Creatures 2 Gameplay FAQs

Q: My Norns have trouble sleeping and feeding themselves as much as they should.
You will find a Genome update in the Downloads section which should provide you with more robust Norns. Various 3rd parties have also developed new genetically engineered Norns that you might like to try.

Q: My Norns are hyperactive. They often say sentences simultaneously, making it difficult to teach concepts.
Congratulations, you may have a very fast computer! Conversely, if you have a slow computer, you may find the words get tangled up together simply because it takes a long time for the sounds to be processed.

Q: Is it possible to set up another world so my siblings can play without screwing up my world?
Yes! Life Kit 1 for Creatures 2 features a World Switcher applet that will allow you to have multiple worlds and even password-protect them.

Q: One of my newborns walked a few steps, learned a few words and then died suddenly. What happened?
Some Norns are born with genetic defects that are so severe they can not survive. It is a sad fact of (A)life, but you can always try again!

Q: I've run out of eggs, do I have to reinstall the software?
No. Check the Hatchery again - you should have a fresh set of eggs!

Q: I've got 12 Norns in my world. I keep on hearing them kissPop, but the females don't get pregnant.
Use the Breeder's Kit to check their fertility. If either the male or the female in the breeding pair isn't fertile, you won't get a pregnancy. It's also possible that you have reached the maximum limit of 16 Creatures in your world. In which case they may breed but no pregnancy will result until some of the other Creatures die or are exported. (By the way, Norns can still lay more eggs but the eggs just won't hatch.) If your Norns are not kissPopping, try using the aphrodisiacs in the Breeder's Kit or take them to the island of love (desert island, left hand side) and play the Love Horn instrument to encourage them to be "friendly." Finally, there is the possibility that one or both are sterile.

Q: One of my Norns laid an egg and when I put it in the incubator, Creatures crashed.
It's possible that the baby's genetics file got lost. If the name of the missing file is in the error message, find a similar genfile in the genetics folder and copy it to that name.

Q: I saved the world file and then did the "wolfling run". Next morning they were all dead, so I copied the world file back. But C2 couldn't load it! It said that some file in "images" directory was missing.
Always make a copy of the Backup folder before trying Wolfling runs. This contains more information than the World.sfc file, because it also has the sprite data for the Norns which are in the world at the time.

Q: Are the mushrooms edible?
Yes and no. There are two kinds of mushrooms in Albia: The multi-coloured ones in the Incubator room are edible. They are classified as fruit once you have the fungus update in Object Pack 2 installed. The grey and yellow toadstools in the swamp area are classified as "badplants" and are poisonous.

Q: Why does it take so long for the eggs to hatch in nature?
This is deliberate. Eggs in real life can also take a long time to hatch on occasion. If you want to speed up the process, put them in the incubator. They will not hatch in the wild if they are touched or if they are under water. As Norns can kick the eggs by mistake, try to distract them by saying "look fruit" or something similar as soon as the egg is laid.

Q: How do I get the Science Kit?
The Science Kit and other kits are represented by spinning disks. You can find them in your travels around Albia. Your Norn must "push" the disk to activate it. You can also download Object Pack 2 and use the included COB to activate the powerups. (Download Object Pack 1 and the new eggs, while you're there.)

Q: Teaching language to Norns can be quite time-consuming. Can you automatically teach all words referring to objects to new Norns?
The stone of Ancient Knowledge included with Life Kit 1 will teach your Norn all the words it needs to know by simply touching the stone.

Q: What can you do when you have accidentally taught a wrong word to a Creature? Can it be reversed?
Yes but the Norn cannot learn a new use for a word if it is already using it for something else. Suppose the Norn called the hand 'toy', it has to learn a new name for the hand before it can learn to call toys 'toys'.

Q: There are several different fruits like tomato and mushroom. Why are they all called fruits? There are several critters, and even the fish are called critters. When I taught one Norn to call tomato a tomato, it also called mushroom a tomato. Why is this?
Objects are in categories, so both learning computers are in the category "computer." Norns can only tell the difference between categories, rather than specific objects within those categories. Your manual contains a list of the basic categories in Creatures 2.

The reason they are categorised in this manner is because the Norn brain is not large enough to differentiate between hundreds of objects. You can see what category a given object is by holding the hand over it for a few seconds. You will see a label like this:
image The part inside the square brackets shows us that cheese is in the "food" category. The word prior to this is the name that the selected Creature thinks it is. In this case, the Norn does not know the category yet, so it is just "baby talk." You can see exactly what any given Norn actually knows by selecting her and then pointing at objects to see what appears. You can use the "look" concept (taught using the Concepts Computer) to directly encourage the Norn to look at something in particular, or just pick the object up and wave it about. Norns are attracted to sounds and movement, so if you're not having any luck, try making as much noise and movement as you can!

Q: What does the third smaller machine on the left of the hatchery do?
This is the laptop computer. When activated (by clicking on it), it will teach any Creature within hearing range all the important words they need to learn, such as "food," "eat" and "look." This saves you time and speeds up the teaching process.

Q: Should I teach the language to every new Norn? Can the parents teach them?
Parents can teach new Norns language. It is usually quicker to teach the words yourself, though. The Life Kit 1 for Creatures 2 contains a device for teaching Creatures all the words very quickly indeed. There are also many third party COBs out there on the Internet that will also assist in the teaching process. Also, if you're adventurous enough, you can develop your own COBs to help you teach Creatures.

Q: How are the first six eggs generated? Do they have random DNA or have their genetics been already optimised at the Creatures Lab? Are the first six eggs same every time and in every machine?
Each of the first six eggs contains two genomes. When hatched, these combine and mutate slightly. This means that each and every baby Norn is completely unique, even though the eggs contain the same genome pair from game to game. We have attempted to create genomes that result in robust Norns, but it's your job to breed better and better Norns. You can do this by using a type of (un)natural selection whereby you breed the most successful Norns to create better and smarter babies. The Genetics Kit for Creatures 2 will soon be available which will allow you to manipulate your Norn's DNA and maybe create a SuperNorn!

Q: What can one expect by letting the natural selection do its work? Can the Norns pass their knowledge into their DNA so that their baby norns are smarter or tougher than the parents?
Many Creatures users let natural selection do its job by conducting Wolfling Runs, whereby a group of Norns are let loose in the world with sufficient food and toys. Those who survive on their own to mate will pass their genetics on to their children. In many cases, these offspring can be more robust and smarter than their parents. Norns cannot pass their knowledge (learned behavior) onto their children genetically (this is known as Lamarckian evolution and as far as most scientists know, does not exist in the natural world. However, Lamarckian evolution is possible in a mimetic sense, i.e., knowledge is taught from generation to generation. If you are successful with multiple generations passing knowledge on to their children, let us know!

Q: My game crashed last time I played it and now it won't run! What can I do?
The "Restore World" option from the Emergency Kit will try to restore the last saved world for you to use. If this is corrupted then you will have to begin the game again with the New World option.

Q: Can Grendels and Ettins breed?
Grendels and Ettins cannot breed, either with their own species or with any other (including Norns). You can splice different creatures using the genetic splicer (see above) and this may produce creatures which can breed within their own species.

Q: I'm having a hard time giving my norn medicines. How can I give them the medicine without them being scared?
Norns, like small children, will not always do what they're told and so they have to be gently persuaded to do what you want them to do. Although it may sound a bit odd, you first of all need to associate the concept of 'taking the medicine', that would be to "eat" the medicine, you can teach your Norns the "eat" concept by using the learning computer.Once your Norns have repeated the word "eat" four or five times (when listening to the learning computer) they should have a fairly good understanding of the concept. You should give them a little tickle every time they get the word correct, this helps to reinforce the message and gives them more reward and helps them to remember the action that just performed.

You now need to ensure that your Norn understands the concept of 'medicine' so that they know what you mean when you say the word "medicine" in the game world. Move a medicine object closer to a Norn and try to attract the Norns attention with a "look" word (you need to teach the look concept to the Norn from the learning computer as well) make sure that your hand is near or even holding the medicine object. When the Norn is looking at the medicine (use the Norns eye view) quickly type in the word "medicine" and press return. You're trying to get the Norn to associate the word "medicine" with the actual 'medicine' object. It may take some time but before long your Norn should learn the word 'medicine' and if you say the word in game, the Norn should shift the Norns eye view focus onto a nearby medicine object, however, you'll need to be patient and keep trying, it may take some time before your Norn learns the word.

You can now construct a simple sentence: "{Norns name} eat medicine" [RETURN]

Make sure that the Norn is near the medicine, keep picking it up and dropping it near the Norn or hold it in your hand near your Norn so that the Norn can take the medicine out of the hand and perform actions on it. Keep repeating the sentence by using the Ctrl + S key and give the Norn an encouraging tickle occasionally and you should have success. Remember to reward your Norn as soon as it takes the medicine with a friendly little tickle. Norns are living in a busy and hectic world where everything around them is interesting. Imagine a Norn is quite like a year old toddler where it's attention keeps shifting because of movement or sound, remember to repeat the words you want it to learn and then add an action to the sentence for the Norn to exercise, for example, "Look toy", "push toy" etc.

Special Thanks to Denise Voskuil, MaeTang, Harri Pesonen, Ashley Harman and Lis Morris