Night of the Living Re-Dead

They're not undead, they're worse...

I was never much into horror games when I was a kid, I stuck mostly with kid-friendly platformers or adventure games. So when my parents could finally afford a Nintendo 64 (around the time the Gamecube launched I think) I was quick to get Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the ultimate adventure game. I was there that I encountered possibly the most terrifying of video game baddies: the Re-Dead.

I should’ve suspected something as I walked toward the tombstone of the Royal Family Grave and the sky immediately clouded over and rain began to fall. I really should’ve realized something was up when I played my ocarina and lightening came down and blew the tombstone right off the grave. But no, I dropped right inside and started skulking around inside the grave. It all seemed innocent enough; just some bats and a few bones lying around, no big.

Then I entered a large room filled with hazy green pits and what looked like nondescript clay statues standing around. That’s when it started…

Even the creepy moaning and fight music couldn’t prepare me for what happened next…

I must’ve jumped a full foot off the ground and that wasn’t the worst of it. The clay statue started moving, or rather stumbling toward me and I couldn’t move. I was frozen in time as this faceless brown figure shuffled across the floor. Then, out of the blue with the agility of a Sheikah, the thing wrapped itself around my body and began sucking the life right out of me.

I immediately stopped playing the game. In fact, it took several years before I could even look at that game again.

Years later, I had a similar though not quite as terrifying experience with the Re-Deads of Wind Waker. I think Nintendo realized they went a little overboard on the horror and, in keeping with the cell-shaded “cartoon” graphics, tried to make the Re-Deads a bit more comical. Honestly, I think they failed. The WW Re-Deads look like voodoo zombies with the ear-rings and tattoos. The glowing red eyes and the fact that Link is visibly terrified by their high-pitched shriek as he violently shivers, unable to move as they chomp down on his freaking head, hardly makes them more “kid-friendly” in my opinion.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share my personal, horrifying video game experience (tis the season) and it just goes to show that you don’t need buckets of blood and gore to make something absolutely terrifying. Of course after reading and seeing BEN, well…let’s just say that the Re-Deads scare me about as much as Navi now…

Joshua Caleb

Creative genius, Writer extraordinaire, Blogger, Retro gamer, Podcaster, Tech enthusiast, Web surfer, tinkerer and all around geek. The internet is my brain and my life; please be kind to it.

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required