The smartest person in the entire world of Runeterra is also one of its goofiest. We take a look at Heimerdinger, the crazy eccentric inventor of League of Legends.
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Heimerdinger, the Revered Inventor
- Champion: #39
- Released: October 2009
- Designer: Colt “Ezreal” Hallam
- Official Biography
- Species: Yordle
- Age: N/A, likely at least middle-aged since he’s formed two separate, established institutions and was already well-known as an inventor when the League first formed
- Profession: Inventor and Entrepreneur
- City-state: Piltover
- Strengths: Master of technology, has inventions for everything
- Weaknesses: Physically weak and no innate magical powers
Heimerdinger was born in Bandle City, the capital of Yordle Land. Yordle Land is the mountained off coastal strip on the southeast corner of Runeterra’s main continent where, unsurprisingly, most yordles live.
Yordles, for those that don’t know are a race of small animal/oompa-loompa style humanoids. They’re roughly 3 feet tall, enjoy socializing and pranks, excel at creating complex tools, and require constant socialization with other friendly individuals, preferably yordles.
Heimerdinger grew up in Bandle City, but quickly peaked his academic prowess. He acquired four doctorates before realizing that he was the smartest yordle in the entire city, and felt that he needed to move to continue his education.
He set his eyes on Piltover, the City of Progress, which is on the almost complete opposite side of the map. The city is world-known for having the best academies and scientists in the world, without being evil. It was a perfect fit for the good-natured Heimerdinger aspiring for challenge.
But, and this is interesting, Heimerdinger “knew he would never thrive away from his own kind,” so he recruited other like-minded Yordles to travel with him to Piltover and establish an academy there. Among them was Corki, the ship-flying, vehicle engineering yordle that is also a champion in the League. (He’s also one of the few champions to compete Heimerdinger’s claim on wackiest facial hair, if you ask me.)
In Piltover, Heimerdinger and crew established the Yordle Academy of Science and Progress to host their research and testing facilities. Despite its name, the academy welcomed all races into its ranks, although the core was initially yordles.Thanks to their amazing inventions and interactions with others, the institution quickly became one of the best techmaturgical institutions in the world.
Techma- what? Techmaturgical is a made-up word that basically describes an area of research and construction that combines technology and magic, usually by creating technology that can interact with or control magical elements. Almost all of Piltover is built on this technology, achieving a steampunk-style aesthetic.
An easy example is that Heimerdinger has no magical powers, but he built a device called the D.O.O.M. machine. The device is based in technology, science, but it’s capable of draining magical energy out of its environment. It’s science and magic working together.
Heimerdinger is not a bureaucrat, though. So while he’s still a leader of the academy (and insists on being present at the start of every year to welcome new students), he formed a secondary company with his friend Corki: Piltover Customs for side projects. Piltover Customs was built to give Corki and Heimer a place to focus specifically on researching techmaturgical vehicles.
At some point, Heimerdinger began experimenting on himself, which is rarely a good omen for one’s mental sanity in the future. He was successful in allowing himself to use a much bigger portion of his brain, but his procedure had the side-effect of massively increasing the size of his brain, disfiguring his head.
Even without the procedure, it’s likely that Heimerdinger was the smartest member of the league, and possibly in the entire world. But after his procedure, there’s absolutely no doubt.
Why He Fights in the League
Like his Piltover Customs skin, which depicts him with a nice 70s’ aesthetic and tie-dye bandana, Heimerdinger is a bit of a hippie.
He strongly believes that the current state of Valoran (the continent that LoL takes place on, in the world of Runeterra) — where city-states all battle with one another — is completely unacceptable. Peace should prevail.
He also strongly believes that technology is what will bring peace to the world. A “hefty” portion of his academy’s budget is dedicated to The Runeterran Regeneration Project, which investigates ways to preserve and regenerate the natural magics of the world, including the parts thought lost forever during the big Rune War.
But Heimer can’t just sit around and watch the world suffer while technology progresses. In the meantime, he’s decided to jump into the league and try to help end the wars more directly.
Who He Fights For
Corki: Heimerdinger’s only known lifelong friend, Corki is also a colleague and business partner. They grew up together, traveled to Piltover together, and established an academy and workshop together.
Corki is the head mechanic of their Piltover Customs workshop, while Heimerdinger is likely more involved with the designs and theories. Corki said that he turns to Heimerdinger “for his tougher assignments” which seems to indicate that Heimerdinger is still the smarter of the two. Together, they created the ship that Corki flies in the League, known as the Reconnaissance Operations Front-Line Copter (ROFLcopter).
Ziggs: Ziggs is a new friend of Heimerdinger. Ziggs is significantly younger than Heimerdinger, having grown up with stories of Heimer’s fabled Academy in the north driving his aspirations.
He was initially rejected by some leaders of the academy, possibly including Heimerdinger, when his engine exploded during his presentation to the group. But when the professors were kidnapped by Zuan invaders, Ziggs embraced the explosive side of his experiment and raided the prison with bombs and freed the academic leaders.
Heimerdinger personally invited Ziggs to join the academy after that. Since then, Ziggs has worked, at least in part, alongside Heimerdinger and as a colleague. This is a dream-come-true for Ziggs, who grew up wanting to be just like the legendary yordle inventor that everyone in Bandle City knew about: Heimerdinger.
Heimerdinger even has a quote about Ziggs, saying, “Ziggs? Unpredictable, dangerous, yes yes. But quite brilliant!”
Heimerdinger has many unnamed and non-League allies within the academic and scientific communities. He’s also earned allies within the League who come to him for help developing tools or weapons to help them, like Corki’s ship.
Master Yi: When the League had first formed, Master Yi fought to defend his homeland, Ionia, from Noxus invasion. It’s not clear how he came in touch with Heimerdinger at the time, but Heimerdinger created a customized pair of goggles for Master Yi and gave them to him as a gift.
Dubbed the Seven Lenses of Insight, these techmaturgical goggles are designed specifically for Master Yi and won’t function properly for anyone else. They allow Master Yi to see beyond the normal spectrums that humans see and also have massive zoom capabilities, compared to binoculars and telescopes.
Lux: Although they have little recorded interaction, Lux did speak out publicly in favor of Heimerdinger after one of his experiments exploded in Demacia. She said that he will always be welcomed in the city.
Blitzcrank/Viktor: There’s no official mention of Heimerdinger ever meeting Blitzcrank or Viktor, but Blitzcrank is the height of techmaturgical achievements: a true sentient being created from technology and magic. Heimerdinger would love to meet him, and the one genius who created him, Viktor. He would’ve gotten along greater with the young, idealistic Viktor — not so much with the current jaded/obsessive Viktor.
As the most intelligent being in the world, Heimerdinger has grown beyond looking for mentors.
- Yordle Academy of Science and Progress: The techmaturgical research academy that he founded in Piltover
- Piltover Customs: The vehicle workshop he co-founded with Corki in Piltover
- Piltover City: His current city-state, and the one he likely feels most attached to
- Bandle City: He still feels very strongly attached to Yordles and most of the technological and military aid that Bandle City receives from Piltover likely comes as a direct result of Heimerdinger’s influence
- Demacia: He’s only been a temporary resident, but he has worked there and shown concern for the well-being of its citizens
- Ionia: This is more assumptive, but he helped Master Yi defend Ionia with his gift, and has expressed a strong desire for peace, which will only result if Ionia wins the war with Noxus
Who He Fights Against
Rumble: A staunch patriot and racist, Rumble believes that Heimerdinger is a sellout who gives away superior yordle technology and inventions to humans, when it should be kept only for yordles. He first confronted Heimerdinger by mailing him a message device that transmitted his hateful speech to everyone in the academy. Heimerdinger did not retaliate but insisted that the academy is for everyone of any race.
After that event, and a violent confrontation with some humans from the academy visiting Yordle City, Rumble created his massive machine. He announced that he would fight in the League to prove that yordle technology was superior, when it was developed outside the corrupting and suppressive influence of humans.
Rumble’s continued aggression seems to have gotten under Heimerdinger’s skin eventually, however. During Rumble’s initiation into the League, Heimerdinger prodded him and even commented at one point, “The probability of your continued existence is rapidly approaching zero.”
Heimerdinger has no official enemies, but he would hate anyone that creates war and violence for the sake of war and violence. He’d likely not get along with anyone from Noxus, even though he’d have to begrudgingly respect the intelligence of someone like Singed. He’d think that they were wasting it, though. To Heimer, science and intelligence should be used to make the world a better place, not kill innocents.
Specifically, Heimerdinger would likely have trouble getting along with Dr. Mundo, Singed, or Viktor — all brilliant scientists who use their genius to create death and suffering.
In addition, Piltover and Zaun have a longstanding rivalry. As the two city-states focused on developing technology and magic hybrids, they compete naturally. And while Piltover tries to be ecological and moral, Zaun has no constraints. He likely would be suspicious, at the very least, of anyone from Zaun.
How He Fights
Heimerdinger’s kit fits his personality perfectly. He’s a DPS pusher who hides behind his inventions, letting them handle the bulk of combat, and pushes the lane from a safe distance because he’s too weak to go toe-to-toe with anyone. When he does get into the fray, he has all manner of weird gizmos to unleash on his opponent.
Techmaturgical Repair Bots: His passive ability is brilliant. Although you can’t see them in-game, Heimerdinger’s created tiny robots that fly around healing himself and his inventions and allies near him. It fits his lore perfectly.
H-28G Evolution Turret: Heimerdinger can throw down small mechanical turrets that will shoot nearby enemies, which sounds exactly like something he would do. It’s a little sad that the world’s greatest inventor can only build three turrets at a time and that his best designs have them automatically shut down if he’s not standing close to it, but those are understandable balance limitations. Lore-wise, this gives Heimerdinger the perfect hide-on-the-back-lines approach to combat that fits his personality perfectly. He doesn’t want to fight you, he wants his machines to speak for themselves.
Hextech Micro-Rockets: A belt that shoots rockets out of it. Goofy, effective, and surprising — just like Heimerdinger!
CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade: A lightning-infused magical grenade that detonates and stuns nearby enemies when it lands is a perfect example of magic and technology working together. This is exactly the sort of weapon you’d expect a master of techmaturgy to create!
UPGRADE!!!: While the use of three exclamation points may seem a bit excessive to simple humans like us, it probably does represent how an excitable yordle would shout it when finally discovering a way to improve on their design. Upgrade fits in perfectly with Heimerdinger’s personality. He’s a tinkerer that is never satisfied with the current design of his inventions. In one quote, he even says that there is always something to improve on his inventions. This showcases that perfectly, while also allowing him to throw some truly amazing, and flashy, inventions onto the battlefield — letting him show off his intelligence, but on a long cooldown, so it doesn’t upset the balance.
Heimerdinger founded the Yordle Academy of Science and Progress, which is one of the leading scientific institutions in the world, and has produced the most exciting inventions, including:
- Star-rods, which emit light all over Piltover, acting as street lamps
- Drain Out Of Mana Machine (DOOM Machine), a machine that can absorb mana from its surrounding environment
- Piltover Rescue Bot, which is commonly used by rescue teams andhas saved at least one life reported in the Journal of Justice
Other accomplishments not mentioned above:
- Inspired imitation hairdos for Harrowing Costumes among the people of Runeterra
- Accidentally blew up his experiment outside Demacia, creating a massive crater in the main road.
My Made-Up Mission
I want to play a Diablo/DarkSpore-style Action-RPG with LoL’s champions that has a campaign for each champion that tells a story in their world before it ties into the larger story of the shared campaign. That game doesn’t exist, but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming! Here’s how I think Maokai’s lore could be turned into a cool mission.
Start in Heimerdinger’s personal research lab in Piltover Customs. You have to solve a puzzle that completes his latest experiment: a new renewing-energy shield for Piltover guards. You head out through the shop and meet with Corki and some other mechanics working some vehicles, including a new version of Corki’s ship.
Outside the workshop, some guards are under attack by Zaun spies who are trying to steal technology from the Academy. You help the guards take down and captur the spies, who tell you that they were supposed to steal Zigg’s new Bigger Biggest Bomb from the Academy.
You rush to the academy and find the welcome ceremony in disarray as Ziggs is hurling bombs at spies all over the lecture hall. You help Ziggs take out the bad guys while protecting the new students just trying to make it through orientation alive. You use your own tools, and can pick up special one-time-use gadgets and gizmos from the labs you run through to make it through alive.
In the end, you recover the stolen bomb and research, come up with a new idea for an invention, and end the mission by delivering a welcome speech to the charred, disoriented freshman class of the academy.
Real Life Lore
- Heimer is kind of the default inventor for the design team. If it exists and it doesn’t have an inventor, it’s likely that Heimer built it. Grave’s shotgun was talked about being heimer’s invention for awhile, even though it was never said for sure.
- Heimer was always a yordle, since it’s first inception. Yordles each tend to be a specific type of crazy. Heimer is the eccentric inventor crazy, based a lot on Einstein. Crazy in a smart, eccentric kind of way — not a mad scientist you’re scared of.
- Heimer’s first test was one of Colt’s all-time favorite tests. The code had been made wrong, so instead of being capped at 5 total turrets, it was unlimited. So it was 1v1 Heimer in the mid lane, and Colt described it like trench warfare.
- He said, and I quote “hundreds and hundreds of them” — game lasted over an hour as they’d fight inch by inch to take land. Grenades to take out turrets, but then there would be more.
- Heimer’s kit concept came out of Colt thinking of what makes Defenders and Engineers fun in other games, like Team Fortress Classic (mentioned specifically by Colt). They hold a point, bunker in, and never let anyone by. Well, it turns out that’s not very much fun for teammates or the enemy team.
- Especailly back when Heimer’s grenade could deal dmaage to towers from outside max range, so he’d just sit in a lane defensively and siege down the enemy tower without getting in danger.
- Originally turrets were upgradeable. You could have 3, or upgrade one turret 3 times. The trouble was turrets would get stronger everytime they fired, so players would only nurse one and it would just get way too powerful over time. It’s not fun for eemy, and kept Heimer too restricted in movement.
- One thing that did not change at all is Rockets coming out of his hair, which colt liked because it’s similar to Inspector Gadget. It’s fun.
- Rockets + Grenade was always a part of his kit, since the very first paper version.
- One of Heimer’s most iconic aspects, his run, was made by Colt personally. At the time, their animations were outsourced to another company. So he filmed himself running around with the “derpy” Heimer run (his words not mine!) and sent that to get made. That walk is literally Colt!
Nathan asks: “My 3-person team, the White Collar Brawlers, uses a preferred teamp composition of Jayce, Wukong, and Mundo. Would those 3 champions actually ally together in the Twisted Treeline, or do they fight for opposite sides and we are a lore-disaster comp? If so,who’s going to get replaced? My gut tells me Mundo, but our initiation wouldn’t be the same without flying briefcases!”
Well Jayce and Wukong are both pretty straightforward. Jayce is a brilliant inventor from Piltover, with a strong moral compass.
Wukong is a supercharged monkey whose only desire is to defeat enemies in combat to prove his strength. His interaction with Master Yi in his lore implies that he has honor and approaches others with humility, rather than aggression. That means he’d get along with almost anyone.
Jayce and Wukong can be BFFs, no problem.
Jayce and Mundo however, is actually a really big problem. As you suspected.
Dr. Mundo is a psychopath serial killer, who loves to inflict pain and sacrifices humans to his experiments without batting an eye. In Jayce’s lore, he single-handedly assaulted the entire city of Zaun because he was concerned that Viktor had the power to hurt people with his experiments. If he felt that strongly about Viktor, who isn’t really evil just willing to make sacrifices, he wouldn’t be able to stand Dr. Mundo.
On top of that, when Jayce assaulted Viktor’s lab, he blew the entire thing up to stop his research, which made him a major enemy of the entire city-state of Zaun, which is Mundo’s hometown. There’s nothing to really indicate that Mundo cares about anyone else, even his hometown, but I’m sure someone there would be able to convince him to kill Jayce if they knew he was hanging out with him in Twisted Treeline.
So bottom line: watch your back out there. Mundo is probably going to be throwing a cleaver at Jayce’s head pretty soon!
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