Monster of the Week: Jezebel


Origin: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Appearance: The design of the creature, made by Kazuma Kaneko, is truly amazing. A humanoid giant woman is partially fused with floral forms, creating a complex and still gorgeous female creature. The tree-like branches are like tentacles, spreading around flexibly, with purple flowers at the end. While the legs are ordinary pale legs, the other appendixes of Jezebel emerge randomly directly from the flowers, in a chaotic mixture of human and arboreal forms. Also the mouth is separated from the head, and it appears inside another flower, smiling. She is crawling on her knees like begging, or maybe she is unable to walk while sustaining the heaviness of the multiple branches in her upper body. There is something disturbing but beautiful in her design, especially the face, which keep femininity while showing intimidating red eyes.

Background: Her name came from a Phoenician princess from the Bible. She was associated with promiscuity, intrigue and lies. In the Old Testament she is the one responsible for spreading the cult of Baal. The beauty in her design highlights her seducing role, focused on intrigue and lies. The purple flowers are a symbol of danger and poison, since they show the same color of the Nightshade. The poison is a subtle female weapon that was used many times for political homicides, again connected to the biblical Jezebel. In Devil Survivor, Jezebel is a powerful demon that resides inside the main body of one of the main characters. The fight against her is tough and complicated. Jezebel is standing in a pool of lava, complicating the attempts to damage her. Moreover, since she is linked with one of the protagonists, hurting the demon will also hurt the character, which could die during the battle.

The Human Hydra of Fear & Hunger: never trust a NPC [Creepy Characters] — Surreal and Creepy

Fear & Hunger is for sure the darkest RPG ever made, set in a dungeon without morality and full of horrors and brutality (you can find a complete review in my other blog Dark RPGs: Fear & Hunger a journey in a land without morality). The enemies are grotesque and creepy foes, and even the […]

via The Human Hydra of Fear & Hunger: never trust a NPC [Creepy Characters] — Surreal and Creepy

The epic boss fight against the Burner in Parasite Eve 2 [Boss Battle]

Parasite Eve saga is still the best conjunction between survival-horror and Japanese RPG. The second chapter was not very well accepted at the release, offering a more “action” gameplay than the original title, causing rage between hardcore fans. In my opinion, the critiques where quiet harsh and Parasite Eve 2 is a proper horror game with interesting and tactical role-play combat, lot deeper than many JRPGs.

Especially the enemies design and the bosses made a jump forward in term of design and proper battle, compared to the first chapter. Between many amazing battles, the most memorable boss fight is for sure against the huge Burner. The creature is a giant and lethal abomination, with a flamethrower in his mouth. Since for size and color he could be similar to an elephant, several official pages wrongly pointed out that he is the actual mutation of an elephant. With the help of a translator and the official Japanese guide, it came out that the Burner is an actual human with an abnormally mutated pineal gland, which allowed him to grow up uncontrolled. The flamethrower in his mouth was installed to help him to easily assimilate food by burning his preys, regarding of their size.


The Burner appeared in the plot suddenly and unexpectedly. After a difficult day, the protagonist of the game, Aya, will decide to take a relaxing shower. For the huge disappointment of the teenagers at the time, the relaxing evening of Aya would be ruined by the night arrival of the Burner. The colossal creature will attack suddenly and in plain night, directly after a cutscene. The players at the time were suddenly shocked: from heaven to hell in few seconds.

The battle was long and epic. The main scenario was the second floor of a motel, a high-ground that would help to hit the face of the titanic Boss. The weak point is easy: the head of the monster. However, the battle is everything except than easy. The Burner will use his long arms to smash and grab, and his able to kill the player with a couple of shots. These attacks are difficult to avoid, due to the long reach of the monster. Of course, the Burner will also use his iconic weapon: the flamethrower. Also in this case, the attack will cover a huge section of the battlefield. Only by running quickly, the player would have a chance to survive. Shot after shot, the Burner will start to go down slowly from his huge amount of HP.


However, the monster has a last secret trick. He will grab the player, lifting him from the ground. Before being smashed against the wall, probably dying, the player will have the possibility to shot the monster while in his hand. This is a risky but rewarding strategy, since every shot will deal more damage to the Burner.


The fight against the Burner is not only one of the toughest and most spectacular in Parasite Eve 2, but it is also crucial to decide the ending of the game. The battle has an internal timer of 3 minutes. The player needs to inflict a lot of damages to the monster before the hidden timer runs out, reducing his health to around 1/4. Failing to do so will cause the monster to escape, but killing a secondary character during the cutscene. This will locked-out the best ending of Parasite Eve 2. Only by fighting good and focusing on attacking, the player would be able to kill the Burner before the timer runs out.

Parasite Eve 2 is a great combination between RPG and survival-horror , with some great boss battles. The Burner is only one of the many great bosses in this incredible old gem. More information about the boss in the official wiki:

Hylics review: a surreal painting in claymation — Surreal and Creepy

The world of Hylics is the closest thing to an alive Dalì painting in a videogame. This game was an amazing surprise, an indie gem hidden behind thousands of games in STEAM. The main core of Hylics is an old school JRPG, with turn combats, a world map full of secrets and vehicles to explore […]

via Hylics review: a surreal painting in claymation — Surreal and Creepy

Fear & Hunger Review: a journey in a land without morality for the darkest RPG ever made

Fear & Hunger is for sure darkest JRPG I ever played, full of gore, sex and torture; surely for a mature audience. The game is the JRPG equivalent of the board game Kingdom Death, especially for the dark themes and the heavy atmosphere. The sense of dread is incredible, every corridor or choice could bring you to a terrible death, behind any path could be a treasure or a horrible creature. Should I enter in that well? What would happen if I join the orgy of people with bunny masks? Every choice could bring to a really horrible death. For example during my first hours I died of hunger in a s****y well (literally), and I was tortured to death by a mad doctor. In a land without morality everything is allowed, from sacrifices kids to murder your party, or cannibalism. But nothing here is gratuitous, everything is well integrated to build a believable dark environment where everything is allowed to survive.

The combat system is quick and brilliant, turn-based fights focused on dismembering the opponent. Dismember fast your enemies, understanding which limb is the most dangerous, and finish the fight with less damages possible is the best way to survive.  An enemy is wielding a threatening giant mace? Cut his arm and avoid heavy damages. This is implemented in a very clever way, for example zombies can fight till be dismembered, while a head-shot for humans is lethal.


Here the injuries are deadly, and it is also possible to lost limbs or even eyes permanently. Without an arm the character cannot use heavy weapons or shield, while losing the legs will make the player dragging around his body through the dark corridors of the dungeon. It is obvious to say that these permanent debilitation will make the game almost impossible to complete, and loading a save would is the best option. With this in mind, the fighting in Fear & Hunger is far more stressful, brutal and dangerous than in any other RPGs, and should be avoided. There are no random encounters, experience and level up, for this reason fighting should be the last resource. It is true that if almost any enemy can be avoided, some of them are bringing very interesting weapons or tools. In this case, fighting them quickly could bring to interesting benefits.

The game is direct to a mature audience. Seriously! Game Over scenes could involve your character being raped to death, tortured or mutilated. In this dark world, sex, nudity and cannibalism are everywhere, together with madness and an uncomfortable touch of necrophilia. Worth to specify that nothing of these is gratuitous, light-hearted or integrated in a pleasant way, but it is focused on creating a dark and mature experience above the limits of morality. And it works, creating one of the darkest environment, which will scare, make you feel uneasy and questioning your own limits on how to survive.


Since in the game there is not experience, to learn new skills it is necessary to find specific book, or to use the souls collected from dead enemies to unlock them. The skills are usually character-specific or related to an Old God. To learn the abilities associated to a God, it is necessary to improve the relationship with that related god by doing specific acts in its name. Of course since the universe of Fear & Hunger is a dark place, to worship the Old Gods you can make human sacrifices, have sex or eat another human. This is reflected also on the skills that could be learned, from Necromancy to something called Dark Seed, which is better to don’t describe.

Fear & Hunger is a difficult but rewarding experience. The feeling of finally advancing alive and healthy in the dungeon is really satisfying. There is always some trial and error, but build in a conscious way, where an extended knowledge in the dungeon and in its deadly surprises will allow to understand how to avoid unneeded dangers. Anyway, this is an unforgiving game, where every error will punish and the odds are against the player. The loot system and many drastic decisions are based on a coin flip. Can this be unfair? Surely yes, especially when the coin rule can give you 50% possibilities to save or die, or make you lost crucial loot. Also the game will hide many mechanics, allowing the player to discover everything, but implying lot of trial and error and some searching in the web. Luckily the community is very active, and there is also a well done official wiki of the game.


During the tough descend in the belly of the dungeon, few characters can also be recruited in the party. But this is no an easy task, since the rules to recruit them are complex and the characters could be lost forever without knowing. For example, a dangerous wolf can be recruited by feeding it rotten meat, an immortal magician would speak with you only if a talisman is equipped, while another character can be saved only by reaching him quickly. Another topic is the use of spells, such as Necromancy, which are able to generate ghouls as allies from dead bodies. The secondary characters are interesting both for personal story and for use in combat. Some of them are impossible to control directly and will attack following their instinct. For example, I found very interesting how the wolf tend to focus its attacks on the legs of the enemies.

The atmosphere is pure nightmare inducing, full of disturbing creatures and evilness. A crow like entity will murder you if you sleep in his bed, while a giant ball made of heads will ask to sacrifice children to him. The monsters are original and creepy, from pregnant mannequins, to dismembering dancing wizards and old women fused with an ancient sewing machine.


The game also embraces darkness with many choices. Will you sacrifice your team? Will you kill to please the old gods? The game is opened to replayability, with the possibility to select between 4 different characters with its own skills and abilities. Each character has also a prologue, with different paths, which will define the starting abilities and equipment for each class. Abandon your friends to certain death? Your mercenary will learn Backstab. Put the temple on fire? The dark priest will learn Pyrotrick.

The lore and the setting is really complex and interesting, with a believable and unique mythology, far from the usual “inspired by Lovecraft” so common to many horror indie RPGs. Every monster, character and location is clearly part of the same universe. Sylvian for example is the goddess of love, but her love become twisted and people having sex in her name… well will not spoil the surprise. A very bizarre merchant will offer the player very powerful equipment in exchange for… children. Dedicated players will be rewarded with a deep knowledge of the world by reading books, or typing questions directly to the New Gods.

The art-style is simple but gorgeous, especially the monsters and the environment. Also the sound effects add another level of deepness, with disturbing noises and atmospheric music. The dismembering and the animations during the fights are also very satisfying.

This is a demanding and challenging game, sometime unfair and not for everyone. But if you are searching a unique JRPG, really dark and horror, with a complex and rewarding system, you should really give it a try.

A free key of the game was provided by the developers. The game is available on STEAM (only for 18+):

Monster of the Week: Downtown Nightmare (Mary Skelter) — Surreal and Creepy

Origin: Mary Skelter Nightmares (PC, VITA) Appearance: The creature is defined as a nightmare by name and especially by design. In the first form, the monster provides the most nightmarish appearance. The giant round face is watching directly to the player, with big, swollen and red eyes. A long and sticky tongue comes out from a creepy […]

via Monster of the Week: Downtown Nightmare (Mary Skelter) — Surreal and Creepy

Mary Skelter Nightmares Review: an innovative dungeon-crawler where fairytales are drenched in blood

A JRPG with a dark and creepy setting is a rarity these days. Unexpectedly, a dungeon-crawler with an aesthetic close to a hentai production, is instead one of the most interesting and dark experience for RPG lovers.

The Jail is a mysterious and colossal living organism that suddenly emerges from the underground to devour a city. Instead of simply dying, the people survived imprisoned by monsters, under constant weird tortures without an apparent reason. The Jail is also able to mimic and transform the environment, creating surreal and bizarre sub-worlds full of monsters. The protagonist of the game is one of these prisoners, suddenly joining a group of female heroines based on fairytale characters, able to use their own blood to fight the Jail and its creations.

From the gameplay point of view, Mary Skelter is a dungeon crawler with turn-based combat, random encounters, item crafting and a deep job system. Everything to enjoy and explore a complex, deep and classic system. But Mary Skelter also adds many innovative elements. The main character is for example unable to fight, but can manage his own blood to cure and restore the heroines, can use items or his own body as a shield to cover them. The other party members are instead able to take different jobs, each with its own skills and peculiarity. Other than mages and classic ranged and close attackers, there are also original jobs. For example an Item Meister is focused on improving the loot, while the Mimic can use skills from the enemies.


The setting and the atmosphere are the most interesting sides of the game. Exploring the Jail is full of surprises and never boring. I am not a huge fan of dungeon-crawler, since they can get easily boring and repetitive, but in Mary Skelter the dungeons are always alive and interesting. There are many creepy and surreal details all around, the walls are not just empty surfaces. Eyes, pulsing hearts, empty armours, hidden creatures, alive paintings… dozen of details. There are of course many secrets and traps: in this case the unique ability of your team will be helpful to make explode a wall, cut a net or activate with an arrow a far switch, for example. The exploration is never boring and always rewarding, with trap and gimmicks to add constantly variety, and hidden floors full of treasures to discover.


Also, since the dungeon is a living creature, it has some specific “needs”, that the player can satisfy to obtain random bonuses. Splatter blood around the dungeons to satisfy its hunger. Find specific points in the dungeon to satisfy libido. Explore and fight while not taking damage when the dungeon is sleeping to satisfy sleep. This concept is very interesting, because will make you feel like if truly exploring an alive organism, especially regarding the Hunger related to blood. After a tough battle, the walls of the dungeon will be splattered in (pink) blood forever, keeping always track of the fight.

The concept of blood management is also very interesting. The party can drench in the blood of the enemies to go in a sort of frenzy, or can “lick” the blood from each other to heal (and satisfy also the libido of the dungeon, since all the party is composed by female heroines). Even if this can sound weird, it adds another level to the dark environment of the game.


The RPG side is well developed, with challenging fights full of innovative mechanics, and an interesting system for level up and craft items. New weapons can really change the fate of an entire dungeon, improving the power of the party exponentially. But, since the drops are random, this sometime implies a bit of grinding, hoping to obtain a nice reward. This is never particularly boring and, expect for the beginning of the game that could be tough, there is never a huge necessity for farming experience or money, since the game is well balanced.

The monsters are truly creepy, bizarre and disturbing. If the design of the normal enemies can be sometime plain and simple, the Nightmares are always a brilliant surprise. These are immortal enemies, one for each dungeon, which at the beginning cannot be defeated. When the darkness arises, a nightmare is close. The only way to survive is to escape from it, or to knock it down temporally. In theory you can also use traps to slow it down while escaping. This concept practically transforms the game in a horror one, with a great improvement for its atmosphere. Also the map is disabled during a Nightmare chase, creating even more stress since it is very difficult to orientate. The Nightmares can be finally challenged at the end of each dungeons, providing complex and satisfying battles. Some of them are huge monstrosities, and the battle will transform in solving environmental puzzles while avoiding their area attacks.


The plot is enough interesting, using the dark and mature environment to keep the attention always up. There are also couple of expected plot twists, to add spiciness to the story. Worth to specify that there are also two different endings with two different bosses. Sadly, the characters are instead quiet plain and not well developed, but the innovative environment and the bizarre monsters will balance the equation. There is always a dense sense of mystery regarding what the Jail, the characters and the monsters truly are. Secrets and misinformation, in this case, are the best vehicle to paint an interesting story.

The graphical design of the dungeons and the enemies is especially good. In this kind of production often the enemies are static and lacking animations, but luckily this is not the case, with interesting enemies fully animated even when not attacking. The main characters on the contrary are simple portraits, and also during the dialogue everything is quiet static.

The only true negative side of the game is the wall of text. There is so much to read, and sometime the dialogues are really superficial, slowing down the pacing of the game. Also there is a bit of fan service, but luckily less than expected. A specific minigame to clean the corruption from the heroines has a lot of sexual references, but could be avoided after the first time. Also, the heroines are half-naked when entering in a frenzy state for blood corruption, but, since their design is very well done, personally this is not a negative thing.


After the main game there are also several secrets, for example a hidden party member to recruit and a huge bonus dungeon with a super boss at the end. Also each heroine has her own specific ending, so the final boss could be faced multiple times in order to see everything.

Mary Skelter is an interesting and innovative RPG, with a dark and creepy atmosphere and setting. If you are looking for a long game, focused on the exploration, with an almost horror setting and you are not scared by the amount of text, this is a game to try.

The game is available both on PS VITA and recently on STEAM.

Creepy mythological creatures with Shin Megami Tensei artworks — Surreal and Creepy

Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) is a creepy saga of japanese videogames. It always presents mature plots, interesting characters and twisted creature design. In the game, the player usually has to fight the demons in order to survive, but also he can bargain with them to recruit them in his ranks. These creatures are often designed by the japanese […]

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