Rakshasa (fiction)

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This article is about the use of Rakshasas in fiction. For the demon in Hindu mythology, see Rakshasa.

The term Rakshasa, originally referring to a demon in Hindu mythology, has been used in western and Japanese literature and popular culture. The following are some examples:

Books and comics[edit]

  • Roger Zelazny's novel Lord of Light, the Rakasha are a type of extraterrestrial beings consisting of "stable fields of energy". They were present before the arrival of humans on the planet of the novel, and are apparently native to it.
  • In Journey to the West, a famous Chinese novel, one of the antagonists is named 'Lady Raksha'
  • In the manga Berserk, Rakshas is name of one of Griffith's apostle lieutenants in the new Band of the Hawk. He always wears a cloak and a three-eyed mask.
  • In the manga Fist of the North Star, the character Shachi is referred to as "Rakshasa, the Asura-devouring beast".
  • In the fantasy novel Song in the Silence, by Elizabeth Kerner, the demons are referred to as rakshasa by their dragon enemies.
  • In the Children of the Lamp novels by P.B. Kerr, the elder djinn of the Marid tribe is named Mr. Rakshasas.
  • In the Gold Digger comic series, the character Genn is a member of the Rakshasa race, which is a genderless race of shapeshifters who feed on the ethereal energy of other beings for sustenance.
  • In F. Paul Wilson's novel The Tomb, hero Repairman Jack confronts a Bhagavad Gita-studying foe who commands a pack of demonic Rakosh (Rakoshi, plural). While the name of the creatures is not an exact match for Rakshasa, the correspondence of origin, name, and demonic character is clear.
  • A group of rakshasas makes a brief appearance in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.
  • A Rakshasa turns out to be the primary villain in The Iron Ring, a fantasy book by Lloyd Alexander.
  • In Chaos Comics, Rakshasa is the girlfriend of gorgeous lesbian vampiress, Purgatori. Rak was the child of demon rape, when her English missionary mother was attacked by a Rakshasa demon.
  • Rakshasa is the name of one of the three Loki accidentally released by Tiger in Sword-Singer by Jennifer Roberson.
  • Rakshasa feature in the original novel Resurrecting Ravana based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series.
  • In The Last Vampire, a Rakshasa is briefly mentioned as the cause of a plague that ravages Sita's village, and the priest that comes to this conclusion attempts to summon a Yakshini to destroy the Rakshasa, setting the story in motion.
  • Rakshases have a major role in the Game World Trilogy by Samit Basu. The trilogy includes The Simoqin Prophecies, The Manticore's Secret and The Unwaba Revelations. Here the rakshases are magical creatures, know plenty of magic themselves, see humans as snacks, are efficient shape-shifters and have a country of their own, called Imokoi. Their chief, a combination of Harry Potter's Voldemort and the Ramayan's Ravan, is known as the Dark Lord.
  • Rakshasa feature in Benedict Jacka's novels Cursed and Taken.
  • In the light novel series Campione! due to a phenomena, when a person kills a god they steal that god's power and in turn become godslayers. Rakshasa Monarch is one of the many names that Campiones are known by and are believed to reincarnations of a Rakshasa King by Japanese mages.
  • In the Doctor Who Virgin New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire, an alien menace turns its slaves into winged demons, which are referred to as "Rakshassa".
  • In Rakasha: Legend of the Hindi Tiger Demon, the short story collection by Robert B. Davis, a Rakasha serves as the primary antagonist.

Video games[edit]

  • In the Exile and Avernum series series of games, Rakshasas are magic-casting tiger lookalikes; they're one of the nastier adversaries in the later stages of the game.
  • In Linley's Dungeon Crawl roguelike game, the Rakshasa is a type of monster found in the main dungeon levels, and able to create illusionary copies of itself.
  • In the video game FreeSpace 2 the Rakshasa is a class of enemy Shivan cruiser.
  • In the MMORPG Tantra Online, Rakshasa is a character class resembling a female assassin.
  • In the game Final Fantasy (packaged with Final Fantasy II and released as Final Fantasy Origins by Square for PlayStation), there is a tiger-headed creature called a Rakshasa which is a tough spellcaster. This name has been retained in the Game Boy Advance (Dawn of Souls) and PlayStation Portable (20th Anniversary) releases. In the original Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this was shortened to "Mancat" due to the constraints of the 8-bit machine.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, many inhabitants of the sky-city Bhujerba call the monsters from the nearby mines Raksas, derived from Rakshasas.
  • Rakhasas are also creatures of the Haunt class in the RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne by Atlus.
  • In the turn-based strategy game Heroes of Might and Magic V, the Rakshasa Rani is a powerful melee unit in the Academy faction. It is humanoid in appearance, but has the head of a tiger and blue skin, with glowing lower arms and legs. The upgraded units, Rakshasa Raja and Rakshasa Kshatra, have the head of a lion and four arms. The Rakshasa are supposed to be vengeful spirits whom the wizards have learned to control.

Role-playing games[edit]

  • Rakshasa have long been a race of villains in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.[1] They appear as animal-headed humanoids (generally with tiger or monkey heads) with their hands inverted (palms of its hands are where the backs of the hands would be on a human). They are masters of necromancy, enchantment, and illusion (which they mostly use to disguise themselves) and are very hard to kill.
  • The Palladium RPG has Rakshasas as a race of Demons, but here, it is spelled "Raksasha".
  • In the White Wolf game Exalted, the raksha is the name by which the Fair Folk refer to themselves as a race.
  • In the new World of Darkness game, Vampire: the Requiem, the Rakshasa are a bloodline of the Nosferatu.
  • In the Battletech Universe, the Rakshasa is a 75 Tonne Battlemech. An attempted copy of the signature Mad Cat (Timber Wolf) design.[2]

Movies and television[edit]

  • Although not particularly common in Western fiction, the short-lived 1974 television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (which influenced The X-Files) has an episode (Horror in the Heights) featuring a Rakshasa which - like its Dungeons & Dragons counterpart - is vulnerable to blessed crossbow bolts.
  • Rakshasa are referenced in the Outer Limits episode, "Under the Bed" an episode about child stealing myths. Also mentioned were Baba Yaga, Norse Trolls, Jinn, and the Boogeyman.
  • A Rakshasa was featured in the Supernatural episode "Everybody Loves a Clown."
  • The Rakshasa were one of the Nietzschean prides in the TV series Andromeda (for example, season 4 episode "Harper-Delete")
  • In the movie World War Z (film) rakashasa were referenced as the "undead"
  • The song "Circle of Cysquatch" by progressive Metal band Mastodon makes reference to Rakshasa.[3] Also Miku Hastune's song "Hold, Release, Rakshasa and corpses". Rakshasa is included in the title

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ "Rakshasa - BattleTechWiki". Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Mastodon Lyrics". Retrieved 2013-04-26.