Monster of the Week: Irrational Obelisk (Fear & Hunger 2 Termina)

Origin: Fear & Hunger 2 Termina

Appearance: The Obelisk is a cryptic and disturbing being, hidden in the silent depth of an abandoned shopping mall. After passing through lifeless mannequins, the Obelisk will be there, standing in the middle of the basement. The creature is a sort of massive tower made of clothes, specifically white man shirts, melted together in this structure. The Obelisk is a towering object, not clear if it is a living being or an investigable object. However, after interacting with it, the player can decide to attack the creature. But is this a wise decision?

Background: The Irrational Obelisk is a mysterious being breaking the conventional rules of the game. Hidden in the depth of an abandoned mall, surrounded by motionless creepy mannequins, the Obelisk apparently serves no purpose. It doesn’t provide a quest, dialogue, or any form of interaction. The player can indeed try to talk with the Obelisk, asking about its meaning, but the Obelisk will never reply. However, it can be attacked. But even the battle is a complete mystery. The Obelisk attacks only by draining your mind, bringing the characters on the edge of insanity, without having a direct way of harming them. And interestingly, by doing this, the Obelisk can inflict every phobia in the game. Strangely enough, the party can damage the Obelisk with anything, but it doesn’t show a direct weakness or susceptibility to status effects. The problem? The Obelisk doesn’t seem to die, no matter how many turns you attack it, or how close you are to becoming insane. It will simply stand there draining your mind. However, rumors say that the Obelisk can be killed, but with the insane amount of HPs (probably 999,999 HP), it will probably take hours. And who knows if the reward is truly worthy.

The Irrational Obelisk is the representation of how insane some quests can be, and how sometimes a battle is simply pointless. Fear & Hunger already deconstructed the genre before, for example with the Human Hydra (check more in my analysis HERE). But, while in that case, it was more related to the quest-effort/reward dichotomy, in this case, is more battle-effort/reward. And as the name suggested, the Obelisk is an irrational battle, so why even try to fight this being? Regarding the influences of the creature, in a recent interview here with the developer, Miro, he clearly stated how the Obelisk was influenced by a piece of modern art that he once saw in Finland. Moreover, the creator has an “irrational phobia for buttoned shirts”, and this being is clearly the embodiment of such fear. Here is the link to the interview, in case you didn’t check it: The darkest secrets of Fear & Hunger 2 Termina: second interview with the creator Miro Haverinen. Outside of RPG rules, the Irrational Obelisk is also a monolith to the irrational phobias, which drive away your sanity no matter how long you fight them. No matter how irrational, huge, or cryptic the phobias are, fighting against them is always a colossal effort.

Monster of the Week: The Brood Mother and her progeny (Vigil)

Origin: Vigil the Longest Night

Appearance: The boss is a giant and grotesque abomination, showing female humanoid traits combined with insect morphology. The abdomen especially resembles the one of a giant larva, or of the queen of a hive. Atrophic wings are falling on her back, like vestigial elements clearly unable to lift such a massive figure. The arms are extremely long and dangerous, used as a weapon, especially for the claws at the end. The long neck and the face are the only elements still keeping a sparkle of her female appearance, especially the pale face that resembles a marble mask. However, when her mouth is wide open, the creature shows inevitably her grotesque nature. Her body is curved under extreme sufferance, an amorphous and unfunctional mass acquired through wild experimentations, with scars and stitches covering her body as proof. But the Brood Mother would not be described as a mother without having a progeny, and definitively this is the most grotesque detail about this creature.

Background: The deformed and grotesque creature was not always in this way. The Brood Mother was once just a normal girl, following religious duties, and in love with her boyfriend. Sadly one day, she was betrayed and became the guinea pig of an insane doctor. Her body was subject to twisted experiments, while she slowly lost both her mind and her humanity. Now the pain of those wild experiments is a clear mark on her body, as the twisted path of stitches crossing her body.

The main weapons of the gigantic boss are of course her arms, incredibly long and dangerous, able to easily crush even the most worthy opponent. Her strength is so abnormal and human, that even the ceiling of the cave will collapse under her devastating punches. But as previously specified, the progeny of the Brood Mother is her most dangerous and twisted detail. Small and grotesque infants will be expelled from her body as rounded eggs that, if not promptly destroyed, will hatch in her swarming progeny. The small creatures have deformed bodies fused together like an amorphous mass of sufferance, a sort of sick combination between a fetus and a larva. The void expression on their faces and the infant-like appearance almost create a deep feeling of guilty uneasiness inside the player, who will be forced to slay the apparently harmless creatures. An interesting detail is that, even after slaying the boss, her infants will continue to grow and evolve, from larvae to fly-like monstrosities.

By coming back to the cave later in the cave, the main character will face these new and disturbing abominations, able to spit poison and to self destroy after charging the player. Definitively this time the sense of guilty will disappear. One terrible and macabre detail hinted behind the tragic story of the Brood Mother, especially since the poor woman was in love and having a boyfriend, and the mutated Brood Mother is constantly giving birth, is that probably the woman was pregnant when the experiments started.

Monster of the Week: Skin Granny (Fear & Hunger)

Origin: Fear & Hunger

Appearance: In the beginning, the boss will appear as a common old woman apparently working at a textile spinning wheel. Even if the woman seems harmless, the battle will begin, highlighted by the eerie and foreshadowing text ‘You get ominous vibes from the old lady in the darkness’. The old woman will quickly change in an abomination. The textile spinning wheel will be directly incorporated into the creature, like a unique entity made of flesh and wood. She has long and mannequin-like limbs, including an extra arm extending from behind her back. Her face is the most terrifying detail, with a deranged smile and a completely psychotic expression. Maybe for the floating position, or for the red veil partially covering it, but the wooden-creature has a vague resemblance with characters from classic paintings.

Background: The old woman will appear at the end of a dream sequence telling the past of the main character and the town. She looks like an innocent and harmless woman, hiding in the darkness of a house, but regardless of the peaceful scene, a battle will anyway start. After the first attack, the main characters will try to talk with the old woman, trying to create an understanding of how futile this battle is. But she will not react, nor will take any damage from the attack. Then, the old woman will change shape, becoming a demon of flesh and wood, starting the real battle. The boss is a tough fight since it is able to attack multiple times in a turn with all its limbs. The arms will slash the party causing bleeding, and also the leg will kick the player, but they are less dangerous than the arms. However, the most threatening part is when its fingers start to flex. The next turn after this ominous message, the characters have a 50% chance of being instantly killed. The Skin Granny will literally rip-off the face of a character, wearing it like a grinning mask connected with wires, in a scene remembering Hellraiser (image below at the end). Now the name Skin Granny has a meaning, and the old woman was probably not working with textiles on her spinning wheel. The instant-killer attack is performed from the arm behind her back, so taking it out is a priority. In Fear & Hunger targeting limbs is the most common strategy, and to easily survive against the Skin Granny it is necessary to mutilate all its arms. The background behind this creature is the most mysterious in the game, even the Gods know nothing about the lore of the Skin Granny. The monster is a construct, so it will be safe to assume that Valtiel, the God creating artificial creature, is also its father. But the Skin Granny appears in a dream induced by another Goddess, as the last test before speaking with her, so the Skin Granny is probably an ethereal being more related to the mind. The Skin Granny can be a symbolism of what is happening, on how the life of an ordinary town got twisted and mutated in something horrible. The old woman is the peaceful life that was abandoned, a mirage of the new violent reality, and its true form is the world that now needs to be faced by the main characters. The last test of a Goddess that wants to know if the characters are ready to abandon their old lives and face the terrifying challenges of the new one.

Monster of the Week: Exposito, Scion of Abjuration (Blasphemous)


Origin: Blasphemous

Appearance: At first glimpse, he could even look like a normal child, a sort of oversized baby Jesus or a giant cherub. Then, his nightmarish profile will become very clear in all the sick details. The giant baby is blindfolded, and looks like that he is constantly crying tears of blood, flowing down under the bandage in red rivers. Exposito wears on his head a big wicked crown, a very clear symbol of Catholicism, and a close recall to the figure of baby Jesus. The baby is held by a wicker woman, a colossal figure missing detailed traits, holding the baby like a maternal shadow. During the battle in the game and also in the last released concept art, a  snake-like creature extended itself from the main body of the wicker woman, like a sort of appendage. While the wicker woman simply moves around, and the baby only tries to catch and dismember whoever can perceive, the snake creature is attacking and protecting the baby with a multitude of skills. It is interesting to notice that, especially in the concept art, the face of the snake is like the one of a sad woman, probably representing the deceased mother of Exposito, which still tries to protect him.

Background: Exposito is really the embodiment of whatever could be interpreted as creepy or scary inside catholic art. The holiness fades because of the disturbing details of this figure, which clearly express the contrast between holy and profane. The complex creature is also a sort of unholy trinity, composed by 3 wicked creatures: the mother (instead of the father), the son is clearly there, and let’s suppose that the snake is a sort of holy spirit. However, the story of Exposito is provided directly by the game itself, and it is really a sad one. Just as introduction, the name Exposito is used  in Spain for orphan children with unknown parents. Exposito was a child, when the Inquisition burned his mother for heresy. The child was blindfolded to avoid to see the horrible scene but, even blindfolded, the poor kid was continuously crying. The last wish of the mother, while burning on the pyre, was that the people build a wicker figure in her image, to hold and to comfort her baby for when she will be dead. The Miracle, an energy mutating and twisting religious events in the land of Custodia, saw this scene and granted the wish, creating Exposito. The giant baby and the wicker woman are the perfect representation of the dualism between mother and son, even if in this case it is twisted with sadness and horror.

Regarding the fight itself and the attacks, the snake-like creature will do most of the job. The monster can attack with its own body, or can spit  poison or fire bullets. The creature will move following complex patterns, making really difficult to fight while avoiding its body. The giant baby will instead target specific regions of the arena. If the main character will be unlucky enough to finish in one of those areas, the giant baby will instantly kill him, brutally dismembering his body.

Monster of the Week: the Collector (Darkest Dungeon)



Origin: Darkest Dungeon

AppearanceA creature born from the worst nightmares, the Collector is an eldritch undead horror who enjoys to collect human heads, and probably also souls. The creature is taller than a human, wearing a long, old and yellow robe, aged and ruined. His head  is a grinning skull shrouded by blue flames, protected by a metal cage, which is similar to a torture instrument. The Collector is an embodied nightmare, who hides his creepiest secrets below his coat. Heads and souls of all his victims are merged together in a disturbing amalgam of blue eyes and painful expressions. His body is entirely composed of this mass of twisted souls that he collected, in this way, each new piece of the collection will become a part of him. Another disturbing detail is that he will show the grotesque hell that is hiding under his clothes only when using the attack “Show Collection”. The Collector is so proud of his collection that wants to share it with the new adventurers. A taste of the tormented hell that will wait them, when they will become part of the collection.

Background: The creature is a restless collector, always obsessed to increase his collection with new and exotic pieces. The only problem is that his collection his composed of the heads of the many adventures unlucky enough to meet him. Since he is always hunting and searching for new trophies, there is always a constant chance to meet him randomly, while exploring the dungeons of the game. He will especially target groups of adventurers with their inventories almost full, probably to collect even more rarities from their bodies. Facing the Collector at low level is a nightmare, since the creature is a tough and peculiar foe. Even alone, he is a dangerous enemy if faced at low level, able to damage the party and at the same time to heal himself. However, the most difficult part of the battle is the ability to summon 3 allies, using the skill “Collect Call”. This is also the most creepy ability of the Collector, since his “allies” are the screaming disembodied heads of previous adventurers, supported by their own spinal cord. The Collector will summon pieces of his own collection to help him in battle, with the aim to defeat his opponents, consequently adding new elements to his morbid collection. The three heads show different abilities. One of them is the warrior, able to attack while moving quickly on a temporary ghostly body. Another one is responsible for guarding the Collector, by shielding him from damages. The last one, the female, is instead responsible to buff and heal the other creatures, making the fight even more unbalanced and difficult to win. As macabre ending, after being defeated, the Collector has a chance to drop a dirty bloody bag surrounded by flies… which of course contains the remains of a disembodied head from his collection.


Monster of the Week: Uterus (Fear & Hunger)

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Origin: Fear & Hunger

Appearance: Uterus are yellow mannequins swarming through the past version of the ancient city of the Gods. They are all female automata, moving with clumsy and slow gestures. The yellow body is altered by a white skeleton-like structure, especially in the torso, making them look similar to anatomy mannequins. Their breasts are exposed, while the pants are broken, highlighting the sexual nature behind the creation of these creatures. Their yellow skin is strong as iron, impossible to remove and really difficult to damage. But the most creepy detail regarding Uterus lies exactly in their abdomens. A small creature called Embryo lies peacefully in a hole in the belly. Each new turn during the combat, the Embryo will fall, grow, and will crawl toward the party (as you can see in each sliding picture). Before attacking, the Embryo will resemble more a big and fat infant, or a dwarf, but for sure is very far from a harmless baby.

Background: Valteil was a human who ascended to the role of New God of Enlightenment. He was obsessed with creating artificial life using different methods, giving life to set of automata with different functions in the Ancient City. For example, Uterus was the one designed to satisfy Valteil’s sexual desire. According to the official lore of the game, every night Valteil summoned a different Uterus to his room, for obvious purposes. It is entirely possible that the Embryo was born from the relationship between a God, Valteil, and an artificial creature, the Uterus. Probably, the true experiment behind the existence of Uterus, also judging from the name, was to generate new life from an artificial body.

Regarding the fight itself, Uterus is a very peculiar and twisted battle. While moving in the map, Uterus is really slow and easy to avoid. Also during the fight, many times Uterus would simply waste her turn to “dislocate the joints”, making only a disturbing sound. When attacking, Uterus uses her rusty claws to inflict very few damages, but usually causing infecting wound, which could lead to lost a limb due to the infection. The real treat behind the Uterus fight is the existence of the Embryo, combined with an insane amount of HPs. If the arms of the Uterus are easy to cut, making her virtually harmless, the creature will continue to fight even without a head. When the Embryo will start to crawl on the battlefield, a creepy and pressuring invisible timer will crawl inside the player’s mind. What this horrible thing will do? How many turns before it will do something? Each new turn, the Embryo will get closer, while crying in a terrifying and disturbing way. Both Uterus and Embryo have a really huge amount of HPs, making them almost impossible to kill early-on in the game. After an intense crying, the Embryo attack will surprisingly not damage the bodies, but will directly harm the mind of the characters, inflicting a huge damage. A simple attack of the Embryo could send a character completely crazy. Uterus is a really interesting and creepy creature, with an intense fight based on concluding it really quickly to avoid going insane. Uterus is an enemy that is better to avoid.

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.

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 […]

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Monster of the Week: Shadow Chie (Persona 4) — Surreal and Creepy

Origin: Persona 4 Appearance: A complex and elaborated design for a interesting and innovative creature. The main figure is a female woman, wearing a yellow revealing bikini and high-heeled boots. The head is covered by a bizarre and creepy triangular hood with a smile on it. To highlight her mistress-like nature, the woman is also wielding […]

via Monster of the Week: Shadow Chie (Persona 4) — Surreal and Creepy