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Sean Grandchamp
Sean Grandchamp

Primal Fear



Devils (悪 (あく) 魔 (ま) , Akuma?, or デビル Debiru) are a race of supernatural entities appearing throughout the World. They are creatures that feed upon humanity's fears.




Primal Fear



Devils are born in Hell. All devils are born with a "name" that correlates to a concept. These can range from highly tangible (Fish, Tomato) to entirely abstract (Future, Curse). The concept does not have to refer to something that exists; there is no indication that ghosts, zombies or angels exist in the world, yet all these names have corresponding devils. Each name is unique to its respective devil, though some overlap based on specificity is possible as there have been both a War Devil and a World War II Devil. Devils manifest according to the collective consciousness surrounding their names (for example: the Gun Devil appears to be constructed out of guns and has gun related abilities). They are the embodiment of the fear that "name" represents, so as long as that "name" instills fear, they continue to reincarnate.


The appearance and physiology of a devil varies from one to another, as their shape and bodily structure often have to do with the "name" they embody. Most devils possess human limbs, faces, bones, and other body parts, such as the Snake Devil's mouth being made of interlocking human arms, even their fears wouldn't indicate organs or limbs, given the Tomato Devil and Grape Devil both possess human eyes and limbs despite being based on plants. Other devils, such as the Fox Devil or the Octopus Devil, don't appear to have these features (at least on what parts of them have been shown). Devils do not reproduce as most organisms do, instead simply "appearing" in Hell. What criteria, if any, cause a devil to be born are completely unknown.


Devils primarily feed on the blood and fear of humans, however they can also survive by drinking the blood of other creatures (such as fiends and other devils). While fear makes devils more powerful, consuming blood allows them to quickly heal their injuries as well as grow in power - meaning that consuming humans is more than just instinctual hatred, but often necessary to their survival. For that reason, while devils and fiends can also consume other kinds of foods, such as vegetables and fruits, most refuse to live off of them, since it will not heal their wounds or give them more power. It is unclear whether or not their blood is properly nourishing to them, but given consistent remarks that they have a terrible or unusual taste, it's likely that Hybrids aren't as nourishing to devils as humans (despite being mostly human).


As shown with the Gun Devil, devils can be physically fragmented into several so-called flesh pieces (肉 (にく) 片 (へん) , nikuhen?). It is unknown how many devils have undergone fragmentation. It is possible for devil fragments to be harmed, destroyed, and become fiends on their own yet for other parts of the main devil to still remain alive and not destroyed. Presumably, a fragmented devil cannot be fully killed and begin reincarnation until either all of its flesh pieces are destroyed or just their core. Since the Gun Devil is the only example of extensive fragmentation and was more of a primal force than an intelligent being from the 20% of it seen, it is unknown if such flesh pieces retain the personality of the original, each have separate personalities, all lack distinct personalities, or if it varies from devil to devil. If one consumes the fragment or part of a powerful devil, either devil or human, they will gain more strength than before.


Naturally, most devils are extremely hostile considering their requirements to feed on the blood and fear of humans. Some, however, are relatively friendly and feed by alternative means: Some devils, such as the Fox Devil, choose to form contracts with humans, allowing humans to borrow some of their power in exchange for a sacrifice.[2] Other devils outright choose to become devil hunters, allowing them to live in human society and buy food with the money that they make. As a general guideline, the more human the devil looks, the more friendly they tend to behave. However it is worth noting that devils do not have human rights and therefore there is no legal repercussions if they are killed by a human. For that reason, some devils and fiends are coerced into helping humans out of fear of dying rather than doing it out of their own free will. Devil Hunters will sometimes capture devils to use them for contracts, the Future Devil is a good example.


Overhead, in the Autobot shuttlecraft Darkstar, Hound is the only Transformer still intact; the corpses of Jhiaxus's troops surround him. Hound is desperately trying to reach anyone on the communicator. He begins taking out his frustration on the equipment, but then struggles to regain his calm. He begins recording a message about how Optimus Prime's Autobots, fleeing Jhiaxus, tried to hide in the K'tord Nebula, from which many ships never emerge. However, once within the nebula, tempers began to fray among the Autobots, and the Decepticons stopped simply tracking the shuttle and instead attacked. Hound ends the message by saying it's not an SOS, but a warning that something about this planet causes uncontrolled fear and rage, so anyone listening should stay away.


See also: Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?, Bears Are Bad News, Fangs Are Evil, Eye Scream, And I Must Scream, Jump Scarenote which isn't quite the same as a Primal Fear, but tends to play off of it, particularly loud noises, darkness, and monsters/psychopaths, Enclosed Space (which isn't necessarily this trope), Dark Is Evilnote primal fears of darkness are the reason this trope is so prevalent, and a fair number of Horror Tropes.


  • The Shadow of Death See also Mortality Phobia.Anime The Espada in Bleach all represent various aspects of death. When Baraggan releases his blade, he takes a Grim Reaper-like form wearing an elaborate crown. He then goes on to explain that his aspect is "old age", the only kind of death that is utterly unavoidable: no matter how powerful you are, one day you will die and crumble to dust. True to his nature, he is in no hurry to destroy his enemies, moving slowly forward as his entropic powers disintegrate everything around him. Hachi theorizes that Baraggan is no exception to this rule and uses his own power against him in order to destroy him.

  • Black Paradox has a particularly terrifying variation of this. In the story, the protagonists discover mysterious stones that give off massive amounts of energy. The stones are actually the souls of people from the past, and using them up is going to ensure mankind's extinction. One chapter titled "The Strange Tale Of The Pylorus" centers around one character's (a man named "Piitan" (his name is really "Mr. Houdou") stomach becoming a portal to the afterlife (the Japanese word for "Pylorus" also translates into "Spirit Door"). This results in him barfing up the aforementioned stones. Eventually, the stones fill up his stomach faster than he can vomit them out and he ends up exploding.

  • After her elderly father's death, six-year old Rin from Bunny Drop becomes fearful of her own demise and her new guardian's death. Daikichi soothes her worries by telling her he won't die until she is an adult.



  • Literature In Another Note, we are told why Beyond Birthday is so fucked up. It's because he can see other people's lifespans, due to somehow being born with "Shinigami Eyes." He knows when everyone will die, just by looking at them. He exploits this ability: his victims were all at the end of their natural lifespans anyway. As Mello puts it, he was constantly surrounded by death. That, and his best friend A committed suicide due to the pressures of living up to L.

  • In The Adventures of Caterpillar Jones, C.J.'s greatest fear is being alone, and late in the book all his friends complete their Life Watches, leaving him the last caterpillar in the meadow.



  • Professional Wrestling Back in the days when Hulkamania was running wild and the WWF was directly marketed to kids, the debut of the Undertaker and Paul Bearer (his mortician manager) was fearsome at first. Of course, the concept of a supernatural death-obsessed being soon proved to be more popular than Hogan himself with the teenage crowd, who quickly made sure he got passed the "invincible hero" torch from Hogan.

  • And then there was Papa Shango, the wrestling voodoo shaman. Especially for some of the things he "did" to the Ultimate Warrior.



  • Video Games Super Paper Mario features a Big Bad who wants to destroy all the worlds. It's a standard villain thing, and you usually manage to discover the Plot Coupon in each world before he can destroy it... except one. In the happy ninja world full of honorable men in a cartoony version of medieval Japan, you get delayed... and the world falls apart around you. You re-enter the world and where there was once dozens of people, there's now whiteness. A seemingly infinite expanse of whiteness, with only the occasional pile of dust dotting the landscape. It comes back after you finish the game, though.

  • The Save The Dinos game in 3D Dinosaur Adventure. If you failed to save all the dinosaurs in time, the comet would hit. Everything would explode, dinosaurs would scream in horror and pain, and a voice-over would tell you that it was all your fault. It was inexplicably terrifying. Not to mention that as the game progressed, you would often find your progress to the the three Mesozoic periods barred by giant arthropods, including mosquitoes, scorpions, fleas, and pill millipedes. If you approached one, an eerie sound that the creepy crawlie's real-world equivalent makes would fill the air. It was very creepy, considering that most people don't like mosquitoes as it is.

  • Fable: When you kill an undead, a green cloud rises from it accompanied by a tortured scream...

  • Made even creepier by the fact that if you read the headstones in the graveyard, you find that your dead father is buried there, and you could conceivably be destroying him...

  • Missile Command. THE END. Even more commonly, the distinctive flash and mushroom cloud animation every time a city is lost... and millions of tiny 8-bit innocent lives along with it.

  • Project Origin has this in full force when you step out of the ruined warehouse into post-nuke Fairport, complete with destroyed landscapes, distant fires, crashing jets, and the still standing, burnt-to ash corpses of civilians caught in the fire of the explosion. Most of them in poses of terror or attempting to flee. And it gets worse later on, when, under Alma's psychic influence, you start seeing apparitions of the people killed in the nuclear explosion, starting with a couple, then a dozen, and then hundreds....

  • The Incarnations of Death in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Also applicable to all Fiends in the games they appear.

  • It's never explained what happened in her Dark and Troubled Past, but Meryl from Harvest Moon: Magical Melody has a fear of death.

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