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October 22, 2020
***SPOILER WARNING FOR: UNDERTALE AND KATANA ZERO***
Please proceed only if you have already beaten Undertale and Katana Zero, or do not mind spoilers for either series.
I admit it, I'm a bit of a fraidy cat when it comes to horror games. I'm the kind to turn the music waaay down and turn on every single light in the house. I'd shine a flashlight at the TV if I thought that will help. I'm careful around horror games because while they can be fun, nothing gets the heart racing just trying to peek around a corner. These seemingly innocent games caught me off-guard and made me bless my controllers with holy water before pressing "Continue".
1. Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Bottom of the Well & Shadow Temple.
I'm a Legend of Zelda fan. I've played nearly all the titles, and all of them have Link mostly traversing sunny open fields while hacking and slashing. Dropping into the Bottom of the Well and entering the Shadow Temple were a total juxtaposition of the lively adventuring outside.
The music just stops, and suddenly you're hearing faint, eerie notes instead. There are blood splatters across the walls, and torture devices with even more gratuitous blood. ReDeads roam the area and if you get too close, you will literally freeze in place and will have to endure the most frightening, ear-piercing screams before they latch onto you and suck your life away. That is nothing compared to Wallmasters; you can feel your heart drop into your stomach when you see their shadow loom over you as you frantically dodge before the dismembered hand falls to attempt to grab you.
2. Final Fantasy XV. Chapter 13: Redemption.
SquareEnix does do horror games (e.g. Parasite Eve), but I didn't think they would mix horror into a Final Fantasy game. In this FFXV mission, Noctis will be alone and weaponless in the heart of the daemon(DEMON!)-infested imperial capital. He can't fight, he can only look around, pick things up, and run. It sounds an awful lot like Resident Evil, and it plays like one.
Bodies are strewn throughout the city and they will move at random, and Noctis must walk past them. You can feel your anxiety grow as you inch your way past a corpse, but you breathe as it laid stagnant. Shimmy your way through a tight crevice when BAM! a goblin jumps at you and you drop your controller in terror. It was a jumpscare (in a Final Fantasy game!) The game even places potions and twinkling trinkets to lure you over, just for something to crash into the gate and snarl at you as you steady your beating heart. Why do you do this SquareEnix.
3. Undertale. Chara jump scare.
I played this game because the battle mechanics were highly praised. It encouraged players not to kill and to spare enemies that were encountered. The characters were eccentric but friendly and were generally helpful in your journey. Overall it's a feel-good kind of game with the "spare everyone" story line. However, if the "kill everyone" route is chosen, a different story line is unlocked. In the end there'll be a confrontation with the deuteragonist which will either: 1) end the story with a bittersweet tone, or 2) have you topple over your chair for the freakin jumpscare when the screen shakes with maniacal laughter and bloodied eyes in your face before game closes on its own.
4. Katana Zero. Final boss fight.
The characters and enemies in Katana Zero are human and their world is akin to ours, the only supernatural oddity is the time traveling element through the use of a government-made drug. You battle humans through the stages, and the boss battles are also with humans albeit tougher. Occasionally you'd find the need to time travel in order to get through stages. You'd think the final boss fight would be just like the others, except when he morphs into something that looks like Dead Space collided with Resident Evil and birthed through a portal of Doom.
5. Warframe. The Stalker.
Like other similar games in this genre (Halo, Call of Duty, etc), you log into the game, fulfill the mission, and repeat. It's routine and fast paced round after round. But what happens when there's a 3% chance of an entity/jerk called the Stalker who marks you for death?
In every mission you do, it looms over your head that he can show up anytime. Your hands freeze when he decides it's time and you hear his ominous "There's no place to hide". You got 30 seconds before he shows, and you can't run or hide, he will always catch you.
You forget your mission, your teammates, your sanity as you scramble desperately around the map. The only way out is death, or to defeat him. But wait, he's immune to ALL your abilities and you can only use your gun or melee, while he has all of your skills suped up. It's like having a pointy stick fighting a shadow version of yourself on steroids. Pure fear clouds your eyes and the last thing you see are glowing red eyes. "It is done. You are no more."
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