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Just a little thought game really, wondering what you all think of the theoretical origins of the Tyranids, and their current status as super-evolved bio-killers with little in their path to eventual galactic consumption and dominance over all things ...
Personally, I am of the opinion that similar to the way that the Old One's created their first warrior races (the Eldar and Rashan IIRC) to combat a growing threat to their way of life, could a mirror of this act have taken place with slightly different circumstances in a far flung galaxy, or maybe even as close as Andromeda?
What if they had the foresight to see the psionic apocalypse free-willed species would bring upon their empire, if indeed they were aware of the warp in such a way, and engineered a race that had a united consciousness that would prevent the feelings of the species taking root in the warp? Using no doubt advanced and heretical science, it may have been that the Tyranids were the pinnacle of biological warfare, designed to kill their enemies and adapt to any situation through digesting and selectively enhancing their gene-pool with the traits that make their opponents resistant or survivable. Where their opponent's prevailed, they divested the world of all resources, dooming the defiant inhabitants to starvation and death.
Unable to traverse space outside of the stasis chambers of their creator's vessels, they were the perfect weapon, able to be wiped out using coded-viruses to open up the possibility of inhabiting the worlds 'liberated' by the bio-mechanical horrors. But this is where the supposed farsight of their creators fails. Isolated pockets across the galaxy may have been overlooked or left behind as a scorched earth tactic, making sure no one but their creators could oust them, thus effectively garrisoning worlds not yet under the direct control fo their enigmatic creators. In these environments the hyper-evolutionary traits of the proto-nids took hold, locla biological matter providing the spawning beasts with new DNA to incorporate, new genetic templates to form. On one, or possibly many such worlds, inter-stellar grazers were encountered by spores drifting to new seeding grounds on the solar winds, or attracted to low orbit by the growing sentience of the Hive.
This unchecked evolution, and the integration of vacuum resistant and void swimming lifeforms into the swarm, signalled the beginning of the end for the bio-engineers that created such a horrific weapon. The loss of key installations and worlds to punitive strikes directed by the increasingly potent HiveMind resulted in the consumption of the core genetic samples used to breed more Tyranids artificially, as well as immature strains of the 'clearance' virus. With these genetic templates, the Tyranids became immune to the only weapon capable of stopping them en-masse, and the HiveMind gained the ability to engineer creatures that would no longer require the mere factors of fickle chance and new DNA to diversify the many forms of the Tyranids. Conscious manipulation of the racial gene-code had become possible with the consumption of the Bio-engineers and their 'Template' genomes and now the Hive Mind could create more potent killing machiens through observation as well as absorbption, meaning that even the annihalation of an entire Swarm without the gathering of hostile DNA would allow atleast some modification to the second wave.
Fuelled only by the hunger instilled into it by the nature of it's birth, the Hive Mind directed it's swarms in the consumption of all life in it's parent galaxy, and potentially others, always diversifying, developing new strategies and never once truly thinking beyond it;s instinctive drives, the only recognisable legacies of it;s creators... A hunger for biological matter, to fuel the genesis of more broods and creatures, and an insatiable need to constantly adapt and evolve, for the Tyranids were and are a mere weapon, and any sentience displayed by the Hive MInd is merely an extension of being the ultimate weapon, destined to defeat all in a tide of supreme, genetically engineered beasts.
(Sorry for the wall of text, but I just decided that as it is late and I have little else to do, I would share my thoughts on this matter... go nuts :p, Starcraft, GW material and some esoteric and barely remembered sources provided inspiration for this - with a little harking towards the 'Pilot Race' of Aliens for inspiration for the Bio-Engineer species)
Last edited by Sokahrthumaniel; August 4th, 2008 at 00:37.
Not trying to be snarky, but that sounds an awful lot like The Flood from Halo. But your "creation theory" does make some sense as far as how "unnatural" the Tyranid are. If they really were just the pinnacle of evolution, that would be kinda natural, wouldn't it?
Oh crap, we just inserted "Creation vs Evolution" into Tyranid fluff...
Well, at least we can all agree they're from another galaxy.
Last edited by psichotykwyrm; August 4th, 2008 at 10:20. Reason: spelling
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous."
---Ogvai Ogvai Helmshrot, Jarl of Tra, VI Legion Astartes
Oh i agree with both of you that there is nothing original or inventive about my fluff, it is just some concepts that fit the ibll wrapped up and the edges smoothed But what about your ideas of their origins? I quite like to hear what people have to say about the grey areas of GW fluff, cos IMO thats why they are there :p to let us come up with any crazy ideas we like .
I think there are some things it's just more fun not to know. Bear in mind that 40k is "told" from the point of view of the Imperium - they have no idea whatsoever where the Tyranids come from - they don't even know what they're really called!
If I had to hazard a guess, though I would suggest that the origins of the Tyranids were nothing like as dramatic as you suggest - I'd imagine they just evolved that way - survival of the fittest gone mad.
One thing I will say is that the odds of their beginnings being in the Andromeda system are minimal - if they were so close the hive mind would've hit the Imperium with everything it has very soon - and given the length of time your theory would require to actually work out (thousands if not millions of years) we can assume that the Tyranids came from a galaxy far far away - otherwise the Imperium would have been encountering Tyranids of a much less evolved state since the Crusades
I agree that some things can be more fun not to know, but we'd never know if our ideas were 'right' even if there is a right idea so no harm inp lying around >
Andromeda is still pretty far away though, even with warp travel, assuming that is the method of transit, would take in the region of hundreds of thousands of years. Even extremely fast sublight drive would take millions of years to get from fringe to fringe. That is discounting the time it may have taken for the species to develop, evolve, break free/leave it's homeworld (creation/evolution respectively) and then consume the entire galaxy. Tyranids may consume worlds within a hundred days or so now (from the gw fluff anyway), but they have had alot of practice in their last or possibly several galaxies.
On the other hand, the Nids would be am uch more dire threat if they had consumed several galaxies... Just look at how many ships and creatures are spawned from the consumption of just one world!
As a slight after thought, your comment about encountering less evolved Tyranids piqued my interest a little. We know that the Tyranids have been evolving as they fight thei nhabitants of our galaxy, but what if even the Leviathan was just a genetic probe of sorts, preparing the creatures making up the bulk of the species to remotely assess and gather genetic and tactical data, adapting themselves for the final purge of non-Tyranid life in the Milky Way .
Evolution-wise, I am wondering what kind of hellish environment would spawn creatures with a need to evolve so quickly, and the development of the Hive mind and integration of other DNA into their genepool would be a very interesting thing to have seen so to speak . Are the AdMech Biologis right in thinking that Gaunts/Warriors are the root Tyranid genus? Or would the millions of years of evolution they under took before even taking to the inter-galactic void have rendered their original form completely unrecognisable?
Looking at humanity, even in the age of the Imperium, we are a young species compared to most of the others in the Galaxy (bar a few), and even with a normal rate of evolution, man is vastly different from his original root genus. With the hyper-evolutionary traits of the Tyranids, and thei ncorporation of other racial genetic patterns, I doubt we'll ever know what the original Tyranid pre-historic form would have been...
Sorry for the conjecture and large amounts of text, i am just really into the 'what if?' scenarios right now .
Never apologise for asking questions young seers, through asking
questions we find answers, and through those answers we gain
knowledge of ourselves and the universe around us
Meet My Autarch
Also, in fairness, we haven't even proven beyond all reasonable doubt that evolution takes place. Or to be more precise - that humanity as we know it is the result of an evolutionary process. It's all very open ended and up in the air - so it can be messed around with a bit.
As for insects being the perfect form of life - some forms of insect certainly are extremely resilliant - but I wouldn't say that that makes them perfect. And for every person that claims insects have attained perfection, I can find you someone else who says the same thing about trees! Or fungus, or invertebrates or anything else for that matter. As far as I'm concerned Humans are the masters of Earth for now - so that's probably how nature intended it.
Right - that's me done on this thread, guys. I'm not terribly interested in the topic (I manage to get into enough discussions about evolution and the human race in day-to-day life) and I'm really here to escape into 40k. PM me if you need to talk about any of this for spiritual reasons, obviously my door's always open for those occasions, but otherwise - thechaplain, signing off.
It's also worth noting that Tyranids aren't insects, not even in appearance.. Some of them have six legs, yes, and a sort of half-and-half exoskeleton but they often look more like reptiles than insects. The fact that guardsmen call them 'bugs' I'd guess relates more to their behaviour than their appearance.
Tyranids are unlike anything we have on earth.. For one, their cardiovascular and digestive systems are the same thing and they digest things with their blood.. That's just wierd. They're also missing many of the organs earth animals have because most of them aren't meant to live to a reproductive age.. reproduction is handled by a separate organism. Most nids only need to live a few weeks/months.
The big thing which leads me to think Tyranids aren't engineered like the other races is that they have no essential purpose other than to feed. Even, Orks.. you can kind of see the utility there. Tyranids just move from planet to planet eating everything until there's nothing left but barren rock.
One thing I always wondered about though is.. what will happen if the Tyranids continue to eat the sentient beings of the galaxy? Will they eventually take on intelligence themselves? That could be a really interesting and unexpected end to the Tyranic wars.. if the creatures suddenly become human enough to question their own actions.
Heh.. more likely though, it's a big last stand with humanity getting munched. Oh well..
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; August 4th, 2008 at 22:00.
It is true Tyranids aren't really like insects. The Tyranid design is basically a human with aspects of Giger's Alien, dinosaurs and orthropods added. The orthropod part is what throws people off about thinking they are insects. The original brief the studio designers had for Tyranids was 'six-limbed space-dinosaurs'.
About the Tyranids origins is is important to note a few things. Tyranids don't wage war, they feed. Their purpose is to feed and they adapt to in whatever way they need to overcome any obstacle. They may need to go swimming in the sea for some reason so they adapt to have fins. Or if they need to clean their eyes they develop a long tongue like a lizard has to lick them. If they need to destroy a Warlord titan they develop a critter or group of critters big enought to destroy it. The idea of Tyranids waging war isn't something the Tyranids are aware of. Tyranids would never be violent if they didn't need to be. They will just recognise that anything that displays the charactaristics of a sentient race will require a certain amount of force. Basically they don't care if they kill a small shrub or kill a C'tan.
About where they came from? They are controlled by the Hive mind, it is all of them meaning they are one and they aren't they, they are 'it'. This raises the most important question about Tyranid origins, 'which came first the Hive mind or the Tyranid swarm?' We know this question as 'which came first, the chicken or the egg?' It might seem simple but an answer would radically alter what 'they' or 'it' are.
If the Tyranids came first then they developed the Hive mind as just a means of command and control. This also means they would abandon it if they came up with something better. The fluff about the Hive mind doesn't seem to imply they would happily scrap it. It's likely it wouldn't let them, it is them after all. If the Hive mind came first it might explain why they are so nasty. The Hive mind has been described as immortal hunger. It also lives (for lack of a better word) in the warp.
Tyranids are super predators and predators typically only leave their nest/habitat/lair when they hunt or feed. The Hive fleets spend almost all of their time in the warp moving from one planet to the next. Infact the Hive fleets almost only ever emerge from the warp when they are trying to eat something, it would seem they are more confortable there. This would imply the Tyranids have their origins in the warp. I doubt this has anything to do with Chaos. Chaos is a product of humanity, Eldar etc and therefore Chaos is destined to be eaten with the prey species that created it. Tyranids are more inhuman than all others. More likely the Hive mind is or was some form of warp entity that has developed a relationship with the species called Tyranids. A relationship which benefits both as they both spread and grow with each planet consumed.
Last edited by Leech; August 5th, 2008 at 18:05.