Master of Orion

Master of Orion

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Kody Jun 2, 2016 @ 1:38pm
Darlok Transformation Process
Our creative team has been working on a new series of what we're calling "universe expanding" articles that cover a wide range of topics, many of them based on questions you asked during our short story series. The first such article covers the Darlok transformation process.

Darlok: Transformation Process
The Darlok are a shapeshifting race that have lived in the shadows and fringes of galactic society for all recorded time. Universally distrusted, hated, and reviled by the other civilizations, their shapeshifting and secretive natures have become their most precious assets as they seek to spread their influence across the galaxy. This article explains the complicated process of their innate shapeshifting ability.

After selecting a target for replacement, the Darlok will mark the target for an in-depth screening process. They will often place agents around the target first, gathering information on their personal lives and recording speech and mannerism patterns. Once they feel that they have gained enough preliminary information, they will abduct the target and interrogate them relentlessly until it is possible to duplicate their identity with no suspicion.

For the physical transformation itself, the Darlok must secure a DNA sample of their shift target. While hair and skin samples are adequate, blood and bone matter are the preferred sources of genetic material. The Darlok agent then must take the target’s DNA within themselves (traditionally intravenously for a quicker, higher quality transformation) and make sure they are securely hidden from external danger as they will be vulnerable during the transformation process, which takes 12 to 24 hours.

The target’s DNA begins to replicate in the Darlok’s bloodstream, spreading and hooking itself to the Darlok’s DNA. The target’s DNA becomes the dominant defining factor and begins to force the body to change from the inside out. The Darlok’s original DNA is still present, but is a “shadow” attached to the target’s DNA.

As the change pushes outward, nutrient-dense liquid streams from their pores and orifices. The Darlok’s limbs twist and reset into the correct forms in a series of stomach-turning snaps and creaks. Their limbs may expand or wither based on the size of their target’s body while internal organs take on the function of their new form. Vocal patterns change as well, the voice of the Darlok at first sounding like an echo before shifting into the target’s tone and tenor.

The cells within bind and grow into a new structure—the bone, internal organs, and muscle changing to match the target’s identity. The process is dramatic and horrific to all who witness it. Watching the Darlok’s features distort and warp into a completely different form is said to drive aliens mad. However, if the process of transformation is traumatic, the process of reversion back to their original form is far more grotesque.

When the Darlok drop their assumed identities, the target DNA “unhooks,” peeling away in the form of a thick morphogenetic peel. Large clumps of skin, foam, and tissues slip from the body. The process commands the Darlok’s full attention and the Darlok is weakened considerably for the duration of the process. The discarded material contains a large amount of genetic material that can be analyzed to determine who the donor was. For this reason, Darloks will do their best to dispose of the cast-off tissue—consuming it if no other course is available.

The easiest way to involuntarily trigger a Darlok to revert to their original form is to cause significant bodily trauma. The shock of physical damage can force the donor DNA to “unhook.” This process of shedding tends to be quicker than the initial transformation, averaging a few hours, depending on the resilience of the individual Darlok. Darlok can shift back to their original form voluntarily, but it requires great focus. Many choose to accelerate the process by harming themselves and forcing the transformation reflex to take over.

There are some limitations to the Darlok shapeshifting process: they must transform into relatively intelligent lifeforms, they cannot shift straight from one target to another (they must go to their original form in between), and they do not gain the knowledge and memories of the target. Most Darlok operations require in-depth research and scouting in order to give their agents enough information to blend in effectively.

The process of transformation is generally very dangerous for Darlok agents who risk exposure and the threat of losing their own identity when they are posing as someone else. Because they are so hated and distrusted, the Darlok assume that everyone is out to get them and expose them to the hard light of subjective truth. The most unexpected side effect of shapeshifting can be the most devastating to the Cabal: the individual Darlok agent may become so immersed in the character of their shift target and the accompanying sense of belonging that they permanently lose track of their own identity.
Last edited by Kody; Jun 2, 2016 @ 1:38pm
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Showing 1-7 of 7 comments
FourteenFour Jun 2, 2016 @ 2:52pm 
Originally posted by GeneralDirection:
Universally distrusted, hated, and reviled by the other civilizations, their shapeshifting and secretive natures have become their most precious assets as they seek to spread their influence across the galaxy.

Meaningless as there is no repulsive trait. Meaningless as there is no difference between any AI with regards to diplomacy,build preferences, or even friendliness or hatred towards specific races. Good at making up stories though
Light-Bringer Jun 2, 2016 @ 4:04pm 
Congratulations instead of positive feedback you say all this negativity. Excellent work on the AI and ship design. Races should judge each other based upon power,industry and planet number and position of surveilance satellites, fleets, spies found.

Races should not have have a specific hatred for one each time there needs to be variation its not fun knowing which race hates each other before you even start. Otherwise that would be too predictable brings a sense of realism into the game.

Keep up the great work :)




RuNeZz Jun 2, 2016 @ 7:33pm 
I'm sorry but FourteenFour is right. BUT WAIT... I will use this thread to say good stuff.

I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THE DEVS FOR ALL THERE HARD WORK

--ITS TRUE--

I am impressed with how the devs have taking many strong points of the game and are still at it.
I like the way de devs seem to actualy take some time to read all of these posts. I think it is good they have mustered the courage to even look at posts on STEAM(TROLLS). I think the idea of building an ALPHA stage Moo is a brilliant one so they can have a good impression of what the player expect and feedback. Brigning out the considered dead franchise of moo and trying to keep it going is also a very Nice surpprise. If they can reanimate the soul of 4x pace gaming i think they are the one to be able to do it.

I like the work they are doing so far.

I wonder how much people know about the amount of work that they put on coding a game like this. How much Objects and parent classes do you think it takes to compose this game. How much heritage classes do think depend on the parent classes. How much interface classes do think is tied to the heritage classes... I could go on for ever

This game IS NOT A FAILURE.

The only reason why i'm so critical about some things, is because I dont want this game to end up like all the other P.O.S... 4x Space games (There are alot of bad ones out there). I most definetly don't want this game to go bad, because it carries the name of Master Of Orion and that is a heck of a title to bring out.

When i say Fourteen Four is right it is because the whole race trait thing needs changing in my opinion. Because it destroys one of the greatest aspects of the Moo franchise. Unique Races that actually have an effect on how you wish to costumise them. AI Is a very good asset to add but is seems way more complicated. In the end the main goal is to win the game.

Making sure races have unique bonuses(trait) that define them is extremely imported since it adds challenge to strategies, replayabilitie, fun and creativity to a game. It is extremely important not to fail on this concept.

It isnt interesting for me as a player to chose a race because of it personnality traits. But it will be interesting for me to know how the ennemy will react to situations, but i feel thats not enough. And thats all i have to say.

SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK the game has many good aspect so far. Just dont ignore the good stuff to much.
FourteenFour Jun 2, 2016 @ 7:42pm 
Originally posted by Daeva666:
Congratulations instead of positive feedback you say all this negativity. Excellent work on the AI and ship design. Races should judge each other based upon power,industry and planet number and position of surveilance satellites, fleets, spies found.

Races should not have have a specific hatred for one each time there needs to be variation its not fun knowing which race hates each other before you even start. Otherwise that would be too predictable brings a sense of realism into the game.

Keep up the great work :)

Well then please ask the developers to take the one/two line descriptions off each race when they show the picture. Have Dorn read the same description for each race instead of the fanciful descriptions he currently reads.

I wouldn't even mind the option to RANDOMIZE personalities at the start of each game. However the point stands, races with no personality are not races, they are just sprites.

This game is beginning to come off as a Hollywood version of Western Town. Looks good walking down the main street, just don't try to use any of the buildings. Maybe they should put their creative team in charge of designing and coding seeing that their writing is better than the the game we are actually receiving

Hence the reason I laugh at their race stories. They are pointless tripe when they have zero bearing on the game. To borrow the words of a better critic than I.


Master of Orion : CTS is the agonised graphical squawk of a series being put through the wringer, utterly submitted now to the fanboys and the weird girls who write erotic crossover fan fiction and smell like old meat.
Last edited by FourteenFour; Jun 2, 2016 @ 7:44pm
Orion88 FIN (Banned) Jun 3, 2016 @ 3:16am 
If you truly want to help the Darloks then I suggest that you make the spying model less limited, more accurate (in terms of stealing tech and sabotaging buildings) and less demanding of micromanagement.
AuntEsther Jun 3, 2016 @ 4:05am 
Totally enjoying the Darlock!
I like an express line in the sand, between the cultures. Some should be so alien, as to be difficult, or near impossible to deal with, w/o research. Making sure the stories accurately describe the races is important to immersion.
Would love to be a fly on the wall during dev meetings.
Keep up the Great work, you'll find the sweet spot :goodshot:
ekolis Jun 6, 2016 @ 4:56am 
Darloks have limbs? In MOO2 they kind of looked like snakes...
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Date Posted: Jun 2, 2016 @ 1:38pm
Posts: 7