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Childhood scaring/scarring video game moments!

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Video games can be scary. Even if it’s not a horror game!

Tell us about some choice moments that made your childhood selves shake in fear.

I don’t really remember that many instances of my own that aren’t Sonic-related (Chaos, the Egg Viper during the extended amount of time I was stuck on it, ...Frankly’s “happy” portrait in MBM).

There is one: Streets of Rage. A moment that occurs more often than 6-year-old me would have liked.

I always found the boss at the end of each stage intimidating as all hell. Their sprites didn’t help much, but the thing that positively made me quiver was their entrance.

Imagine, you’re casually sailing through the stage, beating the crap out of all the stock goons that come your way, with the standard stage music jiving away as you go. You’re pretty content, beating every batch of thugs that come your way. You’ve just finished off the last goon in a particular pack. The music suddenly fades out. You’re left with a short, eerie silence.

And then...

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The fact that the boss doesn’t even jump out immediately as the music starts is what gets me. The music just comes in to let you know that a terrifying force of nature is coming, but you don’t know what it is until about 5 seconds in, when the giant suddenly comes running out from the side of the screen at high speed!

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Anybody here scared by the piano in Super Mario 64/64 DS? As for things that scared me, or rather close to scared me, hands down Queen Vannessa in A Hat In Time is one of the creepiest things I’ve encountered in a game. Period. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Your Vest Friend said:

 I hate the idea of being chased by death, so something like the Elixir Guardian in Rayman 2 was just unpleasant. 

Oh, Jano and cave of Bad Dreams was my nightmarish, but chase scene was just a climax. How about those tiny clones of him how tried to get behind you and eat you alive.  How about all the ambient sound , making you feel something is constantly on your tail?. Or those skeleton hands in walls and freaky skulls you had to walk on?

But the worst part for me were Shadow Catterpillars

I never liked bugs to begin with, but those things just cheeped me out. The way they moved, that weird sounds, icky design. Yes, you can killed them with one shoot, but they always come back. And camera controls were terrible, so it was easy to loose track of them, so you just listen tot that terrible sound. And game demands than you transport 2 orb through them, leaving you almost defenseless! I swear, I couldn't even look at them, I just ran blindly through the room hoping I'll pass them.

 

Also, Psychonauts and MILLA SECRET ROOM

 

....you know, I kinda wish Sonic game would try to scare us more often.

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20 minutes ago, Perkilator said:

I remember being too scared to even touch the old House of the Dead arcade machines with a 39 and a half foot pole. It's what made me use to be deathly (see what I did there?) afraid of zombies.

Pretty much this. Previously, I hadn't seen monsters as gruesome as zombies and when I first saw House of the Dead in the arcade, I was pretty unnerved, needless to say.

Another creepy childhood moment would be from a Kirby game of all things. Now I know Kirby games have some scary moments near the end, Facing off with eldritch horrors... but I never really got too far in the games or bothered to unlock them and the true endings as a kid. No, this obnoxious little bastard here is what scared the crap out of me as a kid.

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This game featured animal friends, kind of similar to Yoshi in SMW or the animals in Donkey Kong Country. When you're by yourself, this guy appears innocent and cute, simply floating and smiling. But if you approach him with an animal friend, that cute face turns into a demented slasher smile and flies into you, killing your animal friend instantly. Needless to say, this was probably my first jumpscare in gaming... This enemy still appears in Kirby games to this day, but none have ever caught me off guard like this one.

Next up, I know for sure more people have been unnerved by this one

Image result for lavender town

For those of you who haven't played the original Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow, allow me to explain. Most of the music in the game has an upbeat and cheerful tune. It gives off a feeling of discovery and adveture.

But then you enter Lavender Town, in which the tone in the game so far shifts. As soon as you enter, you're met with very unnerving music, very out of place after the music you've previously heard... Even the more suspenseful songs like the cave theme and Viridian forest isn't this forboding.

As if the music wasn't bad enough, you come to find that this town has a lot to do with death, from a person telling you about a Cubone's mother being killed by Team Rocket, to a girl asking you if you believe in ghosts, to a tower of graves where most of the trainers are seemingly possessed people. 

To young me, this part scared me for the following reasons:

1. As mentioned before the shift in tone really caught me off guard. I had been watching the anime when I got the Pokemon Red, and when Team Rocket was mentioned to have killed a Cubone's mother I had assumed it was Jesse, James, and Meowth who had done the deed. Needless to say for a while, I couldn't look at those goofy antagonists the same way again.

2. For some reason, music has always stuck with me, be it movies, cartoons, or games, and it tends stick as well with me as characters, dialogue and setting. This music sometimes would get stuck in my head and if It was in my head at night, then there'd be no sleeping!

3. My parents used to be very superstitious, and if they found out there was a part of the game involving ghosts and possessed priests, they probably would have gotten rid of the game. Not to mention, I believed in some of the superstition, and there would be times I would attempt to either skip this part or get it done as soon as possible. This one's less on the game and more of my upbringing, which is not the time or place here.

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I have a couple. First of all, THIS: 

There was nothing worse than trying to play a game only to be greeted by a blaring jump scare from the console itself, and to add insult to injury if you want to play the game you have to chance it again.

   Another one that got me good was the Woody's Nightmare level in the Genesis version of Toy Story. It's petty now looking back on it, but as a four year old being put in a dark room with a boss fight with Buzz out of nowhere can be scary. It also doesn't help that this is where the game decides to stop pulling its punches, meaning that as a four year old this is effectively where the game ended. What really cemented it though is that one night I had a nightmare where I was playing Toy Story and a deformed, glitchy Sid took over the Genesis and killed it. Not a week later my Genesis actually died while playing Lion King (funny thing is that it turned out just to be a bad power supply, after replacing that I got my childhood Genesis back, although unfortunately the Sega CD did permanently die while in storage). 

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13 minutes ago, Big Panda said:

@Emperor Robrainiac have you ever heard of the “Blue’s Raticate” theory? Encountering Blue in the Tower with that in mind gives a whole new hidden context as to why he’s there.

Isn't that the theory where Blue was in the Pokemon Tower because he was mourning the Raticate you killed on the SS Anne? And then his life pretty much gets worse with every defeat you gave him?

if so, yeah, I didn't discover that theory until my high school years. Pretty messed up, and oddly fitting for Lavender Town

 

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40 minutes ago, Harkofthewaa said:

I have a couple. First of all, THIS: 

There was nothing worse than trying to play a game only to be greeted by a blaring jump scare from the console itself, and to add insult to injury if you want to play the game you have to chance it again.

i didn't treat my PS2 discs very well when i was little, so i saw this screen an immeasurable amount of times.

if you trigger this screen with a scratched disc, you've screwed it up so bad that the console no longer recognizes the disc as a PS2 or PS1 game.

the playstation 1 has it beat, though. if you insert a particularly screwed up or incompatible disc, it will attempt to read it but can't, resulting in the BIOS getting severely screwed up and an error dubbed "fearful harmony" by fans. the normal PS1 startup plays incorrectly. all of the sounds of the startup minus the chimes are layered on top of each other very loudly, and then the chimes play super slow a few seconds later.

it sounds like this:

 

 

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The Werehog.

Just, the Werehog.

Don't get me wrong, I love Unleashed now. But as a kid? Man... I HATED Werewolves. They terrified me to no end. So knowing my hero is gonna become one in the latest game at the time?

I was scared so much, it spooked me out of the franchise for years. It was the reason I quit being a Sonic fan until a year or so before Lost World came out where I was rational enough to give it a chance again.

Now, I think the Werehog was pretty neat. Just... don't tell 2008 me that.

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7 minutes ago, Failinhearts said:

The Werehog.

Just, the Werehog.

Don't get me wrong, I love Unleashed now. But as a kid? Man... I HATED Werewolves. They terrified me to no end. So knowing my hero is gonna become one in the latest game at the time?

I was scared so much, it spooked me out of the franchise for years. It was the reason I quit being a Sonic fan until a year or so before Lost World came out where I was rational enough to give it a chance again.

Now, I think the Werehog was pretty neat. Just... don't tell 2008 me that.

Alright, wow, I did not think I'd actually see someone else agree with this. Not enough to spook me out of the series, Unleashed actually helped me get over this fear, but I did have it during the pre-release materials, up until I got the PS2 version for Christmas that year.

Not so much werewolves for me, but I used to get really creeped out by corrupted forms of characters. The Werehog was one for a short time, but the other one was Dark Jak from the Jak series, which is ironic, because Jak & Daxter became one of my favourite game series, and Jak 2 would be one of the very few "insanely hard" games I would play enough to be capable of beating as a kid.

But I remember Jak 2 being the source of that fear because of how out of nowhere it comes. You play Jak 1 and it's this fun light adventure platformer, albeit with a creepy opening. But Jak 2 has him transform into this random monster out of nowhere, ready to slaughter Daxter right after busting out of prison. That really rubbed me the wrong way as a kid. I don't think I'd go as far as scarring, but it did make me afraid for awhile. Not enough to stop playing outright, but enough to be creeped out by it. 

The other big one not mentioned here, but I've gone into detail before on is Destiny Islands in KH1, when it's being engulfed by darkness.

I'm not going to go into much about it here, because I've done it numerous times in the past, but to give a sum up - the entire island is pitch-black, there is infinite amounts of heartless that spawn everywhere, Sora is defenceless for a chunk of it because his wooden sword can't hurt heartless, and the story on top of that requires you in no short order to find a dead-eyed Kairi with no life vanishing when she hits Sora, Riku speaking creepy philosophy as vanishes into swirls of darkness, while trying to tempt Sora to join him, and then a fight with a gigantic heartless (Darkside) that you fought earlier.

Traverse Town doesn't help, when you get into the second and third districts, you get swarmed by Heartless again, which isn't as bad as Destiny Islands, but I distinctly remember the first heartless encounter on DI to be enough to make me afraid of the heartless in Traverse Town, especially in the back alleys behind the hotel.

1 hour ago, Harkofthewaa said:

I have a couple. First of all, THIS: 

There was nothing worse than trying to play a game only to be greeted by a blaring jump scare from the console itself, and to add insult to injury if you want to play the game you have to chance it again.

Oh, this easily makes it for me. It's pretty much the only thing I can say really "scarred" me as a kid. I despise this screen with a passion. It scares me then, it still fucking scares me now. And the reason for it is that the PS2 had a very finicky detection for pirated discs, meaning even scratched discs, or Action Replay can cause this fucking thing to come up. I loved using my Action Replay years ago, but this fucking thing had about a 70% chance of appearing every time you tried to turn it on. I remember having a scratched copy of Monsters Inc Scare Island on PS1 that would have a 50/50 chance of either turning on, or running into this. 

To this day, it still scares me, to the point any time I try to use my Action Replay on a PS2 game, I preemptively mute the TV just so if it does appear, I don't have to hear the music.

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I think I've posted this before in a similar topic, but my most scary moment with video games as a child was finding and being attacked by the ReDeads from Ocarina of Time in the Royal Family's Tomb. OoT had many scary monsters for a kid, but the ReDeads horrified me more than anything else. Their screams, attacks (they wrap themselves around link and suck his health) and the random camera freezes were absolutely terrifying.

I avoided that place for a looooooong time until I finally got the courage to find the notes of Sun's Song. Seeing them once again in the destroyed Hyrule Market once I got the Master Sword almost made me cry...🤣

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270px-Twinkle_Park.png

It took me some time to think about it, but definitely Amy's version of Twinkle Park was one of those moments.

The massive tone shift from being outside with the cherry music changing inside the mirror maze, becoming eerily quiet except for Amy's footsteps and Zero's targeting system, really spooked me for a bit.

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Giratina. Young me was happily playing Pokemon Diamond one day and after beating the Elite 4 I found a new path to explore. I went through this cave and then discovered the dreaded Legendary Pokemon. I was terrified! While I did catch it, I wasted no time trading it off for a blatantly hacked Mew. I was glad to finally be rid of that terror. 

Nowadays I find it pretty neat and I like the centipede ghost dragon.

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Being chased by "Monster-Ock" (the final boss) in Spider-Man (PS1) was kinda terrfifying. The camera sucks so much in this sequence.

 

The final boss - Vortex Queen in Ecco The Dolphin was scary as fuck. Ecco don't get eaten! 

 

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I'm can't recall many, though I know they exist, however I could do a considerable list:

From the mentioned here, PS2 Red Screen of Death definitely was one them.

But going down to the rabbit hole, I think the scariest videogame experience I have was the Harley Quinn Boss in LEGO Batman, or at least was the very first which came into my mind:

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It sorta scares still up to date. In fact, I'd say LEGO Batman is a hell of a scaring game:

Spoiler

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This one I just remembered yesterday when I decided to replay The Sims 1 again:

This theme is used for some "bad" moments in the game. Here when the guy was fired, but it also plays in another situations such when Burglar gets into your home, now think in this scene: Your Sim just got back home from his work, you did his usual tasks, you then go to sweet dreaming night at your bed. The lot is in total silence, and then this songs screams out in your headphones warning a robber is in your lot.

And there's even Sonic memories too.

I may regret a little about this one, but I admit when I was 10 years old I sorta believed in the Tails Doll myth and was up to wake up midnight just to play Sonic R with him:

TailsDollArt1-700x544.jpg

The next one isn't properly scary, but I must admit that Eggman's expression on Sonic 2 (16-Bit) USA cover gave me a bit of fear, which might be the reason it got so memorable and yet is so nostalgic after all these years:

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I didn't like the Zoo level of Ren & Stimpy: Stimpy's Invention on the Genesis. A pair of cute giraffes will suddenly grow fangs and try to eat you if you get too close.

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When I was a kid, I always felt uneasy going into the basement of Super Mario 64 where the flame painting is.

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I simply can't play the Resident Evil remake on GameCube. I get too stressed out. The scenery and tension is too much. 

 

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This freaking boss. In the forest temple. Finally getting the boss key and those creepy paintings didn't help at all. Then, when those spikes come up blocking your way out, i knew i was in for some crap then. Figuring out which painting phantom ganon was coming from just added to my anxiety. To this day i still don't know how i managed to get through it.

Actually everything about the forest temple was scary to me.

Also, every underwater bottomless pit in the classic sonic games creeped me out. I always wonder just what could be or how dark could it be down there so much that I started having nightmares about drowning in dark water.

Scary stuff man:926704176_OIP(11).jpeg.9fb7735813a5d3883faf46a81c0567a4.jpeg1783880568_OIP(8).jpeg.d354931174cfe34f83aa56a4bbc9b22b.jpeg900204979_download(1).jpeg.9accc5f3488103708c317dd771b492ba.jpeg1261052312_LaunchBase26.thumb.jpg.ae7373d47cb034fd3040b394a2b81c9a.jpg1854392094_OIP(7).jpeg.ca59eecadc9e032bd18551acc717d437.jpeg132644727_OIP(6).jpeg.95b854660e7d69fcfa6259db88af4d7a.jpeg

call me a big baby i don't care.

 

 

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This one had me think twice about every save and quit at the end of a Banjo session as a kid. While admittedly kind of a funny idea looking back on it, the baddie actually winning and a cute little bear cub being turned into...THAT was simply too much for my young mind to bear without being severely freaked out.

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Ok bare with me. When I was younger I was very easily scared so yeah you could imagine what it was like for me growing up.

Anyways I remember being at my grandma's one day and I was going through her MS DOS floppy discs because she had a lot of games and well I picked one up and popped it in revealing...

...This title screen. Yeah it seems silly now but this genuinely scared me as a kid. Seeing this angry guy with a gun ready to shoot another guy in a haunted looking castle really freaked me out. I knew I shouldn't be playing it so I immediately ejected the disc and forgot about it. I still to this day have yet to even play Wolfenstein 3D but that image forever haunts my mind to this day.

Another case of me getting scared by the cover art. This was when I was like 10 but I remember browsing for computer games at a Staples I believe and I see this fucking cover first thing.

Alice_1.jpg

American McGee's Alice. Yeah idk why this was a recurring theme with me. But this box art freaked the fuck out of me at the time. It had Alice all bloodied and with a knife and the Cheshire Cat doesn't look quite sane. I think I might had nightmares of this game from the box art alone which probably shows how easily scared I was. The funny thing is that I ended up really loving this game for the horror elements hilariously enough. And this game did influence me a bit since I love using Alice in Wonderland themes in general. This game didn't age well unfortunately but I'll never forget the day when it scared the shit out of me by simply existing.

And finally this:

I remember I was visiting someone's house and they were playing DKC which was my first experience with it. They showed me it was a silly game about monkeys slapping their butts and jumping on crocodiles until this came up on screen. Man did this scare me so much and it suck with me since then. I was really young then too but I can't remember how old I was. But yeah its a big oof from me.

I know I've been talking about still images scaring me but its mostly because I tried to avoid the intentionally scary video games but I also really couldn't afford games back then. So yeah most of my experiences were just these moments that happened because I was just around the wrong place at the wrong time. Weird I know but man did these things stuck with me that I can remember them clear as day.

OH! How could I forget this one last thing...

Sonic Adventure 2 was a influential game to me and an old favorite of mine. I have mentioned this before in the statuses but this game did legit scare me by the existence of the Dark Story alone. Yeah I had a fun time playing as Sonic and I did legit love Shadow but young me really took things literally and didn't had enough common sense back then that I thought Eggman was really going to blow up the world and the consequences of it would stick. I actually got into a fight with my sister because I wanted to stop Eggman before he does that since she wanted to complete the Dark side first. This did prompt her to call me an idiot for believing the game being real. I am embarrassed by this fact now but it did felt real to me at the time sadly. But yeah that did legit scare me.

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Pretty much half of Super Paper Mario.

First off, Mimi. Exorcist-like transformation? Check? Said transformation being this giant spider-like... thing? Check. Chases you down if you linger too long and is INVINCIBLE for the duration of the chase? CHECKITY CHECK!

Secondly, the end of the world. Nothing describes empty more than that chapter after the Void swallowed it up. That music... brrr.

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