It's just a couple of days before Araw Ng Mga Patay, fellas, so we're rampin' up the scare factor around here. Today, we're pointing the flashlight squarely at the chin of horror games that have once made us sh*t our pants in sheer terror. We revisit the nightmares that made for many a sleepless night, and analyze how game devs have long tried to trigger phobias inside us we didn't know existed.
Here we go..
1) SILENT HILL brought out the nightmare fetishist in all of us by giving you the weirdest boner at one moment, and killing it the next with its odd combination of sex and scare appeal. (Damn those nurses!)
The Gruesome Gist: What’s evident across the SH franchise is that the creatures encountered in the game are merely physical manifestations of the protagonist’s underlying mommy issues, sexual repression, urge to crack dick jokes, and so on. A group of scantily-clad nurses? A horde of phallic-shaped beasts? A fleshy, pulsating room adorned with puckered holes? A muscle-bound executioner hell-bent on a mad bone-a-thon? (Yep, Freud was right.) Perhaps what scares us the most is that it’s rooted in reality and plays on your deepest, darkest fears.
How It Scarred Us For The Rest Of Our Lives: Anything remotely resembling a remote and foggy locale will immediately alert you that you’re about to enter Silent Hill. And sexy nurse costumes result in very mixed emotions.
Run-Like-A-Bitch Moment: Hey, remember that voyeuristic view of Pyramid Head having a threesome with two pairs of limbs? Yeah. Just limbs. No torso. It was the most uncomfortable five seconds of your life.
2) RESIDENT EVIL developed our fear of scientifically-engineered experiments, clunky controls, and mucking up quick-reflex button pressing.
The Gruesome Gist: Usually we can blame some otherwordly paranormal source for the series of unfortunate events befalling the place but nope, not this one. The creatures in this game are all man-made. As Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman eloquently put it, “Yeah! Science, bitch!”
Though later games have become more of a standard-type shooter, earlier installments would utilize tank controls (where you have to turn clockwise/counterclockwise before you can move) to instill that paralyzing fear which makes you unable to effectively move about.
How It Scarred Us For The Rest Of Our Lives: The events in the RE games are brought on by biological warfare. That doesn’t seem too far off from happening in our own timeline.
Run-Like-A-Bitch Moment: The first time you come face-to-face with a zombie in RE 1. The Licker’s drop-down ambush from the ceiling in RE 2. We could go on and on.
Woops, wrong licker. Here's the right one:
3) Clocktower: The First Fear made us live out our slasher movie nightmares.
The Gruesome Gist: An implacable serial killer named Bobby Barrows (A.K.A. Scissorman) is stalking your character and it’s so damn hard to lose his tail. And it certainly doesn’t help that he’s wielding a pair of gigantic—though hilariously so—scissors.
How It Scarred Us For The Rest Of Our Lives: We always fear that one day when we open the shower curtain, Scissorman just pops out. Gah!
Run-Like-A-Bitch Moment: Whenever the “Don’t Cry Jennifer” track plays in the first game. *Shudders*