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Primal Beast God of Death
Realm: The Graveyard, Urth
Featured In: Primal Rage: The Avatars by John Vornholt

While many of my generation were exposed to the brutality of video games by the ever-popular Mortal Kombat series, my own first experience with a truly bloodthirsty fighting game was Primal Rage. The story of Primal Rage is an interesting one insomuch that it was first and foremost, an arcade game only before being released into home consoles like the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis, but the real breadwinner was all of the commercial tie-ins to the game. Comic books, a board game, and action figures were released within years of the game. It was also a game that was rather notorious for having a fatality so utterly vulgur and disgusting that the Super Nintendo version had it removed.

And no, I’m not saying what it is, if anyone is that curious, look it up for yourselves and be disgusted at your own discretion.

While it sincerely looked like a sequel was to be made, with action figures of two new beast gods released with the rest, Atari felt that a sequel would not garner much in the way of sales so they cancelled it. However, Atari still felt it prudent to showcase the story of what it might have been in some form or another and thus we get Primal Rage: The Avatars.

The novel’s story is not much different from that of the game beyond a minute detail we’ll get to in a moment. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, tragedy befall earth via an impact from a meteor that resulted in such utter devastation that the very continents were shifted and torn asunder until only one new continent remained. One shaped like the skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex no less. Fortunately, mankind managed to survive this Cataclysm and had come to rename their changed world to “Urth.” Unfortunately, the shifting of the continents and the loss of civilization as we know it was not the worst that would befall mankind.

For the Primal Beast Gods had been awakened from their eons of slumber at long last. These Primal Gods, otherwise known as “dino-gods,” are ancient creatures whom had someone attained a strange form of immortality unique to each of them and they had all, in turn, become a form of living embodiment.

Necrosan is one such Primal Beast God… and yet, he is not. For he was not sealed in the Earth nor had he awoke in the days following the Cataclysm. In point of fact, Necrosan was the one responsible for it in the first place with the meteor being an egg-like ship that carries him through the stars. Despite being alien in origin, Necrosan bares a horrible resemblance to dragons if dragons lacked anything remotely resembling skin and were composed entirely of bone, muscle, and sickly glowing organs.

Whereas most of the Primal Beast Gods are rather tame with their powers and abilities, Necrosan’s greatest and most terrifying ability is what he does to humans. Like most of the other dino-gods bare a select few, Necrosan has a taste for humans that shoots to beyond infinity in disgusting depravity. For while some of the dino-gods devour people for food, like Sauron as he is forever plagued by hunger to keep his immortality, or as punishment like the vile Diablo or wicked Vertigo, Necrosan eats humans to amass for himself an army.

An army of the undead…

Yep, you read that right folks, Necrosan is, essentially, an alien skeleton dragon who eats people and pukes up zombies.

The 90’s, gentlemen and ladies, it was an odd decade to say the least.

Still… despite being a very dangerous Primal Beast God the likes of which actually requires the cooperation of the dino-gods working together to defeat him, something that even the virtuous ones couldn’t accomplish during their thousand year reign, Necrosan is… Really stereotypical as far as villains but I’m not sure if that’s a result of a game that never came to be or a novel that was written to try and fill the gap it left behind.

Speaking of the novel, I’ll end this review with yet another fine piece of incredibly random trivia. The author of the book, John Vornholt, has had his hand in many literary works but he’s also been a screenwriter for a few notable cartoon series. The two that immediately caught my eye and had me laughing myself hoarse were the cartoon adaptations for The Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dennnis the Menace. Trust me, if anyone has ever read Primal Rage: The Avatars, you’d be laughing too. It’s like finding out that Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was written by Stephen King.

Then again, with those puppets…