Pigment is a gene that determines what color overlays the original sprites that make up a creature's body. The pigment system grew more complex and added more visual assets through each game in the Creatures series. In Creatures 1, pigments were controlled by a single type of gene that controlled red, green and blue pigment values and could not be activated at different life stages, despite the gene providing that option. One of the first genetic breeds, the American Cardinal Norns, had sex-linked pigment genes, leading to males being born with a red pigment, and females being born with a green pigment. In the sequels, the pigment gene type was present with the ability to switch on at different life stages and could be accompanied by a pigment bleed gene type, which applies TINT transformations to the creature's sprites.