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A norn

Norns (Cyberlifogenis cutis) are a species of creature, created by the Shee to entertain them and serve tea and biscuits. They were genetically engineered on the disc-shaped planet Albia. Many were abandoned there as the Shee took off in their spaceship, the Ark (although they took a few of them along). They are lovable and innocent creatures, who need some care to survive, though some breeds are more capable of living in the wild.

Norns are the main Alife attraction of the games in the Creatures series. They compete (to an extent) amongst one another, and with the other species present in Albia and on the Ark: Ettins and Grendels. Players can choose to help them survive, usually by active management of their environment and the addition of various helper COBs/agents, or leave them to fend for themselves over extended periods of time in feral or wolfling runs. Some go even further in their "testing" of norns, which others refer to as norn torture.

Norns, like other creatures, do not naturally speak Handish, and must be taught it via a Computer, or other tools such as the Super Speech Toy. Their native language is known as Bibble; other species have their own dialects.

Did you know? The name "norn" came from Norse mythology and refers to "the three old women who sit round a giant tree spinning men's fates." (from Tips.txt). It is also the name of a language [1] once used in Orkney.

Browse the list of norn breeds - over 100 have been created!


In C1 and C2, norns hatch from eggs found in the hatchery, one of the kits in the game. (In C3 and DS, they are laid by the norn egg layer or Muco). There are originally 6 eggs in the hatchery, and when a player moves the mouse pointer over one egg, a gender symbol is displayed indicating whether a male or a female norn will hatch from it. After double-clicking, the egg can be placed in an incubator where it will take about 15 to 30 seconds for the norn to hatch. Eggs can also hatch in the wild, although it takes longer than when they hatch in an incubator. If a player runs out of eggs, they can use the Emergency Kit to add a few randomly selected eggs or an Advanced Hatchery to which you can add the desired eggs.

There are several life stages in your Norn's life: the stage of baby, child, adolescent, youth norn, adult norn, older norn or senile, or, in Creatures 3 and Docking Station, "ancient" Norn. Norns are usually in the baby stage for 20 minutes, and enter puberty 1 hour and 8 minutes after birth. However, in some species, childhood and puberty come earlier. During their baby life stage, creatures are the most attentive to the hand.[2]

During the baby stage, Norns generally walk on all fours, which changes after entering childhood, when they start walking on two legs.

During puberty, adolescence, and adulthood, norns can mate and become infertile during old age. Shortly before mating, the norns have an extremely high desire to mate, and then usually stand upright with one leg raised, facing the player. During mating, the female and male bend down and the player can hear a prolonged kiss with a "pop" sound at the end, which may or may not result in the female becoming pregnant. After a kiss, a female's sexual desire declines, whether she becomes pregnant or not. Selectively breeding two norns can be difficult if there are other norns near them. The female's pregnancy lasts a few minutes. Just before the egg is laid, the female sits on the ground with her hands on her cheeks. Laying eggs is strenuous, and after that they usually fall asleep.

During breeding, sometimes mutations occur, which can cause behavior disorders, infertility, double or missing bodies, stillbirth and unusual appearance of the baby norn's body (eg. frog legs or a head from other Creatures games, or a Bruin Norn body part). Most mutations are neutral to the norns, but some can help them evolve, either through being a beneficial mutation, or a detrimental mutation.


Norns are highly social creatures, sometimes to the point where they prefer to play with others than to eat. Raising small babies alone is said to help with their learning process and aid them in keeping themselves fed with safe edibles.

In C2 and C3/DS, for most breeds of norn, the waters of Albia or the Ark can be dangerous if they are submerged for a long time and begin to drown. Some norn species can survive in water, or, as in some varieties of MerNorn, it is essential for their continued survival after childhood.

Norns can get diseases from the Grendel (often unwittingly, through bacterial action) and in C2 can suffer organ damage from the heavy metals in the volcano.

For norns, touching and / or eating "bad critters" (in Creatures 3 and Docking Station called beasts and pests) can sometimes be harmful. (in C3/DS there is a Toxic Norn that mainly feeds on rotten food and waste, which are not harmful to it).

In Creatures 1, 2, and 3, and in DS, diseases can be fatal, and in general, norns in Creatures 1 and 2 are particularly susceptible to disease.

In Creatures 1 (C1) the most common signs of illness are high body temperature, fatigue and lack of interest in food, and in Creatures 2 (C2) sneezing and high fever.


Norns have a full biochemistry with different chemical reactions, which are genetically determined and inheritable. The levels of different chemicals in a norn change all the time. For example, energy is used up by biological processes such as respiration and norns need to eat to replenish their energy supplies. From C2 onwards, norns need a balanced diet of fat, protein and starch to survive (although too much fat can cause heart disease).[3]


Steve Grand's first attempt at a 'furry', from Small Furry Creatures.
An early Ron Norn prototype, from Jason Riley's portfolio.

"The visual evolution of the Norn was a long process and quite a lot of thought and energy went into their physical appearance development."[4]

See also

External links