Universal’s Classic Monsters and Video Games That Featured Them

With a new cinematic universe being based around the Universal movie monsters starting this summer, I found myself thinking back on when these creatures first made their impact upon me. Since I was a kid who loved video games, I realized that this is where I had my first introductions to the iconic creatures that have remained cultural icons for nearly a century.

Baddies like Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, The Phantom of the Opera, and the like weren’t denizens that invaded my nightmares… they were enemies that I had to vanquish by whatever means and resources I had–namely, a console controller.

Since I realized that video games were where my introductions to the monsters was made (as well as The Monster Squad), I thought I’d see if I could find instances of them throughout video game history!

Now, the easy way out would be to simply write “the Castlevania series” for pretty much every answer. In fact, I don’t think there isn’t a Universal movie monster that ISN’T present in at least one Castlevania entry! However, that’s a BS way out of this list, and I’m all about playing on “Hard” mode.

So, without further ado, here are some video games that featured the classic Universal movie monsters!


The Creature from the Black Lagoon

If you played Fallout 3, you may at one point have run into an enemy known as the Mirelurk King. While the name isn’t anywhere near the same as the Universal creature, the resemblance can’t be denied. Recognizing the retro sci-fi aesthetic of the Fallout series, I don’t think it’s a stretch to consider this a wink and nod to the 1954 film.


The Mummy

Mummies are one of the most common enemies in video games, at least in the early generations of consoles. They are a regular threat in the The Legend of Zelda franchise, are seen in Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and are even in the Super Mario Bros. games. While the other Universal movie monsters may be too scary for children, the Mummy is just a person wrapped in bindings. That ain’t so bad…right?


Frankenstein’s Monster

When you’ve got an NES game named after you, I think it qualifies. That being said, you’ve also got Dr. Franken, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster, which was on the Sega Saturn and starred Tim Curry!


The Invisible Man

In Valve’s Team Fortress 2, the Spy can wear a set of clothes called “The Invisible Rogue,” which is a direct nod to H.G. Wells’ novel and the 1933 Universal film. Additionally, there’s also a character in the Monster High video game, web series, and movie universe by the name of “Dr. Where,” who looks just like The Invisible Man.


The Phantom of the Opera

In 1993, Microprose released a DOS point-and-click adventure game where you had to solve the mystery of the Phantom across time. There was also a pinball machine made in 1990 created by Data East called “Phantom of the Opera,” which looks pretty awesome.


The Wolf Man

How could I bring up the Wolf Man and not immediately point out Altered Beast? A mainstay of arcades, Altered Beast was one of the reasons I never had quarters readily available as a child. But if that’s not good enough for you, how about Brad Fang from Contra: Hard Corps? He’s a cyborg werewolf, which is enough for me to say he’s a badass and has earned his place on this list.


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Now, I told you I wouldn’t choose a Castlevania game as a cop-out for any of the monsters in this list, and I’m damn sure not going to renege on that! So while I can’t think of a horror title that this character has appeared in, he did have a few Disney games after the 1996 film came out. Enjoy?


The Bride of Frankenstein

Okay, so this one may be the first (and only) cop-out on this list, but that’s because you don’t play as the Universal monster from the 1935 film. Rather, you play as a woman who runs around Castle Frankenstein trying to find the necessary organs to place inside Frankenstein’s Monster. I guess that’s rather romantic, in a gross way?


Dracula

Did you really think I’d forget about the King of Vampires? The ultimate bloodsucker? The premier pain in the neck? Hell no!

Dracula, and vampires in general, are another extremely common enemy in video games. They’re in Fallout 3, Skyrim, Dracula: Origin, Vampire: the Masquerade, and a whole lot more. But my fond memory of Dracula came in the form of “Dracula Duck” from DuckTales. Again, not a horror game but there was a horror-themed level and my macabre little heart adored that as a child!


All right readers, what are some video games that YOU remember that featured the Universal movie monsters? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jonathan Barkan

Lifelong horror fan with a love of music on the side.

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