Once in a while, something truly crazy makes its way into a video game. More often than not, it provides a unique experience, but sometimes — on very rare occasions — game devs get cleared to take players on a “trip.” This is a great deviation from the general play style we quickly adapt to when picking up a new game. We start to get an idea where the plot is going and then, like something right out of left field, we’re warding off giant chickens and stumbling through mushroom fields.
Here are some of the most celebrated drug-induced and psychedelic scenes in video games.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Talbot’s Drug
Nothing is worse than getting stuck with a needle full of a potent psychotropic. That’s exactly what happens to Nathan Drake in Uncharted 3. Under the employ of Katherine Marlowe, Nate’s nemesis Talbot shoots Nate with a tranquilizer dart from afar. Before anyone can calm him down, he flips his shit and takes off running through the area. Along the way he experiences bouts of paranoia, fear, hallucinations, and more. Although, the way he runs haphazardly while on the stuff is much more disturbing.
Check out this clip if you’ve never experienced the scene before.
The Witcher 2 – Visionary’s Potion
The Witcher 2 was arguably one of the best — and most mature — sleeper role-playing games in the past few years. Sure, there were some quirks that popped up here and there, but the good far outweighed the bad.
In one of the trippiest moments of the game, Geralt downs a potion he acquired from a vagrant — which one can only assume is laced with hallucinogens — that sends him into an entirely new dimension filled with phallic-shaped mushroom trees and a giant chicken. Yes, that’s right, a monstrous wild fowl: the god of poultry itself.
Even more bad-ass than the experience is how Geralt handles it all: like a boss. All he does is simply mutter “I’m too old for this,” before tripping balls and finally waking up on a mountain outcropping with no idea how he got there. For an old dude, Geralt damn sure knows how to party.
Lollipop Chainsaw – Giant Mushrooms
It’s difficult to classify one moment in Lollipop Chainsaw as the “trippiest,” because the entire game was filled with campy and strange occurrences. Although, the scene with the giant mushrooms might take the cake.
At one point, Juliet must saw through a series of giant mushrooms which just so happen to send her into a psychedelic trance. While drugged, she must fend off a giant chicken. Seriously, what is it with video game developers and fowls?
This is one of those things you just have to see for yourself to understand:
Batman: Arkham Asylum – Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin
It makes a lot of sense that one of the most harrowing experiences in a superhero’s life would happen while he is pumped full of a hallucinogenic toxin injected by one of his staple nemeses. More specifically, I’m talking about the moment when Scarecrow gives Batman a good ol’ dose of his fear toxin, sending him into a crazed state and a difficult dream sequence the player must navigate through.
During the experience, Batman must stealthily make his way through a horrific level all the while avoiding a giant, killer scarecrow. If that doesn’t haunt your dreams for the next few days, I don’t know what will. Perhaps the phallic mushrooms from The Witcher 2’s drug sequence?
Far Cry 3 – Citra’s Warrior Drug
Nothing is more satisfying than taking control of a spoiled fratboy and transforming him slowly — or rapidly if that’s how you play — into a psychotic serial killer. That’s pretty much what happens in Farcry 3 sans the ridiculous tribal tattoos which imbue special powers.
At one point in the game, Citra and friends get Jason Brody (the main protagonist) to down some recreational drugs with the promise that it will turn him into a powerful warrior. The ultimate goal is to search for an “object” that Citra desires which is really just — you guessed it — a ceremonial dagger. During the trippy sequence, you get to skydive without a parachute, play poker with some bros underwater, and travel through strange locales. Oh, and in case you were wondering, when Jason wakes up he acts like absolutely nothing happened during his psychedelic trip, and so does everyone else. So much for crazy drug stories, man.
Grand Theft Auto V – Michael Trips Out
There’s no question about it, Trevor absolutely loves LSD and he refers to it often throughout the entire game. One of the story missions in GTA V actually sees you taking drugs and pushing through a ridiculous trance-like romp.
During one story mission, Michael takes drugs to prove to his son that he’s not a square. What transpires is one of the most disturbing and yet hilarious drug-induced sequences to ever take place in an open world game. First Michael encounters a chimp, then he’s abducted by aliens before being thrown out of a spaceship to plummet to the ground while voices of his friends and family playback in his head. Naturally, he wakes up in the middle of nowhere wearing nothing but his skivvies. Any son would be damned proud to have Trevor as a father…or would want to introduce him to the famous 12 step recovery program.
“I can be myself out here. Bullying, reckless, totally selfish. Do the things that make me, me.“―Trevor during Minor Turbulence.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 – The Green Syringe
The absolute best time to go on a psychedelic trip is when you have another person’s life in your hands, at least what Surgeon Simulator 2013’s developers seem to think. While you’re busy fumbling away with tools, medical supplies and more it’s possible to accidentally — or intentionally — inject yourself with a green syringe designed to help you identify severe blood loss. If that happens, you’re sent into a ’60s-like psychedelic haze layered with tons of purple and green hues.
The good news is you can bring yourself back into reality by pricking yourself with a similar blue syringe. However, if you thought picking up tools was difficult normally, just wait until you’re drugged out of your mind. It’s safe to say your patient is probably not going to recover from an experience like that.
Mother 3 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
In Mother 3, the clan ingests some mushrooms labeled as “energetic” after having their health reduced significantly by Master Eddy’s whirlpool attack. Unfortunately, the mushrooms are actually of the hallucinogenic psilocybin variety, so the kids plummet into a psychedelic trance. Luckily, one of the characters, Boney, is smart enough not to eat them, yet it doesn’t help those that do. What transpires is an odd assortment of trippy pixel art scenes that pretty much signify the group is out of their minds. Perhaps the most interesting thing that happens is they come across a hot spring which is actually a pile of sludge from a garbage dump.
Some of the interactions with the NPCs are so off the wall, that the game’s developer later claimed he could barely make it through the sequence himself while playing. Keep in mind, these are a bunch of young kids playing around with psilocybin mushrooms. Sounds like something straight from the brains of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
What are some of your favorite trippy scenes from video games?