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Original appearance

Chryssalid 2012

A modern Chryssalid.


The Chryssalid is a swift, four-legged alien with terrifying melee capabilities. Usually first encountered in small groups on Terror Site missions, Chryssalids deal heavy damage with melee and have a high chance to inflict poison damage.

When a Chryssalid kills a human (a civilian or a soldier), it will implant an embryo in them. This causes the corpse to rise up as a Zombie in the next turn, which will spawn a "Chryssalid Hatchling" after three turns. This newborn Chryssalid is statistically and behaviorally identical to a regular Chryssalid, but has a visually lighter color of chitin armor which changes to the usual purple within a couple turns. A newborn Chryssalid can move and attack the turn it emerges. As shown in the Site Recon mission from XCOM: Enemy Within, Chryssalids can also use sufficiently large bioforms (such as a whale) as an incubator hive.

Chryssalids are defined by the Ethereal hive mind as a huge disappointment for lack of controllability.The Chryssalid is a dangerous alien monster used as an effective terror weapon by the Snakemen in X-COM: UFO Defense (Enemy Unknown). It resembles a giant crab with a black shell, huge claws, two antennae on its back and a mouth that appears to be in a permanent wicked smile. The creature's primary attack is what makes this alien one of the most feared and hated alien species in X-Com. It attacks a human, civilian or soldier, with a poisonous bite that turns the victim into a mindless zombie. Then it impregnates the victim with a Chryssalid embryo. Killing the said zombie would cause the Chryssalid to burst out of the host's body.

After Earth was conquered by the Ethereals, the Chryssalids developed a new and more efficient means of procreation. Rather than implant an embryo inside the host, Chryssalids inject their victims with a toxin which, unless treated, will eventually break down the victim's body internally and kill them. After death, the victim's body is converted into a coccoon, eventually spawning three additional Chryssalids. This process can be accelerated if the victim is killed by other means before the toxin on its own.



  • X-COM: UFO Defense (Enemy Unknown)
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
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