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The creepiest things we found in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

FromSoftware explored light horror elements in Demon's Souls and the Dark Souls trilogy, but "creepy" doesn't begin to describe some of the things you could find in Bloodborne. Regardless of the degree of scariness, the developer has demonstrated its affinity for the spooky. Surprisingly though, From dialed the macabre back for its newest game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Granted, reaching the horrific heights of Bloodborne would've been a tall order anyway.

Sekiro, however, roots itself more in reality and history than the From games before it. The Soulsborne games were rife with supernatural elements, borrowing some fantasy tropes as well. These lent themselves to some horrific creations, like the terrifying mimics in Dark Souls or the Lovecraftian nightmare known as Ludwig in Bloodborne.

Feudal Japan doesn't have as many supernaturally creepy things roaming the land. While Sekiro occasionally dips into Japanese mythology for some horror elements, it doesn't quite live up to Dark Souls or Bloodborne in terms of pure scare factor. But the creepy things that you can (and will) find in this game will definitely haunt you for hours after you're done playing. So join us as we recount the creepiest things we found in Sekiro.

Don't lose your head on this one

Let's start with a pretty straightforward mini-boss: the Headless. You'll run into a Headless multiple times throughout your journey, but by no means are you required to kill them. Like their name suggests, these huge warriors obviously lack a certain body part, already heightening the creepy factor. Their lumbering movements really sell the concept of reanimated flesh, yet their attacks are nothing to be trifled with.

What makes them terrifying to fight is the literal terror they inflict upon Sekiro. Every hit he takes builds up his terror gauge, and when it fills up, he actually dies of fear. Without the proper preparations, he can take you out in two or three hits. Even worse, you do incredibly subpar damage to him without the right items.

There are few enemies out in the wild that inspire an immediate fight-or-flight response, but the Headless easily does that. With the spooky change in music and horrifying groans, you instantly want to turn tail. You either need to prepare for a tough fight ahead or run away entirely.

To compound the nightmare, Headless likes to fight while completely submerged underwater. He'll swing his sword, creating shockwaves through the water that still do terror damage. If you didn't already hate underwater levels, this mini-boss strives to instill a primal fear of them.

Armed, creepy, and dangerous

Now this guy looks like he took the Bloodborne Express and got off at the wrong stop. Long-arm Centipede Sen'un and his identical brother, Giraffe, are monstrosities you'll have to fight in Sekiro. Well, Sen'un is optional, but Giraffe stands in your way along the critical path of the game. To be clear, he creepily stands on all fours while being in your way, and that's only the beginning for this creature.

Aside from the way he walks, you'll notice his size. If he stood on his legs, he'd be at least twice as tall as you. They call him "Centipede" because of the many arms that spawn off his back and limbs. If you look closely, you'll see lots of appendages, big and small, following up his spine and front arms. They won't grab at you or anything, but their mere presence is just disturbing.

Otherwise, this creature moves quickly on all fours, yet he has enough hind leg strength to maintain his balance when he flurries forward. The three-bladed claws in his hands can easily melt your health bar if you get too distracted by his gnarly physique. So don't stare too closely at him (not that we needed to tell you that). Luckily, he's one of the easier mini-bosses to deal with, so you won't have to stare at him for too long.

Hopefully vomit doesn't bug you

Some twisted monks obsessed with immortality call Senpou Temple their home. Their mostly failed experiments with immortality left them a little less human. Some of the worst-infested ones sit around the temple in a meditative position. That's fine, right? They're monks after all. Oh, but every now and then, they puke out bugs that only have eyes for you. These monks can't die, either, no matter how many deathblows you land. They'll always sit back up and release more bugs.

Don't worry, it gets worse. Some of them carry a terrifying surprise inside them. When you get too close, a giant centipede will come out of the monk's stomach, acting as a fifth tentacle-like limb. That moment is surprising and scary the first time it happens, since the game trains you to think these monks are slow and mostly non-threatening.

The centipede can hit like a whip, striking you from afar, and it can coil itself around you, squeezing the life out of your shinobi. All the while, the monk sits there, peacefully meditating. At least he stopped creating more bug babies. Instead, he's letting his stomach-tentacle do the fighting for him.

Redefining the man-baby

Early in Sekiro, you're introduced to a variety of enemies that will continue to plague your journeys for hours to come. The average foot soldiers present a balanced challenge to test your samurai mettle, while the attack dogs can be dealt with once you figure them out. The giant humanoids, on the other hand, will always instill a sense of fear in you.

Aside from their hard-hitting, wide-reaching attacks, there's a lot about them that should make you feel uncomfortable. For one, their bodies are this weird mix of man and ogre. No human should be that tall, and their grotesque bodies don't do them any favors. Their spine-chilling grunts, while helpfully telegraphing incoming attacks, sound like they belong in a horror film.

Perhaps the most uncomfortable thing about this giant creature is its face. If you ever look closely at it, it looks like a baby face. Keep in mind, this is atop a body twice the height of you, an exceptional shinobi warrior. Think about that the next time one of them tries to pound you with a mallet or hit you with a bell.

An ape unlike any other

The Guardian Ape has given many players some trouble thanks to its overbearing attacks. Even its design intimidates players upon sight. The gnarly, bloody scar over its eye draws your attention away from the huge sword lodged into the side of its neck. Each of its thunderous roars challenges your courage, but none of that even compares to the creepiness of the second phase.

When you land your first deathblow, Sekiro will decapitate the ape using the sword in its neck. The now headless creature falls lifelessly to the ground, as you'd expect. But then it gets back up. In one hand, it wields the sword. In the other, its own severed head. The Guardian Ape is back for round two.

In this second phase, it moves around more erratically, mimicking a worm-like dancer. Instead of running around like a gorilla, like it did in the last phase, it moves almost elegantly. The whole scene looks terrifyingly unnatural, and the real kicker comes when it screams. How does a headless ape scream? By reconnecting the head to its neck hole, of course. Sekiro himself is just as terrified of this creature as you are, considering that scream does terror damage to him.

A creepy zombified village

Most of the locations in Sekiro can take your breath away. The historic majesty of Ashina Castle transports you back in time, while the fantasy-inspired beauty of the Fountainhead Palace looks like a piece of heaven. But Mibu Village does nothing like that for you. Instead, it feels like a location straight out of a Scooby-Doo episode, but actually spooky.

The sky above the village stays dark, thanks to how deep into the Ashina Depths it sits. The ground constantly looks moist, creating a swamp-like vibe. But the absolute worst part about the whole area? Its inhabitants. Most of them are practically walking zombies that can't die, thanks to the twisted vision of the village's head priest.

The priest treated everyone in the village to some sake. After that ran dry, the villagers were still thirsty, so they drank some of the local water. The priest claimed that this water would help them reach a new level of spiritual enlightenment. However, that water cursed them with an even stronger thirst as well as immortality. The only thing that can kill them is fire, so it's a good thing you have a prosthetic that shoots fire.

All thanks to one priest, everyone in the village joined a zombified, cult-like hivemind. And unlike Scooby-Doo, catching the priest responsible for this won't magically fix anything. You just have to run through the village and deal with all the creepy inhabitants. Don't drink any of the water though!

A heart-pounding sneaking mission

If you already have a fear of snakes, this game might not be for you. Sekiro is no stranger to the Great Serpent, a massive snake that almost always ruins your day when you see him. The beast often does massive damage to your shinobi, and when he doesn't kill you, he usually knocks you off a cliff so you plunge to your death anyway. To make matters worse, the game features two different ones, both equally awful to deal with. You can eventually kill one of them, although you have to get pretty far into the game to do that.

Every time you see one, your heart will probably leap. There's something unnatural and frightening about having to look up to a snake. You'll have to sneak around them every time they show up. Even when you think you're safe, there are many moments they'll get close to spotting you. Toward the end of one segment in particular, you can practically feel the serpent's breath on your face.

Classic Japanese horror

The True Corrupted Monk, not to be confused with her illusory form in Mibu Village, presents a surprisingly frightening demeanor upon first glance. For one, she's huge, but she moves gracefully and quickly around the battlefield. You also might have noticed the horrific mask she's wearing. It makes her look like a Japanese demon, and if there's anything horror movies can teach you, it's to never trust anyone wearing a scary mask while carrying something sharp.

But there's one other hidden aspect of this boss that truly makes her one of the creepiest things in the whole game. After getting through two of her deathblows, you'll reach the final phase of her fight. She gets faster, has a few new attacks, and has a giant centipede coming out of her esophagus. All the while, she continues to cackle as she swings her naginata around. And don't get us started on the eldritch noise she makes when she expunges some bile that builds up your terror meter.

What Hippocratic Oath?

While you're scouring the Abandoned Dungeon under Ashina Castle, you'll find a physician named Doujun. Where else would you want to find a physician? He works on behalf of a surgeon name Dosaku, and he'll be your middleman as Dosaku doesn't wish to speak with strangers. Doujun will ask you to send a powerful warrior to him because Dosaku needs them for undisclosed reasons. Essentially, a mysterious surgeon who works out of a dungeon wants you to send him a guinea pig. If you aren't creeped out yet, keep reading.

After sending a capable warrior their way, Doujun will ask for more, specifically a pair of red carp eyes. It seems like an unrelated request until you see the final part of this side quest. Some time after you handed over the red eyes, you'll find Doujun and whoever you sent to him standing on an island near Senpou Temple. For some reason, their eyes are red, and they're immediately hostile when they notice you.

It's worth noting that throughout the questline, you can overhear Doujun speaking with his surgeon friend, Dosaku. The surgeon will be delighted upon receiving a new specimen, and he can't wait to try using the waters from Fountainhead Palace to experiment with immortality. The entire scenario involving an unseen mad scientist experimenting on a live test subject comes off as unsettling, to say the least.

Tangled up in mist

While Mibu Village easily makes a name for itself as one of the creepiest locales in Sekiro, the Hidden Forest shouldn't be overlooked. The thick fog and illusory enemies create a spooky atmosphere, and it's a long trek to the end of this area. If you take a wrong turn, you'll end up facing an aforementioned Headless. Once you get to the end of the forest, though, all the terrifying illusions start to make sense.

You'll reach a small temple among the trees, and you'll have to enter it from the second floor. As you infiltrate it, you'll find a creature praying at an altar on the first floor, and this thing, called a Mist Noble, is hard to look at. Instead of two legs, it walks on who knows how many tentacles. Its slow, lumbering movement only serves to give you a good look at its frightening face. It almost resembles a skull, featuring deep indentations where its eyes should be. Each of its hands feature some of the most bony fingers possible, and that's compounded by the fact that it has four arms.

Luckily, the Mist Noble barely puts up a fight. You can get the first deathblow by leaping onto it, and you can swing away until you land the second one. You don't need to worry about dodging or parrying anything, which is fine. The less we have to look into this creature's soulless, nonexistent eyes, the better.