I realize it might seem odd to jump straight to Ninja Gaiden 2. What about Ninja Gaiden 1? Well, the first game was good, but I didn’t grow up with it. I didn’t even play it for the first time until I was an adult. For whatever reason, I only got NG2 as a hand-me-down from my uncle, and I spent countless summer hours holed up in the cool basement, playing this game on the old color TV my parents had left down there. The one with woodgrain siding, that you turned on by twisting a knob.
Plus, Ninja Gaiden 2 is just the objectively superior game.
In the early 2000s, the Geico car insurance company engaged in a little ill-fated bio-advertising. They tried to engineer a small army of their “cave men,” for use in sales events. They did not take into account just how violent their creations would be.
CroMagMen are the ubiquitous mercenary tough-guys of the future. They’ll take on any job, just so long as you don’t mind how violent they get while they’re doing it.
When dealing with a CroMagMan, expect them to ask at least a few questions about your car insurance.
When a barrel full of beetles is boiled in the blood of of a boy, a BeetleBoi is born. The process only takes a few hours, until the blood has been reduced to a thick sludge, and the horrid little creature can be safely fished out.
They’re hunched creatures, standing about waist-high to a full grown adult, and covered in a glistening black shell. Their forearms are just long sharp exoskeletal blades, which they tap along the ground in front of them, making a click-click-click sound as they approach.
BeetleBois are blind. They don’t have particularly good hearing, or much of a sense of smell either. They get around by tapping their forearms. They do have one strong sense, though. They know where the nearest sources of blood are, and will move quickly to tear open and consume any bloodbags they perceive.
Nobody loves Vommo. Even Vommo’s mother left him in a dumpster when he was 6 months old, because she couldn’t take the smell of him anymore. It is not Vommo’s fault that he sweats vomit out of his pores.
A lifetime of solitude on the streets has robbed Vommo of whatever mental faculties he may have been born with. He’s a sort of pathetic, foul-smelling simpleton. He deserves nothing but compassion, though you should try never to be alone with him. If he thinks no one will protect you, he’ll wrap you in a big bear hug and force you to smell him. It’s an obsession; half cry for attention, half fetishistic sex act. More than one person has been crushed to death by Vommo’s mighty hug.
A failed attempt at genetic resequencing left Gota both highly suggestible, and intensely, passionately, insatiably violent. Gota doesn’t have any sexual organs left anymore, and the “squish” sound your brain makes when he smashes your head in with a club is the most satisfaction he gets out of life.
He prefers to rush in and get his kills quickly, because as soon as people start talking, he gets confused. Gota will more or less obey any command or request uttered in his presence. He literally confuses any such statements with being his own thoughts, and it takes him a few moments for his own identity to reassert itself.
A group of amoral (and frankly, stupid) scientists thought they might be able to make a lot of money if they found a way to combine different creatures into the perfect murder-soldier. The Überthought was the furthest they got before they ran out of funding.
It’s a man, with the head of a jackal, the hands of a Hook Horror, and the spine of a Dire Armadillo. It’s an insanely wasteful concoction, considering that at least one of those animals had to be genetically engineered before it could be harvested for parts.
This resolutely cheerful chap somehow finds a way to take just about everything as a compliment. If you attack it, it takes pride in being considered enough of a threat to warrant violence from you. If you insult it, it knows you’re only doing so because it managed to make you feel something. The damn thing is infuriatingly cheerful, and honestly there’s no reason for you to hate it or want to hurt it, but fuck if that kind of relentless optimism doesn’t grate on the nerves.
The easiest way to kill a compliment fisher is to feed it as many sincere compliments as you can manage. The more you stroke its ego, the larger its head will become. Eventually, its neck won’t be able to support the weight any longer, and the creature will crumple under its own weight.
Ya know how your grandma was always complained that you were just “skin and bones” right before she started feeding you like some kind of creepy fat fetishist? Well No-Grandma Jones is literally that. Skin, bones, and nothing else.
Every one of his movements is uncomfortably fast. He is obsessively competitive as well. If he sees you do just about anything, he’ll make sure to let you know that he can do it better. He frequently challenges people to duels, or to place bets, over just about anything conceivable. If no better options present themselves, he’ll just challenge you to a duel.
No-G is a gracious winner, but gods help you if you win.
Muscleboys and Musclegirls of the Cult of the Horned Serpent
Remember in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian (unquestionably the best film of all time), where the king refers to Thulza-Doom’s cult as “Just another snake cult?” This is another one of them.
The Muscleboys and Musclegirls are stolen from their parents at birth, and raised with only two principals. The first is strength. They lift wheels and push weights for hours every day, building their bodies up into rock-solid death machines. The second is oral sex.
Specifically, the Muscleboys and Musclegirls have oral sex performed on them frequently by the cult’s most attractive priestesses and priestos. Furthermore, they’re told that this pleasure is a secret ritual, not known to anyone outside of the cult. A gift from their snake god, to its loyal followers.
Unsurprisingly, this makes the Muscleboys and Musclegirls very loyal, and very willing to murder anyone who threatens their beloved blowjobs and cunnilingi.
Whenever a teenager dies, if they had a younger sibling who is now the oldest child, then something of that sibling dies as well. Their essential “younger sibling-ness” is lost to the ether, flows into the earth or out into space, or, on occasion, forms into a Little Rethorb.
Little Rethorbs think you’re really cool, and just want attention. Once they latch on to a person, they will hop around, being loud, jibbering constantly, and getting in the way until they are killed.
If humored for an extended period, they will gradually calm down, and may even become useful. After about a year, they might learn not to be so noisy, or to speak so constantly. After three or four years, they might even become helpful companions.
But, for real, what kind of adventurer would tolerate that shit for that long? They’re just gonna stab it and move on.
An insufferable snob with a fish-like head, no eyes, and dozens of snake-like bodies. Senoj is a critic of absolutely everything it encounters, and somehow manages to find everything wanting. Your swordfighting style is too plebeian, your singing is off key, your paintings are bourgeois. Anything without 6 layers of irony to it is hack.
Normally this would just be annoying, save for the fact that Senoj is able to summon Spheres of Annihilation to destroy whatever it deems unworthy.