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Alien artist H.R. Giger dies at 74

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

H.R. Giger, the Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and designer known for his iconic xenomorph design for the movie Alien, died this week at the age of 74, according to a report from the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Giger's death was reportedly the result of injuries sustained from a fall.

The xenomorph from Alien was based on Giger's lithograph Necronom IV. His trademark biomechanical design of the alien and the "Space Jockey" from the 1979 film earned him an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

The artist also contributed designs to a number of other films, including Species, Poltergeist 2 and Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus.

Giger's artwork was the basis for two point-and-click adventure games, Dark Seed and Dark Seed 2, developed by Cyberdreams. The original Dark Seed, first published in 1992, was released for Amiga, DOS and Macintosh computers. Dark Seed and its sequel were later ported to PlayStation and Sega Saturn.

The influence of Giger's work on Alien and his Necronomicon series of books can be seen in a wide number of science fiction games, including Irem's R-Type and Konami's Contra series.