-Article by Paul Ewbank-
Because a good idea is a good idea. Technically not all of these are from post apocalyptic media, but hey, gimme a break. Just imagine what would happen if they all joined forces and attempted to overthrow humanity. That dystopian enough for ya?
10. The Kraken (Clash of the Titans)
I hate the new Clash of the Titans film with a passion. Boring, irritating and with 3D so badly done it gave me a headache, I could never have imagined a film basically about a guy beating up giant mythical creatures could be SO DAMN DULL. It’s one saving grace (apart from seeing Liam Neeson try to keep a straight face wearing all that ridiculously glittery Zeus armour) was the kraken fight at the end, which was impressive in a purely superficial CGI kind of way. Can’t remember much about the Kraken except that it was absolutely huge. Like, really pretty big. That’s gotta count for something.
9. Hoodsquid (Dragon Warrior Monsters)
Dragon Warrior Monsters was a GBC classic that combined the monster raising of Pokémon with more traditional fantasy RPG fare to great effect. One thing it didn’t do was name its myriad of monsters with much imagination. This one is…exactly what it says it is. A squid wearing a hood. A practical choice as well as a stylistic one; the hood probably keeps the salt water spray out of its eyes.
All the fun of sharks, with the added joys of an octopus. A refinement of the classic monster flick Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, Sharktopus does away with the unnecessary features of both, leaving a monster that is half shark, half octopus, but 100% badass.
7. Malboro (Final Fantasy)
These things are straight out of a HP Lovecraft-inspired nightmare. First appearing waaay back in Final Fantasy 2, they have taken on many slightly different forms, but are always some kind of plant-abomination, featuring a huge, gaping mouth full of needle like teeth and many, many tentacles. Often some of the toughest enemies to take down, I vividly remember fighting one as a boss in Crystal Chronicles, and having them use their trademark bad breath to inflict all kinds of status ailments in Tactics Advance. Hey, I just realised something: Malboro is also a brand of cigarettes, right? Cigarettes make your breath stink! Final fantasy is totally trying to steer kids away from smoking by implying that you’ll be like a stinky ol’ Malboro if you smoke. Good on you, Square Enix.
6. Giant elephant thing (The Mist)
Liz put one of my faves on her list so it’s only fair I do the same. I really can’t tell you how powerful the ending of The Mist is- once the remaining survivors escape the mall and begin their long drive in search of rescue, the film takes on a darkly surreal tone I’ve rarely encountered. The haunting, otherworldly choral music and glimpses of giant, ethereal beats striding nonchalantly in the distance really gives you the impression that this is no longer earth as we know it. I won’t spoil what happens next, suffice to say if you think that all principal characters dying is the worst way a film can end then think again.
5. Squiddy (The Matrix)
Mechanical tentacles are cool. There were a few robotic creatures I was considering from this list, including some of the Mechon from Xenoblade Chronicles and a certain someone from William Gibson’s Count Zero. But revealing anything about the latter would be a massive spoiler, and I don’t want to include the former for fear of using the same games/worlds in all my lists, thus revealing that my knowledge of videogames is actually fairly narrow. They all follow the same basic idea anyway. Take a robot chassis and put lots and lots of extendable robotic arms on it. Have each arm have a different weapon/thing on the end for added points. The sentinels (squiddys) from The Matrix were pretty creepy; the bit at the end where they’re lasering their way into the ship is very tense. They’re also in the third one, where they come pouring into Zion through a big hole in the roof. Why none of them thought to try and find a way in that wasn’t guarded by hundreds of guys in battlesuits is a bit of a mystery. Guess they don’t like making things too easy for themselves. Whatever.
4. Tentalus (Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
Long time Zelda fans are no strangers to tentacled bosses. Still, none stand out as much as the abyssal leviathan from Skyward Sword. Coming at the end of a level set on a pirate ship, the game builds tension up to the actual fight in a way that shows just how far Zelda games have come in terms of theatricality and originality. As you reach the centre of the ship, suddenly a bunch of giant purple tentacles burst through the deck in a very classic-horror kind of way. The ship obviously starts sinking so you have to leg it back to the upper deck, dodging rolling debris and cutting through more tentacles which emerge to block your path. Once you emerge onto the main deck of the now ruined ship, the creature you are facing finally reveals itself. Thought it was gonna be a giant squid or something? Think again- it’s a…giant purple one eyed…thing…with tentacles coming out of its head. Yep, it basically destroyed the ship with its freaking hair. It’s definitely unlike anything else you’ve ever seen in a Zelda game, but Tentalus loses points for having the most obvious weak point in the history of obvious weak points, and for looking more like something out of Monsters, Inc than a fearsome denizen of the depths. Still, it’s a darn tough boss, and the buildup alone makes it a worthy contender for biggest tentacled pain in the ass in all of…ok, that’s the fourth time Microsoft Word has auto-corrected tentacled into tentacle. AAAARGH! IT DID IT AGAIN! Stop it, I know what I’m trying to say, damn you!
3. De Rol Le
One of the premier day-ruiners of the Dreamcast era, De Rol Le was encountered at the end of the second stage of the legendary Sega RPG Phantasy Star Online. After slogging your way through three seemingly endless floors of lava filled underground caves infested with mutant sharks, dragons and death spitting lilies, the last thing you’d want is to find yourself on a raft hurtling down an underground sewer being hounded by a colossal arthropod wearing what looks like the skull of a rhino demon. And even by rhino skull wearing colossal arthropod standards, De Rol Le is pretty hard to take down. Originally known as Beta 776, shady military research and the ominous forces moving in the shadows of the planet Ragol conspired to cause this harmless centipede creature to grow exponentially and gave it the power to mutate other lifeforms by injecting them with its tentacles, turning them into hyper aggressive monsters. Beta 776 then predictably went on the rampage and escaped into the sewer system where you meet him. Somewhere along the line he apparently changed his name to De Rol Le. Not my idea of an intimidating alias, but whose gonna argue with him, really?
A formidable foe in combat, able to lash out with his lethal tentacles, throw exploding parasite things at you and shoot lasers from its mouth, De Rol Le would be pretty darn unbeatable if only he didn’t attack in such an obvious pattern that gives you plenty of time to smash his face in. Still, for being one of the toughest tentacled critters in gaming, and for putting his tentacles to exceptionally good use in corrupting the peaceful inhabitants of an entire planet, De Rol Le more than earns his spot on this list.
2. Metroid Prime
So you’ve just beaten Meta Ridley- the fire breathing, flesh rending robo-dragon from hell, and sent his sorry carcass tumbling off a cliff, and you’re feeling pretty invincible. What could be worse than that guy? Well, for my money Ridley is actually the better boss, but damn if Metroid Prime isn’t a worthy foe. The moment when you open the door and see it hanging there, with its freakish face starting right at you is pure nightmare. It’s clearly hanging there saying “yeah, you’re gonna have to fight me. And I’m gonna totally ruin you and there’s nothin’ you can do about it.”
So you run in, blast it about for about three hours with all your assorted weaponry, and finally, finally it stops moving. Is it over? Oh, son, I can’t even begin to tell you how much it isn’t over. From the ashes springs forth the second, pure form of Metroid Prime- a floating phantom of pure energy impervious to normal weapons. This thing is FREAKY. The way it flits around the room like some demented bat is just…ugh. And it can go invisible, too, ‘cos all good bosses know how to up the ante when things get tough. Switch to the X-ray visor and it looks even more like a ghostly spider hanging in mid air in front of you. Beating this abomination into the dust is incredibly satisfying, and provides a worthy end to one of the greatest games of all time. But did it really die? Is it finished? Oh, son…
1. Forest God- Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
“It’s just a giant jumping bean!”
Oh, Hellboy, will you ever learn? That’s no giant jumping bean; that’s a giant jumping bean that transforms into a giant green tentacled monster! You gotta hand it to Prince Nuada; that’s a pretty neat party trick. This bad boy is easily the most badass looking creature in a film full of them. I just wish he had more screen time. Says a lot about how insanely imaginative and action packed Hellboy 2 is that a frikking forest god doesn’t even merit a particularly long fight scene- it just smashes up some cars and stuff then gets shot full of holes. Another unique thing about Hellboy 2 is the ambiguity of the enemies and the forest god is no exception. Sure it’s terrifying, but also kinda beautiful. Hellboy shows genuine hesitation before finishing it off, and when he does, it’s spilled blood covers the city streets in a beautiful foresty glow. Guillermo del Toro is one of the best creature designers around today, and this baby is arguably his finest creation.