It’s finally Halloween! Movies normally make the scariest points in life out to be a murder at summer camp or a burned old man killing teens in their dreams. But y’know what’s really scary? Gaming. Games that pull us into a terrifying tale, those times that we get so into a game that an open door in our room has us in fear, the nights when we go to turn off our system only to find that it’s died on us right then and there! There are tons of opportunities for gaming to scare the pants off of us, and the Shuffle Gaming staff has more than a few stories to tell about being terrified.
Written by: Arturo Compean, Brian Lee, Tim “Blunder” Redd
It was a dark and stormy night. The house was quiet except for a lone room upstairs. Hidden underneath a blanket was a dog and a young man, both staring at a bright screen. Both were having a good time playing the game on this stormy night, it was a night of solitude and gaming. Then everything went black. A shrieking alarm went off that made both of them jump out of their skin. He sat there thinking to himself, “All is lost.” Quite literally, he forgot to save his game. All his progress was lost. That young boy was me. We all have those naive moments that we forget to save and just get so into the game that we overlook saving our progress. Nowadays, most games have an auto-save feature but back in the day when you were forced to find a save station, which means you were forced to complete that section of the game before finding said save station. And if you forgot to save and something like a power surge occurred, boom, all your progress gone. Like that. And you’re left in the dark to think that all is lost.
Another experience of mine was with my dog and my gamecube. I come home to find that not only did my dog decide to poop right on top of my gamecube, but she also decided to tear up my Super Mario Sunshine disc! I was so angry but so disappointed. I couldn’t be angry at my poor pup for too long, it was my fault that I left the game out, but I do wonder why she chose to poop on my console. Nonetheless, I cleaned it up, sanitized it and continued gaming on… that was until another dark and stormy night. Me and my sister were hungry so I left my gamecube on because I wasn’t near a save spot and my hunger was overwhelming. So by the time I come back, I notice my gamecube was turned off. Ah hell, I thought, we had a power surge at our house. So I go to turn on my gamecube, pushing the power button to give it life. But… it didn’t respond. I kept pushing that power button hoping something would happen. I unplugged and plugged everything back in and still, no orange light of life. My gamecube died and oh did I mourn its death. No longer could I play Ocarina of Time and enjoy the “Heeaah!” of Link. So, learn from my scary gaming experience. Save your games often and turn them off if you’re leaving!
My top scariest moment in gaming would probably have to be from the Silent Hill series, Silent Hill 4: The Room to be exact. In the game you play as Henry Townshend content with his life living in the South Ashfield Heights apartments, until one day he finds himself mysteriously locked in his own apartment, Room 302. Eventually he discovers that not even people standing directly outside the door can hear him when he pounds on the door and cries for help. After about five days of entrapment, Henry finds a hole that has opened up in his bathroom wall. Armed with only a steel pipe that broke loose when the wall opened, he proceeds to venture into the hellish madness of various altered worlds reminiscent to his own. It is in there strangle worlds Henry finds that they are inhabited by dangerous and sometimes immortal creatures. But by the end of it, after clearing each level you can always return to the safety of being locked up in your room, as twisted as that can get.
That is until you progress a little bit further into the game and find that the safe haven that was your apartment is slowly deforming into a demonic version of itself, similar to the worlds Henry has been visiting. You start to hear ominous noises and find blood prints plastered all over the walls. At first this got me a bit on edge, but it wasn’t until later where it completely got to me. So there I was minding my own business when I noticed something in the corner of the apartment, a monster with two baby heads sticking out of the wall pointing at me. This got me so freaked out I immediately went to go restart my Playstation 2, and upon rebooting the game I found the creature had vanished. Phew, I thought to myself relived, that is until moments later when the same exact figure that I thought had disappeared phased out of the walls, and ran towards me screaming! I leaped out of my chair screaming as this was the biggest jump scare I have ever had. So big in fact that it was enough to conjure up enough noise to wake up my parents and invoke the “angry Asian parents” below. I didn’t know what scared me more, the dark figure that showed up on my television or me having to confront my angry mother producing sounds that I thought would only be heard from the deepest depths of hell.
I’ve seen a few things in my day, but none of them can compare to the fear that I’ve experienced from the Pokemon series. Yes, that’s right, our favorite pocket monsters have some terrifying stories to tell. I won’t be talking about Lavender Town or Cubone’s mom or even the war stories that the internet have concocted for the series. No, I’m talking Missingno. You see, 8 year old me was hooked on Pokemon Red as soon as it came out because there was always more to see and more to explore. The caves were spooky and life-life, the battles were always intense, and, of course, I knew that I was never in any real danger. Everything changed once I got to Cinnabar Island. My brother told me that there were secrets to be discovered by riding along the eastern side of the island, but when I saw that huge block of static and evil I nearly sent my GameBoy to church to be exorcised. This only opened up questions: why were some of my Pokemon glitching out? Who was that man standing on top of the gym after seeing Missingno? From what hell did its battle cry come from, and why was it coming for me? All terrifying questions that left me wishing I had asked for Tetris instead of Red.
My next one felt more like PTSD than fear, really, but it was creepy nonetheless. In Pokemon X/Y, there were quite a few Easter eggs in the game, but two of them were creepy beyond reason. The first involves a little house on the way to Laverre City. In this house, you meet a man who asks for a tip after telling the player a scary story. This game came out last year, and there is still NO EXPLANATION FOR WHAT THIS DOES IN-GAME. This man, with a graveyard out back and a penchant for telling scary stories, takes the player in and asks for a tip and then does nothing. Ummm, what?! Continuing with this pair in the series, in North Lumiose City, the player can enter a building. Go to the 4th floor and a cutscene will be triggered. This cutscene has a Manic Hex girl figure float around you- yeah, no walking animation here. Instead of this being a glitch and her just floating on by, she stops and says “No, you’re not the one…” and disappears. Why Gamefreak insists on scaring me, I’ll never know, but they’ve got a pretty good track record for it.
Those have been our scariest moments with gaming. Did you share any of these? Do you have some awesome moments you wanna get off of your chest? Post them below; it’s Halloween tonight, but scary moments happen all the time, and we’d love to hear them.