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XCOM 2’s Sectoids don’t have proper buttholes

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Twenty years into the franchise’s future and spliced with human DNA, the evil Sectoids are missing one vital thing in XCOM 2: legitimate human buttholes.

As Art Director on both XCOM: Enemy Within and the upcoming XCOM 2, Firaxis’ Greg Foertsch knows the franchise’s characters inside and out. We sat down recently to speak with him on how a twenty year leap into XCOM‘s story meant changes to its characters… and walked away with some very interesting information.

“Especially with recurring characters, you want them to still be familiar, but you want them to be new,” Foertsch began, speaking of character designs for XCOM 2“The Sectoid – he’s still a Sectoid. You see him and know that, but he’s got teeth. He’s semi-developed, way more human and way more imposing, just from sheer size. His skin isn’t completely baked; he’s got human DNA in him, but he’s still Sectoid.”

Foertsch had a big smile on his face as he recalled initial designs.

“He’s always the first character I make, in the past two games, and I always redo him,” he admitted. “Because he’s naked, it’s a whole other challenge. His simplicity makes him harder to make.”

Amongst other design decisions, surely one dilemma stood out: to junk or not to junk?

“Yeah,” Foertsch said, smiling. “Everyone’s been like, ‘well, does he have a butthole?’”

He then went onto another topic, but I stopped him immediately. I couldn’t let it go. Do Sectoids have buttholes?

“Well… no. I can’t,” he eventually offered. “He’s kind of like a frog. Let’s put it like that.”

Thanks to Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, I can confirm that frogs don’t have buttholes either. Instead, they’ve a cloaca, a “short simple tube receiving at its inner end the genital and urinary ducts, the rectum, and the allantoic bladder.”

From what this layman can gather, and oversimplified at that, a cloaca is like a multipurpose hole. Humans have them as embryos before we develop separate holes for, well, different bodily things. It seems the Sectoids stopped at that stage of development.

Proper butthole or not, Foertsch feels that the Sectoid is integral to the franchise.

“The Sectoid, well, he’s XCOM. The marketing campaign thankfully picked up on that.”

XCOM 2 will be available on Windows PC from 5 February 2016.

Stevivor was flown to Sydney last week by 2K to preview XCOM 2 and interview Firaxis’ Greg Foertsch.