Did we ever mention how important heroes are in Okhlos? No? Are you sure? Well, they are. Very. So creating heroes has been a task that we have been working on from almost day one, and something we will probably keep on doing until the very last day of development (or at least beta). Here is an update on some of the latest ones we have developed. Enjoy!
Now this is an old school hero. Before Heracles, before Perseus, before all these new kids on the block took the scene there was Bellerophon.
He started his journeys as an exile, seeking penance for a crime he had committed. He then proved to have the remarkable ability to make enemies in very high places, and as a result he spent most of the time on seemingly impossible quests intended to kill him (sounds familiar, Heracles?). The most notable of these was the slaying the Chimera (the fire-breathing part-lion, part-snake, part-goat monster we have all come to love and fear), for which he got himself a flying steed, no other than Pegasus. Bellerophon’s fame and glory grew with each victory until eventually he thought he had earned the right to fly with Pegasus to the top of mount Olympus. Big mistake. The always nice and amicable Zeus politely disagreed and sent Bellerophon flying back to earth, blinding and crippling him in the process. Zeus also kept Pegasus because he fancied a flying horse, and Bellerophon, disgraced and disfigured, spent his last days pitiful as a hermit, away from civilization.
What is Bellerophon’s part in Okhlos? Well, his tale was very interesting, and there were lots of elements from which we could create mechanics but in the end we focused on one aspect, the loner hero. Not only did he start as an exile and ended as a hermit, but at his prime he thought himself to be better than any other mortal, so we came up with a mechanic that plays around this. Bellerophon stats increase as the mob’s size decreases, and he gets weaker as the mob’s size increases. This makes him a very atypical hero, and the perfect choice for players who would like to try a run with a very small mob. Normally it would be close to suicide to face the gods will only a handful of people in the mob but heroes like Bellerophon make it possible. And perhaps this way Bellerophon will get his revenge on his old pal Zeus.
Sprite-wise, Bellerophon is the tallest unit so far. Roque wanted to transmit the idea of this larger than life hero, someone that looked like he could take on an army on himself, so his body was based on that of Sir Gregor Clegane, also known as The Mountain, from Game of Thrones. If you don’t know Gregor, his knickname should give you a hint about how he looks: massive, imposing, not that easy to find t-shirts that fit him nicely in most stores.
Pandora was another very interesting character. You probably all know her story, or at least some version of the story. Or perhaps not. All I knew before researching a little bit was there was a box involved, lots of evils coming out of it and some hope in the end. I didn’t know that according to the myth she was the first woman, created by Zeus to punish humanity for using fire to cook food and not starve to death (although that last part doesn’t surprise me at all, #ZEUSISADICK). There are also a lot of parallels between Pandora and Eve from the judeo-christian myth, but I think there is a story that bears even more resemblance to that of Pandora: the story of the Smurfette. Both were created by the villain, both were intended to harm the good guys, and in the end both were turned blond and became regular cast members. But I digress.
Back to Okhlos. While designing a mechanic for Pandora we went straight for the core of the myth: the box, or the jar, depending on the source. Let’s say container. We can all agree it was some kind of container. Probably not a Tupperware. Although it would have been a really good choice. You want to keep all those evils fresh. But I digress. Back to Pandora’s box. There aren’t that many containers in the game but we do have some: the item containers, the things you can destroy and find items inside. So we decided that having Pandora in mob would increase the chances of getting an item every time you destroy one these containers. However, her presence would mean that there would also be a small chance of a monster spawning from the container instead of an item. Pandora is one of those heroes that can be very useful but has a setback, which seemed to us was quite fitting with the myth, and also suits the concept of a Pandora’s Box.
So far most of the heroes we have added to the game were men, and the few women that we did include either had a downside (like Pandora) or were not as heroic as their male counter parts. Partly this is simply because most of the heroes in the myths are men, but we thought we could still find some cool, kickass heroines throughout the mythos and so we did. Atalanta is a perfect example of this. As baby she left to die in the wilderness by her father, King Iasus, but she managed to survive, growing up in the woods and becoming a superb huntress and fighter. She took part in the most epic quest of her time, the hunt of the Calydonean Boar, was the first to draw blood and got to keep the hide of the beast. No small feat, considering she was competing with pretty much every hero around (except Heracles who had already killed another boar so he didn’t bother). Robert Graves also puts her as one of the Argonauts, being once again part of a dream team of heroes and kicking serious ass. However, she is perhaps best well know for almost supernatural speed.
Atalanta was the fastest runner alive at the time, able to beat anyone in a foot race. So when her father the king (who after seeing that her daughter had slain the boar, beating all other heroes, decided to forget all that nonsense about leaving her to die in woods and take her back) told her she had to get married, Atalanta, who wasn’t into that marriage thing, said she would only marry the man that could beat in her in a race (and would kill any who failed, just to spice things up). Many did die trying to beat her until the pesky gods once again interfered, Aphrodite this time, and one man Hippomenes was able to defeat and marry her. And then one of the gods, either Zeus, Rhea or Aphrodite herself, turned them both into lions. Because that’s what the gods do.
Anyway, Atalanta’s role in the mob was easy to figure out. She was a perfect fit for the stat boosting heroes. Who better than the fastest runner in the ancient Greece to improve the mob’s speed modifier? So if you get Atalanta, she will provide a huge bonus to the units’ speed, making everyone run faster. And also she will kill as many cyclops, centaurs and other Olympian spawns as she can while everybody is running around.
And that is all for now. We have been working on several other heroes these last weeks, but that we will leave them for another time. Until then, here is the updated hero count!Read More