Mimics

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Mimics
Mimic
Mimic, from Ultima I manual
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

A mimic is a shape-shifting predator which takes on a seemingly harmless or even enticing form in order to lure its prey to it. In the Ultima series, mimics consistently take on the shape of treasure chests. They appear in Ultima I, IV, V, VI and Ultima IX and are found universally in dungeons.

Description[edit]

While mimics are supposedly capable of taking on a variety of forms, the Britannian mimic seems to have a marked preference for appearing as a chest. Appearing harmless until approached, a mimic will assault unprepared treasure-seekers with a jet of venomous spittle before preceding to bite and claw at their prey in an attempt to consume it in its weakened state. In a later incarnation during the time of Ultima IX, not content to always sit in wait, mimics showed a capability to sprout limbs and chase down their victims on foot.

Lore[edit]

Beware the treacherous Mimic, for it hath been the doom of many a dungeon explorer. Disguised as a tempting treasure chest, the Mimic patients awaits the overly-curious adventurer. When the victim makes as if to examine the chest, the Mimic attacks with a ferocity unmatched.
Mimic2.gif
One of the most treacherous and evil creatures in all of Britannia, the Mimic can assume any shape, although they seem to prefer assuming the likeness of treasure chests. Upon spotting one, the careless traveler greedily rushes towards the chest. When the traveler gets close enough, Mimic casts out a poisonous venom. When the traveler succumbs to the poison, the Mimic feasts upon him. The only known way to detect a chest Mimic is to wait until it gets curious enough to peer out at thee by lifting the lid of the chest.
A "chest" from the FM-Towns port of Ultima I.
Masters of imitation, mimics make themselves so like treasure chests that many an adventurer has met his doom trying to open one. Mimics have little courage and even less patience, though, so if one is willing to wait a few minutes just step a few steps away from suspect chests, they are apt to reveal themselves by shooting poison. Close up, mimics bludgeon with strength and dexterity, doing unpleasant damage. Getting past their deadly deceptions can reveal fine treasure.
Disguised as abandoned treasure chests, these masters of illusion wait patiently for passing adventurers whose greed exceeds their wisdom. If you take a moment to observe questionable chests from a safe distance, the mimic may reveal its true nature by spitting venom in your direction.
Every adventurer worth his boots has been warned of treasure that bites. From afar, these creatures appear to be an appealing form. Yet when an adventurer approaches, he receives a searing bite. When his companions find him, his is one of many corpses in a strangely plain room.
- from Journal, (Ultima IX)

Trivia[edit]

Mimic-ROV1.jpg
  • Mimics are very likely derived from an eponymous creature in the table-top role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. The mimic first appeared in the Monster Manual published for the game in 1977, where it is described as having similar powers of disguise as the creatures featured in Ultima. In addition to these, it is also able to release adhesives to entrap its prey, which it then attacks with pseudopods.[1]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1.  "Mimic (Dungeons & Dragons)". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2010-12-01.