Most of the enemies encountered in Deadly Premonition are supernatural. These creatures are either humanoid, known as Shadows, or animal-like, known as Mad Animals. Shadows can be found in the Otherworld scenarios or around Greenvale between midnight and 6 a.m. Mad Animals only appear in Greenvale between midnight and 6 a.m.
Shadow[edit | edit source]
The most common enemies are Shadows. They are frequently preceded by purple fog and York telling Zach, "They're here." These enemies are tougher than the average human, able to take multiple rounds without being slowed down, but their overall slow speed allows York to take care of them before they ever get close. Shadows will also sometimes bend over backwards as they move towards York, allowing him to get easier head shots when locked on. They can wield various types of weapons, such as steel pipes, guns, crow bars, etc. In addition, unarmed Shadows will thrust their arms down York's throat and attempt to possess his body, resulting in instant death. Shadows can spawn from open sores in walls and floors, ordinarily resembling sooty stains on the environment, and can be extremely effective in great numbers at close distances.
For the most part, Shadows just wander aimlessly through the area, frequently whimpering in endless misery, though others have been observed mumbling or even laughing. Though unable to see, they can detect movement nearby and can sense hostile intent, as well as York's breathing - by holding his breath, York can avoid being detected, useful for when he needs to get into a better position. When they attack, they frequently bend themselves at bizarre angles, and have the uncanny - and alarming - ability to teleport short distances. Stronger Shadows are also far more intelligent about the use of this ability, phasing to the left or right to avoid oncoming attacks. They are very vulnerable to fire, however, and will die quickly if exposed to flames, though their first reaction when lit ablaze is to try to charge the nearest enemy in what essentially amounts to a last-ditch attack.
Possessed of murderous intent, Shadows are noted for their haunting and often disturbing cries in combat, announcing their offensives by announcing that they see York. They frequently scream both lamentations over their current fate - begging to die and apologizing in combat - and violent epithets about how they want to kill and take over the bodies of those they encounter.
According to their trading card, Shadows are corpses that have been possessed by evil spirits. Their actions and appearance show them to be the undead victims of the purple toxin deployed in Greenvale by Forrest Kaysen, decades ago. Possessed of the same homicidal rage and terror that they felt when they initially perished, these unfortunates found no reprieve in death, forced into a nightmarish existence by the very man that led to their deaths in the first place. Drawn to areas by the amount of fear and horror going on, they are encountered not only by York, but by Emily, and present a very real obstacle to be overcome until the one responsible for their hellish existence is destroyed.
Crawling Shadows[edit | edit source]
A mutant form of the Shadows, they are some of the most difficult enemies in the game. They first appear in the art gallery's Otherworld and continue to appear in long, narrow hallways with vents. Crawling Shadows appear from inside these wall vents and their arrival is preceded by an odd buzzing sound. Crawling Shadows assume the form of a thin, naked woman with deathly white skin and long black hair. York is unable to see them immediately, as they appear invisible until he shines a light on them or they are preparing to attack. They can grab him when perched on the ceiling or when their hands are glowing red, and they can shoot projectiles at him from the ground if they are hit enough times. Although they can take a long time to kill, they can be easily dealt with by timing attacks correctly and keeping on the move. Crawling Shadows are the only non-boss enemies York cannot run away from; when one appears, a wall of red ivy seen in the Otherworld blocks York's progress until the Crawling Shadow has been killed.
Mad Wild Dogs and Birds[edit | edit source]
These creatures are shadow forms of animals found during the day. The dogs turn into giant versions of themselves and will manifest in the middle of the town roads, chasing York's car and pushing him off of the pathways. The birds retain their normal sizes but will swoop down and attack York if he runs by them. They are easy to avoid and will only be able to injure York if he stops moving or gets out of his car.
The most dangerous enemy in the Otherworld. The legend of the Raincoat Killer has its roots in a real massacre that took place in Greenvale in the 1950s, and York often encounters him when profiling various murder scenes throughout the town. Nearly all of these encounters consist of quick time events and hide-and-seek sequences in which the player must press the correct series of buttons or hide and hold York's breath to avoid detection. It is unclear whether or not the killer is a real person or another one of the shadows for the majority of the game. In one episode of the game, the player even assumes the role of the Raincoat Killer for a short period of time.