Let's Talk About: Oddworld (Part 1: Abe's Oddysee)

I am going to talk about a gaming series that I played while growing up. The name Oddworld pretty much describes this series in a nutshell. The Oddworld games hold a gaming experience like no other. 

Oddworld follows the story of a Mudoken (a race featured within the series) called Abe who embarks on a huge journey, lasting three whole games (the fourth game is a spin-off) to save his people from the evil Glukkons. Developed by the aptly named 'Oddworld Inhabitants', there are two games on the original PlayStation and the other two are on the original Xbox. But if you do not have those consoles, all four games are available on the PlayStation Network and for the PC in a downloadable content collection called The Oddboxx. To talk about Oddworld, we will have to start from the beginning of this funny and weird collection.

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee:

The origins of some stories are not always happy or a pretty sight, and the beginning of the Oddworld game series is no exception. The beginning of the game shows you a look inside through the biggest meat-processing plant on Oddworld called RuptureFarms, where the Mudokens are the workers and the Glukkons are in charge with the Sligs as security guards (since Glukkons have no arms!). The opening cutscene opens with Abe narrating the story in a sad, regretful past tense. He explains how he ended up in prison and explains how, after spying on the Glukkons talking about how things are going at the factory, the big boss Mulluck decides to turn the Mudokens into a new food product since everything else is dying out, so after hearing the shocking news, Abe begins to run away and is caught on camera. This is how his journey begins! Now on the run, he is tasked to help all 99 Mudokens escape from their horrible and unseen fate.

This game overall was completely different to anything I played at the age of 9, since the main character had to speak to everyone in order to help them out. Abe could say things like "Hello", "Follow Me", "Wait", "I don't know" (very heroic words) and use his Chant ability to posses enemies and unlock mysteries. At first the game really creeped me out due to how quickly the enemies chased after Abe when spotted and sometimes your surroundings were so dark that all you could see were silhouettes. Also, the music in the opening cutscene was rather chilling and definitely gave off the message that RuptureFarms was definitely not a nice place to be at. But to make up for all the creepiness some of the cut scenes were actually pretty funny thanks to the added in comedy sound effects (like the ones that are played in cartoons), for example the one where Abe falls off a cliff. Depending on how many Mudokens you rescued in the game, you would see a Good or a Bad ending. The concept of karma seems to play a part here, as not doing the good thing means karma will come back and bite you in the ass! It is also important to note that the good ending is canonical.

The chanting ability was cool as it worked as a way to possess your enemies and it helped Abe out a whole lot as it allowed you to make the Sligs explode or lead them to their doom. If Abe fell and died, got shot or eaten he would reincarnate (he turns into a flock of birds and then reappears good as new) which is good since it allowed even intermediate players to continue again and again. Also, if you received that awful Bad ending then you would start again from a certain point in order to rescue more Mudokens and this time get the Good ending! This was a theme that continued for the next two games in the series.

The game's events really took Abe on quite the journey. You had to go through two Perilous Temples, filled with Paramites and Scrabs and only after completing the two temples would Abe receive the power to return to RuptureFarms and save the rest of his friends. The game is a platformer and the gameplay was presented from a side-scrolling view and you could run, jump, sneak and possess enemies in order to continue through the levels. Something I found particularly interesting was that if Abe was knocked over he would fly in your direction to his death, which make me think how this game might have looked if it was in 3D.

Join me next time when I will talk about the next game in the Oddworld series, Abe's Exoddus!

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