Researching the Monster
Scientists or researchers studying unnatural creatures.


(permanent link) added: 2012-04-17 13:34:44 sponsor: Ryuuma edited by: Onitatsu (last reply: 2013-02-08 12:30:03)

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Mankind has always been curious. So, in fiction it may happen that some people will react to the appearence of monsters, weird viruses or other paranormal entities with curiosity and fascination rather than fear. So much fascination, infact, that they'll be willing to study said weird creature and make experiments on it.

The researcher will be a Mad Scientist 9 times out of 10, and will usually get his funds from the army (if his plan is to make a living weapon out of the subject) or some othe shady, nebolous organization bent on Take Over the World. Of course, don't expect a good ending: most of the time, expecially if something virus-like is studied, things will end up in an outbreak, a Zombie Apocalypse or the monster on the loose, wreaking havoc and destruction in the nearest inhabitated place. In shorts, Gone Horribly Wrong.

There's no need to tell that this will be the hook for the hero to jump in, put an end to the menace and save the world as usual. Oh, the main researcher will almost always die, usually killed by his own subject of study. Or try to mutate itself. See also Mad Scientist. Sometimes, however, this is justified, as the research may provide a faster way to stop the monster, or a weakness of his.

Examples:

  • In One Piece when first met, Hogback claimed that he moved on Thriller Bark to study the zombies living there, claiming that they were creatures native to the island and that he wanted to learn a secret for eternal life from them. In reality he was actually creating the zombies under the orders of Gekko Moria, the true Arc Villain.
  • Aizen from Bleach, who probably studied the Hollows in order to find a way to merge them with the Shinigami. He ended up creating the Vizard and the Arrancar.
  • Return of the Living Dead 3. The U.S. Army is performing experiments on zombies to turn them into Super Soldiers.
  • The Intiative in Buffy the Vampire Slayer might count, but I'm not sure. They were a government organization studying demons and assorted supernatural creatures. The Mad Scientist was there (Maggie Walsh) as was one of the creatures (Adam) escaping.
  • Shadowrun. All of the Mega Corps study and experiment on Awakened (magical) creatures. Ares Macrotechnology goes a step further by experimenting on insect spirits, which are deadly parasites on humanity.
  • Resident Evil, in almost all the games, the Umbrella Corporation is behind the zombies/Plagas/[inser letter here]-virus.
  • In Cold Fear, you find out that the Russians were studying the Exocels and making experiments under the orders of Victor Kamsky. Their purpouse was to create a weapon, though Kamsky himself wanted to use the Exocels to mutate himself and his daughter into immortal monsters.
  • In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect in the levels "The Mansion of Madness" and "What Lies Beneath" you find scientist in a mansion full of zombie and undead freaks of all varieties, and later Jacob Crow himself basically states that all the zombies and monsters were his "specimens".
  • House of the Dead has Curien and his vast army of freaky undeads.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, your character will eventually run into the goons of the Mandarin, who's leading a reaserch on Cainites under Ming Xiao's orders. Unusually for this trope, you'll have to bring them down yourself.
  • About midway through the first Transformers film the Ranger unit is seen studying Scorponok's broken-off tail. Later, Agent Simmons reveals that virtually every major invention in the 20th century, from transistors to cars, came about by studying the frozen Megatron. Which runs into Artistic License - History: regarding cars, the internal combustion engine was invented in Germany in the late 1800s.
  • Done in Stargate SG-1 as early as the second episode and multiple times thereafter. "The Enemy Within" had the NID try to take Teal'c back to Washington to study him and his symbiote. Part of the reason for going back to Chulak in "Bloodlines" was to try and steal a Goa'uld larva in hopes of gaining access to their Genetic Memory. "The Nox" had SG-1 go to the Nox planet to try and capture a creature with the power to become invisible. (It turns out it's the Nox with the power, not the critter.) "Bane" had the NID try to take Teal'c again, this time in hopes of studying the alien bug that was turning him into more of itself. And that's just the first three seasons.
  • An offhand remark by Admiral DuGaulle in the opening cinematic of Starcraft: Brood War reveals that the UED dissected zerg corpses prior to their invasion.
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