Gremlins

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Gremlins
Gremlins
Gremlins, from Ultima VII manual
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Serpent Isle

Gremlins are tiny, green-hued, humanoid monsters characterized by their ravenous appetites and pack mentality. They are consistently linked to consumption, whether it be through their desire for human food or their curious bodily dissipation into foodstuffs upon dying.

Description[edit]

Allegedly a relative of both trolls and lizard men, it is possible that the gremlins, like their reptilian kin, were the results of magical experimentation, as it is difficult to conceive of nature birthing such bizarre creatures. Little is known regarding the structure of their society, although explorers have described these vermin as banding together in massive city-like colonies underground.[1]

A gremlin from the FM-Towns port of Ultima I.
Throughout the earliest days of Sosaria up through the Britannian Age of Enlightenment, gremlins were a constant peril of subterranean travel, greedily ravaging the rations of unwary travelers and leaving many of their victims to die slow deaths of starvation below the surface of the earth. During certain eras, such as the time of Ultima III, these vicious beasts were capable of attacking unseen, robbing explorers of their sustenance without any chance of recourse.

In later ages, it was revealed that gremlins had the curious property of transmuting into readily consumable human foods when slain, and while their ancient hunger remained unabated according to authors of the age, the peril of gremlin assault was much less a terrifying prospect when the sprites could well dissolve into a shank of mutton or a wheel of cheese when dispatched.

Magic Gremlins[edit]

On the mysterious Serpent Isle, a sub-group of gremlins of a purple shade could be found, seemingly adept in the arts of magic. The creatures, unlike their Britannian cousins left palpable bodies when destroyed, although a search of these remains would still yield food and the occasional rare black pearl.

Lore[edit]

Gremlin3.gif
Mischievous kin of the trolls and lizard men, Gremlins are underground creatures of voracious appetite. A favorite diversion is to stealthily approach unwary travelers and pilfer their food rations. Many an adventurer had been consigned to death by starvation below the surface of Sosaria as a result of the antics of these creatures.
A gremlin (Ultima V, caves)
These hungry denizens of the underworld love to sneak up to unwary travelers and steal all their food. Do not let an evil Gremlin get next to thee!
The blow of a gremlin is hardly felt, and he is not very hard to do in; but beware, for he travels in huge packs and he may leave you starving. The gremlin's ability to consume food at an inordinate rate is startling and dismaying. Once overcome, he usually leaves some goods.
Gremlin(2).gif
Unimpressive in battle, gremlins usually roam in packs and will attempt to overcome you through sheer force of numbers. Given the chance, these persistent creatures will take whatever food you are carrying in your pack, distributing it amongst themselves in a frenzy of feeding.
This tiny creature travels in a pack and attacks in a large group. Its primary threat is that it likes to steal food.
It is difficult to identify individual traits of these bothersome creatures, for they always travel in bands. Quite cowardly, they are a greater threat to one's food supply than to oneself. I have heard of, but not seen, a few who use magic.

Trivia[edit]

Ultima IX Gremlin
Gremlin-ROV1.jpg
  • In the SNES Port of Ultima VII, gremlins continuously drop lit powder kegs, making it difficult to hit them without suffering injuries from the torrent of explosions.
  • Plans for Ultima IX initially included the gremlins as a monster, but they were dropped from the game during development. An example of a gremlin can be found in a lost map. Its appearance bears some similarity to the creatures seen in the 1984 film, Gremlins.
  • Gremlins were to be included in the canceled Ultima X. See Planned Monsters for Ultima X for further details.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Garriott, Richard. Secrets of Sosaria (Ultima III). Origin Systems, Inc: 1983. Page 29.