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Halloween 2018 - Giant Spiders: Why the Hell?

Halloween 2018 - Giant Spiders: Why the Hell?

Yes, it’s Halloween, which of course means spooky creatures of the night. But spiders? How many people have a phobia of witches, exactly? And how many of those are over 18? Yet spiders are scary to literally millions of people! And they just won’t stop putting them in videogames!

Giant spiders don’t exist. Big ones, sure, but not giant - you’re unlikely to see one as big as a labrador, for instance. They are physically impossible, because they don’t have any bones to support that exoskeleton they’re sporting, so who’s bright idea was it to include them in gaming? I’m well aware that they’ve been a mainstay in popular fiction since at least The Lord of the Rings was written, but I would hazard a guess that they appear more in videogames than balrogs do.

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This image intentionally left as a kitten

Going all the way back to King's Quest III: To Heir is Human, giant spiders have usually been a fantasy staple. Especially in MMOs:EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Black Desert Online, The Elder Scrolls Online… Speaking of which.

From The Elder Scrolls Arena onwards, there have been spiders. Because who just wants to kill other people, wolves and dragons? Why not shove in massive spiders that will chase you off of a cliff as you frantically fire arrows at them?! Why not release that game on Switch too, so people can see you screaming in terror while on the train!

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Seriously, screw spiders, this is a Nintendog

It’s not just fantasy settings that have these blighters, either. They appear in Devil May Cryin various guises, the pair of Bayonetta games has ones that breathe fire, and Resident Evil was bad enough when it was just zombie humans and dogs! But no, they have several different types of giant spider through several different games!

There are games that try to minimise the horror that you’ll feel in the pit of your soul. The one in LEGO Harry Potter is made out of LEGO, for instance. Or the fact that Bospider and Werb Spider are both robots, in Mega Man X and X4 respectively. Super Mario Galaxy even got in on the “fun” with one of the bosses, but deformed it enough that it doesn’t look too much like a spider…

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Admit it, this is much better than those horrid eight-legged things

But I say enough is enough. Why do we arachnophobes, who already have to put up with radscorpions in Fallout, and giant scorpions in Assassin's Creed Origins (albeit in DLC), also have to regularly confront our fears in videogames? They can’t be easy to animate, the designers simply cannot enjoy crafting them, so how about you pack it in guys? There’s plenty of things in games to be afraid of at Halloween, like Xenomorphs and literally everything in a Silent Hill title, so give me a break?

Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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Artura Dawn
Artura Dawn - 06:08pm, 25th October 2021

This has to be one of my favourite articles I've read so far.