The ruins of a great temple sprawl before you. Picking your way carefully through the rubble, you make your way towards the pedestal of a shattered statue of the Goddess. Her colossal, decapitated head lies on its side, her stone eyes staring blindly into the infinite. "Where was your divine protection when the faithful needed you most, or wasn't this likeness grand enough to warrant your favor?" you bitterly query the silent monolith. In answer, the earth trembles and thoughts of the penalties levied by the gods for sacrilege run through your frightened mind. Out of the head's hollow, cracked neck one glistening eye stalk slowly emerges, followed by a second. Stone rasps against stone as the effigy rolls to an upright position and you find yourself cowering before a gargantuan snail with a most unusual choice for a shell. What blasphemy is this?
Tiphons are gigantic gastropods that can be encountered in Atlus' 1999 Revelations: The Demon Slayer [Japanese title: Megami Tensei Gaiden: Rasuto Baiburu (Reincarnation of The Goddess Side Story: Last Bible)] Gameboy Color video game [said title was previously published for the original Nintendo Gameboy (1992) and Sega Game Gear (1994), but only in Japan]. Like most of the creatures in the game, Tiphons can potentially be recruited into your party by (carefully) negotiating with them during a battle or you might spontaneously create one by fusing two other monsters together with Kishe's "Combine" spell. The name "Tiphon" is likely a misspelling of "Typhon"--the last, and deadliest, son of Gaea (Mother Earth). Typhon is best known for fathering many of the infamous monsters of Greek mythology and temporarily besting Zeus in one-on-one combat.
Tiphons cannot grow their own shells, which has led to many snide comments about "Uppity slugs that think they're snails". Much like hermit crabs, they simply move from one empty vessel to another as they increase in size. When queried by one of his disciples as to how big a Tiphon can grow, Gaia Master Vaerial's cryptic response was, "However large man's idolatry allows." Although only marginally sentient, Tiphons exhibit a disturbing preference for inhabiting statue fragments. If said accommodations are not readily available, these mollusks aren't above using their incredible strength to topple and shatter hollow monuments in order to create them. Scholars believe this behavior is indicative of Tiphons being the perverse creation of some unknown power that wishes to see humanity, and by extension, the gods, humbled.
Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, acrylic paint, a wire twist tie segment, and gloss nail polish.
3.0 cm/1.2 in. x 2.4 cm/0.9 in. (widest point x highest point)
Two days: March 28 and 29, 2011.
Original Gameboy grayscale graphics:
Gameboy Color graphics with Super Gameboy border:
Sega Game Gear remake version of Tiphon: