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Creatures (Windows, Mac OS Classic)

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Title Screen

Creatures

Developer: Cyberlife Technology
Publisher: Mindscape
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: November 1996


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.


PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Creatures (commonly referred to as Creatures 1 to differentiate it from later entries in the series) is the first in the series of Creatures games. It's an artificial life simulation game full of some of the most annoying adorable creatures you'll ever meet!

Sub-Pages

Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Creatures1 UnusedText.png
Unused Text
Way too much unused text to put on the main page!

Debug Mode

Activation

Debug mode can be activated by editing the registry using regedit. The method of debug mode activation differs slightly between different versions of the game. The instructions here only apply to the Windows versions of the game.

Version 1.0.0 and Version 1.0.1

Change the registry key "Privileges" in HKEY_USERS/.Default/Software/Millenium Interactive/Creatures/1.0 from "user" to "darwin" or "cheese".

Version 1.0.2 and Above

Change the registry key "Privileges" in HKEY_USERS/.Default/Software/Millenium Interactive/Creatures/1.0 from "user" to "doctor" or "skirty".

Creatures: The Albian Years

Change the registry key "Privileges" in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Gameware Development/Creatures/1.0 from "user" to "doctor" or "skirty".

The only difference between the different versions of the cheat is that doctor/darwin opens a blank world by default, whereas skirty/cheese opens the player's current world, "world.sfc".

(Source: Creatures Wiki)

Features

While debug mode is active, the following changes are in effect:

  • There are 4 DEATHs at the bottom of the screen that do nothing when clicked.
  • The default Score is xxxxxx rather than 0. It changes to 0 after a few seconds.
  • The UI shows "Life Force: 100%" before you have a creature selected.
  • Autosave is disabled.
  • Creatures can be picked up like any other object.

These changes are only in effect in blank worlds:

  • A lot of the default scripts are missing. This means the Zzz sleeping animation won't play, deaths won't get registered, etc.
  • The Hand will play the wrong animation for most interactions. For example, the Hand tickles buttons to activate them and plays the drop animation when smacking a creature.
  • Tickling creatures will make them say "Ooh!"
  • Smacking creatures will make them say "Ouch!"

This mode always freaked me out as a kid...

Menus

There are also three new dropdown menus at the top of the screen. The descriptions are written as they appear in the game, so excuse any grammar mistakes.

World

Some options allowing you to save your current world under a different filename, load other worlds, and even create new ones from scratch. The new world option wouldn't be of much use to the majority of users, as without external tools there is no way to fill the blank world up with usable objects and scripts.

Label Shortcut Description
New Ctrl-N Create a new document
Open... Ctrl-O Open an existing world
Save the world Ctrl-S Save the active world
Save As... Save the active world with a new name
  • "Save the world" saves the file as "world.sfc", rather than the name of the file you have open.

Testing

All sorts of fun options to help you play God, including an option to make the creatures finally shut up or even kill them... but who could be so cruel?

Label Description
Infinite scroll Allow uninhibited movement around the world
Create a male norn <None Available>
Create a female norn
Force Ageing Force selected creature to advance to next stage
Instant verb vocabulary Instantly teach your pet words
Creatures burble Enable / disable audible speech from creatures
Infect current norn infect with a randomly selected species of bacterium
Euthanasia kill current norn
  • The "Instant verb vocabulary" option will automatically age your creature to the "child" lifestage if they're currently in the "baby" lifestage and cause your creature to say "WAIT FOR 40 SECS!" before they learn the verbs. They will also refer to themself as "Ron" unless you register the birth again.
  • The "Euthanasia" option creates a unique popup asking if you're really sure you want to murder your creation. The "Cancel" option does the same thing as the "No" option.

Don't do it...

Logging

There's some really interesting looking stuff here, but unfortunately all of the options are greyed out and unusable.

Label Description
Sound enable/disable logging of sound manager calls
Macros Creation/deletion of macros, macro errors, etc.
Serialisation input/output call nest
Graphics Sprite cache size, etc.
Chemistry concentrations at intervals
Attention Attention shifts & associated sensory data
Actions changes in conscious & associated sensory data
Sense sensory data, and internal sensory stimuli
Stimuli Stimuli recieved from objects
Genetics Genes that switch on, etc.
Life changes changes in phase of life, death, infection, etc.
Environment changes in weather, time, etc.
User User actions
OLE events Applet interactions and other OLE stuff
Objects Object messages*
Brain Brain activity
Log Window
Verbose log

*In Creatures: The Albian Years, the description for "Objects" mistakenly reuses the description for "Brain" and reads "Brain Activity".

Unused Graphics

Early Funeral Kit Page Design

Stored in the root directory amongst the other icons used for the kits is what appears to be an earlier design for the graves created when a creature dies. The filename "CREM.bmp" would seem to imply creatures would be cremated. It also seems to lack an obvious place for the photos to go. This file no longer exists in Creatures: The Albian Years.

CREM.bmp (unused) GRAVE.bmp (used) UNKNOWN.bmp (used)
We are gathered here today... ...to pay our respects... ...to this unused graphic.

This page design can also be seen in the tutorial video included with the game.

Refrigerator

Located in the same file as the teapot, hooch and honey pot are an unused set of graphics for a refrigerator.

kitc.spr
Empty... :(

The refrigerator can also be seen in the tutorial video included with the game.

Flying Fish

Located in the same file as the other fish in the game are an unused set of graphics for a flying fish.

fish.spr
Look at him go!

Bed Time Bear

Located in the same file as the fish bowl, fireplace and the wall clock is an unused graphic of a teddy bear wearing a hat.

pets.spr
Cute!

The Bed Time Bear can also be seen in the tutorial video included with the game.

The Bed Time Bear later became available as an official free download in Creatures Object Pack 2, and later still was included with the version of the game found in Creatures Deluxe and Creatures: The Albian Years.

Microscope

Located in the same file as the fish bowl, fireplace and the wall clock is also an unused graphic of a microscope.

pets.spr
Norns didn't end up being smart enough to use this, I suppose.

Animated Water Pump

Graphics for an animated version of the water pump seen in the garden. They are cut out slightly differently from the used water pump and feature a different handle design.

pump.spr
The only things available for Norns to drink in the final game are hooch and honey!

Blackboard

Low quality graphics for a blackboard, which seems to have been the precursor to the computer used in the finished game. Interestingly, the internal script commands used for the computer are still "BBD:" commands. "BBD:" stands for "Blackboard", as confirmed in the Creature's Development Guide.

bbds.spr
Why so low quality though?

Submarine Eye

Located in the same file as the rest of the submarine graphics is an unused graphic of a glowing green eye. It would have been positioned over the hollow eye already present on the submarine.

subm.spr
Kinda creepy?

Party Blower

Located in the same file as the other musical instruments in the game are an unused set of graphics for a party blower.

inst.spr
Lefty loosey
Righty tighty

Early Teleporter?

It's not entirely clear what these graphics were intended for, although the name of the file seems to imply it was some sort of teleporter. It looks more like it was meant to transport small objects rather than full creatures.

tele.spr
These sprites were later modified and reused for the fan-made Moon Cheese Replicator cob!

Raft

A copy of the graphics for the raft exists, stored slightly differently from the used ones. This is most likely not used because it isn't tall enough for an adult Norn to stand in the bounding box.

raf2.bmp (unused) uraf.spr (used)
There really isn't... ...much exciting to say about these.

Coconut

Located in the same file as most other items of food in the game are an unused set of graphics for a coconut.

food.spr
These don't look particularly delicious.

Although some coconuts did later became available as an official free download in Creatures Object Pack 2, they used different graphics than the ones included in the base game.

Original Norn

Graphics for an early version of the Norns. The colors appear corrupted, most likely because they were made using an older version of the game's palette file. They can't actually be directly loaded in the game as the graphics all appear in this one file, rather than being split into separate files for each limb as the game engine expects.

full.spr
Ugly fella.

This version of the Norns later had their palette fixed and became available as part of Creatures Life Kit #1 under the name "Ron Norns", a reference to the first ever Norn. Later still they were included with the version of the game found in Creatures Deluxe and Creatures: The Albian Years.

Even with a corrected palette? Still an ugly fella. And his ugly wife!

(Source: Creatures Wiki)

Brown Mouse Norn Body

An exact duplicate of "b020.spr", the adult male body for the Brown Mouse norns. It was probably used during testing sometime after "full.spr" (see above), but before the naming scheme for body parts had been finalized.

body.spr
Nub-head

Unknown (gren.spr)

A file called "gren.spr" is present in the same place as all the other graphics in the game, but attempting to load it in any known Sprite viewing program causes a crash. A quick look inside the file with a hex editor reveals it's completely devoid of all meaningful data (it's the hexadecimal character 00 twice, and then CD for the rest of the file), so we can only guess at what this file's purpose once was. Grendel? Green?

Unused Sounds

Hmmm...
To do:
There are some more, but a bit more testing is needed to be sure.

Incubator?

Judging by the name and general feel of this sound, this seems like it could have played as the incubator powers down. "iend.wav" is used instead.

inc1.wav

Radio

The first of these is a radio tuning sound, the latter two are appropriately tinny short pieces of music that seem like they were intended to play when using the radio on the beach. Instead the radio just reuses the music from the jukebox, "radi.wav".

tune.wav
rad1.wav
rad2.wav

Jukebox

Judging by the name and general feel of this sound, this seems like it was meant to play when using the jukebox. Instead it just reuses the music from the radio, "radi.wav".

juke.wav

Norn Speak

There are some Norn sounds that ended up not being used in the finished game. Male (0) and female (1) variants exist for each of these.

Some of these sounds can be heard in the tutorial video included with the game.

Chw0.wav
Chw1.wav
Doh0.wav
Doh1.wav
Foh0.wav
Foh1.wav
Loh0.wav
Loh1.wav
Me_0.wav
Me_1.wav
Pus0.wav
Pus1.wav
Roh0.wav
Roh1.wav
Soo0.wav
Soo1.wav
Woh0.wav
Woh1.wav

Grendel Speak

Much like there are some Norn sounds that ended up not being used, there is one Grendel sound that didn't get used either.

goww.wav

Grendel Pain?

It's not clear what use this sound would have had. It sounds a bit like a Grendel sound, but it's noticably lower quality than any of the used ones. No idea what the name means either.

brny.wav

Refrigerator

Hmmm...
To do:
Probably do some testing and expand the fridge into an unused object section.

The script file for the refrigerator that didn't end up in the finished game is still present in the file used when creating new worlds, "eden.sfc". It references two unused sounds, "frij.wav" and "anch.wav". "frij.wav" still exists in the Sounds directory, but "anch.wav" does not.

frij.wav

Bibble

It's not clear what use this sound would have had. Maybe it would have been for a toy.

blib.wav

Early Lift

An unused script references this sound which would play after the lift puts nearby creatures in it, as it starts moving upwards.

lift.wav

Unknown (Flam.wav)

Hmmm...
To do:
Decipher this script fully... I feel an unused script section coming on. it uses the nonfunctional "wind" script command too!

An unused script references this sound which would play after the object puts nearby creatures in it. It sounds a bit like a slowed down version of the sound the cannon uses (cann.wav).

Flam.wav

Unknown (Ball.wav)

Hmmm...
To do:
Decipher this script fully... I feel an unused script section coming on.

An unused script references this sound. Although the name and general feel of the sound imply it would be for a ball (maybe a tennis ball?), the script seems to be intended for some sort of vehicle. Or maybe it's simply the script for how the ball interacts with vehicles.

Ball.wav

Monty Python Easter Egg

Two files in the Sounds directory have no obvious use at all.

say1.wav
say2.wav

However, if you reverse them, slow them down by 50% and stick them end on end...

You get some low quality audio from "And Now for Something Completely Different", a 1971 film by Monty Python! The source of the audio can be heard about 30 seconds into the original trailer for the film.

Unused Species

As well as the Norns and Grendels, the game also has support for two more species of creature which can be created using the official Genetics Kit, which isn't included with the game.

Ettin

The name "Ettin" is only revealed by using the Genetics Kit. Although official content for this species slot was never created, it did end up getting used in subsequent Creatures games.

Shee

The name "Shee" is only revealed by using the Genetics Kit. Official content for this species slot was never created, even in subsequent Creatures games. In Creatures 3 and beyond, it got renamed to Geat, but still never saw any official use.

One image of what the Shee may have looked like can be found in the manual from an American release of Creatures.

Our creator?

(Source: Creatures Wiki)

Unused Climate

There are some references to Wind, Temperature and Light Level values scattered throughout the game. Unfortunately, none of them are functional.

Wind

An internal script command called "WIND" is mentioned in the Creature's Development Guide. It's supposed to return a numerical value from -3 to 3 of the Wind Speed/Direction of the target object. However, the game engine has no way to set this value so it always returns 1.

Temperature

An internal script command called "TEMP" is mentioned in the Creature's Development Guide. It's supposed to return a numerical value from -3 to 3 of the Air Temperature of the target object. However, the game engine has no way to set this value so it always returns 0.

Light Level

There is a gene in every default creature that attempts to check the Light Level, and is supposed to make the Creature sleepy when it's dark (Gene 139 in "mum1.gen" for example). There is no way to set or return this value using the game's internal script commands, but setting up a creature to output a chemical to monitor changes in Light Level reveals it stays at the same fixed value no matter what too.

(Source: Lone Shee)

Bustr.txt

A strange file located in the game's "TempBu" folder has one of two pieces of writing in it, depending on the version of the game. This file only exists because the installation program couldn't make a blank directory, and was written by Peter Chilvers.

(Source: Creatures Wiki)

Version 1.0.0 and above

Hunting scuba cows (A Poem)

Pebbles are not edible. It is fruitless to try eating them.
I have not eaten a sandwhich in many days.
Despair not for Wednesdays.
Salmon unite.
Boo hoo.
Bye.

Thankyou.

Creatures: The Albian Years

Surfing with the Fridge (Prose)

Pigeons cannot lick their own necks.  This rarely appears to impede them.
Gone are the days when whelks could sing.
Be fearful of crimping shears.
Root vegetables, be free.
I sob openly.
Ta-ta.


Thankyou.

Version Differences

Splash Screens

There are several different variations of the screen seen while the game loads. Seemingly every other company which published it wanted to stick their logo on it and play around with the "LOADING WORLD..." text. The shading on the egg and flowers can be seen to change slightly between versions too.

Mindscape Entertainment GT Interactive Creatures Trilogy Creatures: The Albian Years
The original and the greatest. This looks fine I guess. A bit busy, but cool logo! This is just a mess.

Most versions of the game (excluding Creatures Trilogy) include an unused titlescreen in the file "BTITLE.BMP" which lacks any company logo, but adds the words "MASTER CANDIDATE" to the top left. This would have been used in an unfinished version of the game, with the "B" in "BTITLE" possibly standing for Beta.

Master Candidate
Beta is better?

Also, for some reason, the text in the "Add Favourite Place" menu says "Name this place: doh!" in Creatures: The Albian Years. Earlier versions simply said "Name this place:".