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Aurora survivors

    Ryley Robinson 
Voiced by: Simon Chylinski
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nbldsssm.jpg
The sole survivor of the Aurora, aka the player character. You are stranded on an alien planet and you have to find a way to adapt and survive.
  • Action Survivor: As a person who appears to be a lowly systems maintenance guy for an interstellar company, he probably spent his previous days sitting inside a spaceship and keeping its systems online. After the crash, he not only manages to outlast any of the other survivors but saves a world he never knew and manages to get off of it.
  • Alliterative Name: Ryley Robinson.
  • Almighty Janitor: Prior to the crash, Ryley was the "Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief", which sounds like a really fancy way of saying "Head Janitor".
  • Ambiguously Brown: Of the "future people are all one race" style.
  • Anime Hair: One of the few things we know about the protagonist is that he has a huge fauxhawk. Unknown Worlds staff have joked that the one concrete thing they know about his personality is that his favourite thing in the world is hair gel.
  • Badass Normal: He's just a low-level ship maintenance worker thrown into a desperate fight for survival on an alien planet, but he quickly copes with the shock, sets himself up for the long haul and perseveres against all odds. When the credits roll, he has survived countless predator attacks, cured a terrible alien plague, saved an ancient species and, through them, the whole planet from extinction, and made his way back home.
  • Body Horror: He ends up getting green glowing pustules and visible cracks on his hands due to his Kharaa infection.
  • Fluffy Tamer:
    • It's possible to tame Stalkers by feeding them prey, which can help gather resources. Be careful, though. They can still attack you.
    • Another, more permanent, method is to acquire an egg and hatch it in an Alien Containment. All fauna raised this way are permanently friendly towards you, even if released into the wild. Breeding Stalkers to help hunt down salvage (and farm their precious teeth) is but one application.
  • Heroic Mime: Doesn't utter a single word in the game. The only thing you'll ever hear from him are grunts of pain or gasps for air.
  • In-Series Nickname: The AI addresses them as Survivor, likely to avoid giving them a canon name. You are also called "Captain" when you enter a vessel or building. This either means you are the captain of whatever vessel or building you've created, but it could also mean that you've been designated the de-facto captain of the Aurora and its subsidiaries due to the fact that you're the only survivor.
  • Instant Expert: Although he's basically a janitor in all but name, Ryley can utilize any tech he interacts with pretty much instantly. That includes the Cyclops, a submarine with a standard crew complement of three that only trained experts are supposed to be able to handle solo.
    • Semi-justified: being a glorified janitor means practice using fabricators, repair tools and scanners, reading the instructions, interpreting and following the PDA, some possible fork-lift experience from negotiating with stores and other hands-on, general skills... Ryley's job would have given him some foundations he could build on to survive with, besides his incredible luck in not coming down, say, near a Crabsquid on day one. Unlike poor, out-of-his-depth Medical Officer Danby who perished near Lifepod 12 (probably via Warper rarther than illness).
  • Meaningful Name: Ryley, assuming it's pronounced phonetically, sounds very similar to R'lyehnote , the sunken city where Cthulhu sleeps in the Cthulhu Mythos. Robinson, meanwhile, is probably a reference to Robinson Crusoe.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: You have to eat certain creatures and plants in order to survive on the planet. The AI notes that, while the idea of eating a dead animal may disgust you, humans have been doing it for thousands of years. Some of the fish do look pretty normal in terms of fish your average Westerner would consider food species, but others are decidedly alien. You also eat parts of the fish most people would pass over: Peeper eyeballs are apparently rich in protein. Handwaved by the fact the Fabricator is stated to remove internal organs and generally sterilize the fish in the process of cooking/curing them for consumption.
  • The Sleepless: You never need to sleep once in this game. Even though there's a day-and-night cycle you can fast-forward by sleeping in one of three bedding options you don't actually need sleep.
    • The Needless: In Freedom mode, you don't have to worry about hunger or thirst, either, though you still have to watch your health and oxygen. In Creative mode, you don't even need to watch those.
  • Sole Survivor: The only human of the Aurora. Subverted as you're not the only one to survive the explosion at first anyways. After the ship is shot down, many life pods managed to eject. However, as soon as they made planetfall, the other survivors got picked off one by one by radiation, the local wildlife, injuries caused by the crash, or they were straight up hunted down by the warpers who are designed to kill anything capable of screwing with the alien systems and can bring the Kharaa disease off the planet, as well as anyone who's been infected by the Kharaa. Your character is simply lucky enough to land in a safe zone which is why you are able to get a foothold on the planet and survive.
  • Super Swimming Skills: While you have an Oxygen Meter (only 45 seconds with just your own lungs), you can swim for an infinite amount of time and suffer no fatigue.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: The Alterra standard-issue survival knife is one of the first tools the player is likely to craft, and it remains useful throughout the game. You can use it to harvest Creepvine and other plants, kill fish for food, break mineral outcroppings, and defend yourself against medium-sized predators such as Stalkers. Upgrading it into the Thermoblade allows it to cook the fish you kill with it, saving you a trip to the Fabricator.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Ryley doesn't show any reaction at all to the predicament he's in, nor to all the crazy stuff and fearsome creatures he encounters on the planet several times a day. If he does feel anything about it, he never bothers to tell us.
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    AI 
The artificial intelligence inhabiting your PDA and vehicles. Voices for the Aurora, your PDA, Seabases, the Seamoth and the Neptune escape rocket are female, though the Cyclops and the Prawn possess male voices.
  • Accent On The Wrong Syllable: The Prawn AI talks more or less normally, but the others have very peculiar accentuation.
  • Badass Baritone: The Cyclops AI has an impressively deep voice, but the badass effect is often diminished by it randomly shooting up to much higher pitches for a word or two.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Older versions had the PDA's first greeting to you be "Congratulations on not dying."
    Cyclops: Welcome aboard, Captain. Some systems need attention.
    • When you first build an observatory module, the PDA immediately remarks in the log about how they're "imprudent" (i.e "irrelevant") to survival.
    • When entering the Dunes or Mountains, the PDA takes note of the multiple Leviathan-class lifeforms and asks if you're "sure what you're looking for is worth it?"
    • The PDA also doesn't take your situation into consideration at times:
      PDA: Congratulations, survivor. You have exceeded your weekly exercise quotient by 500%. Data indicates that swimming was your favourite activity. Be sure to vary your routine for uniform muscle development.

      PDA: The Seamoth is a fast, safe mode of transport, but remember that swimming is good for your glutes and endorphin levels.
    • The first time you collect copper ore:
      PDA: Copper is an essential component of all powered equipment. Your probability of survival has just increased to: unlikely, but plausible.
    • The first time you build a nuclear reactor in your seabase:
      PDA: Exercise caution when handling radioactive materials. Exposure risks corrupting your PDA's recording of the circumstances of your death.
  • Expospeak: Upon first emerging from your lifepod, the PDA will provide details about the surrounding environment — including the patently obvious, such as being mostly covered in water.
    • Also designed in tandem with the scanner to assess local flora and fauna whilst assigning them "easy to remember names."
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Upon venturing deeper into the ocean and encountering the "blood kelp" biome:
    PDA: This ecological biome matches 7 of the 9 preconditions for stimulating terror in humans.

    Aurora Crew 
The other members of Aurora's crew; twenty-three on the Command team, eighty-five engineers, forty support crew and nine civilian passengers, totalling at 157 people overall. All appear to be dead aside from one — the player character, Ryley Robinson.
  • Apocalyptic Log: This is basically the only means of identifying the crew who made it to the planet, their PD As being all that's left of them by the time the player awakens.
  • By-the-Book Cop: While not an actual cop, 2nd Officer Keen seems to come across as this, being the highest-ranking authority next to Captain Hollister and taking the regulations very seriously.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Medical Officer Danby cheated on his license exams and doesn't actually know anything about treating illnesses. Not like proper medical expertise would have helped him with his case of Kharaa, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Doomed Contrarian: Though Officer Keen and CTO Yu managed to escape their lifepods and reach the rendezvous on the floating island, Yu insisted that the pair immediately leave to board the Aurora and use the communications equipment to contact fellow survivors, and she doesn't take no for an answer. On the way there, they met a Reaper, with predictable results. Had they stayed on the island like Keen wanted, they would have found the Degasi habitats with their still-stocked growbeds and, later, been reunited with the player, which would have made their survival vastly more likely.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Jochi Khasar is last heard praying for his gods, saying that he is, "done playing as this bundle of flesh," as the systems in his lifepod shut down while it enters the atmosphere, ending his prayer by saying, "Return me."
  • The Faceless: Aside from a photograph of a female crewmember in some lockers, we never actually see any of the other crewmembers, alive or otherwise, as their bodies have either been eaten by the wildlife or been taken away by the Warpers for disposal of "infected individuals".
  • The Gadfly: CTO Yu seems to have had shades of this, having reprogrammed a remote drone to respond to certain ways of voicing orders just to inspire unusual reactions in others out of pure boredom.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain Hollister refuses to abandon ship and guides the Aurora to a controlled crash, hoping that the ship will be left intact enough for the survivors to utilize. This pays off; without the Aurora the player never could have received the blueprints for the Neptune.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mongolian diplomat Jochi Khasar, by requesting Alterra's help with his search for the Degasi, is the whole reason the Aurora detoured to 4546B in the first place.

Other Survivors

    Degasi survivors 
Voiced by: Christopher Godwin (Paul Torgal), James Backway (Bart Torgal), Lorelei King (Marguerit Maida)
Three people who initially survived the crash of the Mongolian ship Degasi and have left evidence of their presence on Planet 4546B. They include: Paul Torgal, the captain of the Degasi; Bart Torgal, his son, successor, and a bioengineer; and Marguerit Maida, a mercenary hired to protect the ship against pirate raids.
  • Action Girl: Uber-badass Marguerit Maida.
  • Action Survivor: Marguerit ensured the immediate survival of the group and Bart gave all he could to establish longterm conveniences.
  • Blood Knight: Marguerit keeps stabbing the fish Bart needs alive to research.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Paul's final log has him note that he's almost out of oxygen and stuck hundreds of meters below the surface, ending with him acknowledging that something probably has his scent and is waiting for the right moment to attack. While his actual death is not recorded, the launch trailer implies that he was ultimately killed by a crabsquid.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Ultimately, the conflict between Paul Torgal and Marguerit Maida boils down to this.While Paul raises valid points that the group needs to be cautious, but his ideal base is an island atop a floater with no natural resources for the group to exploit beyond plants, with the implication they'll eventually be killed by bad weather if they stay there. Maida is more willing to take risks, but takes this too far, to the point of brings a live Reaper Leviathan back to their third base, resulting in another coming in to rescue its kin. Tellingly, it's Bart that lasts the longest, because he tries to find a happy medium between both paths.
  • Defiant to the End: Marguerit was last seen hundreds of meters below the surface, with limited oxygen supplies, no way to return to safety, going toe-to-tail with a Reaper Leviathan, and armed only with a jagged piece of scrap metal. That is, until she turns up alive and well in Below Zero. Apparently "to the end" is yet to come.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Paul and Bart both cross this after Marguerit's bringing a live-but-stunned Reaper to their base for study results in another of its kin attacking them.
    • Paul is left alone in the depths after Marguerit goes out in a blaze of glory against the Leviathan, his last log being to state he's low on oxygen and the scent of his blood is in the water with disquieting calm, having clearly accepted what seems to be his impending death.
    • Bart manages to make it back up to the Floating Islands by virtue of leaving the seabase right before the Reaper attack. He reveals that he knew something on the planet didn't want them down that deep, but he didn't tell Paul or Marguerit about it and blames himself, implying he thinks whatever wanted them out had a hand in the Leviathan attack. He then laments that they shouldn't have left the island and that he deserves his loneliness, implying that he dies alone in what's left of their original bases.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The last time Marguerit was seen was by Paul Torgal when she was stabbing a Reaper in the eye as it dragged her off into the deep. It turns out she lived.
  • Heroes of Another Story: Their (tragic) adventure relayed through their PDA logs would make you wish you could have witnessed it yourself.
  • Improvised Weapon: Marguerit uses a piece of scrap metal to gouge out the eye of the Reaper who attacks the seabase in search of the other Reaper that she had towed there in her Cyclops.
  • Jerkass: Paul. For someone stranded on an alien world, he doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that survival in a group requires everyone working as an equal; trying to pull rank when you don't have a ship gets you nothing but resentment. Granted, Maida doesn't fare much better; her resentment of "corporate types" in general leads her to mistrust and challenge Paul more than is necessary.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his bossiness and arrogance, Paul ironically remained the most cautious of the Degasi survivors all-throughout. In fact, in the second-to-last log where it turns out Maida was reckless enough to tow a living Reaper Leviathan to their base, Paul's calling Maida crazy — both for the risk of the Reaper and of drawing others down to try and save it — is quite justified. In the final log, Bart grimly concedes that "Father was right, we never should have left [the island]."
  • Only Sane Man: Bart is the only one of the three who recognizes that their survival depends on finding a compromise between Marguerit's aggressive approach and Paul's overly-cautious one.
    Paul: Bart, tell her; tell her I'm right!
    Bart: You're both wrong! Marguerit, I can't find out how they resist the bacteria if you slaughter them all.
    Marguerit: It ain't always they oblige in coming in alive.
    Paul: He means you're being reckless.
    Bart: Father, the outcome's no better if we hole up in here and don't go outside. We have to find a middle way.
    Paul: There is no compromise, not while she's on my seabase!
    Marguerit: YOUR seabase?!?
    Bart: I'm going outside.
  • Pride: The fatal flaw of both Paul and Marguerit — the former because of his status and having always lived being in charge of his surroundings, the latter because of her gung-ho attitude and presumption that her greater survival experience meant she knew better than everyone else. Paul's arrogance in going to an unknown planet in secret got them all stranded, while Marguerit's arrogance in taking a live Reaper back to their base ultimately resulted in its destruction.
  • Redemption Equals Death: While never explicitly stated, one could interpret Marguerit's final charge against the Reaper Leviathan in order to save Paul as this, possibly recognizing in hindsight it was folly to bring one to their base.
  • River of Insanity: The Degasi got on it the moment Paul ordered a detour to check Planet 4546B for valuable resources. In his defense, he got them. Preposterously, they do it again: they left their island paradise so they could go get more minerals, and then Marguerit loses her mind and convinces them to go even deeper to a place with even more monsters.
  • Sanity Slippage: Marguerit decides that going deeper and deeper below the surface is the way to solve things — and she starts stealing resources from the other two to either do it herself or force them to follow her. While it turns out she's right that the answers are deeper below the ocean, her threatening to leave Bart and Paul one man down and deprived of supplies, in addition to repeatedly causing trouble by being needlessly argumentative with Paul, was a step too far. This culminates when she somehow gets it in her head that towing a Reaper Leviathan to their base on their sub, still alive, is going to be a safe move and brushes off Paul's concerns that more Reapers will come down to save it. This is precisely what happens, culminating in their base being destroyed, Marguerit disappearing, Paul presumably drowning, and Bart seemingly spending his last days alone.
  • The Social Darwinist: Marguerit lives and breathes by this mindset.
    "When sea monsters are hunting you, you don't hide. You hunt the sea monsters. Then you build a bigger boat out of sea monster bones, and you hunt bigger monsters. Keep going until there aren't any monsters left to hunt you."
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Bart Torgal got an implant to know how to do biological engineering before the Degasi crashed. As the heir of a family of merchants, there wasn't any particular reason for him to purchase the implant, but it sure came in handy when he got stuck on Planet 4546B.
  • Thrifty Scot: Not in the story, of course—in-universe Paul is Mongolian—but his accent and his values match the trope.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Paul and Marguerit... do not get along. Almost every single log you find from the group involves them fighting over something, with Bart stuck in the middle. Even in Paul's last log, where he notes Marguerit saved him from a leviathan it comes off more as she saved him by accident as she happened to be fighting it rather than deliberately wanting to help him.

    Craig McGill 
A man who survived 47 months stranded on an island alone before arranging his return to civilization.
  • Action Survivor: "[R]emember Craig McGill, who crash-landed in the acid swamps of Boreal 9 and fought off arachnid kidney-poachers for 47 months, before hijacking a tame starwhal and riding it to the nearest phasegate."
  • Determinator: The reason why Alterra's AI likes to bring him up as an example for other survivors.
  • Hero of Another Story: Surviving almost 4 years in the wilderness and finally going back home by your own means is most definitely incredible.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: The PDA gives you two log files relating to McGill's feats while stranded to remind you that you can survive too.
    • His exploits are also basis for a VR training simulation used by the company. Nobody ever managed to survive more than just handful of days.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: "Craig McGill survived 47 months on live tree-roaches and stankroot, prepared as a healthy, raw salad."
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Subnautica: Below Zero Characters

    Robin Ayou 
Voiced by: Kimberly Brooks

The protagonist of Below Zero. An employee of XenoWorx, a company recently bought out by Alterra, Robin is looking for her sister Sam after the expedition she was a part of went missing and Alterra refused to send help.


  • Big Sister Instinct: Inverted. Robin is the younger sister, and the main plot of the game is driven by her attempts to learn the truth about Sam's fate.
  • Brain Uploading: Has an alien shoved into her brain because a Brain Uploaded Architect's storage unit detected there was room for another in there.
  • Defector from Decadence: Her backstory includes ties to Alterra, but by the time the game starts she has abandoned any duties she had with the transgov and is actively working to subvert their interests.
  • Going Native: Of a sort — she drops in on 4546B in a pod with no way offworld because she wants to know what happened to her sister. By the end of the game she decides not to stay behind on 4546b, but rather to travel with AL-AN to his own homeworld; fully intending to leave the past, and humanity, behind - so while she does go native, it's not on 4546b
  • 90% of Your Brain: Some kind of this trope is in effect. When she stumbles across an Architect containment, it detects viable storage space in her brain and, indeed, AL-AN can fit in there with no problems for her barring her initial disbelief and freakouts - so while she doesn't gain superpowers, it's safe to say her brain wasn't taxed to the limit before. The fact that Robin is, for all intents and purposes, a normal human, means this would no doubt count for the entirity of the human species too.
  • Odd Friendship: Forms two of these over the course of the game:
    • Her first is with Al-An, an Architect that was uploaded in a previously undiscovered sanctuary and transferred into her brain until she could synthesize a new body for it. While Robin does begin to bond with it as they learn more about each other, it's unclear if the feelings are mutual, especially considering how aloof Al-An becomes once he transfers into his new body.
    • The second is with Marguerit Maida, who she encounters while exploring an abandoned Alterra outpost. Though Marguerit is initially skeptical of her intentions, she eventually allows Robin to join in her endeavors and provides quite a bit of material assistance as the story progresses.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Unlike Ryley, she is fully voiced.
  • Super Swimming Skills: Like Riley, she can swim through day, night, storms, currents, moulins, and to the depths of the ocean. All she has to worry about is her vitals, none of which are exhaustion.

    Sam Ayou 
Voiced by: Amanda Wilkin
Robin's sister. Her mysterious death on Planet 4546B is what motivates Robin to travel to said world, kicking off the events of Below Zero.
  • Accidental Murder: She accidentally killed Parvan (and herself) while trying to destroy the Phi Excavation Site.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Sam very bluntly felt that the research on the Kharaa Bacterium samples acquired from the Frozen Leviathan was reckless and dangerous, and went out of her way to try and administer the cure to the Frozen Leviathan so that the disease could be permanently stopped.
  • Posthumous Character: She died not too long before the game's beginning.
  • Taking You with Me: Detonates a bomb in the Phi Excavation Site, killing herself and Parvan Ivanov, while also forcing Alterra to abandon the site.

    Unknown Pilot (Unmarked Spoilers) 
An old woman that Robin encounters during her search for answers about Sam. She turns out to be none other than Marguerit Maida, the last survivor of the Degasi, who's been living alone on 4546B for the past ten years.
  • Action Survivor: Beyond surviving alone in Sector Zero by herself, her fight with the Reaper Leviathan in the first game definitely counts. She floated on its body for three weeks, eating its flesh, using its ribcage for shelter and burning its fat for warmth until she eventually washed up in Sector Zero.
  • Ascended Extra: One of several characters heard through PDA logs in the first game, she is a major supporting character in the sequel, and the only other human Robin meets on 4546B.
  • Bad with the Bone: Her PRAWN Suit has a Chelicerate mandible as an improvised sword. The PDA notes that she should have access to more effective weapons, and speculates she's using the tusk for Rule of Cool.
  • Battle Trophy: She made a point of keeping the skull of the Reaper she killed in the first game as a trophy in her base. She wanted proof of the deed even after its corpse had rotted and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
  • Blood Knight: She encouraged Sam Ayou to use terrorism to stop Alterra's research when it became clear that stopping them diplomatically wasn't going to work. Marguerit tells Sam to use bombs to blow up specific facilities, but decides that she wants to blow up Omega Lab instead because it'll be fun.
  • Contralto of Danger: She has a low, smoky voice.
  • Cool Old Lady: She's in her late fifties or early sixties by the time Robin meets her, and her hair is going gray. This hasn't stopped her from living off the land for the last ten years on 4546B and even recently bombing Omega Lab for fun.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts trusting Robin more after she shuts down Alterra's communication tower.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: She does not trust people who are too big to fight and too wealthy to be bought off. This is part of why she doesn't like Alterra, as they are both.
  • Enemy Mine: Forms this relationship with Robin once Robin demonstrates her lack of commitment to Alterra's objectives for 4546B.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Robin first meets the Unknown Pilot when she drops from the sky in a PRAWN suit covered in bone armor and wielding a bone sword, where she promptly reveals she's hostile to Alterra personnel and demands that you "get off her land".
  • Going Native: She has made Sector Zero her home, is hostile to Alterra's presence in the area (and anyone she suspects of being Alterra), and doesn't seem like she intends to leave. She demands that Robin "get off her land" when they first meet.
  • Hero of Another Story: She's been living on 4546B for over 10 years, accomplishing impressive survival feats, especially considering the planet's rather hostile environment.
  • Karma Houdini: After the mess she caused with the Degasi survivors Maida encouraged Sam to commit acts of terrorism that got Sam killed, and by the time of the game has gotten no karmic blowback for her actions.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: She tamed a Snow Stalker, calling it Preston. It is violently protective of her.
  • Never Found the Body: Her death in the original game at the hands of a Reaper Leviathan was implied but not confirmed. Here, it's shown that she did survive.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Heavily implied. In her scanned bio, it's noted that she used to work for the Trans-System Federation until she stumbled across something on a reconnaissance mission. Whatever it was, it led to her taking out the entire local security detail single-handedly. When the locals were asked after the fact, they refused to give any information. Only that "God's Hand" had saved them.
  • The Reveal: She's later revealed to be Marguerit Maida, the last living survivor of the Degasi. Last seen in the first game fighting a Reaper Leviathan with nothing but a jagged scrap of metal, she actually succeeded in killing it, and drifted into Sector Zero atop its corpse, burning its fat for warmth and cooking its flesh to survive.
  • Unexplained Recovery: While surviving by herself with rudimentary tools for ten years isn't unbelievable, it's never explained how she didn't die from the Kharaa infection that she and the Degasi survivors got shortly after crashing on the planet. Particularly when it's established that Kharaa will start killing its host after only two weeks.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Convinced Sam to use explosives to sabotage the frozen leviathan outpost rather than just neutralize its Kharaa infection. The resulting cave collapse did successfully drive Alterra away from Sector Zero but also killed Sam and Parvan in the process.
  • Walking Spoiler: Most of these tropes spoil the fact that she survived the fate of the Degasi crew and appears in Below Zero.

    The Alterra Corporation 
"Get what you deserve."
A Trans-Gov Corporation that owned the Aurora. While they are mostly a background organization in the base game, they take a much larger role in Below Zero.
  • Badass Pacifist: Weapons are banned in their space, although they make exceptions for law enforcement personnel, manufacturers, and exporters.
  • Didn't Think This Through: They want to study the surviving Kharaa samples in the Frozen Leviathan for medical advances, blatantly ignoring how the last attempt to study the bacterium ended up causing an apocalypse on 4546B.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Their reasoning for working with the Kharaa Bacterium - it could provide numerous medical advances (all of which Alterra could profit off of).
  • N.G.O. Superpower: One of the largest and most influential Trans-Govs. They are the official arms supplier for the Trans-System Federation and own 9% of all phasegates in human space. Their threat to cease trade was one of the factors that ended the Expansion decades ago.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: As a Trans-Gov organization, they have at least one planet (and probably many more) under their direct control.
  • Planet Terra: "Although most trans-govs can trace their roots back to Earth, Alterra — literally meaning 'by earth' — is the only one brazen enough to take its name."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unlike the vast majority of Mega Corps that work with bioweapons, Alterra is only interested in the medical advances the Kharaa could provide. The only reasons the heroes oppose them are a combination of distrust for those who cannot be bought or intimidated (Maida) and awareness of just how badly things could go if the Kharaa escapes containment (Sam and Robin).
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    Alterra Personnel 

Fred Lachance

Voiced by: Vegas J. Jenkins
A Seatruck pilot for Alterra's operations in Sector Zero. Resided at Delta Station on the Rocket Island alongside Jeremiah Murgle.
  • Butt-Monkey: Goes through a few misadventures in his dedicated trailer, getting attacked by a Squidshark in his Seatruck and spilling his coffee all over himself, getting his Repair Tool stolen by a Sea Monkey whilst repairing his vehicle, having a Crashfish explode to his face, and, more dramatically however, getting chased by Snow Stalkers before falling into a crevasse. In-game, his PDA logs reveal he is also constantly losing shipments because of the local fauna.
  • A Day in the Limelight: He's the focus of the cinematic trailer for Below Zero.
  • Ironic Name: His last name roughly means "luck" in French, but as we see in the trailer centered around him, he is not having a good day.
  • Porn Stache: His most distinguishing feature. Robin can even grab his mustache styling kit while she explores Delta Station.
  • Skewed Priorities: When a Squidshark attacks his Seatruck in the trailer, he seems more upset about his spilled coffee.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: As one of the Alterra employees working in Sector Zero, he has perhaps the least significant role as a mere Seatruck driver, but he is the one who discovered the Frozen Leviathan completely by chance, kickstarting the whole plot of Below Zero.

Jeremiah Murgle

Voiced by: David Babich
The repair technician for Delta Station's communication antenna.
  • Pesky Pigeons: Hates the planet's skyrays, as they congregate around the antenna he's meant to keep up and running, and whatever they eat is turning their poop caustic, eating away at the electronics.

Emmanuel Desjardins

Voiced by: Ryan Flynn
Alterra's overseer of operations in Sector Zero.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tries to present himself as easygoing and friendly, but instead is a smarmy jerk.
  • Executive Ball Clicker: He has a futuristic, hovering one in his office, which Robin can swipe for her own base.
  • First-Name Basis: Encourages employees to call him "Manu," even while he is tacitly threatening them with punishment. Nobody seems comfortable with this, since they don't like him that much.
  • Geeky Turn-On: His letter to his husband Davide closes with this.
    "Keep on succeeding in your projects. You know there's nothing I find more attractive."
  • The Heavy: As the representative of Alterra and head of the project, Emmanuel is the one who keeps pushing for more Kharaa research even when other people voice their concerns.
  • Workaholic: He claims to love his family, but that is hard to believe when he explains he is eager to spend even less time with them.
    "I miss you of course, but I wonder if you feel it too? As great as we are together, we are almost better apart! Just look at how well Prosperina did in her last show! I'm sorry I couldn't be there to see it but I'm sure if I'd been around, I'd only have made her nervous."

Zeta Landon

Voiced by: Bret Parker
One of Alterra's robotics technicians, Zeta worked alongside Sam Ayou before she was reassigned in the Phi Robotics base.

Lillian Bench

Voiced by: Lu Corfield
A xenobiologist working for Alterra, her job was to try and make contact with any of the surviving Architects, which was unsuccessful. Worked in Outpost Zero.
  • Good Parents: Seems to be one of the few Sector Zero residents not to have a strained relationship with her family. The player can find multiple PDA messages to her children and she's covered the walls of her quarters with their drawings.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Her PDA note she's not entirely sure why she was stationed at Outpost Zero for what might have been a distress signal (it was, but Al-An didn't want her to get any closer and stopped). She also quickly figures out it's a punishment for something when Samantha is moved to Outpost Zero, but can't put her finger on why.
  • Token Good Teammate: Her only real "flaw" is that she's working for Alterra which is notable for being the only reason Al-An doesn't respond to her communication attempts. It also probably helps that, as a pure xenobiologist, she's also one of the few not directly working with the Kharaa virus, and seems almost oblivious to it when she talks with Samantha. Otherwise, she's chipper, doesn't have any real duplicitous workings or blind loyalty, is the only personnel on good terms with their family, and is cautious but otherwise doesn't hinder Sam once learning about her attempts to administer a Kharaa cure and blow up the Phi excavation site.

Parvan Ivanov

Voiced by: Dave Boat
A security officer assigned to the Glacial Basin to watch over the Frozen Leviathan. He was killed in the disaster that claimed Sam's life.
  • The Big Guy: A security guard in charge of guarding the Frozen Leviathan. He also seems to be the most physically imposing of all the Alterra employees who were working in Sector Zero.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He dislikes the overbearing influence of the scientists on 4546B, and feels that the ordinary workers (like himself and the miners at Koppa) are underappreciated.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He was an artist in his spare time, making illustrations of the local fauna. Sam found them "inappropriate", while Parvan defended them as "art"invoked. He was also apparently interested in geology, collecting "interesting rocks" while on duty.
    • One of his PDA logs reveals he had a family, at least one daughter and possibly a wife, with whom he was not on good terms, and wanted to make amends with them.
  • Posthumous Character: He died in the same incident that killed Sam.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's guarding the Frozen Leviathon infected with Kharaa, but doesn't seem to know how dangerous it is.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: How he views being posted to Sector Zero, as detailed in an unsent letter to his family.
    I was going to send you a message saying how great everything is here and how everyone loves me. I've had a promotion to a very important security dossier. I'm treated like a hero.
    But really, this is a cold, wet planet. The scientists are full of themselves. There's no action to speak of. The only thing I look forward to is weekly games of Alien Intruder, but more than that, of coming home to you.

Danielle Valenti

Voiced by: Elsie Bennett
A researcher assigned to Alterra's Omega Lab, Danielle established a relationship with Sam, which became rocky in the days leading up to Sam's death.
  • Artists Are Attractive: One of the ways she flirts with Sam is by giving her a painting.
  • Differing Priorities Breakup: When Sam expresses her concern about Kharaa getting out-of-control, Danielle doesn't seem to take it seriously and tells Sam to forget the "crusade" she's on.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Danielle genuinely believes her work with the Kharaa could revolutionize medical science and is worth the risk.

Vinh Pham

Voiced by: Griffin Puatu
One of the researchers at Omega Lab.
  • Mad Scientist: While there are multiple people researching Kharaa in the Omega Lab, he's the only one who paints pictures of it too.

Alexis Riedell

Voiced by: Haruka Kuroda
An investigator hired by Alterra to look into the sabotage of their research stations.

    Al-An (Unmarked Spoilers) 
Voiced by: Matthew Marsh
An Architect who ends up Sharing a Body with Robin for part of Below Zero.
  • An Alien Named "Bob": expressed by Robin in-game when she meets one of the ancient alien Precursor Architects.
    Robin: My whole life, I've been dying to meet a sapient, spacefaring alien up close, and you're telling me your name is ALAN?
    Al-An: Is it not sufficient?
  • The Blank: His new body has no face. In no way does this prevent him from interacting with Robin.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Especially at first, a lot of his friction with Robin is caused by him not intuitively grasping how humans think and operate. The reason he uploads himself into Robin's brain is because he doesn't know that humans draw a distinction between their biological bodies and the technology they use. For an Architect, there is no difference.
  • Body Snatcher: Averted. He accidentally invades Robin's brain, but any horrifying aspects of this are neutralized by his affable attitude: as soon as he recognizes this is not what she wants, he seems apologetic and eager to fix the problem.
  • Brain Uploading: His mind was uploaded into Ion Cubes alongside other Architects when the Kharaa Outbreak occurred. Unlike the other Architect minds, who remain in a dormant state, he remained conscious.
  • Cyborg As the databank describes, Architect anatomy is a combination of biological and cybernetic elements. They are so well-integrated that distinction between the two is irrelevant.
  • Cyborg Helmsman: After Al-An activates the ship, he invites Robin aboard. He apologizes for not helping her embark, as he has become fully-integrated with the ship.
  • Gentle Giant: Downplayed. His completed "storage vessel" is nearly the same height as a PRAWN suit, yet he remains his affable-if-blunt self. He picks up Robin easily and gently when they finally meet face-to-face.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Because of his alien nature, he has a limited comprehension of how humans work and doesn't understand concepts that seem completely normal to them, particularly that humans functions as individuals rather than as a network like him. He repeatedly calls humans primitive or inefficient, much to Robin's annoyance.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Sometimes he drops his smug attitude and is interested in the human experiences that he (through Robin) is witnessing.
    • If you use the Jukebox to play music, he is puzzled by this autitory information.
      Al-An: I sense it has an impact on your pulse and breathing. It makes you move differently. [amazed] Humans are controlled by music?
    • If you use the bed to sleep, he will be confused and inquisitive about the dream you just had.
      Robin: We can experience impossible joy and also impossible terror in our dreams...
      Al-An: Your biofeedback indicates that flying was the most enjoyable dream. I therefore hope you have many more of those — mainly for my own safety.
  • Last of His Kind: Uncertain. Since he cannot contact any other Architects, Al-An fears the possibility that he may be this. The Ambiguous Ending does not confirm or deny it.
    Al-An: If I am the last of my kind, I will experience the sorrow of ten thousand souls dimming.
    Robin: And if they survived?
    Al-An: With you, I am ready to face whatever awaits.
  • Literal-Minded: When describing the feeling of hope, Robin quotes "'Hope' is the thing with feathers," a poem by Emily Dickinson. He doesn't grasp the metaphor, and thinks she's referring to some unfamiliar avian species. He adds an entry for "Hope" to the "Fauna" section of the Databank.
  • Must Make Amends: He desires to return to his people, where he may get a chance to atone for what he's done.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Downplayed, as he's had plenty of time to come to grips with his guilt. But he clearly regrets his role in instigating the Kharaa plague.
  • My Greatest Failure: Al-An gets cagey when pressed for details about his past, and Robin accuses him of withholding information. When he reveals that he was the leader whose mistake led to the Kharaa outbreak, he admits fearing that Robin would refuse to help him if she knew he was responsible for the disaster. Instead, she assures him "everyone makes mistakes."
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Desperate to cure Kharaa, he defied protocol to acquire the Sea Dragon Leviathan's eggs, believing they could be useful in developing a cure. On one hand, he was right about the embryos. On the other, he failed to anticipate the adult Sea Dragon's reaction: its rampage destroyed the containment facility and released Kharaa. Albeit indirectly, Al-An is responsible for everything bad in Subnautica.
  • Odd Friendship: Forms one with Robin by the end.
  • Sculpted Physique: By gaining access to an ancient fabrication facility and providing it with the proper materials, you can synthesize a new body for Al-An.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Has six hovering drone arms, not physically connected to his body but cybernetically-linked to it. He lets Robin borrow a couple to repair some equipment.
  • Sharing a Body: For most of the game Al-An exists as a voice inside Robin's head and is able to access her thoughts and memories to an extent.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Imprisoned alone in an abandoned facility, forcefully uploads his consciousness into Robin's brain, initially arrogant towards humans, desperate to get home, evasive about his past, with no corroborating evidence, responsible for the Kharaa outbreak — Al-An has all the markings of an Evil All Along Final Boss. But by the end Al-An gets his own body without harming Robin, then offers to take her to his home planet as a friend.
  • The Stoic: Almost never does he break his calm facade, except when talking about how the Kharaa pandemic started. He is also noticeably shaken when looking at the dead remains of other Architects.
  • Time Dissonance: Since his species passed The Singularity a long time ago a lot of Al-An's disagreements with Robin are from not grasping that humans have a finite lifespan which affects their priorities.
  • Tron Lines: Some of his synthetic connective tissues glow and shimmer.
  • Unbreakable Bones: His skeleton is a geodesic structure fabricated of diamond and plasteel.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He underestimated the Mama Bear fight a Sea Dragon Leviathan would put up to protect her eggs. Taking them provoked the Leviathan to attack and destroy the research facility where her eggs were being experimented on, releasing Kharaa on the entire planet.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Has a Centauroid Form, plus drone arms.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Zigzagged: while he seems to have trouble understanding familial love, he does understand that Robin and Sam shared a close bond. He also does not understand why she feels closure after ending the Kharaa threat (and thus completing Sam's goal) in part because he can sense other emotions from Sam.

Fauna of The Crater

    Ampeel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shocker_fauna.png
A prong-covered electric eel found in deeper waters that will generally leave you alone unless you mess with it.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes and the tips of its electricity-generating prongs glow.
  • Meaningful Name: The ampere is the base unit of electric current.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: If you annoy them, they'll arc electricity along their body as a warning before turning to actually attack you.
  • Shock and Awe: If two of them meet, they'll zap each other until one gives up and leaves.
  • Slippery as an Eel: Their bodies are actually rather joined and arthropod-like and the long prongs make them look decidedly less slippery.

    Biter 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/biter_fish_fauna.png
A small, vicious tadpole-like creature that often attacks in packs.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: They have a little glowing lure on top of their heads.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The tip of their lure glows, naturally, but the tips of their fins also glow a bit.
  • Dumb Muscle: The scanner claims it's 94% muscle, 4% connective tissue, and only 2% brain.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It bites you. A lot.
  • Extra Eyes: They have four eyes, two on each side of the head.
  • Goddamned Bats: They're really not that big of a deal solo. They can whittle you down in a surprisingly short time if you get ganked by several of them, however. And heaven help you if you needed every last bit of health to escape a Reaper and one of these little buggers bothered you first.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: They're not picky when it comes to food when hungry, and they're always hungry, hence being mostly muscle to avoid being eaten even by their own species.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: They have a ridiculous number of needle-sharp teeth for tearing you apart.
  • Piranha Problem: If they smell blood, they'll attack in swarms.

    Bladderfish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/airsack_fauna.png
Passive fish that can be used for food and water. They're also the only lifeform that can actually be directly crafted into something: their bodies can be used to create an air bladder tool, which can help get back to the surface quickly if need be. Can also be found in Sector Zero.

    Bleeder 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bleeder_fauna.png
A small, vicious leech-like creature that will latch onto the player and try to drain their blood.
  • Combat Tentacles: They possess retractable tendrils around their mouths that make harder to remove them while feeding.
  • Meaningful Name: They make you bleed, sucking both health and nutrition from your body.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: If a Bleeder dies, the others in the area won't be averse to chowing down on the dead one's corpse. This can be exploited, as by killing one and dropping it back in the water with the Propulsion Cannon, other Bleeders will swarm and present themselves to you as open targets.
  • Piranha Problem: Like Biters, a pack of Bleeders can add up fast. Unlike Biters, Bleeders also drain your food, which means you can starve to death due to a parasite sucking all the nutrition out of you.

    Blighter 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blood_biter_fauna.png
A brown-and-white variation of the Biter that lives in the Blood Kelp Zone.

    Blood Crawler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blood_crawler_fauna.png
A larger variation of the Cave Crawler found in the Blood Kelp Zone and the Lost River.

    Blue Barnacles 
A sedentary creature found hitching rides on Reefbacks. Classified as an animal because it is presumed to be a type of crustacean, just like Earth's barnacles.

    Boneshark 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bone_shark_fauna.png
A large, aggressive, and heavily-armoured shark quite common in the deeper regions of the game.

    Boomerang 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boomerang_fauna.png
A small fish with very long, thin fins projecting from the top and bottom of its body, giving it a resemblance to a boomerang. If thrown, will not return. Can also be found in Sector Zero.

    Cave Crawler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cave_crawler_01.png
An aggressive, four-legged, crab-like creature that clings to floors, walls, and ceilings. Often encountered in the caves of the game's two islands, but can be more rarely found underwater.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The eye on its back glows.
  • Cyclops: It has a single, upward-facing eye on its back, likely to spot predators passing overhead.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: It's only about knee-high, but it's still rather large for a crab.
  • Meaningful Name: It crawls on four legs and is commonly found in caves (however, it's sometimes found a good distance outside them as well).
  • Spiders Are Scary: It resembles a spider as much as a crab, and is aggressive enough you'd be right to give it a wide berth.

    Crabsnake 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crabsnake_fauna.png
A large, aggressive creature that resides exclusively in the Jellyshroom Caves and frequently lies in ambush within the place's namesake flora.
  • The Symbiote: The PDA indicates that is acts as one with the Jellyshrooms (the giant mushroom-like plants it lives in) - in exchange for living inside the Jellyroom, it guards the plant from herbivorous predating and provides it with a constant source of food in the form of whatever pieces remain after it devours its prey.

    Crabsquid 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crabsquid_backgroundless.png
An aggressive species found in deep water that is able to emit a wave of energy that temporarily disables the player's vehicles and technology.
  • Angry Guard Dog: One of the most territorial creatures in the game, Crabsquids go ballistic on anything that enters their stomping ground. This trait, coupled with their sensitivity to light and their EMP blast, makes them the bane of anyone who's trying to set up a base in the resource-rich deep sea biomes they inhabitnote  Some players have exploited this through hatching a Crabsquid in containment and releasing it, which will make sure anything that used to threaten you, your base, your vehicles and your cameras will be a thing of the past.
  • Big Eater: Though never seen in-game aside from them trying to attack anything that moves and/or glows, their data bank entry states that Crabsquids do almost nothing else in their lives but stuff their giant stomachs day in, day out. Unfortunately, the Player Character is of the perfect crabsquid snack size.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes, feet, several spots on its body, and the cracks on the stomach visible inside its clear outer membrane sack all glow. The general bioluminiscence of everything in the planet is likely also the reason why it's so attracted to lights, since light = alive = edible under most circumstances.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: While it has large eyes and is attracted to light, it also makes clicking sounds for echolocation.
  • EMP: The Crabsquid possesses an EMP blast that temporarily shortcircuits machinery. Its actual, biological purpose isn't understood, though the PDA theorizes it has to do with shutting down Ampeel defenses.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a cross of a crab and a squid.
  • Extra Eyes: It has four eyes, like many of the game's animals.
  • Giant Mook: Crabsquids are among the largest non-Leviathan creatures in the game, dwarfing the Prawn suit and capable of being a threat to even the Cyclops.
  • Hero Killer: It's implied that a crabsquid is the creature that ultimately finished off Paul Torgal. The last Degasi Base is located in the Deep Grand Reef and is quite literally surrounded by crabsquid, and during the launch trailer, one of them attacks a human right as Bart mentions that his father was correct in suggesting going deeper was a bad idea. Its likely the crabsquid observed the destruction of the base and saw Paul as the easiest available meal.
  • Mascot Mook: One is shown on the box art of the Switch version.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Crab and squid, of course.
  • My Brain Is Big: Subverted. It looks like it has an enlarged brain underneath its transparent skin, but the database confirms that is not its brain but its stomach.
  • Shock and Awe: It can generate an electromagnetic pulse that can temporarily shut down vehicles and other electronics.
  • Shout-Out: Its vocalizations and EMP are straight from the MUTOs.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Possibly the only lifeform in the game that actively tries to eat Warpers. While certainly much bigger, trying to hunt prey that teleports is an exercise in futility or worse.
  • Throwing the Distraction: They're attracted to light, so tossing a flare will divert their attention from the player.

    Crashfish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crash_fauna.png
A small, spiny, cave-dwelling fish which lives inside the aptly-named Crash Plant. If disturbed, it will pop out and attack the player. Can also be found in Sector Zero.
  • Action Bomb: Their means of attacking is to swim up to the player and explode.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its fins glow brightly, but the red scales on its back also exhibit a faint glow.
  • Expy: Share more than a few similarities with Minecraft's Creepers.
  • Glass Cannon: They can destroy your vehicles thanks to a chemical reaction in their spines and deal a great amount of damage to you if you're swimming alone, but they can only attack once and are easily incapacitated with the Stasis Rifle.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The sound it makes before it blows itself up can best be described as "tortured screams of the damned."
  • Meaningful Name: Its sole purpose is to crash into potential aggressors, including the player or their vehicle.
  • Suicide Attack: They'll blow themselves up a few seconds after launching themselves from their nest.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Once you hear their scream, good luck avoiding their attack without the Ultra Glide Fins.

    Crimson Ray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_ghost_ray_fauna.png
A subspecies of the Ghostray that exclusively inhabits the Inactive Lava Zona and Lava Lakes.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Unlike the other species of Ray in Subnautica, it possesses very little Bioluminescence, in that the only parts that glow are its eyes and gill slits.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The top side of the creature has a crimson pattern.
  • Gentle Giant: It is the same size as the fairly large Ghostray; despite this, the animal is completely and utterly harmless.
  • Palette Swap: Of the Ghostray.

    Cuddle Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cute_fish_fauna.png
A small, playful pet-type fish that can only be acquired by hatching one of five eggs hidden in certain locations. This critter was the original design for the Crashfish, but the developers decided it was too cute for the role and made it into a pet instead.
  • Easter Egg: Wild specimens of these creatures cannot be found in the oceans of 4546B. To meet one, you must find an egg and hatch it. There are only five eggs in the game, each hidden in an out-of-the way and easily-missed location.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Its old name was the Cutefish, and it's a cute fish. Its function is to be cute. The current name is also rather appropriate, as it has a remarkably cuddly appearance for a half-squid creature, and indeed you can pet and cuddle it when playing with it. If you never release it into open water you can actually take it home with you to hug and pet and play with forever!
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Has some porpoise inspiration in its design, makes squeaking noises similar to a dolphin, and is indeed friendly and playful. It's also curious and intelligent, being able to both be intrigued by, and express amazement at, the old "coin behind your ear" sleight of hand trick.
  • Killer Rabbit: Back when it was meant to be the Crash, it was this. Now it's perfectly harmless.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: It resembles a very small porpoise crossed with a squid.
  • Punny Name: Of the real life cuttlefish, who aren't as cuddly.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The equivalent of an aquatic alien puppy. Its diminutive mouth is a curving smile. It also chirps like a small bird. May be considered Ugly Cute if you don't find squid appealing.

    Eyeye 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eyeye_fauna.png
A small, simple creature composed of a single huge eye and a few fins.
  • Butt-Monkey: Some creatures just shove them around without even eating them.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The fins behind its eye glow.
  • Cyclops: Its body is 90% eyeball. A single eyeball.
  • Meaningful Name: Its most salient feature is its eye.
  • Oculothorax: In addition to its giant eyeball, it's got a few little fins that trail behind it. That's it, though; it doesn't even have a discernible mouth.

    Floater 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/floater_fauna.png
A floating creature which attaches itself to rocks, lifting them up towards the surface. Tiny ones can be found here and there in shallow waters, but some of the deeper areas hold truly enormous specimens.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Most floaters are small, about the size of a coconut. You can also find a giant variety that's several times your size. Interestingly, the giants are less destructive: while floaters are not aggressive, they are indiscriminate in what they attach themselves to, and so strongly buoyant that they can drag even your Cyclops around. The big ones are already attached to their rock, and big enough that they won't be dislodged by anything, meaning they won't ever get in your way as the little ones can.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The pink inner body glows slightly.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It floats. That's about it.
  • Lamprey Mouth: The bottom of the creature is a sucker mouth. Its "teeth" actually appear rather soft and rounded, however.
  • Turtle Island: A few of these have grown to a gargantuan size, holding up several underwater landmasses alongside what is easily the biggest island in the game.

    Garryfish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/garryfish_fauna.png
A slow-moving fish that putters around the shallower areas. It's fairly easy to catch.

    Gargantuan Fossil Leviathan 
An absolutely gargantuan creature that once lived on Planet 4546B, the remains of this beast take up an entire section of the Lost River.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: While its never encountered alive, the PDA notes indicate it died of starvation due to the Lost River lacking prey sources that were large enough to support an animal of its size. As this leviathan was obviously a predator, it can be surmised it ate animals in the size range as the other leviathans in the game, making it fit this trope when it was alive.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: From how its skeleton was arranged, unless its skull was reoriented some time after it died, then its spinal column is apparently located along its chest and stomach area. This seems to be a trait it shares with the Sea Dragon Leviathan.
  • Hope Spot: The notes in the Disease Research Facility imply that it might have been able to cure the Kharaa Infestation, but the Architects didn't have enough genetic material to create a live specimen.
  • Kaiju: The biggest creature encountered in the game, even if it is long dead. In fact, given the PDA Notes on the Sea Emperor, this is probably the single largest creature in the entire Subnautica universe. To put this into context, its skeleton is over a kilometer in length,
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The largest creature in the came, and possibly the largest creature in the Subnautica universe. For context, concept art shows a ghost leviathan swimming through its rib cage with plenty of room to maneuver, something that can be replicated in-game.
  • Mascot Mook: Its skeleton is the same one visible on the cover of the game.
  • No Name Given: As it is never encountered alive, it is only referred to by the designation given to it by the PDA (Gargantuan Fossil) and the Architects (Large Carnivore Theta).
  • Posthumous Character: It died before any of the plot events happened, with only its skeleton as a reminder that it existed. However, it's implied to be the reason the Disease Research Facility was built.
  • Undignified Death: How did this thing die? Based on the available information, it became trapped in the Lost River and starved to death due to being unable to sustain itself on the native fauna.

    Gasopod 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gasopod_fauna.png
A large, slow-moving creature that resembles a manatee with a bloated, bulbous tail. It typically ignores the player, but will expel Gas Pods that explode into clouds of toxins if bothered.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The tail and even the animal itself is not dangerous. However, it is home to a symbiotic species of algae which produces a very caustic acid, and when startled the Gasopod tenses its muscles and expels pods of the stuff.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes and the gas pods on its tail glow.
  • Fartillery: The gas it releases will paralyze fish and damage you or your vehicles. If you grab the pods before they explode, you can keep them in your inventory and use them as improvised weapons or as an ingredient for the Gas Torpedo.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Their trunk resembles a gas mask. It also functions as one, with multiple pairs of gills capable of filtering and detoxifying the gas from its tail.
  • Gasshole: Its species hat.
  • Living Weapon: The gas is actually produced by symbiotic algae that live in the Gasopod's tail.
  • Meaningful Name: The gas-releasing pods on its tail are its most noteworthy feature.

    Ghostray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ghost_ray_fauna.png
A big, glowing creature that resembles a translucent manta ray. It exclusively inhabits the Lost River.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The entire animal glows, including the organs seen through its translucent body.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If a manta ray was reincarnated into a glowing, spectral entity, it would be this Ghostray.
  • Gentle Giant: The entire ray itself is several times larger than a human; despite this, the animal is completely and utterly harmless.

    Ghost Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ghost_leviathan_fauna.png
A huge, translucent, hammerhead-eel-beast that calls the Lost River and a few other deep-water biomes home. Like most of the other leviathans, it is a very dangerous beast.
  • Angry Guard Dog: One hell of a guard dog, for sure. Ghost Leviathans are incredibly territorial, requiring singular dominance over a considerable space in order to feed. Anything they regard as challenging them for ownership is met with incredible force, with the intent of driving it off. note 
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Notable for being the only aggressive Leviathan species to exhibit this trait to a relevant degree. Its four eyes glow a golden orange colour, as do a series of light-tipped stalks and lines of light along the inside of its body. The entire body also emits a faint blue glow that's hard to notice unless the surroundings are pitch-black, like the Crater Edge for instance, which makes for an incredibly chilling sight that probably gave them their name.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: While Ghost Leviathans are implied to breed via internal fertilization in the same way as many Earth fish and all terrestrial tetrapods, their eggs are laid in trees and gradually seem to fuse with the plants, to the point that several branches appear to be inside of the eggs. This does not harm the developing embryos.
  • Border Patrol: Fully-grown adults will spawn in to chase the player should they leave the playing area. They're also far more aggressive than the others on the Crater and will relentlessly chase the player until they're dead or back in the map. Up to three can be chasing you at one time, as many adults as are normally spread around the entire map.
  • Extra Eyes: Possesses four eyes, like many creatures on the planet.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: As with other long-bodied creatures in the game, only its head is vulnerable to any damage.
  • Killed Off for Real: The ones living in the Crater will not respawn if killed.
  • Meaningful Name: Much of its body is translucent with a more solid body structure inside, giving it a ghost-like look. The way its mouth opens also closely resembles a Ghostly Gape.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: The Juvenile Ghost's data bank entry posits that they feed on anything they can get their jaws on, including unfortunate members of their own species, until they grow too large for their nursery grounds, leave for open waters and turn into filter feeders. Doesn't affect their in-game behaviour in any way, but it should tell you all you need to know about what to do when you encounter these creatures.
  • Ramming Always Works: Unlike the other aggressive Leviathans, which have limbs of a sort, the only weapon a Ghost has is its armoured head, which it can use to devastating effect.
  • Sea Monster: It's the fourth Leviathan-class creature in the game, and just as deadly as the Reaper and Sea Dragon. It's also the third-largest creature in the game after the Emperor and Sea Dragon. Disturbingly, unlike the Reaper and the Sea Dragon, the Ghost doesn't attack to eat you, since it's a filter feeder; it attacks to ward you off from its territory.
  • Use Your Head: Due to its eel-like build and lack of teeth, Ghost Leviathans attack with headbutts.

    Holefish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/holefish_fauna.png
A very small fish with a hole through its tail. By manipulating the size of the hole, it's capable of unexpectedly changing directions, making it difficult to catch.

    Hoopfish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hoopfish_fauna.png
A small and very identifiable fish with a "hoop" of flesh that extends from nose to tail along the top of and bottom of its body. Can also be found in Sector Zero.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: One of the brightest fish in the sea. Its most striking feature is the glowing green hoop that extends around the top and bottom of its body from nose to tail, but its fins and body spots also glow.

    Hoverfish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hoverfish_fauna.png
A small, reptilian lifeform often found swimming around plant life. It has six limbs ending in pads that ionize water, allowing it to do what its name suggests.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its "feet" and the spots on its back glow.
  • Meaningful Name: It "swims" by ionizing the surrounding water, allowing it to "hover" over the sea floor.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite being called a Hoverfish, the description of its cooked form says it has reptilian flesh. Coupled with the appearance of its face up close, it appears to actually be more of a Hoverseaturtle.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: While not as aggressively cute as the Cuddle Fish, many fans have taken a shine to the Hoverfish thanks to its adorable, smiling face and being curiously emotive for such a small and simple creature. Some have expressed a desire for Hoverfish to be able to be adopted and interacted with in a manner similar to the Cuddlefish.
    • Adorably, they actually seem to develop an affection for the player if kept in an Alien Containment. Hoverfish can be observed swimming up to the player and "dancing" with a huge smile on their face.

    Jellyray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jellyray_fauna.png
A big, glowing creature that resembles a cross between a stingray and a jellyfish. They are typically encountered in the Mushroom Forest, but can also be found in the deepest parts of the Grand Reef.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The entire animal glows.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: If a jellyfish and a stingray had a baby, it would be this Jellyray. The only way its name could get more accurate is if you called it a glowing Jellyray.
  • Gentle Giant: The central core of its body is about as big as a human; the tentacles and tail streaming behind it are much longer. Despite their pointed tips and its resemblance to a jellyfish, the animal is completely and utterly harmless; it is neither aggressive nor in possession of stinging nematocysts.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Stingray and jellyfish.

    Lava Larva 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lava_larva_fauna.png
A small, grub-like lifeform found in the Inactive Lava Zone. They will grab onto your vehicles to suck out power and potentially strand you in the depths.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes, mouth, and a streak along its belly glow.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: They completely lack a digestive tract, sucking the energy they need to survive directly out of their prey instead. It's unknown what exactly they feed on when there aren't any human castaways invading their territory with fancy machines.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Its mouth (visible on the underside of its body) is a teardrop-shaped ring of teeth.
  • Meaningful Name: It's found near lava and is apparently the larval form of a larger creature.
    • That creature was intended to be the Rock Puncher before it was Dummied Out in the original game.

    Lava Lizard 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lavalizardtest.png
Shown here sans armour.
An aggressive species of aquatic lizard that is capable of swimming in lava and even gathering it onto its back to use as armour and ammo. It is found only in the Inactive Lava Zone.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: One of the few aversions, as the animal itself, doesn't glow. However, after diving into lava, it carries around glowing, molten coals on its back.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Or at least a very good indicator of aggression.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: It's already aggressive and toothy, but swimming in lava grants it the ability to shoot fiery rocks.

    Magmarang 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lavaboomerang_1.png
A subspecies of Boomerang that lives in the Inactive Lava Zone.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Is exclusively found in the Inactive Lava Zone, where its colouring and bioluminescence is evolved to make it visually blend into the volcanic formations and lava channels.
  • Genre Savvy: Its colouring and bioluminescence makes it blend in to the volcanic formations and lava channels. Given that there are two Sea Dragons down there, this is an exceptionally smart idea as it avoids being eaten as it cannot be seen.
  • Palette Swap: Of Boomerangs.

    Mesmer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mesmer_fauna.png
A small predator that unfolds its fins to reveal hypnotic patterns that draw prey towards it.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its large fins glow. Unlike other species, the precise function of the glow is known: it mesmerizes anyone stuck in front of it, leaving them open for attack.
  • Charm Person: Despite being no bigger than an average dog, its true danger lies in the fact that you can't even risk looking at it for long before it tries to hypnotize you and take a huge bite when you get too close.
  • Interface Screw: The glowing patterns on the Mesmer's fins are so hypnotic it becomes difficult to wrench your eyes away from it, mechanically reflected by the camera being forced to center on it while nearby unless the player can turn themselves entirely away or get enough distance.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Invoked by the Mesmer's Charm Person ability. The Mesmer cannot talk, but it can cause you to hallucinate that your PDA computer is talking to you, telling you to your primary directive is to swim closer to that beautiful creature. This even extends to its Data Bank entry:
    The Mesmer can open the jawlike recess in its protective outer shell in order to [ERROR463] share its beauty... Do not resist...

    Assessment: Draw closer.
  • Meaningful Name: It mesmerizes creatures into becoming vulnerable prey.
  • Nested Mouths: Its entire face splits open to reveal four tentacle-like appendages lined with teeth that lead to its actual throat.

    Oculus 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oculus_fauna.png
A slightly larger version of the Peeper that lives exclusively in the Jellyshroom Caves.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes glow.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The PDA speculates that it feeds on the soft caps of the Jellyshrooms, though how it does so is unclear since it lacks any visible mouth.
  • Item Farming: Oculus make the best bioreactor fuel of any edible fauna and a decent meal on top of that, making them a good choice for breeding in Alien Containment.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: According to the PDA it can detach its tentacles to distract predators in a manner similar to a lizard dropping its tail.
  • Underground Monkey: It's a slightly larger subspecies of the Peeper, adapted to living in Jellyshroom caves. The two are still closely related enough to breed with each other if placed in an alien containment unit together; said offspring will always be more Oculus.

    Peeper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peeper_fauna.png
A small, swift fish with giant yellow eyes. Out of all the species in the game, it's probably the closest to what the average person would think of when they think "fish".
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes glow.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Peeper as a species is probably secretly the second most important creature in the game, after the Sea Emperor itself. Under its command, they not only converted the aquarium into a thriving ecosystem but single-handedly stopped the Kharaa from completely destroying the planet.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The PDA is quick to point out that the Peeper has a lot of evolutionary traits irrelevant to any of its habitats. This is because they're secretly the Sea Emperor's underlings, who evolved them into a heavily customized form fit for delivering the cure to the world.
    • One of these adaptations are the holes on the side of the peeper, which lets it expel the contents of its stomach. The PDA cannot fathom a biological reason for it. Peepers can be seen doing it sometimes in-game, leaving glowing trails behind them. It's how they deliver the cure.
  • Helpful Mook: They're not actually 100% natural creatures. They're an entire species of underlings for the Sea Emperor, tailor-made through evolution, and their one job is to collect flora to keep the Emperor's aquarium functioning, and deliver the cure to the surface to fight off the Kharaa.
  • Mascot Mook: Peepers are probably the most well known creatures in the games, with one serving as the PS4 menu icon in the first game, and an Artic Peeper doing it in the second.
  • Meaningful Name: You cannot miss a school of Peepers' peepers with your own peepers at all. They're probably also little info-gatherers for the Sea Emperor. Which is probably why it can reach out to chat to you at all. When the PDA warns you about the possible intellects of creatures you study in containment, the Peeper is one likely candidate. It watches you: check its animations when you idle nearby.

    Rabbit Ray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rabbitray_fauna.png
A small, harmless fish that swim close to the seafloor in shallow waters. They are inedible.

    Reaper Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reaper_leviathan_fauna.png
Large hostile creatures that patrol several areas of the surface section of the world, especially around the remains of the Aurora, though they also call the Mountains and Dunes their home.
  • Ambiguous Situation: While the other leviathan species have explicit reasons for living in the environments they are found in Specifically , it's never explained why the Reaper Leviathans can be found in and around the Dunes, the Mountains, and Aurora Crash Site. The trailers offer a hint regarding the Crash Zone (it's implied that Bart Torgal made a base there and that they might have come to associate habitats with food), but Dunes and Mountains are still left unexplained. The presence of the Quarantine Enforcement Platform and the Precursor Cache in the Dunes indicate that they might be a security measure by the Architects, but this doesn't match up with their usual modus operandi.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Not technically a guard dog, but this monster likes to hang around the Aurora at the Crash Zone and the Quarantine Enforcement Platform at the Mountains more than any other creature. The Dunes entrance to the Inactive Lava Zone was closed off, but the Reapers there now have a meteor impact crater with an Architect Cache and a sinkhole containing a Cuddlefish Egg to patrol around.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Reapers in the Dunes biome aren't the most intelligent of the Reapers in the game. They'll often ignore you even when you're close by, and when they do move in to attack more often than not they'll straight-up miss, especially if you're on the sea floor inside or outside the Seamoth/PRAWN. By contrast, the ones in the Crash Zone and the Mountains will see and chase after you relentlessly if you get in range. Though even the former can have a massive brain fart and get their faces stuck in the half-melted girders around the prow of the Aurora, roaring in place at nothing in particular.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Notable for being one of the few species on the planet to mostly avert this. They possess ZERO bioluminescence, making them practically invisible at night until they're right in your face. The red parts of their body used to exhibit a very faint glow, but that changed once they received a new model.
  • Drone of Dread: They make a rather eerie drone as their bodies cut through the water. In the darkness, this may be your only warning that one is about.
  • Dumb Muscle: If you can manage to scan one, the results claim that it has very little brains, "just muscle, synapses and teeth."
  • Eaten Alive: If it catches you outside a vehicle at below 80% health, it'll just stuff you in its mouth whole. To add insult to injury, it first roars in your face.
  • Extra Eyes: Like so many creatures, it has four eyes instead of two.
  • Extreme Omnivore: It'll munch on your Seamoth or other vehicles as well as you or any other lifeform.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Reapers will move their prey a considerable distance away from where they initially grabbed it during their attack animation, which can be more annoying than the damage they deal upon the vehicle you're in. It can also end in them smashing your ride against the sea floor or some other large obstacle for a One-Hit Kill, although it's more likely they'll glitch you through the map instead.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: As their scan data explains, a Reaper's roars act as echolocation, so "if you can hear it properly, the Reaper can see you." While this wasn't initially true, the feature was later patched in, so Reapers can now hone in on your position if you linger too long in their hunting grounds.
  • Hero Killer: Reapers were responsible for the deaths of 2nd Officer Keen, CTO Yu, and the unnamed occupant of Lifepod 4. One also destroyed the third Degasi seabase ten years ago, leaving Paul Torgal stranded underwater and Marguerit Maida presumed dead fighting it.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: As with other long-bodied creatures in the game, only its head is vulnerable to any damage.
  • Jump Scare: The most likely deliverer of them in the game. Reapers are the only creatures that don't just attack but have an actual, prolonged, almost inescapable grabbing animation when they do so. You're cruising around in your Seamoth, minding your own business, when suddenly one of these beasts appears out of nowhere, grabs your sub, turns it around so you're face to face, emits a bone-chilling roar, and proceeds to do unpleasant stuff to your poor ride. You can be forgiven for needing a change of pants the first times you witness this (especially while playing in VR), and it doesn't really get less scary afterwards. Keep in mind that the Reaper's constant roars announce their presence from quite some distance away, and still their attacks are scary as hell.
  • Killed Off for Real: As with other Leviathan-class creatures, if killed, they will not respawn.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Swims faster than the Seamoth, and treats it like a chew toy.
  • One-Hit Kill: It can destroy your Seamoth in one hit if it gets to perform its smash-against-obstacle attack.
  • Riddle for the Ages: They're one of three large animals (read: ones you can't stuff into your inventory) that don't have eggs in-game — in fact, they don't even have eggs stored in the game files. The reason for this is never explained.
  • Roar Before Beating: You'll likely hear the Reaper Leviathan before you see it. Once you do, get to safety.
  • Sea Monster: One of the few monsters that can attack and kill you if you get spotted by it.
  • Shout-Out: Possibly to Slattern, with the tentacles attached to the torso with arms. The movie did come out before the game was initially released in Early Access in 2014.
  • Slasher Smile: The thing always looks like it's sporting one hell of a nasty grin. One could think it knows you're browning your briefs whenever you realize it knows you're there, but seeing how Reapers seem to lack any brain whatsoever, it's probably just evolution playing one of its mean jokes.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Their lack of bioluminescence makes them hard to spot in the murky waters they call home, and all but undetectable at night. Reapers are also smart enough to stop roaring once they lock onto prey, and like to circle around and attack an oblivious target from behind.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: One of the only animals that will follow you for a long time. They still give up after a while.
  • The Worf Effect: There are several Reaper skeletons in and around the Lava Zones. What killed them? THE SEA DRAGON LEVIATHAN!

    Red Eyeye 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lava_eyeye.png
A subspecies of Eyeye that lives in the Inactive Lava Zone.

    Reefback Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reefback_fauna.png
Giant creatures that occasionally swim through the world. Big, slow, and generally harmless, their bodies often support miniature ecosystems with plants and resources.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its fins and eyespots glow.
  • Gentle Giant: Despite their massive size, they're one of the least hostile creatures - namely that they never attack you, ever. The only way one can be a threat to you is if a Tiger Plant takes root on its back, and even that can be mitigated by wearing a Reinforced Dive Suit.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • The glowing blue barnacles on their backs can be smashed apart to get copper or silver, both of which are extremely valuable resources.
    • In a less direct way, a Reefback's presence indicates the absence of leviathan-class predators that would feed on it. So if you can hear one's whale-like groaning, you're in (relatively) safe waters.
  • Token Good Teammate: Nearly every species of the Leviathan class you meet in either game are aggressive, on the contrary, Reefbacks, along with their arctic cousins the Glow Whales, the Sea Treaders and the Sea Emperor, are completely passive. Not only that, but the breakable barnacles on their backs can give you common materials.
  • Turtle Island: Big enough that entire ecosystems have taken residence on their body.

    Reginald 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reginald_fauna.png
A creature that resembles the real-life sunfish. Also, a distant relative of the Peeper.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its fin glows.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: It has four gill-like slits for eating instead of a mouth.
  • Item Farming: Reginalds are a very popular choice for farming in an Alien Containment, since they restore the most food of any edible fauna. They also make good bioreactor fuel, second only to the Oculus in output when compared to other edible fauna.
  • Odd Name Out: They're the only species in the game without a Meaningful Name.

    River Prowler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spine_eel_fauna.png
A large, aggressive eel with four tendrils around its head and a transparent body that reveals only its spine. They spawn exclusively in the Lost River.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes and the tips of its spines glow.
  • Riddle for the Ages: One of only three large creatures in the game to lack eggs (the other two being the Reaper Leviathan and the Sea Treader). How exactly they reproduce is unknown.
  • Whip It Good: It uses the four tendrils on its head to strike at enemies and seize prey.

    Rockgrub 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rockgrub_fauna.png
The smallest creature currently implemented; it lives inside caves and is harmless. Can also be found in Sector Zero.

    Sand Shark 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sandshark_fauna.png
A large, aggressive shark-like creature which burrows into the sand and pops out to snatch prey. And yes, you're on the menu, too.

    Sea Dragon Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sea_dragon_leviathan_fauna.png
An even greater enemy than the Reapers, two of which reside in the Inactive Lava Zone and one which dwells within the Lava Lakes. One of them, whose eggs were being held in the Lost River Disease Research Center, was the cause of the release of the Kharaa bacterium into the environment, ramming the facility with her head and causing extensive damage in an attempt to reclaim her eggs. Her skeletal remains lay in the Lost River just outside the entrance to the cavern the Disease Research Facility is in.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: There are a total of three in the game, and collectively they are at least partially responsible for spreading the Kharaa Bacterium that their posthumous mother unleashed. You will have to get past them if you want to cure the planet and yourself. Watch out for the one guarding the Primary Containment Facility since it will ignore the deterrent devices if you look interesting enough.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes, the tips of its nose horns, and several little spots along the sides of its body and tentacles glow.
  • Dying Race: According to the PDA they are at risk for extinction, possibly due to the Kharaa wiping out most of their larger food sources.
  • Eaten Alive: A very real possibility, if you happen to cross its path. Unlike the lesser Reapers, these guys are big enough to just swallow you whole for an instant kill.
  • Extra Eyes: Like many of the animals, it has four eyes.
  • Extreme Omnivore: It'll munch on your Seamoth or other vehicles as well as you or any other lifeform.
  • Giant Squid: The back half, at least. Like most fictional giant squids, it's vicious.
  • Mama Bear: The mother of the eggs that the Architects had grabbed attacked and breached the Disease Research Containment Facility, causing the Kharaa virus to spread throughout 4546B.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Its front half clearly resembles typical dragons, while the back half is a squid.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The Sea Dragon that started the apocalyptic infection of the planet wanted her eggs back and attacked the Disease Research Facility to free them.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: It has the crocodilian "smile" to its jaw structure, making it look like it's grinning as it comes after you.
  • Playing with Fire: It breathes fire. Yes, underwater. Though instead of actual fire it spits red-hot rocks and molten materials from its mouth, the PDA data mentioning that it consumes such material for that purpose as well as making itself resistant to heat.
  • Posthumous Character: The mother Sea Dragon passed away hundreds of years ago. However, her three descendants are alive and hungrier than ever.
  • Sea Monster: Even meaner than the Reaper. How much meaner? There are several Reaper skeletons and skulls laying in the huge chamber of the Inactive Lava Zone that holds the Lava Castle, connects to the Lost River, and where two Sea Dragons patrol. The Sea Dragon EATS REAPERS. And not quickly either, they chase or drag the Reapers from their home waters down into the deep, where the Reaper is boiled alive by lava and superheated water. Also, it has ties to the Lost River's skeleton.
  • Shout-Out: The colossal reptilian and the clawed serpents it feeds on are both very similar to sea monsters from The Phantom Menace, and have a very similar dynamic.
  • Threshold Guardians: They guard the Lava Caverns that mark the final test the player must overcome in order to find the Primary Containment Facility and cure their infection.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Some time in the past, the Architects took in some Sea Dragon eggs for study, angering the mother who proceeded to attack the Disease Research Facility housing them. This caused a breach that would spread the Kharaa to the rest of the planet.

    Sea Emperor WARNING - SPOILER ALERT!!! 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sea_emperor_fauna.png
"A game played alone... cannot be won. Those that took my freedom played to live... forever. Such games can only be lost."
—The first of the decoded cries from the Emperor

Voiced by: Lani Minella

The largest creature in the game. One specimen was captured by the Architects and held in the Primary Containment Facility by the Lava Lakes and is the Last of Its Kind. As it turns out, the species produces an enzyme that cures The Plague covering the planet. However, global administration cannot happen with only one producer, and thus the Architects forced it to breed in order to create more specimens and produce more of the cure. As a sapient species, it was able to develop the common traits of the cries of the planet's fauna into a language that it uses to speak to the player.


  • Aliens Speaking English: Subverted. Despite being able to "talk" to the player, the PDA implies that it is a rudimentary language shared among Planet 4546B's fauna.
  • Ambiguous Gender: its voice sounds female, but it's suggested to be a simultaneous hermaphrodite like the rest of the life on the planet.
  • Big Good: It's been working to stop the Kharaa for centuries by giving Peepers the cure.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Like the Sea Dragon Leviathan, it eyes, horn tips, and body spots all glow.
  • Extra Eyes: Like many of the animals, it has four eyes.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Emperor is very much aware of its situation as a captive and that it doesn't have long to live. Knowing that you will release its offspring and cure the Kharaa bacterium, though, it seems content to pass on.
    Sea Emperor: My young are swimming for the shallows. I thank you. Their freedom is my end.
  • Foreshadowing: In Bart Torgal's final log, he mentions that "the visions are getting worse". It seems likely that the Emperor was trying to speak to him as it does the player, but he died before figuring it out.
  • Gentle Giant: The Sea Emperor is the largest creature in the game but, unlike the Reapers and Sea Dragon, does not actively try to hurt you. In fact, when you first encounter it, it telepathically communicates with you about saving its eggs.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Surprisingly averted. The poor thing has been alone in a comparatively tiny aquarium for well over a millennium, but this isolation doesn't seem to have had any negative effects on its psyche. It's implied it can talk to the other fauna in its tank, so hopefully, its loneliness only extended to its own species.
  • Hidden Depths: It's very philosophical for a giant sea monster. It's difficult to tell if this is a trait of its species or if its a by product of its extremely long life.
    What is a wave without the ocean? A beginning without an end? They are different, but they go together. Now you go among the stars, and I fall among the sand. We are different. But we go together.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Clearly considers you a friend. Its final speech even implies it believes the two of you are two parts of a greater whole, perhaps making you a platonic version of soulmates in its eyes.
  • Last of Its Kind: After the destruction of their planktonic food supply from the asteroid impact and Kharaa left the rest of the Emperor's species dead, it's the only one left and is being held captive in the Lava Lakes so that it can breed and re-populate its species, since they produce an enzyme that cures the virus on the planet (child Emperors are implied to produce the enzyme at around four times faster as aged specimens and in a more concentrated form, hence the need to produce them.)
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In much of its dialogue. It refers to life as a "game", and to living as "playing".
  • MacGuffin Super Person: To the Architects, as its species was capable of producing a cure to the Khara bacterium that was ravaging their empire and it was the Last of Their Kind. It becomes this to the player too for the same reason.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: The Sea Emperor was already ancient by its species' standard when it was caught, and it's endured for another 1,000 years past that point when you meet it, only so it can make sure its young hatch, its species survives, and with it the rest of the planet. True enough, it collapses barely a minute after its babies have left for the shallows, and it's implied it finally passes on after its last telepathic conversation with the Player Character.
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: Once its young hatch, it can finally allow itself to die in peace.
  • Purple Prose: The Sea Emperor's dialogue is quite flowery, speaking almost entirely in metaphors about its time in captivity and what the Architects were doing to it.
  • Reincarnation: it apparently believes in it:
    Perhaps next I will play as an ocean current, carrying seeds to new land... or a creature so small it sees the gaps between the grains of sand.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Sea Emperor species is the only thing that can stop the Kharaa.
  • Sea Monster: Albeit not necessarily aggressive.
  • Telepathy: It can communicate with certain other lifeforms this way. The Player Character is one of them, but unfortunately for everyone it couldn't contact the Architects back when they captured it. If it had, the situation on 4546B would've taken a completely different turn ages ago.
  • Time Abyss: It was over 1,600 years old (well past the peak lifespan for its species) when the Architects captured it. That was more than 1,000 years ago.

    Sea Treader Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sea_treader_fauna.png
A giant deep-water creature that walks its way along the seabed using its two hind legs and sucks up plants from the seafloor using its long snout, occasionally churning up resources as it feeds.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its antennae glow, as do some of the orange patterns around its body.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: It's a crustacean in appearance, though without claws.
  • Gentle Giant: It won't attack you out of malice or predation, but if you get too close it will take a swing at you.
  • Helpful Mook: They kick up an unlimited amount of shale deposits as they walk, giving you an easy, safe supply of diamonds and lithium. Plus, their droppings make excellent fuel for a bioreactor.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: It's classified as a Leviathan life-form by the PDA, but like the Reefback Leviathan, it's non-hostile. It will only attack you if you come too close, otherwise, you'll be left alone.
  • Tripod Terror: Two legs in the back, a very elongated head and mouth in front. Not very terrible, though, unless it kicks you.

    Shuttlebug 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jumper_fauna.png
A small, harmless cave-dweller found swimming around cave entrances or in caves, although they can also be found in open water in some of the deeper parts of the ocean.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The orange patterns on its body glow.
  • Notice This: They tend to hang out at the entrances of smaller but confusing underwater caves, that combined with their bioluminescence can help you find them if you need to cave-dive or serve as markers to find your way out.

    Skyray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skyray_fauna.png
A bird-like creature that can be seen flying above any places with dry land (or sufficiently large ships, such as the Aurora) projecting from the water. Can also be found in Sector Zero.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The undersides of its wings glow.
  • Disturbed Doves: When you complete the Neptune, the countdown to launch shows a flock of skyrays perched on the nose of the rocket. They fly away when you take off.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In the original game, they're one of only two non-aquatic creatures, along with the Cave Crawlers, and the only avian creature encountered.
  • Super Drowning Skills: It can't stand being underwater at all. This includes if you use console commands to spawn it inside your base; apparently, the mere presence of water above it — despite being in an oxygenated base — is enough to make it drown.

    Spadefish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spadefish_fauna.png
A flounder-like fish that is fairly slow and of decent size, making it a reasonable source of food. It tends to be more often found in deeper waters compared to the other small prey fish in the game.

    Spinefish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blood_hoopfish_fauna.png
A deep-water relative of the Hoopfish that resembles a skeleton, but is just as harmless and tasty as its shallow-living cousin. Can also be found in Sector Zero.

    Stalker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stalker_fauna.png
A big reptile that patrols the kelp forests. It's attracted to both metal and organic objects smaller than itself; the first for sharpening its teeth, and the second for meals.
  • Genius Bruiser: Despite being large and aggressive, the Stalker is one of the more intelligent lifeforms on the planet. If you feed it fish or metal, it will remember you for a bit and not attack.
  • Metal Muncher: Downplayed — they chew on metals and metal objects to sharpen their teeth, but do not actually eat the stuff.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: It resembles a real-life gharial.
  • Stealthy Mook: One of two creatures that lack bioluminescence alongside the Lava Lizard, and unlike the latter they don't use any methods that make themselves glow, which makes Stalkers harder to spot at night.
  • Teeth Flying: They'll frequently bust off some of their teeth when they're trying to chew on metal, especially if they try taking a bite out of a Seamoth. Good for you, because you need those teeth to create reinforced enamelled glass.

    Warper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warper_fauna.png
A strange and dangerous deep-water creature capable of ripping holes in the fabric of reality and opening portals to other locations on the planet. Its true nature is largely mysterious and cannot be verified by the PDA.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Inverted. Sometimes your radio will intercept messages from the warpers as they relentlessly hunt down the Aurora survivors. The first such message, partially translated, establishes that they're patrolling the area. The second transmission reveals that the player is now their priority target. The third transmission is completely incomprehensible. All you might get out of it is that they're angry.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: They're the closest thing the game has to proper antagonists, being the only aggressive species that targets the player specifically.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Its eyes and veins glow brightly, while the membranes surrounding it also have a faint glow.
  • Cyborg: Created by infusing technology into an unknown species. Its organs are equipped with hardware to improve processing power and bugged with remote communications, and their skin contains a miniature phase-jumping system.
  • Final Solution: Built to kill all infected fauna not under quarantine.
  • Guttural Growler: Their "voices" are deep and gruff.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When The Player cures themselves of the bacteria they cease their hostility.
  • Hero Killer: They are implied to have killed off most of the Aurora survivors, and in the latter half of the game they target you specifically.
  • Implacable Man: Very much so. They're almost always somewhere nearby, and even if they're not attacking you, they tend to follow you from a distance just to keep an eye on you.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: They're simply following what they were engineered for. Once the player is cured, they are quite passive, and potentially helpful at warding off aggressive wildlife.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: While stalking and roaming, they're much less noisy than other lifeforms on the planet. If you didn't see 'em right away, the first warning there's a Warper in the area is usually you being violently teleported. Which make sense, since they were literally made to kill. The damage they inflict also ramps up the further along in infection you are (there's 5 stages programmed, stage 1 and 5 are pre-infection and cured, 2 through 4 are slighty infected, infected, and badly infected), and at level 4 they remove half your health with their claws, and this is on top of the damage the teleport does. Better have that Reinforced Dive Suit equipped.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If you actually try to attack them, either with a weapon or simply ramming them with a Seamoth, they will make an electronic screech and warp away. It's pretty hard to actually kill them as a result.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Literally. Sometimes they will summon hostile fish to distract you, depending on whatever biome you're in.
  • Teleport Spam: Their signature ability, hence the name.
  • Zerg Rush: If you approach any of the Architect bases, expect to be mobbed by these things at a much faster rate than normal.

Fauna of Sector Zero

    Arctic Peeper 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arctic_peeper.png

A polar version of the peeper.


    Arctic Ray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arctic_ray_7.png

A mid-sized, four-winged ray found in various locations. Although a predator, it feeds solely on small fish, and is thus harmless to the player.


  • Informed Ability: The PDA designates the Arctic Ray as a herbivore, but its teeth are better suited for preying on smaller fish.

    Arrow Ray 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arrow_ray.png

A small, fast-moving, triangle-shaped fish that spawns around the Lilypad Islands and the Tree Spires. Unlike most the other small prey fish in the game, this one is capable of fighting back.


    Brinewing 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brinewing.png

A small predator found only in the Sparse Arctic that can shoot a freezing brine liquid at its prey to encase them in ice, which means that they even though they can't eat the player, they can still be quite the nuisance.


  • Controllable Helplessness: If Robin is hit by its brine attack, she'll be frozen solid in a block of ice for several seconds. The player can only watch and wait, and hope that they still have time to swim for the surface when it wears off...
  • Harmless Freezing: As the PDA notes, the brine it shoots at you won't cause any harm by itself and melts off after about ten seconds. The real danger is that you're paralyzed and at the mercy of any nearby predators, not to mention at risk of running out of air.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: It looks like the head of a seahorse planted on a flying fish. Plus, the spitting attack is the exact same as the real-life archerfish.
  • Super Spit: It can spit a sub-zero liquid at prey and predator to freeze it. And yes, this includes you.

    Brute Shark 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brute_shark_fauna_2.png

A large but slow-moving predator found in the Twisty Bridges, the Tree Spires, and the Lilypad Islands.


  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In addition to having shark traits, its head also vaguely resembles a crocodile. Unlike the Stalker, though, it isn't capable of being tamed.
  • Threatening Shark: Resembles a ray, but is just as aggressive and hungry as any shark.

    Chelicerate 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chelicerate_fauna_2.png
Chelicerate
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/void_chelicerate_fauna.png
Void Chelicerate

A leviathan-class predator resembling a cetacean-shaped crustacean with massive mandibles. They can be found in the Tree Spires, the Purple Vents, and the East Arctic.


  • Border Patrol: A special kind of Chelicerate, known as the Void Chelicerate, serves this purpose. They operate similarly to the Ghost Leviathans of the previous game and will chase you until you’re either dead or back in the play area should you wander too far on the map.
  • Extra Eyes: Has four eyes like most of the planet's inhabitants. The larger pair are black and have white glowing rings in them, while the smaller pair are completely black.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Well, half-shrimp.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The shape of its body resembles a dolphin including flipper-like translucent fins, it's covered by a shrimp's multi-jointed shell with a shrimp's fluke-like tail fins, and its mouth is hidden in-between two massive pairs of jagged-edged black mandibles resembling a camel spider's mouthparts.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Their databank entry basically says that not a lot is known about the Chelicerate, and many on Planet 4546B would like it to stay that way. Given what it can do, we can't say we blame them.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Void Chelicerates have glowing, blood-red eyes. In the darkness of the waters they call home, the eyes are about the only part of them you can actually see.
  • Sea Monster: Like most of the rest of its classification, it is a frightening and dangerous beast.
  • Swallowed Whole: Only if Robin is at less than 80 health, similar to the Reaper Leviathan. Between 100 and 81 health it does a powerful snap with its mandibles dealing 80 damage. Any less and you get to watch Robin be gripped by the mandibles, pound on one futilely as the mouth opens, then tumble helplessly into its throat as its mandibles release.

    Cryptosuchus 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cryptosuchus_fauna.png

A crocodilian creature that is most at home in the Purple Vent and Thermal Spires of Sector Zero. Its intimidating appearance belies a surprisingly cowardly nature.


  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: The Cryptosuchus is incredibly aggressive, going after any prey in its vicinity with reckless abandon. However, if the target fights back in any way, it will turn tail and swim away.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Even one hit from a dinky little Survival Knife is enough to send it packing.

    Discus Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/discus_fish_fauna.png

An unusual cylindrical fish with vertically-positioned fins and a single eye.


    Eye Jelly 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jellyfish_fauna.png

Peaceful but eerie-looking jellyfish that tend to congregate in groups in the freezing depths of Sector Zero. Unfortunately, these groups are often in the way of Alterra submersibles, making certain routes difficult to navigate due to their stinging tentacles.


  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Downplayed. The tips of its tentacles are a flashing purple colour.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Apart from the single articulated eye inside its bell, these things are otherwise just like Earth jellyfish.
  • Electric Jellyfish: The tips of its tentacles seem to spark and crackle. If you touch them, they zap you.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The Eye Jelly has one eye within its bell. If the player gets close enough, it'll turn to look at you.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Has a rather scary-looking toothed mouth hidden on the underside of its tentacles.
  • Paper Tiger: The creepy eye-head, ominously glowing tentacles and unpleasantly toothy mouth give the impression that, even if it's not outwardly aggressive, maybe it should be avoided. However, it's extremely passive. The tentacles can still sting you, but only if you swim into them.

    Feather Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/feather_fish_02_fauna.png

A small, brightly colored fish with two large fins on the top and bottom of its body that gives it a feather-like shape.


    Frozen Leviathan WARNING-SPOILER ALERT! 
A frozen leviathan-class organism found in the Phi Excavation Site. Following the birth of the Sea Emperor Leviathan Juveniles, it is the last repository of the Kharaa Bacterium on Planet 4546B.
  • Amphibian at Large: This creature can best be described as a tusked macropedatory salamander, and it is in the same size category as the Sea Emperor Leviathan. While never encountered alive, it is by far the largest animal in Sector Zero.
  • And I Must Scream: While it is by all appearances dead and referred to as such by the PDA, injecting its corpse with the Kharaa cure purges the entire creature of the infection, even though this would only be possible if its circulatory system was still functioning and pumping blood through its body. Note that there is no indication Alterra did anything to mess with its circulatory system....note 
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Downplayed: amphibians are found in areas that get cold weather, but they don't in locals that are below freezing year round, and those that do live in higher/lower latitudes normally hibernate through winter in warm pools, since they are ectothermic. However, this creature is so large that it could easily maintain body heat via gigantothermy, circumventing the trope. Additionally, its chubby appearance implies that it has a layer of blubber for insulation.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper Al-An indicates it was extremely aggressive when it was alive, though since this thing is frozen, we only have his word to go on.
  • Kaiju: It's a leviathan class organism, but unlike the other members of that group, it appears to have been capable of moving both on land and in the water.
  • Kill It with Ice: The posture it was in when it died implies it was apparently flash frozen.
  • Macguffin: Its corpse contains the final surviving samples of the Kharaa Bacterium, which Alterra wants to study.
  • Monster in the Ice: Naturally as a kaiju popsicle. The characters are split between considering it dead or merely hibernating.
  • Posthumous Character: It has been dead for a long time, but Alterra's efforts to study it drive the entire plot of Below Zero.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: A Downplayed amphibian example, but this thing has Scary Teeth, tusks, claws, armor, and eyes that all make it look rather intimidating. It also carries the Kharaa Bacterium within it, but fortunately this is the only repository of the disease still left on the planet... making it a prized research specimen for Alterra.

    Glow Whale 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/glow_whale_fauna.png

A cetacean found in the East Arctic and Lilypad Islands. Like Earth whales, they are completely docile, even allowing the player to ride and pet them.


  • Gentle Giant: Is the polar equivalent of the Reefback, being a leviathan-class organism that is completely harmless to the player.
  • Emote Animation: Swimming next to one gives Robin the opportunity to gently pat the creature.

    Ice Worm 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ice_worm_fauna_2.png

Think you're safe from leviathans by staying on the land/ice? Think again, because this titanic creature calls those areas its home.


  • Dynamic Entry: In several terrifying ways. It can burst just its head out of the ice and snap its jaws closed around you if it happens to do it beneath you, if not then directly in front of you. It can erupt completely out of the ice with its leaping attack. It can rise up and give a loud ear-piercing shriek then attack you by either trying to spear you with its horn or doing a half-circle slash with it. And it can charge straight for you under the ice then explode out directly under you and send you flying up into the air then back down right into its open mouth.note 
  • Playing with Fire: Its massive horn/blade snout reaches very high temperatures, allowing it to melt the ice and move through the tunnel with its rows of spines. Its databank entry cites this bizarre growth as a result of its horn containing raw alkali metal deposits, which cause a violent exothermic reaction on contact with water (which is channeled into the horn by small tubules).
  • One-Hit Kill: If it manages to hit you with any attack aside from the half-circle swipe, it will devour you whole with one bite. How you watch yourself be munched depends on which attack it made.
  • Sand Worm: It's enormous, it burrows through the ice like sand, it can detect your footsteps, and it's quick to attack.
  • Shout-Out: The devs admitted that it's a blatant shout-out to Dune, right down to using a Thumper to distract it.
  • Worm Sign: It has this now, creating and leaving a ridge of cracked ice and steam bursts from its horn melting and vaporizing the ice below. It also leaves them in two ways: one that's slow and relaxed as it travels around; and one that's incredibly fast and comes straight at you if it starts charging your location after detecting you.

    Lily Paddler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lily_paddler.png

A seahorse-like creature that primarily makes its home in the Lilypad Islands. They defend themselves by hypnotizing the player and temporarily disorienting them.


  • Interface Screw: Like the Mesmer, this creature can hypnotize the player with their bioluminesence. Unlike the Mesmer, it uses this power defensively, causing the player to lose their bearings while the Lily Paddler swims away.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Looks a lot like a leafy seadragon.

    Noot Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/noot_fish_fauna.png

A small fish that makes its home near the Lilypad Islands. Although it resembles a typical small prey fish at first glance (and can be caught and eaten like one), it is actually a predator that hunts other small fish using its deceptive appearance.


  • Flower Mouth: Its "beak" — actually a giant lip — can open wide to engulf small fish, which it then digests over the course of several weeks.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The item description for the Cooked Noot Fish reads: "It does noot taste good." For the cured version: "Cured and nootricious."
  • Mugging the Monster: It looks like a herbivore to lure would-be predators into swallowing range.
  • Shout-Out: Its name, and the shape of its head and mouth, are one to Pingu.

    Pengwing/Pengling 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pengwing.png

An alien penguin that can be found all over the ice or swimming in the surrounding seas.


  • Everything's Better with Penguins: They're alien penguins, and while the adults will attack you if you strike first, the babies wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Mama Bear: As tempting as it is to snuggle the Penglings, you might not want to with the parents around.
  • Toothy Bird: Their beaks are lined with razor sharp teeth they use to rip apart prey and anyone bold enough to cuddle the Penglings with the parents around.
  • Ugly Cute: The baby pengwings, being four-armed, toothed aliens that are also small, friendly, fluffy critters that you can pick up and hug because they are so completely adorable.
  • Vagina Dentata: Their beaks take up the entire front of their face, with their eyes alongside them. These beaks open parallel to their line between their belly and back, rather than perpendicular like terrestrial birds.

    Pinnacarid 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pinnicarid.png

A creature that fills a similar niche to seals on Earth. Like Earth seals, it is a friendly and curious piscivore at home on both land and sea.


  • Mix-and-Match Critters: As their name suggests, they're a fusion of Pinnipeds (seals/sea lions) and the ancient arthropod Anomalocaris.
  • Sweet Seal: They may not look it, but the Pinnacarid acts very much like a seal.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: The Pinnacarid will sometimes swim up to the player, hoping for a meal.

    Red Feather Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_feather_fish_fauna.png

A black-and-red variation of the Feather Fish found in deeper waters.


    Rock Puncher 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rock_puncher_fauna.png

A lobster-like creature with huge powerful front limbs it uses to smash the seafloor in search of Rockgrubs to eat. It was originally going to be in the first game, but was shelved until the release of Below Zero.


  • Giant Enemy Crab: It’s a little taller than the player, but very bulky and thick.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Its front pair of limbs are thick powerful arms ending in spike-covered clubs of chitin that it can lash out with at lightning speed to deter predators and the player.
  • Stone Wall: Despite their small size, the data readout shows that its shell is so tough, only Leviathan-class beasts pose any threat.

    Sea Monkey 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/seamonkey.png

A medium-sized herbivore that takes great interest in the tools Alterra uses while on Planet 4546B.


  • Helpful Mook: Their nests in the Arctic Kelp Caves can contain fragments that will be useful to the player, provided they can be reached. Additionally, sometimes they will swim up to the player with some ore in its hands, allowing the player to take it.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Annoying as their kleptomaniac behaviour may be, they do look rather cute. Especially when you take some ore they can present to you.
  • Sticky Fingers: Be careful with your tools around these guys. They like to grab them out of your hands.

    Shadow Leviathan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadow_leviathan_fauna_2.png

A massive polar predator roughly equivalent to the Ghost and Sea Dragon Leviathans in many aspects. This hyperaggressive monstrosity hunts in the Crystal Caverns and the Fabricator Caves.


  • Belly Mouth: Its mouth is on its chest instead of its head and is surrounded by arms to grab prey and drag them in. It pulls prey directly into the creature's stomach, bypassing any sort of throat structure.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Its long, black legs and shape of its body give it a very strong resemblance to a house centipede.
  • Dark Is Evil: Not evil per se, but it is mostly a dark gray/black color and is the most dangerous predator in the game.
  • Living Motion Detector: It won't attack you if you are inside your Seatruck and not at the controls (i.e. the engine is off) when it swims past, implying that it identifies prey by motion or sound.
  • Patrolling Mook: Rather than swim aimlessly around a general area like all other fauna, the Shadows deliberately trace distinct paths over and over, right down to passing through the same gaps in the crystals at predictable intervals.
  • Sea Monster: It's the polar version of the Sea Dragon Leviathan. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • Slippery as an Eel: Its body resembles that of the knifefish, with single dorsal and ventral fins that extend along most of its body.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: It's aggressive even for a leviathan, with a larger aggro radius than normal, and it moves frighteningly fast in pursuit of prey. Better hope your turbo jets don't fail you when you try to outrace it.
  • Swallowed Whole: If it grabs you below 75 health, it does this to Robin.
  • Super Spit: Since its mouth leads directly into its stomach, it can spray you with powerful digestive acid.
  • Throat Light: Its light not only serves as an indicator to where it is in the morganite cavern, it also draws in light-seeking phytoplankton that in turn draws in prey.
  • Vagina Dentata: Has a roughly oval-shaped mouth, which is ringed with sharp spines used to grasp prey.

    Snow Stalker 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snowstalker_fauna_2.png

A terrestrial relative of the Stalker that inhabits the ice floes and is just as fierce as its cousin from The Crater.


  • Bears Are Bad News: Its overall design and habits are based on the polar bear, and it even has bear-like animations such as its run cycle, swiping with a paw to attack, and standing on its hind legs to both see better and attack with a bear hug.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: The tip of its tail, markings above its eyes, and tongue glow with a bright cyan light.
  • Cub Cues Protective Parent: Interacting with the juvenile Snow Stalker will likely result in Momma Snowstalker coming for you.
  • Finishing Move: If the player's health is low enough, the Snow Stalker will pin them to the ground, straddle their prone body, and take two swipes at the chest, before finishing them off with a bite to the head.
  • Light Is Not Good: Its fur is white with slightly darker stripes, and it's a dangerous and persistent predator.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Like the Stalker it has a crocodilian head, though its snout is shorter and wider like a crocodile's as opposed to its relative's long thin gharial-like snout.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The juvenile Snow Stalker looks incredibly cuddly, and the player can even feed them and give them a pat. Just mind their teeth.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Its spinal scales are notably much sharper than regular Stalker scales. Subverted since it's an animal, which has no real concept of good or evil.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: The player can feed the baby Snow Stalkers fish or nutrient blocks, while the adult Snow Stalkers can only be fed with Preston's Delight. Downplayed, as it doesn't turn them friendly, only keeps them from attacking you momentarily.
  • Weakened by the Light: As of the Frostbite Update, adult Snow Stalkers will retreat when the player holds up a flare.

    Spikey Trap 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spike_trap.png

A plant-like ambush predator that makes its home in deeper waters, striking at anything that gets too close and pulling them towards its maw to be consumed. Like the Rock Puncher, it was intended to be in the original Subnautica, but was cut.


  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Its tentacles are very similar to the local flora populating its biome, and can easily startle inattentive players.
  • Planimal: There's elements of both plant and animal in it's design. It was originally classified as flora, but upon its addition to Below Zero, it was reclassified as fauna.

    Spinner Fish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spinner_fish_fauna.png

A star-shaped fish that spins to swim. It too was originally planned for the first Subnautica, but removed in the final product.


  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: Despite its starfish-like shape, it doesn't crawl or swim. Instead, it spins.
  • Refitted for Sequel: It was originally meant for the original Subnautica, but was cut and added to Below Zero.

    Squidshark 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/squidshark_fauna_2.png

A large deep-water predator that in some ways can be seen as a dwarf form of leviathan, although it can also disable vehicles with an EMP attack.


  • EMP: The Squidshark uses the glowing tentacles on its underbelly to disable the player's vehicles, much like the Crabsquid's EMP attack.
  • Nested Mouths: When it attacks, it opens the flaps on its face and extends a spike-tooth-lined mouthpart to seize prey by either spearing it with the teeth or catching them in an interlocking tooth cage and drawing them into its throat.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The PDA scan data says that it is a leviathan-class predator, albeit one on the small end of the scale. However despite this, the PDA does not list it as a leviathan with the others.
  • Swallowed Whole: If it grabs you when you're above 40 health, Robin will hold onto the teeth then kick at its inner mouth to make it let go of her. If you're at 40 health or less, Robin is unable to muster the strength for a kick and you get to watch yourself be pulled into its throat.
  • Threatening Shark: In behavior and somewhat body design.

    Symbiote 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/symbiote.png

An aggressive, swarm-hunting predator that lives in harmony with the Titan Holefish. Anything else is chow.


  • Piranha Problem: They live in swarms, and their bites hurt.
  • The Symbiote: It has a symbiotic relationship with the Titan Holefish. The symbiote lays its eggs in the Titan Holefish's gills, and protects them from predators.

    Titan Holefish 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/titan_holefish.png

A huge cousin of the Holefish that coexists alongside the Symbiote. Players that can get past the Symbiotes defending it can swim through its hole for some bonus oxygen.


  • Helpful Mook: If you can get past the Symbiotes, the holes in their bodies can give you some oxygen. It's a matter of whether it's worth braving the swarm for the extra air.

    Triops 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/triops_fauna_28bz29.png

A small fish with three massive eyes and three fins, giving it a roughly bullet-shaped appearance.


  • Extra Eyes: The positioning of its iconic three eyes lets it see in 240 degrees.

    Trivalve 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/trivalve_fauna_bz.png

A three-eyed pet-type creature that can only be found by hatching one of six eggs hidden throughout the game's world. Basically, it can be thought of as Below Zero's answer to the Cuddlefish.


    Ventgarden 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ventgarden_fauna.png

An absolutely gigantic creature that anchors itself over thermal vents and collects the nutrient-rich water to nourish the ecosystem living inside its body. It is found only in the Tree Spires and players can enter its transparent bell to collect certain plants.


  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Essentially a living greenhouse: the bulk of its body consists of a mostly hollow chamber sheltering several plants, served by an opening large enough for the player to enter, with no ill effects for the creature.
  • Gentle Giant: Despite its truly gargantuan size, it is a completely non-aggressive creature that feeds on the nutrients being emitted from undersea vents.
  • Kaiju: This thing is enormous, the second-largest creature in the games at 110 meters in height, surpassed only by the adult Sea Emperor.
  • Planimal: Subverted. At first, it looks like the plants growing inside of it are a genuine part of the Ventgarden, but the scanner shows that the plants inside are their own entities.
  • Token Good Teammate: Along with the Sea Emperor Leviathan, the Ventgarden is one of the very few non-hostile Leviathan-class entities.
  • Turtle Island: Played with in that it's underwater, and a jellyfish instead of a turtle, but it still fits the spirit of this trope; the dome on its back contains an entire ecosystem.

Others

Warning: Major story spoilers below.
    The Architects 
Mysterious biomechanical creatures who deployed a crew to Planet 4546B. They shot down the Degasi, Mercury II, and Aurora, and later the Sunbeam as well just as it was about to pick you up from the planet.
They currently have four bases on the planet: the Quarantine Enforcement Platform, an installation on the Mountain Island predominantly consisting of a large ground-to-air weapon system designed to destroy large airborne/orbiting targets such as ships and facilitates active primary operations; the Disease Research Facility in the Lost River, used for biotech research; the Alien Thermal Plant in the Lava Castle of the Inactive Lava Zone, which is their main power source; and the Primary Containment Facility in the Lava Lakes, which houses the last living Sea Emperor Leviathan Specimen. There are also a total of ten caches dotted around the Crater, containing either arch-shaped warpgates, sanctuaries and even a field lab.
One thousand years ago, the Architects came to the planet, looking to cure the Kharaa bacterium that was ravaging their civilization. In the process, they studied the planet's indigenous fauna (and even tried to crack the mystery of the skeleton in the Lost River, but to no avail), and built the four bases we see now in the event of an outbreak of the Kharaa, designed to quarantine the planet and keep said quarantine in effect even if the Architects must leave. They also built several Caches throughout the playable area, designed to not only store Ion Crystals, but also act as a safehouse where, in the event of the Kharaa escaping, they could engage in Brain Uploading and remain safe for as long as they needed.
Unfortunately, while studying the Lost River skeleton, they took the eggs from a mother Sea Dragon Leviathan and contained them in the Disease Research Center in the Lost River, where the Kharaa was primarily being researched. Said mother Sea Dragon attacked the facility to recover her eggs and released the Kharaa bacterium onto the planet, leading to mass extinction, and forcing the quarantine on the planet. Flash-forward at least several hundred years later, and the player arrives onto Planet 4546B, who is left to fix what the Architects started to get off the planet. He does.
  • Ancient Astronauts: One of the many display cases within the Primary Containment Facility contains a fancy sword of human origin, while another holds a non-Earth artifact that suspiciously resembles the Yin-Yang symbol. While the former proves they at least visited Earth centuries ago, the latter implies they actively influenced human cultural development to some degree (although the PDA also posits an alternative theory of the Yin-Yang philosophy being a universal concept that's shared by more or less all civilizations in the universe).
  • Brain Uploading: None of the crew deployed to Planet 4546B actually died. Instead, they uploaded themselves to a safe house in the Blood Kelp Zone, and inhabit the room's walls and machinery. And no, taking their Ion Crystals does not kill them.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology:
    • Data files obtained from their sanctuaries suggest that, in addition to lifespans measured in centuries, the Architects are grown from "seeds". note 
    • Also a bit of Fridge Logic since the Architects as a race are so far removed from other life forms on 4546B it's possible they couldn't grasp the concept behind the egg-hatching conditions for the Sea Emperor's babies, despite all the studies they did.
    • Below Zero reveals that they look like centaurs, have no recognizable faces or sensory organs except for arms, and manufacture their bodies in organic factories. AL-AN states that these manufactured bodies are based on what their original living bodies looked like long ago, but have been heavily modified.
  • Collector of the Strange: Most of the Ancients' facilities within Subnautica have various display cases containing artifacts and items such as the aforementioned 13th Century Mongolian Sword, along with other relics belonging to other races that they had likely encountered in the past.
  • Cyborg: Below Zero reveals that the Architects have passed The Singularity and exist largely as data in the form of uploaded minds. They manufacture bodies for themselves when necessary, combining living and mechanical components. They view these bodies as simple "equipment" or "tools" and not necessarily a part of their person.
  • Didn't Think This Through: It's pretty clear that the Architects didn't consider the fact that eggs were meant to hatch in an environment built for the babies, not the adult. Not only that, when they took the Sea Dragon Leviathan's eggs, apparently they never considered that the mother would be angry at them.
    • The former is particularly egregious, seeing how this trait is also exhibited by the Ghost Leviathan, and can be observed while travelling down to the Disease Research Facility if you take the right pathnote .
    • The part with the Sea Dragon Leviathan is Subverted in Below Zero - it turns out that AL-AN broke protocol out of desperation to figure out how to manually hatch the Sea Emperor's eggs, meaning they knew (or at least had a good idea of) exactly what would happen if they took the Sea Dragon's eggs. They were just that desperate for a cure.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Despite being long gone, they are unintentionally responsible for most of the main plot. They brought the Kharaa to the planet and their attempts to cure it meant that the Sea Emperor couldn't lay its eggs in the proper environment for them to hatch, forcing it to stay alive way beyond its normal lifespan. Their research of the planet's organisms caused the Sea Dragon to destroy their base to save its eggs, releasing the Kharaa to the general population of the planet. Their attempts to quarantine the planet resulted in the deadly Warpers attacking various creatures on the planet (including the player), along with the Degasi, Mercury II, Aurora, and Sunbeam being shot down, stranding the player.
  • Hive Mind: while they are individual minds, under normal circumstances they are all networked together, constantly sharing thoughts and information. AL-AN describes feeling cut off and lonely without it.
    AL-AN: Imagine a thousand strings, each playing its own range of notes, none louder than the others. Each one builds harmony — a constant thrum in the background of existence... I am now a lone string in search of familiar harmonies.
  • Large and in Charge: Their lab equipment shows that they're quite tall for what they were doing.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Their neglect to learn about and give the Sea Emperor a proper environment to lay its eggs in and their ignorance of how the organisms would react to their actions ultimately came back to haunt them HARD, and what's more, they're now gone and failed to find a cure for the Kharaa.
  • Mirroring Factions: Their abilities, intelligence and creations match the kinds humans have and can accomplish, at least in Subnautica's universe. Especially played straight when the player discovers that they're rather frugal on power despite using a gigantic volcanic formation in a place already filled to the brim with lava as their power source. There are also models for lab equipment that look exactly like the ones humans use, only more cubic and taller (which implies that they're very tall.) And the ending to Below Zero reveals that their fabricators and phasegates are quite similar to those used by humans.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Below Zero reveals that their true forms look very similar to centaurs, albeit with horns and no recognizable faces. However, AL-AN states that these bodies are only superficially based on their original living forms, and have been heavily modified.
  • Precursors: They were on 4546B a thousand years before humans arrived there, and the fact that they have a human sword belonging to Genghis Khan himself in their treasury demonstrates that they had interstellar travel when humans where still feudal societies. Additionally, they are also referred to in the drafts as the Precursor race.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Inverted. Despite their advanced technology, or perhaps because of it, the Architects were completely deaf to the Sea Emperor's telepathy (unlike even humans, who are not telepathic but able to receive its messages), leading them to attempt to acquire the cure to the Kharaa bacterium through force and her to withhold it in turn. They also failed to comprehend that the reason its eggs were not hatching was that they were being kept in an environment suitable for an adult Sea Emperor, rather than for a hatchling, something it's easily able to explain to Ryley.
  • Volcano Lair: The Primary Containment Facility, which houses the Sea Emperor. To a lesser extent, the Alien Thermal Plant in the Lava Castle and the bio-research facility in the Lost River count as well. The latter was built near the entrance to the Lava Zones from the Lost River.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Most of their more amoral actions were caused by desperation to cure and contain Kharaa by any means necessary rather than simply malice.
  • Take Up My Sword: A rather involuntary example. The player must pick up where they had left off so that by doing so, they can free the planet of The Plague that infects it; the player also ensures that the Emperor's eggs finally hatch and, in the end, accelerates the cure's production to a much-desired level and using the tech left behind, the player manages to get off the planet.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A dissected Sea Emperor Leviathan fetus can be found in the Primary Containment Facility. At least they didn't intentionally kill the fetus; it died as a result of an attempt to forcibly hatch its egg and they simply tried to learn all they could from it after the fact. Though given the risks of forcing an egg to hatch outside an appropriate environment they clearly were willing to endanger it.

    The Kharaa Bacterium 
A bacterial organism found on Planet 4546B, responsible for a planet-wide extinction event and the collapse of the Architect's civilization. Several thousand years later, it is purged by Riley Robinson...well, except for one sample in Sector Zero, though Robin later deals with that too. But that isn't even all of the Kharaa.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: This infection is, per Word of God, the same one that creates the aliens in Natural Selection, with the differences being due to the two strains living in radically different environments.
  • Obliviously Evil: Unlike the strain faced in Natural Selection and its sequel, this type of Kharaa isn't actively malicious — it's just a bacterium trying to survivie. The problem is that it actively mutates and kills off any hosts it uses, including humans.
  • The Plague: The Kharaa is a bacterial infection that gradually kills anything it infects, though it can be cured by the enzymes produced by Sea Emperor Leviathans.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Creatures with late-stage Kharaa infection start developing glowing green pustules on their skin. This differentiates them not only from normal creatures, but also the Kharaa of Natural Selection, which have an orange Color Motif.

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