Massive Chalice: A Eugenics Game

A friend and I started playing Double Fine’s Massive Chalice. The game revolves around groups of heroes defending a kingdom over generations. You have the ability to marry people, appoint them to positions, and control them in combat. Each hero has genetic traits (example: nearsightedness), personality traits (example: patriotic), and status (young, old, etc.).

We arbitrarily came up with some goals going in. We would use only one class (the Hunter), and we would only support one House (Lyons). Houses are basically families, and affect inheritance of Relic weapons.

The beginning was rough because we almost died out right at the beginning. Our Lyons were not producing enough children and our heroes were getting old and dying off. Out of desperation, we recruited a group of new heroes, and augmented our numbers with them. It was around this time that we were forced to use an Alchemist as a partner to a Lyons Hunter.

Class of the hero is determined by the class of their parents, so a Hunter married to a Hunter will produce a Hunter, but a Hunter married to an Alchemist will produce a hybrid class like the Trickshot. Trickshots basically have abilities from both classes, but obviously not all of them.

The result of this was what I call the Trickshot Generation. It was a pretty obvious deviation from our goal though (Hunter class purity), but one couldn’t say no to the heroes that were being produced in large enough numbers. Right around then I left.

When I returned my friend had played on a few hundred years and had achieved most of our goals. House Lyons was ascendant, and all non-Hunter class heroes had been expunged. We were produced an army of Lyons, and our ranks were overflowing.

This is where we were hoping to realize our final goal: the Kwisatz Hunterach. Or the Supreme Hunter.

Unfortunately, we basically ran out of time, but the end of our breeding program did produce Katherine Lyons. Katherine was an incredibly powerful Hunter (far outstripping her weakling ancestors), and once equipped with one of our rare Relic weapons, we declared her the Kwisatz Hunterach.

Then we won the game. Katherine, of course, I assumed took the lead of House Lyons and led the House on to greater glory.

It’s a little scary what kind of decisions you make when you’re playing a eugenics game.

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