For the spell, see Simulacrum.
| An ice replica of a monster that is animated by the powers of necromancy.
"The simulacrum now hides, not the truth, but the fact that there is none, that is to say, the continuation of Nothingness."
-Jean Baudrillard, _La Pensée Radicale_. 1994.
Simulacra are replicas of other monsters constructed out of ice and are a type of derived undead. They are slower, clumsier, stupider, and weaker than their living counterparts, are vulnerable to fire, and cannot heal. However, simulacra float on water, come with the standard undead resistances (poison, negative energy, torment, and complete immunity to cold due to their composition) as well as attacks that do additional HD to 3*HD-1 cold damage. This extra damage can be quite lethal with high HD or multiple attacks. When killed, simulacra leave behind temporary freezing clouds.
Simulacra may rarely appear as random monsters, but they are more commonly found in certain vaults, ice caves, or as the result of the Simulacrum spell, which converts a nearby corpse into one or more simulacra based on the creature used.
Simulacra are some of the most powerful minions Necromancers can have at their disposal. While they are rather fragile, the extra cold damage they deal can quickly overwhelm stronger foes that lack cold resistance. Simulacra made from high-HD monsters like titans or dragons, as well as those with multiple attacks, like hydras, are especially effective. Followers of Kikubaaqudgha are especially fortunate, as they can use their god's Corpse Delivery ability to quickly build up an army of high-end simulacra.
Simulacra are not without their drawbacks. They are the most fragile variety of undead servants, and player-created ones are strictly temporary -- even if nothing kills them, they will eventually sublimate into a freezing cloud. Their additional damage is far less effective against foes that have cold resistance. Finally, Simulacrum is a difficult spell to cast, as it requires significant investment in both Ice Magic and Necromancy to be effective.
Should you find yourself facing down a simulacrum or three, protect yourself with cold resistance. Any of the standard anti-undead strategies like weapons of holy wrath or Dispel Undead will work; flaming weapons and Fire Magic are also quite effective.
Though simulacra of different monsters have different stats, Crawl tends to lump them together, making identification at a glance difficult. In console mode, simulacra will be separated into zs and Zs, representing large or small simulacra. Tiles mode is more specific, providing unique tiles for several categories of monster, but there is still considerable variation within those categories. In either mode, you can always press x and highlight the simulacrum in question to determine exactly what type of monster you are dealing with.
Below are all the categories of simulacra in tiles mode: