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A Lovecraftian Mod For GZDOOM
It is 1932, and you, Henry Annesly, have just shot your old colleague Crawford in his castle. Now his monstrous servants are enraged, and his resonance engine is splitting the very fabric of the universe, merging the castle with the alien worlds that coexist with the earth! Your only hope now is to shoot your way to the upper levels of the castle and shut down the machine before all existence is reduced to pandemonium!
FEARS is a remake of the Amiga shooter of the same name. Use your flashlight to illuminate the ever-present darkness and blast beings from your worst nightmares.
The base tomatoes are now assembled. All that’s left is to acquire the impossible rarities Missing Tomato Link and Ultimato, both of which I missed on ebay by about two weeks despite my daily searches!
Mummato was sold to me in a lot with another Zoltan. He’s the only other tomato not made of red plastic: he’s actually molded in white, and the red bits are painted in. He also has a small bite range not unlike Tomacho, but I love his ridiculous skully, bug-eyed grin. Why a tomato would be mummified is anyone’s guess: maybe Dr. Gangreen experimented on a tomato preserve from a pharaoh’s tomb?
He comes with Fireman Hoser, one of the few human victims who look more likely to wet themselves than fight back. It’s hard to find him and Mummato together these days, so I’m glad I managed to get this carded specimen.
I remember being excited when I found Zoltan in the stores as a kid. He was my fave killer tomato for some reason, and as you can see, he’s also the biggest by a large margin!
Due to his bulk, his card is designed differently from the others: he’s actually got a plastic bubble on the front AND back of the card, which his giant butt punches right through. He’s a mean tomato to behold, with his mohawk and eyepatch and giant maw full of crooked teeth.
He comes with Ranger Woody, which I found odd. I always thought the leader of the killer tomatoes would be paired with Wilbur Finletter, leader of the tomato resistance. It does make it so Wilbur is easier to come by, though I wish they’d done the same for Tara Boumdeay.
Zoltan dwarfs the other domatoes, and his mouth is probably big enough to bite them as well as the humans. He’s definitely a welcome addition to my ever-growing garden.
For Heretic (requires gzdoom)
Play as Mick Chaos, brother to the slightly demented Dr. Chaos, and shoot your way through three action/puzzle maps as you solve whatever weird inter-dimensional kerfuffle the good doctor has caused this time. Features a new weapon and a new monster. Read the included pdf for the detailed story, helpful clues, and useless trivia.
Bungalow of Dr. Chaos – Mick returns from the Great War to find a letter waiting for him from his brother Dr. Chaos, begging for his help in closing a series of unstable dimensional portals.
Dr. Chaos Strikes Back – Mick is perturbed to learn that the Turkish bath he helped Dr. Chaos build is being used by the doctor to deliver water to a dying desert planet, with predictable space-time continuum disrupting results. Now the bath house/dimensional engine has gone haywire and must be shut down before worlds collide.
City of Chaos – Mick accidentally breaks a delicate dimensional device in the city of Dander, Norway and splits the city into three different timelines. He must explore them to find the missing pieces of the machine and restore the space-time continuum.
For Heretic (requires gzdoom)
Mickey Chaos has his hands full once again. His brother Dr. Chaos has taken their sister Didi on an expedition to ancient Mars, back when the planet was teeming with life. Unfortunately the martian locals stole the Flux Accelerator’s five “time batteries”, stranding Didi on an alien planet with no way back home. With only enough juice left for a one-way trip, Mickey now must collect the batteries, repair the Accelerator, and bring Didi back to earth before Mom has a heart attack.
Four more maps to explore hub-style: a treacherous valley split by countless waterfalls, an ancient city collapsing into lava, a decrepit castle full of cultists, and a vast underground cannibal lair. Several new enemies, including dinosaurs! Use the Tome of Power to turn Mickey’s Colt .45 into a crowd-shredding Tommy Gun!
Got a Goodreads account? Enter this giveaway for a chance to win both Bishop & Holiday books, autographed by me! Interdimensional travel, red tape in the afterlife, mythical babes, three-headed dogs, alien spiders, and daemonic possession: all in a day’s work for the Bishop & Holiday Paranormal Agency.
I often end up talking Lovecraft with new writers who haven’t read him, and I make sure to bring up the following points:
Lovecraft wrote a variety of macabre tales: from short traditional spooks to sprawling novels of poetic horror, and some are more effective than others. Here are what I find to be the best of his works: the scariest, most accessible, and least unwieldy for new readers. If you haven’t read Lovecraft before, these stories make for a good introduction, and may convince you to give his longer works a shot.
THE LURKING FEAR. Something of a more traditional haunted house story, but with a cool new spin on the concept. The atmosphere is palpable in this one, and there are a number of climactic scares throughout, rather than a slow burn with no payoff til late into the story, like in The Shunned House (though it’s also a good read). The writing is as dense as you would expect from HP, but it’s worth it once he starts dropping the scares into your lap. Thinking of being in the protagonist’s shoes still gives me chills when I think of what he went through, and there are moments when the mere anticipation of a terrible event makes you squirm. A frightful delight.
THE DUNWICH HORROR. Many of HP’s works involve a lot of buildup for very little payoff, but this one constantly raises the stakes and the weirdness, lacing it all with a thick atmosphere that really makes the degenerate backwater of Dunwich come alive. The reader gets a better sense of involvement than in Call of Cthulhu: both are great horror tales written in an investigative journalism style (forgiving the dense gothic prose HP loved so well), but whereas Cthulhu leaves the reader feeling far removed from the events described, Dunwich somehow manages to feel more like an event in progress, and feels more intense as a result. The actual horror doesn’t kick off until the second half, and manages to predict classic creature features involving giant monsters running amok in human civilization. Many of HP’s “big reveals” are telegraphed pages in advance like always, but the overall experience is a great one and leaves you with a broad collection of unsettling images and ideas. Great spooky fun, and definitely worth reading more than once.
OUT OF THE AEONS. Essentially ghostwritten for Hazel Heald, this is a surprisingly effective tale of the mythos revolving around a strange mummy, an equally strange scroll, and one of the most frightening creatures in all of Yog-Sothothery. HP was fond of folk tales and mythology, and it really shows here: the story of the people of Mu is fascinating and feels like something out of a textbook, and the mystery of the mummy lends itself to a lot of spooky fun. It ends up feeling like the sort of yarn you’d read in a scary story anthology, albeit with a more archaic writing style. It’s underrated and highly recommended, despite the bogusness of the Mu culture irl, and a few questionable science fact elements.
I also want to give a shout-out to Robert W Chambers, who inspired Lovecraft and wrote The King In Yellow, a great anthology and fascinating combination of proto cosmic horror and romanticism; and Robert Bloch, who contributed a lot of great stories to the mythos, collected in the anthology The Mysteries of the Worm.