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Thread: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

  1. #11

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Archon View Post
    The Zerg took inspiration from Aliens, and maybe the Bugs from Starship Troopers, but the Nids of the time weren't anywhere close to what the Zerg look like.

    Heck, you could reasonably argue that the Nids were inspired by the Zerg in looks.
    Wasn't specifically referring to the looks but rather the whole dynamic of what the Zerg represent. That they also happen to be another giant collective alien bug species that devour and infest things - well, the 'nids came first.

    Quote Originally Posted by VoodooWasp View Post
    It's funny how the corrupted Zerg are more insectoid than the "pure" Primal Zerg, maybe the real Zerg are inside those bodies? And isn't Zurvan the oldest Primal Zerg? He's pretty insectoid in a way.
    The Primal Zerg seem a lot more reptilian and this was confirmed by Samwise Didier (Blizz's art guy) since he based their designs off dinosaurs. This kind of betrays their whole insectoid or worm-like origins if you ask me. However, this is perhaps the most minor of aspects that irritate me about Blizz's concept of Primal Zerg...

    Even if the real Zerg parasites (which are described as originally being insectoid) were inside those bodies, I would've expected them to have fully merged and hijacked their host's evolutionary matrix a long time ago, making them more insectoid/Zerg-like over many generations not less so/reptillian.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  2. #12

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Wasn't specifically referring to the looks but rather the whole dynamic of what the Zerg represent. That they also happen to be another giant collective alien bug species that devour and infest things - well, the 'nids came first.
    And before the Nids, there was Starship Troopers and Aliens. And before them, there were likely others. And before them, there were real life insects.

    Just because there is a predecessor with similarities doesn't mean the current is any lesser or a "rip off."

    To be honest, beyond the bugs that infest things, the Zerg and the Tyranids both have wildly different modus operandi.

    The Zerg are like ants or termites. They make colonies, reproduce, and stay there until the exterminator comes along. Their overall goal is to become perfect.

    The Tyranids are locusts. They eat worlds, take everything of value, and move on to the next one. Their overall goal is to eat everything in the galaxy and move to the next one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robear View Post
    Well, Zerg also changed over SC's development. I think Metzen's Zerg actually fit in pretty well with that picture, with the hands and bright colors.

    I don't consider that close enough. There's still plenty of differences due to what the colors are and the fact the Nids have swords and grown weapons, while the Zerg in that picture doesn't.

    It isn't the standard of the Zerg though while it is for the nids of the time.

    I am only comparing finished products to finished products, and from what we see, they are quite different, until the 3rd edition comes along, and people start saying "The Zerg totally ripped of the Nids!"

    It's a really big pet peeve of mine.

  3. #13

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Archon View Post
    Just because there is a predecessor with similarities doesn't mean the current is any lesser or a "rip off."
    I never said anything of the kind. I said "expy" not "rip-off". They are not the same thing. The former is a neutral trope to describe something - not all tropes are bad/good. For one so insistent on making a point on the precise distinction and uniqueness of the two (of which I already know), surely you could appreciate my choice of words there.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  4. #14

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    I never said anything of the kind. I said "expy" not "rip-off". They are not the same thing. The former is a neutral trope to describe something - not all tropes are bad/good. For one so insistent on making a point on the precise distinction and uniqueness of the two (of which I already know), surely you could appreciate my choice of words there.
    The Zerg are not a Tyranid expy.

    They are not deliberately based solely on them.

    Besides, this is getting off-topic, so, please PM me if you want to continue.
    Last edited by Shadow Archon; 10-10-2014 at 12:57 AM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Alright, there's some stuff I've gotta clear up here:

    -Warcraft was never meant to be a Warhammer Fantasy game. The truth of the matter is that Blizzard originally considered making it one, but decided against it because they wanted control of the IP. However, the difference is that inspiration was taken directly from Warhammer Fantasy nonetheless (namely the orcs).

    -StarCraft was never meant to be a W40K game either. Oh, I don't doubt inspiration was taken from it, but, well http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/StarCraft#Development should cover it. In the case of the zerg they were originally bio-mechanoids, so any tyranid inspiration would have had to come after the original inspiration. And it's a mix of ideas anyway, as 'Alien' has been directly cited as a source of inspiration, and parallels have been drawn between the Overmind and the C'thulu mythos as well (personally iffy about that myself, but then again, the VitD is a clear C'thulu inspiration, so go figure).

    -Primal zerg, Swarm Zerg...no, I'm not arguing this again, I've already explained at length why I like the concept of the primal zerg, but the insectoid idea needs to be clarified:

    -Stage 1: Original zerg insectoids
    -Stage 2: Zerg develop burrowing ability, enslave native Zerusian fauna, morphology changes
    -Stage 3: Zerg end up being split, Swarm zerg are modified into "essential fighting components," ergo their insectoid appearance

    I can speculate that a "stage 4" arguably exists that the primal zerg end up going down their own evolutionary path, so that by the time of HotS, they've diverged in as much from "stage 2 zerg" as the Swarm zerg have, which would constantly be changing from the point of leaving Zerus (e.g. zerglings were a relatively recent addition by the time of SC1, so I'd speculate that a previous strain existed before it was discovered that the dune runners could provide the basis for a better type of strain). There isn't much reason to think that insectoid parasites would make the host insectoid in nature. Adopting more reptilian or mamalian biological traits is going to do far more for individual survival than remaining as an insect, which can't reach that large a size even with abundent oxygen, so while it makes sense for the Swarm to become insectoid (as individual Swarm zerg are easily expendable, and insects would require less resources to maintain as such), a primal taking on traits that would help its individual survival even if not a species-wide survival makes sense for their mindset.

    Which is one of the reasons why I like the primal zerg - I never saw them as a case of "superior zerg," I saw them as being the opposite side of the same coin. Both branches are dedicated to genetic and physical improvement, both sides are amoral in the pursuit of that goal, the only difference is that the Swarm carries out its improvements on the macro level, the primals on the micro level. The Swarm is a hive mind and operate in broods, the primals value individuality and operate in packs. What strikes me as odd about the "superior zerg" argument is that the same plot point occurred in SC1 with the Nerazim being "superior" to the Khalai (only they can destroy the cerebrates for example), and I don't recall any outcry about that revelation. If anything, people should be complaining about the primal/Swarm divide mirroring the Khalai/Nerazim divide. Maybe it's the whole status/apparent proximity of Zerus, but while that's indeed problematic for the setting (not to mention that Zerus is mentioned as being a lifeless rock by the time the Swarm leaves), that's more of a problem in of itself than something that includes the primals by default.

    Or it's something else and I "just don't get it."

  6. #16

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    The Primal Zerg seem a lot more reptilian and this was confirmed by Samwise Didier (Blizz's art guy) since he based their designs off dinosaurs. This kind of betrays their whole insectoid or worm-like origins if you ask me. However, this is perhaps the most minor of aspects that irritate me about Blizz's concept of Primal Zerg...

    Even if the real Zerg parasites (which are described as originally being insectoid) were inside those bodies, I would've expected them to have fully merged and hijacked their host's evolutionary matrix a long time ago, making them more insectoid/Zerg-like over many generations not less so/reptillian.
    Actually it makes more sense if they assimilate the host's genes rather than infecting his

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Archon View Post
    I don't consider that close enough. There's still plenty of differences due to what the colors are and the fact the Nids have swords and grown weapons, while the Zerg in that picture doesn't.

    It isn't the standard of the Zerg though while it is for the nids of the time.

    I am only comparing finished products to finished products, and from what we see, they are quite different, until the 3rd edition comes along, and people start saying "The Zerg totally ripped of the Nids!"

    It's a really big pet peeve of mine.
    Check out this alpha image and notice the Overlord's face, looks pretty much like those early Tyranids:



    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    Alright, there's some stuff I've gotta clear up here:

    -Warcraft was never meant to be a Warhammer Fantasy game. The truth of the matter is that Blizzard originally considered making it one, but decided against it because they wanted control of the IP. However, the difference is that inspiration was taken directly from Warhammer Fantasy nonetheless (namely the orcs).

    -StarCraft was never meant to be a W40K game either. Oh, I don't doubt inspiration was taken from it, but, well http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/StarCraft#Development should cover it. In the case of the zerg they were originally bio-mechanoids, so any tyranid inspiration would have had to come after the original inspiration. And it's a mix of ideas anyway, as 'Alien' has been directly cited as a source of inspiration, and parallels have been drawn between the Overmind and the C'thulu mythos as well (personally iffy about that myself, but then again, the VitD is a clear C'thulu inspiration, so go figure).

    -Primal zerg, Swarm Zerg...no, I'm not arguing this again, I've already explained at length why I like the concept of the primal zerg, but the insectoid idea needs to be clarified:

    -Stage 1: Original zerg insectoids
    -Stage 2: Zerg develop burrowing ability, enslave native Zerusian fauna, morphology changes
    -Stage 3: Zerg end up being split, Swarm zerg are modified into "essential fighting components," ergo their insectoid appearance

    I can speculate that a "stage 4" arguably exists that the primal zerg end up going down their own evolutionary path, so that by the time of HotS, they've diverged in as much from "stage 2 zerg" as the Swarm zerg have, which would constantly be changing from the point of leaving Zerus (e.g. zerglings were a relatively recent addition by the time of SC1, so I'd speculate that a previous strain existed before it was discovered that the dune runners could provide the basis for a better type of strain). There isn't much reason to think that insectoid parasites would make the host insectoid in nature. Adopting more reptilian or mamalian biological traits is going to do far more for individual survival than remaining as an insect, which can't reach that large a size even with abundent oxygen, so while it makes sense for the Swarm to become insectoid (as individual Swarm zerg are easily expendable, and insects would require less resources to maintain as such), a primal taking on traits that would help its individual survival even if not a species-wide survival makes sense for their mindset.

    Which is one of the reasons why I like the primal zerg - I never saw them as a case of "superior zerg," I saw them as being the opposite side of the same coin. Both branches are dedicated to genetic and physical improvement, both sides are amoral in the pursuit of that goal, the only difference is that the Swarm carries out its improvements on the macro level, the primals on the micro level. The Swarm is a hive mind and operate in broods, the primals value individuality and operate in packs. What strikes me as odd about the "superior zerg" argument is that the same plot point occurred in SC1 with the Nerazim being "superior" to the Khalai (only they can destroy the cerebrates for example), and I don't recall any outcry about that revelation. If anything, people should be complaining about the primal/Swarm divide mirroring the Khalai/Nerazim divide. Maybe it's the whole status/apparent proximity of Zerus, but while that's indeed problematic for the setting (not to mention that Zerus is mentioned as being a lifeless rock by the time the Swarm leaves), that's more of a problem in of itself than something that includes the primals by default.

    Or it's something else and I "just don't get it."
    Well to be completely honest if you take away the breathing problem insects can become pretty big, just google Arthropleura to see how big a land arthropod can get. Still I find it interesting that the Zerg that are supposed to be living weapons are more insectoid, that is like saying that insectoid traits are better than other. Then again arthropods' only problem is that they are vulnerable when they molt, if they have endoskeletons to support them during molting they could reach potentionally enormous size.


    Fictional Insects and Other Arthropods

    "What makes things baffling is their degree of complexity, not their sheer size;
    a star is simpler than an insect."

    Martin Rees 1999

  7. #17

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by VoodooWasp View Post
    Check out this alpha image and notice the Overlord's face, looks pretty much like those early Tyranids:

    Not really.

    The Zerg has reptilian skin with a mucous membrane inside its mouth. As well has having multiple eyes and an elongated snout.

    The Tyranids have carapaces, even back then, no mucous membrane, two eyes, and no snouts. Some even have Cthulhu Tentacles.

  8. #18

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    I definitely see the Tyranid in that overlord, but throwing out the other alpha zerg portraits, the rest do have faces that fall more into the category of worm-beasts. These things with eyes and claw arms. But of course, those are 'nightmarish invaders,' not zerg. :P



    Still I find it interesting that the Zerg that are supposed to be living weapons are more insectoid, that is like saying that insectoid traits are better than other. Then again arthropods' only problem is that they are vulnerable when they molt, if they have endoskeletons to support them during molting they could reach potentionally enormous size.
    I think the aspects like limb regeneration, tough exoskeletons and corossive chemical secretion are all kind of things in favor of calling insectoid traits weaponlike. But also I imagine the insectoid look was picked to reinforce the 'overwhelming numbers of mindless hive members controlled by a Queen/overmind' thing. Obviously they could have made up a hive-minded reptilian race, but we're more used to it with bug-y things.

    Another interesting thing to note is that in Samwise's early zerg pictures, he made them a bit hairy, like a hairy spider. Kind of wish that look had stuck around, but it got dropped pretty quickly. Probably because it was a lot easier to make 3D models of smooth, slimy surfaces than to have bristles.


    (also that stinger/abdomen)
    Last edited by Robear; 10-13-2014 at 01:56 PM.

  9. #19

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    What strikes me as odd about the "superior zerg" argument is that the same plot point occurred in SC1 with the Nerazim being "superior" to the Khalai (only they can destroy the cerebrates for example), and I don't recall any outcry about that revelation. If anything, people should be complaining about the primal/Swarm divide mirroring the Khalai/Nerazim divide. Maybe it's the whole status/apparent proximity of Zerus, but while that's indeed problematic for the setting (not to mention that Zerus is mentioned as being a lifeless rock by the time the Swarm leaves), that's more of a problem in of itself than something that includes the primals by default.
    I thought you didn't want to get into a debate about this.

    The reason no one-one complains about the Nerazim being better than the Khalai Protoss because it was the first and only iteration of that "superiority" trope at that time. Also, the Nerazim are far more integrated in the lore (in the manual at the least) and seem like more than just a plot device (there existence is not predicated wholly on what their value to moving the plot is) with even though they essentially do serve as a plot device in Sc1 (the whole perma-death of Zerg higher-ups thing).

    The Zerg Primals do not get those above privileges because they have come second (oh, there's another hitherto unknown secret and more powerful subfaction of this other race) which will always draw inevitable comparison and that the Primals were introduced seemingly (I know that the authorly intent was probably not...but then again, who knows?) at that specific time only for plot convenience - to give Kerrigan a power-up.

    Soz for going off-topic, normal transmission will now resume...
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  10. #20

    Default Re: The Original Zerg Insectoids?

    Come to think of it, the primals are arguably the third incarnation of the trope, if you count the UED as second. Not only is Earth suddenly a galactic player, but is arguably the most powerful player at that.

    Anyway, as far as tropes go, I don't find it that detrimental - StarCraft's focused a lot on factional conflict, where no single race of the "big three" is a single body (terrans have their factions, protoss have the Khalai/Nerazim/Tal'darim split, etc.). It's an added bonus with the primals IMO, how the zerg are less hemogenized. I can understand some people crying foul at that, but while the zerg have had civil strife before (see Brood War), it was never explored the same way as, say, the Khalai/Nerazim tensions in SC1. Per my point about the primals being a microcosm of the Swarm zerg and whatnot. Never got a Kerrigan/Daggoth conversation in BW about who should rule the Swarm or whatnot. So per the second point, all I can say is that I didn't see the primals as a plot point, but more as a mirror through which the zerg race (both Swarm and primal) could be examined. Concerning intent, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was the case as it was stated early on that HotS was so named because it was meant to be an in-depth look at the zerg, and the primals, both in the missions and conversations, are a good way of highlighting it. The zerg mindsets are demonstrated through conversation rather than exposition for instance.

    And yeah, I was aware of my not wanting to get into a debate about that, I only realized the irony after posting. Go figure.
    Last edited by Hawki; 10-15-2014 at 05:07 AM.

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