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<   No. 820   2005-04-25   >

Comic #820

1 Spanners: But you couldn't have pulled your neural interface out! In cyberspace you have no control over your realspace body!
2 Iki Piki: There's no way you could have reacted fast enough!
2 Serron: And if you unplug mid-program, you'd die anyway!
3 GM: {gleefully} Well done! It's not Paris. It's a slavering xenomorph, and now that you've discovered its secret it changes shape and attacks!
4 Spanners: Hmmm. That'll teach us to solve in-game puzzles.

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Aha! I had you with that last strip, didn't I? You thought I'd chickened out and decided not to kill Paris after all, didn't you?

The word xenomorph is often used in science fiction to refer to an alien being of some sort. It comes from the Greek ξενος (xenos), meaning "stranger, foreigner, or alien", and μορφη (morphe), meaning "form". The word morph has come via the compound metamorphosis to mean something that changes form, so one definition of xenomorph refers specifically to a shape-changing alien. It can also simply mean an alien, not necessarily with any shape-changing ability.

But the one the space crew are up against here is definitely the shape-changing sort.

2014-06-12 Rerun commentary: The miniature used to represent the not-Paris xenomorph is actually an umber hulk from Dungeons & Dragons.

I always thought the umber hulk's sideways mandibles had been borrowed from a giant beetle of some sort.

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