Hera (Zee9) forwarded an invitation to visit the latest iteration of her Drune City design – Drune Giger City – which she has just opened on the ground level of her region.
If you read the name “Giger” and think of the late Swiss artist, Hans Ruedi (H.R.) Giger, perhaps most famous for his work on the original Alien film (with elements of his work – notably the alien itself – being used in the subsequent films in the franchise), you’d be absolutely right; this is a build that openly draws inspiration from Giger and his work – not just the Alien franchise, but also other elements of his extensive portfolio as well.
The city is reached via Hera’s main landing point, where a brief introduction to the setting can be obtained, using a poster-sized teleport board to complete a journey down to the city proper. Before making the trip ourselves, I would point out a couple of things: make sure you accept the local environment settings for the region and that you have Advanced Lighting Model enabled, and do be advised that in taking its lead from Giger, the region is in places somewhat explicit in some of its elements.
The city retains the general layout found within the various iterations of Drune, but this time under a distinctly alien sky. However, this does not mean the buildings are in any way derivative of earlier iterations. As I’ve noted before when writing about her work, Hera goes to extraordinary lengths with her designs, using her own meshes and textures – and this is very much the case here. As such, I do recommend spending time and looking around carefully, as there is a lot of Giger-esque details to be appreciated, not all of them at first obvious to the eye.
The city’s landing point again takes the form of a docking / landing station for aerial vehicles to one side of the cit. It is home to an alien vehicle, potentially a single-seat spacecraft, entirely of Hera’s own design but entirely in keeping with Giger’s approach to design. The walkway from this landing area gives the first direct example of the richness of Hera’s texturing: the mural is clearly homage to Giger’s bass relief style of art. This is continued through the outer walls of the buildings, the streets and elevator doors that provide teleport access to street-level in the city.
The streets themselves undulate around the buildings, here and there offering exits to the road that runs around the exterior of the city. The architecture of the buildings carries more of the Giger bass relief style of texturing, together with stronger hints of his work: xenomorph heads extending gargoyle-like above covered walkways, and strangely designed oval doorways that have the edge of genitalia to them – and these doorways / tunnel entrances are not the only sexualised elements.
Scattered across the city and its surrounds are further suggestive elements – phallic growths and extrusions in the hills around the city (offering hints of Giger’s Landscape series), more obvious references to female genitalia on what look to be some form of machinery, a refreshment stand offering drinks from nipple-like dispensers. This vendor also offers novel seating – the “eggs” from which one of Giger’s Facehuggers once leapt and made a mess of John Hurt’s day. More of these eggs are laid out along an alleyway – with one open, so be careful when looking inside!
In keeping with past Drune cities, this one again features a night club. With more phallic elements, this also includes something of a homage to the holographic navigation systems used by the Engineers of the Alien films, while the interior as a whole has a Giger-like fluidity to it, with a further sexual undertone that goes beyond the phallic elements.
Across the road from the club is a small lounge bar (replacing the hotel that has been present in some earlier iterations of Drune) where the sheer beauty of Hera’s work is on full display in a form that not only encompasses clear inspiration from H.R. Giger, but also to one or two sci-fi franchises.
This latter might be coincidental, but for me, it looking at the figurehead between the pair of xenomorphs, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the death mask used in the opening sequence of the first season of Stargate SG-1, with the patterns on the walls a little mindful of hieroglyphs and runes often seen in that series. Elsewhere, the bar setting that first seen (I believe) in Drune: Sleazy Street has been give a perfect redress to further enhances the further Giger / Alien vibe.
Atmospheric, strange – yet familiar, alien – yet identifiable, and rich in detail, Drune Giger City might be a little discomfiting for some given some of the sexual motifs present, but that does not change the fact it is another work of art from Hera. So, if you have a love of her work and / or of H.R. Giger and / or sci-fi, this is a build not to be messed.
- Drune Giger City (Cloud Lake, rated Adult)