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Top 10 scariest moments in Nintendo history

On Halloween, Elizabeth Mo picks the moments that gave her the creeps

In celebration of everybody's favourite autumnal holiday, let's get in the mood by remembering the moments from Nintendo games that scared the living daylights out of my young innocent gamer mind.

10. Chauncey (Luigi's Mansion)

Since it is also the Year of Luigi, why don't we kick off with a homage to Nintendo's spooky Mario spin-off Luigi's Mansion. The sequel is great, but to me there is something distinctly scarier about the original game. Luigi is essentially trying to rescue Mario from certain doom, navigating a haunted mansion while trying not to become one of the spectral residents. One such resident that really got to me was the boss Chauncey.

The lowdown: Chauncey is a one-year-old ghost baby with a vile temper. At first he seems to be a typical ghost guarding one room like all the others from his family. That is, until Luigi bonks him with a ball. Then he turns into this horrifying monstrosity that is a REAL pain to go up against with his flying horses and ear-murdering howl.

Seriously, what was that supposed to be? Nintendo just had to say: "No, this isn't quite it. Let's add some baby demon spawn. Yes, that's good. It's alright, this is a Mario game, we'll get away with anything if we say it's for the kids."

Be warned! There is a Pikmin 3 SPOILER on the next page!

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  1. OrangeRakoon Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 12:27

    A good list, I certainly agree with Mario 64, Majora's Mask and Lavender Town.

    My personal top would have to be the re-deads in Ocarina of Time though. Just... everything.

  2. Ghostly_Shadeon Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 12:51

    Maybe the final area in Pikmin 3 is a little creepy (in terms of soundtrack), but I still think in all of Pikmin that the Waterwraith from Pikmin 2's Submerged Castle wins hands down.

  3. Gargravarr Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:07

    This is just a personal thing, but I've always hated the underwater cavern in Super Mario Sunshine's Noki Bay. I get really creeped out by deep, dark water and the presence of a huge sea monster with glowing eyes, even one as goofy-looking as Eely-Mouth, doesn't help matters. Also, for some reason I've always found the Silph Co.music creepy while never really being bothered by Lavender Town.

    And another thing to add to Majora's Mask's pile of unpleasantness is the pained scream as Link transforms into Deku/Goron/Zora/Fierce Deity form.

  4. Jafin Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:08

    Fusion was the first 2D Metroid game on the GBA, not the last. That was Zero Mission.

  5. toffeeman30 Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:10

    cave story for the nifty halloween costume. also any castlevania game

  6. LavaTwilight Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:11

    Maybe the final area in Pikmin 3 is a little creepy (in terms of soundtrack), but I still think in all of Pikmin that the Waterwraith from Pikmin 2's Submerged Castle wins hands down.

    I agree... that whistling sound as the waterwraith enters the castle always sends shivers down my spine and then the horror as it sucks up the Ickle Min... Noooooo!

  7. FamilyGAMEGuy8 Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:19

    Still gotta go with the Gibdo Man from Majora's Mask. Terrified me for years and I haven't done that part since. I also never noticed how unsettling the formidable oak music from Pikmin 3 was. I was too freaked out by the boss...

  8. Balderz Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:43

    I didn't know Lavender Town had a gym... :?:

  9. martynm Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 13:49

    Wow...Nice article!

  10. zelda-legend93 Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 14:01

    None of these are really scary. Where's the Resi 4 moments? Or Eternal Darkness? Or anything from the Metroid Prime series? Maybe to a five year old, these are scary, but in terms of actual horror, these are merely trivial

  11. ditto9 Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 16:21

    I didn't know Lavender Town had a gym... :?:


    Haha I knew there was something off about that - I read the sentence a couple of times but something didn't click!

    I think my scariest Nintendo moment is the Under The Well dungeon from Ocarina, I was only 8 or 9 when I played it the first time and until 13 years later and I got OoT 3D I never ever completed it fully because I found a shortcut to get to the lens of truth quicker!!
    When I first played the Shadow Temple too, I got the boots and left and did the ENTIRE Spirit temple before returning to the Shadow Temple, I was that scared of it!!
    But to be honest, Zelda could have it's own top ten scary moments list :B

  12. DaleBiederbeck Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 16:55

    None of these are really scary. Where's the Resi 4 moments? Or Eternal Darkness? Or anything from the Metroid Prime series? Maybe to a five year old, these are scary, but in terms of actual horror, these are merely trivial

    There's a little something called atmosphere. And a little something else called subtlety. Just because a blood-ridden zombie's head isn't exploding doesn't mean these moments aren't terrifying in their own ways.

  13. LFOB Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 17:23

    None of these are really scary. Where's the Resi 4 moments? Or Eternal Darkness? Or anything from the Metroid Prime series? Maybe to a five year old, these are scary, but in terms of actual horror, these are merely trivial


    Using parts from actual horror games is cheating. In a horror game you expect things to be scary, but when you're just playing a normal happer MARIO game, you don't expect a bloody piano to wake up and have SHARP TEETH AND SMASH WHILE COMING TOWARDS YOU.

  14. Dave-O Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 17:39

    The ghosts that invade Romani Ranch in Majoras Mask are pretty creepy, especially if they get to the barn and you have to helplessly watch as they take the cows and Romani.

  15. RiksilveR Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 17:58

    None of these are really scary. Where's the Resi 4 moments? Or Eternal Darkness? Or anything from the Metroid Prime series? Maybe to a five year old, these are scary, but in terms of actual horror, these are merely trivial


    Go and play Metroid Fusion, then see if you still think SA-X is "merely trivial".
    Honest to god, that thing is the scariest damn thing I've ever encountered in any game. Ever.
    However, the list is missing some obvious ones. Where are the redeads? Where's the comms officer from Resi Revelations? And back to Metroid again, what about the Space Pirate mothership in Zero Mission?

  16. geengy Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 18:56

    I can't believe Eternal Darkness isn't here! Especially because (deep breath) IT WAS FREAKING PUBLISHED BY NINTENDO!

  17. xzeldax Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 19:02

    For me it was EVERYTHING about the shadow temple/bottom of the well in OOT - took me years to finish the game because of it!

  18. RSE III Thursday 31st Oct 2013 at 22:53

    My first time playing Pikmin 3, I jumped when I had killed the plasma thing, only for it to regenerate right in front of me, swallowing several Pikmin up in an instant.

  19. big-splat Friday 1st Nov 2013 at 01:11

    That piano terrified me the first time I saw it.

  20. MartinIsAwesome Friday 1st Nov 2013 at 10:46

    Great list barring all the omissions from actual horror games.

    One game that sent chills down my spine in recent years was the opening of the third case in Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations. At one point see Edgeworth is about to meet a kidnapper at a haunted house attraction. He see's a Blue Badger mascot character slumped over in the corner. Later on, the Blue Badger gets up and with it's dead black eyes as he moves in on Edgeworth and strikes him with a sword.
    It was all presented with spirte animations, still illustrations, text and some really eerie music. Some of the stuff in the Ace Attorney games can be pretty grim, but this is the only moment that is diliberately scary.

    Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpQPLXHRcH4

  21. socheeky Friday 1st Nov 2013 at 12:21

    I know this is a personal list, but I'm staggered that the cursed spider family from Ocarina of Time didn't get a mention.

  22. Mariostar222 Friday 1st Nov 2013 at 12:27

    If this was a SEGA website would you of put in the sonic CD messege,you know what I mean

  23. FReplay Friday 1st Nov 2013 at 22:37

    I didn't know Lavender Town had a gym... :?:


    Ah, I think that was a little mistake in absent-mindedness. Little things like that tend to slip under the proof reading.

    I can't believe Eternal Darkness isn't here! Especially because (deep breath) IT WAS FREAKING PUBLISHED BY NINTENDO!


    Just in general to all as well, I only wrote on games I have experience playing on/personal experience of terror. Unfortunately, I've never played Eternal Darkness and some things like Metroid Prime and ReDeads didn't quite get to me as much. Also, lighten up! It was just some fun for Halloween!

  24. Kirby8 Sunday 3rd Nov 2013 at 03:00

    I'm quite desensitised to scary stuff. I'm a big horror fan, so I don't get scared easily. I tend to find things creepy haha.
    You got my favourite part though. Lavender town. Even to this day...just genius! Such a creepy tune!

    Great list barring all the omissions from actual horror games.

    One game that sent chills down my spine in recent years was the opening of the third case in Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations. At one point see Edgeworth is about to meet a kidnapper at a haunted house attraction. He see's a Blue Badger mascot character slumped over in the corner. Later on, the Blue Badger gets up and with it's dead black eyes as he moves in on Edgeworth and strikes him with a sword.
    It was all presented with spirte animations, still illustrations, text and some really eerie music. Some of the stuff in the Ace Attorney games can be pretty grim, but this is the only moment that is diliberately scary.

    Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpQPLXHRcH4


    Yeah, I remember that part! That moment was definitely creepy...so I loved it haha.
    I'm a horror nut! XD

  25. ThomasFitzgibbon Sunday 3rd Nov 2013 at 04:48

    What about the final boss in Super Metroid (especially the music)?

    The disintegrating GF soldier when opening that big door on the GFS Valhalla in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption?

    The Dark Troopers possession at the start of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes?

    The first sight of Metroid Prime as a giant evil face in Metroid Prime 1?

    Actually, shall I just say here and now that the Metroid franchise is the scariest franchise Nintendo has ever produced: with Zelda a close second?

  26. NintendanGX Sunday 3rd Nov 2013 at 06:23

    Eternal Darkness bathtub...?

  27. Pyron12 Tuesday 5th Nov 2013 at 16:36

    Why is Lavender Town on here? I laugh in its face compared to Strange House from BW2. The reason being most of the stuff was made up by the fans (especially the ridiculous Syndrome). Strange House, however is the very definition of scary for pokemon. Furniture is NOT supposed to twitch for goodness sake, the music doesn't help either, there are books on pokemon such as Hypno and Darkrai, there is a ghost of a girl that says really scary dialogue and to top it all off, it is implied that Darkrai actually KILLED SOMEONE! Painstakingly safeguarded by that lie of a 3 rating.
    The map description says "A house known for a sad incident that is said to keep people away..."

  28. Sweekune Tuesday 5th Nov 2013 at 17:27

    There is a distinct lack of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on this list...

  29. Pyron12 Tuesday 5th Nov 2013 at 17:55

    There is a distinct lack of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on this list...


    Look and back and you'll find why it isn't on list. Can we please stop asking about ED: SR and any other horror games and look through the comments? Is it really that hard?

  30. ZodiacXYZ Tuesday 5th Nov 2013 at 18:50

    You forgot LoZ: Skyward Sword silent realms...

  31. FrancisDaAwesome Tuesday 5th Nov 2013 at 21:58

    Say what you will, but I'm not scared of Lavender Town at all. It's just plain annoying.
    The creepiest music in Pokemon for me is the Galactic Hideout Depths theme (The fans tend to call it "Deep Within the Hideout", in case you want to look for it on Youtube) in D/P/Pt. Combined with the eerie atmosphere, it's given me many a sleepless night.

  32. Piplup Wednesday 6th Nov 2013 at 19:19

    There is a distinct lack of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on this list...


    Look and back and you'll find why it isn't on list. Can we please stop asking about ED: SR and any other horror games and look through the comments? Is it really that hard?

    How do the comments justify it though? This should probably be called scariest moments from non-horror games, since in stuff like Project Zero there's enough moments scarier than these to fill a list easily.

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