With Halloween being the scariest time of the year, there’s no better time to reflect on some of the scariest monsters in videogames. After all, what’s good horror without something tall and murderous to scare the pants off you?
The Slender Man (Slender: The Eight Pages)
An abnormally skinny figure fitted in a tailored black suit, The Slender Man looks almost human. That is until you see his face, a smooth white dome, completely lacking in features. And even though he has no eyes, victims say they could feel Slender Man staring right through them.
Starting off as a series of photo shopped images on the popular website 4chan.org The Slender Man reached peak popularity with the release of the video game “Slender: The Eight Pages.”
Tasking the player with exploring a dilapidated camp site in search of the titular documents, “Slender” is made more difficult, and more terrifying, by the presence of the ever more aggressive Slender Man.
In this case it’s the monsters ability to teleport that takes the game to heart attack levels. There’s more than one occasion I would turn a corner, see The Slender Man bearing down on me, book it in the opposite direction, turn a different corner, and run right back into his grasp.
It’s more than a little frustrating, and sometimes it feels a bit like the game is cheating, “Slender” is a horror game. It’s not really supposed to be fair. Plus seeing that blank face fill up your screen and stare down into your soul is throw your laptop across the room levels of scary.
The Regenerador (Resident Evil 4)
The ultimate “he won’t stay dead”, The Regenerador from “Resident Evil 4” can take a licking and keep on ticking. A lanky humanoid figure with lizard skin, beady red eyes, and enormous fangs, The Regenerador is one of the toughest monsters you’ll face in the entire game.
Ammunition is extremely limited in “Resident Evil 4”, so pumping half of your bullets into a Regenerador’s scaly hide to see it just keep shambling on is a huge threat. Without a weapon that can bring it down, for most of the game you’ve got just one option; run like your virtual life depends on it.
Later on you’re gifted a special gun capable of bringing the big lugs down, but for the first half of the game seeing a Regenerador meant one of two things; you got out of it’s way, or you died.
SCP-173 (SPC: Containment Breach)
At first glance, SCP-173 just looks like a normal statue, albeit a large and ugly one. But then you blink and it moves a little closer. Another blink, another little bit closer. And before you know it you feel fists of granite closing around your throat.
“SPC: Containment Breach” tasks you with escaping the underground facility that houses this monster, being stalked by it the entire time. SPC-173 has a unique weakness; it can’t move if anybody is staring at it.
But as anyone who as ever lost a staring contest can tell you, keeping your eyes open for any length of time can be difficult. And that’s without the pressure of having a cursed statue in the room that want’s nothing more than to snap your neck.
“Containment Breach” as a pretty novel mechanic in it’s “Blink Meter” which forces you to blink in game every once in a while,letting 173 get ever closer. Combine that with the need to navigate the facility with your head over your shoulder, eyes wide open, and you have one of the tensest experiences in gaming.
Blackmore (Castlevania: Order of Ecclessia)
You fight a lot of interesting monsters playing as a vampire hunter in the Castlevania series, but Blackmore is the coolest of the bunch.
A dark sorcerer, Blackmore can fight with his shadow, turning it into a hulking wolf like monster, capable of breathing black fire and slashing you with its claws.
Powering his magic with his victim’s souls, Blackmore is a difficult battle. His shadow monster is huge, with many of its attacks taking up the entire screen. It’s easy to marvel at the magnitude of the fight, until a stray fireball knocks you back to your senses.
In a game with both Count Dracula and The Grim Reaper as bosses, it’s still the shadow wizard that stands out as the most memorable monster.
Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
A hulking shirtless man with a massive metal triangle encasing his head, pulling a knife along the ground too large for any normal being to wield, Pyramid Head is a frightening figure. Even more frightening is what he represents; repressed guilt and a desire for punishment.
The monster’s in “Silent Hill 2” are all metaphorical, reflections of protaginists James Sunderlands shattered mind. Pyramid Head is the spirt of retribution, a monster born from James subconscious desire to be reprimanded for his past.
He’s a monster that delivers a double whammy of fear; a hulking giant with a blade is frightening,, but even worse is the knowledge you deserve whatever is coming for you. There’s a reason the “Silent Hill” franchise is considered a classic.