9 Moments That Scare You As A Kid In Video Games

Alright, alright. Even as adults, some of these still scare us.

When you’re a kid, video games are a lot of fun. Without the demands of adult life, it can be a lot of fun. But sometimes, kids are scared by things in games that aren’t meant to be scary. At a young age, we aren’t quite ready to deal with stressful situations or jump scares, which some game designers love to throw at gamers.

These memories stay with us, and we can still feel the pain when we play old games as adults. Who knew that video games could be fun and scary at the same time? Look what Nintendo has done to us!

The Ghosts In Mario Chasing You

The Ghosts In Mario Chasing You kid

One might think that the Boos in Mario Bros. games are cute little enemies. For a child, having a ghost follow you around can be pretty scary. Some Super Mario Bros. 3 players remember the first time they saw a boo in one of Bowser’s castles and realized that it was following them. As kids, we didn’t need this kind of scary stuff.

On the SNES, Super Mario World turned up the supernatural horror by making the Boos bigger and adding more of them to the haunted house levels. When you add some scary music to that, it feels more like horror than most adults want to admit.

Anytime Darth Vader Shows Up

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Since the first time he walked down that white corridor in Star Wars: A New Hope, Darth Vader has been scary. Since kids are naturally drawn to Star Wars games and game designers like to use the Sith Lord as a main bad guy, it is inevitable that the two will run into each other. Star Wars: Fallen Order did a great job showing how strong Vader was, and you have no choice but to run.

In the Battlefront games, whenever Vader was on the battlefield against you, it made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. As kids, we used to hide behind the couch when Darth Vader showed up in scary scenes. So, we know that when he shows up as a bad guy in a video game, anxiety tends to go up.

When Your Sibling Messed With Your Saves

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There’s nothing scarier than seeing someone else use your game system. Then, if you dare start up your favorite game and find that your save file, inventory, and progress have been changed, it’s a sinking feeling like no other. Little siblings love to mess with your stuff, and this is what they get for all the times you gave them a controller that wasn’t plugged into the console.

They sometimes like to delete your whole saved file. They might have gone to a shop in town and sold all your stuff. Maybe they moved the character to a place on the map where it’s hard to get out, or they destroyed that Minecraft house you’d been working on for a long time. No matter what, the “messing with your saves” zone is always sad and painful.

The Sewer Level (Shadows Of The Empire)

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You know, that thing that pulls Luke down in the Death Star’s trash compactor? He is in the N64 game Shadows of the Empire with about 50 of his friends. Shadows’ sewer level has to be one of the muddiest, darkest, and scariest 3D messes ever made.

They are everywhere on the level and are known as the Dianoga. If you have problems with your heart, don’t play this. At the end of the sewer level, the main boss is a huge Dianoga, which is both disgusting and scary. As much as Shadows of the Empire’s first level is praised, this one is a “nope, nope, nope.”

Creepers (Minecraft)

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Even though Minecraft is fun for kids, it also has a bad side. Things in Resident Evil that are scary look like they came from a Lovecraftian nightmare. Body horror and jump scares are common in zombie video games. Half-Life 2 is about an oppressive alien invasion that kills people slowly. But none of this is nearly as scary as when you turn around in Minecraft and see a Creeper rolling up to your house like a young girl selling cookies.

People hate these green mobs so much because they can kill you and destroy your hard-worked projects at the same time. Their short fuse means that things can quickly go from calm to “why is my bedroom now a huge hole?” Most mobs only come out at night, but these walking blow-ups are like the post office—they always show up, rain or shine.

The Giant Eel (Super Mario 64)

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Nintendo likes to make big things friendly for some reason. We kids who grew up near rivers or oceans find eels creepy. When you’re in Super Mario 64 and you’re going through Jolly Roger Bay and you see Unagi the Eel for the first time, it sets off a lot of fears.

Which fears? How do we begin? Cheliphobia means being afraid of eels, Megalophobia means being afraid of big things, and Submechanophobia means being afraid of things that are underwater (since the eel is hanging out in a shipwreck). Nintendo is in the business of giving kids a hard time behind the scenes, because every water level in their games seems to make people angry.

Waking Up A Guardian (Zelda: Breath Of The Wild)

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game in almost every way, but when it comes to the sounds, they really hit it out of the park. Kids are startled when Guardians see them because of this. The music changes suddenly, and the tone changes to “you’d better do something, or you’re going to be in a world of hurt.” If you hear a kid playing Slope Game saying “no, no, no, no,” it’s probably because a Guardian is sniping them.

Link’s health bar can sometimes be depleted in one shot by a Guardian with a laser gun, and the situation is made more tense by the Guardian’s laser sight that is aimed at you. As kids, we would rather fight 1,000 Goombas, 100 Zerglings, and 50 Bowsers than three or four Guardians because that stuff is stressful.

The Sun Chasing You (Super Mario Bros. 3)

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We would ask our parents to play the sun level of Super Mario Bros. 3 for us. As kids, most of us didn’t like the idea of a burning ball of gas coming at us. Everyone agrees that the sun attacking Mario is one of the scariest things in games that isn’t a monster.

And if you are a child going through this? Hooo boy. Let’s say that after this, we started to doubt the blue sky. This may have been our first time being both the hunter and the hunted, and it went on for an entire level, which felt like forever. After this memory from our childhood, we almost wanted to move to Pluto.

Any Boss Battle (Mega Man)

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In the 1990s, you’d reach the end of a Mega Man level with just a little bit of health left. The boss would then appear, and its special move would kill you. Every time the boss music played, we’d jump back in surprise as the robot bad guy attacked us with a super-powerful weapon.

These guys were usually bigger than Mega Man himself, and they were always scary, except for Bubble Man. Any kid who said they didn’t feel scared going down that boss hallway was lying.

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