We know that video games are not, by their nature, strictly for children. They can be extremely violent, very mature and occasionally horrifying to a degree that non-interactive media can never reach. But that's why we have a rating system for them: As a parent, you just pick up a box, check the rating and verify that at least one of the characters is some smart-aleck anthropomorphic bunny rabbit or something, and then you pop that sucker into the nearest Nintendo and go get drunk under a sprinkler for a while, secure in the knowledge that your kids are being entertained in relative psychological safety.
But then, hours later, the unnatural, keening screams coming from inside the house rouse you from your drunken stupor, and you realize that you accidentally ruined your children by exposing them to one of these horrifying moments from otherwise kid-friendly video games.
7Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Zack & Wiki is a cartoony point-and-click adventure game for the Wii about a boy pirate, his flying monkey friend and their gang of pirate bunnies looking for treasure. That synopsis is one kitten with a Scottish accent short of structurally unsound levels of adorableness. The Bunny Friends Posse journeys to your standard video game locales: jungle temples, ice castles, volcanic ruins. But one stop on their adventure is the Bell Tower of Requiem. Where they find this fountain in the shape of a sleeping girl:
As the player, you journey to the top of the tower above her, eventually finding a bell with the same relief. You snuggle up to your bunny friends for some comfort, and maybe high-five a flying monkey for some spunky inspiration, then you pull the chain and ...
Oh God, my sphincter's loosening!
GAH! AAAAH! I'M SHITTING DIRECTLY IN MY PANTS!
She starts shooting blood from her eyes, and then she screams like a goddamned banshee. For the entire game up to this point, you're lulled into thinking that this is some sort of Tiny Toon/Goonies crossover adventure, and then somebody splices five seconds of Hellraiser right smack dab into the middle of the big singing chipmunk number.
Once you've successfully made the statue cry blood, you just reach your little hands on in there and remove the moon from the pool, and you've completed the puzzle!
The strange dichotomy between how cartoonish and cute these characters are and how horrifying this moment is is best illustrated in this scene:
We so hope that's what Armageddon looks like.
The second you fetch that moon, the default victory screen pops up, where you watch your bunny friends repress all the imminent PTSD long enough to bounce around adorably and set off some sparkly celebratory fireworks ... right in front of the screaming ghost face, still bleeding from the eyes in the background.
"Don't make us play it again!"