To celebrate Horror Flora‘s four year anniversary, I’ve prepared a special treat for you: a bestiary for a non-existent monster catching game inspired by this website’s Iconic Characters of Horror Fiction essay series. Welcome to 4 Horror War, where people raise different Archetypal Fears – “Arkies” for short – into powerful monsters, and then battle each other to prove the superiority of their chosen fears. I’ll be posting a different Arky family each day from now through Halloween – today’s Arky family of the day belongs to Atomic Horror, THE MUTANT MEN FAMILY!
Now, before we dive in to the gritty details, an explanation/reminder of how this non-existent mons game works. Unlike Pokemon, evolution is not necessarily an upgrade – in other words, the first stage of a given family is generally on par with the most “advanced” stage. Evolution reshuffles stats rather than straight-up improving them, allowing the Arky to function differently on the team.
In addition to giving you alternate options/strategies for a given Arky, the family tree of each Archetypal Fear is sort of a huge meta-reference to how actual horror archetypes have, well, evolved in fiction. Though I’ve had to stretch now and then with the families to make every monster I wanted to make fit, the meta commentary is more or less accurate enough to make my inner horror nerd happy.
Ok, enough pre-amble, let’s dive in:
A mad scientist extraordinaire, Dr. Mutant has a variety of
arcane mad science attacks at its disposal, as well as a variety of buffs it can give to its allies in battle. Though frail in every regard, its ability to temporarily alter its fellow monsters’ stats and affinities still make it a force to be reckoned with.
If allowed to experiment with a teleportation machine, Dr. Mutant can evolve into Brundlbug. With a bit more health, stronger physical attacks, and the ability to teleport around the battlefield, this manic mutation trades some of Dr. Mutants more versatile mad science for a reliable hard hitting fighting style.
After trying an experimental beautifying formula, Brundlbug can evolve into Hernet. With hypnotic powers, a durable exoskeleton, and a deadly sting, this human-insect hybrid is a formidable long range threat.
If Dr. Mutant defeats an enemy while traveling in a sewer, it can evolve into Chudlok. Resilient to the extreme, Chudlok specializes in resisting ALL status effects, in addition to having above average defenses and a fairly large health pool.
If given a corporate sponsorship, Dr. Mutant can evolve into Xgongiv. A lumbering colossus, what this monster lacks in speed it makes up for in raw offensive power. With its massive claws and extendable tentacles, it is both a close and long range physical threat.
After dying four times in combat, Xgongiv can evolve into Tyrancrash. Lacking the long range attacks of its predecessor and sporting even less speed, it makes up for these deficiencies in raw brute power and resilience, though a cunning foe can pinpoint its glaring weaknesses.
After striking the last blow in combat four times in a row, Xgongiv can evolve into Condriava. Trading some physical durability for enhanced speed and flight, this powerful monster can deal massive damage from any range, and even sports a few powers that allow it to buff its allies in battle.
If allowed to augment its own mental prowess with a strange chemical, Dr. Mutant can evolve into Medulaga. Frail to the extreme, Medulaga sports a powerful array of psychic powers to defend itself, deflecting and dodging its opponents attacks while devastating them with a lethal array of psychic attacks.