That dreaded time of year is upon us again. The pinnacle of the horror calendar: Hallowen. It’s a time of year to bath in the blood of frightening stories and bask in the enjoyment of our deepest nightmares. For fans of the medium and genre, nothing else stitches this season together better than horror games.
From the sudden jump scares and adrenaline pumping fear from the dreaded chase down an unfamiliar hallway to the grittiest reflections of humanity and philosophical twist on the traditional good guy/ bad guy motif, horror games encapsulate something greater for the player.
For gamers, this has a tendency to come stained and torn in the form of terrifying horror game bosses and creatures. There is something about the way that these tattered creations of a brutal fantasy meld with our own digital participation that really burrows itself deep into our fractured minds. Bloody, creepy, unexpected, and down right tormenting; these characters come in a variety of tropes. But only a select few really stick with the player for the long run.
Here are the 6 most nightmarish video game characters to ever torment our consoles.
MEMORIES AND MONSTERS
6. Reborn Laura- The Evil Within
This multi-limbed giant beast first appears by spontaneously bursting out of a dead body laying about the bowels of the building. Moving with sudden jerky and sporadic tendencies, Reborn Laura is more of a steady stalker than a sprint to safety. Relentless in her pursuit, this creature always seems to be on your heels. To make it worse, she is practically immune to bullets.
What makes her a little more frightening is that she is the incarnation of a vengeful memory brought about by one of the stories main antagonists. Seeing the twisted evil and hatred fleshed out brings our own internal conflicts to thought. Looking over her tragic history, it is no wonder such a thing could spawn from her memory. Perhaps there inlays her weakness.
5. The Crawlers- Dead Space 2
It is no secret that things get a whole lot creepier when they involve painstaking, unnatural movements or children. Well, with the Dead Space franchise being no stranger to the grotesque and unsettling, it came as no shock when these two were mixed together, forming the crawlers. Well, their presence was a little shocking, but in hindsight it was inevitable.
These little twisted and deformed re-animated infants drag around fused limbs, frolicking about the decrepit day school. Oh, and do not forget that they explode. As if they were not frightening enough, they are filled with some form of explosive in their up turned, bulbous stomachs. Just imagine talking a walk and finding one of these flailing towards you.
4. Ashpyxia- Silent Hill: Homecoming
An extended chain who’s links are flayed and torn pieces of female bodies fused together you say? Why yes, that is the horrific nightmare that is Asphyxia. In Silent Hill: Homecoming you encounter this creature in the Otherworld Overlook Penitentiary. This thing reaches through a quivering, flesh coated hole in the wall, pulling Deputy Wheeler in before making her grand entrance.
Another example of memories plaguing from monsters, Asphyxia comes from Margret Holloway’s memory of her daughter, Nora. The Silent Hill franchise has a bit of a following for its deeper, more philosophical take on the horror genre. Looking at something whipping across the screen such as this makes you wonder what kind of monsters you may have created.
3. Piggsy- Manhunt
Oh, what beasts we find in men. Piggsy appears in the later chapters of the controversial Manhunt video game. What seems like a disgusting and vile excuse for a sub-human is actually a mistreated and misunderstood, troubled individual who has been used as a tool for mayhem and murder throughout Starkweather’s snuff films.
The idea of a man in a pig mask with a chainsaw has been beaten to death. What is really the horrifying facet of good ol’ Piggsy is that he is, at the end of the day, a human. More frightening is that the depravity of man has led to him being transfigured into this shell of a beast. There’s some deep-rooted social commentary for you.
WHEN SCIENCE GOES TOO FAR
2. Nemesis T-Type- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
This titular villain still remains one of the most terrifying and commonly talked about video game horrors of all time. This incarnation of the Tyrant Program was one of the first to have heightened intelligence coupled with the outstanding physical perfection that Umbrella Corp. sought. There is no real finesse to this character; he is slow, steady, and uncompromising in his pursuits.
This is where the real terror comes to play. Nemesis is always nearby. No matter how far you travel, the next thing you know, it has appeared again. Nemesis is also a benchmark for fear of scientific anti-progression. Anyone who takes a look at recent scientific studies can see that there are some truly amazing things coming about. Anyone who takes a further look into the history of mankind knows just how quickly these advancements can be misappropriated.
1. Pyramid Head- Silent Hill 2
It just would not be a real list about nightmarish, horror video game characters without the king of them all, Pyramid Head. In 2001 the world was first introduced to the blade dragging monster behind the metal mask when he became all too acquainted with a twisted mannequin. From there, this creature stalked us, not only through the game, but everywhere. Becoming the most iconic character of a highly reputable franchise is no easy feat, but Pyramid Head had held his title for almost a decade and a half.
The real horror of Pyramid Head comes from what he represents: punishment and judgment personified, set to walk between worlds. Pyramid Head is more than likely a monster type instead of a single entity given that there has been more than one in the same place together throughout the franchise. The reoccurring theme amongst them is that they always arrive during a moment of regret and remorse, set to amend one’s sins through brutality and punishment. It is almost as if Pyramid Head’s victim begs for this. And seeing as you are controlling the character, you become the monster in the end.
There have been goofily creepy creatures that make us feel uncomfortable and truly terrifying monsters that force us to take a step back and ponder the real horrors of this world. Either way, video games have a way of using your participation in the narrative to flesh out some of the most honest and burdening monsters every dreamt up. For the horror fan in all of us, may we find the next terror lurking just around the corner.
Honorable Mention. Lisa- P.T.
Not enough can be said about the miniature taste of the terror that almost was from P.T. Just as much can be said about the main haunt of the teaser, Lisa. Given that really nothing is known about the story of Silent Hills it has surfaced that this ghost-like figure was murdered by her husband whilst pregnant and now stalks the ever-looping hallway you are trapped in. She constantly appears at just the right moments to catch you off guard. Even her known presence makes you question whether continuing is worth it. There is something to be said about a character that has inspired so many great and scary “let’s plays” from nothing more than a teaser.