The month of October is a great one. Not only is it the time that the cold air starts to blow the golden leaves off the trees but it is also that time of the year when the best holiday takes place: Halloween. What better way to spend that time than to remember all those spooky videogames? Better yet, about those that are not even horror titles but still have a number of creepy moments in them?
It is with that in mind that we take a look at the Metal Gear Solid series to explore the top five scary moments from this popular franchise. A word of warning, some of these entries are spoilers for the series so if you haven’t played them yet be careful.
5: The Vocal Cord Parasite
Let’s start things off with the newest title in the series, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. During a later section of the story, players sneak into a makeshift hospital where they encounter arguably the most blood in any of the games due to the amount of dead bodies filling the dimly lit hallways. Each of these people have been infected with the vocal cord parasite - one of the games main plot points - and the results are terrifying. Not only are they near death's door but the physical effect it has on them results in growths that could turn any stomach. To make matters worse, players shortly after have to deal with the burning man who is a raging tower of flames hellbent on killing Snake.
As if hospitals were not bad enough already, a boss fight following it takes the cake.
4: You can call me Ishmael
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain again and this time it’s the opening moment. Here players are treated to one of the best openings in any videogame in which Snake awakens in hospital dazed and confused, along with a missing arm, only to find an unnamed group of soldiers trying to kill him. The only hope Snake has to escape is a masked character called Ishmael who doesn’t seem all there. No, as in he really isn’t all there physically. During this opening hour of gameplay there are plenty of odd things that happen including a burning whale in the sky, but Ishmael and his sudden disappearing and reappearing act leaves players feeling questioning the sanity of Snake and just what is real anymore.
In the end following a car crash Ishmael is nowhere to be seen and it is implied that he was in your head all along. So yes, you and Snake are going crazy.
3: The Blood Stained Hallway
In Metal Gear Solid, the first entry in the series, players must make contact with a key character. On their way there they enter a hallway that is full of dead bodies, blood stains and bullet holes. With a sudden shift in tone and music, players feel like they have just entered the horrors of Silent Hill but in truth it is the work of Gray Fox, a cyborg ninja, the result of a sick inhuman experiment, able to turn invisible. These soldiers didn’t stand a chance. In true Metal Gear fashion, players have to fight this monster shortly after the hallway section and it is one of the most interesting parts of the title.
Though Metal Gear Solid is a wild ride, the tone shift is such a dynamic one that it really spooks players to the bones.
2: The Sorrow
During Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater there is a moment where it seems like Snake has in fact died. He jumps a good few hundred meters into a river and loses consciousness only to awake in a ghostly world between life and death. Here, knee-deep in water, the player must navigate forward while the dead bodies of all the lives he has taken, including animals and bosses, float on by screaming in pain and anger. This is all happening as The Sorrow floats in front of Snake talking to him about his actions. At the end of this rather horrible section the only option is for the player and Snake to accept defeat, giving in to their actions and then awaking back in the world of the living.
It is a truly scary moment that is sure to make players think twice about the next person they kill.
1:I NEED SCISSORS 61
If you have played Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty then you know what this is. If you haven’t, allow me to explain. Towards the end of the title the player finds out that they have been lied to about a number of things and as the section unfolds things stop being normal. The Colonel, who calls you regularly, starts to lose his sanity and informs the player character of Raiden that he has been playing the game too long and that he should turn it off. The game freaks the player out by faking their death and displaying the words ‘fission mailed’ and even turning the radar into a picture of a swimsuit model. To top this all off? The single greatest if creepy line in the whole game: ‘I hear it’s amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!’ This whole section is a total mind breaking moment for the player and completely removes any and all safety nets they had come to know and love.
If nothing else makes you feel uncomfortable or scared in a Metal Gear Solid game then this will. Though looking back, it is a work of genius.
Honourable mention: Beauty and the Beast Unit
In some regards the Beauty and the Beast Unit from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots are actually more unsettling than scary but they are the honourable mention nonetheless.
Each of the four women are equipped with special combat suits that make them incredible combatants and challenging boss fights. That aside, the real terrors lay within as each of the women suffer from post traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrors of war. During their fights, each will fall out of the suit and begin to lose control of their sanity and move the fight forward in generally unsettling and creepy ways. All of this while the player is told of the horrors that lead them to be the way they are. Screaming Mantis, Laughing Octopus, Raging Raven and Crying Wolf each have their own emotional instability and uncontrollable emotional fits, but each is also a beautiful person creating this real discontent for the players to process.
How the player chooses to defeat them, be it lethal or non-lethal is up to them, but even with victory claimed after a hard battle players will still feel uncomfortable by the events that have taken place for hours to follow.
So there you have it. Five of the scariest moments in the Metal Gear Solid series. There are many more and people are sure to have their own favourites, so let us know in the comments below which were the scariest moments for you!