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Video Game / Mandibles

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If you though regular scorpions are bad, wait until you meet Pulmonoscorpius. And even that isn't the worst thing about the Eos Sector...

A freeware stand-alone mod for the Carnivores series, created by Dory Holtzman (creator of Poharex), Mandibles expands upon the canon established by the original trilogy and adds an entirely new region to the alien planet of FMM UV-32 with its own unique animals and challenges. If you're a fan of the series or just looking for a hunting simulator with a twist, it's well worth your time. It is a sequel to both the original trilogy and Dory Holtzman's previous work Carnivores Triassic.

While the complete version of the game hasn't been finished yet, the Beta 1.99 was released on September 4th, 2018.


This game provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor World: The sixth area, Amethyst Duskland has purple-colored ground, water and sky. The exact reason for this is still unspecified. It could be justified since like all other Carnivores games, Mandibles takes place on the alien planet of FMM UV-32.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game roster contains animals from several time periods from the Paleozoic era, as well as the Mesozoic and even Cenozoic era. This continues the tradition of Carnivores games where a specific game's setting houses species mainly from two of Earth's geological periods: the first two games focusing on Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs, Ice Age— on Tertiary and Quaternary fauna, and Triassic on well, Triassic and Permian animals (plus Megalosaurus from the Jurassic period). As in the official Carnivores series, this is handwaved in the game being set on a foreign planet rather than prehistoric Earth.
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  • And Now For Something Completely Different: While the premise is the same (hunting prehistoric animals on an alien planet), this time you are going against giant arthropods from the Paleozoic, instead of Mesozoic reptiles or Cenozoic mammals and birds.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Even though the previous games also have examples of this trope (Hand Waved by being set on a distant planet instead of prehistoric Earth), the invertebrates in Mandibles heavily suffer from this. For example, the ambient Archimylacris cockroaches are bigger than a human's head, while even the smallest huntable animal is as big as an adult African elephant. It creates Fridge Logic, seeing as invertebrates require higher amounts of oxygen (with the atmosphere of FMM UV-32 being the same as present day Earth's) and are also subject to the Square-Cube Law.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The main point of the game is basically to hunt giant arthropods, so this is a given. Many are big enough to dwarf the planet's dinosaurs.
  • Bloody Handprint: One can be seen alongside the words "Turn Back" (which are also written in blood) when passing through the narrow tunnel carved in the mountains of the first area, which serves as the exit of the Triassic Sector and the entrance to the Eos Sector. It succeeds its purpose of making the game scary...
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: The second map Myrkmor Slough is set in a coal forest and swamp, reminiscent of the ones covering our planet during the Carboniferous. The other locations also have this aesthetic to a much lesser degree, since the game is suppossed to sell the atmosphere of that geological period.
  • Bug War: Played with. While it isn't a war per se, the player will feel like it due to how overpowered the enemies are in comparison to the hunter. Of course, like all Carnivores games this is due to the hunter being a regular human being, instead of a One-Man Army. This could change for the worse when the Inutilis species appear...
  • Continuity Nod: The first area starts out in a small desert located on the border of the Triassic Sector. And a short walking distance into the valley there is a skeleton of a Gojirasaurus (still glowing with radiation), implying that something even worse has killed it...
  • Creepy Centipedes: While Arhropleura is (accurately) depicted as a herbivore, it is still a dangerous animal capable of killing a human hunter.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Archimylacris is a huge roach that appears as an ambient species.
  • Demoted to Extra: Over 20 species in the game with only 2 vertebrates/tetrapods (the primitive lizard-like reptile Hylonomus and the amphibian Diplocaulus), the Eos Sector is primarily dominated by invertebrates.
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: The Meganeura averts this, due to being a harmless flying ambient.
  • Eldritch Location: Certain maps (especially the later-unlocked ones) arguably give off this impression more than the official games in the franchise. Mandibles really does its best to drive home to the player that FMM UV-32 is an utterly alien world with only superficial similarities to prehistoric Earth.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Averted. There are absolutely no dinosaurs this time except for the dead Gojirasaurus corpse, with the game focusing on prehistoric bugs instead.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Except for the ambients and first two huntable animals, everything will attack you at the slightest provocation, with the carnivores rushing to eat you as soon as they detect you. And even the first two huntables are a potential threat since they can accidentally trample you while moving.
  • Excuse Plot: Adhering to the spirit of the original Carnivores games, the plot is the same, only with the additional part of DinoHunt discovering and opening the Eos Sector to its clients about a decade after opening additional areas for Carnivores 2, Ice Age and Triassic.
  • Final Boss: Per Carnivores tradition, the 10th final huntable animal is this. Which here is the Inutilis species. In particular the King and Queen.
  • Fungus Humongous: Giant mushrooms are abundant in the fifth area, The Hive. Which is named for the fact it used to be a colony for the Inutilis.
  • Game Mod: Mandibles was built on the Carnivores 2 engine. Fortunately, you don't need the original game to play!
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Jaekelopterus sorta counts due to being an eurypterid, a group of arthropods whose closest living relatives are crustaceans and arachnids. It's the largest huntable animal in the game and its ingame bio states that its lifestyle is simular to horseshoe crabs. Its weakpoint is its soft unprotected underbelly, which can only be seen and shot if you somehow manage to sneak behind it.
  • Giant Spider: Protosolpuga, which is a member of the Solifugae order of spiders. The second map also has a nest of the smaller (but still quite large) Megarachne as ambients.
  • The Goomba: The Macrelcana (a cricket-like insect) and Eoprotura (a primitive hexapod) are the cheapest and easiest animals to hunt and kill.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first map, The Gates of Dawn is the easiest, seeing as it is Beginner rank.
  • Hive Caste System: The Inutilis consist of Nymphs, Workers, Soldiers, Spitters, male Drones, female Alates (Flyers), a Queen and a King.
  • Jungle Japes: Arguably all the areas qualify on account of being filled with lush vegetation, mirroring how the Earth looked like during the Carboniferous period.
  • Mascot Mook: As seen in the page image, the Pulmonoscorpius is this.
  • Meaningful Name: "Eos" means "Dawn", so this sector can loosely be translated as "The Dawn of Time Sector", referencing the fact it is filled with flora, fauna and landscapes based on the Paleozoic era. On a meta level, all of the animals' names mean something from either ancient Greek or Latin. And Inutilis can be translated as either "unprofitable" or "harmful", which describes what hunting them will feel like.
  • More Dakka: The minigun and the anti-tank railgun.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: The Eos Sector is located just above the planet's south pole and is the least explored region in the series thus far (apart from the oceans). The fourth area, The Fallen Jungle reflects this by being covered in snow, despite being a tropical and conifer-tree covered forest/swamp biome. It also has a dark sky (even if the "Day Time" option is selected from the menu) meaning that the night lasts half a year, simular to Earth's south pole.
  • Nintendo Hard: The animals in this game are considerably harder to kill than in the official trilogy due to the more advanced AI, increased health and the lack of instant-death weak spots.
  • North Is Cold, South Is Hot: Averted. Despite situated near the South Pole, the game shows tropical forests, swamps, deserts alongside snow-covered mountains and valleys.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: All the other games (be they official, or fan-made) in the series are called Carnivores (even though herbivores are also huntable animals). However, Mandibles is named after a part of an insect's anatomy (their "jaws", relatively speaking). If you were going only by the title, you wouldn't even know this was a Carnivores game in the first place.
  • Precursors: Mandibles expands further on the ancient civilization introduced in the first Carnivores game (and abandoned almost entirely in subsequent titles). The fourth map contains the ruins of a city once inhabited by the Ancients.
  • Rhino Rampage: The Central Sector has Triceratops and Chasmosaurus. The Arctic Sector has the Brontotherium and Woolly Rhino. What does the Eos Sector have? Holcorobeus, a species of rhinoceros beetle which occupies the same ecological niche as the aforementioned animals.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: As mentioned above, the fourth location has a city abandoned by the alien civilization that once lived on FMM UV-32. It averts this trope by being specifically modelled to resemble an actual settlement and it actually is connected to the game's lore.
  • Scary Scorpions: The Pulmonoscorpius. The Jaekelopterus also technically counts.
  • Scenery Porn: All of the maps in Mandibles are highly-acclaimed in the Carnivores modding community. Each map is unique and stands out from the rest, especially when compared to the relatively monotonous maps of Carnivores 2 and Ice Age.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Including the DLC animals, most of the species in this game are pretty obscure.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Mandibles is considerably more challenging than its official prequels.
  • Sequel Escalation: In the previous Carnivores games, you hunted dinosaurs, mammals and birds which could be killed with regular hunting guns. Triassic included automatic assault rifles and submachineguns due to the tougher fauna of the Triassic Sector. Here you are dealing with fast and oversized armored insects, so things like miniguns and anti-tank railguns (which would normally be forbidden) have become fair game.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Downplayed with the third map, Fluvius Vitarum. It's located in a valley made by an inactive volcano and is mostly barren, however it still has plantlife and rivers. It also has several bizzarre rock formations, simular to the ones in the deserts of Earth's Australia.
    • However the first map does have a small one as its starting point, due to being located on the border between the Triassic Sector from the previous game and the Eos Sector from this game.
  • Shout-Out: The Jaekelopterus resembles the Reapers from Mass Effect.
    • The Inutilis resemble the Arachnids from Starship Troopers, the Space Pirates from Metroid, the Xenomorph from Alien and the Zerg from StarCraft. However, Word of God is that they are based primarily on the Bahrag from BIONICLE. Although all of the others were also used as inspiration.
  • Shown Their Work: The developers have done their best in researching and creating all the animals and landscapes in this game, with some looking exactly like their real-life counterparts. This is in stark contrast to the official games, in which the animals are scientifically innacurate due to being based on the outdated drawings of Zdenek Burian and Charles R. Knight.
  • Slaying Mantis: The Manipulator resembles a cross between a praying mantis and a mosquito.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: The game has (in order from weakest to strongest) a pistol, an assault rifle, a shotgun, a double-barreled shotgun, a crossbow, a sniper, a minigun and a railgun.
  • Speedy Snail: Bernicia, a giant snail is a slow and harmless ambient animal in this game. It takes the place of the Brachiosaurus from Carnivores 2.
  • Spiritual Successor: To both Carnivores: Triassic and the original trilogy.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Averted. While the official trilogy gave its weapons generic names, all weapons in Mandibles are named after specific models.
  • Stealth Pun: Possibly an unintentional example. This game focuses on hunting bugs, while having several Game Breaking Bugs (on account of being an unfinished Beta version). Also, like all previous Carnivores games, it has a "debug mode".
  • Stock Dinosaurs: While this game has no true dinosaurs per se, there are only six species that could be recognized by paleonthology fans- Hylonomus (a lizard-like primitive reptile), Diplocaulus (a salamander-like amphibian with a head shaped like a boomerang), Meganeura (a large relative of dragonflies), Pulmonoscorpius (a huge scorpion), Arthropleura (a giant millipede), and Jaekelopterus (an eurypterid, aka "sea scorpion"). All the other creatures however are Seldom-Seen Species. Then again, seeing as prehistoric arthropods and invertebrates aren't seen very often in popular culture and fiction, this is justified.
  • The Worf Effect: The dead Gojirasaurus on the edge of the first map is a pretty strong omen to anyone or anything entering the Eos zone for the first time that they're utterly screwed. Heavily implied to be the work of the Inutilis.


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