Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Monstrous Subeta Avatars!

We talked about Subeta's creepiest pets, monsters and minions a ways back, so we may as well review some of its creepiest human avatars, and this is where Subeta's horror content really shines - where they really demonstrate how much classier they are than neopets or Gaia Online. We'll be splitting these up into three different categories, mostly based on whether or not you can even actually get them, because, sadly, most of these are retired. Forever.

The Pandemic Infections

   One of the best parts of Subeta has to be its "zombie" content, because as overplayed and tiresome as zombies can be, Subeta's artists really know what festering ghouls are all about. Just look at Rachelle here, a lovable lady doctor from the site's subterranean zombie town. Players can usually access this town only if they, too, are zombies, and to become zombies, they have to take on an infection.

The wonderful thing about this is that the infections are a Valentine's day tradition, spread by one player to another through "kisses."

The less wonderful thing about this is that every infection is released only once, and if you missed out on them, you'll never get a chance to get one again. The tradition itself also seems to have been abandoned in recent years; the very year I started playing, they decided not to do a pandemic at all, and this year, they did a smaller run of only temporary infections. If I cared a little more than I do about virtual pet websites, I'd be seriously kicking myself for not getting in on the fun a few years earlier, and I'm sure you'll see why.


Since they're all equally retired and inaccessible, I probably don't need to label what years these were released, but I thought I'd show heartburn first, just to get across how grotesque these get. Each infection happened in multiple stages, and players were left to choose their names early one. I doubt anyone could have predicted that "heartburn" would really turn into Harlequin Icthyosis, one of the most horrifying looking diseases you should never google if you haven't before.


What makes some of these so excellent is the realistic feel to their decomposition. You almost never see Hollywood zombies quite this distressing. They either go too far into "cool" snarling CG mummy territory or not near far enough. Here, we have a zombie on nothing but a virtual pet website that looks realistically like blood and pus is pooling under its skin, and the effect is downright haunting.

Butterfly Bruise:

The end result of this one doesn't do much with the face, which is a shame, but the transformation does involve a bunch of "butterflies" growing in the host's stomach and bursting it open, which is something I've never really seen before, and on close inspection, they don't even look like actual, literal butterflies, but vaguely butterfly-shaped, fleshy parasites of some sort. That is awesome.

Baker's Kiss:

I'm glad Subeta's definition of "zombie" is so loose it can also be a pink cupcake monster, and it even still manages to be fairly horrifying looking.

Lobster Face:

Users were way, way off when they named this one. They could never have guessed this zombie's face was going to peel open into a giant, blind rosebud. Another incredibly inventive idea for a zombie. Not near enough zombies opt for traditionally "pretty" themes, and the results are a lot creepier than the predictable slime and gore.


Gorgeous. I heard this one wasn't very well received, but it's probably the one I'd have wanted the most. The skin splitting up into an almost feather-like coating of crusty hangnails is exquisitely grotesque, especially with all the blood seeping out between them. I'm even getting pretty squeamish thinking about how this would feel, but I guess you're undead by then and don't care anymore. See? You're smiling!

Blistered Hearts:

This is a plain old skeleton transformation, but it's also why I chose to use the Subeta wiki's animated gifs instead of just showing you the final results; look at the beautifully illustrated way the flesh goes mushy and just falls right off. I'm glad we're left with some still clinging to the bones, I love a skeleton with a little meat.

Creeping Vial:

After 2013's zombie-less wasteland, Subeta brought out the "vials" for 2014 as a sort of compensation. Sadly, these diseases had only a couple stages, and wore off after a few days, so as badly as you might want to be made entirely out of teeth and gums, you can only enjoy it for a short while.

Lotus Vial:

"Trypophobia" has become a popular term in recent years, coined by bloggers to describe an intense revulsion for clusters of holes, pits or bumps. It's not medically recognized as an actual condition, but a lot of people simply cannot handle looking at something like this. Me? I've always found this kind of pattern beautiful, ever since I was a kid. I love wasp's nests, lotus pods and especially the Pipa pipa frog. I always have. I'm glad that this case includes not only dripping slime, but some sort of wormy parasite in the holes as well.

Stinging Vial:

Yes, the one year I'm around for a pandemic is both the one year they are temporary and the one year they offer an insect zombie. If it were more fly-like than wasp-like I'd really be disappointed. It's beautifully drawn either way, though, and I love how it starts out with an insect head pressing out from inside of the human host, like it's a parasitoid that grows to completely fill a human body and shed the remaining skin.

Halloween Hexes


Moving away from the zombies, "hexes" are another type of avatar that comes and goes each year, and another that's only temporary. You get these as the "trick" during a Trick or Treating event, but they only last for hours, which blows chunks if you've always wished you could be a big, severed foot.
Stone Arm:

An arm sticking out of a rock is definitely one of the creepier and more unfortunate things to be "hexed" into. If it wasn't temporary, it'd be a horrifying concept, assuming there's some sentience left and the arm can maybe grope around a little.
Sludge Monster:

A nondescript quadrupedal monster with a skull for a head is a trope I've seen before, but it never fails to look rad as hell, especially on a monster whose taxonomy isn't even very clear.
Root Monster:

Another monster with no particular affiliation to any kind of animal, just a curious, reptilian slithering thing with some tentacular offshoots and cool, spidery fingers. What makes it a "root monster?" It can't just be because it has some roots. Maybe it burrows and parasitizes trees.
Wall Clinger:

I've always enjoyed monsters whose main gimmick is just sticking to walls or ceilings. That might seem ultra-specific, but I've seen quite a few of them in my day. Heck, we even just saw a "parasitic wall hugger" in the Dark Souls review weeks ago. I love how this has two near-symmetrical mouths, but only one possesses eyes.
Talon Fish:

A marvelously terrifying and alien design for a "fish," which I suppose might be a loose colloquialism like "starfish" or "jellyfish," though its anatomy wouldn't be too far fetched for an Agnathan, like a lamprey or a hagfish. You know, "fish" is actually already kind of a meaningless term. Different things we call "fish" aren't even as closely related as "amphibians" are to "mammals." We just thoughtlessly generalize all the gill-bearing vertebrates.

Damn it, THIS is the one that gets me. Why would I want to be anything else when they're dangling this beautiful, four-eyed purple slug in front of my face? Why can't they have some special way to keep the "hexes?" Come on. I just want a slug avatar on a dumb website where you click the pretend stuff.

Skins and Clothing

164 Skin:

At last, we're going to be able to look at some avatars you can actually still get, and even permanently keep! This is one of the "skins" you can get when you run your own human avatar through the same raygun that creates the Experiment pets, and gives you the same beautiful visage as Experiment #164. You can only do this around Halloween season, I think, or something like that, but at least they're never permanently retired.

1102 Skin:

Experiment #1102 gets a skin as well, and on a human body, its "organic fish bowl" head is even spookier than it is on a smiling dinosaur-snake.

Eyeball Skin:

I believe this is a new one added just in 2014, and I really like the placement of some of these eyeballs, especially the huge one sticking right out the top of the head, where hair should go. Funny I haven't seen that before. The rest of that eyeball probably fills up the entire braincase, something that also always kind of nagged me about Leela.

Arid Monster Mask:

Thankfully, a few of the freakiest monster outfits on the site are not only dress-up items easy to find year-round, but not even rare enough to be all that expensive. Each matches up to one of the color schemes the virtual pets come in, but gets pretty weird and gruesome with designs. "Arid" pets, for instance, are just pink and white versions of the regular pets, but an "Arid" monster is apparently some sort of pale ghoul with massive, rat-like front teeth and no lips or lower jaw. Each mask also has matching gloves, in this case kind of mole-like claws.

Dawn Monster Mask:

The "dawn" mask, meanwhile, is one of the most corpse-like things you can get if you missed out on the pandemics. I wish more ghoulish monsters were in bright, cheerful colors. It's so jarring, it comes out even more distressing.

Sun Monster Mask:

Incredibly creepy, with its lack of a mouth and wrinkled, red flesh. This only communicates "sun" in the sense that it looks like someone blasted by some concentrated beam of solar radiation.

Field Monster Mask:

Also really creepy, being nothing but a cluster of yellow eyeballs in the middle of a green bloom, or maybe just a circle of leaves. I'm glad those who missed out on Lobster Face can still have a weird plant head.

Angelic Monster Mask:

I love how completely nightmarish this one is, with its deranged smile, tiny cranial thorns and soulless doll-eyes.

Lilac Monster Mask:

There's so much going on with this thing! Freaky deep-sea fish eyes, lopsided mole rat jaws, an extra skull sprouting out of its scalp, an arm erupting from its forehead, and even the gloves are a mess of different overgrown talons, all in such a pretty, tasteful color scheme to boot.

Marsh Monster Mask:

You always have to have some sort of muck-being in any selection of monsters, and it's just too bad these masks don't have any matching bodies. I don't think there's many outfits around the site to match a head made of sagging brown blubber, but then, it's probably a lot more fun to put a head like this on normal people clothes, like a fancy suit or flowery dress.

Bloodred Monster Mask:

Yeah, after all we've said about awesome avatars you can't get anymore or could never actually keep, Subeta is at least gracious enough to have a giant, bloodsucking leech-like monster costume that isn't very hard to get ahold of. The way the eyes look like smaller segmented worms is interesting, I love that tongue and I especially love that, worn over a regular avatar, the human eyes will peer out of the mouth itself. You know I love monsters with eyes in their throats.

I guess it's surprising that I don't actually use this on Subeta. I don't really play the site anyway, but the perfect avatar I eventually settled upon was this:

I don't even really know what this is, but I wish I could wear it around in real life.

Halloween 2014 Archive: