Monsters in video games come in all shapes and sizes, ready to rock the player's world with sudden appearances, jump scares, or simply being hideous enough to be uncomfortable to look at. These enemies serve the purpose of striking fear into the hearts of players, mostly in horror games, but sometimes even outside that genre.
Despite the near abundance of monsters in video games, there are times when these creatures are not actually inherently malicious, but merely misunderstood. This leads into the theme of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which highlights how sometimes man is the veritable monster.
Yet, there are definitely times when the monster is downright dangerous, when players are hounded, stalked, or preyed upon by a creature seemingly purely bent upon their destruction. With all appearances being fueled only by hatred and evil, these are the worst of the worst.
The following list takes a dive into both sides of this pool, with 5 video game monsters who were misunderstood and 5 who were pure evil.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinions.
5 video game monsters who were not wholly evil
1. Alma Wade - F.E.A.R.
In the F.E.A.R. series, Alma Wade is one antagonist across the first two games. She has a powerful presence in the third video game as well, although she does not show aggressiveness towards the protagonist. Being the overarching connection throughout the trilogy, her story and character arc is sad.
Despite being a supernatural entity who is hostile to anyone who enters the Armacham Technology Corporation, Alma is actually a victim of torture and experimentation. Born with psychic abilities and powers, she was handed over to the ATC, which performed various tests on her to bring out her full capabilities.
This included her being artificially impregnated twice, giving birth to two individuals who were supposed to carry on a line of super soldiers. These were Point Man, the protagonist of the first video game and the antagonist from that game, Paxton Fettel. Throughout the first game, she uses Fettel for the sole purpose of being free from captivity.
2. Lisa Trevor - Resident Evil
One of the saddest tales in Resident Evil, Lisa Trevor, the daughter of George Trevor, was an Umbrella scientist who worked alongside Oswell Spencer. She, along with her mother, were kidnapped by Spencer to be used as test subjects, after having killed George. The two were inspected with different virus samples to check for mutations.
While Lisa’s mother was killed off because she was immune and proved of no further use, Lisa was a volatile test subject, reacting to every different iteration of the virus. Thus, she was kept in the estate where further tests were performed on her, leading to various mutations and eventually the birth of the iconic G-Virus.
By the time the events of the first Resident Evil video game take place, Lisa is reduced to a shambling grotesque form, as seen when either Chris or Jill encounter her. After solving a puzzle, Lisa can be shown the skull of her long-dead mother, which will ultimately leads to her having a moment of closure and jumping down into an abyss.
3. Rock Trolls - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Rock Trolls are a type of orogoid creature found in various parts of the Continent in the open-world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Being large and objectively unpleasant to look at, these creatures are considered a threat by most people, although some pleasant talk can go a long way to solve a problem with Rock Trolls, rather than an outright battle.
This is nowhere more evident than in the quest The Final Trial, when Geralt and fellow Witcher Lambert come across a couple of Trolls who start throwing rocks at them. After taking a circumventing route, these trolls can be encountered again, up close, at which point Lambert is ready to take them on in a fight.
However, another option is available where the trolls can be persuaded to let the pair through if they leave their weapons behind. The trolls are simply scared that Geralt and Lambert might hit them with their “sharp clubs” and promise to return their weapons on the way back. If all this seems too good to be true to anyone, then they should reassess their bias, as the trolls uphold their end of the bargain and no blood is spilled.
4. Man-Bat - Batman: Arkham Knight
It is hard to be understood if all one can do is scream loudly at a subsonic frequency. Yet that is exactly the case with Man-Bat, a villain from Batman’s rogues gallery, who makes an appearance in Batman: Arkham Knight.
As the name might suggest, this is a giant humanoid bat that appears in an effective jumpscare about halfway through the game, as part of a side mission. Following up on this mission leads the world’s greatest detective to a lab, where records show that scientist Kirk Langstrom was experimenting with bat DNA to cure his chronic deafness.
Going about as well as one would expect, Langstrom spliced his own DNA with a vampire bat, leading to the monstrous transformation and the death of his wife, Francine. Batman, being the genius he is, whips up a cure and delivers it to the flying rodent-human hybrid, turning him back to his original form.
Langstrom is horrified upon learning what his experiments cost him, and elects to stay in the specially designed containment cell.
5. The Orphan of Kos - Bloodborne
When it comes to horrifying monsters, Bloodborne definitely scores the highest, where fighting a horrifying assortment of fused human body parts occurs regularly after a certain point. In the DLC for this video game, players must fight a handful of new bosses, the final of which is the Orphan of Kos.
Found on the beach standing beside the corpse of its dead mother, this is one of the hardest fights in the game. Like with many Soulsborne games, it is not immediately clear why players need to beat this creature, although a closer look at the lore provides a bit of clarity. Clues hint that this orphan was killed in the womb as a result of the defilement of Kos’ body in the physical world by the old hunters.
Now trapped in the Hunter’s Nightmare, this newborn knows little other than defending itself and its mother’s body. Considering the player is also another hunter, it gives enough cause for the orphan to attack. Once this boss fight is over, however, Kos lifts the curse of the Nightmare, possibly glad that its offspring can now rejoin it in the cosmos.
5 video game monsters who were simply out for blood
1. Alien - Alien Isolation
Taking a live-action movie and turning it around to a faithful video game adaptation is a difficult venture, but developer Creative Assembly understood the assignment and gave players Alien: Isolation. Telling an original story in the same universe as the original movie with the daughter of Ellen Ripley was evidently the right move.
Trapped in a spaceship with the iconic Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s masterpiece sci-fi thriller movie was an unreal experience. All the more heightened by the creature stalking players across the levels, giving them no room for error. There was no fighting this creature head on, no killing or even maiming it. Players could only distract it and hide, hoping that it had not seen them enter a vent or cupboard.
Why the Alien kills so vehemently and without abandon is never made clear, whether in the games or the original movies. While requiring hosts to cocoon and turn into an egg hosting a new facehugger, the Xenomorphs generally opt to deliver a death sentence to their prey.
2. The Nemesis - Resident Evil 3
While Mr. X is also very similar to the Nemesis, this resilient piece of mutated G-virus meat comes out on top, due to its sheer determination and willpower. Chasing after Jill Valentine from the very beginning of the video game, the Nemesis stops at nothing short of complete disintegration from completing its mission.
Appearing several times throughout the main campaign, this behemoth changes tactics by first bringing along a rocket launcher and then finally a flamethrower to make a Jill flambé. Even after its hulking humanoid form is destroyed, it mutates into larger, more hideous forms.
The beast is finally put down when it rears its head for the last time in the hidden Umbrella facility beneath Racoon City. Appearing in a sheer mass of writhing flesh and muscle, the creature is put to rest by Jill as she fires an experimental railgun at the creature, thrice.
3. Pyramid Head - Silent Hill
Few have taken the horror video game industry by storm as this creature from Silent Hill 2. Becoming an iconic symbol of the franchise and horror games, Pyramid Head is an enemy which cannot be easily forgotten. With a vaguely cone/pyramid shaped helmet that obscures its face, this monster was James Sunderland’s nemesis in the game.
Appearing a couple of times throughout the game, this stalker wields a large knife, about the size of a sword, as well as a spear. This entity is responsible for seemingly killing Maria, a lady who resembles James’ late wife. It is later revealed that James himself had smothered his wife to death after she had become verbally abusive towards him.
James then realizes that the Pyramid Head is a manifestation of his own guilt and a desire for punishment, killing those he holds dear. Coming to terms with his own actions and absolving himself of this guilt finally helps him get rid of the monster that had been dogging him the entire video game.
4. All ghosts - Phasmophobia
Phasmophobia is a ghost hunting simulator video game where players can team up with three other people and visit various haunted settings, where they can try to find evidence of paranormal activity and determine the type of ghost in the location. Developed and published by Kinetic Games, it was released for early access on Steam.
Since the recent updates, all the ghosts in this game are out for blood. The concept of a peaceful spirit or Casper the Friendly Ghost does not exist in this video game, as after a grace period of 5 minutes (in easier difficulties) the ghosts become active and manifest to try to kill the players.
The evil in this video game is incalculable, with a variety of spirits to be procedurally chosen as the one that haunts a location. Demons, Djinns, Revenants & Poltergeists are some of the more well-known bloodthirsty friends that players will have an uncomfortably close encounter with in this game.
5. The Blair Witch - Blair Witch
Of course, the Blair Witch is out to get the player in the video game named after her, but it's not really clear just how evil she really is. Developer Bloober Team put a careful amount of thought into this game, as getting the best ending is nearly impossible to get in the first blind play-through.
Throughout the video game, players find stick totems at various points of the story, which when broken, will reveal a photograph with a cryptic message. To most video game players, this would naturally look like some sort of collectible, acquiring all of which might unlock something. This is in fact false, as breaking even one such totem has the witch worming her way into protagonist Ellis’ mind, sealing off the good ending.
The Witch is constantly trying to trick Ellis from the beginning, even before it even gets to night. The player must avoid normal gameplay tropes in the video game, like not destroying enemies that attack from the shadows, instead using night vision to skirt around them and not picking up any of the carved figurines, along with not breaking any of the totems.
Q. Do you like fighting monsters in video games?
I don't like violence
49 votes so far