As young little gamers, we all had at least one harrowing experience playing that still haunts us to this day. This week the BG staff looks at these moments from our childhoods that haunted us the most.
Jake C. – Features Editor
When I was a wee little lad, I was absolutely obsessed with Scooby-Doo. I had action figures, a plushy of the brown, mystery-solving dog himself, a few posters -and most prominently- I had Scooby-Doo: Classic Creep Capers on the Nintendo 64.
Classic Creep Capers ended up being one of my fondest gaming memories at my early ages, even though I could never even get past the first mystery, “What a Night for a Knight”; which was based on the first episode of the original television show. Anyway, on to the meat and potatoes of my “terrifying” experience.
During a certain part in the level, you would be making your happy little way through an Egyptian exhibit in a museum of world history, and the screen would quickly zoom focus to a lone sarcophagus, and in that dastardly encasement: the Black Knight.
He would run through the halls of the museum, making an awful (and really loud) clanking noise as he chased you. Perhaps it shouldn’t have scared me as much as it did, but seriously, that noise was really horrible, and as I said earlier, definitely a major contributor as to why I never made it to the second chapter of the game.
Lisa R. – US Staff Writer
I grew up in a fairly strict family so I really only played the milder video games like Mario and Kirby’s Dreamland. I had to sneak over to my friend’s house to play anything else, including Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat II was not only my first introduction into fighting games, but also my first WTF/disturbed gaming moment. I was about six years old when my friend Jason powered his SNES and started playing the game. At first the violence wasn’t too bad, cartoon-ish blood spurting and characters thrown around; however, it radically change when I witnessed my first fatality.
Sub-Zero shot an ice ball into my character and it just exploded, raining body parts all of the screen. Imagine watching your character’s body bits spread across the screen; and this was not even the most brutal! It was the first time a video game showed graphic carnage and violence.
However, my initial revulsion took that fun trip to sick fascination. It also didn’t help that my parents were outraged when they found out I’d been playing the game. My love of fighting games and specifically Mortal Kombat started then and continues to grow. I still get a little sick to my stomach, especially as graphics get better and better, but it’s part of the fun.
Patrick M. – US Staff Writer
I remember the first time I was able to play Legend of Zelda on the NES. I was young and new to gaming. I figured my way around, and learned how to adapt fairly quickly. I remember getting into the dungeons, with the darker themes and the strange music.
The scariest point that I had was on the first appearance of the wallmaster. You enter the dungeon, working out the patterns of the fireballs, battle the numerous other enemies, and try to stay alive. Next thing you know, two blue hands come out of the walls, and follow you. These tricky things will pin you into a corner, until one overtakes you and takes you away. You are drawn back to the first room of the dungeon. As a kid, this was mind blowing!
Disconnected hands emerging from walls, and relocating you. After 20 minutes of navigating rooms and battling boars and ghosts – this would cause me to scream and panic trying to run away.
Martin S. – US PlayStation Editor
When I was a kid I was absolutely terrified when level 2 of A Bug’s Life (PSOne, 1998) flashed onto the screen. Said stage involved guiding the miniature hero Flick through a series of underground tunnels while avoiding deadly bugs, worms and other dangers that thirst for your pixelated blood. This appropriately named “Tunnels” level became etched into my memory and haunted my childish nightmares.
The sad part is, I never got to grab any of the collectibles scattered throughout it because I was too busy running in a straightforward line to the exit. Seeing the doorway that signaled the end of the level remains, to this day, one of gaming’s biggest reliefs for me.
Jason M. – Editor-in-Chief
Well, pretty much everyone else on this list is making me feel ancient with my goofy pick, but one of my spookiest memories from gaming as a kid was the Phanto in Super Mario Bros. 2. Yes, really. Shut up.
Actually, maybe I shouldn’t be so ashamed of it, since there’s a whole section of the gaming populace out there who apparently agrees with me. In researching my little addition to this group article, I came across a YouTube video of someone who was delighted to learn that there is a way to kill the normally indestructible Phanto, and an article from Destructoid by Chad Concelmo, who called him “the scariest video game character of all time”.
If you’re wondering and have somehow never played SMB2 (or Doki Doki Panic, the Japanese game that SMB2 is cloned from), the Phanto is a hovering mask, half white and half red. He (it?) flies after you after springing to life when you pick up a key in the game.
Thing is, I knew he was coming the second I grabbed that key, I knew that mask hanging on the wall in the background was going to suddenly rise up and chase me. I was ‘prepared’ for it… but I never really was. He’d jet from off-screen (again, most likely a portal to hell) the moment that I laid hands on my prize and and then proceed to chase me through the entire remainder of the level. Yeah, that’s right, this is one Super Mario enemy that wasn’t stopped by a simple change of screen. And there was no way to kill him either (that I knew of at the time); it was just run, run, run to the door and get the hell out of dodge…
Scary. As. Hell. Well, for a little kid anyway. I’m past that now. Mostly.
And with that last little nugget of spookiness that most people probably wouldn’t find all that spooky, we bid you adieu from this little Halloween feature. We hope you enjoyed reading, and if you have any scary gaming moments of your own, feel free to let us know what they might be in the comments below.
Let’s all be scared over fairly non-scary stuff together- and have a very Happy Halloween!