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 Gothic Horror, THE FERAL BEAST 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:
With prodigious strength and durability at its disposal, Mobhab is a fearsome enemy that shows how dangerous the wrath of nature is to the feeble forces of man. Though it is somewhat slower than the average monster and lacks long range attacks, this furious whale is a mighty foe to be reckoned with.
After having its photo taken, Mobhab can evolve into Ogonesy, a lake monster Arky of incredible stealth and durability. Though not an offensive powerhouse, Ogonesy’s immense health pool and ability to dodge most attacks makes it a powerful wall for enemies to overcome, and an excellent shield for its fellow monsters.
If given an expensive golden goblet to hold, Ogonesy can evolve into Felwyrm, a dark dragon Arky. Trading stealth for powerful long range attacks such as fire breath, noxious fumes, and poisonous spit, this deadly dragon can rain death on its enemies from a safe distance above, and has enough health to tank through what few hits manage to reach it.
If given a camcorder to use, Ogonesy can evolve into the misisng link Arky Foukfoot. Though it is not quite as bulky as its predecessor, it has even higher stealth on its side as well as more raw physical offensive power, and even has a crowd clearing stench attack that few monsters can resist.
If taken into a witches’ circle, Foukfoot can evil into Jerleed, a demonspawn Arky. Trading some stealth for speed and using flight to quickly close the gap between it and long range opponents, this Arky is an incredibly versatile fighter.
After defeating four humanoid Arkies, Mobhab can evolve into the maneater Brushark. With cold, dead eyes like a doll’s eyes and an insatiable urge to devour living beings, this killer shark fears few things, though, ironically for a sea going creature, it is oddly flammable.
After eating a pickle with a name carved into it, Mobhab can evolve into Dezkappa, a turtle-like yokai with strange dietary habits. A brutal physical attacker, Dezkappa is made all the more fearsome by its ability to feed on arcane attacks, swallowing the souls of its enemies in extreme cases. Thankfully, it is not only fairly slow, but dramatically loses its attack power when reduced to half its health.
If Dezkappa defeats an enemy during a seastorm, it can evolve into Uminingen, a mysterious ocean beast. Massive and horrible, this Arky modifies the environment, creating a hazardous storm that harms friend and foe alike while increasing the monster’s offensive power with each passing turn.