It’s probably playing Fallout 4, but I’ve been thinking about how many visions of the future, and fantasy stories for that matter, are full of monsters. Monsters in the wild, monsters in space, monsters we become.
Maybe the classic is the Final Fantasy series, with people living in their defended settlements, or just towns, and the countryside, forests, oceans, and everywhere else crawling with monsters. It’s a fact of life.
My first Final Fantasy game was VIII, which is particularly science fictiony. In it, the monsters amass on the moon and actually are brought over spilling into the world in an extreme way. But even before that, you have characters working as monster hunters, protection mercenary forces, and standing armies. All for fighting monsters.
In other stories, you see things like aliens, zombies, and even mutated humans. Heck, we just finished Jessica Jones the other day… Kilgrave is a monster!
But some of my thought is… why? Why do we so expect monsters in the future? Monster aliens, from Ender’s Game to Doom. Conflicted misunderstood aliens to evil demonspawn. And transformations from mutants to zombies. Monsters in the environment from ones we might expect like wolves, to dragons and more. And that’s before you think of all the Lovecraftian stuff out there…
Is it that monsters make sense to us, that they’re an obvious evil? That they can avoid moral relativism? And then, if you want to make it a complicated story, you just add some moral relativism back in? Black and white, gray, where do monsters fall?
They can also represent our fear of the unknown, our fear of ourselves, our fear of the future. But there are oh, so many of them, when you start thinking of it. Are we that afraid?
Like I said, new way of looking at things. I ran into Super Mutants in Fallout 4, and it got me thinking. That’s after the giant mosquitos, giant scorpions, giant crabs…
Why monsters? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!