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 ALIEN INVADER 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:
Hailing from the red planet of war, Marell is an intelligent creature with awe inspiring mad science attacks at its disposal, though its low defense makes it vulnerable, and it is especially susceptible to status effects.
When fed a human brain, Marell can evolve into Slithug. A parasitic creature. Slithug is even frailer than its predecessor, but that suits the monster just fine, as it rarely stays in battle long. Slithug’s special attack allows it to take control of an enemy monster, puppeteering their body until they run out of HP, at which point it tries to take another host as soon as possible.
If given a reel of film to hold, Marell can evolve into Mortaxoid. Another alien from the red planet of war, this bizarre creature can create force fields to protect it and its allies from harm while assaulting its foes with a variety of long range laser weapons. Should its shields fall, though, it proves to be easy prey.
If given special eye drops, Mortaxoid can evolve into Bulgeyem. This green skinned alien sports a dazzling array of long range laser attacks, including deadly finger-mounted ocular rays! With great speed and cunning, it is a formidable monster despite having middle-of-the-road defenses.
When given a special top secret government file folder, Marell can evolve into Grayblin. This naughty alien excels at modifying others creatures, bewildering their senses with a bizarre lightshow and increasing or decreasing their stats with strange probes and radioactive rays. Its laser gun can deal devastating long range attacks as well, and its high agility allows it to dodge attacks that would otherwise destroy its fragile body.
After listening to the radio, Grayblin can evolve into Zimzam. An intergalactic warlord, Zimzam’s astounding charisma passively boosts the attack stats of its allies, while his eloquent commands help improve their accuracy. His laser pistol is a deadly long range weapon, allowing him to keep well out of harm’s way beyond his faithful lackeys – err, allies.
If given some candy coated chocolate treats, Marell can evolve into Creechur. A mean-spirited alien furball, this diminutive monster is incredibly fast and packs a wallop with its sheering jaws and inexhaustible energy.
When given a book of old jokes, Creechur can evolve into Jestlien. This killer clown is durable and versatile in combat, sporting a mix of close and long range attacks as well as several debuffs to throw its foes off guard.