Movies and video games are well-versed when it comes to demons and gargoyles. One monster that's not covered as often is Frankenstein's. There's a long history of Frankenstein's monster appearing in film, most notably in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, but video games still leave the character relatively unexplored. When Van Helsing had Frankenstein's monster as a critical role in the film, we saw what the character could do in an action flick.
Opening in theaters on January 24, 2013, we have I, Frankenstein. Starring Aaron Eckhart (as the titular monster), Bill Nighy and Yvonne Strahovski, I, Frankenstein ties the three supernatural juggernauts – Frankenstein's monster, gargoyles and demons – into a supernatural action saga for the fate of humankind. Aaron Eckhart is Adam (Frankenstein's monster), who still lives 200 years after his creation. He gets swept up in a centuries-old war between gargoyles and demons who seek the key to his immortality.
With this war between the benevolent gargoyles and the legions of demons seeking to wipe out the gargoyle order and claim dominion over Earth, what better time to point out the best gargoyles and demons in video games!
Galio is an ability power tank/mage from the most popular game in the world, League of Legends. While not played as often as he used to be, he still possesses probably the best AOE taunt in the game and can shut down enemy mages. He's a really great counter-pick with an even better lore.
Galio was created by Demacian artificer, Durand, to protect him from his Noxian neighbors; the construct forged in the image of a gargoyle, Galio would keep him safe on his journeys, allowing Durand to carry out his important work without fear from hostiles. Unfortunately, Noxian assassins came in force, outnumbering and overwhelming Galio as he watched them murder Durand. For years after the murder, stripped of his reason for existing, Galio remained in solitude, standing vigil over the bones of his creator that he failed to protect. One day, he watched Poppy, a Yordle carrying the Demacian crown, stop in his shadow to rest. She departed in the direction of Demacia with a great burden, and the encounter lit a spark in Galio's eye. Her braveness gave him new reason to live and fight for the will of Damacia in the League of Legends.
Anyone remember the television cartoon series, Gargoyles? It ran from October 24, 1994 to February 15, 1997, had a dark tone and complex story arcs. The TV show spawned a video game by Disney Interactive for the Sega Genesis. It was an action platformer that starred the series main protagonist, Goliath. Goliath was the leader of the Manhattan Clan of gargoyles, and he was trying to put an end to the Eye of Odin, a magical talisman that can transform whoever possesses it.
The game was warmly-received by critics, featuring great gameplay and graphics. But let's not forget Goliath, a strong, intelligent gargoyles with a short temper, but a firm sense of morality. He had complex relationships with his daughter and evil clone, mostly due to complex gargoyle traditions, but he's the leader and character that drove the series. The character Goliath is still so popular that in Saints Row 4, Keith David – the voice actor for Goliath – plays himself in the game, but in the crowd is a sign that says “I Heart Goliath.”
Stone Gargoyle Dog from Ghostbusters
“Okay, who brought the dog?”
That's no dog, Louis Tully. That's Zuul. Technically, Zuul can be on this list as both gargoyle and demon, even though it's hard to classify the Terror Dog as either. It's more of a demigod. That said, I love Ghostbusters, so I'm finding a loophole.
After appearing in Dana Barrett's refrigerator, Zuul later manifests in the physical plane atop the Shandor Building's rooftop. It breaks out of a Gothic statue in its likeness. That statue looks an awful lot like a gargoyle if you ask me. I know I'm reaching here, but Ghostbusters is so great, and those gargoyle-esque dogs are so important to the plot, that I just can't bring myself to leave them off the list.
Turns out I'm an idiot. Today I learned that the famous gargoyle from Disney's Fantasia, isn't a gargoyle at all. Chernabog is actually a demon, but he has all of the visual characteristics you'd expect to see from a gargoyle.
While he's had many appearances, Chernabog is most well-known as the massive, powerful demon who's the villain in the “Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria” segment of Fantasia. He summons all of his minions, and as they dance furiously, he throws them into the mountain's fiery pit. He's praised as Disney's best representation of pure evil and is considered Disney's most powerful, terrifying villain. He IS the god of evil.
Chernabog was originally going to be in The Sorcerer's Apprentice's climax, but the director decided they should save him for a sequel, if it ever happened. He thought a villain of Chernabog's magnitude deserved a bigger part in the film. That said, there is a gargoyle that can be found in several scenes. Chernabog has even crossed over into video games, making an appearance as a boss at the End of the World in the first Kingdom Hearts game, and in the two Night on Bald Mountain-themed transition levels in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.
Any Gargoyle that Batman poses near
Some of the most epic, iconic shots of Batman is when he's posing on a building top, perched on a gargoyle. Dude has style. He truly is the Dark Knight when crouched on a gothic structure. A lot of gargoyles have gotten face time because of the caped crusader, and to return the favor they help out Batman in the Arkham City video game by giving him something to grapple onto.
The Bell Gargoyles are the first major, mandatory bosses in Dark Souls. A veteran player will have no problem defeating them, but noobs won't fare so well.
The first gargoyle attacks with an axe and breathes fire. When it reaches half health, it will start breathing fire and a second gargoyle will join the battle. The second gargoyle spawns with half health and mostly breathes fire.
Like I said, not a terribly hard boss – especially when compared to the others you'll encounter – but it's your first big fight in Dark Souls, so it's worth of a spot on this list.
When thinking of demons in video games, Diablo has to come to mind. The Lord of Terror, Diablo is the main antagonist in Blizzard Entertainment's popular action role-playing game. Along with his brothers, Baal and Mephisto, Diablo is the youngest of the three Prime Evils.
After being released from the Soulstone and into the world of mortal men, Diablo's plan to corrupt and rule the mortal world has been foiled time and time again by groups of adventurers. While I didn't feel the final battle with Diablo in Diablo 3 was nearly as epic as the first two games, Diablo will forever be that memorable foe that possesses kings, princes and heroes, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.
Lord of Terror indeed.
I guess the Soul Edge can be considered more of a demon than Nightmare, seeing as how the Soul Edge and its lingering spirit, Inferno, is how Nightmare came into existence. Still, Nightmare is demonic in appearance and nature. He's also a personal demon of mine, as I have a friend who's favorite character is Nightmare and constantly bests me .
Nightmare serves as the main antagonist of the Soul Calibur series. Like his name implies, Nightmare looks like a nightmare. He is a dark figure covered in armor, save for his right arm, which is a huge, twisted, fleshy claw. His weapon, the Soul Edge, is also demonic, with its fleshy body and demon eye right at the hilt.
Nightmare is a badass, playable villain that tops many players' favorite Soul Calibur characters list.
Dante and Vergil
DmC or Devil May Cry's Dante is the demon-angel (or demon-human depending on whether you prefer the reboot or not) hybrid protagonist for the popular action series. He's a half-demon demon hunter vigilante, and he's damn good at what he does.
Dante and his twin brother, Vergil, are the sons of Sparda, the powerful demon knight. Again, depending on which Devil May Cry lore you choose to follow, Sparda was either killed saving humanity or imprisoned and forced to endure eternal suffering. Thanks to their father being a demon, both Dante and Vergil have special abilities and are stronger than normal humans. The difference between Dante and Vergil is that Vergil embraces the demonic side of him and seeks to rule mankind.
Reboot or not, Dante is the most badass demon I've played as in a game, and it makes him even cooler that he's a demon that hunts down other demons.
The best character in Shadows of the Damned – and maybe my favorite Suda51 character – is Johnson. In the game, demon hunter Garcia Hotspur travels to the underworld to save his girlfriend from the Lord of Demons. He is accompanied by his demon sidekick, Johnson. Johnson acts as a gun, torch, motorcycle, comic relief, and even rapper.
He's the funniest, most perverted demon I've ever come across, and he has an affinity for boners. Without this character, Shadows of the Damned drops from a good game down to a very average one.
So there you have it — some of the best gargoyles and demons that can be found in movies and video games. With the release of I, Frankenstein, we'll be able to see which of these two supernatural monsters will come out on top, and how Frankenstein's monster will affect the war. I, Frankenstein releases in theaters on January 24, 2014.