“Being useful to the Grox is good for your survival.”
- - The Grox
The Grox are a sapient species of cyborg aliens that are undeniably the evilest and hostile race in the galaxy and the main antagonist in Spore. They are feared by every alien with a philosophy and an archetype. Grox control a vast empire with 2,400 star systems and inhabit anywhere near an estimated 2,000 parsecs within the perimeter of the Galactic Core. They are unique as they don't possess any known archetype.
“The Grox are the ultimate evil in the galaxy. They are machines that exist entirely outside of nature.”
Feared and hated by every empire in the galaxy, The Grox as a species are extremely delicate and weak having survived only due to their incredible technological advancement over other species. They are an ancient race, having been spacefaring for eons while nearly all other races weren't even sapient yet. Although their minimal senses and strength have been enhanced by cybernetic implants, they're still among the most feeble sapient lifeforms in the galaxy, but make up for it with their devastating military might, and the ability to prosper on barren planets. The Grox also have the ability to recolonize on planets if one of their colonies are destroyed.
Unlike most land creatures, Grox are intolerant of conditions survivable to other life forms. As such, they can only survive on T0 planets. If a planet's terrascore is raised, the planet cannot be inhabited by Grox unless anti-terraformed. It may be true that, since every religious artifact mentions that the Grox must be opposed, they are of another archetype; it would appear that they are an archetype unto themselves. They are incredibly territorial, blocking the vast majority of spaceships from reaching the Galactic Core, possibly to keep the Staff of Life hidden, which might endanger them. The Grox' spaceships can be seen in the Creature Stage, occasionally abducting creatures, so The Grox may have been the first sapient beings to evolve.
“The Grox are machines with absolutely no sense of humor! They destroy entire races and never offer an explanation of what it is that ticks them off!”
- - Blocks of Chance
The implants of The Grox serve an important religious, as well as functional, purpose. The implants not only improve their abilities for practical reasons, but also distance the Grox from others. The implants' purpose may also be to remind them of their own physical weakness, which would explain why the Grox consider other empires unfit to roam the universe, due to the belief that they don't deserve their gifts. The Grox may attempt to mimic the average life form's behavior during the interaction, but they are bad at portraying a 'normal' personality without drawing attention to their cyborg anatomy and their obsessive hatred for every other life form. They do, however, understand the Spice trade and Sporebucks, the common Galactic Currency.
The Grox are 'toxic', as exposure to conditions survivable to other life forms causes them to disintegrate. If the player abducts a Grox citizen, they are incinerated because they are 'too toxic for your Cargo Hold.' This 'toxicity' is shrouded in mystery, but it does indeed tie into how the Grox Empire is viewed by other civilizations, as an abomination of the incomprehensible size that must nevertheless be feared.
The Grox are approximately two times as distrusting as a Warrior Empire (-15 or -30 compared to the Grox's -70). They are extremely hard to defeat or ally due to their size and aggression. They will attack systems tens of thousands of parsecs away in their war on all fully organic life, and once attacked the receiving planet of the Grox raid always seems to be too shell-shocked to communicate with the player's ship.
In Other Cultures
Almost all philosophies hate the Grox. Scientists and Diplomats don't actively hate them, as Scientists are somewhat admiring and are curious about them (possibly because of their technological achievement), while Diplomats regard them as a powerful potential ally. Bards think of them as "no fun at all" and accuse them of "not explaining what ticks them off." Warriors and Knights view them as the ultimate challenge and rivals, Traders regard them as enemies of universal happiness, Zealots hate them for not believing in Spode, and Shamans and Ecologists say they are unable to reach harmony due to their murderous hatred of nature. They are also disliked due to their ownership of the contested Galactic Core, desired by all (except possibly Bards, who say "we never wanted to go there anyway", although this may just be a case of sour grapes).
The Grox, being cybernetic creatures, most notably exhibit cybernetic implants that replace the right eye, right arm, right leg, and part of the abdomen. They are the most notable for their hostility and intimidating presence, but are also notable for their asymmetric, weak, impish appearance. They are short, red in color, and their non-cybernetic parts are weak creature parts.
They have an astonishing number of colonies surrounding the Galactic Core, serving as an obstacle to the player. They are extremely aggressive and are only able to survive on otherwise uninhabitable T0 planets. Raising a planet's T-Score will make it impossible for the Grox to inhabit it and will destroy any existing Grox colonies on said planet. It is extremely hard for any empire to defeat the Grox since their amazingly vast empire spans 2,400 systems with more than 5,000 planets.
- Too toxic for cargo hold. (Cannot carry Grox in your spaceship)
- The Grox, when launching a land-based assault, often use genetically bred soldiers, (Dronox and Insectrox) to attack because the Grox can only survive on T0 planets.
The Grox voice is a glitchy, beeping, fluctuating, computerized voice with many strange words, and is also composed of what pitch or tone is used, though their anthem is quite different from this. It consists of static, robotic keening and a deep, happy voice singing. During this time, they have somewhat different sounds, in which their voice is high and calm with some sudden moments of glitchy anger. At some point, they are even heard laughing.
An apparent departure from the usual computerized voice is the Grox anthem. If a player allied to the Grox comes close to one of the Grox's cities, they will initially hear screeching sounds, but after about 30 seconds, they will hear an anthem that sounds like an opera singer with a deep voice singing a strange song in a weird language.
Grox have powerful but slow vehicles, with the exception of the Grox spaceship.
- Grox Grumbler - Land vehicle
- Oceanic Grox - Sea vehicle
- Groxoplane - Air vehicle
- Grox (spaceship) - Spaceship
- City Hall: Grox Platz
- Factory: Grox Stacks
- Entertainment: Grox-o-Plexx
- House: Grox Sweet Grox
- Turret: 1600 HP
- Note: If you are close to allying the Grox (Blue/Green relationship face), you can establish a trade route with one of their strong colonies and buy the system. So, when you bought it you can use Grox buildings (mentioned above) for yourself. But if you want to have it available in all of your saved-files, go and edit it after you scanned the building (just add the material and remove it afterwards, if you want it just like the Grox ones).
Although the Spore manual says "They don't understand relationships", you may still deal with Grox.
“The Grox are a machine race that have blockaded the center of the galaxy. They are extremely dangerous. We have not managed to establish a working relationship with them.”
- - Scrolls of Order Vol.9
If you wish to ally with the Grox, it is highly recommended that you must have a Gracious Greeting consequence ability–which is obtained when completing the Tribal Stage with the Friendly trait–, which gives a relationship boost with races you meet. An ideal archetype is Zealot, because they have the Fanatical Frenzy ability (it breaks the Galactic Code) and the Gracious Greeter ability, if they're social in the tribal stage. Scientists have Gravitation Wave, but they can't be social in the Tribal Stage.
You will need:
- At least four Planet Busters, and Gravitation Wave or Fanatical Frenzy. You can be granted up to +50 relationship points with the Grox if you use an ability that breaks the Galactic Code.
- Friendly Tools: The Happy Ray (the Super Happy Ray is highly recommended), or Fireworks.
- Gifts: 500,000 Sporebucks for a +10 relationship boost. (the gift's relationship points wear off eventually).
- An embassy (note that the Grox will attack it, but it may give a reputation boost)
- Humongous amounts of Repair and Recharge packs (it's much cheaper than using Grox resources - they charge a lot)
To ally with the Grox, fly over to them where they are located near the Galactic Core. You must first disband your allied fleet and turn off Auto Blaster, or your allies will attack the Grox and make things worse.
- Use the Super Happy Ray and Fireworks until you get the maximum +30 reputation for using friendly tools. The Recharge packs will be useful here, along with Repair packs as the Super Happy Ray may consume all your energy in a matter of seconds (Depending on your ship`s energy capacity).
- Do missions for them until you get the maximum +50 reputation. You will also get a +5 for the "You agreed to help us". The Repair packs will be useful here. It also counts as a mission when you send your allies to attack a Grox planet, and then fight for the Grox against your allies. The Grox will still attack you but you get a +5 reputation bonus each time you assist them.
- Try placing an embassy, and remember that the bonus takes time. It caps at +10.
- Blow up 4 planets near the Grox–not Grox planets–using the Planet Buster, and if possible, use Gravitation Wave or Fanatical Frenzy. The goal is to get the maximum +50 reputation for breaking the Galactic Code.
- Start a trade route when they are up to the blue face (friendly).
- Ally them.
Placing colonies nearby will make it easier to recharge, repair, and buy tools.
Note that your reputation will be decreased by 200 with other empires when you are allied with Grox. This means that every empire you have contacted, who did not have at least a +150 reputation with you before then, will immediately declare war on you, and will attack you if you answer their war transmissions. You can pay money to end the war, which will erase everything about your reputation - including the -200 from allying with Grox. Empires you have not contacted will instantaneously declare war on you when you contact them. The war transmissions will cover the galaxy. However, the empires won't attack you until you answer their war transmissions. If the war transmissions become a problem, then save and exit. Return and they won't be there. The Grox ship that you are sent will have 3,600 health.
“Grox surrender. Does not compute.”
Many players, having most of the badges and achievements, turned their attention to possibly the greatest challenge the game presents - destroying the Grox Empire. However, a problem quickly presented itself: there are a few star systems that, because of the reduced travel radius when approaching the Galactic Core, are too far away from any other star to be reached. This means that without a mod or the 1.04 patch, or meeting Steve first, the Grox cannot be completely defeated. You can use a bungee jumping glitch. On your way to a planet, click on another planet, and you'll probably be able to get there.
Maxis, under pressure from the community to fix the issue, has released a modification that will address the problem of unreachable star systems near the core. This mod is the official Expanded Travel Radius mod.
Players will have to manually place the mod into their data folders, but this does allow players to reach every Grox system.
|The reply on Sporums from MaxisCactus bringing this issue to a close.|
Expanded Travel Radius Mod (Maxis Solution)
Even if you have the patch, you must collect the Staff of Life before you get increased move radius.
If you do not have the patch and will not be using it, you can use a different method. Other empires will not be affected by the effects of the core - you can make planets and use Monoliths on them until they are space empires, and have them attack the unreachable Grox planets after paying the Sporebucks. Sometimes there are tribal planets near the core already. Although you can defeat the Grox this way, it is highly recommended that you just download the patch. You will save time and Sporebucks, and you can actually do it yourself.
Before you start, you might want to protect your planets at home with an Uber Turret, due to the fact that Grox don't take over colonies on T1 and above planets, they completely destroy them. Other things (like a Bio Protector) are optional but a good idea.
Although the Grox have 2400 systems (a total of about 5000 planets) at the start, they can be defeated planet by planet. How to do it:
- Terraforming: Simple, but slow and costs some money or uses energy. Fly around the planet, avoiding Grox spaceships and turrets while you change the T-score to at least level 1. The Grox colonies will be destroyed because they can only live on T0 planets. You can also drop terraforming machines and leave the planet while it does the work.
- Bombs: Both types are much faster than terraforming tools. Anti-Matter Bombs (very fast, but expensive) or Mega Bombs (almost as fast and no extra cost). Also, dropping volcanoes on their colonies works, and it is cheaper than Anti-Matter Bombs. With the Anti-Matter Bombs, you should be able to destroy a colony with just one shot at the city hall. Mega Bombs may need to be used a few times per colony. The best method is to zoom down low as possible and drop the Mega Bomb right on the city hall. Or you can fly over the colony, high enough to avoid taking any turret fire and drop bombs as you go by. This is a slower way, but you will receive less damage. You can also get a shield and use it to get in close and take no damage, though it takes a while to recharge. With either method, you will need to have many Energy Packs and Repair Packs handy. Be sure to stock up on those before going into Grox territory.
- Planet Busters: These "Weapons of Mass Destruction" are extremely fast at destroying Grox planets, but they come with a huge price tag and their use breaks the Galactic Code, as well as the planet. If there are any other empires nearby, you will lose reputation points with them.
- If the player wants to defeat the Grox without using war, you can ally them and then trade with them. This is time-consuming but you will get both "Dancing with the Devil" and the "Badge out of heck" badges. You will never get attacked by Grox when you do this and so do not have to place many colonies by the core.
If you want to cheat, become a Zealot and use the super-power Fanatical Frenzy. You will get their planets. For the instant recharge, use the cheat setConsequenceTrait (space_zealot), or save and exit, then reload the save. Beware, because you will get the Joker Badge, thus preventing future achievements from being unlocked. You may also do this by saving and exiting after use, but it may take a while.
A fun way to take out the Grox is to ally with them, place a few colonies near the Galactic Core, and then start attacking their systems.
Remember that spaceships and turrets of the Grox empire are far more powerful than average ones, even more, powerful than the player's turrets. Thankfully, the Grox aren't very enthusiastic colonists and do not always build many buildings or have the max number of turrets. However, they have a full turret and building slots for their colonies near the core. As you go farther out, the building and turret number decrease. Good archetypes for fighting them are Zealots–who can take over colonies instantly, Scientists–who can destroy colonies in one go, Knights- who can summon an allied vessel instantaneously, Diplomats- who can freeze all Grox ships and buildings and Shamans- who can get home instantly in the event of attacks or other emergencies. You should destroy Grox colonies starting near the Galactic Core and work outwards, because they will usually attack your colonies nearest to the core and you will have only a short distance to travel to defend them.
The Middle Road
Another road is to simply raise their approval to the point that they're willing to create trade routes with you and are unlikely to declare war, but not attempt alliance for fear of causing the whole galaxy to declare war. The Grox will not grant you their ship and will still attack you when you enter their territory, but they will still allow you to purchase their planets via trade routes.
- Little is mentioned about the Grox in the Spore owner's manual. It only states to beware the Grox, as they do not understand relationships. Because of this, many players are left clueless to what the Grox are until they explore the galaxy's center in the Space Stage.
- The followers of Spode believe that the Grox are the greatest evil, even more so than regular persons who reject the will of Spode, and only The False God That Will Come is hated as much as them. And since nearly everyone hates the Grox, most of the scriptures at some point mentions them as the most unearthly beings in the galaxy. All of the creatures in the Spore Galaxy follow particular archetypes, which cause them to oppose the Grox. The Grox are also unique in that that they do not belong to any of these archetypes, and no other empires can follow their philosophy in-game.
- Several rares mention the Grox in quotes, such as Stones of Force (in Vol. 9 & 10) and Books of Science (in vol. 9).
- It is possible to play as the Grox using hacks. This does not let you have their empire or archetype but does let you play using the Grox creature. You can play as the Grox in the Cell, Creature, Tribal, Civilization or Space stage by saving the Grox PNG shown here, then dragging it over the creator and using the hack to allow you to save.
- To get the Grox into your editor, download the right PNG file from this page and then follow the steps for these two following options: Enter the Creature editor and press Alt and Enter (Command-Enter if you're using a Mac) at the same time. The game will now no longer be in fullscreen mode. Now all you have to do is open up the folder where the PNG is stored and then drag the PNG directly into the editor. The Grox should now be loaded and editable. Another way to edit The Grox: Drag the PNG into the Sporepedia (The following steps can be done AFTER you've already downloaded the PNG if you haven't). Then, enter the Creature Editor, go to the Sporepedia by clicking the Sporepedia button, then go to the 'Everything' sub-folder. Click on the search bar and enter 'Grox' or 'The Grox'. Find them and double click their image. If you just click the 'Edit' button it will come up with an error message. The error message reads "This creation uses Spore parts that are not installed.". Technically this is not true, as every copy of Spore has the cyborg parts. Players are merely forbidden to use them. Once you have double clicked on their image, the Grox will load into the editor. If you wish to save the creature using the Grox parts, you must still use a hack or mod, otherwise you must remove the unique eye and the cybernetics. Go to SporeBase.com for instructions.
- It is also possible to play as the Grox by uploading a PNG of the Grox into the space or captain outfitter(s) and save them, you can color them however you want, but the cyborg parts wont change color, making them truly resemble a Grox.
- If you defeat the Grox, and then start a new game, once you get into space you will find there are no Grox, even though you still get asked to go and find them. You will need to recreate the Galaxy in some way. Also, your previous empire and all the others will still be around. If you want to find the Grox in other games, it's best to leave them alone after finding them, but turn off the autoblaster as you go to the galactic core.
- If you use Fanatical Frenzy on a Grox Planet, you now own a colony that is T-0 yet still has buildings. (You cannot, however, place more buildings/turrets).
- During beta, the Grox were named "Grob". This is "Borg" backwards, the name of a cyborg alien race from Star Trek.
In Maxis adventure, Infestation, the adventure describes that the Grox have sent an infection pod to infect a planet. The Grox themselves, however, do not appear.