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 KILLER TOY 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:
Though filled with love for innocent children, Terrotina knows the world is full of rotten adults, and delights in cutting them to shreds with its deadly knife. A stealthy killer, Terrotina can’t take that many hits, but can do a lot of damage thanks to its evasiveness, speed, and cunning eye for weak spots.
If given a book of old jokes to hold, Terrotina can evolve into Venkilloquist. Now skilled in the arts of mockery, this murderous puppet excels at misdirection and debuffs, keeping foes off their game while it or its allies sneak in for the kill.
If given modifications to increase its articulation, Venkilloquist can evolve into Scarionette. Faster and stronger than its predecessor, Scarionette is a well rounded fighter who can take a few hits and keep on killing.
If encouraged to lighten up a bit, Scarionette can evolve into Stabby Monster. More light-hearted and satirical than before, this Arky can endure a lot of punishment while cutting foes to ribbons in a maniacal spree.
If refurbished with professional tools, Terrotina can evolve into Gorcelain. Now a beautiful if unnerving sight to behold, this vintage doll prefers to devastate its opponents from long range with Arcane attacks, as its beautiful body is nonetheless highly fragile.
If kept alive from the start of a battle to its end without healing once, Terrotina can evolve into Kidstuff. Made of durable plastic, this sadistic doll is a sturdy little murderer, and something of a jack of all trades.
After killing four Atomic Horror Arkies in battle, Kidstuff can evolve into Glurble. Now made with cutting edge children’s toy technology, Glurble is a malevolent little toy whose disarmingly cute appearance allows it to gut enemies like unsuspecting fish in a barrel.
After killing four Gothic Horror Arkies in combat, Glurble can evolve into Redyfredy. The largest member of the Killer Toy family, Redyfredy is also the most durable, allowing it to beat foes into submission with its raw strength while tanking through most of what its enemies throw at it.