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The first modern role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons, depicted Kobolds as a race of weak, humanoid reptilian monsters formed into primitive tribes populating the sorts of dungeons explored by low-level adventurers. As role-playing expanded into other game lines and computer gaming, this precedent was carried over, and Kobolds are still depicted as weak or ineffectual. The Kobold's perennial role has become a recognized running gag among gamers; however, this has been changed to some extent with an article on Meepo, a kobold NPC from a low level adventure, Wizards of the Coast's Sunless Citadel.[1] To make Kobolds more attractive as characters, they were one of the races featured in the Races of the Dragon supplement.

Kobolds as cannon-fodderEdit

For more information on Kobolds in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, see Kobold (Dungeons & Dragons).

An example of the traditional Kobold role is the roguelike NetHack, in which Kobolds are common, medium-sized monsters of weak power. In the CRPG Castle of the Winds, Kobolds are little warriors generally depicted as holding a knife or dagger. They are only a threat to very low-level or severely weakened players. Kobolds made a more recent appearance as low-level enemies in the Game Boy Advance dungeon crawler Shining Soul II, as well as in the unrelated Game Boy Advance RPG Golden Sun.

In the Warcraft series of games, Kobolds are a race of ratlike burrowers, who often appear as villains. The games also include goblins and gnomes, and the three races fit the same rough pattern as diminutive races skilled in early technology. Even here, Kobolds are less developed than gnomes and goblins. In a Warcraft III mod, DotA Allstars (Defense of the Ancients), made a hero named Meepo. In World of Warcraft Kobolds are low-level enemies generally found in caves and mines. These Kobolds treasure candles: they will wear one on their head, and occasionally a candle will appear in the loot. They occasionally yell at the beginning of a battle, "You no take candle."

Canine aspectsEdit

In many computer role-playing games, Kobolds are a race of anthropomorphic dogs that primarily dwell in forests and often use swords and bows as weapons. The Suikoden and Lufia series both use this depiction, as does the anime series Record of Lodoss War. Suikoden IV also includes the Nay-Kobold, which resembles an anthropomorphic cat. In Japanese their name is a pun: it can also be read as "Nekobold", a portmanteau of neko and kobold.

The publication Kobolds Ate My Baby! by 9th Level Games features Kobolds as comical, dog-like creatures with an insatiable, omnivorous appetite. They are extremely stupid, led by King Torg (All Hail King Torg!), and worship Vor the Big Red God of Anger. In the MMORPG Ragnarok Online, Kobolds are small, blue dog-like bipeds who wield an array of weapons.

Other depictionsEdit

  • In Sony Online Entertainment's Everquest, kobolds are muscular creatures that are about half the height of most player models and resemble a mix between a canine and a gorilla. They can be found primarily in the Mines of Gloomingdeep tutorial zone as well as the Warrens zone next to the starting city Paineel. There are kobold populations scattered throughout several other zones, as well.
  • In Mythic Entertainment's Dark Age of Camelot, players are able to play a Kobold character if they choose the Norse realm of Midgard. These Kobolds are blue-skinned, mischievous, and on a similar intellectual footing with the average Norseman.
  • In the video game series Xenosaga, Kobolds are portrayed as a type of Gnosis that resemble a humanoid lizard with long scythe-like claws.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Kobolds are a group of three 0-casting cost red creatures in the set Legends. There are the Crimson Kobolds, Kobolds of Kher Keep, and Crookshank Kobolds. There are also three 2-casting cost creatures that give them either a +0/+1 toughness boost and trample (Kobold Drill Sergeant), first strike (Kobold Overlord), or a +1/+0 power boost (Kobold Taskmaster).
  • In Nintendo's Quest 64, Kobolds are wolf-like animorphic humaniods wearing sneakers, jeans, a shirt and biker gloves and seen in the forest after the second town. If you are too far to punch they will hurl a ground wind at you to attack and are often accompanied by "dolls" or other similar level backup.
  • In World of Warcraft, Kobolds are low-level humanoids primarily found in forests or mines. They live in colonies and are of low intelligence. They worship candles, and "You no take candle!" is a common "battle cry". They appear very ratlike.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, Kobolds are a race of earth spirits enslaved by Evil Weapons, which use them to more easily manipulate their environment.
  • In the online alternative action shooter Gunz: The Duel, Kobolds are a tribe of creatures which appear in the Quest mode map "Prison" to swarm the player. In this, Kobolds appear vaguely reptilian and feline.
  • In Etherlords series, Kobolds are a humanoid-like faction of shamans or mages. They are controlled by Chaots.
  • In the MMORPG Mabinogi, Kobolds are being controlled by the antagonistic Fomors. However, both are depicted differently than their original depictions. The Fomors now resemble humans and the Kobolds now have pink or purple skin and very large ears and noses. Not all are antagonists, but as a species, they're considered evil. They wield bows, swords, clubs, pickaxes, and shields.
  • In the Windows 95 title Die by the Sword, Kobolds are depicted as vicious, diminutive blue humanoid canine figures with quick, bouncy movements and squeaky voices.
  • In the PSP action RPG series Valhalla Knights, Kobolds are wolf-like Hostia that seem to accompany enemy Machines for unexplained reasons.
  • In the internet cartoon Unforgotten Realms (web series), Kobolds are depicted as furry slow-witted humanoid creatures wielding swords. They are lead by a Kobold named Maelstrom, who is a reoccurring character of moderate importance in the series.

References Edit

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