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The Ice Worm is an aggressive leviathan class fauna species that burrows beneath the surface of the ice. They appear to be ambush predators, drawn towards vibrations above them. Ice Worms are exclusively subterranean creatures and do not swim.

Ice Worms can be avoided through the use of a Thumper.

Appearance

The Ice Worm has a very long body, the top side of which is completely covered by a thick segmented exoskeleton. Beneath these plates are another set of triangular plates that stick out horizontally, each with a backwards facing spike. The underside of the creature is bare and unprotected, lacking any protective plating. The underside is grey in color and has two rows of parapodia used to grip the ice running parallel down the body.

The head is mainly comprised by a single huge plate which tapers into a long, thick horn sticking straight out from the head. This horn is super-heated and allows the Ice Worm to melt through ice in order to burrow.[1] Below the horn, the creature's four mouth-parts can be seen. Each is long and curved with a solid black exterior and fleshy red interior. The inside of the upper and lower pair is lined with black spines. The tail ends with a pair of long and thin spines.

Behavior

The Ice Worm travels just below the surface of the ice, producing a distinct trail of pushed-up snow accompanied by a jet of steam. It is attracted to noise and vibration, and will surface to attack whatever produces these things.

Once it is above ground, it will do a loud roar before doing an attack. If the player or Thumper is a reasonable distance from the Ice Worm, the Ice Worm will lunge at the target. After it has lunged at the player, it will either emerge back out of the ground to do another attack or it will poke at the player from underground with its horn. If it is closer to the target it will do one of many close-range attacks.

While tunneling, it can dash at the player, and if it catches them, it will spear them, and then fling them into the air, before swallowing them whole.

When an Ice Worm enters hunt mode, they begin to rapidly attack the player, using dive attacks, pokes, spear attacks, and whip attacks.

If there is a Snow Stalker within their vicinity, an Ice Worm will eat it suggesting it as their primary known source of nutrition and sustenance.

It is impossible to kill an Ice Worm, as it does not have a hitbox. It is also impossible to scan a living Ice Worm, and as such, scanning the Ice Worm carcass in the Arctic Spires the only way to obtain its databank entry.

Databank Entry

Ice Worm
Ice Worm Ency.png

An extremely large and dangerous leviathan, roughly 95m long, with a thick plated exoskeleton that burrows through dense ice shelves with minimal resistance.

Plating: The ice worm is covered in a thick exoskeleton with backward facing spikes. The exoskeleton protects the soft upper body of the ice worm as it moves through the ice. The spikes create treads that rapidly shuttle melted water back as it burrows, similar to tire treads. The anterior of the ice worm is covered in a thicker skin that doesn’t require plating.

Super-heated Horn: The horn of the ice worm is the thickest part of the creature. The inner chambers of the horn are filled with deposits of raw alkali metals that react violently with water, creating an exothermic chemical reaction. As the ice worm burrows, small microscopic grooves continuously channel water into these chambers allowing it to burrow with ease.

Behaviors: The ice worm is an ambush predator. It relies on sound traveling through the ice to alert it to potential prey. It then lunges through the ice and uses its horn and mandibles to attack. The ice worm can be temporarily distracted through the use of sonic devices.

Assessment: Aggressive and lethal - Avoid

Source: Scan carcasses of Ice Worm

Ice Worm Bones

Scans of the ice worms bones show that they have a surprising degree of flexion in them. This likely allows the bones to compress inward when the ice worm is burrowing. A total rigidity in the bone structure might result in deformation of the skeletal structure over time. There is evidence of muscle insertions that would manipulate the compression or decompression of the ice worm’s long rib cage.

These ice worm bones appear relatively intact; it seems that other large land predators in the region tend to leave the worm carcass alone after death.

Source: Scan bones in Ice Worm Boneyard

Design

The Ice Worm's design draws heavily on the real-life bobbit worm. Though far greater in size, the Ice Worm shares the hard parapodia running down the body and an ambush-reliant lifestyle.

The tail spines of the Ice Worm are similar to the distinctive cerci seen on the rears of earwigs. They also bear a slight resemblance to the tail fin of a Reaper Leviathan, possibly proving of their relation through evolution. Inspiration also may have been taken from the larvae of Platerodrilus species, otherwise known as trilobite beetles. The dorsal side of the Ice Worm's body shares many similarities in shape and color with the larva of these beetles.

The Ice Worm's head bears a striking resemblance to this image of a deep-sea tubeworm and was likely based on it.

The concept of a worm- or centipede-like arctic monster with red-hot spines may be taken from the Remorhaz of Dungeons & Dragons.

The concept of the Ice Worm's behavior ——and the primary means of circumventing said behavior (i.e., a Thumper) are heavily based upon that of the Sandworms and the titular Thumpers from the Dune novels.

Sounds

File Type
Fling attack
Breach
Close shake
Death
Dive
Emerge debris
Emerge voice
Flinch
Idle exhale 1
Idle exhale 2
Idle exhale 3
Idle inhale 1
Idle inhale 2
Idle inhale 3
Long jump attack
Short jump attack
Move ice loop
Move ice-break loop
Long poke
Short poke
Roar 1
Roar 2
Roar 3
Run start
Cut spear attack[notes 1]
Retract spear attack
Stuck spear attack
Swipe
Tunnel
Close voice 1
Close voice 2
Close voice 3
Disappear voice 1
Disappear voice 2
Disappear voice 3
Run voice 1
Run voice 2
Run voice 3
Whip

Gallery

Notes

  1. The name of this attack refers to the action of cutting rather than this attack being cut from the game.

Trivia

  • The Ice Worm is the only known non-extinct land-based leviathan on Planet 4546B.
  • The Ice Worm shares its name with a real animal that lives in glacial ice.

Bugs

  • During an attack when on a snowfox the player is forced off the the snowfox. The player does not go into an animation and takes no damage however the snowfox does seem to take damage.

References

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