metroid

All posts tagged metroid

If there’s one thing I’m ashamed of as a gamer, it’s that I didn’t jump on the indie bandwagon sooner. As you can probably guess, I’m a pretty materialistic guy, so it goes without saying that I like to own physical copies of games. For essentially that one reason, I avoided most indie titles for way too long. Sure, I played the odd game here and there, but my attitude was always: “my backlog of physical games is long enough as it is, why bother with digital releases”? Perhaps my other hesitation was that for the longest time, I associated the term indie with art games, which I was fairly certain were shallow and devoid of meaty game content. Anyways, a few months ago I finally upgraded my PC, meaning I can now catch up on the literal mountains of excellent games offered on platforms like Steam and GOG. As I explore this world, I realize that I was beyond wrong about indie gaming.  Without the restraints of focus testing, enormous budgets, and arbitrary interests from money obsessed publishers, independent developers are free to innovate in ways that you rarely see with large releases. Of course, finding gems usually means traversing an enormous sea of mediocrity, but user reviews are fairly good at steering you in the right direction. Luckily for fans of Xenomorphosis, the number of sci-fi themed indie games are near infinite. One of these games, Capsized, is a great introduction to this world.

Capsized Cover

Capsized’s illustrations fit the in-game graphics perfectly.

Capsized
Developer: Alientrap Games
Publishers: Alientrap Games (self-published), indiePub Entertainment, Inc. (iOS version)
Platforms: Steam, iOS (called Capsized+), XBLA
Release Dates: 2011 (Steam), 2013 (iOS), 2013 (XBLA)

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Detailed environments like those in Capsized add such great atmospheric value.

Capsized was initially released for Steam in 2011, and was developed by Alientrap Games: a studio known for a sci-fi FPS called Nexuiz that was built on modified Quake engine tech. Initially developed by Alientrap’s Lee Vermeluen and Jesse McGibney as a university project, they later devoted their full efforts to the game after graduation. Lee’s role was as programmer, and Jesse’s was as artist. Although this was their first major commercial release, and they claim they had to learn a lot along the way, their inexperience is never noticeable when playing the game. Had you told me this was developed by a couple of ex-Valve employees wanting to experiment on their own, I’d have believed you.

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Levels like this one have extremely floaty gravities, giving you an even more empowering sense of speed than usual.

Storytelling in Capsized is all told through short comic strips. Essentially, you play as a spacefarer who has crash landed on a hostile alien planet. You’ve been separated from your crew, so you must find them before you can rebuild your ship. Lee and Jesse felt strongly that there should be as little text as possible, so you’re mostly forced to learn the game’s mechanics on your own. I appreciated the freedom from tedious explanations, because at its core Capsized is a very arcadey game, and text would just serve to slow down the game experience. The developers are big fans of fast-paced FPS’, so they wanted to channel as much of that kinetic gameplay as possible.

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The rocket in this image is being deflected by an object that you must destroy to beat the level.

I stumbled on Capsized when I saw a news story mentioning its imminent release on iOS. Captivated by its beautiful art style, I immediately searched for more details. After seeing that the game was described as an exploration-based sci-fi action platformer, visions of Metroid sprang to mind, and I bought Capsized almost immediately. Metroid is my favorite series of all time, so this was a no-brainer. Having now beaten the game, I now realize that Capsized bears a much more acute resemblance to a certain infamous European series. Whether the developers intended it or not (I doubt they did judging from interviews), Capsized feels very similar to the Turrican games. The game is split into separate missions, but each one feels like it starts where the last one ended, geographically speaking.

Capsized Indie Video Game 4

The night levels require you to use a flashlight.

Gameplay in Capsized is part exploration, but there’s never a dull moment. Enemies attack from all directions, sometimes in screen filling numbers. Throughout these levels you’re encouraged to explore every nook and cranny, because doing so will net you additional lives, shields, powerups, weapons, and secret collectibles. Each level has a different objective: some require you to defeat certain enemies, collect unique items, or simply traverse to an exit location. Because of the objective-based gameplay, the goals within Capsized‘s levels can usually be beaten in any order you choose. Generally, this means clearing every enemy from the screen to make the end-goal easily achievable, but there’s nothing stopping you from blazing straight from objective to objective and avoiding the majority of enemies. Bonuses and weapons don’t follow you from level to level, so there’s no disadvantage to expending all your firepower in each level. I’m one of those gamers who nervously saves all his good weapons until the end-game, so it’s a nice change of pace to not feel guilty about going Full Rambo at every possible opportunity.

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Some of the chaos that makes Capsized so much fun.

Capsized has a healthy assortment of weapons to choose from. Other than the default rifle, there’s a rapid-fire gun, a missile launcher, a homing shot, a laser shot, a flamethrower, a grenade launcher, and a black hole generator. Ammo is plentiful, but should you run out, the default gun is still pretty useful. Some weapons also have an alternate firing mode, and the default gun even has a charge shot. To be honest, the regular firing modes were adequate enough that I never felt the need to rely on the alternates. In addition to the weapons, Capzised has an excellent grappling hook that can be used all times. This might actually be the best example of a grappling hook in a sidescroller that I’ve ever experienced. Before long, you’ll find yourself whipping around levels at lightning speeds, that is, until you fling yourself into a swarm of enemies. The grappling hook also serves as a sort of gravity gun, letting you pick up and fling objects at will. Should you need even more manoeuvring power, you have access to a jet pack with a finite supply of fuel. In some levels, fuel recharges infinitely when you’re touching the ground, in others, you must collect hidden fuel canisters. Strangely enough, there’s never an indication of whether a level has a finite or infinite fuel supply. I often found out about the infinite supply at the end of a level, which speaks to the usefulness of the grappling hook.

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While capturing these screens, I noticed that the game adds a slight blur effect to your surroundings while you’re moving. This made it difficult to take dynamic shots that don’t look low resolution.

On paper, Capsized sounds like an oldschool platformer, but thanks to a realistic physics engine, it plays quite differently. Like in many modern indie sidescrollers, objects roll or bounce across the environment realistically when disturbed, so there are no canned animations. The benefit of this is that no two playthroughs feel the same, the downside is that platforming obstacles aren’t as meticulously planned as in older classics, and objects sometimes obstruct your path in annoying ways. You’ll often find yourself at odds with a corridor that’s obstructed by a misplaced object. On one playthrough, there was an object that I needed to complete a level, but it had managed to wedge itself into a wall. Consequently, I had to restart the level because the object was irretrievable.

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The jet pack and grappling hook can both be used at the same time.

Other than the rare occurrence of objects getting sucked into walls, Capsized‘s difficulty is challenging, but reasonable. There are three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal (the default), and Hard. The controls will be instantly to familiar to people who’ve played their fair share of modern sidescrollers on PC. The WASD keys move your character, and the mouse controls the direction of your gun. Once you master these controls. the game becomes really fun. As long as you chip away at the enemies without pulling too many at once, chances are you won’t be presented with the Game Over screen, at least until you reach the final boss level, which is pretty difficult. Once you’ve beaten the game, there’s a rewarding ranking system that encourages you to replay each level. After each level, you’re given a rank out of 10 based on your completion time, secret items gathered, lives remaining, and difficulty level chosen. Should you finish a level really quickly with few to no deaths, you’ll get a high rank; there’s no need to kill any more enemies than absolutely necessary. In addition to the ranking system, Capsized offers replay value in the form of an Arcade option. In the arcade, you can choose between several game modes: a team death match against bots, a time trial where you collect oxygen canisters to stay alive, a horde-type survival mode, a mode in which you must survive with no weapons, and a deathmatch mode against human opponents. I still haven’t had a chance to try every one of these modes, but from what I’ve experienced, they’re both fun, and really challenging.

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Capsized’s soundtrack, which I haven’t given its proper due, has a subdued ethereal quality that suits the game’s atmosphere perfectly.

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing that will likely draw most people’s attention are the beautiful visuals. The backgrounds have a detailed, hand drawn quality. Most levels feature a lush jungle setting rife with colorful flora and even harmless fauna. Although there isn’t much variation to the environments, you’ll fight at every time of day, so the lighting and colors change from level to level. In my opinion, rich environments are integral to exploration-based games, and in this area Capsized delivers the goods spectacularly. As I mentioned earlier, scattered throughout the environments are hordes of enemies. These consist of flying jellyfish, ferocious animals, and all manner of aggressive tribal natives. For the most part, individual enemies are relatively easy to kill, but put 20 together on one screen and the odds tend to balance in their favor. Their design is nothing you haven’t seen before, but they suit the game world perfectly.

Capsized is a game that I can see myself continuing to return to. The fast-paced action, non-linear levels, rank system, and arcade modes provide for a really fun and rewarding experience. After beating the game once, I re-beat it a month later and enjoyed the experience just as much the second time. The game is relatively short, but the length feels reasonable given the relatively low price point. Also worth mentioning is that in addition to the iOS port, there’s also an XBLA release, so the game is now available to most gamers. Here’s hoping that Capsized eventually gets a much deserved sequel.

Clicking any of the following thumbnails will open a gallery of Capsized-related images

 

Although it might be the nation’s capital, Ottawa isn’t especially well-known for its big attractions. Compared to the neighboring cities of Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa’s does a fairly good job of living up to its reputation of being a sleepy government town. That being said, one thing I love about Ottawa is that when we do get a big event, everyone gets really excited about it. In Montreal, giant festivals are a dime a dozen, so for the most part, it always seems like the average person has no idea what’s going on in their city. This was the Ottawa Comiccon‘s second year running, which is pretty surprising when you consider that there were over 30 000 attendees. There are so few major festivals in Ottawa, that people who wouldn’t usually be interested in cons go because it’s one of the few major events available. For a con, the crowd is fairly casual, but that’s fine by me. Personally I just like to meet guests and buy merch, so I couldn’t care less about the “nerdiness level” of the average attendee.

Ottawa Comiccon 2013
Dates: May 10 – 12
Location: Ernst & Young Centre

One of the few cosplayer photos I took. My hands were way too full to take photos.

One of the few cosplayer photos I took. My hands were way too full to take photos.

Being that this is a sci-fi blog, I’m going to focus on the science fiction that was on offer. In terms of major guests, there were some pretty huge names from the world of sci-fi movies and television. Nathan Filion (Firefly), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: NG), Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Michael Shanks (Stargate), James Marsters (Torchwood), Levar Burton (Star Trek: NG), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Jewel Staite (Firefly), and David Prowse (Star Wars) all made appearances. Actually, now that I see all the names together, that was a pretty damn killer lineup!Unfortunately, unless your name is Sigourney Weaver, I’m probably not going to pay $6o for an autograph… My friends and I were able to see the actors from nearby, but none of us paid to get up close and personal. That being said, at one point Billy Dee Williams left his booth and walked past us towards a cluster of vendors. According to one of my friends, Billy was pretty interested in a Bruce Lee t-shirt that was on display!

Dave Ross and a really nice woman who I assumed was his wife/girlfriend.

Dave Ross and a really nice woman who I assumed was his wife/girlfriend.

If there’s one bit of advice I would give to anyone who’s relatively new to conventions, try to avoid buying heavy stuff early in the day. I should’ve known better, but I ended up spending the majority of my cash in the first 10 minutes… There’s a vendor I’ve seen at several east coast cons that specializes in art books, most of which are Japanese. I almost stepped on the owner’s kid the moment I entered the booth. He had made a little home underneath one of the tables, and I nearly crushed the little guy. Personally, I love seeing kids at conventions. Thanks to my comic-collecting uncle, I used to be one of those con kids, so it’s always nice to see a healthy injection of new fans. Anyways, I ended up purchasing Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions, and an Arzach art book. Cumulatively the books must’ve weighed 60 pounds, which was way too much for my horribly out-of-shape body. To make matters worse, I didn’t bring a backpack or satchel, so I had to deal with plastic bags digging into my hands for several hours. Lesson number 2: if you plan to buy things, bring your own bag!

Billy Dee Williams Ottawa Comiccon 2013

The man in the trench coat with the cane is none other than Billy Dee Williams.

Continuing onwards, I got into a discussion with a guy who plans to start an Aliens USCM outfit in Ottawa, kind of like the Star Wars’ 501st Legion. I overheard him mentioning the new Neca series of Aliens figures, which is how the conversation started. He works at a local comic shop, so I’ve actually bumped into him once since then. If his endeavor ever happens, I’d love to be a part of it!

Dave Ross posing for a photo with me. Take note of the Xenomorphosis t-shirt!

Dave Ross posing for a photo with me. Take note of the Xenomorphosis t-shirt!

For once, I actually prepared a list of the guests that I wanted to meet. First on my list was Dave Ross, who penciled the Aliens: Xenogenesis comic, as well as many Star Wars comics. On the plus side, the lineup to meet artists are almost always nonexistent, on the downside, the number of people interested in meeting talented comic artists is mostly nonexistent… It’s a real shame, but there was essentially no one waiting to meet Dave Ross… He was a really nice guy and was happy to oblige me wanting to talk on and on about his work on Aliens. At one point, he mentioned that he had done a Darth Vader vs. Aliens commission for a fan, and told me that he’d love to work on a full version of this crossover. I’d hazard a guess that there’s a fairly large audience of people who’d love to see this happen. After talking to Dave for a while, I decided to ask him for an Aliens commission. His memory of the xenomorph’s details was pretty foggy (I don’t blame him), so I actually managed to find him a cheap set of Aliens figures to use as a reference. He ended up spending at least an hour and half on my piece, which I though was well worth the $60 price. Personally, I love how it turned it out! To me, it looks pretty similar to the cover of the Alien: The Illustrated Story from 1979. Obviously he had no idea what I was talking about.

 

Aliens Dave Ross Commision Illustration Art Xenomorph Xenogenesis Small

The xenomorph commission that Dave Ross did for me. I think it looks great!

Arthur Suydam Ottawa Comiccon 2013

Arthur Suydam in what was definitely the most attractive artist booth.

Next on my list was Arthur Suydam, the well-known cover artist responsible for the Aliens: Genocide covers. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that his Aliens covers are easily some of the nicest renderings of the xen0morphs I’ve ever seen. I actually told Suydam that I thought his xenomorph depictions were second only to Giger’s. This was his exact response: “yes, I would agree with that”. I guess when you’re as talented as Suydam, there’s no point in being overly modest. It turns out he’s personal friends with Giger — there’s something ridiculously cool about being two degrees of separation from the legend. I asked Suydam if he could tell me anything about Giger that isn’t commonly known. The best response I got was: “well, he likes to get baked and make art.” No surprises there. I managed to get Suydam to autograph my copies of Aliens: Genocide, but not without having to purchase one of his (thankfully inexpensive) sketchbooks. Of everyone I met, he definitely seemed to revel the most in his fame, and although the lineup to meet him was basically 4 people, that was more than for any other artist.

Aliens Genocide 1 Arthur Suydam Signed

Aliens Genocide Issue 1, signed by Arthur Suydam.

Ben Templesmith showing me his sexy face.

Ben Templesmith showing me his sexy face.

The last artist on my list was Ben Templesmith, who some people might remember for the first Dead Space comic’s art. Templesmith was actually really fun to talk to, and definitely knows his sci-fi horror. In fact, he told me that he’d love to work on another sci-fi horror comic. He’s also got a great sense of humor, and wasn’t afraid to tell me what he thought of comic artists that charge for signatures *cough Suydam*. Apparently he got really well paid for his Dead Space work. As he explained to me, video game publishers like EA are able to flaunt a lot of money, and pay what he called “video game money”, which is much more than your average comic publisher. Pro tip from Ben Templesmith: if you want to make money in the world of comics, try to work on media tie-ins. Along with Dave Ross, he liked my Xenomorphosis t-shirt design, so he was an instant winner in my books! Also, free of charge, he drew the most adorable necromorph on my Dead Space trade!

Dead Space Comic Ben Templesmith Convention Sketch Autograph

The necromorph sketch that Ben Templesmith drew for me. I LOVE it.

Elephantmen TP 00 Starkings Moritat Cover

Expect to see some Elephantmen coverage sometime in the future.

Having met everyone on my list, and feeling pretty happy with myself, I nearly called it quits, that is until I saw Richard Starkings’ booth. Richard is respected for his innovative comic lettering, and recently made it big for writing the series Elephantment. I’ve never read the series, but I’ve always been really impressed by its incredible artwork, which often features some of the nicest coloring I’ve seen. Although I’m not usually interested in anthropomorphic animal characters, Elelphantment handles them tastefully, and has a really interesting sci-fi setting. Anyways, I ended up buying the first two trade paperbacks, which happen to have the nicest packaging and presentation I’ve ever seen in a trade. There are no less than 30-something pages of concept art at the back, and the pages are thick and glossy. It was money well spent, and Richard did some quick sketch signatures for me. Later that day, I read the forward in the first trade, which was written by none other than Dan Abnett. I personally consider Dan to be the best living military sci-fi writer. Apparently Dan used to work for Richard in the 80’s, which I wish I’d known when I was talking to Richard.

Overall, I had a great time at Ottawa Comiccon. Diehards might consider it a small appetizer to larger cons like Fan Expo, but I still had just as much fun as at any larger con. It’s really impressive to see what a huge show they put on, especially considering it’s only their second year in existence. No less than five years ago, I went to a comic convention in Ottawa that had maybe 1000 attendees, nearly all of which were purist comic collectors. To see such a massive con five years later, in Ottawa of all places, was pretty surreal. Even compared to last year, the quality has jumped noticeably. Anyways, I can’t wait to see the guest lineup for next year, and I might even apply for a press badge!

There’s something really heartwarming about trudging knee deep in alien goo as you cut your way to the core of an alien nest. Actually, that sounds pretty awful. This first series covers a topic that I’m especially fond of: gigeresque aliens and alien environments in video games. I’m going to assume that if you’ve found this blog, you’re probably well aware of what I mean by gigeresque imagery. In a nutshell, describing something as gigeresque means that you’re likening it to the style of the legendary swiss artist H.R. Giger. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Giger is basically my hero. As far as this blog is concerned, he’s a God.

Again, I’m going to assume that most of you are more than familiar with Giger, so instead of going into a longwinded account of his life history, I’ll just quickly outline the visual tropes that roughly define his style. First, Giger loves to incorporate ribbed shapes into his art. When I say ribbed shapes, I’m literally referring to the look of a human rib cage.

How about some coleslaw with those ribs?

This leads into another common element, which is the use of bone-like shapes. It isn’t uncommon to see skulls or spinal cord-like structures in Giger’s images.

Skulls and spines.

Next, Giger’s art wouldn’t be what it is without the abundant use of phallic or yonic imagery. As I write this, I’m staring at one of Giger’s airbrushed paintings, and it’s actually just a penis entering a vagina, repeated six times. If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t let her within five miles of Giger…

I’d hit that.

The next common theme in gigaresque art is the concept of an organic/metallic synergy, which Giger himself coined with the term “biomechanics”. To many people, the word biomechanical is most commonly associated with the style of tattoo that Giger spawned. How many artists can be directly credited with instigating an entirely unique style of tattoo? One day I may write a post on how I think that biomechanical tattoos rarely look all that gigeresque too me. They often rely on dagger-like shapes, which I’ve never seen in Giger’s art, but that’s a topic for another day. Back to the point, the biomechanical nature of Giger’s art translates into imagery that looks somewhat mechanical, or industrial, but has a very organic shape and flow that you rarely see in actual mechanical objects.

Is it organic? Is it mechanical? Only Giger knows.

An important point to stress is that Giger’s art has a very organic feel. Every shape blends into the next, creating a structure that flows throughout the work of art. Finally, Giger’s artwork is almost always incredibly dark. It’s rare for him to use any color; meaning that the bulk of his work consists of various shades of grey (no, not those shades of grey…). So as a quick recap, gigeresque art often includes ribbed and bone-like shapes, relies on sexual imagery, has a biomechanical synergy, and is dark, like Giger’s heart. Giger’s a dark guy, and we like him that way.

Now that you’ve had a crash course on gigaresque aesthetics, let’s take a step back and see how this relates to the alien art design in the video games that this series will be covering. Giger’s real claim to fame were his designs for the movie Alien. As far as I’m concerned, the xenomorph is the most original and genuinely terrifying alien ever conceived by man. The dark aesthetics of Alien and its sequel Aliens influenced a generation of video game designers; not only in North America, but worldwide. Most importantly, from roughly the mid-eighties to early nineties, most alien designs in Japanese video games were directly influenced by these seminal films. Don’t believe me? This series will undoubtedly change your mind. The range of influence extends from almost blatant plagiarism, to subtle visual cues that evoke images of the hive from Aliens or the derelict’s corridors in Alien.

Super Turrican on SNES — No xenomorphs to see here.

I should probably point out that many of the games that I will cover in this series may seem only vaguely gigeresque. My reasoning is that every organic alien environment in a video game owes a debt of gratitude to Giger. The design of the Derelict in Alien and the hive in Aliens (yes, I know the hive wasn’t designed by Giger), are the main source of inspiration for these types of environments. Therefore, there may be times when I’ll cover environments that don’t seem particularly gigeresque, but by virtue of the fact that they’re somewhat hive-like, I feel they’re at least indirectly inspired by Giger.

So what can you expect from this series? My plan is to start with the classics: Contra, R-Type, Gradius, Turrican and Metroid. Next, I’m really looking forward to delving into more obscure games. Expect to see a lot of coverage of japanese shooters from the mid-eighties to the late ninteties. And as always, if you have any suggestions for games that I should cover, please email me at xenomorphosis@gmail.com. Stay tuned folks!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Welcome to Xenomorphosis, a blog for those of us who crave the dark side of science fiction. Right about now you’re probably thinking: “the dark side of science fiction? He must mean sci-fi horror”. Well… You’re mostly right. This blog will certainly cover everything sci-fi horror, and more. This isn’t a pure sci-fi horror blog; we cover the dim, dank, twisted side of science fiction, in all its incarnations. The distinction is that we aren’t limiting ourselves to pure horror. Instead, we’ll explore any science fiction that’s thematically dark, but isn’t necessarily considered horror. For example, Blade Runner is a dark science fiction movie, but definitely not horror. Because it’s dark, we can still cover it. In the end, we all win, because Blade Runner is pretty damn awesome.

As you may have guessed, I’m kind of a big Aliens fan…

What can you expect from Xenomorphosis? Expect a lot of feature-rich content. The bread and butter of this blog will be an ever-growing selection of ongoing series that will cover all aspects of dark science fiction. Ever wondered about H.R. Giger’s influence on video games, chestbursting scenes in movies other than Alien, xenomorph variations in Aliens spinoffs, and underwater horror movies inspired by Alien? Well, for the 0.1% of the population who finds these topics as fascinating as I do, we have you covered. As much as possible, I’d like to cover topics that have never been extensively explored. Look at this blog as a journey into the deepest recesses of the genre. In addition, we’ll post the typical opinions and reviews that should be expected from a blog of this nature.

Exploding into Body Horror.

Which mediums will we cover? The short answer is: all of them. Movies and video games will be our primary focus, but we’re more than happy to explore books, comics, toys board games, etc… When dealing with a relatively niche subgenre like sci-fi horror, there’s no point in being picky with how you take your poison. Furthermore, this blog won’t be relegated to any one region. I’m a fairly big fan of Japan’s finer exports, namely video games, anime, and manga, so expect to see your fair share of content from the land of the rising sun.

Tabletop games? Sure why not.

What can we promise you? We promise that the writing quality will be fairly strong, and that our contributors will be at least decently knowledgeable. Furthermore, there will be a strong focus on aesthetics. Images and videos will be woven into the posts whenever possible. I’m a visually oriented guy, so one of my main goals is to capture the look of dark science fiction.

Who am I? I’m a twenty-something-year-old guy who’s been into science fiction since, well, forever. Science fiction is in my blood. My grandpa collected hundreds of sci-fi books, which he then passed on to my mom. In turn, she introduced me to movies like Star Wars, Alien, and Terminator at a young (probably too young) age. At five-years-old she bought me a Kenner xenomorph action figure. Science fiction books are what got me into reading in a big way. My memory of the classics is fairly fuzzy, mostly because I read them all before the age of fourteen. My love of horror started a little later – around the age of sixteen I became interested in zombie movies and slashers. Soon afterwards I was introduced to hardcore punk, and then metal. I now collect death metal albums, which are a great catalyst for my love of dark twisted imagery. I try to capture this look in another one of my hobbies: artwork. For those of you who are interested, you can see why more recent works here. Finally, my other love is video games, which I also collect. Basically, this blog is a culmination of years of ideas that have been brewing in my head as a result of my various hobbies.

So, what can you contribute to this blog? Please, send me your ideas for interesting topics or series! We’re all in this hobby together, so we may as well engage as much as possible! If you’re a decent writer, and you’d like to contribute content, please contact me at xenomorphosis@gmail.com. The more the merrier. Most importantly, please leave comments and suggestions as often as possible. I’d like this blog to evolve based on your feedback. Happy reading!

Ripley, is that you?