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Old April 14, 2017, 23:00   #16
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 255
luneya is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by DirtyHippy View Post

3) Uniques that don't drop. I'm pretty sure the elemental uniques don't drop anything, for example. In a game where everything revolves around items, fighting uniques that don't drop anything once you kill them is just irritating.

4) Weird uniques. Sometimes I felt like I came around a corner and "You see Darth Vader. You see Braveheart." I'm not a big LOTR guy, sure I've read the books and the movies, but a lot of these uniques seemed like they were pulled from other mythologies, and it just seemed...weird.
The monster set in the early versions was cribbed from D&D, with a few Tolkien references thrown in for flavor. There are still plenty of D&D-based common monsters running around, but the list of uniques is mostly thematically legit. Exceptions:
  • Father Christmas, but he's just a holiday Easter Egg.
  • Orfax and Boldor--yeeks as a species aren't actually part of anybody's mythos, but were apparently invented by the creators of the original Moria just so that they'd have a monster to use the symbol y.
  • Mughash--possibly a misspelling? Tolkien does have a named orc "Muzgash," who does not appear as a separate character in Angband.
  • Draebor and Lokkak--apparently invented by the Angband creators to fill out the list of Uniques in the early versions.
  • Medusa--Greek mythology, of course. She's found in pretty much all of the roguelikes. Fortunately for players, Angband (unlike, say, NetHack) doesn't allow anything to be actually turned to stone.
  • Vargo, Waldern, Quaker, and Ariel--The annoying elemental uniques, that are the main subject of your other complaint. I can't find any evidence of mythological origin for any of these. I'll happily endorse dropping this quartet from the game entirely. They really don't have any interesting function except for being another bunch of mid-level foes.
  • Phoenix--another creature out of standard mythology rather than Tolkien. Not quite the roguelike standard that Medusa is.
  • Lernaean Hydra--ditto.
  • Baphomet the Minotaur Lord--one of the few D&D-origin uniques that we haven't gotten around to replacing with something more thematic
  • Queen Ant, Cat Lord--frankly, these two are so generic that they can't be considered part of any specific mythos. There's certainly nothing thematically inappropriate about having ordinary animals on the monster list in addition to the creations of Morgoth and Sauron. Just think of these guys as more of the same.
  • Tselakus, the Dreadlord--another D&D import, I think.
  • Omarax, the Eye Tyrant--ditto.
  • Pazuzu, Lord of Air--yep, D&D again.
  • Polyphemus, the Blind Cyclops--okay, I'll concede that the Greek mythology inclusions are starting to get a bit ridiculous.
  • Qlzqqlzuup, the Emperor Quylthulg--like the yeeks, quylthulgs were introduced in the original Moria because the developers wanted to have monsters for all of the available letters.
  • Cantoras, the Skeletal Lord--while various forms of undead are legitimate parts of the Tolkien canon, drujs (including Cantoras) come from D&D. But they aren't obvious misfits unless you actually look up the history, as I'm doing now.
  • Vecna--another D&D undead lord. This one's too distinctively D&D to pass as Tolkien.
  • Tarrasque--pure D&D, but we can hardly drop the most powerful foe in the game. And all of the similarly-powerful entities in the Tolkien mythos are already used, so we can't just rename it either.
  • Atlas and Kronos--two more from Greek myth. But at least these are a bit more generic than Polyphemus.

Hmm, that's a bit more than I thought--about a quarter of the total list of uniques. But still, a quarter of the list being off-theme means that three quarters are fully appropriate, which represents a pretty impressive body of work by previous Angband devs. And of these non-thematic monsters, only a handful are really jarringly out-of-place. We might want to significantly reform the regular monster list, but I'm not too concerned about the uniques.
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