We’ve been talking a lot about how weird video games are/have gotten, but there’s always plenty more weirdness to discuss! Video games are already rife with delicious weirdness, but how about adding a whole new wacky layer to that dip by throwing in dream sequences? Here are five of the most insane nightmare/dream sequences in video games.
Scarecrow Battle – Batman: Arkham Asylum
Before there was a rabid cult of a fan base for the Batman: Arkham franchise, there was a single game that started it all: Arkham Asylum. One of the game’s most fun AND terrifying sequences comes when the Caped Crusader must fight off the effects of the Scarecrow’s signature fear toxin, jumping from crumbling platforms as a gigantic Scarecrow swats at him from above. Come on Scarecrow, I can deal with you messing with my brain, but what’s with those needles? Ever hear of hepatitis? No, it’s not a member of the Rogues’ Gallery, smart-ass!
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – Batman: Arkham Origins
In the similarly awesome Batman: Arkham Origins, we get another wonderfully Lynchian level, this time inspired by the Mad Hatter. Sure, it’s scary, but those twee animal masks just make me feel like I’m inside a Wes Anderson movie. I don’t think eye-rolling was the desired reaction. Where’s Owen Wilson when you need him?
Lakeside Amusement Park – Silent Hill 3
Like all things Silent Hill, this level is unimaginably creepy, forcing the player to murder grotesque undead horses permanently attached to a carousel. Did Konami not get the memo that amusement parks are already creepy? No need to… beat a dead horse, amirite fellas?
Dream Land – The Simpsons
It’s creepier than you think! In the classic Simpsons arcade beat-’em-up, you must fight tiny flying donuts, flying saxophones, and, well, other flying things that frankly shouldn’t be flying. This level gave me almost as many nightmares as the sticky-ass floor of the arcade where I used to play it. On the good days, it was just gum you had to worry about. The good days.
A Talking Dog? – Grand Theft Auto 5
It’s not so much the talking dog that’s scary about this sequence from Rockstar’s indomitable Grand Theft Auto 5. Talking animals are always adorable, without question. But when the dog’s supposed owner, a skydiver, plummets off that bridge, followed by the slower-than-hell pollution of the water below with his blood? Jesus, man. It’s a good thing we get one of the best follow-up lines of all time from Franklin: “You dumb idiot.” Glad we can count on you to bring the lulz, Frank. Who needs empathy?
Which dream sequence do you relive the terror of each night? Let me know on Twitter!