Believe the word, I will unlock my door, and pass the cemetery gates

-Pantera

 

Cemetary Gates

 

A dreaded sunny day, so I meet you at the cemetery gates

-The Smiths

 

Just like in real life, video game characters can also die, which is the reason why we find graveyards in some games featuring our most beloved characters.

 

Graveyards in video games had to start somewhere.

Graveyards in video games had to start somewhere.

 

These graveyards can be seen most of the time in RPGs, such as the original Final Fantasy (above screenshot), and survival horrors such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

 

You think so?

You think so?

 

They also appear in graphic adventures, such as Monkey Island 2, where you must exhume the grave of some dead bastard in order to give his jackass son a hard lesson.

 

Exhuming bodies is not the greatest idea...

Exhuming bodies is not the greatest idea…

 

But as long as there’s a horror motif in the game, we will also find graveyards in platformers, such as Splatterhouse Wankapu Grafitti.

 

Well your grave is technically here.

Well your grave is technically here.

 

Action/Adventure titles like Medievil.

 

Those are some jagged grave stones...

Those are some jagged grave stones…

 

And even fighting games like Mortal Kombat.

 

Which makes sense considering the high number of deaths in the game.

Which makes sense considering the high number of deaths in the game.

 

There seems to be two types of graveyards in video games: the depressing and the spooky.

 

Depressing Graveyards

 

Because nothing could possibly be more depressing than a black and white graveyard.

Because nothing could possibly be more depressing than a black and white graveyard.

 

Graveyards can be just as depressing in video games as they are in real life, especially when your favorite character dies. If you’ve ever played a game with a great story and character development, you will find these levels very depressing, even if they are just in the cut scenes. Where one is merely a sad moment in an otherwise uplifting game, some games like The Graveyard (above screenshot) focus solely on its namesake; or in this case, guiding an elderly woman to rest peacefully at her grave. In this instance, you won’t find enemies except for your own fears and sorrow reflected in the game.

 

Even Solid Snake himself needs some solitude once in a while.

Even Solid Snake himself needs some solitude once in a while.

 

Spooky Graveyards

 

Now this is a level! Spooky graveyards are indeed the main focus of this article because here is when the real action and scares begin. It’s no surprise that you’ll see a graveyard or tombs in most of the scary games you play; after all, real graveyards are scary, which is the reason why there are so many spooky legends about them.

 

Even new games like Bloodborne are incorporating Graveyards into their game play environments.

Even new games like Bloodborne are incorporating Graveyards into their game play environments.

 

For example, in the 18th century, people believed that the dead could return as vampires, which is the reason why they did things such as burn the body, tie the coffin with chains or even exhume the graves and stab the corpse in the heart. Funny thing is, this was also the same century that safety coffins were patented, and the same period that people feared being buried alive. It would be funny if somebody tried to rescue a person in a safety coffin and ended up rescuing a vampire! I just wonder if the person who patented this coffin wasn’t a vampire, because this would be a funny concept to see in either a movie, comic or game.

Even now, some people are paranoid and fearful of the dead rising from their graves, which is why we always will find vampires around the tombs in most video games.

 

Perhaps the most infamous "rise from your grave" in video game history.

Perhaps the most infamous “rise from your grave” in video game history.

 

Ghosts

 

Spirits that lurk in the shadows and appear from out of nowhere when you least expect it.

 

One place you would expect to see ghosts would be in a Ghostbusters video game.

One place you would expect to see ghosts would be in a Ghostbusters video game.

 

Although ghosts are not just exclusive to human graveyards; you may also find them in a pet cemetery. Sadly, the closest thing to this kind of cemetery in a video game is in Pokemon FireRed in Lavender Tower, where you not only fight against Ghost-Type Pokemons, but you also have to face the ghost of a Cubone mother killed by team Rocket.

 

Because who doesn't love a good Pokemon Graveyard!

I don’t want to be buried in a Pokemon Cemetery; I don’t want to live my life as a Yamask.

 

Gravestones

Okay. This category may count as a ghost (or a poltergeist to be more specific), but one cannot simply discount gravestones coming to life and attacking you. Don’t even pretend that you never were attacked by a piece of concrete before, especially if you’ve ever played “Frankestein” for the NES.

 

I can't be the only one that was EVER attacked by a gravestone?!

I can’t be the only one that was EVER attacked by a gravestone?!

 

Skeletons

 

There is a clear line that separates skeletons from zombies, and with the word “line”, I mean flesh, a lot of flesh, actually. In truth, they aren’t that different from ghosts, but they also share the same weakness of being shot in the head or being broken in a hundred pieces. Skeletons are the most generic kind of enemy in video games, and appear in titles such as Dark Souls, Dragon Quest, Shin Megami and Castlevania, I can go on for hours, and trust me, I will talk about them in detail one these days.

 

If you've played Dark Souls then you know the pain you suffered in the Graveyard fighting this Skeleton Bastard.

If you’ve played Dark Souls then you know the pain you suffered in the Graveyard fighting this skeleton bastard.

 

Zombies

 

I’ve already mentioned zombies before, but you probably already know enough about them at this point. If you are playing a game that includes zombies, walking around the cemetery probably wouldn’t be the best idea, unless you are Michael Jackson and you want some good backup dancers.

 

Not to mention morgues... In this case, Resident Evil 2.

Not to mention morgues… In this case, Resident Evil 2.

 

Vampires

 

This category would make a lot of sense if you recall from earlier the fear of the people around the 18th century about vampires, but sadly, vampires are not as common as normal enemies. They are usually bosses in some form (not excluding the final boss in a well-known franchise), because let’s be honest, vampires are way more powerful than zombies or skeletons…

 

Just admit it, you've never made it this far in the original Castlevania.

Just admit it, you’ve never made it this far in the original Castlevania.

 

In retrospect, all of the games I’ve played with graveyards have at least one of these enemies in them, not to mention the rest of the enemies that the game includes. If you think that your walk through the graveyard will be fun, then think again, because you are going to deal with a lot of bizarre and unsettling enemies within. Look! I’m fully prepared for my own walk among the tombstones.

 

Slayer Quest: Don't fear the reaper.

Slayer Quest: Don’t fear the reaper.

  • Rise from your grave! I also liked the graveyards from the Ultima games. In Ultima 6, you could buy a shovel and dig up graves and loot the corpses I believe. Ultima 8 had a whole section where you visit these creepy Necromancers next to town who took after the dead. Zombies would always be rising out from the graves and walk around. They were fun to kill.