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File:Chryssalid 2595.png
File:Tentaculat 5274.png

When Not Enough Time Units comes at the worst possible moment...


Strategy

  • The Chrysalids. Oh god, the Chrysalids. The only monster in a video game that has actually managed to give people nightmares.
    • Some X-Com players will have their troops carry primed grenades in their off-hands when going into a terror site with Chrysalids - if they get zombified, they'll drop the grenade and kill themselves, and maybe soften up the Chrysalid. This contributor prefers to have his search teams run for cover while his heavy weapons backup sprays incendiary shells over half a neighborhood, just to make sure they get the bastard. When he manages to build up an effective interception force, shooting down any terror ship or battleship with Chrysalids becomes a #1 priority, preferably leaving nothing left to salvage. If this sounds lame to any of you, you've clearly never played this game.
      • Agreed. How scared does a CO have to be to tell his men to hold live grenade in case they are killed in melee...
      • Sounds like you're not using extreme enough prejudice. For those who haven't played the game: Chrysalids are super-fast, heavily armoured aliens (looking very much like the eponymous Alien) who sprint across the battlefield at an impossible rate, and in the earlier parts of the game can take the concentrated firepower of an eight-strong squad to bring down (sometimes even that barely hurts them). If they attack one of your team, they will kill them. Then the fun starts. Anyone 'killed' by a Chrysalid becomes a CPU-controlled zombie enemy. They hit hard, but they're slow, and easy to kill. Except...when you kill them, a brand-new, fully-grown Chrysalid bursts out of the corpse. If you're still using the starting weaponry, you might not have even killed the first one, yet, and now there're two. Run for your transport, and let the town burn.
        • The dead man switch method doesn't work as advertised. True, the explosion may damage the Chryssalid and kill the zombie ... but you've just killed an easily containable zombie and spawned another freshly-spawned Chryssalid, completely undamaged and with all of his Time Units to use.
      • Important note: they have no ranged attack, only melee. During terror missions civilians can also be zombified... And now imagine striking an Alien base. In twisty passageways of those bases Chryssalid could have appeared right before your squad and killed/zombified whole team in one turn. Luckily X-COM had opportunity fire but chance of taking a shot during enemy turn depends on soldiers Reactions skill and remaining Action Points (% of remaining AP modifies Reactions into actual value taken into account), hitting chryssalid during its turn requires very high Reactions and leaving lots of A Ps, but then you are so slow that you are just asking for a Blaster Bomb (basically, a scaled down nuke). Using HWP (basically, a scaled down tank) to create a barrier between uncovered area and your soldiers (standing soldier can shoot above HWP) might be effective but even on easiest difficulty Chryssalids in one turn can shred tank into pieces and still zombify some of your men. Only 100% reliable way to avoid zombification was to use Flying Suit to float above the ground.
      • Float above the ground? The designers rectified this little loophole in the sequel - the Tentaculats can fly (or float) too. And they manage to look even scarier - somewhat Lovecraftian, with bits of brain, beak and tentacles.... ugh. I don't know what we did to the designers to make them inflict those things upon us, but I for one am sorry and promise not to do it again, ever...
      • The Lets Play by GuavaMoment makes it even freakier. The Let's Play tells the story through each individual soldiers perspectives, and their first encounter with the Chrysalids can be pretty creepy.
    • So infamous are Chryssalids that one LP refers to first contact with them as "C-Day". And everyone knows exactly what "C-Day" means.
    • The Tentaculats. For one, you only encounter them at Alien Colonies, Artefact Sites and large Submarines. There's a good chance you'll be fighting them in the dark, which adds to the creepy atmosphere all to well. Second, they look like giant tentacled brains with huge octopus-like beaks.
  • In between turns, you can hear the pitter-patter and slithering of aliens walking around, the occasional weapon blasts, the screams of dying civilians, the opening and closing of doors, the fear that if the game switches to the main view then you will watch a Chryssalid or other enemy suddenly jump out and kill your troopers, the creepy music, and sometimes, total silence. And it doesn't help that the "Alien Turn" image is of a wounded soldier in a picture that is mostly black-and-white except for the red of his blood.
    • And right behind him is what looks like a Muton about to tear him apart with his bare hands.
  • Discovering the effectiveness of alien grenades and blaster bombs. The hard way. And then trying to organize some kind of retreat with at least half of your whole squad dead in one turn.
  • Discovering the effectiveness of psionic control. With a squad of troops who have low psi-strength.
  • Night missions, before you figure out effective night fighting tactics. Your troops get sniped from dark corners, and when you have your troops approach them, they just get cut down by reaction fire.
  • Terror From the Deep didn't get its name for nothing. Essentially, it's UFO Defense mixed with H.P. Lovecraft. The aliens you fight are the stuff of nightmares, especially the Tentaculats and Lobstermen.
    • To clarify on the latter, the Lobstermen are giant crustaceans that can shrug off any attack that isn't a melee weapon, while tearing your own troops to pieces if you are not prepared.
    • Many of the aliens in this game indulge in Body Horror. The Deep Ones are humans that were grafted with Aquatoid DNA in the most gruesome way. Bio-Drones are piloted by brains that were butchered into submission, and use a sonic beam based on their original vocal cords to scream their enemies to death.
  • In the reboot, Chryssalids can now jump. Two stories. You're not safe on the rooftops anymore!

XCOM (no hyphen)

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