Since the Golden Age of Atari, there have been video game enemies who are so unpleasant that they made us question the existence of a higher power. We at Cracked pay tribute to the rogues' galleries of yesteryear with this list of the 10 most trouser-soiling bad guys in gaming history.
Some of these foes may not seem scary by today's standards, but in their heyday, all of them taught us how to swear, hit the reset button, and, most importantly, cry.
Historically, video game players and enemies have agreed to disagree. We'll kill them and they'll kill us. It's a brutal social contract, but it's worked for the last 30 years.
The Wallmasters flipped this script on us. Most bad guys are courteous enough to kill us as quickly as possible. Not these giant, zombie phalanges--they shanghaied Link back to the dungeon entrance, thus turning our adventure into a boring, repetitive slog and giving us a chance to meditate on all the free time we were spending pretending to be a fey elf dressed in a green camisole and tights.
During the early '90s home console boom, nothing was creepier than Splatterhouse for the Turbografx-16. Sure, the game's AI was laughably primitive (the enemies' favorite strategy was to rush at you in a single-file line like undead conga dancers), but its revolutionary gory graphics made up for it. Look at those screenshots. If this was 1990, you'd totally be losing your shit right now.
The game's most memorable boss was also its least bloody. In Level 2, the player confronted an angry poltergeist.
The spirit's weapons were antique chairs, silverware and a tasteful art deco tapestry (the monsters of Splatterhouse apparently shopped at Pottery Barn). Once you beat this evil bric-a-brac, the poltergeist retreated and, as a Hail-Mary "get bent," dropped the goddamn chandelier on you. Getting killed by that chandelier is an embarrassing experience you'll never forget, just like the day you lost your virginity.
Paperboy was a 1988 Nintendo classic about a plucky paperboy and an entire neighborhood that inexplicably wanted to murder him. The game never explained why and we were too weirded out to ask.
Unsurprisingly, your main nemesis was a yapping canine. Avoiding this dog was easy, but avoiding the crap he chased you into was much harder. A savvy player could shut him up with a well-tossed newspaper, but aiming correctly meant nearly crashing into other fixtures of suburbia such as Hell's Angels, tornadoes and the Grim Reaper. Yes, this damn dog was scarier than Death itself.
Here's your paper, Mr. Johnson
In this 1991 cult favorite, you play Lester, a dumpy physicist who is teleported to an alien dimension when his particle accelerator goes kaput. The 2-D side-scroller played by Contra rules: one hit and you're boned.
Among the hostiles Lester met was this unnamed polygon monster. As soon as you arrived in the alien world, this fanged trapezoid immediately chased Lester off a cliff. If you failed to grab a nearby vine, the damn game was over in a crummy 90 seconds. This opening sequence helps explains why Out of This World only sold four copies.
Half Gerber baby, half Rosemary's baby, the Cherubs were the only scary thing about Doom 3, other than the painful fact that we shelled out $50 for this snoozer back in 2004.
This was one of the very few actually frightening monsters in the game. It's not that the other monsters didn't look scary--they did--it's just that they were total idiots. When the Hell Knight got trapped behind a stack of crates, our hearts went out to him. It was like watching a three-legged puppy trying to catch a Frisbee.
However, we had no sympathy for the cherubs. These enfants terrible came after our space marine like his body armor was covered in lactating breasts. Observe:
When battling these diaper demons, we often resorted to the coward's tactic of haplessly waving around the chainsaw and closing our eyes until everything was dead.