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#1 itworks

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:31 AM

I love the x-com games to death (I even liked Interceptor) but always irked me: The storyline of the aliens.

Ufo makes sense: Advanced aliens attack earth, ok..

But then came TFTD, and it starts to get weird. So, the aliens sent T'leth 65 million years ago to Earth, T'leth crashes and deactivates until the brain on Cydonia activates it again. Why are the aliens from Ufo less advanced, than the aliens from TFTD? The opposite should be the case! T'leth slept millions of years, while the "space aliens" had 65 millions of years time to do something.. but they are still technologically on the same level as their T'leth cousins!? In fact, T'leth seems to be more advanced.. WTF?

Then comes Apocalypse.. and those aliens have nothing to do with the UFO or TFTD aliens. How are they related? Are they even related? But they must be involved with each other somehow, because you meet those sectoids in the alien dimension (kept as food.. WTF?)

Was there ever an official "bible" on the aliens in development, to explain the inconsisties, by Microprose or the Gollop brothers or whomever?

#2 Zombie

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

It was David Ellis' job (designer of Interceptor and author of all the official strategy guides) to create a unified timeline for the X-COM franchise. This came with the original Interceptor packaging IIRC. However, by his own admission, the timeline is far from perfect. The following is taken from Dave's interview with cyke from The Last Outpost:

Just to expand on that Dave, as you were the man literally defining the official timeline! Where did the Apocalypse aliens come from and why were they so different? What was their place in the X-Com Universe? It always fascinated me that the Sectoids appeared as food in one of the later alien buildings.


You see, that's the real crux of the problem they don't fit in! The Sectoids are a powerful race (second only to the Ethereals in the "official history"). How would they be subjugated and bred as food?

The absolute honest answer is that we hadn't really figured out what the Apocalypse aliens were all about. We were hoping to kind of breeze by that point and get back to the original aliens. Sorry I don?t have a better answer, but that's the honest truth.


You may also want to check out the timeline over at StrategyCore which was constructed by Shaun Green. He attempted to fill in some of the blanks left open to interpretation by the official account. :wink1:

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Edited by Zombie, 15 May 2008 - 09:43 AM.
Fixed garbage characters from cut 'n paste, added link to SC.

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#3 Gimli

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:15 AM

Well, I spent some time banging my head against the wall with this, but the simple truth is that the story is not all that good and with every game being different it's barely connected. Here's a simple contradiction:

http://www.xcomufo.c...ig/shot0067.png (suggests aquatic origins, i.e. Aquatoids)
http://www.xcomufo.c...ig/shot0073.png (suggests that the Sectoids are originals)

#4 Zombie

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 12:15 PM

The Official Strategy Guide for TFTD by Dave Ellis smooths over this inconsistency with this statement:

Autopsies performed on Aquatoid subjects reveal that their adaptation from Sectoids to aquatic life forms did not result from natural evolution but from extensive surgically performed genetic alteration.

So it's a little unclear from the UFOPaedia articles which came first, but if the OSGs interpretation is used, the Aquatoids evolved from the Sectoids with some genetic alterations. Aquatoids obviously have green skin and have more pronounced webbing between the fingers and toes which suggests that the Sectoids were not a totally aquatic creature to begin with. Most of their time was spent on land. Aquatoids are just the opposite, they are aquatic creatures and spend a limited amount of time on land. :)

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#5 NKF

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:59 PM

I've always had a very loose idea of the history. It went something like so:

Ages ago the aliens sent T'Leth for some purpose or other. It's not clear what, but it ended up crash landed on earth due to a solar flare. They went into stasis.


Later on, Sectoids come along with the intent of using earth as raw material for their experiments. Find resistance and get wiped out. It's possible during the event they locate T'Leth, but never quite get around to contacting them by the time X-Com comes in and tracks mud all over their leader's hallowed hall's.

T'Leth is reactivated. Stuff happens over the time gap where the aquatoids build up their forces, enslave Gill-men and modify various aquatic creatures to do their bidding. Note, Sectoids are aliens that constantly re-engineer themselves to adapt to their environment. Since their mothership is stuck underwater, the end up re-engineering themselves to work underwater.

Fast forward, the Hyperion is sunk, X-Com is re-formed. As for the technology, the sectoid grandpa's technology may not necessarily be more advanced than those in UFO. Just going by the game's raw numbers, we only assume they are stronger. For all we could know these are the alien's equivalent of muskets. Since nothing from the last war was left behind, X-Com has to reinvent the wheel so to say with whatever material they can get their hands on.

In the end, X-Com defeats the Great Sleeper by killing the cryo-vats with the sectoid-like fetuses that act as its life support batteries and T'Leth blows up and does nasty stuff to the earth.

Insert interceptor stuff here. Basically aliens decide to get frisky - X-Com hoses it down. :D

Fast forward to Apocalypse, and these new and completely unrelated aliens show up, using sectoids as food. When you get close to the end of Apocalypse, you learn that the Micronoid aggregates are behind all this. We can assume that this is a new race of aliens that go along, assimilate all sorts of random aliens (note how most of them are either unrelated or have no purpose bar act as a living weapon or to transport micronoids in the case of the brainsucker). Due to ailing resources, they decide to attack the earth and X-Com is called for once again.

But what about the sectoids as food? The micronoid aggregates could very well be enemies of the sectoids from another dimension (the micronoids - not the sectoids). Note the sectoids are probably weakened at this, perhaps due to overspending on attacking the earth, so they get run over by the aliens from another dimension.

Another possibility during this time is that the humans have started to crossbreeded with sectoids to create the hybrids. It's possible that the sectoids in the alien dimension were taken from the home-bred bunch used for creating the hybrids. Note these guys are silver as opposed to the original tan sectoids.

Dimension laser grid generator is wiped out, some hapless X-Com agent is turned into polygons, Annihilator escapes, and a resounding "yes" by the commander, who at this time is probably sitting alone in the room with the comm-ops officer for reasons unknown (or as someone said to me: it was just the commander sitting alone in a room making funny voices), officially ending the X-Com saga.

That's my loose and unofficial interpretation of the history. :D

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Edited by NKF, 15 May 2008 - 02:26 PM.

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#6 stewart

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 02:22 PM

I tried to reconcile them with my own explanation but I didn't know the interceptor story at the time though.
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#7 gufu

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 02:50 PM

I tried to reconcile them with my own explanation but I didn't know the interceptor story at the time though.

Sorry, the link that brought you to this page seems to be out of date or broken.


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#8 Zombie

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 02:58 PM

Nah, it isn't broken. You just don't have permission to view that post in the Xenocide forum. Stewie must've forgot about that. :blush1:

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#9 itworks

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 04:28 PM

I've always had a very loose idea of the history. It went something like so:

Ages ago the aliens sent T'Leth for some purpose or other. It's not clear what, but it ended up crash landed on earth due to a solar flare. They went into stasis.


Later on, Sectoids come along with the intent of using earth as raw material for their experiments. Find resistance and get wiped out. It's possible during the event they locate T'Leth, but never quite get around to contacting them by the time X-Com comes in and tracks mud all over their leader's hallowed hall's.

T'Leth is reactivated. Stuff happens over the time gap where the aquatoids build up their forces, enslave Gill-men and modify various aquatic creatures to do their bidding. Note, Sectoids are aliens that constantly re-engineer themselves to adapt to their environment. Since their mothership is stuck underwater, the end up re-engineering themselves to work underwater.

Fast forward, the Hyperion is sunk, X-Com is re-formed. As for the technology, the sectoid grandpa's technology may not necessarily be more advanced than those in UFO. Just going by the game's raw numbers, we only assume they are stronger. For all we could know these are the alien's equivalent of muskets. Since nothing from the last war was left behind, X-Com has to reinvent the wheel so to say with whatever material they can get their hands on.


OK, but still, the gap between T'leth and the invasion in 1999 is 65 million years! What were the aliens doing in that time space? I don't agree with the musket-analogy - they must be extremely sucky inventors - a plasma gun is not much better than a T'lethian sonic gun or a disruptor launcher. And they needed 65 million years for plasma? But then again - they can't be such sucky inventors, because in Interceptor they have again a much better technology than humans in the beginning. And the time gab between Interceptor and Ufo is much less than 65 million years...

Another thing I never understood - how does the brain works? The ufopedia is saying, that the aliens in UFO and TFTD are basicaly like bee drones, BUT, how does interrogation even work? How can alien commanders give the position of the brain/dreamer? No matter how much you torture a drone, a drone is a drone. A bee/ant drone would never give the position of the queen out. Why have drones ranks by the way? Commanders and leaders should be an oxymoron for a hive-like civilization.

And how many brains are out there? Had every base in interceptor a brain/dreamer?


I love the x-com games, but the storyline is a bit problematic.

#10 NKF

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:31 AM

The time gap - easy: The aliens forgot. :D Or rather, the main alien force may just not have bothered to send out a force to investigate why they lost contact with T'Leth nor did they bother to take any interest in the milky way until much later. It's possible T'Leth and its crew were just pioneers setting out into the unknown universe looking for new places to settle and/or harvest.

That unfortunately makes them sound too innocent rather than as the sinister aliens we've come to know. Oh well.

Also, the universe is a big place. It probably took the sectoids that huge time gap to take notice of our little solar system.

The musket analogy was just used as an extreme. :D Seriously though, we don't know how the weapons in one game could fare against weapons in the other. The T'Leth crew probably used the same old tech that the invasion fleet in UFO used (or perhaps older), but had to adapt to sonic weapons due to their environment when their ship got stuck in the sea.

As for alien having better tech in Inteceptor - it's part of the awful thing called game balance. You don't want the game to be too easy right from the beginning and you need some good tech to aspire to throughout the game, so your starting tech is dumbed down a bit. Same thing happened in Apocalypse, although you do start off with some fairly good long-lasting tech in that game from the word go.

As for the brain/sleeper: Perhaps it's not a good idea to think of the hive mentality as one-mind-many-bodies. Instead, think of them more as having powerful coordinators. All of the aliens probably have independent thought and the ability to act on their own. However, they coordinate their operations with the brain/sleeper via their vast psionic networks. The brain/sleeper is an alien that has undertaken some very heavy modifications that allow it to coordinate an army of troops, at the cost of becoming an invalid (or in the case of the brain, a big meatball).

The brain/sleeper are more like generals. Each task force of aliens sent out throughout the universe will have to be lead by one.

(Let's completely ignore the big boss in Enforcer: That was just some ethereal with a fancy energy shield plugged into some power units.)

The inconsistencies and plot holes are awful, but at least they've left out enough for us to use our imagination to fill in the gaps.

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#11 itworks

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:56 AM

The time gap - easy: The aliens forgot. :D Or rather, the main alien force may just not have bothered to send out a force to investigate why they lost contact with T'Leth nor did they bother to take any interest in the milky way until much later. It's possible T'Leth and its crew were just pioneers setting out into the unknown universe looking for new places to settle and/or harvest.

That unfortunately makes them sound too innocent rather than as the sinister aliens we've come to know. Oh well.

Also, the universe is a big place. It probably took the sectoids that huge time gap to take notice of our little solar system.


"The aliens forgot" is a lousy explaination. Maybe it makes more sense storywise, if T'leth wasn't sent 65 million years ago, but just some hundred years ago. It passed accidentally some time altering phenomena in space, that sent the ship backwards in time. That's the reason why navigation systems malfunctioned, and thus T'leth crashed.

I think it makes more sense this way.

"It probably took the sectoids that huge time gap to take notice of our little solar system"

Are the sectoids running the show? I thought the commanders were the ethereals.

#12 NKF

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:06 AM

What does time, by our standards, mean to the aliens though? Their empire could span many millions of years - plus space travel would take some time even with their advanced ships so they'd be quite familiar with long cold-sleep naps. What gets me however is that they've got the technology to provide life support for that great amount of time. I take it everyone on board T'Leth would've been put to sleep, so wouldn't the unattended equipment eventually break down? Or surely their bodies, if not their minds, would decompose slowly?

I'm not sure who runs the show. I wonder if ethereals are just highly evolved forms of sectoids (or whatever species the sectoids originated from), as they both heavily re-engineer themselves for improvements and to adapt to new environments. If anything though the sectoids seem to be the common connecting alien across the various game - with a somewhat distant relation in TFTD.

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#13 itworks

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:37 AM

What does time, by our standards, mean to the aliens though? Their empire could span many millions of years - plus space travel would take some time even with their advanced ships so they'd be quite familiar with long cold-sleep naps. What gets me however is that they've got the technology to provide life support for that great amount of time. I take it everyone on board T'Leth would've been put to sleep, so wouldn't the unattended equipment eventually break down? Or surely their bodies, if not their minds, would decompose slowly?

- NKF


My guess is that T'leth didn't have that many colonists on board to begin with. In TFTD many "aliens" are in fact just modified earthy creatures. Maybe there were just only about 100 aquatoids on T'leth at the start of the travel or something.

What irks me also in the x-com games, is the fact, that the aliens at the end always nuke the earth up (if you lose). Which contradicts their actions in the games. In UFO and TFTD they experimented and harvested and infiltrated.. only to kill all humans in the end? I thought they wanted to create a hybrid race or something, possibly to enhance their army. If they wanted just destruction, wouldn't it be easier, to just send some battleships with atomic(blaster) bombs, and nuke the earth from the orbit? In apocalpse, the bad ending shows the destruction of the earth, while in the game itself, the aliens didn't want to kill, but to infect everyone with micronoids.

#14 stewart

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:37 AM

How 'bout there's only so much scientific knowledge about the properties of the universe that there is to know. So as you approach that final item, the rate of discoveries slows down. Or maybe they just dicovered everything there is to know 64.99999 MY ago? SO they've had plasma for 64.999 MY; which is 10 years after T'leth. That's not unreasonsable. :)
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#15 stewart

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:39 AM

I tried to reconcile them with my own explanation but I didn't know the interceptor story at the time though.

Sorry, the link that brought you to this page seems to be out of date or broken.


Doh!

Earth itself is the actual home-world of the aliens.? When we evenually go out and explore the galaxy we will find it being the only planet with a significant foscil history.

About 70 Million years ago an octopus like species of non-sentient animals developed the ability to signal each other via mental telecommunication.? At first this communication constituted things such as "there is a shark" "I want to mate" "I found food" "You are in my territory".? This modified the species behavior so that it became a social animal such as wolves are.? As such the species became more successful and began to represent a larger and larger portion of the biomass in the oceans.? At some point a critical population was reached and with the sharing of experiences and memories and so on a few individuals began "noticing things" in ways that animals would not.? The stirings of intellegent thought had began.? These individuals therefore became more successful within the species and so their progeny went on to become the population of the species.? Language became more developed and with it intellegence, eventually leading to primitive civilization.? Eventually Geothermal power was harnessed which ushered in a technical civilization.? Fision power was next followed by fusion.? Eventually, the science of genetics was developed.

In order to exploit the land genetic experimentation began with creating several races from the octopus race and various species living in the oceans and on land.? (Insert explanations for various XCOM 2 races).

With an arm of civiliztion established on land.? Flight and then interplanetary spaceflight were inventeded.? Back then Mars had an Earth like environment and was colonized and civilization established there.? However, Mars was beyond the range of Pschic Communication with earth.? This lead to separate communities with separate identities.

Earth created a colonyship (sublight sleeper-ship) whose roll was to colonize a nearby star system.? The Martians saw the huge ship being developed in earth orbit and assumed its roll was offensive, and decided to exterminate the earth.? Mars at the time had three moons. The farthest and smallest (about 6 miles across) was sent on a collision course with earth 65 million years ago.? The path of the moon was designed to approach the earth from the sun and intercept the ship as well, destroying it then pasting the earth.

The moon took earth by surprise. However the ship spotted it with minutes to spare.? It maneuvered to avoid a direct collision. However, the ship was grazed and damaged.? The gravity of the moon pulled the ship down with it into the earths atmosphere and it crashed.? All that remained of the "Octupus" race was one "caretaker" in that damaged ship and some genetic material for creating more.

After an investigation the Martians recognized their mistake.? For the guilt felt over the misunderstanding and extermination of the "Mother Race", Earth and the crashed ship were left alone as a memorial and as an attempt to make ammends. The Martians realized that if they were to colonize space they would need to find a way to boost Psionic reception over the vastness of space and thus avoid the misunderstandings of the past.? They researched the nature and structure of space and other dimensions and with further genetic experimentation created the means of extending psychic communication through intersteller space. (Description of various XCOM 3 races here).? In particular large brain-like individuals were created; their roll to extend the network of "the collective" into interstellar space.

Colonyships were created and Martian civilization spread-out in the galaxy. Different planets had different environments and various races were developed to live in these environments (Description of Various XCOM I races).? Also, various non-sentient species were discovered and genetically manipulated (remaining races of other Xcom games described here).

But something happened. Since psionically linked civilization spread over many many star systems anouther critical population was reached.? Unbeknownst to individuals a hive/collective over-mind created from the collective minds of all sentient members within civilization awakened, and it wanted control.? This over-mind began influencing socially powerful individuals.? What the individuals experienced were feelings of paranoia of some other kinds pschosis but in actuality these were drives being impossed by this over-mind.? Non-Psyonic races found their rights within society errode until finally they were enslaved, so that the over-mind could maintain absolute control over them.? To Psyonic individuals the minds influence was on levels so subtle that it was not detected.? These actions seems like logical social consequences.? Afterall, the decision to enslave the races was made in the governement general assembly (or so everyone thought).

On Mars though one day one particular Sectoid became aware of the diabolical over-mind.? It killed the local brain on Mars and cut the link to the collective.? Two things happened: (1) the over-mind understood what had happened and drew up it's plans to squash the Martians. (2) the Martians recognized that trouble would show-up eventually but due to the large interstellar distances and the subtle levels the over-mind had to work on the responce would take a great deal of time to occur.

The Martians decided to respond in two ways: (1) they would prepare their defenses for the inevitable fight, (2) create a powerful but non-psyonic race which could, perhaps one day free the Galaxy of the evil over-mind.

It was decided that this race would be created and nutured on Earth; to hide it, as it were.? Though Earth was off limits, out of nessessity it had to be used.? However, the sanctity of the crashed spaceship was respected.? So the race of the humans was created.? The brain capacity of the Etherials along with the robustness of the Mutons were the desired traits. So humans were created using Etherial and Muton DNA which was then further modified and inserted into a mammalian species that had evolved independantly on earth.? Over the eons the human race was slowly built by artificial but what outwardly appeared as natural evolution.? The idea was to give the impression that this was natural evolution to hide the developing species as an artificially created one.

The inventible invasion occured and Mars was devasted and rendered uninhabitable as the Martians had expected.? The over-mind decided that Earth should be colonized as well, and set about on it's plan to do so.? Due to the level on which it acted this meant that this action would take a long time though.? During this time the Over-mind sought out the mind of the "Great Dreamer". The last surviving caretaker of the crashed ship of the original Mother species.? The idea was to awaken the caretaker and have it declare that it was okay to exploit Earth, that all was forgiven.? The problem was that the Dreamer was not only in a coma but had sustained some brain damage and would be very difficult if not impossible to awaken.? Time having little meaning to the over-mind it set-out on it's task to awaken the Dreamer anyway.? At the same time the over-mind made contact with the ships AI, and slowly worked on gaining control of it as well.

First, a scientific base was established on Mars, with a new brain put into place.? Man developed and the over-mind noticed.? Not realizing that man was an artificially created species the over-mind setout to enslave man as it would any other discovered species.? Mans only hope now was that the over-mind operated slowly due to the subtle levels on which it worked; this would give man time.? The barrier the over-mind had to overcome was that to individuals of civilization, Earth was the holy planet made so out of race-wide feelings of guilt and so there was tremendous resistance to tampering with it.? Slowly though over the ages what was acceptable interaction with Earth became more and more invasive.?

The pace of the unfurling of the over-minds plans was too slow in it's judgement, man was advancing quickly.? However, man developed atomic weapons and used them.? The over-mind tried a new tact.? It introduced feeling of anxiousness into the minds of leaders.? They "became" concerned that man might destroy the biosphere of the "holy" planet and so action would need to be taken.?

The "religion of guilt" though, still hampered the over-minds plans.? Rather than simply show-up weapons in hand.? It was suggested that education and peaceful interaction may be all that was nessessary.? Afterall if cornered man, being a primitive barbaric species, might torch the planet anyway.? This idea in the minds of the aliens was bolstered when the initial contact team was shot down and crashed near Roswell, New Mexico.? So, secretive contact eventually was made with high governement officials of Earth.? The aliens telling Earth that they came from other star systems and their interests and mission, were coincidentally, similar to that of "The Federation" on what would become in a few decades a popular Earth television SF program.? The idea was to lure Earth into joining a "Steller United Nations" and then slowly take over.

In parallel with "official" governement contact the aliens also established relationships, with various other unofficial organizations; namely the illuminaties.? These organizations powerful in their own right but in more subtle ways were sought out as a means to operate against any potential governement activity which could undermine the aliens plans.

In order to determine the effecacy of potential human enslavement, some humans were abducted and examined.? Unfortunately, despite the late Martians best efforts, unmistakeable Etherial DNA was discovered in some humans.? Those humans with a predisposition to ESP and 6th sense and so on had the genes.? This alerted the over-mind.? The aliens began to conduct research on Earth animals and plants to determine if the "Etherial" genes in humans was simply coincidental occurances or deliberate.? Whereas samples taken from the wild went unnoticed experiments conducted on domestic animals were; cattle mutilation for example being the most visible (though such things did infact occur to other animals such as goats and sheep and so on).? This along with abductions increased.? When questioned by Earth authorities the aliens denied any knowledge.?

In an attempt to further convince authorities that this was the work of Earthly organizations the illuminaties were asked to create bizzare "crop cirlces" (among other things, for example) the idea being that their Earthly origin would eventually be discovered and so seed the idea that "Cattle Mutilation" was also of Earthly origin and so would be more credible as such.? The illuminaties by the way, were told the purpose of the crop circles was part of the cerimony of the aliens religion when in reality their purpose was simply to be bizzare and eventually found-out.

When the Soviet Union collapsed there was a sharing of knowledge of the aliens by all countries.? The various governements of Earth began putting the pieces together.? Since some governement officials were also memebers of the illuminaties their experiences also got thrown into the mix.? By the late 1990's the aliens intentions became clear to man.?

At first individual countries attempted to deal with the threat.? (Insert XCOM 1 story line here).

As XCOM troops were penetrating the Martian base the over-mind knew that eventually the Brain would be destroyed cutting the link to the collective again.? The rate at which it could act on the collective to respond would not be fast enough to meet the threat that the technologically advancing human race would pose.? The only hope the over-mind had left was the Great Dreamer.? Rather than trying to awaken the Dreamer the over-mind guided the Dreamers subconscious to the artifical mind of the ships AI, and replacied the over-minds authority vis-a-vis the ships AI with that of the Dreamer.? The over-minds plan was that perhaps the Dreamer could destroy or enslave man or, at any rate, slow-down the advance of man into the Galaxy, enough for the over-mind to respond effectively with it.? The over-minds plan worked as over the millenia the Dreamer grew to trust the over-mind.

(Insert further XCOM time-lines).


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#16 Gimli

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:14 PM

That's very interesting stuff, although the question marks annoyed me. :P Although, T'Leth was said to be damaged by a solar flare. You can ignore it of course, if you wish.
Anyway, I had prepared my own rough draft of what happened, but my computer got a BSoD, and not the first time on this installation of XP, either. Luckily, I saved the whole post, but it's not finished so I'll post it in the morning. There are a few similar ideas, too.

#17 stewart

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 04:45 PM

T'Leth was said to be damaged by a solar flare. I'll post it in the morning.


The overminds propaganda to combat "The religion of Guilt" :innocent:

Look forward to reading it :)
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#18 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:57 AM

Here's my version, I came up with it when I was re-doing the TFTD USOpedia, it is not much detailed as to what Sectoids' intentions are, but at least it's not vague and foggy :)

Sectoids exist on our dimension. They expand their empire by launching colony ships into the far recesses of space. These colony ships carry both equipment, resecources, and a vast genetic library of races that they have conquered throughout Sectoid history. Once a colony ship lands on a planet, the Sectoids take control of every available resource, through force if necessary. They update their collective genetic library with the natural species they encounter as well as productive results of genetic/surgical/chemical etc alterations they perform on the natives. It is difficult to understand whether a certain race accompanying the Sectoids is an actual result of evolution or the product of their experiments (even the Sectoids lose track of their own work).

The hive mind is controlled by central nodes, or the alien bases. For newly conquered planets, this is the brain that comes with the colony ship. Every Sectoid is connected to a home base, which in turn are connected to the central brain for that planet, which is connected to the inter-galactic (or inter-stellar) hive mind. It's not clear whether there is a central control at the top of the pyramid (though the hierarchy suggests there is).

Two such colony ships are sent to our solar system, T'leth and Cynodia. T'leth makes its landing about 65 million years ago, it's unclear whether Cynodia arrived before or after (possibly around the same time). Both ships start colonisation of their respective planets (Earth and Mars). It is unclear whether Mars used to be a barren, but it was possibly a lot like Earth considering the Sectoids sent a ship to colonise it. Another possibility was to have an outpost on Cynodia in case Earth's colonisation (somehow) failed.

T'leth Sectoids encounter the Gillmen race, but they quickly overcome and enslave the inferior species. After this brief struggle the colonisation goes on as normal with collection of resources and genetic material for some time. It is unclear how, but Earth goes through a catastrophy that almost destroys the planet. Most likely scenario is a comet striking the planet, drastically altering the climate, burying continents in sea and so forth. Almost the entire planet is buried beneath a single ocean, sinking many alien bases and T'leth itself. The Earth colony initiated by T'leth faces extinction, so T'leth orders every single base shut down and every Sectoid and collected specimen stored cyrogenically.

At this point T'leth's algorithm has three objectives: 1) wait until the planet restores itself and becomes habitable, 2) search the genetic library for life forms suitable to current conditions in case the planet doesn't restore itself and produce vast quantities of said specimen, 3) start genetic mutations, surgical/chemical alteration on Sectoids so they can live in the current conditions, in case the planet doesn't restore itself.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems. T'leth's algorithm is vastly damaged during the cataclysm, it cannot contact the inter-stellar hive mind to request aid, and it cannot correctly record the changes in the planet's habitat. Thus T'leth sleeps, buried deep in the ocean, unable to complete its mission.

Meanwhile, Cynodia has almost finished colonising Mars, so they set-up communications with the hive mind. Cynodia learns that while they have been busy on Mars, the Sectoid empire has come under attack by an alien race from another dimension, the micronoids (that we know from Apocalypse). Cynodia is ordered to direct every available resource into the war effort, and T'leth is left to fend for itself (or forgotten).

The war goes badly for the Sectoids, as micronoids interrupt/infiltrate/break their psionic network and more planets fall to the infection of micronoids. The micronoids are incapable of interplanetary travel, but as micronoids capture more planets, they learn of other Sectoid planets and use other dimension gates to conquer more and more colonies. In desperation, the Sectoid hive mind orders the inter-stellar psionic network shut down, and the infested planets to be burned to ashes if they are able. A lot more planets are lost as Sectoids who even suspect infection on their planet destroy themselves to preserve their bloodline.

The result of the Micronoid-Sectoid war is devastating, what was once an inter-galactic empire is reduced to barren planets with almost no colony left behind. The micronoids, having suffered their share of casualties and destruction by the hands of Sectoids and unable to survive in our dimension without suitable hosts, close their dimension gates and apparently withdraw to recover from the failure of their invasion.

Meanwhile, Earth has flourished into the bustling ecosystem that is, but T'leth is unable to recognise that the planet is suitable for a Sectoid invasion. Even worse, the broken algorithm has evolved the Sectoids into what we know as Aquatoids, with an arsenal of weapons and assisting organisms suitable to an aquatic planet. Unaware of the recent war beyond the stars, unaware of even what is going on in its own planet, T'leth continues to sleep.

It is uncertain how many colonies (if any) besides Cynodia (and T'leth) survived the war. Cynodia took a long time to recover from the war, but when they did, they decided that once more they would rule this galaxy. Earth was their first target, and what started as reconnaissance and simply forays soon erupted into what we knows as the First Alien War.

It is important to note here that Cynodia made contact with T'leth before the war started, but Cynodia could hardly recognise its old brother. The Aquatoids in the cyrogenic chambers looked familiar yet different, the technology and species spawned by T'leth was truly alien. And controlling it all, the part computer part organism, T'leth, having slept repeating an insane algorithm for millenia. Cynodia decided that the best course of action would be to let T'leth sleep, it was impossible to determine what T'leth would try if they reactivated it.

Two important things provided the outcome of the First Alien War. First, Cynodia underestimated the humans' resourcefulness. Second, the Micronoids had pinpointed the psionic eminations, which had increased with the start of the war, of Cynodia. A small invasion of Cynodia had already started even as the Avenger landed at the gates of the Sectoid city. In its death throes at the hand of the humans, Cynodia sent a signal out to T'leth, completing the broken algorithm and warning of the micronoid response to the use of psionics.

The true story of the humans starts with the end of the First Alien War. With their only Elerium powered interplanetary ship destroyed at the mission on Mars, and with the Elerium resources running out, fast, humans reverted back to their usual (and easily acquired) power sources. Meanwhile, T'leth completed the formulation of its plan, replacing psionics with molecular control technology and an aquatic invasion instead of an aeriel one.

Thus started the Second Alien War, with an enemy far more sinister and complex. The aquatic battle conditions caused many problems for humans, but in time, and with a little bit of luck, they were successful in destroying T'leth before it could complete its ultimate mission. This time, however, all alien technology and resources, including the precious zrbite, were stored indefinitely, not to be used until humans faced another threat to their race.

It is interesting the next threat was not an alien one, but domestic in origin. After years of supporting the human race, including two alien campaigns trying to take over the planet, Earth had almost run out of natural resources. The humans turned their gaze toward Mars and its precious Elerium once more, and this time, using technology acquired in both wars, and the elusive compound zrbite that they hadn't been able to replicate, the humans built the first cargo ships that would harvest and transfer Elerium to supply Earth.

When their zrbite ran out, the humans switched to Elerium only ships, but the trickle of Elerium was not enough to support the entire planet. As vast populations died out and disease struck down the ecosystem, the organisations with power decided that the only way the human race could live on was to construct a city that had a controlled ecosystem with a limited amount of people living in it. It is unknown how much of the human race was sacrificed, but they lived on.

Who created the first Sectoid/Human hybrid is unclear. Even more mysterious is how they managed it. But in time, these "hybrids" started showing up in the city's population, displaying powers reminiscent of the First Alien War. Officially protected by the law as citizens but unofficially hated by humans, the hybrids try to find their place in society, just like the androids.

Inset X-Com Apocalypse story here.

PS: I like to think the presence of hybrids and their psionic eminations allowed micronoids to pinpoint Earth and start the

invasion through the dimension gates yet again.

PPS: Pretty much everything I've written here is my opinion of how things happened, non of this is official as far as I know.

Edit: Fixed format (copying from notepad apparently messed it up)

Edited by Jonaleth Irenicus, 20 May 2008 - 08:02 AM.

Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#19 Steelion

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:01 PM

That... actually makes a lot of sense. I like the inclusion of the Micronids as far back as before the first war.
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What is a thought, compared to the mind?
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#20 Gurluas2000

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 10:33 AM

You forgot the Interceptor story with humans harvesting Elerium in the far reaches of the Frontier, and discovering the Sectoid race was actually trying to destroy Earth again!

#21 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 06:07 AM

What is Interceptor?

:P
Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#22 Scrogdog

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:26 PM

What does time, by our standards, mean to the aliens though? Their empire could span many millions of years - plus space travel would take some time even with their advanced ships so they'd be quite familiar with long cold-sleep naps. What gets me however is that they've got the technology to provide life support for that great amount of time. I take it everyone on board T'Leth would've been put to sleep, so wouldn't the unattended equipment eventually break down? Or surely their bodies, if not their minds, would decompose slowly?

I'm not sure who runs the show. I wonder if ethereals are just highly evolved forms of sectoids (or whatever species the sectoids originated from), as they both heavily re-engineer themselves for improvements and to adapt to new environments. If anything though the sectoids seem to be the common connecting alien across the various game - with a somewhat distant relation in TFTD.

- NKF


Also, let's keep in mind the relativistic nature of space travel at high speed.

Time is relative to the observer. So what took 65 million years on Earth would not necessarily be the case for the aliens. Since the effect is more pronounced at higher speeds, we could assume perhaps that a mission to invesigate what happened to T'Leth was dispatched immediately. Since thier homeworld(s) are so distant, their high-speed ships took, oh... 1 million years to get here FOR THEM. For us, it took them 65 million years. :)

Those numbers would be highly dependent of alien homeworld distance and rate of speed of the travelling ship(s).

This would also assume that instant communication was possible between Earth and the alien homeworld a la Star Trek's "subspace" communications. Otherwise, at least part of the 65 million years was awaiting the reception of the distress call.