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Creatures is the first game in the Creatures series (full listing). The game is no longer available by itself, but can be purchased as part of Creatures: The Albian Years. The word Creatures is also used in plural to refer to the A-life animals which are the focus of the games.
Creatures, the Game
The original Creatures game was set in Albia. It featured Norns, Grendels, and a few minor inhabitants of Albia to occupy the player's creatures. There was no set objective - although players were given a "score" in the Breeder's Kit, no restrictions were placed on gameplay, and breeders, COBblers, and even norn torturers were free to pursue their own objectives. The game was limited by the technology of 1996, being restricted to a 256-colour palette (background images are available at C2 Back), bamboo architecture and occasional background sounds rather than the ambient music which evolved in later titles.
Read the Creatures Credits.
Creatures was published for two platforms - Windows 3.1/95, and Mac OS 7.5
Windows System Requirements
- Windows 3.1 or Windows 95
- Pentium 60 or faster
- Double Speed CD-ROM (300k/sec)
- 16-bit Sound Card
- 256 Colours @640x480
- 8MB RAM & 40MB of hard drive disk space
Windows NT/2k/XP compatibility is possible through an installer patch and upgrading to at least Creatures 1.02.
- Brown Mouse Norn
- White Haired Pixie Norn
- Horse Norn
- Santa Norn '96
- Purple Mountain Norn
- Forest Norn
- Ron Norn
- Santa Norn '97
- Classic Grendel
- A real model was used to create the Albian backdrop in Creatures.
- The original boxed edition of the game was accompanied by a helpful booklet, The Chronicles of Nornia.
- Creatures was first pitched by Steve Grand in the form of a 'Mouse for Windows' - a little desktop pet that would need to be fed and watered, and who would interact with the desktop icons and windows. Millennium didn't bite.
- A second attempt at a pitch was dubbed 'Little Computer Ewoks' (compare Little Computer People) by Steve himself, for lack of a better name. It is interesting to note that this proposal appears to be the earliest manifestation of Creatures as we know it today. It also interesting to note that the phrase 'Little Computer Ewoks' was also used by Erin's father when he was first shown the game!
- The development title for Creatures was eventually set to 'Small Furry Creatures' - the game also became known as 'Creatures 1' (or just 'C1') after Creatures 2 was (eventually) released.
- Creatures was first envisaged and developed as a top-down adventure/RPG game set in the Amazon, where the player would find an abandoned norn community; much time was spent on this before deciding to base the game around the Alife concept itself (see vanimals)
- The final design of the norn as we know it is actually quite different that the original: Steve Grand originally imagined norns to be 'gawky and awkward' - early images of norns even resembled chickens!
- Grendels were originally described as monsters, resembling huge, titanium spiders, complete with eight eyes and a voracious appetite for norn. Eek!
- As aging and disease was introduced late in the game (see history), the death of norns was meant to be enforced by a gene... however, the gene misfired and had no effect! Norns died through illness though, as originally intended, which greatly pleased Steve Grand.
- The music from the title movie ended up as part of a published CD from the Cyberlife musician Andrew Barnabas - you can listen to the extended version of Creatures Montage here!