The CCSF 2016 Blog Carnival is nearing its end, but it’s not over yet! Today’s prompt is focused on the mythology and backstory behind Creatures. One of the biggest draws about Creatures 1 was that simple story and the fact that an entire species was in my hands. Yet there is a lot more to discover, particularly in the first two games! For me, Creatures 3 had some beautiful visuals but lacked all of the small details in the background. There was no connection to the mysterious Shee, and I think this plays a part in why I don’t prefer the later games. That covers the very basics of my answer for the day, but now it’s onot my usual not-so-short response that includes more details than anyone actually needs!
What Do You Think of the Mythology and Backstory of Creatures?
As I quickly mentioned, I think Creatures 1 shines the brightest in terms of its mythology. There is a whole story about how the strange Shee abandoned the Norns and Grendels, and the world is still littered with many of their creations. I particularly loved the fact that the number of eggs was (theoretically) extremely limited when I first played. I constantly found myself looking at everything around the world and wondering why the Shee created it. Was it for them? Were they experimenting? Or were they actually trying to make life better for the Norns? Nowadays, I might classify the backstory as rather vague and not developed. However, this actually worked in favor of the games: We have so many stories that try to make sense of the Shee and the origins of our Creatures! A vague backstory is often a detriment to building up a game, yet I’m a firm believer that the Creatures story acts as a starting point for anyone who wants to write the “real” story.
Do You Have Any Favorite Background Details in the World?
Goodness, where to start?! Arch Dragon wrote an interesting post several years ago that really made me start looking at the background of Creatures 1. There are so many little things that one may never notice. I also had a chance to examine even more of the background when I compared the real model to the game model! The Albia in C1 is littered with all sorts of interesting details if one takes the time to take a look. I don’t have a favorite aspect, unless someone wants to read through an exhaustive list… And I don’t think anyone would want that! However, I do encourage everyone to take a moment to look at the background of the world, whichever game it’s in. Creatures 2 has a plethora of goodies to find, although I’ve found that C3/DS is missing out on a lot of these subtleties. Then again, third-party metarooms often have their own mythology and can have their own special things to enjoy. Keep your eyes open! When your Norns start to get really annoying, ignore them and you might just uncover something interesting hiding in plain sight.
Any Pet Theories or Thoughts, or Questions You Would Like Answered?
I’m not sure if it’s a common theory or not, but I remember stumbling across the idea that the Shee are actually humans. I completely disagree with this theory, although it certainly makes for some interesting stories! That’s one thing I should make very clear again: The whole Creatures universe is completely up for individual interpretation. And that’s what makes it so awesome. I just don’t see how the Shee could be humans… Although I can see the similarities! Personally, I like the mystery. No one really knows what happened to the Shee. When I’m not muddling through CAOS and genomes, I don’t really think about it. Yet there are times when I want to write a huge story about what might have happened to the Shee. Were they really so arrogant to leave behind their creations? Or was there a hidden reason they wanted to keep a secret? The possibilities are endless, just as they should be.
Naturally, I’m very biased in favor of the way the Creatures backstory was presented. I was a young kid who loved to use her imagination, and the way the Shee were presented intrigued me to no end! Were they ultimately good or bad, or maybe even a bit of both? Oh dear. Now I wonder if I should add a writing project on top of my giant pile of things to complete. Ha! I hope the mythology makes many players use their imaginations to think about what might exist beyond what we see in the games. I’ve always said that there are many complex layers within Creatures, but the backstory is one that may get lost. Never forget those vague Shee who might be sinister or just plain silly!