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The Tattered Notebook: My top six scares in EQII

Karen Bryan
10.29.11
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Norrath is currently full of pumpkins, floating candles, and an assortment of odd and unusual masks (ever see a frog dressed as Antonia Bayle?). The Nights of the Dead is one of my favorite in-game holidays, and each year brings even more fun quests and great Halloween-themed items. But EverQuest II has its fair share of scary stuff even when Nights of the Dead is over.

Since this week is all about frights and spooks, I present to you some of the top scares in EQII, be they zombies that jump out at you, raid mobs that turn your hair white, or death by sewing. Read on for some truly scary tales!



Unrest

The place looks innocent enough, just sitting there at the end of a lonely path. But once you enter, you're taken in by the puzzles and tricks as you try to make your way through the estate. And eventually, you realize that you are at the point of no return; you still have a long way to go, but you've gone too far to turn back. Along the way, there are several memorable and creepy moments: zombies that pop out of the kitchen storage closet; Screwloose the gnome (who plants bombs in your backpack); the creepy jack in the box; Garanel Ruksif and the thousands of souls at the end of the final fight; and of course, the lumbering flesh-beast epic mob, The Bugaboo.

EQII unrest
Death at the crafting table

My guildmates chide me all the time for not exactly being an expert crafter, and I usually retort that crafting to me is about as painful as sticking shards of glass under my fingernails. But when EQII was launched, it was even worse than that because your character really could take damage or even die for messing up combines! I actually got into tradeskilling when the game first launched, and I remember standing at the crafting table and hearing screams and groans as players around me slumped to the ground. Now, I know that horrible accidents can happen with molten metal or hammers and nails, but when Betty Bumple the Halfling is slain by a needle and thread, something's terrifyingly wrong.

The pop-up zombie

For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my guildmates yelped when they zoned into the guild hall during Nights of the Dead. Someone explained to me that there are a couple of house items that cause a zombie to randomly pop up on your screen and cackle at you. "Big deal," I thought. Zombies are all over the place in this game, and they're hardly something that makes me jump out of my seat. But finally, after changing some settings in my UI, I saw what they were talking about -- and even though I was looking for him, it still scared the heck out of me!

Billy
Billy

I remember first seeing Billy in Nek Castle, back when camping mobs still existed in game and when Nek Castle still just one version. Ever since, that creepy doll has seemed to show up everywhere, haunting me. I'm not sure what it is -- maybe it's his brown sackcloth body, perhaps it's the moppet-like hair, or it could be the way he flops around when he runs. But he's my version of the creepy clown. Dolls are supposed to be cute and lovable, but this doll creeps me out.

The face in the mirror

The Nights of the Dead Haunted House has enough spooks and scares, but the nail in the coffin (excuse the pun) comes right at the end. You think you've finished off the final boss, but as you gaze at yourself in the mirror, you suddenly realize that your image is moving when you are not. It slowly walks toward you, right out of the mirror, and attacks! It's a great little twist to the instance and has shades of Samara from The Ring. (Although I hope my little Elf Fury doesn't look like she does!)

Pre-nerf Venril Sathir

Venril Sathir is easily one of the scariest mobs I've ever faced, not because he's spooky but because his script was so convoluted and frustratingly difficult that it gave me nightmares and more than a few grey hairs. He's since been toned down quite a bit, but originally, he had more fail conditions than you can imagine. If your power went too low, you'd spawn adds and wipe the raid. Too high, and you'd instantly die. If you failed to cure yourself from a noxious debuff, you'd get hit for a ton of damage and a huge power drain (see above for resulting effect). Meanwhile, someone in your raid had to constantly click two statues in the back of the room to prevent raid-wiping adds from spawning. Failing to click on a soulcube when he reached 65% health meant a raid wipe. And if that wasn't enough, two people would randomly be hit with curses during the raid, causing their power to fluctuate too high or two low with each spell they cast. It was a chaotic mess, and it was nearly impossible to even explain it all to the raid force let alone get everyone to correctly execute it. It was one of the few times that I had to ask players to just die and stay dead because a mistake on this fight meant everyone died. This fight was more akin to the horror film Hostel because raiding Venril Sathir was a torture-filled evening.

There are many other scares and spooks in EverQuest II. The vampires of Mistmoore, the fire-filled hallways in Crypt of Valdoon, and the Pumpkin-headed Horseman raid mob in Loping Plains are just a few of the many creepy spots in Norrath. I've listed my top picks of EQII scares, but what are yours? Add your ideas below!

From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to karen@massively.com.

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