Well, starting today we have just over a week until Halloween hits in force. Now I'll admit, I'm a sucker for holidays, and I tend to fall into holiday themes as this time of year approaches. Spooky music for Halloween and horror games, stuff like that. But this year I'll be extending that to Beyond the Controller with a nice little 10 day countdown. Every day you're going to see something new that ties both Halloween and video games together. How exactly will it do this? Well, if I told you now, it would spoil the surprise wouldn't it? Today however, I'll be presenting Five creepy video game villains, in no particular order, that send chills right down your spine.
Albert Wesker is not a man you would like to meet alone on the street at night, or during the day, or at all. Scratch meeting him alone, you don't want to meet Albert Wesker at all. Wesker is a perfect Halloween villain. He's cold, uncaring, methodical and vengeful, all of which add up to him being flat out creepy. What's worse is the level of menace he carries. He looks like an ordinary human being until you see those coldly uncaring eyes and that's when you realize that Wesker is someone that you should be very, very afraid of.
Wesker is made all the more terrifyingly menacing when you see what he's capable of. Underneath that nearly human exterior lies a terrifyingly dark force and unmatched power. Resident Evil 5 is one of the few games were I felt that the battles against it's big bad actually lived up to what he was doing in the cutscenes. Wesker just doesn't dodge bullets, he catches RPGs with his bare hands and rips them in half. Then he sprints across the stage at lightning speeds and puts his hands through you. Wesker just isn't evil, he's a one man army. He's bent on destroying the world and creating a perfect society, and he's smart enough, ruthless enough, and dangerous enough to do it all on his own.
It doesn't hurt at all that his voice is absolutely chilling, and his sardonic way of talking makes you feel like you really are nothing compared to him. Wesker is one villain that stays creepy, right to the very end.
The Gravemind is one of those villains that seems kind of strange or laughable at first (it does after all, look a lot like a certain talking plant) but the moment it starts talking you get a sense of how horrifying it truly is. The Gravemind is the central intelligence of the Flood, an insidiously dangerous biological parasite. What's most chilling about the gravemind isn't that it's ruling an army of zombiefied lifeforms, but rather that everything about it is made up of the intelligence of those life forms mixed with the Gravemind's own unyielding desire to consume everything. The Gravemind is nothing really nothing more then a huge mass of Flood cells and nerves with the original biological brain matter of hundreds of intelligent innocents grafted in. So when the Flood absorb you, the Gravemind takes you and makes your knowledge part of itself. Squeamish yet?
It gets worse. The Gravemind is not only has that knowledge, but it's sentient in it's own right and knows how to use it. Everything it adds to itself only increases its knowledge. So it's a giant, mobile supercomputer with and I.Q. light years past anything you alone could do. Great minds think alike. The Gravemind thinks as one.
The Gravemind (at least the Halo version, apparently any Flood outbreak can make one) was made a lot more chilling by the way it toyed with everyone. It wasn't enough that it was over 100,000 years old and knew a whole lot more then anyone, it had to taunt them with that. It loved to play mind games, wearing down and breaking its opponents before consuming them. The Gravemind gave hints that it enjoyed twisting inferior lifeforms to turn on each other. And when I say hints, its literal. The Gravemind almost always spoke in rhyme, or had some hidden deeper meaning to it's musings. Creepy indeed.
If there was ever a villain from a video game that could be said to be a rival for the Joker, Kefka would have to take the cake. Like the Joker, Kefka was a psychotic. A brilliant psychotic who saw the world as nothing but a plaything and had no morals about killing, torturing or abusing anything to get what he wanted. The thing is, unlike the Joker Kefka actually did want something. Power.
Unique to Kefka was his introduction. The first time you're ever introduced to him, he's played off like a lackey of the main villain, a halfway competent comic relief villain. It makes it all the more chilling when the plot moves on and you began to see that out of all of your opponents, Kefka is the true maniacal genius of evil. Maybe it's when he poisons a water supply and wipes out an entire castle (women and children included), laughing all the while, or maybe it's when you learn what his real plot is. Or maybe it's when he destroys the world and becomes a god.
Yes, you read that right. Kefka plays everyone for fools and just when you think its all over, he gets his ultimate desire, obtains the ultimate power, and brings about Armageddon. Continents sinking, fire from heaven, earthquakes, the whole shebang. The next half of the game is spent trying to assemble your team from the ruins of the dying world Kefka's created and finally bring him down. Right down to the end, Kefka is a twisted dark presence the haunts the entire world. Kefka is the fuel of nightmares. And through everything, as he murders and burns, what does he do? He laughs.
CABAL is a pretty scary villain. Sure, he doesn't look like much, just a blank looking blue face with empty eyes and...is that Earth spinning as the iris? Creepy.
CABAL stood for Computer Aided Biological Assisted Lifeform. He was a "true AI" computer from the Command and Conquer series, serving as Nod's main logistics and communications coordinator, a very eerie one. He also was the coordinator of all robotic and automated systems, including Nods cyborg forces. As he was an AI, he was free to do as he willed, save in one respect, that he existed to serve Kane, the leader of the Brotherhood. After Kane's "death" at the end of Tiberian Sun however, GDI had CABAL dismantled and his core separated for storage. Nod, desperately needing his abilities, put him back together. Apparently they missed a few pieces. CABAL decided on his own that Nod, GDI and humanity in general were unworthy for the new tiberium world, and set out to see that they never lived to see it.
While CABAL doesn't exactly look terrifying in the video link above, its what transpires in game that is terrifying. He plays GDI and Nod for fools, tricking them into doing his dirty work while he began to set up his own plans. And once those plans went into motion, everything goes nuts. He assassinates all but one of Nod's leaders and hijacks the majority of their army (including all of the cyborg forces), turning them against you and leaving you with almost no loyal forces as he routes the scattered and disorganized Nod troops. He uses the Tacitus to cut off GDI communication with space, denying them contact to all of their top generals. In every mission you have against him you face overwhelming odds as his army goes into mass production, and all sorts of strange new technologies, powerful ones, that he has created, having sole access to Nod's archives.
Then there's the taunting. In every mission against him you can expect him to taunt you. He laughs at you. Reminds you how pathetic the human race is. Pokes at your flaws. All while crazy new cyborg forces descend down upon you. One very, very memorable mission has you as a GDI commander operating a small recon force warning nearby villages that CABAL's forces are coming for "recruits". Because CABAL used cyborgs...so he needs human bodies to convert right? Some of the villages take you up on your offer of evac, others stay and fight, and you get to watch as Cyborgs show up, destroy their defenses, and capture them for processing. Later, you'll attack one of the processing centers, were civilians are herded into pens, and then methodically turned into mindless cyborg's which you then have to fight. It's inhumanly chilling, and you'll hear every scream as another person's humanity is stripped away. Methodical and terrifying. CABAL is a scary villian.
No video for this one, I didn't want to give away anything from Starcraft II for those who haven't played it yet. Anyhow, Sarah Kerrigan, AKA the Queen of Blades and the Zerg ranks pretty high on the scale of creepy villains. Why? Because Sarah was once human. When the Overmind absorbed her into the swarm and made her part Zerg, it was a dark day. Once the Overmind was gone however, she was free on her own, and not held to play the path of a villain any more.
But she stayed anyway. She turned her back on her humanity, and on the whole human race, accepting her Zerg side and proclaiming herself the Queen of the Zerg. Rather then using her newfound ability to exert control over the Zerg to put an end to them, Kerrigan turns forever down the path to the dark side, betraying her former friends and allies to bring the Zerg to absolute supremacy. And she didn't have any regretful thoughts about it at all. Kerrigan becomes the Queen of a race that was already the stuff of nightmares to begin with, turns on her old allies, and uses her abilities to crush everyone that stands in her way. Yike.
Come back tomorrow for another Halloween countdown event!