Halloween Horror: From Software Edition

It’s that spooky season again, which means it’s time to think about things like horror movies and games, candy, or the inevitable onslaught of Christmas decorations and music immediately following. In the ghastly spirit of the season, I wanted to take a moment and briefly write about things that terrify me. Anyone who’s ever caught my barely coherent ramblings while streaming on Twitch, or those (un)fortunate enough to have spent any amount of time talking to me have likely been given insight into my most irrational of fears: SNAKES. Unlike many others I know, I have no problems when it comes to spiders or mice, but will absolutely lose my shit over the sight of a snake, venomous or not. Over the course of the year, I’ve been playing a LOT of From Software games – Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I don’t know if it’s simply a cosmic prank, but they ALL have some sort of snake enemies to make sure my time spent playing the game(s) is extra stressful. Here are just a few of the serpentine shitbags that I’ve come across over this past year…enjoy!

Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy – Elden Ring

After crossing the Altus Plateau and trudging upwards towards Mt. Gelmir, you will eventually arrive at Volcano Manor. This eerie, crimson dwelling serves as both a legacy dungeon and an NPC hub of sorts allowing you to pick up a number of sidequests such as assassinations of various targets across the Lands Between. Here you’ll meet Tanith, Raya, and even Patches, everyone’s favorite little scumbag found in (nearly)every From Software game since Demon’s Souls. It’s here at Volcano Manor that you will hear whispers that the Lord of Blasphemy can still be found somewhere in the vicinity. In the lowest areas of Volcano Manor, you will eventually square off against the God-Devouring Serpent – a big goddamn snake, of course. Once you defeat the God-Devouring Serpent, its mouth opens up to reveal the face of Rykard, who has taken over the serpent’s body to become the Lord of Blasphemy. This may not be the most frightening serpentine enemy on this list, but it makes up for that in the body horror department when Rykard opens his mouth and pulls a giant bloody sword from his throat in the most absurdly comical From Software way possible as you begin the second phase of the fight.

Serpent-Soldier – Dark Souls

After spending what felt like an entire week sightseeing Blighttown’s friendly confines, I finally made it to Sen’s Fortress. Upon arriving, I was promptly greeted a couple not-so-friendly patrols with fuckin’ snakes for heads and equipped to the chin scales with spears and shields. The busted-ass stairways and giant boulders rolling down nearly every corridor make Sen’s Fortress imposing enough, but a small army of these snake-headed jerks are the cherry on top. I didn’t have the toughest time against the Serpent-Soldiers in Dark Souls, but like any other Dark Souls enemy, they can easily ruin your day if approached recklessly. This type of enemy is also found in Dark Souls 3 and Elden Ring, because Miyazaki clearly hates me and takes some sick pleasure in my irrational fear of all these reptilian adversaries.

Great Serpent – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

BIG MOTHERFUCKING SNAKE. You’re even so lucky as to come across them – yes, BOTH OF THEM, several times throughout the game. It’s maybe not as much of an enemy as an *obstacle* but…I hate it nonetheless.

Snake Ball – Bloodborne

Ok, so this is probably the worst enemy in any game that I can think of at the moment, ironically found in my favorite From Software game. Picture this: you’ve made your way through the Cathedral Ward and defeated Vicar Amelia. You provide the passcode to the gatekeeper – “Fear the Old Blood” and now find yourself in the Forbidden Woods. The starting area is dicey enough as you navigate your way through the forest as enemies lob Molotov cocktails your general direction and even try to annihilate your ass with a cannon, however, as soon as you reach the midway point of the area the REAL fun begins – SNAKES. GODDAMN SNAKES. You’ll come across enemies whose head erupt into a cluster of snakes which can quickly inflict lethal poison damage if not outright kill you in a split second, but the most horrifying obstacle in the entire game is known simply as a Snake Ball. This tangled mess of vipers comes in not one, but TWO sizes – regular and extra large. NOPE. NOT TODAY, SATAN!

That’s all I really have for now. I think I’ll go play something nice and cozy, preferably without poisonous reptiles. Happy Halloween! Thanks for reading!