Moments in non-horror games that scared the shit out of you?

Muspelheim

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Tranquility Lane, of Fallout 3. It really did creep me out.

(Spoiler'd, for it deserves it. Unlike dear Dumbledore.)

The thing is, I didn't find Vault 112 through the quest chain. I stumbled on it in the wasteland. I entered a dilapidated garage, and just as I was about to leave, I found a hidden entrance to an underground complex. Once I descended it, I ran into the vault. I had no idea what to expect, and went along with the robot at the door offering me a jumpsuit, complaining that I was two hundred years late. I had no idea what so ever what I was getting in to.

Then, I saw dear old Father in one of the coma-cocoons. There was nothing to do than to go along with the creepy programme. It came out of nowhere, and being stuck on Dr. German's unpleasant Suburban drama stage really did scare me. Slowly, but deeply. Even more so when the thread unravelled and I understood what torture the withering mummies in the Vault had been subjected to for two centuries.

I did get back together with Dad again, at least. But it was damn creepy, and it's unusual to feel that powerless in a game, entirely left to the fancies of a monster. And nary a plasma rifle to make the nasty man go away with...

Sudden surreal and unexpected turns in a game which is normally rather grounded is a useful scare tactic, one I hope to see more of. the Metro series certainly had the right idea, even if it did spin out of control a fair bit in N:eek: 2.
 

Xan Krieger

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fix-the-spade said:
Qvar said:
In other words "not horror because I say so".
Precisely, never argue with a Yorkshireman.

More seriously, FEAR is not a horror game because it does not fit the definition of horror and it is not sold as a horror game. On the Steam tags you neglect to mention three of the five tags are Action, FPS and Bullet Time, whilst on the Steam Genre list it's under Action, Vivendi sold it as an Action game too.

Horror depends on placing the protagonist in a situation of vulnerability, if the protagonist can effectively deal with whatever the problem is, it's not horror. In FEAR you wiew the world of Point Man from behind an assault rifle, in the whole game there's exactly one sequence where you have to run away, from a wall of fire, it's a ten second scripted event as opposed to the actual peril of Amnesia (a real first person horror game). There's nothing 'horror' about mercilessly shredding legions of enemies, a few ghosts and a psychic little girl to pieces with sci-fi themed machine guns in glorious bullet time and aerial kung fu moves.

So yes, FEAR isn't a horror game because I so say, the vendor and the publisher agree with me.
So then by your definition Doom 3 wasn't a horror game despite being scarier than other horror games. FEAR is a horror game, you're more often than not alone facing some enemies that you can do nothing against. Alma is freakin terrifying since your bullets don't do anything against her till the end while she can liquify an entire delta force team with one touch. The expansion Extraction Point escalated the fear factor by introducing weird paranormal stuff, a city in ruins, sure you were mostly equipped to handle things but the atmosphere made it scary. The game fits with resident evil 4 in what would be action/horror, games which form the line between those two genres, they're a mix of both. They will scare you but are also loaded with explosions and other fun things.

Jasper van Heycop said:
This bit in Dark Messiah
and I'm not even arachnophobic (DON't watch it if you are)

<youtube=watch?v=53OfdrTFYKY>

The worst thing is that the spiders in this game have all the full 3D movement that real spiders have. And they are HARD to kill.
That's why I never finished Skyrim, spiders are just too creepy. I hate myself for watching that video.
 

Orks da best

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First time playing Halo CE, first time encountering the Flood with my sister, needless to say we are both scarred.
 

Xan Krieger

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Jasper van Heycop said:
Xan Krieger said:
Jasper van Heycop said:
This bit in Dark Messiah
and I'm not even arachnophobic (DON't watch it if you are)

<youtube=watch?v=53OfdrTFYKY>

The worst thing is that the spiders in this game have all the full 3D movement that real spiders have. And they are HARD to kill.
That's why I never finished Skyrim, spiders are just too creepy. I hate myself for watching that video.
Don't say I didn't warn ya mate.

Game is pretty good, you should try it.
I never listen to warnings, I'm the kind of person who has to learn the hard way, specifically by almost pissing myself when he looked down and a spider was at his feet. I need to remember to wear clothes I don't like before watching something like that.
 

IFS

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I'll second the souls series as having some pretty damn scary and tense moments, Demon's Souls especially had the Tower of Latria (one of my favorite levels of any game) which just oozed with atmosphere. The blind jailers ringing their bells searching for you in the dark, the wailing of an imprisoned singer, the insane inmates rattling on the bars and even jumping out of iron maidens at you, just every part of the level was designed to put you on edge.

I'll also second Ravenholm, which is honestly has more horror in a level than some horror games have in all of them.

Other than that the Deep Roads in Dragon Age Origins, when you're approaching the Brood Mother. Just the creepy narration from a broken dwarf, the dawning realization of what happens to those the Darkspawn take, and the blood soaked blighted area around you all left quite the impression on me.

Finally for another case of the dawning realization sort of horror one of the vaults in New Vegas is pretty desolate, the main thing you find at first is a confusing audio log and lots of posters for an upcoming election. I won't spoil it but its certainly one of the most horrific revelations I've had in a game. Of the DLC Dead Money also has some pretty tense moments, and the way the ghost people move is just creepy.
 

CelestDaer

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I'm going to go with: Any time your avatar get swallowed by a big animal and you have to crawl around inside their guts to get out. Deep water areas are just as bad... don't mix the two, for the LOVE of GODS!
 

fix-the-spade

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Xan Krieger said:
So then by your definition Doom 3 wasn't a horror game...Alma is freakin terrifying since your bullets don't do anything against her till the end....
<spoiler=Doom 3 is an interesting one>In stock form yes it's a horror game, you have to put your rifle away and draw the flashlight to be able to navigate, whilst facing the enemy means plunging yourself into darkness. That's the vulnerability that qualifies Doom 3 as horror, see clearly or fight, but not both.

Apply the duct tape mod and Doom 3 isn't a horror game anymore, since you can see and fight, you are in a position of power.

FEAR doesn't have that, whilst Alma is intimidating, there is only one point in the game when she actually presents any threat at all to you. Talking specifically about the first game, everything Alma does is a scripted event up to the final level when Harlan releases her. The Delta teams, Harlan, your encounters with Paxton Fettel and even Jankowski's unfortunate fate are just things to watch, they can't hurt 'you' as the point man even if you use no_clip to run right into the middle of them, you're not vulnerable, you're never vulnerable. Once the player grasps that the atmosphere is pierced, the supposed 'horror' elements are just someone playing with the light switch a shouting.

Even in the end sequence you're in a position of power, Alma has to get to you before you unload into her face, you have no obstacle to doing so. If you had to turn your back and unlock a door to reach the gun before she reaches you, that would be horror. If the gun was empty and you had to run, that would be horror. Even better if the bullets did nothing, you emptied the magazine and she just kept coming, that would be horror. As it is she presents less of a threat than the standard clone troopers, they can toss grenades, flank and attack from a distance, Alma just staggers drunkenly towards you.

Extraction point, Perseus Mandate, 2 and 3 move more towards horror territory. The original has more in common with Quake than anything else, yes you're being faced with horrific, violent and dark imagery, but the way you're expected to deal with it is to wall jump to flying scissor kick whilst using a particle beam gun to liquidise your opponent, not cower in terror. In FEAR there are no opponents you can't blast to smithereens (literally none).

Even if you decide to call it horror just cuz' it's only horror in so far as Ravenholm is horror, it's all dark and foreboding until you remember that whatever comes, you are the most powerful creature in the universe and it's all just a play ground for your skills from there on.
 

Saulkar

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theSovietConnection said:
Given I don't really consider it a horror game, mine would have to be from Call of Pripyat.
I was on my way to a warehouse, and while on the way, had just picked myself up a shiny new assault rifle, one of the better ones in the game. However, being the tremondous idiot that I am, I didn't bother checking the condition of it, which would have made me aware of the fact that it was almost broken and the enemy I got it from propably shouldn't have even been able to shoot at me.

Anyways, as I'm continuing along, I finally get to the warehouse. Nighttime had come along, and a storm had set in, so it was really dark, my only illumination coming from the odd bolt of lightning. As I get inside the warehouse, I hear a pack of wild dogs circling the building. No big deal, but given the darkness and the storm, I was a little more on edge. I got further inside the building, the howling of the dogs growing more frequest, and much closer. They'd gotten inside.

As I enter the main large floor of the warehouse, I notice in the warehouse a crashed helicopter, so I head on over and put my back to it, keeping the dogs from being able to get me from behind. I notice in the next flash of lightning the dogs circling in the building, but I'm thinking to myself, "Oh yeah man I got this," as I raise the assault rifle up to iron sights. The lightning flashes, I pull the trigger:

*click* as the gun jams.

I damn near shit my pants. That part was entirely unscripted, too, which made it beautiful in retrospect.
Couple days ago I was playing COP with Misery 2.1 and was making my way back from the mercenaries camp with a hundred and eighteen kilos of goodies. It was storming in the middle of the night and I had made it to the abandoned ice breaker when I put down my rifle, the lightning flashed, and the bloodsucker killed me with one hit. I woke everyone in the fucking house!!!

Good thing I save a lot.
 

theSovietConnection

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Saulkar said:
Couple days ago I was playing COP with Misery 2.1 and was making my way back from the mercenaries camp with a hundred and eighteen kilos of goodies. It was storming in the middle of the night and I had made it to the abandoned ice breaker when I put down my rifle, the lightning flashed, and the bloodsucker killed me with one hit. I woke everyone in the fucking house!!!

Good thing I save a lot.
Oh, I hate the bloodusckers. They are every kind of gorrammed annoying.

Honestly though, the enemy that unnerves me the most in that game is the Snork. They get under my skin in ways the bloodsuckers just never really can.
 

Voulan

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Those bloody crocodiles in Far Cry 3, they get my every time. The sharks are not as bad since they are more clearly visible, but they keep you on your toes when relic hunting in the deep water. Tigers were also a bit scary - you hear their growl and know they're nearby, only for them to leap out of the bushes at you when you least expect it.

It's been mentioned a few times already, but I'm also terrified of Shalebridge Cradle in Thief: Deadly Shadows. Damn those flickering lights!

Probably another big one is encountering a Deathclaw in Fallout 3 when you haven't saved in a very long time, and you're at a low level.

For another Bethesda one, the big frostbite spiders that drop down from the ceiling. I screamed like a little girl the first time that happened. "Get into third-person, GET INTO THIRD-PERSON!"

The Haunted Hotel level in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines is brilliantly done, even if there's no actual danger of dying. The bit that got to me most was the basement with the flying objects in the kitchen, and then the guy with the axe waiting around the corner (I wasn't expecting any enemies, so that gave me a hell of a fright).

Oh, and for a bit of a classic, meeting the T-Rex in the original Tomb Raider. Back in the days of no music or cutscene cues to let you know something was coming out of the fog.
 

Quazimofo

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Sectan said:
Snydeclyde said:
The Silent Boy in The Wardens Office on Bioshock Infinite,
I had to pause the game and take a quick 'time out' after that bit.
They play the same game in the original Bioshock when you're going through the doctor's offices. I turned around "BLAAH AAAAH" *WRENCH WRENCH WRENCH*
Ahh I remember that bit. I saw it on youtube in advance so I knew it was coming, but I still almost pissed myself when it happened. I had a shotgun instead though so it was more "Blah! (simultaneously) AAAAAAAH *Faceblam*"
 

Mental Cosmas

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Resistance: Fall of Man, it was nothing more then a cheap scare chord and a basic enemy (one who you've already killed your fair share of) running down another corridor, but it was so out of left field in what was an action game through and through it did spook me.
 

Schmeiser

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That stupid orange fish in the first jak and daxter, so i'm just jumping around in water trying to find out how much i can swim out from the shore. BOOM this stupid orange fish eats me in one bite and scares the total shit out of me.

I'm afraid of huge depths and going too far from shore in real life so parts like that in games make me feel uneasy.

Any moment when you are relaxed in dota half afk farming and all of a sudden ZEUS ULTI or OGRE MAGI stun, makes me shit my pants if i don't expect it
 

LaughingAtlas

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Adventure games in general (Jak and Daxter especially) ingrained into me at a young age that swimming was bad and to be avoided whenever possible. I'm still wary of water in any game in which I don't know if there are massive, yet inexplicably starving creatures lurking in the depths.
 

Kayevcee

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2m1A3sVXyEThe New Zealand Story. A cutesy platformer for the Amiga. The underwater sections are pretty tense since you can only stay submerged for about ten seconds before drowning and there are some looong stretches to cover in that time. Adding to that, you can't fire underwater and there are spiky, kiwi-eating beasts down there. The first time I got to a stage with water in it (I was only about 7 and hadn't played many games so my joystick-fu was weak) there was this thing that looked like a pink sandcastle. It turned out to be a sea anemone. I had to pass very close to it to get through to the latter section of the level. I tried to jam myself against the top of the tank as I passed, but I held off on jumping just a fraction of a second too long ANDBAMTENTACLESDEATHAAAIIIEEEE! One frame of animation and I was a goner. Jumped right out of my skin. Couldn't play it again for weeks.

The worst part was having to pass underneath the water tank before going through and seeing it react to my presence. I knew it did *something* but I thought perhaps it would suck in water and draw me down, or shoot something New-Zealand-y at me. It didn't- it just lashed out with horrifying mouth-tentacles and ate me. Pissed. My. Pants.

A lot of the bosses in similar cute-athon Rainbow Islands were pretty scary too. Unlike most video game bosses of the time they didn't move in a set pattern- they changed position relative to the player and varied the time and type of their attacks seemingly at random. The Vampire Boss from Monster Island is like something out of I Wanna Be The Guy. If you die you lose all your power ups and have no way to reaquire them, so if you don't beat the boss first time it's much harder to do it afterwards. A lot of classic "cutesy" games were remorselssly rock hard in a way that guns-n-monsters games weren't. Maybe they were overcompensating.

-Nick
 

ABLb0y

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Dragon Age Origins: The whole Deep Roads questline. Highlights include the bloody Broodmother and finding out just how far Paragon Branka went off the deep end to find this anvil.