The newest episode of the YouTube show Boundary Break digs deep into the horror franchise Resident Evil to show off the tricks that the games have used to keep things scary. And also how they frighten us with dogs.
The dog that jumps through the window near the beginning of the original Resident Evil is a real original moment in frightening PlayStation users. It scared me then, and I would be lying if I did not have a latent general anxiety about that damn dog still. This episode of Boundary Break is great because it walks through some of the methods that the developers used to to make that dog appearance work.
Critically, since the show is about moving a camera around in 3D spaces, “moving the camera” doesn’t really work with the pre-rendered backgrounds of the original Resident Evil. So what we get in the video is an analysis of the DS version of the game and Resident Evil Remake, which is fine, because it reveals that that damn dog is produced by the game as soon as we walk by.
There’s no avoiding that dog. It wasn’t behind that window, waiting for us, potentially to be snuck by. It is generated just for the scare. And while of course that’s the case, it makes me feel better for getting frightened twenty years ago. There’s nothing I could have done about that dog back in 1996!
Have I completely rid myself of my irrational fear of the Resident Evil window dog? Mostly. I am now brave. As an adult man in 2018 who is definitely not a big baby when it comes to scary things, I now understand that the dog is not coming for me. It is created by the scene totally for the scare, I can now appreciate that scare for the artifice it has rather than the dread it inspires in me.
Eerily, the show also demonstrates that this is not the case for the first zombie reveal. That damn zombie is there the whole time, quietly sitting and waiting to chomp on a corpse. Gross.
The show delves into a bunch of different interesting moments from the Resident Evil games, so if you’re into those, it’s worth sticking through the entire episode.
Also, just for fun, here’s another gif I made that is truly, seriously, horrifying:
Video games can be scary even when they’re not trying to be.