User:Umbire the Phantom/Animalistic Abomination

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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 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 - while just as likely to use A Form You Are Comfortable With, 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), cephalopods (if you want a nice Cthulhu-esque touch), and the abomination may even be based on at least one sufficiently-weird Seldom-Seen 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.

Examples of Umbire the Phantom/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. The Hooded One is its Dragon, and is accompanied by the same swarm - she is the undead Briar Harvestar, whose body was resurrected and possessed by the Lord of the Locust. 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.

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.

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; 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 perhaps eye) 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 as a "black dog, or the divel in such a likenesse". Another account recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle suggests they are used as part of a Wild Hunt.

Video Games

  • Undertale has one of these in Endogeny, one of the Amalgamates. Endogeny takes on the vague shape of a large canine: it has two pointed ears atop its "head", and a single vaguely mouth-like orifice where a face would be that produces "Happiness Froth" when it's excited; it also has 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.
  • The Legend of Zelda franchise:
    • Ganon 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; they are two obscenely powerful, animalistic superprograms that are feared as harbingers of the apocalypse, and serve as the version mascots that appear on the box art. 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.

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 Original

Other Media