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Feature: Resident Evil's Most Nightmare-Inducing Moments

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

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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User Comments (35)

Ren

#1

Ren said:

for sure, it's the dogs through the windows. I think they're the first things you encounter in the 1st game. Or maybe it's that guy turning back at you in the study, that's a pretty iconic moment for the series if not scary.

Morpheel

#2

Morpheel said:

The hands that break through the windows in that corridor in the RE2 police department get me every time. Every time.

And the licker from the mirror too.

Link79

#3

Link79 said:

That part in the hallway of the first RE with the dogs is what made me love this series! Never before that moment had a videogame nearly made me lose bladder control.
I almost threw the controller across the room and flipped over in my chair!
After I regained my composure I said to myself, damn that was awesome!
Been a RE nut ever since!

warioswoods

#4

warioswoods said:

Regarding scariness: an old pal of mine often plays these games in the daytime, and I feel like that's just wasting them. I only put in Resident Evil when I have the time and the right setup ready: no one but me at the house, late at night, every single light turned off.

That means I don't play these games often, but I make sure that they have the full potential to scare me. Anything short of that just feels pointless, particularly playing during the day.

daznsaz

#6

daznsaz said:

sounds daft but it made me jump on re2 in the library to the left of the police station entrance.when you walk on the wooden 2nd floor bit.theres a loud bang as the floor gives way.this game and re4 are the ones ive replayed the most out of all games ive ever had.hope revelations is that replayable.

Ryno

#7

Ryno said:

My first nightmare-inducing moment was when I started Resident Evil 2 (never played the orginal) and was unable to get to the dang police station because I couldn't even figure out the controls! Yes I figured it out after a little practice but until that it gave me nightmares. haha :)

But lets see, some things that stand out that have not been mentioned already...
The Regenerators from RE4. How I hated seeing those guys coming at me! Also wasn't there a a part where you got trapped in a cage in RE4 and got bombarded from all directions in a tight space. That was pretty intense.
I recently played REmake and that shack with the mutated cannibal dude just was disturbing. It like played on this crazy silly fear of mine... I like to hike and I am afraid that one of these days I am going to find some old run down shack with a psycho family of cannibals! To many horror movies haha... :P

daznsaz

#8

daznsaz said:

@9 with the tight space in re4 you maybe mean the lift up to the salazar big boss fight.while your going up they keep jumping in with you.loads of intense moments like that.till you get used to them.

Ryno

#9

Ryno said:

@daznsaz: It wasn't a lift, it was this cage in a room with red carpet I believe and it was around a dinning room or there was a hallway right next where it had painting of a dining table.

warioswoods

#10

warioswoods said:

@daznsaz

He's talking about this cage. (By the way, I now see how easy it would have been if I'd realized sooner that you could break the lock and escape. I just tried to fight everyone before exiting.)

LittleFuryThing

#11

LittleFuryThing said:

The first time a zombie becomes a Crimson Head zombie. I remember that really catching me by surprise.
Nemesis is definitely one of the most threatening enemies. The fact that the save room music, normally quite relaxing, changes to an ominous drone lets you know that he's waiting...to impale your face. :o

Rawk_Hawk

#14

Rawk_Hawk said:

In RE 4 Chapter 5 a burning man charges from an incinerator and tries to grab you. Scared me out of my chair. In the RE Remake when Lisa first arrives and knocks out Jill had my heart racing.

daznsaz

#15

daznsaz said:

i hope they unmask the shop keeper from re4 sometime.they could say he was anyone.you never saw his face really.so could use him in another game

Karakato

#16

Karakato said:

I played the first game, and while I didn't find it nightmare inducing at all, it really gave me alot of tension, anticipating whether or not a zombie might pop out of the next room. The Eerie Music really added to the atmosphere and gave me the chills back then. I'm currently in the police station in RE2, and I really hate those Lickers, especially in the interrogation room.
The only part in Re4 I would consider scary, are the Regenerators/Iron Maidens, the rest of the game is purely shock-value to me, which isn't a bad thing. That Dr. Salvador really caught me off-guard the first time I fought him, I wil never forget that part.

mastermp2

#18

mastermp2 said:

What about Resident Evil 0?

The leech monster scared me a few times. One of the most memorable was in a room, a little after the piano puzzle. In the room you get a tablet of some sort, but while you are exploring the room you hear the door (a metallic one) being hit. When you go out...... BAAAM, the leech monster is there. EPIC

There are also other cool moments in Zero, like the refrigerator in the train, and some other leech monster encounters.

One epic moment in RE 2 that I must mention is in the Game B of Leon (I think). You try to open a door, the door animation starts, but suddenly a zombie appears in from of you.... EPIC

robohobo93

#19

robohobo93 said:

I remember one time playing Deadly Silence- I was near the end and I was moving slowly to avoid something grabbing me from around the corner. I was so concentrated on the game, I forgot I had my phone on vibrate on the back of the couch. It buzzed right next to my head and I dove sideways off of the couch! Boy, was I glad no one was around to see that...

As for actual moments in the game, the dogs in the first one on the Playstation are definitely one of the biggest scares and though RE 4 is supposed to be less scary, seeing one of those Iron Maidens come from around a filing cabinet scared the living hell out of me! I somehow managed to pause before throwing the controller down, and jumping back from the screen along with my brothers.

MrMagpie

#21

MrMagpie said:

My whole first playthrough of the REmake was horrific. Crimson heads, the dog corridor (being uninitiated I went through it twice), the bit where you are forced to make a blood filled, chained up coffin fall to the ground in the name of getting a key rather than shooting the locks off doors, zombies lunging out of wardrobes...loved it.

thedanman64

#22

thedanman64 said:

The scariest part of the orginal resident evil games was the voice acting. Especially the 'jill sandwich' line, i couldn't sleep for weeks afer that!

WaveWarlock

#24

WaveWarlock said:

the people that razz on the voice acting i guarantee weren't around when the original RE hit the scene back on the PSX. Anyways, the original RE is the only scary(or was) RE game in the franchise....When the remake hit the scene, i felt a lot of the scares and what have you were pretty stock....Resident Evil is almost like the Street Fighter of horror. lol

@Mastermp2

Zero definitly had a few great jump scare moments all thanks to the leech monsters of course. There was one moment where i entered a room, it cut to the door scene....then all of the sudden once i was in the room, it showed a leach monster to the side of me with lighting cast over his body....Yet he wasn't in leach form yet and he was doing some disturbing freakish pose as the old Dr.Marcus. it actually startled me! :o

Yet it sucked to see the Failed Tyrant so underused.lol Instead.....we got those heart stopping industructble and fearless....FROGS. :D Worst RE Enemy ever, they did practically nothing...and when they latched on to your leg(if you were billy) he'd almost let off a laugh sound.lol

VincentX

#25

VincentX said:

From the originals RE2 gave me my first real scare, and I only played it through for the first time in 2009. It was the Licker jumping through the interrogation room window. I was just thinking about how even though the game wasn't really scary yet still fun due to the aging graphics...when BAM! Cue scream.
I started playing through RE3 today and Nemesis leaping through a window into the RCPD station definitely made me jump. Oh and just barely dodging a rocket was pretty intense too.

ToxieDogg

#26

ToxieDogg said:

Totally agree with Thomas Whitehead, that licker smashing through the 2 way mirror in Resident Evil 2 completely took me by surprise. Not least of all because if you search the room on the other side of it first, it's completely empty and seemingly safe.

I remember playing it for the first time, late at night in my bedroom on my own with the volume cranked up. Damn near gave me a heart attack, lol

Gohonq

#27

Gohonq said:

Lol the scariest moments for me were for 1 the part with the dogs through the windows... I swear I was very young when I first played that game, and it's stuck with me my entire life XD Also when I first saw a licker... bleh creepy.

It's funny though, my favorite RE is 5 which is the one most people hate lol

MeloMan

#28

MeloMan said:

Nighttime, no lights on in my house, RE2, the Licker and the magic mirror... nuff said. I literally crapped my pants and dropped my controller.

Jashin

#29

Jashin said:

I only played RE4 (in my opinion one of the top five games ever) and the scariest moment was definitely the burning guy who came out of the oven in the last part of the game - I just had not anticipated this.
The most confusing thing was the moving bag in the container right before the ending - does anybody know what this actually ist???

daznsaz

#30

daznsaz said:

^think its a body bag with someone or something wriggling to freak you out a bit

bezerker99

#31

bezerker99 said:

Those zombie dogs that crashed through the hallway window in RE...yeah, I have to admit I jumped.....

/me goes to make a Jill Sammich....

TheGreenSpiny

#32

TheGreenSpiny said:

@33: Yeah those damn dogs got me twice. I first played the REmake back in the cube days, when they don't attack you the first time they enter the room. Then I played Deadly Silence some years later, when the bastards attack you the first time you enter the room. I was searching for the ammo that was under the table in the REmake version and was not expecting the dogs to come crashing through the windows. Brilliant!

Sh00kst3r

#33

Sh00kst3r said:

REGENERATORS. Gah, how I HATED THEM! Especially when you first get that one key card.
You're alone in a room, and you see the card on an operating table. Once you grab it, you hear this weird sound; something breathing fast and choppy-like. You turn around...
BAM- It grabs you, and eats STRAIGHT through your neck.
NEVER have I screamed like that because of a game.

James

#34

James said:

A bit in the REmake where you catch a glimpse of an oncoming zombie in a mirror. Couldn't play it after that.

Dr_Salvador

#35

Dr_Salvador said:

@3 - I feel the same way with the zombie arms and loud noise, also gets me every time!
There is a place in the remake where you have to get past a narrow corridor with a window on the one side. You can´t actually see the window but you see a zombie's shadow because of the moonlight! I really didn't wanted to go past that shadow but I knew had to... I knew that something would happen but I didn't knew when, and when it did happen, BAM it surely got me!

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