Horror Month - What CoG/HG Games did you really feel are "scary"?

Love is the most terrifying of all :wink:

Versus is another series that wasn’t horror, but dealt with some disturbing material that I was creeped out by reading it. I’m a sucker for the atmospheric, underlying themes type of “scary” though so I have a perhaps looser definition.

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Highlands, Deep Waters was effective at giving me a swnse of tension that led all the way up to its conclusion, and even had me doubting the nature of the ending and how effectively I had been throughout the game.

Something that I found less scary, but which included legitimate, bone-chilling content I never expected to see from CoG, let alone a main title: Vampire the Masquerade: Night Road. The sheer inhumanity of what it means to be a vampire in the setting is put in stark relief, and the player themselves has more than enough opportunities to act monstrously. Considering the uh, climate of the times, some of those scenes hit me hard.


Shudders I was terrified by Trees Don’t Tell from HG…


I remember way back when I first played Zombie Exodus. My first character was a scientist and generally extremely bad at all physical/endurance challenges. So every zombie encounter had me nervous because there was a real chance I would die.

Which is such a different feeling from the one I got when I played my soldier MC. It seemed like I was playing a whole different game. But I digress, this isn’t supposed to be a post about praising ZE.

Anyway, there’s this mission on an abandoned ship. It’s enormous and, for some reason, this group of survivors thought it a good idea to send my poor lab rat MC to explore it alone. The atmosphere chilled me to the bone. It was so well-written.

From the low, scarce light. Pitch dark in some places, but you couldn’t risk opening your flashlight, not with them lurking at every corner, every pile of rotting items. Old pipes would creak, floors would shift under your shoes, and the air would be so oddly silent, it made the fine hairs on your arms stand to attention. Empty, of course, but for the distant, faint, terrifying moans of the undead.

You could read old notes left behind by dead crewmates, and rummage through their belongings as their corpse dragged itself just outside the door.

I don’t know. I was younger then, and new to interactive fiction, but that mission is stuck in my head. I was terrified. I think I died like 3 times, but I couldn’t stop playing. It was such a relief when I finally got off the ship. I swear my heart was racing just a little bit, and my hands were weak as if I was my character.

Just such a great moment and, to this day, the most frightening experience with COG/HG I had.


VTM is nothing but not disturbing, besides the political machinations. I assume that Night Road is your introduction to World of Darkness and Vampire The Masquerade?

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Highlands, Deep Waters and Scratch are among my favourite IFs. The feelings of paranoia, isolation, not being able to trust anyone, never feeling safe enough to just stop for a moment and take a breath, is what makes these games shine for me.

In Highlands: The two scenes that come to mind are when the second detective was digging a dog’s bones and when your first detective blows himself at the cultist ritual. I had to read it in one go, I couldn’t stop.

In Scratch: when you are talking to your partner about the case(s) your father worked on and, later, when you mention killing the bandits at the train and getting shot in the leg, that also glued me to the screen.

I think that a lot of games here, CoG and HG, violence and controversial topics are sanitized in general. It’s not really a problem, as I understand that every game has it’s theme, audience and not every book needs to be dripping in blood and guts to be good, because I’m also a fan of reading light hearted books every once in a while, like Tally Ho.

However, games like Fallen Hero, Samurai of Hyuga, Highlands and Scratch touch on themes that i know happens in the real world. I can’t see demons, superheroes or dragons everyday on the news, but things like violence, drugs, prostitution, discrimination, corruption etc? These I’m familiar with and they “connect”(?) with me more than pure fantasy.

For example, in Scratch when you read about a case where a politician’s son kills a girl just for fun and gets away with it, I can connect with that.

In Highlands, the paranoia and anxiety, worrying about things which may not be true at all, I can connect with that.

In SoH, the effects of the opium on the population and the corruption of the government officials, I can connect with that.

In Fallen Hero, the discrimination and the effects on your mental health (depression, suicide tendencies), I can also connect with that.

The thing that makes these games scary for me is because they talk about things that happen in real life, that I can see and hear everyday, both in the news and around me. Real life issues translated to the page are thousand times more scary for me than a 9 eyed monster, a Dark Lord or a super villain. Not everyone is a fan of books with heavy themes like that and that’s okay. Sometimes I need a Tally Ho to just disconnect a bit and laugh, but they certainly affect me much more than fantasy.


Nah, I’ve been in it since forum RPs in the early 2000’s. A lot of official media outside the RPG tend to sugarcoat it though – even Bloodlines didn’t go as far as Night Road did.

Tally Ho ain’t all sunshine and rainbows either — ever talked to Haze? :grin: