What is your mental image of a Grue? A textual description can conjure the most diverse imagery. Or was there never a proper description? Those who’ve played all can maybe advise. But if not clearly described, then this is even more enigmatic. What does a Grue look like? Is it even visible? Is it you own mind’s worst fear?
The picture below is fairly close to what I always had in my mind of what a Grue might look like. But that’s just me.
So I thought, well, it would be fascinating to see what others thought. Maybe they have no image in their minds - only the horror concept. Or maybe they have a vivid concrete, but totally different idea.
Or maybe the idea of making a Grue visible just detracts the horror.
In any case, I invite you to post your Grues; ideas, textual or visual.
Somehow I imagine a grue as a cute, little, round creature (which can eat you despite looking cute). Maybe furry. Perhaps even like a Mogwai (from the Gremlins movie, not the original Chinese folk tales), but with dark gray or black colour.
I imagine it like a ferret with a flat snout, long black hair to make an amorphous silhouette, and scaled up to the size of a tiger.
I don’t really visualize things, but I assumed a grue looked like a Stag beetle larvae. Larger, of course. Most grubs look god awful as is, scaled up it’d be terrifying.
I also don’t really visualize things that aren’t described in detail – for grues, I have a rough sense of bulk and either being quadrupedal or quite hunched.
I always imagine these dudes from Galaxy Quest:
Somehow I always pictured them in my head like… sort of… evil ostriches?
@pinkunz How did you do that?!
@HAL9000 That’s pretty much mine, except I imagine more hair on their face, and for some reason, as a disembodied head.
I always imagined something like the Reavers in Runelords:
Grue: man, ocular bat, the unusual hoon.
Grue’s came from Jack Vance’s novels, but that description isn’t very specific either.
I imagine big maggoty things with arms and fangs. Like a smaller version of Jabba the Hutt, except pallid and toothy.
I think Sorcerer says they have fur but I just ignore that.
This from Zork: The Undiscovered Underground
With the salesman’s hot, fetid breath threatening to exfoliate multiple layers of facial epidermis, you quickly pull the mask from his face. In hellish harmony, two terrifying screams fill the air: yours, as the first human to see a grue; and his, as prelude to a graphic demonstration of why it is that they aren’t seen by light of day (to wit: spontaneous grueish combustion, leaving only a greasy slick on the ground by your feet.) Although you will spend the rest of your life trying to forget what you have just seen, the sight of that sickly glowing fur, fish-mouthed face and razor-like fingers remains forever etched in your mind. You throw the mask away in horror at what you’ve just seen.
I’d say a mole. Furry mammal with milk and sharp claws who lives in constant darkness (underground). Think a scarier version than Wind in the Willows Mr. Mole.
As Susan showed, in French “une grue” is “a crane” but it’s true for the machine and the bird so I’ve often pictured something like Marco’s evil ostrich, however sometimes the first thing that comes to my mind is an origami crane. Imagine being eaten by a paper bird…
I think that grue is cognate with gruesome (as in “meeting a gruesome end by a grue”) so, my mental picture is about fangs, talons, whatever fits the gruesomeness of the hapless adventurer’s demise…
Best regards from Italy,
Considering they only appear when you’re blinded by darkness, I can only assume that, like the koan about a tree falling in the woods, a grue only even exists when it cannot be perceived. If you could see the grue, there would be no grue there to see.
I mean, in Spellbreaker and quite a few other canon Zorkian stories, you have seen Grues. But since in Spellbreaker you’re in real darkness and your hunger and thirst is completely relying on a potion from pretty much two games ago, you could be hallucinating when you see it. They’re also “mutant Grues”, so … you know.
This reminds me of tremors.