Monday, October 24, 2011

The Worst Aliens Ever

If there's one thing I love it's aliens. Bizarre, inscrutable and completely unearthly in both manner and deed. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by what could be "out there". What indescribable beings could be among the stars right now? Many have wondered, and from the imaginations of many here on Earth have come some truly inventive, outrageous, incredible and yet believable creatures which would be right at home on all those strange new worlds.

With that said, you can imagine that I'll be a little disappointed when I watch a movie with aliens who are, oh, not quite up to par.

Okay, maybe disappointed isn't a strong enough word. Violently hateful is probably a better description.

Yes, for every silicon-based sentient microbe colony there's a dozen cat-like aliens. Science-fiction is inundated with xenobiological trash. Some of these inferior excuses for extraterrestrials are so bad that I can't help but lie awake at night imagining their poorly thought out planets exterminated in righteous plasma. So, with no further delay, let's take a look at the pathetic world of...

The Worst Aliens. Ever.

10. The New Paradigm Daleks

I will never forgive Steve Moffat for these abominations. Ever.

9. The Aliens (War of the Worlds 2005)

There are plenty of things not to like about the 2005 version of The War of the Worlds, not the least of which is Dakota Fanning's horrible, ungodly screaming. In fact, when compared to the main characters, the aliens seem downright pleasant

But as it turns out, the characters are bad and the aliens are also bad and this movie is just bad.

First of all, take a look at that picture, that's not a terrifying invader; that's a mutant frog with a triceratops head. It's little eyes and tiny teeth don't make it scary, just oddly cute and nonthreatening. Plus, it doesn't look particularly alien. Weird by Earth standards maybe, but that's it. It's not scary, just slightly weird. Certainly a far cry from the hideous octopus-like blood-drinking brains from the book.

Does that mean this whole movie was a waste? Not necessarily, the Tripods were very cool...and that's about it.

Also, take a look at this. This is the alien from Independence Day (Which was awful for completely different reasons.). You'll notice that they both look exactly the same.

8. Robin Williams

Robin Williams is not funny. He's tedious and obnoxious to such an extreme he's received actual death-threats. So how bad can Mork be when a man so annoying as to insight feelings of murder calls the character a bad idea?

Bad. Very bad.

7. Everything from Star Wars

I've come to hate Star Wars over the years. Slowly, day by day, my memories of it sour more and more. No doubt some day I'll just straight up start burning their merchandise on my front lawn.

The aliens from Star Wars are a very special kind of lazy. They all follow the same formula: oddly colored human body + weird head. And that's it. Go ahead, rewatch those movies, you'll find that the majority of aliens, with the exception of Jabba are all people with weird heads.

Of course, we mustn't forget that behind these half-baked costumes are painfully one-dimensional comic reliefs.

6. Klaatu from the Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

First of all, I have nothing against Keanu Reeves, the man's a Highlander after all. That doesn't change the fact that The Day the Earth Stood Still was a stupid movie with a stupid premise.

In this picture, Neo plays Klaatu, an alien sent to Earth to tell the Human race that if they don't start driving electric cars and using solar power they will be exterminated to save the Earth from our evil greedy ways.

First of all, you can't have your protagonist threaten omnicide and expect the audience to sympathize with them. Also, if these aliens are so advanced that they can quickly exterminate the most wide-spread species on this planet wouldn't it be easier to give us the technology to make a cleaner energy source? It wouldn't be that hard, they wouldn't even need to kill anyone.

Aliens like these really frustrate me. We're supposed to think they're our moral superiors and we need to feel ashamed for being Human. Meanwhile they're killing countless people on-screen as they lecture us for being violent and primitive. I won't stand for it, no amount of giant glowing marbles will convince me otherwise. These aliens are hate-mongering eco-terrorists that rival the Daleks for sheer brutality. But while the Daleks are gleefully evil, these snobs try to pass themselves off as the good guys.

That will not do

With that said, Gort was still cool and the original movie actually did make sense. I encourage you all to see it. Also, Ted Logan isn't to blame for this mess, just Green Peace.

5. The Kzinti

This is probably the only creature on this list I feel guilty for resenting. The Kzinti aren't bad characters per se, they've got lots of interesting quirks. Their society is interesting and Ringworld was much improved by their presence. They're like Klingons, they're a credible threat but when the time comes to really show things just got serious, they're the first ones to get the beat-down. TVTropes would call this the Worf Effect.

The only problem is they're cat-like aliens.

I hate cat-like aliens because no matter what planet they come from, they're just cats. I know this seems like a weirdly specific thing to get fussy about, but surprisingly there's a ton of cat-like aliens floating around.

Why did everyone suddenly decide beings from another world must look like Mr. Whiskers? Because people are feeble-minded. Rather then really work their brain imagining something bizarre their primitive brains fall back to cute little kitties.

Now that I think about it, I don't have a problem with the Kzinti at all, I think they're great. It's all the other alien cats that I hate.

And furries.

4. Those Idiots from Signs

I don't need to tell you what an incredibly stupid movie Signs was. Plenty of other websites have pointed out in excruciating detail just how completely nonsensical this tripe was...but I'll tell you anyway.

First of all, the big twist in this movie is that the aliens are allergic to water.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Okay, ignoring the fact that Earth's surface is over 70% water why would you invade a planet with hostile natives that you have no defense against except poison spray? Keep that in mind, poison spray from your hand versus, well, anything us Earthlings have.

Secondly, why are these aliens naked when they invade a planet? What's the point of that? Humans wear clothes and we spend all our time on this planet.

So, in review, what we have here are creatures who think it's a good idea to invade a planet they're allergic to while wearing no protection whatsoever and their plan to subdue the natives (with nuclear weapons) is to spray their asthmatic children with poison. And while we're at it, why did they invade Earth in the first place? What was it that they wanted!?

And I'm supposed to believe that they were smart enough to invent space travel?

3. The Protoss

The Protoss of Starcraft are a race of mouthless telepathic warriors and they are relentlessly dull. They inhabit a weird niche in sci-fi: they're a race of alien religious zealot warriors with a predominately blue color scheme. Like cat-aliens, this is a bizarre cliche which has nonetheless endured, especially in video games.

All their units in the game use blue energy stuff to attack with, whether it be blue energy swords, or globs of blue energy stuff in their ships. They're sufficiently advanced aliens and nothing else, there's nothing else to their personality as a species.

I get it, the point is that they're supposed to be cool. But that's the problem, the Protoss aren't cool, they're just bland. Plus, they're the basis for an extremely boring stereotype all aliens in video games seem to follow.

Speaking of which...

2. Everything from Halo Ever

If there was ever a franchise that embodies everything wrong with science-fiction, video games, and fourteen year old boys in general this would be that franchise. Halo is a dull-minded mess of boring level design, flat characters, stupid plot and horrendous aliens.

First of all, the so-called Covenant, the primary antagonists, are obviously a stand-in for radical Islam. The first game came out in 2001 after all. They're everything wrong with the Protoss multiplied a thousand fold, playing the "scary religious fundamentalism" to it's furthest, justifying their war against Humanity as the will of their prophets or whoever. The same thing we've seen a thousand times thanks to them. But the problem isn't just the alien's boring lack of identity, it's that visually, they're a check list of sci-fi stereotypes. You have standard bugs, large gorillas, dudes with weird faces a la Predator and alien birds, among others.

Of course, one can always find exceptions, even in this mess. Apparently, in the later games there's large jellyfish-like beings that the player can occasionally find, from what I've read of them those sound pretty cool.

But everything else sucks.

1. Space Smurfs


This is what is wrong with the 21st Century.

My family is baffled that I don't like Avatar. At first glance it does sound like the kind of thing I'd enjoy: a well thought-out ecosystem, the whole movie taking place on another planet, a very well designed and realistic space ship at the beginning. It all seemed to be going so well for the first five minutes.

But then came the ridiculous blue cat-people.

Everything about this movie from it's misanthropic environmentalist message to the long-winded first act to the impossibly stupid alien design is wrong. It embodies a paradigm shift that started in 2000 that has been rotting the brains of every man woman and child on this planet to make us believe we're inferior to simple-minded animals.

First of all, ignoring the society of these imbeciles for a moment, their biology makes no sense. The planet in the movie clearly has a diverse ecosystem with creatures that don't look like they would come from Earth, so why is the local sentient species blue Humanoids? And don't tell me it's convergent evolution because that's not good enough. These are the personification of the appeal to nature fallacy and the juvenile belief that the movie-watching public cannot sympathize with a character that doesn't look like them.

The overblown environmental "message" is so stupidly obvious, the aliens literally "connect" to nature using their hair braids, all the while looking like they just walked off the set of Dances With Wolves.

It's the same balderdash The Day the Earth Stood Still tried to pull, demonizing the same creatures watching the movie and presenting a farcical alternative. I place the blame for the blossoming misanthropy of this generation solely on movies like this. It's fiction like this that makes teenagers turn to vampires and blue-skinned cat people for emotional support. It's grooming an entire generation to believe it's influence on this planet is nothing but negative.

People are not perfect, of course, but I'd rather be living among puny Earthlings if it means I'm not surrounded by self-righteous overgrown smurfs.

Friday, October 21, 2011

White Gold

Before we continue, I'd like you all to know that you, you've not. Got. That. Look. IN YOUR EYES.

Anyway, I've had a rather tumultuous week this week. First and foremost, my video card died. This is a tragedy, there is no doubt about that. It all started a few days ago, when my computer wouldn't turn on. In a panic, I opened it up and blasted as much dust as I could out. Again and again I tried to get the be-deviled thing to work, when suddenly I had an epiphany: I would take out the video card. Naturally it turned on fine, but hideously underpowered. This means that, once again I am left to rely on my much maligned integrated card until I can scrounge up enough monies to play my precious Supreme Commander again. As you can guess, I've been left in a terribly unstable emotional state by this. Tears were had by all.

What does this mean for the map? Surprisingly, not much. Half-Life 2 is one of the few games which runs more or less normally on the dinky integrated card. Sure, HDR lighting doesn't work and Hammer is a little (more) unstable, but it's nothing drastic. So don't worry ladies and gentlemen, Hypnophobia lives on.

On a much lighter note, I've told some of you already, but recently I got the greatest puppet ever. See, the historic downtown of my city is a cultural hub of sorts and I go there every other week to keep my finger on the pulse of this great city. Well, in one of the many gift shops there I spied the perfect stuffed animal.

Imagine if you will a fluffy white a magicians hat...and you put your hand in the hat to animate the bunny.

I don't mind telling you, when I saw it I laughed. For, like, five minutes straight. Tears were running down my face, other customers started to worry. Naturally, I bought it and I promise you I am going to make a video and put it here for the whole world to see.

The world must know about Frank: Bunny Supreme.

Also, I just recently finished watching all of Aeon Flux, the show not the god-awful movie. It's pretty good, pretty good.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I've had more then my fair share of self-doubt while making Hypnophobia. I haven't told any of my colleagues but I've had a hard time convincing myself this map is abstract enough. I've actually went back and changed some of the earlier areas several times because they look to normal too me, and I'm still unhappy with it.

And of course I'm worried construction is taking too long. I'm worried this will take longer to build then Insomnia which I don't need to remind you took a year to build and only stopped because the compiler stopped working.

At least that's how I felt yesterday.

I was compiling as usual, when I checked the log afterward the entdata section was at 51.4%. As you know, Insomnia stopped compiling when it's entdata was just over 100%. This means that somehow, by some bizarre miraculous circumstances Hypnophobia is a little less then halfway done. Suffice to say, I'm shocked. I've actually taken steps to prevent this kind of inflation, func_details and all that jazz.

I didn't consider this map even a quarter of the way done, let alone half. There's still so many areas I have planned, I have no idea if I can get to them all. But on the other hand, this is a pleasant surprise, it shows that despite my doubts, progress is being made (at a startling rate I might add).

With that said, here's a picture of Carlton: