Warning: Tall file is tall. Similarly, long textwall below is long.
Last week, in the aftermath of a freak storm, the power at our house went out good and hard. There were 500,000 people in the Ohio area who got the blackout treatment, so the AEP was busy as hell trying to get to them all. That left us in the dark (sort of) for at least three days solid. Aside from studying of course, the only thing I could do to pass the time was draw stuff, so that's just what I did here.
One of the ideas I've been tossing around for KK, which takes a few story elements from Pokemon FYI, is that many of my organic monsters are derived from Mons-style species. I was tempted to call them gigafauna or simply megafauna but I knew that since some of these things are smaller than people, I needed a less specific term. See, while most people think of Godzilla, King Kong, or other giant monsters when they think of the word "kaiju," it's actually a catch-all term for monsters in general, and the aforementioned examples, and the major monsters of KK, are known as daikaiju. Still, when people think of Kaiju Klash they think of giant monsters, so I needed a group for everything else. It took me a little while to decide what term to use but I soon came upon "Sub-Kaiju" and ran with that.
My idea is that prior to the first Superwar, one of the defining story elements of KK, there were normal animals like Earth has today. The Superwar caused a lot of damage to the ecosystem, however, and the existing animals and plants had to be taken up to the Sky Kingdom when the two kingdoms separated. The Surface Kingdom fauna, either genetic experiments or mana-induced mutations, repopulated the planet. Some of them have a mana system and a mana gland, allowing them access to fantastic powers that other creatures do not have. These are sub-kaiju (low level), and if an individual from any species develops a secondary gland elsewhere in their bodies, it will become a genuine kaiju (medium level) and if they diss the square-cube law and grow to building-size or higher, they become daikaiju (high level). So essentially KK is monster combat in general, although the daikaiju fights are indeed the most memorable aspect of the story.
Not surprisingly, the first class of sub-kaiju I thought of was the pseudosaurs. These monsters are supposed to be referred to as dinosaurs whenever portrayed in media, but they don't look even close to the real things regardless of how realistic their creators tried to make them. The name was initially coined by ~Tomozaurus
, but anyway, knowing the basic nature of these things it's pretty much the only name that fits. Basically, last week's blackout left me with enough time to compile a decent list of stock dinosaur-based pseudosaurs, but I'm worried that it may be a little too big. It's likely that not all of them will make it to KK's official storyline, since I need room for some of the other categories of sub-kaiju such as mammals, birds, fish, hybrids, and so on.
Explanations, from top to bottom:
Poultor and Archoraptor are the token deinonychosaurs of New Terra. One of the most common sub-kaiju and one of the earliest known, Poultor is a parody of reverse-engineering dinosaurs from chickens (and, not surprisingly, the base species Poultrasaurus is derived from). This 4-foot-tall omnivore can be found on every continent with many different breeds based on the environment. Archoraptor is larger, but less common than its relative, at 6 feet tall. Like Poultor, the DNA that fills the gaps in its genome is based on modern birds, so it often has a covering of feathers. I wanted to make it suggestive of the JP raptors but also go with increasing evidence of feathery coats; I compromised by giving it a scaly underside and face, and realistic clawed wings. The genome of this beast is horribly unstable, however, and the Archoraptor is unfortunately prone to numerous genetic defects, resulting in such abnormalities as pronated (read: deformed) wrists, overly flexible tails, and worst of all, featherless and maybe even entirely scaly skin.
I included the Compy for the sake of wanting a small support mook of sorts, good for swarming like they do in TLW:JP. This one is both feathered and scaled like the Archoraptor but otherwise, it's the classic land-piranha look. I blame getting hooked on Primal Carnage for this one.
There is no pseudosaur roster if there is no king. The D-rex (read: T-rex) is a cross between a Tyrannosaurus rex and a crocodile, though the latter is mostly cosmetic. I'm definitely keeping this one because in-universe it's the species that Mizea is derived from.
I love JP3, that's true. But I love it because of the Pteranodons, NOT the Spinosaurus. Not to rag about Spino here but I doubt it will make the final cut because it's essentially superfluous. I only sketched it because I wanted to see what my pseudosaur spino would look like: amphibious, larger than D-rex, mix of crocodile and spino head, abnormally large arms, spikes down the neck, and admittedly shitty sail (Seriously, I should've made it more membranous and ragged for extra squick). I think most of the above traits can be just barely handwaved, though, since this is another one with crocodile DNA spliced in.
Cerataur and Spitter are midsized meat-eaters, smaller than D-rex but larger than the "raptors". Cerataur is a hybrid between Ceratosaurus and Carnotaurus I thought up on the spot, a fast runner that chases down its prey like a cheetah. Spitter (unimaginative name is unimaginative) is actually based on a dream I once had, involving the end of the world with dinosaurs. I remember the Spitter most clearly because it shot saliva (or was that bile?) with the force of a shotgun. The appearance I chose for it was based on the Primal Carnage Dilophosaurus; much as I wanted to give it some JP influence, the neck frill didn't make sense, so I added protofeather quills and an inflatable throat sac like a frigate bird instead.
Bronto is a stock sauropod, of course. I once tried to translate the stock brontosaurus to modern sauropod depictions, with some success. For this one I took the Harryhausen movie brontosauruses (hence the species name) and simply raised the tail and added small spikes on the back of the neck.
Speaking of sauropods, I actually decided to take the time to redesign Mokele Mbembe while I was in a dinosaur mood. The first draft was essentially made of suck - not only did the armored look make her look like a clone of Bronton, but it simply looked stupid, especially when you think about the fact that she's supposed to be semi-aquatic. I researched actual African sauropod species to give her some merit, and I happened upon Nigersaurus, the famous vaccum-snouted sauropod. There are no Nigersaurus kaiju yet, so I felt free to base Mokele on a Nigersaurus with some amphibious traits like a fin down the back and webbed feet. Armor-wise I ditched the plates and shell and replaced them with thick pebbled skin on the back studded with gemstones, presumably dug up by her vaccum-mouth/tooth battery and used as gastroliths. And to tie in with the nature of the rest of the sketches, she is going to have a sub-kaiju species as well. The regular Mokele is simply a smaller version of the daikaiju edition (about 50-60 feet in length compared to the Bronto's 80-90 feet) and also lacks the dermal armor.
Not much needs to be said about Panzaur. Basically it fills the thyreophorean role, and is essentially a hybrid of a stegosaur and an ankylosaur.
Machetesaur takes the stock ornithopod role. One monster design I made elsewhere was a hadrosaur with a blade-like crest (actually inspired by ~DinoHunter2
's Hadrosore); Machetesaur is a somewhat modified version of that design. This is another common herbivore that thrives in temperate climates but gives way to mammalian herbivores in cooler biomes. I imagine that it has relatives all over the planet, with different crest shapes and markings in different areas.
Quadrotops fills the ceratopsian role, and gets bonus points as one of the base species for Brontaurotops. It's essentially a hybrid of Triceratops and Styracosaurus with some influence from Agathumas and rhinos thrown in.
Moving on to the non-dinosaurian pseudosaurs, I made no less than three pseudo-pterosaurs because pterosaurs are my favorite prehistoric animals. Keelbeak is the pop-culture hybrid pterosaur with Pteranodon replaced by the closely related Geosternbergia, and is the basis of Castor; Skropen is a more retro-pterosaur look with bat wings and eagle talons, and is the basis for Pollux. Ranhag is pretty much the aerial equivalent of the Compy, based on the Anurognathus from Primeval with exaggerated bolt-cutter jaws and teeth for good measure.
Javelicth and Nessa represent the icthyosaur and plesiosaur respectively. Javelicth has a sword-like snout that can pierce through the shells and hide of unlucky prey, and is intended to be the token fast swimming mook. Nessa is a stock plesiosaur with fins on the neck and tail and a flexible neck like a retro-plesiosaur. I based the look on an interpretation of the Loch Ness Monster I once did a long-ass time ago, shortly after seeing the Scooby Doo movie special related to it - though I made a ton of modifications all the same because of course, it's not a Nessie if it isn't a plesiosaur.