Good game design involves numerous elements, and solid characterization is among them. That said, there are more than a few fantastic characters which we’re glad exist only in 1s and 0s.
Incorporating the surreal, annoying the downright terrifying, here’s the rundown of video game characters we’d least like to sneak up behind us.
10. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
Having appeared on (and won) more ‘Best Ever Video Game Characters/Baddies’ awards than most people have had hot dinners, Sephiroth also deserves a spot on this round-up.
A lot of the horror behind FFVII’s leading psychopath is the fact that he’ll kill without impunity – it doesn’t matter if you’re a minor character who gets in his way or one of the main protagonist’s competing love interests (erm, spoiler).
Heck, he’s hell bent on destroying humanity anyway, so you can bet your bottom dollar he’d think nothing of tickling you with his forty-foot masamune (or however long it is) if you bumped into him.
Another downside to meeting Sephiroth in a back alley is that the alley would probably be on fire. Past precedent, and all that.
9. Creeper (Minecraft)
Because nothing can make you whirl around in panic more than a ‘Hisssssssssss…’ two feet behind you.
8. Navi (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
“Hey! Hey! Hey, listen! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey, listen!”
There could be no walk down an alley more annoying than one in which Navi is your companion. Thank goodness the verbose little “advice” giver exists only in Hyrule.
7. Crows (Resident Evil franchise)
In and of themselves, crows are rather unsettling. Zombie crows? Fuhgeddaboutit.
The zombified Dobermans are also worthy contenders here – we’ll never forget that heartbeat-skipping moment in the first game when they crash through the corridor window – but the dogs are for the cheap jump scare. An alleyway lined with a murder of waiting crows has a psychological hold that no slobbering hound could ever pull off.
6. Ancient Dragon (Dark Souls II)
If your only way home is via the alley, you’d best ring ahead because you’re going to be pretty late back by the time you’ve battled your way past this tough cookie. Even just a screen shot of the beast is enough to illicit weary groans from hardened Dark Souls players who have gotten through this one and come out the other side.
5. Mario (Super Mario franchise)
Yes, Mario. Oh, so you’d like to bump into a wide-eyed, mushroom-obsessed man who’s clearly in the throes of a massive trip and has the ability to shoot fire out of his hands? No, thought not.
4. Voldo (Soulcalibur)
There isn’t a single character in the fighter genre who is weirder than Voldo (and that’s saying a lot when you consider all the bizarre unlockables peppered throughout the Tekken franchise).
The way he moves his body is nothing short of freaky, and his general crotch-thrusting demeanor just screams sex offender. The most logical defense in a Voldo-plus-dark-alley situation would be a can of mace, except that he’s bladed up to the hilt and already blind.
3. Invisible Water Hellspawn Thing (Amnesia: The Dark Decent)
Really, any of the monsters in Amnesia would be a suitable entry, but it was the flooded cellar level that you really wanted your friend to play.
The terror of the thing unseen taps into our most primal and base fears, and that feeling of heart-racing dread was perfectly executed in game. Count your blessings it’ll never rush towards you down a puddle-filled alley in real life (hopefully.)
2. Alma (F.E.A.R)
Many will baulk at the fact that Slenderman hasn’t had a mention, but we’re not fans of cliché. Plus, Alma got there first in the granddaddy of FPS horror: F.E.A.R.
Though the game and sequels to follow had their flaws, there were more than a few moments in the game that made your blood run cold and Alma was usually at the heart of it. Seeing fleeting visions of the (not entirely original) creepy little girl will have you wondering if she’s really there or if you’re having an aneurysm – neither are particularly appealing options.
1. Tingle (The Legend of Zelda franchise)
So, we’re at the top of the pile. Naturally, we considered putting the aforementioned thin gentleman in pole position, but then we realized that it’d be even more unsettling to encounter a 35-year old man prancing around in a green onesie and pretending to be a forest fairy. Brrrrrr.
Think we’re way off base? Got an even more terrifying character you’re glad doesn’t exist in real life? Let your voice be heard in the comments!