It’s October and you know what that means – Hallowe’en. In honour of this holiday of ghouls, ghosts and goblins, we’ve decided to devote this month to our spookiest gaming memories, the scariest video game characters we’ve ever encountered and the darker things that lie in the shadows of man’s digital domain. We’re starting off with a bang, by talking about arguably the most terrifying character in this annals of gaming: SCISSORMAN!
Clock Tower: The First Fear
Publisher: Human Entertainment
Developer: Human Entertainment
Systems Released On: Super Nintendo, Sony Playstation, Bandai Wonderswan
Release Date: 09/14/1995 (SNES), 07/17/1997 (PSX), 12/09/1999 (Wonderswan)
Clock Tower II (Clock Tower in North America)
Publisher: Human Entertaiment (Japan)/ASCII Entertainment (North America & Europe)
Developer: Human Entertainment
Systems Released On: Sony Playstation
Release Date: 12/13/1996 (Japan), 09/30/1997 (North America)
Best Known For: Being the smartest horror video game antagonist ever.
Alexander Lucard: Scissorman is easily the best horror video game character of all time, and is arguably one of the best in all of gaming. The first two Clock Towers are firmly cemented as cult classics even though the latter are best not spoken of, mainly due to the lack of Scissorman.
What you may not realize is that there are in fact Scissormen. Bobby and Dan Barrows plague a poor girl named Jennifer through two of the scariest, creepiest, and atmospheric video games you will ever play. What’s most memorable about the two characters is the nigh-unparalleled AI in both games. As Jennifer was a young girl with no physical prowess or talent for fighting, all she could do was run and hide from the hulking beast with an oversized pair of scissors. However, unlike most survival horror games where the monsters are pretty dim and follow a set pattern of actions, Scissorman (either one) would actually learn to think for itself and predict your actions. If it noticed a pattern within your own movements, say a preferential hiding spot, it would adapt and then trap you in that location, killing you with neither remorse nor kindness.
I could go on for pages about the greatness of Scissorman and the first two Clock Tower games in general, but as I’ve done that before I’ll let my pieces from the “Top 30 Spookiest Games Countdown” do it for me.
#5: Clock Tower: The First Fear (Scroll down a bit when you click on this)
#2 Clock Tower
Mark B: Scissorman is, in simple terms, a fantastic, terrifying villain. Single minded, with one purpose (to kill the protagonist), and a GIGANTIC pair of scissors, he strikes that basic fear we all secretly have, whether you know it or not: that some day, someone who doesn’t like you is going to completely lose their shit and come after you with giant killing instruments. Paranormal enemies can certainly be horrifying, and there’s absolutely something to be said for relentless killing machines like Pyramid Head and Nemesis, but there’s only so much one can be afraid of something that can not exist; Scissorman could be your next door neighbor for all of the difference it makes, and that, above all else, is what make him as truly terrifying as he is.
Matt Yaeger: Scissorman is probably the scariest horror video game enemy, ever. You could outrun him, or try to slow him down, but for the most part he was unkillable. Even scarier was the fact that the AI for Scissorman made sure that hiding from him in the same place twice wasn’t a sure thing. There are plenty of times while playing the game that I would have the character hide and then sit there listening to the snicker snack of his giant blades getting closer and closer and wonder if this time he would find me. Scissorman is the boogeyman you feared as a kid, and while a killer wielding giant scissors may seem to be more goofy than scary, I’d still love to see a game where Scissorman returns, and Clock Tower 3 doesn’t count.