Giger-likes! Non-Aliens games with art inspired by HR Giger.

In response to @“exodus”#p46904 and the general discussion of early Giger inspiration in games, let’s take a look at some blatant HR Giger influence in 1980s games.

I’ll start with Cybernoid 1+2 in 1987 and 1988, on C64 and Amiga. This flick screen maze shooter had walls filled with gooey eyeballs and guts. The combination of metal ships and alien forms was definitely in the zeitgeist.

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Contra 1987 in the arcade winning awards for most blatant.

Coincidentally, I‘ve been watching retsupurae’s old commentary on Darkseed 2 recently. Neither one has aged particularly well - Darkseed 2 tries and fails to capture Twin Peaks’ otherworldly intrigue, and retsupurae embodies exactly the kind of smug derision that defined Something Awful in the early 2010s - but as far as H.R. Giger is concerned, the game is notable for repurposing already existing H.R. Giger art because the developer still had the rights to his work in general. The end result is the Dark World, in all its vaguely visually defined glory.

Samurai Spirits / Samurai Shodown’s soup, famously. (1993)

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Found [this nice compilation of Alien references]( from the distant land of 2018 while looking for a picture of Gen-an’s stage.

not a xenomorph but I'm gonna call this a giger-like.

there's one that I can't place but looms large in my mind - it's a big xenomorph head that then "falls away" when destroyed, falling diagonally left across the screen, and revealing that its head stopped at the edge of the screen leaving a sharp edge there. hmmmmmm, pretty sure it was PCE, I thought it was shubibinman 2!!

I had a real Mandela Effect moment with the PCE/T-16 game Alien Crush where I thought for sure it had had some Giger-inspired art, but NOPE, turns out it‘s not even a little Giger-inspired. So that was wild! Then I went down a whole search rabbit hole thinking there had been some other 90’s console pinball game with Giger imagery. Turns out not (at least not that I could find)!

I also remembered Cyber Lip as being way more Giger-esque (actually I guess it would be more R-Type-esque) than it is. There's just this one boss that could have come from Contra or R-Type pretty equally!

I dunno, I think this is pretty giger-y

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I am trying to think of non-shooting / run&gun examples and Ecco the Dolphin’s famously trippy ending against ancient aliens has some distinct Giger vibes for the final few backgrounds and enemies. My apologies for the three decades old spoilers.

The Xenomorph also has a cute cameo in Outer Heaven in earlier versions of Snatcher (I believe up to the PC Engine version). The carefree pop culture references were replaced with Konami cameos in later outings, probably due to legal concerns.

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The Gōma in **Sakura Taisen** wear their inspiration on their sleeves, so to speak.

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Soon to reappear as cannon fodder in Super Robot Wars 30’s first DLC!

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And, less about the Xenomorph specifically, there’s the obvious homage to the whole aesthetics of Alien’s first act in Streets of Rage 2’s third stage.

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oh yeah, there‘s a few beat em ups with gigerisms. I’ve just got to rack my brain here… sengoku maybe? hmmmm

Super Turrican is another blatant one

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Sorry to go ham on this topic and slightly spoil the fun but I was looking for a confirmation of which game featuring Alex Kidd [size=9](who turned 35 yesterday November 1st by the way)[/size] had cute aliens running around and I stumbled upon an even better, downright excellent recap of Alien influences in video games. It’s in Japanese but I assume GoogleT or DeepL will do a good job translating the games’ titles, at the very least. Feel free to ask if something is unclear or hard to identify.

Doesn’t cover all Giger everything obviously, since it is more specifically about the Alien series (i.e. not only Giger’s art but also storylines, mechadesign and Human characters inspired by the earlier Alien movies), but the number of works referenced does quite the legwork for this discussion.

The rest of the site is a pretty amazing deep dive on all sorts of movie/game connections:

@“exodus”#p47102 No, you're right! I think I was looking for (and remembering it to be) a lot more overt.

Pretty terrifying xenomorph here.

Yeah that's some alien resurrection stuff right there.

Partially unrelated but I just discovered a couple of weeks ago that there was a thematic Giger bar in Japan designed by the man himself and I found that really cool!

I‘ve been (twice?) to the hr giger inspired sound studio/film production studio near Krakow, Alvernia Studios it’s called. It‘s cool, but also every door looks identical and it’s basically impossible to know where you are!

go through the photos here and you'll see the identical doors

this place is incredibly difficult to take pictures of (because they're all domes, and it's hard to get far enough away from the stuff to really get a good picture) but it is pretty impressive inside.

Jeez, part of me thinks it‘d be harder to come up with video games in the late ’80s that had aliens that weren't Giger-inspired (it was really the heyday of video-game-identity-as-second-hand pop-culture), but Jaleco‘s || The Astyanax || from 1989 is a really fun one. I spoilered a 32-year-old arcade game because it’s the twist of it all that makes it stand out in my brain, but here ya go if you want to see it. Basically, it's a pure high fantasy game, but ||after you beat the evil wizard positioned as the big bad, the castle wall breaks open and you step into a Giger cocoon to fight the real big bad, which is a big xenomorph.||

@“tokucowboy”#p47318 Oh dang, I'm not sure I was aware of that!

'Something' brought to mind a few of the sections of another beloved favourite of mine, Legendary Axe II/Ankoku Densetsu, which was entirely an 80's barbarian platformer, but that had a bunch of extremely specific and also strange pseudo-Gigeresque enemies like this odd fellow:
...and this guy:

Also hilarious for being called Legendary Axe II in the US but having your guy not have an axe, I think this and its prequel are pretty underappreciated, but it might be remnants of my 1989 brain somehow learned to beat both of these oddly janky games speaking.

There‘s definitely something special about these two games (though arguably they shouldn’t be related given how different they are - they share almost no staff. there is an axe powerup in legendary axe II btw). In the first game it's the amazing use of the soundchip by June Chikuma. The doubling effect she gets going sounds so rich and full, I have no idea why so few other games did it.


meanwhile the sequel is notable for its very smart texture work, the way it combines sprites to make gigantic enemies, and its bizarrely dark tone.

and it absolutely has giger-y backgrounds too
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@“exodus”#p47325 oh dang, that is some seriously excellent music! I joke about their jankiness, but they’re truly some of my favourites from the US TG-16 catalog.