Muttations are Capitol-manufactured lifeforms mainly designed to cause terror and/or kill Tributes, though some are benign or even useful. Muttations were first used in the 10th Hunger Games and have become much more complex in the succeeding years.
10th Hunger Games Edit
The first muttations used were simple shark creations. Muttation technology was in its infancy at the time, and the modifications to existing shark genomes were minimal. The only change was that the saltwater sharks in the Arena (Great White sharks and Reef Sharks) were able to survive life in fresh water.
21st Hunger GamesEdit
The Capitol's next experiment was more ambitious. Lean but deadly coyote mutts roamed the desert, hunting down Tributes who had no place to hide. Modifications included lengthened fangs, stronger and more lengthy frames, and enhanced intelligence, enabling the dogs to hunt like humans.
24th Hunger GamesEdit
The 24th Hunger Games were hit-and-miss. The monstrous Sarcosuchus crocodile mutt was a resounding success even with minimal modifications. The mutt was larger than modern crocodiles and had gray skin and a toughened hide.
The rodent mutts have gone down in history as the muttation makers' greatest embarrassment. Intended to be a vicious combination of muskrat and raccoon, they instead turned out docile and friendly. While they could be persuaded to fight if their enemy was smeared in honey, they otherwise preferred to be petted. While the mutts were a disaster in the Games, they proved immensely popular in the Capitol and the humiliated scientists were forced to spread their failures across the Capitol when President Galba forced them to comply to the demand for their muttations as pets.
25th Hunger GamesEdit
The first Quarter Quell called for even more monstrous muttations. After the debacle of the previous year, the Gamemakers felt Galba's displeasure and had great incentive not to let it happen again. Drawing inspiration from The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Gamemakers created a pack of hulking, bloodthirsty dogs that glowed green in the dark and whose howls sounded like the wails of the damned. The dogs were also affected by the decay of the Arena and possessed tattered, peeling fur and skin and bites soaked with rabies. It was their greatest success yet.
28th Hunger GamesEdit
Muttation technology quietly advanced during the three year period in which the Gamemakers incorporated no specimens in the Games. For a tropical archipelago Arena, the Gamemakers covered land and sea. The first mutt was a solid black thresher shark with enhanced jumping abilities and intelligence, allowing it to stalk and track Tributes.The second mutt was a snake with one simple but effective alteration: it was fifty feet long, far more massive than any real snake. It lacked venom, being a constrictor, but that was deadly enough.
30th Hunger GamesEdit
For the first entirely indoor and artificial Arena, inspiration for mutts was hard to come by. At their wits' end, the Gamemakers designed a large, ratlike rodent, which lived in a crack in the wall of one store. After killing one Tribute, the mutt was killed by the second Tribute it attacked and faded into obscurity.
31st Hunger GamesEdit
In a switch from normal menacing mutts, the Gamemakers added large bison mutts intended to make spectacular scenes when Tributes hunted them for food. The mutts proved too large for children to kill and ended up killing some of the hunters by accident. They were simply so large they didn't notice the Tributes they crushed, and a stampede caused by a spooked rabbit turned into a cataclysm.
32nd Hunger Games Edit
The next muttations were shocking in implementation and not design. For the first time, the Gamemakers released muttations at the Bloodbath. The shocked Tributes were massacred before they had a chance to react. The actual muttations, simple enlarged rodents with strengthened and enlarged teeth, were relatively unspectacular.
35th Hunger Games Edit
What happened in the 35th Hunger Games is the stuff of nightmares. The Gamemakers, intending to make more frightening muttations, far overshot their mark. They pockmarked the Arena with tunnels hidden under innocent piles of grass. When an unsuspecting Tribute walked across these trapdoors, monstrous spiders the size of cows shot out with blinding speed and seized them with eight legs, dragging them into the tunnel to devour them. But death did not come quickly. Tributes were first cocooned in silk to await the mutt's appetite. In one case- one horrible case that has gone down in history as the single most horrifying moment in Games history- the mutt laid eggs.Far overshadowed by the spiders were the second race of mutts. The Gamemakers added gargantuan cow-like animals into the Games, intending them to crush the Tributes underfoot. The ungulates had other ideas and peacefully roamed the Arena eating grass until Troy unintentionally set them on fire, killing them all.
38th Hunger Games Edit
After the horrors of the spiders, the Gamemakers restrained themselves from adding any mutts to the next three Arenas. Their next foray into genetic manipulation was designed with beauty in mind. The mutt, a lovely and sinuous dark cat, nevertheless took out half the Tributes that year.
39th Hunger GamesEdit
The mutts in the groundbreaking, smash hit 39th Games are too numerous to list. In a tour de force performance, the Gamemakers brought back the prehistoric age of monsters, showcasing half a dozen species of life-sized dinosaurs and beasts.
40th Hunger Games Edit
Most of the wildlife in the Badlands Arena was natural, with one exception. The Gamemakers, aiming to be relevant and faithful to the Arena, designed a Tribute inspired by Native American legends. Had they looked deeper into those legends, they would know that the creature they copied was so feared that even its name is never to be spoken. The results disgusted even those who invented the Games.
41st Hunger Games Edit
A mountain Arena was too harsh for most animals. The only creature that roamed the slopes of the peak was a brutal, towering yeti.
42nd Hunger Games Edit
Candy monsters do not seem menacing until they eat you. The sickly sweet exterior of the Arena held an interior... that was also sweet.
1st Resurrection Games Edit
For the new Resurrection Games, the Gamemakers had to make mutts worthy of a spectacle never seen before. They delved deep into the lore of the Arena they had chosen, dredging up things better left forgotten. In the first Resurrection Games, nightmares as well as Tributes came to life.
The first muttation was an ethereal, beautiful phoenix. Its light illuminated the entire Arena as it blazed from a high temple, luring Hailey Falkenrath in to see what it was. The science behind the creation of the phoenix is little understood, even by those involved. Things came together preternaturally easily, and the creators were awed by what came out. The muttation was not malevolent, but merely otherworldly, and it absorbed Hailey into a new form of existence. The phoenix, like most muttations, is preserved in a Capitol bunker, and those who tend to it, though it requires no sustenance, feel a distinctly human aura in its presence.
The second muttation is as nightmarish as its predecessor was angelic. The legends of the Maya people, on which the Arena was based, told of a monster of leathery wings and dripping fangs. It was an intelligent, savage monster that decorated its body with blood and wore eyes as trophies. It was called the Camazotz. As soon as the Gamemakers loosed it back upon the world, it ravaged the Arena. Even the only Tribute to escape its clutches, Kazuo Braun, did not escape it entirely.
The third muttation was intended to be the uber-muttation of the year. Ah-Puch, called The Grinning God of Death by the Maya, was a towering giant wielding a massive axe. Few who saw his skull face survived to tell the tale. Things did not go as planned, however, and even the God of Death eventually fell to the Camazotz.
2nd Resurrection Games: Only Careers Edit
The Gamemakers again took the Arena as inspiration for this second round of Resurrection Mutts. Digging back into pre-Dark Days folklore and history, they created four mutts- one for each branch of the ancient military. Results were mixed.
The Air Force was represented by gigantic birds of prey that swooped down on Tributes and savaged them with their razor-sharp beaks and claws.
The Gamemakers were low on ideas when they made the Navy mutt, a goat. They rued the day the Navy chose such a bizarre and un-aquatic animal, but they had to make it work. They managed to create an armored goat that was menacing to behold, but it was a mere annoyance to trained Tributes. It lurked the halls of the barracks, attacking anyone who fell asleep on watch.
The Gamemakers neared despair when they discovered that the Army had a donkey for a mascot. Serendipity struck, however, and Games history was made. In their studies, Gamemaker Lyman Truffle stumbled upon an Irish legend telling of a nightmarish horse made of merged rider and beast, both without skin. The others considered that close enough to a donkey, and the Nuckelavee was born. Along with the Devil Dogs, it was an uber-class mutt, meaning it could not be killed by Tributes.
Most menacing of all were the Devil Dogs. Taking a page from both the Marine Corps and the Terminator, the Gamemakers wrought a pack of hulking, relentless dogs that were incapable of surrender. The Devil Dogs roamed the Arena, latching on to any Tribute unfortunate enough to be seen. Once a Devil Dog had targeted a Tribute, nothing would stop them. They could not be killed, and they would go through any obstacle to get their prey. They were capable of climbing densely branched trees, but they could not open doors and climb sheer surfaces. Once targeted, there were only two ways to stay alive: keep running, or kill everyone else before the mutt found them.
3rd Resurrection Games: Non-Careers Edit
More mutts than ever before were designed for the record-setting third Resurrection Games. Knowing that a non-Career Games brought the risk of resulting in Tributes who did not want to fight, the Gamemakers filled the ghoulish Arena with any terrifying mutt they could think of.
The most interesting result of this mutt glut was what happened with the poltergeist. Despite ostensibly being a ghost, the poltergeist was in fact an entirely artificial being. In trying to make him a realistic facsimile of life, the Gamemakers accidentally created an artificial intelligence so advanced that it gained self-awareness. After the Games, the invisible poltergeist escaped unnoticed and journeyed to District Twelve, where it haunts the grave of its dead friend Elara Angelo, occasionally leaving flowers or attempting to start a game of Tic-tac-toe with her. Residents of Twelve consider the grave haunted.