No Man’s Sky and Weird Creatures

No Man's Sky for the PC and PS4 has weird creaturesTook a little break from blogging for a while, for two main reasons. First and foremost, it’s been way too hot. Here in New York City, the heat index every day has been over 100 degrees, and it’s just been hard to do basic things, like exist. Our new house is 99 years old, and while that’s charming most of the time, the lack of central air conditioning is wearing on us this summer. Our bedroom and my son’s room are the only rooms with A/C, so we are spending most of our time trying to stay cool the bedrooms. My home office, such as it is, is a very small third bedroom, and while it does have a ceiling fan, I’ve learned that I will need to get an A/C unit for next year. Since I do most of my writing in there, the heat has put a huge damper on that.

The second reason I haven’t been blogging? I’ve been playing the new space simulator “No Man’s Sky” on my PS4. For those who don’t know. “No Man’s Sky” is a space simulation video game from Hello Games that is set in a universe of over 18 quintillion (18,000,000,000,000,000,000 just for a visual) planets. Each planet, as well as its plants, rocks and life forms, are all procedurally generated, which means that the game’s programming basically takes a set of rules and creates them from scratch, so you never quite know what you’re gonna get. Some worlds are icy and snow covered, like Hoth. Some are barren, rocky moons, some are scorching deserts, while others are lush water worlds with tropical islands. While the plant life so far hasn’t been very varied, the life forms have been quite interesting to say the least. I love the mix of the paranormal/cryptozoology and video games (see: Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Assassin’s Creed III), and this game has not disappointed with the weird hybrid creatures.

This first creature, discovered by my son, is an unholy cross of a grizzly bear head, chicken legs, dragon or bat arms, and a turtle body. My son dubbed him “Chicken Man,” and as creepy as it looks, our first sighting of it in the game was equally freaky. It was just running between rocks and trees in a big clump of growth in the distance, and it was equal parts hilarious and horrifying. Most of the animals we’ve come across so far were fairly normal looking, resembling ungulates or big cats for the most part. But seeing this weird, hybrid bipedal creature? It was like our own little simulated Bigfoot sighting. This thing was fast and elusive, with a very odd gait. More so than the other animals in game. But my son was finally able to catch up to it and scan it for his database, and give it an appropriate name (from a 9-year old‘s perspective, anyway).

This second creature I just dubbed “Bunnybird,” because it’s a bird with the head of a bunny. It reminded me of the mythical jackalope of North American folklore, which is essentially a rabbit with antlers. Since I still have about 17,999,999,999,999,999,996 planets to explore, I hold out high hopes that I come across a goatman, Sheepsquatch, a hodag, Jersey Devil, or something else as equally horrifying.

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