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Champions Online: Lore Based Possibilities

Posted Wed, Feb 03, 2010 by jeffprime

Champions Online has a huge amount of backstory incorporated into the game. In fact, there’s so much lore in the game, it’s a wonder that the game doesn’t burst open from containing so many characters, organizations, and events that have shaped the present day atmosphere of CO. Unlike other MMOGs, Champions Online has the ability to draw from almost 30 years of stories and development, as that the game is based upon the Champions RPG released way back in 1981. Yes, that’s right; most of you playing the online game weren’t even born when the original pen-and-paper game was released!

The many distinct personalities and places in Champions Online were not created by the fevered brain of a dev, but rather of a group of guys sitting around a kitchen table rolling dice. Villains such as Doctor Destroyer and Foxbat, places like Millennium City and Monster Island, super groups such as the Champions and StarForce, and foul organizations such as Viper and PSI were created long before computers had stereo sound or non-text graphics.

Even with the sheer amount of lore already in the game, there is a great deal more that has not yet been incorporated. What interesting tidbits that have been in the pen-and-paper game that might make an appearance in Champions Online? We know that Cryptic has already announced the introduction of Vibora Bay (a city in Florida that is a mix of modern and mystical, guarded by the heroine Black Mask) in the upcoming year, but what else could show up in the future? To that end, we’ll look at some various places and entities that could add some intrigue and adventure to everybody’s favorite superhero MMOG.

Right now, there are essentially five zones in CO: Millennium City, Southwest Desert, Lemuria, Monster Island, and Canadian Wilderness. There are a few more places in the current IP (intellectual property) that could make for some interesting places to adventure in. First, there is Mount Everest, which is home to, not one, but two centers of martial arts disciples. There is the city of Shamballah, a secret city hidden within Mount Everest and is home to many of the world’s greatest martial artists. Coincidentally, a few miles below Mount Everest is the city of Agharti, a city of evil martial artists. Just think of the kung-fu adventures that you could have there! You might even get a cut scene with a villain telling you that his kung-fu is better than your kung-fu, just like in the old movies!

If you get tired of Lemuria, you could always travel to Lyonesse, a mystical realm that exists off the coast of Europe and is also situated in another dimension. If players get tired of watery adventures, they could head over to Ravenswood Academy, a training ground for teen superheroes, to enjoy the angst of being fifteen and having purple skin.

As for villainous organizations, there are a few that have not yet made an appearance in CO. First there is COIL, a group comprised of mutated agents and led by King Cobra. Then there are the Sylvestris, a group whose sole purpose is to serve the Dragon, the personification of the evil that can be found within men. These groups work to gain power and absolute control of the world. If they weren’t enough, there’s still plenty to fear from alien races such as the Hzeel, who are scouting Earth for invasion, and other-dimensional entities such as Tyrannon the Conqueror, who can manifest himself into 888 bodies at the same time, while his true self remains in his home dimension of Thulkos. Not to be outdone is Istvatha V'han, also known as the “empress of a billion dimensions.” This villain has tried on several occasions to conquer Earth and its dimension, but has failed to do so. Not only can she travel from one dimension to another, but she can also travel through time.

Last, but not least, is Kanrok the Acquisitioner, a foul kidnapper of superheroes. He takes his captured prey to his home world of Malva, there to fight in their arenas. All of these villains can provide opportunities for heroic adventures, especially those from other planets and dimensions. Imagine journeying to Malva to free some comrades from their chains of servitude or traveling to another dimension to beat back the advances of Istvatha V'han. The possibilities are almost endless.

Don’t forget that there are superhero and supervillain groups that have not yet shown themselves in CO. Heroes can meet and work alongside superhero groups such as the Tiger Squad (China’s team of superheroes), the Trismegistus Council (mystical group dedicated to protecting our planet), and the Star*Guard (an intergalactic group of cosmic cops). In addition, there are superhero groups associated with various cities or locales, such as the Peacekeepers (Chicago), Bay Guardians (San Francisco), the Justice Squadron (New York City), the Capital Patrol (Washington D.C.), and the California Patrol (California).

To face off against our mighty heroes, various supervillain teams can be introduced into CO from the pen-and-paper game. These can include the Ultimates (led by Binder), the Crimelords (led by Dreadnaught), Eurostar (European villains seeking to rule Europe), GRAB (a group dedicated to theft), the Devil’s Advocates (a mystical group led by the Demonologist), and the Cirque Sinister (led by Amnesia). All of these villains can be used to populate the world of CO and provide a fitting match against the players’ heroes.

The world of Champions Online has incorporated many things from the lore of the pen-and-paper game of Champions, but there is much more that can be used to expand the game. From new areas to adventure in such as Mount Everest, Lyonesse, alien planets such as Malva, and other dimensions, there is a staggering amount of possibility for new zones. Populating those zones will be many new faces, some friendly, and most hostile. Superhero groups such as the Star*Guard and the Trismegistus Council can work as springboards leading heroes to new missions, while new villainous groups, ranging from the COIL down to individual groups, such as the Crimelords and the Cirque Sinister, will serve as evil foes to the players. As you can see from the examples listed above, there is a wealth of possibilities available to make Champions Online even bigger and better.
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