TA Top Five: Beasties

By Chewie, 5 years ago
When creating exciting new worlds for us to explore in their games, developers also need to fill those worlds with weird and wonderful fauna and flora to give a deeper feeling of immersion in the world. As well as your standard sentient races for us to befriend/annihilate, we also frequently encounter intricately designed creatures, most of which simply want to gnaw off our faces. I've been considering getting a pet recently and, stuck for ideas of what to get, I've turned to these game beasties, wishing that some of them existed in our world and I could walk around town, with my unique and bizarro monster trotting along beside me. In this week's Top Five, we've compiled a short list of creatures from the many bestiaries available on Xbox titles and weighed up the pros and cons of owning one. To qualify, these creatures cannot exist in the real world, so no horses from Red Dead Redemption Achievements, Dogmeat from Fallout 3 Achievements or Burt Reynolds from Saints Row: The Third Achievements.

Honourable Mentions

Headcrabs - The Orange Box Achievements
Your head goes hereYour head goes here

Ideal for someone who wants a smaller animal that is playful and likes a lot of physical attention. Not ideal for anyone who doesn't wish to be transformed into a mindless, disfigured zombie. There is the possibility of debeaking them for a relatively safe, if rather mischievous, pet/hat. Unfortunately, the only known domesticated headcrab was blasted into space along with a garden gnome, so if you want to try and catch and debeak one, you do so at your own peril.

Skags - Borderlands Achievements / Borderlands 2 Achievements
This skag is being trained where to poopThis skag is being trained where to poop

Skags are extremely plentiful on the world of Pandora, especially in Skag Gully, and come in a range of sizes and varieties, so you would be spoilt for choice. They will literally eat anything so you don't have to worry about what type of chow to get them. The only real downside is the fact that anything they can't digest they excrete into a "skag pile", although for people who desire a pile of twisted metal and bones in their yard that could be a plus. Oh, and they both eat and defecate from their three-jawed mouths, which is pretty gross, but makes for an interesting if disgusting talking point when you've got guests round.

Chocobos - Final Fantasy series
Ah, the joys of riding a big giant chickenAh, the joys of riding a big giant chicken

Appearing in one form or another in every Final Fantasy game since the second one, as well as spin-offs and guest appearances in other franchises, the chocobo is a large avian creature, frequently used as a mount to get to far off locations quickly and with minimum disruption. Many people will ride one without a saddle, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you want severe crotch chafe. Also, the meat is delicious (tastes like chocolate, hence the name) and the feathers look dandy poking out from a hat band, so if yours goes lame you can always make the most of a bad situation. Watch out for the "distinctive" odour, though. And by "distinctive" I mean "smells like rotten sick nuggets".

Top Five

5: Nekkers - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Achievements
The neck folds are a sign of virility to female nekkers. A gross oneThe neck folds are a sign of virility to female nekkers. A gross one

I've never really liked Pugs and Bulldogs, despite them being rather fashionable at the moment. It's probably something to do with the fact that, to me, they just resemble ugly, slobbering, old men. Specifically, Winston Churchill. However, no creature on this earth quite resembles a crinkly pensioner like the nekker. Geralt frequently encounters nekkers in the woods on his quest. A bit like Fable's Hobbes, they are easily dispatched when alone, but they mostly hang out in groups, a bit like a deadly bridge club. The fact that they are called nekkers makes them so much worse as it just makes you think of them trying to make out with you with their nasty old man faces. Still, if you're going for the "get off my lawn or I'll set my weird little old man monster on you" vibe, then they're the perfect pet for you.

4: Tickers - Gears of War series
He just wants a hugHe just wants a hug

If you're lying awake at night and you hear a strange ticking sound it can be rather disconcerting. "Is there a bomb under my bed?", you may be wondering amongst other, more sensible, options . Well, with your very own ticker you won't need to wonder about the ticking sound any longer, because there will be a bomb under your bed. Encountered by Fenix and friends multiple times throughout their adventures, usually in large quantities, these viscous little terrors are utilised by the Locust in a similar fashion to the Soviet dogs in World War II that were strapped with bombs and trained to run at enemy tanks. Just don't get too attached to yours and be prepared to replace them on a regular basis as anything can set their Imulsion explosives off, such as the neighbours' dog or the neighbours. If it gets a little too close for comfort to you, just punch it onto its back and roll away. You are an adept roller, right?

3: Balverines - Fable series
My dogs are bigger than yoursMy dogs are bigger than yours

When Peter Molyneux came up with one of the staple creatures from Lionhead's ubiquitous Fable series, I imagine it went something like this:

Peter (in a whispery overly enthusiastic tone): "Imagine, if you will, a creature so powerful that it can tear even the strongest hero limb from limb with its ferocious teeth and claws. A man-sized creature, covered in thick fur and with canine features. A creature that was once a man, but has been bitten by one of these foul walking wolves and has now joined their ranks, doomed to prowl the forests of Albion in search of flesh to feast on. Sometimes hunting in packs, these creatures' only known weakness is silver."

Lionhead Lackey: "You mean, like a werewolf?"

Peter: "No, nothing like that, you deplorable oaf. I'm innovating here! This is an entirely new creature and it shall be known as the Balverine. Now, how are those tree-growing physics coming along?"
Regardless of its derivative origins, the balverine would make a fine guard dog and anyone who crosses it will then also become fine guard dogs. Soon you'll have a whole pack of fine guard dogs. And, who knows, maybe the pack will decide that you too would make a fine guard dog. For extra bonus points, try and get your hands on the rarer, larger, White Balverine, which will seriously ruin the day of...well...pretty much anyone in your general vicinity.

2: Darklings - The Darkness Achievements / https://www.trueachievements.com/The-Darkness-2/achieve....htm
I've never agreed with dressing up animals but this is a combination that just worksI've never agreed with dressing up animals but this is a combination that just works

In the first Darkness game you could summon up to four of these obnoxious little imps to fight for you. They had different abilities such as tearing enemies to shreds in a berserk rage, gunning them down with a minigun, running at them and blowing themselves up or...turning lights off. To be fair, that last one's quite useful as the full force of the Darkness' (and therefore the darklings') power comes from the shadows. These versions of the creatures were mostly expendable little beasts in the first game, but in the sequel you only have one darkling who acts as a sort of pet/sidekick, distracting enemies, stealing their weapons and urinating on their corpses. Yes, he's a rude little git, but he's also got Jackie's back, just like the most loyal pets, and you develop a strong bond with him. The bonus of having one of these creatures compared to most others is that you can hold a conversation with them; an obscenity-laden stream-of-insults conversation, but a conversation nonetheless. Like a mogwai, you should keep them away from sunlight, unless you want to be cleaning up a sweary ash pile. Unlike a mogwai, you can feed them whenever you like and they love getting wet, mostly with other people's blood.

1: Blood Dragons - Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon Achievements
You're gonna need a bigger litter trayYou're gonna need a bigger litter tray

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Achievements has dragons. So what!? Crimson Dragon Achievements has dragons. Dragon Age: Origins Achievements has dragons. Dragon's Dogma Achievements has dragons. Dragon's Lair Achievements has a dragon. Spyro is a dragon. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Achievements has the word dragon in it. I could go on. Basically, dragons are overused and overrated. Blood Dragons on the other hand, now they will never go out of style.

The Far Cry series is known for its abundant selection of wildlife, including lions, tigers and bears (*oh my*). However, Blood Dragon took the animals of the third game and amped them up with either cybernetic or mutant enhancements. Not content with simply pimping and distorting the existing bestiary, the game's developers decided to take the idea of souped-up beasties to an insanely awesome level by introducing these behemoths. Take all the best bits of your standard dragon (massive; terrifying; deafening roar; unbridled rage), remove the overdone bits (flight; burnination), add in a mutant power (laser vision) and an 80s-inspired aesthetic twist (buttload of neon) and you've got yourself a Blood Dragon. Don't worry about handling such a massive beast, as they can be enslaved domesticated using a Brain Cage. You can even ride one to beseige your enemy's stronghold. Although, to do that, you may first need to take a How to Train Your Dragon Achievements course.

Do you disagree with our choices? If so, let us know which game creatures are your favourites, which ones you would like to see in the real world and which ones you would consider as pets.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Written by Chewie
Chewie is a Wookiee from Kashyyyk. Since helping the Rebel Alliance defeat the Emperor, he has taken up Achievement-Hunting and Newshoundery on TA. Also, ice-skating.