Them's Fightin' Herds
Them's Fightin' Herds is an indie fighting game developed by Mane6 and published by Humble Bundle. Atypical of most side-scrolling fighting games, it features a cast of all-female ungulate characters fighting each other to find a champion worthy of gaining a magical key that will protect their world from predators. First released into early access in February 2018, the full release was on April 30, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, followed by Linux on March 25, 2021 and a beta macOS version was added on October 27th, 2021.
Them's Fightin' Herds was a runner-up in the 2020 Ursa Major Awards category for Best Game. On January 20, 2022, Modus Games—who also publish Super Animal Royale—announced that they had acquired Mane6 and Them's Fightin' Herds.
The project is a spiritual successor to Mane6's original planned fighting game Fighting Is Magic based on the animated television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Mane6 was a team of nine developers and part of the adult fandom of the show. Fighting Is Magic featured the six main pony characters from that show. Early versions of this game were released in 2012, drawing attention from both players in the Evolution Championship Series due to the unique moves associated with non-bipedal characters in fighting games, as well as from Hasbro which owned the intellectual property to My Little Pony. After Hasbro sent Mane6 a cease and desist letter, Mane6 discarded the assets tied to the show, while keeping some of the fundamental gameplay factors to create the new title Them's Fightin' Herds. The creator of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Lauren Faust, offered to help with designing the new characters for the game. The development of the game was completed with crowdfunding through Indiegogo.
A separate effort created by fans not associated with the Mane6 team released their Fighting Is Magic: Tribute Edition of the original Mane6 My Little Pony-inspired game in early 2014. This game was made from various beta assets of the original which Mane6 developed in the first two years, and were later leaked by other parties.
Them's Fightin' Herds is a fighting game based on sapient four-legged hoofed creatures from the world of Fœnum, which is being threatened by the return of carnivorous beasts known as the Predators. The Predators were locked away in a separate realm, but they have found a way to escape it. To put an end to the threat, selected champions of the various Fœnum races are chosen as "Key Seekers" by their tribes to find the Prophet's Key that will lock the Predators away again. The Key Seekers must face each other in a friendly competition to determine which one will be the Key Keeper who will face the champion of the Predators.
Them's Fightin' Herds launched with six champions roughly based on the Friendship is Magic characters. A new, completely original character, Shanty, was revealed as downloadable content in August 2020. Each champion has a unique fighting and movement style.
- A cattlekind and the champion of the Prarie, Arizona specializes in fast and aggressive fighting, using a lasso to pull distant enemies to within range. Voiced by Tara Strong. Her character is based on Applejack.
- A deerfolk and the champion of the Tundra, Velvet is a specialist in winter magic which she uses to keep enemies at a distance. Voiced by Tia Ballard. Her character is based on Rarity.
- A unicorn and champion of the Woodlands, Oleander is a specialist in dark magic and has formed a pact with a demonic being known as "Fred", allowing her to steal energy from her opponents. Oleander is voiced by Alexa Kahn and Fred is voiced by Keith Ferguson. Her character is based on Twilight Sparkle.
- An alpaca and the champion of the Highlands, Paprika has a balanced mixture of close-range offensive and defensive abilities. Voiced by Marieve Herington. Her character is based on Pinkie Pie.
- A sheep and the champion of the Meadow. Pom is a pacifist and specializes in performing evasive moves, instead commanding a team of sheep dogs to fight on her behalf. Voiced by Allie Moreno. Her character is based on Fluttershy.
- A longma (dragon-horse) and the champion of the Volcano. Tianhuo utilizes her fire magic and ability to fly to attack her enemies from afar. Voiced by Kay Bess. Her character is based on Rainbow Dash.
- A pirate goat masquerading as the champion of the Islands who intends to steal the Prophet's Key. Shanty has the ability to change movesets mid-fight, allowing her to act unpredictably and forcing opponents to adapt. Voiced by Afi Ekulona.
- Willett, Joscelyn. "Maximum Games acquires Them’s Fightin’ Herds developer Mane6, teases upcoming additions to the game". Modus Games. January 20, 2022. Retrieved on January 20, 2022.
- Funk, John. "My Little Ponies Throw Down in Fan-Made Fighter". July 21, 2010. The Escapist Magazine. Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
- Zivalich, Nikole. "My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic -- Nugget From The Net". July 21, 2011. G4. Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
- Kuang, Jason. "My Little Pony gets a 2D fighter: Bronies, time to knuckle up". July 28, 2011. 2d-x.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
- Koch, Cameron. "Fan-Made My Little Pony Fighting Game Available To Download". March 4, 2014. Game Informer. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved on March 4, 2014.
- Sethisto. "Them's Fightin' Herds Reveals New Goat Character - Shanty". Equestria Daily. August 9, 2020. Retrieved on January 12, 2022.
- Them's Fightin' Herds on Humble Bundle
- Them's Fightin' Herds on Steam
- Them's Fightin' Herds Wiki
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