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Starfish Aliens / Video Games

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Starfish Aliens in video games.

  • While most alien species in Anachronox are Rubber Forehead Aliens, the Time Minders are large, white, insectile aliens who perceive time non-linearly. Naturally, they function as the game's save points.
  • Achron has the Grekim. A race with 3 genders that by and large resemble giant cyborg squid. Known to be masters of time travel.
  • In Armikrog, one fuzzy predatory creature has four eyes and a tongue with its own pair of eyes that can wind up on a wheel-like structure in its mouth. It hunts eyeless beaked creatures that move around on single wheels.
  • Battleborn:
    • Kelvin is in reality an entire civilization of extremophilic microorganisms with a Hive Mind consciousness. His original state is a cloud of frigid state and to interact with others in a more stable physical form, he takes on the shape of a large skeletal ice golem which he created from bonding with the remains of an ancient Aztanti construct.
    • A. Mikollopria was a planet-sized fungal colony with a Hive Mind that gained sentience over a million years ago. To better interact with other sentient species, the buds of the fungus took on more humanoid qualities and shapes. Still retaining a Hive Mind-like consciousness, Miko the last remaining bud of the massive fungal organism fights against the Varelsi as a Battleborn.
    • Orendi is a Varimorph, a race which has the unique ability to intentionally (albeit slowly) adapt their bodies at a genetic level to suit their needs and liking. This also includes being able to develop biological analogues of technological constructs they find. As such no two varimorph are the same in shape or form. It has been observed however that they have a few similar traits that could be considered common among them. These traits are alternating dark and light colored splotches on the skin; wiry, dark hair; and an utter lack of respect for any form of order or authority. In Orendi's case, she had adapted her form to assimilate the internal working of A1.Minion lasers into her hands thus allowing her to control and channel energies more efficiently than the finely crafted weapons of Minion Robotics.
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  • The DomZ in Beyond Good & Evil, although it isn't quite clear what they are. The various creatures Jade fights might not be sapient, and given what is seen of DomZ technology they might be bio-mechanical constructs. The only definite DomZ creature encountered is referred to as the DomZ priest, essentially a giant floating torso with a bunch of tentacles, one single huge eye, and phenomenal psychic abilities; Jade can only fight it because she's DomZ as well.
  • In City of Heroes, the original Epic Archetypes in the game were themed around the Kheldians, a race of formless energy beings who can extend their naturally short lifespan by symbiotically combining with other intelligent lifeforms, imbuing the host with energy powers and access to forms previously held by the Kheldian. Natural Kheldians have light-based powers and become known as Peacebringers, but a group of Kheldians sought to extend their lifespans scientifically, became energy vampires with dark-based powers who forcibly control hosts, and called themselves Nictus; this ultimately gave rise to a group of repetant Nictus who return to the original method of only fusing with hosts with their consent, but retain the dark-based powers, and are the heroic Warshades. All three have access to two different non-human forms in the game: the flying tentacled Nova creature from a gas giant (split into the Mefnanim or "Bright Nova" of the upper reaches for Peacebringers and Hulmanim or "Dark Nova" of the planets depths for Warshades) and the bipedal armored Dwarf originally found on dwarf stars (split into the Kurukt or "White Dwarf" from neutron stars for Peacebringers and Ruktur or "Black Dwarf" from pulsars for Warshades).
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  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars has the Scrin, though it's never made clear whether a given one of the Scrin units we see is actually one of the Scrin themselves, a bio-robot, a piloted bio-machine, an ordinary machine that just looks biological, or something else entirely.note 
  • The Ceph from Crysis are a hyper-adaptive alien hive mind that communicates and thinks through pure energy transmission, and get their name because humans initially encountered forms that resembled squid. In the first game, while in their first stage of colonization, they mostly operated airborne machinery and mechs that resembled robotic squid, and all of their technology was focused on absorbing heat energy, right down to their weapons being cryo-based. By the second game, the Ceph started their second stage of colonization and began attacking other sites across the globe, including New York, and developed new bodies, combat armor, and technology that allowed them to fight more effectively in warmer environments and match human armies unit-for-unit. By the third, the core processing center for the Ceph Hive Mind - the "Alpha Ceph" - was being harvested by the CELL Mega-Corp as a power source, which predictable backfired on them, resulting in the Alpha calling for help from the "true" Ceph: a mind-bogglingly enormous collection of Ceph hives spread across the M33 galaxy that have existed for billions of years, and have adapted enough to inhabit exotic spatial anomalies and environments so alien that humans could not survive in them. The CELL researchers conclude that the "true" Ceph are nothing like the vaguely aquatic monsters humanity has been fighting the entire time, and are more akin to deities than anything else.
  • The Necromorphs from Dead Space. Some look like they're human, right up until they try to eat your face, while others are vaguely human if you take away the vestigial limbs and built-in swords, while still others are nothing more than a nest of Combat Tentacles growing out of a ball of meat. Dead Space 3 has an interesting take on this. Tau Volantis had alien life that was decidedly dissimilar from human life. It was so different that when scientists discovered what appeared to be frozen corpses of these aliens, they were greatly surprised when they came back to life once thawed. They tried to communicate, but the aliens attacked instead. The reason being that they were actually Necromorph'd alien corpses, not the actual alien species, which was long extinct. The humans couldn't tell the difference.
  • The various aliens in Destiny are differing degrees of strange and alien, but the Vex are probably the strangest once you begin digging into them. Outwardly, they look like a species of advanced, time-traveling, networked humanoid machines. However, the core of the Vex is a white, milky fluid of radiolaria cells stored in their torsos. This organic, liquid "mind-core" is the Vex's "brain" and stores all of the information relating to each Vex's purpose, and forms an integral part of the interface between the mechanical bodies and the time-and-space-spanning Vex network. Furthermore, direct exposure to the organic particles in the mind-cores can be dangerous, with the radiolarian cells infecting and transforming people who come into contact with it and turning parts of their bodies and minds into Vex constructs.
    • Come Destiny 2: Forsaken, it's revealed that the Nine are a bunch of Genius Loci Energy Beings that are not only literally made out of dark matter, but actually inhabit the planets of our Solar System, with one member of the Nine for each planet. The Nine are physically dependent on the thoughts and patterns of life in order to have their own thought patterns, and so fight to protect humanity and life throughout the Solar System to keep themselves alive.
    • The Ahamkara are an alien species of wish-granting shapeshifting alien dragons. They apparently consume thoughts and desires through wishes alongside normal food, and alternate their forms wildly depending on the desires of those nearby. They also don't seem to be able to truly die, as the Ahamkara still whisper to their clients/prey through their bones and can still grant wishes even after death.
  • The Cocytans from the 1995 adventure game The Dig, which look like the 9 feet offspring of a rooster and a llama.
  • Endless Space 2 introduces the Riftborn, a race of sentient mathematical concepts fleeing from their dimension of pure order into ours to find a way to close a rift which is causing the dimensions to blur together and will destroy both if nothing is done. The Riftborn are completely ageless (though their robotic bodies can be killed), horrified on an instinctive level by organic life, and have a strange totalitarian society where a Grand Viceroy wields singular executive power and the unilateral authority to make decisions as the situation demands.
    • The Unfallen, also introduced in II, a race of colossal, five-eyed Treant-like aliens who utilize Organic Technology. Their prologue's narration heavily implies that the Unfallen were not even sapient for eons until they were rudely disturbed by a skirmish between forces of the Riftborn and the United Empire in the skies of their homeworld. These beautiful and gentle aliens have taken it upon themselves to become the guardians of peace and harmony in a war-wracked galaxy badly in need of both. Unfallen have a society akin to a council democracy, and a three-stage life cycle: Unfallen saplings ("Firsts") absorb knowledge from older Unfallen until they grow legs and become "Seconds", the mobile adult form known to most of the galaxy as they make up the diplomats, travelers and the few soldiers of the Unfallen's pacifistic society; when Seconds grow old enough they succumb to an irresistible desire to settle down in a place and return to slumber and ponder their life experiences as their final form, the "Thirds".
    • The Harmony from the original game are a manner of sentient crystal rather than anything alive, and possibly older than even the Endless. Their mineral nature apparently gives them a strange, ever-conformed nature that ensures they're never really discontent (approval mechanics are utterly irrelevant to the Harmony), and the only goal that is ever clear about them is that they hate Dust and want to wipe the galaxy clean of any traces of it, which puts them at odds with every other living race.
  • Escape Velocity Nova has the Wraith, a race of living ships with an innate cloaking ability, and the Krypt, a mysterious Hive Mind which considers itself to be the only form of life in the universe.
  • FreeSpace has the Shivans, which can best be described as gigantic five-legged spiders. Their bizarre shape is apparently due to them having evolved in zero-g: they are incredibly agile and acrobatic in such an environment. The list of strange attributes about them is too long to list here, but it's been stated that they can survive prolonged exposure to vacuum (one cutscene dropped from the game had them jumping out of their ships onto a space station to board it... without any kind of suit). Furthermore, their means of communication is, for most of the games, completely unknown to the Terrans: and since Shivans seem to exist only to blow up things that are not Shivan, they were named for Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.
  • Half-Life:
    • The Combine Advisors, which look like giant brown-grey larvas the size of a van. The only exterior feature seems to be a small 'face' in the front that is nothing more than a mouth from which they can extend a long tentacle tongue, which they jam into the brains of captured humans, possibly to read their memories. Otherwise, they move and interact with their environment purely by telekinesis.
    • Vortigaunts are about human size but have one huge red eye and multiple smaller ones, as well as a third arm on their chest. They are also telepathic and in constant contact with any others of their race within at least several dozens of miles, and can produce very powerful blasts of electricity. Indicated by Episode One, they exist in multiple dimensions at the same time and can create interdimensional barriers without the use of any visible technology, and in Episode Two revive a fatally wounded human after several hours without any medical treatment. They also believe in souls, reincarnation, and a kind of afterlife, which based on their telepathic abilities and multi-dimensional nature might even be true.
    • Half-Life has the Controllers, who have an almost identical body to the Vortigaunts, but can levitate, have giant heads (that flop open to show their brains are crystals), and shot balls of energy from their hands.
  • Halo:
    • The vast majority of the Covenant species are to one degree or another humanoid in structure, excepting the Hunters/Mgalekgolo. Though outwardly they look like humanoids, in reality each Hunter is a collection of hundreds of eel-like organisms (the Lekgolo) gathered together into an individual Hive Mind that operates as a single sapient being, formed into a humanoid shape by their battle armor.
    • The Drones/Yanme'e, insects that have a hive mentality and strange eyesight.
    • The Flood and The Gravemind. Pure Forms especially, as they seem to have their own uniquely engineered anatomy, and can change from a spider-like "Stalker" to either the lumbering bear-bug "Tank", or the really odd, bulbous, porcupine-like "Ranged" form. It gets weirder in The Forerunner Saga, which shows that Flood biomass could take all sorts of forms. Additionally, the Flood themselves are revealed to be the most recent form of a previous species of Starfish Aliens, the Precursors, who were basically god-like beings that could assume any form they wanted to (both physical and immaterial) and were responsible for seeding life on many galaxies. They're also apparently older than the universe itself.
    • The Engineers/Huragok, who resemble large pink tentacled slugs that float above the ground using two gas-bags. Their tentacles have the ability to split into millions of thread-like cilia, which they use to fix or build just about anything. The Engineer equivalant of sex is a couple (sometimes even a trio) working together to actually build their child. Their psychology is a little strange too. They don't seem to care if they're helping the humans or the Covenant, so long as they have something to fix. Indeed, they weren't even produced by natural selection, originating as basically biological robots built by the Forerunners.
  • The Journeyman Project trilogy has several examples of this, although they're mostly mentioned-only and/or limited to the second game. The most extreme example is the Unwa, who are capable of absorbing genetic material from their environment to evolve on an individual level, to the point that each individual is for all intents and purposes a different species.
  • The Akrid from Lost Planet, which are insect-like superficially, but feed on heat via a Phlebotinum called Thermal Energy, and many resemble nothing like what earth has despite vague similarities. The very first of the kind that the player encounters even can only be described as a flying trilobite, for example.
  • The unnamed aliens in the hybrid Visual Novel/Role-Playing Game Just Deserts are incredibly bizarre. They’re floating geometric shapes that seem entirely composed of either metal, machinery, magma, or some kind of glowing green organic ooze depending on the alien in question. They have no discernible external organs. They give off a psychic field that causes most people who get too close to them to enter a vegetative statenote . When attacked, they defend themselves by telekinetically bombarding the protagonist with rocks, blasting him with radiation, superheating or electrifying the sand beneath his feet, and more. Despite all these traits, they can still be killed with guns and knives.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The S'pht from the Marathon games usually fly around in powered armor, but appear to resemble brains with an eye and arms. This is because they are all cyborgs from birth, with both the biological and mechanical halves reproducing at once, making them Mechanical Lifeforms to one degree or another. Some information in the games indicates that the S'Pht wouldn't be sentient without their cybernetic parts, which were first grafted on by the Jjaro.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The hanar look something like dog-sized pink jellyfish with seven feet long tentacles, speak through bioluminescence (using Translator Microbes to communicate with other species), and have the tendency to refer to themselves as "This one" (because to the hanar, using one's name in public is egotistical).
    • The rachni are big, venomous creepy crawlies who at one point in the past were the most powerful alien species in the galaxy. While individual rachni drones appear like mindless beasts, under the telepathic control of a queen they can build faster than light spaceships and threatened to defeat the combined forces of the Citadel Races.
    • The elcor resemble elephants without trunks that have been crossed with gorillas and stand about two meters tall at the shoulder. As their communication relies heavily on body language and pheromones (both too subtle for other species to decipher), they lack the ability to talk in anything but a flat monotone, which they compensate for by beginning their sentences by stating the emotional state of their statement, even when it is "With barely contained terror: Fine have it your way.". However, except for their body size and unusual speech, they appear perfectly normal when interacting with other species.
    • On the edge between Starfish Alien and Eldritch Abomination lies the Thorian. Described as a plant, it resembles more a giant growth of fungus that has lived for thousands of years and can use its spores to take telepathic control of other creatures and even produce crude humanoid spawns to defend it. As it can absorb the memories of creatures it consumes, it has seemingly limitless knowledge about the galaxy.
    • The geth look humanoid in shape, but that is because they were designed to work in homes, factories, military installations, and hospitals made for the humanoid quarians who built them. However, the bodies are actually just mobile server platforms for the actual geth, which are relatively simple computer programs that can move between platforms at will. An average platform houses a few hundred of these runtimes, making every geth a Mind Hive.
    • The Reapers look like a kilometer-long armored cuttlefish with Glowing Eyes of Doom... and they borrowed that appearance from the Leviathans, the race that created them. The Leviathans themselves have the same body shape but a more organic and somewhat insectoid appearance with a gray, chitinous-looking shell instead of black, metallic armor.
    • It should be noted that the vast majority of species are Starfish Aliens in biological structure only - their psychology, on the other hand, is very compatible with human psychology. The only notable exceptions are the rachni, geth, the Thorian, the Reapers, and the Leviathans. The only humanoid species that seems to have alien psychology are the drell. They believe that their bodies and souls are completely separate from each other and that sometimes their bodies are not under the control of their free will. This colored their psychology to the point that some of the drell we see can be forgiven for atrocities through that belief (Heel–Face Revolving Door is perfectly understandable, attempted murder can be forgiven under the clause of "battle-sleep," etc).
  • While in Master of Orion 2 was primarily populated by Rubber-Forehead Aliens, Master Of Orion 3 seemed to want to embrace this trope by cutting out most of the old aliens and reimagining the ones they kept. The reptilian and insectoid species became less humanoid in general, the previously "humanoid rock" Silicoids became intelligent crystal fractals, they added a new category of gas giant dwellers that seem to resemble jellyfish, etc. Also along these lines, they changed the terraforming system from "creating a more perfect world" to the more realistic "adjusting the world to suit the inhabitants." Which has the annoying (but presumably realistic or at least internally logical) side effect that conqering one species' "Gaia" is likely to give you a useless hellhole.
  • Meteos is flooded with these. Majority of the playable planets are chock-full of aliens that are anything but humanoid, from the jellyfish-like Oleanans to the gas-composed inhabitants of Brabbit/Aetheria to the insectoid race of Gigagush/Vortina to the snake-shaped Arodians.
  • Metroid has the Ing of Metroid Prime 2 and the X of Metroid Fusion. Most obviously the Metroids themselves, floating jellyfish on the border of Energy Beings. The games give us a few different ways for Metroid to develop into uglier forms too.
  • The BETA from the Muv-Luv series are made up of a collection of non-sentient drones, controlled by one sentient being per population. The sentient being communicates with the other units telepathically, instructing them to construct hives and, if necessary, to fight strategically. None of the various strains of BETA drones have any apparent physiological relation to each other and the sentient being, itself, resembles a pod with six eyelike constructs and several tentacles. They are unable to recognize carbon-based life-forms, such as humans, as sentient organisms, as silicon is viewed by them as a primary component of all life.
  • The Centaurans in Otherspace resemble floating crystalline jellyfish, with radial symmetry, over twenty eyes, telepathic communication, tentacles for manipulation, and a mechanical device to convert air into something breathable. Oh, and they consume any of their race who shows any hint of psychotic thoughts.
  • Perfect Dark, opposite the benevolent Maians, aka The Greys, has the evil Skedar, which are squid-like Starfish Aliens, although equipped with anthropomorphic Powered Armor.
  • Pokémon:
    • In a literal example, Staryu and Starmie are hinted to have come from outer space. They flash their crystals to the night sky, emitting strange radio waves. They also have No Biological Sex, despite being fully organic and non-legendary.
    • Deoxys, who is not only explicitly stated to be an alien, but who lacks a mouth, nose, has tentacles, shapeshifts, and is shown in the movie it stars in to communicate via pulses of light from a crystal which acts as its brain.
    • As of Generation IV, this also includes Arceus.
    • Generation V brings us Kyurem, which has a legend centered around it that states that it fell from space in a meteorite some time in the distant past. According to the story, it actively hunts humans on a regular basis, even snatching them from their own homes in the night, which is not common behavior for a Pokémon.
    • Solrock and Lunatone. Given their appearance and typing they can be considered living hunks of stone shaped like, respectively, the Earth sun and the Earth's moon. They levitate in the air, and if the supposedly reliable Pokédex is to be believed, Solrock radiates intense light, gives off heat, absorbs power from the sun, and reads the emotions of those around it... meanwhile, Lunatone's red eyes paralyze foes with fear, its power "ebbs and flows with the lunar cycle", and brims with power under the light of the full moon.
    • The Ultra Beasts from Pokémon Sun and Moon are extra-dimensional creatures stranded in our world. Compared to the designs of most other Pokemon - most of whom are recognizably based off of Earth life in some capacity - they stand out as supremely alien. Many of them lack eyes, and some, like Celesteela, forego limbs all together in favour of alternate methods of locomotion. Special mention goes to Xurkitree, which resembles the bastard child of an octopus and a bundle of fiber-optic cable.
  • Shockwave has the Bruntshen; four-legged with big bugged-out eyes, giant teeth and antennae on their heads. They nonetheless evolved on a remarkably Earth-like planet.
  • The alien factions from Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire only have a vaguely humanoid form, and they speak by modulating resonance fields. The alien from the original game (also appearing in the expansion) just happens to be the entire planet. Well, most of the plant and animal matter on the planet anyway.
  • SimEarth: Can literally happen if starfish evolve to be sentient.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • While most of the aliens in Shadow the Hedgehog appear to be vertebrates, Doom's Eye is a floating purple starfish with one eye. Basically. The Black Arms' spawn are also tiny slug babies, and Black Bull looks more like a one-eyed grub meets Clefairy from Pokemon. There are also massive hints that the aliens are Bee People with a Hive Mind, especially when Black Doom tries and fails to control Shadow with his mind.
    • Several of the Twilight Cage aliens from Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood also count. You've got the Voxai, a race of manta-like psychic beings, who form a Hive Mind if their leader is oppressive with his psychic suggestions of purpose; and the N'rrgal, a Hive Mind race of slime beings led by a queen, who manifests when enough drones merge together. The Zoah and the Kron are more humanlike, though the Zoah are all giants in what appears to be Powered Armor, and the Kron are made of rocks.
  • Owing to the amazing procedural generation of Spore, a good deal of the species you create or encounter can be this. The most famous Spore creature, the Willosaur, is a tripodal reptile/dinosaur-thing with three eyes and a prehensile tail. And that's one of the more normal creatures you'll find.
  • Star Control:
    • The first two games are absolutely crammed full of these species: the Slylandro (gas giant dwelling bubbles), the Umgah (blobs with various tentacles, mouths and eyes scattered about), the Ur-Quan (Giant tentacled space centipedes), the Talking Pets/Dnyarri (sentient psychic frogs), the Ilwrath (giant spiders), the Chenjesu (silicon-based crystalline lifeforms), the Zoq-Fot-Pik (three allied races who resemble a mutant houseplant, a one-eyed brown clam, and a blue radiator), the Mycon (fungus), the Supox, the Spathi (one eyed mollusks with pincer arms)... and most especially those happy *campers* , the Orz (tentacled parrotfish), who, it is hinted, are the *fingers* of an Eldritch Abomination. Most of the aliens are humanoid enough in psychology to communicate with, at least — except the Orz and the Mycon.
    • Star Control 3 also introduces some new really aliens: the Owa, the K'Tang (underneath their power armour), the Yorn, the Lk, the Vyro-Ingo, the Xchaggers, the Precursors, and the Eternal Ones along with bringing back many of the aliens in Star Control 2.
    • Star Control Origins brings out the Tywom (four-armed slugs), the Mu'Kay (sentient squids), the Measured (varied lifeforms which resemble a coral reef more than anything else), the Greegrox (space jellyfish), and the Pinthi (sentient viruses).
  • The Zerg from StarCraft have completely monstrous forms (until they start assimilating humans), a hivemind-based society and "hive clusters" made of "buildings" that are actually huge, sedentary living Zerg creatures; they're technically more like organs than creatures, given their specialized functions and dependence on the Creep (an undifferentiated mass of flesh/hide/circulatory system which covers Zerg-infested terrain) to exist. They reproduce by larvae that are born from one such living building. The zerg-protoss Hybrids (hinted at in Brood Wars and shown outright in some parts of Wings Of Liberty) are gigantic blue or purple aliens with tentacles and spikes. Some of them float. All of them have defenses equivalent to most buildings. They also may or may not be similar to the Xel'naga Precursors.
    • Speaking of the Devil, the Xel'Naga themselves are very weird in nature. They have no real physical form inside the Void, but gain one as soon as they enter a new universe. In our universe, they look like giant manatees, with eight eyes and tentacles.
  • The Lumas of the Super Mario Bros. series aren't exactly as bizarre as others on the list, but their body shape is literally that of a star. They are described as "baby stars", and can transform into entire galaxies by consuming peculiar objects called Star Bits.
  • The Einst from the Super Robot Wars series are a hive mind of creatures that seem to be able to take any form, though they stick to a few specific ones such as skeletal monsters, vines wearing robes, or empty suits of armor. They exist in an alternate universe, only occasionally coming to a world occupied by humans, and most of them can only communicate telepathically to specific people who have a connection with them. (And still... Talk... Like this...) They are, or at least believe themselves to be, the eternal guardians of the multiverse that existed since the dawn of time, and have no personal issue with humanity except that our free will and hotblooded}}ness is slowly eroding away the foundations of the universe.
  • The Many from System Shock 2 is/are another extremely disturbing example. It/they is some sort of hive mind which consists of many separately-moving creatures (including humans who are mind-controlled by worms that latch onto their bodies) but also of at least one gigantic, living and presumably sentient mass of living matter.
  • The TYPES in Tsukihime, which are actually something like the manifested power and will of the planets themselves. The most well known one (besides TYPE-Moon, Crimson Moon Brunestud and Arcueid's father) is TYPE-Mercury, by far the most powerful Dead Apostle. It's so bizarrely alien that it lacks a concept of death. This doesn't make it unkillable, merely that as its concept of death is completely alien to the way life on Earth dies, Shiki can't kill it... despite being able to kill parts of the Earth (or possibly the whole thing at once if he knew where to stab) and inanimate objects.
  • UFO Aftershock has the Starghosts, strange aliens that appear later in the game. The Starghosts use "pet" creatures that range from animated shuriken to giant spiders. However, aside from psionic projections, the true form of the Starghosts is never seen.
  • One of the crewmembers in Unreal II: The Awakening was an alien whose body was some sort of liquid or energy, and who interacted with everyone using a suit of humanoid-shaped Powered Armor with a large transparent dome in the chest where his "face" was. With only a tenuous understanding of human culture, he was also the Funny Foreigner. Later you visit a living planet, a planet covered by one giant organism.
  • Waking Mars features the Zoa, and the Sentients, which look like balls of extraterrestrial spaghetti.
  • World of Warcraft has some pretty weird creatures on Outland, such as marsh striders. The Scourge faction has some very weird flying spider-bat combination things that screech unnervingly and never fail to give you the creeps. The naaru could also count, though they are energy beings, they lack faces and bodies and limbs as we know them, instead looking more like giant, glowing wind chimes.
  • The Boron of the X-Universe look like Rubber-Forehead Aliens over comms, but you only see them from the neck up. They actually look like this. They're an aquatic species that evolved on an ocean world with an ammonia atmosphere, and have three genders. Meanwhile the Kha'ak are so alien that the Commonwealth races are physically incapable of communicating with them. They're Bee People that have characteristics of both birds and insects, are roughly 75 centimeters in size, and communicate by gestures and pheromones.
  • XCOM:
    • From UFO Defense come the Celatids and Silacoids-a floating kidney bean and a silicon lifeform, respectively; from Terror From The Deep hail the Lobstermen, Calcinites (blobs of protoplasm inside diving suits), and Tenatculats (aquatic brains with tentacles and a single eye), and all the aliens from Apocalypse.
    • The Chrysalids in XCOM: Enemy Unknown are no longer humanoid crustacean-like aliens, like in the first X-COM and instead being something of a cross between a spider and a crustacean. They still have a vaguely humanoid torso though.
      • Enemy Unknown has probably one of the weirdest aliens of the series, the Outsider. They only show up when an alien ship is shot down, and appear first as hovering crystals that suddenly create humanoid forms, complete with plasma rifle. What they are is anybody's guess, as Doctor Vahlen describes them as "almost made of pure energy" and hypothesizes that their function amongst the alien armies is as a communication device. At the final mission, when the Uber Ethereal is explaining the various origins and functions of the alien races, it does not talk about the Outsiders at all. The best guess anyone has regarding these things is that they're not so much "aliens" as hardware. The crystals that create them are hyperwave antennas used for UFO communications, and the Outsider beings that XCOM fights are just a built-in defensive mechanism for this technology.
      • The Cyberdisc is another oddity: a biomechanical being that seems in equal part silicon-based and organic. It takes the form of a featureless car-sized flying saucer that can split open, revealing the mass of barbs, wires, guns and spindly legs that make up its interior.
    • The Cover Based Shooter spinoff The Bureau: XCOM Declassified has most of the aliens as fairly normal humanoids (two of them are the familiar Sectoids and Mutons, nearly identical to their Enemy Unknown incarnations). The lead aliens are the Zudjari, who look fairly humanoid, except for the vertical mouth. The game introduces a new spin on the Silacoids from UFO Defense, which take the form of "blobs" of black goo that can gestate inside human hosts and are part of the aliens' mind-controlling Mosaic network. The weirdest aliens are the Ethereals, who are Energy Beings, capable of manipulating humanoids like puppets. It's eventually revealed that your Player Character is actually an Ethereal, controlling the person you thought was your Player Character.
    • XCOM 2 piles on the crazy. While many of the returning aliens from previous games look more "human" thanks to LEGO Genetics enhancements with human DNA, the new creatures range from the weird to the plain-nightmarish. The Faceless Ones are Voluntary Shapeshifters whose true forms resemble 12-foot-tall piles of semisolid clay and claws in a barely humanoid posture. The Codex is an evolution of the Outsiders from Enemy Unknown, an Energy Being created out of ADVENT computer systems that can teleport and duplicate itself whenever it's hit. Finally, the Gatekeeper, a successor to the Cyberdisc, is an unsettling, psionic mass of flesh and tentacles encased in a spherical shell, which has the capacity to revive enemy units en-masse.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X:
    • The Orpheans (or the Orphe as they call themselves) are an insectoid race that are not only very logistical by human standards, they are connected to what appears to be a divine Hive Mind which is actually a symbiotic virus called the Ovah. In addition to initially having no concept of gender, they reproduce by using Senirapa water to split themselves into two Orpheans (or create two new Orpheans if the Orphean receiving the water is on the brink of death), with the new one already at adulthood and inheriting their parent's memories. It gets to the point that after replicating the water, the race goes from a mere five members on Mira (there were two others, but one's a traitor that stuck with the Ganglion coalition and the other got eaten by Visigels, thus spreading the Ovah to non-Orpheans) to making up a noticeable chunk of New LA's xeno population. Eventually, enough contact with humanity results in one Orphean spontaneously fissioning into a "female" gendered Orphean.
    • The Zaruboggans can only survive in environments that other species would consider toxic and polluted, and in addition to wearing hazmat suits all the time, they carry around gorkwa staffs to filter out voltant material from polluted areas. Also similar to the Orpheans, they have No Biological Sex (or concept of gender) despite being referred to with masculine pronouns and reproduce by regurgitating their offspring, which are born from the voltant they were consuming.
    • The Milsaadi, a race of assassins allied with the Ganglion, are silicon-based, to the point of looking almost like robots in robes. They also have the ability to shut off their ability to feel pain rather than Feel No Pain altogether.
  • Fallen London and Sunless Sea have plenty, up to and including the stars (including our sun). The Mountain of Light is a good example: It's a ginormous, sentient mountain that gives off an immortality-granting light strong enough to illuminate an entire continent. It bleeds corrosive blood into a river large enough to float a battleship, and if you fall in you disintegrate and your bones grow into a forest on its shores.
  • Stellaris:


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