It’s really no wonder so many video games are being adapted into feature films in the 21st Century. Video games have come a long way from the linear, pixilated, formulaic time-killers they used to be. With teams including programmers, writers, and even celebrity actors, today’s video games are legitimately cinematic experiences.
If you need any convincing that the digital realm is a hellish landscape of nightmare-inducing killers and creatures, check out the video below from our friends at WatchMojo: Top 10 Nightmare Fuel Creatures in Video Games. Give it a watch and let us know if your favorite chilling creeper made the list! If you can’t stream, the Top 10 trauma-causing creatures are listed below the video; enjoy!
Synopsis: It’s probably best not to play these games in the dark! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Nightmare Fuel Creatures in Video Games. Expect some spooky games in this list such as Doom, Silent Hill, and Resident Evil.
Here are the creatures in order:
Cherubs from Doom 3
Endermen from Minecraft
Wallmasters from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Clickers from The Last of Us
Twin Victim from Silent Hill 4: The Room
Headcrab Zombies from Half Life
Khezu from Monster Hunter
Regenerators from Resident Evil 4
Centaurs from Fallout
Monstrosity of Sin from Dark Souls III
Did your favorite terrifying manifestation from video games make the list? Who are some other nightmare fuel monsters from video games that deserve a shout out? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!
After creating and directing Silent Hill, one of the most ground-breaking, iconic and disturbing horror titles in gaming history, you would think that the last genre developer Keiichiro Toyama would make his directorial follow-up with would be survival horror. However, though that kind of thinking may be perfectly fine for many other developers, it wasn’t for Toyama. In fact, Toyama followed Silent Hill up with what is arguably not only a better game, but also one that presents a horror location far more sinister and unnerving than the foggy streets of Silent Hill could ever hope to be.
The game was the 2003 Playstation 2 horror masterpiece Siren.
Siren (known as Forbidden Siren in PAL territories) is set in the rural Japanese town of Hanuda, a place that is largely segregated from the rest of the world, thanks to the rabid zealots who reside within its boundaries. After an earthquake devastates the region and replaces the surrounding area with an eerie, endless red sea, villagers consumed by the red sea begin to turn into possessed beings, hellbent on creating a physical form for the reawakening of an ancient god. These possessed individuals are called Shibito, and they roam Hanuda in an almost zombie-like state, moaning, grunting, carrying out meaningless tasks from their former lives and babbling as they seek out any non-Shibito to murder. The player, taking control of 10 survivors over the course of the game, must escape the town before they themselves become mindless Shibito. The story, which plays out episodically, takes twists and turns at various points, and ultimately reveals a conclusion that is both satisfying and shocking. Toyama explains his take on how he unravelled the story in saying, “If you undo the tight and tangled balls of yarn in various places, you will eventually discover that it is all just one taught strand; the moment of catharsis. That was how I explained it to the team when we discussed story development.”
Before Toyama began work on Siren, his departure from Konami wasn’t as smooth as he would have hoped. Speaking about this he says, “Silent Hill set a bold new standard, and I am proud of what we accomplished, but I was under a lot of pressure in my position, and my lack of experience led to a lot of issues as I managed the team. To be frank, I lost confidence in my ability to direct. In order to make a fresh start, I joined SCE (now SIE) to work as an artist in an entirely unrelated genre. It was there that I gained the experience I needed and had the chance to learn how to lead a team naturally. Even as I was working in a different genre, I was stocking up new horror ideas, so when the time came for me to take on the directorship of a title once again, I chose to make a horror title”.
One of the characters you play as in Siren. It had originally been planned for Siren to feature 100 different playable characters.
At the heart of Siren is Hanuda, the rural village in which the game takes place. From the rundown wooden buildings across the town that show signs of regular lives that have suddenly been interrupted by some otherworldly calling, the various vehicles and activities that have been creepily abandoned when the villagers became Shibito, to the Silent Hill-like air raid siren that can be heard reverberating across the secluded region, the intense and bleak atmosphere of Hanuda is palpable and unmatched. Whereas Silent Hill is more of a ghost town of sorts, Hanuda is still inhabited, but the people who dwell there now are merely vacant lots for some malevolent almost Lovecraftian force. Though it almost sounds like a cliché you’ve read in almost every video game article since the medium existed, the town of Hanuda in Siren truly is a character unto itself. Toyama, born in the country himself, aimed to recreate the kind of terror “only a child can feel” by placing the player in such a secluded location.
Much like Hanuda, the large cast of Siren also takes center stage. Originally planned to allow the player take control of over 100 different villagers (yes, you read that right), Toyama cut down that number quite significantly in order to tighten up the story he was trying to tell. He explains, “We think 10 was a good balance. This gave the gameplay a lot of variety, including a stage where you play as a little girl who can do nothing but run and hide. We also did some things with our characters impossible in ordinary games – some of them drop out of the story completely, while others come back as villains. I think the narrative impact these moments have is one of our biggest successes”. The characters are for the most part normal people thrown into an unthinkable situation, and Siren does a wonderful job of giving this ensemble cast a heart. Additionally, a piece of their humanity is further achieved by using photographs of actors faces applied directly to their character models, a visual choice that not many games have opted for, particularly before Siren came along. This unusual effect comes across as unsettling at first, but soon it helps pull the player into the experience and, where possible, helps ground an impossible story within the realm of possibility.
Another aspect of Siren that helped it stand out among other titles in the overcrowded genre was the Sight Jack system. Sight Jacking essentially allows the player to switch their POV to that of a nearby Shibuto. This POV is unsteady as it perfectly follows the shaky and tormented movements of a Shibito and this, alongside the sound of their laboured breathing, garbled chatter and shrieking cries, makes for one hell of an unnerving experience. This POV is best used to survey the area for tactical advantage in terms of safely moving forward, as despite Siren offering the player a few different weapons for self-defence, Shibito are best avoided completely when possible. What’s more is that if the player is spotted by a Shibito, it is not uncommon for the screen to suddenly cut to the POV of the Shibito who is now in direct pursuit. These moments make for sudden scares that the likes of Silent Hill and Resident Evil could never even come close to. Toyama touches on the implementation of the Sight Jack system and says, “Among the ideas I had, one was taking pitched submarine battles, reliant on sonar, and replacing the sonar with something visual. It added originality to the gameplay, and it also allowed players to know something terrifying was approaching without letting them see it clearly. We thought that was particularly suited to the horror genre, so we used it in Siren. It became a symbol of the curse shared by the villagers, so it worked well with and added depth to the story”.
However, with the revolutionary system came issues in terms of achieving it. Toyama continues, “We faced a technical issue with the system. To maintain Sight Jack consistency, we had to retain every single Shibito and environmental effect in memory and track their movements, even if they were entirely in the background and unable to be seen. This restriction posed a huge problem for the technology of the time. But I was lucky to have a team of young staff who took a very positive attitude toward trying new things. So we had the benefit of a lot of momentum from considering and then resolving each issue.”
The Shibito come in some truly disturbing forms, including these Spider Shibito
Siren took inspiration from several different sources, from novels such as Battle Royale and the Shinki series, the Manga artistry of Junji Ito, Daijiro Morohoshi and Ryoko Yamagishi to photographs by Paul F. McCarthy directly influencing the design of the Shibuto. However, the main well of inspiration for the project was Insumasu o ouu Kage, a 1992 TV Japanese TV adaptation of H.P Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth. In terms of real-world inspiration however, Toyama was inspired by the so-called “Hidden Christians” who lived in the Kyushu region of Japan, while he also drew from the Tsuyasma Massacre, a killing spree in 1938 which saw 21-year old Mutsuo mercilessly murder half of his entire village with the aid of an axe, shotgun and katana.
Backing up the chilling setting, disturbing imagery and bleak atmosphere in Siren is a truly incredible soundtrack by Hitomi Shimizu. Keyboardist and composer Shimizu typically focuses on live-action and animation for her work, as well as being part of the musical duo Syzygys, but she has composed on Siren and Siren: Blood Curse, which was the 2008 reimagining of the original Siren game. Her work here is impeccable as her composition becomes something that is more in the “soundscape” territory than typical “soundtrack”. From strange chanting, otherworldly howls, swooping winds, distant noises and the churning of machines to audio that sounds like garbled transmissions from a different reality, Shimizu’s work intrinsically binds itself to the very fabric of Siren itself. Incredible.
As of 2018 Siren is 15 years old. The game spawned a sequel, a remake, a live-action film adaptation, and an upcoming manga series. But despite each new piece of the Siren franchise expanding and building upon the horror of the original, the first game still stands apart from everything else. After Toyama revolutionized the survival horror genre with Silent Hill, he positively perfected it with Siren. Toyama remarks about how Siren is currently being received in saying, “We recently held an event to celebrate the 15th anniversary and I was shocked to see so many new fans, even more than the initial launch. Two aspects of the game, the blurring between reality and fantasy and the timeline being revealed from the beginning, are incredibly well-suited to the culture of Let’s Play videos and Twitter that has emerged in the past 15 years. The title has become a shared experience that is passed onward. This makes me incredibly happy, and I can’t wait to see how the community will grow and change from here.”
The Sight Jack helps you pinpoint a Shibito’s location, but also means you get the horror of seeing them see you.
Since Siren: Blood Curse, Toyama has moved onto directing the Gravity Rush franchise, but perhaps one day he will return to his survival horror roots. However, who’s to say that when he does instead of merely giving us Siren 3 he decides to hit the restart button entirely. Regardless of what the future holds for the franchise, Siren is a classic that gamers who passed it by upon release should consider giving it a chance now.
Finally, when asked if Toyama would change anything about Siren he simply says, “Maybe an overhaul of the controls, especially the shooting sections… But I actually feel like players nowadays have a fondness for those not-exactly-polished parts of the game. So maybe we shouldn’t change anything at all…”.
Every game and their grandma are getting Halloween events, and Konami are getting in on it. Though to be honest, this probably is going to annoy more than a few people.
Metal Gear Survive will be adding Silent Hill and Castlevania-themed content on October 23, 2018 in the form of The Researcher’s Story (Special Edition) Single Play event. The event offers people five Castlevania and Silent Hill-related rewards. The event will run from October 23 to November 6th.
During the event, players can earn a Pyramid Head accessory for their avatar to wear. You’ll also be able to get four cassette tapes you can play at your base. That music, of course, consists of the classic Silent Hill theme, and “Beginning,” “Divine Bloodlines,” and “The Tragic Prince” from Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night. Obviously, the Castlevania tracks were chosen to cross-promote the upcoming Castlevania Requiem, which hits on October 23rd for the PlayStation 4.
And the wait for new Silent Hill and Castlevania games (let’s be honest, Requiem technically isn’t new) goes on.
Silent Hill is a series steeped in mysteries, and one of the longest-running of them was solved back in April.
Screaming Wave Productions tracked down the voice actor for Harry Mason from the original Silent Hill and gained an exclusive first interview, something that has long eluded fans as he was only credited as ‘Micheal G’ in the game’s end credits.
The man behind the Mason was revealed to be Micheal Guinn earlier this year, a voice actor from El Paso, Texas who has worked on several 90’s games from Japan including a role as Count Vlad Dracula in Konami’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and as the announcer for Ridge Racer.
Screaming Wave Productions talked with Guinn at great length about all sorts of things concerning his life and career, and his time with Silent Hill is chief among the topics discussed.
You can listen to the interview below, but be warned, it’s a whopping two and a half hours long. For Silent Hill fans though, it’s an essential listen.
Interestingly, despite seeing scenes from Silent Hill during production, Guinn has never played the game itself in the years since.
It’s pretty timely for the elusive Guinn, as Silent Hill will be 20 years old in 2019, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Nightis getting a PS4 remaster next week as part of the Castlevania: Reqiuem collection.
A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures. There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being […]
It’s been whispered about as a possibility in recent months, but Sony has now officially confirmed that it is making a scaled down version of its original PlayStation console and preloading it with 20 titles.
The PlayStation Classic is due to release on December 3 for the price of $99.99 (CAD$129.99) and will be 45% smaller than the original model.
Sony has confirmed some of the games that are due to feature on the mini-console, with Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, and Wild Arms.
The PlayStation changed the landscape for video games, bringing the medium to the masses as we got more mature fare. For many horror fans, it marked the start of an infatuation with Silent Hill and Resident Evil both starting their journey into legend due to the success on Sony’s debut console. It was the first console to ship 100 million units worldwide and remains in the top 5 selling video game hardware of all time (it was later bested by its younger sibling, the PlayStation 2).
You can now pre-order at select retailers across the US and CAN. Every PlayStation Classic comes with an HDMI cable to connect to their TV, a USB cable, and two controllers for local multiplayer where applicable. No Dualshock controllers though, so you can probably rule out the likes of Ape Escapebeing on the PlayStation Classic.
Sony plans to announce the rest of the preloaded lineup in the near future. I’m just praying we get a Resident Evil and a Dino Crisis but I’d also be keen to see MediEvil or Nightmare Creatures make the cut. What horror classics would you like to see on the PlayStation Classic?
When players think of horror games their minds usually don’t go anywhere near portable systems. Limited buttons and hardware have often left successful horror series off of the platforms, and it’s mainly been a genre primarily seen on consoles. Despite these disadvantages, some developers have had success in creating handheld horror games, and with the recent success of the more powerful Nintendo Switch, it’s quite possible that we’ll see a resurgence in scares that can be had on the go as many of the historical problems are no longer relevant.
Until then let’s take a look at 10 games that showed how successful the genre can be when done right on a handheld.
Clock Tower (Wonderswan)
While the grayscale visuals might lessen the impact that Clock Tower’s fantastic atmosphere had on players, there’s no denying that the faithful Wonderswan port was an impressive technical feat. The point and click gameplay of the Super Famicom original is entirely intact, and the menacing Scissorman still manages to instill fear in players. Even in 2018, players can easily find themselves engrossed in the tale of the Barrows family.
Despite lacking the motion controls that made the original Wii version so unique, the PSP version of Shattered Memories showed that the handheld could handle console experiences well. The visual downgrades are obvious, but the game’s biggest strength remains its fantastic reimagining of Harry Mason’s story. Shattered Memories’ inventive psychotherapy sessions proved just as powerful on the go.
Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PlayStation Portable)
All three of the mainline Corpse Party titles have found portable success, but Book of Shadows manages to be the scariest of the bunch. This is due to the evocative imagery that is conjured up both on-screen and through text in the visual novel. It’s a great example of a horror game playing to the system’s strengths as it abandoned the adventure game template of the original.
Resident Evil: Revelations (Nintendo 3DS)
Resident Evil largely went back to its roots with Revelations, as it embraced the survival horror gameplay that brought the series to prominence rather than the straightforward action it had embraced over time. The result was a resounding success, and it’s one of the most visually impressive 3DS games to this day. As the console ports later proved, the 3DS’ smaller screen and lower resolution helped hide some of the rough spots, and the bite-sized horror was perfect for portable play.
Year Walk (iOS)
Swedish developer Simogo embraced their heritage with 2013’s Year Walk and managed to create one of the most unique mobile games in recent history. The adventure game is absolutely haunting and takes advantage of a companion app to help players unravel the game’s many mysteries. It’s a brilliant example of a title taking advantage of its platform and shows that mobile gaming can be a strength, not a weakness if designed from the ground up.
Silent Hill Play Novel (Game Boy Advance)
Not many know that the original Silent Hill found its way to Game Boy Advance thanks to a unique version of Konami’s horror hit. Rather than trying to cram the adventure onto a system it wasn’t designed for, it instead presented the story as an interactive visual novel. It was only released in Japan, but fans have translated this cool piece of history into English.
Dead Space (iOS)
Despite serving as a side story to the main game, Electronic Arts pulled out all of the stops in creating a mobile version of the third-person shooter. It featured incredible production values at the time, and the gameplay was just as tense as ever thanks to a redesigned control scheme that alleviated the need for a controller. Unfortunately, despite how well it transitioned the iOS version of Dead Space is no longer available on the App Store. Perhaps proving that the perils of digital distribution are the greatest horror of all.
Resident Evil Gaiden (Game Boy Color)
While not without its fair share of problems, Capcom’s initial attempt at taking Resident Evil portable should be applauded. The game stars Barry Burton and Leon Kennedy as they explore a bio-organic weapon filled ship. It has a shockingly great storyline filled with twists, and a new top-down perspective works generally well. Combat is somewhat clunky, as first-person shooting is handled via a constantly moving reticle, but it’s a smartly designed title that manages to rely on the survival aspect of survival-horror.
Five Nights At Freddy’s (iOS)
By far the biggest success from a sales perspective on this list, the iOS version of Five Nights at Freddy’s manages to translate all of its jump scares to the small screen without fail. Like the PC version, players have to manage their electrical power while they check camera feeds in order to avoid the monstrous animatronic animals that roam the pizza parlor. It’s a remarkably well-designed horror game, and its simplicity helps it shine brightly on mobile.
Lone Survivor (PlayStation Vita)
Lone Survivor underscores one important lesson that is seen throughout this list: handheld horror games often can’t rely on technical achievements for scares. While the genre has often been at the forefront of game tech (even as recent as Resident Evil VII’s embrace of virtual reality), even a pixel-based game can keep players on edge if the writing is good and an atmosphere is properly built. Lone Survivor manages to achieve both of those goals, and it’s a great game on any platform because of it.
Bonus: The Pinball of the Dead (Game Boy Advance)
While not the purest of horror games, SEGA’s pinball adaptation of The House of the Dead is too good not to mention on this list. Each of the game’s three tables has players mowing through zombies by strategically shooting the ball, and there are six great boss battles that give the game a traditional sense of progression. It’s proof that even when the tech isn’t quite there, a good developer can find a way to make a horror series work on handhelds with some tweaks.