Why Ecco The Dolphin Scared The Sh*t Outta Me When I Was A Kid

Demon Fish

I was 7 years old. Our family was on its way to dinner and there was a Blockbuster across the street.  My Dad said I could rent a game but I’d have to wait until tomorrow to play it since we’d get home late (bed time).  Fine, yes, whatever!  I just wanna rent a game! AAAHHH!  I was excited.  I liked renting games.

I remember friends talking about Ecco The Dolphin, an action/adventure game, side-scrolling game about a dolphin who is trying to find his pod. I usually opted for Road Rash, Bonanza Brothers (one of my favorite games) or something else but for whatever reason, I decided it was time to try Ecco The Dolphin.

We finished dinner and got home around 1030pm. I waited for everyone to go to bed.  Ecco The Dolphin! Second wave initiate!  This is when it started to get bad.

I was the only one awake in a big, dark house.  I could hear everything from a pin drop to the wind blowing outside. It was terrifying.  If there was ANY time for one of those suburban home invasions I’d seen on Rescue 9-1-1 to happen this was it.  Why did I watch that show anyway?

I tried to shake it off. I told myself once I started playing I’d be having a blast and all those burglars, monsters, alien invasions and/or robot ninja’s that may or may not be in my house would go away.

Dear God, was I wrong.

I turned on my Genesis and walked back to the couch.  When I Turned to the TV I saw this horrifying pattern of scrambled graphics on the screen. What higher species was trying to communicate with me? Also- what the crap!? I wanted to play my video game! I looked around then cautiously walked back to the console, blew in the cartridge and turned it back on. Finally I found myself at the main title screen with the creepiest music ever playing.

The fact that I’d be dropped into the middle of the ocean to fight whatever lives in the ocean started to seem like a bad idea.

I was dropped into a game and started exploring the ocean. The echo-location button almost made me crap my pants the first time I pressed it. It sent out this beam along with this odd, high pitched sound. Other than scare the crap out of me, I had no idea what this did.

The camera didn’t show you enough of your surroundings, especially when you swam faster. I sped ahead when all of a sudden I ran into this killer whale and literally jumped out of my seat. It wasn’t doing anything. I tried to provoke it anyway I could but it just floated there... staring at me

OK. Maybe don’t go near the killer whale. I almost wanted out of that game so much that I started jumping out of the water. Big mistake. If you’ve ever played Ecco The Dolphin…

I triggered a violent vortex. It started sucking everything out of the ocean. I turned it off immediately.

For the next 7 or so years of my life I couldn’t go in water. No pools, no lakes, definitely no oceans. I couldn’t open my eyes under water and whenever I closed them I had flashbacks of the vortex… of the killer whale.

Six years later, I got a Dreamcast. I had a subscription to Dreamcast Magazine that came with a demo disc each month. I did a double take when I saw the cover of the disc. Guess what franchise was getting a reboot? In a full 3D ocean.

I looked around. My Mom was home and it was the middle of the day. Not that it mattered… I mean, I’m 13. This stuff doesn’t scare me any more… right? I put the disc in, booted up the demo and was immediately attacked by sharks. Eff. That.

Yeah, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sounds pretty good right now. This might be a long shot but do you guys have any experiences like this? Tell me in the comments below! Make me feel better!

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About Dean

I play video games and eat the hell outta food

3 responses to “Why Ecco The Dolphin Scared The Sh*t Outta Me When I Was A Kid”

  1. Fae says :

    Oh man, lol. When I started reading this, I was thinking, “Yeah, I can understand, the alien parts were freaky as hell, especially for a kid. I was pretty disturbed, too.” But then I read that you couldn’t even get past the intro… I’m sorry, man. I feel bad for you. I really do. We’re all afraid of something. Moths scare the crap out of me. Moths. But I still can’t help but laugh. Looking at the date, I see it’s been a couple of years. I hope you’ve conquered your fear.

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