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They Call Me Spooky: You Always Know a Working Joe


When I was a kid, I had a nightmare one night that robots were chasing me. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill clunky robots from old horror films, but humanoid androids. The scariest part was that they walked slowly at me, as if they were taking their time by intentionally prolonging my fear and had me totally in their power. I knew that the moment one of them reached me, I was done for. Oh yeah, and I was Superman in this dream. If you’re the Man of Steel, nothing should scare you. If the robots were bad enough that they fazed Superman, then I was clearly out of luck. I hid behind a chair in my house as the androids pounded on my door and looked through the windows at me.

In a similar dream, I was being chased by a humanoid robot again, only one this time. However, this one was different. There was something built into its system where it knew exactly where I was at all times. Like a GPS, it could track my whereabouts wherever I was in the world. It was out to get me, too, and it walked directly at me without ever stopping or tiring. Oh yes, it walked, just like a Working Joe. What scared me the most in that dream was the fact that I was never safe, never for long. It didn’t matter if I got out of town or settled down somewhere far away; the android would slowly walk towards me, ready to kill. I didn’t know if it would find me in a day, a week, a year, but it would find me eventually. I would never be safe.

From all this, you might get the impression that I am afraid of robots. If that were so, visiting this site on a frequent basis would be quite distressing. There’s the bot at the top of the page as well as all the robots in the comments sections telling me how their aunt’s uncle’s grandmother’s neighbor is making easy money by following one clever secret. No, there’s more to it than that. It’s the humanoid robot paired with the slow walk that really creeps me out.

In the first nightmare I can ever remember, I was in my childhood home at night. It was a darker night than normal where the darkness seemed almost physical, as if something sinister lurked out there in its midst. Our home’s layout had a couch against a side wall which peered down a small hallway leading to bedrooms, the bathroom, etc. I sat on that couch, completely frozen. The house was dark, but I could vaguely see down the hall. The doors were all opened and my family slowly walked toward me. Except, it wasn’t my family. They were some sort of zombies coming to kill me. They walked at me, shadowy forms of my loved ones, and there was nothing I could do. The dream ended before they reached me.

Basically: Childhood nightmare³ + human-looking robots + slow walking = Working Joes

I’ve gotten used to Working Joes, though, and they aren’t that bad from far away. Their little warm-up animation after booting up is pretty amusing and the flamethrower is helpful. Their little quips can be humorous and it’s fun to mess with them. I’m nearing the end of the game and the bolt gun is my best friend. Still, even though I’ve gotten used to them, I’d rather keep my distance.

Thanks to the capture feature on the PS4, I've been able to record game footage for the first time, which is neat. This video is from one of my encounters with a Working Joe earlier this year showing just how I deal with them.

What can I say? When it comes to horror games and Working Joes, I just like my personal space.

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About Bardleyone of us since 2:51 PM on 09.29.2014

Hi all, I'm Bardley.

I've been gaming ever since I was a kid, starting with the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy, both of which I still own and use. In the past few years, I've really enjoyed getting into retro game collecting. It's a blast playing games that were made before my time or that I have missed over the years. I have stuff from the Magnavox Odyssey 2 up to modern systems and enjoy them all.

It's incredible just how much video games have changed and advanced in the decades since their inception; I can't wait to see where games go from here.

If you'd like to know more about me, check out my introductory blog.