Written by Jonathan Wojcik
We've looked at a number of video game monsters by now, but ringing in the first of October, we'll be going over some of the most obscure to ever be featured on Bogleech! I was first shown a few of the monsters from this one by my friend who goes by Acidonia,
without any source or context, and it took the help of my blog followers to finally identify their origin - a long forgotten, 1990 Japanese PC game. To be even more specific, a long forgotten, 1990 Japanese hentai
PC game. Oh boy.
As you likely suspected already, Exterlien
is rather thin on storyline and even thinner on anything resembling "fun," its gameplay intended as little more than an obstacle between the player and brief glimpses of pixelated sex. Along the way, however, one can encounter a bevy of magnificently
weird and inventive monsters; actually some of the coolest and most appealing I've seen in a long
time. It's actually not at all unusual for a work of tentacle porn to have some remarkably unique creature design, though it's usually rather difficult to review them on a work-safe website when they're so busy shoving pieces of themselves into naked cartoons.
monsters almost all get their own lovely little game sprites, and our friend Slime Minister,
creator of WORMGERM,
personally trudged through the entire tedious mess just to get us a complete collection of these slimy, bug-eyed beauties, so let's see what all the fuss is about!
Gurema & Djachi
We'll look at the smaller, weaker enemies first, and start off with some of the least
bizarre. These two are fairly conventional slimes, though it's surprisingly not common to see one with multiple organelles like an actual single-celled organism.
This cloaked phantom is so conventional, it's going to feel jarringly out of place fairly quickly. Virtually everything else in this game is entirely alien and inhuman, so one can only guess what's really under this tattered shroud. Maybe just
a pair of hands and a pair of eyes.
See? This still
isn't getting into the really crazy stuff yet, and already we're dealing with a screaming, ghoulish head on the end of a spinal column with spider-like legs. Actually, the shape of this thing kind of looks an awful
lot like a certain kind of virus.
It's really quite impressive how they managed to make such simple pixel art look so "out of focus" here, and it's a dang creepy effect for a fluorescent, skeleton-like alien being. You get the impression this thing constantly flickers in and out of reality, and I want to think it probably gives off terrifying amounts of radiation.
I've seen disembodied arms with eyeballs on the ends before, but I enjoy the gnarled, boneless look of this one. The arm seems to branch into those three eye-stalks fairly quickly, but they twirl around each other for much of their length. The whole thing kind of makes me think of a biological streetlight.
Nothing but a cluster of eyes in the dark, but in a nicely inhuman arrangement, implying quite an unusual, unseen body. Just turning a human-like eye on its side has such a haunting effect, doesn't it? One of my favorite creature design trends since I first met Hedorah
, whose designer is on record admitting the Smog Monster's eyes are intentionally representative of genitalia, for no reason other than to be a little creepier.
So many of these things are just far too cute to be perverse deviants, aren't they? I guess they might not all be, really. Most of them are just the minions
of perverse deviants. This walking plant doesn't look like it could hurt a fly, let alone stick its tentacles where they weren't even invited.
Every bestiary worth its salt has some sort of gastropodal horror sliming it up, and while I've seen better, I like Jamudo's row of tubes and sort of segmented-looking shell, more like a chiton than a snail.
I love when monsters look more like modern surrealist art than organic or even mechanical beings. There are so many different faces and expressions at play here, all tied together by a single eyeball you can also interpret as a mouth or a piece of jewelry. Freaky as hell.
Seemingly related to our last one, and a little more "coherent." Perhaps disappointingly so, but still pleasingly outlandish as far as humanoids go, and in fact, very few things in Exterlien will ever even look this
I've little to say about this one, really, except that it reminds me a lot of Him
from the Powerpuff Girls. Maybe a form he might have taken just to freak people out. This is our last "minor enemy" before we get into this game's bosses, which are not only generally stranger, but far exceed
their weaker underlings in variety.
What did I tell you? The enemies were interesting enough, but the bosses fly straight into realms of unparalleled majesty shared only by the likes of the Ugly Stickers
or the Real Monsters
toy line, or that Halloween episode of Invader Zim.
Enamena here is one of my favorite seldom-seen anatomical subcategories, the "cartoon-meteor-shaped monster." I don't think I've ever seen one that wasn't wonderful, and this one is a treasure with only the fairly basic addition of stalk-eyes and jellyfish tendrils. You apparently encounter it hanging out in an office, for whatever reason.
did I mention the storyline yet? I know I said it was kind of bare bones, but it's still interesting enough,
and provides at least a little context; apparently, Exterlien begins with a beauty contest being held at a carnival, which is promptly crashed by horny monsters from a parallel dimension. I'm going to guess that a lot of them might even just be otherworldly "wildlife" that bled through in the process. Others seem like they may have been bumans themselves, until alien forces twisted them into abominations like this disturbingly spidery, toothless ghoul, who can be found lurking in a restaurant.
I showed off this one earlier, and I really find it one of the most endearing in the game. You can never go wrong with slithering, snail-faced monsters, especially when they actually drag
themselves on slimy, bony forelimbs. I'm also a big fan of monsters with vertically-aligned mouths, as you've probably noticed in my own scribblings. I realize most people's first thought is that they look sexual, but as with similarly skewed eyes, I just plain like how alien it looks, at least by human standards. Lots
of other things on our planet have mouths that open sideways. It's yet another one found in a restaurant, too, so this cutie might not even be perv - just a glutton.
Another really cute one, dominated entirely by its HUGE mouth and protruding eyeballs with a relatively tiny, almost vestigial fish-like body. Girumera is encountered hiding amongst a bunch of parked go-karts, so we can assume it was trying to figure out how to drive one without legs or hands.
Sad and a little goofy looking, but in the best of ways. Bairamu is made up entirely of fairly human body parts, but in an utterly inhuman and eerily suggestive arrangement, the upside-down tongue especially unsettling. You encounter this one in a haunted house, possibly because he thought he saw a guy who owed him money.
Gahi is a simple design in principle - I've seen a lot
of things that are mostly an eye with arms and legs - but I like its oblong, veiny head-body and pink fins. With its eye closed, it would look like a mighty disturbing, eyeless monster with human-like lips, and that was probably exactly the idea here. I also enjoy how it's kind of giving us the bedroom-eye...and can be found in a bathroom.
how this is just a huge, quasi-human mouth, with virtually no other features, essentially functioning like a bivalve. That green hose is probably how Iga actually
feeds, or at least breathes, while maybe the two tongues are for tasting the air. What's even cuter about these giant, warty clam-lips is that you find it in the carnival's teacup ride.
Iga! That's not what you were sent here to do! ....Or is it?
A bat-winged, humanoid torso can easily come out plain and uninspired, but a little dangling, tattered flesh is just the thing to spruce up your otherwise conventional ghouls and devils. This one is encountered in one of the game's strangest places; the inside of a cartoon octopus statue in the middle of a fountain. What a silly place to be, Waitora. Why did you go in there? Apparently it was important enough to defend with violence.
BONGO!? I could not possibly love that name harder, especially for a bubblegum-pink sea cucumber with such a comical mouth, pitiful little arms and dozens of googly eyes. Bongo's withered tail trails clear off the boss monster screen...what's on the end? Another eye? Maybe it just connects to another Bongo?
We even meet Bongo in an incredibly appropriate place for a multi-eyed monster at a carnival: the House of Mirrors! No wonder Bongo has a look of such confused awe. Having that many eyeballs in a house of mirrors probably feels like a hardcore drug trip. Bongo found exactly where he wants to be...why can't you just leave him alone?!
Another one with fairly humanoid anatomy, but once again improved by little touches of weirdness. The horrified looks in their faces, the vivid primary colors, their "dissolving" appearance...it all contributes to a remarkably haunting image, and you have to wonder if this is actually several entities or just one. Maybe Sanadamu represents a human who was accidentally pulled across multiple dimensions, slowly unraveling on a molecular level? I mean, I know the creators didn't think that far, but that's what I'm
inclined to see here, and it's freaking terrifying. You encounter this one in a warehouse, which doesn't really offer any further clues, but I feel like it might support my "formerly human" theory.
designed the monsters for this game? They're genius.
They do so much
with even the most basic concepts. A humanoid mouth on the end of a worm-like body is nothing terribly special, but this one ends in an entire withered, vestigial head, hair trailing from its dessicated skull. The entire "worm" is just a trunk!
I independently came up with more or less the same thing for one of my monsters, but it was a deep-sea fish. I like this human take on the body plan quite a bit more. You encounter Eddjima in a riverboat ride; I'm not sure if it was there because it likes to swim, or because it just likes riverboat rides.
Just a hairless, clawed quadruped, but with a jarringly unearthly head. The detail on that raw, pink orifice and dripping tongue is exquisitely
unpleasant, and the whole thing kind of makes me think of a horribly distorted star-nosed mole. Maybe what a star-nosed mole encounters in its own version of Silent Hill,
which would overall be several times more interesting than the last few Silent Hill
games. Atori is encountered in the carnival's electrical control center, so I'm going to assume it's either an energy-sucker or it has an active interest in electrical engineering.
Found in a fountain, Do-umu looks a little like the monsters from the movie Deadly Spawn,
which is an excellently paced, atmospheric and fun monster movie you should totally check out when you get the chance. None of the Deadly Spawn were cross-shaped, but the mama one was definitely multi-headed, and actually, looked enough like something from this game that the designer probably
drew direct inspiration from it. Seriously, go find it, it comes across as a by-the-numbers creature feature at first glance, but it's more of an intentional homage to the genre and its sheer quality may surprise you.
You know how I can never get enough monsters with perpetually oozing flesh, and this one's giant, smiling maw and puppy-dog eyes are wickedly
frightening on that slimy, half-rotten humanoid body. The only thing ghastlier than this one's appearance is that it haunts the boiler room, by far one of the most frightening places to encounter any
sort of monster, but especially one that seems to be melting from the heat and doesn't even care.
Haha, "Giruman." Literally just "gill-man," like the Universal Studios monster, and he's even found in a lake. I guess not everything in this game can be a groundbreaking masterpiece, but there's never anything wrong with a good old fashioned man-fish. Maybe they even threw this in as a nod to how The Creature From the Black Lagoon
was one of the earlier and most famous lust-crazed-monster flicks.
These monsters really, really exemplify how far just a twinge
of humanity can push the horror of a design. This is basically just a big squid, but the teeth, nose-hole and especially those downright pleading
eyes launch it straight into the heart of nightmare town. Another little touch that makes a world of difference? The way the tentacles emerge from between the lips and gums, instead of growing from the surrounding skin or coming out of the mouth itself. I don't think I've actually seen it done that way before, but it makes a whole lot of anatomical sense and
it's a lot scarier than either other option. So where do you actually meet this uncanny calamari? Wandering up and down a train track, apparently.
An amorphous blob of innumerable mouths and eyes was kind of a given sooner or later, and I usually find those rather samey, but I like that its mouths have such long, thin teeth, making them look more like a bunch of coral polyps - and they even seem to retract the same way! You face Hoburei on a rollercoaster, and like Girumera's go-karts, I'm going to wildly speculate that it just wishes it could ride
the roller coaster, but can't quite figure out how. I think I might know what all this mayhem is really
about: jealousy. They're jealous of our beauty contests, our roller coasters, our houses of mirrors, even our octopus statues and our train tracks. These bastards want it all
AUGH. Oh jeez. Again, human features in an inhuman arrangement is all it takes to be effectively horrendous, though the very worst part of this warped, oozing face is the green crap dangling out of its ears. Sick.
Min here inhabits a merry-go-round, but who the hell knows how.
There's no indication of what Min is doing there or what the rest of its body looks like, unless it's just a huge sheet of flesh that completely enveloped the ride, probably to make sure nobody else could ride it out of pure spite.
Oh, cute! A fleshy, one-eyed ball with a bunch of gasping tubes is a concept I've seen elsewhere, but it's always a pleasure. They're usually floating creatures, like the also-similar Beholders
from Dungeons and Dragons and their various knock-offs, but Panisha seems to creep and crawl on the ground, which I feel gives it some distinct personality of its own, and what's really
darling is that Panisha apparently rides the ferris wheel.
Look at that eye. That is a one-eyed look of wonderment.
Awwwww......is this the last one already? I was still so pumped
for these. I don't want them to be over! You'll recognize this as the monster on the cover, and it's also apparently the main villain behind all these shenanigans, the one monster the game confirms is only interested in bringing some human booty back to his domain, as demonstrated in a "bad ending" image that is not work safe but here it is.
UPDATE, I forgot this link was ever here until reposting this article and that my ad servers don't like this kind of thing, so now it's a fair bit more censored.
As the head honcho, Ru Zu's design is predictably one of the least bizarre, but the long, protruding teeth are pretty cool on this otherwise mundane fish-bat anthropomorph. I'm sure he was probably meant to invoke some sort of "Lovecraftan" entity, and would actually make a pretty cool Dagon, honestly.
I suppose I should also mention, I guess, that this game has some monster-run item shops, and while there's nothing especially interesting about their physiology, nothing else in this game is quite as scary as a bright blue lizard in a fedora.
So, that's it for Exterlien,
a dirty little game whose artist(s) poured their little hearts and souls into populating this sleazy, otherwise boring distraction with some of video gaming's most memorable alien invaders. Be sure to pay Wormgerm
a visit, since sharing these with you would never have been possible without his brave sacrifice.
I also strongly recommend checking out his artwork,
because his designs actually get even weirder still
than all we've enjoyed here.
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