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"I summon WTF-Eyes Eldritch Dragon!"
"And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name."
— Revelation 13:1, The Bible
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Dragons are one of the oldest and most-ubiquitous mythological creatures, being featured in cultures around the world and generally being portrayed as enormous reptilian monsters and even as gods. On their own, dragons — particularly in Western folklore — are already unnatural and horrific: no natural vertebrate possesses six (if not more) limbs, and that's leaving out the ability to fly, breathe fire, and venomous breath and blood — though in some cases exposure to a dragon's blood bestows invulnerability and other mystical powers.

In modern fantasy, depictions of dragons often vary from them being powerful monsters that require whole parties of seasoned adventurers to be slain, to being benevolent and helpful beings, to being just another type of animal - even giving scientific explanations for their powers. Some depictions, however, cross over into Cosmic Horror Story and Lovecraft Lite territory and portray dragons as not just a mere species of animal or a generic (albeit powerful) type of monster able to be slain by mortal adventurers, but as calamitous and otherworldly abominations — or on the flip-side depict calamitous otherworldly abominations that choose to appear draconic.

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This trope is Older Than Dirt and has its roots in "Chaoskampf" myths from cultures around the world — particularly Indo-European — where primordial chaos is generally deified as reptilian abominations that terrified even the gods.

A subtrope of Eldritch Abomination and Our Dragons Are Different. May co-exist with Animalistic Abomination, which is about otherworldly abominations in the shape of animals. Most likely to overlap with Dragons are Demonic, which emphasises dragons that are evil and/or infernal. Deific dragons aren't as likely to be considered abominable, though deities of chaos and destruction are often an exception. This is for dragons that are otherworldly horrors with features that "normal" dragons don't possess — i.e. multiple eyes, multiple mouths, multiple heads, multiple wings, multiple tails, tentacles, regenerative abilities that make them virtually or completely immortal, etc — and otherworldly horrors that appear as dragons because that's the closest puny mortals — and sometimes even gods — can come to perceiving them.

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They can be considered as the embodiments of dragons due to being an Eldritch Being.

Compare Dracolich for undead dragons.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • BURN THE WITCH: The Dragons that Wing Bind deals with are supernatural entities seen as homologous to the Hollows found in Japan. If infected by negative emotions, a dragon will mutate into a Dark Dragon — with special mention going to Selvie, a nightmarish abomination with multiple arms, tentacles for legs, and the ability to unravel its face even up to its eye into a corkscrew-shaped mouth lined with teeth.
  • Chaosic Rune: Most of the Dragon-type entities only vaguely resemble dragons and often possess nightmarish physics-breaking abilities, but Death Rex stands out as a literally all-devouring abomination that was so powerful that when it was sealed its body was split into five parts — head, arms, body, wings, and tail. Each of its parts has a mind of its own, is capable of harnessing the powers of any monster it devours, and seeks to become the dominant part of their recombined form by assimilating the others. Furthermore, if a part of Death Rex is summoned by someone with insufficient willpower, it will assimilate them and go on a rampage.
  • Digimon:
    • Millenniummon is a digital abomination formed of a fusion between Machinedramon and Kimeramon, and is the Greater-Scope Villain behind the Digimon multiverse — jumping from continuity to continuity. Its sealed form and revived form, Moon=Millenniummon and ZeedMillenniummon, resemble a spectral two-headed dragon made of darkness; and it seeks to destroy everything it comes across, up to and including the multiverse itself.
    • Megidramon is a Mega-level Digimon in the shape of a colossal crimson dragon with two mouths, and is so malevolent and powerful that its very existence destabilizes and threatens to destroy the Digital World.
  • Ga-Rei: The Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox — ostensibly a powerful and malevolent kitsune that served the evil onmyōji exorcist Lady Tamamo — is actually a skyscraper-dwarfing supernatural monster that is composed of tens of thousands of years' worth of spiritual corruption, and has only the vaguest resemblance to a fox. It's covered in scales and screaming faces rather than fur, and its tails are more akin to Combat Tentacles — with six coming out of its back. It's so powerful and metaphysically wrong that it can be seen by people without True Sight and vaporizes almost everything it comes into contact with, laying waste to much of Tokyo before being defeated. In the finale, the Nine-Tailed Fox is reborn with three heads and six arms on top of the above when Kirin — a scaley black wolf-monster manifested from the remnants of its miasma — assimilates the Asura, a god of destruction summoned to take part in the annihilation of humanity.
  • Godzilla anime trilogy:
    • Godzilla Earth — introduced in Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters — blends this with Botanical Abomination, being a 300 meter-tall Planimal with metallic flesh, an impenetrable bioelectric forcefield, a healing factor that lets it recover from severe injuries in minutes, and the ability to fire energy beams powerful enough to level mountains. After appearing it drives all the other monsters to extinction; wipes out human civilization; and spends the next 20 000 years growing, terraforming the Earth, and reshaping life via its "Monster Factor". Only the lepidopteran goddess Mothra in Godzilla: Monster Apocalypse, the nascent Mechanical Abomination MechaGodzilla in Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, and the world-eating interdimensional stellar dragon Ghidorah in Godzilla: The Planet Eater pose a serious threat to it, such that the human characters "win" simply by managing to survive.
    • The series' iteration of King Ghidorah, known as "Ōtaru Ghidorah", is an interdimensional planet-eating energy being in the shape of a 20 kilometer-long three-headed dragon. When he manifests on Earth at first, just his shadow coming across the shadows of other people causes them to lose parts of their bodies as if they are bitten off and die as a result. He actually warps time and space around him and is invincible as a result, but since he is from another universe he can't normally sustain himself in other dimensions. He needs a vessel to summon and direct him, and without one he becomes vulnerable and weak, making this his sole major weakness.
  • Inuyasha: The ancient composite Yōkai whose soul formed the dark half of the Shikon Jewel was primarily draconic in shape, but sported numerous spider-legs, Extra Eyes, a Lamprey Mouth, a scythe-armed oni's head and torso sticking out of its chest, and Combat Tentacles. It's revealed to be the Greater-Scope Villain of the series, manipulating Naraku from within the Shikon Jewel.
  • Naruto: In the "Power" filler arc, Kabuto infects Naruto with miniature snakes capable of merging into a clone of a person by draining their chakra. These snakes merge into a copy of Naruto with scales and a serpentine tail; but as a result of also absorbing Kurama the Nine-Tailed Demon-Fox's chakra, the "Nine-Tails Naruto Clone" spends most of its screentime in a darker version of Naruto's four-tailed Version Two form and seeking to drain the rest of Kurama's power out of Naruto. When it falls into the Ama no Hoko superweapon and absorbs its power, the "Nine-Tails Naruto Clone" mutates into a colossal, grotesque reptilian fox-monster with eight tails tipped by draconic heads; and it's only put down after Naruto taps into Kurama's Nine-Tails Chakra Mode.
  • Rage of Bahamut: Genesis: The titular Bahamut may look more or less like an archetypical dragon, but it's mountainous in size and so powerful and destructive that it forced the gods and demons into an Enemy Mine to seal it away. It's also impossible to kill, as its existence transcends time and space, and if it is slain it will simply be reborn. The original CCG reveals that Bahamut predates the creation of the world and that its original incarnation — "Origin Bahamut" — was a six-winged monstrosity.
  • Shadow Star: The "dragons" in this superficially cutesy series are actually eldritch horrors — baby "planets" that bond to a host and bring calamity and misfortune to those that encounter them.

    Card Games 
  • The Worldgorger Dragon isn't typed as Nightmare Dragon for nothing, being a spindly creature with creepily elongated claws, an oddly-shaped head, and a long, thin tail with a Lamprey Mouth on the end. Added to that, when you play this card all other permanentsnote  you own go into (temporary) exile, meaning that nothing can exist alongside it as long as it is there.
  • And then there's the Ur-Dragon, the Progenitor of Fire. It's a truly massive dragon avatar that wanders the Blind Eternities, home to other Abominations like the Eldrazi Titans, and appears in planes to spawn dragons. Which it does by raining down stones from its wings which hatch into dragons. It's described as a huge and blind shadow that exists everywhere and nowhere at once. Every other dragon, including the ones mentioned above? This thing is their progenitor.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Several of the more-powerful dragon-type monsters are eldritch in appearance:
    • The Amorphage card set depicts animals in the process of being infected by the Amorphage virus, which was created by the "Dracoverlord" Vector Pendulum through the possibly-extradimensional power of Dragon Alchemy. The virus mutates anything it infects into draconic horrors called Dracofiends; with animals in the early stages of the infection being chimeric mixes of their previous selves and dragon anatomy, typically resembling dragons with the heads of other animals tacked on; and the end result of the Amorphage Infection resulting in fully-transformed draconic monsters like the Amorphage Goliath.
    • Armiryle the Starguide Dragon is depicted as a dragon with branched tentacle-like wings tipped with red claws.
    • Hundred Eyes Dragon is covered in a hundred grotesque purple eyes.
    • Slifer the Sky Dragon is a divine beast embodying the power of Osiris, and appears as a crimson dragon with two mouths, one on top of the other, capable of spitting bolts of lightning.
    • The Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon is a spectral dragon made of living darkness.

    Comic Books 
  • Bone: Mim, the Queen of the Dragons, was a massive dragon who benevolently ruled over the physical world and the Dreaming until she was possessed by an ancient malevolent entity called the Lord of the Locusts.
  • Ghostbusters (IDW Comics): Tiamat — the sister of Gozer — mainly appears as a Medusa-like humanoid reptilian entity with six snakes extending from her head, but while fighting with Gozer she transforms into her five-headed dragon form from The Real Ghostbusters, as well as Necksa.
  • Hellboy: The Ogdru Jahad are seven primordial monsters collectively called the Dragon of Revelation, destined to bring about the end of the world; and are primordial god-monsters possessing combined draconic, cephalopod, and crustacean traits.
  • Venom: The Grendel and its ilk are massive wyverns formed from the "living abyss" by the primordial dark god Knull billions of years in the past. They are capable of interstellar flight, are powerful enough to devour most gods, and if defeated disperse into countless symbiotes that then seek out hosts.

    Fan Works 
  • Ah! Archfall!:
    • Lind's true form (at least the visible bits) resembles a huge, white, thousand-headed dragon covered in eyes and spines.
    • Gandamak is vaguely based a Western dragon but is nearly one hundred feet long, has four fifty-foot wings, ten legs, tusks and a single eye on the end of a stalk. Further, if you chop off one head two will grow from the stump.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, Dialga and Palkia's true forms as glimpsed in their home dimensions are a vaguely draconic shaped mass covered in diamonds and a swarm of bubbles in the vague shape of a dragon respectively.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla:
    • King Ghidorah was inspired by the Orochi, Zmey, and the Lernaean Hydra, and his backstory seems to draw from the Cthulhu Mythos as most incarnations of him are usually depicted as being ancient three-headed alien dragons that can spit bolts of golden lightning, survive and fly freely in space, are occasionally able to manipulate gravity and the weather, and can sometimes drain their opponents' life force. The Showa, Mothra Leo trilogy, and MonsterVerse versions in particular are established as being ancient civilization-destroying calamitous entities completely outside the natural order, their very existences causing chaos and destruction to Earth.
    • Godzilla himself — particularly antagonistic incarnations more geared towards horror — blends this trope with Dinosaurs Are Dragons and Nuclear Nasty. Originally a blunt metaphor for the devastation wrought by nuclear weapons, Godzilla is a colossal city-leveling behemoth (typically between 50 and 100 meters tall) that is impervious to mundane weaponry, breathes torrents of radioactive plasma, spreads lethal radiation in his wake, absorbs radiation to sustain himself rather than — or in addition to — eating meat, has a healing factor that lets him recover from severe injuries, is capable of fighting gods and Eldritch Abominations to the death and winning, and in several incarnations is named after and seen as the incarnation of a destructive oceanic storm-god by the inhabitants of Odo Island. Some iterations that stand out include:
      • In Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!, Godzilla is an explicitly supernatural entity reanimated of the vengeful souls of those who died in World War II. He is powerful enough to easily defeat the benevolent Guardian Monsters — Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah — and absorbs their souls to become even more powerful; and even when his body is almost-completely destroyed his disembodied heart continues to beat, indicating he'll just regenerate.
      • The MonsterVerse incarnation of Godzilla — while ostensibly a species of prehistoric reptile from the Permian period — is at least 251 million years old,note  feeds off radiation either passively or by eating other Titans, was worshipped as a storm-god by ancient civilizations, lives in an active volcano adjacent to a sunken Cyclopean city (one of a number of shout-outs to the Cthulhu Mythos), emits a form of radiation that terraforms the Earth, and a deceased member of his species was worshipped by the Canaanites as the sea-god Dagon (another Cthulhu Mythos shout-out).
      • In IDW Publishing's Godzilla in Hell, Godzilla — who has been fighting demonic versions of his enemies on his way through Hell a la Dante's Inferno — is devoured down to the bones by a swarm of tiny bat-like demons. Eating Godzilla's flesh mutates the demons, which he assimilates to reform his devoured body — becoming capable of forming eyes and mouths all over his body, and making him powerful enough to kill the Eldritch Abomination guarding the top of Purgatory Mountain.
      • In IDW's Godzilla: Rage Across Time, Godzilla predates nuclear weaponry by millions of years, making the source of his powers a mystery. However, he is powerful enough to easily kill the Yamata-no-Orochi, the Lernaean Hydra, and the entire Greek pantheon; and survives several centuries trapped in the Earth's mantle — causing the destruction of Pompeii when he breaks free.
      • In Shin Godzilla, Godzilla is a marine reptile transformed by consuming radioactive waste into a hideously malformed and constantly-mutating living nuclear reactor, and is capable of rapidly adapting to anything that opposes him in ways that the team of genius scientists studying him struggle to comprehend and admit should be biologically impossible.

    Literature 
  • Cthulhu Mythos:
    • While more commonly associated with cephalopods, Cthulhu himself is described as being a vaguely anthropomorphic dragon with an octopoid head, though it's actually a godlike extraterrestrial — and possibly extradimensional — entity whose existence tends to warp reality and break people's minds.
    • The Mappo no Ryujin from Chaosium's Secrets of Japan add-on to Call of Cthulhu is stated to be the mother of the serpentine Great Old One Yig, and resembles a dragon more than anything else.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: Bašmu, one of the eleven offspring of the primordial dragon-goddess Tiamat, is a Divine Beast that appears as a green-and-black draconic creature with six eyes, a cobra-like hood, two arms, and centipede-like legs. The Assassin of Red — aka the Mesopotamian demigoddess Semiramis — is able to partially summon it using her Noble Phantasm, but it's so powerful that she can only manifest its upper half.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Christianity:
    • The Bible:
      • The Leviathan is an enormous sea-dragon so powerful that even the mightiest of mortal warriors are driven to despair by the sight of it, and only God Himself can slay it.
      • Satan takes the form of a seven-headed red dragon in the Book of Revelation, fights the Archangel Michael, and throws down one-third of the stars — sometimes interpreted as the Angels who were banished from Heaven — to Earth with a swipe of his tail.
      • Seraphim are typically described as dragon-like (for example, see the description of chalkydri in the Second Book of Enoch), though in the Bible proper their description is very vague aside from having six (and in some cases twelve) wings (though given the fact that "seraph" is also used for snakes and seraph imagery is likely based on the goddess Wadjet it seems reasonable to assume they're supposed to be snake-like to some degree). Like all angels, they are immensely alien beings who inspire terror in mortals and can set you on fire just for seeing them.
    • In medieval European art, dragons were often hideous and monstrous things, as they were typically interpreted as living manifestations of Hell and the Devil's influence, with no place in the natural order ordained by God. They typically melded traits of every animal considered wrong or evil in the Middle Ages, such as rodents or snakes, and some examples — such as Hendrick Goltzius's three-headed avatar of hunger, or a horde of two-headed dragons absolutely covered in eyes — were horrors by any metric. By comparison, the oldest known archetypical depiction of a European dragon as a reptilian creature with four legs and bat-like wings — codified as a standard appearance by at least the 15th century — is in the 1260 MS Harley 3244 bestiary, though it was also a common motif in heraldry.
  • Canaanite Mythology: Lotan — the direct precursor to the Biblical Leviathan, and itself prefigured by the Syrian Têmtum — was a multi-headed dragon-god of chaos sometimes interpreted as a pet or avatar of the malevolent sea-god Yam, and was so powerful that only the storm-god Hadad-Baʿal could vanquish it.
  • Classical Mythology: As one of the cultures with a strong tradition of Chaoskampf myths, many of the dragons and draconic monsters in Greek mythology are the divine or Semi-Divine offspring or creations of primordial gods like Gaia, Phorcys, Ceto, and Typhon; and have been depicted or described as horrifically monstrous in appearance and nature:
    • Typhon is the offspring of Gaia and Tartarus, sired to avenge the Titans — and sometimes the Giants as well — by killing the Olympians. He is often described as a mountainous monster with wings, serpentine coils for legs, and anywhere from a hundred to a thousand draconic heads constantly spewing volcanic flames and calamitous noise. In some versions, Typhon was so powerful and horrifying that the gods themselves fled in terror to Egypt, and he was able to subdue and mutilate Zeus by ripping out his sinews. However, Typhon was ultimately defeated by Zeus and either vaporized by his thunderbolts, cast into Tartarus, and/or crushed underneath Mt. Etna — depending on the version.
    • The Lernaean Hydra, an offspring of Typhon and the drakaina Echidna — herself a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, was a serpentine or draconic water-monster with virulently poisonous blood and breath, and most-famously the ability to grow back at least one head — most often two — each time it's decapitated. While it was ultimately slain by Herakles/Hercules, one of its heads was immortal and had to be buried alive.
  • Egyptian Mythology: While usually depicted as a monstrous snake, some iterations of Apep — a primordial god of chaos, evil, and destruction who seeks to devour Ra — depict him as a dragon, and one of his epithets is the "Evil Dragon". He also possesses Resurrective Immortality, being slain each day but reviving to try again the next night.
  • Hittite Mythology: In the Hittite and Hurrian cultures' Chaoskampf myth — thought to be the inspiration for the Greek Typhonomachy myth — the serpentine dragon-god Illuynka fights the storm-god Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna and defeats him. In one version, Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna beseeches the aid of his daughter, the goddess Inara. Inara hosts a feast and gets Illuynka drunk, whereupon Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna takes his revenge. In another version, Illuynka rips out Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna's eyes and heart, instigating a complex revenge plot where Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna manipulates his son into marrying Illuynka's daughter and requesting his stolen body parts as a wedding gift. Once made whole, Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna defeats Illuynka in a rematch; but his horrified son attempts to stop him from killing the dragon-god be demanding that he be killed too, Tarḫunz/Tarḫunna obliging and killing them both.
  • Japanese Mythology: The Yamata-no-Orochi was a malevolent mountain-sized dragon-god with eight heads and eight tails, and was so powerful that it terrified the lesser earth-bound kami into subservience. The (exiled) celestial kami Susanoo had to get it drunk on eight vats of divine sake (one for each head) in order to kill it, and discovered a mystical sword in one of its tails that became one of the three divine treasures of Japan.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology:
    • Tiamat, the primordial goddess of the abyssal ocean of creation, transformed into a serpentine dragon-god of chaos in order to seek revenge when her the first generation of gods - her own children - killed her lover, the primordial god of freshwater Abz&ucirc. Despite giving birth to eleven divine monsters and begetting an army of demons, Tiamat was slain by the storm-god Marduk, who used her corpse to shape the heavens and earth.
    • Bašmu, one of Tiamat's eleven monster-god progeny, was a 120-mile-long serpentine dragon with two forelegs, wings, six mouths, and seven tongues. It ravenously devoured everything it came across until it was slain by a deity — variously stated to be Nergal, Ninurta, or Palil.
    • Mušmaḫḫū, another of Tiamat's eleven monster-god progeny, was sometimes described as a hybrid of lion, dragon, and bird or as a seven-headed serpent-dragon similar (and perhaps connected) to the Lernaean Hydra from Greek mythology.
    • Ušumgallu, another of Tiamat's eleven monster-god progeny, was said to be a leonine draconic beast slain by Nabû, though little else is known about it.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Jomungandr, the World Serpent, is a child of Loki and the jotunn Angrboda. Unlike his humanoid parents and sister Hel, or his lupine brother Fenrir, Jormungandr took the form of a sea-dragon and grew so utterly massive he encircled the Earth. He developed an enmity with the storm-god Thor, and the two were fated to kill each other during Ragnarok.
    • Nidhoggr is a massive dragon of unknown origin that exists outside the Nine Realms and gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasill — technically making it an interdimensional being, occasionally ravaging the corpses of oathbreakers, murderers, adulterers, and other criminals damned to the afterlife of Nastrond. It is also one of the few beings that will survive Ragnarok.
  • Russian Mythology and Tales: The Zmey Gorynych is a shapeshifting draconic beast with iron claws and anywhere from three to twelve heads — which it can regrow if severed. One specimen — Chudo-Yudo — is sometimes said to the brother of Koschei the Deathless and the son of Baba Yaga, who in some legends is a Humanoid Abomination herself. Another example, Tugarin Zmeyevich, is described as being a personification of malice and gluttony, is covered in flaming snakes, and sometimes has wings made of paper.
  • Zoroastrianism: Zahhāk — also known as Azhi Dahāka, Dahāg, and Bēvar Asp — is a malevolent three-headed dragon-god spawned by the dark spirit Angra Mainyu/Ahriman, though in some versions he was originally a human corrupted by Ahriman.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The malevolent dragon-goddess Tiamat, firstborn of the primordial dragon-god Asgorath, is a lesser deity who appears as a massive five-headed dragon — with each head being a different type of chromatic dragon — and a long tail tipped with a venomous stinger; contrasting her brother Bahamut, who just looks like a generic dragon. Tiamat possesses all of the powers of the different types of chromatic dragons, as well as her own otherworldly divine abilities, and is worshiped by both chromatic dragons and various mortal cults seeking to facilitate her conquest of the world. Even when she's temporarily stripped of her divinity, which brings her down to three heads, she's still an otherworldly entity in dragon form.
    • Null, Tiamat's other brother, is the draconic god of death and is said to manifest as a dragon-shaped mass of living darkness. While not as well-known as his siblings, he is said to be capable of killing anything with a touch, and can turn his followers into dracoliches.
    • Squamous Things, a type of monster from the 4th Edition Draconomicon, are the result of dragon eggs hatching in areas tainted by the Far Realm. The resulting creatures are essentially draconic Shoggoths (or to use D&D's parlance, Gibbering Mouthers), emerging from their eggs as chaotic, gibbering masses of scales, claws, wings, eyes, fangs, and draconic flesh; any trace of their kind's splendor lost to the Far Realm's insane influence.
    • The Third Edition Epic Level Handbook has the Force Dragon, which is essentially living kinetic energy that takes the form of an invisible dragon the size of a jumbo jet.
    • The Tarrasque — named after a draconic beast from French folklore — is a colossal monster resembling a cross between a theropod dinosaur and a wingless dragon, with a spiny shell on its back and massive horns on its head. It is one of the most powerful monsters in the game — though how powerful it is varies depending on the version of D&D being played, as it was severely nerfed in the fifth edition. It has a Multiple-Choice Past ranging from having been created by dark magicians experimenting with forbidden magics to being an abomination created by the Primordials to devour the gods and even the world itself. At the height of its prowess, in the 3.5 edition, the Tarrasque was capable of making five attacks per turn that can ignore any and all resistances its opponents might have, can swallow beings as large as Giants whole and digest literally anything, and it is Nigh-Invulnerable — being resistant to most forms of damage, completely immune to magic attacks, unaffected by various status effects, and capable of regenerating a significant amount of HP per turn. It is also stated that the Tarrasque is capable of regenerating from anything — even complete disintegration — unless its slayers use the Wish spell to ensure it stays dead. Its presence strikes terror into everything in its vicinity and restricts flight-capable opponents to a maximum altitude of twenty feet (within eating range), and it is capable of earth gliding and is said to hibernate within the planet's core. A ritual to summon it requires the heads of five adult dragons to perform, implying it is somehow connected to dragons as well.
  • Pathfinder carries a lot of Dungeons & Dragons' examples over, but makes its own contributions as well. The Tarrasque is given an even more horrible origin - it's now a creation of the Omnicidal Maniac god Rovagug, designed to destroy all mortal and immortal life, spawned from a disgusting pit of Body Horror where Rovagug is trapped. Additionally, there's a new critter called a Woundwyrm, a dragon mutated by demonic energies. It looks distinctly wrong, with too many legs (six) and a mouth that opens up all the way into its neck.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Void Dragon Mag'ladroth is the most powerful of the C'tan, primordial star-eating eldritch entities that manifested physical forms using the organic metal technology of the Necrontyr, with Mag'ladroth taking the shape of a biomechanical dragon-like entity. What became of it following the Necrons' rebellion is unknown, but a shard of it is believed to have battled the Emperor of Mankind and been sealed away on Mars, where it is worshiped as the Machine God or Omnissiah by the Cult of the Dragon sect of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
  • All dragons in Iron Kingdoms are at least on the edge of this, with Toruk the Dragonfather diving right in. Toruk was the first dragon, and divided his athanc (basically a dragon's magical heart) to create the others; his current goal is to eradicate the others and reassemble his athanc. Toruk's breath once transformed a ship into a Ghost Ship, exposure to his blood mutated the Satyxis into satyr-like creatures, his mere presence corrupts the land around him; even the other dragons have a pact that when their father stirs, they set aside their differences and unite against him just for the sake of survival. His "child" Everblight, who is vastly less powerful and very accurately named, has divided his athanc and presence between the Nyss elves; as a result, the Legion of Everblight consists largely of creatures that are developing into part-dragon mutants.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath: The Gohma Vlitra — based on the draconic asura from Hindu mythology — appears as a planet-sized eight-headed lava-dragon for the final battle, growing a massive demonic face in the center mass of rock and magma. At least at first. When Asura and Yasha fight their way to the core of the beast, it takes on a much smaller and still demonic, but noticeable humanoid form for the final clash.
  • Bayonetta:
    • Gomorrah, Devourer of the Divine, crosses this with Dragons are Demonic. It is an Infernal Demon that takes the form of a massive purple-and-black wingless dragon with a crown of spikes on its head, two small arms, four legs, and eyes lining its sides. Its profile notes that it devours everything it comes across, and in the first game it's used by Bayonetta to dispose of large angels.
    • Fortitudo, the Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude, crosses this with Angelic Abomination. He is a powerful angel that resembles an upside-down marble head with avian wings, armored talons, a segmented tail, and a pair of draconic heads. He's capable of breathing divine flames from all three of his mouths, and played a major role in instigating the Witch Hunts that cost Bayonetta her memories.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter: The game's hidden lore establishes that the surface world was devastated and rendered uninhabitable by draconic monsters of unknown origin, which the Genic bioweapons called D-Constructs were created in emulation of. The D-Constructs themselves are draconic monsters so powerful they are invulnerable to anything except other D-Constructs, can bond with a human host to give them a Draconic Humanoid super-form at the cost of Possession Burnout-induced Power Degeneration, and even if their physical body is slain they can reconstitute themselves by taking over their host's body.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Dark Souls:
      • Unlike the other Archdragons — who had stone scales and four wings — Seath the Scaleless has no eyes, pale slimy-looking skin, tentacles instead of legs, eight flexible dragonfly-like wings, and rather than breathing fire he fires beams of energy that create cursed crystals. Obsessed with immortality, Seath obtained a piece of Gwyn's Lord Soul and a mystical crystal that made him into a unique undead. Even after death, his soul persisted to the time of Dark Souls II, with Sweet Shalquoir indicating that he was reincarnated as the arachnid Animalistic Abomination Freja (which his soul is obtained from) and Manscorpion Tark commenting that his master cannot truly be killed and will simply be reborn so he can "seethe" for all eternity. By the time of Dark Souls III a secret cult worshipping Seath had formed in Lothric's Grand Archives, with King Oceiros going so far as to mutate himself into a Draconic Humanoid strongly resembling the Old Paledrake himself.
      • The Gaping Dragon was originally a normal Archdragon before the emergence of life corrupted it with a ravenous gluttony that mutated it into a horrendous acid-spewing abomination with a massive, grotesque Belly Mouth running from the base of its throat to its pelvis.
      • The Black Dragon Kalameet is indicated by its black flame-breath and proximity to the lost city of Oolacile to have been corrupted by the Abyss. Unlike all the other dragons shown in the game, he only has two wings, and has a glowing red Third Eye he can use to cast curses. The Black Dragon Set in Dark Souls II is said to have been crafted from his scales, and the Black Dragon weapons from his severed tail.
    • Dark Souls III: Darkeater Midir was originally an Archdragon raised by the gods, but millennia of being fed monsters of the Abyss (hence the name) led to him being corrupted. He can conjure a Magic Missile Storm of Dark projectiles, and can focus his Dark-tinged flame-breath into a purple beam of Dark energy.
  • Dawn of the Dragons:
    • The Draconic Dreams raid boss starts off as a white dragon with a fang-mouthed tumorous mass on its neck and a twisted arm; and mutates into a three-headed monstrosity with each head and limb being completely different, four wings, and a body comprised of bloated tumorous masses. Its victory Flavor Text describes it as a constantly mutating literally-living nightmare formed from the all-consuming hatred of dragons slain by your ancestor, the Dragon Rider.
    • Recurring Boss Erebus the Black keeps coming back in more horrific and warped forms, often through a Merger of Souls with other spectral or corrupted drakes through sheer hate of the Dragon Rider. Fittingly he makes up part of the Draconic Dreams boss.
    • The Grotesque Hybrid and Makeshift Drake are an Artificial Hybrid and Flesh Golem respectively, and collectively are shambling abominations that need to be slain.
  • The extinct Ahamkara from Destiny are described as wish-granting dragons, but it soon becomes clear that they something far more eldritch in nature; they were high-level Reality Warpers and Emotion Eaters who changed form based on what people thought they looked like, or to fulfill wishes. The reason they looked like dragons (in the vaguest sense) is because one of them picked up on Lord Saladin's desire to fight a real dragon and interpreted that as a wish, changing itself and it's kin into towering wyrms. The only Ahamkara you see in-game is best described as looking like Cthulhu mixed with a dinosaur.
  • Dragalia Lost: One of the recruitable Shadow Dragons is an otherworldly and grotesque eyeless black, purple, and gold beast named after the Outer God Nyarlathotep, who reaps the souls of those he corrupts as sacrifices for a dark god called the Ancient One.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The Archdemon looks like some kind of rotten, twisted, almost undead take on a dragon, but the truth is it's something else entirely. It holds supreme dominion over all Darkspawn, capable of controlling them en masse with a single thought. Worse, should it ever be killed, it will merely Body Surf to the closest Darkspawn, who will then take its shape. Most tellingly, runes that do more damage to Darkspawn or Dragons have no effect on the Archdemon.
  • Dragon: Marked for Death: The Astral Dragon Atruum only vaguely resembles a dragon, being a continent-sized Eldritch Abomination with Combat Tentacles tipped by heads and lined with Extra Eyes. He is the patron god of the Dragonblood Clan, whose ancestors formed a pact with him after he was not-quite killed by his nemesis, the monkey-god Primatus; and his flesh and blood have mutated many of the planet's native plants and animals into predatory monsters.
  • Dragon Project: The Dark Oracle Spear Behemoth, Vile Mezarenda, is a winged serpentine dragon with an eye at the end of its tail and a massive sinister eye where its face is supposed to be. Vile Mezarenda and the Light Burst Greatsword Behemoth, Ruthless Illugion, serve as guardians for an abandoned dragon sanctuary that doubles as an archive. Its mere appearance is unnerving enough, but it has some Lovecraftian Superpowers up its sleeve, such as summoning shadowy spikes that trap unlucky Hunters. It can also rip one of its FUCKING EYES OUT to buff itself, leaving behind an empty eye-socket with glowing Tron Lines. The nightmare doesn't stop there, as the empty eye-socket occasionally drips black puddles of blood, which deal damage when stepped on. The worst part? One of Vile Mezarenda's lovely attacks is to summon the aforementioned spikes, turn its eye into a makeshift black hole, and crawl around the battlefield at frightening speeds while sucking up any unfortunate Hunter within its eye-socket before slamming its head against the ground strong enough to border on a One-Hit KO. It doesn't help that a bug will turn the unfortunate Hunter into an invisible yet frail spectre that cannot deal any damage yet can receive damage until their demise.note 
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Peryite is one of the Daedric Princes, Jerkass Gods who are often judged to be demonic, but in truth have goals and ideals completely beyond mortal comprehension. Peryite is said to enjoy taking the form of a dragon, in a mockery of Akatosh, the primordial Aedric Dragon-God of Time.
    • Alduin the World-Eater is a primordial draconic entity worshipped as a god of death and destruction by the ancient Nords, with the priests of the Dragon Cult still serving him even in undeath. While he appears as a large, spiny jet-black dragon, he is distinctly more powerful and otherworldly than the other dragons, being the self-proclaimed "Firstborn of Akatosh".note  He is said to predate the existence of the world itself and to have destroyed its previous incarnation; to have fought the creator-god Lorkhan/Shor at the beginning of time and come out no worse for wear; and to be able to eat literally anything, in one myth devouring the lifespan of the entire Nord population down to age six. He's prophesied to devour the world at the end of time — though he seeks to conquer it instead. He can pop in and out of the afterlife of Sovngarde to devour souls and replenish his power; and unlike other dragons he can only be injured if the Dragonrend Shout is used on him. Even after Alduin's physical form is slain his soul cannot be absorbed by the Dragonborn, with it being speculated that he'll eventually reconstitute himself to fulfill his destiny. Furthermore, his title of "the World-Eater" is implied to not be a hyperbole — which indicates that the full extent of his power and/or his true form have never been revealed. Ingame, Alduin normally appears not too different from other dragons, but reveals his nature upon defeat. His armored coating cracks and falls apart, revealing beneath a vaguely dragon-shaped mass of gooey darkness before dissipating.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Beast II, aka Tiamat, is a primordial deity of chaos that emits an ocean of black ooze called the Sea of Life or Chaos Tide,note  which completely reformats living and supernatural beings alike on a spiritual level into monstrous creatures called the Children of Tiamat. She initially appears as a scantily-clad woman with massive gnarled horns — her Cerebral Corpus — but eventually transforms into her true "Draconic Corpus" form — a colossal sphynx-like draconic entity so powerful that Servants and even other deities are all-but powerless against her.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Recurring superboss Shinryu is a draconic entity with white-and-gold crystalline scales and deific levels of power, residing in the Void and using the Interdimensional Rift to traverse the Final Fantasy multiverse. In the Dissidia subseries, it orchestrates a cyclical war between the deities Cosmos and Chaos in order to grow stronger by absorbing the memories of their summoned warriors. In Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, it manifests offshoots called planesgorgers to devour the patchwork dimension of World B, its nightmarish true form is fought as the final boss, and it is seemingly vanquished for good by Materia and Spiritus (the reincarnations of Cosmos and Chaos), and their assembled warriors.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Ultima Weapon is a centaur-like draconic entity and one of the Weapons — colossal monsters created by the Will of the Planet in order to kill all living things in the event of a threat to Gaia itself, so that Omega Weapon could extract the Lifestream and transfuse it into another celestial body.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Ultima Weapon appears in as a superboss in an updated version of its centaur-like draconic form from VII, with a face on its lower body and wielding the Ultima Weapon from Final Fantasy VII. It is said within the game's lore to be the ultimate Guardian Force entity and be impossible to defeat, and possesses numerous attacks that can one-shot entire parties.
    • Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2:
      • Ultima Weapon appears as a centaur-like draconic entity said to be a legendary fiend possessing limitless power. Differentiating this version from prior incarnations, it has six eyes and a Gigeresque black-and-red exoskeleton.
      • Omega Weapon, the nemesis of Ultima Weapon, also appears as a centaur-like draconic entity with a black-and-silver Gigeresque exoskeleton — mostly a palette swap of Ultima Weapon's — and formerly held the title of the strongest of fiends.
    • Final Fantasy XII: The superboss Yiazmat is a draconic god driven to madness by its own immense power, and is hands-down one of the most difficult fights in the game, possessing Death-infused attacks and over 50 million HP. Its bone-white Gigeresque appearance with Extra Eyes all over its body makes it especially disturbing.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Ereshkigal, a six-winged draconic Cie'th-like superboss, is fought at the end of the Ultimate Lair and is Bhunivelze's most-powerful creation.
    • Final Fantasy Type-0: Shinryu Celestia is the l'Cie form of Lady Celestia and takes the form of a three-headed wyvern-like monster whose bestiary entry emphasizes that her power is so overwhelming that she is more than a match for even the most-powerful of Eidolons. Canonically, the protagonists lose against her and have to be saved by Bahamut ZERO.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem Awakening: Grima the Fell Dragon is a colossal draconic abomination that is worshipped as a god of destruction by the nation of Plegia, and is responsible for the Bad Future that Lucina seeks to avert. In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia it's revealed that Grima was created by the mad alchemist Forneus using — among various ingredients — human flesh, special herbs, nectar, and the blood of a Divine Dragon; but quickly grew too powerful and malevolent for even his creator to control.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Anankos was once a benevolent dragon-god of water, light, and dark — among countless other powers; but excised his soul and the last of his sanity, succumbed to madness, and devolved into an omnicidal colossal eyeless beast holding a terrifying eye-covered orb in its jaws.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: The Demonic Beasts and their Wild, Experimental, Altered, Flying, and Giant variants; Black Beast, Wandering Beast, and White Beast were all originally human, but were transformed into grotesque draconic horrors through being imbued with incompatible or damaged Crest Stones, which were formed from the blood of the Nabataens — a race of dragons created by the progenitor-goddess Sothis. The Umbral Beast from the Cindered Shadows DLC is the result of Aelfric being transformed into a skinless dragon with a human skull for a face through a botched attempt to resurrect Sitri, an artificial Nabataen created by Rhea in an attempt to resurrect Sothis.
  • Guild Wars 2: The great Elder Dragons are closer to primordial forces of nature rather than traditional dragons, being incomprehensibly large forces of destruction and chaos. They can render land uninhabitable just by flying over it, control the very essence of their respective magic element, reshape the very planet itself, and mutate other living creatures into vassals. And to make matters worse, they are completely linked to the world's balance of magic. Killing one will set that element out of control, causing even more problems.
  • Hungry Dragon: Amidst the game's wide variety of dragons, Anomalyis is an XXL-sized Gigeresque wyvern described as an extradimensional entity accidentally summoned by some witches, and possesses an insatiable appetite — being capable of devouring almost anything it comes across.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Storm Rider is a powerful dragon-like Heartless that Sora and the gang face in their second visit to the Land of Dragons. The Emperor implies that it used to be an actual dragon sleeping dormant within the mountain before Organization XIII found it and turned it into a lightning-slinging Heartless-mockery of a dragon.
  • Last Cloudia: El'dravahna the Imperator is a grotesque abomination that has a dragon's head, torso, arms, and wings jutting from a twisted mass of eyeball-studded flesh and machinery. Making it look even more horrifying, its wings aren't attached to the draconic torso, but to the Body of Bodies jutting from its back.
  • Mega Man Star Force: The Crimson Dragon fought at the end of Mega Man Star Force 3 is a red-and-black draconic Electromagnetic Being made of Crimson,note  that serves as the core of Meteor G — a red-and-black asteroid-like Eldritch Location made of Noise. It is created when King merges with Meteor G's core to destroy the world, though it breaks free from his control through Mega Man's intervention and rampages, nearly one-shotting Mega Man with a single attack and coming close to destroying the Earth. It can dematerialize parts of its body, split its head into two — though this leaves its core vulnerable, regenerate destroyed heads, fire Crimson missiles shaped like its head, and was so powerful that Mega Man had to use his Finalized Noise form to defeat it.
  • Metroid: Ridley, the sadistic commander of the Space Pirates, is a Gigeresque alien dragon that seems to be the only member of his species, leaving his origin entirely unknown. What is known about him is that he just doesn't die and is able to survive numerous violent defeats, to the point that it takes a planet-leveling bomb to fully kill him — and that still leaves enough left to clone him. His biology is compatible with the eldritch mutagen Phazon, turning his cyborg Meta Ridley form into Omega Ridley; and the corpse of his clone is infected by the Lovecraftian X-Parasite to become Omega Ridley. The Metroid manga explains that he survives each defeat via eating lower lifeforms to regenerate his own cells, and this Healing Factor was strong enough to restore him to his normal state by the time of Super Metroid. In his various depictions, he is also shown to be capable of flying unaided through the vacuum of space at speeds rivaling Samus' spaceship, be durable enough to withstand Samus' Arm Cannon anywhere except the inside of his mouth, able to alter the pigmentation and hardness of his body to enhance himself, and breathe plasma hot enough to melt space ships.
  • Monster Hunter: Several Elder Dragons look...wrong. Note that in the Monster Hunter series a monster don't technically have to be a dragon to be categorized as an Elder Dragon, although a good chunk of them are. It's more of an umbrella term for beings that seem to defy nature and are incredibly mysterious.
    • Special mention should go to the Fatalis. While looking like a fairly standard western dragon — unlike the more exotic Elder Dragons that were introduced later in the series — in lore it's stated that it single-handedly destroyed an entire kingdom by itself, and even other Elder Dragons are afraid of it. The White Fatalis, also called Old Fatalis due to its implied Time Abyss age and the "beard" that grows under its chin, is even worse, replacing the fire breath of the regular Fatalis with blue lightning and having a constant eclipse covering the arena as you fight it.
    • Gore Magala and Shagaru Magala from the fourth installment. Gore Magala is a jet-black wyvern that looks intimidating enough, but what really pushes it into this territory is that it constantly spreads dust from its scales, which helps the nearly blind monster sense its surroundings but also infects other monsters exposed to it with a "Frenzy Virus" that drives them into mindless, savage aggression until they eventually perish a few days later. Fortunately, it's temporary and nonfatal to humans, though still debilitating as it suppresses natural healing. Gore Magala is called the "Black Eclipse Wyvern" because over the course of a fight with it, it eventually spreads enough of the stuff around to darken the area around it, even in broad daylight. Shagaru Magala is the adult form of Gore Magala, whose appearance faintly resembles an angel or a deity with its glimmering scales, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous, as its Frenzy Virus is even deadlier and more potent compared to that of its juvenile form. Special mention to Chaotic Gore Magala, which molted improperly and is permanently stuck in transition between Gore and Shagaru Magala. It's not a comfortable state, to say the least.
    • The Xeno'jiiva introduced in Monster Hunter: World is a bizarre otherworldly Elder Dragon whose true origins are a mystery, but which feeds off the life energy of dying Elder Dragons, is disrupting the natural ecosystem of the world to obtain more of it, and is indicated to possesses Resurrective Immortality. Conversely, its adult form — the Safi'jiiva — is more along the lines of Dragons are Demonic: it lacks its larval form's otherworldly appearance and is a traditional-looking western dragon with blood-red scales and glowing red eyes; though it retains the ability to drain life energy and can breathe torrents of spectral blue flames that it can focus into devastating energy beams.
  • From Minecraft hails the Ender Dragon. She looks to have a fairly normal draconic body shape, but her throat and eyes glow purple, and she can phase through blocks or destroy anything not native to the End by touching it.
  • Pokémon:
    • Giratina, introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, is a Ghost/Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon that was so violent and destructive that it was banished to the Distortion World. It appears as a cross between a skeletal dragon and a centipede with shadowy wings in its Altered Forme, and in its Origin Forme it loses its legs and its wings become Combat Tentacles.
    • Kyurem, Reshiram, and Zekrom — introduced in Pokémon Black and White — are offshoots of a powerful extraterrestrial Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon that fell to Earth in a meteor and split apart into three separate entities representing the Taoist concepts of Wuji, Yin, and Yang respectively. Reshiram and Zekrom devastated the ancient Unova region with their fire and lightning powers during a war over whether truth or ideals were more important, while Kyurem remained hidden in the meteor's impact crater. In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Kyurem can assimilate Reshiram to become "White Kyurem" or Zekrom to become "Black Kyurem" through the process known as "Absofusion", but what the original draconic entity looked like is unknown.
    • Guzzlord from Pokémon Sun and Moon is a Dark/Dragon-type Ultra Beast that is constantly ravenous, has a massive Belly Mouth, two pincer-tipped tongues, and a conveyer belt inside its throat, and is capable of eating anything without needing to defecate.
    • Necrozma is a black crystalline thing that originates from Ultra Space and absorbs light — devastating entire dimensions — in order to restore itself; with the Sparkling Stones harnessed to perform Alola's Z-Moves being theorized to be shards of Necrozma's incomplete body. In its complete Ultra Necrozma form, it becomes a Psychic/Dragon-type entity composed of radiant golden light, and it is only surpassed in terms of power by Mega Rayquaza.
    • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, Eternatus is a Poison/Dragon-type Legendary Pokémon resembling a purplish-black and red skeletal dragon with segmented tentacles for wings, a glowing red core, and what amounts to a plasma cannon for a rib cage. In its unique "Eternamax" form, it coils its body into a giant spiral with a massive hand — actually its heads — extending from it, and manifests a hurricane of Dynamax Energy around itself. Like Necrozma, it is an alien entity whose power is said to be responsible for its region's unique transformation mechanic, with the Wishing Stones used to activate Dynamax and Eternamax transformations being shards of its body that were broken off; and it being unleashed threatens the entire Galar region. It also has the power to nullify Dynamax transformations and even other Pokémons' ability to attack.
  • Remnant: From the Ashes: Singe is a Root-spawned boss monster resembling a dragon with multiple glowing orange eyes. It is capable of breathing fire despite being made of wood, can fly without its wings having membranes, and its Blazing Heart never stops beating even after it's killed.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: General Tsao summons his family's mystical Stone Dragon as a last resort to keeping the Cooper Gang from dishonoring his family name and rescuing the daughter of a local crime lord that Tsao intends to marry against her will. The Stone Dragon goes right for Penelope as a side-affect of Tsao's misogyny, forcing Sly to use rockets to battle the dragon head on and save her. It greatly resembles Mushu, but is about 20m long, capable of flight, and has a tongue made of fire. Its origins are that of a Guardian Entity for the Tsao family, and works on the current generation's morality.
  • Warcraft:
    • Deathwing, the antagonist of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, eventually became this. He started as a regular dragon, but his insanity and incredible power slowly torn his body apart from the inside. He had to be reconstructed and held together by metal plates. Once you tear those plates off in his climatic Boss Battle, he crashes into the ocean and emerges as something... not draconic. In his final moments, he's basically left a writhing mass of tentacles and magma.
    • Galakrond, the progenitor of dragons, was also this. He was unfathomably huge - just the exposed tip of his spine was large enough to be an entire subzone in WoW. In life, once he had run out of food in his hunting grounds, he turned to cannibalizing his fellow proto-drakes. His amorality and greed corrupted his very being, twisting him into something between life and death and causing anything he killed to return as a mindless undead servant. Essentially, he was so powerful he accidentally created necromancy through sheer evil.

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The Gaping Dragon

The Gaping Dragon was originally a normal Archdragon before the emergence of life corrupted it with a ravenous gluttony that mutated it into a horrendous acid-spewing abomination with a massive, grotesque Belly Mouth running from the base of its throat to its pelvis.

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