This was going to come out yesterday, but was delayed for two reasons. You know the first if you follow me on Twitter. Our refrigerator is broken and I had to spend a good amount of time working on that. And, of course, the evaporator fan need to be replaced despite best efforts. The second reason is because I haven’t done anything Halloween themed or related at all! Shame on me! So today (and next week too) will be some Halloween inspirations for your games. Specifically, these three are horrific beings that are rather terrifying and/or create terrifying scenarios.
The Flood (Halo Universe)
I couldn’t do a Halloween Resources article without committing a portion of my time to the Flood from Halo. Now they aren’t the MOST horrifying thing out there. For those who have simply played the game (especially if the deeper lore is of little interest to you), the flood are just horrible fungus zombies that really annoying, really quick. But over the course of the games we learn that, yes they are fungal zombies. Kind of. There is an intelligence to the Flood, perhaps there is or was multiple intelligences to them. We know them as graveminds and they control the flood like a queen ant controls a nest. Only worse. And more gross. And WAY smarter. That’s not the most horrifying bit though, they want to devour everything until there is nothing left. Like zombies their is only hunger. But they remember, they wait. Take what is horrible about hive minds, zombies, possession, and add some nasty fungus and you have the hive. The Forerunners build the halo rings to destroy all life in the universe to starve the damn things before life began anew. To go to such lengths!? Yes, I would say the Flood are a great, simple enemy to add to a game with plenty of room for greater complexity and doomsday scenarios.
The Hive (Destiny Universe)
Speaking of hunger, leave it to Bungie to go all out on the idea for their next franchise. The Hive are obviously a much more wild, Lovecraftian, what-if brain child of those who either created the flood or really loved what they represented. The Hive were born of ancient warfare and escape, though. They dug too deep, as the saying goes, and what they found was otherworldly. A philosophy so powerful, perverse, and not necessarily false that it was utilized like magic empowering a family and creating a race. The essence of the Hive is the sword logic, that the whole point of the universe comes down to, essentially eat or be eaten. The story of this development is fantastic and disturbing (Book of Sorrows go read it), but it comes down to being more successful, killing more, consuming more essence of others. All to become more powerful. Things get pretty crazy as the Hive wreck havoc through the universe (and dimensions). What is real, not real, magic, philosophy, and laws of nature all become questioned when dealing with the Hive. Add the Taken into that mix? Things get crazy, and scary. Lovecraftian at their core, Bungie has seeded the story with those who learned more about the Hive than you should (looking at you Eris Morn). Those alone are worth looking into for NPC development.
Weeping Angels (Doctor Who Universe)
Again, a creature I could not write this article without mentioning. “Blink” is still one of my all-time favorite episodes of Doctor Who and the angels are one of the most frightening. And they don’t even kill you. These are a very narrative monster, but make a fantastic one for such game styles. Although they could do a real switch-up for a regular game with lots of combat. All because they are virtually indestructible while being looked at. Some would say they are just made of stone, but the term the Doctor uses is quantum-locked (if I remember). Now there are many ways to interpret that, but if you ask me, the biggest changes something can ever go through a quantum and exist as probabilities and (if that’s true) than you cannot affect something that is quantum locked. Sure, sure site some examples or whatever theories. Regardless, they’re terrifying. Near indestructible while you look at them, quicker than a pixie on crack when not. Never kill you, but send you back in time, somewhen. For an adventuring party? That is less recoverable than death!