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 MECHANIKILL 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:
A deadly machine from the red planet of war, Victripod towers over the battlefield and rains death from its black smoke emitter and heat ray box. Solid metal construction keeps its defenses high, making it a formidable long range fighter.
If told to downsize a tad, Victripod can evolve into Kaligort. While no longer the size of a house, this deadly robot is still a robust fighter whose laser vision and powerful pincers make it a very versatile attacker.
After fighting alongside a Kaiju Arky, Caligort can evolve into Mechanosaur, growing to an enormous size and sporting all kinds of new weapons. While far slower than most other Arkies in its family, its missile launchers, laser vision, and sheer brute force still make it a powerful foe to be reckoned with.
After being asked to add flight to its list of abilities, Victripod can evolve into Yuefoh. This speedy flying saucer has a variety of dazzling arcane attacks, and gains attack power when it shares the field with Alien and Xenofauna Arkies.
If it experiences the human emotion known as “love,” Yuefoh can evolve into Androman. Though not as heavily armored as other Mechanikill Arkies, Androman can excel with physical and arcane attacks at both close and long range, and even boasts some misdirection skills by way of looking too silly to be taken seriously as a threat.
If it experiences the human emotion known as “hate,” Yuefoh can evolve into Ledak. This mobile pepper pot-shaped robot boasts the most deadly arcane attacks of the entire Mechanikill family, disintegrating foes with its deadly laser beam while screaming in unrelenting fury at their very existence.
If given an experimental upgrade, Victripod can evolve into ATST 2099. A chicken-legged killing machine, this deadly robot boasts high defenses and lethal weaponry, though its aim becomes incredibly poor if introduced to unstable terrain.
If allowed to connect to the internet, ATST 2099 can evolve into MAD.LIN. A domineering artificial intelligence, MAD.LIN buffs allies with cybernetic upgrades, debuffs enemies with cutting sarcasm and vicious insults, and can kill from long range with laser blasts and deadly neurotoxin sprays.