Ah, my friend. Come in! Welcome to my humble abode — it’s a little damp, but you get used to it.
What’s that? Ah, but you know me! I’m just your friendly neighbourhood Crypt Keeper. And I know why you’re here, skulking amongst the graves of games gone by. You’re not like the others: the tricks so tiresome, the treats so tasteless. All Hallows’ Eve used to mean something.
Yesssss. I see it, the anticipation reflected in your widening eyes. Come, seeker of infernal delights! Let me take you on a journey, macabre and gruesome. After all, can’t you hear them, rustling beneath the sodden earth? So eager to meet you! Let’s dig up these restless carcasses and relive their tales.
Because real horror never truly dies.
Alone in the Dark – 1992
It’s where it all starts, doesn’t it? In the movements from shadowy recesses just out the corner of your eye. As either Edward or Emily, you needed to investigate a strange mansion where the owner committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. While the polygon count is now more terrifying than anything contained within, it remains the granddaddy of modern survival horror, ancient and eldritch.
The Dark Eye – 1995
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
And The Dark Eye is a dream; a fever dream of puppets with no eyes. You know you stick your hands inside of them? The Dark Eye, like Myst, is an FMV adventure game based on the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. Its uncanny valley claymation and queer atmosphere keeps it just unsettling enough to remain inhumed here.
Corpse Party – 1996
Why, that’s what we’re having! How delightful. This foreign fear was originally released in Japan for the PC-9801, and with its unique presentation and multiple endings, continues to strike a chord with many a gamer. There’s been a couple of remakes, including one for these new-fangled portable jobbiesyou youngsters are so fond of. As for convention, it’s a classic — children tracing the urban myths of their school and invoking things best not invoked.
They Hunger – 1999-2001
Here lies They Hunger, a Half-Life mod released near the end of the 20th century. Players took the role of a scribe in search of inspiration in a remote mountain retreat who got far more than he bargained for. After a near-fatal crash, the player is drawn deeper and deeper into a shocking tale of zombies, deranged scientists, monsters and experiments beyond man’s ken.
Silent Hill – ?
I’ve never been sure what’s buried here, actually. Every time I’ve tried to dig, my spade has rusted. Yet the digging sounds continue, a-scritching and a-scratching on the inside of my brain. You shouldask Harry, or James, or Heather — they knew her best. But you can still make out a bit of the inscription on the tombstone right over he-