Games That Scared the Shit Outta Me
by Daryn

EarthBound

Part 2: Psychic Wall & The Sonogram From Hell

While Fourside saw the end of the Mani Mani Statue, EarthBound had not seen the end of its mindfuckery. All seems to go as normal as possible until you beat the boss in an area called the Lumine Hall...

   

After you've beaten the boss of this underground area, you'll end up in an usual cave with walls that look like they're made out of an LCD display. It's pretty and kind of fascinating, but the game isn't content to leave it at that.

   

Something really weird starts happening when you reach the large wall at the far left end.

   

Ness's thoughts start appearing on the wall, like a movie marquee. It's shocking, because until this point, Ness has been a mute hero. There was no indication before this that he had any thoughts of his own.

   

And now it's revealed he's got some real fucked-up shizz going on in his head...

   

That "Soon, I'll be..." line gets printed several times in a row. Soon, he'll be what?? We don't know. It's rather disturbing...

   

Eventually he notices what's going on...

   

He realizes his thoughts are being displayed on the wall...or are they? I'm not sure what is meant by the "or are they?" line. I didn't really know what the hell was going on at this point, or what to expect next.


   

And I certainly wasn't expecting what awaits you at the final boss fight. You arrive at Giygas (the boss) by walking up a giant piece of intestinal tract. No joke. At the end is this temple thing that looks like an organic version of the Temple of Zuul from Ghostbusters. An eyeball (or something) opens up and reflects Ness's face in it. It's freaky and weird and there are these scary breathing noises like something you'd hear in an obscene phone call in the background the whole time.

   

When the fight begins, you're up against Giygas's right hand man, Pokey, who has turned blue, just like all the other people you met earlier in the game who were infected with Giygas's mind control power (and it also reminds me of the evil characters in Maniac Mansion, which is another game that will eventually be featured in this section). In the background is the giant Ness eyeball reflection, which is apparently some kind of machine that's shielding Giygas's true form. Beat Pokey and he turns off the machine...

And you're confronted with the most horrible looking freakish nightmare of a final boss I'd ever seen! It looks like some unholy mash-up of a rabid dog, a T-rex skull, and the H.R. Giger Alien. And it's warping and waving around and making more of those awful breathing noises. I'd like to mention that we had had been up playing this game really late into the night, and it's one of those cases where you're almost to the final boss and you really can't stop now. It's pretty damn frightening on its own - imagine it at 2 am.

But that's not all...damage this beastie enough times...

   

And it fractures and multiplies into a trio of melting faces that form the outline of a fetus as seen in an ultrasound. Seriously, what the holy fuck??? The thing talks to you during the fight and the dialogue is really disturbing. It waffles between complaining that it's in pain and saying it feels good, and it chants Ness's name about 30 times in a row. It becomes a real battle of the minds.

What exactly is this thing supposed to be????

Wait, don't answer that. I'm not 100% sure I actually want to know.

My friend Kiera and I both noticed how much certain things about EarthBound, particularly the fight with Giygas, resemble Stephen King's It. Both stories are about children who face an alien monster whose true form cannot be seen by human eye. If you were to set eyes on it, you become catatonic with fear or die immediately. (Pokey mentions this about Giygas during the final battle; this happens to several people in It after seeing its true form, the "deadlights". The deadlights are described as "writhing, destructive orange lights". Sound like Giygas, much?) Both stories have scenes where characters send strength through prayer to someone who is far away and needs it to fight. It can take control of people's minds just like Giygas does. I mean, it could all be coincidence, but if you've read It, and you make the connections as we did, it becomes all the more scarier and traumatizing to our young minds.

Giygas Background Music 1

Giygas Background Music 2

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