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The scariest videogame characters that were never designed to be scary

Many videogames are designed with conflict in mind, and thus revolve around intimidating, sometimes even frightening, the player. The survival horror genre has been crammed full of horrific monstrosities designed entirely to terrify their audience. Developers are so good at creating scary monsters and super freaks, however, that it seems they can't help themselves. In short, even when games try to be cute or otherwise non-threatening, they often end up even spookier.

In this column, we take a look at some of the scariest videogames characters that were never designed to be scary. Their creators wanted something adorable, or amiable, or at least vaguely likable, but instead gave birth to hideous, misshapen, nightmarish beasts that will break your spirit and claim your dreams. Read on only if you have nothing left to fear.


EyePet

It's never explained what an EyePet is, but given the fact that the game is presided over by an unfunny man in a lab coat, one can only assume that it's the result of scientists playing God and birthing a rancid blight that stalks this Earth with an eternal hunger for human thoughts. Or, some Sony executives just brainstormed for ten minutes on what makes something "cute" and got it entirely wrong.

The EyePet is not "cute." Look at the thing. It's a short, hairy, fanged little vermin that has distinctly humanoid features without ever truly looking like a human. The EyePet reminds me of those old cuddly toys that had plastic hands and faces and could suck their own thumbs. Holy Hell in a handbasket, those things were demented.

Seriously, do a Google Image Search for "Chic A Boo" and try to tell me that's not absolutely horrifying.


Agitha

In truth, there are dozens of Legend of Zelda characters that could have made this list, due to how disconnected and weird every NPC in Zelda seems to be. It would have been easy to use Tingle, but I refuse to believe his creepiness was an accident. Instead, I'm going with Agitha, the bug-obsessed little girl from Twilight Princess. Not the most obvious of choices, but since when were the forces of Satan anything but subtle?

And that's what I am convinced Agitha is -- a soulless fiend in thrall to the Lord of Lies. She sits there, on her own, in a self-contained saccharin kingdom pumped full of twisted child's music. She's filled her house with moths, just like Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs, and the way she talks about creepy-crawlies is nothing if not scarily fetishistic.

If you enter her sordid domain and try to leave while you have bugs, she will HISS at you and declare that she knows you have them. She knows! How does she know these things? Why is she hissing? Is she building an insect army like the one in The Mummy so that she can chew her way through Hyrule and claim dominion as the Cockroach Queen?

Obviously she is. She should have been crucified outside of her house the moment Link set eyes on her.


Eike Kusch

Shadow of Memories really was the best videogame that wasn't really a videogame. More like an interactive movie before Heavy Rain made interactive movies cool, it was a strange and compelling little title that is often remembered quite fondly by those who bothered to play it. That doesn't change the fact that its protagonist, Eike Kusch, is a total creep.

He resembles a female in every way, except he's not, and he's afflicted with unnatural mannequin eyes that somehow seem to be looking at nothing and everything at the same time. Topping it off are those nonsensically long scarecrow legs that make him walk like Jack Skellington.

Besides which, anybody who can sound that dispassionate and unfazed while talking about his own inevitable death has to be a monster.


Tarutaru

The Tarutaru species from Final Fantasy XI share much in common with the EyePet, in terms of looking just vaguely human enough to be thoroughly unsettling. They resemble hairless rabbits wearing chemotherapy wigs, and that's pretty damn gruesome.

Their arms and legs are too small, their heads are too big. They look like midgets with local gigantism, which is the ultimate paradox and God's cruelest joke. Just imagine waking up in the middle of the night to see one of these maleficent miscreations staring down at you, naked, with its black demon eyes, licking its lips and whispering "You are an oiled cog in my infernal machine." Not only that, but you can't help noticing that its penis is MASSIVE. And covered in thorns.

Yeah, their little panic animations aren't so cute now, are they?


Tom Nook

Everything in Animal Crossing is creepy in that "so cute it becomes horrible" way. From their arcane speech that is too random to be anything but a carefully constructed prophecy, to their fixed expressions of happiness that can only be hiding some grisly secrets, there is nothing to like about anything in Animal Crossing. Tom Nook, however, rules this furry limbo with an iron will and indomitable authority.

Possessed of no other emotion than greed, this creature sees and knows all. He is essentially the Sauron of the Animal Crossing world. Should you dare enter his store, he will follow you with the dogged determination of a T-101. He cannot be reasoned with, he cannot be bargained with ... well, he can be bargained with, but that's beside the point.

With his total lack of social awareness, disregard for personal space, and garbled devil speak, Tom Nook is every wrong with the world.

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48 comments

  • GameManiac - October 29, 2010 8:51 p.m.

    What, no Weegee?
  • BurntToShreds - October 29, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    You want cute characters that are scary? Google "The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing". Be warned, you might not be able to play the game again, let alone go to sleep that night. I am entirely serious, that story is horrifying.
  • bonerachieved - October 29, 2010 3:07 p.m.

    Holy shit Noby Noby Boy completely slipped my mind as soon as i saw Tom Nook and Mr. Saturn in here haha.
  • VMPSaberwolf - October 29, 2010 11:16 a.m.

    Not sure if this was mentioned as I didn't have time to read the comments, but wasn't the game called Shadow Of Destiny, not Shadow of Memories? Unless there are two games, I have Destiny which features Eike going through time trying to prevent his death. Anywho, add Margarette to my QOTW answer as a female I lusted over for a while. Not sure why, think it was the long hair.
  • Tratious - October 29, 2010 2:05 a.m.

    the fallout video is the funniest, and creepiest thing I have ever seen.
  • ThatGamerDude - October 29, 2010 1:52 a.m.

    Great, I won't be able to go to sleep tonight. I'll have to leave the lights on, keep a shotgun right next to me, keep a phone to call 911, and whatever else I can think of but don't feel like typing. Thanks alot Jim! >:O
  • sleepy92ismypsn - October 29, 2010 1:12 a.m.

    Can't say much about this article except that I think Jim Sterling is a pussy for being scared of Eyepet. I'm glad I came to this article because I found a link to an old funny article. The top 7 cutesy characters we want to beat the crap out of is hilarious, nice art tyler and nice face chris.
  • elmaropwnz - October 28, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    you forgot yoshi, i don't want to be molested by some horse-like green thing with his/her 40 foot long tongue
  • Moe77 - October 28, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    no skittles?
  • matt588 - October 28, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    the eyepet looks like a pretransformation gremlin, wonder what happens if you feed him after midnight XD (please sony) FYI growth of flat bones like hands and the face is acromegaly
  • SonicX_89 - October 28, 2010 3:59 p.m.

    I didn't realize this was a Jim, Sterling article. That dude is funny.
  • elpurplemonkey - October 28, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    That Tarutaru was equal parts horrible and hilarious.
  • philipshaw - October 28, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    I have to agree with fallout being on here, all the characters look wrong in those games
  • jmcgrotty - October 28, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Two important corrections: Eike Kusch was in no way scary or offsetting, or any other adjective that implies he's just a little odd. While you focused on Fallout 3+, you should have just said "Any Bethesda Softworks title." Elder Scrolls are all freaky, too.
  • JayBeat - October 28, 2010 11:32 a.m.

    Mr. Saturn. Lol with me.
  • papergoon - October 28, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    WHAT? HAHAHA THIS IS FREAKING HILARIOUS. Totally agree that q*bert is scary. It's gone through the fire, just like Carrie reCAPTCHA: which eldects is it me or does that sound rather horror-ish?
  • Hobogonigal - October 28, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    AHHHHHH! The evil chic a boo is out to get us! What I want to know is who thought that some of these ideas were great? Also, am I the only one that liked Mr. Saturn? I always used to try and stop him from being used/ thrown off the edge in Super Smash Bros!
  • Ravenbom - October 28, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    Every time I look at Noby Noby Boy I see the human centipede.
  • HawtKakez - October 28, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    I was wondering midway in this article who the writer was and I saw Jim Sterling. Funny how I can read the name and say to myself "yep, that makes sense". Now I can never un-see noby noby boy without three eyes.
  • Scotch - October 28, 2010 5:16 a.m.

    Awesome article, Jim. I lol'd

Showing 1-20 of 48 comments

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