Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Wiki
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Overview[]

Fear and Dopamine

Hysteria - when fear takes over

Fear is a protective reaction to threats. Threats come in many kinds and can be known or unknown. The more fearful you are, the less able you are to control your actions. Fear can induce a state of panic, which makes the character vulnerable to hysteria. Hysteria has the drawback of sending the entire expedition back to their only established MindIcon Settlement.png settlement.

The hominid will be affected by fear in the following situations: whenever a predator or an irascible threat is in the vicinity, or when the avatar walks in the Fog of Fear.

Learning specific neurons reduces the negative impacts to dopamine, emotions, and fear while increases the positive benefits.

Dopamine[]

Picture of the dopamine gauge

Dopamine gauge.

Dopamine allows a hominid to resist the effects of fear. There is a finite pool of dopamine available and is indicated by a curved bar gauge on the HUD.

Dopamine is depleted in fearful situations. The more fearful the situation, the faster dopamine will be depleted, and the more emotional the hominid will become.

Fear negatively influences the dopamine pool. Once the dopamine gauge is depleted, the hominid switches into panic state and runs without the your input. Only steering and jumping will be available at that point. The panic state will persist as long as there’s a source of fear close to the hominid.

If the panic state keeps getting fed by fear, the dopamine gauge will progressively fill up with red. Once the gauge is full, hysteria is triggered and the character will be brought back to its settlement with the rest of the expedition team.

Be aware that the dopamine gauge is shared with the whole expedition team and is not an indication of a single hominid.

Emotions[]

Emotions and Dopamine

Emotions Have Costs

Fear changes your emotions. Your emotions indicate the level of threat your hominid currently feels they are in. The higher the emotional level, the higher the threat level.

Your emotions are indicated by a colored eye icon inside the dopamine gauge.

  • Calm static.png Calm - No threats nearby and nothing to be afraid of.
  • Vigilant static.png Vigilant - Aware and paying more attention for possible threats. No threats yet but possible.
  • Alert static.png Alert - Threats are nearby and should be looked for.
  • Panic static.png Panic - Threats are taking place and should be dealt with quickly.

Once you learn the Cognitive Control (CC 01) neuron, it is possible to control the emotions of your hominid. You can choose to be vigilant or alert on command rather than only in threatening situations.

This emotional control is useful because while on Alert status your hominid can run super fast, jump really far, and climb very quickly. Normally the cost for this Alert status is using up your dopamine quickly because a threat is nearby. However, if there are no threats nearby, you won't lose dopamine and can use these enhanced abilities without penalty.

How to stop fear from increasing[]

Not only can you avoid the panic state altogether, you can still prevent hysteria in the event your hominid would panic anyway.

As long as panic hasn’t been triggered, you can refill the dopamine gauge either by Eat ico.png eating, analyzing and identifying known elements with Sense ico.png senses and Intelligence ico.pngintelligence, grooming another hominid, mating, conquering the fear of the unknown, killing or Intimidate ico 128.png intimidating (successfully) an animal, etc. An in-game pop-up says, “Dopamine is gained by doing gratifying activities.” Also, not all foods produce the same amount of dopamine.

Whenever your hominid is panicking, you have to choose between fight or flight. If the panic state is caused by the fear of the unknown, you can steer towards known territory which is represented by a blueish orb. If a predator or an irascible animal caused the panic state, you can flee or take refuge to the treetops (as long as they're high enough to escape from the fear effect). Intimidation and attack are also doable when panic is caused by an animal.

Fear Protection[]

Fear shield.png

Items can be used before being afflicted with a negative status effect to give positive status effects or "protections". These protections allow you to endure situations that would normally cause you harm.

Be aware that protections run on a timer and will eventually run out. The protections will also reduce by the amount of damage they stop. Your hominid won't be harmed but the protections will go down instead. You will need to add more protections over time to ensure you aren't going to be harmed by afflictions.

While fear isn't a negative status effect that appears on screen as a small icon, it still causes adverse effects when it is encountered.

Items that confer fear protection:

Fear of the Unknown[]

When the character moves from their settlement for the first time, the Fog of Fear will appear. If the signs of fear are ignored by you and the hominid goes deep into the unknown, the dopamine gauge will decrease.

In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, the Fog of Fear symbolizes the fear of the distance from the camp and the sense of remoteness that a hominid might get from it[1]. One must think of the fog as a dynamic system bound to the current settlement, and not as a static “capture the territory”-system like the “Ubisoft Towers” popularized by Assassin’s Creed. Each time a settlement is established, a safe zone is created around it. Moving from the settlement’s centre involves a risk to reach the Fog of Fear. The fog is invisible until a hominid reach it. Moreover, once out of the fog, it once again becomes invisible.

The intensity of the fear (dopamine depletion rate) is higher when doing a one-man expedition[1]. Therefore, the intensity is lowered the instant the expedition is a dyad or a group.

While in the fog, the dopamine level will decrease with each movement of the avatar. Conversely, if the character remains stationary, the gauge will act the same. A hominid can still use their Sense ico.png senses and Intelligence ico.pngintelligence while standing still.

Elders aren’t affected by the fog while babies will trigger a Fog of Fear when they leave the limits of a settlement.

Conquering or fleeing the fog[]

Fear Zone Rationalized

Conquered Your Fear

After a few steps in the fog, a blueish orb will appear (usually behind the avatar) to indicate a possible escape route. Escape doesn’t reward you in any way since the fog will have to be lifted at some point.

To conquer the fog, the hominid must rationalize their environment by identifying known Tuto intel ico.png Points of Interest with senses or intelligence. If the points of interest can’t be identified, they won’t contribute to the conquest. Once an adequate amount points of interest have been identified, a pop up will appear stating FEAR ZONE RATIONALIZED and a second orb, white this time, will appear. The character must reach that white orb and press the relevant button to Conquer Your Fear. Completing this action will make the fog back down permanently.

The conquest of the fog also triggers an intimidation event to clear out animals. Conquering in a group (if possible) will provide a more efficient intimidation since it’s likely to affect more animals at the same time.

A third option would be to move the current MindIcon Settlement.png settlement at the invisible border, right before the fog gets triggered. Such strategy will have the same and permanent effect of dissipating the Fog of Fear, but the character and their clan won’t benefit from the usual rewards that come with a real conquest.

Conquering the Fog is one of the easiest ways to accumulate neuronal energy; even only having one baby with you will completely fill the neuronal energy gauge.

Fear of the Other[]

Irascible threats and predator animals also decrease dopamine. With Version 1.2.2 , every animal generates the same amount of fear. Although, a single animal (e.g. a snake) produces less fear than a pack or herd (e.g. hyenas). The animals behavior doesn’t modify generated fear.

A skin-piercing attack (successful) or a successful Intimidate ico 128.png intimidation will both partially refill the dopamine gauge.

Conquering the Fear of the Other, like that of the Fog of Fear, will result in a boost of neuronal energy, provided you have kids present.

Neurons[]

The following neurons impact dopamine, emotions, and fear.

Image Neuron Neuronal Branch Genetic
Mutation?
Description
Dodge - Ataraxia - DO 06.png Ataraxia (DO 06) Dodge No A dose of dopamine is secreted following the success of dodging or counterattacking.

HOLD (button) to prime dodging or counterattack.
MOVE (button) to choose direction.
RELEASE (button) at the right time to dodge or counterattack.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Attentional Control - CC 02.png Attentional Control (CC 02) Orrorin Tugenensis No Venturing into an unknown area causes less fear.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Autotelic Personality - BB ZO 01.png Autotelic Personality (BB ZO 01) Ardipithecus Ramidus Yes The faculty of concentration requires less dopamine.

PRESS (button) and (button) simultaneously to enhance concentration by slowing time down.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Autotelic Personality - BB ZO 02.png Autotelic Personality (BB ZO 02) Ardipithecus Ramidus Yes The faculty of concentration requires less dopamine.

PRESS (button) and (button) simultaneously to enhance concentration by slowing time down.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Autotelic Personality - BB ZO 03.png Autotelic Personality (BB ZO 03) Ardipithecus Ramidus Yes The faculty of concentration requires less dopamine.

PRESS (button) and (button) simultaneously to enhance concentration by slowing time down.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Cognitive Control - CC 01.png Cognitive Control (CC 01) Orrorin Tugenensis No It is now possible to control emotions and voluntarily choose to be Vigilant or Alert.

HOLD (button) or (button) to set your state of mind.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Cognitive Inhibition - CC 03.png Cognitive Inhibition (CC 03) Ardipithecus Ramidus No Venturing into an unknown area causes less fear.
Communication - Danger Perception - IT 04.png Danger Perception (IT 04) Communication No Predators induce less fear.
Communication - Danger Perception - IT 05.png Danger Perception (IT 05) Communication No Irascible opponents induce less fear.
Self-Control - Determination - BB FR 01.png Determination (BB FR 01) Self-Control Yes Less Dopamine is needed when responding to a threat.
Self-Control - Determination - BB FR 02.png Determination (BB FR 02) Self-Control Yes Less Dopamine is needed when responding to a threat.
Self-Control - Determination - BB FR 03.png Determination (BB FR 03) Self-Control Yes Less Dopamine is needed when responding to a threat.
Self-Control - Determination - BB FR 04.png Determination (BB FR 04) Self-Control Yes Less Dopamine is needed when responding to a threat.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 02.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 02) Orrorin Tugenensis No More dopamine is generated following displays of physical prowess.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 03.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 03) Orrorin Tugenensis No More dopamine is generated following social interactions.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 04.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 04) Orrorin Tugenensis No More dopamine is generated after discoveries or after creating and using a tool.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 06.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 06) Ardipithecus Ramidus No More dopamine is generated following displays of physical prowess.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 07.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 07) Ardipithecus Ramidus No More dopamine is generated following social interactions.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 08.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 08) Ardipithecus Ramidus No More dopamine is generated after discoveries or after creating and using a tool.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 10.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 10) Australopithecus Afarensis No More dopamine is generated following displays of physical prowess.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 11.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 11) Australopithecus Afarensis No More dopamine is generated following social interactions.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 12.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 12) Australopithecus Afarensis No More dopamine is generated after discoveries or after creating and using a tool.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Dopaminergic Pathways - DP 13.png Dopaminergic Pathways (DP 13) Australopithecus Afarensis No More dopamine is generated.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Hyperfocus - ZO 01.png Hyperfocus (ZO 01) Ardipithecus Ramidus No When the dopamine level is high enough, intense concentration is possible.

PRESS (button) and (button) simultaneously to enhance concentration by slowing time down.
Dodge - Infundibular Pathway - BB DO 01.png Infundibular Pathway (BB DO 01) Dodge Yes A dose of dopamine is secreted following the success of dodging or counterattacking.

HOLD (button) to prime dodging or counterattack.
MOVE (button) to choose direction.
RELEASE (button) at the right time to dodge or counterattack.
Dodge - Infundibular Pathway - BB DO 02.png Infundibular Pathway (BB DO 02) Dodge Yes A dose of dopamine is secreted following the success of dodging or counterattacking.

HOLD (button) to prime dodging or counterattack.
MOVE (button) to choose direction.
RELEASE (button) at the right time to dodge or counterattack.
Dodge - Evasive Action - BB DO 03.png Infundibular Pathway (BB DO 03-2) Dodge Yes A dose of dopamine is secreted following the success of dodging or counterattacking.

HOLD (button) to prime dodging or counterattack.
MOVE (button) to choose direction.
RELEASE (button) at the right time to dodge or counterattack.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Inhibitory Control - CC 04.png Inhibitory Control (CC 04) Australopithecus Afarensis No Venturing into an unknown area causes less fear.
Orrorin Tugenensis - Mesocortical Pathway - DP 01.png Mesocortical Pathway (DP 01) Orrorin Tugenensis No The ability to synthesize neurotransmitters has increased.

More Dopamine can be accumulated.
Ardipithecus Ramidus - Mesolimbic Pathway - DP 05.png Mesolimbic Pathway (DP 05) Ardipithecus Ramidus No The ability to synthesize neurotransmitters has increased.

More Dopamine can be accumulated.
Australopithecus Afarensis - Nigrostriatal Pathway - DP 09.png Nigrostriatal Pathway (DP 09) Australopithecus Afarensis No The ability to synthesize neurotransmitters has increased.

More Dopamine can be accumulated.
Communication - Self Empowerment - CM 02.png Self Empowerment (CM 02) Communication No While following you, clan members are able to automatically mimic an intimidation or the action of conquering fear.
Communication - Willpower - BB IT 01.png Willpower (BB IT 01) Communication Yes All threats induce less fear.
Communication - Willpower - BB IT 02.png Willpower (BB IT 02) Communication Yes All threats induce less fear.
Communication - Willpower - BB IT 03.png Willpower (BB IT 03) Communication Yes All threats induce less fear.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Taken from a written exchange with a Game Designer from Panache Digital Games.


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