You Don't Scare Me

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McGee:

pumasuit:
top 3

Bioschok - the tape that documents the doctor' session with a nice woman. she is asked to break the neck of a puppy, she does so, but only because she is being forced by the use of a pavlovian response mechanism, and only because she is sobbing uncontrollably, probably due to the fact that she desperately does not want to kill the puppy. that part jacked me up.

Actually, I think the person in that tape is Jack as a young child.

And yeah dude, that's totally you, the character you are playing, as a child. Did you not catch the entire plot of Biochock and the "would you kindly" thing?

The bit in RESI 4 when the armor sneaks up on you while you play as weak defenceless ashely.

I saw it coming, but i soon thought "Nah" when none moved as a ran by. Big mistake

The dementor lvl of harry potter 3 azkaban or something.(pc version)

i was young and cloaked guys trying to suck on me from all directions scared me shitless.

HobbesMkii:
The only time I was ever legitimately scared by a game (and perhaps this is because of the type of games I play) was the demo of Half-Life 2, or "We Don't Go to Ravenholm" which I played in the dark late one night. The fast zombies (and the headcrabs that just leap out in every corner) freak me. Also those similar parts in Episode 1 where they assault you in the dark while you wait for the lift to come down, and you run around throwing flares and propane canisters at them. The HL headcrab zombies really freak me for some reason. Maybe it's the fact that they're all screaming in pain to start with.

Want to be extra freaked out by them? When they are on fire and screaming, it is actually "help me! Oh god, help me!" backwards. Adds a whole new level of discomfort...

Survival horror is my favorite genre <3

my most frighening moments are anytime you cant see the enemy, runing for your life and you cant find the exit.

Shamus Young:
You Don't Scare Me

It's not "Survival Horror," it's "Survival" or "Horror."

Read Full Article

I strongly recommend you try the Penumbra series. The second game probably a bit more so than the first if only because you literally cannot fight back against enemies (with a couple of exceptions, and even then, it is only using the evironment).

Penumbra did it very well because I was some regular Joe, no weapons, just arriving in some abandoned mine and I have to figure out how to open a hatch. Next thing I know, this sudden THUMP and a deep roar and the hatch vibrates and dust is flung up - clearly something underneath has just battered against it. I didn't expect it and was already edgy due to my lack of any defensive measures so to say I jumped is a bit of an understatement.

"Survival" is a bit weird, but I would argue Penumbra falls into that category as you have to manage limited health resources, as well as limited batteries for your torch. It was also a game that epitomised your point about how killing the player reminds them its just a game.

Possible spoiler:

The Ladder Scare from FEAR. If you've played FEAR, you know what I'm talking about. I'll sum it up in spoilers.

orannis62:
The Ladder Scare from FEAR. If you've played FEAR, you know what I'm talking about. I'll sum it up in spoilers.

Oh yeah, this. I had to pause the game to collect myself for a few moments at this point.

I'm gonna agree with Rhayn and say Doom 3. If played in the dark with headphones on that game is scary as hell.

PiCroft:

orannis62:
The Ladder Scare from FEAR. If you've played FEAR, you know what I'm talking about. I'll sum it up in spoilers.

Oh yeah, this. I had to pause the game to collect myself for a few moments at this point.

Yeah. That reminds me of my favorite part of the game, actually. Not scary so much as deeply disturbing. It's at the end, so I'll spoiler it.


I get chills every time.

I dont really remember my most scariest, but I remember my 1st. It was in Trespasser. I was young and was easily scared at this age. I found my first raptor. It rushed at me and made this unearthly scream. I spazed out and didnt play it again for years. I then tried it again after all of those years. I found that same raptor and killed it. I then felt extremly proud of myself and became extremely cocky. I waltzed through the forest, were I was jumped by a raptor from behind. I didnt play it again for some more years.

You know the bit in Silent Hill 3. The final boss of the shopping mall. Made a little bit of wee come out.
Moving mannequins in Condemned.

Manhunt, when the dude jumped out of the closet after the television scene. Man I was startled.

Therumancer:
Horror is more or less a dying genere. {snipped}

youve made a good point, and I can agree with most of your arguments, but theres always the type of person (me) who thrives off adrenaline rushes. I can honestly say that Im a horror junkie. and this pursuit of adrenaline is what makes theme parks so profitable.

OT I'd say the original condemned is still the scariest game Ive played

Jhereg42:
System Shock 2, 4 AM on a Thursday night. 3 rounds left for the pistol, out of everything else and desperately trying to scrounge up ammo or a recharge station. Around the corner I hear a roar and a Rumbler is bearing down on me.

I start screaming "DIE DIE!" at the top of my lungs.

. . . . And my room mate barges into the room screaming "What the F*** is going on!!"

Then I realized that the game had gotten me.

QFE.

System Shock 2 is and probably always will be the single most creepy game I've ever played. I once made the mistake of pulling an all-nighter with this one (an easy mistake to make, it's utterly compelling) and went through the following day in some kind of fugue, constantly expecting SOMETHING to creep up behind me. As well as the most frightening, especially when you can HEAR the Many but you can't SEE them.

Altogether now... "Accept it... Accept it... Accept it..." (For added effect, repeat ad nauseum in a room with a mutilated corpse, four entrances, and the occasional wandering suicidal annelid-infected zombie appearing unexpectedly, brandishing a shotgun, and screaming "KILL MEEEE!!!" in your face.)

Oh, and let's not forget the midwives' evil clanking of doom. "Little ones need their rest..." clank, clank, clank, clank...

Condemned with moving mannequins was poweful scary at the time. Stalker with oblivion lost being cornered on a stairway by glowing tranpsarent zombies that won't die after repeated shotgun blasts. The bear in condemned 2 scared the crap out of me in those bits were you had to run, I felt like it was right behind me.

I like the points, and as a Gm for role-playing games this whole problem does come up of breaking immersion. In a pen and paper rpg it is even worse, when a player has to roll up a new character. Lately in my games I have started really pushing the players and upping the ante and demands, more movement, more excitement, make it closer to something like uncharted 2. Uncharted 2 is not horror, but if you alter the setting and throw in things that cannot be killed, and must be avoided, possible horror.

Ah, a reference to I wanna be the guy. Damn Turbowombat that sounds creepy.

The ghoul chase in dark messiah got me very worried for a time.

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Jhereg42:
System Shock 2, 4 AM on a Thursday night. 3 rounds left for the pistol, out of everything else and desperately trying to scrounge up ammo or a recharge station. Around the corner I hear a roar and a Rumbler is bearing down on me.

I start screaming "DIE DIE!" at the top of my lungs.

. . . . And my room mate barges into the room screaming "What the F*** is going on!!"

Then I realized that the game had gotten me.

QFE.

System Shock 2 is and probably always will be the single most creepy game I've ever played. I once made the mistake of pulling an all-nighter with this one (an easy mistake to make, it's utterly compelling) and went through the following day in some kind of fugue, constantly expecting SOMETHING to creep up behind me. As well as the most frightening, especially when you can HEAR the Many but you can't SEE them.

Altogether now... "Accept it... Accept it... Accept it..." (For added effect, repeat ad nauseum in a room with a mutilated corpse, four entrances, and the occasional wandering suicidal annelid-infected zombie appearing unexpectedly, brandishing a shotgun, and screaming "KILL MEEEE!!!" in your face.)

Oh, and let's not forget the midwives' evil clanking of doom. "Little ones need their rest..." clank, clank, clank, clank...

If you want creep-out factor, just skip to 10:15 to hear the last audio log in this collection.

Condemned has two scary-as-hell moments for me. The first was the mannequins in the department store. Here's the second.

Alas, I haven't played the game all the way through yet. In the same level, there's an area where you jump down into a dried-out diving pool and you're immediately attacked by three unarmed guys. Every time, I'm constantly getting grabbed and headbutted until I die. I got so frustrated that I just uninstalled the game and resolved to come back to it later. I've heard that the ending is terrifying, however.

I swear this is either directly pulled from a Twenty Sided post or you just reused a lot of the vocabulary precisely.

Also, I'd rather call Dead Space action-suspense, but I wouldn't even call most "horror" films horror.

As for my scariest moment, just posted it on my Examiner page earlier today but I can copy-paste it here.

I thought of writing about the most frightening moments I've had playing games, but I haven't really had that many. Sure there are plenty of games that have made me jump. I've also felt plenty of suspense during sessions of Resident Evil and Dead Space with the lights off. However, when all was said and done I was able to flick the lights off and go to sleep without any issues.

That is, save for one game. Only one game had truly managed to frighten me in the same manner as an H.P. Lovecraft story. No, it was not Eternal Darkness of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth. I've yet to play either of those games, as damaging to my gamer credibility as it may be. When I read a Lovecraft tale there's a chance I'll not want to shut the lights off before going to bed. Just the very notion of lying in bed in the dark makes me feel exposed to unseen and unspeakable horrors, even if I read it during the daytime.

Bioshock is the only video game to have spawned that level of fear in me. The conditions weren't even very frightening, either. I was sitting in my living room all the lights on with my brother watching me play.

I was wandering Fort Frolic, the area where you have to photograph men you've killed for Sander Cohen. I descended some stairs into an area that was, well, a large empty room. The only light came from the blue light of the ocean outside, painting everything within the room in a cyan hue. But for some water that had flooded the floor and a safe in the far corner of the room, it was empty. I walked straight for the safe, opening it to find some ok contents. Overall nothing too impressive. I turned around to leave and...

Wait, those weren't there before. Splicers. Painted white and covered in paper mache. They filled the room and were just standing there like mannequins. I knew better, though. I knew they were alive and waiting for me to step too close. One by one I shot them with the electric buck, dealing some bonus damage as they were standing in the water, until they all fell. Still paranoid, I began to walk along the wall towards the exit. I killed all of them, right?

I turned my head to the side just an inch, but when I turned back there she was. Another one. Where were they coming from? I blasted her as well, no real challenge. None of them were a challenge. However I felt as if I was running up those stairs for my dear life.

Looking back, it was a very simple trick the developers pulled on me. One second the room is safe, then when you least expect it there's a bunch of foes that weren't there before. Yet this is the true psychological concept of terror that made H.P. Lovecraft such a genius in horror. It's also why so few can ever match his genius.

Horror doesn't come with bloody imagery or stalking psycopaths in the night. It isn't when something jumps out at you with a high pitched burst of music. It comes when our preconceived notions of reality are proven wrong. When I stepped into that room it was safe and empty. As I prepared to leave it was no longer empty, but filled with things that couldn't have possibly gotten in there. At least, not without my knowing, right? The icing on the cake was that final one. The one where I turned my head an inch, and as soon as I looked back there she was. Standing in the water as some angel of death.

No game had ever freaked me out like that before, and as I prepared to go to sleep that night my mind trekked back to that one moment. I didn't want to turn out the lights. If I turned around, who knows what would appear behind me.

No game has ever done that to me before or since.

Which is a complete lie. When I was single-digits in age my brother sat me down in our super-creepy-swear-it-was-possessed basement to play Doom, and then went upstairs. For some reason there was no music, just sound effects. I don't know why, but hearing the clicky-clacks of the Imps in the next room over scared the shit out of me. I didn't even get halfway through the map before shutting it all off and running upstairs.

Well, the main scary game I've ever played would be Doom 3. I realise that probably isn't the greatest example, but that game actually did suck me in; and a few sections still get me quite scared.

Before that, though, I'd have to say Space Frigate Orpheon (I think that's it. It's the first stage of the game) in Metroid Prime. Yes, call me a pussy if you want, but the Metroid series always had a great atmosphere, I feel, and being on a derelict space-ship where they were doing research on forced mutations using Phazon, seeing the crew dead or dying all over the place, dead specimens (Especially the big, decomposed Parasite Queen in the stasis thing) actually had me really scared at the time. Of course, I can breeze through it now no problem, but keep in mind this was when the Gamecube was relatively new.

Resident Evil 4 never scared me; although it is a fantastic and awesome game I devoted ridiculous hours to playing over and over again.

Thief 1 had some great moments, mainly the zombie levels. Zombies were terrifying, because there was very little you could do to kill it. Best you usually could hope for was to stun it and keep away, otherwise it would get back up. Eventually you come to the level "Return to the Cathedral", a zombie/demon filled level where one slip up would have you swarmed with unkillable monsters. Added by the creepy environment and sounds, it was a great horror level.

Fatal Frame was another good one. Only game to ever make me drop my controller out of fear. The game constantly got you just comfortable enough to spring something on you to scare the shit out of you.

Firstly I have to say I disagree with you in your definition of what a survival horror game is.

Now that I have said that I will move on to the more fun stuff.

One of my biggest scares in games was in AvP. The first level in the very first game before the gold edition came out. The level was steeped in Alien feel and every second you expected an alien would jump you. But the really impressive part and probably the part that made the scare effective was the fact that there was no alien on the first level. I used up half a mag none the less. Later the gold edition came out and that game made the first level substantially bigger with a trip into what appeared to be an alien (not the aliens but some other aliens) structur or spaceship. It also added an alien you had to shoot... it all made the level kinda lame in my mind.

F.E.A.R. was also good for quite a few good scares. The ladder scene mentioned earlier was a good example. In general,that game presented loads of times where you went around being scared of everything... particularly your own shadow. Fortunately it was artfully interspersed with some nice action which helped loads with nerves.

Doom 3 was a mixed blessing. It relies almost entirely on gotcha scares and later in the game (maybe closer to midgame) it becomes an endless procession of little rooms with demons spawning in different locations and the scare has gone out the window. The extra added bonus of having demons spawn every time you find a secret area or some secret loot, made it even worse. However seeing a zombie just stand there banging its head on a glass door (very thick glass mind you) kinda got the pulse up. Not a lot mind you but it did the trick. Another good move was that you could not use your torch while wielding a weapon.
Incidentally Doom3 was the game that thought me not to play horror games while being drunk. It completely killed the mood.

Vampire Bloodlines also gave me a bit of a scare when you go into a haunted house. The mood there really got the juices flowing. Going around reading old newspapers and then exploring the unhappy story of the place. I think investigation scenarios makes for the best foundation for horror games.

Anyway that is what I have to contribute... or at least what I can remember at the moment.

Well, my most recent scary experiences have been with Penumbra: Overture. Just the beginning when you get into the mine and everything is dark and you are forced to look around with your flashlight and you get to the supply room and hear the spiders and the man whimpering on the other side of a door.

That and when you meet the giant worm thign for the first time.

Other than those two moments, i've had a lot of scary moments when playing Silent Hill games. they are just too creepy...

my scariest gaming moment was today, i was playing borderlands alone because the multiplayer wont work for me and my friends, i was sitting in a dark corner in a small room whit tons of corridors, and since im hunter - sniper i had been proven useless in close range by a tons of enemies, i was low on health and while i sat there waiting to regenerate (1 hp per 3 sec) i could hear bandits talking and walking around, midgets and phycos screaming at me and running all around the place, and i knew if they found me i would die.

that was so intense and i was so immersed that i sat completely still holding my breath, until my cigarette which i had forgotten i was holding, burned my fingers.

Nice article. Survival comedy had me laughing.

As far as scary games go there's the obvious ones like Eternal Darkness, Silent Hill 2 and the Resident Evil remake. But one less obvious moment that has always stuck with me was while playing Doom 64 a few years back. I still remember this one level where the backround noise sounded like babies crying, which I found bizarely unnerving. I mean it was still the exact same kill-everything-that-moves game it was before but that one added detail made it.... eerie.
Probably the best example I can think of where the games sound has changed my perception of the game itself.

Silent Hill 2, The mannequin you get your flashlight off of and seeing Pyramid Head for the first time. Of course I also had two sick twisted sadistic boys in the room and I was immersed enough in the game that they managed to help the game scare the shit out of me. Coincidentally, have not played it since, nor have I had time....damn you work.....

I ain't afraid of no ghost....
*que theme song*

Condemned 2.
Not because it was the normal 'atmospheric-kinda-scare'. In fact, the level was quite the opposite, a warm cottage in the middle of a snowy mountain range. BUT

The original AvP games had some really pulse pounding moments when you play as the marine. Playing as the Predator or Alien just make it a hilarious murderfest. But for the marine your constantly alone and being hunted and those bloody facehuggers with there clickity clacking sounds they make when they're around make me fire explosive rounds at my feet!

Totally agree with you about modding Fallout3 the game actually becomes a post apocalyptic survival game had a whale of a time struggling not to die and the weapons actually do damage and the armor actually protects you!

The reason I find Silent Hill terrifying comes from the idea of being forever trapped in the endless nighmare. Even worse if it is all in your head but there' no way to shake it off. It means your forever trapped seeing nightmarish visions and always running and its so dark and claustrophobic. It was such a marvelous game series.

I have a few

1) I was one of the people who bought and played Metal Gear Solid 2 on launch day. After playing all day and night, I was at the point where I could barely keep my eyes open and Campbell tells me "You've been playing the game for a long time. Maybe you should shut of the game and walk away." I just about ran out of the room.

2)

3) The haunted hotel mission on Vampire: The Masqurade. That level was all kinds of fucked up.

4) Rule of Rose.

Scrythe:

4) Rule of Rose.

YES.

Not dying is scary! Now that you mention it, Rule of Rose was the scariest game I ever played, and it wasn't particularly hard. I mean, because of the controls, it wasn't Bioshock easy, but it was still not difficult to complete - and yet, there were some magnificent moments. I couldn't play it unless I either had my sister in the room or the lights on. Oh my god.

One moment comes to mind, when playing the original Thief and going through the Hammerite Prison to rescue an acquaintance who had information. The patrols were tight, very little room to slip by, and so I huddled in a corner for a time. One hammerite comes around, doing his patrol, and all I can say to myself is, "Move along, nothing to see, move along..." And then he suddenly detects me and as soon as he made his first step for me, without even thinking I had hit the escape key which took me to the main menu. Wasn't so much that the hammerite scared me, but as it was dark there, and up to then my nightmares had consisted of things leaping at me, it just became too real.
And as cheesy as Doom 3's method is, it has its moments of making my heart beat faster, being more nervous around every turn.

vxicepickxv:
Dog plus window. Enough said.

"smile.jpg"?

I'd have to think back a bit, I've been really null on the whole survival horror to horror genres for the simple problem that I cannot buy any new ones. I'll pick a few out though...

Fatal Frame 1 & 2. Those games serve to give me chills just buy reciting the chilling names. Beating Fatal Frame 1 was the biggest sigh of relief I've ever had from an all-night scare fest, so when I heard Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly was out, I was hesitant to try it. Buying Fatal Frame 2, though it was a long time after 1, I immediately set in on my PS2, and spun it, enjoying the Japanese school girls and the backtracking storyline, until the intro ended. The feeling I got was a very nice and moody atmosphere, but it did have the tendency to interrupt my experience with damned cutscenes. I say cutscenes kill horror, scripted and designed events while the player is still in control is a lot better, it's as easy as "player 'x' is pointed in direction 'y,' trigger script, player 'x' may not react until script is finished." We're to assume that the person is frozen in fear, essentially, you are frozen in fear, if you're immersed well enough.

Enough of that, I also remember distinctly a very under-rated game. In this game you weren't the tough, chainsaw-wielding bi-curious man (pun) who could kill just about every one with a trained shot, you are as defenseless little girl, so the game contours your imagination to the view point of the girl. Personally, that was my biggest scare. It put the fear of death into frame because you were a defenseless little girl, who's only friend in that world was a dog and everything was going to hurt you. I want a game that makes you feel defenseless in all ways, but only serves to shock, instead of kill. Don't remember what it was called unfortunately.

Edit: RULE OF ROSE, HOLY CRAP, THAT WAS THE GAME.

after fiding a copy of "D" in a bargin bin i took it home and while it claimed to be a horror game i was unimpressed until i walked by a mirror the music had been low and barely noticable then a hand reaches out of the mirror and tries to grab at your throat this game summed up what you were saying about dying taking you out of the mood it had a time limit letting it expire made you fail but you really couldn't die you just had to walk around solving puzzles and getting the crap scared out of you

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