Modern Monsters vs Horror Classics: A Fighting Game I’d Pay Anything For.
In the lead up to Halloween, these vast internets become obsessed with the darker side of entertainment. And why not; what better time of year for the scary, the gory and the downright sickening than the one day of the year where we’re all encouraged to embrace the dark and go ask strangers for candy.
There’s one part of popular culture which hasn’t embraced this notion though; videogames. Specifically fighters. While it’s true there are numerous horror games out there from mainstream stalwarts like Resident Evil (which peaked at RE2 in my opinion and has been on a downward slide ever since) and the FEAR games to more indie hits like Amnesia and Slender.
But there is one genre of game that hasn’t taken advantage of our love of all things horrific: the fighting game. Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel Versus Capcom and Mortal Kombat all have amassed huge followings and rightly so, while the former aren’t my cup of tea, MvC and MK are pretty fucking great. I’m even interested in Injustice: Gods Among Us, which will see DC mainstays pitted against one another to see who can beat up that douche Superman the fastest.
Outside Mortal Kombat and older games like Killer Instinct, the realm of ultraviolence is largely untapped. So, here’s what I propose in a completely arbitrary and off the cuff manner:
Modern Monsters versus Horror Classics
A game where the cinema nasties of the modern age are pitted against those monsters we all grew up with, the ones with countless decades of scares under their belt. Each match would be a one on one fight to the death, and I do mean death – the goal being to pummel, decapitate, bleed, disembowel or otherwise permanently incapacitate the opponent.
I mean it’s not like these guys can’t resurrect anyway.
Jason Voorhees. Friday The 13th’s silent stalker. Attacks would include his iconic machete, as well as brutal hand to hand. In true fashion, he’s got a regenerating health bar. Finishing move: decapitates his opponent.
Freddy Krueger. In addition to his nightmare glove, A Nightmare on Elm Streets main antagonist would be able to teleport, shape shift and predict his opponents next move. Finishing move: sucks his opponent into the floor and sprays them out as blood.
Michael Myers. Another silent killer, Halloween’s Michael Myers also has a regenerating health bar and is a hand-to hand and knife attack specialist. Finishing move: holds his opponent up with one hand and snaps their neck.
Chucky. The hilarious villain of the Child’s Play series, Chucky has a smaller target frame and as a non-living being can take twice as much damage as most other characters. He can use a variety of weapons including knives, axes and pushing babysitters out of windows. Finishing move: plastic bag over his opponents head, slowly suffocating them.
The Terminator. Another non-living being, the T800 is blessed with a double life bar. It uses both ranged attacks and hand to hand. Finishing move: shotgun to the face.
Pinhead. Pinhead’s main distinguishing ability is that he can change any of the stages into a hellish abomination, and summon hooks, blades, wire and other devices of torture to eviscerate his opponent. Finishing move: summons hundreds of strings of barbed wire to wrap around and mince his opponent.
Leatherface. A specialist in close-range chainsaw and hand to hand. Finishing move: uses a chainsaw to staple his victims to the floor and gut them.
The Xenomorph. While recent ALIEN films have been very science fiction, the original is pure horror and so I’ve included the Xenomorph on this list as a fast paced character with lots of hand-to hand attacks. This monster can also slice open it’s veins to spray acid. Finishing move: headbite.
Modern Zombie. The fast zombie of modern films. Has only a single health bar, but the final 1% of life can only be removed by a high-attack directly to the head. Finishing move: Bite to the opponent, kills and reanimates them as a zombified version.
John Carpenter’s The Thing. Constantly changing shape, this monster has a rapidly regenerating health bar and can regrow lost limbs. After defeat, there is a 50% chance of regeneration, resulting in another bout with 50% health. Finishing move: infection. Opponent becomes a thing-ified monstrosity.
Dracula. One of the earliest monsters of cinema. Dracula isn the original vampire. His abilities include flight, transforming into mist and entrancing his opponent for limited freedom from attack. Finishing move: Bites and drains all blood from the opponent.
The Wolfman. A two stage character. Begins as a simple Victorian gentleman using hand-to-hand attacks. When the life bar drops to 75% the full moon comes out and the character changes into the wolfman, complete with new, more vicious hand-to-hand. Finishing move: tears out his opponents heart.
Frankenstein’s Monster. Angry and terrifically strong, the monster is a hand-to-hand combat character. Lost limbs do not slow down his attacks and add a small rage bonus to his dps. Finishing move: sets the stage on fire.
The Invisible Man. This character can remove his clothes and wrappings to become temporarily invisible to the opponent, and deal rapid blows. Finishing move: slits the opponents throat, becoming visible as the blood coats his body.
Mister Hyde. A fast and dangerous beast, Mr Hyde is incredibly strong and agile. Can move around the stage with ease. Finishing move: rips out the opponents skull and spine, bare handed.
The Mummy. A slow but strong character who can use his bandages as a weapon, as well as summoning swarms of scarabs, sandstorms and wilfully regenerating his health to a maximum if 75%. Finishing move: tears open his bandages to release a swarm of locusts that devours his opponent to the skeleton.
Ghost. Spectral and therefore difficult to attack, the ghost can become briefly intangible and escape attacks. Has a double life bar. Attacks include the ability to use any stage-based environmental objects without needing to be near them. Finishing move: possesses the opponent and makes them smash their skull repeatedly on the ground until dead.
Classic Zombie. Same attacks as the modern zombie but much slower and much harder to kill. Only attacks to the head (high attacks) will do damage. Others simply cause the zombie to falter. Can remove body parts to use as weapons – from both the opponent AND himself. Finishing move: Bite to the opponent, kills and reanimates them as a zombified version.
The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Spits acid, has razor sharp claws and is invulnerable to stage-hazards that incorporate water. Finishing move: latches onto the face of his opponent and bites. Hard.
The scope for DLC is pretty wide. Each would bring new playable characters and new arenas to select.
Great Cthulhu. Can summon cultists to attack on his behalf and, as the games first monstrous creature, is both physically huge and has a triple (that’s right) health bar. Finishing move: the stars align, and the world ends.
Yog-Sothoth. A series of malignant orbs. Double life bar. Can attack from a distance with tentacles. Finishing move: opens a gate that swallows his opponent, screaming.
Hastur, The Unspeakable. A writhing mass of mouths and tentacles. Finishing move: pierces the skull and sucks out the brain.
Nyarlathotep. Begins as a tall, black man dressed in gold. His attacks involve shifting into one his other forms, which causes the opponent to collapse and shriek as insanity takes hold. Finishing move: takes hold of the opponent, looks into his eyes and causes the flesh to melt from their bones as his true form is revealed only to them.
The Deep Ones. Monsters from under the sea, old occupants of Earth. The deep ones can summon ocean tentacles from cracks in the earth, and take high levels of health with their bite. Finishing move: causes the opponent to drown in his own fluid.
The Mi-go. A flying enemy. The Mi-go are the only character comprised of a group. They attack together, but take damage individually. Two of the three must be felled to win. Finishing move: The insect-like Mi-go lay eggs in the opponents throat which bust from their abdomen.
Women of Horror:
A collection of female characters both villains, and victims.
Firestarter’s Charlie McGee (Drew Barrymore). A small child, she has the same hit-target as Chucky. Uses her pyrokinesis to attack her opponent. Finishing move: The entire stage bursts into flames, including the enemy.
Carrie’s Carrie (Sissy Spacek). A telekinetic character. Can use her powerful mind to deal damage. Finishing move: blood falls from the sky, coating the victim who is then ripped apart.
Alien’s Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Uses a flamethrower and shotgun to attack her opponent. Can summon her cat, Jonesy as support. Finishing move: Get away from her, you bitch!
Scream’s Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). Survivor of the Scream movies, Sidney is the classic scream queen turned on her head. She’s strong and capable and can use the opponents own weapons against them. Finishing move: pulls on a Ghostface mask and drives a knife through the opponents heart.
Halloween’s Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). One of the first and still one of the greatest. The sister of Michael Myers is a bonafide survivor. Excels in using knives to defend herself. Finishing move: summons Dr. Loomis, who shoots Michael six times in the chest.
The Shining’s Wendy (Shelley Duval). Uses a baseball bat as her primary weapon. Finishing move: summons as blizzard which freezes the opponent to death.
Each would be multi-part, as is the modern tradition, with interactive environments and an arena based around a themed location from the modern and classic eras. When using a paired Character and Stage, new environmental attacks are opened up.
Camp Crystal Lake from Friday The 13th. When paired with Jason Voorhees, the player is able to drown victims in the lake. Locations: The lakeside, the bunks, the hall, the lawns.
The Sulaco from Alien. When paired with the Xenomorph, there are eggs containing facehuggers that will attack the enemy. When paired with Ellen Ripley, enemies can be blasted out of the airlock when at 10% health or below. Locations: The hangar, the med lab, LV426 exterior, the mess.
Haunted Castle. When paired with Dracula, bats can be summoned to attack. Locations: Main hall, courtyard, village below, the tower.
Graveyard. When paired with the ghost, more spirits can be called forth to assist. When paired with EITHER zombie, the graves can be used as teleporters. Locations: The crematorium, the cemetery, the chapel, the mausoleum.
Shopping Mall from Dawn of the Dead. When paired with a modern zombie, a horde of undead can be summoned. When paired with a classic zombie, a gang of bikers can be summoned. Locations: The parking lot, the food court, the hardware emporium, the mall.
Dreamscape from A Nightmare on Elm Street. When paired with Freddy Krueger, Freddy can use any solid surface as a teleporter and emerge from a randomly selected new location. Locations: upside down bedroom, empty school, boiler room, misty streets.
Texan Abattoir from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When paired with Leatherface, he can use any of the dangling hooks to immobilise his opponent. Locations: The killing floor, the conveyor, the stockyard, the offices.
Antarctic Base from The Thing. When paired with The Thing, the monster automatically is reduced to 75% health in the exterior environments. It can use ducts as teleporters. Locations: The lab, the mess, the outside, the tunnels.
LA 2029 from Terminator. When paired with the T800, it can summon Hunter Killers to attack from above. Locations: The wasteland, Skynet HQ, the catacombs, the time machine (random incident teleports both players to a fifth stage, “parking lot 1984”)
Good Guy Factory from Child’s Play. When paired with Chucky, at 10% health, the player can jump to a new doll and return to 50% health. This may only be done once. Locations: The offices, the loading bay, the manufacturing floor, the basement.
Pharaoh’s Tomb. When paired with the Mummy, players can summon a cave-in that does 50% damage. One time use. Locations: The queen’s tomb, the tunnels, the slave-pit, the king’s tomb
Dr Frankenstein’s Lab. When paired with Frankenstein’s Monster, lightning can be called to strike the opponent. Locations: The lab, the hall, the courtyard, the barn.
Hell from Hellraiser. When paired with Pinhead, the player can switch between any of the locations with a button combo and can make use of Cenobite exclusive environmental hazards. Locations: The pit, the labyrinth, the burning house, the hospital room.
The Black Lagoon. When paired with The Creature, the monster can summon vines to ensnare the opponent, and can drown them int he lake. Locations: The lake, the swamp, the trees, the shack.
Victorian Woodlands. When paired with the Wolfman, the player can become the wolf-version at any time. Locations: The forest, the clearing, the gypsy camp, the river.
The Overlook Hotel from The Shining. When paired with Wendy, she can summon the spirits of the Overlook to assist. Locations: The bloody hallway, the maze, the grand lobby, room 237.
The possibilities are nearly endless. Monsters, slashers, themed locations. It’s a goldmine I am genuinely surprised hasn’t yet been attempted. So. Anybody who wants to make this, gimme a buzz. I think it’d be rad. Got any suggestions for DLC? Leave em in the comments.
As foe me, I’ll be looking forward to the Halloween season.
You can harass the author of this post via Twitter: @CAricHanley