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 KILLER PLANT 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 completely incapable of attacking at long range, Humantrap is utterly deadly in close quarters, dragging foes into its mouth and keeping them from acting for one to three turns while dealing massive damage to them.
Evolving from Humantrap after being encouraged to listen to showtunes, Audrevil is a charming creature that can turn enemies against each other with its enchanting songs, while also being able to deal and take a lot of punishment in a straight fight.
After witnessing a solar eclipse, Audrevil can evolve into Trifidius. This sinister flower blinds opponents with its venomous sting, greatly reducing their accuracy so the plant and its allies can kill them at their leisure.
After killing a Revenant Arky, Trifidius can evolve into Weedwalker. Boasting a far greater speed stat than any member of its family, Weedwalker is a versatile fighter that can easily adapt to both long and close range combat with its whipping tendrils, powerful jaws, and acidic spit.
After traveling under the stars at night, Humantrap can evolve into Podpeep. This floral parasite can transform into any Arky it shares the field of battle with, copying their appearance, attacks, and stats while retaining its Atomic Horror affinity.
After eating a strange mushroom, Podpeep can evolve into Mushtango. This fungoid monster infects any creature that attacks it with a horrible status effect that deals continuous damage during the fight while slowly depleting their defense stat. Its high health pool allows it to stay in combat a long time, giving it ample opportunity to infect as many foes as possible.
When encouraged to forge its own identity, Podpeep can evolve into Florahora. This horticultural siren stops foes in their tracks with a mixture of charm and sonic screams, then uses its powerful tendrils to tear them apart.
Evolving from Podpeed after killing an enemy in a swamp, Slimarsh is a humanoid bog monster made of animate algae and swamp weeds. In addition to hitting pretty hard, this slimy creature can return from the dead once per battle so long as a slot is left open for it on its owner’s side of the field for three turns.