|Gender:|| Female (First Encounter)|
Male (Second Encounter)
The Flesher appears as a completely naked humanoid, with a mass of round glowing growths in place of a head, similar to those seen growing on the walls early in the game. The glow from its head can make it easier to spot in dark rooms, and it can easily be distinguished from other atmospheric noises by its raspy inhuman moaning, as well as the sharp banging sound produced by its teleportation; acts of suddenly disappearing only to reappear. Both the male and female Fleshers' bodies are slightly overweight and significantly larger than Simon's body.
In the game's files, it shows the stages of infection of the male Flesher. The first image shows first a bald, aging, naked man. The next one shows a light layer of the blue growths covering a part of his face. The final picture shows the current form of the Flesher.
The creature is seemingly blind and does not react to noise, but it appears to be agitated both by proximity and eye contact. Simon's vision is heavily disrupted upon looking at it, with close proximity also causing the same effect.
The Flesher seemingly teleports at random intervals, an accompanied indicator of this is a loud bang. This cue can be used to track its movement even while not looking directly at it. While these traits make the Flesher one of the more oppressive enemies encountered in the game, it becomes relatively easy to avoid once these mechanics are understood. It is recommended to keep moving through Site Lambda and the CURIE once the Flesher has been encountered, as staying in one location in wait for it move may result in it briefly disappearing out of sight only to reappear closer at random, the increased proximity potentially provoking an attack. The Flesher does not kill instantly with its attack, instead knocking Simon out and moving elsewhere.
Simon's first potential encounter with a Flesher takes place in the transit tunnels, shortly after the shuttle crash. If Simon forgets his Omnitool and has to go back for it, a Flesher briefly materializes in front of the shuttle, urging him to retrace his steps.
The Flesher next appears in Lambda, where it attacks Catherine Chun and physically impairs her moments after Simon enters the station. She calls out from the room, warning Simon not to look at it when he ventures through the hub section. After Catherine directs Simon through the station in search of a terminal to use to determine the ARK's whereabouts, the Flesher returns briefly, stalking Simon through the corridors and rooms. It disappears permanently from Lambda after Simon enters the correct room for tracing the ARK.
The Flesher makes two brief cinematic appearances on the ocean floor while the player is walking from Lambda to the CURIE.
The Flesher appears again when Simon enters the wreck of the CURIE in search of an escape vessel, where it patrols the submerged halls relentlessly. It seems to cease its search for Simon after he locates a vessel, but suddenly materializes in front of him when he destabilizes the ship's reactor core, giving chase when he runs back to the EV. The Flesher is locked out of the vessel seconds before the ship's reactor explodes, destroying the structure; it is unknown what happened to the Flesher following the explosion.
- Throughout the demos of SOMA leading up to its release, this enemy was known as the Jiangshi; however, it is never once referred to by that name in the final release.
- In Chinese folklore, a 'jiangshi' (僵尸 jiāngshī, also known as a Chinese "hopping" vampire or zombie) is a type of reanimated corpse. The name is most likely a reference to Flesher's habit of seemingly teleporting short distances.
- It is unknown if the Flesher teleports when it disappears only to reappear or if there is some unknown mechanism that explains this phenomenon.