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Angels, Devils and Squid

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The good, the bad and the Aargh!

"On the front of the Octavo had been a representation of Bel-Shamharoth. He was not Evil, for even Evil has a certain vitality — Bel-Shamharoth was the flip side of the coin of which Good and Evil are but one side."

A lot of contemporary horror fiction uses a strange blend of Abrahamic (especially Christian) and Lovecraftian mythology. Angels are good, usually, but not necessarily nice; Devils are bad, usually, and still evil even when they are nice; Eldritch Abominations from Beyond either A) just want to destroy it all, B) twist everything into something wholly alien that squicks out both of the aforementioned parties, or C) operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality.

From a story perspective, it makes sense. You see it a lot in stories where God and Satan Are Both Jerks. The angels serve as foils for the hero, allowing him to show off his rule-breaking attitude. The devils prove the hero's toughness and cleverness by giving him someone to beat. And the outsiders serve as the villains of the story. Also may be a consequence of an All Myths Are True system, with angels, devils, Eldritch Abominations, The Fair Folk and the three Billy Goats Gruff all fighting with or over the main characters. Alternatively, you may have a situation of the Eldritch Abominations and either of the other two being on the same side, vying against the third and whatever's left of humanity in the wake of the subsequent Armageddon.

From a theological perspective, it's a bit muddled. (Oftentimes you can end up with situations where the angels and/or demons ARE squid. Those go here too.) It can result in The Good, the Bad, and the Evil—angels, demons, and Eldritch Abominations, respectively (stories where the squid are the "Bad" and the demons are the "Evil" exist, but they're much less common). If the angels are rarely seen expect Evil Versus Oblivion (devils and squid, usually respectively). If God and Satan Are Both Jerks and the squid match the usual reputation, you've got yourself a thoroughly Crapsack World. If the setting doesn't limit itself to just the Abrahamic and Lovecraftian pantheons, then you've got a full-fledged Fantasy Kitchen Sink on your hands. The Lovecraftian monstrosities may not actually be squidlike; that's just a stereotype.

A subtrope of Heaven Versus Hell.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk has a lot of overlap between the three archetypes, but they do exist to some extent. The Four Elemental Kings represent the Angels, the Apostles and the Godhand that create them are the devils, and the most powerful and malevolent spiritual beings like the Sea God are the squid.
    • The Battle for Windham ends up as a somewhat muddled case of this. Griffith, who takes on an angelic appearance, leads his army of humans and Apostles against the now gigantic and nearly mindless being akin to an Eldritch Abomination that was once Ganishka and his "army" of Cthul Humanoids.
    • An interesting note is that the God Hand are referred to as Five Angels which makes it the case of God Hand being the Angels, Apostles being the Devils and The Squid can be the spiritual entities as well as Ganishka in the Battle of Windham.
  • This features notably in Digimon Tamers' finale. The three most powerful entities during the climax are Dukemon: Crimson Mode, Beelzebumon: Blast Mode, and the D-Reaper.
  • Slayers got it not that clear-cut, the Dragons are basically the angels: good guys, not very nice, and will inflict genocide just as fast to keep "peace"; on the other side are the Mazoku, who are simply out to destroy everything – or, in the case of Xellos, Greater Beast, and their like, there seem to be some that are just want to be evil but not destroy everything. And then there is Darkstar Dubranigdu from another world just out to end it all, but more likely for the sake of doing it over without the eternal war between dragons and demons.
    • It especially doesn't help that the setting's supreme-creator deity, the Lord of Nightmares, qualifies as all three at once: a being of primordial Chaos, neither Good nor Evil, whose power can destroy the world if invoked without enough control.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Hellboy cosmology, horned-and-tailed demons exist (and possibly angels as well), but everyone in the upper echelons of all sides is a nightmare from beyond. The biblical seven-headed dragon from the Apocalypse is made up of seven alien creatures in cocoons, while its spawn are either bugs, frogs, or cephalopopds.
  • IDW Publishing crossover comic series Infestation has every kind of supernatural creature possible. For instance, in the universe where it begins, Zombies vs. Robots, the Covert Vampire Operations task force is made up of several vampires (field operatives), a zombie (The Smart Guy), and a demon (an actual horned red-skinned demon... who wears a suit to the office). No actual angels are shown, but a zombie outbreak reveals a strange multi-dimensional Hive Mind creature that infects several parallel realities (i.e. franchises) with a technorganic zombie plague using this world's Magitek. The sequel has another threat in the form of aliens escaped from Area 51 with allied demons living deep underground. After defeating them (and meeting their resident demon's mommy and daddy), they find out that the demons are running away from something else located even deeper. The Old Gods are exactly what you expect. Giant odd-shaped creatures of immense power with tentacles that also proceed to penetrate into other realities/franchises.
  • Lucifer: The main character is a fallen angel, who deals with other fallen angels, all of whom have their own agendas. There are also other demons active in Hell who are more basic demonic types. There are various angels of the non-fallen variety who serve God (nominally — it's made clear at times that this God's will or ability to communicate is limited or self-limited at times). Lucifer earns a letter of passage outside the established order (into a realm represented as an infinite white void), and also deals with some other type of thing called the "Jin En Mok" (we see what appear to be three or four of them), creatures from before the established order — apparently survivors of a previous universe. Some of them at least tend to look like what or whoever they last ate, with the implication that their real form (if any) is not pretty.
    • One of the Jin En Mok describes their previous form - before they were "trapped in bodies made of mud" - as "bigger than worlds, and beautiful".
  • Spawn offers a variety: there are angels and demons (both of whom serve morally questionable entities), and independent abominations, often creatures that did not take part in the Heaven/Hell battles.
  • Comes up in Requiem Chevalier Vampire. There are two factions of powerful entities that exist beyond the world of Resurrection and seek control over it: the Masters of the Infinite, which seem to be rather eldritch and thus fill the role of the squid, and the Lords of Limbo, which are the devils. Angels also exist, though they have pretty much no influence on Resurrection whatsoever and the only one ever seen is captured and used as a WMD.

    Fan Works 
  • Left Beyond is an unusal example in that players are taking on the role of the Squid, specifically a hybrid distributed intelligence that was specifically designed to be amoral. ( It decides to evert Biblical prophecies by sacrificing 99.99% of humanity in order to keep the species alive after the Judgement).
  • Pony POV Series: The Alicorns and Draconequi are the 'angels' side (as despite representing Order and Chaos respectively, they're both actively benevolent, with even Havoc, who rules Tartarus, being more of its prison warden than the devil), while Discord and Morning Star are the 'demons' side (with Fallen Alicorns and Draconequi being called Devils and Demons respectively). The Pain Monsters sealed deep within Tartarus also fit, being very demon-like. The 'Squids' are the Outer Concepts, a third family of gods born from their Elder, Azerhorse. They're so completely alien that they're not only different from the Alicorns and Draconequi in every sense, but can't even relate to each other. They collectively represent the Fear of the Unknown and exist to keep mortals from being too reckless in their progress. There's also a fourth variety of deity who are a part of none of the above families, which includes Mother Deer (actually the Tree of Harmony, which is born of both order AND chaos), Queen Tiamat, and King Bahamut.
  • Shadows Over Hell: The Hell-based casts of Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss end up trying to defend Hell (of all places) against the apocalyptic threat of a Cosmic Horror Story-tier, Lovecraftian Eldritch Abomination called Mother, and her hordes, whom are trying to break through into the conceivable realities and devour the whole of creation.

  • In Jacob's Ladder, Tormented Vietnam vet Jacob Singer is both haunted by hideous demons and aided by people who might be angels in human form, as well as creatures that look more...unconventional. Interestingly, it ultimately turns out that the angels, devils and squid are all the same entities working towards the same goal.

  • In NES Godzilla Creepypasta, the three main entities in the cartridge that interact with Zachary form this trifecta, with Melissa being the Angel, Red the Devil, and Face being an enigmatic figure whose identity and purpose are never revealed who casually asks him silly or creepy questions and seems to help or hinder him with no discernible reason.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium has angels called Ainurnote  and devils in the form of fallen Ainur. However...
    • Dotted through Tolkien's creation are weird primordial creatures like Ungoliant, a colossal dark spider-entity of pure blight and destruction, or the Nameless Things at earth's roots mentioned by Gandalf during the trip through Moria. At least one actual squid (the Watcher in the Water) is confirmed.note  The very existence of these beings invoke a lot of metaphysical questions about the setting that never really get addressed. After all, the creation myth for Arda doesn't leave much room for Nameless Things.
    • Middle-Earth also, intriguingly, contains something of an inverse squid in the shape of the being known to hobbits as Tom Bombadil: an ancient elemental force with no specific aims or objectives that simply loves existence, he seems not to be an angelic figure and takes no part in the battles between conventional good and evil, in the sure knowledge that before and after all of it he will be there still doing what he does. His only intervention is against Old Man Willow, another primordial entity that loosely fits under the squid category, making Bombadil seem more akin to a good counterbalance to mindless oblivion than anything. Nobody knows what exactly he is; some early readers thought he was an incarnation of Eru Ilúvatar (i.e. God), but J. R. R. Tolkien Jossed that theory. However, he gave no alternative category for Tom, so readers started to guess that he was a Maia (lower-order deity) who "went native".
  • Discworld has a pantheon that's made up of mythological expies (actually given form by human belief), and in one novel shows the equivalent of Hell (because people believe in that, too), although often, wrongdoers suffer more subtle post-mortem punishments to which they are directed by Death. And on the "squid" side of things, there are the "Things from the Dungeon Dimensions" (a reference to Dungeons & Dragons), described occasionally as resembling the offspring of a squid and a bicycle, as well as the Auditors, who due to Blue-and-Orange Morality are basically Omnicidal Lawful.
    • The Things crave the light and shape of "our" reality, and attempt to break through whenever some really powerful magic weakens the fabric between worlds — it's been said that if they ever succeeded, the effect would be that of an ocean trying to warm itself around a candle. They fit the "not evil so much as alien" bit mentioned above, as Rincewind realises they'd kill us without giving us "the dignity of hatred".
    • The Auditors make sure the fundamental laws of the universe continue to work, but find life-forms of any kind infuriatingly unpredictable. When they're not looking for a way to wipe out people entirely, they're trying to make us less erratic by eliminating belief.
    • The very first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic shows us Bel-Shamharoth, a very squidy Lovecraftian horror described as "the opposite side of a coin where good and evil are the same side." Things like it were apparently fairly common in an earlier age when there was more magic around. They were, presumably, all things from the aforementioned dungeon dimensions that leaked through during the eras of reckless magic use and then managed to anchor themselves into a static image in reality. Amusingly, Ankh-Morpork's equivalent of the YMCA is the Young Men's Reformed-Cultists-Of-The-Ichor-God-Bel-Shamharoth Association.
  • Merkabah Rider initially involves the battle between Heaven and Hell. In later stories, the Cthulhu Mythos intrudes as a third faction.
  • In Perdido Street Station, some of the characters try making a pact with some Legions of Hell to help them fight an escaped abomination. It's a major Oh, Crap! moment when they realize not even the devil wants to go near it, and they have to go find another abomination.
  • Kraken, by the same author, also invokes this. Although in this case the angel is literally a squid. The occult world revolves around various cults, which believe in and so create their own angels and devils, and one of them happens to worship krakens as their gods. (Giant squids are their miniscule offspring.)
  • Sandman Slim
  • The Dresden Files actually does feature angels, devils, Eldritch Abominations called Outsiders, The Fair Folk, and the Billy Goats Gruff.note  The author took the time to specify the difference between ordinary demons and Fallen Angels, and why demon-summoning is allowed under the Laws of Magic but summoning Outsiders is most certainly not.
    • Demon-summoning (as in calling up demons for information or services) is technically allowed, as is bargaining to get, for example, a squad of mercenary pixies for the day in exchange for a dozen pizzas. Enthralling (as in crushing free will) is one of the few laws that protects nonhuman entities, mostly because people who enslave demons do not make them volunteer at the soup kitchen; and dominating the will of another being is considered a form of black magic that makes further black magic easier. But even trying to learn about the things beyond the Outer Gates is an instant death penalty, because while it's theoretically possible to employ demons for benign means (as Harry had done a couple times), no good can ever come of tangling with Outsiders.
    • This also appears in Cold Days in the form of the reason for the Faerie Courts' existence; the Winter Court holds back the Outsiders, while the Summer Court keeps the Winter Court from screwing with mortals too much.
  • Simon R. Green's Nightside has this going on in droves, but with an emphasis on the "Squid" more than the other two. Book 2 has a blend of all three, and devils make more appearances than angels, but in a place where Eldritch Abominations walk the streets... Yeah.
  • Johannes Cabal shows devils in the first book and Lovecraftian types in the third. The heavenly hosts have not yet been shown, but Cabal claims to know of them, and is not impressed.
  • Divine Blood has Gods and Demons and then it has Nameless Things. So far, the only Nameless Thing shown is the one released at Grimsvotn and that was beaten by Lilitu alone. However, she was still recovering from injuries related to that encounter months later and Urd berated the Queen of the Demons for allowing the situation to happen. The matter is further confused by the fact that Lilitu, a powerful and high ranked Demoness, is also a devoutly practicing Christian.
  • In The Belgariad, you had the agents of Light (Belgarath, Beldin, Belgarion, etc.), the agents of Dark (Torak, Zandramas, etc.), and the agents of Chaos—the demons.
  • This is actually as old as Paradise Lost, which features angels and devils as well as two Eldritch Abominations called Chaos and Night.
  • Good Omens turns this trope on its head a bit. The heavenly host and the armies of hell play the squids, working in tandem but not together to bring about the apocalypse, with a lot of talk about an "ineffable" plan that none of the humans and not even the angels or demons can understand. A third faction consisting of a single angel, a single demon, and a few humans (including a witch, a witch hunter, and the Antichrist) is trying to prevent the apocalypse. This third faction alternates between playing the role of the demons and the angels, thanks to having nominal members of the other two factions, and various humans trying to uphold or subvert the order around them. Ultimately subverted when the rebel angel and demon realize after it's all over that there's only one player, Big G himself, and the whole thing went Just as Planned.
  • August Derleth's interpretation of the Cthulhu Mythos reinterpretes a setting full of Eldritch Abominations as the struggle between good entities and demonic entities. In other words: angel squids versus devil squids (the original vision of H. P. Lovecraft was basically a nihilistic world featuring only amoral squids).
  • Dragonwatch has the Fairy Queen and her court as the Angels (benign supernaturals who bring life and blessing and will fight to defend humanity from more malignant supernatural forces), the demons as the Devils (Always Chaotic Evil sadists who were once members of other races that corrupted themselves into what they now are) and the Underking and his assorted undead minions as the Squid (the undead lack the sadism of demons, but are fundamentally inimical to life).
  • The world of The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps has a Jewish protagonist who deals with angels, demons, and Lovecraftian abominations called the Great Beasts. This fits with the fact it is a Cape Punk Affectionate Parody of the superherho genre.
  • Technomancer by MK Gibson: The Deep later emerge as a power rivaling God and seemingly mindless sealife-related monsters seeking to unmake Creation. This is in a series that already has the Biblical apocalypse having occurred and demons having taken over the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The conflict between the Vorlons and Shadows in Babylon 5 plays out like this. The Vorlons actually portray themselves as angels (or the nonhuman equivalent) to the younger races and insist on order at any cost. The Shadows are explicitly agents of chaos, seeing conflict and destruction as the only way for the younger races to properly evolve. The squid and specifically the Chief Squid, Lorien, turn out to be the ones to end the conflict and get the Vorlons and Shadows off the younger races' backs. Or, more fittingly, the squids would be the Thirdspace Aliens, whom Vorlons bumped into when they built what they percieved to be gates to Heaven. Suffice it to say, it turned out anything but.
  • The Buffyverse is an interesting case. There are humanoid demons and angels but in the highest order, they're both squid.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina plays this straight from season 3 on with the introduction of the "Eldritch Terrors" to its angel and demon mix.
  • Good Omens (2019) plays this a bit more straight than the original book does: the angels represent Heaven, the demons represent Hell, and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are essentially the Squid. While both Heaven and Hell are focused on winning against the opposite side during the war that will result from Armageddon, the Horsemen don't really care about that; Death himself states that he is "neither of Hell, nor Heaven", and the other three Horsemen are established as Anthropomorphic Personifications of humanity's fears, taking a sadistic delight in the idea of destroying humanity in their own ways with no thought to what comes after.
  • Star Trek of all franchises, has this. For Angels, there are the Bajoran Prophets. For Devils, there are the Pah-Wraiths. And for Squid, there are the various eldritch abominations that get encountered, like Nagilum, the Telepathic Pitcher Plant, the Dikironium Cloud Creature, the Chaotic Space aliens, and the giant amoeba, to name but a few. And then, of course, there are the Q, who seem to alternate between the three categories on a whim.
  • The mythology in Supernatural has angels from Heaven, demons from Hell, and Leviathans from Purgatory (which Lovecraft himself attempted to access with a portal). The Angels are hardly paragons of goodness, and the demons are demons, but the Leviathans are the most non-negotiable, hostile and genocidal out of all of them: seeking only to turn humanity into their new food source and exterminate any other supernatural beings they find undesirable (which is pretty much every supernatural being younger than them). Then there's The Fair Folk, who come from another dimension and seem to be in a different category of supernatural beings.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Norse Mythology (as it is recorded, anyways) has two sets of deities, the Aesir and Vanir, and the monstrous Jotunn. The three factions have been at war, though the Aesir and Vanir made peace. The former two were worshiped and considered benevolent, while the later were primordial forces of nature and evil in some cases.
  • The Bible itself has Yahweh and his angels, demons (+ Satan on Revelation) and the Leviathan, which, according to some Rabbinic lore, might have existed in the Primordial Chaos before God created the universe. Or it may just be a poetic description of a crocodile, there's not much to go on. The angels themselves look pretty eldritch.
  • Medieval traditions on The Fair Folk hold them to be angels that were neutral in Lucifer's rebellion. So they do form their own third faction alongside heaven and hell.
  • Several Native American cosmologies such as the Mayan and Aztec ones have celestial gods, underworld gods and abominatory monstrosities (be them primal things like Cipactli or evil humans becoming various unnatural monsters like the Algonquian wendigos). Depending on the specific culture the former two categories are good or neutral, leaving the world a free-for-all between the three.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The game's default cosmology is the Great Wheel, in which a variety of celestial creatures from the Upper Planes battle a multitude of fiends from the Lower Planes over the fate of creation (and, given their nature, the fiends spend as much if not more time fighting each other). There is also a lesser conflict between the forces devoted to Law and Chaos, as those philosophical concepts have their own home planes and champions. And then outside this cosmology is the Far Realm, an incomprehensible dimension full of aberrant Eldritch Abominations with utterly alien appearances and motives, who bring madness and destruction in their wake when they venture into other realities. As such, the warlock class can forge a pact with a fiend, celestial, or Great Old One.
    • To a lesser extent, this trope is the difference between the Lawful Evil devils and Chaotic Evil demons. Devils want to impose tyrannical order over the cosmos, supposedly to save it from the demons, who only wish to tear down creation. And within the demonic ranks, this trope comes into play when comparing the tanar'ri, the "modern" generation of demons who have terrifying, but at least explicable, appearances, and the obyirths, demons who predate intelligent life on the Material Plane (if not the current universe). Obyriths are so horrific that any creature who simply comes near them has to save or develop a permanent mental illness, from berserk rage to being convinced that something has infested their flesh.
    • While the Outer Planes and their inhabitants reflect their alignments in predictable fashion, supplements in the Planescape setting frequently hint at anomalies that predated and defied the familiar Good-Evil/Law-Chaos arrangement:
      • At the lowest layer of Arborea (the Chaotic Good plane of revelry) is a bleak, barren desert featuring the skeletons of mammoth creatures and ruins belonging to no known civilizations, bearing secret words that can destroy gods.
      • Deep in Baator (the Lawful Evil plane of tyrannical dominion) are slumbering creatures called "True" or "Ancient Baatorians," whom the players never meet, but whose presence might be felt as they siphon the life energy of anything coming close. The devils that rule Baator are apparently terrified of these things reawakening.
      • The peak of Mount Celestia (the Lawful Good plane of heroic honor) is a realm from which nobody except the highest beings return, and beyond that is the home of an unnamed god of pure thought occupying a space described as "hyper-reality," served by Neutral-aligned beings.
  • Grim Hollow: In a world where the gods are all dead/missing, their previous divine domains have been claimed predominantly by three major factions: the Arch Seraphs, angels who want to continue protecting mortals as best they can, but are often Knight Templars or just not very powerful; Arch Daemons, who just like fucking with mortals For the Evulz; and the Primordials, elemental entities that operate on Blue-and-Orange Morality, but can be benevolent if you know how to negotiate with them.
  • Pathfinder. The Angels are represented by the Empyreal Lords (including the goddess Sarenrae) and their attendant Celestials, while The Devil bill is filled by the Demons (and their goddess, Lamashtu), the Devils (and their god, Asmodeus), and the Daemons (led by the Horsemen of the Apocalypse), as well as several other less influential/powerful fiendish groups. As for the squid, there's the Qlippoth, primordial evil entities that predate all sentient life, full god Rovagug (who may be an ascended Qlippoth) and various Lovecraftian Entities from the darkness beyond the stars, and Zon-Kuthon, the local godly Hellraiser Shout-Out, is a toss-up as to whether he's more devil or squid. And just off to the side there's the Eldest who rule over The Fair Folk.
  • Exalted, being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, is made of this trope. There's the gods in Yu-Shan, the Yozis and demons in Malfeas, the Neverborn and their Deathlords in The Underworld, The Fair Folk, the Alchemical Exalted and Void Lords in Autochthonia, the Mountain Folk and Darkbrood, the Dragon Kings, and pretty much anything else you can imagine, all hankering for a piece of the Creation pie for one reason or another. Interestingly, the Squid part of the equation is the most prevalent, as at least the Neverborn, the Yozis and the Fair Folk are all different takes on the concept.
  • Chronicles of Darkness role-playing games have little in the way of angels, but some, like the Qashmallim, are present. Devils (Goetia, creatures of the Inferno) are more of a presence, but not as much as the flavors of Squid (Abyssal Intruders, elder spirits like the Idigam, Cthonians and Kerberoi in the Underworld, even The Fair Folk have strong shades of squid). The Inferno and Abyss do not get along—one wants to corrupt the material world and depends on it to survive, the other wants to destroy reality.
    • Mage: The Awakening more specifically has a hands-off version of Angels and Devils, with the sorta-benevolent Oracles and the tyrannical Exarchs, and some very hands-on Squid in the form of the Abyss.
    • Demon: The Descent introduces prominent groups of angels and demons, with the angels being agents of the status quo and the demons opposing it. Weirdly, the God Machine that created the clear Angels and Demons is a Squid (well, Techno-Squid) to the rest of the world of darkness, being an esoteric mechanical eldritch horror in contrast to the more traditional World of Darkness fantasy creatures.
  • GURPS, being a generic rule-set, naturally allows this trope in some of its settings. Notable examples:
    • Dungeon Fantasy does it with the Gods, from Heaven, the Demons, from Hell, and the Elder Things, from the Outer Void. It also has "Nature" as a power, causing some fans to joke that the "alignments" of the game are Good, Evil, Squid and Bunny.
    • GURPS Cabal has active, mostly malevolent but sometimes just slightly weird and grossly powerful demons, and occasional appearances by overwhelmingly powerful and enigmatic angels (who presumably represent the will of God, who's omnipotent, distant, and beyond human understanding). It also has pagan gods, but they just seem to be ethereal manifestations of belief, and ultraterrestrials, inhuman but only somewhat powerful beings from beyond the human world. But then there are the Qlippoth, "shells" or "husks", remnants of a past creation, who are as inhumanly horrible as any squid, and tend to manifest in forms evoking corruption and decay. The Cabal, who regard dealings with demons as tricky and dangerous but sometimes part of their toolkit, pagan gods as interesting, and ultraterrestrials as, sometimes, potential recruits, regard Qlippothic infestations as something to exterminate immediately, by any means necessary. Cabal also mentions "Howling elder things" that "roil and scratch outside even the Abyss", which are implied to make the Qlippoth look downright mundane.
  • C.J. Carella's WitchCraft RPG has this in full force, and it comes to a head with the sequel game Armageddon where the Angels and Devils have to join the Pagan Gods and other normal supernaturals to fight off a colossally powerful Eldritch Abomination and its Dark Messiah's Religion of Evil.
  • Legend of the Five Rings has the Kami on one side, the Oni on the other side, and then there is the Nothing. Which was on the receiving end of an epic butt-kicking in the previous edition. Like everything else in the game, this has some basis in Japanese Mythology: On one side you have the Celestial gods, on the other side you have the Terrestrial gods, and then there is the Amatsu-Mikaboshi, god of evil and the stars.
  • Nobilis has two factions of Angels (Heaven and the Light), two factions of Devils (Hell and the Dark), one faction of solipsists who don't care about either (the Wild), and the role of the Squid is played by the Excrucians and Actuals. Notably, there's a lot of Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil (their roles are less good vs evil and more about society and the individual), and the Excrucians are frequently Affably Evil.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Zig Zags this trope a bit.
    • The Imperium of Man approaches from the "angel" side with God-Emperor of Man and the Living Saints and the Legion of the Damned. It's an authoritarian, xenophobic, heavily militarized society which is just short of being outright stated to be a bastardized version of what the Emperor's vision. While they can't be accurately described as either "good" or "nice", the Imperium is humanity's best hope for continued survival. If you're willing to see the Imperium as Humans Are Bastards, the Tau might also fit the "angel" role, though they also have their faults.
    • Chaos Gods and daemons are a cross between the Devils and the Squid, sometimes playing the role of either one better than the other.
    • The Ork Gods of Gork and Mork are Angels for the Greenskins, but Devils to everybody else.
    • The Eldar Pantheon was essentially one of Angels and at least one Devil, but most died when the newest Chaos God was born and attacked them. There were only three survivors: Isha, who was taken as a trophy and eventually captured by a rival Chaos God; Khaine, who narrowly survived by breaking into pieces and escaping into the material realm; and Cegorach, who peaced out and fled into another dimension.
    • The C'Tan with how weird they were, could reasonably serve as Squid until the Necrons, their followers, killed or shattered them and sealed away the shards. The newly arrived Tyranids, who are some unholy cross between insects and dinosaurs, have their Hive Mind, are savagely intelligent and ruthlessly Darwinian and driven only by unending hunger, serves as a new and different Squid.
  • Rifts, of course, has this in spades, being one of the most gonzo Fantasy Kitchen Sinks out there, though the angels are usually thin on the ground, and the squid tend to have an outlook almost identical to that of the devils.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has a mystic landscape where these factor in. Angels seem to exist: the hero Fanatic is a white-winged woman who deals lots of radiant damage and is devoutly religious, and her arch-enemy Apostate appears to be a fallen angel, neither of which are actually angels but are instead members of The Host who are emotion spirits. Sort of. It’s confusing and complicated.. Demons exist: Gloomweaver is a human sorcerer who became one, and while Apostate is discussed above, he summons demons as part of his deck. As for the Squid, there's the Void, also known as R'lyeh, the power source for the hero The Argent Adept (and later also Nightmist) and the minor villain Ruin.
  • The Innistrad setting of Magic: The Gathering features humans trying to survive against vampires, zombies, and other Gothic Horror beasties, with a conflict between angels and demons playing out in the background. Then, in Shadows over Innistrad, Emrakul, the Promised End began seeping into the world, twisting human, monster, angel, and demon alike into grotesque aberrations.
    • The other world to deal with the Eldrazi, Zendikar, also has angels and demons with a significant degree of hostility, to the point where one Demon from the first Zendikar block was called Halo Hunter and killed an angel when it entered the battlefield if one was present; the third set, Rise of the Eldrazi, had Emrakul and its two "sibling" titans, Ulamog and Kozilek, awaken and start bringing devastation. The demons more or less vanished for the second block set on Zendikar, though; they still exist in the lore, there just presumably was not space for them in the black mana portion of the set given the block's needs pushed more towards vampires and Eldrazi.

    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • The cosmology of Bayonetta divides the world between light, darkness and "chaos". Chaos technically is supposed to represent humanity, but that brings about its own creatures:
    • In Bayonetta 2 the creator god Aesir later split into Loki and Loptr created humanity and thus rules over chaos.
    • In Bayonetta 3 humanity created homunculi, which act as the game's foes. Fairies are also brought into the mix.
  • Terraria: The Hallow fills the role of the Angel, The Corruption and Crimson are the Devil, and the Lunatic Cultist, Celestial Pillars, and Moon Lord act as the Squid.
  • World of Warcraft similarly plays with this trope. It has Angels in form of the Naaru (who look like giant glowing wind chimes, but are still the good guys), the Burning Legion for the Devils (some of whom match the classic demon descriptions along with some original designs), and the Old Gods and Faceless Ones for the Squid.
    • At the dawn of time, only Light (Angels) and Shadow (Squids) existed. The Twisting Nether (Devils) was created as a result of Light and Shadow clashing (along with the physical universe, in a sort of magical Big Bang). However, despite the Angels and Squids being more equal on a cosmic hierarchy, the Squids have had a lot harder time interacting with the physical world, so the Devils end up usually being the primary antagonists and enemy of the Angels. Also, the Devils are only organized to begin with because of a Well-Intentioned Extremist Fallen Angel who was absolutely horrified to learn of the Squids, and saw the destruction of all life as a preferable alternative to what the Squids have planned.
    • The Titans, the Arcane-based benevolent precursors are also a sort of Angel thought they are living planets that use metallic titantic watchers as their agents, and are revered by the dwarves and others.
    • With the destruction of the Legion, the situation changed into Angel-Squid-Squid,with capital D Death showing up. It's agenda unknown, but it should be noted that the Void refers to Death as The Enemy of All.
  • Downplayed in the Disgaea series. There are angels, devils, and aliens, but the angels might have faults, the devils might be not so evil, and the aliens aren't quite alien. All of them look very human, and the story usually revolves around a devil protagonist.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, the player character, Pit, is the Angel, the Devils are Hades and Viridi, and the Squid are the Aurum.
  • AdventureQuest Worlds has Good, Evil, and Chaos. Interestingly, the forces of Chaos look more like demonic beings with lots of purple colors, and tentacles, while the Shadowscythe are just The Undead.
  • Fall from Heaven mostly follows the angels and demons part of this trope, but does include the Octopus Overlords, basically directly lifted right from Lovecraft type stories.
  • Oracle of Tao has angels and demons as part of the cosmology. The Lovecraftian stuff is also there, but is mainly in odd areas of the game (if you break sequence, or go heavily into bounty hunting). The game has a Lovecraft Lite feel to war between Heaven/Hell/wherever the squid critters are from.
  • The Secret World certainly has all three, as befits a game where All Myths Are True, with a horror theme as a major component. The main enemies, responsible for the Filth which influences most events in the game, are lovecraftian "mollusc gods" said to come from some version of deep space. They are called "dreamers", since the filth is actually an idea of theirs made real, which is strong enough to take the form of an oily liquid and corrupt almost everything it touches. In addition, players fight back demonic invasions from a Fire and Brimstone Hell. Angels appear less frequently at various points in the game, including the opening cutscene, and the demonic invasion is led by a fallen angel.
    • You can make a case that the player factions also represent a humanistic echo of this trinity. The Templars have over their course attempted to climb from effective rulers to benevolent rulers and protectors to acting as angels with utter righteousness and commitment to inviolable moral law, though absent the authority of an Omniscient Morality License they're far more obviously fallible than the real thing. The Illuminati were born of light, fell hard and far, and reorganized on a general rejection of morality, but have had done so much bad for so long they're gained vast experience with the self-defeating element of various evil acts - and unlike demons, they aren't locked into For the Evulz: they've slowly approached Enlightened Self-Interest from the "wrong" direction. The Dragons at least reject the idea of moral or immoral values, they fail to reach Blue-and-Orange Morality only because they're still human enough to have a comprehensible, self-worthwhile goal: to understand causality enough to know what about destiny and reality can be changed, how and why. Doing things just to see if they're possible rather than for the results means neither value systems nor self-interest can be used to predict or explain what the Dragons do, even for members of the faction.
  • Diablo mainly focuses on the Angels and Devils, but some Squid are present in the novels, such as the dreamers, who are stated to come from a dimension beyond both Heaven and Hell, as well as whatever Trag'Oul is (although, he's more of a benevolent squid). In the third game there are some squiddy creatures in pandemonium that don't seem to be of angelic or demonic origin, but they don't affect the mortal world because the demons are basically running a monopoly on invading it. The Reaper of Souls expansion also includes as its Big Bad a personification of Death that has gone insane and seeks to entirely wipe out the world of men, unlike the Angels and Devils who constantly fight over it.
  • RIFT could be interpreted this way. The Vigil and their Guardians are the Angels, the Defiants are humans but play the Devil's role, and the Dragons and the Planar Invaders are the Squid.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • This is loosely the case with the series' primary deities, the Aedra, the Daedra, and Sithis, respectively. The Aedra are the et'Ada ("original spirits") who participated in the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane, and thus sacrificed much of their divine power and very beings to create it. They are the primary deities worshiped by the religion of the Eight (later Nine) Divines. The Daedra are the et'Ada who did not participate, and thus maintain their Complete Immortality. While technically beings Above Good and Evil who operate on their own scale of Blue-and-Orange Morality defined by the spheres over which they govern, they are generally considered evil, or at least malevolent toward mortals, by most denizens of Mundus. Finally, Sithis is the "great void" embodiment of the primordial force of chaos, and is easily the "squid" of the group.
    • Within the ranks of the Daedric Princes, this trope is also in play. Some of the more benevolent Princes (such as Azura or Meridia) fit the "angels" part, though Good Is Not Nice can be very much in effect for them. Some of the more malevolent Princes (such as Molag Bal and Mehrunes Dagon) fit the "devils" part, with them trying to corrupt or destroy mortal life. Hermaeus Mora is the "squid", not even bothering with a humanoid form like the others, preferring to take shape as an infinite mass of tentacles and eyes.
  • Fallen London has devils walking the street and squid-faced citizens known as the Rubbery Men, although oddly there don't appear to be any angels. The Church does have a large presence in the city though.The Rubbery Men are just regular aliens. The actual Squid role is played by the stars themselves.
  • Dominions has a variety of celestial and infernal beings (given the variety of myths used, angels and demons might be a tad simplistic)... and the Starfallen R'lyeh, home to the madness-inducing illithid and their ilk. In general, "angels" (which can include things like Hindu divinities and Zoroastrian azatas) are summoned using astral magic, "demons" (including Japanese oni and the nastier sorts of Aztec divinities) are brought into the world with Blood Magic, and "squid" (almost entirely Lovecraftian, Dungeons & Dragons derived, or unique to Dominions) require a mixture of blood and astral magics.
  • The world of Dark Souls has the Lords of Anor Londo as the Angels who strive to preserve world order through underhanded means; the demons of Lost Izalith as the Devils who spread chaos and misery as if they were natural; and the creatures of the Abyss as the Squids who indiscriminately try to plunge whatever they can into the world-destroying Dark. Unusually both the Devils and the Squids came from the Angels; the demons were spawned by a corrupted Lord and the Abyss was created by a forgotten Lord. Humanity is linked to the Abyss, meaning that humans are technically Squids.
  • Hollow Knight has the Pale King and the Radiance as two separate 'Angel' factions, Grimm and his Troupe as the 'Devil' faction, and the Void as the 'Squid'. Unusually for this trope, the main conflict of the story is between the two 'Angel' factions, with the 'Devil' faction remaining neutral, and the long-dormant 'Squid' being dragged into the conflict and weaponised until it manages to assert itself through the protagonist.
  • Demons in Nexus Clash are divided into archetypical devils ruled by the iron fist of Tlacolotl and Body Horror-based tentacles and gibbering masses of flesh drawn from the incomprehensible body and mind of Tholaghru. The angels' response to both is usually some combination of Kill It with Fire and Holy Hand Grenade.
  • Darksiders: Angels and Demons share the same existence with a multitude of other races that are collectively known as Abyssal Creatures, that are older than both races and they come in many shapes and sizes though they are mostly animalistic. The Chosen from the first game were beings summoned by the Destroyer to serve as his generals in the End War and were initially thought to be demons themselves, but its clarified in the second game that they don't belong to either race and came from the Abyss rather than Heaven or Hell.
  • League of Legends essentially has these three. For Angels, there's the beings from the celestial realm, Aurelion Sol, Bard and Soraka, the Aspects, essentially demi-celestials Leona, Diana, Zoe, Taric and Pantheon who represents concepts and ideals, such as Protection, the Sun, The Moon, Change or War. For Devils, there are several demons who feed on emotions, the more general their emotion, the more powerful they are: Evelynn, a Succubi-themed demon who feeds on lust, and her followers who feed on sadism, masochism and isolation, Tahm Kench, a catfish creature who offers certain deals, feeding on addiction, Nocturne, a Living Nightmare that feeds on paranoia, Raum the demon of secrets, and finally the 'Original Ten', Fiddlesticks, a Scary Scarecrow that reflects the pain and trauma of it's victoms while feeding on fear, and Ashlesh, the Demon of Joy who feeds on happiness; there are also a selection of sinister undead entities, generally from the Shadow Isles, and the "fallen angels" of the Darkin, Pseudo Aspects who lost their way and had their concept erased from existence, that may also qualify. As for Squid, there's the Void, an Eldritch Location inhabited by horrible monsters which don't exist, a twisted mirror of reality which seeks to devour everything so as to not feel anything anymore, manifesting as a horrifying impersonation of existence.
  • In the H-Game Lucy Got Problems, there exist Angels and Demons, and the Hollow, which is a Captain Ersatz of Zalgo.
  • In the fan module The Aielund Saga, you find Angels and Devils in the last portion of the game in their respective realms. You can join either factions and fight the other in exchange for powerful magic items. As for the Squid, you can open a door to the Abyss and Abyssal Nightmares, masses of black tentacles, will attack you relentlessly. Negotiation is not possible, your only option is to close the door.
  • Water Womb World revolves around a Catholic researcher investigating the ocean floor in search of evidence that the Garden of Eden was formed at the bottom of the sea, rather than the earthly paradise as presented by the church. While there, he encounters an "angel" that resembles a robed bishop cross with a giant squid along with what he believes are the sinless descendents of Adam and Eve, which look more like colossal pillars of red "coral" than anything human.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: The three highest-known deity figures. The "Angel" is Godcat, half of whom is a light-themed Creator fought in a mountain guarded with holy enemies. The "Devil" is Akron, a far more demonic-looking being that resides in black holes and is the Satanic Archetype of the universe, creating demonic or otherwise monstrous counterparts of the player characters (Annabelle of them being a straight-up demon). The "Squid" is the Devourer, an entity from another dimension that is responsible for the events of the entire series and the creator of both Godcat and Akron, and takes extra damage to both holy and unholy magic. Godcat also has a "dark" half that evokes demonic imagry as well, but Akron and the Devourer are purely Devil/Squid in design. The three are in conflict with each other, but it is the heroes of the game who end up taking them one by one for each of the games starting from the third. In Epic Battle Fantasy 5, Another "Angel" figure appears in the form of God, who is genuinely benevolent and only fights the heroes as part of a test of strength.


    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe characters encounter all three. Phase has fought a demon and devils (in that story at least a Lovecraftian thingy), Fey led a team against Lovecraft-tainted Weres, and some of the main characters (like Carmilla) may be evolving into the squid end of the trope. Some of the secondary characters deal with the angels and devils—Seraphim is... some kind of mutant with access to possibly the Christian heaven, while Merry had to talk to and reject what may have been the actual Devil in order to become a Holy Knight.
  • SCP Foundation has many items that come from contradicting theologies (due to the website's motto that "there is no canon"), including biblical. Many also are based off religions that only exist on the site and have no ties to any real-world mythology.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Angels Demons And Squid



Bahamut is an inter-dimensional draconic entity so powerful and destructive that it forced the gods and demons to ally against it. It is incapable of being permanently killed due to its existence transcending time and space, and if it is slain it will eventually be reborn.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DraconicAbomination

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