Posts Tagged ‘shadow beasts’

I’ve always been an enormous fan of monsters. I’m a huge gamer so i’m more than exposed to all manner of bizarre beasts. I prefer games and films with monsters in them; whether they be enemies or friends. Whether it be the countless undead or a fire-breathing dragon, i always seem to prefer them to human foes. Stories about soldiers fighting fantastical beasts are far more exciting to me than soldiers fighting different coloured soldiers.

I think this is why i love fantasy RPGs and RTSs so much. I like to see different people’s takes on various creatures. One guys troll is different from another guys. One may be a big humanoid with a huge mouth and a serious odor problem while another may be more along the lines of an elemental force, a walking wall of stone.

I’m going to list some of my favorite mythical creatures here. A top 5 list if you will. Mostly just because i feel like it. 🙂

5. Dragons
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Dragons. The word will always conjure a very similiar image in ones head. A huge and mighty winged beast, often with a bad temper. I suppose this one was expected. They can be great enemies, simply due to their strength and size. However many stories use dragons as friendly forces, depicting them with immense wisdom and knowledge of the world. However, the thing i love most about these monsters is the sheer variety that people have come up with. Different coloured dragons, various elemental dragons, different sizes, varied levels of intelligence or the ability to wield magic. They can be used to fill any large-monster-shaped gap in a game or film.
Notable dragons: Alduin from Skyrim, Deathwing from Warcraft, Smaug from the Hobbit.

4. Golems
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Whether it be a wizards elemental servant or an escaped mechanical terror, I’ve always loved golems. Beings of the elements, made from stone or various kinds of metal, it takes a lot of damage to take down a golem. They’re great enemies and allies, for much the same reasons. They are often immensely tough and destroy lesser creatures with sheer strength and weight. I love that some artists/developers depict golems as mechanical constructs, akin to walking tanks. Golems are not often depicted as being particularly talkative and i like that. I see them as silent guardians of your characters or mute defenders of treasure, even remaining silent as they are destroyed. I love mechanical beings, particularly steam powered ones, so that’s why golems are on my list. Silent beings who can only protect, cool yet miserable in a sense. There are exceptions of course, Shale from Dragon age is of particular note, he/she is probably the most hilarious character in the series thus far.
Notable golems: Shale from Dragon Age: Origins, The Tammuz from World of Darkness, Frankenstein.

3. Demons
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Demons are quite hard to categorize. They’re depicted in so many ways. From Satan-like beings to evil ghosts. Personally i prefer the hellish-creature-who-slaughters-the-innocent kind of demon, the more bestial looking the better. Think Diablo rather than Paranormal activity. The idea of a gargantuan creature wreathed in flame sweeping heroes and armies aside with each swing so damn cool, not to mention quite thematic. Very high fantasy. Or the cruel trickster who simply wants to cause suffering for the sake of suffering. Another reason i like them is the fact they’re so damn evil. Demons are not going to win any awards for kindness. These things exist simply to cause misery and destruction. That’s what makes them so great, they’re the best kind of bad guy. I don’t tend to see any grey areas when demons are involved and i feel that trying to give demons more human motivations ruins them somewhat. So yes, simply for the coolness factor, demons and devils are on my list.
Notable demons: Diablo from Diablo, The Burning Legion from Warcraft, Azazel or Crowley from Supernatural.

2. Shadow beasts

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Now this may seem like a bit of an odd choice. I admit it is a bit ‘out there’ and i do actually find it a little difficult to explain. The idea of a creature that is able to merge with the very darkness around you and use it to hunt its prey is both very cool and very underutilized in my opinion. A completely jet black being that can appear as almost anything, humanoid, animal or something ‘else’. A being able to conjure blades and claws of shadow. A creature that can appear from nowhere and drag you into the darkness or perhaps another dimension. There have been stories of “Shadow men” who have appeared to people and attacked them in real life and the idea of a creature with that power is fascinating to me.
Notable Shadow beasts: The Shadow man from The Twilight Zone, Shadow beasts from Zelda.

1. Goblins

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Yes, you read that right. My favorite mythical beast is the humble goblin. Equal times genius and moron. I love how sinister these creatures can be, shown pillaging and murdering innocent townsfolk or something in one game or film and then they are shown being complete dunces blowing themselves up with some kind of poorly constructed machine in another. They often fight in huge numbers, overwhelming stronger opponents with sheer weight of bodies. This makes them a dangerous force in many kinds of media, though i have to admit i rarely see anything where they are the primary threat to the protagonist and if they are they are often being manipulated by some kind of unknown puppeteer. I like the sheer weight of numbers method of fighting though, it appeals to me for some reason (Maybe I’m Russian).

I also adore how often they are shown as flawed geniuses, building amazing machines and gadgets that are prone to exploding or otherwise malfunctioning. It’s like goblins are stupid geniuses, which is a bit of a contradiction and yet it seems to describe them aptly. In universes like Warcraft goblins are shown as inventing machines that almost all races in the world use, despite the apparently “idiotic” goblins that build them. The goblin zeppelins for example.

The best thing about goblins though, is that they’re funny. I like comedy, i’m always watching comedians live shows and i love it when games and films are funny too. Sure, the humor behind many goblins is childish at best, but i like that. That kind of humor is good too, not everything has to be amazingly clever or cynical to be funny. They’re simple, they’re funny and they aren’t merely good or evil (well, they are in some games, but still). So yes goblins are, and likely always will be, my favorite mythical beasts because without them, you just have orcs and orcs stink. 😉
Notable Goblins: Goblins from Warcraft, Goblins from Lord of the Rings, Goblins from Magic: The Gathering.

So there you go! My top 5 list of mythical creatures. What are your favorite beasts and why? Care to add anything to the creatures I’ve listed or do you disagree with my opinion? Use the comment section yo!

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