The human and AI characters from Waking Mars, and the various species you encounter along the way.
- Captain Obvious: Often points out things which any casual observer would be able to deduce. Occasionally, these conclusions are given comically low probabilities, as though ART finds them improbable for some reason.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: ART *should* be eloquent in English, but someone replaced his natural language module with one half a century out of date, and nobody bothered to replace it. Despite this, 0CT0 notes that ART is extremely intelligent.
- Artistic License Biology: Some of the zoas' strange characteristics can be chalked up to Bizarre Alien Biology or the needs of gameplay, but some are impossible to explain even given that. For instance, it is effectively impossible for anything organic to simply wake up after billions of years of hibernation, no matter how robust it is. That isn't getting into the plausiblity of any of these organisms evolving, though this isn't necessarily a problem as the Sentients likely created the organisms they needed.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: To some extent or another. Phyta walk on tentacles but make crab-like clicking noises; cerebranes seal off caverns without sufficient biological activity, with a few blocking air but allowing Liang to go through; ledon seeds float; feran seeds explode; and so on. All of this makes more sense when you discover that they were engineered by the Sentients.
- No Conservation of Energy: A zoa can create an infinite number of seeds if they keep getting eaten or destroyed. (If enough germinate, get picked up, or lie somewhere where one of those could happen, they stop producing seeds...though if the player is farming seeds, they can leave and return to reset most of the cap.)
- Plant Aliens: Nearly all zoa resemble plants, and often act much like them.
- Boring, but Practical: Halids provide biomass rivaled only by Prax (which grow on acidic soil) and Ledons (whose seeds cannot be carried). They also provide healing mists when watered or fertilized, allowing one to recover from injuries sustained when working with more dangerous zoa (or from crashing into cave walls, or stumbling into acid, or...)
- Com Mons: Halid grow nearly everywhere. In addition, their seeds are more durable than most zoa (and don't require eating zoa like prax do), meaning that you'll almost always have an easy time stocking up on them if you run out.
- Making a Splash: Hydron seeds explode into a burst of water on impact, wetting soil and cooling magma. These seeds are released with surprising amounts of force, which allows them to water halids and ledons (or spread remarkably quickly through the cavern).
- Despite this, they are as vulnerable to fire as most zoa.
- Boring, but Practical: If you have phyta in a cavern, and at least one seed-bearing halid, the phyta will happily reproduce until they hit their cap. Each phyta is another five biomass.
- Too Dumb to Live: Phyta move towards food and away from Liang. They are not concerned at all about prax, larians, acid, magma, or any other potential dangers. This is useful when trying to farm prax seeds or compost, but quite frustrating when you accidentally send a swarm of phyta to their doom.
- [[Planimal Zoanimal]]: Unlike most zoa, phytas can move from place to place.
- The Goomba: The first zoa which can actually damage the player, and the third hazard introduced overall (after dripping acid and long falls).
- Man-Eating Plant: Well, man-stabbing zoa. It's possible that the prax would consume Liang after reducing his hit points to zero, but we obviously don't see this; the only things the player can see prax consume are other zoa and their seeds.
- Man-Eating Plant: Like the prax, larians consume zoa and seeds, and can damage Liang. However, instead of attacking them, they dangle a sticky thread. Also unlike prax, larians produce useful compost if they eat phytas or cycots.
- Permadeath: Most of the time, when a zoa dies you can just re-plant it. There is no way to replace lost larians. This normally isn't a problem...unless you need the compost.
- Difficult, but Awesome: The largest alkaline zoa (and larger than Prax when fertilized), one would expect that ledons would be a prime choice for improving biomass. However, their seeds are too large and slippery for Liang to carry, meaning that they have to be knocked into place; they are also easily destroyed by acid, fire, other zoa, and so on. The seeds float, which makes it somewhat easier to bump them across caverns but much more difficult to plant them anywhere but the ceiling. Still, if you need plenty of biomass...
- Playing with Fire: Ferans act much like hydrons, except that their seeds explode in a burst of fire. This kills most other zoa and can even break boulders.
- Alien Kudzu: While it is in its native environment, cephads fit pretty well. Their floating spores spread shockingly fast compared to other zoas' seeds, aided by the fact that they are difficult to destroy and that nothing tries to eat them. If an acidic spore contacts alkaline soil or vise versa, the spore is destroyed but the soil is changed to match the spore (killing any non-cephad growing there or changing the cephad's pH). It's entirely possible for cephads to take over entire caverns if one isn't careful, and this has happened to a few caverns before Liang even reaches them.
- Goddamn Bats: Cephads spread easily, taking up valuable fertile ground, but they provide minimal biomass (five by default, plus one in fertile terrain).
- Kill It with Fire: If you need to clean up cephad zoa, bring plenty of feran seeds.
- Schmuck Bait: You are first introduced to cephad zoa as a spore, floating on its own. If you plant it out of curiosity...well, you're not likely to get it out of that room.
- Insect Queen: The sessile autobiote essentially functions as this, though it doesn't remotely resemble the mobile autobiotes it creates.
- Mama Bear: Sort of. The mobile autobiotes are usually as timid and harmless as phytas, but when encountered in their nest they will fiercely attack Liang to protect the sessile autobiote and any seeds they have gathered (to produce more cycots). They deal as much damage as prax and larians, but can chase after an explorer with a jetpack.
MegazoaVery large zoa which work together to maintain the environment within the Lethe cavern. (Cerebranes have been put in this category, despite not technically being megazoa, due to also maintaining the environment within Lethe.)
- Broken Bridge: Cerebranes serve this gameplay function, preventing the player from advancing further (either within a given level or between levels) before increasing biomass to a given point.
- Energy Absorption: Harvesters generate power proportional to biomass in a given area, presumably drawing if from the life in said area...somehow... This energy goes to various other megazoa.
- Fungus Humongous: Hydronmaxis resemble giant mushrooms.
- Giant Mook: In a sense. Hydronmaxis are compared to the normal hydron zoa, while Feranmaxis are compared to (naturally) feran zoa.
- Single Specimen Species: Some of the megazoa are unique, and none are especially numerous. It's not entirely clear how any of them reproduce, or even if they do.
- Dying Race: Only a handful can be found in Lethe Cavern, and they have been in hibernation for billions of years.
- Organic Technology: Their schtick.
- Starfish Aliens: Even more so than the zoa. They resemble tangled red string, hibernate in giant seeds, and communicate through images which are transmitted through some kind of noise.