Favorite Aspects?

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

Odd title, I know, but what about the AVP universe do you find scary/interesting/cool? What about the movies/games/comics does it for you? The creatures? The universe? The technology? What, in your opinion, makes the AvP universe(s) stand out from the rest of the pack?

For me, it's the ALIEN aspects of the Xenos.

There's a great moment in the comic Aliens-Labyrinth where the lead characters are discussing Xeno biology. They're going over the organs in their heads when the main scientist spouts off something to the effect of "this is what they have instead of a brain."

Not "this is their brain," not "this is like a brain," not "this is their equivalent to a brain."

"This is what they have INSTEAD OF a brain."

They don't have brains. Consider that for a moment. They're intelligent, but they don't have brains. How the hell does that work?

They must have Something Else, something so fundamentally different from anything on Earth that humans literally can't imagine it. So many questions get opened by this. Are they intelligent? Does the word "intelligent" even make sense in this context?

It's all so completely alien that we could never hope to understand it, and it's just the tip of the iceberg with these things.

badapple24, Yautja, 9 years ago

It is the xeno aspects of the universe, by far the best seires of all the universe because they had 5 movies. I also think instead of a brain the queen is their brain. I mean the hive mind can tell them what to do

alienxeno, Yautja, 9 years ago

he is right about the brain part.

-Bloo-, Yautja, 9 years ago

The bit about "instead of a brain" is actually kind of amazing. Simple (and careful) choosing of words seems to make all the difference, and I appreciate that the writers had that kind of care. I really need to read that already.

You pretty much summed up why I love the Xenomorphs so much. They're unlike anything we've ever had to deal with, and it's scary because they're just a random by-product of the black liquid - which might also make them seem less scary, considering a different, stronger creation of the liquid killed off all life on the planet. Like was mentioned in an earlier topic, trying to imagine what the hell that creature is, and if it's still alive, is a horrifying thought. What's also frightening is that the creature may very well have been either some type of Xenomorph or a Xeno ancestor (like what the Protomorph would be as an adult).

You could argue that Xenomorphs truly are just WMDs and not actual animals of any kind, which is why normal rules don't apply to them. With that in mind, what we've seen them handle can actually be considered realistic. Which is also scary.

They're just so foreign. We couldn't ever hope to understand them, and instead we just relate them to things we do understand, which might not be correct at all as far as we know. Not having that ability is truly terrifying.

alienxeno, Yautja, 9 years ago

true,true.......so true.

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

"the queen is their brain."

See, you're not really grasping this.

Again, it's not that they use something FOR a brain, it's that they don't have brains. At all. They do not possess such an organ, yet they are independently intelligent. It doesn't make sense, and it isn't supposed to. The fact that they can move and react independently would imply they have something roughly equivalent to intelligence.

But it's not intelligence as we understand it. It's not intelligence as we CAN understand it, because we're using human brains.

It's like trying to imagine what ultraviolet light looks like; it can't be done with a human brain.

gamefreak33797, Yautja, 9 years ago

But how do we know that the queen isn't the one with the brain, however tiny and allows them to all be connected through an organ they all have and allows them to have a hinve mind that the queen controls and the rogue aliens were a genetic mutation that gave thimselves a brain.

Gambusia, Yautja, 9 years ago

What Deathdrop is trying to say is that its completely alien by Earth’s standards for an animal without a brain to do the things aliens are shown doing. Animals on Earth that lack brains are amazingly simple creatures like clams, sponges, corals, and barnacles. They can’t do a whole lot. They spend their lives filtering the water for food and that’s about it. Now according to Aliens: Labyrinth xenomorphs don’t have brains either, yet they can do things as advanced as organize attacks and cut the power to rooms.

Now I think the fact that xenomorphs have acid for blood is a bit stranger... >.>

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

@gamfreak: Because the point is that they don't NEED a brain; they have Something Else. The Queen probably wouldn't have one either. She might have something that allows her to communicate with them, but that thing is not a brain. It is a type of organ that doesn't exist anywhere on Earth.

It's sort of like how their acid blood isn't really blood; we call it blood because it's a liquid that shoots out of them when they get shot/cut open, but it's not blood. It's Something Else that we don't have a word for. We call it blood because that's the closest word we can use to describe it.

I should point out that since this was from a comic (and thus not necessarily canon) it should be taken with a grain of salt, but I still find it fascinating.

I'll paraphrase something someone on ALP said: A human being is more closely related to a tree than to an extraterrestrial.

This is an organism that didn't evolve on Earth. It is 100% foreign to us. Chimps and Humans share something like 95% of their DNA. Think about this: that little 5% is the difference between a human being and an ape.

Now picture something that shares NONE of our DNA, that evolved (or was created, or whatever) on a world completely different from Earth, and you'll sort of see where Labyrinth is coming from.

None of our words, our senses, even our brains are any good for comprehending their intelligence because it's just too damn alien.

-Bloo-, Yautja, 9 years ago

I think GF just means to be citing the fact that the Queen directs all thought patterns in a hive. The Queen does not, however, have complete control over them, as seen in the cases of lone Xenomorphs or even isolated Xenomorph groups where the Queen might not have a signal to their heads or... something.

The thing about the 5% difference really hit the nail on the head, I think. Very powerful example.

The Xenomorphs are very Lovecraftian in the most realistic way possible, and that's... that's something to think about.

gamefreak33797, Yautja, 9 years ago

The second part of bloos statement is what i had said about rogue xenomorphs. what if they are born without the "organ" that lets them be part of the hive mind.

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

That's sort of like asking "what if a human was born without a big chunk of their head?" Then they presumably would be born dead, since that organ (or whatever it is) is what allows them to be intelligent.

Labyrinth also shows that Xenos that are cut off from the Hive for a few months get sick and eventually die. They need the telepathic contact. Labyrinth also raises the idea that Xenos have no true sense of 'self,' which fits into the whole hivemind notion. This would explain why the Xenos in Aliens had no problem drawing fire from the Sentry Guns; they only have self preservation instinct so far as it serves the hive.

If there's only one Xeno on a planet, that Xeno is, for all intents and purposes, the hive. This could explain why Xenos seem more dangerous alone than in packs. They weren't weaker in Aliens, they just gave less of a shit about individual survival since there were so many.

-Bloo-, Yautja, 9 years ago

Well said. It's a very common misconception about the Xenos in Aliens; individually, they were supposed to be stronger, having been Warriors, after all. I think that's why it's so important for an individual Xenomorph to be able to create eggs (whether or not the scene was deleted), and it's why the lone Drone in the first film was portrayed as so goddamn terrifying. Imagine this, guys, in different terms: would you be willing to mash the A button with NO mushroom and risk landing on a Koopa wrong if you were on your last life? Now what if you had a Fire 'shroom and more lives - hundreds of lives - running right behind you?

The entire hive acts as essentially just one being, but spread among hundreds of different bodies (or lives). Don't think of it as a human monarchy/caste system. It's not. They are not human.

They will not revolt against the Queen because that would mean revolting against itself. None of the Praetorians are blue serial rapists ready to start a new hive, and even if one were to start a new hive, it would not be out of hate. They are not supposed to be individuals. One of the only times a new hive would ever start is when the current one is overpopulated and NOT because one of the Drones thinks it can do a better job.



Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

^ Exactly. Everything about them is designed to spread the species. Nothing more, nothing less.

There IS a comic called "Rouge" where a scientist genetically engineers a "King" Alien, but it's horribly deformed and immediately proceeds to kill all the drones. It tries to kill the Queen, but she kills it due to being faster and smarter.

I guess if you wanted an example of a Xeno completely separate from the hive, that would be it: A big stupid brute that kills every other Xeno in it's path until it's the only one left... Which leaves it pretty much fucked, as it has no way to reproduce.

-Bloo-, Yautja, 9 years ago

I know this is weird, but whenever I hear "no more, no less," I think of that penguin on Oswald talking about the marshmallows in his hot chocolate.

Anyway, yeah, I know I really romanticize the idea of individuality in a Xenomorph with my RP posts, but we're talking the actual things here. Xenomorphs are exactly like every other creature you see in Prometheus.

On the note of the King, I kind of like that. It's exactly what my RPG character is, except it's not a Queen.

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

You have to for an RPG to work, though. Otherwise it would just be several posts of "And then some stuff happened that humans can't comprehend, and then some other stuff happened that humans can't comprehend..."

-Bloo-, Yautja, 9 years ago

Exactly.

There were some RPG guidelines posted a while back that were pretty much the opposite of that statement. I forget who posted them, but they were along the lines of "don't explain what you're talking about because we're Xenomorphs, private message other Xenomorphs so they don't get confused..."

Might have been so long ago that no one remembers. Might have been a different site altogether. In any case, it's hilariously bad advice, especially for something we're all supposed to work on together, Xeno or not.

Deathdrop, Yautja, 9 years ago

^ Yes, that advice does have some problems. It may have been attempting to avoid the super anthropomorphized Xenos you sometimes get in really bad fan fiction, but takes it a step too far.