Written by Jonathan WojcikOctober 28: Top Ten Terrifying Castlevania Bosses
Alright, let's do one more video game list. This one is a last-minute idea that I'm throwing together rather hastily, but Castlevania has much more of a proper Halloween feel than the other games I've covered, what with all the giant castles full of vampires and ghosts.
I have to confess I've never properly played a Castlevania game. Like most video game franchises, I'd play around in a couple stages during my childhood, failing too hard to actually progress, but having watched other people play parts of Castlevania games since, I can safely say I'm an expert in the matter. Back when my only contribution to the internet was ripping game sprites (ugh) I passed on Castlevania mainly because other people had already done it. These days I've come to realize that it's my unique and thought-provoking observations that people come for.
This flying cyclops head with a typo for a name doesn't look all that threatening, but that creeper smile when he unleashes his dark magic is masterfully dreadful, while his pained expressed when struck is just priceless. I don't have the heart to tell him he's just a crippled Beholder, do you?
I just had to include this quasihumanoid slime boss, who would likely just keep snoozing in his cauldron if some asshole didn't storm into his pad and bang on it. I like the cute little slimes who keep merging with him, again making no apparent effort to hurt anybody. Simon Belmont might just be kind of a dick.
A giant, mutant isopod with a human face for a brain is a pretty interesting thing for a vampire to keep in a haunted mansion, though the only thing I'd find really creepy about it is the ghoulish way the face changes expression during battle. Otherwise it's just a great big adorable roly-poly like in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Don't hurt him! He comes bearing a message of oneness with nature!
#7: Angel Mummy
"Angel Mummy" is a pretty creepy name for a killer wall of bone with a human face, whether or not it really is, in fact, the dessicated remains of a divine spirit. The freaky thing bizarrely attacks by swapping vertebrae between its two serpenting heads, which fly around in transit like deadly boomerangs. It's a pretty surreal concept, and I'm always fond of monsters built directly into the surrounding architecture. "Okay Vlad, you want the master bathroom connecting the den and the study, and we'll put the angel mummy in the Southeast foyer, they say that's good luck."
Gergoth seems like a fan favorite, and why wouldn't he be? He's a lumbering, miserable rotten saurian whose efforts to fight back seem less than energetic. I love the way the skin pulls back off his face when you finally start pissing him off, though he still comes across as more of a sad, tortured animal than a malevolent demon. Watch him get his head stuck in the floor and tell me you don't want to cry. From those flattened teeth, whatever he used to be wasn't even a predator.
There's something fundamentally unsettling about an abnormally gigantic human skull, especially a skull with no other distinguishing features but a huge, slimy, worm-like tongue. It's somehow only creepier that Puwexil just sits there, until it haphazardly hops someplace else. It's translucent, too, so it's not just a giant, licking skull, but a giant, licking skull's ghost!
Puwexil?....Oh! Lixewup! Haha. I love you, Puwexil.
#4: Dracula's Body Parts
Getting into the flat-out horrifying bosses here, Harmony of Dissonance has the player gather up Dracula's few remains to "finally" (haha) destroy him for real this time, guys, including his eyeball, heart, rib bone, fingernail, fang and ring. When the pieces come together, Dracula initially appears in his full Draculosity, but give him enough time and he'll turn into a huge, hideously throbbing amalgamation of vampire kibble, the single eyeball rolling eerily in its broken socket!
#3: Graham Jones
Religious fanatics are disturbing enough as it is, but give them all of Dracula's powers and you've got a real mess to contend with. This screwball naturally thinks he can bring about the end of the world, and once he absorbs enough power, he gruesomely conjures this lunatic parody of an angelic being; a pair of huge, naked, hideously eviscerated female bodies fused and pierced together with Graham himself as the heart. The art team probably wasn't thinking that deeply here, but it's an unsettlingly appropriate visual representation of how religous extremism looks to the rest of the world.
This preposterously weird monster is actually a tentacled, heart-like being controlling hundreds of naked, presumably dead human bodies, building a gigantic, protective body-ball around its sensitive core. You really couldn't ask for a more nightmarish concept, which would be why they keep bringing it back in new forms. Later incarnations just go by the name "legion," but Granfalloon has a much nicer ring to it, and it's an obscure literary reference to boot!
The only thing worse than a decomposing human corpse is an inexplicably humongous decomposing human corpse, especially one as inexplicable as Beelzebub. The name traditionally refers to a demon, sort of, translating to "Lord of the Flies." Whether this thing is a demon or not is left to the imagination; suspended helplessly by metal hooks, the corpse can't even attack directly, but serves as a breeding ground for hundreds of giant, demonic flies, their designs lifted straight from Beelzebub's illustration in the Dictionairre Infernal.
OPINION:since this is the last video game post for the Halloween blog, what's the single scariest moment you've ever had fighting a video game boss or enemy?
Browse Halloween 2011: