Golden Xan

Staff member
Mallius Odium
Players Playing Bloodbath Demo
OG 2020
Grim Scribe
Vampire Scholar
Mar 30, 2019
Hey everyone,

We heard from Denis before about the Ghoul: "You are what you eat." We can't know what that will imply in gameplay terms, but it suggests that you'll be able to absorb your enemies' powers, attributes or capabilities in general.

I'd like to contribute by citing some games that have that characteristic of absorbing powers from your enemies. Not all will be great examples, but they may serve to sparkle some great ideas in the future.

1- Prototype 1 & 2


In Protype, you play as a man that can absorb organic matter onto his body. He develops various powers as he gains more and more matter, sometimes acquiring specific skills based on what he absorbed. He can shapeshifts his body, transforming it into various types of weapons in the process. Seems like a very fitting reference for the Ghoul's powers.

2- Crysis 2 & 3


In Crysis 2 and onwards, but particularly 3, the Nanosuit begins to develop itself and gain sentience when getting in contact with alien DNA--something that it was based of off in the first place. As it continues to absorb alien matter throughout its journey, it starts to develop new functions, eventually leading to shapeshifting. While the powers themselves are not as strongly inspired by the characters absorbed, the powers are somewhat inspired on the aliens, and so are some of the concepts in the game.

3- Kirby


It might look like a joke, but it isn't. Kirby is an excellent example of a character in a series of games that gets to swallow and absorb other character's powers. And although the absorption changes a little bit every iteration, they are sometimes creative when it comes to the powers gained. It is definitely a potential source for inspiration. Just not on the looks.
I particularly recommend checking out Kirby's Dream Course.

4 - Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Vampires gain powers by drinking blood. Ghouls eat flesh to gain powers. Wraiths reave souls to gain powers. There is definitely an association to be made here. Raziel gains new powers every time he defeats and absorbs the soul of one of the bosses--elder vampires, his former brothers. The powers absorbed are not always quite directly the powers the (un)living vampires had, but a distinct version of them. It is a good source for references.

5 - Alien vs. Predator

While not particularly power absorption, the Aliens, the Xenomorphs, get to develop differently depending on the host they grew up inside. Xenomorphs born out of quadrupedal animals are often called "Runners", a variant that always crawls instead of walking and standing. When born out of humans, they result in their regular Drone form that we commonly see. If a Facehugger implants an embryo in a Preadtor, it results in a Predalien. There are other variants depicted in various stories, including mixtures of Xenomorps between themselves. The transformations can be a source of inspiration.

6- E.V.O.: Search for Eden


I don't expect many people to know this old side-scroller. This game is ALL about getting food, in the form of other creatures. You play as an entity created by Gaia to live, eat, evolve and participate in a long journey of 5 billion years throughout various ages. While you don't get specific powers from eating creatures, you can develop individual body parts and gain new functions with the matter that you absorb. And there are crystals that you find that change your entire form temporarily into a specific creature that cannot be recreated. There is an interesting story behind it, and a few easter eggs, multiple ways of going through the game, and the experience in the end will depend on how you develop your creature.

7 - NetStorm: Islands At War


In this strategy game, you play as high priests that belong to one of four elements, elements governed by gods called Furies. Every mission's objective is to capture the enemy high priest and sacrifice it. When you do that, you absorb one of their powers, typically a kind of unit or structure that their faction has, allowing you to have access to that same ability. I don't know if this is one of the greatest influences out there, but it is definitely unique and it may give some new ideas.

8- God of War and other similar progressive adventures


In the God of War series, as you finish off a special being, be that a god, a dangerous creature or the like, you usually take one of their iconic features for yourself. Sometimes it's an item, sometimes it's a part of their bodies, sometimes it's directly their power. As you do that, you gain new skills to aid you in your adventure, such as weapons with new capabilities and combos, or movement-enhancing items, or really just powers. They are often slightly different version of the ones you witnessed the enemies using, but they are your iteration of them, which is very fitting for the Ghoul. I can't think of other games like this right now, but there are others for sure.

9- Mega Man


In the Mega Man series in general, you always acquire a new power when you defeat a level boss. They sometimes give you a new weapon, that has its own individual "energy" bar, sometimes they give you new capabilities, sometimes new suits. Though the theme is completely different from Deadhaus, I think there might be a lesson or two to be learned from this series.

10- Little Nemo: The Dream Master


In this peculiar breed of game, you play as Nemo and you can acquire the power of other creatures by feeding them, and then "mixing" with them. On some creatures, you mount them. On others, you end up inside them, wearing them as clothes. You gain their health, their powers and their typical movement capabilities, while still being able to use some of your own tricks. I figured "wearing" the creatures' bodies was something considerably akin to a Ghoul's lore.


If you happen to have other good examples that I missed where characters can absorb other individual's powers in interesting ways, let us know. Even something small can serve as inspiration for something amazing.
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It does have a lot of potential. With that in mind I'd also like to reference Naofumi's Cardinal Shield from The Rising of the Shield Hero. Feeding the shield all sorts of creatures, vegetation, and other types of matter unlocks new shields with each having various abilities and stats, with the potential to combine them for something more unique and some coming with consequences for using them.

shield 1.jpg

Perhaps something similar could be possible with the ghoul over things such as eating bats to get sonar and getting a shell from eating turtles or armadillos, rearranging its very anatomy to that of spider by eating x amount of them. The Giant Spiders are coming @Jalen.P , it is only a matter of time :sneaky:.
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First off I'd like to add another reference, the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers. It eats lungs to breath, eyes to see, and its eaten so many hearts that it's own will never stop beating.


I also have some suggestions that I'd like to share. I'll be upfront and admit it's a pipe dream but maybe some of it can apply.

I'll start with what has already been said, that specific parts of a human's body will have a particular benefit for the ghoul and it's stats. Here is a possible association based on what has already been said with some of my own and I'd like to suggest that no matter which of these it eats it will refill the health bar so long as it is healthy and not decayed or otherwise tainted.

Lungs- Stamina
Heart- Vitality
Kidneys- Resistance (Poisons)
Liver- Resistance (Toxins from decayed food)
Brain- Intelligence
Bones- Defense
Muscle- Strength
Eyes/Ears/Noses/Tongue- Perception

Now for stuff other than human. Eating them could generate either abilities or even objects that develop from the ghoul itself, changing their bodies to something of a hybrid between the ghoul and what they eat. I'd like to break these changes down to levels of mastery.

Tertiary Mastery: Mild changes that are temporary or easily overwritten by what the ghoul eats after if its diffferent, requiring the ghoul to eat again if they want to get the first set of changes back.

Secondary Mastery: Changes are no longer temporary and can be recalled at a cost of either essence or mana, perhaps nature of the change determining which one it requires. Experience and levels gained using this form furthers the change's evolution, increasing its effect on both the ghoul's form and abilities.

Primary Mastery: Achieved once the changes have reached the peak of its evolution, turning the ghoul into a near perfect hybrid. Summoning this form no longer requires mana or essence. Individual components of the form and abilities can be manifested outside of it.

How do you get to Secondary Mastery, you ask? The obvious answer would be to eat enough of what it is that causes the change; but I'd like to suggest an alternative that involves crafting, namely cooking/chemistry. You get your material and mix it with ingredients to make something akin to mutagen that is far more potent than what the material could provide on it's own. This could start off with stuff that makes the changes last longer, increasing its impact on the stats, or simply brings it further to achieving secondary mastery. There could even be concoctions or dishes that automatically bring about secondary mastery on their own.

It could be possible to mix and match the different changes after primary mastery is achieved. I'd prefer the option to control the form, mixing and matching features and using the abilities without having to take the form at all.

Hypothetical Scenario: Ghoul eats bats, getting temporary abilities like sonar and a mild cosmetic change. Ghoul eats enough bats or makes the right dishes out of them to lead it to Secondary Mastery and can conjuer both the cosmetics and abilities at will. As the ghoul levels up that form the bat cosmetics become more pronounced and new abilities appear while others get stronger. Eventually the changes peak and the final bat form is achieved with primary mastery, making the abilities accessible without needing to take on the form. The ghoul has complete control of the bat cosmetics, able to apply them as it sees fit and can mix them with other cosmetics from other forms that the ghoul has achieved primary mastery with.
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I've mentioned it in the stream earlier, but Kha'Zhix from League of Legends also has this sort of mechanic (Although it's not terribly in-depth, it is a MOBA afterall).

In lore, Kha'Zix is a being from "The Void", your typical nightmare realm of rampant creation and eternal hunger, kind of like The Warp in WH40k. Kha'Zix special ability is that he can "Consume and Adapt" quite literally. The more he kills/eats, the more biomass he can use to fuel his on-the-fly evolution. The player can pick and choose abilities such as having more fearsome claws to deal higher damage to lower health enemies to better fulfill his "assassin" role, The ability to fire multiple spikes from his shoulders to better engage more than one enemy, grow a second set of wings that improve his leap ability to catch slippery foes, or expand his ultimate ability to cloak himself for a short period to be able to do so 3 times in quick succession in case the enemies like to travel in groups.

Ghouls could perhaps benefit from something similar, using their abilities to adapt their bodies to whatever environment they find themselves in, maybe growing bone spikes from their back or shoulders that they can fire at enemies to engage in ranged combat, or developing some sort of acidic quality to their attacks to weaken their foes armor. Eating things from winter environments could help them resist the cold, or eating predator animals could sharpen their senses, allowing them to better sneak up on their targets while remaining undetected.
While the concept of physical adaptation of traits is all well and good, I feel there's another aspect we can dive into: Assimilation of Memories.

In concept, when the ghoul consumes a living person, what if they also "digested" the thoughts and memories of their prey? The simplest implementation of this idea would be adding an EXP bonus if the ghoul uses a sort of "Feasting" finishing move on an enemy; as the ghoul absorbs the new information from their prey, so would they know better how to hunt that kind. A step further would be the ability to adapt individual fighting styles based on the enemies you fight.

Essentially, I'm imagining a Blue Mage style of character class, perhaps most specifically similar to Quina from Final Fantasy IX.
One who excels at fighting enemies to learn their techniques, and turn those attacks back at the foe. After all, to "[become] what you eat" should also mean to learn to behave in a similar manner, right? Allow me to paint a picture...

The ghoul battles and defeats a human hunter who excels at close combat using his dual axes. The ghoul, having freshly awoken and owning little battle experience, desperately rakes at the flesh of his opponent to feed his ageless hunger. Then noise, a shout, as another human bears down on him to avenge their hunter companion. Swiftly, without thinking, the ghoul raises the dead human's weapons as his own and seamlessly transitions into the same maneuvers he was defending against mere moments ago. But this human is different! This human battles wielding strange arts, casting flames all around him to sear away the ghoul. The ghoul grins, and licks his lips hungrily, "That's a nice trick...mind if I borrow it?"

TL;DR: What if instead of just buffing their own stats by feasting, the ghoul class is able to learn enemy skills and directly copy them for use by the player? After all, learning that one enemy's really nasty attack and turning it against your foes is particularly cathartic!