I'm always puzzled as to why many of my dreams are zombie-related. I can't even rank them as nightmares much of the time. In fact, I don't really even have nightmares that often. I had a roommate that had a lot of them, but my dreams are mostly constant non-sequiturs with zombies and obscure celebrity cameos.
And again, the celebrities are something I rarely think about. I don't watch a lot of TV, hardly go to movies and they're never the celebrities I'm motivated to see these things for. I never get Zoe Saldana. Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson to shoot zombies with or romance, its more like I'll get an incidental meeting with 80's Sigourney Weaver: Zool Edition at a drug store before a xenomorph rings up my purchases and the zombies bust in to eat the pharmacist.
Then I step outside and I'm on a boat docking at Disneyland. Belle, Beast and Jessica Rabbit are there to greet me, Jessica give me a shotgun (she was keeping one in her cleavage, of course) and we hop into Benny the Cab to shoot zombies in Duckburg.
Sometimes I do get the creeps, though. I'm not someone that would Netflix Paranormal Activity or Evil Dead before going to bed. By the same token, there are just some games I can't play or game encounters I can't end with before going to bed otherwise I will be lying there awake all night.These things are more like things that prevent me from sleeping than they are nightmare fuel, but I'm certain if my brain was wired for nightmares they'd find their way in. Instead, they're insomnia fuel.
Redeads, Crimson Heads and Banshees - Zelda, Resident Evil and Mass Effect
I'm going to group these three together despite the differences between the Zelda, Resident Evil and Mass Effect series. They're all basically zombies, but they never get in my dreams - I just get the generic shambling undead.
My first problem is they all are far from your generic undead. Rather than silence, growling or moaning - they all scream. Screaming is unsettling and its all they ever do.
Redeads are like the opposite of Mario's Boos. With Boos, you look at them and they stop in their tracks. If Link makes eye contact with a redead they scream, he's frozen in place and they try to molest him. Despite likely knowing that last part by now, Nintendo still lets them do it - now in HD.
Crimson Heads are slightly mutated versions of your rank-and-file zombie, except they scream and run at you the second they see you rather than moan and shamble. They've also lost most of the skin on their heads and grown claws, too, making them about as nasty as Hunters. Even if you manage to torch a number of the zombie corpses in the GameCube and Wii versions of RE, you're going to eventually run out of lighter fluid and be bumrushed by one of these wailers - all because you didn't dispose of the body by burning it.
Banshees may be the worst. You take Mass Effect's sexy, matriarchal race of the Asari, infuse them with Reaper tech and mutate them into topless preggo beasts. They always scream, absorb tons of damage and can teleport to-and-fro. Nothing seems to take them down quickly, either, because like the less-scary Brutes they're just tank monsters. I'd rather deal with hordes of flaming, exploding Husks.
Grey Children - Various Silent Hill games
I haven't finished many Silent Hill games, but they have monsters that are certainly the stuff of nightmares. Its not the Pyramid Heads or freaky nurses that bother me, though, its the ones you find in the elementary school - the pint-sized terrors known as Grey Children.
Goopy little sacks of flesh wandering around school hallways with knives. Children with knives are scary enough on their own, Children of the Corn confirmed that, knowing there is a hallway full of the little monsters with knives is even worse when you know you don't have the bullets to deal with them.
Omega Metroid - Metroid II: Return of Samus
8-bit and spinach green it might be, but I never enjoyed encountering these things in Metroid II: Return of Samus. It was bad enough the Game Boy's screen and very low resolution made this the most claustrophobic entry in the franchise, this final stage of Metroid evolution is just a bundle of vaguely humanoid WTF.
And they rush you. So they're like half Crimson Head and half Grey Child. Ugh.
Mara - Various Shin Megami Tensei games
Given the right context, Mara can come off as a joke and this is often the case in main series Shin Megami Tensei games as well as the Devil Summoner series. So in that respect, he's just funny and a little embarrassing to have in your party if you're gaming on your 3DS in public.
Without context, however, Mara just comes off as a giant green penis with tentacles riding a gold chariot. The Persona series, as much as I love it, always fails to give any context to his appearance.
Thou art I.
I art thou.
From the sea of thy soul I emerge
A giant green tentacled dick on wheels.
That no one in the protagonist's party is ever bothered by that is beyond me.
And to think that's not the only phallic demon to spring from the mind of Kazuma Kaneko or the only one to appear in SMT IV this year. Mara also as a friend that is more or less a razor-toothed, blistered vagina angel. So no matter your sexual orientation, Kaneko has drawn something to mess with you.
The Happy Mask Salesman- The Legend of Zelda series
Of all the things that can terrify me me in a game, I think the Happy Mask Salesman comes the closest. Not only does he manage to rope Link into doing his bidding for two games, the second time I'm pretty sure it was outright blackmail. Link was made to stalk other people on a day-to-day basis, he had to deal with a map maker I'm pretty sure is a pedo and then there's that hand that emerged from the toilet demanding paper. Doing favors for this guy leads to really strange encounters.
I even had to save cows from UFO abductions because of this guy. What other Zelda game even had UFOs?
And this twisted grinning bastard just smiling all the while and you're never quite sure if you can turn your back on him without finding a knife in it the next moment. I never can trust anyone that is that happy. I'm not sure what is in the Happy Mask Shop's backroom in Hyrule Town and I don't want to know.
I know I'm not going to sleep now.