Imagine yourself lost hound, wandering a world that's cruel and heartless to the unwanted. Rejected by the sons of man and beast, forced to live in the dirt and shadows, surviving on nothing but cast-off frute scraps and the hope that one day you'll find the shelter of a generous heart.
Then, a light — or at least an incredibly bright darkness — on the horizon. One General Mills finds you and takes you in. You find yourself surrounded by other supernatural creatures — each an outsider of some sort. One feeds on the chocolaty milk of the living. Another is trapped somewhere between life and death. A third is built out of nothing but discarded body parts and strawberry car air fresheners.
You have a home. You have friends. Soon you have fans, children from across the country able to look beyond your bestial face to the sweet cherry flavor within. You are loved.
For a time, at least.
As your happiness grows, so does the flavor of your sweetened oat cereal. Surrounded by your new family, your confidence soars, bolstering your defense against the taste-draining bovine mammary-gland extract that plagues others in the monster army of General Mills. From the shadows you have risen, a shining star.
But you shine too brightly.
In 1984, ten years after finding love and peace, you're grabbed by the scruff of the neck and thrown out into the cold, cancelled. You howl at the gates of Chocula's Castle for days, crying for your family until your throat can no longer make sound. You claw at the metal portcullis until your claws are stained red with your own blood.
What happened? What did you do wrong? Were you not a loving and faithful companion? Did your tail wag too slow? Was your nose too cold? Did you not love them enough, despite loving them with all your being?
You ponder these questions for nearly three decades, slinking about the shadows of Chocula Castle. Once more you survive on cast-off frute, but the hope that once kept you strong is now a cold, withered thing. It hardened into despair, and then slowly began to transform into something darker.
Now you know the truth. They were frightened of you — frightened of the strength and constitution of your flavor. Terrified — and yes, monsters can be terrified — that one day someone would realize how much greater your two parts were than their whole. Such great love, betrayed by jealousy and unfounded fear.
Well, once-unfounded. Now, 29 years later, the portcullis is rising once more. A man who is a beast, or a beast who is a man? It doesn't matter. Both sides will have their revenge.
Three down, two to go.
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Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.