Fear & Hunger doesn’t go soft in terms of enemies and bosses, providing a set of disturbing and grotesque creatures, including challenging boss battles against gigantic abominations able to wipe out the entire party in a festival of mutilations. In fact, this is the second entry for Fear & Hunger in Boss Battle, previously featuring the relentless Crow Mauler: When it is impossible to Save: surviving all the mutilations of the Crow Mauler in Fear & Hunger [Boss Battle].
Fear & Hunger has a complex Pantheon of gods, specifically divided into Old and New. While the New Gods are humans ascended to divinity, the Old Ones are ancient twisted and macabre beings, mysterious creatures born at the beginning of time. Usually, the Old Gods are described and portrayed in books scattered around the dark dungeons, manuscripts probably wrote by cultists trying to assign a physical form to their deities, even if this is often far from the God’s true form. At least 5 Old Gods are described in the books, starting with Alllmer, a sort of twisted revisited version of Jesus Christ, to the hermetic Moon God, which has a relevant role in the sequel of Fear & Hunger. However, two Old Gods appear as hidden boss battles in the original game, offering brutal and challenging fights.
Gro-goroth is also known as the God of Destruction, a dangerous and malevolent entity connected with death and carnages. The Old God lies beneath the most difficult dungeon of the game, deep inside the mouth of a gigantic monster, after passing deadly traps and monsters. Moreover, Gro-goroth can be faced only by going for the Ending B, meaning that a party member, the Girl, should be dead (if you want an idea of all the horrible things that can happen to this party member, check my article: Fear & Hunger: the many ways to permanently sacrifice the Girl [Evil Quests]). Gro-goroth will emerge from the darkness below a platform entirely made of dead bodies, ready to fight the party after an existentialist conversation. Only the upper half of the gigantic creature is visible, a muscled torso made of twisted flesh, grotesque organs, wings, and gigantic stone-like claws. Gro-goroth is a visual cacophony of flesh, even having a mouth opening in the middle of its chest, or sort of beak-like elements decorating its neck. The face somehow keeps a sparkle of humanity, a pale mask similar to a marble statue.
As expected from an end-game boss fight, the enemy is a devastating force of destruction. The gigantic god has multiple attacks, caused by different limbs and organs. The sharp claws are its main weapon, able to inflict tremendous damage, including the bleeding effect. Taking this into account, cutting-off the claws is a vital strategy to facilitate the fight. But this is not all, multiple eyes can emerge from the flesh of its body, creating additional enemies. The eyes will cry out a scorching liquid on top of the party, causing moderate damage and the burning effect. Up to 5 eyes can open in its body and, even if they have few HP, not taking action against them could cause a swarming of damages and effects in each turn.
If this is not enough, Gro-goroth also knows powerful spells, such as Burning Gaze or the mysterious Whisper of Gro-goroth. The second enchantment is particularly peculiar: it will mark a party member with a countdown and, when it will reach 0, that character will instantly die. After all, Gro-goroth is the god of death and destruction for a reason.
The second Old God was added to the game in one of the last updates. While going for ending C, the player will now reach an empty and dark wasteland, a sort of abyss out of time and space. In this extreme environment, the main character should find again the other party members while avoiding deadly and dangerous hunting creatures. But it is on a stone bridge suspended above a green light that the party will face Sylvian, the god of sex and fertility. If Gro-goroth was very similar to the images inside the unholy manuscripts, Sylvian is drastically different. The books portray her as a humanoid goddess with the body covered in breasts, a fitting representation for the god of fertility.
Sylvian is honoured with orgies from her followers, worshipped as carnal and universal love. However, Sylvian’s love for mankind got twisted during the ages, becoming a sick parody of sex, passion, and love. For example, people marrying in honour of Sylvian will be blessed with an abominable marriage, meaning that their bodies will be fused together in a grotesque mass of flesh. This is also reflected in the true form of Sylvian: a grotesque mass of green flesh and tentacles surrounding a half-exposed ribcage, with pointed breasts and a shark-like head.
The boss battle is probably the most difficult in the entire game. The god has an insane amount of HP and it can use some really dirty tricks. Each tentacle attacks individually causing different negative effects, such as stun or bleeding, but the bigger ones are the true danger, especially if they grab party members, basically trapping them in a suffocating hug. Sylvian can also strike the mind of the characters, complicating the life of spell-casters. Color of the Unknown is the most dangerous between these attacks since it will damage the minds of the entire party.
However, the most disturbing move is related to a sort of tumorigenic mass that will grow at each turn from the ribcage of the god. The attack is very similar to the one of another creature, Uterus (you can read about this monster here: Monster of the Week: Uterus (Fear & Hunger)), just this time it is even more dangerous. If not defeated on time, the mass will transform each turn into a more humanoid figure. The fully developed creature will add an extra layer of difficulty in the battle, with the possibility of completely murdering a character with one attack.
While other Old Gods are present in the game, such as the dead body of Alllmer, only Gro-goroth and Sylvian can be challenged and defeated in battle.
However, as expected from images and Demo, the Moon God, Rher, plays a central role in the sequel Fear & Hunger 2 Termina. The Moon God is very mysterious, hidden in plain sight from humanity and with ambiguous plans. It is also addressed as the Trickster God, described as jealous and incredibly resentful of humanity. On the other hand, in contraposition, Rher is also considered the God of Truth. In fact, people exposed to its “moonlight” mutate into their true selves… of course meaning mutating into grotesque and insane abominations. While common people go into a shared mutating path while “moonscorched,” as if this is a sort of supernatural disease, special people evolve into more dangerous and personalized monstrosities, often keeping a sparkle of their intellect.
Several creatures and characters from the previous title, specifically the disturbing Pocketcat and the Lady of the Moon (which you can read more about here: The Pocketcat of Fear & Hunger: what RPG merchant could be more disturbing than one exchanging items for children? [Evil Characters]) are servants of this mysterious Old God. They are obsessed with children, especially to kidnap them, probably not only to despise humankind but also to remove gifted people from the equation. In Termina, Per’kele is the emissary of Rher, in charge of organizing the Termina festival to select the surviving candidate and admit them to his tower.
As for the two previous Gods before, it is also possible to fight Rher in Termina. To face the God, the player should look for ending B, meaning to become the only candidate reaching the tower alive but still not considered worthy of the Rher’s attention. After defeating Per’kele, he will reveal that the god left this reality, leaving only a trace behind it. And still, as if pulled from a chain, a gigantic smiling moon will drop from the sky to crush the unworthy player. And this is where the battle against Rher begins.
Rher appears as a creepy gigantic face with holes as eyes and a skeleton-like mouth, surrounded by two rings full of eyes. The God is an insanely difficult battle, especially since the player must kill all the other potential party members to face it. So basically you can only fight it alone, or maximum with an evil goat, weak ghouls, and summons. And if this was not enough, Rher has a tremendous range of attacks. Its base attack, Moonscorched, is a column of light falling from the sky, a single-target high-damage attack. Two hits from this attack are enough to kill any character. Lunar Storm materializes a meteor shower from the sky, heavily damaging the entire party. Dreamscape is probably the most visually striking attack. Rher will briefly summon a warrior made of light, which will slash one target. The attack is not as damaging as Moomscorched, but this is not a relief since Dreamscape has a high chance of severing limbs.
However, the most complex side of the battle comes from the eyes surrounding Rher. The eyes attack after Rher using multiple times the All Seeing Eyes ability. In the beginning, these attacks look like a minor concern, only slightly damaging the Mind. But there is a powerful downside to this. When Mind reaches 0 against Rher, each turn there is a 50% chance of simply dying because your Mind cannot manage Rher’s vision. First, you will become blind. Then, you will only see indescribable horrors. In the end, the brain will simply melt.
So while avoiding powerful attacks, without a party, the player must also kill as many eyes as possible while managing their health and Mind to avoid instant death. This is what you call a secret super boss battle against an Old God.