Norns, ettins and grendels from all games can catch diseases. They can be caused by toxins, germs, trauma, environmental conditions, and genetic conditions. Some, like asthma, have unknown causes and are only known by their symptoms.
In Creatures 1, high temperatures are common, as is tiredness and lack of interest in food. Common sources of disease are:
- Random infection by a bacteria containing one antigen
- Eating weeds, especially the Laburnum and Deathcap
- Cave Flies
- Random infection by an evolved bacteria containing an unknown toxin - these often contain multiple antigens and histamines or toxins. To prevent unknown toxins from evolving in the game, periodically reset it using the Emergency Kit.
In normal creatures, when infected by a bacteria, antibodies rise to a high level, and then the bacteria will stop reinfecting the creature. In a normal creature, high levels of antibodies give an immunity to antigens, but they do not fight or cure infections. Therefore, creatures can be innoculated against antigen-caused disease. LummoxJR has developed Active Antibody Genes that will enable antibodies to react with antigens and reduce antigens.
Disease can be detected using the Observation Kit, but not all of the time - glycotoxin, for instance, is undetected. (See Observation Kit for more information.) The Science Kit may also be helpful - but Ageing is a good 'toxin'!
Some German students once sent Steve Grand a paper describing Schrey-Leonard Syndrome, a Creatures 1 disease.
Curing Disease In Creatures 1
To cure a Creatures 1 creature of almost any disease, isolate it to prevent distraction, make it eat something (preferably not honey), and give it something that will reduce its hotness not increase its coldness (Gentian is excellent), because all antigens use up glucose and cause high temperatures. Other herbs can also be beneficial. Bedrest is also important, but not as vital as eating and reducing hotness.
Please note that the "IV Cough Medicine" will only affect sneezing (not coughing) in Norns (and not Grendels). IV Energy from the Health Kit can also be helpful in dire cases, although it causes some pain when used.
At one point, it was thought that force-feeding creatures when sick would cause an aversion to food, as creatures would associate the sensations caused by the disease with the action of eating.
In Creatures 2, general diseases come in the form of sneezing and high temperatures, and can be caused by
Disease cannot cause a norn to lose her pregnancy in Creatures 2.
There is also an affliction in Creatures 2 known as "Star Disease" or fibrillation. It is caused by low ATP, which can itself be caused either by starvation, drowning or genetic disorders.
If caused by drowning, 100% Defibrillant from the Science Kit and removal from water solves the problem. If caused by starvation, then inject the creature with 100% Metabolism Transplant from the Science Kit, and then 100% Defibrillant. Keep on alternating these injections until the afflicted creature can survive on its own. If caused by a genetic disorder, the cure depends on the specific genes involved, or there may be no cure at all.
While a norn is fibrillating, all organs take damage, and if the Brain organ dies, the norn dies. Therefore if untreated this condition is universally fatal.
Creatures 3/Docking Station
In Creatures 3, most diseases are caused by microscopic bacteria. The Docking Station Toxic Norns thrive on sickness, so don't make the mistake of keeping them healthy!
Histamines are one of the most common causes or mediators of disease in the game. They come in two forms, Histamine A and Histamine B. In Docking Station a good cure is lemon, which the hoverdoc will recommend. In Creatures 3 however the most effective cure is 2x100% anti-histamine and a stay in a warm, disease-free place. Foods and potions which contain Vitamin C can help speed up the immune system's response. If the mod Pregnancy Cost is installed, it is possible for norns to lose their pregnancies in C3/DS if they become sufficiently malnourished.
The Classic Fainting or Stars mods reinstate Star Disease in Docking Station.
In all games, diseases can be fatal. Norns from Creatures 1 and Creatures 2 tend to be more susceptible to disease than in later games -- excessive breeding over the Warp in Docking Station has produced norns that are almost (if not completely) invincible! This is not necessarily a good thing, as without drives such as illness, norns have no need for intelligence; a norn which was never hungry, tired, bored or ill would be very boring to watch, as the best course of action would be for it to do nothing!