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Native Lifeforms

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Native Life

The survivors of the wrecked UNS Unity are not alone on Planet. Planet has been teeming with life eons before the arrival of humanity. Much of Planet's plant and animal life is tied together in a grand symbiotic relationship, far more intricate than any comparable system on earth.

From the pervasive Xenofungus that covers most of Planet to the deadly Mindworms, Isles of the Deep, and Locusts of Chiron, the native lifeforms of Planet can be formidable adversaries. To those who unlock the secrets of Planet, they can also be a powerful offensive force.

Though there are many different species of plant life on Planet, the dominant form is the crimson, fantastically shaped xenofungus ("fungus") which covers vast tracts of the surface. Its near cousin, sea fungus, is equally ubiquitous in Planet's oceans and seas.

Fungus squares (squares with fungus in them) cannot be used for bases, tend to spawn mindworm boils, and are difficult to move through. They do, however, have one useful property -- a ground or sea unit can hide in a fungus square and be invisible to detection by all other factions unless another unit is moved into the same square or sensor arrays are nearby. Units attacked while entrenched in fungus also get a defensive bonus, unless the attacking unit is itself a native lifeform, in which case the attacking unit gets an offensive bonus.

As the secrets of Planet are unlocked, there are many ways to extract useful resources from fungus squares, and many of the inconveniences of fungus can be overcome through Social Engineering.

The dominant animal life form of Planet is the mindworm, a small, horrid-looking parasitic creature about 10cm long. A single mindworm is a dangerous pest, able to burrow into a human brain and devour it, while the victim succumbs to violent delusions or dangerous fantasies, or lives out his deepest terrors. Many theories have been advanced to explain the psychoactive nature of these attacks, but none have been experimentally validated.

Far worse than a single worm, mindworms are known to form vast mobile colonies, called 'boils', which can overwhelm a military unit or even an entire base.

In addition to the land-based boils, there is also an aquatic vector for mindworms, called The Isle of the Deep. This floating terror can attack ships at sea, ravage coastlines, and even spit up mindworm boils on shore.

Few sights strike terror into the heart of a submarine or warship commander as quickly as the radar signature of a massive Isle of the Deep, quickly moving toward them.

There is even an airborne vector, poetically dubbed the Locusts of Chiron, which haunts Planet's stratosphere, wreaking havok on human airborne units.

These winged abominations have been known to easily crush even the most advanced spacecraft and airplanes.

All three mindworm vectors go through a distinct lifecycle. Seven different phases of growth for each vector have been identified. The larger and more mature a boil, the more dangerous it is.

Hatchling Larval Mass Pre-Boil Boil Mature Boil Great Boil Demon Boil

The lost creatures of Planet
Though you won't find them in the game, the artists at FIRAXIS designed some very strange creatures when brainstorming about the kind of lifeforms that would inhabit an alien world. Here are some of them:

Concept Artwork by Michael Bazzell
Lal whut

Concept Artwork by Jerome Atherholt

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