Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Revisiting C2

As I mentioned before, with the GOG version of Albian Years, I can finally run C1 and C2 again on my computer, for the first time in years. And what a nostalgia trip.

C2 was my first creatures game, and it has a ton of emotion attached for me, granted, I was all of 11-12 years old at the time and I feel like I understand a lot more now. At least one would hope, right?

I decided to run a vanilla world before introducing anything 3rd party, even genomes, just to see how things might pan out. I remember as a kid I never actually used any special genomes, I just always injected the holodoc and let creatures be script-coddled all their lives, really having no idea how this affected their intelligence. This way I can have a reminder what what creatures are like 'normally' before I try say, canny norns.

Luckily the GOG C2 isn't actually completely vanilla; it includes the life kits and an updated genome, making it a little more tolerable. Throughout my playing time though, I did notice a lot-- some things that I realized I really missed from C3/DS, some things I forgot existed, and some things I really didn't know existed at all.

This little sitting/kneeling position, for example-- that's so cute! Why does that not exist in DS? Creatures just go straight from standing to lying down with no in-between. Maybe I'm silly, but this really is one of my favorite little poses. Who was it that decided C3/DS creatures shouldn't be able to do this. This creature pictured is Eva, by the way. She was the first norn born into the world-- I always loved the goldies; certainly one of my favorite breeds in C2.

This inquisitiveness too-- creatures constantly asking, "what dat?" and "what dis?" is just so silly and charming, I completely forgot it existed. Though I don't know anything about C2 genetics and scripting... is this something genetic that young creatures just feel the need to ask questions, or is it just a scripted event that runs often in newborns to prompt the hand to answer questions? The latter shouldn't be too hard to replicate in C3-- so I wonder why it was left out? This little dude is Ichi-- I hatched him after Eva was pretty well trained to offer companionship and possible future mateship.

I must say, teaching norns to talk in C2 can be frustrating. In some aspects I do miss it-- in the same way that I really enjoy hand-teaching norn in C3/DS, but as I've found, the DS way of teaching nouns has still spoiled me to death. It is endlessly frustrating when you want a norn to "eat food," yet they don't yet know what food is, and until they get bored enough to look at it,
you can't even teach them what it is, let alone get them to eat it.

"Ichi yes"-- someone remind me what that means. Judging that from the hand's perspective, that 'yes' essentially means, 'good job,' I suppose this means that Ichi is quite proud of himself? This is certainly a level of depth we're missing in DS.

Norns in general are a lot more chatty in C2, it seems, and will actually speak out single words like "come" or "hit" or "food" etc, while C3 norns pretty much only speak in either "name-verb-noun" or "name-modifier-feeling" strings. Also, the "Ichi very hungry, get food" strings that state both their need and what they intend to do about it are certainly an Albian exclusive.

I remember this face. More specifically, I remember seeing it on my creatures 90% of their lives-- the darn things are always tired or sleepy, and don't seem to want to sleep at all, ever. I certainly don't miss that about C2. Poor creatures always looked so miserable, and it was so hard to keep them happy.

After quite a bit of close training though, they seemed to respond, at least relatively well to my commands. I remember that much about C2 norns-- if you let them run feral they were nearly impossible to tame later on (as it should be, I think), but carefully raising them by hand and giving them a lot of individual attention made them quite loyal. I'll admit I was just extremely charmed to see how eager my little nornlings were to "Come Aiko" every time I showed up to check on them (though, nornlings as they were, sometimes they believed I was delicious).

I managed to snag the science kit and the neuroscience kit without really looking for them-- I remember how old that used to get and would always bypass hunting those down with agents, but for this round, I just wanted to explore. I remember relying on those kits pretty constantly back in the day, but I guess not having them in C3/DS got me used to just doing everything by hand.

Oh, this boat thing was something I didn't recall having a problem with, probably because the first thing I always did back when I played was inject one of the many 'bridges' cobs. But my poor creatures kept getting stuck in the boat and I couldn't get them out, because when I tried to click on the boat to move it, I would just tickle the creature. It really became a nuisance after a while, so after a lot of "push lift" and "come Aiko" later, I took the creatures exploring.

Somewhere along the journey, they grew up, and immediately kisspopped-- I was fairly impressed! Then they both collapsed and took a long, long nap, much to my relief.


I don't suppose I'll make any sort of long-term move to C2 or anything, but right now it's doing a lot to both entertain me and bring back memories. It's also just nice to have norns that need me-- and it's half inspiring me to pick up one of my old genetic projects for C3 to develop a more frail genome. So we'll see where this takes us!


  1. I always thought the norns in C1 and C2 seemed to have more personality than those found in C3 and DS.

    As for waiting for the norns to get bored and look at food before you can teach them the word...you do know you can hover the mouse over objects and say "look" to encourage them to look at specific objects? I don't think my norns would have learned any English if not for this feature.

  2. @Arch -- Haha, I did not know that! So many years playing creatures and I still learn something new every day :) Thanks for the tip!