Halloween is upon us and soon miniature creatures will soon be knocking on our doors demanding candy. It is the perfect time to relive and replay some of your favorite games that made you jump out of your skin. Horror games are reliant on those memorable creatures that slink and slither into our mind to haunt our nightmares. Here are a few of my favorites.
Jiangshi – SOMA
This is a new entry, but “he” leaves a lasting impact. When I first encountered this creature I was implored to not look at him by a panicked voice over the radio. Well of course that was the first thing I did, and I was treated to a murderous howl from the dark and seeing him sprinting to my position. Once he sees you, he is almost impossible to shake, and I just knew…he would find me, and he would kill me.
Slender Man – Slender Man
Alone in the woods with a faulty flashlight. The setup for Slender Man is a classic horror trope , and the developers pounce on that primal fear. The disturbingly tall, long limbed, faceless monster first appears in the far distance in the trees. He is stalking, progressively getting closer until he is suddenly there, and there is not much you can do as the player to slow him down, let alone stop him.
Sae Kurosawa – Fatal Frame II
A tragic figure that has been taken over by pure malice and is the main antagonist, she has mistaken your character for her long dead sister and the way the story plays out is as disturbing as it is scary. In a game known for its jump scares and inventive gameplay, Sae stands out as an embodiment of true evil that pulls the user through the game despite not wanting to see more.
Nemesis – Resident Evil 3
You are never safe. That was the message that RE3 delivers quickly and alarmingly. The developers played on the tropes of RE2 where rooms would reset and enemies wouldn’t follow you by having you run to escape him when he first appears only to have him follow you, ratcheting up the panic level. This increases when later your controller will start to vibrate as you feel his footsteps approaching only to have him burst through a wall that appeared completely static. It is possible to defeat him
later in the game, but in those first few chapters, Nemesis is simply terrifying.
Regenerators – Resident Evil 4
And while we’re on the topic of Resident Evil, lets talk about the most disturbing creature in the RE4 universe. No it’s not the iconic Chainsaw guy, or El Gigante, or even Del Lago, I’m talking about the regenerators. These horrifying creatures (along with the spikey version aka Iron Maidens)are capable of near instant regeneration and soak up a tremendous amount of ammunition making it almost impossible to kill until later in the game. They have a great character design that straddles the line between goofy and ghastly perfectly, and their relentless pursuit is nothing to be taken lightly.
Pyramid Head – Silent Hill 2
For a creature that is a stand in for male aggression, sexuality, and punishment, he is as unsubtle as you can be in design and choice of weaponry. Despite appearing sparingly, the player is in a state of constant alert that he could reappear at any moment. and power of his character design and use in what is arguably the greatest horror game ever made, makes him an instant horror icon.