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Gaming's freakiest monsters: A biological study

Cerberus

Biosphere: Dante’s Inferno
Classification: Canus threeheadicus

Umm, okay, what the hell is that? That's just... all kinds of wrong. Cerberus dates back to Greek mythology, where he was the guardian of the gates of Hades. In the original poem of Dante's Inferno, he is seen on the circle of Hell dealing with gluttons, sitting atop a writhing pile of souls as frozen offal and feces rain down from the sky. There he tears at and eats the sinners.

But this thing... Cerberus is supposed to be a dog, right? This thing looks like a dental accident. Anyway, where were we?

Ah yes, Canus threeheadicus, surely an apex predator, considering its massive girth. Noting the distinct lack of canines in its teeth, the likely conclusion would initially point to herbivorous behavior, but field observations have confirmed an omnivorous appetite. With prehensile, extendable necks, hunting patterns would likely follow an ambush approach, with Cerberus lying in wait, motionless until prey wanders near, much like the feeding pattern of the alligator snapping turtle.

The rather moist, porous-looking membrane that serves as its skin suggest an amphibious nature as well. Like many aquatic predators, Cerberus probably waits beneath the water (or in the case of its particular environment, stagnant pools of feces), with necks extended upward, allowing just its eyes to breach the surface. Also note that the body exhibits mimic traits, although how mimicking what appears to be a giant, dead human head would be useful remains a mystery. It's possible that within its environment there are even larger predators that hunt giant humans, in which case retracting its neck-stalks and playing dead could prove invaluable to its survival.


Romper

Biosphere: Silent Hill
Classification: Gruntus gruntus

The Romper isn't particularly distinctive in its anatomy, as it appears to be little more than a naked, featureless, and perhaps skinless human. However, it makes our list through its peculiar behavior, which has left an imprint on many visitors to Silent Hill. While other denizens of the foggy city display more bizarre appearances, the Romper is remembered for its fierce defense of its chosen territory, and like the Howler Monkey, for its unique and recognizable grunting sounds.

While travelers in Silent Hill are forewarned of the Romper's presence through its effect on radio waves, it's not until the distinctive grunts are heard that its dreaded presence becomes known. Typically docile, the Romper moves about in a languid manner until potential prey (or mates?) roams within proximity, at which point it becomes agitated and will pounce.

Here we have some footage of the Romper in its natural habitat:


Above: Commentator not representative of the scientific community

As we can see, the Romper tends to illicit strong emotional responses in typical visitors to the region. Sometimes, with territorial predators, it is best not to run away, as this triggers a pursuit instinct, such as when dealing with a grizzly bear. However, encounters with Rompers should be treated with extreme panic. Run away at all costs, as Rompers, once they pounce on prey (or mates?) typically “do” things to the prostrate victim.


Lying figure

Biosphere: Silent Hill 2
Classification: Wrappus straitjacketus

The Lying Figure is a bit of a conundrum. While somewhat dangerous, it certainly isn't a successful predator, with its slow, shambling gait and lack of mouth. It is usually found standing up – however, some researchers have attributed this behavior to that of the meerkat, meaning it stands up to get a better look around the environment, and to spot potential predators or prey. The reasoning for this theory is that the Lying Figure is rather awkward on its feet, but quite nimble when on its belly (hence its name).

Similar to some insects, the Lying Figure expels digestive enzymes on prey, through a fissure in the center of its body. Bypassing the typical esophagus, this likely allows the stomach muscles to contract from all directions, thus achieving greater projection and avoiding irritating heart burn.

Lying Figures have shown tendency for muscle spasms, especially around the neck area. It's possible that these reflexive movements serve to distract or entice prey to investigate the erratic movements. In a sense, Wrappus straitjacketus borrows the behavior found in many predators of feigning injury to draw prey near. Similarly, its apparently weak motility works as a ruse until it can fall prone and strike with speed.

Still, the Lying Figure's acuteness of senses comes in to question, as several researchers have witnessed some of Silent Hill's canine residents “marking” them before happily trotting away.


Siam

Biosphere: Silent Hill: Homecoming
Classification: Relationships codependentus

From a distance, the Siam appears to be an herbivorous forager, with its stout limbs, lumbering gait, and trunk-like proboscis. What seems to be a somewhat bizarre anatomy becomes much stranger upon closer inspection.

We can now see that what at first appeared to be a proboscis similar to that of a star-nosed mole, is in fact the bound arms of a female human. In fact, full examination of the posterior end reveals an entire female fused with a male counterpart. The leading theory is that, like the deep sea angler fish, one member of a mated pair ends up parasitically melding its body into its mate, permanently becoming a part of it and living off its survival efforts.

In some ways, the pairing becomes mutually beneficial: the female's arms serve as a prehensile appendage, providing the male with a distinct evolutionary advantage, since the male's own opposable digits have long ago atrophied. Indeed, without the proboscis, the male would find it quite difficult to obtain food.

Researchers have noted that the Siam often appears irritable, and has been witnessed arguing with itself over who's turn it is to do the dishes.

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45 comments

  • Kaltoria - July 29, 2010 6:27 a.m.

    very surprised that the cerberus from fallout 3 isn't on here
  • Jadernader - July 29, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    Iron Maiden was the scariest thing of RE4.... one gave me a huge bear hug n shot all its spikes thru my body.... yeah that killed me...
  • axelgarcia1 - November 1, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    lol terrapin buttface and the crapyourpanticus lol
  • noobeater - November 1, 2009 12:51 a.m.

    lol your vocabulary impresses me on a completely unrelated note reCAPTCHA scottish boning. hahahaha
  • deathrebellion - October 30, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    this article cud actually go on and on and on,................. The classification names r soooooo funny =)) especially Terrapin BUTTFACE!!!!! :D
  • TheWebSwinger - October 30, 2009 4:48 a.m.

    Wow. I just wanted to say that this is a really good, really well-researched article. Matt clearly knows his biology.
  • patri0t - October 30, 2009 1:44 a.m.

    no fallout 3 centaurs?!?!
  • Smeggs - October 30, 2009 12:18 a.m.

    I believe the Leapers tail would be used much like a spider-monkey's since its not very well adept for attacking. Grasping onto poles and other such protrusions in the destroyed confines of the Ishimura.
  • TrigunGunner - October 30, 2009 12:16 a.m.

    umm.. in my opinion it seemed like towards the end, you guys drifted away from the professional motif you were aiming for at the beginning of the feature. It was still a good and funny feature, but you lost some of the humor and scientific vocabulary along the way
  • patriotfan09 - October 29, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    @Xplosive: I agree, Centaurs are way freakier than Ghouls.
  • vitoruss - October 29, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    Actually, Resi 4 had a lot of good horrifying creatures. Salazar's right hand, the Beserkers, and especially 'It'.
  • vitoruss - October 29, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    Regenerators... scary shit right there. My friends and I would scream, and keep screaming, until we finally killed whatever one was chasing us. DMC had some pretty interesting creatures, like the 'nobodies'.
  • headcase - October 29, 2009 5:18 p.m.

    This is a great article! So well-written and informative!
  • kor2disturbed - October 29, 2009 5:07 p.m.

    I've never seen anything more disturbing than that effing turtle. At first I thought it wasn't ver creepy. But whn he turned around and it had tha human head ughhh.
  • MagicalSarai - October 29, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    Where the heck is the Brood Mother from Dragon Age: Origins... if that thing isn't freaky... I don't know what is?
  • Dombers - October 29, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    For best effects, read in a David Attenborough-style voice... Excellent article by the way...
  • VoodooPanda - October 29, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    Where's the monsters from The Suffering? They are pretty freaky too. Some of them more than the ones in the list.
  • thomashalpenny - October 29, 2009 10:50 a.m.

    The creepers from resistance?that levelin resistance 2 when your in the dark tunnel with the train carriages and the creeper eggs hatching randomly and then coming at you...scary shit!(sniggers)coming at you
  • Xplosive59 - October 29, 2009 10:34 a.m.

    good article GR but i think you should of added the centaur from fallout cause its one of the creatures that makes you go "what the hell is that... is it human!"
  • caboose4400 - October 29, 2009 10:16 a.m.

    god i hate the necromprphs the creepiest thing about them is that you can still see the ppls faces in them and the regeneraters screwed my whole game up trying to kill em was a pain in da ass

Showing 1-20 of 45 comments

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