For months, players of “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” have pondered the secrets behind the Circle of 8, Season Two’s mysterious antagonists. Last week with the release of Chapter Six, several answers accompanied one ominous question:
Who is Worthy?
We spoke with “Avengers Alliance” producer Justin Woods about the latest characters and story twists taking place in Chapter Six, allowing him to unburden information he’s been holding on to for some time…
Marvel.com: To begin, let’s catch up on what has been going on in the primary story of “Marvel: Avengers Alliance,” for those who have been busy with Spec Ops and PvP…
Justin Woods: [The story of Season Two] has been centered around this organization known as the Circle of 8, which we know is a cult but we don’t really know what they worship or what they stand for or what their motivations are. What we do know is that they have been killing people in a ritual of some sort and in groups of eight. So each time a new chapter comes out, eight more bodies are found and these are characters from Marvel Comics such as Two-Gun Kid, Phage, and I don’t know all the other ones off the top of my head that have been killed to this point.
Marvel.com: I know Typeface got killed, that’s the one I remember.
Justin Woods: Typeface, there you go. So those guys are being knocked off seemingly faster than S.H.I.E.L.D. can keep up with where the Circle of 8 is and how they’re operating. So the problem is that S.H.I.E.L.D. is finding these bodies after the fact and seeing that they were killed in a ritual manner and they’re kind of like, “What is up with this?” And that’s where we are at the end of Chapter Five, where these killings have been going on for a little while now and there’s really no connection other than around the time they discovered that there’s a new set of eight bodies, some sort of object comes from the sky and lands on Earth. And every time S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to go and track one of these objects down, somebody else got to it first and so they’re left finding sort of a meteor crater. But other than that, we don’t really know what’s been going on.
Now when Chapter Six launches, we are finally going to figure out what’s been going on and what the killings have been for. And some of the people on the forums have started to figure it out with a little encouragement and we had a nice chat on Twitter about it one day talking about, “Okay, what do we know? What have we seen happen?” and once we started to connect the pieces, some of the fans started to figure out, “Hey, this is kind of like what happens in FEAR ITSELF: THE BOOK OF THE SKULL where you see all those Atlanteans get killed.” We basically adapted that story and said, “Okay, we’re calling it the Circle of 8; let’s have them kill people in groups of eight to get eight hammers.” We have them summoning the eight worthy hammers in groups of eight. There’s going to be 64 total killings when all is said and done.
The Serpent, who is Cul Borson, is behind this and in Chapter Six he reveals himself and then Odin gets involved, of course, because he is his brother. And at that point it’s too late, one of the heroes in the Alliance has been converted into one of the Worthy, one of his minions because she grabbed the Uru hammer and that ends up being She-Hulk. [She] is possessed by the spirit of Skirn, Breaker of Men, and that is the character that Titania was in [Fear Itself] and we are planning to do an entire brand new set of Worthy that were not seen in the comics so none of the characters will be brought over and we do not currently plan on doing any of the comic Worthy costumes; these are going to be all new costumes. But from this point forward through Chapter Twelve, each of the reward costumes for each chapter will be a new Worthy. That’s what players have to look forward to.
So these are brand new designs. It’s really exciting. There is one character that we are bringing in from the comics and that is Sin, is going to be Skadi as she was in Fear Itself because she was kind of the driving force behind getting the rest of the Worthy recruited and we wanted to make sure we had that as well. So out of the eight, she will be the only one that is the same as the comics and you actually see her for the first time in Chapter Six and you fight her. It’s really exciting and we’ve been planning this story for well over a year now and it’s nice that it’s finally coming together and players can see what we’ve been up to.
Marvel.com: While the story is beginning to unfold, you still have the usual assortment of villains that you’re going to be fighting. You’re not going to be fighting the Worthy or The Serpent right off the bat so we’ve got M.O.D.O.K. and Kang and these other characters here. How do those two things kind of mesh together?
Justin Woods: Interesting question. It’s going to very similar to how they’ve been meshing together with the Circle of 8 up to this point in that there’s the standard super hero affair of, “Hey, M.O.D.O.K. is out doing something dumb and getting involved in something we have to take care of,” because you have a bird’s eye view of everything that’s going on in the world and there are lots of super villains and they’re all going to be doing their own thing with their own motivation. So you’ve got some of the standard, “Hey, let’s go punch M.O.D.O.K. in the face,” errands to do as well as, “Hey, now we really know what’s going on with the Circle of 8 thing and we need to get more aggressive about it.” So you’re fighting the fight on two fronts and that’s the beauty of Avengers Alliance in that that word, “Alliance,” is really what it’s all about. It’s about this sort of task force that goes around and thwarts super villain activity all around the world and you’re privy to all of it.
Some of it is connected to future storylines that we’re going to tell within Season Two; there’s some additional characters that we planned on introducing and players tend to notice that we dropped hints at that stuff earlier on in the story and so you’re going to continue to see that stuff and some of it is just either a continuation of a previous thread that’s been going on or it’s related to a Spec Op that has maybe gone by but we like to reuse some of our old Spec Ops villains that haven’t been seen in a while. I think we just did Extremis in Chapter Five; it [had not] been seen since last year when we did Spec Op Nine and we want to do more of that because there are players that just missed out on that stuff entirely and we want to give those characters more story.
Marvel.com: Adapting the Serpent stuff, adapting Fear Itself, it’s definitely a very Asgardian story, obviously since Odin is coming in. And now the game more than ever has a lot of Asgardian characters. You’ve been unlocking the Warriors Three, you already have Sif, you already have Thor—was that a conscious thing? Or was that just a happy coincidence with the movie release?
Justin Woods: It was a little bit of both. Sif and Thor were both launch characters for the game and Valkyrie was a very, very, early character. It was the Warriors Three and Heimdall that were later additions and those were put into the game because we saw how cool they could be in the movies and we wanted to try to get them in there around that time frame; it’s nice that we have so many Asgardians to choose from now. Obviously we don’t have them all; there’s no Balder or a number of other guys in there but I’ve expressed interest in putting Beta Ray Bill in the game and we’ve talked about that on Twitter with some of the fans. So there’s room to get more Asgardians in there—we’re doing a more Asgardian themed storyline. It just makes sense to maybe think about some of that stuff and that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Marvel.com: Like you said, we’ve got the new costume for She-Hulk and we’ll see some more down the line. We’re going to see some new characters as far as the villains. Any gear to talk about? I think the first question on everyone’s minds when they realize what’s going on with this is whether or not they can get those hammers…
Justin Woods: I think you’re going to see some weapons that are themed around that stuff but to give players those unique items would be the same thing as us giving them Mjolnir and that doesn’t really make sense. You can’t see a bunch of people running around with actual Mjolnir. And each of those weapons is unique to that point as well. Generally speaking, we give agents gear that could be perhaps replicated by S.H.I.E.L.D. labs and that’s really the story behind those pieces of equipment so if it’s something magical or something like that it’s generally not something that we will do. But you will see stuff that’s generally themed around the Worthy and the Fear Itself storyline for sure. I don’t think players will be disappointed in what we come up with.
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