Ghost Busting: Our Preferred Ways To Give Monsters The Flick
Every hero needs a weapon to help them get on even ground with the spectral horrors that pursue them. While most horror games will limit you to normie weapons like pistols and knives, some games go the extra mile, letting the developers think outside of the box a bit, and giving players new and interesting ways to bump-off the things that go bump in the night. Here are a few of our favourite ways to take down spookies.
Alan Wake’s Flashlight
Alan Wake isn’t the first protagonist to pick up a humble flashlight as a defence against baddies. We have seen it used in games like Silent Hill, Half-Life and Resident Evil, often used to beat in the head of any horror that gets too close. However, Alan Wake does things a bit differently, using the luminescence itself as a weapon.
Alan Wake (the man, not the game) is an author who has travelled with his wife/agent to Bright Falls in hopes of jumpstarting his career after a two-year stint of writers-block (been there, buddy!), only to find the town overtaken by the Dark Presence. The darkness that encroaches can turn people and objects into Taken, shadowy apparitions that are impervious to regular weapons. It’s only once they are weakened with a blast from Alan’s $12 flashlight that they become susceptible to projectiles. The way both types of weaponry must be used in tandem with each other to overcome threats makes it feel like more than a mere gimmick, turning light into an actual survival resource. Just make sure to have some Energizer™ batteries on hand, of course.
Weaville, the Ratboy
Remember when Pokemon types and their strengths/weaknesses were simple and made sense? Fire beat grass, grass beat water and water beat fire. That is some solid type-math. Nowadays, there are eighteen (!!!) different Pokemon types, with most Pokemon being two types, meaning working out weaknesses and strengths has become quite a headache. With that in mind, trying to work out a single Pokemon that is going to be good against ALL Ghost types is going to a fruitless exercise. So let’s keep it simple, and go right to the top. How do we take out a god? How do we take down Giratina?
Giratina, the Dragon/Ghost-type god of antimatter, was first introduced to the series in Pokemon Platinum on the Nintendo DS, and comes in two forms, Altered and Origin. I mean, it sounds cool, but he’s just a chonky space centipede. Nevertheless, it is very, very powerful. Ghost types are weak to other Ghosts and Dark types, while Dragon cops extra damage from Ice, Dragon and Fairy. So we need a Pokemon that is a combination of some of these types and has the speed to attack Giratina fast and hard.
Weaville looks like a weasel fucked a hand-fan. The sharp-clawed evolution of Sneasel is Ice/Dark however, and has a great speed stat (125 base stat compared to Giratina at 90), making it a prime candidate to kill a god. A low defence stat means it will need to hit hard and fast, so make sure you have a few effective stat moves already played out to boost your attack/defence before making your move. Long story short, if you need something to take down the god of ghosts, you can safely rely on this stupid purple ratboy.
Stomping in Dead Space
Video game monsters want to intimidate and dominate you sometimes. That’s what those gnashing teeth, thousand legs and chainsaw arms are all about. They want to scare you, overwhelm you and then kill you. So when you use your MAD GAMER SKILLS™ to take them down, you need something humiliating to finish them off and pull yourself further up the food chain. The humble stomp fulfils two basic requirements in finishing off a beastie. First of all, it is the utter desecration of your enemy, sending chills down the spines (in some cases, multiple spines) of other monsters. It also saves you ammo. You’ve already won, and they aren’t worth a bullet. A lot of games use a stomp as a finishing move, but none do it quite the same as Dead Space.
Across the entire Dead Space series (which totally needs to come back), each protagonist is capable of using various melee moves to take down Necromorphs, with the stomp being the most powerful. Now a stomp is only as good as the enemy it can fell, and the Necromorphs are some series boot-fodder. Twisted reanimated corpses infected with an alien parasite that makes them highly aggressive and just overall fucked up. Throughout the entire game, Necromorphs will try and remove the skin from your face, so when one is weakened, and you get a chance to tap-dance on its head, it is an opportunity you take. Stomping off a Necromorph’s noggin is just the perfect way to get some power back.
Shotguns from…every game
At the start of this article, I said I would avoid “normie” weapons but look, that was a lie. But this is a very good exception. Shotguns kick so much ass. There are arguments to be made for a number of conventional weapons that could fairly be put on this list such as crossbows and rifles, but shotguns are just at another level in the annals of video game lore. When something spooky jumps out from behind a door, you want it gone quickly and easily. With a shotgun, even a relatively new player can splatter most enemies along a wall like a Pollock painting. Just point and click.
The VK-12 shotgun in F.E.A.R either launches enemies across the room or turns them into a pink cloud of blood. The game becomes less F.E.A.R and more F.E.A.R M.E when I have my hands on a VK. The 72 round M90 CAWS from Halo: Combat Evolved marries perfectly with the game’s fast-paced close-quarters combat, as demonstrated in the madness of the Library. As a huge fan of Bulletstorm, I can’t overlook the 4-barrels of chaos that is the Boneduster, a gun that is so devastatingly powerful, it feels like a glitch. And of course, we can’t forget the ultimate demon-devouring boomstick, Doom’s Super Shotgun. Not many weapons can make the entirety of hell fear you, but that is just the power of a shotgun.
Poltergust G-00 from Luigi’s Mansion
Ghosts, ghouls and other midnight monsters can be fun for the whole family, but maybe letting little Jimmy eviscerate reanimated corpses with a shotgun isn’t the best idea. Not all spectres need to die, some just need to be captured, and that’s where Luigi’s Poltergust G-00 comes in handy. Used in conjunction with his flashlight (Alan Wake and Luigi’s Mansion exist in the same universe. Don’t @ me), the Poltergust G-00 is used to capture the meddlesome ghosts that seem to follow Luigi around.
The best thing about the Poltergust G-00 is that it is multi-functional. Not only can it trap Boos, but it can also suck and blow to help with puzzles, and it houses our soft friend Gooigi, a liquid Luigi that was injected into our back pocket by a scientist in the middle of a car park…hmm. Its Burst function can also help our Italian friend jump to avoid attacks. I imagine Luigi can also use it as a regular vacuum? Maybe we get to see that in Luigi’s Mansion 4.