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Killer Space Monkey

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Maybe it's because they land somewhere in the Uncanny Valley. Maybe, as with the Monster Clown, it's because writers like subverting the traditionally "cute". Maybe it is a reflection of our savage ancestry. Maybe it's a remnant of our struggle with our differently-evolved cousins. Or maybe it's simply that Everything's Better with Monkeys. Whatever the reason, killer simians make for good alien monsters.

Such extraterrestrial monkeys tend to be brutish killing machines - an intelligent alien ape is usually a subversion.

Yes, we know this should be called Killer Space Non-Human Primate. No, Earthly villains who happen to be actual apes are not Killer Space Monkeys.

See also Maniac Monkeys. May be a Killer Gorilla IN SPACE!. Not to be mistaken with Apes in Space, who are monkeys that go into space.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: The Saiyans used their power to transform into giant "apes"note  during the full moon to conquer planets for Frieza, and calling the Saiyans "monkeys" was a bit of a racial slur used by Frieza and his underlings.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Who Magazine: A group of intelligent killer space monkeys appears in "Sins of the Fathers".
  • Nexus: The Thunes resemble apes. Thunes are an intelligent race, though, and are just as varied morality-wise as humans. The two most prominent Thune castmembers are Nexus's two best friends, Dave and his son Fred, who calls himself Judah.
  • The Transformers has a race of (somewhat) intelligent, vicious cyborg monkeys living in limbo.


  • Known Space has multiple hominids evolved from the Pak, including a whole Ringworld full of sentient and non-sentient types. The Morlocks of Wunderland are also apelike cave-dwellers.
  • John Carter of Mars has the White Apes — gigantic, four-armed Martian primates.

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889 High Martians look and act like evil flying monkeys.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Not so much killer, as their role is more of The Engineer despite questionable sapience, but there are the Jokaero, a race of space orangutans. They produce fantastically advanced and powerful weapons which can fire in a variety of modes (heavy flamer, lascannon, melta), and it's possible to have an entire army of them plus one Inquisitor.
  • AT-43 features the Karmans a race of intelligent apes (actually uplifted Earth gorillas), fond of philosophy and simian-related Shout Outs. With fondness of BFGs.
  • Star Frontiers had the Yazirians as a playable race. They were generally good guys, of the Proud Warrior Race Guy sort.
  • Spelljammer brought the Yazirians back, but renamed them "Hadozee," or "deck apes."
  • Alternity had the baboon-like Weren, who were also Proud Warrior Race Guys but typically not hostile.
  • In Eclipse Phase police forces on Mars often use genetically modified baboons adapted to the atmosphere, a lot of people are scared of them. In one of the stories an Olympus Ranger character has two of them, one of which smokes and is prone to tearing faces off if he doesn’t get his nicotine fix.
  • Starfinder has the maraquoi (seven-sexed, compound-eyed langur-people), the seprevoi (four-legged, hooved baboon-people) and the neskinti (basically hadozee Expies). Of these, only the neskinti are likely to be hostile (by virtue of being a subject race of the Azlanti Star Empire); the maraquoi are Pact Worlds citizens, and the seprevoi are neutral.

    Video Games 
  • System Shock 2 had creepy zombie space lab monkeys. With Psychic Powers (either cryokinesis or pyrokinesis, depending on which kind of monkey).
  • City of Heroes has transdimensional psychic monkeys that emit toxic gas when defeated, and gives you a badge for "arresting" 1000 of them.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 2 introduced the Brutes, who are basically gorilla-bears. Gorilla-bears in Powered Armor who dual-wield shotguns. They become even more ape-like in subsequent games, with the page image being the Brute general Atriox from Halo Wars 2.
    • The Grunts also have ape-like features; the Covenant name for them is even "Unggoy", which in Tagalog means "monkey".
    • Halo: Reach includes the Gúta, essentially tusked lizard monkeys that look kind of like trolls. However, due to resource constraints, only two appear in the entire game (in "Nightfall"), so some think of them as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
  • Star Fox: Andross, the Big Bad, is an evil scientist appearing as a giant orangutan head and hands. Most of his underlings are also monkeys and apes.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops: The Cosmic Silverback in the Dead Ops Arcade minigame, along with the much smaller Space Monkeys in the Nazi Zombies map Ascension.
  • Sword of the Stars: The Tarka are one part reptile and one part this. In return, they consider us this too.
  • Turok: The Purr-Lin are essentially a combination of gorilla and reptile

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive: The Lespuko is an aggressive alien whose name means "Rock Ape".

    Western Animation 
  • Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars: The Betelgeusian Berserker Baboons make up the bulk of S.P.A.C.E.'s Space Marine contingent and are more likely than not to go for Good Old Fisticuffs in a setting where Frickin' Laser Beams are the standard armament. The first baboon seen is a warp drive engineer, but that doesn't stop him from drop-kicking his way through a bulkhead. However, the baboons are firmly in the heroic camp, though they are The Dreaded to the Toads, and tend towards the Blood Knight side of the spectrum. They are also, unlike most examples of this trope, rather small (by human standards, they tower over most of the cast). Willy is a pre-teen human boy, but he can comfortably wear Betelgeusian combat armor with only minor alterations.
  • Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys had as its main cast a group of good guy space monkeys. The Big Bad, meanwhile, had an evil cyborg space monkey after them, RHESUS-2.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: One episode has Titano (see Comics section) as Lois Lane's pet monkey (her father was part of NASA at the time.) He eventually lands in Metropolis, starts growing to massive size and runs amok downtown.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!: They're technically the good guys, but they have no compunction whatsoever against killing their enemies and being brutal about it.
  • "Dexter's Laboratory": In Dial M for Monkey, Simion seeks revenge on the human population for sending him into space and becoming a super ape.


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