Veronian Alien Addon for OpenXcom

Released (updated ago). Ranked 157 of 246 with 165 (0 today) downloads

Published by Leflair (mod ID: 1079952)


Requires at least OXCE 7.0.0 (2021-03-13

Get the latest OXCE version here

The Veronian mod pack - Leflair # Version 1.0B
Requires: OXCE, tested to work with version 7.0+
Alternative download link: Download Link

Forum Thread

You can most easily reach me through this discord.

Special thanks to:
Bohemonds excellent Unit Sprite Studio for making this manageable.
Buschers help with playtesting and balancing.
The Martian for the Battlesprite of the Viracoid (based of the UFO Defense concept art).
And the rest of the openxcom community for all the coding and spriting tricks I've found by looking around.

This species pack is a standalone submod that introduces the Veronians.

These biomechanial aliens are the workaholic team players of the Alien invasion. The Support player that happily buries their teammates under a mountain of free ammo packs in that online FPS.
They may appear cold, indifferent or even threatening, but inside their hard shells live a goey mass of tang that only wants to be best buds with everyone... but you, filthy human!

The Veronian menace are introduced with their own weapons and terror units as a primarily mid-to-late game species, but have a low % chance of appearing teamed up with various other aliens - providing new unique challenges for the veteran X-Com player.

The intention is for these guys to be challenging opponents in themselves, and provide new threats. But they should still fit in with other Aliens.

A step or two (or three) above Snakemen in capabilities, they have tough frontal armor, but less health than Mutons.

They are meant to provide a different type of threat than the Mutons, they will only rarely kill your soldiers outright, instead bypassing or damaging your armor and slowly chipping away at your soldiers ability to fight.
Some of them, especially at high tech tiers, have the ability to Turn your soldiers against you! But not by means of psi... for the specifics, there´s further spoilers down below.

They have a couple of weaknesses, and tactics that should work well against pure Veronian lists... which is why I´ve also added some mixed late game lists.

This mod packs consists of (spoilers for special abilities and weapons):

-A full set of the new Veronian alien species.

Soldier, Medic (Stun), Engineer (heavy weapons/grenadiers), Navigator (sharpshooters), Leaders and Commanders.

-Each rank has their own color coded sprite sets (Purple, Green, Brown, Black, Blue and Red respectively) with slight detail differences for the higher ranks.

-Three new Veronian alien guns and a grenade with new visuals and sound effects.

The Veronian guns are effective against armor and draining, but do little direct health damage. The Disruptors do laser type damage.

Tactics: As these weapons are unlikely to kill in one shot, but cripples (freezes/stuns/panics) the target, using sacrificial decoys may work well. HWP tanks are also resistant to the Veronian weapons.

You can research and unlock these guns for use, and you can unlock a new X-COM Disruptor tech, which allows you to research the X-Com Disruptor Gun and a manufacturing topic. Note, this requires both alien disruptor research (the heavy variant will unlock the XCOM research topic) as well as elerium and alloy research.

-The X-Com Disruptor Gun is effective both against and past armor, does little direct health damage but cripples the target. Good for helping you capture enemies. For balance it´s expensive, single shot (with heavy drop off to accuracy), aimed shot only (so no reaction fire and 55% TU cost) and relies on captured Veronian power cells (it can use both types).

-The Viracoid terror unit, a ranged variant of the Silacoid, based on the unused Concept Art "Glowing Silacoid" sprite sets (battlesprite set provided by the Martian). The Viracoid acts as a "blocking" unit.

Hard to catch in a screenshot, but they pulsate with their animation.

-A Viracoid weapon spit, launching a arcing Area of Effect acid-type globule that like the Veronian guns, do little direct damage but all kinds of crippling status effects.

-The Turned Ones, a terror unit for the Veronians.
These former humans have been turned by the fearsome Veronian Conversion Beam, an alternate ranged attack that their high ranking and specialist units use (Depending on tech level).

-The Conversion Beam Cell can be used by any Veronian gun, and has a chance of turning any target they hit into a Turned One, lobotomizing and genetically altering the victim on the spot - turning them into an alien puppet!

Do the Veronians intend to turn all of mankind into pasty smurfs, or aggressive teletubbies? Yes, yes they do.

-The Turned Ones are tough melee enemies, who´s attack both drain their targets (locking them in place) and has a chance of also turning their victims into another Turned One! They are slightly faster and healthier than chryssalid Zombies (but do not spawn anything on death).
-The Veronians have a special raceList with the Turned Ones mixed into a lot of lower slots, for early-mid game Abduction and Research missions primarily. While Turned Ones go down easily enough to more Advanced X-Com weapons, early game they may prove quite threatening.[/spoiler]

-Ufopaedia and autopsy articles for the new aliens and weapons.
-Research integration: With commander, leader, navigator etc unlocks as usual for aliens.
-Campaign integration included, with several different racelists including some mixed ones.

Basic Veronians will appear in the early months, but the full list only later (with a very small % chance of later Veronian lists popping up early to keep that nice element of "That´s X-Com!").
Veronians will also happily team up with other alien species fairly often (5-10% chance early months), depending on the mission type. They may even build a base together! Who knows what commander you´ll find in such a base, could prove fruitful?
After month 7 and 9, a more dangerous Mixed Veronian lists may appear with Ethereal leadership present in small quantities, along with some Muton muscle and mechanized forces.
Veronians least favorite mission is the infiltration type (not being very social), so they have lower chance of appearing there.

Here´s a little run down briefing on the Veronians and their lore, hard to fit in the ufopaedia and its fun to have some background to the weird purple aliens you´ll be shooting at/get shot by.

Cranking up my best Comicbook-Straightfaced-Concerned-but-possibly-crazy Scientist persona for this one.

The Veronians:
The Veronians possess tough biomechanical bodies, with precise movements and seemingly fearless behavious at first categorized them as a new combat class alien.
However, upon further analysis of the living specimen we can conclude that they are more of a semi-biological machine, with the bodies made or or grown from an alien silicate-alloy, acting as a exoskeleton for the viscous silicate-ethane Veronian lifeform inside.
We have not been able to determine if this techno-organic exo-skeleton grows naturally from the Veronian life-form, or is produced by some other means. We can determine a number of embedded cybernetic modules and implants, differing from caste to caste or even individual Veronian.
While speculative, their precision, focus and affinity for the alien technology, especially their spacecraft, mean the Veronians have some form of engineering or production focused role within the Alien Empire.
Their combat presence in raids, and structured organisation with unique weapon technology hint at some further purpose and origins apart from that of other alien species encountered.
They are fully combat capable, if poor melee fighters, and are sent on preprogrammed abduction missions. They make for poor infiltrators, providing only a support role during such missions.
Veronians are highly resistant to psi-attacks, but incapable of carrying them out. Its possible that their lack of a central brain make them incompatible with at least human forms of psionics.
The Alien leadership appear ot have some means of control, possibly implanted or a specific weakness that allows the Veronians to be commanded. Disturbingly, it is also possible that they are cooperating as allies with the other Aliens and are not under direct control.
In the field, the Veronians most commonly follow their own command structure, with clear color coded ranks and functions. Their higher ranking members appear to possess slightly greater capabilities.
It appears unlikely that Veronians care about honour or ranks other than as a function of their organisation. Integrated with other aliens, or using Turned Humans, the Veronians treat all allies in the same calculating manner.
They show no willingness to communicate with us and indeed, have no direct biological means of doing so aside for writing or possibly sign language.
The Veronians high intelligence, complete lack of empathy for humans and high degree of integration with the Alien designs for Earth means they must be destroyed wherever encountered."

The Veronian arsenal differ from that of the other alien forces encountered. Armed with Phased Disintegrator beam weaponry, more akin to emitted lasers than plasma particles, with less of a focus on direct damage or destruction hints that the Veronians approach to battle and tactics is also different.
Veronians can be encountered on any form of mission, although they seem less interested, or capable off, infiltration missions.
When carrying out research, harvest or abduction missions, the Veronians combine swift raids with a focus on controlling the battlefield. Ensuring no civilians escape the mission area before closing the net.
The Veronian missions appear mostly focused on capturing large quantities of humans, taking hundreds or even thousands with them. How they manage this considering the limited size of even the largest alien craft can only have unpleasant answers.
They also appear to provide most of the labor and technical expertise for swiftly constructing and assembling the many alien bases. It is possible that they have one or several manufacturing plants or craft nearby that assist the alien campaign.
When threatened, Veronians will organise counterattacks, designed at neutralizing whatever they consider a threat. For this purpose, they will amass not only their greatest weapons and soldiers, but also employ allied forces.
Combined with Aliens with other capabilities, the Veronian presence could prove a significant problem to our forces.

The Viracoid
The Viracoid are a variant or possibly an advancement of the Silacoid lifeform, a living mass of muscles and redundant organs protecting a biogenerator at its silicon core.
Veronian bioliquid is present throughout the Viracoid, giving it added resilience, intelligence and possibly facilitating communication with its more humanoid kin.
Produced as a living bioweapon, the Viracoid is extremely hard to kill or cripple and is resistant against most forms of damage. Only overwhelming firepower can render it inert.
Its primary means of attack is discharing large viral globules at surprisingly long range and with a decent area of effect.
The Viracoid attack globule consists of an exterior biomatter wall that breaks down on contact, releasing a hot blast of alien neurotoxic viral load to anything within its vicinity.
The viruses within this mixture have been engineered to attack both matter and biological targets, breaking down armor and dead matter as swiftly as molecular acid. We suspect this ability can be modified by the Aliens, either between missions or even in the field.
Against human victims the viruses attack the nervous system, primarily the brain and spinal cord, causing crippling neural damage.
Victims muscles convulse with crippling strength, eventually paralyzing the motorfunctions or send them into a coma, from which only the most advanced technology can hope to revive them.
It is believed that this attack primary purpose is for capturing large numbers humans for abductions. This fits the pattern of Veronian armament capabilities and focus, even if the means differ.
A common side effect to exposure is a state of neural shock with unpredictable mental consequences, with long term permanent psychological trauma, memory loss or even brain deterioration as a result.
The Viracoid hardiness means that the enemy can air drop hundreds of these from any of their craft, to quickly subdue an entire town or city centre population of people.

The Turned Ones
The Turned Ones hint at the Veronians part of the aliens masterplan for mankind. The Turned Ones are originally human victims exposed to Veronian conversion beams, suffering permanent mental and physiological changes brought on by rapid mutation.
These changes appear the be preprogrammed, as each Turned One are eerily similar in both external and interior appearance, only traces of their original DNA allowing us to track down who they used to be. Any resemblanceto their original appearance is minor at best.
Intentional neural damage has made the Turned less susceptible to feeling pain, steroid and adrenalin changes in the body have significantly strengthened them.
We suspect that the Aliens can produce a effective grunt soldier with this method in a very short timespan.
Memories and personality are erased or altered, making the victim susceptible to alien command and mental domination.
Those Turned that are brought back to an Alien base are further modified genetically with retroviruses, steroids and alien-cybernetic implants or organs, for specific purposes.
Earlier samples captured indicate a less precise turning process, brute forcing and leaving the Turned damaged permanently and less capable as a result from the process.
Later samples show frighting advances, both in advances to the beam conversion changes, and physiological modification. The Aliens may have been experimenting with hundreds of abductees over decades to perfect this method.
Short of manpower, we suspect the Aliens are using thousands of abducted and Turned humans for simple labor, combat and even food resources.
While capable of acting with unflinching aggression when commanded, the Turned are otherwise emotional nulls, lobotomized by the conversion process and no longer respondant to human interaction.
Left alone they passively stand waiting for new commands from their alien masters.

The corpses of the Turned are obviously human in origin, yet display several physiological changes. Hardened skin, engorged musculature, slowed metabolism and enlargened pupils.
Their brain matter display permanent changes in structure compared to a normal human brain, with several areas associated with memory and emotions appearing shrivelled and decayed.
The result of human exposure to alien nerve disruption technology, these internal alterations significantly shorten the Turned humans lifespan and like most aliens encountered, are rendered sterile.

Reports of abductions across the globe and evidence from the field suggest that the Veronians are now turning thousands of humans with their conversion weapons, altering their minds and mutating their bodies to suit the purposes of their alien masters.
Aboard alien craft and bases, the Turned appear to serve both in a simple labor capacity and even more disturbingly, serve as walking emergency rations for other aliens.
These observations hint at the Aliens true intentions for humanity, and should they be able to scale up this process, entire cities could fall.

Reusing this mod or assets:
You may include, mix or modify it for your own mods as you please (just write a mention in the credits or something).
I´ve modified the zombie and Viracoid attack sprites and some particle effects, but unsure about their original source/creator.
The more X-Com the merrier is the way I like it.

Balancing and bug hunting is hard on my own, so if you have bug reports or balancing feedback, post them to the thread and I'll take a look at it as soon as possible. Possibly even faster than 9 years!





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Mewtastic @mewtastic

This seems like a really cool mod and I want to try it, but I get an error when I try to load it.
openxcom/mods/Veronian/Ruleset/veronian_alien.rul: yaml-cpp: error at line 573, column 7: bad conversion

Leflair @leflair

Are you using OpenXcom Extended 7.0, dated 2021-03-13?

Mewtastic @mewtastic

I'm using OpenXcom Extended 7.0.13 for Linux

Leflair @leflair

Try the new 1.0B version, or remove the dashes from the "corpseGeo" entries in veronian_alien.rul (turns out corpseBattle and corpseGeo use different formatting).

Mewtastic @mewtastic

Thanks that fixed the issue!

efrenespartano @efrenespartano

The concept and the sprites are so cool! Specially the sprites, very high quality. Good job!

Leflair @leflair

Thanks man, half of it is [very old] with some recent touch up, give me heads up if you find anything broken (balance included, been tweaking those guns half a dozen times by now).