[Backer Build 3] Enemy Concept Suggestion

#1

This may well have already been explored, but it keeps bouncing around in my head, and I couldn’t find a similar thread!

So, speciation occurs at different speeds in re-world evolution, so this accelerated evolution in the PP universe should have some regions of hyper-accelerated mutation, where the environment is so harsh as to force the Yuggoth fungus to sprint to keep up, creating powerful if short-lived/fatally flawed life forms.

As these species are so flawed, they would not live long, so the only way our valiant heroes would ever encounter them would be if they were forced in to an area shortly after the infection had taken hold, but before the harsh environment is able to destroy all the turned humans. In the event of any creatures surviving, they would likely be far more powerful than usual, and more varied in appearance. It would also allow for different tactical approaches, such as subduing or confounding devastatingly powerful creatures before they die of their own accord, or using fatal flaw in their design to defeat them, with precision aiming, or environmental conditions.

In the one of the early lore eBooks, we looked at the discovery of an ancient civilisation, and saw some of the first human mutations emerge from a pool. One of them was described as looking maladapted, and like he wouldn’t live long. So there is precedent!

I think this could help with the “Oh God, what is THAT thing?!” factor even more - plus allow for some creative ideas that perhaps wouldn’t fit in the game otherwise.

Although we’ve not seen them yet, I must assume that there is a healthy amount of concept art of screeching horrors composed of multiple bodies, used haphazardly by an alien intelligence unfamiliar with human anatomy. A behemoth of screeching corpses, twitching and shambling, its very steps crushing the skulls of its component bodies, reducing its tactical awareness to that of a creature of bestial fear leaving a snail trail of gore across the battlefield? That would work great here!

Maybe a crawling mess of infected viscera, enveloping the corpses of fallen crabmen, snapping their bones and fashioning limbs like a Katamari from hell? I’ll taken seven!

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#2

Remember that the narrator of this early ebook story had limited knowledge. He could think that the creature could not live long, but this is PV after all - it can survive harsh environments. I suppose there was possibility to encounter imperfect forms of mutations when the virus was spreading. Now after 2 decades of it’s domination over Earth biodome I think it is unlikely to spot such creatures.

PS. But great idea for an RPG concept happening as prequel to Phoenix Point, between years 2035 - 2045.

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#3

Yes, the thought had crossed my mind. I was thinking more if there was say, a nuclear detonation, how would the PV react nearby, even two decades on? The local fauna would try to adapt, and how might that look etc. Perhaps a sudden flare-up of evolutionary activity?

Agreed though, a prequel would suit the concept well. I haven’t played myself, but I hear Fallout 76 did something similar with the lore for why all the monsters looked more mutated earlier on in the timeline.

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#4

I really like the corpse-behemoth idea. Aside from that, I’d like to see creatures, or at least parts, based on land animals as well as sea creatures–Julian did say we’d be getting those eventually as the game progressed and the virus moved from the sea to the land. And there was some concept art of elephant beasts. I’d like to see Phoenix Virus bears, bats, and wolves–maybe a werewolf-ish creature? :o

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#5

I think the insect kingdom is a great place to look for mutations, both on the battlefield, and in the narrative.

Screw-worm flies - they inject you with eggs that hatch and eat your living tissue. If you disturb the wound, they eat down deeper until you can’t get to them. The flies lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Might work for some kind of damage amplifier, then require treatment after a mission?

There’s a type of wasp larva that hatches inside a tarantula, and avoids the vital organs so that the meat doesn’t go off. Pretty horrific way to go, might work in the lore, or as a target that needs to be destroyed?

Chigoe fleas - they hide in the soil like biological landmines, then burrow in to animals as they walk over them. They then hang out of the flesh just enough to breathe. The sight of some poor civilian with dozens of two-inch wide overgrown chigoe flea larvae stumbling toward you would be horrific enough, not to mention some great opportunities for precision aiming, and maybe a suicide attack involving the larvae hatching.

Wow. Might have grossed myself out. :smile:

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#6

I do like the idea of short-term “suicide mutations”. It reminds me of the old Deathworld novels from Harry Harrison. That some evolutionary force is driven to attack so forcefully that it creates an ecology that couldn’t possibly survive just to accomplish the goal of eliminating the enemy. Seems like it’d be a cool late mid-game or early end-game event, or even a response to eliminating a large pandora base. It panics and rolls out a wave of unsustainable mutations to try and retaliate.

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#7

Agreed - one of the things that really draws me to the lore of PP is the concept of a sentient evolutionary force. I just think I’m a bit in love with the existential horror of the failed evolutionary experiment. :smiling_imp:

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#8

Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s possible to get it that extreme in this game, but if snapshot hits big, it seems like the oddball little genetic survival games are getting a small revival, it could be a neat thing for a sequel or an offshoot to really tinker with the evolution intelligence.

I remember seeing a new evolution game on steam recently that may be of interest to you, though I can’t remember the name.

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#9

This game by any chance?

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#10

Yeppers, that was the one, ty.

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#11

That game reminds me of Evo on SNES (Because I’m an old man with creaking bones).

I’ll be excited to see what the Disciples of Anu do to augment their soldiers. Has there been any word on whether they will be harvesting mutagens from fallen enemies?

Maybe a mutation strength / mental stability trade-off?

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