With the release date for The Last Guardian closing in, I thought it would be interesting to write about the inspiration behind the new aliens about to appear in the story. In the first book in the series, The Lost Signal, I based the Creators on the popular Greys except taller and with pasty white skin instead of gray. The Uruklu, the other alien species in the book, somewhat resemble humans. They were my take on how would an advanced civilization genetically engineer a creature close to human DNA but designed to be the perfect predator for humans while also survive on Earth.
However, for the new species appearing in The Last Guardian, I wanted to move away from anthropomorphic species as much as I could and get creative with them.
When I started thinking about what kind of aliens would populate my fictional version of our galaxy, I wanted one of them to be as beautiful as they were deadly. I also wanted a species to be bug-like that didn’t communicate in a language made of spoken words but of songs.
The Burumeli are slightly taller than humans, stand on two legs, and possess wings that allow them to fly. They have six arms the can braid together to form two arms with five-digit hands. Two of these arms end in a sharp end they can use to sting their victims with various toxins. The tips of the rest of their arms contain a bioluminescent compound to illuminate their surrounding as needed.
Their skin is constantly morphing colors, unless they want to mimic their surroundings, and their wings exude a sweet aroma capable of enticing prey into their deaths.
In terms of communication, they use the snap of their wings, or chip using their ribbed torso as cicadas would. Their song can be loud enough to be heard miles away, or so low that humans can’t detect it.
The Burumeli are fast, deadly, and their entire existence depends on luring prey into their clutches by any means necessary. They do it by producing sweet-smelling spores, attractive color patterns on their skin, mimicry of their surroundings, and even the dance of their wings. However, they’re an advanced species that advocates for peace in the galaxy as members of the Federation.
Inspiration: Orchid Mantis
The Orchid Mantis comes from the tropical forests of South East Asia and are known as “flower orchids” because of their ability to mimic them. Especially orchids. However, it’s been recently discovered this insect doesn’t really mimic orchids at all. It’s shape and colors resemble a generalized flower capable of luring more insects than real flowers would. See full article >>
“Everything about the Burumeli evoked beauty. Despite their protruding eyes and the sharp tips of their arms, he felt compelled to trust them. He couldn’t stop gawking at the changing patterns that flushed their skin, and the sweet aroma of their wings swept over him like the warmest pelt on the chilliest night. But Ralph had spent enough years as a hunter to recognize a trap.“The Last Guardian
I initially knew two things about my next alien species:
- I wanted them to be some sort of hybrid between sea anemones and hermit crabs
- I wanted them to live in hives.
But no matter how hard I tried, the two concepts didn’t merge in my mind into a coherent being because I still couldn’t answer a fundamental question: How do these bags of tentacles move and exist? Luckily for me, fellow author Kristin Stamper had the perfect answer for me. They didn’t need to move. Just like that my vague idea finally sprung to life.
The Nan’seh are the oldest civilization of the galaxy and founders of the Federation. Their crab-like bodies are contained inside a protective bag of colorful tentacles and will grow continuously during their lifespan. A lifespan that can stretch for over a thousand years.
Although their species originated in a planet, Nan’seh left it behind eons ago, choosing to drift across space in hives built around meteors. They can change the chemical compounds and properties of their saliva according to what they eat, allowing them to build whatever they want. A skill they’ve honed for billions of years until they were able to build spaceships for themselves around these meteors.
Nan’seh are an agender species and reproduce by fragmentation. Even in their young stage, they are capable of complex reasoning and learning. Baby Nan’seh may be as small as a Q-Tip, but they can speak every language in the galaxy and work as translators.
As the oldest species in the galaxy, Nan’seh have seen countless civilizations rise and fall, learning from their mistakes and success. It’s because of this that they evolved to be the ultimate diplomats and strive to keep balance in the galaxy. They’ve never been an aggressive species, and rely on words and complex laws to achieve their goals.
Inspiration: Sea Anemone
Despite being named after a lower, Sea Anemones are actually invertebrate animals. They are a close relative of both corals and jellyfishes. Some sea anemone species are known to form symbiotic relationships with other types of organisms. The most famous one being their relationship with the Clownfish. See full article >>
“Monica craned her neck to gape at the Nan’seh dominating the cavern. As they approached the table, the bag quivered and swayed side to side. Colorful tentacles spilled out of the opening and slithered across the floor like leathery vines.“The Last Guardian
I wanted two of my alien species to be based on popular urban legends. That’s how the Aman came to be.
The Aman are 7ft tall creatures and most of their height is made up of their long legs. Despite their size, they can move silently and spend most of their time in an upright position. Even if their movements are quiet, their voices are too loud for us to hear. Of all the alien species in the Federation, the Aman are the less involved, content with serving as guards to members of the Federation when the need arises. They are also the most passive and neutral of the species.
Inspiration: Fresno Nightcrawler
The Fresno Nightcrawler is the name given to a cryptid sighted in Fresno, California, and Yosemite National park. Possible explanations for the footage range from aliens to gazelles standing upright. Read More>>
“The columns parted in half to reveal a pair of tall, thick legs that somehow moved as silently as an owl’s wings. In one synchronized movement, they loomed over Monica like a wall about to topple.“The Last Guardian
Just like the Aman, I wanted my next alien species to be based on urban legends. This is why the Koruk are a mix between the little green men aliens and the reptilians. The Koruk range between 3 ft and 4 ft in height, and their skin is covered of green scales, highlighted with gold scales for the males and silver scales for the females.
Of all the species of the Federation, their the closest to humans in terms of behavior. They may be more war-prone and willing to be hostile than the rest, but just like the other species, Koruk are dedicated to keeping peace in the galaxy no matter what. Because of this, their main role is to act as emissaries, working closely with other species. They are the ones most likely to understand other cultures and ease their assimilation into the Federation.
Inspiration: Reptilians and Little Green Aliens
Reptilian humanoids play a major role in many UFO conspiracy theories. According to some of these, these aliens live in underground bases and use their shape-shifting abilities to morph into prominent humans (politicians, actors, etc.) in order to rule us.
Little Green Men:
The image of little aliens with green skin, antennae and bulbous eyes is what comes to mind every time we picture extraterrestrials. However, this iconic image didn’t come out of anywhere. Read the account of how it all started here.
“Monica held her breath to prevent any kind of reaction. She didn’t feel as afraid as she did when she saw Bill for the first time, but that didn’t mean the alien wasn’t terrifying. Green scales covered their skin, and golden scales accentuated intricate patterns along their face. This, combined with orange reptile eyes and a big lipless mouth, evoked the venomous danger of a snake about to strike.“The Last Guardian