Written by Jonathan Wojcik
51 Last Armageddon ALIENS!
Just days ago, we talked about some of the ultra-weird demon heroes from this obscure, post-apocalyptic Japanese RPG title, by far some of the best looking and most compelling RPG protagonists ever conceived, to say nothing of the fascinating shipping potential of monsters who evolve by "swapping genes"...but the morphing demon orgy is only half the story of Last Armageddon. Those weird, freaky demons are up against even weirder, freakier aliens, and you have no idea how many years I yearned for the chance to see them all, having only scant screenshots to go by until literally only last week, when I found an archive of very nearly all of them HERE.
The wait was worth it. I already knew maybe a couple dozen varieties, but there are actually around 150 aliens in the game, counting the bosses and a handful of human-like androids. That's as many enemies as the original generation of Pokemon!
There's just no way I could find something to say about every last alien in the game, but since they don't have as much "story" to them as the demons, we're going to review a solid third of them; 20 more aliens than the demons we went over. Most of these PC-88 sprites come from a Japanese archive , if you want to see what I had to leave out, some of which was only barely pushed off my favorites lists.
We begin with the one I've known the longest...
Years before I ever even head of Last Armageddon, I'd already encountered a ripoff of this alien in a sleazy Arcade title called Best 50 Fantasia. The alien itself is strongly reminiscent of the martians from the 1953 adaptation of War of the Worlds, but with fang-like protrusions instead of arms. All in all, kind of a one-eyed cross between a crab and a mushroom. Perfect. I kind of like Best 50 Fantasia's idea to give it a second eye, though.
This alien has a strikingly disturbing face on its eel-like neck, or is that a whole limbless body? It's hard to say whether the lower region is a normal part of its anatomy, a clutch of eggs or a mass of parasites. It certainly seems protective of them, whatever they are. It also looks just a little bit like Red.
With its veiny, pink faces and leafy fins, this alien gives me a plant-like impression. The mournful look on its twin faces is extremely eerie, like it would be constantly moaning and gibbering. It feels like it might be in the process of dividing into two identical beings, but it's cooler to think this is just how it always looks.
I can't help but see the shape of an owl or maybe Mothman in this, even though it has a rooted stump instead of legs and multiple eyes peering out from a series of rotten-looking cavities. Really almost nothing like Mothman at all, unless you merged him with a hunk of driftwood which then died and became a driftwood Mothman ghost, like I see whenever I'm falling asleep.
Sometimes, you just need an alien to be a bunch of hoses. Nothing fancy. Just a bunch of sucking, toothless meat hoses attached to a vague kind of central mass, which might even just be more hoses.
This alien looks almost a little like a hunk of coral being carried around by a hermit crab. The gaping holes of the upper mass are ringed with vividly colorful flesh, and a single green eyestalk protrudes where the porous shell meets the tentacled body. The "claw" could even be its mouth, a lovely asymmetrical beast that invokes Earthly creatures despite a very unearthly body plan.
This one is sort of like a giant, green bacterium with caterpillar feet, and covered in disturbingly human eyes. One of the simpler alien designs, but effective. With little context given for the individual enemies, it's hard to say how many of these are intelligent members of the invading force and how many are just animals they brought with them, or even mutated Earth creatures.
About a third of the alien enemies are fully organic, another third are fully robotic, and the rest are somewhere in between. This looks like little more than a huge, disembodied internal organ hooked up to a mechanical hand, but for all we know, the whole thing is some naturally evolved organism.
It's a lot of fun how this one invokes a humanoid being in unusual garb, but on closer inspection, the humanity of it completely dissolves. The four fleshy rings are pretty fascinating. Are those what it uses as arms and hands? I'm surprised I've never seen an alien being with "loop" appendages like that.
I've always loved monsters and robots consisting of just a head with legs. This one looks remarkably similar to several classic Metroid enemies, but with a single huge eye and many lovely little worm-like sensory tentacles.
This looks like it was both designed and drawn by a small child, which is something I have only ever expressed as a compliment of the highest order. This silly, walking double-ended dinoserpent is just full of personality and fun, really standing out against so many colder, more surreal horrors.
An unusually cute one with an angelic look not unlike Clionidae, though like the cliones, it's still a vicious killer. If any alien in this game looked like a more peaceful and enlightened being, though, it would be this one.
I keep wanting to read this one's right side like the head of an anglerfish, like it has a "lure" coming out the "front" of its forehead and another eye should be on the opposite side, but I'm totally wrong. We're seeing the front of its lopsided face already, one eye grotesquely protruding and dangling on a limp stalk! The rest of its body seems like a collection of large valves, and the whole thing has a distorted heart-like appearance.
Gorgeous! The main body of this alien almost looks like thehead and bust of a nearly humanoid being, if stripped of most of its flesh and bone, but the humanity ends where a whole bunch of weird tentacles and tubes begin. They don't even look directly attached to the creature's body in a meaningful way.
It's cool how this alien invokes so many arthropods at once, but doesn't look enough like any specific arthropod to name a clear inspiration, besides the obviously crab-like jaws. In fact, it only really comes across as an arthropod because of its jointed plates, which could conceivably evolve on any inhabited planet. I like how its shell seems to be cracked all over, and I like how, as inhuman as it is, it's technically a biped. A biped that would have to waddle around like a penguin.
Another one invoking something terrestrial on only a superficial level, the color scheme contributes to an initial impression of a "tree" or "bush" with a root system and even clusters of berries, but the more you look at it, the less plant-like it gets. It's really just a big mass of fuzzy, green mush, with what could be clusters of eyes or spores or who knows what else. I like to think the creepy human-like face is probably stolen.
This is another one a kid could have designed. It has a certain childish, carefree wackiness I honestly find pretty difficult to recreate myself. For some reason, I also keep wanting to call it a "carrot," even though there's not a single carrot-like thing about it. It's more like a big red cucumber carrying a pair of torches.
So simple, and so lovely. All we really have here is a smooth, fat, pinkish worm with a sphincter mouth and some tentacles, which would be charming enough, but it's the sticky streams of slobber that make this one of the game's most memorable designs.
This one's a mess! A bunch of strange metl organs fused to what looks kind of like the head of some pugnaceous, prehistoric fish, with an overgrowth of nasty looking blisters for good measure...and one of those blisters has teeth. There is so much to love about everything going on here.
Another one where you look at it and want to say "oh, it's just a big crab," but none of the details match an actual crab. Crabs are actually so effective in form that even on Earth, different crustaceans keep evolving to be crab-shaped even when they had no crab-shaped ancestor. The "feet" of this alien are especially unusual.
This would just look like a blob of meaningless nonsense if not for the purple eyes, which turn it into a blob of meaningless nonsense with eyes, and thus a whole intriguing personality. It at least means we can identify part of it as a "head," maybe. Okay, maybe those aren't even eyes at all. Maybe it has none. Or maybe it sees out of the red-streaked metal donut that may also be a shoulder.
What was I just saying about childish designs being the best? This guy is just adorably silly, with dinosaur feet and a body like it's wearing an egg costume. I can't tell if it has a face in its chest with an elongated cranium or a snake-like head flopping down on its neck, but either possibility is darling. Whatever those arm-cannons are capable of might not be as cute. At least, I'm assuming they're arm cannons. I guess for all we know they could be its feeding orifices or reproductive organs. Those might not be any better to contend with.
One of my favorites, this truly doesn't look like anything from our planet, but it does look like a living being. I really like how the head comes across as one huge eyeball, but it's really more of a shell or helmet with at least four eyes inside. Opposite the eye-bubble is what may be a weapon or cybernetic enhancement. Overall, this looks perfectly like something you would see on the cover of "Astounding Stories" or something of the sort.
This alien has two interesting things going for it; its eyeball arrangement and its giant, bony, taloned hands. Its eyes and body are so innocent looking in comparison to those flesh-raking nightmare arms.
It's impossible to tell how much of this one is organic or mechanical. The veiny eye is the only thing relatively safe to assume biological. It's difficult to even describe all that's going on here; it's like a tangle of plumbing sort of trying to look like both an octopus and a crawfish but it has no idea what those look like and has to go by a vague description offered to it by someone who also never saw either of them in person.
What is this? Seriously, what is this? I am floored by the brilliance of Last Armageddon aliens. They look like everything and nothing, This is like a giant foot and a telescope and a sea anemone with a completely outlandish little face on it. Are those two mouths, one on top of the other??
Another that could be organic, could be metallic. It has a face and torso like a shrieking ghost, but what the hell is that giant, red thing between its legs? Do we want to know? I don't think we want to know. Or maybe we do, but we can't really discuss it in public.
There's not much to this. It's some sort of metal saucer with a hole in it and green tentacles. I really like it, though. I really want to know more about it. What does it do? Is the metallic looking part just some sort of armor worn by the tentacled creature inside? Does it eat? What's the hole for? Pooping? Does it claw you open with its tentacle barbs and poop in the wounds???.....??????????????...?
#3 in the "kindergarten doodle" category, with a dash of Jim Henson. This hilarious, grouchy muppet head with legs is interestingly surrounded by numerous little blue spore-like whatsits, the purpose of which is completely left to our imagination. Offspring? Symbiotes? Orbiting defensive glands? There's no telling. I'm going to go with those being the actual aliens and the hair monster is a collective illusion they conjur to try and scare away their enemies, even though their enemies are oozing demons anyway. Maybe it just ends up seducing them.
Now we're getting really alien. Whether this is alive or artificial, it doesn't seem like a product of reality as we know it. Maybe it's neither a natural nor manufactured thing. It's a third option. Not a combination of the two, but an entirely unrelated, third option. What would a third option even be? I don't know. That's how screwed up this thing is.
A grouchy buzzard-snake piloting a big rolling death wheel might be the silliest thing in the whole alien arsenal, but it's probably not funny when one saws you in half, even if it also kind of looks like it would scream at you for being on its lawn. Its lawn that it just trimmed with its spinning knife ship.
Okay but really WHAT are some of these? What am I looking at!? This doesn't look like any actual thing that I can think of, yet it manages to look incredibly menacing. Whatever it is that this looks like, it's definitely the menacing kind.say about it.
The abstract ones just get creepier and creepier, don't they? There's no telling up from down on this...object...but it has some claws on it, and some unpleasantly fleshy lips showing through that perfectly round hole in its brassy, metallic-looking surface. Major shades of Silent Hill.
I really do love these aliens that just look like a bunch of unrelated parts tossed together. There are so many in the game that I've left out a lot of them because my thoughts on them would get too redundant, but I'm glad. I'm glad one of the most repetitive things about these designs is how many of them look like somebody cut up a bunch of aliens and had a monkey try to glue them back together. That is pure praise. That is what real alien life is a whole lot more likely to look like than a man with a ridgey forehead.
That said, I still love these enemies with a more down to earth, classic space monster vibe. This game has all its bases covered. I really like this little, bright green, eager mouth atop a pile of blue tentacles, and the branching red antennae are the perfect final touch.
This bipedal, toad-like alien, on the other hand, wouldn't stand out much if not for its remarkable fuzziness, like it's completely covered in thick layers of mold. This definitely feels like a native animal warped by alien experimentation or toxic fallout.
More from the "alien or robot?" camp, but I'm going to go with "biological." There's nothing about this design I don't like. Its heads are like bird skulls, but the "beaks" don't look like they open up at all. The reflective, silvery eyes are rather spooky, and I even really enjoy how the necks attach to that mollusk-like body; you don't see a lot of long-necked hydrae whose heads emerge in a vertical row like this.
While the lower body is invertebrate-like, this alien's upper torso is nearly human, except that its "head" is just a tiny little socket for its luminous eyes, vaguely resembling a tiny, hooded face. The arms also just seem to be clusters of tentacles, some of them encased in metal armbands and forming into hands! This whole thing might just be a squishy tentacle worm squeezed into a suit.
Somewhat like a sea cucumber, but with a fascinating "head," if that's even what that is. It seems to end in an hourglass-shaped, ribbed case filled with red nodules, which could be any imaginable sort of sensory organs.
This one is almost directly lifted from the larvae of certain crabs, but that's fine. I can live with that. I've just straight-up done that myself for some monsters. It's the freakiness of those desperate, bulging eyes that make all the difference.
The last regular enemy we're looking at is possibly the cheesiest and laziest in design, but still pretty appealing. It's nothing but an eyeless, green worm with a beak, piddly pterosaur wings and a pointless blue belt, but it just feels good. It works. If I had to pick an alien to be an important, speaking character it might even be this one. It just has an iconic vibe. This could be the general of the whole alien army, deceptively small and goofy looking for his dark, tactical brilliance.
I've had to glean these from an assortment of blog posts and screenshots. Nobody seems to have collected them all in one place, and I honestly have no idea if I've even seen every boss creature, but I'll tell you one thing; they didn't skimp on the designs of these big bads. This grouchy bug-worm, which is either mouthless or feeds through its tentacled ass, is the most mundane of the bosses I've unearthed.
See? SEE? How do I even start to describe this one? My mind keeps trying to tell me that it looks like a giant cicada, and it doesn't at all. That's how weird this thing is, my brain grasps at the closest thing it can find. I love the mouth-slot full of red eggs, or whatever that is, and the innocence of its purple bug-eyes, but of course the most interesting aspect of this alien is the one-eyed face growing off its lower tentacles, even kind of fusing them together. It doesn't look like it belongs; it looks like a parasitic growth. It's still probably completely natural to this not-at-all-cicada.
This is actually the game's final boss and the alien leader, I think, but I'm not doing these in order. His octopussy face is fairly cute, if you ignore the meaner little squinting man-face in between his adorable spider-eyes. It seems clear that his humanoid aspects are pure cybernetics, except for that purple hand, matching the rest of his true body. What's up with that? He just has the one humanoid arm? Did he ever have two?
This seems to be another nonhumanoid twisting its tentacles into a humanoid shape. It's another design with a sort of B-movie alien vibe, maybe leaning more towards the more menacing Alien and Predator imitators of the 90's.
This beautiful thing has a layout like a machine, but you can see how every part of it is organic. I love its whole chunky, two-legged shape, its color scheme, its sickly red eye and exposed brain matter. Basically its everything.
I've shown this one before, and it looks fascinatingly like just one giant, hideously overgrown human arm, torn off from a bigger body and allowed to grow some sort of vestigial, tentacled head in the stump. I'm going to assume that is exactly what has happened.
How amazing is this one? Lending credit to that last one being a torn-off arm, this has to be mutated from human remains...or at least demon. I mean, this WAS a world populated by demons before the aliens killed most of them. Now these rotting, giant remnants are controlled by the puppet strings of a blind, heart-like alien parasite, and it's not even satisfied with just the one skull of its host carcass.
The weirdest and the cutest of the bosses, you can tell just by looking that this monster is a greedy eating machine. The flat, corklike head gives it a uniquely goofy look, and the five tentacles all ending in different stuff is always a fun design gimmick; I like the one that's just dripping blood. Is that its own blood, or from something else? There's a real "Dungeons and Dragons" vibe to this alien, like one of the odder Beholder-kin from one of the more bizarre second edition settings.
I guess that's all of them for now. Last Armageddon was a game so ambitious, so epic, with such an incredible story and character designs that it's downright criminal it doesn't have a fanbase. I guess that's what happens when a game is both limited to Japan and just not that thrilling to actually play, but maybe some day, someone will remake it, iron out its problems and we can look forward to the mountains of fan-art, fanfiction and cosplay it always deserved.
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