2. Link: The Faces of Evil
1993 | CD-I
The following intro comes from a Zelda game so abominably godawful, our Nintendo editor refuses to even acknowledge that it exists. Born from an unholy pact between Nintendo and Philips Electronics, Link: The Faces of Evil was one of four craptastic games featuring Nintendo characters to appear on the failed CD-I system (the other three being Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Zelda's Adventure and Hotel Mario).
As a game, Faces of Evil was nothing special - just another bland side-scroller with pretty graphics that moved sluggishly, thanks to the CD-I being awful. But because it was a CD-based game in 1993, Faces could only tell its story one way: full-motion video. And this wasn't just live action or crummy Saturday-morning-quality animation, either. No, this animation was the unsettlingly ghoulish work of a cut-rate Russian studio hired by the game's developer shortly after the fall of communism. Add in vocal performances by whatever radio hacks weren't busy that day, and you've got a recipe for horror.
Faces of Evil is filled with all kinds of weird animated interludes with badly drawn characters who creep us out with their squiggly lines, constant zoom-ins and little random movements, but it's the intro that really stands out. Vaguely inspired by the Zelda TV cartoon, the sequence features the ugliest Link we've ever seen, complaining about how bored he is while the King of Hyrule gulps liquid Triforce of Courage out of an oversized pimp cup. Then some creaky-voiced wizard shows up on a magic carpet to ask Link to fly away with him and, well, it's probably better if you just see it for yourself:
(Special thanks to Bryan Lajoie of Quebec Gamers for the video. For more terrifying screens and videos, be sure to check out his article on Faces of Evil. It's in French, but the movies aren't. You can also check out the other CD-I Nintendo ripoffs here.)