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Masks serve many functions in video games. Sometimes they’re just used to change a character’s appearance, and sometimes they bestow bonuses or trigger transformations. It’s undeniable, however, that some of the best or most memorable masks are also pretty creepy. Whether it’s the way it looks, the story behind it, or some combination of the two, some masks are just plain scary. The following are our top ten picks for the creepiest masks in video games.
Be aware that the following list contains spoilers, particularly in the final entry.
10. Don Juan Mask (Hotline Miami)
The player-character in Hotline Miami always wears one of many animal-head masks, which are anything but funny. With the masks’ cut-out eye-holes, anyone who dons one looks like a soulless chimera – in the game’s art, at least. Apart from the default one, each mask grants players special abilities or bonuses. The Don Juan Mask may grant the most frightening bonus of all: lethal doors. Think about how many doors are in your house. Kratos forbid some wacko comes to your house wearing the Don Juan Mask.
9. Cubone’s Mask (Pokémon)
Cubone seems like a normal Pokémon at first, if a bit of an oddball for wearing a skull on its head. The Pokédex tells a different story, however. In several of the Pokémon games, including Versions X and Y, Cubone’s Pokédex entry identifies the skull as that of Cubone’s mother. That’s a pretty frightening description for a character in a game primarily marketed toward children. Does every Cubone kill its own mother? While it makes for a frightening story, that doesn’t seem to be the case; the Pokédex also tells players about the mournful cries Cubone emits at night or when it’s feeling lonesome.
8. Handsome Jack’s Mask (Borderlands 2)
Handsome Jack is pretty damn funny, but his mask? Not so much. That mask is disturbing. The mask is skin-colored, but is slightly lighter than Jack’s skin, suggesting he’s been wearing it for a while. Jack even seems to have pieces of metal grafted onto his face to better secure the mask. Most unsettling is the way it moves with his face when he’s talking, even reflecting his emotions. The creep-factor is amplified further when you learn more about Jack’s history, and start speculating about why he wears it.
7. Death’s Mask (Darksiders II)
This mask may look simple, but it provides the Horseman of Death with a visage that suits his occupation. It most resembles a skull, but features narrower eye sockets and is completely solid where the mouth should be. Death first dons his trademark mask after executing countless members of his own race, the Nephilim, on the orders of the Charred Council. As a Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death is expected to be imposing. He carries giant scythes, and wears impressive armor, but it’s his beady red eyes peering from behind this mask that really completes the look.
6. Miraak’s Mask (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Scattered across Skyrim are the resting places of the powerful dragon priests, servants of the great beasts in ancient times. A few of these priests wear masks of great power, which players can take for themselves if the priest is defeated. There are many such masks in Skyrim, but one in particular looks like it was designed by H.P. Lovecraft. Its owner, Miraak, is even said to be the first Dragonborn by Tamriel’s resident cthulhu monster Hermaeus Mora himself. Besides looking like a tentacled abomination, Miraak’s mask also grants its wearer additional Magicka, letting the Dragonborn shock people on multiple fronts.
[Next up: See our five creepiest masks. Are you wearing one of these for Halloween?]
Email the author Katie Seville, or follow on Game Informer.