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TH3_3RR0R

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A member registered Aug 07, 2018

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About time I broke my silence here.


It's been awhile. Pardon me for my absence, for the Aquarium has given me the opportunity to create creatures unlike any I've done before. Here's a taste of what I've been up to:


After studying several sessile Cra'than specimens, I went ahead and attempted to create one of my own. The result was The Doomsayer (pictured above), a writhing mass of zooids tethered to the environment (seen here in a simulated Cra'than habitat). This thing originally started out as a core, looking like this before steadily anchoring itself:


As stated earlier, this is but a taste of what I've done. I've been busy creating and re-creating various creatures, and I hope to show more soon.

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/!\ ALERT /!\

A rogue specimen has escaped from 3RR0R (Real name classified)'s lab. It was last seen escaping the Free Roam area.

An image of the specimen's last known form is provided below.

WARNING: This specimen is HIGHLY AGGRESSIVE AND DANGEROUS. Do not attempt to dispose of it yourself.


Notes left by 3RR0R on the specimen:

This particular Buginis specimen was rather intelligent as opposed to its usual counterparts, so I've decided to enhance it using the same method I used for the specimen with Grabber DNA, this time with the Sniper zooid. Along with its pre-inherited Pusher, Squirter and Chitin zooids, this creature had the essentials necessary for a long-range pusher-enhanced armament. What I didn't expect, however, was how scarily cunning this thing was...

Despite its large form being supported by only five movement zooids, rendering it terribly slow, it made up for it by being extremely heavily-armed. Mine-producing zooids line almost the whole of this creature, with the exception of the front and back sides, which are lined with Pushers instead. The creature used the all-too-familiar "weapons rack" structure (seen used by another Buginis specimen in my previous post), with one row being used to house movement zooids instead. By placing the Pushers at the front of the rack, not only do the poison mines get flung out, but the range of all its weapons can be boosted using the pushers, allowing for a ridiculous amount of firepower to be concentrated on its front. The rear-end Pushers help somewhat compensate for the enormous pushing power of the front end, and allow this creature to perform a unique maneuver:  emitting mines while activating its pushers , the creature slowly rotates in circular manner, causing two streams of poison mines (which are flung out due to the Pushers) to seemingly emanate from the creature. As if the huge amount of Miner zooids weren't enough for area denial, this maneuver essentially makes the creature nigh-unapproachable, unless one intends to get heavily poisoned.

After laying waste to everything I could throw at it, it eventually managed to find a way to escape via a connection between the Free Roam area and the wild, which is usually a one-way route meant to allow me to see unsuspecting wild specimens (there is a proper exit, but it is usually sealed off when I'm around). This thing just blasted its way through the one-way flap like it was nothing! (Reminder to self: find a way to make a better one-way flap, because rubber ain't cutting it anymore)

My advice to all other fellow researchers: please do not let your creatures get anywhere near that thing. I will find a way to keep it contained once more, and I don't want it hurt, nor do I want it to hurt your specimens either. We all share a common goal after all: to create the most powerful specimen of all. However, as you can see, control over the specimens we make is still crucial, so that incidents like THIS won't happen(I don't want entire ecosystems destroyed just because something got loose)!

UPDATE: Alert is no longer in effect. Specimen retrieved.

After that near-disaster, I've managed to secure the specimen after having to breed a huge amount of small Cra'Thans (consisting of two Turbine zooids and a Sizzler) to incapacitate it. However, the one thing more shocked than the specimen has to be me, as it had rapidly adapted its form to solve some of its previous form's issues. Take a look at this:

As you can see, it has taken on circular form, evenly spreading its Miner and Pusher zooids, using the "instant mine field" tactic when it uses its rotational maneuver. The Sniper zooids now cover the four cardinal directions of the creature, with less zooids per direction, but more coverage overall. Furthermore, it seems to have done away with the Flak and Squirter zooids (perhaps it deemed them ineffective?).

To prevent this thing from breaking out again, and to study it better, I have placed it into a special isolation tank that simulates the Free Roam area (no linkages whatsoever this time!). That should keep it busy enough to study it!

In the meanwhile, I'll be looking for any other intriguing wild specimens, while patiently waiting for my new aquarium set to arrive...

...oh, the fun I'll have when it does...


...Oh, right, I forgot to give this one a nickname.

It shall be henceforth known as:

The Adaptive Annihilator.

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After almost a month of silence, I am back, and with somewhat interesting discovery: 

What you see above is a ravenous predator, sporting yet another type of "ancient zooid" - the Energy Leech. As its name implies, it is basically the Leech zooid, but it saps energy from opposing siphonophores, dealing next-to-no damage as a trade-off. Due to the similarities to the Leech, the Energy Leech also has the same "latching" effect that allows it to pull enemies that it is attached to closer. The above creature has exploited this by putting a row of spikes in front of its Energy Leeches - lowering the effective range of the Leeches, but making them into close-range grappling hooks that hold on to any enemies attempting to escape from the spikes.

The result is a creature capable of tearing through foes, while making sure that running isn't an option for the enemy. For good measure, the creature also evolved a row of Poison Squirters, in the event the enemy is tough enough to require the use of poison to soften it up.

Finally, the relatively compact size of this creature makes it rather agile - only being out-sped by creatures composed almost entirely of movers, or creatures that are reduced to their "core".

The only thing this predator possibly has to fear is its unfortunately fragile structure zooids being ravaged by ranged weapons...

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After doing some further exploration, I was unable to find a specimen with the Ancient zooid that I was looking for.

However...

I have managed to get a hold of the DNA sequence of the zooid from an old fossil!

Known as the Grabber, its name alludes to its function: It acts as a biological grappling hook!

With much excitement, I decided to have my first foray into gene-editing, and "injected" the sequencing into an existing specimen that had a remarkably similar attack mechanism to the previous siphonophore I showcased (i.e. the post just above this one), allowing it to grow the zooid.


The above image shows its initial form, moments after the extracted sequence was injected.

A few hours after the gene therapy (and after leaving the specimen in the Free-Roam area), this was what it looked like:


Not only has the specimen grown to a considerable size, but it decided to incorporate the "pusher spike launch" method onto the Grabbers as well!

The grappling distance of this thing is absurd: 


Those Grabber hooks can easily reach outside of its field-of-view, allowing it to cause all sorts of chaos: Preventing enemies from escaping, dragging in unexpected obstacles (i.e. spike balls), etc.

Even without the use of the Grabbers, its large array of Pusher-launched Spikes create a large "area of death" around it, and its front-facing array is strong enough to chew up Frakir* specimens with ease!

Of course, this menace needs a nickname, and I've decided to keep it simple this time:

Whiplash.



* The following image shows an approximate reconstruction of a Frakir specimen, which was the result of a mutated Cra'than (the original Frakir is an Advena):


A rather intriguing specimen has turned up:

This rather wide fellow was spotted roaming around, with plenty of enemy giblets strewn everywhere, so I decided to investigate a little further:

...the "Pusher" zooid seems to have gotten  rather huge boost to its strength.

Utilizing only 3 spikes and a whole load of pushers, this ruthless little fellow is able to launch its spikes absurdly far. Furthermore, due to the constant push provided by the "Pushers", the spikes will move rather erratically after being fully extended, acting as a pseudo-flail which decimates enemy zooids at a speed that's never been seen before.

The only feasible downside has got to be its size and speed: it lumbers along and turns at a rather low speed, potentially allowing enemies to out-run or ambush it, although none have been able to do it so far (this thing has adapted a "kill it before it has a chance to kill you" tactic that leaves none in its wake). Even so, by coating itself in "Pushers", it has sufficient energy to always keep them powered if need be, being able to use said "Pushers" as a force-field of sorts, rendering it untouchable to most enemy breeds.

I have heard of an "Ancient" zooid (similar to the Sniper zooid) capable of doing something similar without the need for "Pushers", I'll see if I can find any specimen that has such a thing...

That is the Sniper zooid.

It does not come from any species whatsoever, and is instead a random drop from bosses. It is only available in the Early Access version of Sipho that is available on Steam, along with a couple of other similar zooids.

A twitter post mentioned one of them as "Ancient", so I usually call these types of drop-only zooids "Ancient Zooids".

It's been awhile.

After a short period of silence (and experimentation), I think I'm ready to showcase something newer.

Making "bullet hell" a reality in Sipho, The Maelstrom Marksman makes its debut.

A proper long-range fighter, any siphonophore worth their salt (and nutrients) would know to stay as far away as possible from this thing's front end.

Furthermore, it appears that this this has taken measures to ensure that flankers would get a nasty surprise: its sides are lined with poison mine emitters and a rather "shocking" armament, to say the least, allowing it to escape from aggressive melee-only attackers with ease. These zooids also happen to provide the creature with the energy it needs to power its weapons, since Sniper and Flak zooids are very energy-hungry.

The most curious thing to come from this specimen has got to be its Sniper zooids, as they are a completely new type of zooid that doesn't seem to belong to any of the 4 known species that live in the current ecosystem. Some older research notes suggest that this zooid is one among a few others that may have originated from a long-extinct species, likely surfacing in today's specimens due to genetic drift.

Looks like I've found my next area of interest...

More research needs to be done...

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Will do, you should see a message from me soon

Edit: You should have received an email from me by now, as I sent one on the day you notified me of the above

(2 edits)

Recently, there have been reports that the Big Bad of the "???" species adapting and evolving, so as to suit its sessile nature.

I've decided to capture one specimen and experiment on it (not to worry, there are a few instances of said "Big Bad", commonly referred to as a "Boss". How else does one always seem to encounter one right after C'thal?), however, the process of removing said specimen from the environment did require me to cut out all of the "enclosing" section of the specimen, leaving the "head".

After some tests in a tank with rival species and an automated feeder (i.e. Free Roam), the results were rather worrying...


...


Oh dear.


Here's a small summary of what transpired:

1. The "Head" slowly sprouted movement zooids after sitting still and receiving a lack of prey/nutrients.

2. After gathering enough nutrients and preying on any nearby siphonophores, it began to re-grow its signature enclosing wall of zooids. However, there are visible differences between the sessile variant:

     - The walls are not spaced as far apart as that of a sessile specimen.

     - The outer side of the walls are saturated with Movement and Eater zooids.

     - On the other hand, the inner side of the walls are lined with Leech and more Eater zooids.

     - There are no Spawner-type Eater zooids (distinguished from its Stunner counterpart by their dark-red colour) at all.

     - Finally, of course, the walls are not fully enclosed.

It continues to prey on whatever I can throw at it, as none of the siphonophores even dare to attack it. Unfortunate Advena specimens that accidentally brushed their spikes against it receive immediate retaliation by being torn into shreds by the many Leech zooids on the inner walls. On a side note, this thing can turn surprisingly fast!


In conclusion, the "???" species as a whole appears to have an absurd rate of adaptability, using whatever means necessary to survive if push comes to shove.

As for this monstrosity, I shall give it a fitting nickname:

The Herculean Executioner.

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After a bit of testing, I've come to the conclusion that yes, the above creature does need that many engines. Even though its speed matches (or is slightly slower) than a smaller creature with only 2 small engines (pictured below), the greater number of pusher-type Eater zooids means that the engines are able to function for a much longer period of time (since each engine adds more energy regeneration with each Eater). The creature below can also achieve speeds equal-to-or-higher-than the above creature, but it can only do so for a much shorter period of time.


As such, it is actually recommended to build larger creatures if one wants to use the Don Quixotting method of movement, due to energy constraints and the fact that engine size/count negligibly affects the speed of the creature while Don Quixotting.

Also, as you can see, the slightly-larger-than-normal gap between zooids is present here as well. As I've said before, it emerges due to the building method for the engines seemingly screwing up the soft body handler so as to accommodate the pusher-type Eater zooids (which are slightly larger than structure zooids) in-between the structure zooids.

I've yet to do further testing with said engines and how the number of engines affect speed, although that is on my to-do list.

As for the first row being ever-so-slightly further, that is the result of the soft-body handler glitching a little (normally extended connections like that are not possible, but would you know it, the building method for the engines can result in said glitch occurring) due to the symmetry of the creature (the devs did state that the handler hates symmetry).

I've managed to refine the Don Quixotting method of hunting with this creature here:

Nicknamed "Sledge-Hammerhead", its streamlined body houses 4 Don Quixote-Engine units (each consisting of 3 pusher-type Eater zooids and several Structure zooids) and is lined with rattler-type Swimmer zooids (as a turning mechanism and for smaller movements) and stunner-type Eater zooids (to stun any flanking enemies and to increase energy regeneration due to absurd energy consumption of the 4 aforementioned "Engines"). Its namesake comes from the biological battering ram that shields its head --- a far cry from previous Charger-type creatures that I've made discovered. It is significantly larger than most other charger weapon types, and boasts a unique "spring cushion" design (cushioned by more spikes?!) that acts as a sort of "insurance" for the creature in the event the front of the weapon breaks off. So far, that event has never come to fruition, as the design is thick enough to support itself on its own. Any wondering opponent in this thing's path is sure to experience a painful predicament  --- provided they come out alive.

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In case anyone wants a translation:

This new organism is no longer a new structure(?).
Oral devices are maximally simplified, in order to increase the internal cavity of the body.
The large body cavity is filled with nutrients for rapid recovery and masking (The "bait" effect).
The surface of the body is covered with leech zooids that are able to grasp and sever any unfortunate victim that attempts to flank it, all the while helping to regenerate its own health from draining said flankers.

Wow, "Greed" sure has evolved a lot!

I've also noticed something you didn't mention: This new creature of yours has stunning eater zooids in its mouth to attract nutrients and to ensure that there's no escape!

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Here's another unusual creature I made:

This creature has made a very questionable decision during evolution: Inward-pointing Eater zooids? Ones that fire Mines, no less?! This rather strange adaptation allows it to uh...

...do whatever this is supposed to achieve (a minefield, maybe? But...why in this fashion?!).

A lot of further research will need to be done on this peculiar specimen...





Further Research Notes:

1. It definitely seems that this creature is utilizing this strange adaptation as a way of distributing mines unevenly, or perhaps it's something to do with the way it's "storing" the mines within itself...?

2. A breakthrough was discovered: By filling up its form with Poison Mines, enemies will most likely keep away from this creature. Behaviour of enemy creatures recorded point to this mechanism being able to effectively cause attackers to cease all actions and flee...

3. Man, if only I could test this thing against the Advena Boss! That thing was already freaked out by poison mines!

Ooh, gotcha. They'll need balancing eventually anyway *cough*

Yea, claws do have their downsides that balance it out; mainly being the fact that they're strictly close-range, which means any creature that's able to out-maneuver and out-range you will be more than just a "little annoyance".

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Well, on a brighter note, see those spikeballs?


Let's just say that this shotgun creature doubles as a launcher, if one is cunning enough...

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I have noticed this effect for quite awhile now (one of the first creatures I posted here makes use of that concept!). In the meanwhile, have an image of a creature I made a while back that is probably the most risky-looking thing to use this concept:

A basically exposed rear and only a 1-structure-zooid-thick support for the spiky wall of death? It's no wonder that this thing once tore itself in half from the sheer force generated by the pushers and a single enemy spike clipping through the wall! Thankfully, it has only done this once, and that aside, the wall of spikes make very short work of whatever unfortunate creature lies in its path.


On a side note: you're not the only one around here who likes the Claws/Pincers. They are honestly quite overpowered! Oh well, makes it all the more easier to get to Free Roam!

As a matter of fact...

I converted Gluttony into a Mine Shotgun just to make this gif!

I'm all-too-familiar with this bug, especially since 99% of my builds are symmetrical (even the one build that isn't mirror-symmetric is radially-symmetric instead).

The bug can also present itself in other forms as well: Any sign of the grid shifting, no matter how slight, is a sign that this bug is surfacing. Side effects include the inability to place zooids in areas that you usually could on the other mirrored half of a symmetrical siphonophore (i.e. the game is literally forcing asymmetry), and sudden distortion while placing zooids.

On the topic of unusual creatures, here's one of my more unorthodox creatures:


It's a living Poison Mine shotgun. 

It operates by stockpiling Poison Mines within its "chamber", before spewing out all the mines at its target. The mines travel a surprisingly long distance, allowing this creature to attack at a range further than any species so far. 

It has also covered itself with spikes as a deterrent, as it is rather fragile (a single structure connects the whole "chamber" to the core; deterrence is much needed!) for what it is.

Very interesting creature you have there! There seems to be one glaring issue, though: Its core is quite unprotected, and even though most species will fit into its stomachs just fine, having an Advena with its spikes stuck in there would be rather risky, no?


Seems that this creature (nicknamed by myself as Gluttony, akin to your creature's name) here has found a solution: Not only has it reduced its stomach count to 1, but it's also decked out with stunning-type eaters (presumably to attract more nutrients and neutralize enemy weapons) and inward-pointing claws (perhaps a primitive form of digestion for emergencies?). These creatures sure can produce the most interesting of results when left to their own devices...*



* Creature did not actually evolve into this form through natural means. This creature is made by yours truly. Credit goes to you for the idea and concept behind Greed.

I have come to add more to this guide. Of course, more spoilers, especially for those who have difficulty making it past the "???" species boss.






Before that, though, let's touch upon the third boss once more.

I have beaten it on multiple occasions already, however, the difficulty of the boss is so ridiculous, to the point where the tactic used by yours truly to beat that monster of a boss is essentially an exploit.

What you must always keep in mind for the third boss is to never take it head-on. Even if you kill it, if it manages to spawn a minion, they can and will stunlock you, as the minions are programmed to simply ram into you eternally while attacking. The minions are very good at pushing you around for something their size.

The tactic I use is essentially a pseudo-out of bounds exploit. Pseudo, as it doesn't really go out of bounds, but it allows one to be outside the boss' "enclosed area". By making use of the fact that the boss spawns only after the player siphonophore moves to a certain distance and triggers the boss spawn, one can navigate to an area outside the boss itself, since the boss' structure takes time to form when it spawns. Here's how to do it:

1. Make sure your siphonophore is armed enough to deal with the boss quickly, which also helps to deal with any minions that remain after the boss' death. I personally use the "Wall of Death" configuration, but as long as you have a siphonophore design that works for you, it'll do.

2. Swim to the extreme left/right side of the arena, then swim upwards. Make sure your siphonophore is in a position where the boss' zooids won't spawn on top of you.

3. After the boss spawn is triggered, try to squeeze your way to the boss' core, and eat away! Be sure to do this as fast as possible, so as to minimize the number of minion spawns. If your siphonophore is unable to squeeze your way to the core area, you can eat some of the boss' "wall" to make your way there.

4. Celebrate victory, and prep for whatever's ahead.



/!\ Warning: Spoilers for those who've yet to beat the third boss ahead! /!\

















And now, for the true final boss of this build of the game.

The Advena Boss.

Codename: The Crown of Thorns


Seen here is an approximate recreation of the boss done by yours truly, approximate, due to the impossible placement of some of the movement zooids on the actual thing (they face diagonally, despite there being two cardinally-placed zooids in the way, which would prevent diagonal placement).

What makes this particular boss dangerous is the arena that it is fought in. Every single wall of the arena is made up of stationary balls of spikes, essentially being the first boss' arena on steroids.  It does not help that the Advena species' Spike zooid is able to instakill zooids given enough force, and the boss' few-but-still-present poison-spewing eater zooids only serve to make the spikesmhave an easier time chewing up your siphonphore.

There are 2 ways to beat this boss.

1. The direct way: A risky-sounding tactic that works most of the time.

Make your siphonophore small and maneuverable, and dart around the boss until you end up on one of its rear "pylons", then eat away. Just beware of the single spikes; a small siphonophore can easily get its core instakilled, even by a lone spike.


2. The cheesy way: A tactic that always works, which makes use of the boss' AI, as well as some creativity. 

You must at least have one eater zooid that produces poison (i.e. Advena or Buginis eater zooids). The boss will always try to get at you near the entrance of the arena, sometimes turning to use the spikes on its "pylons" to reach you. Whenever it does the turn, simply move forward slightly from within the safe player spawn area, spray poison, then retreat. Over time, the boss will die. There are multiple ways to make this easier, however. For one, pairing the Saenus  Beeforus' Eater Zooid (the one that can push) with either Advena or Buginis eater zooid will extend your range if you know how to use them together, allowing you to essentially camp from within the safe zone. Furthermore, the boss' AI actively tries to dodge poison mines, which means that creating a mass of poison mines and advancing forward will lead to the boss' AI seizing up, leaving it terribly vulnerable.

Once defeated, you will gain access to the area where all my gigantic creations are birthed: Free Roam mode.

Pardon my inactiveness, I was on a short trip

And yes, after beating the 

/!\ Spoiler Warning /!\





Fourth* Boss (Advena Boss, because the ??? Boss, as hard as it is, isn't the final one), you will enter Free Roam mode. My creations basically hinge on a lot of Free Roam farming (enemies spawn infinitely there, along with natural-spawning nutrient pieces), so they can take quite some time to make.

Also, aforementioned "tan-blue" species is actually different from the image you found. That's the slightly older version.

Here's how it looks like in-game currently:

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And here's one for ease of drawing (smaller, with leech extended):

If by that you mean the Bone-like species (???), then I might as well show off one of my creations:

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To celebrate the naming of the Queen of Poison, I've decided to give it a makeover, like the Advena Boss.

Of course, I first had to recreate the Queen of Poison herself (after all, who wouldn't want to play as a boss?)

And, after much farming in free-roam, I present to you: The Emperor of Corrosion.

I think I went a little too for with this one

...so much so, that I experimented on it with the "Flak" zooid, and produced this...


...and thus, the long-ranged Wall of Flak was born(with long-ranged poison on the sides for good measure)!

Not done yet...!


This peculiar specimen is essentially a "poison sprinkler", being able to spin and emit huge plumes of poison in an area around it. The "pusher" zooid has so much potential...

The above was not the only boss that was recreated...


Yep. The Advena boss. I even gave it some much-needed upgrades...


Now that is a killing machine!

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Oops, did I say "just one more"?

Because there's more where that came from...

Guess who's back...

...that's right. It's back from the old days. 3 layers of Flak still does wonders, even if the range is not what it used to be.

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Prepare to fear the Leech + Stunlock wombo combo

only counter is to eat them before they eat you, and the only zooid that's effective at this is Claw

Free roam does exist, but getting to it is another story

A sandbox mode would be much appreciated from the get-go

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Ahahahahahahahah, the third boss will be your nightmare then

There's a way to cheese the second boss: Use poison, and a lot of movement speed. The starter species' eater zooid will do, but mines are even better.

Simply lure the boss into chasing you, then spray away, while escaping, until it decides to stop chasing.  Slowly, but surely, it'll die out.

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No cheats, just farming at the Free Roam stage.

Here's a tip on how to rip through the stages:

Use the species that starts with the "Claw" zooid, and make a wall of claws. Charge at your enemies, attack with the Claws and watch as everything just dies. The "Jet" movement zooid of that species really helps with maneuverability as well.

I call this build: The Wall of Death.

Here's an example of what you should aim for.

And just one more...

This one was made to be as accurate to a real-life siphonophore as possible

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Here's another


Just a generic killing machine.

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I don't mind at all

In fact...

have some more to share


This one is based on the "long range spike" idea you posted, utilizing the "pushing" feature of a certain Eater zooid to make this entire creature charge forward and extend its spikes to impale its foes. Scarily effective.

Those creatures of yours are indeed pretty cool.

Here's one of mine:

Free Roam is fun

If only there was a sandbox mode...