Pop Culture | Video Games | 90s

The 6 Scariest Video Game Characters That Haunted Our Childhoods

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Video games can take us to colourful worlds of magic and wonder. They can put smiles on our faces miles-wide, teach us to be like heroes, and generally just make our lives better.


Sometimes though, the game takes a turn for the worse. The magical fantasy land you've been exploring throws you into a dark place where evil things lurk. Worst of all, it's not like a horror movie; you can't just look away when the scary things come out to play. You have to face them, shaking hands and all.

I still have nightmares about this jerk.Reddit

Here's just a few of the creeps that came out of nowhere and made us scared to turn on our consoles.

1) The water - Sonic the Hedgehog Series


Now I know what you're thinking: how can water possibly be scary? It's true, anytime you first end up in one of the franchise's many water levels, they're usually very calming and fun (and have great music!).

That is, until you stay under too long. Then THIS happens.

Some of the most tense and nerve-wracking music in video game history starts playing, and if you don't get some air in five seconds, Sonic drowns. Horribly. This is why you learn to fear the water.

Arcade Sushi

2) Mad Piano - Super Mario 64

Mario Wiki

Big Boo's Haunt is already a shockingly scary area in an otherwise colorful and innocent game. Accessed by a courtyard full of cackling ghosts, it is anything but a friendly-looking (or sounding) place.

Well lucky you, because you get to explore the WHOLE thing to find the 8 Red Coins hidden throughout the place. Some are guarded by ghosts, while others are a bit simpler. Hey, that one's just sitting behind a piano! What a nice surprOH DEAR GOD NO!

The piano comes to life, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth and chases you throughout the room. You can't hurt it, you can't even slow it down; your only way out is death. Or you could run, I suppose.

You'll never play piano again...EggWare

3) Snacker - Banjo-Kazooie

The second world of Banjo-Kazooie, Treasure Trove Cove, starts off just as whimsical as anything else we played at the time. It's a beach paradise with giant sand castles, a pirate ship, and some of the catchiest steel drum music ever.

You even get some of your coolest abilities in this area! Kazooie learns both to fly and to shoot eggs out of her beak (and her butt, complete with hilarious sound effect). It's tons of fun!

Banjo-Kazooie Wiki

But whatever you do, stay out of the water. Otherwise... HE comes out.


This toothy horror literally appears out of nowhere and chases you down, chomping away at your health relentlessly until you either get out of the water, or die. It wouldn't be so bad if his theme music wasn't even more terrifying than he is.

Click to the next page for even more terrifying childhood characters.

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