Most of the entries on this list are either T-or-M-rated. This particular event stands out in that regards because it comes from an E-rated game. Also unlike the other entries, this one isn't particularly violent or gory. Nevertheless, Crono's disintegration by the world-eater, Lavos, is no less horrifying (well, it's at #10, so I guess it IS less horrifying).
Years before gamers would weep at Aeris/Aerith's death at the hands of Sephiroth, Chrono Trigger was taking it a step further, by not only killing off a character, but the main character himself. And since Crono was utterly disintegrated, there was no question here (unlike Aeris) as to why a revive item wouldn't work.
For all the bright, colorful anime graphics and happy-go-lucky cheerful characters, Chrono Trigger could be pretty bleak, all things considered. You've got a rigged trial where the royal chancellor was intent on having you beheaded, a dystopian future where humanity is nearly extinct, and robots and mutated abominations roam the ruined landscape freely, an ancient kingdom that oppresses their fellow man out of sheer bigotry, and a medieval kingdom under threat by legions of monsters lead by a dark magician, just to start us off. In spite of all this, Chrono Trigger remains pretty darn kid-friendly due to the way it's handled and the way these things are portrayed. There's never any real doubt that you and your band of energetic teenagers (and a frog, and a robot, and a cavewoman, etc. etc.) won't save the day and restore peace. You've been tracking the otherworldly menace, Lavos, across time and back, and with every level up, you learn more magic and skills and get stronger. When your party finally comes face-to-err, eyeball-mouth-thing, with Lavos itself, you're fully healed, saved your game recently, and are completely prepared for the fight of your lifetimes. You get the pre-battle dialogues out of the way, psych yourself up, draw your weapons...
...and are completely defeated by Lavos' first attack, knocking your entire party unconscious. As the evil queen re-appears to taunt you with "I told you so!", Crono struggles to his feet. 0 HP left? That isn't going to stop him. Not while the fate of literally the entire world and possibly all of time itself rests on him. He attempts a few more futile attacks, but while your other characters regain consciousness and struggle to their feet, they awake just in time to witness Lavos reducing Crono to so many scattered atoms. The magical princess manages to teleport the rest of your party to safety, thereby avoiding the deaths of everyone else.
After regaining consciousness post-teleport, the party finds themselves on a tiny island with a few other survivors following the devastation of the world after Lavos' arrival (I don't wanna get into the entire thing here... the world's been mostly destroyed, mmkay?)... without Crono. Everyone has their own internal grieving (and some external, natch), but I'm sure it must be hardest on Lucca and Nadia (Marle), they just having lost their childhood friend/savior and love interest, respectively. And it must be hard on you. How could you possibly have seen that coming? Games just don't do that kind of thing. You were supposed to win. Crono's dead. What hope do you have now? (especially since all your triple techs at this point require him. =P)
As players of the game will know, later on your party is able to get Crono back, by freezing time and substituting a doppelganger doll in his place just prior to his death. The reuniting of your party is truly a touching moment, and if you haven't already, I recommend having different combinations of characters when you get him back, to see all the different reactions. Nadia's is, of course, the sweetest. But, if you beat the game while Crono is still dead, you get to see a truly sad ending where the characters return to their respective time periods, not wanting to see each other again, because of the painful reminders.
P.S. I'm well aware of the multiple endings available under new game + and the fact that you can beat Lavos in the ocean palace when you encounter him and all that stuff. It didn't pertain to the entry so I left it out. Go look it up if you have no clue what this PS is referring to.
#9: You were stabbed
I just know I'm going to get flak for including this, but hear me out - this is actually pretty horrific.
Modern Warfare 2's campaign had you dying a lot in first-person cutscenes. One of your characters is shot and left for dead at the scene of an airport massacre, another one was shot in the head and burnt while somewhat-still-alive, and then of course in the first game, there was that part where you stumbled around and died of radiation. Those all get honorable mentions, but in my opinion, the worst of them all comes at the very end of MW2.
After finally tracking the traitorous General Shepherd to his hidden base, eliminating most of his soldiers, and sending his escape helicopter to a 50-foot crash, it all comes down to two groggy men intent on eliminating each other. You're groggy because you just went over a waterfall in a rubber raft, and he's groggy because he survived said 50-foot crash. You've got a knife, and he knows his time is up, so he starts running away as best he can. I figure that you, being an elite soldier, had the definitive upper hand on this 50-something general who's probably only ever given orders. Well, I was wrong. After running a few yards, he stops to catch what could be his last few breaths, and leans on a destroyed jeep. As you come up to finish him off, he surprises you, by grabbing your head and slamming it into the jeep, and you land flat on your back - where he promptly grabs your knife and plunges it deep into your chest.
By this point in the game, you probably totally hate Gen. Shepherd. He's already murdered two of your player characters, as well as countless other American soldiers, just so he can keep fighting some stupid war. It's amazing how anyone in the military was still following him (he did keep it secret, but still). So when you finally catch up with him, face-to-face, man-to-man, you're practically lusting after the feeling of being able to end that sick freak's life. When he turns the tables on you and stabs you, at that moment in time, you're thinking: "He won. I'm going to die, and he's going to get away with this." It doesn't help that he sneers at you as he's killing you.
Now, being a big, buff soldier that heals after a few seconds of not taking gunfire, you're probably thinking that a knife to the chest might not be enough to kill you. Gen. Shepherd is thinking the same thing, as he grabs a revolver and prepares to shoot you in the face. Luckily, Captain Price (another survivor of the boat over the waterfall) shows up to start duking it out. The general even gets the upper hand on him, and pins him down and starts strangling him. In what is both a really cool and a "I can't believe I'm doing this" moment, you start pulling the knife out from your own chest and manage to throw it, lodging it several inches deep into Shepherd's eye socket. Yeah, try surviving that, you sick traitor.
Overall, the whole scene is pretty disturbing, not just because of the unexpected first-person violence that leaves you in a pool of your own blood, but because of the uncertainty that this game might not end with your victory after all. It does, though, and you survive, albeit barely, putting this at my #9 slot.
Metroid Fusion canonically takes place several years after the events of Super Metroid, in which (as far as we know) the last of the metroids was killed, making their species extinct. In the beginning of Fusion, Samus returns to the former metroid homeworld, planet SR388, where she discovers an airborne, amorphous parasite known as "X". It infects her, easily slipping into her suit, and rapidly multiplies within her body. She doesn't suffer any ill effects, however, until after she returns to her ship and provides escort to the scientific researchers whom she was accompanying. With such a high rate of parasitic infection within her body, she falls unconscious, and her ship drifts off and crashes into an asteroid, destroying it completely. Luckily, she survived when the ship's automatic emergency ejects ejected her life pod, which was picked up by the researchers she was accompanying.
Here's where things get particularly nasty. See the picture? All that yellow stuff is X. The parasite has multiplied so much that it's visibly oozing out from her suit. What is it doing in her, you ask? It's in the process of consuming her DNA and taking over her body. Luckily, she won't survive the process. Or will she? The scientists figure out that the now-extinct metroids were once the natural predators of the X, which explains why there's so much X on SR388 now - there's nothing left to keep them in check. Actions have consequences, kiddies. You'd think some of the galaxy's foremost scientists would've thought of something like that.
The scientists get an idea to inject metroid DNA into Samus' system, in the hopes that it would eradicate the parasite. One problem - she's still wearing her power suit. For those of you not in the know, Samus' suit is actually contained within her, and it's basically powered by force of will. It's got a bunch of biological components that are controlled by her central nervous system, which was the first thing that the X targeted and basically destroyed. In simple terms, the suit is fused with her now - permanently. That would be bad enough, but because of the suit's armor, the scientists can't even get a needle to her skin to inject her with their miracle cure - and that's providing it would even work. The only thing they can do? Surgically remove as much of her suit as is necessary. This isn't just a case of using a blowtorch and opening up some fused metal or something - they're amputating large sections of her body at this point.
Luckily, the metroid DNA does indeed purge Samus' system of X infection, but at great cost - while the metroid DNA makes her immune to further infection (and even gives her the ability to absorb further X to mutate her DNA beneficially), it also gives her a crippling weakness to cold temperatures. And, of course, she's still fused with the remainder of her power suit elements and her zero suit. Neither of which will ever come off again. This all happens within the first five minutes of the game, and is pretty disturbing stuff. After you gain control of Samus and the game actually starts, I couldn't shake the feeling of post-surgery nausea. She's an extremely strong woman, but look what just happened to her - she's an amputee victim, probably still under the effects of anesthetic, and she's immediately got to go off and survive by herself in a hostile environment, where literally everything that moves could be trying to kill her, and she's weaker than she ever has been.
There's a lot of pretty disturbing stuff in Fallout 3, and I'd argue most of it is necessary. The Capital Wasteland is an area where the majority of humanity is pretty miserable. Playing as a lawful good character in such difficult surroundings is difficult, but ultimately I felt it was extremely rewarding. There's nothing quite like bringing hope to a person that you know would never have had a chance without you. Sure, the bandits and raiders and mercenaries and super mutants try their darnedest to bring you down, but you're untouchable. You're the hero of the wasteland, healing the scars and reuniting humanity. Then you get to Point Lookout, and some crazy cultist cuts out part of your brain for a souvenir.
I guess I should back up a bit.
There's this shamanistic cult in Point Lookout which has been attacking a local resident by the name of Desmond. Desmond wants you to infiltrate the cult to find out why they're attacking him. After you agree and meet with a few members of the cultists, they give you a rite of initiation to carry out - go to the Mother Punga plant (a really big fruit) and bring back some seeds. Sounds easy enough, even considering the enemies you're bound to meet on the way. One hitch they didn't tell you about - the Mother Punga packs a serious kick. As in, when you reach inside to get some seeds, the odor makes you pass out.
You awake shortly, but things are... different. For starters, everything's red. Coke bottles are dropping from the sky and exploding in babies' cries. Ghost ghouls are futilely attempting to eat you. Large saws and needles are sawing/stitching randomly through the ground. Oh, and bobbleheads are both mocking you and voicing your inner doubts and fears. After an NPC speaking in a familiar voice assures you you're going to be all right, a nuclear bomb explodes in front of you. Then you actually wake up.
The first thing you might notice upon awakening is that your head hurts a bit. Then you might also notice it feels a bit chilly. Zooming out into third-person (since I'm sure there aren't many unbroken mirrors around) reveals you've been shaven bald, and have a large scar on your head.
You should probably be a bit concerned about that.
Confronting the leader of the cult, he reveals that part of the ritual was having an unspecified section of your brain removed. "But I need my brain," you say. "Meh, whatever," he replies.
At this point I got rather upset.
Long story short, they won't be attending amateur brain surgery night ever again. Lawful good does have its limits.
Along the way, you find out that the ferryman from Point Lookout to the Capital Wasteland, Tobar, was the guy who actually performed the surgery - it was his voice you heard while you were hallucinating during surgery. How is he linked up with these cultists? Well, the Punga fruit is pretty good stuff, but they keep it strictly to themselves. They allow Tobar to export some of it for every "surgery" he performs for them. After you tell him you know what he did, he makes the unwise decision of taunting you about it. He quickly finds out that your missing chunk of brain hasn't affected your aim in the slightest.*
Searching his corpse, you can find your chunk of brain in a jar, along with various surgical tools, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he really is just keeping these chunks as a souvenir. For some reason, you feel a terrible sense of loss as you look at it.
*As a matter of fact, not a single one of your stats or skills are affected. This makes sense gameplay-speaking, but not at all realistically. There's no way you wouldn't suffer any adverse effects from having any section of your brain removed.
The Scarecrow - a Batman villain that tries to overcome Batman with fear, and a healthy dose of drugs. Affectionately called "Scarecrow gas" (which sounds more like a Halloween novelty item if you ask me), Batman inhaled the hallucinatory stuff a few times during his stay in Arkham Asylum. The first time is the most effective, though, if for no other reason than you don't know you've inhaled it, so many players, myself included, were taking everything at face value as they wandered throughout the hospital wing of Arkham.
First, through a floor grating, you see Commissioner Gordon hanging on to the grate by his fingernails as he's drug away by some unseen menace. He croaks weakly for help, and Batman hurries to get to his position. Haunting sound effects and music start to play. Following a trail of blood along the hallway, you come across Gordon's lifeless form slumped against a wall. Batman's eyes are glowing eerily red. The lights flicker, and ominous shadows flash behind Batman. Endless waves of rats and roaches scurry across the corridor as Batman tries to contact Oracle, only to hear a "this number has been disconnected" message.
Following the corridor, it dead ends at the prison morgue. Inside, fog swirls around the mortuary tables, and the body chests along the wall open and close to the chanting of "you shouldn't be here" from disembodied voices. As the chanting grows louder, and "get out of here" becomes the prevalent theme, Batman races towards the only exit, the one he came in... but on the other side of the door, he is again inside the same morgue. The door thuds shut and the lock clicks. While the body chests and chanting have ceased, you are left alone in a locked room... with three squirming, closed body bags on tables. Blood and shadows flow across the floor as you hesitantly approach one of the bags. With no choice but to open it, the first bag reveals the corpse of Batman's father, whose lifeless eyes and clammy skin swivel to stare in your direction. From beyond the grave, Father speaks, accusing Batman of failing to save his life. Another bag reveals Batman's mom, who begs him to not let her die.
One bag left. Opening it prompts a crow's cry, and the nightmarish visage of the Scarecrow looms in your face. Batman falls to the floor, stunned, and as he clambers to his feet, the bags are all gone. Turning around, things start to get even weirder, when the walls give way to an infinite skyscape of dark clouds and thunderstorms. Rain and wind assault you, as you make your way along the crumbling remains of the hospital building, suspended in midair above a vast maelstrom. Amid thunderclaps and maniacal laughing directly in your ears, a monstrously large figure crumbles the walls as it climbs up to tower over Batman - the Scarecrow. His very gaze sears the concrete buildings, and his voice mocks you, saying, "Poor little Bat! You're in my world now."
Batman finally wrenches himself free of the hallucinatory visions, but this first time was only a taste of things to come - because the Scarecrow is still alive, and still very much out there...
As I was drowning my sorrows in yet another pint of cheap booze, the aftertaste suddenly reminded me of that time, years ago, when Nicole Horne shot me up full of the superdrug Valkyr. The nightmarish hallucinations I endured afterward were worse than anything my psyche could've dreamed up on its own. I relived the time I came home to find that it wasn't home anymore. I heard my wife and baby girl screaming from upstairs, but when I ran up there, the corridors stretched on forever, isolated and twisted, floating above bottomless pits blacker than a smoker's lungs. Tormented screams assailed me from all sides, and pain like I'd never felt before turned me inside-out. Handwritten letters mocked my reality over and over, claiming I was just a character in a graphic novel, a computer game.
I managed to pull myself out of it, beating the drug at its own game, but some times I wish Horne would have just shot me - it would've spared me of the rest of my miserable life.
The memories had killed off any last feelings of thirst I had, so I walked out of the bar and stared at the sky. It looked different somehow... so white it was almost glowing, with strange skywriting... a sudden realization hit me like a rifle butt to the forehead. It was a computer monitor. There were letters that typed themselves out, one by one, forming words and sentences, one after another. It was like a funeral march, only there wasn't a corpse in the coffin this time - it was an entry on a top ten list. Funny as hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.
Desmond Miles had it pretty rough in the first two Assassin's Creed games. Before being kidnapped at the start of the first game by Abstergo, he was working as a bartender, and probably wasn't too happy with his life (if he was, he certainly never talks about it much). For the duration of his being held captive, he only has human contact with two people - a grumpy old man who yells at him, and a totally cute blonde who whispers sultry nothings into his ear while he's asleep. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but is it any surprise that Desmond finds a friend (and possible love interest) in Lucy? She's obviously the good cop out of the two of his captors, whether she's pretending or not. Lucy's always the one to defend Desmond against said grumpy old man, and she goes all the way when she breaks him out of captivity and the two escape Abstergo at the beginning of the second game.
Lucy reveals herself to be an assassin working undercover in Abstergo, and she was planning on breaking you out all along. She takes you to a safe room and introduces you to a couple of other assassins, and your trips down memory lane resume. When you're not stuck in the Animus, Lucy has friendly chats with you, does training exercises, and is generally an awesome person.
By the time the third game (Brotherhood, not AC3) rolls around and the four assassins escape to Italy, there's little doubt that Lucy and Desmond are totally best friends forever... even if she does seem to be hiding something. She seems to be sneaking out at night without telling anyone. Odd.
Back in the Animus, resident dead god Minerva (or whatever she is) has been warning you for a while now that someone is going to die soon. When the team finally makes its way down below their hideout in Italy, Minerva makes good on her prediction by taking matters into her own hands. Using her magical powerz, she takes control of Desmond's body, and has him stab Lucy in the gut.
I have a little scale of how traumatic I think killing someone would be. Roughly speaking, killing someone in self-defense at medium range with a pistol wouldn't be too bad. Killing someone in self-defense in close quarters, with a blunt and/or pointy object would be a lot worse. Killing your own best friend with a pointy object in close quarters would be pretty dang horrifying, even if, say, you were sparing them from a fate worse than death, or from further pain. This scene? Killing your best friend (and let's not forget the possible love interest aspect) with a pointy object in close quarters, while they are unarmed, defenseless, and frozen in place, while you are resisting mind control, and fully conscious of what you are doing against your will?
.......that doesn't fit on the scale. That's not... that's not something a person can do and remain sane. That's the type of messed-up crap that will have you reliving the moment every. time. you. blink. To make matters worse on the player, that's the end of the game. You kill Lucy. Roll credits. Yay, you won?
Cue the fourth game - Revelations (not the upcoming AC4. Stupid numbering systems). As I predicted, Desmond, in fact, has pretty much gone insane. The rest of the team (who was also conscious and watching Desmond murder Lucy in cold blood) has placed him back into the Animus, in the hopes that it'll hold his mind together. Having nothing better to do, Desmond goes back and plays "Assassin in Time" again (by this point I'm sure the bleeding effect is more like a full-blown hemorrhage), while he converses with Subject 16, the only guy still crazier than him... for now.
P.S.: In the Lost Archives DLC pack for Revelations, it is revealed (see what I did there?) that Lucy was actually a templar double (triple?) agent. So at first you thought she was a templar agent, then you found out she was an assassin working undercover while posing as a templar agent, but she was really a templar agent that was pretending to be an assassin working undercover while posing as a templar agent. Long story short, she was a bad guy all along, which is why Minerva had Desmond kill her. If that sounds stupid to you, you're not alone. -_-
P.S. to the first P.S.: The most annoying thing about this revelation (see what I... oh, forget it) is that it wasn't in the main game. Lost Archives isn't the best DLC ever, being comprised entirely of first-person 3D platforming, which not everyone liked (it was okay, imo). So it's entirely possible that not many people bought it. Those people never found out (until now, at least) the truth behind Lucy's surprise shanking. This was an absurd decision on Ubisoft's part. You can't just have the explanation for a cliffhanger in a lackluster DLC that is completely unconnected to the main story. That would be like having Darth Vader say he's Luke's father in a director's voiceover on the DVD or something: "Oh yeah, I forgot to put this in the movie, but Darth Vader is actually Luke's father. Cool, huh?"
So yeah. That's pretty horrifying. But the next entry on the list takes this theme and one-ups it when...
Throughout Bioshock, you've been convinced that you have to kill Andrew Ryan, the unofficial dictator of the underwater city Rapture, to get back to the surface alive. Atlas, your friendly neighborhood Irish-guy-on-a-radio, has been walking you through it. As a long-time gamer, I have a pretty good sense of how much longer a game will be, and I was definitely feeling that as I came closer and closer to Ryan's lair. He had to be the final encounter, right? He's been taunting you as much as he's been trying to kill you. Of course he's the mastermind of this whole thing.
Then, just a few minutes before you finally encounter Ryan, you come across a room and a recording that changes everything. Not only is Ryan not who you think he is, neither are you. While you're still reeling from this discovery, you have no choice but to continue on. A part of you even hopes that it was all just a lie.
Ryan dashes those hopes as he sinks a few putts, while calmly confirming that, yes, you are his genetically modified test tube son, mentally programmed to do whatever he wants.
And now he wants you to kill him.
And all of a sudden... despite what you've been trying for the whole game... you no longer want to. Reverse psychology? Familial recognizance? A sense of moral mercy? Or maybe even pity? All I know is, I the player had absolutely no desire to kill this man, middle-aged and plain, standing before me, practicing his putting.
He doesn't leave that option open.
Tossing you the golf club, and using the mentally programmed "do this now" command, he asks you to kill him.
Instantly. Instantly you deliver a savage blow, at full strength, to his head. No hesitation. No time to think about it. No time to regret.
A repeated command. A repeated strike, just as savage.
You, the player, and Jack, the player character, are equally helpless as you can do nothing but watch as your arms bear down a solid metal club upon a man's skull, with enough force to bend the shaft. There is no option for pulling your punches. There is no room for mercy. All there is... is what you were told to do.
Now on his knees and bleeding profusely, Ryan repeats the fatal command. You smash the golf club into his face, breaking off the head of the club and lodging it into his eye socket, as his skull splits open and your father collapses into a pile of gore on the floor.
Jack. Are you weeping? Or are you stony-faced? Are you shuddering? Or are you reveling? Are you ashamed? Or are you delighted? I don't know. I can't see your face, Jack. I don't know what you're thinking.
Would you kindly tell me?
#2: You were raped
Rape is a sensitive issue both in real life and in videogames. Just recently, people were getting upset over the possibility of rape being part of Lara Croft's backstory in the Tomb Raider reboot. Years ago, though, in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, there was a literal onscreen rape that happened to your player character, in first-person. Let me detail it for you.
Disclaimer: I know I said that I wasn't including horror games on this list. I don't really consider F2:PO a horror game, though. It's a first-person shooter with horror elements, definitely, but not quite a "horror game". The first F.E.A.R. was much more along the lines of a traditional "horror game", but the second and third entries in the series lost a lot of the horror. Also, this entry requires more understanding of the plot of the game than most other entries do, and I don't want to write a whole plot summary here. Please see the F.E.A.R. wiki for any questions.
F.E.A.R. 2 drops you into the shoes of Michael Becket, an elite soldier from a special branch of the US armed forces. His mission is to arrest one of the people behind the creation of Alma. His mission goes slightly awry when Alma destroys the city and kills pretty much everyone in it. Later on in the game, Becket and several members from his squad are captured and forced to undergo surgery with the intent of improving their reflexes and skills. During the surgery, Alma saves his life, and after he recovers, a psychic bond is forged between the two. This bond starts off as being beneficial to Becket - Alma is no longer trying to directly kill him, and she even intervenes on his behalf several times. Later on, it becomes a definite hazard. Alma's powers are volatile and uncontrollable, and she is prone to dangerous emotional swings that create havoc in the physical world around her. As she develops feelings for Becket, she becomes desperate to be with him, which puts his life at danger at times.
Becket resists her at every turn, because not only is she threatening his well-being, he isn't particularly keen on being the object of affection of a psychic zombie who's been dead for a couple decades. Alma probably picks up on this a bit, since she starts making herself appear naked and... *ahem* ...full-figured... instead of the withered corpse she normally is. Mostly, though, she doesn't understand why Becket isn't exactly eager to make psychic babies with her. At one point, after Becket resists her again, she screams, "Why?! WHY?!!" and hurls him against a wall.
Towards the end of the game, Becket is desperately trying to make his way towards a hidden psychic amplifier, which could give him the mental strength to defeat Alma. Seems like a good idea, until he finally gets to it and straps himself in. Problem with strapping yourself into chairs is, well, it doesn't leave you very able to defend yourself. Also, turning on the amplifier gave Alma a direct path to Becket's location. Alma catches up to him, and uses a combination of her own powers and another of Becket's former squadmates to battle Becket inside his own mind. As Becket struggles to fight back the mental assault, he's also fighting a battle of an entirely different nature, as in the physical world, Alma is raping him. At times he breaks through the hallucinations and views the real world, where he can see Alma... *ahem* ...straddling him, and at times physically fighting him to subdue him and drive his mind back. Becket finally manages to kill his former squadmate and turns off the amplifier, which disrupts the link between Becket and Alma. Alma is torn away and disappears, but reappears only moments later, now heavily pregnant (because gestation periods mean nothing to immortal zombie psychic women).
An exhausted Becket can do nothing but sit and watch as Alma approaches him slowly, and takes his hand, placing it upon her stomach to emphasize what she's carrying. The unborn child can be heard whispering, "Mommy..."
Okay, brace yourself. This one is bad. If you've been watching videos of these sequences on YouTube, you may just want to skip this one. It's seriously gruesome.
Quake 4 starts out as a pretty ordinary shooter. It's got some cool guns, some fun enemies to kill, and some nice vehicles to play around with. Likeable characters, interesting level designs, and decent graphics. What's not to like? I expected to breeze through the game and not think too hard about it.
Then, about half way through the game, you run into the Big Boss. He kicks your butt good, and drags you off, as you slip into unconsciousness. Now, the enemies in Quake are called Strogg. They're kinda like the Borg, in that they take biological forms, turn 'em into cyborgs, and then send 'em back to fight their former comrades. Unlike the Borg, though, the process of Stroggification is significantly more... painful.
You awake on a bed on a conveyer belt in your skivvies, drugged up and not able to move very well. The sounds of steam and heavy machinery are all around you. You can see another human captive on another bed ahead of you about fifteen feet or so. The walls are rusty - or are those blood stains? Ahead of you, a metal chamber lowers onto the bed, then retracts into the ceiling. What's going on here? What are they doing to him? What are they about to do to you? As your bed moves into position below the same chamber, you breathe a small sigh of relief as you realize it's just a scanner. Probably making sure you're healthy enough to be put in the prison cell with the other POWs, right? Bed keeps moving down the line... no big deal... oh, here's some more machinery. What's this for? That bed ahead of me is turning... oh, hey, I can see the prisoner in profile now! Hey up there! How's it... wait, what's that arm doi-- OH ****!! That machine just stabbed a frickin' huge needle RIGHT INTO HIS CHEST!!! Oh **** that scream is going to haunt my drea-- wait, wait, my bed's moving now... no, NO, that is NOT happening to me!!
As you squirm ever-more-violently, your bed moves into position below the needle. Helpless, you can only scream in agony as it plunges a foot-long needle into your torso, in the area between your ribs and a bit lower, the area I like to call "oh **** this ******** hurts zone". It injects nanobots into your system that help stop the bleeding and start your Stroggification. The needle pulls out, and lifts your torso a few inches in the air before it gives a sickening "thuck" and disengages from your vital organs. Then, just to be an utter jerk, a "doctor" Strogg flies over, stabs you with another needle to the side, and chainsaws a little bit of your face off.
Your Stroggification has only just begun.
The bed ahead of you arrives at station two. Okay, now we have two mechanical arms - another needle of some sort, and a... a rotary saw. The only thing worse than whatever's going to happen next is that you have to watch the person ahead of you go through with it first. You wince repeatedly as the needle jabs the guy all over, and the saw goes to work on who-knows-what-they're-cutting-now. The tortured cries the man ahead of you gives make you wish that maybe they were removing your ears. As your bed moves beneath the implements all-too-quickly, you realize that the needle device is less of a needle and more of a long pointy metal bit. Three long pointy metal bits, to be exact. What the heck is the point of jabbing you all over with those? Suddenly it doesn't matter as the saw removes your legs precisely in the middle of the knee. Mercifully, you black out. Unfortunately, probably due to the stuff they injected you with, you wake up just in time to see the guy ahead of you at station three.
Okay, now we have a few clampy arms, an arm holding a metal plate of some sort, and what appears to be a combination of an industrial drill and a jackhammer. Your leg stumps ooze a bit of blood out of sympathy for what happens to the guy ahead of you, as the plate is lowered onto him and then literally screwed onto his torso. No cries of agony this time. Maybe he had the good fortune to remain unconscious? Maybe this stage doesn't hurt as much? Maybe the process killed him? No time to think. It's your turn.
It turns out the clampy arms were holding robotic legs, which they place into position below your stumps. The metal-plate arm turns out to cover your entire body except your head, and it turns out that the guy ahead of you was probably either dead or unconscious, because this stage hurts just as much. When the metal-plate arm retracts, your torso has had armor attached to it, the legs are attached, and your arms have a good deal of metal as well. You're able to lift your arms a bit, and you can't help but admire your new appendages. Despite the excruciating pain, this is actually kinda cool. You even relax a bit. The armor they grafted (welded?) onto you is feeling a bit comfortable, and it seems to have started healing the wounds you've received. How bad could the next stage be, after all that?
Oh... OH **** WHY'S THAT EVEN NECESSARY?! That was just a GIANT, RED-HOT NEEDLE that they stabbed DIRECTLY INTO HIS FACE!!!
The screams from the man ahead of you are the most agonized you've ever heard. You weren't even aware humans could make that kind of noise. As your turn approaches, you squirm desperately, trying to break free of whatever drugs they've given you to make you immobile. No such luck. The needle, which you now realize isn't actually glowing from heat, but from a light on the end, approaches your forehead... and, in true Strogg form, unhesitatingly stabs into your brain. The needle appears to have implanted a "neurocyte" in your noggin, which you guess is part of the Strogg reprogramming, as you can suddenly hear Strogg voices in your head and understand the Strogg language written on the monitors above the conveyor. Shortly after you enter a pitch-black tunnel, you follow suit and leave the realm of consciousness.
When you awaken again, some time later, you're now in a liquid-filled tank (bacta?) suspended from the ceiling, but still on a conveyor system. The man ahead of you is apparently being scanned again. Just as it becomes your turn, human assault forces eliminate the Strogg facility overseers, and rescue you. Even though you've fully become a Strogg physically, the crucial last step - activating the neurocyte - was averted by the humans' timely intervention. You still have your free will and your human memories. But are you actually still human? Looking in a mirror outside, still aching from the Stroggification (though the healing liquid has closed your wounds), you behold your deformed self. Like a funhouse mirror, the face and form staring back at you are not the ones you knew.
For the rest of the game, you have a new reason to take the fight to the Strogg, as you battle them with the lust for revenge in your heart. Now you know first-hand what they do to your kind. And they're going to taste your wrath. But when you return to the human HQ, your former comrades don't greet you the same. They're not sure whether or not to trust you. They're not even sure if you're still human. And for that matter - neither do you. But in the end, it doesn't matter either way. The Strogg are going down. And they've got one seriously P.O'd former soldier to reckon with.
HONORABLE MENTIONS Any game that you think should have been on this list but wasn't. Also, Raving Rabbids, because even though I haven't played it, even just the box art horrifies me. Also also, The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain, even though they didn't qualify (the former being a horror game and the latter I having not played), but totally had some really horrifying moments.
STATEMENT OF AUTHOR FALLIBILITY: It's been a while since I've played some of these games, and I wrote it entirely based on memory, so it's possible if not likely that I've made factual errors somewhere. Please feel free to point these out and correct my memories in the topic for this list which is sure to be made on the top ten board. Also please feel free to come with any other statements, whether positive or negative - I'd love to hear from you!
ANTI-TROLL STATEMENT: This list is personal opinion. This list is drawn directly from personal experience. I deeply apologize for not caring if you become offended that my opinions differ from yours.
List by The_Mighty_KELP (04/30/2013)
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