Trope Workshop:Animalistic Abomination

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What the dog doin'?

A sub-type of Eldritch Abomination, the Animalistic Abomination is a monstrosity that resembles one animal - or often multiple - and that resemblance can range from "significant enough to recognize" to "disturbingly accurate", while still remaining definitely "alien" on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. However, just because an abomination has an animal's guise doesn't remotely restrict it to an animal's intelligence.

This type can be even more nightmarish than your average horror, due to the contrast of something so thoroughly and decidedly unnatural appearing in a form "borne" of nature. Somewhat less commonly, Animalistic Abominations may actually be a direct product of their environment, which can sometimes suggest that nature itself is harboring a severe animosity towards locals... assuming you're still currently on Earth, anyway.

It is somewhat easy to confuse this trope with Starfish Aliens: these are life-forms most simply adapted to a different environment from humanity and might even take on more familiar forms for our benefit, whereas Animalistic Abominations (like any kind of Eldritch Abomination) will feel wrong and actively tamper with comprehension of it no matter how much they "should" be at home - their form being familiar is anything but a good sign for us, assuming it's even aware of humanity as a distinct group. Good candidates for such monstrous beings include various reptiles, large insects (and/or arachnids), or cephalopods if you want a nice Cthulhu-esque touch; your abomination may also be based on at least one sufficiently-weird Seldom-Seen Species, or else a combination of various animal species. Heck, you can even make them like actual starfish if you want!

The Worm That Walks may overlap with this, since an eldritch being may use a mass of smalls animals (or animal-like creatures) such as insects to take on a humanoid form. Some variants of this may also overlap with The Mindless Almighty, who tend to possess "animal-like" intelligence at most. Contrast the Tortured Abomination, which also has a feral mentality rather than appearance.

Laconic: An unspeakable and incomprehensible creature appears in the guise (however vague) of something you might see at a zoo.

Examples of Animalistic Abomination include:

Anime and Manga

  • Berserk has the Beast of Darkness, a monstrous wolf that is Guts' bloodlust and hatred of Griffith given form. It's one of the swordsman's greatest enemies, and wants nothing more than to make him submit to his darkest desires so it can permanently steal control of his body and freely indulge in its psychopathic bloodlust.
  • The Tailed Beasts of Naruto fame are dangerous monsters made of primal Chakra, and look like massive and unholy versions of otherwise ordinary animals, such as the Eight-Tails looking like a skinless ox with octopus tentacles; the Yonbi, or Four-Tails, looking like a monkey; or the Nine-Tails being a demonic-looking fox. Most have been sealed inside of human hosts in hopes of keeping the unruly beasts under control, but this often results in the hosts going insane, or else having control of their bodies ripped away by the beasts possessing them - that is, if they're not warped beyond recognition either way. All Tailed Beasts have names given to them by the Rikudo Sennin himself: Shukaku, Son Goku, and Kurama (the Kyubi) are the only ones known. And according to the Hachibi, they are capable of emotion.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Kyubey (aka Incubator), who typically appears in the form of a harmless-looking cutesy feline.
  • In Pokémon: Jirachi—Wish Maker, the villain Butler attempts to create a Groudon using Jirachi's wish granting powers. The result is a bizarre demon that looks like Groudon, but it's pretty easy to tell it's not.

Comic Books

  • In Bone, the Big Bad of the entire story is revealed to be The Lord of the Locust, who often manifests as a swarm of locusts. Its Dragon is The Hooded One - the undead Briar Harvestar's body was resurrected and possessed by the Lord of the Locust, and is accompanied by the same swarm. According to the prequel comic Rose, it was originally a nightmare spirit that desired to walk the Waking World, possessing the Dragon Queen Mim to do so.
  • One Donald Duck issue reveals that a giant octopus called Ar-Finn sleeps beneath the depths in a sunken city (Cthulhu and R'lyeh, anyone?). Our reality (or at least Donald's) exists only because Ar-Finn dreams about it. If he wakes up, the world will start to adapt to his image, with the architecture becoming more and more alien and the people more octopoid in appearance. The story ends with Donald horrified to find out that our whole existence is just a dream.
  • Lord Odacon of 2000 AD comic Slaine leads an entire species of these. They are cousins of the Humanoid Abomination Fomorians, and are Puppeteer Parasites that look equal parts deep-sea monstrosities and aborted hell-larvae.
  • In DC Comics:
    • The Green Lantern comics have revealed the existence of various alien entities that are incarnations of the various colors of the emotional spectrum. Examples of this trope among them include the bull-like red Butcher of Rage; the insectoid yellow Parallax of Fear; the three-faced, eagle-like blue Avara of Hope; and the massive, octopus-like indigo Proselyte of Compassion.
    • The Red is an an elemental force that connects all forms of land-dwelling animal life on Earth, and is governed by a group of entities known as the Parliament of Limbs. It's far from malevolent as a close ally of the plant-centric Green, and is connected to well known superheroes such as Beast Boy (formerly Changeling), Vixen and Animal Man, but the Red is... not exactly pleasant to look at.

Fan Works

  • The fanon of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic likes to do this with many of its pony characters, as well as the Big Bads.
    • The original Garry's Mod Applejack model was so freaky that it was reinvented as Eppaljeck, in the style of other GMod abominations.
    • Popular fanon is that Celestia and Luna, rather than being Physical Godesses, are benevolent versions of this trope, considering their incredible age, almost unmatched power, Non-Standard Character Design, and being worshiped as deities by their subjects with a combination of unquestioning obedience and paralyzing fear. Luna is more frustrated that being imprisoned in the moon for a thousand years means she's a Fish Out of Temporal Water, rather than from being imprisoned for a thousand years. One fanfiction even has Luna casually mention that she and her sister are more than four hundred million years old, spending most of that time playing in the glaciers and lava flows of the planet respectively, and the other ponies are continually reminded that the two are very much Other.
    • Cloudcuckoolander and Genki Pony Pinkie Pie is also sometimes speculated to be an Equestrian Abomination, and there is a disturbingly high amount of supporting evidence, what with her tendency to casually break even the magical rules of Equestria: this especially includes appearing wherever she wants whenever she wants (much to the horror of Rainbow Dash and Cranky Doodle), including in places that couldn't possibly be large enough. And it's especially notable that when Discord first appeared, everypony else (including Celestia) was fearful while Pinkie was ecstatic.
    • The Pony POV Series has several. Discord's parents are the most obvious. His mother, Entropy, is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Heat Death and so massive that her just rising from the ocean of chaos she calls home creates waves so massive they could drown continents, and Celestia refuses to describe anymore than her skin color to Twilight. If Entropy merely says someone doesn't exist (at least, in her own realm), then they never did. The Windigos? They were tiny pieces of her. Her mate, Havoc, is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Mass Hysteria and described as every fear that ever has, does, or ever will exist personified. He is so horrific to behold that just looking at him will leave a mortal pony incapable of sleeping for the rest of their days. His mere voice would reduce them to horrified wrecks. Entropy erasing Havoc from existence, then him willing himself back into it is equal to one member of a bickering couple shoving the other to them. Celestia's parents probably qualify as benevolent versions as well, considering they're just as massive, powerful, and indescribable, but are among the kindest beings in existence, even stepping in and saving the pony world from Havoc and Entropy's wrath when they were accidently enraged.
    • In Under The Northern Lights, Luna's and Celestia's greatuncles and greataunts are described in a vision as "lights... sounds... patterns of magic in a black sphere that itched the brain and made the soul cry". They decided the laws of nature, seemingly on a whim. The only hostile one seems to be Discord, though, and his reality warping powers are presumably because he never agreed to what his siblings decided. The generation of their parents has some traits of eldritch abominations but are more like Our Titans Are Different, having motivations similar to mortal ungulates despite their ancient age, huge size, and in-equine shape.
  • The Pokémon fanfic Latias' Journey is chock full of these, all led and mostly created by the Big Bad Deoxys, who is the embodiment of evil and chaos. Others include:
    • Dark Latios, the evil undead brother of the main protagonist who ends up mind raping her until she transforms into an Eldritch Abomination herself.
    • Mewgle, a Shout-Out to the Moogles from Final Fantasy. Starting off as the innocent dungeon master of Team Rocket's virtual reality software, Mewgle is recruited by Deoxys and turns into a sadistic Killer Game Master with Joker Immunity.
    • Leviathan, an enormous red serpent who devours all the Ghost Pokemon in the world and is made out of thousands of corpses. Oh, and she is Latias's mutated mother.

Film

  • The titular monster of John Carpenter's The Thing is first shown in the very convincing guise of a sled dog, running towards an American research station in Antarctica. When it's placed in a kennel with other dogs on-site, they immediately realize it's nothing like them and act hostile towards it, just before it transforms to attack the other dogs and absorb most of them.
  • In Annihilation, animals exposed to the Shimmer are mutated into a form that, while recognizable, are far more alien and freaky than anything found on Earth. On the more mundane side of things is an alligator with a mouth full of shark teeth, while far more extreme is a bear with its skull exposed that can mimic the dying screams of a human it killed, and has one of her eyes and quite possibly her entire skull assimilated into its being.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean has Calypso, the goddess of the sea whose favored form seems to be a vast swarm of crabs. The Kraken would also count, from the way Gibbs describes it.

Literature

  • The works of J. R. R. Tolkien, such as the The Lord of the Rings, have quite a few examples:
    • Shelob is a terrifying giant spider who happens to be the daughter of Ungoliant, a monstrous Eldritch Abomination that terrorized Middle Earth before Sauron rose to power. While she doesn't possess her mother's apocalyptic appetite and godlike strength, she's still one of few beings that the One Ring has no power over, and is framed by the narration as being less an animal and more a demon masquerading as one.
    • The cephalopod-like Watcher at the gates of Moria may be one of those things that managed to crawl its way up to the surface, or it may be one of Morgoth's creations, but either way it is a borderline abomination.
  • Nodens, Lord of the Abyss, is an Elder God that appears in the Cthulhu Mythos, and is one of the few Elder Gods created (though not referred to as such) by Lovecraft himself. An enemy of Nyarlathotep, Nodens generally appeared in a humanoid form, which may either be his true form or one he took in order to not drive mortals insane.
  • Stephen King works feature a veritable assortment of creepy-ass creatures.
    • In IT, the eponymous monster is perceived as a Giant Spider by the protagonists, because this was the closest analogue that their rational minds could find for Its appearance. Before that, it appeared as the Monster Clown Pennywise. The true identity of IT is an embodiment of feat and an appendage of the Deadlights, which exist beyond the edge of the universe.
    • The Dark Tower: Mordred Deschain is a half-demon who normally appears human, but when threatened he becomes a spider-like monster.
    • In Pet Sematary, anything buried in a particular cemetary will be resurrected as a Monster From Beyond the Veil - and many children had their dead pets buried there.
  • The Ancient Enemy from Dean Koontz's Phantoms is a massive, lake-sized mass of black sludge older than the dinosaurs that consumes other life forms as sustenance, and is able to perfectly mimic any creature it consumes. It can also create examples of these in small "probes" or "phantoms" that imitate the life forms it's consumed, including animals, to go forth and hunt more prey.
  • In The Power of Five, the main antagonists are examples of this. The Old Ones are godlike creatures that used to rule Earth before the humans defeated them ten thousand years ago and sealed them in another universe via the Nazca Lines; the animal shapes drawn into the Earth were actually representative of each of the Old Ones, with the familiar animals being the closest approximation the human mind could come to the Old Ones' horrifying appearance.
  • Perdido Street Station by China Mieville:
    • The slake-moths - monstrous, insectoid creatures that feed on the very sentience of their prey, leaving their victims utterly mindless shells. How terrible are these abominations? At one point, the government of New Crobuzon attempts to strike a deal with Hell to get them to intervene and stop the threat, and the demons are too frightened to get involved.
    • And then you have the Weaver, who the New Crobuzon government turns to when the demons turn them down. It's a gigantic spider that exists between dimensions and is capable of traversing them as easily as we would walk down the street. It is also batshit crazy, speaking in the "flight of ideas" style most often seen in unmedicated schizophrenics and capable of doing anything to anyone, friend or foe, merely because it seems "fitting". During the brief time that the heroes are in its presence, the Weaver cuts off the ears of everyone in the room for reasons known only to itself. It also repaired the ears of some of the people, again for reasons unknown. It also has an obsession with scissors and happily accepts them as gifts, if the term 'happy' can be applied to it; apparently it enjoys collecting things in general, as it is mentioned that before its obsession with scissors, it collected chess sets.
  • The Creepers encountered in the works Terry Brooks were created by the Shadowen, and are creatures of composite machine, insect, and mammal.
  • While The Bible does not go into detail about the origins of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, Paradise Lost leaves no question that it is Satan in disguise.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles has the titular canine, which is implied throughout the novel to be a sort of demonic hound. This trope is ultimately subverted when it's revealed to be a Scooby-Doo Hoax perpetrated by the true villain, with the beast being a mortal dog covered in phosphorus to make it glow in the dark.

New Media

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

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The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

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  • The Black Shuck of English folklore is a canine apparition that is frequently recorded as an omen of death, and other legends of spectral black dogs have been linked to it in folklore. The Shuck tends to appear as a black shaggy dog of varying description, with consistent traits including fiery eyes (or sometimes eye, as captured in the image above) and its immense size. In the most notable report, the Shuck burst through the doors of a church with the sound of a thunderclap, killing two people and causing the church steeple to collapse through the roof, and then leaving scorch marks on the north door as it disappeared; the author describes it both as a black dog and as "the divel in such a likenesse". Another account recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle suggests they are used as part of a Wild Hunt.
  • Norse Mythology has numerous examples:
    • Fenrir, or Fenrisúlfr - the Big Badass Wolf among Big Badass Wolves and one of Loki's three monstrous children by a female jötunn (often translated as "giant", despite not every jötunn being especially large). Fenrir is prophesized to break his binds and "go forth with his mouth opened wide, his upper jaw touching the sky and his lower jaw the earth, and flames will burn from his eyes and nostrils"; during Ragnarök, he will aid the forces of Surtr alongside his sibling, the World Serpent (who is another example discussed below), and consume the King of the Æsir, Odin.
      • The Æsir raised Fenrir among them while devising a plan to try and permanently bind the ever-growing canine - they coaxed Fenrir into testing fetters through promises of fame for his strength, and when placing the dwarven-made Gleipnir Fenrir suspected there was trickery afoot, but allowed them to test it on the condition that Týr place his hand in Fenrir's mouth as a pledge of good faith. As the only one who had been courageous enough to approach and feed the wolf, Týr obliged - when it turned out that Gleipnir would hold, so did Fenrir, and off came the hand. The gods then thrust a sword into his mouth when he tried to bite them, holding it opening and gagging him; this caused him to produce horrible howls as saliva ran from his mouth, which formed the river Ván (Old Norse "hope"), and so he would remain bound until Ragnarök comes.
    • Fenrir's sons, Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson, are each a Big Badass Wolf in their own right, and eternally chase the sun and moon respectively across the sky; one of the signs heralding Ragnarök is Sköll eating the sun and Hati swallowing the moon. Then, the stars will then disappear from the sky, the earth will shake violently, trees will be uprooted, mountains will fall, and all binds will snap – and then their father will break free...
    • Garmr, another monstrous wolf guarding Nifhelm.
    • Norse folklore originated the Kraken of the Kraken and Leviathan trope.
    • Jörmungandr the Midgard Serpent, one of the monstrous offspring of Loki and a giantess. Starting out big, he grew so large that he can encircle the world, and sleeps at the bottom of the ocean depths while keeping his tail in his mouth - one of the signs of Ragnarök is finally releasing his tail, then causing to seas to flood as it thrashes onto the land and fills the water and air with its poison. Joining Loki and his other children in confronting the gods, Jörmungandr's role in the conflict is a battle with his Arch Enemy Thor that ends in a Mutual Kill - the hammer-wielder successfully slays the Serpent, but is felled by his poison after walking nine steps.
  • Classical Mythology had many:
  • Egyptian Mythology:
    • Apep (Greek "Apophis"), a titanic snake thought to dwell in the underworld that represented the primal chaos of darkness, and regularly attacked Ra as his solar barge made its daily sojourn through the 12 Hours of Night. Apep is notably the closest thing in the folklore to a captial-D Devil-figure: he was sometimes thought of as an Eater of Souls, and the Egyptians often buried their dead with spells that could destroy Apep; any "worship" that related to Apep was with the aim of repelling or purging his influence, such as the annual rite called the "Banishing of Chaos" where he was burnt in effigy. Egyptian priests even had a detailed guide dedicated specifically to fighting Apep, referred to as "The Books of Overthrowing Apep" (or "The Book of Apophis" in Greek). Even Set - a remarkably vicious and evil deity in his own right, to the point of constant and sometimes literal Demonization - would protect Ra against Apep's onslaught during his journeys.
    • Ammit, a demon who devoured the souls of evildoers in the Hall of Judgment, was a giant combination of a crocodile, hippopotamus, and lion - three animals that Egyptians (rightfully) feared the most.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • One of the various backstories of Asmodeus, the Lord of Nessus and King of Hell, is that he is actually one of these. What others see when dealing with him is actually an advanced illusion - Asmodeus' real body is that of a titanic, miles-long serpentine creature who is some sort of primordial entity that predated the Gods, and is still injured from the Gods throwing him into an abyss so hard, it created the Nine Hells.
    • Possibly the Froghemoth, which is a frog the size of an elephant, standing upright, with three eyes, and four tentacles in place of arms. While this is indeed weird, the "abomination" part is a theory put forth by Baron Lum the Mad, who claimed to have encountered strange, cylindrical chambers of metal buried in the ground from which froghemoths emerged (of course, there is a reason Lum was called "the Mad"). Also, in Forgotten Realms, there is a legend stating that the primordial god Ubtao created froghemoths, first doing so by transforming a toad who dared to insult him; also, Kubazan, one of the Nine Trickster Gods of Chult, tooks the form of a Froghemoth. This suggests these monsters are at least originally divine creations. Whatever the case, it is clear they are "not of this world".

Video Games

  • Undertale has one of these in Endogeny, one of the Amalgamates that takes on the vague shape of a large canine: it has two pointed ears atop its "head", a single vaguely mouth-like orifice where a face would be that produces "Happiness Froth" when it's excited, and a wide body with six digitigrade legs that form the silhouettes of five smaller canines, which display satisfied faces once it's content. For all its weirdness, though, it's very much like a normal dog, and treating it like one by playing in a specific way with it is the key to Sparing it.
  • Bloodborne has many, but the Cleric Beast and Vicar Amelia are among the most iconic examples. They look like massive bipedal wolves with reindeer antlers that have been starved to death, and their screams sound truly hellish. Both seem to be some form of Wendigo, with the latter introducing herself by erupting forth from the body of a seemingly normal priestess.
  • Barbas from The Elder Scrolls is a benevolent and adorable example, being a talking Big Friendly Dog with a Brooklyn accent and the best bud of Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile... as well as an aspect and the conscience of the Prince himself, who tries to keep him from screwing over anyone unfortunate enough to bargain with him. Furthermore, The Elder Scrolls: Redguard shows that he doesn't strictly stick to the form of a dog, and can be seen randomly changing forms before resetting back to his dog form. Clavicus will even comment on it, saying that he likes being a dog on sunny days, as well as many other things.
  • Since the Heartless from Kingdom Hearts are an entire race of Eldritch Abominations, the ones with more animalistic forms fit this trope, such as the Powerwilds, Bouncywilds and Pot Spiders. But even among them, there are a few that stand out:
    • Skoll, a massive wolf Heartless named after the giant sun-chasing wolf from Norse Mythology. It fights by summoning packs of ghostly wolf minions, firing off powerful ice attacks, and trying to crush Sora and friends underneath a mass of darkness big enough to fill up the sky. But what makes it really special is the fact that it's the Heartless of Prince Hans himself, who's been completely corrupted by the darkness in his heart.
    • Scar similarly becomes consumed by hatred and rage - but unlike Hans, his inner darkness is so powerful that he manages to hold onto his original form after becoming a Heartless... a feat only shared by Ansem, Seeker of Darkness. And even in death, Scar's ghost lingers as a powerful presence that haunts the Pride Lands, eventually turning into a massive Heartless called the Groundshaker after merging with a ton of other ghost Scars.
  • The Halloween Hack has the Desire Dog, which appears as a Zombie Dog in the overworld - but in-battle, the front half of its body consists of gooey tentacle-like pseudopods that it frequently uses to attack, and upon death it collapses into an array of wriggling tentacles.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VIII: During the third stage of the Final Boss, Ultimecia the Sorceress (a Sorceress effectively being an enhanced human) junctions herself unto the Guardian Force Griever, resulting in a hybrid felinid form with Ultimecia's torso and arms on its chest, and deformed limbs and wings resembling Ultimecia's. Ultimecia draws this Guardian Force from Squall's mind during the second stage, and he will have whatever name the player chose for the lion on Squall's ring, with "Griever" being the default; Griever is not only a symbol of the virtues Squall values, but is his interpretation of the ultimate Guardian Force.
    • Sin of Final Fantasy X manifests as a giant whale-like monster the size of an entire city, and emerges from the depths of the ocean to completely annihilate all settlements larger than small villages at random intervals. It leaves swarms of smaller monsters in its path and everyone who survives coming into contact with its toxins (fortunately) suffers from massive memory loss. And apparently, it can wipe out entire armies by causing distortions of space.
  • Deadly Premonition has one where you'd least expect it, personally confirmed by the creator: Willie the dalmatian is the overseer for Forrest Kaysen, and delivers him instructions from the Red World.
  • In Monster Hunter, Elder Dragons as a whole are essentially this by the standards of the local fauna. They're incredibly powerful monsters that don't fit into the tree of life like every other monster classification, and often have their powers manifest in ways that can't be explained away by an elemental sac or any biological function. Many are either worshipped and revered as gods, or else feared as demons, and their presence drives away other monsters through an environmental anomaly.
    • The Elder Dragon Yama Tsukami is weird even by this standard - it looks nothing like a traditional dragon and more like a gigantic floating octopus covered in moss and earth, possessing a mouth full of disturbingly human teeth. It isn't aggressive or malicious, but it can destroy entire ecosystems by devouring everything it flies over, including entire lakes and forests.
    • Fatalis and its relatives are easily some of the most eldritch and unholy monsters in the series, which is no small feat. Armor and weapons made from their body parts are said to plague those who wield them with horrifying nightmares, dark voices in their heads, and animalistic bloodlust; the Fatalis sword in Pokke village is constantly regenerating scales as well... These weapons and armor tend to driver their users insane if they don't die under mysterious circumstances - they can also possess their wielders, and possibly turn them into another Fatalis entirely. Between this and a Crimson Fatalis somehow hatching from a clutch of Tigrex eggs in 4U's eggstraction quests, this implies that it's impossible to truly kill a Fatalis since they'll always find some way to resurrect. Their powers are also anomalous even by the standards of other Elder Dragons: Crimson Fatalis can send meteors crashing down to Earth, while the White Fatalis is introduced triggering a solar eclipse by emerging from a mysterious portal, hinting that it might be extradimensional to some extent. The standard Black Fatalis is comparatively more mundane, but even it famously wiped out an entire civilization overnight.
    • In a series where wielding two different elements can make a monster especially dangerous, Alatreon having power over all of them is downright mindbreaking. While it doesn't go out of its way to cause chaos, its powers are so unstable that it's practically a natural disaster in the form of a dragon. Like with Fatalis, equipment made from its body parts are said to drive the wielder completely insane over time.
    • Dire Miralis, which is treated less like a monster and more like Satan himself, is feared as a harbinger of the apocalypse. A titanic Elder Dragon that looks like a Fatalis carved out of volcanic rock, Dire Miralis's body can naturally generate lava that it fires from its "wings", which are basically an organic gun battery as opposed to any sort of proper animal appendage. It's so powerful and destructive that it can sink entire islands, and even when it isn't being actively malicious it can still boil entire oceans into lifeless wastelands just by stepping into them. Like with Fatalis, it's hinted that killing it doesn't even stop it for good, since its heart beats independently of its body and is rumored to be able to regenerate a completely new Dire Miralis over time.
    • Gore Magala looks like the unholy spawn of Venom, a Xenomorph, and a dragon, and is such a biological anomaly that no one really knows what to classify it as, ultimately settling for a class simply labeled as "???". It's essentially a plague given life, and casually spreads a virus that turns monsters exposed to it into rabid berserkers. It turns out to be the juvenile form of the Elder Dragon Shagaru Magala, which is still a dangerous plaguemaster in its own right despite being a "proper" life form... or as proper of a lifeform as an Elder Dragon can be, anyway.
    • Gogmazios is framed as something truly horrible and unknowable, even by the standards of this series' Elder Dragons. It looks like a skeletal dragon submerged in a tar pit, which said tar being passively generated from its body and weaponized in the form of explosive projectiles and superheated tar lasers. And despite being roughly as big as Godzilla, it's a skillful flier and stealthy to the point that there are no recorded sightings prior to the player's encounter with the beast. Some players believe it to be a heavily mutated relative of the Gore Magala, while others believe it to be the fabled Equal Dragon Weapon from the series' old concept art and background lore. But if there's one thing the fandom can agree on, it's that its weird biology, bizarre powers, and mysterious nature make it feel like an obscene and otherworldly anomaly.
  • The Legend of Zelda franchise has Ganon, who often appears as a large boar-headed demonic being, and sometimes even closer to an actual boar (though still monstrous and far from any less abominable).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has the second stage of the Final Boss: Ganondorf, purged from Zelda's body, turns into a monstrous boar known as Dark Beast Ganon, and Link must find a way to attack the weak point on his stomach.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, during the Final Boss fight Ganon's demonic spirit escapes to Hyrule Field and manifests into the Incarnation of Malice and Hatred: a Malice-consumed gigantic boar with flaming "hair" similar to his Twilight Princess incarnation. Princess Zelda reveals that this is Ganon giving up on resurrecting and instead opting to release his wrath onto the world.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Ganondorf turns into his demonic boar form as part of his Final Smash from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U introduces the Master Core - either a superpowered form of Master Hand, or some sort of abomination that took his guise. It surrounds itself with The "Swarm", a mass of darkness that it can shape into a number of terrifying forms: the ones that qualify for this are the Master Beast, which appears as a scorpion-tailed hound with violent high-speed attacks and bites that can shake the stage, and the Master Shadow if you're using an animal-like fighter.
  • Falzar and Gregar from Mega Man Battle Network 6 overlap with Mechanical Abomination - both are obscenely powerful, animalistic superprograms that are feared as harbingers of the apocalypse, and serve as the game's version mascots. Gregar is a wolf-like amalgamation of bugfrags not unlike Gospel, and Falzar was meant to be a countermeasure that turned violent and unpredictable. When MegaMan.EXE is forced to absorb one, he turns into a feral and uncontrollable Mechanical Abomination due to their raw power, with his appearance altered accordingly.
  • The Pokémon series has an abundance of examples, typically in the form of its Olympus Mons.
    • The super-ancient trio of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire - Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza - are Weather Control Creatures that lurk in places normally beyond the reaches of man, and the awakening of either the dinosaur-like Groudon or the whale-like Kyogre alone constitutes an apocalyptic event that could devastate the world. The third version, Pokémon Emerald, has both of them awakened, forcing you to find Rayquaza in order to force them back into slumber. All three of them are at least Phsyical Gods with an ability to control the continents, ocean and sky, respectively, and they're all believed to be hundreds of millions of years old. Where Groudon and Kyogre can also induce droughts and flooding, Rayquaza can outright force clear skies with its presence.
    • The fourth generation of Pokémon introduces several examples: the creation trio of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are Dialga, Palkia and Giratina, draconic Pokémon that embody the concepts of time, space, and anti-matter.
    • Arceus - the Alpha Pokémon and "The Original One", it is the creator of the lake guardians and the creation trio, possibly the Sinnoh and Ransei regions, and maybe even the entire Pokémon universe. It is said to have created the universe with "one thousand arms", and can change its type to any of the other 17 through the use of Plates and Z-Crystals. It also lives in a pocket dimension, the Hall of Origin, seemingly located above Dialga and Palkia’s summoning grounds on Spear Pillar, and all music associated with it just sounds... wrong.
      • As shown by an event involving a special distributed Arceus in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, it can recreate the latter trio of Pokémon, presumably to guard the dimensions when a Trainer has caught one of them... preceded by its battle theme playing over a disorienting and terrifying series of Mind Screw-inducing images.
    • The fact that you can catch such world-changing entities to begin with is worthy of noting - Poké Balls work as power limiters that allow you to control what you catch with them. As pointed out by Ghetsis in Pokémon Black and White: "A Pokémon, even if it's revered as a deity, is still just a Pokémon" - this also factors in the plot of Cyrus, who wants to control Dialga and/or Palkia in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum by using the Red Chain rather than any type of Poké Balls.
    • Xerneas and Yveltal of Pokémon X and Y are the incarnations of life and death, respectively, and otherworldly to a T. Xerneas breaks the usual mold of cute, cuddly Fairy-Types and is a divine, imposing stag who can grant eternal life to those it deems worthy. Yveltal, on the other hand, is a ghastly vulture-like Pokémon who can suck the life out of people, Pokemon, and the very Earth itself, rendering its victims statues; when it reaches the end of its lifespan, it steals the life energy of everything around it and then transforms into a cocoon to sleep. Living being drained by Yveltal can only be restored to life by Xerneas.
      • Eldritch as they are, neither Xerneas nor Yveltal hold a candle to the third member of their trio: Zygarde. While Xerneas and Yveltal at least have recognizably animalistic forms, Zygarde is a hive mind collective of tiny cell-like creatures; depending on the amount of Zygarde Cells gathering around a "Core", it can take on the appearance of a hound, a bizarre alien serpent, or a hulking monstrosity that looks like some sort of alien Gundam. No matter the form, it’s a hyper-vigilant protector of nature that will eliminate any and all threats to the ecosystem with extreme prejudice. Thankfully, it's an otherwise benevolent and gentle creature.
    • The Ultra Beasts of Pokémon Sun and Moon are only barely recognizable as Pokémon, and are interdimensional beings whose appearances and powers are unlike those of even the most Eldritch Pokémon. The ones the fit this trope are as follows:
      • Nihilego looks like an oddly humanoid jellyfish, but is inexplicably a Rock/Poison type instead of anything even remotely aquatic. It secretes a venom that turns victims into rabidly insane husks of their former selves, and drives the conflict behind Pokémon Sun and Moon by turning the once-kind and loving Lusamine into a narcissistic sociopath who terrorizes her children and innocent Pokémon alike.
      • Serving as something of an unofficial "leader" of the Ultra Beasts, Guzzlord is a gluttonous Draconic Demon that acts as a living black hole. Its monstrous appetite allows it to devour anything, whether it be people, buildings, or nuclear waste, and convert it all into energy. It never leaves any waste behind, and is hinted to have been created by nuclear disasters that devastated its home dimension.
    • Pokémon Legends: Arceus marks the first non-event appearance of the titular Mythical Pokémon and reveals even more about Arceus and the creation trio: Dialga and Palkia each have their own Origin Formes, which partly explains why they were believed to be "almighty Sinnoh" (aka Arceus) by their respective clans.
      • And what of Arceus itself? Arceus is responsible for the creation of the Noble Pokémon that the Hisui people worship and the Ride Pokémon that guide you through a blessing that made them stronger, and created the Arc Phone you use throughout the game. Arceus is also capable of human speech, and simply took on the name that humans called it. Around the time you finally encounter it near the end of the game, there are hints that its physical appearance is only a fragment of its unknown and incomprehensible true form that exists outside the dimension it calls home. After you capture this 'fragment', Arceus appears in your dreams and creates the Eternal Battle Reverie, where you can fight various Pokémon as challenges.
    • Several of the Glitch Pokémon that appear as other Pokémon fit this, including Missingno. - glitch Pokémon on a gameplay level are essentially junk data given form, and as such the game will pull the images and cries of other 'Mons from the index for them. Many of them warp or alter music, graphics and save data, possess bizarre dimensions, and can induce game crashes; some such as 'M and its Yellow counterpart 3TrainerPoké $ can even evolve into actual Pokémon!
      • MissingNo. in particular is known for its ability to duplicate items, mess with save data like the Hall of Fame entries, and scrambling in-sprites when sent out to battle. It has three "special" forms in Pokémon Red and Blue as well as Yellow: two of them resemble the Kabutops and Aerodactyl fossils from the Pewter Museum of Science, due to the game using the index numbers of these images to get their front sprites. In these forms, MissingNo. has no constant base stats, experience types or starting moves, instead copying those of the last Pokémon in the party (minus another special MissingNo.); a "special" MissingNo. sent out by a rival Trainer instead takes on the qualities of the previous Pokémon they sent out.
  • The Elder Scrolls has a lot of eldritch monsters hanging around, and with the vagueness surrounding the franchise's intentionally contradictory lore, it only figures that some of them are animal-like in nature:
    • While they don't look too different in comparison to your stereotypical sauropod-like Western dragons, the dragons of The Elder Scrolls aren't fire-breathing lizards so much as they are Draconic Divinities (or Demons) with a connection to Akatosh himself. They're immortal creatures that can't be permanently killed unless their souls are absorbed, and find mortality to be so alien of a concept that it hurts them if they're forced to comprehend it. They also don't breathe fire, but instead speak it into existence, with the dragon language giving them all sorts of other fantastic powers that include becoming ethereal and greatly weakening anyone they fight.
    • Alduin, one of the most powerful dragons in the series, cranks this up even further. He is either the firstborn son of Akatosh, an aspect of him, or Akatosh himself, and that's ignoring the likely explanation that he's all three at once somehow. His powers go further beyond his weaker brethren, and include being able to raise dragons from the dead as well as travelling directly to Sovngarde, the Nordic afterlife, and devour the souls of the honored dead to get even stronger. His role is meant to be that of a living apocalypse that plays into the world's cycle of death and renewal, hence his moniker "The World-Eater".
  • Some examples lurk among the horrors infesting Spooky's Jumpscare Mansion:
    • Specimen 8 looks like a humanoid deer wearing a robe, but its "body" is a mass of screaming faces of its past victims tucked under its ribcage. It kills its victims by assimilating them into itself, and every time it attacks you you're assaulted by disturbing imagery in the form of subliminal messages and sudden closeups of its freaky face.
  • Hollow Knight has a spoiler-riffic example in The Radiance, a Cosmic Horror that vaguely resembles a fluffy moth crossed with one of the Bible's more outlandish angels. She can invade the minds of bugs and manifest a viral plague that Mind Rapes them into feral shells of their former selves, and can stop existing entirely if enough people forget about her... only to re-materialize upon being remembered. Even her roars are mind-bending and otherworldly, sounding more like an angry ethereal choir instead of any kind of earthly creature.

Visual Novels

  • In the Nasuverse, Tsukihime has Nero Chaos, whose body is composed of hundreds of animals that can detach from him to attack and feed.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

Other Media

Real Life

  1. Slendy watches from a distance; the Rake likes to sit on your bed. While you're in it.