Shockwave
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon 31 May 2021, 16:52

XX121 lifespan.

Mon 31 May 2021, 18:27

Hello,
I'm wondering about this topic for a while. As I know there is no official answer to this problem, and everywhere I look that main discussion seems to be looped on XX121 life cycle. I would like to see your opinions about it.

If we assume that alien organism is in fact artifically created bioweapon, it would be logical for it to have extremely short lifespan - maybe even days or weeks. It's life cycle also points towards shorter life expectancy - unusually fast growth rate means super fast metabolism and could mean that if XX121 grows so quickly, it gets older and die rather fast. We know that's the case with Neomorph - they grow old and die within days. I am aware that Ridley Scott said in one of the older interviews that it is exactly the case - in the ending scenes of Alien, XX121 on board of the Narcissus is so sluggish because it is already dying. It's color becomes more black, relative to grayish blue we see when the creature is young, pointing towards it's age. Of course we can also say that the alien just prepared itself to hibernation. However, one does not excludes the other. Creating deadly biomechanoid murder creature designed for urban pacification, who is at the same time extremely hard to kill, can suggest that it's wise to make sure it will die rather fast after completting it's work. Maybe hibernation in damp, warm places can extend lifespan into weeks, but we can still be sure that couple of months after initial egg bombardment the area is relatively secure (except the eggs themselves).

In Aliens this seems to be exactly like that, between lost communication with Hadley's Hope and arrival of Colonial Marines some time has passed. Yet when marines enter the Hive they encounter cocooned woman about to give birth to a chestburster. This may indicate that XX121 do not fertilise all their potential victims too fast, but instead keep them cocooned inside the Hive and only release facehuggers when there is need to it (ie. when population of the Drones start to dwindle). That means there is no Xenomorph homeworld and it's species is not result of natural evolution - from the beginnings to the very end, each moment of creature's life is designed with malignant purpose. IMO this only magnifies the nightmare of Alien milieu - think that Newt would survive in HH and just outlive entire Hive until the rescue arrives after whole population of XX121 just died. Instead CM came too early and it resulted in her untimely death.

One may ask - what with the Queen? I don't see a problem with that. The only subspiecies of the Xenomorph with longer lifespan should be Ovomorph. What can be more sweet than weapon that replicates itself for us? There is no reason to create the entire infrastructure, which would be designed to produce eggs for military purposes - all we need is a simple laboratory and our biohorror will create more eggs for us, either through Lurkers ovomorphing venom, or through fully developed Queen laying entire hatches of eggs.

Or maybe it's entirely different than that. Maybe drone can live for decades, there is Xenomorph homeworld, even entire worlds overrun by the XX121 species, giant Hives spanning whole continents and complicated social structures, sub-species of those horryfiyng creatures? What is your opinion and what is your canon?
 
Bengt Petter
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Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Mon 31 May 2021, 21:05

It’s for sure an interesting question. To me the key aspect is: they are designed creatures. It means that there might be different designs with different life spans. Use what you find cool and interesting from a game perspective!

In the original movie, we see creatures integrated into a biomechanical ship. Things might get born out of the walls. I have expanded on the biomechanical aspect in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=4968

I guess the most interesting posts are on the first page. To me, this is going back to the very core of the Alien concept, as it was once created by Giger. Actually, you could even claim that humans too are weaponized creatures, just with another design than XX121. Maybe we are just another version of more or less the same creature. That would be my take on this.

Perhaps I’m not answering your questions as directly as you may have hoped. But to me everything about these creatures are about their biomechanical design. Someone or something made them - and they are very likely a part of a much bigger picture. And that bigger something will never be completely known, I hope. That’s what makes the entire franchise interesting.
 
S.M
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat 14 Dec 2019, 06:58

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Tue 01 Jun 2021, 00:27

Ridley's original intent was they would live for a day or two max. O'Bannon's original intent was that they would live for centuries and become wise and civilised after they'd overcome their initial bloodlust.

The reality, per Aliens is they live for at least a month. Eggs can survive for years. Some EU stuff suggests they can live much longer. Even the numbers of Aliens in the first AvP film would indicate that some survived the previous hunt 100 years earlier.

The woman they find alive in the hive was more than likely a recent capture. She would have died from dehydration being stuck to a wall for several weeks. Unless the Aliens fed her and I wouldn't put that past them.
 
DeusXLondon
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:34

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Tue 01 Jun 2021, 11:20

Hi All

Fascinating thread. Bengt, I really like your point that humans are also designed weaponised creatures. The big question is then did we weaponise ourselves, or is war just in the nature of life?
Alien(s): come for the guns, stay for the philosophy ;)

DX
 
Bengt Petter
Posts: 746
Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Tue 01 Jun 2021, 12:01

Hi All

Fascinating thread. Bengt, I really like your point that humans are also designed weaponised creatures. The big question is then did we weaponise ourselves, or is war just in the nature of life?
Alien(s): come for the guns, stay for the philosophy ;)

DX
Well, if life on Earth was once seeded, as claimed in Prometheus, we were designed by the Engineers, or perhaps by their creators. I would say that tribal (hive) war is in our DNA. We are aggressive apes and our history at least the past 4000 years has been full of wars. It would be fair to describe us as a quite hostile species. If there are any other civilisations out there, I totaly get why they haven’t contacted us. The explosions of several atomic bombs are for sure relevant warning signs.

If we get back to the first post - you could claim that the human lifespan is a matter of design too. We don’t live for thousands of years because that could have made us a lot more dangerous. And you can also see our life cycles - from infant to elderly - as another design aspect. It’s probably possible to redesign. You could imagine humans with acid blood being born out of large, brown eggs - or maybe from larvae...
 
Shockwave
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Re: XX121 lifespan.

Tue 01 Jun 2021, 22:58

To me, this is going back to the very core of the Alien concept, as it was once created by Giger.
I share this opinion. For me it is often the first source materials that are the most important. I use this approach in RPG too, very often I lean towards first editions as there are many concepts that designers abandon in later revisions. Look on Warhammer 1 Ed., how different it is from todays franchise, how many concepts were lost and abandoned - very often with loss for the game itself. In Alien it is also the case, Giger is now forgotten and people think that his only addition to the milieu is main creature. This is disastrous for the franchise IMO, as no other Alien movie was able to copy and project the same mood of disturbing, cosmic dread that oozes from the first movie. Lovecraftian roots are key matter here, unknown and completely inhuman, incomprehensible architecture of the Derelict (is it build or grown, or maybe both?), pure guesses regarding Space Jockey (is it member of alien race or is it biological component of the ship, pilot grown to exist as operator of this disturbing vessel?*), why and where it travelled with eggs, was it benevolent creature or mass murderer transporting them somewhere to massacre population of some distant world? Or maybe it was travelling from some exterminated planet, after collecting remaining eggs, until accident happened? The transmission, is it a warning to stay away from the ship or is it hellish beacon to draw in unaware victims? What kind of a creature could think in his last moments to draw other sentients on the surface to be contaminated by the parasite?

And what if normal state of life in the universe is biomechanical in nature? Life is so old and ancient that it evolved in many strange ways. Humans may even be the result of completely natural evolution, but they're tiny and insignificant compared to beings that constructed the Derelict. Humanity is just a evolutional accident, purely biological things incompatible with superior species existing somewhere in the Galaxy. Momentary glimmer of random dead end of evolution that shouldn't crawl out of the primordial swamp, but somehow managed to not only survive but even spread beyond original star system. And now these maladjusted little meat-creatures must face unknown horrors of the universe in which biomechanoid mindless monsters are older than humans themselves.

Remindering Lovecraft stories and Giger intentions could only make this game and world better. Cosmic dread and inhuman monsters - now not in New England of the 1920 period, but in distant star systems.


*When Lambert said "I wonder what happened to the crew?", I thought what if there were no crew? The ship manned itself through the Pilot. Giger original idea was that one nad only purpose of the Pilot as to fly to different worlds to spread XX121 contamination and annihilate entire populations. That's why the ship had vagina like openings in various parts - to draw victims inside it to be fertilised by Facehuggers and spread death among their societies. Bleak as hell.

Actually, you could even claim that humans too are weaponized creatures, just with another design than XX121.
Well, we can say that up to date no XX121 specimen survived contact with human race, eh? Entire hive with a queen was devastated by bunch of cocky soldiers, one woman and an android. Yes, you can say that from human perspective it was tragedy for us, but from the evolutionary point of view Xenomorphs are just constantly exterminated whenever and wherever they show up.

But to me everything about these creatures are about their biomechanical design. Someone or something made them - and they are very likely a part of a much bigger picture. And that bigger something will never be completely known, I hope. That’s what makes the entire franchise interesting.
Yes, exactly. As someone commented under scene of Derelict exploration on YouTube - I wonder, what terrible secrets lie hidden in the dark?
 
S.M
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat 14 Dec 2019, 06:58

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Wed 02 Jun 2021, 00:36

The Alien wasn't 'Giger's concept'. That was O'Bannon and Shusett.

Giger showed us what it looked like (along with Roger Dicken), but in terms of what the creature was and its nature - that was largely down to the writers and director.
 
Bengt Petter
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Joined: Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:27

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Wed 02 Jun 2021, 07:57

Giger’s book Necronomicon was published before Alien was done. You find a lot of the biomechanical concept in the book. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t any scriptwriters. Of course there were. But Giger added more than just the visual stuff.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrono ... iger_book)

Shockwave, I do agree that the Lovecraftian aspect is partly ignored in this franchise (after the first movie). And, in particular, in this game. It could have been a lot more articulated. The Lovecraftian cosmic horror is a lot more than creatures with stats. You could just compare with various Cthulhu games where the mythos is quite well worked out, also from a game point of view.
 
S.M
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Joined: Sat 14 Dec 2019, 06:58

Re: XX121 lifespan.

Wed 02 Jun 2021, 08:27

Not to downplay his contribution, but what did Giger add beyond the visual?
 
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Angelman
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Re: XX121 lifespan.

Wed 02 Jun 2021, 09:21

Not to downplay his contribution, but what did Giger add beyond the visual?
Atmosphere. Giger added the weird, wonderful, and terrifying hyper-sexualized and "famiiar-but-alien" atmosphere of the film and creature.
"And the rain sets in,
it's the Angelman.
I'm deranged".
--David Bowie, I'm Deranged

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