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 Slasher Horror, THE BAD SEED 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:
Brimming with evil potential, Babelzebub can already wield the arcane powers of hell with great power, and the foul stench it emits when it takes the field can be a deadly distraction for its unwitting foes.
If encouraged to view itself as the center of the universe, Babelzebub can evolve into Nastyboi, a loathsome little murderer who delights in using the powers of hell to torment its enemies for even the pettiest of slights. It can play innocent when attacked by an enemy, weakening their resolve so it can escape with only the lightest of punishments.
If scolded for its selfish ways, Nastyboi can become Cornkid. Now very serious for someone its age, this Arky still delights in bossing others around and passing the blame onto its allies, though now it claims to do so in service of a greater power than itself.
After killing four enemies with its arcane attacks, Babelzebub can evolve into Damkid. Now brimming with untapped supernatural power, this hellspawn can kill with a glance, firing deadly psychic beams from its eyes and fingertips.
After being given a teddy bear, Damkid can evolve into Murdermoe. Outwardly behaving like a more normal child, this murderous monster still bears vast arcane power, though it can now wield it with more precision, buffing allies and debuffing enemies in addition to dealing Arcane damage.
If kept on a team but never allowed to take the field for four battles in a row, Damkid can evolve into Telecarry. With greater health than any of its predecessors and the ability to turn enemies against each other in addition to its still sizable arcane attacks, this Arky is a bit more well-rounded than its highly specialized peers.
If Babelzebub’s owner fails to shower it with affection, it can evolve into Yandearie. Now boasting immense physical attack power, Yandearie is hypercompetitive, growing more aggressive and violent when its allies score successful hits on enemies. While this means its attack stat can grow ludicrously high the longer it remains in battle, it also increases the chance that Yandearie may choose to lash out at its allies instead of its enemies.
If killed by one of its allies in battle, Yandearie can evolve into Subekruel. Now forced to stay on track by the bomb around its neck, Subekruel is a more reliable physical fighter than its predecessor, focusing its wrath upon its enemies exclusively. If killed in battle, Subekruel explodes violently, dealing a good amount of damage to its enemies in the process.