We talked about the Nightmare, and of course it has a couple of exclusive enemies. It also has poison swamps, because this is after all a souls game, and the poison swamps of the nightmare have their own signature creature, The Crawler!

Getting any clear, coherent shots of the Crawler is impressively challenging; the creature it just so squirmy, with so many body parts that are also all squirmy, there's never a pose or an angle where the whole thing is perfectly readable. The best look you can get at it comes thanks to Zullie, as always, and this is as good an angle as any; the Crawler is a slimy grey invertebrate with an almost sharklike body, though instead of fins, it has four long tentacles joined in a bit of membranous webbing, a row of short fleshy protruberances down its back, rows of circular gills similar to those of hagfish, and a long, tapering head with a circular, iris-like mouth as its base.

More bizarrely, and what makes the Crawler even harder to read, is the fact that there actually appears to be an entire second body attached. Perhaps it's just the abdominal segment" of the same creature, but the upper body already tapers into a distinct "tail" that rests atop this lower body, which looks a bit like another, more bloated crawler with twice as many arms and a head fused up into the first. It could still be one creature with just very convoluted anatomy, but perhaps we're also looking at a "mated pair," fused together permanently like some species of parasitic fluke?

The particular way the Crawler waves its slimy proboscis around seems taken directly from terrestrial planarians, which may also have inspired the look of the Brainsucker's big phantasm. This five minute video will tell you everything you need to know about these wonderful animals, and you can see why they might have caught Fromsoft's attention.

The most striking characteristic of the Crawler, however, is what's underneath it. Its primary attack is a cloud of toxic gases, which is releases by rearing up and spreading out its membranous body like a hooded cobra. As it does so, we get a full view of the many helpless little messengers fused into its underside! Do they serve it some purpose, or is it simply in the process of digesting them? They're the most common inhabitants of the Nightmare, so they may just be the go-to food source of its other denizens.

The Crawler is definitely one of my favorite enemies, combining so many interesting animals into a perfect all-purpose slimy, creeping invertebrate enemy, which would all be cool enough even without the unique addition of the trapped messengers.