ZOOLOGY ACCORDING TO "LINDA CUBE!"
by Rev Storm and Jonathan Wojcik
Just a few pages back, I introduced the game Linda Cube and showed off some "animals" I invited people to identify.
Today, we look at over a hundred of the game's creatures, including many of their alternative designs from an older and in some cases much more creative incarnation, ALL uncovered from across multiple Japanese fan sites and videos by Rev Storm! This is not a 100% bestiary as far as we know, nor do any sites we've found offer clear, quality, isolated sprites, but I think you'll find this pretty interesting regardless.
We're going to go over the answers to the guessing game first! Some of you actually did AMAZINGLY well, and you can be forgiven for the ones you didn't get!
That's right, these are fleas! To be fair, a modification to this design actually is used as a rabbit in an older version of the game, but it's only the ears that these creatures really have in common with a lagomorph; take those off, and you have a pretty clear flea monster with a circular, lamprey-like sucker mouth! You'll also notice there are two sexes here. Like we discussed previously, you're basically playing Noah's Ark in this game, and in fact the whole game is named after the human selected to be the last surviving woman of our own species. Fortunately, none of the survivors are expected to repopulate all alone, but are part of some sort of weird cloning system, or something. Not sure how it's supposed to work or why it even needs entire living samples at all, but, whatever!
Yep, this squishy, happy mollusk in a hat made of rocks is what the Linda world considers a "hermit crab," or that is to say what "NEO KENYA" considers a hermit crab, yeah, that's the name of this setting. Does that mean we're only saving one continent's worth of animals? Or is that the name of the whole planet in this timeline? Whatever the case, the Neo Kenyan hermit crab is almost more reminiscent, if anything, of a shelled amoeba.
This proved trickier for folks than I expected. This is what Lindaworld considers a hippo, and it's only MODERATELY more terrifying than our version. I love just how enormous the male's maw is, and the perfectly triangular teeth are honestly really cool looking.
Of course this was one of the ones I picked to preview! The realistic leech element lies entirely in the segmented, tubular forelimbs of these creatures, the rest of them just saggy, blobby meat with a horrendously yonic mouth. As much as I love actual leeches, I would 100% accept them just as much if this was what they looked like, and in fact, I might have liked them even more! I really enjoy the veininess of these creatures. The male is my favorite for his colors, with those bright green worm-arms against the pink and purple body, but the female's more conservative coloration is quite nice too!
With only small, duck-like bills, these horrid birds only have their wobbling throat-sacks in common with their inspiration. The heads of the males are also utterly hilarious. They fly around just dangling from purple Marge Simpson hair?!
A couple of you got this one, too! The clues to their identity really lie in the fact that they have four prominent legs and their feet look like big, broad pads, perfect for floating on water even if real striders need no such thing. The simple, one-eyed flesh-blob of a body is very cool, and it's interesting how only the male has a stinger-like tail, unless that is in fact a stinger-like reproductive organ, as in a scorpionfly.
The most common guess for this one was a walrus, but that's at least in the right ballpark of a marine mammal! But yes, what you're looking at is in fact a gentle sea cow, cousin to the manatee and dugong. Lindaland thinks that should have an exoskeleton and fangs. Maybe they're right.
STELLER'S SEA COW
This one wasn't even fair, was it? There's no conceivable way in which a fir tree with a ravenous baboon for a trunk should ever register as a "weasel" or any kind of mustelid, but that's what it says...weasel.
That's it for the mysteries I asked you to guess; now for the rest of what we've gathered together!
We may as well go alphabetically for the rest! Our first Linda page was an animal guessing game and now we're doing an animal alphabet because you are obviously four. "A" is for "ANGLERFISH!" Most "fish" in the world of Linda Cube have limbs for walking or running, so the angler is a more toad-like terrestrial beast. We've seen some text implying that the males are "inside" the females, and possibly have to be "freed" when you kill the female during battle. Shouldn't it just count to capture the female with the male still inside?
Another case of a queen ant inerpreted like a queen termite. These are somewhat conventional ant monster designs, though, compared to the version from an older Linda game:
How could they!? These swirly-eyed ants are PERFECT! FLAWLESS! They still could've stuck a big fat wormy abdomen on the "queen" if they wanted to! Sadly, as I think I might have mentioned, this game went through a number of revisions. Each one added some whole new animal species while redesigning a slew of others, while still others stayed exactly the same. In some cases I like the old version more, in others I prefer the redesign, and there's a ton of them we probably just couldn't find at all! The world of Linda is a vast and convoluted mystery!
What!? OH NO YOU DON'T! You leave those cuties ALONE, you! Yes, even the less good ones!
Amazingly freaky anteater, though. I love that face! Also, while a real anteater is fascinating for its long, tubular mouth and tongue, it makes sense that this one has a BIG mouth, what with the ants being giant-size and all. I would speculate that this anteater still has the elongated nose because it searches for ant pheromone trails, sweeping the trunk back and forth as it goes. When it finds an ant, it probably only needs to eat the one, picking off the last straggler ant and escaping before the others catch on. This is something some ant-eating spiders, flies and wasps already do! You CAN still be an anteater in a world of anteater-sized ants if you just apply yourself right!
"A" is also for "AAAAAHHH!!! ARMADILLOS!!! RUN!!! In Lindaworld, an armadillo is both a biped and a cyclops, with enormous hands sporting pick-like nails they must use for tunneling. A single eye is actually quite common in this setting, particularly common among mammals, interestingly enough. These armadillos are no doubt dangerous as heck; even actual armadillos are omnivores that engage in a bit of predation and may scavenge carrion. If they could eviscerate a person, they probably would; they would just look cute as the dickens doing it.
Oh my. I don't think what these creatures look like is accidental, even if it's more or less fairly accurate to the orifices of actual mollusks of all sorts. In the real world, bivalves can in fact be either hermaphrodites, have distinct sexes, or change sex during different seasons, and it's interesting how the "male" here is a huge, lumbering sort of beast that seemingly walks around on four of its siphons. I like the shell draped over his "back," and the two front siphons almost evocative, to me, of sad and eerie eyes.
ASIAN HARD CLAM
The female, meanwhile, has an anatomy much more like a scallop, but also kind of like a strange turtle standing on its head. I wonder what kind of mating behavior these two very different mussels engage in? I guess we should be thankful they didn't model the male to look more like a geoduck, but I wouldn't have put it past this game.
Hmmmmm...nope, sorry, these gremlin-looking lemurs may be interesting, but the real world's Aye-Aye is simultaneously cuter and more ghoulish in appearance. I wouldn't mind living in a world with most of Linda Cube's animals, but this is one that I think came out a bit worse.
Wow, very dramatic. Not the first time I've seen a barn swallow in a Japanese game; they must be pretty famous birds in Japan. Actually, were they famous birds over here as well? I guess I'm actually not that up to speed on birds. I like this design though, the second pair of wings where eyes ought to be is jarringly strange, as it should be. A great deal of this game makes me think back to Parasite Eve, which I also reviewed years back, and remains one of my all-time favorite (if not...very favorite?) video game bestiaries.
Lindabats really aren't much different from regular bats, except they're big, ferocious, and very colorful. I like the female the best here, her green and red is much more ghoulish, and I like her facial expression with one buggier eyeball. The game could have done more with the concept of a bat, but a straight-up giant monster bat is fine as well.
I usually find bears and bear-based creatures rather forgettable, to be honest; what is a bear but just a very big chunk of otherwise rather typical mammal? Turning bears into rock-skinned trolls, though? That's a nifty idea! It plays into their association with caves quite well.
Our first insect is looking pretty zany! A tiny, exoskeletal humanoid with beady eyes and huge, human lips and teeth. The male has significantly larger wings, because of course he's the one who vibrates them to sing his song! You know what a bell cricket sounds like if you either live in Japan, where they are kind of the "classic" cricket, or you've ever played Animal Crossing.
Hmmm, I'm not particularly whelmed by these. Kind of only a slight variation on the real thing, with an extra eye? They are certainly cute, though; the female looks especially dopey and cuddly, but the male looks like he knows we're thinking that and he is not at all happy about it. He does not desire cuddles at all.
I...oh...oh god. Why. What...what? Why is this a boar?! What happened in this world that boars are not only cyclops pig-people but have fanged, slobbering mouths for genitalia?! Do they even have mouths on their heads? We only see the snouts. How swell that they also have human breasts. Super! Excellent! I think I was saying I wouldn't mind living in a world with this selection of animal life, but this would be a point at which I might second-guess that sentiment.
Ooh, nice, much more exciting than the Bisons! Love how grotesque, almost demonic these bovines look, even moreso that gnarly, multi-horned female. Buffalo in our world were almost hunted to extinction. I don't think that would have happened if they looked like this. In fact, I think at first sight of these things lumbering around in massive herds, the colonists would have turned right back around and left North America alone.
The buffalo is another with an older design Rev uncovered, too. I think the new one is superior in technical quality and personality, but I am intrigued by the oozing back horns of these creatures. What IS that?! Poison? Milk? Ugh!
I'm a big fan of creatures with only a single pair of limbs, for whatever reason, so I strongly appreciate these more ostrich-like camelids. I also like how horrid their faces are, with teeth on permanent display, floppy ears and menacingly cold, beady eyes. The colors also give them a weird, dreamy quality, the kinds of creatures you might associate with drunken hallucinations.
Sadly, the last and most expansive version of this game decided to settle on a totally mundane cat design, whereas the oldest version decided that a cat should also be an umbrella. Why in the world would they change something that delightful!? A hairy umbrella with at least a dozen paws and a normal cat head right on top?! BONKERS. I wonder if this was at all a joke about how much cats hate water. Does Japan even have that cliche? Cats DO hate getting wet, but I'm not sure I see it referenced outside of Western cartoons.
This is only the female catfish, and it's hard to find the male anywhere, but very cool design! She's more seal-like in anatomy and her head is almost entirely another all-too-human mouth.
Hmm...okay, if I were living in Lindaworld, I think I would miss regular centipedes. Regular centipedes are at once cute, cool looking and elegantly beautiful, while these things, with their toad-man heads, are just kind of awkward and disquieting. I like them, sure, just not as an alternative to the majestic Scolopendra. What would a HOUSE centipede look like in this setting, then? That'd be a sight.
I'm glad these chameleons have the most important part of their basis, the googly eyes and weird faces, but the rest is a tad bland. Maybe the limbs are supposed to have an accordian-like stretching quality, which would be neat, but it's hard to tell since the poses aren't exhibiting tha. Between the two, the male is much more appealing here, much more maniacal looking with a color scheme I find more pleasing.
Hilarious. I love the chickens having wretched little bird-ape bodies, and the rooster still being more colorful and more menacing, like domestic varieties to this day. I love how fearsomely he seems to be defending the females. He cares about those horrid, ghastly little goblin-bird women so very much.
I'm glad some of this world's arthropods still have the correct faces; that's much more important to me than any of their other anatomy. Cicadas as almost ungulate-like animals is a very strange notion, totally out of left field!
We also have an older version of the cicada, and I'm not sure which I like more. I think I like the heads of both designs, but this one's wings and body are more interesting overall.
The most intersting thing about a snake is that it doesn't have legs, but we're all so used to that by now, it actually feels more novel to GIVE a snake limbs, and I really like these taloned serpents. I notice we can't see any fangs in their mouths, so could they in fact deliver venom through those fang-like upper arms? I also notice the male has a stinger-like tail, but the female has a sort of second, false snake head on the end!
Not as cute as a real crab, and it's kind of sad to imagine a world where nothing has quite the face that our crabs offer. Certainly fascinating beasts here, though, with weird eyes of their own, and it's interesting that the crabs in Lindaworld have octopus tentacles for legs!
We know these days that crocodiles are closer to birds than they are to other "reptiles," and that coincidentally feels much more evident in these beasts, another animal that seems to have lost one of its pairs of legs. Their jaws have evolved beak-like tips, and their back spines have become colorful crests. This also appears to be a subterranean environment, or at least not an aquatic one, and the female's pose reminds me more of a burrowing mole.
Oh. These do not look pleasant to contend with. Can you imagine giant crows, with all the intelligence crows have, but with hooked claw arms and slimy tentacle legs?! There's FAR too much a crow could do with all those options. I don't think our own species would have survived very long at all.
Awesome! I kind of miss the excessively long and branching upper limbs of a water flea, but the visible, colorful organs in these transparent dinosaur-bugs more than make up for it. Daphnia are famous in Japan for being such "small" animals, like obviously there are many other animals that tiny and tinier, but daphnia are the "iconic" tiny animal over there, so making them big, ferocious looking predators is a pretty fun gag.
An older Daphnia design is actually a lot less menacing, and lacks the more obvious brain and digestive system. Cute, though. The forelimbs reduced to tiny little crustacean ones, while the face is much more innocent and much more bird-like!
Haha, god, look at the freaks! Dolphins DESERVE spherical toad bodies! I like the uncanny lips of the female and the drool of the male, too. The creators of Linda were probably thinking they'd just take all the "majesty" out of dolphins, but ultimately, these perverted-looking creatures kind of capture their personalities quite well. Sadly, this is quite a bit toned down from how they used to be:
Old-school dolphin was marvelously wretched. Look at those dreadful little eyes! The male is even MORE spherical! The female is slobbering too!
Oh, a "dragon" is just "an animal" now? Okay then. Amusing dragons, at least, with stubby caterpillar-like legs and neckless, froglike heads and bodies, though like the cat, they DO NOT HOLD A CANDLE to the beta design what was shamefully forgotten:
Oh hell yes. Now THAT is a dragon. A big bloated caterpillar with a chicken head on it. Can absolutely picture this atop a mountain of treasure in a dank cave scarfing hobbits and princesses. Whoever thought it was a good idea to change this should be FIRED IMMEDIATELY from this 30 year old defunct series, I say!
Not sure I'm a fan of a dragonfly with only tiny eyes, but I do like the notion of a dragonfly with scorpion-like claws and a more worm-like tail. Neat! Nice bird beaks, too.
Oh no. Oh no. Even without crotch-teeth I think these are actually more distressing than the boars were. Do you have any idea what ducks are LIKE? Do you know how sexually aggressive and brutally territorial a duck can be? Give a duck muscular arms and legs and I don't think anything gets out in one piece. The fact that all four limbs end in just those...bone pegs...is so much more horrendous, and the beady-eyed stare of the hulking female is just terrifying.
It's also a fairly subtle difference, but the duck is another one where the older sprite, at least the one we know of, feels a little bit better. The details in the newer version got a bit too softened, sort of, just a tad less scary and intense.
Another I'm not very impressed by, but I wonder if it had a significantly weirder design in the older games. I mean, the cat, ants, buffalo and dragon were all so extreme, who knows what the eagle might have gone through before it was just basically a buzzard with a bigger head.
Earthworms with distinct sexes, huh? There are actually several animals we haven't gotten to yet that don't exhibit gender differences, so it seems like a deliberate creative choice for the earthworms to have different males and females. I like their designs a lot, too. Even if they didn't have a head at each end, which is a common choice for making a worm creature more interesting, the heads are just very nice looking. I love whenever a humble earthworm is made into a jagged-toothed monstrosity by a game.
See, this animal is actually completely sexless! And I know what you're thinking, "IT EATS DOGS!?!" As interesting as that would be, the ramifications of this name in Japanese are more that it eats like a dog, i.e. it wolfs down everything it finds with an enormous appetite. It seems to have no equivalent in our world, but obviously feeds through those many toothless, probably elastic purple worm-mouths all anchored to an anemone-like creeping base. A very unique, very cool monster!
LOVE the eels! I forget which one is male and which one is female, but they're both so lovely. Looks like they can fly! I like the one-eyed one the most. I wonder why virtually all Linda "sea creatures" are terrestrial? I haven't seen a single screenshot of an aquatic background setting. Does Linda's world not have large, inhabited bodies of water? Did it all get so polluted that the only surviving macroscopic life moved to the land? Curious!
You also saw these in our early preview; wonderfully grotesque pachyderms with THREE "trunks" each. One for the nose, one for a single eyeball, and one that's...I don't know, is that one an ear I guess? The nasty teeth really complete the lok, and making the trunks different colors gives them a more psychedelic feel to them as well. God, as cute as real elephants are, I wish so badly that they looked like this. I would love to see the cultural landscape where this thing occupies every role we've given to elephants in our media. Would we even do so? Or would we find them so freaky that we only ever cast them as horrible monsters, and nature specials have to be like "despite looking like they crawled straight out of Satan's fever dreams, elephants are actually quite nice when you get to know them."
Unless, with teeth like that, elephants were also completely predatory. I think then they might have been one of those animals humans hunted to extinction out of pure terror before we ever came to understand them.
Of course! My favorite animal of all! But really, yes, this might be one of my favorite creatures in this game. It's a sort of floating martian jellyfish critter, but with a complete set of dangling organs, and for whatever reason, its colon ends in a little froggy face of its own! What IS the biology of these things like?! How dare this universe curse me to live in the version of Earth where I can't just go see whatever the hell these are at any old zoo.
That's what it says. "Flying animal." So like...a flying squirrel? A flying lemur? I guess it's a multi-purpose arboreal glider, or perhaps it has achieved true actual sustained flight, which kind of looks like the case here.
Frogs, huh? I'd have expected weirder from these too, but they're not bad; they've got more defined heads and necks, and tubular mouths that I rather like.
I like how this one basically averts a giraffe's most definitive features, giving them shorter necks, shorter legs, longer tails and predatory jaws. They're remarkably scary that way, too, and a little bit more like a ki-rin. Did you know when Japan discovered giraffes, that's what they decided to call them? Just like they called tapirs "baku!"
I LOVE the goat. I love that it's another cyclops mammal, and that it's just a round, shaggy thing with an adorably toothless mouth. They've got extra legs, too! Perfect for scaling rocky cliff walls!
Ah, good, more weird animal boobs. The cool seahorse-alien heads ALMOST distracted me for a moment. Do you think if more animals had bazoongas on them, we would have featured them MORE often or LESS often in cartoons? Would we even find the human ones as taboo if a dozen things in nature were flopping them at us anyway? A few real actual animals do. In fact, elephants are one of the ones that develop a single pair of large breasts, and pangolins are another. Hilarious.
We'll get to that rose creature later, but how awesome is the grasshopper!? Another of those that you'd never possibly guess, it's more like a scaly, monstrous fish with chitinous legs! I love those bulging, pure white eyeballs with those circular maws!
"Green fish?" I don't know what fish that would be, but it seems like this game's all-purpose generic piscean. Nothing too remarkable here.
Obviously meant to be a cow, but they call this a HORNED JERK and I'm not going to argue. Giving dog-like qualities to a cow is surprisingly interesting to me, and even kind of scary. Can you imagine this running around like a happy, slobbering dachsund, eager to jump on you with pure excitement, ignorant of how much smaller and more breakable you actually are?
Huh, odd, why would they change NOTHING about a regular horse? I can't even tell these are video game sprites. They just took some pictures of some horses I guess.
Nice! If you didn't know, and I was surprised to realize how many people do not know this, "hydra" is also the name of a very tiny fresh-water organism similar to a sea anemone, albeit in the hydrozoan group, whereas a sea anemone is an anthozoan, much like corals. I love that this is basically just a hydra sticking out of a headless walrus-like body. Very "cosmic horror."
A cyclops "hyena," now! Anatomically these look much more like dogs than hyenas, but with the one eye, six legs, and either some external bones or bones they simply wear from their past prey! I kind of appreciate that the males and females don't look different for once, but are just portrayed in different poses, though a hyena might have been a fine opportunity to mess with more extreme dimorphism.
Haha. I love impalas as armless, jumping pikachus with beady dot eyes and goofy teeth.
Neat! You could've possibly guessed that these were jellyfish, but also could have been confused with cephalopods of some kind. We don't have a bigger picture of it, but I like the male a little more, with his more bulbous "cap." Interesting that these jellies have "tails," too. I wonder why one sex has a tail ending in a hollow bulb, and the other in a stinger? Unless that's how they mate? It's the water striders all over again.
The jellyfish is another that we have an older design for, and this walking tentacle monster is fairly cool and scary, but I really can't pick a preference! I love the updated, colorful, elaborate cnidarian above but I also love this grisly flesh-beast.
No good images of the female, but the kangaroos are interestingly wretched looking, more like chihuahua-rat hybrids than anything else.
I respect that this ever-popular fox creature doesn't even look like a fox, but like some kind of creepy elf-dog. It's very subtly unsettling.
More or less just koalas, really. They're dripping snot, they have hideous claws and they have a look on their face like they want to gut you and they're going to get off on it. So, yes, more or less just koalas, really.
They sure like turning a lot of things more bird-like, don't they? But I guess it suits a koi quite well.
That's right...it's a KUWANGER! I mean, in the center here. We couldn't find any other images of a Lindafied stag beetle, so you get it in a group shot of other critters! It's very cute though. I love its little eyes inside of its toothy smile!
There are maggots, but no flies? I guess they evolved away from a complete metamorphosis, since the maggots themselves come in two sexes and can reproduce. Cool looking at least! A nice, simple grubby worm with a vertical chompy-mouth!
The cyclops thing is kind of a given now, so we'll comment more on how haunting the eye is on these felines with their nasty, lipless mouths and trippy colors!
The males are kind of just long-tusked two-limbed lions with green manes, but the female really stands out for being MOSTLY mouth with longer, thinner claws. What a horrid, shrieking nightmare!
That's right, just called a "little one!" I don't know what it's supposed to be; kind of a kitten....fox...pomeranian?
Not bad! Bipedal reptiles with almost shark-like heads and frilly cranial crests! These would make excellent designs for lizard people in a fantasy setting.
Ehh, real moles are honestly much weirder than these otter-looking critters. I wonder if these were another redesign?
Eugh. Dreadful. Have I mentioned I'm not fond of monkeys?
They used to look cooler, too. Scalier, more goblinoid, more alien. It's like the same design in spirit, but it kind of lost a lot of heart when it tried to look more "real." Right?
"Monshiro?" Okay! These are moths I guess, but their bodies are JUST mouths! Nasty, vertical mouths with a pair of tiny, beady blue eyes!
Wonderfully mean looking rodents, actually a lot like the "rat monkey" from Dead Alive, at least in the face and hands! They just have much burlier bodies, and those rad colorful quills down their backs.
This is another one that's kind of weirder looking in real life, actually a lot weirder looking in real life, except for the fact that these sunfish waddle around on their flipper-like fins, which is adorable!
After so many creatures were transformed into birds, I'm glad there's a bird that became something else entirely. These "ostriches" basically just have snakes for heads! Hairy snakes!
Oh god. Now an animal has four human boobies on it. The mogwai ears, human noses, pale lips and singular teeth make these otters even more wretched, too. Hilariously AWFUL.
The male looks kind of dull, but there's something I like a lot about the female owl. Maybe it's just her eyes down at the same level as her beak? Details that minor can make such a difference in personality.
Oh my gosh. WONDERFUL. Linda pandas are BUGS! Fuzzy, puffy, roly-poly bugs almost like giant water bears!
Birds combined with giant, colorful flowers; not especially strange or clever, but not bad either.
Nothing special...just slightly more colorful penguins than in reality, which sucks, because Linda's penguins weren't always this way:
Why would they EVER change this!? These penguins are like scaly, walking sea cucumbers! Another animal with a tall, yonic mouth, though this one has a staring, tiny eyeball in each corner of that Freudian maw!
Exceedingly cutesy, which is quite the surprise for this game. However, the pigs also had a beastlier version:
Again, why change this at all? They look perfect! They're like piggy caterpillar fish!
We have only an older sprite of this one, a fairly straightforward but reasonably likeable land-piranha. My guess is that the newer game may have reworked it into a different animal, like the "green fish."
Terrifying. Giving a bear a more humanoid body with lankier arms is bad enough. Giving it a perpetually delighted Cheshire Cat face is even more horrendous! Can you even imagine seeing these smiles in the tundra, knowing that's the smile of something that wants to eat your flesh??
Surprised they didn't make the female significantly larger, though they certainly gave her bigger, longer scythes! Love their faces, too. These are more classic insect monsters than most of the others we've seen here, but there ain't nothin' wrong with that! Nice to see "bulky" mantis monsters, too.
LOVE these pterosaurs. We're used to those as pretty sleek looking animals in most media, but these are just saggy, wrinkly, flabby monstrosities with moray eel jaws and I love them.
I know I was saying bad things about the animals with breasticles, but how can you not love these terrible blowfish-people? Look at the hilarious little round female! Look at the hilarious large round male! They'e flawless!!!
Linda rabbits are basically creepy Easter-Bunny-Man heads with a single pair of legs and bird-wing ears. There's something surprisingly unsettling about them!
I mentioned the fleas shared a lot of their design with a rabbit enemy, and that would be the rabbits from the original game, not only possessing single eyes but quite unsettling sucker-lips! I think it was a pretty good decision to rework them as fleas, however, and come up with the scarier, more distinct new rabbits.
SUBLIME! LOOK at the ghoul faces on these colorful, flying rays! Look at the excessive, bright green bug legs all over them! Look how totally maniacal the female is! I adore these!!
Not a bad plant monster. Colorful and fuzzy, and also another of the game's few genderless species.
Oh jesus. No. AUGH. These are HORRIFIC! SUPERBLY horrific! This kind of thing is what Linda Cubed is really all about.
Those disturbing reindeer were a tough act to follow, so I regret to say I am not very impressed by these rhinos, even if all those nodules are quite possibly eyes.
Not sure how I feel about the clown noses, but a roach monster is a roach monster!
We saw a "more mature" rose earlier, and that's what's interesting about this one: we've all seen rose monsters that are basically just the flower with human lips, nothing special there, but all roses in this game are female, and instead of having the two sexes they just have two different growth stages!
Not the most remarkable arthropods in Linda. A little plain, really, but I like how the female has a single tail with a two-pronged head, but the male has two tails with a single-pronged head. There's also a "fake scorpion" enemy in the game, so, a pseudoscorpion? Except it's just a color-swap of this species! It actually kinda feels like the heads evolved their shapes so as to not "get in the way" of stinging.
What's more fun is the fact that scorpions in Linda Cube function like antlions, oddly enough not the first time I've seen a video game combine the two!
This is an under-utilized type of fish in fiction, isn't it? They're colorful and they're venomous. Why aren't they in WAY more stuff?
I like these, but only insofar as I like sea cucumbers anyway, since these don't really differ all that much from the reality!
Just fuzzy seals with people noses, huh? Well, it's scary, but we've already seen even scarier! I keep getting the feeling a lot of these are like the cat and the penguins, that we're only seeing a shadow of the original design, but on the other hand I've seen that many of them were almost point-for-point identical, a few were definitely even more interesting in the later game, and a bunch also didn't even exist in the first couple versions at all! There's so much to Linda Cube's bestiary to unravel, I don't know if we'll ever really have all of it to go over.
Very fun design! It's almost like a coiled, sucker-mouthed eel with eye stalks, except what looks like a coiled-up body is actually one fused, flaring cone of flesh, and I guess it walks around on all those little tentacles!
These. Are. PRECIOUS. An older game apparently made them hedgehogs, but the design was basically the same. I definitely like them more as supposed echinoderms, but even as hedgehogs I still love their whole feel. The two Sonics there are neat and obviously the faster ones with their longer legs, but it's the squat-legged little female that's truly the most darling, and I love her pale green exoskeleton with the lovely golden quills and purple eye. Fantastic!
A serow is actually a shaggy goat-like forest animal, but this here is just a big giant deer head with leaf hair and kangaroo feet, which is very very frightening and terrible in the best way. I think that's one of my favorite things about this game's designs, that a lot of them are really alarming in what people used to call a "trippy" way. Nobody says that anymore because it was overused, for far too long, for anything remotely strange or interesting in any creative media, but there's no denying the "Alice in Wonderland" wrongness of so many of these beasts.
What British people call a "ladybird" and Americans call a "ladybug," this might be one of my favorite designs in Linda! The entire abdomen of the beetle as just the creature's heads, the googly eyes staring off in different directions on such a formidable overall body and the inexplicable angel wings all contribute to something at once cute, funny, and horrifying, especially if they're as murderous as actual ladybirdbugstars.
Sharks with muscly arms and a third eye seems kind of plain for Linda Cube, but the way these sharks are posed goes a long way to giving them a ton of personality, and whats especially intriguing is their cracked, stone-like skin! These things look positively berserk, between the female's charging pose and the male's slavering hunger!
Another mammalian cyclops, and a lot of fun! I like how only havuing two legs is another trend for warm-blooded creatures, and how many of them are just sort of big, hairy orb-face creatures.
There's an older version of the sheep, too, and its nastiness is pretty charming, but I still like the newer one best. As interesting as the scorpion tails are, I get the feeling the scorpions in this older game recycled the same pixels.
I have no idea what animal this is supposed to be. Some kind of lemur, maybe? A bit odd, but kind of forgettable given everything else we're seeing here.
I love the shrimps! I love their perfectly conical faces with little short whiskers on the end! These do however seem much more to me like silverfish than crustaceans.
A long-necked, bipedal gastropod, like a slimy emu! This one has a fun gimmick, too, referencing how some snails stab each other with "love darts" during mating and shift from a sperm producer to an egg producer: you can change the snail's sex when you damage it! You still have to capture one in each of those two states, though; I guess that's just how your space ark works.
Separate from the "cobra," but they were sure to give them the same body plan, which is a nice touch!
I remember when there was a minor panic over snakeheads in the news, but their spread through North America was unfortunately not averted, to my knowledge. They're big, aggressive predatory fish, and they've got a knack for flopping up onto land and slithering around until they find a new body of water! These lumbering, hooved bastard-fish look nothing like their namesake, but they certainly still capture the spirit of the animal, which is kind of the effect we get from a great deal of these designs.
Hmmm, well, I like spiders, and I like these spiders, sure, they're colorful and cool and the have personality, but I feel like they're lacking that extra little Linda Cube absurdity. Their abdomens could have easily had freaky faces on them, or something! Maybe their legs should have been long fingers, or legs from some other animal, like a bunch of bird legs? Maybe every leg could have been something different?
Nice! We saw earlier that crabs of all sorts have tentacle legs, so of course cephalopods apparently have arthropod legs! Coupled with visible brains and radial eyes, and you have some wonderfully alien-looking creatures.
Terrible! I mean that in a good way. These squirrels look like they would have Bugs Bunny's voice and probably be just as conniving and vicious.
Yeah, this animal is just called "stand," and it's just four muscly, almost-human legs with a VERY human eye in the center and a fascinatingly flower-like, drooling mouth on the end of a nasty, meaty stalk! One of my favorites!
By this, they probably mean "starfish," though in Japan, starfish are literally named "human hands." Of course you'd never guess that's what these things are anyway. They're seemingly bilateral quadrupeds with just four starfish-esque limbs, but the fifth "point" is formed by their insectile heads and proboscises! Really otherworldly, interesting looking life forms.
I adore whenever a butterfly gets to look more monstrous, and besides their great little seahorse-like heads, these butterflies have claws all over theri wings! Rad!!
That's what they call this! It's obviously a carnosaur, but with radical 90's hair and the male has a horn. I think it's kinda cute that this is their name; if something like this existed in our own world to this day, we wouldn't just know it as "tyrannosaurus" or something either. We would have given it a common name like "elephant" or "lobster," and I can totally believe it having a name that just means "super strong one!"
SUPER STRONG ONE
Oh no. You know what's up with tanuki, right? Getting past that, though, how great are these thing's perverse faces? I like the female's facial expression the most. What I do not like is the possibly deliberate choice of giving both of them tongues that hang out.
So tigers have big, goofy, hairy spider bodies, which is kind of just ripped from youkai mythology, really; the Earth Spider is often a combination of the two animals, but usually not in such a blunt and comical way.
Despite what I said about SUPER STRONG ONE, this thing is still just called "triceratops," though only the female appears to have three small horns, while the male looks like it has more of a "hercules beetle" horn arrangement! I like their huge eyes protruding right out the sides of their head, that's cute.
Huh, didn't we already sea a snail with this type of shell? I guess there can be two, or maybe these were an alternate design from another version? I think I actually like this one the most. I like that it has a tetrapod shape, but its feet end in coiled pads presumably formed just like the shell! I also love those unpleaant sphincter mouths and just how pudgy these critters are.
This game loves to make the cutest and dopiest animals into the most terrifying distortions, and I support it. These turtles have faces straight off some sort of demonic heavy metal clown-zombie from a poorly airbrushed band shirt.
I think living in Linda World, I actually would start to miss the cute faces of insects a little too much, even if a wasp with the head of a crow and wings of a bat IS pretty badass.
We've all seen "island" whales before, but it's interesting that these rocky whales are specifically associated with snow-capped mountain forests. That's a different twist than I'm used to!
I love when I go in alphabet order and still get to end on something strong. How PERFECT are these zebras? They're basically just zebras whose heads got snipped off and replaced with cartoon lips, but somehow, I feel like that results in one of the eeriest species in the setting, and one that perfectly encapsulates the entire artistic ethic of Linda Cube. It mangles the familiar with the totally bananas, and I look forward to one day, maybe, seeing more of those scrapped designs from past versions of the series.
Going through these really gave me a lot of fresh inspiration when it comes to creature design, and maybe even sparked interest in creatures and characteristics I'd neglected for a long time. Why do I have so few one-eyed monsters in Mortasheen, for instance? Why didn't I like that more? Despite seeing it so much in so many forms of media, it somehow took Linda Cube to make me really appreciate cyclopseses all over again. Thanks, Linda! Good luck with the Noah's Ark and Killer Santa Claus stuff and whatnot!
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