FromSoft is a Japanese game development company with a bit of a theme. Their visual style since their hit in Demon’s Souls has been broody and dark, emphasizing a grim atmosphere that I always find very cozy. So that alone would interest me, but on top of it their various universes are filled with tons of monsters with a style inspired by horror and manga like Berserk. It’s basically 100% up my alley. One of these days, I’ll look at many of their games individually, but this time I’m just going to have some fun.
FromSoft really loves references between their games, and one of the ways this is expressed is through using similar ideas for characters, weapons or monsters in different ways. One of these repeated monsters is a creature made of multiple corpses all stuck together. It’s a very charming trend, but the success of the concept has varied from monster to monster. Which takes the human hive to new limits? And which rotting mass of corpses just stinks?
#5: Gravelord Nito
Our weakest example here is Gravelord Nito, the god of death in Dark Souls. He’s made of a whole cluster of skeletons, and that’s pretty cool, but it’s just not very readable. This is the best picture I could get, and it’s a figure, not the in-game model! As lovable as skeletons are, we’re here for corpses, and a skeleton just isn’t fleshy and squishy enough to work the same way. Sorry Nito, but your corpses are just too old! They went bad!
#4: Cage Spider
Does this count? I say it counts. I’m not sure how fused together these guys are, but this is a bunch of bodies stuffed into one cage, forcing them to act like a single being. Because of the smaller amount of bodies, we can see the individuals more clearly, which I think adds a lot, showing off some fun animations as they deal with their situation. I like how awkward their walk cycle is in particular.
#3: The One Reborn
The One Reborn has the best name out of the entire group. There’s a lot to love, like the almost insect-like body shape it takes, giving it a more agile look fitting for Bloodbourne (although it’s not actually much faster than anything else here). I also like that the ends of the limbs have clumsy “hands” made of the limbs of multiple bodies. It’s kept out of the top two by a relatively dull color scheme, making it a little indistinct at a distance. A shame, with better colors it might have been my favorite!
#2: Mass of Souls
Here we go, a proper ball of horrid flesh from the original Dark Souls! What makes the mass of souls special is that giant central face, a good deal bigger than a human. It gives a good central point to what is effectively just a blob. The rest of it is covered in a mixture of bodies and even a few bones. I like how distraught the central face is, while the others around it are almost cartoonish. Great textures too, really does capture that this is mostly bone and loose flesh.
#1: The Rotten
And here we have the best, my favorite, the grand champ of big dudes made out of lots of dead little dudes. So what makes the Rotten special? To start with, he’s got an excellent color pallet, warm reds and horrible fleshy yellows. Right out of Silent Hill 3! Second off, he just makes excellent use of all those corpse parts. Two faces stick out of the cage that forms his head, forming the impression of eyes. His fingers are all either arms or legs, and he also crawls around using many grasping limbs. Amazing! A clever boy! Putting all his parts to such good use!
And of course, there’s the extra personality we see in having a more complete body up on his shoulder, pointing at targets for him to swing at. Cooperation! The Rotten really understands the teamwork it takes to succeed when you’re made of several dozen dead people. That’s what makes him the winner here. What a champ.