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Thread: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

  1. #161

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    I had a few more thoughts for more unusual zerg breeds.

    So one idea is that the creep has its own ecology distinct from the military breeds, produced as a side effect of the zerg's rapid metabolism (according to one piece of fluff, their mutation rate is orders of magnitude faster than that of terrestrial life). These organisms resemble the same kind of deadly wildlife you find in War Against the Chtorr and Warren Fahy's Fragment. A zerg hive world is a death world even if you are far away from the hive clusters. Using some examples from those books I mentioned, "hender's wasps" and "disk ants" are tiny crustaceans that can kill grown men. The "meeps" are adorable fuzzballs that use their pheromones to convince other species to care for them, to the point of abandoning their own young or starving to death.

    Another idea is that assimilated humans (i.e. produced from larvae or molted from infested subjects) are barely recognizable as human rather than being sexy with boobs and high-heeled feet. Less like Kerry and more like Necrophage foragers. Looking at the forager concept art, you can clearly see some human resemblance in the torso and limbs but nowhere in the head or extremities. I find this to be a much more evocative and scary take on the zerg's plan for humanity than wannabe succubus.

    Speaking of the necrophages from Endless Legend, they sound a lot like how I imagine the zerg did as they transitioned under the influence of xel'naga. The original zerg were insignificant worms of some sort with telepathy and horizontal gene transfer, but under the xel'naga influence they got bigger and hardier, and as a side effect they became parasitic. The necrophages are insectoid creatures which lay their eggs in corpses, and sometimes the offspring acquire traits of the hosts. That is probably what the original zerg did and served as a precursor to their development of parasitism. I imagine that they became parasitic in stages, initially entering live hosts simply to eat them from the inside while traveling to new feeding grounds, then later developing the ability to merge with and control their nervous systems without killing them. Since zerg horizontal gene transfer resembles that of Bdelloid rotifers, it is easy to assume that the original zerg are likewise immortal and reproduce asexually.

  2. #162

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Another idea is that the zerg have their own equivalent of the tyranid zoanthrope or physokerme derived from terran psychic genes. It has an atrophied body that travels by telekinetic flight and it fires bolts of telekinetic force or psychically-generated plasma.

  3. #163

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    I thought a bit about the zerg biology and technobabble.

    I think a key reason why the zerg can regenerate (beyond heightened metabolism, stem cells, etc) is that their organ systems are not centralized, at least not in the same way as vertebrates.

    Vertebrates that suffer trauma to the central nervous system or spinal column may be left crippled or killed instantly; trauma to the circulatory system results in blood loss and death. Arthropods, by comparison, can suffer much greater damage before dying. Cockroaches are famous for surviving without a head until they die of dehydration/starvation.

    So not only can zerg recover from trauma much more quickly than humans can, they are more resistant to crippling injuries in the first place.

  4. #164
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Kinda like Krogan from mass effect.

  5. #165

    Default Re: How you suppose the breeds of the extended Zerg swarms are composed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradius View Post
    Kinda like Krogan from mass effect.
    The krogan never made much sense to me. Their evolution selected for contradictory characteristics like mass spawning, redundant organs and intelligence. Those donít make sense together because they require opposing selection pressures. Natural selection operates on what maximizes reproduction.

    If you spawn in mass, you are not going to need physical durability or intelligence. Exhibit A: batracians and salmon.

    If you are physically durable, you are not going to need intelligence or mass spawning. Exhibit B: rhinos and bears.

    If you are smart, you are not going to need physical durability or mass spawning. Exhibit C: birds, cetaceans and primates.

    In the case of krogans, a single couple will have over a hundred children every year. That is physically impossible because the females cannot hold that many eggs and there is no way the parents can raise and educate that many children. Yet the games make their exploding population an ethical dilemma, even though human populations today pre-spaceflight are heading toward decline due to affluence.

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