“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
Cthulhu has lain dormant in his watery tomb, R’yleh, for countless eons — but now, he has awakened to unleash madness and fear against Zeus, Thor, Anubis, Rama and all the other Gods of Smite.
Hi-Rez Studios and Titan Forge Games explained how the eldritch god from H.P. Lovecraft’s “Call of the Cthulhu” fits into the Smite mythos in their developer post:
We understand the community is mixed about the potential inclusion of Cthulhu in SMITE. Some of you have been very vocal in favor of the eldritch gods. Others have voiced concerns that Cthulhu represents a step too far, opening a door to some other fantastical, non-God characters.
We think Cthulhu fits SMITE in ways these other potential “Gods” do not. Cthulhu is, in his lore, a supernatural being of immense power. He is the high priest of a pantheon of cosmic deities whose presence alone is enough to render a human completely insane — the sort of character at home on the Battleground of the Gods, and arguably the best-known godly figure who is not currently in SMITE.
Yes, Cthulhu originates from a piece of popular fiction, but from one nearly 100 years old. Baba Yaga is about 250 years old, by comparison. And the Arthurian legends as we know them today were, truly, the product of 12th century popular fiction.
SMITE’s lore is simple: If people believe in a God, if they talk about it, they make it real. That’s what the concept of worshipers is all about. Cthulhu has achieved a near mythical status in today’s world, represented in the thousands of books, comics, games, and movies that pay homage to him — and the people who enjoy them. We think there are enough people who believe in Cthulhu as a godly figure that he’s a valid candidate for SMITE.
We have no intent to go farther than Cthulhu, and he will remain the only playable character from this pantheon for the foreseeable future. We’ve heard people joke about Cthulhu being a slippery slope to Dumbledore’s inclusion in SMITE. Dumbledore has no place in SMITE. Even Robin Hood has been debated and soundly rejected by the Titan Forge Games team.
Cthulhu will bring a unique set of powers and gameplay to Smite which evoke his characteristics from the Lovecraft stories. These include the ability to drive other gods insane, “causing them to experience a wide array of effects – including a whole new set of audio/visual confusion elements,” the developers explain.
The cosmic entity will then feed on his opponents’ madness, hitting them with a specific ability to “Break” them. “He becomes permanently tankier each time he successfully Breaks a god.” Cthulhu will also be larger in size than the other gods, representing “a unique scale. Cthulhu is in a distinctly unique size range that is larger than all the usual gods, but not as tall as Jormungandr. It should be noted that Cthulhu will move, attack, and be attacked within the usual Smite play space.”
Cthulhu will also “push the limits” during his ultimate ability, “which changes his visual appearance while making him the largest god in Smite history to remain within the traditional play space while scaled up.”
What do you think of Cthulhu’s inclusion in Smite? Does the cosmic entity from H.P. Lovecraft’s works fit in the game’s pantheon? Let us know in the comments.