Not so long ago, in a room possibly far away and possibly not so much, depending on where you live, I mentally face-palmed myself. Because I had just realized that I had somehow managed to forget a particular moment in my gaming history where I just said to myself, “Wow, now that was one of the best video game moments ever.” Ever. And with such a statement being an undeniable cue that I should write an Unforgettable post about it, I did. See? It’s below. And the unforgettable moment I am talking about this time is…when the Flood first appear in “Halo”.
I think anyone who’s played this game will agree with me about the greatness of this one, but first, let me describe what happens. I don’t remember the little details surrounding this particular bout of Duck gameplay, but I do remember landing on this strange, swampy planet. Don’t remember what we were doing, but it probably was nothing out of the ordinary, right? Nah, absolutely nothing to worry about. Just more of the usual. Yep. I eventually came to a building, and I noticed as I went through this place that there was something just plain…weird about it. I mean, seriously, there was this strange…brown stuff falling from the ceiling in some spots. And I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty darn strange. I stared at this for some time, unable to figure out what in the world it could possibly be. Rather put off, I continued on, and it became quite apparent that something very strange indeed was going on.
You end up finding a man that’s ranting and raving about “monsters” and that everyone else is gone, that they’ve been taken away. This guy is so darn freaked out by whatever apparently happened that he will even shoot at you if you get too close. Hmm, brown stuff falling from the ceiling. Crazy dude going off on a tirade about monsters. This doesn’t sound good. And then you come to a room where you find blood splattered all over, and you find and play a video showing you what events led up to this massacre. It seems the people shown in the video didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary at first, either, until they find a dead Elite and a door that’s been sealed shut by the Covenant. Not thinking they probably should just leave well enough alone, they break through this door, and it is not long later that we view their fate as they are surrounded by a swarm of bizarre creatures.
And then the video ends, and it’s not long later before one door to the room bursts open, revealing the same creatures from the video, a swarm of these bug-like things, tons of them, and you shoot at them, but another door breaks open and another, releasing more and more of these creatures, intent on doing, no doubt, unspeakable things to the Chief. And as if that wasn’t enough, you’re faced with the most frightening thing yet, the form of the Flood that comes after a body has been infected by the bug-like creatures you just faced, hideous things that appear as twisted, shambling creatures that were once human or alien. Not a pretty sight.
And you know what I did right then? I screamed. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I screamed so hard, and then I ran. I barely even bothered shooting at these horrid monsters, as all that mattered was escaping from them. They were so fast and so hard to kill, not to mention impossible to escape from with their unnatural jumping abilities. And even when you did think you had gotten one, it would just get right back up again and try to assault you. And the sounds they made. Oh, the sounds. I was so freaked out, I ran into a hallway between two of the main rooms and just hid there. I really did. I just hid out for a good several minutes, and the Flood, fortunately, left me alone in there. Finally, once I was “brave” enough (as I was still a major sissy), I then made a break for it once again, running and shooting and screaming until I was finally out of that horrible place.
And once I escaped and was able to continue on with the game, this place always stuck with me. How you wandered through this creepy place with the gunk falling from the ceiling and the crazy guy and then the video of those men’s last moments, only to be assaulted by a wave of the very enemy that killed all of them. I get scared in video games quite often. Heck, being chased by tarantulas in “Animal Crossing” is a horrific experience. In case you missed the most important part of that last sentence, I’ll repeat it for you. “Animal Crossing”. But, I don’t care if you’re a wimp like me or filled with the same courage as our mighty Chief, this particular section of “Halo” is terrifying. Admit it. Admit that you, too, dear reader and fellow gamer, felt the terror the day you played this. It’s okay. I won’t make fun. This area is just so suspenseful and terrifying, it still stands out to me, nearly ten years later, as one of my favorite video game moments of all time. It was just so scary and unexpected, and I’d be hard pressed to find a moment of gameplay that even comes close. That is why the first appearance of the Flood is just so very unforgettable.
Below I have a video of some of the gameplay in this area, including the crazy guy and the video before those men are killed. It really doesn’t give this part of the game justice, as you need to play this area and be chased by the Flood to really understand the horror, but it’ll at least give you an idea.
Video by Youtube User: ChaoticCrimsonDBZ
A Flood of Ducks