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The Kothoga originally known as "Mbwun" is an ancient creature from The Relic. The Kothoga stalks the Chicago museum in search of victims.


Museum Monster Named "Mbwun" (translation: "He Who Walks On All Fours"). It is worth noting that this translation matches the Navajo name for a Skinwalker (yee naaldlooshii) or, "With it, He goes on all fours." Description, at best, is a "scaly creature." Characterized by an unusual smell and glowing red eyes. The DNA of this creature includes gecko genes. Is described as being "as fast as a greyhound with the intelligence of a human." Was much stealthier than its movie counterpart. Received more sympathy in the novel; both Margo and Ian Cuthbert described it as "lonely" and "sad." Used to be archaeologist Julian Whittlesey. Transformation time may have been the same, but the time from arrival in New York to killing humans is measured in years rather than weeks, and begins with small animals. There is some evidence of the monster retained some sentimental feelings of his human life. The packing crate that contained the Mbwun plant the monster needed was stored for a time at the museum and allowed the monster to survive without killing. Only after the crate and dried plants were moved beyond its reach did it turn to killing.

Kothoga about to climb the museum's wall.

The creature's skull and hide were durable enough that bullets fired at its head were deflected. It is finally killed by Agent Pendergast who shoots it through its eye socket with a large caliber handgun.

Confronting Margo.

Named "Kothoga" (translation: "Satan Is My Father"; the name was used for the tribe worshipping/creating Mbwun in the novel). Is more massive and somewhat insect-like, it has large mandibles sprouting form the side of its face, similar to a stag beetle, resembles a reptilian tiger and walks and runs like a big cat. It had a hairy spine and a forked tongue, with long and curvy sharp teeth, it also has a long and flexible reptillian tail. Instead of red, its eyes are green. There was also very little sympathy towards it. Used to be archaeologist John Whitney, and it has subtle human features as it has wide shoulders, and a human like forehead. Began killing humans almost immediately upon arrival in Chicago and actually killed the crew of the ship that brought it to the city. The crate containing the plant was destroyed almost immediately upon arrival in the museum in Chicago as a precaution against possible biohazard.

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Kothoga Statue.

John Whitney, an anthropologist for the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is studying a newly discovered tribe in South America, the tribesmen make a soup for him using large leaves with a type of fungus, when ingested, causes creatures to mutate due to an excess of hormones found in the fungus. These hormones are from a variety of creatures, and cause infected organisms to display traits not normally associated with their species. When ingested by a human, they become the Kothoga, a monstrous forest spirit in tribal myths. It is an extremely violent creature that must rip out and eat the hypothalamus' of other humans; if it cannot find the hormones contained in the fungus or in the hypothalamus, it will die. The Kothoga displays the traits of reptiles, mammals, and insects, and is very fast and strong. Whitney drinks the soup. A short time later, he is seen accosting the captain of a merchant ship, asking that the shipment he has sent back to Chicago be unloaded from the ship. When the captain informs him that it's too late because the ship is about to leave, Whitney sneaks aboard. As the ship leaves the dock, Whitney searches through the cargo hold for his crates, crying out in despair when he does not find what he's looking for.

Six weeks later, the ship arrives on the Illinois River, with its crew missing. Whitney, having transformed into the Kothoga, sneaks off the ship and stalks the museum from underneath the city tunnels, killing anyone in its path for their brains.

The Kothoga's killing spree and haunting over the Field Museum of Natural History attracted the attention of Chicago PD homicide detective Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta and his partner, Sgt. Hollingsworth, who suggested Dr. Ann Cuthbert, the museum director, to lock down the museum until they managed to find the culprit, only for their suggestion to fall into deaf ears due to an important upcoming exhibition. Around this time, Margo and her mentor Dr. Frock examine fungus on the leaves in Whitney's crates along with the Kothoga statue in which the former learned the fungus' mutagenic properties both from hormones in said fungus and the beetle mutated by the same fungus found along with the crates' contains. Little did they know that a bigger and stronger mutant is on the loose however.

When the museum begins its important exhibition event, D'Agosta orders a lock-down of all museum areas except the main exhibition hall, knowing that the culprit of the murders will still be on the loose, but he and his fellow officers shoot the wrong person (after they mistook the deranged homeless ex-convict as their target, only for evidences surrounding him said otherwise), trapping Margo and Dr. Frock in the process just as they learned the killer is after the hormones on the leaves. It is then D'Agosta and his men encountered the Kothoga in a bloody confrontation which prompted him to alert Cuthbert. Unfortunately, it was too late as by this point, the monster drops the headless corpse of an officer right in front of the visitors, unleashing panic which subsequently causes every single museum's security system to go haywire and trap a handful of visitors. In the ensuing chaos, the monster kills security guards as they try to restore the power. The Kothoga then goes after D'Agosta, Margo, and Dr. Frock in the lab, only to be stopped by an activated steel door.

The monster continues its killing spree as the three discuss the Kothoga's origins and ties with hormones with fungus belonged to a South American tribe while he sucks humans' hypothalamus as substitute for fungus to survive. Margo and her allies at first attempted to kill the Kothoga with liquid nitrogen, believing being part hreptile makes him susceptible to cold and using the leaves as bait. Although the attempt failed with CPD officer, Dr. Frock, and one of the guests is killed in the process, D'Agosta managed to evacuate the rest before joining Margo for another attempt. Returning to the lab with the Kothoga catching up, the analysis on the creature's DNA reveals Whitney's genes in it, revealing his original identity.

The Kothoga manages to corner Margo and separate D'Agosta during the chase, but unexpectedly hesitates as it suddenly recognizes Margo because of Whitney's human mind resurfacing. In the monster's moment of weakness, Margo blows up the lab and hides inside a maceration tank to protect herself in time from the blast, killing the beast and putting the monster Whitney had become to rest. As dawn comes, D'Agosta and a team of police break into the lab, find the charred remains of the Kothoga and rescue Margo from the tank.

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