titanic Big Daddy with nothing but some guns and a few supernatural abilities.
In the game’s lore, the Big Daddies are always in the company of Little Sisters, who they protect with all their might. Even if you don’t see them coming, the menacing sound of their stomping will have you thinking twice before you go and face the Big Daddy.
Pyramid Head (from Silent Hill)
Pyramid Head was initially introduced in Silent Hill 2, and has become the franchise’s most popular monster ever since. The mystery of what he is makes him creepy, and carrying around that giant sword to kill players just adds to his terror. Also, the way he just drags it along is chilling.
He’s so popular that he has appeared in 2012’s Silent Hill Revelation movie adaptation and even other games like Dead By Daylight.
Nemesis (from Resident Evil 3)
Nemesis is the most iconic monster from the Resident Evil franchise, and for good reason. In the original Resident Evil 3, he is unkillable and disrupts the player at any time, adding a dynamic amount of fear into the game.
While the recent Resident Evil 3 Remake version of Nemesis is less scary and more predictable, he’s still the same scary gargantuan presence that makes the game memorable.
Deathclaw (from the Fallout series)
If there’s one enemy that you never want to face in the Fallout games, it’s the Deathclaws. Imagine our surprise when you could encounter them in Fallout New Vegas early on in the game if you venture to a certain part of the game. If you don’t heed the warnings of the miners or rangers, you’ll get a taste of what a pack of Deathclaws can do first-hand.
They’re fast, powerful and take a lot of damage to take down, not to mention how demonic they look.
Mimics (from Dark Souls)
The bane of every adventurer in fantasy worlds. The Dark Souls variant are scary because they deal a fuckton of damage up-close and they appear early in the game. The From Software aesthetic of this classic creature is also pretty horrifying.
How DOES it fit its legs, hands, and tongue all in that chest? Are they foldable pieces of flesh? Ugh…
Baby In The Sink (from P.T.)
When you play the PS4 P.T. demo for the first, you will come across a hugely unnerving image of a foetus in a sink. That’s still alive. Or at least resembles one.
Jesus….this is Stan Winston levels of creepy authenticity in digital form.
What it lacks in shock value (ala Lisa when you pick up that dial), it makes up for it with its unsettling animation and the fact that IT’S A DEFORMED BABY IN A SINK WRIGGLING ALL FREAKY-LIKE!
Cherub (from Doom 3)
What’s just as scary as a bloodied foetus in a sink? A flying, demonic, half-bodied infant.
Of all the monsters and ghouls in Doom 3, nothing – I mean nothing came close to the creepiness and eeriness of seeing a flock of Cherubs appear on your screen, just waiting to pounce at you and claw your eyes out.
The fact that they have velociraptor-like arms kind of magnified the fear factor tenfold. Or maybe fifteen.
Alma (from the F.E.A.R series)
F.E.A.R is a cult classic for many reasons. It was way ahead of its time at release, packed with awesome guns, dismemberment physics, bullet-time goodness and oh boy – a new take on video game jump scares.
Unlike the Cherub or most monsters and ghouls listed above, Alma does not actively go out to hurt you. In the first game, at least. In fact, she lingers about. And that’s what makes it most unsettling.
Playing F.E.A.R for the first time, and catching glimpses of her at the edge of your screen, or just missing her passing by that dark corridor you’re supposed to head into; the fear generated was from the unknown and frankly, is the worst kind of all.
Just when you were wondering where she’s gonna pop out from next, you pan your camera to see this:
This is scripted events in horror games done right.
Got any creepy boogeymen and monsters that’s missing on our list? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, and on our brand-spanking new Discord channel!