We're still chugging along merrily toward Halloween. Last time in part 1, we talked about some of the most unintentionally terrifying games out there – you know, games that aren't even supposed to be scary but end up being so. We've got the second half here, ready to go. With All Hallows' Eve approaching, are you brave enough to take on the dread and terror these titles dredge up? Let's get on with the list.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
While the Legend of Zelda franchise is mostly known for its timeless heroes and thrilling adventures, the Nintendo 64's Majora's Mask is known for a heinous, grinning moon that's about to crash into and destroy a world called Termina. It's up to Link to save Termina in just 72 hours as a chilling countdown ensues. To aid in his adventure, Link must take up the form of other characters by wearing special masks, complete with grotesque sequences that subject him to disturbing transformations as well as complete strange dungeons and side quests. The Elegy of Emptiness and Stone Tower Temple are gut-wrenchingly horrific on their own, but being able to look up and see the Moon's empty, soulless smile is one of the freakiest features of Majora's Mask by far.
Minecraft can be an uncomfortable game on its own, especially to new players who aren't accustomed to the sweeping, often overwhelming expanses with no real resources to turn to and the swarms of monsters that descend at nightfall. This is a game that's completely devoid of other players or even NPCs to speak to. If you do happen upon another humanoid player, you still can't speak with them or even interact in ways beyond violence. It's much like being stranded on an alien world with no real way to communicate with the locals. If that isn't scary, ponder the fact that, most of the time, the only thing keeping you safe from the spiders, zombies, creepers, and Endermen that come out at night are well-lit areas and run-of-the-mill doors.
Klei Entertainment's unassuming resource management title wouldn't seem so scary if it didn't force you into the dark to forage around from time to time. Just like with games like Minecraft, the dark is full of dangerous enemies and other, scary ways for you to meet an early demise. Oh, and there are little to no instructions provided to you to keep you afloat the very beginning. Failing the grotesque creepsters that lurk in the dark, Don't Starve's aesthetic is creepier than most. Plus, the fact that the crux of the game is not starving (and keeping healthy and sane) probably won't sit well with some players.
Skyrim is extremely by-the-books when it comes to high fantasy settings, It has burly adventurers, strange races of people, and plenty of magic to go around. It may even seem quite normal when you set off on your own after narrowly escaping your own demise, even with dragons burning towns to ashes. But once you take a good, hard look at what's going on around you, things dissolve quickly into a Lovecraftian web of horror. Undead dragons, morbid quests, cultists, and more will break the facade of normality Skyrim operates behind. Speaking to townsfolk won't even save you from the sense of dread that builds as you venture through vast lands alone. They're just as strange as the creatures you're trained to kill. You may be Dragonborn, but you're still totally and utterly alone. And that's scary.