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Tortured Monster
aka: Tortured Abomination

Mostly, a monster is something like what we call evil, and it has a plan and wants to inflict pain. Either that, or it operates on a value system completely alien to ours, and inflicting pain is a completely unimportant by-product. Sometimes, however, it is just as unable to comprehend itself as you are, and it's filled with pain, horror, and disgust for itself. It just wants to be put out of its misery.

What happens when a monster must scream, but rather than being trapped with no way to fix it, they can (and do) lash out. They may be trying to get help and not understand that they're hurting people, or they're trying to provoke someone into killing them, or they just want everyone else to feel as bad as they do. They'll eventually meet The Hero who fights back and releases them from their pain (if they get a happy ending — living on like this is a much worse fate). The hero may or may not realize after the thing is dead that he just did it a service.

Not to be confused with a monster which is being tortured by some other entity.

Prone to Monster Sob Story, Cry for the Devil, Alas, Poor Villain, Apologetic Attacker, and Mercy Kill (on the receiving end). The Monster from Beyond the Veil varieties of Came Back Wrong can be this; can also be the end result of The Punishment or To the Pain. Often found in a Tragic Monster. This is not just a mutilated or disgusting thing that wants to die — it must be able to do damage.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the Alexander/Nina Chimera acts like this, even mentioning that something feels wrong. (Un?)fortunately for it, Scar gives it a Mercy Kill when he sees it.
    • The Mannequin Soldiers. Cannibalistic undead souls in artificial bodies who can only say "I'm hungry" and "it hurts".
  • While he was simply evil incarnate in the Japanese version of Digimon Adventure, the dub attempted to turn Apocalymon into one of these. The change was generally not well regarded by the fandom.
    'Why do you all get the pizza while I get the crust?!
    • Really, it was the horrid puns that comprised much of his dialogue in part one, as part of an Executive Meddling-induced bid to lighten the mood; it started with the season one ending two-parter and continued until near the end of season two. Apocalymon was actually quite an interesting villain concept - made from the leftover bits of Digimon who died failing to digivolve, the dead ends that occured before the title Mons reached their current forms, he was filled with their combined pain and misery. He wished to wreak misery on the entire world - both of them - because... misery really does love company, apparently.
  • Arguably the Witches of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • The Titans in Attack on Titan are slowly being revealed as this. Someone or something has transformed humans into twisted, stories-tall caricatures of themselves while their minds remain trapped in what is described as an endless nightmare. It's even speculated now that their reason for eating humans is a desperate and instinctive effort at curing themselves.

    Comic Books 
  • Anthrax in Requiem Chevalier Vampire is a humongous mutant who's essentially unkillable as he regenerates all wounds. However, when Requiem uses a spell on him that reveals his deepest desires, he proceeds to jump off a skyscraper.
  • In Matt Fraction's Defenders opening arc, the monster Nul is one of these.
  • Invoked by the evil wizard in a "Mickey Mouse in medieval fantasy" comic as part of a Xanatos Gambit based on You Kill It, You Bought It and magic transformation: The wizard employs a fierce dragon as a guardian. However, the dragon is actually a cursed knight, and if someone should be able to defeat it, it will revert to its normal form and the one who defeated it will transform in its place. The transformed dragon, apparently remaining semi-intelligent as well as becoming altruistic, will fight fiercely precisely so that no-one else will be forced to take its place.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film 
  • Frankenstein's Monster, specifically in Bride of Frankenstein where he blows himself and his bride up with the comment, "we belong dead."
  • In the 1986 remake of The Fly, the monster (Seth Brundle post - Tele-Frag) is confronted by a shotgun - wielding Veronica Quaife, and grabs the business end of the shotgun and places it against its head. Tear Jerker moment, indeed.
  • According to Word of God the Monster in Cloverfield was a terrified infant, looking for its mother.
  • Godzilla, especially in the original 1954 film. His actions throughout the film are basically him getting revenge on humanity for mutating him via nuclear bomb testing. Word of God even states that he's just as much a victim as anyone else in the film.
  • Dwight in the film adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Night Flier is a monstrous vampire who goes around with his small aeroplane to remote airports to butcher everyone there and satiate his hunger. At the end he emotes this trope with a mere look since after leaving the building he stops, morphs back from the feral creature of nightmares to the human face he once was, and shows nothing but sadness and remorse for what he has become.
  • In Coraline both the Other Father and the Other Wybie were created by the Other Mother to lure Coraline in, but clearly feel conflicted about that and seem to care about her. Both pull Heroic Sacrifices to save her.

    Literature 
  • Discworld:
    • The wolf in Witches Abroad, which was once a normal wolf but was twisted by the villain's magic, making it intelligent, dangerous, and horrified by its own existence. It's generally a bad idea to grant sapience to an animal that spends most of its waking life hunting other animals.
    • The Hiver in A Hat Full of Sky is a bare awareness that is terrified of its awareness of everything around it and seeks refuge in living beings' more limited minds, in which, due to its nature, it unintentionally becomes a terrifying possessing presence. The protagonist helps it find a self of its own, which enables it to finally die.
  • The Creature in the original Frankenstein novel is a very intelligent creature that is fully aware of how hideous and repulsive he is. Anything wrong he does is borne out of bitterness from how people treat him.
  • In Mio My Son by Astrid Lindgren the Big Bad has a heart of stone. He is in constant agony from how his stone heart chafes in his chest, and begs to be killed at the end.
    No-one hates Sir Kato more than Sir Kato himself!
  • Haliax in The Name of the Wind is a perfect example of this trope. After his lover died, he tried bringing her back, but ended up depressed and suicidal - but unable to die. He ended up insane and now goes around killing anybody who knows his name.
  • Nyarlathotep from the Cthulhu Mythos may be an example. It is known that he despises the Outer Gods, but his very nature (being the personification of their will) would make him unable to go against their will. So it is theorised by some that his habit of spreading chaos and generally being a dick is caused by him taking out his frustration with his "job" on those weaker than him.
  • The Crippled God of Malazan Book of the Fallen was used as the colony in a mystical Colony Drop. It couldn't die, but the damage done to its body is so severe that it never fully healed. After millenia, it's finally reaching into the world and is sharing his pain with the mortal races.
  • Dark magic caused Shruikan from the Inheritance Cycle to go batshit insane and become like this.
  • When she initially appears in Moominvalley in Midwinter, the Groke appears to be the resident Eldritch Abomination of The Moomins. Several novels later, though, it's revealed that she is not merely a heartless monster, but simply desperately lonely and cold, wanting nothing more than to be warm, to make friends and to live in the light. But since she's something like an Elemental Embodiment of the cold and dark, she can't ever have any friends — they run away from her because she is so very cold that she fatally freezes everything she touches — and, for the same reason, she can never be warmed. In one of her earliest scenes, she sits down right atop a blazing fire and immediately extinguishes it. She's that cold.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The minotaur from the Doctor Who episode "The God Complex." It was a creature that fed on the faith of other creatures, and hated its own existence. However, it was a being of instinct, and could not help pursuing its food source whenever one appeared. The Doctor allowed it to die by cutting off its food supply by destroying Amy's faith in him.
    • At the end of that episode it also explicitly compares itself to the Doctor.
    • Also, the Doctor gives this little hint about the Daleks in Doomsday:
      "Technology using the one thing a Dalek can't do—touch. Sealed inside your casing. Not feeling anything... ever. From birth to death, locked in a cold metal cage. Completely alone. And that explains your voice! No wonder you scream."
    • The Master, too, who went insane from gazing into the Time Vortex.
  • In the Toku show Garo, the Monsters of the week are humans possessed by demonic entities called Horrors. Whenever a human is possessed by a Horror, they will feel excruciating pain. They all get the Mercy Kill.

    Role-Playing Games 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer, Count Mordrek the Damned was a special character, a Champion of Chaos who was constantly mutating randomly under his armour and would always be brought back to life any time he died. His main hope was that he wouldn't be, but there's probably not much hope for the Chaos Gods to stop messing around with someone.
    • In Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar Talos is the most literal example possible. It's a mini-mecha/torture device, piloted by some poor SOB, who's being held prisoner inside the machine and submitted to unimaginable torment by it. The pain only subsides when Talos is engaged in battle, ensuring that Taloses will fight with outmost ferocity and zero regard to their safety.
  • The Neverborn in Exalted really, really want to die, to end their eternal torment and insanity. Sadly, they can't. As a result, their agents work to destroy the world so that they can finally fade away.

    Video Games 
  • Sin from Final Fantasy X. Whoever chooses to become the Final Aeon becomes the next Sin, killing everyone it comes across and unable to stop it.
  • In Brutal Legend, the summonable but uncontrollable Tainted Coil unit named "Bleeding Death" may be this: it is a perversion of nature (and the single strongest non-Hero Unit in the game), which is slowly dying, so its attacks are merely expressions of its agony.
  • The zombies from Half-Life are humans who have been turned into People Puppets and mutated by the parasitoid headcrabs attached to their heads. In the second game they can be heard screaming for help as they attack you (although it's implied this may be a subversion - that the headcrab is mindlessly parroting the last words its host made).
  • Many Silent Hill monsters can be interpreted this way, particularly the God in Silent Hill 3. Prematurely born, cast in a grotesque image of the burned girl Alessa, all it does is writhe in agony and attempt to blindly flail at the player as though it desires to be put out of its misery.
  • Giygas of EarthBound : "...It hurts, ...it hurts... Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness, Ness..."
  • The character of Harold from the Fallout series. He's a mutated human, and one of the only characters to appear across multiple games. By Fallout 3, his mutation has progressed to the point where his form has merged with a tree, and he's rooted to the dirt. Surrounded by the only patch of green vegetation left in the entire Capital Wasteland, he is worshiped by a naturalist cult called the "Treeminders." Sadly, Harold has had enough of life, and wants to die. The Treeminders misinterpret his pleas for release as "tests of their faith," and do everything they can to nurture him and keep him safe. It's up to the player character to decide Harold's fate.
  • In the remake of Resident Evil, Lisa Trevor is a twisted mockery of a woman who's been trapped in a constantly-mutating, undying body for thirty years, and was driven insane by her ordeal a long time ago.
  • The victims of The Many in System Shock 2. They can often be heard begging you to run or to kill them even as they attack.
  • Gergoth in the Castlevania series is mentioned in the in-game bestiaries as once having been gentle, but having lost its mind to insanity due to torture and imprisonment.
    • The Forgotten one is also a good example.
  • Cave Story's example is Ballos, the game's True Final Boss.
  • Mantorok the "Corpse God" in Eternal Darkness was sentenced to a long and painful death by another god's champion, Pious. Despite (eventually) dying, he gets his revenge over the other Eldritch Abominations that use Pious, through a multi-dimensional centuries-spanning plot involving numerous player characters.
  • The Handymen in Bioshock Infinite were originally injured or terminally ill Columbian citizens who were grafted into huge, primitive cyborg bodies in an attempt to save their lives. However, their new bodies render them in constant, agonising pain and keep them from sleeping, and most of their "taunts" in battle are either loud laments about their situation or begging Booker to simply leave them alone.
  • Painwheel from Skullgirls, most definitely. She used to be an ordinary girl called Carol before she was kidnapped, taken to a laboratory, implanted with synthetic symbiotes, and infused with a synthetic serum in order to serve as a weapon against an Eldritch Abomination. The end result left her in constant pain, unstable, and violent, so she was placed under Mind Control. Not terribly surprisingly, her story mode concerns her attempts to break free and go home.
  • The Hecatomb in Phantasmagoria 2 turns out to be the original Curtis Craig, sacrificed to the aliens by Paul Allen Warner. He has been encased in their organic matter and mutated to the point that his organs are outside his body and he will die if his biomask is removed. In his torment he uses his psychic powers to lash out at everyone he can and tries to drive alien Curtis to madness for inadvertently stealing his life.
  • World of Warcraft has Ordos, an ancient yaungol who is in a state of eternal agony due to his body being wreathed in fire.
  • Borderlands 2 has Krieg, once a heroic individual turned into a Psycho through brutal experimentation that destroyed his sanity. Whatever remnants of his former self is left as a simple voice in his head who attempt to steer himself towards "the deserving" and away from the innocent, even swearing to commit suicide if he ever sheds innocent blood. Similarly, his primary motivation for being a Vault Hunter is because he's in love with Maya and sees her as the one who can make him sane one day.
  • Flame Hyenard in Mega Man X7, who complains about being in pain and delusionally believes that killing the Maverick Hunters will end his suffering.

    Web Comics 
  • In Our Little Adventure's pantheon page, Tlodnal is a god that was eternally afflicted with torture, and suicide never releases him from his pain since he is immortal. Eventually the torture he endured and the evil surrounding him warped the child into an Eldritch Abomination.

    Web Original 
  • More than a few SCPs, especially the ones that are or were humanlike. On the more tortured end of the scale, you have ones like 191 (a little girl who was sloppily turned into a cyborg, who can no longer speak and seems to be in constant pain); on the more abominable end, you have 682, a monster that wants to kill everything because it finds life on Earth horrifying and disgusting. 682 gets its fair share of torture too. Its containment procedures include being dunked in acid on a regular basis to keep it from mounting escape attempts (which is only partially successful given how often it escapes). It's also one of the only SCPs that the Foundation wants to destroy, not merely contain. They have tried to kill it many, many times, usually with other SCPs. 682's existence in the Foundation consists of constant torture and frequent attempts on its life.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park:
    • Stan falls in with a bunch of extreme environmentalists who marry animals. The "child" of such a pair - a man and an ostrich - can only say "kill me."
    • This is also said by one of the failed Towelie clones in "Towelie".
  • Not started outright in Generator Rex, but heavily implied; most people who've gone EVO seem to become insane, rampaging beasts, and generally seem very happy to be cured.
  • Paper Jam Dipper from the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper" is a shrieking, sputtering Body Horror created during a Magic Photocopier mishap. It can only say 'Nyang!' in an agonized scream and seems to welcome its death-by-melting.
    Paper Jam Dipper (translated): It's better this way for Paper Jam Dipper!
  • There's a Halloween Episode of The Simpsons which parodies Harry Potter, and has Bart at one point attempting to turn a frog into a prince. He bungles the spell and creates a "sin against nature" unable to do anything except vomit and claim to be in pain.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "The Lava Monster" the eponymous monster was a warrior, imprisoned in the rockbed by Aku. The only way for him to escape and ascend to Valhalla was to be slain in a combat. To this end he shaped his prison into a deadly labyrinth that only a great warrior could traverse, and began to lure passers-by into it in the hope that one of them would release him.
  • In the American Dad! Thanksgiving episode "Kung Pao Turkey" when Stan is watching football it's shown that FOX created a living turducken that's a genetic mashup of a chicken, turkey, and duck with the announcer saying verbatim that its every waking moment is agony.


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alternative title(s): Tortured Abomination
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