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Creating some new enemy types for story mode!

Wyrmshield

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Making brand new but bite-sized (hah) fighters for the Predators is so cool. They each have their specialties, movesets, weaknesses, and strategies, and they can be used as learning tools to teach newer players how to deal with certain mechanics. I can’t wait to see more Predators using this design philosophy, but I also think that it can be broadened for even more enemy diversity outside of the Predators as we explore more of Foenum.
For all of the peace that Foenum has enjoyed since the banishment of the Predators, they still seem very quick to fight with each other, leading me to believe that this isn’t a perfect utopia where all live in harmony. Nations are isolated outside of trade, and bandits, rivals, and demons are already established as known presences even before the return of the Predators.
Outlined below are some ideas for various new enemy types that could be made to give our heroes some more adversaries to battle against besides Predators, which both keeps things fresh and opens up all sorts of new storytelling options. This is entirely a fan idea and a bit of a design exercise; some descriptions take liberty with the story since obviously we don’t know what’s going on in other lands of Foenum yet.
I’ve tried to come up with 3-4 enemy types for each faction, each trying to focus on one or two mechanics or a specific strategy to keep things in line with the design precedent set by Predators. Since many of these species have gender dimorphisms, we can use that for some new designs with a few male characters too. I fully agree with Lauren’s vision of an all-female main cast, but don’t see why we can’t have some males as lesser enemies. Since the model used for each type of Predator is all the same, I don’t think there needs to be a male and female version of each enemy, and I’ve listed which gender I think -looks- best for each type, though of course any archetype can be any gender in the setting. Enemy types that are most similar to the main character of their species are always male, just to differentiate them from those main characters some more.


Since there's a character limit per post, I'll have to break this up into multiple, sorry about that:
 

Wyrmshield

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Reindeer Mercenaries
Horns-for-hire are popular amongst the wilder regions of the Tundra away from Reine City where the land isn’t so well patrolled. However, it isn’t uncommon to hear of wealthy Reine merchants hiring such mercenaries to sabotage their business rivals in various ways. Also their group names should be adorable like the Mistletoe Company, Gingerbread Tactical Solutions, or H.O.L.L.Y.

Reindeer Rogue (F)
The rogue levitates two icicles and uses them like daggers and wears a simply luscious white cloak to help her blend with the snow. Her attacks are usually light attack strings that end with a double stab that knocks the player back and gives them some room before the next attack. She starts with two magic points out of three, and can spend one point to perform an acrobatic prance attack which has all the moves and properties of Tianhuo’s Firecracker. Unlike Tianhuo, She can’t get her magic back, however. On the adventure map, rogues often hide within snow banks or disguise themselves as snowdeer, waiting to ambush the player if they get too close. An ambushed player begins a fight stunned, and the rogue gets all three points of magic instead of two.

Reindeer Marauder (M)
These dashing bucks believe themselves to be like knights in shining armor, but their actions are anything but noble. A marauder uses ice magic to encase himself in elegant ice like a suit of armor and helm, which provides super armor to all of his attacks as well as actual damage reduction against all attacks. The ice armor cracks as it takes damage, especially from combo hits, until it eventually shatters and leaves him vulnerable, removing the super armor and damage reduction. This is represented by his magic meter: He starts with three out of three points but can’t actively spend them. So long as he has any magic, his armor grants it’s protection, and taking damage reduces his magic meter. He is able to gain magic back by focusing on reforming his armor instead of fighting, working like how Oleander has to read her book to gain magic. His attacks involve close range, slow, powerful strikes with his great antlers or a charge with an ice lance, each of which works well with his super armor, but leaves him terribly vulnerable without it.

Reindeer Frost Mage (M)
Mercenary mages rarely work alone, relying on others in their mercenary company to “acquire” golden oats from various means, and in return the mage uses his oat-fuelled powers to bring the mercenaries greater victories. Thanks to the power of his oats, frost mages are able to fly and hover like Tianhuo, except it's passive and costs him nothing. He summons icicles as projectiles like Velvet as he flies across the stage, making him extremely difficult to get a hold of. Once you do manage to knock him to the ground however, he doesn’t have many means of creating distance besides trying to fly away, so make those combos count. On higher difficulties, his stagger meter is much shorter, and once it fills he casts a frost nova which applies the slowing effect onto enemies, giving him plenty of more opportunities to keep fighting against more skilled players.

Reindeer Sprite Keeper (F)
Ice sprites work in mysterious ways. None can say why some ice sprites choose to work with such mercenaries, but they still love to brush and feed and tend to the mercenaries all the same. A sprite keeper is one who the ice sprites seem especially drawn to, enough so that they will even aid them in battle. The keeper is able to summon and command ice sprites just like Pom does with her puppies, including ground and air variants, being able to move them about, and getting unsummoned when they take too much damage. Besides the sprites, the keeper’s other attacks are more standard melee strikes and simple ice magic. Her strength comes from how well she uses her sprites. When she enters the battlefield, one or two sprites can enter automatically deployed so that her mechanic is always on the table so you can learn to work around it (sometimes when facing easier Pom computers she doesn’t get the chance to use her dogs at all, which while a sign of a good counter to her strategy it’s not good for learning, which is one of the points of these npcs).

Reindeer Berserker (M)
Tales from the outlying towns of the Tundra tell of the terrifying berserkers, reindeer whose antlers and hides are carved into runes of power and protection. They appear like ghosts from within snowstorms, and only their war cries are heard above the howling wind before they charge into view. Fuelled by unrelenting pride, berserkers rushdown their opponents with little heed for their own safety. In fact, berserkers refuse to block attacks entirely, knowing that pain only empowers them. Berserkers start with zero magic out of three, but dealing any damage to them charges their magic meter. At any point a berserker can activate his magic meter (like how Tianhuo can fly) to gain increased damage output and damage reduction as an install, which lasts until he runs out of magic or he chooses to turn it off. On higher difficulties, this can be turned on or off literally at any point, even while getting combo’d, grabbed, etc. He can spend two points of magic to break out of an enemy’s combo and send them reeling for a moment, vulnerable to a counterattack. A berserker can super, which is a viscous antler blow which deals 50% of the target’s -current- health in damage.
 

Wyrmshield

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Cattlekind Bandits
Cattlekind are known to Foenum as staunch, no-nonsense, courageous folk, and the Prairie bandits spit on that reputation. From milk smuggling to salt-robberies, destruction of property to calf-knapping, poisoning the water supply to cow-tipping, the various gangs of renegades throughout the Prairie have done it all. Some join their ranks because they want to get rich, others because that’s just what they’re good at, and some join ‘em because they can’t beat ‘em.

Cattlekind Outlaw (F)
Outlaws are dishonorable fighters who won’t throw down with an enemy unless she’s sure she can win. Her signature move is to kick dust into the eyes of her enemy, which works just like Paprika’s untechable grab, then to follow up with a combo. Outlaws start each battle with two magic points (out of three), and she can spend a point to throw a trap like Oleander on which stuns enemies who step on it. She gets one magic point each time she stuns with her dust kick. Though they have several stuns and combos that make good use of them, outlaws are generally pretty weak on both their damage and health pool, and when she gets low on health she will actually attempt to run away off screen, which counts as beating her (though of course you won’t gain any healing since you didn’t get the final blow with a super). On the adventure map, individual outlaws will actually run -away- from you; they’ll attack only if you are either at half or lower health or if there are other enemies they can team up on you with.

Cattlekind Desperado (M)
Large and in charge, desperados are the muscle of any operation in the Prairie. Desperado’s have a variety of attacks, but because of his sheer size he can’t crouch and do low attacks. This means that you can standing block all of his attacks, however his “chip” damage hurts a lot more than any other enemy, so it’s best to avoid getting hit entirely even if you can block it. He is all about rushdown, using his strength and size to pummel foes into submission with powerful but slow medium and high attacks with his horns and stomps. He also has Arizona’s super armor charge move with the knockback/wall stun. Desperados are the terrors of the Prairie for a reason.

Cattlekind Wrangler (M)
Wranglers love nothing more than showing off their rope tricks. Experts with the lasso, they use their tool of choice in just about everything, from plucking salt pouches off the packs of travelers at a distance to using them like grappling hooks to climb up cliffs and walls. On the adventure map, wranglers are able to throw a lasso towards a player if they see them coming to pull them into combat. Players who get lasso’d this way start the battle stunned. To everyone’s surprise, wranglers have all of Arizona’s lasso moves and have some painful combos that rely on the stun from getting lasso’d to land. He has other rope tricks too, such as being able to fling stone, cactus, and spoiled milk canteens with their lasso as projectiles, as well as grab something off-screen and swing across the stage as a very long range aerial attack. A wrangler is at his most dangerous while at mid-range, where his entire moveset is available to him.

Cattlekind Wild Shaman (F)
Though this cow looks old, she has a strong magical connection to the Prairie which makes her quite formidable. At the start of each battle, the shaman casts a spell which causes a small sandstorm to whirl around her. Enemies that are within a short range around her take damage over time. It’s not enough to KO you if you spend the whole fight inside it, but enough to make a difference if you have to do several fights between healing during your adventure. It’s best to land strong, individual hits on her and then get out, rather than long combos spent inside the aura (which also highlights the diminishing returns on combo chains mechanic). For enemies at long range, she can stomp the ground to summon a pillar of stone beneath them, keeping them from getting too comfy. Her close and mid range attacks summon cactus to grow and strike before fading.
 
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Wyrmshield

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Alpake Undead
In the Huacaya Mountains, mother nature hates her children. Life is a constant struggle against the elements of the unforgiving mountains from the day you are born to the day you finally rest in peace… Or so they thought. Ruins of ancient alpaca temples and monuments lie tarnished by time and the elements, and while one would think that the alpaca tribes would find that an encouraging message about the enduring nature of hope, in reality they look at those things as proof they are cursed: To forever exist in this harsh land long after your time of life and glory is over. For there does exist a curse upon many of these ancient sites, one that causes the dead to rise when the unknowing set foot upon these sacred places. Few have been foolhardy enough to seek out the source of this curse and discover how and why it happens, and so the alpacas simply deal with it and push ever onward. When the Predators returned to Huacaya, they assaulted and claimed at least one of the ancient temples, defeating the undead guardians and suppressing the curse with their own strange, twisted, power, yet many more haunted temples exist out in the mountains...

Alpake Sorrow Spirits (F)
There are many ways to die in the mountains, and those whose deaths were particularly tragic often return as sorrow spirits, doomed to not only relive their loss again and again, but be driven to share such visions with the living. Sorrow spirits are actually non-hostile and won’t appear in battles. On the adventure map, however, the spirit will slowly float after you if she sees you and won’t relent unless you leave the current tile. She can even move through walls and float over gaps as one would expect of a ghost. If she catches you, there’s a short spooky pixel moment and then a chunk of your stored magic and super meters will be drained. If you have no super or magic when she catches you, health is drained instead. Afterwards, she wanders off past the closest edge of the map, as satisfied as she could be, for now. (Okay so this one doesn’t quite teach any gameplay lessons but it’s cool so w/e)

Alpake Zapbies (M)
Meeting one’s demise at the kiss of Huacaya’s lightning is a mercifully fast way to go in the highlands, though the unfortunate ones who become electrically imbued undead would probably disagree if they could speak. These zappy zombies, or “zapbies”, still have all their floof, but it’s constantly buzzing with static electricity and shifting into wild shapes and patterns with energy, very much unlike the slow and aloof zombie that the floof is attached too. A zapbie has slow attacks, but they are charged with lightning and have high hit-stun because of it. Using a grab on a zapbie will get you electrocuted instead, making it difficult to get past his defense if he chooses to block. Instead you want to try and bait them into attacking with ther slow attacks and then reacting with a counter to open up on them. A zapbie has three points of magic out of three and his magic builds slowly automatically. He can spend a point to shoot a lightning bolt as a very fast projectile, working like Velvet or Oleander’s fast magic projectiles except that it can come from the sky as well as a high attack.

Alpake Mist Phantoms (M)
Many say that plummeting off the mountains into the swirling mist means you will never be seen again, and by the Prophet do they wish that was actually true. When a mist phantom is on the battlefield or in the background of a multi-battle, the edges of the arena and the entire background become foggy, except for the glowing eyes of any undead or predators on the field/background. In this environment, the mist phantom excels, as he is able to strike from anywhere in the mist. This works exactly like Paprika’s teleporting and screen running, except it’s all spooky. Mist phantoms also have three points of magic out of three, and his magic builds slowly automatically. He can spend a point of magic to make his ghostly form truly ethereal, becoming immune to damage and stagger for a brief moment and letting him and enemies move right through each other. If he attacks while invulnerable, the install ends as well. On harder difficulties, the mist phantom will save his magic to use when stuck in a combo or grab.

Alpake Tomb Guards (F)
Those most loyal soldiers to the alpacas of old have become restless guardians forever patrolling the halls of their fallen kingdom. A skeletal figure clad in old armor that is far too large for them with their lack of floof and body, their pointy, bladed helmet which signifies their rank sagging down which covers their eye sockets, but of course they don’t need eyes to see. The tomb guard was a trained soldier in life and she keeps that discipline even in death, relying on defensive tactics in battle like reach attacks with her long neck and bladed helmet, pushblocking, counter-cantering, and anti-air. Finding a way past her defenses is the hard part, but once you’re inside her reach she’s vulnerable to grabs since she always tries to pushblock first. To emphasise this point, the tomb guard starts with zero magic points out of three, and each time she pushblocks or counter-canters she gains a point of magic. She can’t spend her magic on anything, however if she would be defeated while her magic meter is full, the tomb guard actually rises again immediately with 50% health and continues to fight (and the player doesn’t get healing if they beat her with a super if her magic is full). On easier difficulties, her magic generation is disabled after returning the first time, so newer players don’t get too stuck if they can’t figure her out. On the adventure map, some tomb guards do that classic thing where they pretend to be decorative suits of armor until the player gets too close or passes a certain threshold, at which point they start moving towards the player to fight.

Alpake Mummies (M)
Mummies of the ancient lords of Huacaya are among some of the fiercest of the undead that exist within the haunted temples. The mummy starts with five points of magic out of five and can spend it on gifts just like Paprika, but with a twist. These “gifts” are cursed artifacts, and the mummy gains a power boost for each artifact on the battlefield. Players can pick up the treasure just like Paprika’s gifts, which removes the mummy’s extra power, however it also puts a hex on the enemy which slows their movement speed for each artifact taken, and it lasts for the rest of the battle. Unlike Paprika, the mummy never gets his magic back when an artifact is taken. Balancing how much penalty you want to take versus how much bonus power you want to give the mummy is the main struggle against him. On top of all of that, he can bind his enemies in wrappings as a very powerful grab. The bindings are slower than other grabs and so the tech window is longer, but failing to tech in time is much more punishing. The mummy is also able to simply crush his foes with otherworldly strength, functioning like Paprika’s charge-up attacks. On the adventure map, mummies are capable of calling forth more undead if they see the player, usually spawning more tomb guards but other types can be summoned depending on the location. Mummies always go after the undead they spawn in a multi-battle.
 
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Feral Longmas
To be a longma is to be at war. If not with the enemies of her Longest’s Empire, then within yourself, for the spirit of Honored Mother has always sought to supplant Honored Father in each longma’s hearts. For all the longmas who hold those discordant forces in balance with each other, however, there are those who were not able to resist Honored Mother’s call. These feral longmas prowl the dark places of Huoshan and sometimes fly away from the Empire and towards the unexpecting world. Though they haven’t grown to the size of dragons, feral longmas nevertheless have the cruelty, cunning, ferocity, and appetite of them, and so make for terrifying opponents for those who must defend themselves or die. It is possible for a feral longma to become balanced again and return to normal, but it requires much counseling and therapy, not to mention having to capture and hold such a creature first for as long as it takes. Many nations of Foenum were wary of the longmas in the years after the banishment of the Predators, fearing their dual nature, and so the existence of feral longmas is something that the Empire desperately tries to keep covered up, since they only justify the fears the other ungulates have about them. It should be noted that the influence of Honored Mother is something intrinsic to longmas and not due to the corrupting energies that the post-Hold predators have, so the visual representation shouldn’t have any of the shadowy colors or red eyes of the predator enemies (unless longmas were created after the predators were sent to the Hold and a corrupted dragon escaped on her own which led to the creation of longmas, but I don’t believe that was the case).

Feral Longma Savage (M)
One lost to the rage of Honored Mother, these feral longmas have grown more predator-like fangs and wild eyes. A savage is a brutal opponent, relishing in the terror his presence brings. He focuses mostly on melee and close range fire attacks, relying on fundamental techniques like high-lows, crossovers, and shorthop attacks, but done at rapid speeds. He will fly to close the distance but otherwise uses his wings mostly to pummel his prey with strong blows and to help block if he actually feels threatened. The savage also has a powerful launcher move with a viscous followup air combo, however if he hits with the launcher he takes a moment to gloat which gives players time to tech out of the air and avoid the followup if they’re quick.

Feral Longma Constrictor (F)
One lost to the greed of Honored Mother. As the name implies, the constrictors love to squeeze their prey with crushing grapples. Their bodies have become slightly longer, not nearly as large as the Predator snakes that have been seen, but enough to accentuate their serpentine-like movements and allow them to lock-up the limbs of enemies they can wind themselves around. Her idle animation would have her noodley back scrunched up like an inchworm, ready to spring forward to attack while also still having a modest hitbox. The constrictor’s air grab is the most powerful move in her arsenal, but the ground grab is brutal as well. They can still be tech’d out of, but doing so gives the constrictor a point of magic. She starts at zero points out of three and only gains magic when her prey escapes a grab. She can spend a point of magic to perform an untechable grab with greater power, but if the enemy counters to interrupt it then the magic will be wasted. The constrictor can also extend her body forward to snatch an enemy with her forehooves and pull them back to the rest of her body, which functions like Arizona’s lasso and comes with the air and ground variants too.

Feral Longma Hellkite (M)
One lost to the cruelty of Honored Mother. The hellkite is obsessed with fire. It pours out of the corners of his eyes and his mouth is constantly fuming with smoke. Horns grow from his head and spikes adorn his tail. He will try to use his wings to gain aerial superiority over grounded opponents. The hellkite can spend magic to fly like Tianhuo, and his magic regenerates automatically over time. He focuses on zoning, leaving bonfires burning on the ground to hamper foes like Oleander’s traps, as he barrages them with fireballs from afar like Velvet/Oleander’s projectiles. When enemies get too close, he will activate flight and try to escape to the other side of the battlefield, dropping bonfires and fireballs as he goes. If he needs to fight in melee, the hellkite will batter foes with his horns, fiery wings, and spiked tail.
 

Wyrmshield

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Unicorns
Since we don’t know if Oleander’s family is the only culture of unicorns out there or not, we would have to use them to build enemy types from. However, since that culture is extremely laid back and uncaring about most things by the looks of it, the obvious choice would be to make the enemies a rogue faction that wants to -do- things against the Order’s wishes, probably with a darker way of going about things to make sure they are proper baddies to beat up. However, since that basically sums up Oleander herself, it would be a weird disservice to cheapen her story by having a faction with the same motivation and cause as her already existing. The other option is of course to make an overly zealous faction that thinks all others are guilty of sin which would be fun to fight too, but since the Light is all about being mellow and accepting what is to come, they wouldn’t exactly be the most threatening zealots, and especially on the battlefield. So, no unicorn enemies until we discover more cultures of them in the story that would be reasonable to make enemies out of.

Sheeple
It would be easy to come up with something like a secret cult of sheeple nestled in the sleepy Plains to make for fun enemy types, but nowhere in what we have does it allude to any sort of conflict like that, or really any kind of conflict at all. Plus because of the geography (on the old map at least), not even most of the enemies from this list would even have reason to go all the way out to the Plains anyway. Right now it looks like the Predators would be the best choice for enemies to fight in the Plains, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Demons
I’d looove to make some fun demons to fight, but the fact is we don’t even know how demons work at all in this setting. Fred is the only one we know of and he’s a complete mystery still. Since this list is all about what sorts of things would be feasible, we’d have to wait and see what we end up learning more about Fred and what the heck he actually is before coming up with reasonable ideas.


Anyway thanks for reading, I love world building and game design so this was such a fun project to play around with. Happy stampeding!
 
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