Corridors are useful for many things. Travelling from point A to B. Admiring picture frames. Getting savaged by a zombified dog… wait a minute. Yes, game’s really do love to take the normally boring hallway and twist it into a place festering with evil, death and chaos. Hey we’re not complaining. After all, some of gaming’s scariest moments have been brought to us by the letter c. Which stands for corridor… of death.
Resident Evil - The one with the dog
Capcom’s survival horror series is synonymous with scary as shit narrow spaces that link rooms together. In certain monocle-wearing, port-swilling circles, we hear they call them ‘corridors’. Resident Evil 2 had a moment to give the Terminator the heebie jeebies, when a Licker crawled by the window. And Code Veronica had the seemingly never-ending hall where a mutated Steve Burnside wanted to hack Claire Redfield into succulent slices. But no corridor moment can top the original’s Doberman of doom window smash.
Above: MS Paint-esque windows or not, this was the definition of digital fear in 1996
Picture the scene. It’s 1996. You’re sitting in a horrendous tracksuit playing the hell out of Resi in a stupidly dark room. You’re happily ambling along a corridor having endured an hour or so of the worst dialogue ever written by mankind. And then it happens, just as you pass an innocent looking window. BAM! Zombie dog to the rescue… or, in this case, the attempted murder. It stands as one of the most shocking, undercracker-soiling moments of the series. Although admittedly, those mid 90s textures now make the moment look about as scary as being stuck in a well-lit corridor full of puppies.
Dead Space - The one with the headbanger
Usually, you don’t have to worry about corridors in Dead Space that much. Oh sure, Necromorphs will try to suck your eyes out of their sockets in pretty much every second one. And occasionally, a colossal-ass tentacle beastie will try to ingest you. But the real enemy are vents. Damn, when an alien semi unexpectedly pops out of one of those bad boys, you know your space shit is about to be messed up big style. Honestly, Dead Space vents are terrifying.
Above: Just not Muppets in Space terrifying
However, there is one corridor that stands above the mighty vent in the Ishimura ‘scarier than Rosie O’Donnel naked and covered in edible body paint’ pecking order. And that’s the one where you hear gradually louder thudding noises. Hmmm, seems to be getting louder the further I wander down this corridor. Maybe it’s just engine trouble…
No wait. It’s just a man bashing his brain into little bits against a wall. Phew. We thought it was some kind of mechanical failure. Our shenanigans aside, the gradual build up of tension and then the payoff of seeing a clearly disturbed person, who’s been driven mad by being stuck on a ship full of things that want to eat his spleen, is genuinely disturbing. Oh, and sorry about that Rosie O’Donnel mental image.
Fatal Frame/Project Zero - The one with the torture devices and ghosts
The first Fatal Frame is home to the most haunted corridor in the history of architecture. It’s a big sloppy kiss to horror movies, with its walls of grasping arms and other things that go homicidal in the night. You know what’s scarier than demon appendages, though? Shitting ropes hanging from the ceiling that carry the faintest whiff of torture about them… possibly involving tickling and bare feet.
Possible tickling torture aside, this corridor is also where plucky heroine Miku gets her first look at Kirie - the game's super evil ghost - when she catches the quickest of glances of the spectre in a mirror.
Above: Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest of them… holy shit!
You revisit this creepy-ass corridor several times throughout the survival horror, as Miku searches for her missing brother. We might never find out what fully occurred in that really evil 60 foot connecting area between rooms. All we know is, it sure as hell wasn’t good. Although it did probably laugh loads, what with all the tickling and all.
BioShock - The one with the spooky lights and psycho Splicer
Usually, when you think of Rapture (BioShock’s twisted underwater utopia), you probably think of nothing but the wet stuff. Well, that and game-changing twists. You might not remember the thoughtful shooter also has a dang scary corridor near its start. Here’s a refresher presented in video form for your eyeballs…
Yeah, the hook-handed Splicer trying to introduce your guts to the business end of a good garrotting is unpleasant. What really boils our potato, and then scares the living bejesus out of us in the above corridor, are those flickering TVs. Honestly, can’t Ryan invest in a decent cable guy the next time he builds an underwater city full of drill-handed monsters? To our minds, the only thing that could be creepier is a Big Daddy jumping out at us unexpectedly from the shadows.
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