By Jonathan Wojcik and Rev Storm


Today we look at two very different, but also not so different monstrosities, the first being the wonderful monstrous crow. At least twenty or thirty feet long, its tremendous head and powerful hind legs give it the unmistakable shape of a carnosaur, and its ungainly massive beak is even filled to the brim with knifelike teeth!-

I just love how much character is in these terrible, terrible creatures, combining birds both old and new into something so much more nightmarish than the sum of its parts. Their largely bald faces, beady little eyeballs set in deep sockets and filthy looking feathers are all just so delightfully unnatural, as is the fact that they can still sort of fly with their stunted wings and still like to perch up in trees that shouldn't be nearly strong enough to support them.

Even as they attack, they don't seem accustomed to their caricatured proportions, moving as if they're about to topple over at any moment.

There's an even more heinous variety of these aviosaurians, too; the "blistered" or "rotten" giant crow, thickly covered in swollen red boils and pinker lumps of flesh that happen to very closely resemble a subdermal infestation of botfly maggots.

These more putrid birdies are the only enemies to drop the crafting item "blood-tainted excrement," a clot of gore and bones with a lovely description that reads "The bloody excrement of a carnivorous beast. Material used for crafting items. Found in the land of the new dynasty. Mixed inside with half-digested flesh are dense colonies of tiny eggs of unknown but assuredly revolting origin. " This item is useful only for crafting "swarm pots," single-use weapons that unleash a temporary swarm of biting flies on the opponent!

The crows aren't quite alone, though; another enemy, the giant dog, exhibits the exact same size and shape in mammal flavor, with dinky, tiny forearms instead of wings and the head of a mangy canine. You might think this is nothing more than a cheap recycling of a CG model, but there are locations where you battle the tyrannocrows and tyrannodogs right alongside one another. If they weren't supposed to have any in-universe connection, I doubt they'd have been placed side by side to make the similarities so obvious, and I can only conclude that they're meant to be products of the same corruption.

Why would something artificially push both dogs and birds into the size and shape of a T-rex? Who knows. It could even be that whatever it is was also responsible for the existence of carnosaurs, at one time; a supernatural force of predation that pushes carnivores toward this hyper-murderous form.

Or...maybe carnosaurs evolved naturally, but these various animals are now channeling their spirits. I pulled this notion from nowhere at all, but I don't think it would be anywhere near too absurd for the Souls series.