Creepy Computer Game Antagonists That You Have Probably Lost Sleep Over
Last updated: Friday 8th July 2011
Thursday 12th Febuary 2009
Let's face it, we like to feel unpleasant. If we didn't, then why would we have multiple genres of Horror? Why would we watch movies that we find repulsive in both a physical and mental sense? Because we revel in fear and the general disquieting feeling that being unnerved brings. As a people, we also like playing games, so the next logical step was to put creepy and unnatural things into them. In the spirit of all things that make us feel unusual (and some of us, a little turned on), here's a list that drags out *some* (not all!) of the more iconic and memorable computer game antagonists.
Not particularly as hideous or misshapen like the other members of the list (unless you equate being bald with being somewhat freakish), Kane is still spectacularly creepy. A bald badass and iconic figure from the Command & Conquer universe, Kane is the leader of the Brotherhood of Nod faction, which is awesome for all of its stealth and trickery. Played enthusiastically for years by the same actor, Joseph D. Kucan (who is even in the Guinness World Records book as the longest recurring actor in a video game franchise), Kane is outstandingly creepy just because he's a conniving megalomaniac with an extreme Messiah complex. He's just strangely compelling to watch, whilst at the same time being incredibly unpleasant.
A main protagonist (and later antagonist) in that venerable RTS (and staple diet of Korea), Starcraft and also referred to as the Queen of Blades, Sarah Kerrigan's ability to unnerve comes from the tragedy and unsettling nature of the character in the fact that she is a former ally, infested by the Zerg alien race in order to be their one of their most powerful agents. Trained to be a super awesome stealth ninja assassin, Kerrigan is captured by the enemy and transformed into something resembling human, but entirely evil in nature. Beloved of fans the world over, it was made all the more unpleasant (with equal parts delight) to see her warped and twisted into the Zerg Queen of Blades.
Hogger strikes fear into the hearts of even veteran World of Warcraft raiders. The evil glare he fixes you with as he prepares to wipe your raid will leave you sleepless for many a night to come.
One of the main bad guys in the original F.E.A.R, Fettel managed to get under the skin of all gamers that ventured through Armacham's corridors. He was psychic, psycho and ate the faces of his victims in order to gain their memories; so naturally, he was quite at home in a horror FPS-type like F.E.A.R. He was also prone to knocking you unconscious and saying something creepy. Not only was he himself rather unsettling just through his mannerisms, but his voice was strangely intense in that it just made you feel uncomfortable. That and the fact that he was probably in the middle of eating someone's face.
There shouldn't be anyone that's picked up a Playstation controller or even heard the words "Metal Gear" in the past few years that hasn't heard of Psycho Mantis, the gas mask-wearing psychic FOXHOUND member. Most memorably creepy for the fact that Mantis could read the mind of all he came across and even broke the fourth wall by interacting with the player themselves (something which occurred in more than MGS game). Mantis was truly a gifted psychic in that he had managed to infiltrate the minds (and hearts) of gamers the world over.
Godzilla Monster Thing
Renamed Bowser in the SNES release of Sim City, this thing was damned annoying (and you lived in constant fear of his - or indeed her - random appearances). You would spend all that time and money sorting out electricity, pipe works, appeasing the constant need for schools, police stations and other silly items, when suddenly a big green thing was stomping everything to dust. Bastard.
Perhaps the single most iconic antagonist in modern games, especially when words and phrases like ""fucked up", "horrific", "Silent Hill", "monster rape" and "good heavens, just look at the time!" are mentioned in close proximity to one another. Pyramid Head is pretty much the reason you don't go to Silent Hill, or anywhere near pyramids, or outside.
A fearsome night hag from that cult classic DnD RPG, Planescape: Torment, she is central to the game's plot (as an incredible story-driven game, with reams of dialogue, text and general awesomeness, I couldn't forgive myself for spoiling it) and posits the question which lurks in the heart of the game and is echoed many times: "What can change the nature of a man?" an interesting question in itself, but made all the more appealing in the context with which it is used in the game world. Planescape: Torment is a legendary game and most notable for its extraordinarily realised characters, all of whom are interesting, entertaining and very three-dimensional. Ravel and her question linger in your mind long after you've stopped playing the game...
L-l-look at you, hacker... Impossible to leave out, SHODAN from System Shock is one of the truly great and memorable antagonists of any game ever and she's not even human. With an eerie voice and delusions of Godhood, the maniacal AI is an ever-present, sinister force in the game, with her appearance and deception being a veritable kick to the stomach and one of the most fondly-remembered parts of the game. SHODAN managed to work her way under the skin of the player, never to be dislodged, along with those damn monkeys...