"Male: Ron-Norns have been around for a while, and have developed advanced 'fight or flight' genetic codes, giving them the edge against Grendel attacks.
"Female: The female Ron-Norns have a tendency to get very angry when surprised or frightened."
The Ron Norns were the final genetically differentiated breed included with the C1 Life Kit. They are based on the original Norn design. As mentioned in their blurb, this is also supposedly where they got their name, after the first Norn. (Admittedly, it seems even more mundane than Adam.) As you may have noticed, none of my Norns have Ron sprites. They look perfectly fine in-game, but I simply prefer the other breeds' appearances. However, what really makes Rons unique is a suite of genes that give them a "fight-or-flight" (ForF) response to encounters with other Creatures. I find these especially interesting and have commented in previous posts on the variations present in my Norns and my observations of their effects.
Anyway, this post is organized slightly differently than the other breed discussions. Instead of dividing the changes by gene type, I've categorized them as "fight," "flight," or other genes. The Ron genes are listed above the equivalent gene from the standard hatchery genome. Genes listed singly are new to the Ron breed.
In addition, there are two more altered genes I'd like to point out:
62 6 0 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Tiredness++ + 1*<NONE> => 1*Tiredness + 1*<NONE>; half-life = 8.
62 6 0 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Tiredness++ + 1*<NONE> => 1*Tiredness + 1*Punishment; half-life = 8.
64 7 0 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Sleepiness++ + 1*<NONE> => 1*Sleepiness + 1*<NONE>; half-life = 8.
64 7 0 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Sleepiness++ + 1*<NONE> => 1*Sleepiness + 1*Punishment; half-life = 8.
The half-life gene of the Ron breed is slightly different from that of the Forest, but not meaningfully so: the chemical numbers concerned are all unused.
This is the reaction for one of the two new chemicals that govern the ForF response. Turnase is a catalyst that converts fear into anger. When Turnase is produced, the Norn becomes less frightened and more angry. Coupled with the below reactions, this turns fleeing into fighting.
95 6 0 Emb B Mut 'It is approaching' causes sig=82 GS neu=10(IT is approaching) int=255, , , => 31*Turnase + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
95 6 0 Emb B Mut 'It is approaching' causes sig=82 GS neu=10(IT is approaching) int=255, , , => 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
97 8 0 Emb B Mut 'I bump into wall' causes sig=0 GS neu=2(I've bumped a wall) int=255, , , Sensed Even When Asleep => 25*Pain++ + 127*Turnase + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
97 8 0 Emb B Mut 'I bump into wall' causes sig=0 GS neu=2(I've bumped a wall) int=255, , , Sensed Even When Asleep => 25*Pain++ + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
333 31 0 Emb B MutDupCut Drive i/ps Anger + General Sensory i/ps IT is a creature + General Sensory i/ps IT is approaching and I Stop => 255*Reward
334 32 0 Emb B MutDupCut Drive i/ps Anger + General Sensory i/ps IT is an object + General Sensory i/ps IT is approaching and I Push => 255*Reward
These two instinct genes are the actual "fight" genes. When the Norn is angry, it is rewarded for pushing objects and hitting other Creatures, which may be the source of its frustration.
96 7 0 Emb B Mut 'It is retreating' causes sig=36 GS neu=11(IT is retreating) int=255, , , => 3*Fear-- + 3*Anger-- + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
96 7 0 Emb B Mut 'It is retreating' causes sig=36 GS neu=11(IT is retreating) int=255, , , => 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
This gene causes fear and anger to be reduced when the other Creature retreats, either because it was scared off or because it spotted something more interesting. This, coupled with the fact that moving around reduces stress, fear, and anger, causes the Norn to "cool off" after the ForF reaction is engaged.
337 66 0 Emb B MutDupCut 1*Anger + 1*Collapsase => 1*Fear + 1*<NONE>; half-life = 32.
This is the reaction for the other new chemical, the especially-oddly-named Collapsase. Collapsase is exactly the inverse of Turnase, converting anger to fear. This provokes the flight response.
335 127 0 Emb B Mut 'I have retreated' causes sig=0 GS neu=255 int=0, , , => 127*Collapsase + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE> + 0*<NONE>
This is the novel stimulus gene that causes Collapsase to be produced. Interestingly, this only happens when the Norn itself is retreating, and not at other times one may expect -- like when it is slapped or injured.
332 30 0 Emb B MutDupCut Drive i/ps Fear + General Sensory i/ps IT is approaching + (Lobe/Cell=0/0) and I Run => 255*Reward
As above, this is the actual "flight" gene. This instinct gene encourages the Norn to flee when frightened.
All Norns become frightened and angry when slapped. The ForF genes, taken together, form a system where a Norn may go from one to the other according to their circumstances. However, I suspect there is a flaw in this system, and that Rons are biased toward fighting, perhaps by design as that is a very conspicuous behavior. Notice that there are more genes concerned with fighting, and, most importantly, that there is only one stimulus that produces Collapsase, and that stimulus (retreating) is called by the Norn's actions, not an external source (like another Creature). Anecdotally, I will report that, while several of my Norns have these genes, and the only one in whom I have observed an obvious tendency to flee from others is Emil, who lacks all the genes listed above in the "fight" section.
The "I've been slapped" stimulus gene, by default, creates more fear than anger, which is one possible reason for this setup. Having the stimulus also produce Collapsase may be overkill, skewing the reactions in the other direction. As it stands, I think the production of Turnase may have a tendency to swamp out Collapsase. Something to investigate.
You know, in retrospect, I wish I'd been an adult when this game was first released! Discussing this at the height of the Creatures Community would have been great.
I have one more point to make: as in the Forest breed, none of the new or altered genes are sex-linked. Therefore, male and female Rons should not be any more systemically different from each other than males and females of other breeds.