A to Z Challenge: (O)ctoroks and (O)chus and (O)utlaws (Oh my!)

OEnemiesOkay, I have to admit that “O” is a difficult letter for me to deal with, given my video game theme. There are only so many games that start with “O”, after all, and it’s not a common letter for naming characters or worlds either. After a lot of thought, therefore, I decided to talk about a couple of monsters from my favorite video games today.

First up we have the the Octoroks, who made their first appearance in the original ‘The Legend of Zelda’ game back in 1987.

Here's a cuter version than what's in the header image. <3
Here’s a cuter version than what’s in the header image. ❤

Octoroks are octopus-like creatures who are generally found in watery areas and are often depicted as being blue or red. Their mode of attack is to shoot rocks from their elongated mouths, and in the original game they would quickly change their speed and direction to trip the player up. In the second game of the series – ‘The Adventure of Link’ – some Octoroks would jump and fire rocks into the air, and in my favorite game – ‘A Link to the Past’ – they would sometimes spin in place while firing in four directions.

The Octorok is an enemy that has persisted through almost all of Link’s impressive game series, and is one of the first things I think of when someone brings up a ‘Legend of Zelda’ game. My most frustrating experience with them? In the ‘Ocarina of Time’ installment the little buggers would dive under the water when approached, so the only way to kill them was to stand back and reflect their rocks back at them with your sword. Oh, and I was a horrible aim.

Next up, from the ‘Final Fantasy’ series, we have the hideous Ochu.

Ochu_FFVIII_Color_ArtThis ‘Final Fantasy’ staple is a living plant that is actually depicted as being quite enormous compared to the playable characters. An Ochu usually has two or four thorny, flailing vine-arms, and is sometimes decorated with a ring of pink flower petals that makes it appear to be wearing a skirt.

Ochu monsters appear in a number of the ‘Final Fantasy’ games, but my most recent experience with them is via ‘Final Fantasy X’ and ‘X-2’. In these games, like several others, Ochu is known for its status ailment attacks. It likes to cast such spells as ‘poison’ and ‘sleep’ on your characters, often at the same time. For this reason the Ochu can be an extremely frustrating monster to fight because it’s no stronger than any other monster, but it will kill you by keeping your characters asleep while they are slowly poisoned.

Lastly, from the era-hopping fan-favorite, ‘Chrono Trigger’, we have the Outlaws.

Outlaw_SpritesThese enemies appear as bird-creatures swathed in white robes, and carry swords like a katana. They also throw shuriken as one of their attacks, so I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I say that they’re basically avian ninjas.

The Outlaws only appear in one part of the game, known as the ‘Fiendlord’s Keep’, or more commonly known as ‘Magus’ Castle’. This castle, according to legend, is home to 100 monsters, and those monsters usually attack in groups as you move throughout. What’s interesting about these monsters is that they tend to work together and set traps for you. Outlaws are usually paired up with strange yellow creatures called Jugglers. If you choose to attack an Outlaw before first dispatching the Jugglers, they will team up to perform a damaging counter-attack, wherein the Juggler lights the Outlaw’s sword on fire and the Outlaw unleashes a whirling move on all three of your characters. If you haven’t been properly leveling up before this point, it can be a very devastating attack.

So there you have it; three “O”-letter monsters from three of my favorite games. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Do you have any experience with any of these monsters? Have you ever had any trouble fighting any of them? Do you loathe Ochus as much as I do? Please share!

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