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Hell Is That Noise: Video Games

Most videogames give the player a third-person perspective, but a second-person story. "You" is directed at both the player and character. Considering the Heroic Mime status and The Stoic character type, keep examples to sounds that occur while an enemy is offscreen, alerting you to their presence. Or another character mentions their fear. You'll forget you're safe behind your screen when you hear these...

Works that have their own pages:

Examples:
  • Bioshock Infinite: Several examples
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: In one area, an insane hag is making loud screeching noises and rambling on about killing and eating people. Other characters in your party occasionally comment that they would like to either kill the noisemaker or cast Silence on her.
  • Half-Life 2:
    • Developer interviews have noted that, upon hearing the poison headcrab hiss, playtesters would often completely ignore anything and everything else in order to find the poison headcrab, even going so far as to throw all their grenades and empty entire weapons' worth of ammo.
    • Fast Zombies.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2: The titular character of the Overlord DLC frequently breaks out in sudden and extremely loud electronic screaming. Counts double if you know what he's actually trying to say.
    • Mass Effect 3: The mechanical, ear-splitting, spine-chilling BWOOOOOOORRRRRNNNGH that the Reapers make. It's mentioned in the game, and supplementary materials reveal the Reaper horns are specifically tuned to produce a panic response in many organics, and indeed there's a good reason for this. Low-pitched, loud sounds (like the growls and roars of many animals) and jarring, irregular sounds (like a scream), incite a fight-or-flight reaction. The sound of the Reapers combines these two qualities just to make you shit yourself. The audio team deserves a goddamn medal.
      • In fact, they did research on the kinds of noises that most scare humans and then combined them for the Reaper horn. So it is a compilation of the scariest sounds known to man.
    • The Banshee scream whenever one enters the battlefield. Also to some players, the sound of their teleports can be even scarier, as the nigh-unkillable Banshees steadily advance towards you.
  • The Shrieks of Dragon Age: Origins are fast, vicious, travel in packs, can stun and "overwhelm" (pin to the ground and maul until dead) your PC—and you can tell they're in the area by their ear-splitting screams.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - There's von Karma's scream, which is so terrifying that it traumatizes Edgeworth for fifteen years.
  • In the opening of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 when you're in WWII, half way through the mission, you hear this odd sound. The sound repeats a few times. Once you find the scientist you came to save, you hear it again. This time, the scientist FLIPS OUT at the sound. He begins saying how you're all doomed etc. At the end of the level, the secret weapon that was making that sound completely DESTROYS you, the boat you're on, and sends a huge tidal wave crashing down on you and your squad. Cue time skip to present day. Towards the end of the game, you start hearing it again. Your squad is commenting on it, and this time you know exactly what it is, and as far as you're aware, there's nothing you can do about it but watch your squad die again. Yes, the weapon goes off and practically LEVELS the city, but your team is Made of Iron, so they survive.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: The thugs out to stop Batman on orders of the Joker. They start to jump at every noise when they become "nervous". Tie up every mook but the last one, and listen to him treat every sound as Hell Is That Noise for as long as you want.
  • Skyrim: the flapping of wings informs you of any imminent dragon attacks. Brought up in the prologue, where soldiers comment on wondering what that noise was.
    • The weird echo/thunder like sound you hear when a dragon is nearby.
  • Don't Starve is chock-full of "the hell was that?" sounds, especially when you start to go insane. A creepy music box chime symbols that the darkness is about to get rather unfriendly. Even the player character gets unnerved and remarks at the sound of Hounds or the Deerclops coming near. ("That sounded big!")
  • From Metroid: SKREEEEEEEE
  • Fatal Frame Whenever a ghost is about to attack the normal music changes to really scary music accompanied by the noises of said ghosts. The scariest is Blind maiden who's music is accompanied by horrific screaming
  • Spectre: PINGinginginging PINGinginginging
  • Late in Dead Rising 2, a green fog rolls into Fortune City, causing many zombies to mutate, making them more aggressive, faster, and deadlier. These zombies give off a distinctive rattling growl that you will learn to fear in short order.
    • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record introduces "scare zombies"; zombies that either play dead or wait around corners and ambush you. That freakin' Scare Chord, man...
  • "Team Fortress 2" The growl that the tanks make in Mann vs. Machine mode definitely counts. It is a deep, guttural noise that, the moment you hear it, you just know that this is going to be one of those levels.
    • Also in MVM, Sentry Busters. Especially hellish if you're the Engineer.
  • Doom 64 is a lot more Survival Horror-y than the other games in the series (before Doom 3, of course,) and part of the reason for that is replacing almost all the music with extremely creepy ambiance.
  • Every single type of Infected in Left 4 Dead 1/2 has their own distinct sound to warn you of their arrival, including a few who will switch from low growls to all-out screams or roars as soon as it has one of the Survivors in its line of sight. Each of them even has their own accompanying theme music/musical cues whenever one of them is coming or doing something bad to you or one of your teammates, and because the Survivors can be overrun very quickly on just about any difficulty if they aren't attentive, listening for them is so essential that you almost can't play it without the sound up to a reasonably high level, which doesn't help a whole lot with the Jump Scares.
  • In the old "Frogger II: Threedeep!", the "running out of time" noise is not only annoying but loud, louder than the rest of the game's sounds. When it starts, if you're not watching the clock, it catches you completely by surprise. It only gets scarier the more you activate it during a gaming session (likely while trying for that last life raft on the surface of Level 5). And it always ends as suddenly as it starts, as the clock is literally at zero for a few seconds and then Frogger suddenly dies.
  • World of Warcraft, the sound a Fel Reaver makes is like some demented, hellish fog horn, followed by the screen shaking, and a gigantic mountain sized monstrosity that's usually 10 levels higher than you and an elite on top of it all charging you down.
  • Enemy Zero is a game full of Demonic Spiders: Invisible aliens that will kill you in one hit, and your only weapon requires charging to use (but not too much charging or it shorts out and you have to wait to use it again) and can only be used at point blank range. Your only method of staying alive is a radar that tells you when an alien is nearby with audio pings. Thus, hearing that "Ping ping ping ping ping" get faster and faster is the scariest damn thing in the game.
  • Who could forget Lavos' scream, a sound that gave an entire generation of gamers nightmares?
  • Or for that matter, the Sonic the Hedgehog drowning music?
  • The cave noises in Mine Craft. They're all absolutely terrifying. Now that resource packs can add new sounds, Ozo Craft gives even more ambient cave noises to shit your pants to.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon:
    • There's something that sounds like a wheezing, whispery voice, or a heart stopping screechy sound whenever Alma is nearby. Then there's Alma's music box, (listen to it here). That horrible, sad, upbeat, painful, tear-inducing, pants-browningly chilling tune. It's like someone scientifically formulated the perfect theme song to emphasize every single aspect of Alma, and then used it in the most disturbing manner imaginable.
    • Child Alma's trademark deranged little giggle.
    • In the locker rooms of Wade Elementary you are attacked by ghosts that are hard to see and they make this horrific noise. Plus the horrible rapid-fire slamming sounds of the double doors, making it hard to hear anything coming at you, and they steadily grow louder and louder as you get closer. The noise itself is just plain disturbing....
    • The game also pulls off a few audio stings when certain scary elements come into the field of vision. It's also used - in slightly less dramatic fashion - to alert the player to a crisp packet on the floor, letting them know that Norton Mapes is still alive.
    • The Scare Chord played when the automated gun turrets pop out of the ceiling.
    • Rattling objects. In the first game they can be ignored safely, because it's possibly a malfunction of the collisions engine, and it's only things like soda cans, chemical flasks and other small gadgets. Doesn't detract any from the scary factor, especially if you remember the common aspect of ghost stories that they lightly disturb objects whith their presence alone. And then you go through the Vivendi sequels... Where the rattlers are much larger objects, and it often means a pack of the mostly invisible Shades is out to get you. Don't be surprised if you shoot a steel drum you're walking on top of just because it scraped on the floor, especially after the nuclear explosion in Perseus Mandate. It doesn't help that you have to go through an area of the Perseus Project's cloning facility where all the automatic doors produce a sound similar to the cackle/laugh that was the only hint those near invisible shades gave you before attacking.
    • The sound the Phase Commanders make.
  • The Night phase music of Town Of Salem starts slow and creepy, but as time runs out it gets more intense as you wait to see if you live or die.
  • Super Mario 3D World: The Parabones emit an eerie screeching/whistling/whatever sound when they reassemble themselves after getting stomped (including their wings) instead of the more well known clickity-clackity sound, complete with an ominous blue light accompanying it.

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