I am a self-confessed video game wimp. Horror games have never been my forte, mostly because I can’t stand the genre even in film. While the more insidious, cerebral threats of the 1980’s horror has always been more terrifying to me, the gore-fests of the 2000s turned me away from horror for good. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t played my fair share of scary games. So here are 5 Scary Villains in games that get me to curl up into a ball.
Re-Dead (Ocarina of Time)
Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid)
Damn near everything you fight in Dark Souls 3 & Bloodborne
Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2)
Let’s get a classic out of the way first and foremost. Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2 didn’t just scare me, he creeped me the hell out. In fact, some of the scariest things he ever does aren’t even to the player.
All through the game, Pyramid Head slowly lumbers about the city of Silent Hill, tormenting us. In addition, to his giant knife killing out in one hit, he has no issues killing the other enemies in the game if they are in his way. He molests the “female” shaped enemies, kills a manifestation of your dead wife, and doesn’t even give you the privilege of defeating him in combat. He ends up killing himself mostly because you’ve accepted that you can’t beat him. I hate him so much.
While Pyramid Head has iconic status among gaming, Lisa from P.T. is often hailed as the single, scariest enemy is perhaps the scariest game ever made. Hideo Kojima, Producer of Metal Gear Solid and renowned eccentric, made a pet project P.T. set in the Silent Hill universe. The game is a continuous loop where you explore the same apartment over and over again. Small changes (and supernatural events) trickle out story elements with every loop. The biggest element in all of the game is the omnipresent Lisa.
She appears in the bathroom, outside the window, looking down from the upper level, in front of you, behind you. All over the freaking place. And let’s not even talk about how quickly she can move. Kojima is known as one of gaming’s last “visionaries” and P.T. is a testament to his love of film and the obscure.
Baker Family (Resident Evil VII)
I’ve gone on record saying that I’m literally too scared to play Resident Evil VII. Flatout. And it’s mostly because of the creepy-ass, Baker Family. If you took “Deliverance” and “Cabin in the Woods” and a little bit of supernatural horror and you got this deranged clan. While I know this is much more than 5 scary villains, the Bakers are a collective and a freaking scary one at that.
Resident Evil is a series known for its third-person perspective. In fact, Resident Evil 4 revolutionized the over the shoulder camera. But VII shifted to a first-person camera, limiting your field of view. This creating a dark, claustrophobic death house that Capcom filled with an ultra-murderous, cannibal family. Yeah, I’ll pass. Out fellow Checkpoint crew member, Robbie Landis played RE: VII in VR. He tells me it’s a great game…and from his streams, it looks great as well. But I do NOT want to give myself the heeby-jeebies from this game. NOPE. HARD NOPE.
Nemesis (Resident Evil III)
The king of the gaming jump scare. Nemesis from Resident Evil III took MR. X from RE 2 and tuned him up to 100. Nemesis constantly stalks you through the game. You cannot kill him, you cannot stop him. At best you can run away and even that isn’t always effective. Oh, and he can use a rocket launcher too.
The 2020 Remake version of Nemesis leans even more into the “he’s everywhere” nature of this beast. Not only does he seemingly pop out of nowhere. He has updated moves that allow him to run, jump and smash through more walls than the Kool-Aid Man. Sometimes the scariest things really are the simplest creatures. An unkillable, 8-foot zombie.
Xenomorph (Alien: Isolation)
Alien: Isolation is a masterpiece of a game. It’s a game that doesn’t shock you with gore or body horror. What gets you in Isolation is tension. In the game, you play as Amanda Ripley wandering around a space ship searching for a means of escape There are limited enemies, but the big bad of the game is the classic Xenomorph…the titular “Alien”.
Outside of the iconic Androids, there is only one more enemy in the entire game and that’s the Xenomorph. Through the use of clever AI and amazing audio direction, the stress that “Isolation” puts on the player is unlike any other game. Instead of bombarding you with constant enemies or jump scares, it lulls you with silence and ambient sound. And just when you think it’s ok to move, you hear the Alien…it moves slowly…then it speeds up. You quickly hide in a locker, you can’t fight back, you hit the motion scanner to see if it’s nearby…but its bleeps are audible to the Alien….its drops down from the air ducts….it looks right at your hiding place…there’s nowhere to run.
So there’s 5 scary villains that creep the heck out of me, but what are some of your favorite scary game baddies. Let us know!