This also applies to other kinds of made-up creatures, such as cryptids (Ever heard of the New Jersey Mantis Man?), or depictions of famous creatures that are either more accurate (such as a siren being depicted as a half-bird woman rather than being an alternative name for mermaid, which most people would call harpies), or borrow from a different depiction than popular culture (there is some Greek art of a two-headed Cerberus, and a hermaphroditic hag called as a Lamia, a name more used for Snake People these days, and werewolves turning into vampires when dying).
Examples of this trope should be creatures of myth or folklore that are still seldom seen in media these days, or at least the depiction shown. Examples of older works that show these creatures or depictions that were rare in media at the time of the work's release but not that obscure now are also allowed. Gods and mythical figures can also count under this trope.
If a creature of folklore or mythology is given the name of another creature without any basis from the original source, then it's Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff". Often an example of Shown Their Work and/or Aluminum Christmas Trees. It should be pointed out that some creatures are more known some to others, such as the Nokk being well-known in Norway but pretty much is unknown in the rest of the world, but it should be pointed out the same applies to Seldom-Seen Species, possibly even more since that trope has a less likely chance to suffer Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff", or Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp" in this case.
Mi'raj (معراج), also known as al-mi'raj,note horn rabbit, needle rabbit, and bunnicorn, is a creature that resembles a rabbit with a horn on their head. The default mythological depiction is a yellow hare with a single, foot-long, black, and twisted horn comparable in silhouette to that of a unicorn, while the modern fantasy look favors an all-white rabbit with a smaller horn that is white or a similar unobtrusive color. "Mi'rāj" means "ladder" in Arabic, but has religious connotations that favor "ascension" as translation. It is unknown why the mi'raj has this name.
As far as surviving documentation goes, the mi'raj has its origin in a myth regarding Alexander the Great, as written down in Aja'ib al-Makhluqat wa Ghara'ib al-Mawjudat. Once, he visited Jazirat al-Tinnin, an island in the Indian Ocean, and was asked by the population to kill the tinnin that was terrorizing them. He did and among his rewards from the grateful people was a mi'raj, a horned hare. The intent of the reward is unclear, because the creature terrifies other animals away on sight. This is a trait shared with the karkadann, a one-horned creature described in both older and more works. As such, the mi'raj is theorized to be mythologically derived from the karkadann. The immediate real-world inspiration most likely were rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus, which typically prompts the growth of keratinous carcinomas on the infected individual's head.
Today's popularity of the mi'raj kickstarted with the 1950 karkadann-centric paper Studies in Muslim Iconography I. The Unicorn, which covers the mi'raj in "Other unicorns in Muslim literature". In 1981, Dungeons & Dragons picked up the al-mi'raj in the first edition of the Fiend Folio. And from there, the al-mi'raj made it into the Eastern RPG space with its inclusion in Dragon Quest III in 1988. Dungeons and Dragons's take on the mi'raj largely follows the mythological details. It's a yellow hare with a single black horn and a temper, but it's also no more than a starter enemy. In Dragon Quest, the two primary variants of the mi'raj are grey and purple with a golden horn, more bunny than hare, and lack an intimidation factor.
The result of these two popular renditions is a creature that is principally treated as being as dangerous as a Cute Slime Mook. The mi'raj's horn is a fearsome weapon, but the mi'raj itself is a poor wielder better suited for detecting hostility and running away timely. Yet just as easily the mi'raj's expected weakness is inverted and the creature lives up to the myth. This often goes hand-in-hand with the vorpal bunny archetype and may or may not come as a surprise to whomever encounters a mi'raj.
Anime and Manga
- Interspecies Reviewers: The intro of the anime has a cameo of a non-sapient al-mi'raj hopping along next to a waterfall.
- The Keeper Wants to Build a Zoo in Another World, so He Tames Monsters: In Chapter 5, Ikuhara discovers, befriends, and learns to command a full colony of fluffy al-mi'rajs. He realized that the horns of the critters are hollow and that they don't use them for offensive, but rather that they have them as a means to communicate. The horn is both an instrument and an antenna and by making the right sounds Ikuhara can make them perform complex maneuvers. The al-mi'rajs are also friendly, so Ikuhara doesn't have to win their trust first either.
- Saikyou no Shokugyou wa Yuusha demo Kenja demo naku Kanteishi (Kari) rashii desu yo?: In Chapters 2-3, Hibiki and Emalia discover a Crystal Horn Rabbit, which is an al-mi'raj variant with a crystal as its horn. The horn is valuable, so Emalia wants to catch the creature. Despite her best efforts at stealth, it spots her and uses escape to teleport 500 m away. Hibiki comes up with a risky but ultimately rewarding strategy that forces the Crystal Horn Rabbit into attacking him, at which point it can't use escape and Emalia can shoot it mid-attack.
- Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: In the Cyan Desert Car, Chloe encounters a priest named "Miraj", which is a sandy colored rabbit with a silver unicorn horn.
- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: White and yellow Needle Rabbits roam around on the 7th floor. They're rabbits with a horn on their heads and for the most part not dangerous, but if they launch themselves towards an enemy their horn and hit, the damage is severe if not lethal. A Needle Rabbit's horn is therefore considered quality weapon material. Bell and Lilly encounter these creatures in Volume 2 and in Volume 5 they get to deal with the related Al-Mirajs on the 13th and 14th floors. Al-Mirajs are like Needle Rabbits, but they walk on their hind legs, are on the smaller side of human-sized, and know how to handle weapons and combat strategy. Relative to the floor, Al-Mirajs are not more dangerous than Needle Rabbits unless they come in groups. Any Al-Miraj more to deal with than a group of adventurers has members poses a considerable risk.
- Re:Monster: The prey of Rou's first hunt on Day 4 is a Horn Rabbit, a brown rabbit with a 20 cm long horn on its head. He share the meat with Kichi, but keeps the horn to himself as a sharp and durable stabbing weapon. It proves useful the next day against bigger Horn Rabbits, of which he also confiscates the horns. On Day 92, the higher ranked Blade Rabbits are encountered, which rather than a horn has a blade on its head. It also has a collar of blades. Relative to the other monsters near the Kuuderun Great Forest, they remain easy prey. On Day 153, the final rank known as Vorpal Bunnies are encountered. These red-furred critters have the same blades as Blade Rabbits and also a blade on their tail. Because they can move in absolute silence and attack with both sides of their body, they are much more troublesome than the previous ranks, but still not too dangerous for what else dwells in the Jadar Mountains.
- Re:Zero: One of the Three Great Demon Beasts created by Daphne is the Great Rabbit. The Great Rabbit is a massive Hive Mind mi'raj colony that is carnivorous and insatiable. Daphne had created it to solve hunger because the Great Rabbit can instantly regrow its numbers, thus being a perpetual source of food, but Daphne also gave it her own endless hunger. One-on-one, the separate mi'raj have the benefit of being deceptively cute and in the possession of sharp teeth, but it's the sheer amount of bodies of the Demon Beast that is the true danger. At one point, it was estimated that there were 80.000 separate bodies. The Great Rabbit is effectively indestructible because its death would require every single body to be killed, so Beatrice uses the Al Shamak to lock it in another dimension.
- Star Trek: Picard: Bunnicorns are creatures native to the planet Nepenthe that resemble horned rabbits. Their meat is delicious, but lethally poisonous if the venom sacs aren't removed during cooking. In the episode "Nepenthe", William Riker serves his family and guests a pizza that contains bunnicorn meat. The critter is a Shout-Out to the Alfa 177 canine of the original series.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: There are two mi'raj cards.
- Al-Lumi'raj, part of the "Breakers of Shadow" booster pack, owes its name to a portmanteau of "al-mi'raj" and "lumen". It's a constellation spirit in the form of an al-mi'raj with the addition of four long barbels and pronounced fangs. It's of the wind attribute and jointly Wyrm / Tuner / Effect as far as type goes.
- Salamangreat Almiraj, part of the "Battles of Legend: Hero's Revenge" booster pack, is a robot al-mi'raj. It's of the fire attribute and jointly Cyberse / Link / Effect as far as type goes.
- Brave Frontier: Al-mi'raj is a monstrous if elegant rabbit with a horn on its head. It evolves into cait sith and is of the light element. The creature is found in the Lamellia Temple and known to be excessively terratorial and dangerous on account of its powerful hind legs and sturdy horn. On the other hand, it isn't rare to find an al-mi'raj with their horn stuck in something a feet or more above the ground. In that case, its spine-chilling screeching when it's in a vulnerable position like that is enough to chase off most dangers.
- Dragon Quest: The purple spiked hare (also known as al-mi'raj), white bunicorn, golden 24-carrot bunicorn, and black bunicorn queen are horned rabbits. None of them pose a genuine threat.
- Gems of War: Bunnicorns are rabbits with an elegantly carved horn on their head. They're classified both as Wildfolk and Beast and found in the forest-rich Pan's Vale and rabbit domain of The Warrens. They're fast and have access to the spell Cute Impalement, which charms their target after they've stabbed them with their horn.
- ShadowVerse: There are both al-mi'rajs and bunnicorns, though the latter is not a rabbit in the original Japanese.
- Al-mi'rajs are a Havencraft species of which all members look like humans with rabbit ears and a horn on their foreheads. The looks of the ears and the horn differ per individual, and many express an affinity with the moon. There's Bashful Al-mi'raj, Moon Al-mi'raj, Ramina - Moon Al-mi'raj, Lethal Al-mi'raj, Charitable Al-mi'raj, Justine - Holy Al-mi'raj, Sword Al-mi'raj, Malevolent Al-mi'raj, Luxhorn Sarissa, and Sarissa -Luxflash Spear. Dropped from Rage of Bahamut are Al-mi'raj On Holiday, Curious Al-Mi'raj, and Summertime Moon Al-mi'raj.
- Bunnicorn is the English identification for a creature that's only identified as a beast in Japanese. It looks like a cross between a rabbit and a dog, something which becomes more pronounced in its evolved form on the Mysterian Summoner Vayle card. It has a horn and its evolved form has wings to boot. It and Vayle are part of the Runecraft class.
- "Red" (2010): Rather than the wolf, it's a mi'raj that poses a danger to Little Red. The cute white-haired fluffball approaches her and when she pets it, it becomes the size of a bear with a maw to match. The wolf comes to Little Red's aid and only together are they able to kill it.
Makara is an aquatic monster in Hindu lore. It means "sea dragon" or "water monster" in Sanskrit and relates to "magar", the Hindi word for "crocodile". Its depictions vary widely through history, but it's always a hybrid creature that is at home in the water and capable of going on land. The front may resemble a short-snouted creature, but more often the makara has an elongated face like an elephant, crocodile, or dolpin. The makara may have any number of legs: none, two, or four, and while variaties to its hind exist it usually ends in a fish tail.
The makara ranks among the vahanas, divine mounts, and are known to carry Ganga and Varuna. Other gods wear makara-shaped earrings and Kamadeva has the makara as his insignia. Statues of makaras are commonly in use as guardians of gateways of important buildings, and also are in use as waterspouts.
Cross-culturally, makara are the Zodiac counterpart to capricorns and may be one of the inspirations to the Japanese shachihoko. It's theorized they may be an adaptation of the Greek ketos.
Anime and Manga
- Berserk: The makaras are among the strongest pishachas in the Kushan Army. They're created by infusing whales with the astral essence of war elephants, which makes them vicious and hybridizes them to have tentacle-like trunks, finned ears, and finned legs that allow them to go on land. On land, they aren't fast, but they are big, strong, and have a hide barely anything gets through. They also have a ranged attack in that they can spout a high-pressure stream of water from their trunks.
- GeGeGe no Kitarō: Pii is one of the non-humanoid vampires of the series. He's from South Asia and resembles a crocodile-fish posed with the tail up as makara statues occasionally are. He walks on his two front legs. As a vampire, he has the ability to convert and control others by biting them or making them wear his hat, which contains his ancestors' blood. Pii is always accompanied by his wife, the human-looking vampire Monroe, a Shout-Out to Marilyn Monroe.
- Aru Shah and the End of Time: Makara is a guardian of the Otherworld that Aru encounters while on her way to the Court of the Sky. It is a crocodile-like creature that is only properly visible due to the many bioluminscent moths flyring around and perched on it. After Makara confirms that the visitors are human, it opens the gate to the Court of the Sky.
- Lord of Shadows: Makaras are huge sea demons whose appearance is part octopus, part slug creature, topped by the oversized head of a bee. They furthermore have mottled green skin and tentacles covered in pink suckers. Makaras only rarely trade the ocean's bottom for the surface, and if they come on land that's a curiosity. If a makara's remains make it to shore, they dissolve into a puddle of green-pink goo within two days. So when the Shadowhunters find a makara's tentacle at Malcolm's house, a dilapidated residence quite a distance from the shore that is owned by a powerful but now dead warlock, and no reports that anyone saw such a creature, a number of questions come up. It is later deduced that Malcolm had enchanted the tentacle as a tool to command the sea demons in Los Angeles.
- Gajendra Moksha: Depending on the version, the Gandharva king called Huhu reincarnates as either a crocodile or a makara for pranking a sage during prayer. The makara dwells in the waters of Varuna's garden Rtumat and attacks the elephant Gajendra, the equally unfortunate reincarnation of King Indradyumna. The makara and Gajendra struggle for a long time until Gajendra appeals to Vishnu. Vishnu beheads the makara, thereby freeing the both of them from further reincarnation.
- Beast: The Primordial: Makara is the name for the Beast Family which represents the fear for the depths of the seas and oceans. The Horrors of this Family resemble all kinds of aquatic monsters.
- Monster Collection: Jade Fish Makara is card MC8-034 and its element is water. The card depicts a sea serpent with fins, an elephant trunk, and appendages that follow the outline of elephant ears. The Flavor Text implies but questions if it solely dines on marimo.
- Lord of Vermilion: Makara is a huge golden fish with tusks and three appendages attached to its face that hold the middle between trunks and tentacles. One's on its nose, the other two are located at the corners of its mouth. It's classified as a Seirei Kemono, said to be the mount of a god, and apparently tastes delicious.
- Z/X Zillions of enemy X: Five Luminous Holy Beast, Makara is card B22-057 of the Code:Samsara - Fate Vanisher set. It depicts an elephantine serpent composed of fire and decked out in jewelery. Makara is the Luminous Holy Beast of the East and as such an inhabitant and protector of the White World.
- Boku to Watashi no Kizuna Monsters: Makara belongs to the cow body type and as such it looks like a bovine with the tusks and elephant ears. Its various shades of blue and has fins wherever there is room. Makara evolves from pulukishi and into ganesha, both of which are of the light element while makara is of the water element. Its moves are either physical or ice-based and its free to enter any body of water except for the sea.
- Civilization: Beyond Earth: Rising Tide: Makara, also known as Astacoposis Choanae, is a large, alien lobster with a medium snout that splits open three-ways. It's comfortable both in the water and on land, but it does need to keep moving in the latter to breathe which reduces its efficiency.
- Culdcept Revolt: Makara is a water-type monster with an item limit for weapons and scrolls. It looks a monstrous cross between a fish and a pinniped and has a trunk above its maw with which it spews an endless supply of water. Therefore, it has the special ability to turn occupied terrain into water territory.
- Darkness Rises: The objective of Chapter 5 and Chapter 7 is to deal with a demon that has take up residence in the Underground Waterway. It turns out to be a makara, a blue and red humanoid amphibian creature with two long tentacles sprouting from its back. A yellow makara known as the Ancient Makara is later fought in the overgrown Ancient Ruins of Nekempe. Both makaras deal physical damage and close-range elemental damage.
- Final Fantasy XI: Pugils are a class of enemies that resembles fishes with crocodile snouts and backs. They all could qualify as makaras, but three of them draw attention to it in their names: Makara, Mercurial Makara, and Nightmare Makara.
- Indivisible: The makara is an optional boss encountered in the undergorund of Port Maerifa as one othe targets of Kogi's Regional Delicacies sidequest. It's an alligator with gold scales, a snout that turns into an elephant truck, and a fish tail. In combat, it opens its mouth to let out either two serpents for a drill attack or three serpents for an uppercut.
- Mitrasphere: The makara is a boss-type enemy that looks like a mixture of a toad and an anglerfish. A knight is seated atop its head and guides it by manipulating the barbels on its upper lip. The makara attacks with water and light attributes and also has the ability to inflict poison .
- Shin Megami Tensei: Makaras are fish with the head and hind legs of a deer. They're usually classified as dragons, but on occasion are grouped with snakes. Its alignment is Light-Chaos and it usually makes use of ice-related moves.
- SkyLock: As a runt, makara is a long-tailed fish with an elephant trunk and fins placed high enough to look like elephant ears. As a majuu, the looks is converted to a humanoid form. And as a majin, makara is human-looking with elephant trunks as ears, fish tails on his wrists, and four fins protruding from his back. Makara's element is water and consequently their technique is Water Last, which does water damage to one enemy, and their skill is Gekiryuu Gouyabu, which raises the attack power of water-aligned combatants.
- Tokyo Afterschool Summoners: Makara hails from Deva Loka and is implied to have served as a vahana to Varuna. He looks like a blue humanoid crocodile and although he's fine on land he really livens up in the water. He is a member of Toyosu Marine Academy's water polo team and works as a lifeguard at the beach in Edogawa Ward. Makara has no alliances, only shows up during events, and is aggressively concerned with other people's safety and wellbeing, which is reflected in his restorative and movement-based skill list.
- Interspecies Reviewers: Besides the classic elves, fairies, halflings, demons, angels, etc. there are rarer fantasy creatures like will-o-the-wisps and undines. All are Cute Monster Girls, of course.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Eldritch Abomination portrayal of Angels is actually more accurate to what the Bible described them as (mind-bendingly bizarre and strange) than the humans with white wings we see in most religious art.
- Spice and Wolf: Holo the Wise Wolf is based on the Getreidewolf from Germanic folklore.
- Lumberjanes made use of the Grootslang, a South African creature that has shown up almost nowhere else in fiction.
- Shang-Chi: In Issue 4, the protagonists make their way to Zheng Yi's grave in the Henan Province. Towards the end, they have to pass through a cave that houses a zhenmushou placed there by Zheng Zu. It looks like a mixture of a komodo dragon and a lion with antelope horns, is about thrice the height of a human, and has six human arms protruding from its mane. The zhenmushou guards the path to Zheng Yi's grave and just because the protagonists are Zheng Zu's children and Zheng Yi's niblings doesn't mean its not going to try and kill them. Because it is Chang-Shi who was called by Zheng Yi's spirit, Esme and Takeshi resolve to battle the zhenmushou so their brother can reach the gravesite. The two do well enough, eventually killing the creature when Chang-Shi returns, but before its demise the zhenmushou plants doubt about Chang-Shi's integrity in Takeshi's thoughts.
- Codex Equus features the deer gods of good and evil, Belyolen and Temnobog, based off the Slavic gods Belobog and Chernobog. Belobog is especially obscure, at least compared to Chernobog due to Fantasia in the Films — Animation Section.
- Nittunak Fae Skunk God of Respect, Leadership, and Pursuit, is the last of his species called Aniwye. The Aniwye are malevolent maneating giant skunks with lethal musk. Nittunak was the only exception, thus why he's the only one left.
- Frozen II: There is the Nokk, a water spirit that takes the form of a horse. When most media need a water-based horse from The Fair Folk, they tend to go with the Celtic Kelpie or literally calling it a "water horse" rather than being a Nokk, which is truer to Frozen's Scandinavia-inspired setting.
- Fantasia: Appearing in the "Night On Bald Mountain" sequence Chernabog fits here though in a variant as he's not meant to represent the deity he was named after.
- The Secret of Kells has the Celtic fertility god, Crom Cruach, as one of the main antagonists. While originally a more benevolent god, Crom has often been linked to human sacrifices and depicted as a serpent-like creature.
- Clash of the Titans (1981): Before this movie, Medusa and the Gorgons were an obscure monster from Greek mythology (which appeared in the semi-obscure film Hammer Horror film The Gorgon outside of their Greek context). After this film they appeared everywhere, often in the form of the half snake people seen here, which isn't accurate to the myth (the snake hair are accurate to the myth, that said).
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has the Chinese creature called Zouwu (or Zouyu).
- The Hong Kong film Oily Maniac revolves around the orang minyak of Malaysian mythology, a Blob Monster made of crude oil whose Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities allows him to transform between human and oily man form at will. To date this is the only non-Malaysian movie that references the orang minyak mythos.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings depicts a few Chinese folk creatures that are semi-obscure to most westerners — fenghuang, kirin, huli jing, and guardian lion dogs — but ironically, the one that gets among the most screen-time is the most obscure of the bunch: a hundun (also known as "dijiang"), which is basically a dog-sized furball with six legs, two pairs of vibrant wings, no face to speak of, and communicates through adorable little chirping noises.
- American Gods, besides the modern gods it invents, includes several that are obscure to mainstream audiences, like Czernobog, Bilqis (better known as the Queen of Sheba), Eostre,note and the Zorya sisters (Gaiman did invent the third one, Zorya Polunochnaya). It actually inverts this trope by the conspicuous absence of any deities from Classical Mythology.
- Carpe Jugulum: One would think that the Vampire Watermelon is something the writer of the book made up for comedy. You should really know better by now when reading this page.
- Dracopedia: Dracopedia: The Bestiary has quite a number, including the enfield, the alphyn, the dragon turtle, and the questing beast.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The 2017 Updated Re-release adds the hodag, a dangerous beast from northern Wisconsin folklore.
- Jim Butcher loves to dredge up some of the more obscure characters of faerie folklore to use as fae antagonists in The Dresden Files. Examples include the Leanan sídhe, Jenny Greenteeth, the Redcap (A Kind of One in this case), and Cat sìth.
- Camp Half-Blood Series has plenty of obscure myths and monsters, alongside the more well-known ones. A few examples:
- A couple obscure creatures like the ziffius, the wasserman, and the sea-satyre are mentioned in the catalogue of sea monsters at the end of Book II of The Faerie Queene.
- The Kane Chronicles features several lessser-known Egyptian deities and monsters, like Nephthys (whose obscurity is lampshaded by the characters), the Set animal, and Serket.
- InCryptid features several lesser-known cryptids/mythical creatures, such as Fūri, Waheela, Laidly Worms, Ahool, and Caladrius, alongside ones the author appears to have invented herself, such as the Johrlacnote , Madhura, and the Fricken.
- The Midnight Library story "Carnival Dance" is about a youth group creating a parade float based on Mayan myth, and one guy is possessed by Ah Puch, a death god almost obscure as the series itself. Ah Puch does make the most of his pagetime as a manipulative, malevolent monster with a flair for showmanship.
And now I have much work to do. For I am Ah Puch, and I bring death.
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: When was the last time you even heard of Coatlicue, Tsagaglalal, Cernunnos, or Areop-Enap? Or the Lotan, Genii Cucullati, or Torbalan?
- Inverted in the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda with the god Ullr. Scholars have been confounded by the fact that the deity who is described as one of the &A Elig;sir (Thor's stepson to be exact) does not appear in any myths at all, being confined to listings of the gods and occasionally invoked by humans (swearing upon his equally mysterious ring), yet has a wide array of places named after him.
- In addition to the more famous creatures, Residents Of Proserpina Park makes a point of chining a light on lesser known creatures from mythology and folklore. Among other things, there have been appearances by the aitvaras of Lithuanian Folklore, aswang and manananggal of Filipino Mythology, the ahuizotl of Aztec Mythology, Taniwha from Māori Mythology, and the vetala of Hindu Mythology.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Let's be honest, you would have had no idea that the catoblepas (from Greek legend) even existed if it wasn't a monster in this game. Also, fun fact, the oddly named gorgon is a combination of this creature and another obscure creature of Greek myth (in this case the Argonautica) known as Colchis Bull, also known under its plural term Khalkotauroi.
- Other examples include the peryton (a stag-headed eagle that needs humanoid hearts to reproduce) and al'miraj (a giant unicorn-horned bunny). The peryton plays on the "mythical"; its earliest mention dates back to 1957, and it's believed it was created as a joke along the lines of "people will believe anything if you say it's in a lost medieval bestiary."
- And who would have guessed the Tarrasque is taken from mythology?
- Pathfinder takes D&D's usage of obscure mythical creatures Up to Eleven, with the Bestiaries including countless Genius Bonuses taken from Celtic, Mesopotamian, Persian, Aztec, Inuit, Native American, Chinese, French, Aboriginal Australian, Japanese, Colonial American, and Bagandan folklore.
- Warhammer: The Lammasu native to the Dark Lands are creatures based on the lamassu of Mesopotamian myth. A mutation of the more common Great Taurus, Lammasu share the appearance of their mythological inspiration, being giant, winged bulls with a human-like head. In contrast to the Mesopotamian lamassu, who were benevolent protective spirits, the Warhammer Lammasu are manipulative creatures that use their charisma and magical abilities to befuddle their enemies and compel other monsters, such as Wyverns and Griffons, to do their fighting for them. Lammasu are most often encountered as mounts for Chaos Dwarf sorcerers but many opponents question whether it is the rider or mount that is the master in their relationship.
- Ayakashi: Romance Reborn has several different types of Youkai. Alongside the more well-known ones (Oni, Tengu, Kitsune, Bakeneko and Nekomata...), there is also a Domeki (Oji).
- Siren from Final Fantasy VIII, while not being completely on the ball on her inspiration, did depict her as a beautiful woman with bird-like characteristics, more in line with the winged bird-woman hybrid from original Greek myth.
- Catoblepas is also a reoccurring Final Fantasy enemy, though depending on the game it suffers Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff".
- Pokémon: There are many Pokémon with possible obscure inspirations, both mythical, and real-but-little known animal species. Without Word of God, it's hard to know which is deliberate and which is just coincidental similarities for some of these.
- Ancient Egyptians believed that all vultures are female, and they associated them with motherhood and virgin births (or, well, virgin egg laying). The vulture Pokémon, Vullaby and Mandibuzz, are always female, with a Pokedex entry mentioning no male has ever been found. Mandibuzz is somewhat associated with motherhood, as another Pokedex entry talks about it raising Vullaby, even lost ones that are not its own.
- Goomy and its evolutions Sliggoo and Goodra are dragons that resemble slugs and snails. They are based on giant snails, found in Medieval French folklore and artwork, that would scare knights. Fittingly, the line was introduced in games set in Kalos, the Pokémon World's Fantasy Counterpart Culture to northern France.
- Dragon's Dogma:
- The game doesn't have any unusual monsters, but the designs of the monsters it does use feel like they came right out of a medieval bestiary, going for traditional depictions over modern alterations. Notable examples of these include ogres, which actively try to eat your party rather than just be orcish brutes, hydras which are giant, multi-headed snakes instead of something more draconic (and regenerating heads and weakness to cauterization are major elements of dealing with them in a reasonable time frame), and harpies that are large birds with the head and chest of a woman, rather than a woman with avian features.
- Dragon's Dogma Online introduced the Lindwurm as a more obscure monster, while matching the sea-dwelling aspect and wingless, draconic form.
- Given that the series is all about collecting creatures and beings from world mythology, naturally Shin Megami Tensei features some very obscure myths. In what other game would you see Hua po, Vodyanik, or Ubu, for instance?
- Honkai Impact 3rd: Played with in that they're just monsters code-named after a mythical figure, but a few Honkai Beasts are named after more obscure figures. Such as "Ashvin" (a twin figure from Hindu myth) or "Tlaloc" and "Tonatiuh" (deities from Aztec myth).
- One of the bosses Kingdom Hearts III is named, and rather obviously based on, Sköll, the sun-chasing (soon-to-be-sun eating) monstrous wolf of Norse Mythology, and even blacks out or "eats" the light of the sky by coating the sky in darkness, though it slightly more resembles it's twin Hati, due to the fight appearing to take place at night, though that could be the weather.
- Castlevania loves this trope. Alongside famous horror monsters and mythical beasts, youll encounter much more obscure beings like spriggans, chonchons (called bitterflys), mushussus, wakwak trees, and several obscure demons.
- The Bard's Tale features the Nuckelavee from the Orkney's islands folklore as a boss.
- Monster Sanctuary has several well-known mythical creatures as well as original ones, but some others are fairly obscure.
- The Akhlut (an orca with legs that eats people) is based on an orca-like creature from Inuit folklore.
- The Tanuki is ubiquitous in Japanese works, but almost unheard of elsewhere.
- The Ninki Nanka is based on a dangerous, aquatic reptile from West African folklore.
- Moccus is named after a pig-like god from Celtic mythology, and its description mentions people who worshipped a god who took the form of a boar.
- Onmyōji: Tomb Guard (Zhenmushou in Chinese) looks like a bovine big cat with four red eyes, brown fur and blue attributes, such as large ears, a horn, and its tail. It is one of the souls that can be linked to a creature for combat benefits. It increases the damage done by critical attacks.
- Shendu Yexinglu: The boss fight of the 50th area is against a zhenmushou. It's a highly chimeric creature with a red leonine-humanoid face with a tall horn, large beige ears, a red chest, a short black mane and hair on the shoulder, a beige torso with a few stripes, scaly green legs, a teal snake as tail, and large brown wings. It does major damage with its paws, breathes fire both on the ground and fromt he air, and it readily goes berserk.
- Them's Fightin' Herds: One of the playable characters is Tianhuo, a dragon-horse hybrid known as a Longma.
- Touhou Project has a large menagerie of cute monster girls based on obscure species of youkai and sometimes specific Public Domain Characters that you've likely never heard of.
- Imperishable Night: Keine Kamishirasawa is a were-hakutaku. That means that on a full moon, she transforms into the Bai Ze, a creature from Chinese Mythology whose name in Japanese is read as "hakutaku". Eirin Yagokoro is probably named after Ame-no-Yagokoro-Omoikane-no-Mikoto, an obscure Japanese deity only known having come up with the plan to lure Amaterasu out of her cave.
- Mountain of Faith: The gods of the Moriya Shrine are based on the gods of Suwa-taisha. Kanako Yasaka is a Composite Character of Takeminakata-no-Mikoto and his wife Yasakatome-no-Mikoto, while Suwako Moriya is based on Moreya-no-Kami, the previous ruler of the land of Suwa, before being conquered by the aforementioned Takeminakata as well as the ancestor of the Moriya clan (Moreya being an archaic form of Moriya). Sanae Kochiya, meanwhile, is loosely based on a real person, Sanae Moriya, the 78th head of the same Moriya clan.
- Subterranean Animism: Kisume is a tsurube-otoshi. Parsee Mizuhashi is the Hashihime, a character mentioned in various Heian-era texts, including The Tale of Genji. The sisters Satori and Koishi Komeiji are satori, simian youkai with telepathy, and also borrow elements from Frida Kahlo's painting "The Two Fridas". Utsuho Reiuji received her powers from the three-legged crow Yatagarasu, messenger of Amaterasu.
- Undefined Fantastic Object: Nue Houjuu is, as her name implies, a nue.
- Hisoutensoku: The catfish that Meiling fought in her dream is probably a reference to the belief that earthquakes are caused by a giant catfish that lies under Japan. It's actually an avatar of the Chinese god Taisui Xingjun.
- Ten Desires: Kyouko Kasodani is a yamabiko, a youkai traditionally believed to be the cause of echoes. Seiga Kaku is based on Qing'e, a character from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, whose name in Japanese is read as Seiga.
- Hopeless Masquerade: Hata no Kokoro is a menreiki, a type of tsukumogami composed of masks. She's specifically based upon the masks that Hata no Kawakatsu, the legendary father of what would become Noh theatre, received from Prince Shoutoku — whose Historical Gender Flip, Toyosatimimi no Miko, is another important character in Touhou.
- Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: The initial antagonist of the game, Sagume Kishin, is the Touhou incarnation of the aforementioned Ame-no-Sagume, and explicitly related to Seija. Clownpiece is rather notable for being the first new character in over a decade to be based on Western mythology. Specifically, she's a lampad, a kind of nymph of madness associated with The Underworld in Classical Mythology. Junko is, in turn, referred to as a Fury in her boss theme and is based on Chún Hú, a figure from Chinese history and legend who conspired to murder her husband Hou Yi as revenge for his killing of her son Bo Feng.note Finally, the Bonus Boss is, surprisingly to many, a Greek goddess. Which one, you might ask - Athena? Artemis? Aphrodite? Demeter? Hera? Nope, it's Hecate, or as she's known as here, "Hecatia Lapislazuli". (Admittedly, Clownpiece's presence did sort of foreshadow her appearance, as lampades in Greek mythology are Hecate's companions.)
- Antinomy of Common Flowers: The Yorigami sisters are binbogami, Japanese deities associated with poverty.
- Hidden Star In Four Seasons: Eternity Larva is hinted to be secretly Tokoyo-no-Kami, an obscure 7th century local deity whose worship was outlawed by Hata no Kawakatsu. Aunn Komano is a komainu, the Japanese variant of the East Asian guardian lion-dogs. Okina Matara may well be the highpoint of ZUN's worldbuilding efforts — she's based on Matara-jin, an esoteric deity of Tendai Buddhism who syncretised a truly staggering amount of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese deities including but not limited to: Mahakala, Mahakali, Dakini-ten, Benzaiten (Sarasvati), Hariti, Daikoku/Ookuninushi, Kunado-no-Kami, Shukujin, Dosojin, Ena-tenjin and also the aforementioned Hata no Kawakatsu, making her implicitly related to Kokoro and the Arch-Enemy of Eternity Larva.
- Wily Beast and Weakest Creature: The first boss, Eika Ebisu, is based on Ebisu, one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japanese Buddhism and the first-born child of Izanami. Yachie Kicchou is a jidiao, a Chinese turtle dragon. The final boss, Keiki Haniyasushin, is based on Haniyasuhime, goddess of soil and pottery and the last child of Izanami, making her the massively Stronger Sibling of Eika. Bonus boss Saki Kurokoma, meanwhile, is based on Kurokoma, the legendary flying horse owned by Prince Shotoku — the same Prince Shotoku that aforementioned Toyosatomimi no Miko is based upon.
- Hades stars a pre-Dionysian Zagreus, a chthonic god so obscure that the surviving mentions of him in the Greek canon can be counted on one hand. Since very little information about Zagreus is available, the game essentially makes him a new character; in this story, he's the son of Hades and is a separate character from Dionysus.
- Smite has made it a bit of a mission to have obscure mythical figures be playable alongside more well known ones. This includes Bakasura (a gluttonous demon from Hinduism), Kuzenbo (the little-known king of kappas from Japan), Ah Puch (terrible god of the dead from mesoamerica), and the deities Olorun and Yemoja from Yoruban mythology, something that has scarcely appeared in any sort of media.
- Segare Ijiri: When Segare reaches his house after he achieves the first milestone, his giraffe-headed mother will give you Kudan, a man-headed cow Youkai which is rarely mentioned outside Japan.
- Lands of Fire features several obscure critters and gods of Aboriginal Australian Myths, such as the Dulagal and the Papinijuwari.
- Shall We Date? franchise:
- Mononoke Kiss, in which each suitor is a Youkai, has Raizo the Nue, though due to the way the game is translated, he, like the other suitors, suffers from Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff" (he's officially called a "humanoid beast" though the description of such clearly describes a Nue).
- Shall We Date?: Wizardess Heart has a whole lot of relatively unknown mythical creatures. Nue appear again (though this time they're much creepier), and Nidhogg appears as one of the many mascot characters.
- Bronze Skin Inc: Chapter 7 features a Saci, a tricky entity in Brazilian Folklore.
- Homestuck: In addition to popular fantasy creatures, such as trolls, ghosts and Lovecraftian monsters, the webcomic mentions lesser-known creatures from Classical Mythology, such as Echidna, Cetus and Hemera.
- Irrational Fears features an ahuizotl, a creature from Aztec Mythology.
- RWBY has some of the Grimm based on various mythological beasts, most notably the Nuckelavee.
- Something of note when it comes to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is that due to a lack of humans, some of these creatures suffer designs variations from their original depictions, at least one being also an example of Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff", but is still based off something obscure, a rare case of the tropes crossing over.
- Ahuizotl is himself based on a very obscure beast from ancient Mesoamerican folklore.
- "Trade Ya!" features an Orthros, a two-headed dog from Classical Mythology who is related to the more famous Cerberus.
- "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" has Arimaspi, yet another lesser-known mythological creature from Herodotus' writings.
- "Stranger than Fan Fiction" features the Cipactli, a crocodilian-like creature of Aztec Mythology.
- The second half of "School Daze" has pastel-coloured, long-tailed hedgehogs named after humanoid little people of the woods of Native American Mythology, pukwudgies.
- "Frenemies" has an ophiotaurus, a bull/snake chimera originally from a single poem by Ovid.
- One of the best-known episodes of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is the Halloween special where Grim's scythe is stolen by a villain named Jack O'Lantern, an immortal prankster who'd been beheaded and replaced his head with a pumpkin. This character wasn't invented for the show and is actually based on a relatively obscure mythical figure called Stingy Jack.
- The Secret Saturdays deals with several of these, by the very nature of the show. Here's a few from its dedicated Shown Their Work page, more of which is Here.
- The Cameroon flashlight frog is based on the real-life cryptid, the flashlight frog, first written about by Karl Shuker in his 1997 book, From Flying Toads to Snakes With Wings. It's said to be a tree frog with a glowing nose and a tongue covered in toxic saliva, traits that both made it into the show.
- The tapire-iauara is based on a folkloric creature from the Amazon rainforest by the same name. It's said to protect the forest from humans and attack people in boats.
- Argost's Nicaraguan blood-sucking vines are a reference to the vampire vine/devil's snare, a cryptid plant that can supposedly be found in the jungles of Nicaragua, which sucks the blood of any victim it touches.
- Mummies Alive! introduced Ammit partway through its run, a creature that was part lion, part crocodile, and part hippopotamus important to Egyptian funerary rites, as the bad guys' Team Pet.
- In the "Home Sweet Homer" episode of DuckTales (1987), Scrooge and the boys encounter the very little known Scylla and Charybdis. The phrase "between Scylla and Charybdis" is quite well known, but exactly what Scylla and Charybdis were is considerably more obscure.
- Hilda features mythological creatures rarely seen in cartoons, such a thunderbirds, vittra, lindworms, and nisse.
- The creators of Victor and Valentino consider it a part of their show's mission to introduce all manner of critters from Mesoamerican mythology into popular culture.
- Onyx Equinox, being based on an All Myths Are True version of Mesoamerica, features many deities and creatures that most people have likely never heard of, like Xolotl, Tzitzimitl, and Mictecacihuatl — really, any deity except Quetzalcoatl and maybe Huitzilopochtli (who doesn't appear in the first season).