Character Bios: Hellzoo

Description: Variable. When Hellzoo interacts with an individual, it must take the form of a person associated with a guilty memory from that individual’s mind. This guilt-related form has no substance; it is only an image and noise.

Hellzoo CAN manifest as a physical avatar, but this form requires a magical pattern at least two miles wide. This pattern can not be created by Hellzoo, but must be prepared ahead of time by an unwitting individual. Hellzoo’s avatar, once transplanted upon the pattern, is composed of a solid, red ring. Multiple chain links grow outward from the ring to form tentacles. The original pattern that Hellzoo hijacked still exists, and can be manipulated freely by Hellzoo.

Personality: Cruel and manipulative. Hellzoo is obsessed with guilt and making others recognize the pain that they have caused their loved ones.

Abilities: Hellzoo can simulate horror in reality by taking images of guilt from a victim’s mind. That is, to say; an illusion that can be further manipulated by Hellzoo to interact with people.

Inspiration: I must admit: I had no plan for Hellzoo when I first thought up the story. Parlay was going to be the main antagonist for the entire book, and no other villainous force was going to appear besides his minions and Mackaba. But as I began to write the starting chapters I realized that Mackaba alone wasn’t going to be an intriguing enough villain for a first act.

So I let my mind wander in those chapters. I imagined Mean, driving her car on the lonely road in the dead of night. The headlights catch a shape drifting across the pavement—a circle. Then, as I did with Parlay, I start asking myself questions.

Q: What is this circle?

A: A life form that survived the planetary extinction.

Q: Now, Brad, you already established that every form of life, besides the plants, died. You can’t go making ANOTHER exception like Parlay. What is this ring? For real this time.

A: Okay, the circle survived because it’s REALLY an avatar being remote-controlled by a powerful entity from another dimension/planet/hell.

And I went from there. How can I integrate Hellzoo into the world I created? How can I use the story of Hellzoo to build up other characters, such as Tome? I worked until I was able to incorporate Hellzoo into the narrative; as if it was there the entire time. And, like Parlay, I WILL need another bio entry for Hellzoo later. 😅

Musical Inspiration:

“J-E-N-O-V-A” from Final Fantasy 7, composed by Nobuo Uematsu.

This song shows up in the game whenever Jenova appears as a boss fight. And as a first-time player I had NO IDEA what Jenova was or even why I was fighting it. It’s sudden, alien, and bizarre. A true experience, to be sure.