H.P. Lovecraft is an author that has inspired millions from video games to actual occults. Neonomicon takes a strange twist on the occult aspect of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and really tries to make you think that it could be possible. You follow a team of FBI officers who are trying to bust a cult that is known for murdering multiple people. The comic takes a Silence of the Lambs approach as our main female character gets leads from one of the cult members in a high-security prison. Our female lead is a former sex addict which plays a big part in the comic.
Our lead, Brears, and her partner, Lamper, wind up finding this cult’s headquarters at a sex shop that’s fronting as a board game shop. They get inside the cult thanks to Brear’s knowledge of the Cthulhu mythos, but that’s where things get weird and crazy. This is a sex cult and yes, there’s tons of nudity and sex in this comic. However, it plays a huge role in the ending of the series. All these weird followers are trying to have multiple orgies as it attracts a Dagon monster who actually has sex with all of these people. It’s very strange and almost makes this comic erotica.
Without spoiling too much the creature rapes Brears multiple times and she isn’t quite sure if she enjoys it because of her prior sex addiction. One moment you think she just might enjoy it after the initial fright from the creature has passed. She starts to empathize with it and actually care for it which is rather strange. This ends up turning your feelings towards the creature as well. The art style complements all this as the entire atmosphere is dark and dreary and quite gory in spots.
In the end, Neonomicon is a great twist on the mythos as it is told that H.P. Lovecraft’s work is actually fact and he actually met these creatures, but no one would believe him. Of course, the ending is quite predictable early on, but this strange twisted take on something very beloved by fans is quite an adventure and ride. Just take it all with a grain of salt, and be warned of sex, rape, and nudity.
The Cthulhu series from H.P. Lovecraft hasn’t seen much love in the form of games, but indie developers Zeboyd picked it up and turned it into a whimsical/parody 8-bit RPG and it’s done very well. You play as Cthulhu and pick up many party members along the way, but the whole point of the game is the great dungeon crawling that harkens back to the ’80s. You can attack like any RPG, but you have Tech attacks that are more powerful, and magic, and then you can Unite with other members to combine devastating attacks. There are a ton of different attacks you learn when you level up, and you get a choice between two different things to level up with either stats or an attack, so by the end of the game, each member has a huge arsenal to use.
The game is very close to the mythology with bosses that are from the story, towns named after the exact towns from the stories, plus the art style matches. The music is amazing with sweeping orchestral scores (in 8-bit midi audio mind you) that really moves you and sounds great. The story is hilarious with Cthulhu trying to redeem himself and become a true hero to raise his city of R’lyeh, but his interaction with characters in the world is really funny. Of course, the game wouldn’t be complete without a huge over map to explore that has some secret dungeons, plus the environments and dungeons vary with lots of loot and chests to find.
However, the game’s biggest flaw is the extreme difficulty later on in the game, as well as the constant random battles that really drag the experience down. The devs tried toning this down by disabling random battles after you do 25 of them, but you will probably go through a dungeon before you hit that number. I also didn’t like how if you don’t level up high enough the end boss is impossible to beat, but each dungeon just really racks up the difficulty and requires you to grind a bit to get through the dungeon. I also didn’t like how you don’t really need a strategy to beat the enemies because you can just use the same one over and over through several dungeons. This causes the feeling of repetition to set in and makes you want the game just to end a little faster.
While the visuals are nice and give you a feeling of nostalgia they don’t look good in HD and the lack of battle animations, and everything that goes along with 8-bit graphics grates on your eyes after a while. However, the Cthulhu license is rarely explored so any game to do so is welcomed, but this game is probably for hardcore RPG fans.