Marooned visitors from the stars that first appeared in New World Computing's 1986 Might and Magic Book One: The Secret of the Inner Sanctum Apple II roleplaying video game. Said title proved quite popular and was subsequently ported to a variety of other computer formats and home consoles--in particular, my figure is based on G-Amusements/American Sammy's 1991/1992 conversion for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). While these creatures only represent an optional "side quest" encounter, they're absolutely integral to the larger storyline of the series, which became even more cosmic in scope in the sequels, because these Aliens were the ones transporting the franchise's primary antagonist, Sheltem, who escaped when they crashed. As such, they're indirectly responsible for all of the calamities the intergalactic fugitive subsequently causes.
The Aliens' crash site is not easy to reach. The otherworldly jailers' damaged prison ship came to rest in a mountain valley deep in the unforgiving Invading Desert. If the heroes can endure the scorching temperatures, and survive encounters with the deadly, and often poisonous, beasts that wander the shifting sands, they may discover the Aliens' base camp. Anyone approaching the glittering wreck will immediately find themselves challenged by its sentries, and how you respond to this initial encounter with the extraterrestrials will dictate the fate of your party: If you choose to simply leave without attempting to communicate, the Aliens will randomly disintegrate one of your player characters on the spot, reducing them to ashes (that's not very neighborly!) If you attack, then you'll have a very tough fight on your hands, as these exotic creatures are more-than-capable of defending themselves with their claws/tentacles and deadly exhalations of pure energy (fortunately, they can't disintegrate you during battle.) If you're smart and choose the friendly approach, the Aliens will allow you to go about your business peacefully and will relate their story and pass along some advice: While transporting the renegade Guardian, Sheltem, they experienced mechanical problems and were forced to crash land on Varn [which, unbeknownst to its relatively primitive inhabitants, isn't actually a planet, but V.A.R.N. (Vehicular Astropod Research Nacelle), one of many flat, artificial worlds created by the Ancients.] Their ship suffered substantial damage in the crash, and, unfortunately, Sheltem escaped. The Aliens have, thus far, been unable to locate him, but they strongly suspect that he's impersonating one of the human rulers of Varn. If the heroes can find where Sheltem has the real nobleman imprisoned, then they can confront him with the evidence and force Sheltem to reveal his true nature.
These interstellar travelers employ devices far beyond the understanding of anyone on Varn, which has only achieved a medieval-era level of technology. The magically-inclined inhabitants of Varn could only conceive of such things as being the products of some unknown and terrible sorcery. To date, the Aliens have elected to remain in seclusion in the Invading Desert, until such a time that they can make the necessary repairs on their vessel, and, hopefully, recapture Sheltem--doubtlessly they would be mistaken for indigenous monsters, and attacked, if they were to wander too close to any of the developed areas that have been settled by humans and demi-humans. The extraterrestrials are also probably reluctant to upset Varn's backwards (by their standards) culture by making themselves, and, by extension, the true nature of the universe, widely known.
The Might & Magic Book One: The Secret of The Inner Sanctum Aliens are, in my opinion, one of the best extraterrestrial designs of all time--visually, it's my absolute favorite creature from the entire NES port, and it's been on my "To Make" list for ages. This figure was modeled completely from scratch over a period of two days and finished with acrylic paint. I considered making the Alien's cowl and cape removable, but, as they never show their real faces in the game, I think they'd lose a lot of their mystique and coolness without that concealment--and I don't know what I'd really do with an exposed visage anyway, other than giving them a really tall forehead to go with the shape implied by the contours of the hood. This action figure has 16 points of articulation (neck, shoulders x 2, elbows x 4, tentacles x 2, waist, hips x 2, knees x 2, and ankles x 2).
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