Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
The following is based on true story…
I strike a match to my torch and looked down the stairways. I let my torch burned away the cobwebs that had probably encased the threshold for over a decade. If wouldn’t think it possible but the orange flicker made the descent even eerier.
I notice the steel wire tripwires and gingerly step over them. It was a simple trap, but not the only one blocking my passage to The Nexus. Where the diabolical masters has hidden The Box and The Map. I sense the first poison dart wiz by ear. With cat like grace I dodge the volley of cobra venom encrusted darts. I tumble on to the landing and feel the floor lower thee inches as my weight activated the pressure trap.
I hear the sound of a wailing banshee as a disembodied glowing green skull careens towards me. I throw myself to the ground as the dreaded fiery skull demon soars over me. Steeling my nerves I force panic from my body. I bull out my faithful bull whip and with a flick of my wrist it unleashes a precise attack wrapping around the skulls jawbone. I jerk my wrist back and it rips the foul hell-spawn’s jaw from its hinges. In an explosion bright green pyrotechnics it dissolves to ashes.
I am now at the door of the arcane bizarre called The Nexus.
Once I am inside I am not greeted by The Master but by The Minion. “What do you seek?” He asks me compulsively ringing his hands.
“You know what I want.” I growl.
“Ah the box…Many want the box…” He hisses.
“Don’t try to mess with me, it’s sat on the shelf for over three months.” I snap back.
“True but it is very precious and valuable.” He says in his voice that sounds like laughing.
“And I want The Map!” I insist.
“And what are you willing to pay for it?” Comes a voice behind me.
I whirl around with my hand on the butt of my revolver. Ah The Master of The Nexus, the only one authorized to negotiate for The Box.
“Your soul.” He says menacingly. As he laughs his warlock robs flutter as if a breeze from hell itself moved caressed them.
“No dice.” I shout back.
“Really, there are many wonders in The Box including the remains Morgana.”
The remains of the vampire/witch that turned Rasputin, would be a rare find but I am not surprised to find it here in The Nexus. “What else?”
“No one can quite be sure with a box like that.” He says coly. “But were you aware that after your adventure in the lab, that was one more release…The stuff of nightmares…” My composure was lost and he grasp upon the shocked look on my face. “Oh yes Nightmares…Voodoo priests…mummies….pod people…even they say The Ancient Mariner himself.”
“I could take the box.” I insists.
He scoffs “You expect Valerie Elle to rush here on her motorcycle and rescue you like in The Lab.”
“I don’t need her help, I can take you and your minion without raising a sweet.” Insist.
“True, by how about my hoard.” The secret panels open and a mob of mind controlled adolescents shamble in.
“They can’t stop me.” I growl.
“No but these are mind controlled innocents, to take them down you would have to kill them, do you want that on your conscious.” He asked fiendishly.
The institute had given me some funds so I decide to parley “Let’s talk deal.” I reply. “But I want The Box and The Map.”
Well it could have been that way, but it was closer to this. The comic book/Game store in Gresham The Nexus had this huge box of Horrorclixs. I hadn’t seen any of these game figures since I left California. The guy who owned the store didn’t want to seal them piece meal, and I didn’t want to pay for them all at once. It had sat on the shelf for at least three months so I thought maybe I could bargain him down.
After talking to his employee I came back on a day the boss would be there. Fighting the crowd of the Friday Night Magic tournament, I tried to wheel and deal. I don’t have a lot of negotiation skills, but also just had a little bonus money form the recent holiday pay. So though I didn’t get him down on the price he included whatever other game stuff was in there box plus a map I didn’t have.
Horrorclixs in a collectable piece game based on Wizkids hugely successful Heroeclixs. It came out in 2006 and was shut down in 2008 when Topps bought Wizkids out. The player controls a personalized army of monsters who fights the other player’s monsters while trying to slay hapless victims. The monsters can be vampires, werewolves, demons, slashers, mutants, zombies or any of the many other creature types that the game released. If killing innocents isn’t your cup of tea you can create a team of guardian heroes that rescue the victims from the monsters instead.
After the initial release there were themed based expansion sets players could buy. The first was The Lab, which included, dinosaurs, aliens and mutants. It was basically a sci/fi 60’s horror movie addition. Then came Freakshow, with more zombie clowns, wild animals and well freaks. Seven years before American Horror Story hit upon the Freakshow motif. Then came Nightmares, an expansion they never got in my game store back in Ventura California, and I didn’t know exist until I got the box home and started checking out some of the figures I got. It was heavily influenced by literature and include The Ancient mariner and zombie versions of The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man form Oz.
There were also special sets tied into movies. The Queen, Alien with a set of Aliens and another of Predators from AVP. Out of all the Aliens and Predators movies Wizkids only had the license for AVP they could only include figures that were in or reminiscent to that movie. So under that agreement they couldn’t release a Colonial Marines figure. A BPRD and Hellboy based on the comic books not the movies. And a Freddy V Jason set.
In ways Horrorclixs was a combination of Roleplaying and tabletop strategy games. And you tended to have two types of players “The strategist” who focused on the rules and what the figures could do and the ‘role-player’ who basically treated the game like a table top movie. Between the two the strategist usually won.
As for me, I am a role-player. So I remember one cool game as the befuddle pizza delivery boy couldn’t figure out who would order a delivery in graveyard. He panicked when he saw the rotten corpse of the construction worker, and began to run. The undead was slowly gaining on him when a gorgeous blond in blue leather pants and a trench coat flashed by him. Using her whip she tripped the unstable zombie then fell upon it and beheaded him with her sword. Pizza guy still scared out of his wits kept running, but looked up. The blonde was now in front of him, licking her fanged teeth. As opposed to player one moves victim away from player two’s Hard Hat Zombie, he calculates that the zombie will reach the victim in three turns, which is enough for him to bring his Rookie Razor Vixen around the victim and attack the other player’s monster using her ability to make it harder for Player’s two figure to disengage. Then after dispatching player twos figure, player one uses her speed to get in front of the victim.
So why is the game so obscure? Well because it was only made for two years. Wizkids Herroclixs survived because of the innate popularity of superheroes. It has expanded to franchises with existing fanbases like Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. I am afraid as cool a game as it was Horror just doesn’t have the audience that superheroes do.
It doesn’t take much to convert a Heroclix to a Horroclix, if you want Batman to fight zombies. There is also surprisingly large group on the internet that makes variation of characters like Dracula and Carmella, that players can use in there game. There is even new victims so that the player can have his monsters chase Benny hill, and slay Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton, but the line is no longer supported by the manufactures.
As for the box it had about sixty pieces including Vlad the Impeller, all three Oz zombies, the Ancient Mariner. It even included the Morgana figure which could only be gotten from a special order from Wizard Magazine. But it had a lot more cards than figures, so cool figures like Santa Clause, the succubus and aliens. But you suspect things like that with discard boxes. But it was missing the map, so I guess it another trip to the Nexus for me.