T-McBee’s Top 10 Spooky Themed Levels in Video Games

lbp_wedding

Well, Halloween is coming in two weeks and I think it’s time for me to finally release this Halloween themed countdown that I’ve been planning to do for a very, VERY long time. This is TMcBee here to list down my Top 10 Spooky Themed Levels in Video Games. Here are the rules:

1. One level per franchise.

2. I’m not including horror themed games on here. So that means NO Silent Hill, Resident Evil or other horror themed games on this list. And besides, I don’t play horror games. I may watch some let’s players and my friends play these games, but don’t expect me to play any scary games now or in the near future.

3. Since I’m focusing on Spooky Themed Levels, this means NO spooky themed games like Luigi’s Mansion or MediEvil.

4. The following choices are just my personal favourites. Not the best ones! Just my favourites.

Conkers Bad Fur Day Count Batula

Now then, grab your covers and shiver excitedly in fear! I hope you have a ghoulish time to read through this countdown.

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10. Threed Zombie Central

(Earthbound/Mother 2)

thetrap

Earthbound is already a weird game, so there’s bound to be a spooky themed location in the game somewhere. And surprisingly, there is one with Threed Zombie Central. What I really enjoyed about this level was the colour scheme of the town, which provided much cool colours in the colour palette to fit the town’s spooky presence. The music was also a nice touch too with an unsettling ambiance that fitted the monster zombie infested town environment, even if it’s in colourful 16 bit graphics with a lot of ridiculously fun moments.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS

“Zombie Paper !?! How come we don’t see any crazy and helpful inventions like these in Zombie movies?”

As much as I liked Threed Zombie Central to be higher on the list, there is one problem that this town had for me. Once you have stopped the zombies and taken out Belch and the Trillionage Sprout outside of the town,…

happythreed

“Threed turns back into a regular town. (Sad sigh) I’m going to miss that cool colour palette. That’s what made Threed so memorable”

END SPOILERS

9. Transylvania

(Ducktales: Remastered)

ducktales-remastered-high-res-image-2

Ducktales: Remastered is a decent remake based on the NES classic game Ducktales. The new look for the Transylvania level brings that haunted fun house feel when playing through this level for the very first time. Sure it may have a lot of corny looking enemies like duck mummies and the Beagle Boys disguised as bed sheet ghosts, but the maze like level layout to find Scrooge’s nephews is what makes Transylvania a fun level. Not to mention the remix track for this stage is so catchy that I think really triumphs over the original track from the NES version.

“My favourite track from Ducktales: Remastered. Curse you catchy remix!”

While it lacks a variety of settings except for an underground location and some mine cart tracks in the level, but it does bring a fun spooky feel to the stage. Plus you get to fight against a recognizable villain from the Ducktales series, which is the funnest boss fight in the remastered version.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS BOSS FIGHT SPOILERS

” (Gasp) Do I hear an iconic fanfare tune in the end?”

END SPOILERS

8. Halloween Town

(Kingdom Hearts)

468px-Halloween

Who knew that the creations from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas would make an appearance in an action adventure RPG like Kingdom Hearts? Despite the very dim lighting and the obnoxious tower scaling that players are forced to complete in Oogie Boogie’s Tower, Halloween Town in the first Kingdom Hearts really brings out that Halloween spirit, especially our main heroes wearing Halloween costumes to fit the consistency of the level.

HalloweenTownCostumes

“Such fun and unique costumes for our main trio. My friends and I cosplayed as these three at an Anime convention once in 2006…Or was it 2007? Dah who cares! I don’t remember”. 

I know some fans may prefer Halloween Town in Kingdom Hearts 2 for being a little more like the film in plot, but I honestly found it a real pain to track back and forth to Halloween Town and Christmas Town. Not to mention that fighting off Oogie Boogie in Kingdom Hearts 2 was far more annoying than fighting him in Kingdom Hearts 1. The world presented in the first game felt more Tim Burton-ish to me, which provided a unique plot with Jack Skellington trying to experiment on Heartlesses to make them dance by creating an artificial heart for them. Yup! Jack is playing Frankenstein (Scientist! Not monster) in this segment of the game.

“Here are a bunch of beginning cutscenes from the level to anyone who haven’t played Kingdom Hearts yet.”

7. The Ikana Area

(Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)

Music_Box_House

Even though The Shadow Temple from Zelda: Ocarina of Time would be a perfect choice for an eerie theme level in a game. Though honestly, that was my least favourite temple in that game. That’s why I’ve decided to chose the Ikana areas from Zelda: Majora’s Mask instead. This location was chosen for its creepy subtlety, sense of loneliness and open exploration with so many memorable moments. This part of the game may feel really empty on the outside, but provides many objectives and surprises in the level. And sometimes these moments will literally surprise players.

  

“Damn Nintendo! You give us one heck of a jump scare and then a pull-tugging moment afterwards? You’re crazy Nintendo.” 

The Ikana area in Zelda: Majora’s Mask is rather a unique place to explore to, taking players to destinations that they weren’t expecting to go to, especially entering the Ikana Castle. That place was rather fun for a mini-dungeon before entering that very complex temple that I somewhat despise of. However, it’s not as bad as the Great Bay Temple. There are some tasks in Ikana that I found crucial at times, but I enjoyed most of the objectives there. And besides, with the power of the Gibdo mask, you can make ReDeads dance! Something you wished you had in Ocarina of Time.

“Ah-Ha!  Dance! Dance my freaky ass zombies! That’s what you get for grabbing my face and humping me!”   

6.  “The Invincible Tubba Blubba” Chapter

(Paper Mario)

BooMansion64

I’ve could have gone with any spooky themed level, dungeon or world in a Super Mario game, but my personal favourite from the franchise has to go to “The Invincible Tubba Blubba” Chapter in Paper Mario. The one thing that I liked about this chapter that it starts off with a spooky presence where the player must go through Forever Forest to enter Bow’s Haunted Mansion. However, once players are done solving the Boo’s tricky puzzles and get accepted by Bow, the chapter goes in a much grander scale by going through Gusty Gulch to stop the Invincible Tubba Blubba at his castle. In all honesty, Tubba Blubba quite overwhelmed me the first time I played Paper Mario back in 2008.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS

“Watch from 5:47 – 6:52. He ate a Boo! He ate Stanley!”

There were some segments that I didn’t enjoy much from this chapter, such as the propeller enemies that surrounded the castle. Having those enemies grab you and kick you out of Tubba Blubba’s castle are a real pain, which forces you to have Lady Bow on your side. But beside that one major nitpick, this chapter of the game was pretty fun, which also leaves players at the edge of their seats. It didn’t had too many spooky elements unlike other spooky levels in other Mario games, though Tubba Blubba’s threatening presence brought an impact to players before his weak point was found.

     

Holy s***! He just bashed two floors in one ground pound attack!”

END SPOILERS

5. Lich Yard

(Shovel Knight)

shovelknight

Shovel Knight is a really fun game with levels that throws back a lot of NES classic titles as its inspiration. The Lich Yard where the Specter Knight lingers is a great spooky themed level that felt highly inspired by Ghost and Goblins, Castle-vania and other spooky theme games on the NES. There is some areas that reminded me of Monster Party for some weird reason, despite how sub par that game was. The Lich Yard starts off in an eerie path by the village, but then throws in skeleton soldiers, ghosts with witch hats and deadly traps for players to pass through. Plus it has one catchy tune to boot.

“That’s some Castle-vania inspiration right there!”

While this level grew on me after beating Lich Yard, I will admit that there were some parts of the stage that infuriate me so much the first time I played this game. One would have to be those electric frog enemies. These guys really get in your way that could end up killing you and make you fall into deadly pits. And lastly, fighting off Specter Knight with little items and health is tough as hell. He may look cool, but geez! He can wail on you with his scythe pretty good. Lich Yard is definitely one of those levels you will hate first, but love it later on.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS BOSS FIGHT SPOILERS

    

“Hey Specter! Quit throwing your scythe in the dark! Cheap bastard.”  

END SPOILERS

4. “Vicious Voodoo” Chapter

(Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus)

The_Swamp's_Dark_Center

Some Sly Cooper fans may debate that the Prague levels in Sly 2 would be great choices for this countdown, but I honestly thought those chapters were just okay at best. If there was one spooky themed world that I wanted to choose in a Sly Cooper game, it definitely has to go to “Vicious Voodoo” in Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus. Stepping through this creepy swamp in Haiti gave me some satisfying shivers the first time I stumbled across this part of the game. The music especially for this level gave me those hypnotic satisfactions for its mysterious voodoo ambiance.

“The main hub world theme in Vicious Voodoo. Simple but surprisingly effective”

 There were some fun levels in Vicious Voodoo that I enjoyed playing through, like getting chased by a giant serpent or whacking chickens for a ghost’s pot of gumbo. Some fans dread the boss fight against Mz.Ruby for having a rhythm styled gameplay in the fight, but I personally thought it was okay for it’s unique concept. Though I can see why people hate it due to the controls feeling a bit clunky in the timing to press the buttons… Or the sound feeling out of sync in the PS3 HD version.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS BOSS FIGHT SPOILERS

   

“Playing other rhythm games like PaRappa the Rappa or DDR will get you the hang of this boss fight.”  

END SPOILERS

3. Creepy Castle

(Donkey Kong 64)

Creepy_Castle

Back when Rare was with Nintendo in the 90s and early 2000s, they usually would add spooky theme levels and assets to their toon styled games, whether it was for everyone like Donkey Kong Country or for mature rated audiences like Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Creepy Castle in Donkey Kong 64 is a personal favourite of mine because it had many missions that weren’t too annoying, as well as having a well balanced presence that was both cheesy and creepy. The Kremlins dressing up as bed sheet ghosts may not be scary to gamers, but some of the music tracks for Creepy Castle were quite unsettling the first time I played this level back in 2000. Take a listen to some of these tracks:

“I hear crazy hyenas in the Ballroom!” 

“Someone is having sex in this Dungeon!”

“(Sarcastic) Great! More sex moaning in THIS Dungeon!” 

This would have been my number one choice if it weren’t for the level design and forcing players to scale on the haunted tower. Not to mention that the boss fight for Creepy Castle was somewhat annoying. The idea was definitely creative and hilarious, but getting the right timing to shoot yourself out of a cannon to hit this boss was kind of tedious.

THE FOLLOWING BELOW CONTAINS BOSS FIGHT SPOILERS

“Cardboard? Cardboard! You don’t scare me- Holy s*** he’s shooting lasers at me!” 

END SPOILERS

2.  Mad Monster Mansion

(Banjo-Kazooie)

Halloween-1

I bet you’re surprised about Mad Monster Mansion from Banjo-Kazooie to not be number one considering that this is the one spooky type level that many gamers think about Halloween right away. But I don’t blame them since the level got many environment assets and enemies that really fits the Halloween spirit, such as haunted houses, angry gravestones, a ghost hand playing the organ and pot of flowers. Wait! Pot of flowers aren’t scary!

“He said “Thank You”. Thhhaaannnkkk Yoooooouuuu.” 

I agree that this is one of the better worlds to play through in Banjo-Kazooie for containing many Jiggy missions that were really fun, as well as having a transformation ability where the player can turn into a pumpkin. Overall, Mad Monster Mansion is a colourful and fun level to easily jump to right away and I can see why people love this level in the game when Halloween is around the corner.

” I like bouncing my head back and forth to this fun spooky tune.”

1.  Halloween Ville (or Act 5)

(Puppeteer)

Puppeteer

The one game level that really got me more into the Halloween spirit than Mad Monster Mansion was no other than Halloween Ville, aka the Act 5 segment from Puppeteer for the PS3. This segment had a lot of creativity to its design and boss fights that I wouldn’t expect to see from a 7th generation console game. The player goes through dark forests, scale on a electric tower where a mechanical dog reside and rolling down on a hill after the player and his pixie friend gets fat from eating too much sweets.

 

“Your task is to lose weight. Seriously guys, that’s one of your objectives in this part of Puppeteer.”

Halloween Ville in Puppeteer really took huge advantages in constructing assets and creating the side-scrolling levels to capture the Halloween Spirit perfectly, especially the one game I know that mentions sweets and eating too much candy in a spooky themed level. There’s even a boss fight where you fight off a big pumpkin head creature and to defeat this guy is to strike his teeth that’s filled with cavities. Now that’s creativity right there! By viewing the Halloween trailer below from this game, you can understand why Halloween Ville ended up at number 1.

“A great spooky level from a quite underrated PS3 classic”

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That’s it for my Top 10 Spooky Themed Level in Video Games. I know it has been a while since the last time I posted a written countdown, but recently school has becoming pretty intense for me this semester. Which means that I never had the time to take it easy and work on other stuff outside of school,until today when I’m on my intermission week right now til the 26th.

From now on, I’ll be posting written lists and articles that are written briefly, but also fun to read as well. This will happen for posts on the Legit Animation Blog too, which I don’t have the time to write written blogs in such elaborated detail and hope to improve to make my posts readable and fun. That’s all for now and hope you all stay tuned for a new article and countdown in the future. Take care everyone.

T.M.B.   

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3 Comments on “T-McBee’s Top 10 Spooky Themed Levels in Video Games”

  1. thehande Says:

    Another great list. =D Lots of solid picks like Ikana Valley, Transylvania and the Creepy Castle. Personally, I think there were far more frightening locations in EarthBound than just Threed, but it’s definitely up there.

    One of my favourites has always been the Haunted Mansion level in Adventures in the Magic Kingdom and even the Ghost House levels from Super Mario World were really creepy.

    • TMcBee Says:

      Oh right. The Ghost Houses in Mario World had a creepy factor to them. It didn’t show up on this particular list just because I’ve only played that game a few times in my life. Not as much as Mario 64 and Paper Mario.


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