Hit or miss? Not really!
If a creature lives in an area probability dictates its adapted to that environment, if not it's either already extinct or going extinct. As for the facd hugger, it doesn't need to meet a specific environment, it needs to sit in an egg and spring out when needed. It's the xeno that needs to stalk, hunt and fight, needing a morphology to match the terrain. If the creature we have seen is what you are proposing is the defecto creature then there are half a dozen environments it will suck in. Aquatic, done for, high gravity, done for. The perfect organism is no longer perfect.
Notwithstanding that we in Alien Resurrection get an idea of how well that basic morphology might do in water (I kinda doubt those swimming Aliens had gestated in dolphins, see...) ... so, not quite
done for ... and how well that morphology, with its disproportionate physical strength, can cope in different gravity environments, we can only speculate about (or do you claim actual empirical knowledge?) ... say that we just as an extreme example mix the scenarios from Alien with that from The Thing:
The Antarctic-stranded face hugger in such a scenario might impregnate a human ... a husky ... a penguin ... the true apex predator of that environment, a leopard seal ... and that's about it.
Which one would make it the "perfect organism"? Humans suck in that environment without technology to enable survival; the penguin and leopard seal are perfectly
adapted for life in that environment ... from a certain point of view ... but as for mobility on land, both suck hard ... that leaves the dog as the most reasonable compromise. However, there are far more penguins on Antarctica than huskies, so balance of probability is that your "perfect organism" ends up ... a penguin xenomorph. Congratulations, Dad.
No, it would need to be a fairly specific type of environment for the Facehugger to have a better-than-even chance to attach itself to the single absolutely most optimally adapted organism
in that specific environment ... and even then, that specific adaptation may be very limited in other ways. Go just a few steps outside of the optimum, and all that adaptation may be for naught, leaving the "perfect organism" ... not-so-perfect, again.
So yes, on the whole -- pretty hit or miss, I'd have to say.
As for knowing which genes to pick. We are again assuming it has a gene driven template and takes only from its host certain qualities, which ones would be down to gms and how much body horror then want kn their games. Could be as simple as size and shape to fit the ecological niche.
I feel we're beginning to mix discussions a bit.
What we as GM's do at the gaming table and what we choose to incorporate and how, or not, is of course up to each one of us -- and, being entirely subjective anyway, not really a meaningful topic for discussion, in my mind.
This part of my question started off as an attempt to fathom Fria Ligan's intent vis-á-vis the "inherit traits" issue that Alien3 gave us, and that their "scout xenomorph" would seem to contradict.
We've since turned this into a discussion on speculative fiction -- what might the Alien's biology "actually" be? Could a mechanism of inherited host traits even be practically feasible, assuming it doesn't have a handy GM available to pick for it? That is
a potentially interesting topic, as it can feed GM's with ideas to incorporate into their games.
This being the case, let's not try to turn tables and switch it over to a meta-level discussion about GM fiat. GM's will do what they will anyway.
We can just agree to disagree, and leave it at that.
And yes the line from ash was talking about the face hugger, but if you want the face hugger to be more tough than the alien that's your prerogative.
Um ... no?
I feel you're quoting me a bit out of context, here.
I'll remind you of the following exchange, where you present the line I quote about "prolonged resistance to adverse conditions" as evidence for that the concept of inherited traits is already in the original ALIEN, and I point out that the quote concerns the Facehugger
, a creature that never gestated inside Kane, and hence can never have inherited any traits from him:
- Could you remind me where this is said? I recall Ash saying something to the effect of "prolonged resistance to adverse environmental conditions"
- you just quoted the bit where he says how its adapted to our environment
- any environmental adaptation would only benefit the "hatched" creature ... by this reasoning, the egg and Facehuger would perforce be potentially vulnerable to adverse environments -- and note that Ash's comment about "prolonged resistance to adverse environmental conditions" is regarding the Facehugger, not the creature that gestated inside Kane!
As for the matter in question, what I'd actually
say is that it makes sense for the egg, the Facehugger, and the final creature, to be similar on a cellular (or whatever analogue to cells it uses) level, and thus about equally
Besides -- Ash's later comment, about the Alien being a "...Perfect. Organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." This pertains obviously to the Alien such as we are encountering it in the movie. But the "inherit traits" mechanism would entail that the creature has
no fixed structure. In that case, what is this "structural perfection" that Ash so admires?
Oh and as to your comment about aliens been 0% related, you've fallen into your own argument. You've already stated that the creature hesitates inside carbon life and takes what nutrients it needs, so your alien is using the same elements. Paving a pathway for infection. Of course immunity is just one internal adaptation that I was suggesting the possibilities are more endless than that. Your also falling into the fallacy of doing everything from what the alien could get from humans when the entire point is that it can infect just about anything.
Um ... no?
Nutrients, as chiefly in energy, not ready-made building blocks. There's a lot a parasitic organism could harvest from its host without necessarily needing to harvest its genetic traits, as well.
I'll remind you of what I actually did
say earlier, once more:
Two, the above holds true, even if the parasite's base chemistry is non-carbon based -- chemical energy is, after all, just energy, as long as it has some way to metabolise energy stored in whatever chemistry is available in its environment. The life form will need to store (or scrounge) the base raw material in order to generate the building blocks to grow and/or repair itself, but the energy it needs to keep going it can always get from its environment, whatever its base chemistry.
For all we know, the Alien's enzymes might be able to break down proteins, not to amino acids, but to simple hydrocarbons and chemical elements, and then biosynthesise necessary structures from these..
As long as the Alien's biochemistry can break down whatever
it encounters -- right-twisted 4-base carbon chains, left-twisted 6-base carbon chains, linear silicone chains... -- to basic molecules and chemical elements that it can (a) oxidise, or whatever "burning" process it uses to extract energy for its organs, and (b) re-combine with elements either in internal storage or scrounged from the environment into building blocks to grow and to repair itself, then it doesn't matter what it's host is made of, or how its biology is designed.
In fact, come to think of it -- the "acid for blood" thing ... the highly corrosive blood might not only be a handy defence mechanism, but also a necessary reagent to metabolise a wide variety of fuels?
It would fit.
And as for path of infection ... one, if the creature is e.g. silicone based, what's there for e.g. a carbon based pathogen to infect? And two, regardless of base chemistry -- if the pathogen gets digested down to basic molecules ... how is it to infect anything at all in the first place?
If the host and the Alien share the same base chemistry, scrounging raw material for basic building blocks becomes easier, of course. However, if the premise is that the Alien digests whatever it ingests down to very basic molecules, there's not much risk of anything undesired being carried over.
Last point I wanted to raise. If the alien takes nothing from its host, as you believe there is nothing yo gain, what is the point of the egg and the face hugger anyway? You've eliminated the entire point of the life cycle. There is no evolutionary point save from a narrative standpoint that its creepy. The alien may as well just eat people and poop out new aliens from its xeno-hole. Chomp chomp, poop, poop.
That very narrative standpoint is actually the one single reason we've got ALIEN at all in the first place, so let's not disparage, denigrate, or deride overmuch ... no need to be crude, either.
But again, lest this devolves into just a meta-discussion, we need to rationalise it somehow. And as it happens, the whole Egg - Facehugger - Host - Chestburster life cycle is pretty similar to the egg - larva - cocoon - adult lifecycle of quite a lot of insects, parasitic or not. Which serves a fairly central point of being a valid reproductive cycle.
Beyond that ... what does any internal parasite get from its host? Food, mainly. Energy. Of course. As per the above. Quite a good point, right there.
But what does and Alien -- a biological weapon -- stand to gain besides
that? Well ... a chance to infiltrate and spread, for instance. If the host re-integrates into its indigenous structure after having recovered from the Facehugger, after gestation is complete, the creature stands a fair chance to emerge right in the middle of where it wants to be. Also a fairly useful point.
So ... um ... no. I actually don't feel I've eliminated the point of the life cycle.
As for evolutionary points ... if the race that created the Alien felt they had created the weapon they wanted with the creature as it stands, I do not see that they necessarily want
there to be any "evolutionary point" -- rather the opposite! If the creature is free to evolve with every potential host it meets, what's to say it doesn't suddenly evolve beyond the control of its creators...?