knuclear200x Scared Stupid
The Top Ten Dumbest Things in Video Games That Scared Me...as a...as a child...yeah.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
I AM PROUD TO PRESENT TO YOU...
From the company that brought you
"Disney Really Touched Me"
"My top 10 of comments"
comes a brand new awesome article that will
The Unabridged Article Series by original creator knuclear200x himself
"The Epic Continues"
It's like the internet.
Heck, it also makes you smart. Like smoking, being afraid means your lungs are going to be aaaaaaaaaall right. But in my case it made me miss out on a lot of things, specifically some video games.
What I have here are a bunch of things in video games that scared the hell out of me at a point of time. I would avoid being in the same room of that video game even if friends were there. I'd never wanted to do as much as insert the cartridge to save my life. I could never enjoy Pilotwings the way it was intended because doing very well would scare me to death.
Then I grew up, I then experienced scarier things and scarier video games which all redefined "fear" in ways I never expected, even those from years past.
After all that, I look back at the games that once scared me and I said to myself, "I was afraid of THESE things? What the hell, man?"
It was a stupid time. A time I'll never forget.
So here it is,
a personal recollection of:
The Top Ten Dumbest Things in Video Games That Scared Me
...as a...as a child...yeah.
Ah, the Silver Surfer. A cool comic book-based game of its time. I enjoyed a good scrolling shooter as a child even though it was quite hard. One thing that bothered me was a particular character in the selection screen.
Look at that face, I know he was looking the other way, but I was always afraid that anytime he could turn his head at me AND EAT MY SOUL. I'd close my eyes, but only to be afraid to open them. My sis owned one of those knock-off electronic dancing barbie dolls with the cold smiley faces, and once opened my eyes to one after lifting my hands away from my face.
Even his side mugshot made me uncomfortable, if he could look that way...he could look other ways too. The other reason it scared me was the eerie music that played during the character introduction. The game will show that screen every time you select a level character and between zones, so I would see that huge picture at times I'd never expected. It was enough to make me run out of the room until I calmed down a little, then I noticed the game over.
So boohoo poor me I could not beat this game, when I was young anyway.
I'd always go to the dinosaur level first too, I liked the dinosaur. He was the cool one.
The "Make a Wish to open the Temple" scene
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
A top ten list cliche. But one can't blame it for being critically acclaimed. What a fun game it was indeed; the running shoes, the laser-shooting sword, the wonderful music, jarred killer bees at your command, and stabbing defenseless chickens 'til their family couldn't take it anymore.
Once a home favorite, I would enjoy the game like any other by cranking up the volume a little. During play I was just on my way from the library checking out an old Hylian dictionary to translate the slab at the desert temple.
Then this happens
*LOUD LOW-KEY ORGAN MUSIC*
Dang thing caught me off guard.
At a young age, I've seen a lot of movie scenes that took place in a church or some old mansion with scary statues. Such scenes would make me uncomfortable because they'd always show some statues of celestial beings crying or staring. Even though it scared me out of the room, I still loved the game enough to play through...with the volume lowered.
Anyone who knows Michael Jackson, knows about the two cool video games he had, like this one:
The picture was creepy enough, then it had to move and talk too like those scary paintings on TV. And I didn't know that was Michael Jackson at the time.
Anyone who knows Michael Jackson, knows about the two cool video games he had that were based on the movie he was in once. On the Genesis, he would glitter and dance at enemies along the way to rescue kidnapped children from some bad dude. The Arcade version was better though, it was an isometric beat 'em up and you could turn into a robot in it. Yay.
But that big-mouthed, big scary-faced, and apparently alive thing scared me away from ever inserting the cartridge ever again. But years later, I went back and enjoyed it to the very end. But even to this day, pre-rendered and crudely pixelated faces still make me jump a little at any unexpected. But now I don't cry and run in another room anymore. Except for last night when I played this
then my chair broke, then I stood up and stubbed my toe, hopped around, fell down the stairs, knocked over my porcelain figure cabinet and tripped on my big screen tv after learning Michael Jackson died. It was a bad day.
Rest in peace ol' buddy.
Doing an excellent job
This game had everything back in the day: Great graphics, great music, and rewarding gameplay. You were set in the role of a student pilot under the aid of four different teachers. Pass all the classes and not only do you get a class license, you'll get to ride...
Der-der...DER-der-...DER-der...DER-DER...BLEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEWE DUR, NURNURNURNUR, DURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNURNUR...!
DIE STUPID DEFENSELESS IMMOBILE TERRORIST AIRPLANE!
And definitely the best excuse to show off Mode7. Take THAT, blast processing...whatever the hell you were...!
Unfortunately as child, I never knew such a joy existed. I enjoyed flying that airplane and maybe not the dang parachuting level, but one person kept me from enjoying it to a satisfactory level.
Yeah, how YOU doin' Tony you son of a bitch. Oh is that so? Well better put on my helmet.
Okay, so far so good, gonna get those green balls.
YEAH! I did it!
Hey Tony, look what I did! I...
HE WANTS TO KILL ME!!!
Indeed it was, I never knew a character mugshot could have such liveliness, no wait...I did...but not from THIS GUY. The entire character selection screen from Street Fighter sure didn't have any. So that was the reason I could never enjoy the game to its fullest back in the day. That cold wide-eyed stare made me want to crash into the runway, or not open my parachute. Lance was no different neither.
The arcade strafe-top-down shooter sequel to Smash TV. At least I think it's a sequel. I dunno.
GAH! What a ghastly sight she was. This crudely pixelated lady scared the bejeesus out of me every time she showed up. She would always show up unnoticed every time I or someone else'd play, and I could never look away in time to avoid that scary look.
It was those eerie looking eyes.
I'd press start so many times and the screen could never fade out enough. She only shows up once in the game, though.
BIG MOUTH GUY
Legendary Wings embarks on a journey into the great blue sky over the okay brown land to destroy an evil supercomputer that was once good and is now bad, and only Michelle Heart and the blue bikini'd guy can stop it.
Another shooter, this time a vertical shooter featuring guys with wings. As a young 'un, I could only enjoy 1/4 of the game after pressing start. Because of this guy:
It was little fairy me, against BIG MOUTH GUY WITH TORNADO BREATH. Those lifty eyes and giant pie-hole scared the crap out of me, I thought it would go away if i kept shooting at it but it took up so much screen time that I had to make myself lose to make it end. I couldn't even kill it with my ground bombs. I was at a total loss, after going through the trouble of paying rental fees to get it. I couldn't enjoy it no matter how many times I tried not to fear BIG MOUTH GUY. Even at the local Shakey's I could not safely walk to The Simpsons, because BIG MOUTH GUY followed me there too, standing right next to the Simpsons.
I had to run past the cabinet to avoid seeing it, and as soon as I started playing my game I, with all my short might, reached my face as close to the screen as possible while watching Homer beat up those attorneys, just to ignore BIG MOUTH GUY and keep him out of my range of sight. Later, it was taken away for apparent repairs and Street Fighter II was in his place. I liked to think that the guys from SF2 themselves kicked him out for me.
I still haven't beaten the game yet, but only cuz i dont wanna...
Anyway, BIG MOUTH GUY's objective was trying to suck you in to the horizontal scrolling cave inside his mouth. And BIG MOUTH GUY isn't actually called BIG MOUTH GUY, in fact I don't think it even has a name. So I just made one up.
The Robot Game
The Miracle Piano
You ever heard about that game that's controlled by a piano? Well it existed. Learn to tickle ivories on your own by learning the ropes, the greatest musical pieces of all time and enjoy fun mini-games to polish your piano-playing skills.
This goddamn piece of shit scared the fucken dame fuck out of me. I received it during the days of piano lessons all kids have. I forget, either my mom or gram'ma gave it to me. Either way, I was going to have fun with it. It was a video game after all.
The Miracle Piano really was an effective learning tool that could turn amateurs into professionals...as far as I could tell. The cartridge provided music sheets, lesson quizzes, a duck-hunting game, a parachuter game, and a robot game all controlled by the piano keyboard. It also served as the metronome, which is the only sound that the game puts out through the TV. It was quite cool, for the first few minutes and then moved on the to mini-games. Then I got bored completely. I was never into piano anyway, except when someone else is playing it and if they add it into a rock and roll song making it more awesome.
And there was one particular game that annoyed me most of all. The robot game...that I just mentioned a second ago.
The game put me in control of a robot, whose job was to build the bridge as he automatically scrolled along. Pressing the required keys at the right time would have him stretch his neck to reach the hanging materials above, and fuel when he needed it, to make the bridge longer. If I pressed the wrong key, the robot will not respond and crash into the floor below. Now what's so scary about that? Was it the bland colors, your hands in the life of a robot? No. It was the
That really loud noise the robot makes when he crashes or runs out of fuel. Lowering the TV volume would not help at all because...the sounds would come straight from keyboard's built-in speakers, which was handy because it would allow you to use the keyboard without the game and use it like a real piano. The Piano did have its own adjustable volume but it never helped. By choosing the lowest volume, it was either level Zero with no sound, or level one = STILL LOUD. Freakin' nightmare it was, especially when my bro set it to a high level at one time and played the game. Let's just say...it could've set off a nearby car alarm.
Years later, it became more of an annoyance than a fear. The loud annoying sound just got me madder like those guys from the GameFly commercials. I don't own it anymore.
You probably noticed the lack of in-game pictures, well that's because there are absolutely NONE online. I had to download the rom and rip em off the demo screen myself, since the game is completely uncontrollable without the Piano. I'd expected that the guys who made the ZSNES had something for that by now...
Mario is Missing
Something's up with Mario! He was just behind Yoshi a second ago and now he's mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
not in the same place he was and is no longer present within the vicinity!!! We must find him around the world with clues scattered everywhere while learning about stuff!
There were no loud, BIG-EYED, BIG-MOUTH GUYS walking around, but the game still scared me in a different way. It didn't feel like a Mario game at all. It's like I knocked down a bunch of bottles at the fair for a plush character, only to find out it was stuffed with styrofoam and dead worms and I've been touching it for 10 years.
While cruising the countries as Luigi, I felt something I never enjoyed feeling in a Mario game: lost and alienated. It's like something some of us tourists have been through before: just getting off the plane, walking all alone in a new country, listening to languages you have yet to learn, being ignorant of local customs with a piece of paper in one hand and a backpack of troubles just weighing you down.
There were barely any Mario elements or new Mario features and power ups, none in a world full of weird non-Marioverse people I've never seen. Sure the koopas and Princess Peach were there, but I don't think they were the same people I knew.
Where were the floating chocolate-bar platforms, the hills with eyes, the hopping goombas hiding in boots, the delicious-looking golden coins, and more importantly:
It didn't even occur to me that game was EDUCATIONAL. I knew Mario Teaches Typing was educational because the word "TEACHES" and "TYPING" were there in BIG NOTICEABLE LETTERS in the title. We were fortunate that these games weren't successful enough to spawn a major genre of education-based games with more favorite characters, and we'd probably get games like Jak and Daxter: The Algebraic Prophecy, Ratchet and Clank Teach Typing or Halo Jr.: Master Chief's Math Blaster Masters.
And to think this was Luigi's first starring role in a video game. I think it's safe to say that it's an OFFICIAL first as well since the game was at least licensed by Nintendo, but was it Miyamoto-approved too?
I can't say.
The game also ripped me off. Not just because it wasn't a REAL Mario game, I didn't really travel around the world. More like it was traveling around the travel agent's office, I mean no third-world countries were included like...the Philippines. I mean if the map shows the Philippines, and Yoshi can land on the Philippines, then why can't I GO to the freakin' Philippines?
In fact, I bet you guys don't know who the Philippines' national hero is. I don't blame you for not knowing, I blame this game for not teaching!
AND IT MAKES ME MAD! UH!
Here's a short one.
I WAS AFRAID
OF A LOGO!!!
I was afraid of this logo. Not because it was a scary-looking logo, but because it was more of a WARNING sign marked on most PC game CD cases displayed on store shelves. I forget which games had it, but they had it as far as I can remember.
Loud noises would render me completely disoriented. And I knew that because my Dad was the yeller amongst my parents, but such disciplinary ways have taught me respect. I could never stay calm at an older brother's friend's house. They had the kind of house where their garage is a room, owned a drum set and electric guitars, and their cars had heavy bass speakers so I knew they loved loud stuff.
Today, loud video games are what help me enjoy a video game more, especially if its in SURROUND SOUND. Ever play RE4 on MY VIDEO GAME CHAIR?
The speakers are near the head rest for a reason, people. And it has Bass adjustments...Mmmmmmm...
Home Alone 2:
Lost in New York
Kevin McCallister is enjoying luxuries at the local, snazzy Plaza Hotel. But After the concierge finds out that his cards were reported stolen, the entire hotel staff and guests are now out for blood. Armed with a toy pistol, a pearl necklace and a boxing-glove bazooka he must brave through floors and floors with limited ammo and survive before they KILL YOU.
What? That's not how the movie goes? Well, I'm not talking about the movie, stupid.
The Home Alone movies were a personal favorite. The John Williams score, comic mischief, and family moments always made me feel warm inside. Except for 3 and 4, I just don't care for those ever. Anyway, when I said they wanted to KILL YOU, I really mean KILL.
VULCAN NERVE CHOKE
Some of the characters in the hotel's rogues gallery consist of hopping suitcases, living vacuum cleaners, high-jumping umbrella-wielding old ladies, the hotel manager/asst. manager, the store clerk, the pillow maid and guy in a trench coat.
There's also zombie-room service and luggage guy.
They won't hurt you, but they will get in your way in a chase, and they'll hurt if you touch them.
"Move it, you big horse's ass!"
"Braaaaaains...I mean Room eiiiiiiighty-three...or was it thirty-eiiiiiiiiiight...I forgot daaaammit..."
It was tough. Dart guns only stunned enemies, and there were only few Boxing-glove bazookas to go around. Anything that wasn't human couldn't be hurt by the guns, and whenever you had to go past an enemy without ammo, you'd have to sacrifice a heart. The game also provides pizza slices, but they don't do anything until you collect a whole pie which will really just give you an extra life. You'd think with all the TMNT games out already they'd have known something was wrong with that.
And then there's Trench coat guy. This fat bastard would appear randomly and if you tried to jump over him, he'd grab you by the ankles and shake you down for coins until you die. If you're out of ammo, you're dead. And those idiot enemies make him more dangerous and scarier than ever.
White kid can't jump...high enough
I'm sure when the guys were making this game, they were only intending on a hotel-themed action/adventure game with a few movie elements. But in the end, all they really made was an unintentional survivor horror game with funny music, at least that's what I saw back then and never touched this game until years later.
"...I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do I'm gonna bite off these shoes...one at a time."
Turns out the game was pretty easy later on. I realized you could kill the suitcases by sliding at them, and conserving ammo was really important. Also the game takes place outside the hotel as well, but it's just a really short and boring ride just like the next movie tie-in after it.
Twenty years ago, a strange meteor falls on earth outside an old mansion. Twenty years later, a mad scientist kidnaps a local girl for his evil experiments and it's up to her boyfriend and his friends to rescue her in the giant mansion as they search through rooms and rooms of useful items and strange characters.
I sure didn't know any better back then. I thought this entire game was just horror entirely instead of just a horror comedy. Growing up, I enjoyed playing this game while trying to get some of the alternate endings, listening to the somewhat bubbly music and microwaving a hamster. But back then, I was too stupid to enjoy it.
Some of the few things that scared me was the setting. It took place in an nearly empty mansion inhabited by three people, and other non-people. I've seen them movies on TV, an empty house at night meant some guy with a chainsaw who runs fast or teleports somehow, or twins.
And they had all those creepy looking paintings and other decor. Characters had their respective theme music, so you could tell who you were controlling, and it was really fun listening to them but I was still too distracted by fear to know this game wasn't really scary.
Then there were the cutscenes that would play at a certain time. The cutscenes would share a little backstory as well as help the player with clues or warnings to get through the game. But I didn't really know that:
All this talk about bodies, meteors, and brains made me uncomfortable. Also, while watching others play through, there were ways to blow up the house which would kill everyone and end the game. And I thought that smoke cloud was a ghost.
There were also ways a single character can die, whether it be refilling the bottom of the swimming pool, getting zapped by the meteor, or more hilariously:
Realizing that extra lives were replaced by a tombstoned end would make me panic loudly when something unexpected happens, like the cutscenes that played at random. My mom would freak. Years later, I did notice that after you die a certain way, you're still playable. You can still pick things up and a few other things. Either this was a glitch, or just something the developers decided to keep for the frustrated players just for fun.
And since it was also possible to be killed by tenants, I'd be even more scared being chased or caught by these guys, or at least if I saw them. "NO NO NO WHYYYYYYYY????!!!" I'd say.
And finally, the final straw: The Dungeon. As soon as all three of my guys were caught and thrown in there I was expecting a game over screen, but instead I thought the programmers forgot to add something and that it meant I have to reset or I am left imagining the horror of being locked up forever if I don't. And I never bothered with the game again...
...even though the key was right in front of me.
I was afraid of this once:
Ecco the Dolphin
Ecco and his pod are enjoying life at sea. While Ecco is given the challenge to jump in the air the highest, a strange force consumes all marine life, leaving him all alone and sets off to find his friends and discover the source behind the madness.
I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to do in this game. Everything felt weird. It all felt too real. And characters uttered some disturbing messages.
Uh...........Nice face, Henessy! Yes! Ecco 1, you 0.
No we don't! Come on!...........Shut up!
I was just playing around, getting acquainted with the controls, then jumped really high in the air as the other dolphin dared me to and accidentally started something unexpected. That's where it got scary. Some random earthquake thing started and all the guys that were there, were gone.
That's when I put the game down. I've read about the game in a magazine before I played it at a friend's. After reading about BIG BLUE WHALES and a BIG-ASS ALIEN CREATURE boss, I took away any interest I had in the game, but I had to play it as I got tired of Sonic the Hedgehog. Another root of my fear were these nightmares I've had earlier about floating all alone in the middle of an oceanic nowhere, and right beneath there's either a giant sunken ship or a giant whale swimming below me.
That and the music and sound effects were just spooky. I didn't know it was for ambiance or something that would captivate the player.
I never finished the game to this day. While playing it later, I was just bored from getting stuck not knowing what to do. Someday, though...
The Water levels
Super Mario 64
The one game that revolutionized 3D blah blah blee blah.
Still afraid of the 3D generation, I was a little reluctant to play this game. But it was still a Mario game. And as I shyly approached the controller, he took my hand and spoke...
IT'S-A ME, MARIO!!!! DON'T-A BE AFRAID-A! EVERYTHING'S-A GONNA BE OK, AH?
WOW he could TALK! In a VIDEO GAME!
It still felt a little weird but I warmed up to the game eventually.
While running around the castle, I jumped into the painting of Dire Dire Docks. I was surprised that I was now being monitored for my time underwater. I mean, jeez Mario sure didn't have trouble before. As I was swimming, I thought I'd stick around and see what would happen if I ran out of air. I was plain curious is all. So while waiting a while for the meter to drop from one more point, I am shocked to see and hear the following:
That's when I dropped the controller for a second after I witnessed the underwater asphyxiation,
and cried silently.
"I killed Mario!", I thought, "and he died an actual death!". That's when I made a promise never to do that again. I never felt such an impact, and this was the future of video games standing right there in front of me. Every attempt at finishing the water levels left me frustrated, and those dang electrified treasure chests at the in the sunken ship made it worse.
Yup...I was pretty stupid back then.
Oh yeah...and this:
The Future of Video Games
3D Graphics, The CD-I, and the fifth generation
When 3D graphics started becoming dawns of future generations in video games, I was scared. I've already been used to 2D and this big change was something I wasn't ready for. When I noticed that 3D helped developers' execute better scares in survival horror games, I just couldn't take it.
But before this was a problem, I just happened to walk in some video game section of some store one day and stumbled upon a Mario game I've never seen.
And I played it. I didn't really know what I was supposed to do and I couldn't jump, I was opening and closing these doors and the damn Goombas and Koopas kept getting in my way. It was terrible. I realized later that the controllers were broken. Either way, the experience was horrible. I've been craving a new Mario platformer for years and they make this door-closing game. And even with such a stupid-looking controller
I was afraid that this would replace the SNES in a snap. As for the infamous Legend of Zelda games, I never saw those on display ever. And I feel kind of lucky.
Now, back to the 3D graphics. I've been reading magazines and walking around arcades and noticed horrorific 3D games have marked territory. With all those realistically detailed renderings of humans and all the hype surrounding them, I was afraid that the 2D style would be kicked to the curb as yesterday's news.
I also thought that 3D games would look like this too.
An artsy, bizarre world where the floors are just black and white squares floating in an endless blue sky with floating spheres and a bottomless sinkhole. It was as scary as that nightmare I mentioned in the Ecco the Dolphin section.
And how would I control such games in an open world? With all that extra space, would my characters just flail around now that I could walk in more than 8 directions?
That was until I met the PS1. The original Playstation had a lot of 3D games, but it even had a share of 2D games like the Mega Man X series. I discovered the PS in 1998, what I was doing not noticing it for the last 4-5 years is beyond me, and by that time the system had so much in its library already. But I was still afraid of the 3D generation. The SNES and Genesis were still in the market and I enjoyed those as much as I could, without knowing that they were on their last legs. Then I saw this one day:
It was a picture of some cool-looking character with some disembodied head in the back. I just couldn't find any interest with something so scary in the back. Yeah I was scared of a Crash Bandicoot game, a game that is now an acknowledged favorite. It was months later, I discovered that it wasn't scary at all. I was already introduced to Mario 64 and Kart 64, but I was still afraid of 3D games at the time. When my cousin put it on, I noticed that the game was just some sort of interactive, funny cartoon. Then I started playing it. Since then, everything that scared me about 3D just disappeared and I wanted more, except for Resident Evil. I wasn't ready for Resident Evil. All I knew was that since that day, I never feared video games again. I only feared the ones that were truly scary...and still played them anyway. As for the fate of 2D games, I learned that fans and companies still had a heart for those and everything was going to be all right.
And there you have it, My Top 10...uh...15...er...uh...screw it...a listed, personal history of irrational video game fears at an early age listed in no particular order.
You probably noticed that there are a lot of other games not on the list. I apologize. But as stated earlier, it was a stupid time for me I was too afraid to branch out into further genres because of my faint heart. I was kinda like that kid who played that maze game. The fears were just pushed away by better, more legitimate scares as I grew up and I discovered even scarier games along the way like Resident Evil, Clock Tower for the SNES and Sweet Home for the NES (see prologue). Oh, and the EARTHBOUND series. Deeeeep stuff.
Another reason I've only mentioned these games is because I never hear stories or comments that people were frightened by them. I always hear about how people were scared of Nightmare on Elm Street, Doom and Wolfenstein but barely any for Maniac Mansion or any at all for BIG MOUTH GUY or Tony's reactions in Pilotwings.
I always felt like I was the only kid out there who was scared of all this stuff that it led me to believe that these fears were just stupid. Back then, kids would tell stories of how they beat this game, and I was always a witness of their great feats.
But maybe I'm wrong, maybe there's another dude out there who was afraid of these things but never really shared. I did some personal googling earlier to find any similar situations, but all I found was a top 10 list, a hilarious youtube video, and
an interesting study of fear with video games:
I guess the answers just aren't on google.
With that said, I want to thank you for almost not skimming this entire article. I hope that you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed making it, and I look forward to reading your comments or any stories that relate to this.
AND one more thing...
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