I wanted to do so much more for the 20th anniversary of Creatures 1 yesterday, but time flew by! Fortunately, I have some other things in the works and hope to share those projects as some belated celebratory releases. Perhaps the two Creatures who came further than any in 20 years were my two Grendels, Jucunda and Pentlandii. Even I was afraid of the Grendels when I first played. Most of them were ignored, left to live sad and lonely lives. This lovely couple had something to say: “Push Jessica,” which was the only way they knew how to show affection to the hand. Such nice beings! And they had a little secret… There was another Grendel egg on the way!
With the spotlight on the Grendels, all of the nearby Norns suddenly thought I was ignoring them. So, of course, they did the only logical thing they could: Crowd as closely together as they could, and look cute! Can you count them all? There are five Norns here, and Pentlandii even snuck in! Roughly from left to right are Nanum, Martagon, Rubellum, and Candidum. The fifth? Nanum trekked all the way from the island so she could lay a brand new egg. I was more surprised that she looked so happy, after having such a bad time in the wake of her first pregnancy. Things were looking up.
Maternal instincts seemed to stir inside Jucunda, and she couldn’t help but visit the incubator. What’s this? She came upon an egg actually warming up inside. She was intrigued! It was clear that I already had my hands full with all of the Norns, and little Souilei was still young. My biggest success has been in staggering the hatching of each generation’s eggs. Not only does this make it easier to teach each baby the basics, but it also protects against an illness wiping out the population before the next generation has a chance to be built. At this point, both the Norns and Grendels will go on, yet I always stick with my list! Each generation is carefully planned, and I thought Jucunda would be particularly interested in who was inside this egg…
Meet Rehmannii! This adorable baby Grendel is another first generation Creature, just like Pentlandii. I designed the population this way so that all of the Grendels won’t be directly related. Technically they have a much closer family tree than the Norns, yet the whole concept of haploid genes means that there isn’t any worry over inbreeding. I just like to keep the gene pool a little varied. Rehmannii was rather stunned over his entrance into the world. He looked like an actor on stage who forgot his lines, but wanted to appear cute. Success! I was excited to get him moving along, since the other two Grendels were nearby. I only needed to whisk him off in the lift!
But what’s this? The incubator wasn’t quite finished yet, and it hummed to life as another egg cracked open. This is Valida, the daughter of Nildeleer and Dahloi. In essence, she is the full sister to Jucunda… So my rambling above about how closely related the Grendels will be makes a little more sense! What might not be clear is that she popped out right in front of Rehmannii, who is pictured directly behind her. That little guy wouldn’t even dare to move! Off I went, on a great challenge to teach two Grendels at the same time. Spoiler alert: This was ridiculously hard! Looking back, I suppose I wanted a challenge to prove my expertise in raising baby Norns and Grendels. No. Just, no. I was about to head into an almost literal storm!
As the difficulty of the task before me began to dawn, my Norns went ahead and made things a little more difficult. Iridollae was excited to announce another pregnancy, and I couldn’t be upset when I saw that happy face. Recall how Bolanderi was tossed aside and humiliated by the other males? That smart guy made his way to the island, turned it into his own personal lair, and found that it worked out quite well! Nanum’s journey back to the garden to lay her egg had begun here, and Bolanderi was thrilled to ensure his legacy would continue. That desert island has times when it’s popular, and other times it lives up to its name as a “deserted” desert island! Bolanderi earned some points for intelligence… Or sheer luck.
Back in the wild world of baby Grendels, I was frantically trying to teach Rehmannii and Vilada some basic concepts. Teaching them the word for the hand was a nightmare. Getting them in the lift was decent. But using the learning computer? I couldn’t convince these two to stand still! In a funny twist, I snapped this photo when the word “good” was on the screen. I should have waited another moment, because “bad” was more appropriate for my decision! Still, both Grendels learned their words and the whole concept of eating. To say it was without fuss would be a lie, because I fussed!
At last, Vilada settled down for a nap once the honeypot was empty. She seemed to be reasonably calm. Rehmannii was another story. He was silly and happy, yet I never expected him to take a nap! A word of advice: Raise one baby at a time. The two challenges are keeping more than one baby’s attention, and ensuring that everyone is looking at the right object when teaching a word. The window to show the current Creature’s view, by definition, only works on the currently selected Creature. I made a few mistakes, but these two were finally ready to join the rest of the Grendels and Norns! The question was whether they really wanted to…