[Editorial] You Tried to Make Me a Killer Vol. 1: Chucky
Updated: Mar 29
As Dead by Daylight approaches its four-year anniversary, the people of the Fog continue to speculate which icon of horror past will be immortalized by The Entity and its mysterious, godlike power. Previously, we have seen Michael Myers (The Shape), Bubba Sawyer (The Cannibal), Freddy Krueger (The Nightmare), Ghost Face, Amanda Young (The Pig), and The Demogorgon join the extensive roster of Killers. Even with tweaks and the occasional full rework, the loyal fanbase has tasted blood and they want more, as they ache for another licensed Killer to take control of.
In this series, I aim to make a case for the legendary slashers we all know and love to be included in the undisputed champion of asymmetrical horror gaming. By doing so, I don’t intend to make the assertion that my ideas are any better than those of the development team. In a way, though, I am challenging the fine folks at Behaviour to do better, to exceed the expectations of the fans as they more or less have consistently done.
For this first installment, I am arguing in defense of Charles Lee Ray, better known to the world as Chucky, from the Child’s Play franchise. At first, the case is not a hard one to make, as just last year, we were graced with a reimagining directed by Lars Klevberg, which I have previously reviewed. The recency effect makes a case, until we remember the dodgy history of the franchise, namely its turn to self-aware horror-comedy with 1998’s Bride of Chucky and 2004’s Seed of Chucky. Then we remember that Syfy has a 10-episode order for a Chucky TV series, and we resolve to strike while the iron is hot.
As much of a soft spot as I have for the former, I recognize that not all of the fanbase may share my sentiments. It’s the exact moment where even our favorite plastic assassin jumped right into the late Nineties post-Scream fervor. Further, the game has a straight-laced approach to its execution. The humor in the game is accidental and entirely human, determined and played out by its players, and not intended, at least on a surface level, by the developers. Further still, the Freddy we see in the game is not the wise-cracking smartass from the Eighties, but is more closely based on the 2010 remake, as he was portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley. The name of the game is menace, not maniacal laughter, in other words.
So we just have to make Chucky scary, right? That’s the only hiccup we have standing between us and the Good Guy gracing our consoles and computers with his presence? Not quite. Even the diminutive Killers like The Nurse and The Hag are able to carry Survivors with relative ease. A doll that stands shorter than his six-year-old friend till the end would have trouble doing so, but given that he performed more than his fair share of indoor kills followed by outdoor burials, I’m willing to fill in the blanks and say that Chucky is able to drag his victims at will. Getting them onto the Hook for a sacrifice is a bit more difficult to logic out, but as The Entity has been known to give certain advantages and encouragements to those who carry out its will, I make the following suggestion: make the hooks shorter, and once a Survivor is hooked on it, then it rises to what would be a “normal” height. This could be the sort of thing justified with a connection to The Entity, as aura reading is canonized as; in other words, when Chucky nears a hook, The Entity lowers it for him to place his victim onto, then raises it once they’re successfully hooked.
It’s worth mentioning that we need the iconic Brad Dourif to voice Chucky. If we can get Bruce Campbell to voice Ash, this can’t be too much to ask, right?
Martha Stewart be damned, Chucky’s weapon of choice is a knife, but the most infamous iteration of his choice blade might be Kyle’s switchblade from Child’s Play 2. In an homage to The Evil Dead, once Chucky’s hand is detached following an unfortunate meeting with a safety gate, he affixes it to the stump, much like Ash did with his chainsaw. For bonus points, you could add in a sort of choice encounter, in which Survivor Ash sees Killer Chucky imitating the S-Mart employee, prompting a witty one-liner from the king of the B-movies, Bruce Campbell. It’s optional, I don’t need it, and yes, I’ve already established that Dead by Daylight doesn’t usually go for explicitly-stated humor, but a guy can dream, man.
Speaking of Child’s Play 2, Chucky’s map simply has to be the Good Guys Factory in Chicago. It is the setting for the finale of that film, and possibly the best final sequence of the franchise. Plus, the winding shots and plenty of conveyor belts just beg for some randomly-generated loops to be dropped in.
For Chucky’s power, the easiest choice was something to do with the Damballa ritual seen in most of the Child’s Play films. The ability to take over another being is, in layman’s terms for this application, OP (overpowered). This doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t use it, it means that to get to said ritual, it has to be a challenge. Make it too challenging, and it won’t be worth it, and this legend of Eighties and Nineties horror comes in not with a roar, but with a Brock Lesnar-like battle cry.
To this end, the spell must be an alternative to sacrificing or killing the Survivor. Both of these tasks are the end of the Survivor life cycle, and both require the Survivor to have already been hooked previously. Therefore, for the ritual to even be attempted, the Survivor will have to be whittled down to below half of their Hook meter - in other words, being rescued from the Hook after entering phase 2 of the sacrifice, the struggle - or it’s too much. I recognize that this is a step beyond the conditions for a usual Mori, which only stipulates that the Survivor be on the Hook at least once before using. But this is a step beyond a Mori, it is a kill (in terms of the game, I envision this being equated to a Mori for the Survivor) and then re-animation, so there should be an extra step to achieving it. The ritual itself will be noisy, as it nearly always was signaled by storm clouds rolling in, so this would alert the other Survivors to its occurrence. In the event that a Survivor interrupts the ritual, Chucky would be stunned for several seconds, and the once-victim would rise to their feet, assuming the Injured status effect.
Once Chucky has completed the ritual, the Killer will assume control of the Survivor he performed the ritual on. He should maintain all of his perks and add-ons, but as I envision a couple of categories of add-ons would include things pertaining to the ritual, this may not be much of a bonus as it looks to be on paper. He will assume standard Killer movement speed (115%), a standard lunge range, and a standard 32 meter Terror Radius. However, if Chucky assumes a new human host, he will lose the next ability…
The Vault Lunge. Face facts, Chucky is a tiny little guy. As I alluded to earlier, in the original Child’s Play, he stands shorter than even six-year-old Andy. As such, the Lakeshore Strangler makes do with the environment around him. Without totally introducing a new environmental mechanic to the meta, we can take an existing one (vault points, such as windows) and take it a step further. With the Vault Lunge, Chucky could launch himself off the windowpane and onto a Survivor, engaging in a struggle via Skill Checks. The better the Skill Check, the closer each side gets to winning. Since these struggles, as they appear on film, do not always result in the victim’s demise, I’m going to compromise and say that, on a healthy Survivor, the Vault Lunge will take them down to Injured, and if they lose the struggle, then they’re put into the Dying state. If the Survivor is injured, the struggle would favor Chucky, but wouldn’t necessarily write the Survivor off as doomed.
(Author’s Note: At one point, I envisioned the struggle being similar to a Survivor trying to wiggle during a Carry, but if it’s going to be Chucky imposing his will on the Survivor, it needs to be a two-way street, unlike the wiggle, which already sees the Survivor in the Dying state.)
For Chucky’s natural perks, we have to go with trademarks of everyone’s favorite killer doll. If the Good Guy is anything, he’s a persistent little fucker, and thus we have “Can’t Keep A Good Guy Down.” This perk will gain a Token each time Chucky is stunned by a pallet or a flashlight, up to a certain amount based on the perk’s tier. For each token, the duration of a stun will be decreased slightly, though if the Killer breaks a pallet, they spend a Token. This could be paired with something like Enduring (one of Hillbilly’s teachables) to create a build I would call… The Chuckinator. Or something.
Next, we need to make some kind of offensive provision for the doll’s half-pint stature, and we do so by giving him a means to use the environment to his advantage. One of the most enduring, iconic kills is that of Officer Kincaid (RIP, John Ritter) in Bride of Chucky. The nod to the world’s most iconic Cenobite is a lasting image, and is prompted by Tiffany’s jeering of Chucky’s Ol’ Faithful, likening him to Martha Stewart as he brandishes his knife. Call this perk “What Would Martha Stewart Do?” for one of the few jokes in the horror-comedy Chucky era that actually lands. With this perk, the Entity empowers the Killer with the ability to trap a Generator or a broken Pallet, which sets off a Loud Noise notification when set off. The length of time between trap settings would depend on the perk’s tier. At first, I wanted this to injure a Survivor, but even I know that’s OP, and that’s coming from a dirty Killer main. I also toyed with the idea of it revealing the Survivor’s aura, but I felt like that was even too much.
Finally, Chucky is an angry little thing, be it flipping off judgmental old ladies in the elevator or road-raging a Britney Spears look-alike off the road. As such, we have “Don’t Fuck with the Chuck,” and this one is focused on making up for tricky, slippery Survivors that turn chases into juke-fests. Missing a Basic Attack while in a chase accrues a Token for this perk, up to a certain amount. Each Token decreases the missed attack cooldown, and landing a successful Basic Attack spends all of the saved Tokens. Pairing this with something like Play With Your Food could make for some interesting gameplay.
Add-Ons, while I am refraining from doing a full top-to-bottom breakdown, should focus on things such as Vault Lunge range, length of the ritual (i.e. how long it takes from start to finish), and perhaps a boost to Skill Checks during the Struggle initiated by the Vault Lunge. For a Mori, I think a simple yet effective finisher would be the Redman-style disembowelment suffered by the hip-hop star in Seed of Chucky.
Thus we have the case made for Chucky, aka Charles Lee Ray, aka The Lakeshore Strangler, to enter The Fog and take victims in Dead by Daylight. I would love to hear what everyone’s ideas would be for Killers or Survivors in the game. I have a list compiled already, but for now, this has been “You Tried to Make Me a Killer.”
See you in The Fog.
Name - The Good Guy
Weapon - Kyle’s Switchblade - A memento from a previous owner.
Power - Heart of Damballa: Using the voodoo magic he learned from “Dr. Death” John Bishop, Charles Lee Ray was able to transfer his living soul into an inanimate doll, as his own form expired. The Heart of Damballa empowers Chucky in his toy form, allowing him to perform supernatural feats. While his ultimate goal is to live on in a human form once again, re-animation is not the only power the Heart contains.
Chucky can also perform a special Lunge attack at vault points.
If the attack connects, it will injure the Survivor and trigger a struggle, which will feature Skill Checks. If the Killer wins this struggle, the Survivor will be put into the Dying state. If the Survivor wins the struggle, Chucky will be stunned momentarily, and the Survivor will be put into the Injured state. A Vault Lunge onto an Injured Survivor will favor the Killer, and if the Survivor wins the resulting struggle, the Survivor will suffer the Deep Wound status.
Once per match, if a Survivor is put into the Dying state after previously being Hooked, and the next Hook would put them in phase 3 of the sacrifice, Chucky may use his voodoo powers to attempt the Damballa Spell.
Upon the beginning of the Ritual, Survivors will be notified by storm clouds and a Loud Noise notification. In order for the ritual to be completed, Chucky must complete the full channel uninterrupted. If a Survivor pulls Chucky off of the victim, he will be stunned for several seconds. The victim will be healed up to the Injured status.
If the Ritual is completed, the victim will be re-animated and controlled by the Killer, as the spirit of The Lakeshore Strangler will be transferred into a new human host.
Upon a completed Ritual, the victim will be considered Killed. Chucky will maintain all of his Perks and Add-Ons, but will have no further powers. A Re-Animated Chucky will not be able to use the Vault Lunge. He will also carry the base stats of a standard killer (115% movement speed, 32m Terror Radius, standard lunge range).
30 - Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down
Resilience and persistence is key in a killer’s crimes.
Anytime the Killer is stunned, Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down gains a Token, up to a maximum of 2/3/4. For each token, the duration of a stun is slightly decreased.
Breaking a dropped pallet will spend one of this perk’s tokens.
35 - What Would Martha Stewart Do?
The encouragement of Chucky’s lover, Tiffany Valentine, echoes in his mind as he plots his murders.
Not content with using conventional means, the Killer gets creative. Once every 120/100/80 seconds, the Killer can break a Generator or a Pallet and set a trap. Upon setting off a trap, the Killer will get a Loud Noise notification.
40 - Don’t Fuck with the Chuck
Short doll, short temper. His anger issues in his human life translated to his doll form.
During a Chase, anytime the Killer misses an attack, Don’t Fuck with the Chuck gains a Token, up to a maximum of 3/4/5. For each token, the cooldown after a missed attack is decreased by 5%/7%/10%.
A successful Basic Attack spends all of this perk’s tokens.
Mori - The Redman: Chucky climbs onto the victim’s chest and disembowels them.
Map - Good Guys Factory, Chicago, IL