It's that time of year again: Where we attempt to scare you with literally everything, from serial killers at large, to global catastrophes, to your video games maybe not working so great sometimes. The last one, of course, is the most terrifying of all. For instance ...
If you mess with the way the Hey You, Pikachu! cartridge is seated in your Nintendo 64 (a phenomenon we've talked about before, called cartridge tilting), you may inadvertently open a doorway to Pokemon hell.
"DEATH, I CHOOSE YOU!"
Poor Pikachu's face becomes a map of pain, and his bleeding mouth emits only strange syllables that the human mind cannot process.
Go outside, and you'll find that the whole world has transformed into some kind of post-apocalyptic horror infested with demons. Pikachu offers no comfort, only the cold embrace of the void that has replaced his face ...
"BEHOLD SUCH BEAUTIFUL HORRORS, AND WEEP FOR JOY."
Don't go back inside, though. Remember: Inside-Pikachu's face has devolved into a mass of bloody tentacles. But he's still your pal. He still wants to give you a kiss ...
"NO. STAY. JUMP INSIDE."
YouTube user mystman12 was messing around with corrupted game code when he first stumbled upon the madness waiting inside Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo.
Things start out fairly inauspicious, but as he plays, the game gradually starts to peel back the veil that separates ape-kind from what lies beyond the realms of death.
Donkey Kong's house rocks to a loop of little Diddy Kong, screaming in pain forever.
Maybe it's just a banana trip gone bad.
After dying in the land where death fears to tread, Donkey Kong is transported to an entirely different place. Space and time have no meaning here. The circle cannot hold. The music twists. The graphics scream.
The cartridge smells like it's burning.
DK seeks sanctuary in a cave that normally holds a secret area, and instead finds despair ...
"Silent ... but ... deadly ..."
That's your little buddy Diddy Kong, stuck halfway through his death animation and turned the gray color of a corpse that has laid in limbo for long years but been denied the merciful finality of rot. Donkey Kong, having seen what lies beneath perception, deliberately plummets into the void. So ends his torment ...
... Diddy Kong's has just begun ...
Lara Croft has gone through a number of redesigns over the years, mostly associated with her cup size. Then there was 2006's Tomb Raider: Legend, in which the female Indiana Jones was boldly reimagined as a Cronenbergian body horror.
Minus the whole penis in the jar thing at least.
Looking like she was involved in a transporter accident with a spider and an octopus, the wretchedly deformed thing that used to be Lara Croft now raids tombs with the help of several new limbs that sprout from all manner of anatomically impossible places*.
*Outside of DeviantArt.
Spider-Lara only appears in cutscenes, but that doesn't mean you're safe during gameplay ...
... Or even in the water: While swimming, Lara's body drifts around in a static Jesus Christ pose, if the messiah was a busty twenty-something woman who accidentally looked at the ark of the covenant.
She only raids the tombs of people whose souls she consumes to survive.
During an African mission in Metal Gear Solid V, one player equipped night vision goggles and discovered that there was an invisible figure, floating in the sky, silently watching Snake, its arms spread like it had been crucified by unseen forces.
"Uh, Snake to base. What the fuck?"
Now, this is a Kojima game, so at this point you probably figure you can just shoot the figure 16 times and Snake will pull his dick out. But no, it doesn't seem possible to interact with it in any way. Hopefully it's just a strange glitch, and not solid evidence that the lord is always watching you, and does not approve of the way you positioned those two dead guards so their butts were touching.
"Is Thou Shalt Not Kill still important?"
If it's not creepy enough to learn that there's an invisible Jesus in the sky, constantly watching over everything you do, judging you in eerie silence (just like the real Jesus, we guess), some players have noticed that the glitch sometimes appears as a clone of the player character, gradually morphing into you, becoming you.
Imagine if Jesus has been back on Earth this whole time but no one bothered to turn on the night vision.
In Madden NFL 15, there is either a glitch or a feature (we can't decide which) that occasionally replaces commentator Jim Nantz with a ceaselessly staring, hairless alien.
"And now we'll turn to our commenta- JESUS! Uh, this apocalypse is brought to you by State Farm, we guess."
For reference, this is what Jim Nantz looks like in real life ...
Michael Cohen/Getty Images
... decidedly not the tormented ghost of the Silver Surfer. For some reason, the glitch only seems to affect Nantz -- no other characters are altered, no graphics messed with, no game mechanics tweaked -- nothing is different, save for that one of the announcers is now missing his skin, and clearly wants to steal the other's.
"Don't move ... It can't see you if you don't move ..."
Look at poor Phil Simms there, deliberately trying not to look at the Nantz-creature. He knows his friend is dead, replaced by a terrible monster -- but he doesn't want the Nantz-creature to know he knows, or else the game is up, and when they cut back from the next commercial break, there will be only one announcer: A thing that looks like Phil Simms, suspiciously smoothing its skin flat.
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For more moments that will scare you out of the basement, check out 6 Video Game Glitches Scarier Than Anything Done on Purpose and The 8 Creepiest Glitches Hidden In Popular Video Games.
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