The Let's Play Archive

X-Com: Enemy Within

by Speedball

Part 19: Site Recon, AKA Chryssalid HELL!

Part 19: Site Recon, AKA CHRYSSALID HELL!

“Allen’s Movie Pile” posted:

John Carpenter’s The THING!

Keith David and Kurt Russell fight tentacle monsters in the snow!

This is a movie about the ultimate life form. The ULTIMATE life form. A single-celled organism that can consume anything and imitate anything it has consumed, even mix-and-matching later. It’s taking over some of the guys living inside a remote Antarctic research station and nobody is sure who’s who, because the imitation is more or less flawless. The Thing will never break character unless it sees an opportunity to kill someone or gets outed.

One of the mistakes people make repeatedly, especially in the book based off of it, is assuming you can’t be a Thing if you fight a Thing. Not true; it NEVER breaks character if it can get away with it. Once separated from the host body, it stops being completely loyal to the thing that spawned it, which means they can try to hurt blood samples taken from infected guys. If the blood tries to crawl away, that means the guy’s a monster. So the only way to detect this monster is to figure out the one attribute it has that separates it from people, the idea that every single part of it is alive.

There’s a great sense of oppressive loneliness and paranoia in this movie, and fantastic Sam Winston creature effects. Everyone owes it to themselves to try to see this film once in their lives. My sole problem with this movie is that it’s a total sausage fest, no women at all, but then again, apparently there just weren’t a lot of women stationed in Antarctica during the 1980s. And the one-gender cast makes it harder to tell who’s who at a distance, which works in its favor.

If the aliens have a monster like this, we are FUCKED. But they probably don’t. Hopefully. Knock on wood!

*cough* This is a pretty damn good movie, yeah; though I do wonder why nobody even attempts communication with the Thing. Maybe they just all assume it has no plan other than eating people?
Funny idea for an alternate ending: the Thing consumes and imitates everyone, and then life on earth goes right back to normal because the Thing never breaks character. Everyone’s a monster, but everyone thinks they’re the only one.
What game are you trying to play now, Cammy?
I was trying to set up a Shadowrun RPG session…it’s a setting where magic is real and nonhumans are abundant, but so are cybernetics and futuristic stuff. If the technology that XCOM is researching ever becomes commonplace, well, we’ll basically be living in Shadowrun.

The situations in Europe and Asia are heating up a bit, Commander. In addition to aliens kidnapping humans we have isolated incidences of people experimenting with leftover salvaged pieces of alien technology; not governments, they’d keep it secret. Criminals and civilians.
Uh-oh. Like what?
Let’s see… A report of an Irish gang trying to figure out how to make those sticky green webs from stolen abduction pods… An independent French corporation accidentally poisoning some of its staff by experimenting on a Thin Man cadaver… A PMC based in the Czech Republic blowing themselves up in an attempt at reconstructing alien weapons… oh, this is interesting. A large gang in Japan using a captured Meld canister and injecting it in the mistaken belief of contracting alien superpowers.
I know that’s probably very serious but I’m trying hard not to laugh imagining what the results were.
Yeah, they are now one of the most, uh, diverse gangs in Japan, needless to say.

Ladies and gentlemen of XCOM, we now have BIG lasers.

May I present to you, XCOM, your new teammate: The Super-Heavy Infantry Vehicle, or SHIV, production name Goliath-1.
It talks?
Not really, that’s just its “Hello, World” command. I’ll need to study a lot more alien tech before this thing is ready to become fully automated. In the meantime, you can control it remotely. Watkins is still on sick leave…
I volunteer to control it, for now.
It’s good now, but it’ll be even better once we outfit it with lasers. More accurate, too. And you can hide behind it for cover on the field.

Looks like we’ll have the perfect opportunity to test it out, since Watkins is still under the weather. Some strange thing is going on over in a fishing village in Newfoundland. Might be nothing, might be something really, really BAD. Everyone there is missing, and so is the initial strike team sent there. Check it out and bring the SHIV with you, along with Zhang.

Damn, your gun is even BIGGER, Naomi. I bet you could kill a Muton in one hit.
With a lucky shot, perhaps. Alicia, you got full control of that thing?
It controls pretty easily; just like a video game, in fact. Let’s just hope it doesn’t have any lag.
Well, take care, okay, everyone? *cough* I’m gonna play a game with the back-up squad.

I’m still thinking about all those horrible things the Thin Men said to Cammy… “You’re not really you, the old you is dead.”
If they had tried it on me, it wouldn’t have worked. I’ve come to realize I hate the old me and love the new me. What do you think, Zhang?
Time and tide will change people whether or not they want anyway. Young people’s bodies become old, fat people become thin, weak become strong or vice-versa, and experience changes your soul. The mutations are just quicker, more visible. Still, there are some things that don’t change…

Here’s the fishing village, Strike-One. I suggest you use Leroy to scout with her sensory powers until we find the townsfolk, or aliens.

Holy shit ZOMBIE! We have CHRYSSALIDS!
Oh, no…if the whole town is already dark, that means everyone in it has either been killed or transformed into a monster. We need to get ready to exterminate everything. Starting with this zombie. Blast it!

These things are tough. Stronger than even the bugs that make them. SHIV, go!

Zombie down!
Too early to celebrate. Princess, cloak and go right. Zhang and I will go left.

Mmmmph! Zombie!

*exhale* It couldn’t see me…this invisibility has saved my life!
I can kill it from here.
Blow it away and keep pressing forward, carefully. Nobody forget to establish overwatch.

The houses are empty, let’s head into the fish market.
I know it’s a cliche, but this is TOO quiet. I don’t sense anything living. This is creepy.
Okay, just for reference: if there are chryssalids here, let me and the SHIV take point. We’re the toughest and even if they kill us, we won’t become zombies.
My invisibility fooled the zombies, but I don’t think it’ll fool chryssalids. We got the bioelectric skin trait from them, remember?
Right. You should probably get an elevated position for sniping.

Zombie to the east!
And three chryssalids!!! Back me up, NOW!

One down! I love this gun!

Second chryssalid down!

All bugs down! One zombie left!

Team, the bugs are using the larger fish as incubators, spawning from the sharks and other catches of the day. It’s not just human zombies you need to worry about. More coming in from your west!

Zombie PUNCH! Now, everyone reload and set up for an attack from the left. Princess, up top, now!
This’d be easier with jumpy legs…

Zombie and chrysalid to the left! They’re clustered, can you get a rocket shot at them, Eva?
Uh…okay! Sure!

It didn’t kill ‘em but it softened them up. Gomez, go!

I have a very easy shot from here. Zombie down!

Yup, this one’s wide open too! Thanks.
Press up against this thing for cover, that’s what it was designed for.
I know, I know, it’s just that…pressing up against electronics makes me all tingly now. Distracting.

Got ‘em. All visible targets dead.
We didn’t cause this explosion or fire. I believe this is why we haven’t been swarmed by dozens of zombies. Just before we got here, someone sacrificed themselves to destroy a large number of aliens. Instead of groups of two and three we would have fought up to fifty enemies at once. Fortunate.

There’s a lot of damage on that ship over there. Boards and debris are on the outside, like something burst from within. I think the original infestation came from there. I will investigate.
Be careful! You’re tough but a couple of swipes from those things will still hurt you!
I’ll send the SHIV in first, of course.

Bugs from within the ship! And a zombie right by the ship! Take them down now, please!

Chryssalids terminated.

Adjust for wind…perfect shot!

I can see inside the ship. It’s a whale. A WHALE. The chryssalids are spawning from it, one more every minute we spend here. Hundreds could come out of it if we don’t destroy it!
You don’t have enough firepower to sink a ship or burn an entire whale carcass. We’ll need an airstrike.
I can order one right now, but your best shot of it hitting its target is to activate the ship’s transponder from the bridge.

Here comes another one! Gah, the whole thing is wiggling…you’ll have to fight past them all to get to the transponder on the bridge.
Fuck this groundwalker shit.

It’s time to FLY.

I only winged it!

I got it. But there’s more hatching in there. Naomi!

I got it! Everyone, just drop everything and run back to the Skyranger, NOW. This whole place will be swarming with bugs and we’ll all be dead if that airstrike hits us. Go. GO. GO!

There’s more hatching from the sharks, in front and behind us.
Shoot the ones in front, forget the ones behind unless they get too close.

The SHIV is expendable at least, but you’re not! Hurry up!

Keep an eye on our rear, but keep moving back to the Skyranger!
I count four…five…

SIX more from the ship. In one minute! FUCK! We need to get outta here NOW.
Running, running, running!

Quickly, quickly!
We’re all here. GO!

We made it…whew.
All those poor people…
It was a great loss, but I’m sure that they would all have been glad to know we kept their remains from being used as a weapon against the world.
I don’t think this was deliberate. The aliens have supported chrysalids with ground troops like floaters in the past, and their goal has always been to raid the earth, not destroy it. Hmm. Might have been an accidental infestation.

Once again, Bar-Lev, you’ve done an amazing job of keeping the team focused. Everyone did a great job, and it looks like the SHIV is a keeper, even if it’s not as flexible as a human soldier.
Heh. Figured a punch of the button was worth it.
I’m authorizing the funding of laser weaponry for the SHIV, we’re going to need it in the future, I think.

Hmm, I bet if I pre-heated the weapon I’d be able to get more shots out of it…

Sorry for puking in the middle of the session, guys, haven’t got all this Thin Man out of my system yet.
No problem.
We should wait for more people before attempting a serious session anyway.
I’d be dead if it weren’t for these powers…
Good thing you have more than one life, I would think!
That’s one way of looking at it, yeah…

To Be Continued!

Commander's Poll posted:

Which alien do you hate the most?