Some of best horror related content I’ve enjoyed over the years has come from games that aren’t actually horror games. It’s surprising how well done these instances are for what sometimes amounts to a few minutes of your time. Pokémon often comes to mind when I think about great horror themed content within non horror games, specifically the Strange House from Black and White 2.
They took what was a simple passing mention and cut scene of a ghost girl on a bridge in the first game and designed a full instance out of it in the sequel. This was also the last horror related instance we would get in a Pokémon game till this day (no the spooky house from X and Y does not count). Sure we had a few spooky events like the Hex maniac in the elevator, but no instance (read level) related content.
Strange House itself is really well done. It reminds me of Haukke manor from FF XIV in the way the map is done with furniture being used as a means to create a maze of sorts. The content of the house itself is also interesting and worthwhile both in terms of reward and story based content.
The short of is that this girl described as a ghost (though that is debatable) is haunting the house. Exactly what she wants is unknown but a Lunar Wing resides at the end of this endeavor. She asks the player to take it back to the bridge and return it to “THE” Pokémon as she was waiting there in the previous game to return it herself. This will allow you to encounter the legendary Cresselia on Marvelous Bridge.
Personally I don’t think she died, at least not traditionally. It’s worth noting that while some media says she is deceased I can’t find anything that says she actually died, only that she used to play on the bridge with an abra (that can teleport mind you).
I will never forget how annoying this was in generation one
Now a Lunar wing is a very peculiar item to own. It is the only known cure for those deep nightmares caused by Darkrai. It is possible that she was afflicted with the nightmare and required a Lunar Wing to be cured. She mentions that she is in this deep seemingly endless darkness and that her family is calling to her from within it. This leads me to believe that she may not be dead, but rather stuck in some sort of limbo possibly related to Darkrai and her choosing to stay means that she no longer needs to wing to dispel the darkness she is in.
Out of all the horror based instances in Pokémon Strange House is the most fleshed out and thoughtful. I would say it’s also the most “brutal” but when you have a Pokémon that supposedly drags kids to hell, being stuck in the darkness doesn’t sound so bad.