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 NEW FLESH 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:
Emerging from the belly of some hapless dope, Tummygun not only has devastating long range attacks, but infects enemies with a desire to tear themselves open, leading any it damages a self-destructive wreck.
If encouraged to take a more active role in battle, Tummygum can evolve into Tetsuohno. Now a massive limb of meat and metal, this bio-mechanical entity is a formidable physical threat.
After increasing its IQ from doing sudoku puzzles, Tetsuohno can eveolve into Kiradrome. A colossal mass of techno-organic meat, this lurching monster may move slowly, but between its devastating Arcane attack power, huge health pool, and powerful psychic defenses, it is an extremely difficult colossus to kill.
If encouraged to spread the gospel of the new flesh in a less violent way, Tummygun can evolve into Screengazer. Cheerful and eloquent, Screengazer distracts enemies with a variety of misdirection tactics, and sneakily fries their brains with its Arcane psychic attacks.
If it survives four battles while solely using offensive attacks, Screengazer can evolve into Tellybelly. Armed with a big tendril of lumpy flesh and even more potent psychic attacks, this Arky is a deadly fighter at any range.
If it survives four battles without ever using offensive moves, Screengazer can evolve into Meatmoss. Cunning, charismatic, and boasting a vast pool of health and strong defenses, this Arky excels at directing its fellow monsters in combat, buffing their strengths, covering their weaknesses, healing their wounds, and overall leading them to victory.
If Tummygun manages to wipe out an enemy team without any of its allies lifting a finger to help, it can evolve into Malomobile. A fast moving tank of a vehicle, this murderous car’s only true weakness is its lack of ranged and Arcane attacks.
If kept in the same position on the field without ever moving until eight of the enemy Arkies are dead, Malomobile can evolve into Polifemus. Trading a great deal of the speed of its predecessor for long-range psychic attacks, this cabinet creep may not be as mobile as its predecessor, but is a much more versatile attacker as a result.