WAIT! DON'T LEAVE!!! I know this trailer only shows off some very, very conventional "monster" designs, but if you've ever seen an ad for this Digimon-clone app game and forgot about it for that very reason, you're going to be quite surprised by what you're missing - I know I was!
31 Legitimately Superb Monster Legends Monsters!
Slugazoid is first in the list because I want to make good on what I just promised. You are impressed, right?? You can't possibly find something disappointing about a giant, alien nudibranch called SLUGAZOID, even without the cool crystal growths it has as its gills and antennae. What makes this design stand out more than just any big gastropod however is its little, gooey pink face, almost resembling a melted cartoon skull, accompanied by a pair of nubby tentacle arms that you could also read as halves of a "lower jaw," if you're so inclined. This is even accurately where a nudibranch's "real face," including any eyes, are typically located! You probably tend to read the antennae as eyes, I know, I always did, but they're really a pair of chemical receptors!
How adorable is that "unevolved" (Baby) form, too? Almost all monsters have at least a baby form, while many have a middle "Juvenile" stage...though unlike Pokemon or Digimon, none of them change so much that their concept or style is ever totally lost - I include them here mostly for the sake of completion, and won't need to discuss most evolutionary stages individually. I will say that you can tell most of the baby stages are hastily made after the final stage is designed, just so players have the evolution system to go through at all.
Every single monster in this game has a story, too. Slugazoid is an alien creature that once "travelled from planet to planet feeding on the energy of its inhabitants." They don't say so, but that sounds very much like it exterminated whole worlds of life, doesn't it? Why else would it keep moving on? But once it arrived in the setting of Monster Legends, it was frozen in ice for thousands of years.
Finally, every monster has its own uniquely named attacks, and we're going to share some of my favorites where applicable!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: The Sixth Extinction, Who Goes There?, Dod Kalm, Agua Mala. -The last two are X-files Episode titles!
The "Dark" element is this game's catch-all for everything spooky, creepy, evil, toxic or rotten, so you've already guessed it will dominate this list, and how novel is it for a dark-type monster to be an ornate, steampunk-looking tank of ink?! I always like those robot designs that are just a one-eyed turret or tripod, and this one has the bonus of an adorable brass mustache beneath its single optical lens. Even a brass hairdo and bowler hat on top! Hilarious!
It's also wildly clever that this is one of the bestiary's major wielders of poison status, probably because ink used to be made out of toxic heavy metals, but canonically also because Inknatius is most famous for his "acidic sense of humor!" Once created to print newspapers and books, he absorbed all the information that he ever printed and became a pompous intellectual with a superiority complex. Everything about this concept is so much fun, it already kills me that this is an app game instead of a long-running cartoon show where Inknatius is one of the main villains.
...Or main heroes. No reason an insufferably douchey robot can't be on the protagonist's side. It worked in Futurama, but unlike Bender, Inknatius is both socially and literally toxic!
I sure am already finding a lot to say about some of these. I hope I don't end up spending an entire night just writing a Monster Legends article. (UPDATE: I did)
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Inktroduction, Inkception.
SPAWNY was once a normal starfish, but "unexpectedly transformed into a Cosmic monster," then became really bored being a starfish, rode a ship's anchor up to the surface and "befriended a famous pirate."
They don't say who that pirate is, but could he have become Spawny's humanoid, sort of skeleton-like body?? I guess not, since Spawny begins with a more baby-like body, though the way its eyeball-starfish portion covers most of the face, it seems like an obvious reference to Starro the Conqueror, an alien starfish from DC Comics continuity that can take control of any humanoid by latching onto their face. I don't have as much to say about Spawny as our previous few monsters, but I'm actually breathing a sigh of relief there. I hope I'm not going to spend an entire night writing just this article.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Best Crewmate, Body Wall, Don't Splash Me.
Hey, it's a Nurgle reference! Somehow, this monster used to be a long-necked, dinosaur-like creature, but when the in-game mad scientist Dr. Hazard began dumping his waste in the creature's swamp, it somehow mutated into a bloated, slimy, eyeless, demon-horned humanoid with a squirming nest of worms in its body! This is such a beautiful illustration of everything I just described, too. The slick, spongy green blubber and pink, stripey worms complement one another perfectly; the same color scheme common to its 40k inspirations!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Fart Machine. Oh no.
Zorky is the by-product of another mad scientist character, Dr. Wattz, whose brain is so powerful, his thoughts can manifest into reality. Unfortunately this has backfired on him a few times; Zorky's backstory is that the doctor once thought too hard about how much he hates magicians, and his worst nightmare was born! Zorky is a freaky bogeyman-like magician monster with great fashion sense and a big, pale, neckless head with piranha-like teeth and almost hedorah-like eyes. He kind of makes me think he represents a giant egg, but he looks a little too squishy for that.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Not a Science Experiment - and Dr. Wattz has "Not a Magic Trick!"
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! LOOK AT URCANN!!!! Are you looking at him!? ARE YOU REALLY? You can never, ever go wrong with fish-people whose faces look at all as wacky as any actual fish, and this spindly, spiny merman has the most delightfully big, round anglerfish head, freaky buggy fishy eyes and big long teeth! He doesn't have much of an origin story, though. He's interestingly a "thunder" or electrical-type monster rather than water, and his bio simply says he's a "helpful" monster whose "creepiness" drives everyone away! Even his abilities don't shed much more light on his deal, since they're all just kinda cool references to electricity and the ocean.
A wonderfully designed Halloween creeper! Hayman is, of course, a harvest spirit that loves to frighten mortals and curse them with bad luck. He also changes a little bit more than other monsters as he grows; his baby stage looks a lot like a shorter, squatter Oogie Boogie with a jagged mouth, but by the "juvenile" stage his burlap face has a much eerie, saffer and more original look, with only a tiny tatter of a mouth and a dull red glow behind his big, ragged eye-holes. By the final stage, you can see the arms and legs of a pale and emaciated goblin under the burlap, but his raggedy bag head remains, and only gets cuter if you ask me.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Monsters of the Corn, On the Cob, Let the Bedbugs Bite, Cereal Killer, High Fructose Life Syrup
Avaritia begins his existence as a cute little one-eyed blue goblin with a golden pot encasing his body, kinda like a turtle shell...but as he fills it with treasure and the pot grows larger, his final stage has withered proportions and long, spidery limbs that shouldn't logically be strong enough to hold up such a massive store of treasure, though he still looks pretty pleased with himself! And according to his bio, he now "steals life" in addition to treasure.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: I'll Give You Just One, It's Never Enough, You Have Too Much. (that's a draining move, obviously!)
Noar is an anthropomorphic cobra woman originally created to be a master of serpent style kung-fu, but she apparently disappointed her creator by becoming enamored with boxing. So now all that snakey agility is put into just punching people in the face with boxing gloves, and I just really love that whole idea. Even when they aren't kung-fu based, snake characters are always themed around some kind of stealthy, sneaky, precise assassination. Never just smashing faces in! She doesn't have any unusually named abilities or other quirks, but she's illustrated really gorgeously, isn't she? Plus, snake woman with boxing gloves.
Koralle Brutalis is a creature born from the will to protect a coral reef from the crossfire of a war! I like how it's also designed a lot like a "mushroom monster," especially the baby form, which straight-up looks like a little mushroom person with a tuft of grass growing out of its cap, except of course that the whole thing has a cracked, angular, rocky texture! The adult form is extremely cool looking, too, losing any visible eyes as the mouth becomes more of a glowing chest-orifice, and it never does gain any more humanoid limbs; just the "stem" of rocks and single stony left arm, with coral branches cleverly resembling a cluster of more bug-like left arms! It really does look more like a chunk of reef that started moving instead of the quasihumanoid the baby hints at.
KORALLE BRUTALIS (EARTH)
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Gorgonian Grab, Diploria Diminish, Dendronephythya Decline.
Jabaline is basically as humanoid ant warrior, and they even remembered that soldier ants are female, but they didn't lean too far into making her look human; just enough for her to look really cool, like she could be someone wearing strange, insectoid armor, but it's all much too thin to have a person inside, and her head is full-blown, glassy-eyed ant monster!
The weirdest thing about Jabaline, however, is that she canonically merges at some point in her life with the ruthless ninja monster Haku, left, to transform into the devastatingly deadly Jakugan, right. So an ant lady and basically the Shredder become a sort of bladed, futuristic Amazonian gladiator. It's interesting, sure, but I'd much rather keep the freaky little insect gal just the way she is!
Most of her skills are references to Hades, interestingly enough: "Grace of Tartarus, Grace of Persephone, Styx Favour," stuff like that.
Letalis was apparently a great prophet, but was killed for predicting an undesirable future for his own king. Since this death wasn't supposed to be part of his own future, he went on living as an undead abomination that can only predict the deaths of other beings!
Letalis is a splendid mix of beautifully wicked design elements. He's mostly a skeleton, but a monstrously proportioned one with huge hands and long scythe-like fingers. His face appears to be fleshed, but all we see of it are knifelike teeth jutting from the black lips of an overly large mouth, and the many reptilian eyeballs peering from tears in his long, grey hood. He's also one of those undead ghouls that floats around without any legs, his robes have a lot of bat-wing shapes going on, and he's got a transparent sac of visible guts!!
I will say, however, that a lot of these monsters really should have completely different looking "prevolutions." Why is there a baby of this guy's undead monster form? Why don't you just start with the regular guy? Or him as a baby, then him as a grown man, then him as a monstrosity? Like I said...the baby stages are pretty much afterthoughts for gameplay purposes alone.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Final Destination, There Are No Accidents.
Yilitre is a kind of standard Beholder Knockoff, but I really like how his central body is so densely clustered with so many big, protruding eyeballs, I like the gruesomely exposed gums of his maniacal mouth and I like the pretty, purple fins he has for good measure! While most Beholder-knockoffs are focused on eyebeams and magic, and he certainly has both, this is one actually revolving around being "all seeing," as in he can gaze even through time and space! He is, in fact, a cosmic information broker, but allegedly earns many enemies by selling to all sides of various conflicts.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Look at me Now, I See Your Problem.
Some monsters have a jarringly different art style because they're from back in the very early days of the game, before they could afford more advanced digital artists...but none of them look anything like Mop, whose style is deliberately more like a cartoon or comic strip character! He also bears some resemblance to a meaner, angrier Lorax, but as a matter of fact there were a lot of cartoon characters with a design like this back in the 60's and 70's! His bio only kind of talks about him being mean, and he doesn't come with any Dr. Seuss references; instead, all his abilities are references to historic cartoons, and are as follows:
Feline Follies: the first Felix the Cat cartoon.
Gallopin Gaucho: the second Mickey Mouse film.
Blunt Sword: one of the earliest known animated films from Japan!
Just You Wait!: the 1969 soviet cartoon series, "Well, Just You Wait!"
Fiddlesticks: the first full sound, full color theatrical cartoon.
I Eats Me Spinach: I believe this is from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Dizzy Dishes: the first Betty Boop cartoon.
Puss Gets The Boot: what went on to become Tom and Jerry.
Sinkin' In A Bathtub: a Bosko cartoon and the first-ever Warner Brothers short.
That's All Folks!: I believe this is from Grave of the Fireflies.
So, while Mop has a Seussian Aesthetic, his theme seems to be "cartoons" in general! He's an all-purpose Toon monster, and a wild, rambunctious little bastard to boot.
Moonhaze is a beautiful humanoid insect with a fluffy, moth-like appearance that includes a subtle skull mark on the chest of his "cape" and a very skull-like face, though his actual eyes are the big blue insect ones on top of his head!.......Sort of. They're the actual eyes of the humanoid body, sure, but Moonhaze is canonically only a magical projection of the little firefly hovering over his outstretched hand! That's such a cool concept! The firefly apparently always dreamed of becoming a bigger, more powerful and more majestic monster, and was given a piece of magical Amber by another powerful monster.
That does make it rather odd that the baby stage seems to be painfully clutching the much goofier and more irritated-looking firefly. Both are so dignified and pretty by the adult stage!
Most of Moonhaze's abilities reference the firefly itself, whose name is not Moonhaze, but Karlo, after the fan who submitted this concept as part of a contest!
No attention is drawn to the more moth-like than firefly-like appearance of the projected body, but it makes me imagine that the little firefly thought moths were better looking than its own species :c
I LOVE Joppers!! She's modeled after Cousin Itt from the Adams Family, complete with the round sunglasses and bowler hat he was sometimes seen with, but as she grows into her adult stage she gains more of a humanoid shape, with a purple dress and actual arms. I guess that means she's just a woman who has enough hair to completely hide her face and even her legs, but I really like that for whatever reason! I like that this monster is just an unseen, eccentric, super hairy lady. Her description says she wanders sacred places and uses incense and candles to "attract her victims," which she tangles in her hair, so...I guess she also eats people.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: All of her skills are actually just single, Spanish words for some reason, which include tower, pawns, lawyers, heads, paved, biscuits, justice, carpentry and turning.
This one's bio is a bit mean-spirited of a parody; Soap Sam was once an innocent sea sponge until he became saturated with toxic soap. Now his life is agony and he attacks other monsters in the hope that they can permanently kill him. That's honestly a bit darker than I'd even expect from a game already full of humor this cynical, but COMPLETELY removed from this being a grim Spongebob parody I love the idea of a soapy sponge as an abomination among spongekind, the fact that he has multiple eyes, his corpsey mouth and the way he's crawling backwards.
It isn't just based on Spongebob, though; it's also an homage to Mother 3's Negative Man, apparently!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Actually they're all just Spongebob quotes.
This one starts out as a cute little green mushroom with big cartoon eyes and a delightfully worm-like body for a stem, but immediately drops the eyes as it grows, acquires an underbite of big, jutting teeth and sprouts a few stubby limbs to give its final body more of a fat grub or caterpillar feel! What a perfect combination of traits! Psilotus is apparently the mind-controlling kind of fungus monster, but its primary motivation is its love of "peace and silence!" That's such a cool and eerie idea! It'll infect you with spores and enslave you just to shut you up while it relaxes!
Is this all a reference to the Caterpillar from Alice, its use of psychedelic narcotics and how annoyed it was to be bothered?!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Nature is Unfair.
For the record, conjoined twins don't like to be called "Siamese Twins." That aside, Siamiss is really cool looking for just a "two headed woman!" The oversized arms, veiny blue skin, purple claws, too-long necks and menacingly intense eyes give her the vibe of some forgotten Tyrant prototype from Resident Evil. Her bio says that one head is a poet, and the other head "spits snakes."
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Horror Twins.
An utterly rad looking scorpion guy! Gorgeously drawn and colored with pretty lifelike scorpion parts from what we can see, but most of his body is hidden by a shawl and cowboy hat, exposing only his cool, glowing purple eyes! A Western genre motif for a scorpion monster is fun as heck, but I've seen it very, very rarely.
STING WESTCLAW (EARTH)
BEST NAMED SKILLS: It's High Noon.
No surprising lore here; it's literally Mothman, albeit a quite original design with a shaggy, insectoid moth body and disproportionately small, humanoid skull-like face! Or perhaps that's a mask it's wearing?? I also love the color scheme of having a black-furred thorax, but its limbs and wings are a pale minty green, with intense violet highlights to match the glow of its eyes!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: John Keel Memories, For a White Fly, Point Pleasant Native, Red Eyed Bird, Crane Destroyer.
I mentioned early on that the baby stages feel like afterthoughts, but that's not even really a complaint; it results in hilarity where someone designs a tragic, horrific figure and it still has to have a little goofy baby, like this man twisted and mutated by the post-apocalyptic hell he's had to live in! The common thread across all of his stages is that a featureless hunk of metal hides his face, but he has a gaping set of hideous jaws for a chest cavity anyway. This is especially grisly in the final stage, where a rotten notch even evokes a corpselike "nose" where his sternum ought to be, and there appear to be subtle, slitted red eyes in his armpits.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Brain Hemorrhage.
I'll just quote this one's bio directly: "This faceless hag is the stuff of nightmares and can torment her enemies in their sleep. She comes from the world of the dead to bring confusion and terrifying hallucinations. She is so greatly feared that many are afraid to fall asleep, which makes them progressively weaker. "
MONTAUK CREATURE (DARK)
Her name comes from the "Montauk Monster," an alleged "cryptid" that really turned out to be the hairless carcass of a half-rotten raccoon, but there isn't a lot of physical resemblance here. I honestly don't know exactly what this design and concept were going for, but I'm really loving it! Her lower body is a cluster of short, spike-like tentacles, she has long arms with gnarly claws and she has a head that's mostly a pugnacious, toothy underbite and some scattered pits that seem like eyes, but possibly cease to be eyes by the adult stage or they wouldn't call her "faceless," right? Actually, I guess the face and hands look a lot like the monster from Cloverfield, but that doesn't tie too directly into her "nightmare hag" concept either.
What MAKES this design for me, though, is that such a cool and scary looking interdimensional demon wears that adorable little button-up shirt, the kind of shirt I associate with 1950's waitresses. Serving up horror, I guess!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: From The Woods, Size is Relative, Observe the Infinite - I haven't really put together the theme or meaning here, but they sound good.
This monster's simple origin is a potion spilled by a witch on a rose garden, creating a giant, monstrous flower, but what a GLORIOUS design!! It's mostly a huge, purple, splotchy rose with nasty teeth in the center, but in the final stage the eyeballs move down below the mouth and one of them starts dangling, like a zombie eye. Then you've got a collar of various rotten-looking leaves and a thorny body best described like a skeleton made out of plant tissues. Magnificent!
What's terrifying, however, is that this game has a "breeding" system, the Witch's potion was meant to "boost breeding abilities," and Urtikus is described as a monster of Pure Breeding Power. I guess that makes sense for something made out of a plant's genitalia.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Preparing for St Valentine, Time to Breed, Nightmares Before Love.
Gurlik is one of many orc and goblin style characters in the Nature element, and he's alright I guess, but the real star here is the giant, fat toad he rides on, Gurmit, and the fact that baby-stage Gurlik instead rides an antique wind-up frog! Another rare and lovable instance of a "meaningful" baby stage!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Bite them Gurmit!
This is another whose bio I should just paste in its entirety: "Don’t lie to Mommy, because Mommy knows where you’ve been, yes she does! You’ve been hanging out with those monster friends Mommy doesn’t like, so... guess what? You’re grounded! You’ll thank Mommy one day..."
This was oddly enough one of the first things I ever saw from this game, somehow. A thin, big-headed, multi-eyed, grinning humanoid dressed as the most stereotypical 50's "mom" complete with fuzzy slippers, cat-eye glasses and hair curlers. I definitely get the impression that she's some kind of alien that pretends to be "your" mother. There's even a monster I'm PRETTY sure is her evil minion, and I'll just put his complete line here in her entry:
It's D.A.D. Unit! The "Discipline and Authority Distribution" assistant! I love the cute, retro style of this robotic minion, and I also like that this one's design does change completely as it evolves; the Juvenile and Baby stages aren't just the same design more "chibified" like most other monsters, but really look like completely different dad-based robots. The baby stage is especially adorable, still modeled like it would have a middle-aged man personality but with a clunkier, simpler garbage-can sort of shape!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: I don't like your friends, Just like your dad, Take out the trash.
I'm going to assume this design is a fan favorite. It just feels like. It's a Cheshire cat with the pink and purple striping of Disney's version, but a sleeker, more lethal-looking physique. I like how much the toothy, crescent smile dominates its facial structure, too, the entire face more or less swept into a grinning boomerang shape around its delightful bowler hat!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: I Am A Cat!, Tu Du Di Du Duu, Be My Guest.
A shiny, sleek humanoid robot with an actual human head isn't usually a recipe for one of my favorite creature designs, but Makugan has SUCH menacing and grim execution! She's human from the eyes up and her Chun-Li hair buns are cute, but her remaining facial flesh is still bone-white, she only has a mechanical breather where her nose and mouth should be and there's definitely not enough room for more human body in her baby form's cybernetic portion, leaving it likely that her long-limbed and terrifying "adult" body has little more than a few organs and nerves in there. This is another case, however, where the "unevolved" forms should have just shown the stages of her backstory!
Makugan was apparently created specifically to assassinate Jakugan, the fusion of the ninja guy and ant woman, but Makugan is so ruthless and uncontrollable herself that she may only prove an even greater danger to the world herself.
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Good Things Gone, Bad Things Come, Enemies Without Benefits.
This one is a really cool creature concept all around! Eisul resembles a huge, hulking, white-skinned, ice-encrusted zombie with a pulpy, pink tentacle monster protruding from its open belly, gazing out with one big, beautiful blue eye! The inner blob's row of upper teeth, with no lower teeth, also gives an even cuter look, and of course you know this is the real "Eisul." Apparently they're a whole intelligent civilization of creatures, the Suliens, able to control frozen corpses!
Eisul has an ability called Power up the Technodrome, just in case it didn't occur to you that the design was inspired by Krang, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, when he had a big goofy humanoid android body! Translating this aesthetic to something that inhabits and animates frozen bodies, however, gives it a marvelously frightening twist straight out of Lovecraftian weirdness.
BEST NAMED SKILLS BESIDES THE TECHNODROME ONE: Dark Breed, Body Snatcher, The Puppet Master, Dreamcatcher, Contamination, Dark Skies, He Came From Beyond Space, Decoy, War of the Worlds ...You probably don't recognize all of these, but if you recognize some of them, you know they're all drawing from the titles various alien and parasite-based horror films. The only one that might throw you off is The Puppet Master, because you're probably thinking of that movie with the little dolls. "The Puppet Masters" however was one of the first novels as well as first movies about body-controlling parasitic aliens!
Easily the one design I've seen from Monster Legends that I'd genuinely call disturbing! Rotten has the limbs and torso of a zombie with realistically bruised and gangrenous looking flesh, but instead of a head, he simply has a huge cluster of fleshy, saclike cysts visually modeled after sea squirts, just one of which sports an eye. The only thing breaking the grisliness are the cartoonish, blue ghosts emerging from those sacs, with tattered "ears" or "pigtails" that give them a bunny-like appearance. It's a nice way to mitigate a design that would, admittedly, seem a little out of place in a game that doesn't usually go for sheer body horror.
The lore here is that "a rain of stardust" awakened a soul-sucking monster from a pool of mud, and the more souls he collects, the more his physical body decays and stinks! Overall, the design is something straight out of fungus-based and virus-based survival horror series, but with a fun supernatural twist. The little pigtail spirits, incidentally, have their own monster played more for cuteness, and is in fact what this setting considers a "kodama," in this canon actually born from a distant star!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Never Enough, Little Succubus.
They got one just for me!! Moochy was born when Baba Yaga (yeah, that Baba Yaga) defeated a Lovecraftian monster and it left a small stone behind, which hatched into this otherworldly, giant leech to pursue Baba Yaga for eternity!
Moochy is a homage to every sort of leech, chestburster and parasitic worm-like monster out there, even a bit of the "shitweasel" from Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. The beautiful, beautiful design is mostly just a pale, veiny grey slug with a massive, vertical maw, but what makes the design realy stand is how it has these ghostly looking eye-holes or perhaps "nostrils" above its mouth, but its actual eyes are the ocelli on that cute little "skull" that protrudes out from under the nose and lip! It gives the whole thing the impression of a hooded figure whose "ribcage" is sort of bursting open...and as if all that isn't cool and scary enough, its bulbous slug body is decorated with purple warts that look so much like swollen ticks, it has to be intentional! This is simply the perfect bloodsucking parasite monster design, with the cutest possible name for a parasite-themed creature to boot!
BEST NAMED SKILLS: Kane Seemed Fine..., How Big Can It Be?, Perfect Hostility - all Alien franchise references!
BONUS STRAGGLERS!There are over 600 different monsters in Monster Legends, and that's not counting growth stages, which means this game already surpassed Pokemon's total fully-evolved creatures quite some time ago. The following are just a few that were considered for this post, but ultimately bumped off for others of more note!
What, you want names?! Check the files! Or, have fun browsing all known monsters by their elemental categories HERE, and feel free to tell me what favorites of your own you've found!
MORE HALLOWEEN FEATURES: