|Access: Whatever your job is|
Additional Access: Any place you or your victims had access to
Supervisors: The Syndicate, Tiger Cooperative
Duties: Drink people's DNA, fool people.
Guides: This is the guide
Quote: "Uh...THE HEAD OF SECURITY IS A CHANGE-" *BZZZZZRT* *CRUNCH* "Nevermoind, everything's OK. Go back to work."
A changeling is a highly intelligent alien predator that is capable of altering their shape to flawlessly resemble a human. They are typically deployed in simple social groupings, although they maintain total autonomy and act individually. As a result of their expertise in infiltration, the Syndicate often hires Changelings (through connections with the Tiger Cooperative) to steal high-risk items from Nanotrasen, as well as discreetly assassinate key targets within their ranks. The Changeling hunts with its ability to synthesize deadly chemicals internally, adopt the form of it's past victims, and even directly alter its form to be more suited to the task at hand.
A changeling has boarded the station! It has had time to "familiarize" itself with the ins and outs of its primary victim's identity, ready to take anything it desires -- be it your equipment, your faces, or your lives!
Even if a changeling has not attacked any other crew members, it is highly likely it has attacked or killed others in its initial infiltration.
Important: Use alt+click or middle mouse button to sting someone with your currently active sting. You can sting someone up to 2 tiles away. Changelings do no longer have a hivemind channel as of Oct, 2020 (previously used the :g prefix).
Now, you may notice the clusterfuck of HUD icons on the top of your screen. These are your abilities. Hover mouse over the icons to see their names.
- Learn about your available abilities.
- Use them to steal DNA from people to help you accomplish your objectives.
The goal of many changelings is to acquire 5-7 DNA strains, for some unknown and alien reason. To do this, it must take ANY human, living or dead (even thrown away soulless bodies from genetics), and acquire their DNA.
DNA can be acquired in two ways:
- The DNA Extraction Sting, which costs 25 chemicals, is instant and does not give any alert to the target. You can get as many DNA samples as you want this way, but you can only transform into the last 7 of them.
- Absorbing the victim, which results in a husked body. Husks caused by burn damage can be unhusked and revived, but a husk made from this changeling absorb ability cannot by normal means. They would need to be podcloned or revived with magic. Does not bypass the limit of 7 stored disguises.
Acquiring DNA via absorbing requires you to be strangling your victim and clicking the absorb ability. You then have to go through three long progress bars as you stab and drain the victim with a proboscis.
- Absorbing a victim will slightly replenish your chemical storage, give you the target's DNA and let you readapt (refund) your abilites. You can only have one unused "readapt" stored at a time.
- Absorbing another changeling gives you all of its chemical storage and all its stored DNA genomes.
- Absorbing victims who have been husked via burns or space will not add to your total genome count.
The changeling can shift its appearance, making them look and sound exactly like a victim of which they have absorbed. This can be massive compromise in security, especially if command staff are absorbed and the changeling is able to imitate them.
Changelings can also, via their lesser form ability, transform into monkeys and do monkey things.
Transforming is subtle and does not give a message in chat, though an observant crewmember may notice that you're suddenly someone else entirely.
Changelings have the ability to 'kill' themselves, and appear dead for about a minute. After this period is over, the changeling can revive at will , fully healed of all injuries and illnesses. Both entering stasis and leaving it cost 15 chemicals, however you will still regenerate chemicals up to half your max capacity (37) even in death.
This makes them nigh-unkillable, as they can fully regenerate themselves even from death if their bodies are intact and they have enough chemicals. Spaced changelings may also be able to make it back on station given enough time. The best way to permanently deal with a changeling is to gib it or cremate it in the chapel.
Changelings may have the following objectives:
- 1. Absorb 5-7 DNA stands: You just need to get DNA, easiest way is through your DNA extraction sting .
- 1a. Extract more compatible genomes than any other Changeling.: Pretty self-explanatory, you can either spam DNA extract sting or kill the other poor sap who gets this objective.
- 2. Assassinate/Maroon a person: Kill some unlucky crewmember. This can be fulfilled via normal means or through some of your various abilities.
- 4. Steal an object: Steal a special or rare object from the station, you will be informed of what to steal.
- 5a. Escape alive: All changelings get an escape objective, to fulfill, be on the escape shuttle or a pod when they land at Central Command.
- 5b. Escape with identity: In addition to escaping alive, the changeling must have transformed to the target person and wear an ID card with the target's name on it to succeed.
Going Solo or Teaming Up
You are a solo antagonist, so it's completely up to you whether you want to kill or team up with any other changelings you may encounter.
The changeling possesses dangerous and alien abilities including precooked stingers, body augmentations and chemical enhancements, natural bio-camo, grotesque blades/tentacles/armor made of flesh and bone, AoE screech abilities, and more! Their stored chemicals regenerate quickly at a rough set rate of half a chemical per second.
Changelings start with 10 evolution points and can only get more by absorbing another changeling. The cost of abilities (if applicable) are listed below. By husking a lifeform, the changeling gains charge for an ability to reset their learned abilities and choose new ones, adapting to situations as they arise. This will reset their evolution points back to the starting 10. Absorbing other changelings may let you have more than 10 evolution points.
Changelings can store up to 7 DNA strands, acquiring them either by absorbing or DNA stinging people; if they acquire more, the oldest will be overwritten (but will still count for objectives).
Stinger abilities can be used up to two tiles away from a target, and only consume Chemicals on use. Only one sting ability can be prepared at a time.
Note that changelings are immune to each others' stings and are able to notice they've been stung. If you try to sting someone and they don't react, they might be one too!
All changelings start with these abilities by default and will never lose them, even when resetting their abilities.
|Reviving Stasis||15 Chems||A starter ability. The changeling can fake its death and enter a stasis for a small cost. Some time after entering stasis, the stasis icon will change to this: . Clicking that icon will then instantly resurrect you and heal all wounds and status effects. Can be used while dead. Renders the changeling very hard to kill, but if its corpse is gibbed or incinerated it won't be able to revive. The revival is manually activated so you can wait for a good opportunity.|
|Regenerate||10 Chems||A starter ability. Allows the changeling to regrow and restore missing external limbs and vital internal organs, as well as removing shrapnel, healing major wounds, and restoring blood volume. Restoring limbs will make a lot of noise which may alarm nearby crew.|
|Transform||5 Chems||A starter ability. The changeling can transform into any of the DNAs they have stored, allowing them to become nearly anyone. It will also mimic their clothing and ID, if you're not already wearing one in those slots. These fake items will be non-functional but can be deleted by clicking them or by using the Drop Flesh Disguise option from the transformation menu. Transforming also gives you a temporary but fully functional copy of the transform target's Skillchips.|
|Extract DNA Sting||25 Chems||A starter ability. The changeling can sting a target to extract their genetic information. They can then use the DNA like they just absorbed it. Helps the changeling reach their genome objective.|
|Absorb DNA||N/A||A starter ability. Another way to acquire DNA: the changeling fully drains a body's fluids, husking it in the process and making it unidentifiable. In addition to giving the changeling the DNA, it will also give it a few samples of the victim's memories (including any uplink codes and objectives), and it will allow the changeling to reset their abilities.
If you absorb another changeling, your maximum and current chemical storage will increase, and you will gain 5 extra evolution points to spend.
Abilities Available via Evolution Menu
These abilities must be evolved through the Cellular Emporium, accessible through an action button in the upper left portion of the screen. Resetting abilities after absorbing someone will clear all of these abilities and must be re-evolved.
|Icon||Name||Evolution Cost||Chemical Cost||Description|
|Augmented Eyesight||2 Points||None||The changeling evolves additional features in their eyes, giving them a toggleable night-vision and xray-vision mode. The changeling will become more vulnerable to flash-based devices while this ability is active. While it's inactive, it will instead protect you from flashes and bright lights, such as welders. This cannot be detected by normal means.|
|Biodegrade||2 Points||30 Chems||Dissolves restraints or other objects preventing free movement. This is obvious to nearby people, and can destroy standard restraints and closets. When the cuffs are melted completely a pile of green goo will appear below you.|
|Chameleon Skin||2 Points||25 Chems||Our skin pigmentation rapidly changes to suit our current environment. Allows us to become invisible after a few seconds of standing still. Can be toggled on and off.|
|Digital Camouflage||1 Point||None||Makes the changeling invisible to the AI, and prevents the AI from tracking the changeling's location while active, but when examined by others you will be "moving your body in an unnatural and blatantly inhuman manner".|
|Adrenaline Sacs||2 Points||30 Chems||Allows to the changeling to make use of additional adrenaline to instantly recover from knockdown (but no other status effects). This also injects 4u Changeling Adrenaline and 3u Changeling Haste, which together gives about 6 seconds of extreme speed and about 20 seconds of slight reduction of further stuns. These chems will deal minor toxin damage. High chemical cost.|
|Fleshmend||2 Points||25 Chems||The changeling will rapidly heal brute and oxygen damage, as well as burn at a slower rate over 10 seconds. Repeated use while the effect is added will restart the regeneration timer, but the user will still heal at the same rate. Cannot be used while burning, but usable while unconscious.|
|Last Resort||1 Point||20 Chems||For when you are well and truly fucked. Creates a small explosion, gibs your current body, and you become a headslug; a creature that can ventcrawl and attack a (non-monkey) corpse to plant a hidden changeling egg. The headslug dies shortly afterwards. The changeling egg grows into a monkey changeling after about 4 minutes. The ability works even when cuffed, stunned or trapped in a welded locker, but does not work if you are in monkey form, crit or dead. |
If you're killed while in headslug form, and you haven't infected any corpse, you won't be able to revive!
|Lesser Form||1 Point||5 Chems||The changeling transforms into a monkey after a brief period of time. Causes all equipment to be dropped on the floor. It can then return to human form by using Human Form . Note that transforming into a monkey also drops your cuffs. Standing on a pile of clothes when turning back to human form will make you automatically put those clothes on.
If your monkey body is butchered while dead, you won't be able to revive!
|Mimic Voice||1 Point||Chem Regen Slowed||Allows the changeling to form their voice of a name they enter. This doesn't have to be anyone that exists on the station, it can be a made up name.|
|Arm Blade||2 Points||20 Chems||Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a grotesque blade made out of bone and flesh. The arm blade does 25 damage per hit and can be retracted by using the ability again; however, it is visible on your body and a dead giveaway to onlookers and silicons that you are a changeling. It can also be used to pry open doors when on Combat Mode Enable with 4, disable with 1 or toggle with F by default. Left-clicking people with an empty hand will Harm them if on, or Help them if off. Prevents you from switching places or being pushed when colliding with people. (powered ones will take longer).|
|Tentacle||2 Points||10 Chems||Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a tentacle. This tentacle can be fired towards a target, with different effects depending on Combat Mode Enable with 4, disable with 1 or toggle with F by default. Left-clicking people with an empty hand will Harm them if on, or Help them if off. Prevents you from switching places or being pushed when colliding with people. and mouse button used. The tentacle will be used up when fired once. Counts as a ranged weapon. Target people usually need to stand still to reliably be pulled to you.
|Organic Shield||1 Point||20 Chems||Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a large, fleshy shield. Has a chance to block or mitigate a number of attacks, the amount increasing by 3 with each genome absorbed (needs confirmation).|
|Organic Space Suit||2 Points||20 Chems||Inflates the changeling's flesh into a huge, bulky, spaceworthy mass of pressure and temperature-resistant organic tissue to facilitate space travel. While it's active, you'll also regenerate oxygen damage quickly enough to not need air. Because the suit is made up of the changeling's flesh, it provides no damage resistance and can be injected directly into with syringes. Slows chemical generation while active.|
|Chitinous Armor||1 Point||20 Chems,
Chem Regen Slowed by 25%
|Inflates the changeling's body into an all-consuming chitinous mass of armor. Provides extensive protection against physical damage, but less against other types. Its mass slows the changeling's movement, and maintaining its shape slows chemical generation.
Defense Values in %:
|Anatomic Panacea||1 Point||20 Chems||Cures the changeling of many ailments including brain traumas, mutations, diseases, radiation, and toxins. Generally covers the things that Fleshmend doesn't; it can be used to purge the poison that the chemist just shot you up with, or to get rid of that debilitating mutation from an absorbed identity. Can also remove alien larvae and zombie infection. Usable while unconscious. Do not use if you are a slimeperson.|
|Pheromone Receptors||2 Points||None||A toggled ability that gives a HUD icon when another changeling is in a rather large area around you. If another changeling enters within 25 tiles, the icon will turn into an arrow pointing roughly in direction of the nearest changeling. If the other changeling enters within 10 tiles, the icon will become a black diamond. Slows chemical regeneration while active.
Invaluable for the "absorb another changeling" objective, but can also be used to locate potential allies.
|Resonant Shriek||1 Point||20 Chems||The changeling emits a tone beyond the range of human hearing, causing deafness and disorientation in an area around itself and bursting lights in the area, while overloading cyborg sensors. Good for escaping groups or preventing people from fleeing from you.|
|Dissonant Shriek||1 Point||20 Chems||The changeling emits an EMP, which disables technology in the surrounding area, including radio headsets. Good for escaping borgs and preventing people from shouting over the radio.|
|Spread Infestation||1 Point
3 DNA Absorptions
|45 Chems||You vomit out bloody eggs. Ghosts can interact with these eggs to spawn as flesh spiders . These are hostile to all non-spider life, including the changeling that spawned them.
A flesh spider can:
IMPORTANT: You need at least 3 DNA absorptions (NOT "Extract DNA" Stings) to unlock this late-game ability.
|Strained Muscles||1 Point||None||The changeling reduces lactic acid buildup in their leg muscles, allowing them to move at extremely fast speeds. While active, the changeling will take steadily incrementing stamina damage and eventually pass out, if he doesn't take a rest. Doesn't work in monkey form.|
|Transformation Sting||3 Points||50 Chems||The changeling injects a retrovirus that forces their human victim to transform into another. When extracting the sting the changeling can choose which of the DNAs in storage it wishes to use. You can't use this to transform people into plasmamen or Golems.|
|Mute Sting||2 Points||20 Chems||The changeling silently stings a human, completely silencing them for about thirty seconds. Does not provide a warning to a victim that they've been stung, until they try to speak and can't.|
|Blind Sting||1 Point||25 Chems||The changeling silently stings a human, completely blinding them for a short time and and leaves them with blurred vision for a long time.|
|Hallucination Sting||1 Point||5 Chems||The changeling injects large doses of hallucinogenic chemicals into their victim. Effect occurs after 30 to 60 seconds. The victim does not notice they've been stung until they start tripping.|
|Cryogenic Sting||2 Points||15 Chems||The changeling injects the target with a blend of chemicals that begins to turn their blood to ice. The victim will walk slower and take some damage over the full duration. Victims wearing armor or insulated material will take more damage, since they are insulated from the ambient warmth. Can be countered with space heaters, coffee, and other warming objects and foods.|
|False Armblade Sting||1 Point||20 Chems||The changeling silently injects a retrovirus that mutates their victim's arm into an armblade. The victim will form an armblade much like a changeling would, except the armblade is dull and useless. The transformation occurs immediately after the sting, and will last for about a minute.|
- As a changeling, the absolute best item for you to get is a wallet (From the crew quarters, in either cabin's personal closet, in the leather satchel.) It goes in your ID slot and holds up to 4 ids, all of which work for automatic access and none of which change your mouse over identity.
- Fleshmend is better suited for increased sustain during active combat. You can save a few points if you stick to using Reviving Stasis as your main source of healing outside of combat.
- Augmented Eyesight grants xray but no night vision. This can be solved easily by taking a pair of meson scanner goggles which will light up all tiles to a small degree. If they're reasearched, getting some Night Vision Goggles also work.
- If you journey to lavaland, have internals on at all times in case the atmosphere outside is BZ, even trace amounts in the air will drain your chemical count rapidly leaving you vulnerable for long periods of time.
- Only take a few abilities at round start! Once you take an ability, it is locked in unless you husk someone. Husking someone is time-consuming, leaves obvious evidence, sort of dickish, and if anyone interrupts you then you're boned. If you leave a few slots open, though, you can easily adapt to whatever shit you find yourself in.
- If you do choose to absorb someone though, the chameleon skin ability is very useful. You can use it to go invisible while you are absorbing them, then if anyone finds the body before you are finished with it they won't immediately yell "LINGS" on common, as well as making it dead easy to ambush them.
- You can revive yourself inside a Space Dragon and use an armblade to kill it from the inside out, the same is possible with a few other creatures.
- Transformation Sting is robust. Not only does it confuse the fuck out of people and is silent, but it's easier to hide in a forest than on an open plain. Make 555 of the guy you are changing into for more genomes. Transform the guy you are husking/impersonating into someone else, so you're the only one. Transform a ling who is caught if the scene is chaotic enough that he might escape. The possibilities are endless. ADDED: Wear some generic clothes from arrivals or locker room. Then if somebody's chasing you, run out of their line of sigh, quickly transform and run backwards.
- As a ling you are able to explore space, either staying as a regening corpse until you hit something or through a combination of fleshmend, engorged chem sacs, and a fire suit.
- There are edible clown corpses on the clown shuttle.
- You can of course find spaced people randomly, which is a great way to pick up an identity provided everyone doesn't know they were spaced.
- Or just use organic space suit
- Cryosting is very robust on people with insulation which makes it really effective in space, where they won't have a choice about staying dressed up in their suit.
- Mimic voice and subverted AI, or mimic voice and digital camo go a LONG way in completely getting the crew against each other.
- Keep in mind that if you space yourself and let your corpse husk from the burn damage you'll still be a husk when you get back up. You can clear this effect by transforming to another form and back again. You could also buy voice changing and play a zombie.
- Blind sting + Lesser form = Freedom
- Cryo Sting + Lesser form = Freedom
- LSD Sting + Lesser form = Maybe freedom if it reaches the point of stamina damage knockouts.
- Mute Sting + Cryo Sting + Blind Sting + Stun Prod, applied directly to forehead = easy, unrobust kill
- Flesh clothing created from disguising can be used as a test to see if you're a changeling, so just keep that in mind when using transform frequently. You can always use the "Drop Flesh Disguise" option in the transform radial to quickly remove all of the false clothing.
- Flesh clothing created from disguising cannot be removed by any means. This includes xenomorphs; if your disguise is wearing headgear that is immune to facehugger attacks, xenomorphs will be unable to infect you.
- The Bartender can mix a drink called Changeling Sting that accelerates the regeneration rate of changeling chemicals. It's gonna look suspicious as all hell if you order this, keep in mind. Try mixing it yourself when the bartender is absent.
- Don't be the person who goes ";g absorbing captain in maint" USE YOUR PERIODS (Ling chat is now gone, you can do this as much as you want)
Tips for Fighting Against Changelings
- Changelings do not need heads, and brains are therefore vestigial. Don't debrain a changeling while the body walks out of the door behind you.
- As long as you can talk and you're within 1 tile of an intercom, you can type :i in front of what you say to say it over the intercom. Even when you're stunned and/or on the ground.
- If you get cryostung as a Security Officer, remove your armor and helmet. REMOVE THEM. Or else you will die. Sec armor has somehow some heat tampering properties, which means you won't heat up as much as you would normally be, and will consequently die of cold. Same goes if you are wearing an hardsuit/space protective gear/anything that could have thermal properties. If you get cryo'd, REMOVE THOSE THINGS ASAP.
- The bane of lings is N2O. None of their powers will help them. Unless they use internals.
- BZ gas is also a bane of lings, it drains their chemicals when they breathe it in. It is a huge pain for changelings to deal with if they haven't taken anatomic panacea to flush out the bz metabolites from their bloodstream. A good BZ/oxygen/N2O filled gas tank will incapacitate a ling indefinitely if you can slap on restraints too.
- Never fight a Changeling alone if you can help it. Unless they haven't taken any active combat abilities or Fleshmend (or if they're hilariously unrobust), chances are they will almost always win a melee confrontation. The best tactic is to get a buddy to stun the changeling while you handcuff/beat it to death and take it to be gibbed/cremated.
- Changeling flesh clothing is completely cosmetic/non-functional and cannot be removed. If during a strip-search you can't remove an article of clothing from a person, chances are they're a Changeling unless they're cursed in some way.
- A 100u potassium/100u water grenades can no longer gib changelings, but it is still possible to create grenades that can gib humans and lings alike, such as 30u meth grenades..
- Gibber machines are easy to construct, and if you leave one in a well trafficked area, its hard to take one out without any witnesses. Even then, they're easy to replace and somewhat expendable. A gibber with a tier 2 manipulator or above will also gib fully clothed people.
- You can also shuttlegib them. Simply place the changeling in the area in which a shuttle is about to land. Very few things can survive being hit by a ship coming out of a bluespace jump. The mining shuttles are particularly good for this, as they can be moved manually with a computer and their transit times are very short.
- In most circumstances, a ling absorbing someone renders them non-revivable, however if you have taken the blood of someone who has been absorbed (has to be done before they were absorbed), you can buy an exotic seeds crate from cargo and inject their blood into replica pod seeds, which you can proceed to grow into a podperson of the victim. They will only remember up to when the blood was taken, and will have to deal with the drawbacks of being a podperson.
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