Nintendo has produced a plethora of memorable levels across its many franchises, and some of them fit perfectly into the Halloween spirit with their spooky themes and eerie atmospheres. Here are some of the best Halloween-appropriate levels from Nintendo games.
The Super Mario series, known for its vibrant worlds and imaginative gameplay, has never shied away from delving into spookier themes. One notable encounter is the lurking eel in Jolly Roger Bay. This enormous, serpentine creature resides in the sunken ship and the surrounding waters, and its initial appearance is both unexpected and unsettling. The eeriness is heightened by the limitations of the Nintendo 64 graphics, rendering the eel with a slightly blurred and uncanny appearance, its large, unblinking eyes staring menacingly at Mario. Players approach the creature, not knowing if or when it might suddenly lunge.
Coupled with the muffled, atmospheric underwater music and the need to manage Mario’s oxygen levels, the presence of the eel adds a layer of suspense and trepidation to the level, making it one of the more memorable and creepy challenges in the game.
The Legend of Zelda is celebrated for its rich storytelling and immersive gameplay. Occasionally, it treads into haunting terrains, such as The Shadow Temple in “Ocarina of Time.” This temple stands out as one of the most unnerving dungeons. Hidden beneath Kakariko Graveyard, this labyrinthine temple is a place where Hyrule’s dark history and bloody past are whispered through chilling corridors. With its ghostly apparitions, undead creatures like ReDeads, and unsettling puzzles, players are constantly reminded of the temple’s ominous tagline: “Here is gathered Hyrule’s bloody history of greed and hatred.”
“Majora’s Mask” delves even deeper into macabre themes with Ikana Canyon, a forsaken land marred by the shadows of the undead. The region is a stark reminder of a kingdom that fell into decay, complete with wandering spirits, cursed beings, and the haunting Stone Tower. The eerie atmosphere of Ikana Canyon, combined with its lore and spectral inhabitants, ensures it remains one of the most memorable and haunting locations in the Zelda series.
“Luigi’s Mansion 3” is known for its charming blend of humor and spookiness as Luigi ventures through a haunted hotel to rescue his friends. While the game is brimming with delightful scares, the B2 – Boilerworks level stands out for its eerie ambiance. This dank, underground area is not only dimly lit and claustrophobic but is filled with the ghostly sounds of dripping water, distant echoes, and the haunting hum of machinery.
Players have to navigate through dark, water-filled chambers, occasionally being pursued by ghostly sharks or dealing with the unpredictable nature of the water levels. The murky waters, where unseen dangers might lurk, add a palpable tension to this floor. While “Luigi’s Mansion 3” often leans towards a more light-hearted take on the haunted genre, the Boilerworks delivers genuine, spine-tingling moments that linger in players’ memories.
In “Donkey Kong Country 2,” the Gloomy Gulch levels stand as a testament to the game’s ability to artfully blend platforming challenges with atmospheric design. Set against the backdrop of a haunting forest under a moonlit sky, these stages immediately captivate players with their moody visuals and ethereal ambiance. The ghostly ropes, which appear and disappear in a phantasmal fashion, add an unpredictable element to the platforming, forcing players to time their jumps with precision while being ever-watchful of the ethereal threats. The already eerie setting is further heightened by the presence of creepy Kremlings, lurking and ready to pounce from the shadows.
However, what truly sets the tone for Gloomy Gulch is its melancholic and haunting soundtrack, which resonates with echoing, ghostly notes. It’s a symphony of spookiness, ensuring that players feel the chills down their spine as they navigate through the spectral woods of Gloomy Gulch. It is basically a Stranger Things soundtrack 20 years before the show existed.
“Metroid Fusion” stands out within the Metroid series as a particularly unnerving entry, tapping into the essence of survival horror in a way that few of its predecessors did. The isolation of Samus on the BSL research station, combined with the eerie quiet that often permeates the environment, sets the stage for an atmosphere rife with tension.
Adding to the dread is the constant threat of the SA-X, an unstoppable doppelgänger of Samus that stalks the corridors of the station, its presence always looming. Every encounter with the SA-X is a heart-pounding game of cat and mouse, where the player often feels defenseless and must rely on stealth and evasion. The haunting sound design, unexpected jump scares, and the twisted versions of familiar creatures infected by the X Parasite further amplify the game’s horror elements. All of these factors converge to make “Metroid Fusion” not just an exceptional action-adventure game, but also a genuinely scary experience.
The “Moonside” level in the cult classic SNES game “EarthBound” stands out as one of the most unsettling and surreal segments of the game. This neon-lit doppelganger of Fourside is awash with a pulsating palette of bright colors, but its vibrancy belies a more sinister undertone. The residents of Moonside speak in cryptic and often nonsensical phrases, and the distorted music lends a disorienting ambiance to the entire area.
Instead of the sun, a perpetual night is lit by a looming moon, and many of the NPCs are menacing doubles of familiar characters. The very laws of logic seem to have unraveled in Moonside, with players often being teleported unexpectedly by seemingly innocuous characters. This distortion of the familiar, combined with the dreamlike, almost hallucinogenic setting, makes Moonside a memorable and creepy level that many “EarthBound” players remember long after their adventure concludes.
Amidst the cheerful landscapes and familiar Nintendo characters, lurk levels and moments that evoke an unexpected chill. These eerie interludes remind us that even in the most innocent of worlds, shadows can still creep in, offering a delicious blend of nostalgia and unease. Shoutout to Geoff the Hero, who reminded us about the game over screen in the Luigi’s Mansion beta. That one was truly terrifying!
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|