Parasyte

What is best way to preserve Earth beauty and environment? Why, of course cull human population… with help of shapeshifting aliens that have rather messy eating habits!

At least that suggests first pages of this wonderful horror-sf manga by Hitosi Iwaaki. Titular parasytes are dropped in eggs to ground as worm-like living things that search for suitable host. They eat part of host and became it – usually head. And then they eat other humans, driven by killer instinct. Only Hitosi knows what it have anything to do with ecology.

Don’t worry, this is not spoiler, all of it we get to know in very first chapter. Premise sounds good? Enter your usual high school student, Shinji. Worm tried to infect him and failed – became his hand instead (later named Migo and way smarter than his host). Cue wacky adventures, meeting, talking and fighting with other parasytes. Oh, fights. They are done very nicely, even if few moments feel forced. But usually parasytes will attack in most logical way – as they can morph their bodies, creating sharp things from itself to dismember and hole up bodies is most effective way. As bonus it causes a lot of body horror, both in horribly mutilated victims and parasytes themself. So much eyes, so much teeth.

While most parasytes are just murderous serial killers (on par of one human psycho featured in series), some of them developed more complicated personality and outlook on life, despite being emotionless. Main example is of course Migo, coolest hand in manga ever. Or teacher that adjusted to society (mostly), searched for purpose in life and even had child (unquestionalby belonging to homo sapiens species). She still eats humans, though.

Very interesting theme appears in this work – monster became more human, human more monstrous. Saya no Uta had same theme, only more horrific. Relationship between Migo and Shinji, parasyte and human went long way. From threatening to cripple host if he say anything and planning to use his classmates as human shields in fight, they end up as experienced, dangerous team that took down a lot of parasytes – not without losses, however.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It have all good story need: interesting premise, main hero (that can be easily identified with) whom took level in badass, cool fights, tragedy, girl(s) and dozen of  horrible monsters to ger rid of (only it gets more complicated, but let’s not spoil).

ADDENUM: It seems they started making anime based on this manga. Now we all should pray to Elder Gods that they do not fuck it up.

Nyaruko

Japan! What the hell.

We have this pleasing fellow…

“And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous ultimate gods — the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep

And… and… what they did with poor Nyarlathotep?!

This!!

Review was done already – you can read it here. Even then I did not get hopes high – parodies of Things Out There was done zilion times already with various results…

Cyriak

In my endless quest for searching different states of madness (this time without all this Dementia shtick like gore or violence, it gets old fast) I found long ago this artist. While he do not shy from body horror, his main focus is ridiculous, strange movies with a little jumpy music. You can even show most of them to your child, but don’t be deceivedthey are no less crazy.

Most popular comment on YouTube is variation of “OMG it was done on drugs!!!1!11oneone”. No, dear readers, being on drugs imparies creative process rather significantly. Being inspired by acid trips, on other hand, sounds actually plausible. Not that I am suggesting anything.

I like Cyriak.

Bonus content

Competition to Cyriak.

Demonophobia walkthrough, part 7

If you just started, check out everything from part 1. In previous installment, Sakuri won battle with Lucifer’s spine against all odds. Music.

After defeating spine, it will drop Devil’s Relief, whatever is this spiky thing. Take it, get out of arena on left, go to black door (right, right, shaft, use Relief) and enter.

Whoa, what is this?

Hello, shadows. Is this some gathering or what? I haven’t seen some of you before. What are you doing in Hell, anyway? What is your role in all of this?

Go right. Wow, quite a fancy place here.

This place is..?

Ah… finally you have arrived…

?! That sound…

Everyone’s favorite blue daemon appears.

This is great! You are alright!

Ah. I won’t be killed by the likes of that puppet.

Ritz… I… did it… this is as you said, the deepest part, right?

That’s right… I’m finally here… it was a long journey… now I can finally…

I can finally go back… there is no need to worry about horrifying things anymore. It’s in the past.

Finally. My time has come.

Eh?

I can finally say farewell to this absurd labyrinth. Finally.

…? Ritz… did you find a way out too?! In that case, let’s go together!

Something is wrong.

No, Sakuri. Not together.

Huh? I don’t understand what you are saying!

You will remain behind.

…!

Uh? What?

Sakuri… I never said ‘You can escape from this place’.

Fuck.

… huh? Ah… but… but… I… I can’t go back?

From the start, there’s never been a way to you to escape.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. I knew it! I goddamn knew it.

But… I’ve already worked so hard… though it was terrifying, though it was grueling, I endured it until now. I nearly died! I’ve relied on myself to pass!

Ah. That’s right. You did rely on your own strength to come here. However, the truth is that you never needed to worry about ‘death’. This realm has no concept of ‘death’.

What are you saying?

I’ve been saying it from the start. There is no way you will die in this realm. If your body is turned into shreds, it will continue to suffer. You can’t even die to escape this. Although you won’t remember… I’ve resurrected your broken body and erased your memories to let you to take on the labyrinth.

Uh, whaaa, wha, wha, WHAAAT? And I thought that clicking R was just game mechanic…

Using the rules laid down by ‘those people’. From the beginning… and again… and again…

“Those people”? You are speaking about shadows, aren’t you.

Stop this! Tell me this is joke… that I can still go back…

Don’t make me repeat myself. There is no way you can escape. It is impossible.

Then… then…! Ritz, you tricked me! You told me I could leave! You used your lies… to…!

It’s hard for you to understand. Wasn’t this what you wished for? I simply went to fulfill it.

What I wanted was to get out of here!!!

Think back. How did you get here? What did you do?

……..ah?!

Think back. You called for me. This is the ritutal for you to send me to that world.

Daaaamn.

Eh? You are… lying… I thought it was a joke… I did not think it was real…

However, the truth is that it succeeded. Completely by accident. Take into account the chances of such an occurrence. Such a thing would not happen in thousands of years… people like you who summon me are many in number.  However, you are the first one to have been able to get this far. Those before you gave up halfway. Yes, you did very well…

Why, thank you… NOT!

Well, it’s almost time. Goodbye, Kunikai Sakuri.

I won’t let you get away.

Wow, it is just me or Sakuri showed some balls first time in entire game?

What?

I won’t let you get away by yourself.

What did you say? Who did you think allowed all this to happen?

I was going to say that… that it was not okay! You tricked me! You pretended to give me encouragement. Faked giving me courage… EVERYTHING! It was all a lie for your own benefit!

Have you decided to break the contract? If the summoning does not succeed, you will not be able to take revenge on those people you hate.

That does not matter anymore! The one I cannot forgive is YOU!

Is that so… it seems that you are intent on obstructing me. Well, I have no choice. Don’t get cocky. I will turn you into mincemeat.

…!? Didn’t you say you couldn’t do anything against me?!

My seal has already been lifted. I no longer need to obey their rules. I will not let those who block my path stand.

What happened? Or rather, what did not happened?

…!

Ah… how? Why didn’t anything happen?

What is that…? That hairclip. When did you start wearing it?

…? What are you saying? I have always been…

Ridiculous. I have never noticed it until now. So, ‘they’ made it. Even at the very end, ‘they’ still give me trouble. Very well. I’ll take this as my last trial. Once I take care of this, I will gain access to the other world.

Come! I will turn you into ashes, Kunikai Sakuri!

Don’t kid yourself. The one who will disappear is you!

Start final boss battle music. Goddamn reveal. Finale is equally grim and bleak as rest of game. And this boss battle is even harder than Butcher’s spine. Imagine that. At least it is way, way more interesting.

First, metagame tip: restart game. You will have as last area “???” and you will start with one red, blue and green medicine. I somehow doubt you could make off with more from previous battle anyway. If you managed better, you are not human.

Ritz is fast, shoots out bullets putting Lust innards to shame and is very, very annoying. This cursed backstabber have these attacks:

  • Bullets: while very tame by Touhou standards, they are nasty and hard to avoid, if you cannot fly and be fast. At least they do minimal damage. Ritz pumps them out always on side of screen, holding certain distance from girl. After attack, he zooms through screen. In practice, it is only mode when he can be harmed.
  • Shards: sometimes Ritz will runs through battle area in air, releasing dense series of shards. Note: sometimes shards will fall in same places – Ritz likes to make this attack few times in row. Shards give you small damage.
  • Shard rain: he must be fond of them. Descending from up, this rain is still easier to avoid than previous attack. While doing it Ritz is above battle area, shielded from you.

If you manage to survive sufficiently long and harm Ritz, you will have doubtful pleasure to get new attacks – most of them appearing and moving independently from Ritz. Many will narrow your movements. In bullet hell, it can be deadly.

  • Punishment sphere: you have at most two seconds before sphere will catch you and fulfill Ritz promise to make mincemeat. Jump away! Oh right, you can’t jump. Sucks to be you.
  • Meatgrinder: appears close to center. Do NOT go through it – you will rest in pieces. Literally. Unfortunately you will be slowly sucked in, significantly constraining your movements. Later force will be so great that you will have to run to move at all in opposite direction.
  • Cube of pain: these appear in random place and move there and there. If you get into them, you will be held in place and lose health rapidly. Mash Z to free from them. You can run past them safely.
  • Blue line: will slightly rotate and vanishes after a while. Deals some damage. In practice no big concern.
  • Shards mkII: protected Ritz  throws down both shards and bullets.

How you can defeat this piece of trash? First, you must survive on battlefield. Sometimes strange orb will appear. Take it and use ASAP. It will load up your mana. Now use hairclips (remember them?). This will create spell that will hurt Ritz and simultaneously protects you from damage, splashing on screen large image of suscipious seal for about two seconds. After this it wears off.

You must wait for next orb running around to survive. With each used spell it will get worse and worse. Not only new attacks appear, but this flithy traitor also will be faster and some old attacks more deadly. Note that you cannot harm Ritz when he have protection. In practice this means you will attack him only when he is in bullet mode. During spell run to side, effectively pushing back Ritz – you will have more place to avoid bullets after spell expiration.

A few tips:

  • Try to be as close to middle of battle area as possible.
  • After taking damage you are invulnerable for a second or so. Make good use of it.
  • Your standing hitbox ends somewhere above knees, but below waist. You can safely step on bullets or walk on shards if they are sufficiently low.
  • You can influence position of Ritz in bullet attack to degree. Once I managed to get him above head, making him harmless for a moment, as he never shoots straight down.
  • Meatgrinder+punishment sphere is deadly, deadly combination. You may have to run in direction of meatgrinder or deliberately get hit with stray bullet or shard. Running away from meatgrinder will be too slow to avoid sphere.
  • Your spell will protect you from almost everything. One exception is meatgrinder – you will be still dragged around (and killed!) by it. Protection will expire about second after vanishing of seal picture.
  • Cubes can be put to interestingly masochistic use, as other dangers (including instadeaths) cannot harm you while you are in cube. Of course, you have to eventually get out or die. You are invulnerable for about second after getting out.

All known deaths are featured below.

Exploding gore from meatgrinder.

Cubed… again.

Another variant of cube death.

Mincemeat! You see, Ritz always do as he promises.

End.

This will happen, if you die from something here. Only now this is game mechanic…

You must use hairclips effectively (harming one certain scumsucker) exactly five times. Go here to know what happened later.