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Top 10 Scariest Moments in Games for Kids

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Shane O’Gorman

That doesn’t seem age appropriate...Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Moments in Games for Kids!

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Top 10 Scary Moments in Games for Kids

Rated ‘E’ for everyone? Yeah, sure. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scary Moments in Games for Kids.

For this list, we looked at video games that are generally recognized as being appropriate for youngsters but for whatever reason, have at least one instance of grotesque, shocking or disturbing imagery that seems out of place in contrast to the rest of the game’s friendly appearance. If we dig up any buried childhood memories, we apologize in advance.

#10: Andross

“StarFox 64” (1997)

StarFox. despite featuring tense spaceflight combat, utilized cute anthropomorphic characters as the stars of the show. A fox, a frog, a rabbit, a falcon; d’awwww. The bad guys were made up of a piggy, lizard and wolf. The visuals were flashy and harmless, that is until the player reaches the final boss Andross because that’s when the goosebumps kick in. Andross is a giant floating head with two detached hands, that fights you against a psychedelic green backdrop on a planet named Venom! The fight goes from unsettling to downright horrifying as Andross’s true forms are either a cackling robotic endoskeleton or a giant brain depending on the difficulty level. It finished the game with a bang, probably because we couldn’t shake the images from our minds.

#9: Clanker

“Banjo-Kazooie” (1998)
The Nintendo 64 was often labelled for being too much of a “kiddie” system during it’s time. Too many of the games were seen as geared for children, with bright colors and joyful atmospheres. No game is more true to that definition than “Banjo-Kazooie”, which followed a bear and bird as they journeyed through goofy levels packed to the brim with tuneful music and silly sound effects. Things take a turn for the sinister when the player enters ‘Clanker’s Cavern’, where you swim down a narrow corridor and are greeted by the unsettling image of a large mechanical shark, jaws wide open with big bulging eyes. We’re not sure if this scare was intentional since Clanker is friendly, but just the way he’s positioned really caught us off guard.

#8: Mad Jack

“Donkey Kong 64” (1999)
Similar to the approachable style mentioned about Banjo, DK64 was about a group of monkeys trying to re-acquire their bananas. It is as pure and harmless as interactive entertainment can get. Maybe Rare didn’t want us to get too comfortable, so they shoved in some scares to keep us on our toes, but maybe, just maybe this freakishly haunting Jack in the Box boss battle is too much? Mad Jack jumps around the battleground with ferocious intensity and his laughing noises are reminiscent of the Joker in terms of spine tingling spookiness. We reiterate: we are just monkeys trying to get our bananas! Why do we need to face this killing machine?

#7: Haunted Piano

“Super Mario 64” (1996)
This is the fourth Nintendo 64 game in a row on our list, which in retrospect leads us to believe that the system was fueled with the fires of Satan to produce all of these ghastly gaming moments(NINTENDO SIXTY FOUUUR clip). Mario’s happy voice and cheerful demeanor, made him the perfect launch title for the system, to attract young gamers to all the fun they will have with this console in the future. Everything was well and good until the Boo’s Mansion level, which would be understandably spooky considering the setting, but Nintendo must have felt that it needed an extra ‘punch’. Like a jump scare out of an 80’s slasher flick, the piano bursts to life chomping at the air with a set of razor sharp teeth.

#6: The SA-X

“Metroid Fusion” (2002)
While the Metroid franchise has always incorporated the chilling aspects of terror in outer space, there is something about Sa-X that makes our hair stand on end like nothing else. Maybe it’s the fact that she is a parasite that infected Samus Aran and borrows her likeness in a creepy doppelganger-like fashion. Maybe it’s how she endlessly stalks hallways searching for us, maybe its those lifeless pale-white eyes or it could be that hideous beast it transforms to. Yeah, it probably has a lot to do with that last reason. So many sleepless nights playing this game in bed after our parents tucked us in. Well, sleepless in the sense that we were too terrified to pass out.

#5: Monster Ock Chase

“Spider-Man” (2000)
Let’s recap on the level of ‘scary’ for Spidey’s rogues’ gallery shall we? Venom is scary. Carnage is really scary. Monster Ock is (censor)ing terrifying! If you ever wondered what Doctor Octopus would look like if the Carnage symbiote oozed onto him well…here you go! The real kicker is that this character did not originate from the comics. It was the developers who created him specifically for this game; fully aware that kids would want to play it! The wall crawler has provided us with plenty of thrills over the years, but we’d never associated the brand with nightmare material until then. In the climactic moments of the game, the goal is to keep your distance from Monster Ock. Stay away from that thing? NO PROBLEM.

#4: The River Twygz

“Super Paper Mario” (2007)
Haunted pianos weren’t enough for Mario and company, as the third entry in the Paper Mario franchise also got its freaky-freak on. The Twygz are described as (and this is a quote from the Wiki page) “filled with the tears of sinners” to explain that purplish tint it has, how lovely (you know for kids clip).If the way it looks doesn’t set you off, then the way it sounds definitely will. A freaky concoction of screeches, scratches and audio feedback, the music in this stage will haunt your memory for quite some time. Gamers have even claimed that the music in this stage contains subliminal messages and even voices similar to playing a record backwards; we’ll let you be the judge.

#3: The Endermen

“Minecraft” (2011)
This level-building simulator has been embraced by players of all ages, with it making a particular impact on the youngsters of the gaming world. This leads us to believe that kids everywhere have been traumatized at least once while playing Minecraft, thanks to the eerie black specimens known as the Endermen. If provoked, an Enderman will shake uncontrollably and let out hellish shrieking sounds as it relentlessly chases the player. To make matters worse, these abominations possess special abilities such as being able to go completely invisible and teleport themselves across the environment. Y’know, for a game that encourages imagination and world creation…it’s kind of hard to focus with these guys roaming around giving us the creeps all the time. Yeesh!

#2: Bottom of the Well

“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)
The Legend of Zelda series is no stranger to frightening imagery with examples like the mask transformations from Majora’s Mask (XREF). That’s okay, it toughened us up and taught us not to falter in the face of fear. However, the one moment that was the most difficult to brave through had to be the bottom of the well. As if exploring the grimy, dark environment wasn’t scary enough, the room containing the Dead Hand creature was a heart attack waiting to happen. It’s set of long arms make the encounter extremely claustrophobic and its grizzly bellowing groans have echoed in our minds since 1998. The reason people don’t use wells anymore isn’t because of technological advancement, but because of Ocarina of Time! W.T.F Nintendo, seriously.


Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions…

Creepy Hidden Message
“Sonic CD” (1993)

Level 14
“Lemmings” (1991)


Vortex Queen
“Ecco The Dolphin” (1992)

#1: Giygas

“Earthbound” (1994)
As if the petrifying Prince Poo visions sequences weren’t enough to horrify kids (XREF) then Giygas was undoubtedly the cause for any nervous twitches we grew up with. The terms scary, terrifying, grotesque and horrific just don’t cut it for Giygas and we aren’t usually at a loss for words! As the main antagonist, Giygas is also referred to the “embodiment of evil” and “universal cosmic destroyer” and his end goal is to condemn everything and everyone to a realm of infinite darkness; really grim stuff in an otherwise cheery looking game. Do we really need to go into any more detail for you? Just look at it! It’s distorted, red appearance will have you questioning if Earthbound is a product of Nintendo or the Necronomicon.


Do you agree with our list? Which kid’s game moment scared you? For more appropriate Top 10’s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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