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Video Game / Chimera Beast

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Chimera Beast is a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter Arcade Game developed by C.P. Brain in 1993 for Jaleco, but never released except as a prototype.

Chimera Beast takes place on a planet which is described as distant and Earth-like. The planet is overrun by evil creatures known as Eaters, capable of eating other creatures and acquiring their abilities or characteristics. The player controls one of these Eaters and progresses through the game by means of evolution, consuming microscopic organisms in the first stage, fish in the second, and so on, leading up to humanity itself. There are two possible endings: one in which the Eaters are defeated and fail to escape the planet, and one in which the Eaters do escape and, we are told, will eventually make their way to Earth.

The chief innovation of Chimera Beast is its power-up system. Instead of collecting gun upgrades as in most games of this genre, the player's Eater enhances itself by eating other creatures and assuming their abilities and defenses. Instead of simply having various types of projectile weaponry, the game attempts to make these new abilities as varied as possible. Consuming a crustacean might give the player's Eater a hard protective shell, for example, while an insectoid creature might offer a poisonous tail instead. The game even includes the ability to use cancer as a weapon.

Another difference from typical shooter mechanics is that the player's Eater does not die after being hit. It has a life bar, which can be charged by consuming enemies. It is even possible to eat enough to charge the life bar past its starting position, creating a larger Eater which is not only more powerful but can take more damage as well.

This video-game provides examples of:

  • All Your Powers Combined: The Final Boss is a bigger, meaner, spikier version of your character. It has many of the abilities you could obtain (namely your regular shot, laser, homing eyes, cancer bombs, and homing bug missile), except stronger.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Opening Scroll calls the Eaters "the most purely evil and dangerous of all known life forms."
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Final Duel, in the center of a nuclear blast.
  • Apocalypse How: Your Eater performs a Class X to many planets if you beat the final boss. Before this, it's a Class 5 when you destroy the planet's nuclear generator.
  • Asteroids Monster: The single-eyed cells will split into two when attacked.
  • Attack Drone: One of the evolutions you could obtain give you organic attack drones.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Almost all the bosses.
    • The first boss, two lampreys, could only be damaged when its head was open.
    • The second boss, a squid with an elastic head, was vulnerable in the eye.
    • The third boss, a giant killer bird, was exposed to damage when it opened its mouth to fire out rings.
    • The fourth boss, a crocodile-like reptile, was weak in its open mouth... when it surfaced to attack.
    • The sixth boss, a nuclear reactor, was weak in the "nucleus" spot.
    • The final boss was weak in all of its red "eyespots"; killing all of them would defeat it.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Technically, both ways. The "Bad Ending" has the Villain Protagonist kill off the solar system. The "Good Ending" has you killed by the Final Boss, and this leads to a win for the ecosystem you were trying to destroy.
  • Battleship Raid: The Final Boss is a mini version of sorts. It has multiple targetable parts, five "eyes", and two horns. In order to defeat it, you had to destroy all its eyes. Destroying the horns would prevent it from using its lightning attack.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: One of the things your Eater could obtain was a stinger tail with dual spikes. Charging up your attack when you had a "poison tail" would act as a smart bomb.
  • Big Eater: Justified, as your Eater needs to well, eat to survive and evolve. Also, if your Eater eats enough, it becomes a literal Big Eater.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The "Good Ending". Your Eater is defeated and the rest soon die out. But hey, you stopped a potential Class X-2 apocalypse!
  • Boss Arena Urgency: During the fifth boss fight, the lava in the room will rise, making it harder to avoid the boss' attacks.
  • Boss Vulnerability: The lion-boar hybrid is Always Vulnerable, the two lampreys, giant bird, and alien crocodile are Wait Them Out + Attack Its Weak Point, and the rest are standard attack the weak point.
  • Breath Weapon: Your Eater's regular attack. Better to eat the opponent, though, as it did more damage and could replenish your health.
  • The Cameo: Rick and Allen from 64th Street: A Detective Story have a quick cameo in one of the stages. Both games are produced by Jaleco.
  • Charged Attack: Your regular attack could be charged by holding down the button. Depending on the tail you have, the shot would be different. If your Eater evolved to get the "eyes" ability, you would also fire a circle of them out as Homing Projectiles.
  • Collapsing Ceiling Boss: The boss of Mammals causes lava rocks to rain on you whenever it jumps onto a wall.
  • Collision Damage: Played straight.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Your Eater becomes small and scrawny if it takes too much damage, and a few more hits from enemies will kill it.
  • Downer Ending: The "Bad Ending".
  • Dual Boss: The first boss of the "Microbes" stage are a pair of lamprey-like organisms.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Bad Ending has your Eater do this to the planet he was on, and go on doing the same to other planets, eventually reaching Earth...
  • Enemy to All Living Things: The Eaters, due to eating anything that moves and some things that don't.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Your character, who looks like a mass of flesh if anything.
  • Extra Eyes: Some of the enemies have this characteristic, even creatures like jellyfish. Justified, because the game takes place on a distant planet from Earth.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The Eaters.
  • Eye Scream: This is how you beat the Final Boss, by destroying all of its four eyes. This can involve shooting them, stabbing them with your tail, or the most gruesome- eating them out.
  • Feathered Fiend: The third boss, a giant bird.
  • Flunky Boss: The Mini-Boss of the final level is the humans' Homeworld Evacuation space shuttle that doesn't attack at all nor deal Collision Damage. However, it's constantly aided by laser-shooting drones as well as spread-shot firing rockets.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Within the Eaters, no less. In the final stage, the regular Mooks are smaller Eaters of different varieties which you can eat, and the Final Boss is a King Mook Eater that's higher up on the food chain than you.
  • Giant Squid: The second boss, in proportion to your eater at least.
  • Go for the Eye: The weakpoints of the Giant Squid and the Final Boss. Of course, the Final Boss has four of them.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The third stage, "Birds", takes place in the sky.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Your Eater's weak point is the head and body. However, attacks that touch your tail or arms/legs are nullified.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The "Good" ending.
    "...the creature that has created chaos by eating every living thing in its path has finally perished at eating itself!"
  • Homeworld Evacuation: In the final level, the human remnants attempt to leave the dying planet in a space shuttle. Your job is to prevent them from doing so.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: The Eaters are a swarm of voracious aliens that consume everything in sight. You play as one of them.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating enemies (or just taking bites out of them) will replenish your health (it does take quite a few bites, though).
  • Improbable Weapon User: You can use exploding cancer cells as an attack.
  • Jungle Japes: The fourth stage, "Reptiles", took place in a jungle with many hard-to-kill spiders and tortoise enemies.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The fifth stage, "Mammals", had your Eater venture into a lava cavern, killing lots of armadillos and moles on the way.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Some of the adaptations, if not the Mega Manning method itself, such as projectile eyes and weaponized cancer.
  • King Mook: The final boss is an evolved Eater who's higher up on the food chain than you and the lesser Eaters you face in the final level.
  • Meaningful Name: The Eaters are Extreme Omnivore Horde of Alien Locusts with a One-Track-Minded Hunger.
  • Mind Screw: The "good ending", where you beat the final boss, is actually the Bad Ending. The real good ending occurs when you lose against the final boss and choose not to continue or run out of time against it.
  • Mirror Boss: Sort of. The final boss is an Eater similar to the player, and utilizes some moves that the player can use.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The boss of Mammals is a green lion-boar hybrid.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: The Eaters themselves have no qualms eating each other- in the final level, the player's Eater is capable of eating other mook Eaters, while the Final Boss is a huge Eater that's higher up the food chain than the player's.
  • Mouse World: Microbes, the first level. Your Eater is microscopically sized at that point, and fights enemies like cells and copepods.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on whether you beat the Final Boss or get a Game Over against it.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: You can only have one type of body, tail, and "side" mutations each.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The fourth boss is an alien crocodile that shot out homing spikes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It Player: If you beat the final boss. Earth gets doomed, along with many other planets.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Averted. Your Eater can have up to a maximum of 9 hit points, which can be replenished via eating enemies.
  • One-Track-Minded Hunger: The Eaters. Their name pretty much says it all- they opening scroll mentions that they are amoral, greedy, and without conscience.
  • Open-Ended Boss Battle: The Final Boss. Beating it gives you the bad ending, while losing all your lives against it and choosing not to continue gives you the good ending.
  • Opening Scroll: "Far away on a planet similar to Earth, a new life form emerges..."
  • Personal Space Invader: The flying squirrels in "Birds" don't do any damage, but they latch onto your Eater and drag it downwards... where a number of large bird-like enemies fly across.
  • Power Copying: Your Eater gains the characteristics of the enemies it eats. For example, eating a clam enemy will give your Eater a hard shell, eating an energy-shooting enemy will give you lasers, etc.
    "a life form that ingests other creatures, absorbs their DNA, and then somehow is able to assume the characteristics of their prey"
  • Reactor Boss: The sixth boss, humanity's nuclear reactor. In a twist, you fight it from the outside.
  • Secondary Fire: Your Eater's secondary attack was to launch its jaws out, eating weaker enemies and heavily damaging stronger ones. It's the only way to evolve new abilities as well as restore your health, by the way.
  • Shock and Awe: The Final Boss has a move where his multiple spikes fire out electric balls off-screen. Each of them line up at either the top or bottom and then rain down extremely hard-to-avoid lightning beams. Thankfully, you can soften this move by destroying the spikes.
  • Single-Use Shield: The Armor adaptations (Shell Armor, Scale Armor) allow you to No-Sell two hits before they break off.
  • Smart Bomb: Your Charged Attack becomes this if you have any tail except the insect tail.