Most things intentionally frightening in video games usually don't do a whole lot for me outside a raised eyebrow. It's things, ironically, unintentionally frightening (or at least more frightening than they're made out to be) that seem to get me really upset or teary-eyed with fear.
One of the many things I've learned from the Internet is that there doesn't need to be a presence of horror for their to be horror. Even implied. And while this list will be completely free of any of those infamous "creepypastas", stuff like that has certainly inspired me to look at various things video games plug into my eyes and ears from assorted perspectives. To not always take things at face value or take a design choice as it was intended to be taken by the game's developers.
For example: Exactly what I am to think of seeing Luigi happily whistling to himself at his front porch, all the while his brother Mario had been missing for a week?
Paper Mario - Luigi not giving a flying fuck
For a long, long time, Luigi has been playing second fiddle to his infinitely more popular and successful brother Mario. He's the taller, skinnier, greener, jump highier Mario. But, he's also, very much, a man-baby.
His most notable of very few solo outings, Luigi's Mansion, is literally about Luigi being frightened by everything. Everywhere he looks, he's petrified. Everything he sees makes him shudder and contemplate just perhaps leaving Mario behind in that lonely, dark, and dismal mansion. He probably even thought about burning that mansion, giving hardly a thought to Mario still being inside. End one life to potentially save several or more others, right?
But, he presses on. To eventually rescue Mario. To continue to live on as only somebody else's shadow. How depressing.
So, now we consider Paper Mario. During which, a little bit into the game, we see Luigi at home (which, by the by, has a gold-plated "MARIO" printed on the front), whistling to himself, without missing a beat, as he eventually utters, with a smile, "Hmm. I wonder what Mario's doing right now.".
You know very well what he's doing right now, Luigi. You know he's been kidnapped. You know he's in a desperate struggle. But... sure. Fine. Maybe you're just not worried because, ya know... it's Mario, afterall. He's always come out on top. Whether it be Donkey Kong, Bowser, or even his dear old brother. That's just what he does.
And everybody loves him.
So, then.. why do you bother mentioning, when you see Mario, immediately after the aforementioned scene, that you've been "so worried about him"?
Is that your idea of "worrying" about someone, Luigi? Happily whistling a lovely song on your front porch, enjoying the open air, and innocently pondering what your missing brother is up to?
It's almost like he was glad to have Mario gone. Mischievously asking himself "Oh, gee. I wonder what he's doing. He's probably off dead somewhere.". A world where Luigi only ever gets his own game is a world Luigi would probably rather be in. Luigi will always carry about him a very passive aggressive nature, as far as I'm concerned. He, even if he may not know it, hates his brother so much that he wishes he were dead.
Pokemon SoulSilver - "Noctowl! I choose y-..."
Hoothoot is goddamn pain in the ass to level up. On top of him being, somehow, very slow to progress, his attacks consist of tackling, pecking, missing at least every other attempt at firing out Hypnosis, and he can maybe see a few ghosts if you let him stay in your team, un-evolved, long enough to reach the 4th gym leader (also see: Foresight).
But, if you bother leveling him up to 20, he will evolve into a Pokemon far more of use to you named Noctowl. Or whatever you want. In my case, OWLBEBAWK.
However, it's at this point that Hoothoot becomes not only more powerful, but a LOT more creepy. And he loves exploiting that everytime you throw him out to battle.
Does he have to use the eyes? Those red eyes....
Shin Megami Tensei IV - WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!
For the sake of people sensitive to spoilers, I'm going to try and not go into too much detail about these boss fights. I will at least state that some of them were beyond just a little creepy. The most memorable of them, being the one pictured above.
His build-up and backstory made him feel especially intimidating. Even when all was said and done, he stayed so mysterious. Making him inorganic just made it all the more odd. And his voice was especially jarring. Not fitting to his appearance, but an appropriate contrast. Distorted, occasionally unnerving. Coupled with his look and his primal nature, it made him quite possibly my favorite fight of the entire game.
Oh, but to have experienced any of the three actual endings. I got the "Nihilism" ending, without putting much thought into why I was putting myself down that path. Boy howdy, does the game ramp up. And the boss designs just keep getting more terrifying.
Even if these particular boss fights were intentionally terrifying (unlike the rest of this list), I take any chance I can to talk about SMTIV's best aspects.
Rock Band - The Duke of Gravity's questionable due
Rockstars can sometimes get pretty nutty, to say the least. Hendrix playing a guitar with his teeth, Gene Simmons' upright bass "solo" blood strokes, Ozzy's appetite for bat noggins, or even what in the physical realm is going on with the Duke of Gravity's hair.
You've seen it. It's right there. Yeah. What is that? One of my famous bacon-bit brownies for anyone who can explain, backed with sources. Because I'm already finished here. The less time spent looking at and talking about... that, the easier a time I'll have forgetting about it for the time being.
Minecraft - EVERYTHING
Not literally everything, but literally everything in Minecraft is absolutely terrifying. This last section was originally going to just be about the spiders or the Endermen, but then I remembered that literally everything in Minecraft makes tears flow like waterfalls. And not in a TT's Walking Dead sort of way.
Among things like getting lost with no way back to your blood n' sweated homestead, dying far-off and having to remember exactly where in order to retrieve your dropped loot, or someone doing something you just don't like with your world is the most terrifying aspect of Minecraft:
Oh my god.
Those fucking spiders. They're so incredibly tricky to hit, they jump at you, they look really ugly, and they, no matter how appropriate it might be, sound like a spider put to a line of megaphones. Shit you're just not meant to hear so clearly.
The skeletons. Known for their crafty surprise attacks, it's often that you'll get hit before you hear their eerie clatters or see their dull white bodies jogging towards you in a surprisingly efficient manner for what's just essentially a mass of bones.
And the Endermen. Well, the Endermen are pretty self-explanatory.
But, don't even get me started on the gelatinous cubes. Sentient green or red jelly with FACES. Eyes, a mouth, everything. Are you kidding me? Who or what could create such a fearsome beast? No conceivable form of matter from this plane of existence, that's for sure. Wherever they came from, they forced their way into the game and nobody seems to know how they got in or how to get them out.
Look at 'em. It doesn't give a shit. Not even scared of the enclosed space or the fire. It's an intelligent mass of sticky goo with an intent to kill.