"From the blackness of the deepest ocean it came.
The one called Mantis brought its evil army and built a fortress to protect itself from me.
It has wasted its time.
My swords shall taste your evil blood."
- In-game introductory text for the Terrestrial Plane of Water
Chakan, Sega Genesis
"Journey through a festering sea of carnivorous squid and spiked lizards. Crumbling columns bar your way. Giant worms undulate in the layers of skulls dropped by the Mantis, ruler of this realm of watery confusion. Fight through the precarious frozen caves, battling horned tundra wolves. Grapple on slick ice flows with slippery demons whose only desire is to see you perish in the frozen depths."
- Instruction manual description of the Terrestrial/Elemental Planes of Water
Chakan, Sega Genesis
A vile hybrid of serpent and praying mantis, this aquatic fiend is one of the legendary dark forces that must be slain in 1992's Sega Genesis and Game Gear Chakan: The Forever Man video games. Said titles were based on the Chakan graphic novels written and illustrated by Robert A. Kraus (R.A.K. Graphics.)
Despite its intimidating visual design, Mantis represents a rather disappointingly easy boss fight. Most of the time, all the creature does is leap around its lair, attempting to land on, and crush, Chakan with its enormous bulk, but it will also occasionally stick to the ground in order to take swipes at our immortal hero with its scythe-like forelimbs. In the Genesis version, you can simply go to the bottom right corner of the chamber, hold your weapons out, and the fool will oblige you by continually impaling itself on your blades until it dies. In the Game Gear incarnation, having Chakan repeatedly perform jumping spin-slashes, while Mantis is airborne, will quickly put an end to the monster's existence.
Newsprint, wire twist ties, white glue, acrylic paint, and ink.
7.8 cm/3.1 in. x 6.8 cm/2.7 in. (widest point x highest point)
Three days: May 19, 22, and 23 (2012).
I don't have it anymore, but, almost two decades ago, I made a bunch of Chakan 2.5D cardboard stand-up figures, including Mantis. This sketch represents what said figure looked like, to the best of my recollection.
For comparison purposes, below are some relevant images (more information on mouse-over):
- 1992 Sega Game Gear Chakan video game.
- 1992 Sega Genesis Chakan video game.
- My Chakan Game Gear animated bestiary.
- R.A.K. Graphics. Robert A. Kraus' web site, which includes a section devoted to Chakan.
- Various GameFAQs.com Chakan game guides.
- Wikipedia Chakan: The Forever Man article.
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Any and all copyrighted imagery, terminology, etc., depicted here belongs to its respective holders/owners, namely Robert A. Kraus and Sega.
The background and foreground patterns are tiles from the Genesis and Game Gear Chakan games that I edited.