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It Came From Beneath The Sea vintage movie poster

“It” the giant octopus

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


It is a giant octopus and yet another Ray Harryhausen stop animation classic. This octopus has only six arms; it’s been stated this was done to save on the film’s budget.

An interesting aspect for a 50’s film was Faith Domergue’s very liberated character, Professor Lesley Joyce, who was devoted to her career and enjoyed being wooed by both lead males. When Commander Matthews rather arrogantly thought she’d change some of her career plans after he swept her off her feet with a romantic evening, he gets a great surprise!

She also insisted on staying around to help as the monster approached San Francisco, rather than being sent to safety.

Havoc ! Chaos ! Destruction ! Can IT Be Stopped ?


  • Real Name: “Unrevealed”
  • Marital Status: N/A
  • Known Relatives: A similar creature ravaged the coastal towns of Denmark and Holland in the 13th Century.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mindanao Deep, hunting along the western coastline of North America.
  • Height: 1,280‘ Weight: 4,800 tons (18 APs)
  • Eyes: Black Hair: None

Powers & Abilities

It is an enormous radioactive octopus with a swim speed greater than the the advanced sea-crafts of the time. Its tentacles are powerful enough to crush steel supports and it can drag the largest ships down into the sea.

This giant octopus is not without its weaknesses and was barely able to move on land and was quite sensitive to fire.


From her beginnings on a Navy drawing board through the months of secret field experiments out on the western desert. Then through the desperate search for new metals with properties she needed; she was designed to be man’s greatest weapon of the seas. The atom-powered sub-marine.

The giant octopus among coastal rocks

Her engines were to be a miracle of speed and power. Her sides strong enough to withstand any blow her armament and firepower of greater force than the worst enemy she might encounter. The mind of man had thought of everything except that which was beyond his comprehension!

For centuries the mind of man has learned comparatively little of the mysteries in the Heavens above — or the seas below. Since the coming of the atomic age, man’s knowledge has so increased that any upheaval of nature would not be beyond his belief.

The first atomic submarine with its Commander, Pete Matthews, was overtaken by an undetermined sea-beast larger than a whale. The creature held the submarine in place for a moment but was injured when the sub managed to rip itself free. A chunk of the creature went with it.

It was determined to be radioactive in nature and after more than two weeks of testing identified as an octopus. It’s radioactive nature due to Hydrogen bomb testing done in the Pacific.

The creature’s natural food source, fish, fled from the radiation it’s body generated forcing it to find another source of food. This deep sea creature began hunting other animals and also man!

The giant octopus wrestles a bridge

A trans-steamer, Honolulu bound from Vancouver, was attacked by the Octopus and dragged down; many of its compliment went with it but some were able to escape. These survivors confirmed the Navy’s fears. The creature was indeed hunting men for food!

In the weeks that followed the north Pacific was closed to all shipping. The sea trade between three continents came to a standstill. There was hardly a nation in the world that failed to demand through its government and press the reason for such drastic steps.

It was additionally announced that the United States Navy was engaged in secret maneuvers while in reality the strangest search in history was taking place.

A family went missing on an Oregon beach and a quick investigation there allowed Matthews and Joyce to conclude It had come ashore to kill. Another clue was there were no fish in the area. The local sheriff scoffed at their sea-serpent claim. He was killed by It when it revealed itself and came ashore again.

San Francisco bound

News of that incident on the Oregon coast reached throughout the world. By order of the defense department shipping took refuge and the harbors and beach areas were closed. The coastal waters of the Pacific were mined. From Panama to the Arctic Circle, the western coast of America made ready.

Radar and sonar were set up at the Golden Gate Bridge along with an electrified submarine net to keep the monster out of the bay area.

For fear of only wounding or near-missing the creature it was decided they must kill the creature with a single shot to the creature’s brain. They would use a jet-propelled torpedo that would penetrate the creatures flesh like a harpoon then they could detonate its warhead electronically.

They didn’t have to wait long. It came right towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. It was detected by sonar as it approached. Depth charges were detonated as it came closer to no effect. The electrified net was set to current but only angered the giant octopus. It attacked the Golden Gate Bridge with a fury.

Commander Matthews perceived it was attacking because of the electrified netting. He braved the creature’s fury to turn off the current. Once off, the octopus slid back into the depths.

The giant octopus sinks a large ship

The atomic submarine journeyed into the bay and targeted the sea-beast with torpedoes. At the same time the Army would employ flame throwers in an attempt to drive the creature back into the sea.

The flame throwers had tremendous effect on the beast driving its tentacles back, like a child touching a hot stove. The creature slid back into the sea and the waiting sub marine’s crosshairs!

The torpedo struck home but the sub moved too close and was grappled in the octopus’ tentacles. It took Commander Matthews and Dr. Carter to swim out and hit the creature up close with C-4 explosives. This allowed the submarine to get some distance before exploding the new torpedo that would end the creatures’ existence.


An enormous six armed green octopus.


The giant octopus’ main motivation is hunger. It will also defend itself if attacked and pursue anything it perceives as food.

DC Universe History

A giant octopus could be challenging for sea-going heroes as long as they don’t have the power to just take control of it like Aquaman.


Dr. Carter: “Could it be a mistake ?”
Prof. Joyce: “You think so professor? It’s tissue alright.”
CmDr. Matthews: “What’d come from ?”
Dr. Carter: “Some living creature.”
CmDr. Matthews: “You mean all that hunk came from one living creature ?”
Prof. Joyce: “That’s right.”
CmDr. Matthews: “You mean that’s not all one animal, there’s more to it ?”
Dr. Carter: “A great deal more.”
CmDr. Matthews: “Well, it’d be dead now wouldn’t it ?”
Prof. Joyce: “I doubt it.”
CmDr. Matthews: “Must be pretty big.”
Dr. Carter: “Enormous.”
CmDr. Matthews: “Doctor, what kind of a sea beast would be that large ? What‘ya call it so I can stop calling it “It” ?”
Dr. Carter: “I’ve no idea.”
Prof. Joyce: “Nor have I.”

The giant octopus attacks a docks area

Dr. Carter: “Let’s say we do find your beast. What will you do to it then ? That’s the next point for us to consider.”
Navy Admiral: “Torpedoes if we find your monster on the surface, depth charges if it’s below.”
Prof. Joyce: “If you miss your first shot ?”
Navy Admiral: “We’ll get it with the second.”
Prof. Joyce: “It may not wait for you.”
Navy Admiral: “The Navy is not entirely incapable of speed. Professor Joyce, we’ll chase it.”
Prof. Joyce: “I think you underestimate him Admiral. The body of the largest cephalopod is like a giant sack which he can fill with sea water and empty suddenly when he’s disturbed or alarmed.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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A 969 points Character

Dex: 02(04) Str: 15 Bod: 10 Motivation: Survival
Int: 01 Wil: 02 Min: 01 Occupation: Animal
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 004 [006] HP: 000

Claws (Beak): 15, Extra-Limb (X4)*: 15, Fluid Form: 02, Growth: 10, Swimming: 05, Water Freedom: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Fluid Form represents the octopus’ extreme ductility – it is Always On, does not reduce the octopus’ STR, does not allow splitting into separate parts, and does not add to the OV/RV versus most Physical Attacks, instead only adding to RV versus blunt impacts (-3 FC total).
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In (-1)


None demonstrated.


Attack Vulnerability -1 C.S. to Fire (Common, Partial: RV only), Strange Appearance, Miscellaneous: This giant octopus produces a field of radiation that may be detected by all marine life. The range of this field is 12 APs (4 miles).


Technical notes

Length and Weights are guesses. I went with 4 X the length of the real-life Nautilus (the first atomic submarine). The large boat it grabbed and pulled under I guess was close to the length of the RMS Titanic (883 feet). With the tentacles 1280 ft. doesn’t sound too bad. For Weight, I’m basing it off the Nautilus being 3500 tons (17 APS).

Though it is likely a giant octopus would have the other powers of a common octopus. This one did not display any of them and it’s probable the makers of the film didn’t know about them or didn’t care.

STR was decided on looking at the Submarine that couldn’t be crushed and it was able to pull away. The sub has Str 19, Body 24. The large boat that was sunk I assume stats similar to an ocean Liner, Str: 20, Body 18. Looking at the chart, IT gets -4 C.S. to the Ships OV due to its extra-limbs.

Crushing an inanimate object like the boat is Str/Str vs. Body/Body. On an average roll of 11, the creature does no damage to the sub, but the same roll will do 03 APs of damage to the ocean liner. The ocean Liner was sunk in 5 Phases (30 seconds exactly).

The Miscellaneous drawback representing the octopus’ radiation field only affects certain fish with inborn Geiger counters according to the film’s dialogue but the film itself suggests that all forms of sea life, even mammalian, were able to sense its approach. Hence, the “all marine life” approach was taken.

By Ethan Roe

Source of Character: The 1955 film It came from beneath the sea

Helper(s): Octopus writeup in the Animals file on Worg, Sébastien Andrivet, unicorn_epiphany

Writeup completed on the 14th of August, 2014.

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