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Spore Walkthrough - Cell Mode
In cell mode my #1 recommendation for people starting out is GO FOR OMNIVORE. That is, choose either herbivore or carnivore to start and then as soon as humanly possible buy the opposite type of mouth. Put both mouth types at the front of your face. I like putting the carnivore right at the front and then line it with an herbivore mouth on either side. That way you can directly dive at enemies to eat them, and sweep past any plant life you find.
With a carnivore mouth you can "joust" with enemies. If they come right at you, you go right at them and you bounce off each other. This is great for defense.
As soon as you then get spikes, put them on your back end. That way anyone who chases you, who is faster than you, hits the spikes and bounces off of those. It doesn't make you invincible, but it really helps out a lot.
Don't worry too much about carrying things over to the next level. Most things you get here really don't help you out as a creature. Focus on staying alive well here - defending yourself from things that want to eat you, being able to eat everything that you can.
The only thing that really "matters" in terms of going on to the next level is what proportion of things you eat. If you eat mostly plants, you end up with a "seduce people to be friendly" skill in creature stage. If you eat mostly animals, you end up with a "scare people away" skill in creature stage. If you eat a medium level of animals plus a medium level of plants, you end up with a "call in pals to help you" in creature stage. I really like that pals skill because the pals can help you charm AND help you fight so you're set no matter what you want to do. So I try to balance my plant and meat eating so that I end up in that middle area.
I have played as an herbivore and a carnivore and it is most hard to be an herbivore. Once those plants are eaten, there are no more. At least with a carnivore mouth there are always other creatures to eat :)
If you see purple clouds on the screen, those are poison, so be careful of those :)
If you really want to get a variety of DNA for some reason, just to make a cool creature, focus on spiking, not eating. Eat to stay healthy, of course, but layer yourself with spikes and go around spiking lots of things. This will get you more DNA and slow down your "progress". Once you evolve to the maximum size, you are doomed, there is no more DNA and no more growth.
Note that it is VERY worth it to have one of each mouth when you move on to the next stage no matter what your plans are. When you are a creature you can only buy mouths of your "type" - so if you are a carnivore you can't get mouths that eat plants. However, if you have a "leftover" plant-eating mouth from cell mode, you can still eat plants if you really are starving and can't find meat to eat. This can really save your life.
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