The deadly creatures of Rain World – a bestiary in GIFs

The Darwinian platforming of Rain World [official site] left me with mixed emotions. Surviving day-to-day in its brutal ecosystem can be an unfair slog, not to mention cursed with janky controls. Yet it’s also a stunning depiction of a harsh new world, with a host of spine-chilling, adorable, and wondrous wildlife. Here’s an incomplete collection of some of the animals and plantlife I’ve encountered, often resulting in a quick and painful death, all presented in the perfect format: GIF.

Important note: a big part of Rain World is its surprising world, and discovering how each animal lives and feeds. If you want to find that stuff out for yourself, ignore the siren call of the GIFs. You’ll appreciate it more.

Disco lizards

These Komodo dragon-like beasts come in a variety of neon colours, each with their own set of behaviours. A pink lizard can climb poles, where a green one can’t. A blue lizard can clamber, gecko-like, on background walls. A red one moves super fast.

Some of them have sticky tongues. Some of them swim.

But they are often bright enough to see and avoid. Unless they are…

Camo lizards

These guys are just the worst.

Pole plant

No wait, these guys are the worst. They masquerade as one of the many poles you jump from and wait ‘til something jumps on. They do flutter red from time to time though, and can be spotted if you look closely. They will also eat other creatures that get caught in the trap, and you can use that knowledge to lure lizards towards a vicious planty death.

Popcorn plant

This isn’t an animal or dangerous, but it is the most fun source of food in the entire game. Crack one open with a spear and watch the kernals pop. I wish these existed in real life. Delicious.

Carnivorous seaweed

Not delicious. This plant will pluck you out of the water and pull you into wherever its ‘stomach’ is. But they rely totally on detecting movement. Swim past them very slowly and they won’t sense you, or just spear ‘em once and quickly dodge past as they reel. If you are swimming past, be careful there aren’t bats flying around, as that will provoke the seaweed into movement and scare you into rushing.

Shadow spiders

One of my favourites, and absolutely terrifying. These guys flutter away, scared of your approach. I don’t know if this is only because my slugcat is shining and ‘enlightened’ (don’t ask) or if they do it for every source of light, or what. But they run away nevertheless. However, should they meet other spiders as they run, they will tangle together. Another spider joins the writhing mass. Then another. Before you know it there’s a large twitching cloud of them, all moving as one, and they don’t seem to be that afraid of you anymore…

Leeches

Total jerks. These swim around in garbage water and sea water, waiting for something to swim past. Then they latch on. One or two or even three, you can handle, even if they do weigh you down and make you slow.

But four, or five, or six… forget about that juicy fruit you were looking at, kitten. You have been drowned and devoured by one of Rain World’s smallest creatures.

Popper-pops

BUT WAIT. This wonderful food chain provides a solution. These little oval-shaped things crawling on the walls will help you out with leeches. Get too close and they will start to click at you. Don’t move and they’ll ‘pop!’ knocking you out cold, but only for a second or two. You can pick them up and toss them in the leech infested water, knocking out all the leeches and giving you a chance to swim on by. Thank you, popper-pops. I don’t know if that’s what you’re called, but it’s good enough for me.

Pacifist garbage worms

These long and wobbly fellows will leave you alone if you ignore them. But they also hate the sight of any spear or weapon, and will snatch it from you the moment you come close. Be careful if you throw something at them. They won’t like you.

And garbage worms will drown animals they don’t like.

Bully squid

Absolute shiters. They swim about in the sea water of the Shoreline region and harass you as you swim. They aren’t very muscular and can rarely keep a hold of you. But their powerful jets and speed mean that they can dunk you under the water again and again, giving you no chance to catch your breath.

Skull-faced vulture

The slugcat’s worst enemy. These avian nightmares quickly descend on the landscape with nothing but a flap and maybe a puff of smoke of warning. They can hook onto all sorts of ledges and peck into crevices and small spaces. They love to surprise you.

They like to eat lizards too, however, and will pluck up the dead remains of the reptiles. You can also knock off their masks with a well-aimed spear – something I have attempted and never succeeded.

Scavengers

Either your best mates or the bane of your existence. Scavengers can run fast, climb poles and use tools just like you. They carry spears and other objects and will fight disco lizards, vultures, and just about anything else they feel unsettled by. They also have secret stashes of explosive spears and other items hidden in different regions.

But it’s possible to become pals with them. They love pearls and dropping these at a scavengers feet will make them friendly to you. But it’s easy to upset them with an accidental throw, so, er, don’t do that.

Giant garbage octopus

I know so little about these things because I avoided them as much as possible. They are the freakiest things on eight (?) legs. They will eat you.

Scissor-mouths

These yellow-eyed terrors belong in a remake of the Dark Crystal or some shit. They frolic at high speeds across a long, dark and open area known as the “Memory Crypts” and they’ll snatch you up and carry you off given the chance.

Avoid them by ducking into holes and tunnels when you hear their tell-tale snapping and clinking coming closer. Or startle them by throwing the glowing blue fruits and then high-tail it to shelter.

Gargantuan underwater beast of unknown origin and habit

I have no idea about the behaviour of this animal and I do not want to know.

That’s it for now. There are more creatures hidden away in the recesses of this creepy landscape. Given the over-challenging nature of the game, however, it might be hard to find them. But if you do come across a new beast (I have heard tell of “flying centipedes” *shudder*) please be careful. A cautious slugcat is a breathing slugcat.

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13 Comments

  1. Flavorfish says:

    Personally this is the best game I have played all year… and all last year… and the year before that…

    It’s so creative in how it’s designed and the emergent ecosystem spits out incredible gameplay situations. I love my emergent games, but I’ve never played another game that has put emergence to such use for great gameplay in my life (and that includes FTL!) The fact that death has consequence and the game’s metasystem forces me to prioritize survival and consider my place in the food chain carefully is brilliant! It makes for white knuckle moments and success is so so satisfying.

    Many people have legitimate frustrations but I think almost all of them boil down to the real sin this game commits: For players who need it, the game offers no guidance and no explanation of its mechanics. This creates a huge gulf in enjoyment between people who can figure out the obtuse concepts and develop a solid survival strategy and those who flail aimlessly in frustration.

    My tip to those looking to take the plunge: take a look at some of the tips on /r/rainworld and check out this article for beginner tips: link to pcgamer.com

    • Kitsunin says:

      I feel completely the same way. It’s like someone made a game just for me. It’s such a huge, gorgeous world, but unlike some of my other favorites, there’s a large degree of challenge there, too. If you “get” the game, all of its problems actually aren’t problems (not to say they couldn’t be improved, just that they don’t serve to get in the way at all).

      The way critters feel is so great. As in Limbo, procedural animations really make things feel visceral. When I get eaten, I cringe. When I almost get eaten, the adrenaline starts pumping (and also, I cringe in anticipation). It’s horrible in just the right way.

      But it makes huge assumptions about your skill level starting off, and also figures you’ll be able to figure most of its mechanics out with no explanation. I did, but I play pretty much nothing but a great breadth of indie games.

    • Moraven says:

      From the pcgamer link is what I need to do. Survival should be priority as you slowly explore.

      First I get food then explore. The problem is many times I have explored without running into the next Hibernation chamber.

      Next time I play I will go and explore for 10 minutes then return to a known chamber if I did not find one. The next day that 10 minutes will be 2 minutes traversing known territory (that I can see on the map now, which does not save on death). I think I will have a better time playing this way. Along with gaining more Karma.

  2. mont3core says:

    Sold, I’ve been trying to hold off because I’ve far too many games. But, who am I kidding, anything that even vaguely resembles the intro of Another World deserves all my monies.

  3. Shazbut says:

    I looked at a few and then skipped to the end as I might buy this and want to be surprised. It’s so impressive looking but also so unfair looking. Hmm….

    • poliovaccine says:

      Absolutely ditto. Except I don’t care much if it’s unfair or not, cus when it comes to platformers I pretty much uniformly suck.

  4. Spacewalk says:

    Rain World or Another World?

  5. Moraven says:

    Lodging a stick into a pink Disco Lizard and watch it writhe around with the inability to move normally was the most satisfying thing.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    Well, it isn’t a one-to-one match, but I think the popcorn plant is modeled after real life geranium fruit, right down the percussive seed dispersal!

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    (I couldn’t find a good Youtube video of it, but I’m sure they exist, if only I were more patient.)

  7. April March says:

    If one day I create a game about creatures, I’ll hire Brendan to create an encyclopedia by playing the game unguided.

  8. RomiRomixRo says:

    How can I deal with the giant garbage octopus? I’m stuck in the garbage disposal region and I can’t pass the octopuses!!! help!!

  9. fenriz says:

    looks great.
    but ofc if it’s just reflexes it’s not for me.
    I’d like Another World type of puzzles, please?

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