Ten video game characters you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley

Harry trembles at the sight of some of the scariest pixels ever to leap out of the dark...

We’ve all been there: wrong side of town, wrong time of night. You take one wrong turn and you find yourself in a dark, dank alley that smells a bit like feet and offal. More often than not, we just turn around and walk out, being sensible and whatnot. But sometimes what confronts us down that alley is so horrifying, that we’re rooted to the spot, unable to shake free from the grip the horror has on us. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, these are ten videogame characters you definitely would not want to meet down any sort of alley, dark or light. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below.

Ganon – The Legend Of Zelda Series

If you’re any sort of magical princess, then you should probably bump Ganon up to number one, but whilst the rest of us may be in slightly less peril, Link’s mortal enemy still deserves his place on this list. He’s the sort of megalomaniac who’ll stop at absolutely nothing in his search for power, albeit one who’s thwarted at every turn by a small boy in a green hat. He’s appeared as an odd pig warrior, a black knight and a frenzied, psychopathic beast thing, and every time he’s been a badass of the highest order, a towering hulk with a huge sword and a spectacular disregard for, well, anything really. Ganon would give a good beating to anyone foolish enough to stumble into his alley. That said, he is looking a bit ginger these days…

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Cacodemon – Doom

Nothing says scary like a pink, one-eyed, floating ball of pulsating goo, covered in horns and with the sort of rictus that would make even the bravest shudder in their boots. And then run away. The Cacodemon is one of Doom‘s most memorable bad guys, hovering towards you, bobbing gently, firing balls of flame directly at your face. They really are the stuff of nightmares, and even though they made it into Doom 3, it’s the pixely sprites from the original that remain the most recognisable, and the most terrifying. Let’s put it this way – if you do meet one of these, you’d best hope you’ve packed a shotgun.

Akuma – Street Fighter series

The second ginger entrant in the list, not that I’m particularly scared of ginger people, just people who can kill you by turning off the lights and then hitting you a million times in quick succession. Akuma is the hardest man in a series made up of hard people, and, on top of that, he’s utterly, irretrievably evil. If he’s not hadouken-ing you in the chest, he’ll be dragon punching you in the face or teleporting behind you so he can deliver a knee into your kidneys. And if that’s not enough, his super combo is called the True Instant Hell Murder. None of those false instant hell murders for Akuma, oh, no. He’s far too evil for that. Your only hope if you do meet this pyjama-wearing demon? Raising your arms so that they cover your face usually works quite well.

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The Pacman Ghosts – Pacman

Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde are the perfect killing machines: relentless, lightning quick and all but immortal, save for a brief spell between death and reincarnation. Their cold dead eyes, emotionless expressions and insistence upon defending a maze full of white dots with their lives makes them the sort of creatures not to be messed with. And if they do chase you into an alley, you’d best pray that there’s a power pill in there, otherwise it’s goodnight, lost life, and game over.

Voldo – Soul Calibur Series

That pale, clammy skin, those tight fitting leather outfits, eyes covered, mouth gagged, the way he can bend himself into a perfect circle. None of them compare to Voldo’s most shudder worthy characteristic – his cod piece. Voldo is just creepy, plain and simple; a hissing, slithering creature who’s as deadly as he is weird. Even if he didn’t have large blades attached to his hands, you’d still cross the road to avoid him. In fact, you may well cross a whole city to get out of his way; cornered in an alley, it’d be a case of cowering behind a bin and hoping the scary man goes away.

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Alma – Fear

Children are terrifying at the best of times, but lank haired children in red dresses with awesome telekinetic powers are the worst of them all. Especially when they can liquefy your flesh with a single psychic attack. Taking her cues from The Grudge and The Ring, Alma’s very much a product of modern horror, eschewing the Western tradition in favour of a creepier, more psychological approach. If you do meet Alma, then you’re already in an awful lot of trouble. What with her being a psychic projection and all, and unless you’re related to her, don’t expect to be walking out of that alley with very much of you still intact.

The King of All Cosmos – Katamari series

This is a man who has, on more than one occasion, destroyed large portions of the universe accidentally, via mediums including tennis and binge drinking. A man so irresponsible that, rather than atoning for these actions, he sends out his minuscule son to do the dirty work for him by rolling items up from the earth – items including cows, sweets and human beings. Essentially, The King of All Cosmos is certifiably insane. Unlike most of the other characters on this list, The King probably wouldn’t kill you. He’d more than likely just enslave you, in order to patch up some more of his glaring mistakes.

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The G-Man – Half Life

One thing that every kid knows, and most adults seem to forget, is never trust a man in a suit. Case in point, the G-Man, Half Life‘s string puller, briefcase carrier and general behind the scenes good/bad/not really sure guy. It’s not the G-Man’s physical presence that’s intimidating, rather it’s his oddly superhuman abilities, his impeccable dress sense and his bizarre way of speaking that make him such an unsettling prospect. There’s something about him that’s not quite right. Something that sends a shiver down your spine. Although, if he didn’t address me by my proper title, I’d be introducing his teeth to the curly end of my crowbar quicker than he could say “Mr. Freeman”.

Pyramid Head – Silent Hill 2

Just look at him. He’s got a knife that’s bigger than you. He’s got a helmet that looks like it would, at the very least, give the wearer some tremendous neck problems. He’s got an apron stained with a variety of things that all the Cillit Bang in the known universe wouldn’t be able to get rid of. Yes, he’s a projection of guilt, an apparition that exists simply to punish, but bugger me if he’s not the most terrifyingly grotesque abomination that ever shambled its way out of that delightful little hamlet known as Silent Hill. If you meet ol’ pointy head, then you’ve got no one to blame but yourself, and you’re the only one who’s going to be able to stop him. Or, you know, get flayed to death.

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Tingle – Tingle’s Rosy Rupee Land

There really was only one man who could take top spot, one man who would feature in first place if this list was called ‘Ten Videogame Characters You Wouldn’t Want To Meet Full Stop’. Forget zombies. Forget flying demons. Forget sirens that turn out to be giant evil pilot fish. It had to be Tingle, a 35-year-old man with a strange obsession with fairies. The worst thing about Tingle is that there’s a very good chance you could meet someone like him down a dark alley – a sad, lonely obsessive, wearing an ill fitting costume, clinging on to his sanity by only the thinnest thread. With a cry of “Tingle Tingle Koolah Limpur” he’d appear, creep the hell out of you for a while and then slink off into the shadows to search for magical creatures. Tingle is wrong on a variety of levels, the most obvious being that, in all of our lifetime’s, we are going to meet someone exactly like him, and that’s the most terrifying idea of them all.