We get a bit more obscure in this installment. Welcome to… Chiller! Welcome to… a light gun arcade game where the scariest thing about it may be the in-game moral implications, or lack thereof. You see, in two of the four stages of Chiller, you assume the role of a gun-toting torturer who shoots people attached to torture devices to bits. The violence is quite explicit and shocking, especially for a game made in 1986. This was long before Mortal Kombat and Night Trap began to decay our moral fiber.
The other two stages have you shooting at monsters, but to be honest, the other stages where you shoot torture victims kind of gives this game a bit of a stench. You see, even some of the most violent games cast you as the good versus the evil, like Doom, or tries to invoke the “You Bastard” shaming response by intentionally being ultra-violent. Some complexity and self-awareness, or at least some tongue-in-cheek self-parody. Something of substance, basically. If the victims aren’t actually victims, the game certainly doesn’t make it clear what these damned souls did to deserve to be locked away.
But wait, what’s this? There was an unofficial NES port (1990) that tried to come to the rescue? It claims that all of the beings that you can shoot in the game are monsters, even the very human-looking ones. Or maybe… we are the real monsters. Oh no, Vincent was right! FUUU-
More on Chiller and its NES version from Ironic Consumer. NSFW.
Do I find Chiller creepy? A little, but it’s also faintly ridiculous and distasteful, even for me, who has a liberal attitude towards video game violence… as long as it has a point or some style.