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I'm watching you!  Watcher  Whatever gets by him, I'll see!

Strange, anthropomorphic owls that can be randomly encountered in Squaresoft's 1993 Final Fantasy Legend III (Japanese name, "SaGa III: Jikku no Hasha") Gameboy video game. Sadistic by nature, a Watcher will stalk and harass its prey (without doing any actual physical harm) for seven days and nights before it finally moves in to make the kill and feed. During this time period, the victim will frequently see, or run into, the Watcher, who will do nothing but cast its lantern light upon them and silently glare (a particularly favored tactic is for the Watcher to repeatedly peck on the bedroom window at night with its beak, the sleeper then wakens to find the stoic Watcher peering in at them--if circumstances permit, the creature will repeat this performance several times in one night; aside from instilling fear, the sleep deprivation makes the person even more susceptible to further tricks). The crafty Watcher will go to great lengths to ensure that it is only encountered when the target is alone, never when he or she is in the company of others, leading the unfortunate person to doubt what they see and to even question their sanity--indeed, some individuals are driven mad after just a few days of this treatment (which, of course, delights the Watcher to no end). In battle, this family of avian beasts may exhibit the offensive capabilities: Beak, Mute, and Thunder (Watchers and Hermits know Beak and Thunder, Mages, Sorcerers, and Warlocks know Beak and Mute).

If a character devours the meat of one of these cloaked creatures, he or she may transform into something else--what you turn into is dependent on (1) what class the character currently belongs to, (2) the character's elemental affinity, and (3) the experience level of the character. Regarding class, a monster that eats Watcher/Hermit/Mage/Sorcerer/Warlock meat will turn into a beast, a beast into a different beast, a human/mutant into a beast, a cyborg into a human/mutant, and a robot into a cyborg. All of the variations in this owl family are naturally aligned with the element of fire, and thus, so is their flesh--a "fire" character that devours said meat will remain "fire", an "air" will become "earth, "earth" will become "water", and a "water" will turn into "air". Your experience level also affects the transformation in that the higher the character's level, the more powerful the resulting thing you turn into will be (i.e., a human "water" character, at level 22, would change into an "air" Siren beast after consuming the meat, however, the same human "water" character, at level 19, would instead transform into a weaker "air" Soarx beast). The beast class, to which Watchers, Hermits, Mages, Sorcerers, and Warlocks all belong, are particularly proficient in martial arts (i.e., they get the best benefits from using items like Judo, Karate, X-Kick, etc.).

The enemies Watcher (450 HP), Hermit (540 HP), Mage (653 HP), Sorcerer (750 HP), and Warlock (852 HP) all share the same game sprite. As the original Gameboy lacks the colors to provide adequate contrast between monsters that use identical artwork (as is commonly the practice in video games), these lantern-bearing owls are indistinguishable in appearance.

Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, hot glue, plastic wrap, a wire twist tie, gloss nail polish, and acrylic paint.

5.2 cm/2.0 in. x 3.0 cm/1.2 in. (highest point x widest point)

The neck rotates.

Roughly one day on December 7, 2008.

Watcher photo collage.

For comparison purposes, below are several Watcher/Hermit/Mage/Sorcerer/Warlock sprites from the Final Fantasy Legend III Gameboy game. The first is the original black and white monster battle image and the second is a colored variant I made. The bottom three are animations of the Watcher/Hermit/Mage/Sorcerer/Warlock player sprite (which is what you see if one of your characters transforms into one and/or you encounter a Watcher/Hermit/Mage/Sorcerer/Warlock NPC in a town) from the front, back, and side--all of these were colored/animated by me.



(In no particular order of importance.)

  •   Hardcore Gaming 101 SaGa article.

  •   Final Fantasy Legend III Gameboy video game and instruction manual.

  •   RPG Classics Final Fantasy Legend III bestiary.

  •   Various GameFAQs Final Fantasy Legend III game guides.

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