One two, Freddy’s coming for you…
Who’s the greatest horror movie icon? Leatherface? Jason Voorhees? Tommy Wiseau? Nah, that honour belongs to the Springwood Slasher, Freddy Krueger. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t ever seen a Nightmare On Elm Street movie, let alone remain unaware of the serial killer in a Christmas sweater. Freddy is an icon, an enduring horror movie legend since the early 1980s who’d be a charming and even more likable guy if it wasn’t for his habit of constantly offing hormonal teenagers with a glove that was made up of an survival knife shelf from Cape Union Mart.
He’s an unstoppable dream demon, a nightmare that walks and a terror that can never truly be stopped. Now imagine how awesome it would be to actually control him.
Horror games have made a successful comeback in recent years, thanks to the efforts of titles such as Dead Space and the more recent Alien: Isolation. But the thing is, those are games that focus on survival-horror. I don’t want to be the victim. I want to be the slasher. And a Nightmare On Elm Street game would finally give Freddy the spotlight that he deserves.
It’s not the first time either, that such a game was attempted. Way back in October 1990, a Nightmare On Elm Street hit the NES. And it was rubbish. The premise itself was simple enough, as you and up to three buddies could team up and try and stop yourselves from being Johnny Depped by Freddy. Here’s the official synopsis of that game:
Something frightening has been happening on Elm Street lately. It seems that with each waking day another gruesome discovery is made… another neighborhood teen has mysteriously passed away into the dark stillness of the night. Everyone says it’s “natural causes,” but it seems as if something (or someone) has been picking them off one by one in their sleep. It’s a horrible nightmare come true… and this nightmare has a name; Freddy Krueger.
It’s up to you and your remaining friends to search Elm Street for his bones, which have been scattered about, then collect and burn them in the High School furnace. If you can just stay awake long enough, you might be able to end Freddy’s reign of terror for good. You had better hurry though, it’s getting late and you can feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute.
Here’s the rub though: Players were originally meant to actually control Freddy as he terrorised and murdered his way through the adolescent population of Springwood, battling through the powerful dream alter-egos of the teens who were out to stop you once and for all, as Nintendo Power revealed way back then:
You ARE Freddy Krueger. A horde of obnoxious teenagers is trying to get rid of you by finding your scattered bones and burying them. The only way to stop them is to kill them. You can travel along Elm Street through the electrical and plumbing lines or step into a mirror and step in another room.
The kids have weapons to battle you with and some of them even possess powerful “Dream Alter Egos” …but if you can strike before they wake, they’ll trouble you no more. So sharpen up your finger razors and get ready to slash, ’cause Freddy’s here!
What a missed opportunity. But I think the groundwork for a proper Freddy game has already been laid down. Games such as Murdered: Soul Suspect and Remember Me have managed to weave an intricate web of dreamwalking with spooky and supernatural cerebral elements. Combine that into a game where you have to amass enough fear in order to have enough power to strike down a victim, and a Freddy game would be equal parts action, tactics and stalking. Bonus points of course, for figuring out how to do a truly twisted kill that relies on you using the fears of a victim against them.
Best of all: I’m certain that the original Freddy himself, Robert Englund would be more than happy to lend his vocals to a digital version of Freddy. Hell, he already voiced an homage version in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, that were psychotic dream beavers. And it was freakin’ awesome. And far better than that tepid 2010 remake starring Jackie Earle Haley.
I’d be ready for Freddy. How about you?
Last Updated: April 1, 2015