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Life stage

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A life stage (or just stage) is a period in your creature's life, whether they are a norn, grendel, ettin or geat. Their needs will change as their life stage changes; some breeds, like the MerNorns, gain or lose abilities as they age.

A Creatures funeral
Frog norns in different life stages.

The seven life stages are:

  • Baby
  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Youth
  • Adult
  • Old
  • Senile (Called Ancient in C3/DS)

There is a certain chemical (called Ageing in Creatures and Life in later games) which controls when creatures enter different life stages and ultimately die. An initial quantity of this chemical is injected upon creation, and the level decays from that point on. A series of genes is present to switch life stage at appropriate levels of the chemical, and eventually one of them triggers death. The change between one of these stages is called a life event. All genes controlling these transitions are subject to genetic mutation (or deliberate tampering).

The "die of old age" gene was left out of the original Creatures, including the Horse Norns, Brown Mouse Norns, White Haired Pixie Norns, Purple Mountain Norns and the Santa Norn released in 1996. Steve Grand says in his Creation book that this was accidental, and that his intention all along was to have forced euthanasia.

If you wish a creature to live longer, you can inject it with some more of the appropriate chemical. It will not grow visibly younger, but the transition to the next life stage (or death) will take place later than it normally would.

Most sprite sets - including those shipped with the games - do not contain separate sprites for each life stage. In the case where there is no sprite set for the current life stage, the previous set is used. The CAOS command AGES is used to advance creatures through their life stages.

In C3/DS, norns typically begin to dream about the opposite sex in the Youth life stage. The Enhanced ChiChi Norns have a much tougher old age than other breeds.

Life Stage Timeline (C1)

Child Adolescent Adult Pensioner Death
Standard Norns 20m 50m 1hr20m 10hr 15h

Note that the original norns lacked a gene to cause death by old age; instead, they tended to die from something like illness.

Life Stage Timeline (C3/DS)

This chart shows the ages at which a creature in C3/DS advances to a specific life stage (and at what age the creature will die of old age). These numbers assume that the creature is kept in good health, has not been exposed to any agents that may affect its Life, and is of the first generation.

Child Adolescent Youth Adult Old Ancient Death
Standard Norns 9m 23m 37m 54m 3h43m 4h39m 5h39m
Hardman Norns 6m 15m 24m 44m 3h03m 3h49m 4h38m
Treehugger Norns 12m 29m 47m 1h6m 4h33m 5h40m 7h17m
Bondi Norns 14m 32m 50m 1h12m 5h01m 6h16m 7h36m
Ettins 2m 6m 13m 22m 3h43m 4h39m 5h39m
Standard Grendels 2m 5m 12m 17m 2h56m 3h36m 3h49m
Banshee Grendels 7m 16m 26m 1h22m 2h59m 3h42m 4h25m

External links