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Overview

First seen in Marathon 2: Durandal, and later reappearing in Marathon Infinity, the F'lickta are a species of non-intelligent bipedal creatures indigenous to the S'pht homeworld of Lh'owon. They are clearly humanoid in many respects, though when compared directly to humans, there are several noticeable differentiators. The most prominent anatomical attribute of the F'lickta is its large vertically-oriented maw, which extends along the greater length of its torso. At the apex of this torso is a neckless, stump-like head with two eyes as its only defining feature. The F'lickta has three fingers to each hand and two toes to each foot, all of which are adorned by sizable talons. Its legs are reverse-jointed, and large parts of its body are typically covered in thick fur. The most commonly-encountered variety of F'lickta is known for its green skin pigmentation, though specimens with alternate skin coloration may also be found depending on the environment.

Characteristics

Despite its vicious appearance, the F'lickta is not carnivorous by nature, instead absorbing its sustenance from within the aqueous environs it prefers to frequent. How exactly this is accomplished is unknown, as even the technologically advanced Pfhor could not, in their research of the creatures, divine by what process the F'lickta are able to transfer energy from their chosen food source to themselves. This was further complicated by the F'lickta's unpredictable temperament; the Pfhor noted that at times their subjects would become extremely agitated by their presence, forcing them to euthanize the target and making prolonged study of a single specimen extremely difficult. Ultimately, the Pfhor concluded that the method of energy transfer used by the F'lickta was simply "unknown" and furthermore concluded that it was "beyond our depth of study."

A view of the internal anatomical structure of a normal F'lickta.

Though the creature is never mentioned within it by name, one conspicuous Pfhor research terminal referring to a "native xenomorph" of the planet Lh'owon suggests that the F'lickta were at one point carnivorous, and that their maws have simply evolved for use in the F'lickta's reproductive process. During mating, the F'lickta release eggs into the waterways they inhabit, while others of their kind gather up these eggs within their maws, with the more dominant amongst them gathering eggs from a larger area. These eggs are then fertilized within the maw (which is directly connected to the womb) and gestate for a period of fifteen to nineteen days, after which the young are born. Very few fledgling F'lickta have ever been seen, as the creatures have a tendency to chew their young rather than rear them when forced into captivity.

F'lickta are known to be territorial creatures, and the importance of a given F'lickta can be gauged both by the expansiveness of its territory as well as the level of freedom it enjoys when traveling about. Competition and overt shows of dominance amongst F'lickta are not uncommon, and the species uses both its maw and its claws for these purposes. Territorial dominance is particularly important during mating, as this directly affects how many eggs the creature has access to. Through a combination of anecdotal reporting and autopsy examinations, the Pfhor have also ascertained that members of their race have a tendency to favor one claw over the other.

The Pfhor were also responsible for discovering a genetic link between the F'lickta and the S'pht, suggesting that the former may have evolved into the latter. Ancient S'pht texts left behind on Lh'owon seem to indicate that the appearance of the Pfhor, a sentient race without reliance on cybernetics, caused some S'pht to reevaluate their own origins. Having previously assumed that all sentient life required cybernetic augmentation, S'pht scholars began to question whether they were the byproduct of a lesser race that had simply been grafted with technology in order to achieve sentience. They were, however, unable to resolve this quandry before Lh'owon was overtaken by the Pfhor.

Variants

F'lickta can take on visual characteristics that reflect the particular type of liquid they live in and around, and as a result it is very easy to tell what habitat a F'lickta is native to on the basis of visual cues alone. Three distinct varieties of the creature are seen across Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity, and aside from looks, different types of F'lickta may be more proficient at certain types of attacks while being deficient at others.

  • Green F'lickta - Green F'lickta could be considered the "basic" F'lickta variant, being found in the vicinity of sludge or other sewage-laden areas. There is some evidence to suggest that these F'lickta are able to purify contaminated liquids in some capacity, as the S'pht mention that they were left behind in one area to "keep the ducts clean and working." They can attack both with their claws and with a corrosive projectile.
  • Blue F'lickta - Existing within the various aqueducts and uncontaminated aqueous environments of Lh'owon, the Blue F'lickta is notable for its tremendous physical strength, which makes it significantly more dangerous in close quarters than the standard Green F'lickta. It is, however, conspicuously devoid of the same ranged attack options that the other two types enjoy.
  • Red F'lickta - Red F'lickta are highly adapted to extremely adverse conditions, making their homes in and around large deposits of molten rock. This adaptation allows them to hurl lava at those who trespass within their inhospitable territory, making their projectile attack more dangerous than other F'lickta. Their melee strength is somewhat underdeveloped in comparison.

Role in the Series

Though they are by no means friendly, the appearance of F'lickta can be somewhat advantageous to the player, as they have no love for any creatures that encroach upon their lands, Pfhor included. This fact allows the player to coax F'lickta and Pfhor into monster infights in any situation in which the two enemy types appear together. By themselves, F'lickta are roughly analogous in threat level to the Pfhor Fighter. Their projectile attack can be dodged relatively easily provided the player is not distracted by other foes, and they are not resistant to any types of damage. F'lickta are encountered underwater in a number of levels, which makes them tougher to deal with, if only because certain weapons cannot be safely discharged while submerged.

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