Horror games are purposely designed to scare you silly, so you’ve come to expect a bloody monster to pop out and rip off your head. Though, it’s a bit unexpected when a developer includes elements of horror in their seemingly innocent game. Usually, these elements come in the form of a persistent, terrifying enemy that will not let up until it gets what it wants, you.
Snacker the Shark – Banjo Kazooie
So you’re scouring Treasure Trove Cove looking for collectibles and decide to go for a dip. All is well, until you swim too far from the beach. A Jaws like theme begins to play and Snacker the Shark appears, hunting you down to satisfy its hunger. Snacker always makes me feel a little anxious as I swim and jump to narrowly avoid his attack.
Phanto – Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 is a quirky, upbeat entry in the Super Mario Bros. series, well, until you pick up one of the game’s keys. After entering a key room, you may begin to suspect that something awful will happen when you notice creepy masks hanging on the wall. Your suspicions would be correct. The very moment you pick up any key in the game, you anger Phanto. Phanto will chase you as long as you hold a key. Making the situation worse, Phanto can’t be defeated and will even chase you across different rooms. Better find that locked door, or else.
Wallmaster – The Legend of Zelda Series
Some people claim that Re-deads are the creepiest enemies from The Legend of Zelda series, but I disagree. Sure, their screams are unnerving, but they don’t top the fear a dismembered hand creates when it appears out of nowhere and tries to grab Link. Whether it be the Wallmaster from the original Zelda that silently spawns from the wall, or the Wallmaster that drops from the ceiling in Ocarina of Time, their persistence makes them one of the most horrifying creatures ever imagined.
Baron von Blubba – Bubble Bobble
Bubble Bobble might not be a game you think of when it comes to fear and horror, but believe me when I say it is home to one of the most frightening enemies in video games. If you’ve ever hung around a board for too long in Bubble Bobble, you will be familiar with the words, hurry up! After these words appear, the music and enemies will speed up and Baron von Blubba will spawn. Baron von Blubba is a demonic version of the Beluga enemy that will stalk you around the board until you either finish clearing out enemies, or until it kills you.
Pumpkin Head – Snow Bros.
Pumpkin Head from Snow Bros. is similar to Baron von Blubba from Bubble Bobble, actually, so is the gameplay, but that’s for another article. Pumpkin Head will appear after you spend too much time on any board and will persistently chase you around. When you think it’s gone, Pumpkin Head will reappear and begin its chase once again.
Rockkroc – Donkey Kong Country
Rockkrocs are a terrifying form of Kremlings that are both really fast, and indestructible. Getting past these creatures is a nightmare, but luckily they can be stopped by hitting special barrels. Unfortunately, they can’t be stopped for long. These red eyed monsters will rise again and that resurrection makes for some highly tense moments as you try to slip past their grip.
Guardians – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Silent Realm in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword serves as a test to prove Link’s ability as a hero, but the Guardians make the entire ordeal unsettling. After stepping in water, light, or when 90 seconds expires, the Guardians will activate and begin to chase Link. Putting even more fear into the player, a slasher-like horror theme begins playing until you either frantically collect a tear, or the Guardians catch you.
Metroids – Metroid Prime
Those that have played Metroid Prime know that entering the Research Lab Aether is one of the most terrifying moments in video game history. Not only does the entire place become cloaked in darkness, but you also encounter Metroids for the first time. Metroids are scary enough with their persistent attribute, but when you combine that with a black out, it becomes something truly horrifying.