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Arkham Horror: Mask of the Smiling Chaos

April 24, 2012

Nyarlko ain’t like the Cthulhu Mythos. Yeah. We already know that. Lovecraft’s stuff is all about futility and inevitability and “yeah, man, the universe is fucked.” Nyarlko is all about beating up those space nasties that cause all of that futility and inevitability and fuckability and doing it with a goofy grin on your face.

You know what that’s like? Arkham Horror.

It’s a board game based around all of that Cthulhu Mythos stuff. It’s a cooperative game where the players are “Investigator” and work as a team to gather clues and stuff in order to keep one of the Great Old Ones from awakening and destroying the world. Unlike most of the Lovecraft-based stuff, it isn’t about reading books and gaining forbidden knowledge and “winning” by not dying. Arkham Horror is all about gathering weapons and magical items and spells and using them to outright kill monsters and deities. You can be a bootlegger gangster and take down Nyarlathotep with a tommy gun and a stick of dynamite.

So yeah, that’s nothing like the original novels, but it’s exactly like what goes down in the Nyarlko anime.

It’s funny how the Cthulhu Mythos has “evolved” from some pulpy ravings about man tampering with forces beyond his control to what amounts to Dungeons and Dragons that’s been super-sized with tentacles. It isn’t just because of the Call of Cthulhu RPG that would eventually inspire the aforementioned board game and others like it, although that “dungeon crawl” mentality inherent even to RPGs that try to break said mold has a lot to do with it. It probably has a lot to do with that conquest complex that we fanboys have that I talked about in my Otaku no Video post. We like being that guy who is able to overcome impossible odds, even if said odds were initially created with every intent of being insurmountable.

Then you fuse that RPG take on the Cthulhu mythos with the sort of shit we anime fans dig and you get Nyarlko. We like Cthulhu. We like pretending we can kick Cthulhu’s ass. We also like seeing cute girls running around doing cute girl shit. We also like seeing said cute girls kicking ass. Now we have a cute girl who is Cthulhu kicking the ass of Cthulhu.

And the end result is something like this, a custom character sheet I made for Nyarlko using the Strange Eons program that lets you make your own Arkham Horror stuff:

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