Phobekins are characters in The Messenger. They are a friendly tribe of hard-working builders, each cursed with a unique fear which they are named after. For example, Necro the Phobekin's name is derived from the word "necrophobia," which is a fear of the dead, and Necro himself is afraid of the dead. The other Phobekins, Claustro, Acro, and Pyro, and Alektoro, follow the same naming structure.
Necro, Claustro, Acro, and Pyro are rescued by Ninja during the main game and serve as inventory items necessary to repair the bridge to Forlorn Temple. In Picnic Panic, Barma'thazël kidnaps the Phobekins in order to lure Ninja into a trap.
Phobekins are small creatures that have round black eyes, shiny cheeks, and small hands and feet. They all wear construction worker outfits, with a yellow hard hat, dark jeans, a yellow tool pocket on their belt, and yellow or brown shoes.
Phobekins are typically blue or purple. Necro is light blue and wields a hammer, Claustro is blue-purple and wields a saw, Acro is red-purple and wields a shovel, and Pyro is deep blue and wields a wrench. Alektoro is pink and wields a measuring tape.
Phobekins are generally very cheery, but when they encounter their fear, they freeze up and shiver in fear. They are quick to snap out of their fear once Ninja starts talking to them. Phobekins enjoy repairing and building, and they are especially proud of themselves after they cooperate together to fix the bridge to Forlorn Temple in the timespan of 500 years.
Ninja falls off of Forlorn Temple's broken bridge and down into the Catacombs, encountering Necro, who is shivering in fear. Necro notices Ninja and introduces himself, explaining that he fell into the Catacombs while attempting to fix Forlorn Temple's ruins. He thanks Ninja for snapping him out of his paralysis, and he raises his hammer, teleporting away in a flash of white light. After Ninja gains the power to freely time travel, he can revisit Forlorn Temple's entrance, where he'll see Necro near the empty bridge gap. If he talks to Necro, Necro thanks him yet again for being saved and goes on to say that he's missing his friends, Claustro, Acro, and Pyro (or whichever Phobekins Ninja hasn't collected yet). Ninja must collect the remaining three Phobekins in order for the four Phobekins to work together to fix the bridge to Forlorn Temple.
Ninja travels around the island, one-by-one rescuing the Phobekins who are stuck in precarious situations. Claustro is stuck in a tight space in Bamboo Creek, Acro is stuck on a small platform in Cloud Ruins, and Pyro is stuck on a platform in a room filled with lava on the pathway between Searing Crags and the Underworld. Ninja snaps each Phobekin out of their paralysis, and he asks each of them how they got stuck in such a situation. The Phobekins don't give a straight answer, but they thank Ninja for his help nonetheless, raise their particular tool of choice up into the air, and teleport away in a flash of white light to return to Forlorn Temple.
Ninja returns to Forlorn Temple's entrance. If he talks to Necro in the 8-bit era, Necro exclaims that the whole crew has reunited and that the bridge will be repaired in 500 years. If Ninja talks to Necro in the 16-bit era, Necro explains that the bridge has been repaired and that the Phobekins are proud of their hard work. The bridge to Forlorn Temple is indeed repaired in the 16-bit era, which allows Ninja to enter the actual temple.
- For the main article, see Picnic Panic.
Five Phobekins enjoy a picnic on Voodkin Shore. But unbeknownst to them, Barma'thazël hides in a bush in the nearby jungle. He grabs a corner of the picnic blanket, upturning the Phobekins' picnic and causing a panic. He uses the picnic blanket as a kidnapping sack, scooping up all five Phobekins. Barma'thazël then walks into the jungle with the sack of Phobekins on his back, leaving behind the sad remains of an uneaten picnic.
At the top of Fire Mountain, Barma'thazël holds the Phobekins hostage in a wooden cage. Ninja demands that Barma'thazël lets the Phobekins free, but Barma'thazël instead explains his evil plan. In Voodkin Island, fear can be converted into voodoo energy, so he terrified the Phobekins in order to funnel the voodoo energy into a Magic Seed. Barma'thazël uses a Voodoo Altar to trap Ninja, which creates the Dark Messenger. He then makes his escape, teleporting away with the Phobekins.
Within the Voodoo Heart, Ninja again confronts Barma'thazël to release the Phobekins. Barma'thazël enacts the next step of his evil plan, fusing together with the Dark Messenger to form their own unique take on the Arcane Golem. Ninja, The Artificer, and The Shopkeeper form the real Arcane Golem and battle it out with the transformed Barma'thazël. The Arcane Golem is successful, defeating Barma'thazël. Barma'thazël teleports away after powering up the Magic Seed even further, but he leaves the Phobekins behind. The Phobekins are rescued, and they celebrate with a picnic at Voodkin Shore.
- The "Devolver Public Access: The Messenger-Sneak Peek" video depicts a beta talk portrait for Necro. The beta talk portrait icon was a slightly more detailed version of Necro's overworld sprite, while the final talk portrait icon is a highly-detailed close-up of Necro's face.
- Explained in the "Sabotage end of year Q&A 2018" video, there was Phobekin backstory that didn't make it into the final game. Phobekins are named from birth, and they would learn to fear whatever their namesake told them to fear, even though they didn't actually fear it. The idea was eventually the Phobekins would break free and challenge their preconceptions, the worldviews that were forced upon them. The moral was the power of thought: people seem to only use it to create negative experiences for themselves.
- If "All Phobekins" is selected as a New Game + item, the conversation with Necro in the beginning of the Catacombs is skipped, as he and the other Phobekins are already at Forlorn Temple.
- Before the Version 2.0.2 update, the Claustro and Acro inventory icons were mistakenly swapped in color. This color error was fixed with the update.
- During the ending of Picnic Panic, Alektoro reveals that from the bottom of his shoes to the tip of his measuring tape, he measures exactly 112 centimeters. Since he and his measuring tape together total 28 pixels tall, that means every pixel is 4 centimeters. This allows measurement of many other objects in the game. For example, 8-bit Ninja is 40 pixels tall in his neutral pose, making him 160 centimeters tall.
- For the main article, see Achievements.
|Nothing To Fear|
Rescue all Phobekins
|Characters in The Messenger|
|Characters||Ninja • Rock Lesieur • Ninja Elder • Demon King • Barma'thazël • The Bowman • Quarble • The Shopkeeper • Cage Monster and Parrot • Ruxxtin • Emerald Golem • Primal Fear • Monk • Quillble • Colos & Suses • The Artificer • The Prophet • The Iron Hood • Manfred • Soldier • Butterfly Matriarch • Guardian Gods • Clockwork Concierge • Pitou • Muse • Phantom • Cowboy • Necro • Claustro • Acro • Pyro • Alektoro • Octo • Pi • Dark Messenger • Voodoo Mask|
|Groups||Ninjas • Demons • Greed Demons • Order of the Blue Robes • Phobekins • Magic Fireflies • Sky Giants • Voodkins|
|Special Roles||Messengers • Western Hero • Fallen|
|Items in The Messenger|
|Items||Scroll • Climbing Claws • Energy Shuriken • Windmill Shuriken • Wingsuit • Rope Dart • Lightfoot Tabi • Astral Seed • Astral Tea Leaves • Ordinary Wax Candle • Magic Seashell • Power Thistle • Demon Crown • Ruxxtin's Amulet • Magic Firefly • Sun and Moon Crests|
|Abilities||Cloudstep • Shop Upgrades|
|Collectibles||Power Seals • Voodoo Feathers • Voodoo Mask Pieces|
|Music Notes||Key of Chaos • Key of Hope • Key of Courage • Key of Love • Key of Symbiosis • Key of Strength|
|Phobekins||Acro • Necro • Claustro • Pyro|
|Miscellaneous||Time Shards • Money Wrench|