Monday, August 15, 2011

Scary Moments in Zelda

There are a lot of things I get mad about on a daily basis. For instance; why can't I just eat sandwiches all the time? And also, why can't I kiss my cat's head all the time? Lately however, my daily frustrations seem to rear their heads the most when I think about Zelda. Some of you may not know about my openly obsessive relationship with the Legend of Zelda and some of you do. Perhaps in the long run you're better off not knowing...of course it doesn't matter now because we're going to talk about it. Those of you highly adept at reading comprehension may be wondering, "But why does Andre get mad about Zelda if she loves it so much?" The answer friends, is that the newest Zelda is still months away from being released. The Skyward Sword has been pushed back and back and back. One of the first release dates may have been January of 2011. Now it looks like we won't be seeing it until November. Bah. WHY CAN'T I HAVE IT NOW?

So now you know why I'm angry. Now, in an attempt to not drive myself crazy while waiting for November to arrive, I've decided to write a post that I've been wanting to do for quite some time now. Typically, it doesn't take much to scare me, and while Zelda may be kind of low on the scare spectrum compared to actual scary games like Silent Hill--I still find that it has a few moments worthy of highlighting as terrifying. Or terrifying to me at least who is scared of everything.

Also note: As obsessed as I am with Zelda, I do realize that I haven't played every Zelda game in existence. Don't hold it against me!


The main inspiration for this post comes from the presence of Redeads in Zelda and how I loathe and wallow in anguish whenever I come across one. Redeads are your basic Nintendo zombie except they elicit this HORRIBLE scream and then hump your back when you get too close.

They are some of the most annoying and most frightening creatures that I've ever laid eyes on.

Even in Majora's Mask when we have the ability to make Redeads spontaneously dance--they aren't any less scarier. They just look like really graceful yet still very scary gross things.

Additionally and to a lesser extent, Gibdos can also suck it. These are in essence the mummified version of Redeads and are pretty much the same thing. I think looking back I even reached a period during the Ocarina of Time where I would legitimately turn the sound off when I knew Redeads and Gibdos were near. Sad, but true.

Ikana Valley/Music Box House

While many do not love Majora's Mask (At least in comparison to the Ocarina of Time), I do find that it has quite a bit of awesome. Like for instance how it contains what is perhaps the creepiest "village" and music combination in the history of the Zelda series. This is yet another area where I would often put the TV on mute because my scaredy cat self just couldn't hack it. Do you blame me? Is this not the sound of pure and merciless death?

Put that over the fact that Ikana Valley is sparse of life and contains only a solitary and creepy looking Music Box house.

A house that holds another startling surprise--the emergence of a half man/ half Gibdo creature! And he bursts out of a weird sarcophagus without warning and tries to eat you!!! Luckily he's just some little girl's father who got cursed and we can easily heal him with our magical ocarina and receive his Gibdo mask as a reward. Phew.

The End of the World

Perhaps one of the main reasons that people do not love Majora's Mask is that they can never fully adjust to the idea of reliving the same 3 days over and over again. It takes getting used to I admit, but the idea that the entire course of the game is impacted by each choice you make is kind of neat right? Of course the one down side of this is that must do what you need to do over the span of three full "Zelda" days (Three days that we can restart at will of course). Throughout the duration of your playing time in Majora's Mask a counter marks off the amount of time until the end of the third day. Some may consider this stressful--I consider it as really mean.

So what happens when your time runs out? Good question. As you get closer and closer to the end of day three, the ground consistently shakes. Also, the really scary moon gets closer and closer to you, threatening to squash the peaceful Clock Town to smithereens.

Since I am terrified of things like the apocalypse and well you know, death....I never once allowed myself to let the entire time run out because I feared that the TV might explode.

It's true! I have no idea what happens when your time runs out and the world ends but thanks to YouTube, we are about to find out....

Yikes. That is some terrifying shit.

The Diabolical Cubus Sisters (and the Ghost Ship)

The Phantom Hourglass brought Zelda to the Nintendo DS and it also brought frustration and spontaneous napping thanks to extended periods of sailing time. It did however bring a few scary things to the table--namely the Diabolical Cubus Sisters. We first find them after boarding a Ghost Ship in the middle of a very foggy and scary sea. Write this down on a napkin---Ghost Ships are NOT to be fucked around with. I'm serious, whenever you think you are doing okay or sticking it to the ghost your back.

This is exactly the case with the Cubus sisters. We meet these cute little girls trapped in various sections of the ghost ship and they're all little and scream every time a rat is around. They wish to be reunited with their sisters so that they can hug or something. Of course once we bring all the sisters together something very bad happens....

They turn into the Diabolical Cubus Sister and of course one of the bosses.

I should make it clear that what makes this a truly terrifying moment is how fucking creepy those Cubus Sisters are. Sure, they may be a little bit cute with their little hoods and bows but right away you feel a bit funny about everything. I'll tell you what's even worse--if you play the game again and you KNOW the outcome of this situation you can't do anything about it. Slicing the adorable little girls before they turn into monsters won't do anything. It's very upsetting!

Shadow Beasts

It should be said that almost everything about The Twilight Princess is terrifying. The Shadow world introduces this whole new level of nightmare to the Zelda series and it's a very miraculous thing to watch happen. In fact---I hope I'm not alone in saying that much of the shadow world seems to be at least partially influenced by Silent Hill. Fine maybe I'm just still bitter that I can't reap the cool and scary benefits of the Silent Hill franchise but whatever.

THESE things look like something that might be in Silent Hill. Or maybe they look like something that might be in a movie about what happens when the Alien from Alien goes to Silent Hill. I can't decide. Regardless, these shadow beasts are always met with a great deal of reckless moaning on my part. They are very scary and I don't like their weird Rastafarian hair--there I said it!

Oh and P.S., you know who is also very Silent Hill looking? ZANT.


Alien Invasion

One of the stranger things to happen in Zelda's history is the alien invasion that takes place at Romani Ranch during Majora's Mask. The scene is prefaced with this eerie calmness and silence. And then suddenly....bright lights happen and all these mini alien UFO things start floating in. The really stressful part is that you have to kill them with your arrows before they abduct the cows! Why does Zelda insist on putting all this pressure on me?

I suppose this isn't so much as scary as it is just really weird and creepy. It is also one of the more unforgettable moments in the series and I still think about it fondly while riding my horse Epona in my DREAMS.


While most of the bosses in Zelda are their own breed of scary---Dodongo is in my opinion the most impressive of the bosses and the most terrifying (Although truth be told, he's quite easy to beat). I think it must be his size and his big dinosaur/dragon/beast likeliness. I guess I also wouldn't rule out Volvagia out as a terrifying boss but maybe that's just because I always assume Volvagia is a kind of sexually transmitted disease.

Also as a side note, the big introduction of the boss is always kind of scary isn't it? You're constantly wondering, where's the boss, where's the boss? And then ROAR or AHH and it's there.

Hopefully when you're waiting for the boss to make its appearance you don't make a fool of yourself like this guy. Just wait for it.

Lord Jabu-Jabu

Alright, I'll be honest. I mainly am terrified of Lord Jabu-Jabu because of my irrational fear of big sharks and fish (and also sometimes whales). I don't LIKE Jabu Jabu and I don't like that annoying Princess Ruto keeps him as a weird pet/thing to be worshiped. Oh and while we're on the subject--Jabu-Jabu's belly? Can suck it. That's right suck it. Why do I always find myself trapped in there and unable to figure out what to do next? Why?!

Enough of that. Tell me this isn't scary okay?

Maybe don't tell me that it's not scary so that I won't feel badly about myself.

The Happy Mask Man

I've got one word for you involving the Happy Mask Man. Pedophile. And also, ewwww. How can this guy not completely creep you out? Who walks around selling masks? And who just stands in a creepy clock tower smiling? The really, really creepy thing about the Happy Mask Man, is that we can sense his somehow darker underside.

The TRULY creepy thing however, is that the series never seems to fully develop that side of him. The first time I played Majora's Mask, I was convinced that we would eventually find out that the Happy Mask Man was really the bad skull kid in disguise. But nope...he's just a guy who smiles a lot, but gets really mad when you don't give him what he wants. And we never truly know why...

The Wall Master

Can I just say that I hate the Wall Master? Is this not the most annoying thing to ever follow you around? The Wall Master makes his living by following you around temples. You'll know if he's there because you'll hear weird noises and see a circular shadow growing bigger and bigger the longer you stay still. If you don't end up moving, the Wall Master grabs you and spits you out at the beginning of the temple (Which is very annoying if you have a habit of crying over the fact that you can't beat the stupid Shadow Temple). If you move just in time he'll plop down and you can slash him with your sword---which sometimes leads the Wall Master to be reduced to a bunch of Baby Wall Masters and no one likes to see that.

The Shadow Temple

I really hate the Shadow Temple. More than I hate the Water Temple which is the most frustrating and annoying of all the temples in the world of Zelda. The Shadow Temple however, has got to be the scariest of the temples. It's very creepy and very spooky in just about every single aspect. There's these crazy guillotine things, Skulltula's everywhere, random mean skeleton monsters that descend on you when you're trying to enjoy a nice ride on the weird ghost ship thing, invisible doors, high powered fans and worst of all.....some crazy ass bongo playing boss.

Here is a good story. My sister and I had spent hours, like seriously HOURS trying to get through the damn Shadow Temple. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the boss. We got probably 5 seconds of fighting in before stupid bongo head whatever his name is, bounced us off his stupid drum killing us and sending us back to the very beginning of the temple. We were so enraged and defeated that we gave up. Completely gave up! I wouldn't go back to conquer the Shadow Temple until my Junior year of College. Yeah that's right,we take our grudges seriously in the Dumas household.


You know what's a really understated and creepy moment in the Ocarina of Time? When Link (Or "Stickles" as we would like to call him) gets into the Castle and meets up with Princess Zelda in the courtyard. She tells us how she's watching some "man" and how she doesn't trust him or has a bad feeling about him. She then asks us if we would like to look and see for ourselves--to which we reply "Yes" and look out the window. We then see Ganon marching slowly up towards the king. He kneels down and suddenly looks RIGHT AT US and does this creepy mean smile. It's very startling.

Additionally, Ganon is just one of those enemies that you really hate. He's really muscular and he's got red hair--also he has about 50 different forms throughout Zelda and can even turn into a giant demon thing and that is no fun at all.

I'm sure I've obviously left about 30 good scary moments out so feel free to enlighten me. Actually I can think of one or two at this very moment but I'm far too lazy. Oh well!


Thomas Duke said...

You CAN kiss your cat's head all the time. Just make sure you don't spit up sandwich meat on them. They HATE that.

One way to avoid having to wait for new games is to never play new games, like I do. One day I might get around to the Gamecube Zelda, but until then I have plenty of other oldies on the docket.

Marvin the Macabre said...

Another brilliant subject for a post. I never realized how scary Zelda can actually be until you laid it out for me.

I do remember being terrified of the wall masters in the very first Zelda game. Not because they were giant hands, but the prospect of having to start the temple over again was enough to induce panic.

And yeah, those back-humpers creep me the hell out. I never played Majora's Mask, but now I see I have to track down a used copy somewhere, just because I want to hate that moon as much as you do.

Have you even played the 8-bit Nintendo's Friday the 13th game? That was the first game that really freaked me out. I should probably check out some modern horror games, but I'm awfully short on time these days. Damned parenting!

Jenny Krueger said...

I've never been into the video game Zelda, then again I'm not much of a gamer.

Anonymous said...

Andre, why did you devote so much time and space to such a bloody load of old rubbish ?.

Unknown said...

Great post.

I never got into Zelda during my gaming days, mainly because the Super NES game infuriated me in my tween years. When Ocarina of Time came out, I just sat back on the couch with friends while the buddy who bought it played marathon sessions ... then had to beat the final boss for him. Nice.

For scary moments in video-games, mine would have to be Fatal Frame. That game freaked me out.

The Mike said...

I don't think I've played a Zelda game since I was like 10. I decided I wasn't smart enough, I think.

But this post is still awesome, TW.

The French Waffle said...

Great post. Ikana Valley/Music Box House sound effects/music reminds me of the soundtrack of Twin Peaks....

Anonymous said...

You left out what I consider the scariest of all... the mini-boss in Ocarina of Time, "Dead Hand". That thing traumatized me when I played it at the age of 10! I remember I used to have terrible nightmares with the redead as well. I even remember waking up one night (I was sleeping in my parents' room that day after playing Zelda) and looking at my mom's and my dad's faces, and actually saw re-dead's faces on them! Started screaming and crying until they calmed me down. They forbade me to play it again for a while, but after a few weeks, I was back in Hyrule lol. Still LOVE the game though! <3

Unknown said...

How about the fact that link in majoras mask is actually dead. He starts out in a purgatory state on epona and is stuck in a 3 day cycle until he accepts his death only to appear in twilight pruncess as a ghostly ancestor of that link who teaches that link to fight as he did in ocarina of time and majoras mask. There's a lot on this subject on YouTube that ties all the zeldas together in a very creepy way.

Kori no Okami said...

Maybe because the LoZ franchise is one of the best videogame series of all times? Just saying.

Kori no Okami said...

That's a theory, not a fact. Indeed, the official timeline proved you wrong.