Last week Roque wrote a little bit about heroes in Okhlos. Today I will keep on writing about them. Why? Because heroes are a key part of the game. Getting the right heroes in your mob can make difference between drinking spiced wine over the ruins of mount Olympus and getting squashed like an insect under Zeus’ flip flops. Not only that, heroes will make each mob different, will make you play in a different way, will let you build up different strategies. Heroes are everything.
There are several ways to get heroes. As it had been said, some heroes may be found while exploring the levels and other through the hero market. Yet other heroes you will only find after defeating certain enemies: for example, you may be able to free a hero from the clutches of an evil monster and then add them to your mob.
Another things that makes heroes different from the rest of units is that heroes do not die. They can be knocked out, yes, even the mighty Heracles can be sent out of combat by direct blow from Ares, but unlike regular people Heracles will rejoin the mob when you start the next level or when certain other conditions are met. So heroes are somewhat immortal but can still be temporarily disabled and leave the poor helpless leader alone at the mercy of an enraged cyclops.
There will be lots of heroes, so we divided them into five categories:
1) Super Units. These heroes are an enhanced version of the regular unit types. Hero warriors will be much stronger and hit harder than regular warriors, hero defenders will be much tougher, and hero slaves will be much more … err … enslaveable? Well no, hero slaves will also be much better as units than their regular counterparts. Heracles, who was presented last week, would be a perfect example of this, as he is the über warrior.
2) Kings. Rulers increase your mob limit. At game start, your mob can’t have more than 50 members, without counting animals and heroes. But the kings increase that number.
Take Lycaon for instance. He was king of Arcadia, quite a big shot at his prime. So much that he thought he could fool Zeus. To do that he devised a cunning plan. A cunning and incredibly, ridiculously twisted plan. He invited the lord of Olympus over for dinner and, to test if he was really all-seeing and all-knowing, he chopped off one of his own children and served him as one of the dishes. The god of thunder noticed this and was not very happy (he is a picky eater). He immediately turned Lycaon into a wolf-like creature and killed the rest of Lycaon’s children (he had like fifty of them, which may be why he thought that the best way to test someone’s omniscience was to serve them one of his kids but still…).
Currently in the game Lycaon increases your mob capacity by 25, which is a 50% increase from your starting value. He is the king that gives the highest increase in mob capacity so far, but this comes with a high cost: when Lycaon enters the mob, he will immediately kill 25% of your people. So… yeah…
3) Healers. Do you remember Asclepius from last week? Well, he was a healer. He is THE healer, actually. The demi-god of healing and medicine. Nobody does it better. But there were many others that were also versed in the ancient mysteries of medicine, and this category is where they belong. Like Hippocrates.
You may remember Hippocrates from oaths like the Hippocratic Oath that doctors all over the world take and uphold, even up to this day. Not only was he the greatest physician of his time (and you could say he kept on being the greatest physician for centuries, since his teachings were regarded as perfect and for a long time no one even dared to seek further improvements), he was also a badass. He was imprisoned for his then radical views on medicine, and held captive for twenty years (during which time he never backed down and instead spent the time writing medical treaties). He was the Mandela of medicine but bald, and he could heal more units at the same time. So if you have an injury… if no one else can heal you… and if you can find him… maybe you can hire… Hippocrates (cue in theme music).
4) Unit Enhancers. These heroes just make other units, usually of a certain kind, be better at their stuff. So, like a super unit that makes other units neat units. For example:
Leonidas, king of the Spartans. He is remembered for leading the fearless 300 Spartan warriors that almost managed to single-handedly stop the huge invading Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae (and for lots of internet memes after the Zack Snyder movie was released). In Okhlos, Leonidas is a warrior enhancer: he increases the damage output of all the warriors in the mob like, a lot, but at the same time he reduces their defense. All warriors thus become very lethal killing machines under his command, but they may end up having supper in hell after the fight if they are not careful (they will not be).
5) Special Abilities. These heroes are the cream of the crop. The best of the best. The awesomest of the awesome. The … ok, you get the idea. These heroes each have a unique ability that is what separates them from the rest of the crowd. Not a even a programmer that has learned to code using Pascal can fit them into any category other than this generic random mix of a category that is Special Abilities. One example of a hero that has a unique special ability was Oedipus, with his cloning. Another one is Perseus.
Perseus is a another mythological figure that you may recognize from the movies. He was the main character in Clash of Titans for instance. And he killed poor old Medusa. Perseus was one Zeus’ sons (one of his many, many, many offspring) so he had that to his advantage. But he was an illegitimate child so he had… issues… with his father’s wife, Hera. Let’s say that Hera was not fond of the fruit of her husband’s escapades. Among the various wondrous items Perseus got during his adventures and travels (think half the table from the DM handbook!), he had Hades’ Cap of Invisibility. His ability in-game comes from this item, because he is able to turn the whole mob invisible to enemies until they attack (it’s an artifact, its powers are ill-defined at best).
And this is it for now. There will be more heroes, of course, hundreds! But we have to keep some surprises from you. So we bid adieu to you all until next week, when we will talk about paternity tests in the age of haruspices and meddling lightning gods.