Feature: Resident Evil's Most Nightmare-Inducing Moments

Playing from behind the sofa

He's coming for you — Marcel van Duyn

Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 was intimidating and strong, but his one handicap was that he was quite slow. He did exclusively pop up in narrow hallways, which definitely worked in his favour, but with RE3's wide open streets another enemy like him wouldn't work as well. So instead, newcomer Nemesis had the ability to run - faster than you - as well as being able to grab and throw you around, usually back in the same direction you were coming from. He could also lift you up and attempt to introduce your face to a spiky tentacle for an instant death, which was unavoidable if your health was low enough, or just go for a good old suckerpunch.

Nemesis was truly relentless, as he would pop up about eight times per playthrough, and could also randomly be encountered in certain rooms if you ever attempted to backtrack. Even if you knocked him down every single time (gaining very special items every time you did) he would still survive, and any time you attempted to run away he would chase you through at least five rooms before finally being shaken off. In the end, he survived even a pit of acid and a rail cannon shot before finally biting the dust. Nemesis was scary in a totally new way: his ever-looming presence and the thought he could pop up anywhere always kept you on edge and ready to run.

I should be fine, this is a puzzle section... — Marcel van Duyn

After the initial trilogy of Resident Evil games, Code Veronica was a bit lacking in the scare factor. The game had a bit of an eerie atmosphere, but the amount of shocks was minimal at best. Still, there was one small moment definitely got us the first time. Bandersnatches were a new enemy introduced in Code Veronica and then never seen again (except in Darkside Chronicles, which retold the game's story). They were a bit goofy-looking, with one giant extendable arm and one super small, useless one, but they sure did know to pop up at the most inopportune times, randomly jumping up out of nowhere over ledges and being able to hit you from afar with their rubbery arms.

Nemesis was scary in a totally new way: his ever-looming presence and the thought he could pop up anywhere always kept you on edge and ready to run

One particular Bandersnatch was really trying to go for a scare though. After acquiring a pair of golden lugers, you could insert them into a door in the Ashfords' palace to open up a small office with a computer. Approaching said computer gave you a rather foreboding camera angle, staring at the computer desk from outside the giant glass window behind it. You just knew that something had to come through it, but it didn't. You examined the computer a few times, and then the ornate clock in the corner, but still, nothing happened. Then you finally figured out how to solve this puzzle, by acquiring a code from the computer to enter into the clock. The clock moved aside to reveal a secret path, and you thought you were safe. Only then did a Bandersnatch finally crash through the window, right into the middle of the office, sending you running through the newly opened passage immediately.

Is that a chainsaw? — Thomas Whitehead

While earlier titles in the series would often start off with movie-style sequences to get you in the mood, Resident Evil 4 allows you to play through the sequence. A short opening cut-scene makes way to your first faltering steps in the non-police issued boots of Leon S. Kennedy. Within minutes you've fended off a handful of villagers, seen your escort wiped out and crept your way towards the local village.

Once you reach the village, it's not long before you're surrounded by angry villagers with pitchforks, forcing you to seek shelter. At this stage you don't have too much ammo, so the 10-second cutscene that kicks in when you enter a specific building will get your heart pumping. A beefy looking chap with a sack over his head revs up a chainsaw and starts to hunt you down. Time to test out your running shoes...

When the chainsaw fiend and a number of others are defeated, the screen pans upwards to show the title. Thus ends one of the finest video game openings ever conceived.

It's dark and underground, this can't be good... — Thomas Whitehead.

One of the biggest strengths of Resident Evil 4 is the variety of locations and environments that the adventure includes. While the script and plot may be a tad contrived at times in an attempt to make this happen, it's easily forgivable considering the deversity of areas. One of the memorable sections of the game drops you down into the sewers of a mansion, before emerging into an underground maintenance area, where a terrifying battle awaits.

After moving through an initial section and being treated to a snap-shot of a monster's viewpoint following behind you, it becomes clear that a tough battle awaits. As you locate a fusebox and return power to the area's elevator you dodge attacks, through quick-time events, and plan to return to the central room. Two things happen: you're informed that the lift will take a number of minutes to arrive - yep, contrived - and the rather large, scary creature attacking you from above makes its appearance. What follows is a battle that will see you running, ducking, tipping over canisters of liquid nitrogen and unloading a ridiculous amount of ammo into this beast. The music, enclosed environment, quick-time prompts and sense of danger will have you on the edge of your seat.

Something's cooking — Thomas Whitehead

The previous examples from Resident Evil 4 highlighted the shift in direction that the series took, away from set-piece scares and towards action-orientated adventure. While the new style brought frights through art design, clever level structure and enemies both menacing and large in number, there is one moment that stands out as a tribute to the old-school horror of the series predecessors.

While exploring a facility that is rather lacking in scientific research hygiene, you walk into a room with a burning oven. As you approach the oven the door bursts open and a ganado lunges towards you, reacquainting gamers with memories of soiling their pants due to cheap scares in the original Resident Evil titles. After hours of fear being induced by waves of enemies and not quite enough ammo, this clichéd moment may bring a smile to your face, once you've replaced your underwear.

Those are just some of the scary moments that we've picked from the Resident Evil franchise. Let us know your scariest memories in the comments below!

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