Talk:Beholder and Evil Eye

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 In 1997, when I began building HoMM3’s various rosters, TSR’s original hard cover Monster Manual [1] was a primary resource.  To this day, it is still valuable.  It is quite literally, a ‘manual of monsters’ gleaned from mythology, folklore, and fantasy fiction.
 To avoid extended creative research, any author can jumpstart their work by thumbing through TSR’s Monster Manual.  Most of the depicted creatures couldn’t be copyrighted by TSR, but the Beholder was different, and I wanted something like a Beholder in HoMM3.
 While the idea of a ‘floating eye’ [2] is not necessarily original, TSR’s stylistic conception could be copyrighted.  In fact, to avoid any potential copyright issues, Ultima’s version of the Beholder was initially called Wandering Eyes [3], before it eventually became the Gazer.
 I had no idea Beholders were specifically copyrighted by TSR [4] , and I should have avoided naming HoMM3’s Beholders/Evil Eyes as such.  Perhaps TSR didn’t know, didn’t care, or didn’t think a ‘cease-and-desist’ letter was worth the turmoil.  Perhaps we were on safe ground.  I simply don’t know.

Greg Fulton, the lead designer of HoMM3 (RoE and AB)

Fanstratics Newsletter #14 (October 2021)