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The 6 Best Spiders In Video Games In Celebration Of Save A Spider Day

In celebration of Save A Spider Day.

March 14 is celebrated, in the United States at least, as Save A Spider Day in a confusing attempt to reduce arachnophobia and other negative preconceptions about our planet’s little, eight-legged freaks. While most Australians would sooner burn their houses down than show mercy to a single huntsman, I think there’s definitely some merit in celebrating the best, often creepiest, spiders in video games to help the movement along. 

To give a sense of how many spiders there are in the world, the spider-to-person ratio is said to be about 2.8 million. 

That’s right, 2.8 million spiders all to yourself

And I have to believe half of those at least are featured in video games because there are a lot of them. They’re a staple of survival horror, serving as fuel for a cheap scare when rounding the hall of a dimly lit mansion. But here are the six most clever, memorable or downright chilling spiders to feature in our fair medium.

[Editor’s Note: Some pretty gnarly-looking video game spiders below]

Limbo

The opening hour of Limbo is methodical slow burn of simple, monochromatic platforming that’s punctuated by one of the most exhiliraring chase sequences that sees you, as the unnamed boy thrust into Limbo’s morbid afterlife, escape one big fucking spider. 

As you scramble over unsteady logs and take refuge in nooks, the enormous arachnid plunges its dagger-like legs at you in an attempt to impale you and cut short your journey. The game’s oppressive tone really does the heavy lifting in what is a relatively basic encounter, but it’s undeniably terrifying. 

All’s well that ends well though as you pluck the spider’s legs from their sockets and proceed to roll its bulbous abdomen onto the nearby spikes to cleverly forge a path forward. 

Choo-Choo Charles

There’s something unnerving and sinister about taking an idea regularly aimed at kids, like a friendly-faced locomotive, and distorting it with horrific intent. It’s a tale as old as time, especially recently as Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse entered the public domain. 

Choo-Choo Charles is exactly that. He’s a twisted take on Thomas the Tank Engine, and his murderous intent is as evident as the creator’s wish to tarnish childhood innocence. To make matters worse, he’s not just a train. He’s a spider-train. 

Although the game didn’t experience any critical success, its relevance and perhaps subsequent commercial success as a viral hit has led to updates and console ports. One thing is for sure, the image of an eight-legged coal train scrambling towards me in the woods is one that’s burned into my mind. 

Mora from Ori and the Will of the Wisps

After the death of Niwen’s Spirit Willow, corruption and darkness plagued the farthest reaches of the land, including Mouldwood Depths. The decay soon afflicted Mora, an enormous spider residing within the depths, as well as her many young, leaving Ori with the singular task of drawing her back to the light. 

Mora puts up one of the most memorable fights in all of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, combining the game’s spirited combat system, which harnesses light against the dark, with the signature escape sequences the game is partly known for. 

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As one of the most stunning games of its generation, the entire encounter is a spectacle—which is especially surprising for one that takes place in the soggy underground. That said, luminous fungi and Mora’s glowing eyes cut a harrowing image against her den’s otherwise blackened surroundings. 

Rom from Bloodborne

As someone who lacks the fortitude to make it through a FromSoft game, I’d honestly never heard of Rom, the Vacuous Spider. Unlike some of the freakier bosses in Bloodborne, Rom isn’t optional and is no doubt nightmare fuel for the thousands whose weapons run slick with her blood. 

A sure fire way of knowing whether a boss is cool as hell or not is whether their death triggers a world event like a Blood Moon. Hint, Rom’s does just that. 

Part of Rom’s unsettling appearance is that she isn’t very spider-like at all, closely resembling a caterpillar for much of the encounter. Make no mistake, however, her spiderlings are distinctly eight-legged and will bum rush you with bite-happy abandon.

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Image: Fandom

Grounded

There’s not a lot that’s inherently scary about a daddy long legs making its way through a beautifully trimmed lawn. That is unless you’re in the midst of Obsidian’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” inspired sandbox game Grounded, which sees you eye-to-eye with ants in an example of science gone mad. 

The enormous, ominous spiders in Grounded were so triggering for some, it prompted the team to introduce an arachnophobic mode where you could use a slider to hide a spider’s layers until it’s no longer horrifying. For some, it might appear as a featureless, legless abdomen.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

This feels like a bit of a cheat code, but there’s no denying that Insomniac’s Peter Parker, as well as Miles Morales, meet the brief for pretty incredible spiders of video game fame after being nommed on by transformative arachnids. 

They might not spin their own silk, lay eggs, or have eight legs but there’s plenty of other incredibly rad things they do within their New York City playground.

Marvel’s Spider-Man, its sequel, and its spin-off are obviously not Spidey’s first foray into the interactive space, though there’s no question that the trilogy is damn close to the greatest superhero saga on console, but I might talk about the other contender on Save A Bat Day.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Release Date

Bonus Round – Half-Life’s Headcrabs

This one shouldn’t count, and it kind of doesn’t, because head crabs are, well, crabs

Or are they? They resemble an uncooked chook more than they do a crab and their horrifying beak and clawless legs do little to clear up their species. 

But their wily movement, ability to leap several feet into the air, and tendency to zombify anyone whose head they manage to park themselves on puts them up as a “special mention” in the video game spider category.