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While playing Flight Rising, I’ve encountered one of the conundrums of fantasy games. That is, discovering exotic critters, capturing them — and then taming them for some use, such as being a steed or fighting in an arena. Flight Rising has arena combat, which is what brings this topic to mind.

Having dragons or other magical creatures as some form of steed or pet has been present from the earliest days of gaming that was specifically Fantasy oriented. In the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, rules had to be written about when and how players could tame such beasts. Mostly, I think it has to do with the “Oh cool!” factor of imagining your hero flying on a griffin or dragon. Yet, these are allegedly sentient beings in many cases.

As fantasy games have grown apace, there’s now a lot of collecting around such creatures. I mean, isn’t the goal of any Pokemon game to “catch them all?” To its credit, the Pokemon franchise does put a lot of emphasis on building friendship and trust between trainers and pokemon. Those who aren’t such Poke-fans point out the irony of capturing animals and making them fight each other. After all, in the real world, most of us frown on “sports” such as dog-fighting.

What are your thoughts on the intersect between heroes and critters in fantasy games?

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