In honor of Halloween, the Laser Orgy team has compiled a list of ten terrifying moments in video-games. Here’s the catch: all of these moments are from games that were not supposed to be scary. We’ll be baring it all and admitting which games made us shriek and fling the controller across the room when we were kids (okay, maybe as adults, too), so try not to make fun of us too much. And don’t even pretend that this shit didn’t give you the willies, too.
This video includes the Livewire at 2:45 and at 6:20Super Solvers: OutNumbered! Seems like a harmless math tutorial game, right? Not so much. Hold off on buying this one for the really young elementary students -- this game features a randomly-appearing monster called the Live Wire. It probably seems slow and unthreatening to anyone over the age of 10, but give this game to a kid below that age and you’re pretty much asking them to be terrified of simple math.
Dragon’s LairOf all the games screaming for attention in the grubby arcade of our childhoods, few were more tantalizing -- or horrifying -- than Dragon’s Lair. With its unnervingly crisp animation (that could still turn heads at least a decade after its 1983 release), this pioneering laserdisc gem lured gamers in with promises of living skeletons, red reapers, tentacle beasts -- and a bajillion unspeakable deaths awaiting hero Dirk the Daring.
Final Fantasy VIFinal Fantasy games have always been praised for their stories, but Final Fantasy VI may still be the most evocative. When Celes finds herself alone on an island in a world torn apart by the evil Kefka, her feelings of loss and isolation are very real. What’s more frightening than the end of the world?
Donkey Kong 64Most gamers agree that fighting Mad Jack was one of the most nightmareish parts of Donkey Kong 64. Is it his perverse Donald Duck-like laugh? The pointed teeth and mammoth mechanical hands? The fact that he’s a jack in the box, which is an inherently creepy toy? Let’s go with all of the above.
MarioMario games are full of such moments, so we’ll only list a few here. First of all, the creepy mask that follows you in Super Mario Brothers 2. Second of all, the Angry Sun in Super Mario Brothers 3, which is scared the crap out of everyone on their first play-through (and maybe subsequent play-throughs). Lastly and most horribly, the disembodied Mario head in Mario Teaches Typing.
Horror-movie level starts at 11:25Bart vs. the WorldThe wretched controls of this 1992 NES title (what? a shoddy Simpsons game?) are perhaps the greatest terror of Bart vs. the World. But the horror-movie level -- with its fire-breathing haunted trees and disembodied ghoul hands -- actually did freak us out a little.
MystMyst was meant to be a little eerie, but it ended up scaring the heck out of most people; the sequel, Riven, was even more unsettling. There’s nothing more unnerving than wandering empty houses that look lived-in, expecting to see human life, and just … never encountering it. The Channelwood level's dismal forest and creepy cottages made it into one of the game's most haunted habitats.
Pokemon Blue/RedThe original Blue and Red Pokemon games had a few moments, most based on the creepy soundtrack. The music for the Pokemon graveyard city, Lavender Town, has had its share of “Halloween remixes.” But the original is plenty eerie as is.
If you managed to run across a Missing No. without knowing about the glitch, it could seriously creep you out -- especially given Missing No’s ability to completely erase your save file in the creepiest possible way. After you capture one, it will slowly corrupt the music of your game, as well as some of the load screens. Here’s an example of Missing No. breaking someone’s game. Here’s someone who managed to orchestrate a fight between two Missing Nos, with bizarre results for the soundtrack.
Earthbound - Spoilers! Perhaps you picked up Earthbound expecting a cutesy little RPG. Well, this ain’t Harvest Moon, people. Sure, when we first meet our hero, Ness, in his hometown of Onett, the most fearsome enemies we have to worry about are Spiteful Crows. But by game’s end, Ness has to face off against Giygas, a seemingly unkillable demon from beyond the stars who rips open a “a chaotic, bizarre dimension of darkness.” You are one sick fuck, Shigesato Itoi. Please make more of this.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeTwilight Princess's spooky story earned it a T for Teen rating, so we weren't too surprised to find a scary level or boss here and there. Previous Zelda games like Ocarina had already given us a preview that Link's world was getting darker. Ocarina was rated E for Everyone, but Twilight Princess-style graphics could easily turn the Re-Deads into a Resident Evil-inspired nightmare. And that noise they make, right before moving in on Link? Downright disconcerting.
Maddy Myers, Shaula Clark, and Ryan Stewart contributed to this list.
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