aka: Undead Monster
The Undead, they tend to think of the formerly human rising up from their graves or something similar. This trope, on the other hand, is about those whose life started out "fantastic" even before they joined the ranks of the dead. Whether they were an Elf, a Dragon, a Demon, or even something completely divorced from reality, the one thing common among them is that they're all dead (or at least resemble some combination of some sort of traditional undead and its own base species) and still kicking. You may even see an Undead God. In that case, you should run, run as fast as you can. See Raising the Steaks for undead animals (where examples of such should go there instead of here). See Hybrid Monster, when two living fantasy species are combined. Contrast Hybrid Overkill Avoidance. Also, compare Mechanical Monster and Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. The Grim Reaper and other Psychopomps can be one, depending on their origin. Dracolich is a specific subtrope when the creature turns out to have been a dragon.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Black Sheep involves zombie sheep who turn humans into weresheep.
- In one of The Dresden Files books, Harry encounters an extremely strong ghost he calls the Nightmare, and suspects it's one of these. Specifically the ghost of the demon serving the sorcerer Leonid Kravos, an old enemy of his that he'd defeated offscreen at some point. He later learns that the ghost is Kravos himself, whose death had been concealed from him.
- Animal zombies are possible and are even non-violations of the Laws of Magic, but no one bothers because it's a very dark gray area and they're usually far less powerful than human dead anyway. However, there's also a rule that states that the older the corpse is, the more powerful it is, so there was this time Harry pulled out his trump card against a necromancer Big Bad. Two words: Zombie Tyrannosaurus.
- Xanth has featured zombie versions of just about everything, at one time or another.
- The Zombie Apocalypse in The Rising and City of the Dead has demonic spirits animating pretty much every corpse over a certain size, human and otherwise. Most notably, one character is killed by a zombie sewer crocodile biting his head off, while the last two humans are offed by zombie rats.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The Dracolich (Lich dragon), which originated in the Forgotten Realms (it can now be found in most settings). There are also vampire, ghost, zombie, and skeleton dragons.
- The groaning spirit (banshee) is the "spirit of an evil female elf".
- Ravenloft introduced vampires created from non-human creatures such as elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings and even Dragonlance's kender. Although to be exact, it's more that they gave them variant powers and weaknesses, as most of these races already could be turned into vampires.
- The death tyrant is an undead beholder.
- The adventure I2 Tomb of the Lizard King had a lizard king who was changed into a vampire by a Wish spell.
- Orcus, the demon lord of the undead/occasional Undead God. Although as of late he's mostly alive. And PISSED.
- Atropals are the undead fetuses of unborn gods (colloquially referred to as Undead Aborted God Fetuses).
- Vampire Mind Flayers suck blood with their tentacles. Fortunately (maybe), vampirism destroys most of their intelligence and turns them into animalistic predators. Also, alhoon are mind flayer liches. They keep all their mental faculties; they need them for spells and psionics. On the upside, they suffer from tissue desiccation, so they have to take frequent baths, or drink a bowl of soup. So cute!
- And zombies and skeletons can be made from just about anything that leaves a corpse. In fact, many types of undead in 3rd Edition are created though applying a template to an existing creature, so you can wind up with medusa vampires, giant mummies, beholder ghosts, gnoll death knights, and many, many other combinations.
- Necromentals are undead elementals.
- Visages are undead, raised from outsiders (this is a type of creature, including, but not limited to, angels, demons, devils and most servants of gods).
- Bloodfiends are vampire demons.
- Kyuss, The Worm That Walks, created many types of those (in addition to his better-known worm-infested zombies), usually in the form of gigantic vermin like scorpions or, well, worms.
- In Eberron, the Elves of Aerenal have their own versions of undead called the Deathless. These act as their rulers through the Undying Court, and are animated by positive energy rather than the usual Negative energy used by regular undead. Similarly, Forgotten Realms has baelnorns, a type of good-aligned elf liches.
- And many, many monsters that are considered as undead but were not living creatures at all (like nightshades), are composed from many creatures, or are specifically created from nonhumans.
- Warhammer 40,000 gives us the normal variant of undead, Undead Daemons created from the souls of those killed (NOT turned into the undead) by the undead plague, undead statue robots (wraithguard and wraithlords) Undead Wizard Statue Robots (Wraithseer and Warlock Titans). Undead Robots (necrons) and Undead Mecha (Dreadnoughts to a degree and Nurgle Titans). Surprisingly no Undead Dragons (then again, their fantasy counterpart fills in whatever holes it has).
- Warhammer Fantasy Battle has a Regiment of Renown (a mercenary unit with unique rules) made of a cursed undead warrior and the enemies he had killed. The miniature sculptors had a field day devising skeletal versions of many of Warhammer's races.
- Shadowrun has a number of metahumans affected by HMHVV (Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus), its equivalent of undead. They include the banshee (former elf), goblin (former dwarf), wendigo (former ork) and dzoo-noo-qua (former troll).
- It should be pointed out that HMHVV infectees are not actually undead. They are mutants, yes, but not undead. As one of the fundamental laws of magic in Shadowrun is that you cannot raise the dead, "True" undead do not exist. Most undead are either dead bodies animated by magic (Think fleshy, magical robots), or possessed by something. The Sheddim (Corpses possessed by spirits from the far planes) are one such examples. As are Zombies (Corpses animated by mages). Cyberzombies are people kept artificially alive through cybernetics, magic, drugs and spirits. Their body is technically "dead", all that mojo is needed to keep it going. Note that all the above can be metahuman, or not.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, there are quite a few non-human undeads, including the variants of legacy cards (i. e. Summoned Skull -> Archfiend Zombie Skull, Red Eyes Black Dragon -> Red Eyes Zombie Dragon, etc.). Early non-human cards classed as zombies included dragons, boats, and clowns (what?).
- GURPS has the Zombie Vehicle spell which is designed with spaceships in mind.
- Magic: The Gathering has an immense number of these, mostly various types of zombie. Zombie goblins, centaurs, plants and fungi have all been seen as base cards. And because cards exist that resurrect creatures and give them the zombie subtype, any kind of creature in the game can theoretically be raised as zombies, from skeletons and ghosts to elementals and artifacts. It's probably best not to think too hard about it.
- Exalted gives us the Neverborn, who are what happens when the architects of all Creation are killed. As they never foresaw themselves as dying, the cycle of reincarnation can't possibly fit them, so they're stuck fettered to Creation and suffering from eternal gangrene of the soul. Which would explain why they want everything else to die, as that would free them to die as well.
- The New World of Darkness - particularly Geist The Sin Eaters - gives us the Chthonians, mysterious, powerful things that live in the depths of the Underworld. No one actually knows what they are, but speculation paints them as the ghosts of entities that lived long before humanity walked the earth.
- In d20Modern, the Bodak are undead Grays.
- Moric the Necromancer's undead Dracelon from MARDEK 2. Comes from Moric and Rohoph's homeworld of Anshar; it's basically a dragon with three legs plus a Wave-Motion Tuning Fork claw. Moric's droma servants are probably undead too.
- The Valkyrie Profile series features zombie dragons as bosses and subbosses.
- There are zombie dragon bosses in Breath of Fire III.
- The roguelike game NetHack has zombie and mummy giants, elves, dwarves, orcs and gnomes along with the regular ol' human variant. You can also zap most corpses with wands of undead turning to bring monsters and animals back to life.
- The humorous text-based adventure game, Kingdom of Loathing, has an undead monster in the Misspelled Cemetary area called The Bonerdagon. It's an undead dragon made of bones, but it might also be an undead dagon made of boners.
This is a zmobie who got sick and died again, then came back to life again as a zombie. That makes sense, right?
- The haunted conservatory at Spookyraven Manor contains a pet cemetery where some of the dead pets have been reanimated. You can encounter skeletal cats, skeletal hamsters, and even skeletal monkeys. It's possible, albeit difficult, to assemble an entire misshapen animal skeleton out of bones from all three types of monsters, then reanimate it and use it as your own spooky pet.
- There was a special event that led players to visit a Zombie Apocalypse future which features the main town with various enemies turned zombies, including the usual clowns, half-orcish hobos, lizardmen and gnolls, to some of the more bizarre enemies like yeast beasts, n00bs, asparagus cans and... zmobies from the aforementioned Misspelled Cemetary.
- Another special event involved an archaeological dig, where players could dig up ancient artifacts and fossils. The archaeologist behind the discovery turned out to be a necromancer, and next thing you know, everyone's fighting off reanimated skeletons of ancient snakes, bats, baboons, spiders, wyrms, and demons. Because the bones are fossilized, the skeletons are also much more resistant to damage than modern skeletons.
- In the Super Mario series, there are various Non-Human Undead creatures. A staple of the series is the Dry Bones, a reanimated Koopa skeleton. The Paper Mario series adds variations of Dry Bones, along with other Non-Human Undead (e.g. Bonetail from The Thousand Year Door and Bonechill of Super Paper Mario)
- Warcraft III has the undead Scourge side, and their ranks include more than undead humans. They also have undead spider-men called Crypt Fiends, undead elves called banshees, and a super flying undead dragon with ice breath. Plus, generic skeletons can be made with the corpses of any species. Frozen Throne later has Skeleton Orc creeps.
- Later on in World of Warcraft, when Death Knights became playable it meant that you could have an undead version of every race: dwarves, gnomes, werewolves, goblins, elves... You could even have an Undead Death Knight, meaning a human who died, was raised from the dead, then was killed and THEN risen from the dead again.
- Averted with the Worgen (werewolves) whose curse makes them immune to undeath. Some people deliberately let themselves be bitten for this very reason.
- Any kind of living creature in Dwarf Fortress can have a zombie or skeletal version, including monsters like dragons, giants, and imps.
- The undead have no need for sustenance (such as water, in case of fish). Some of the worst undead you can encounter are thus giant sponges and whales as killing them was hard but avoiding them was easy before; avoiding them now isn't as simple as staying away from the water, because they can now pursue you even on land.
- Final Fantasy XII loves undead monsters, even if they're not human. Many of the monster types have an undead version. Examples include undead wolves, undead war horses, undead vampire bats, undead slimes, and undead bombs. There's also the requisite undead boss who is a Conjoined Twins demon with visible skull.
- Cave Story featured the Undead Core, which was possessed by the evil Doctor. Also, Ballos.
- In Diablo 2 necromancers can get the ability to animate the corpses of their enemies as they were in life instead of somehow ending up with humanoid skeletons, as happens before this.
- Diablo III gives us the Witch Doctor class, who can raise zombie dogs and the "Gargantua", who is made from an undead bear.
- In Battle for Wesnoth the sprite and characteristics of a living corpse depend on who it was before death: mounted corpses move faster, gnome corpses have better defence in mountains, and so on.
- In the Resident Evil series, the T-Virus infects everything. Zombie dogs, birds and plants are common, and we've seen oversized mutant snakes, sharks, worms, crocodiles, lions, an elephant...
- One of the five inhabitants of the Nether in Minecraft are Zombie Pigmen, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Notably, unlike typical undead in this game, Zombie Pigmen are not naturally aggressive toward the player, although if you attack one, their entire tribe will swarm after you.
- Though it is hard to classify the objects in question as "undead", as they were never really "alive", the bacteria in Extermination has the ability to infect quite literally anything. This includes water, security turrets and at one point a train.
- The Necropolis faction in Heroes of Might and Magic often deploys bone dragons and ghost dragons, but in Might and Magic: Heroes VI they deploy lamusu, undead sphinxes and namtarus, undead Spider People instead. According to each unit's description, the namtarus are servants of the necromancer's goddess, Asha, while the lamusu were the result of a bizarre experiment which magically crossbred humans with manticores. The experiment was deemed a failure because most lamusu were susceptible to their own venom and died soon after birth, but the necromancers discovered they became powerful undead when resurrected.
- Vagrant Story includes zombie variants of several of the games enemies as optional Bonus Bosses: zombie minotaur, zombie ogre, and zombie dragon.
- Undead wolves appear in multiple games of The Elder Scrolls series, called bonewolves in Bloodmoon, skinned hounds in The Shivering Isles and death hounds in Dawnguard. Dawnguard also gives the player the ability to summon Arvak, an undead Hellish Horse.
- In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, two of Carmilla's servants are demons she turned.
- The Expansion Pack for Black & White 2 pits you against an undead god. It sucks just as much as it sounds.
- The Legendof Zelda Twilight Princess features canine versions of the familiar Stalfos called Stalhounds.
- Sacred has multiple examples, including undead horses, undead cattle, undead goblins, undead trolls, and a Draco Lich.
- In Mass Effect, Husks are essentially Cyborg Zombies created by the Reapers. In the first two games, you only ever see Human Husks. However, in the third game, due to the Reapers arriving, we see Husks of the other races - Cannibals are Batarians, Banshees are Ardat-Yakshi, Marauders are Turians, Ravagers are Rachni, etc.
- Epyx's Temple Of Apshai has several, such as vampire bats, zombies, and wraiths.
- The Terrorcons of Transformers Prime are Zombie Humongous Mecha, reanimated by Dark Energon as horriffic, mindless, savage berserkers that look like they bashed their way out of Hell's junkyard and straight into your nightmares. That Megatron is proud of creating them speaks volumes about both the Terrorcons and Megatron.
- D'Compose of the Inhumanoids is a giant undead dinosaur-looking Eldritch Abomination whose merest touch can transform others into giant, undead abominations until revived by sunlight.
- Adventure Time: The Lich appears to be the undead of some sort of giant with horns. Assuming it was just a mutant human, he definitely becomes one when he takes over Billy's body, since Billy's a giant.
- In the original Scooby-Doo, the gang deals with a boneyard that is evidently haunted by both a ghost alien and his haunted spaceship. Of course, this being Scooby Doo, it turns out to be a criminal in a disguise.
- One Uncle Grandpa episode had the RV crew get attacked by zombie pets, including a living rock.
- The Spliced episode "Bite, Shuffle, and Moan" had all the mutants on Keepaway Island getting turned into zombies.