The Glukkons were scared 'cause profits were grim. Paramites and Scrabs had been turning up thin. But Molluck was cool; he had a plan. This new kind of meat? ITWASUS!
— Abe's Oddysee
A series of games starting on the original Playstation, the Oddworld series (the only series made by the aptly-named Oddworld Inhabitants) are fournote not including remakes and ports by third-parties games that take place on the alien planet of Oddworld. Revolving around either Almighty Janitor Abe & co. or the Bounty Hunter Stranger, the games typically involve their protagonist going up against The Man in an anti-corporate, pro-environment plotline that is surprisingly not too anvilicious.In the first game, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Mudokon cleaner Abe spies on an executive board meeting at RuptureFarms, a slaughterhouse/factory, where he learns profits are dwindling due to livestock sources reaching extinction. The execs, known as Glukkons, decide then and there that the way to drive profits up is to chop up the Mudokon slaves they have cleaning the factories. Naturally terrified, Abe escapes from RuptureFarms 1029 while rescuing as many of his fellow slaves as possible and, after meeting native Big Face, Abe must save the remaining wildlife, regain a lost ancient power, and return to RuptureFarms to liberate his people.Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, taking off exactly where Oddysee left off, has Abe promptly setting off to take down SoulStorm Brewery, a distillery that makes highly addictive drinks from the bones of the Mudokon dead. Fundamentally similar to Oddysee, Exoddus adds Mudokon emotions and states (including angry, sad, excited and blind to name a few). It also tripled the Mudokon slave total as Abe topples the SoulStorm Mining Co., Bonewerkz, Slig Barracks, and FeeCo Depot.The third game is Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, and introduces Last of His Kind Munch the Gabbit. After Gabbits are hunted to the brink of extinction for their eggs (sold as product Gabbiar), Munch is teamed up with Abe in an attempt to manipulate the Glukkons and win the last Gabbiar can in existence through an auction. Not only is it the first 3D game in the series, Munch's Oddysee introduces an additional race for saving (the Fuzzles), allows the player to control two heroes, lets the Mudokons level up and fight back (to an extent) and adds an anti-animal testing message to its range of anvils.Finally, there's spin-off Oddworld: Strangers Wrath; set in a Wild West far from Rupture Farms, the story follows a bounty hunter called "Stranger" as he tries to make enough cash for a mysterious, life-saving operation. Released as an expansive titlenote Since the Abe games are all set on continent Mudos, Strangers Wrath was made to give an insight into other areas, and wasn't going to count as the one of the main quintology games., Stranger's Wrath is more of a First/Third-Person Shooter that gives the player a critter-firingcrossbow, as well as a more aggressive (and less platform based) experience.After the release of Stranger's Wrath, Oddworld Inhabitants appeared to quietly disappear from the video games industry, leaving the story hanging and a long-awaited RTS called Hand Of Odd unreleased. However, in December 2010, the formerly Xbox-exclusive entries finally received a cross-platform Updated Re-release in the form of the OddBoxx, including every entry so far in the series, up for download on Steam and the Playstation Network.In mid-2011, the company made an unexpected (but by no means unwelcome) return to the industry, and promptly announced high-definition remasterings of Stranger's Wrath and Munch's Oddysee, which are to be released via digital distribution for PC, PS3 and Vita, and developed by Just Add Water Ltd. There is also a ground-up 2.5D remake of Oddysee in development, dubbed Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty.
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Aborted Arc: As revealed by Abe's Exoddus' complete ending, Munch's Oddysee was originally going to have Abe rescuing his mother, Queen Sam.
Aerith and Bob: You have Abe, Alf, Lady Margaret and Humphrey alongside Molluck, Phleg, Skillya and Aslik.
Also the creatures of Oddworld, which can be as exotic like Mudokon/Glukkon/Paramite, blatant like Meep/Slog/Slurg, or flat out lazy like Bat/Rat/Bird.
Alignment-Based Endings: How many Mudokons (and in Munch's Oddysee, Fuzzles) you rescue affects your "quarma". Good quarma will result in an upbeat ending, whereas bad quarma will give you a significantly more unpleasant ending where the surviving Mudokons/Fuzzles effectively leave you to die.
Always Chaotic Evil: Averted; Sligs have a Freudian Excuse of having a mother who intentionally beats them to make them mean, Lulu is, at worst, a Harmless Villain, and the Mudokons are shown to have some rather racially supremacist notions in the backstory, giving the Glukkons a reason for their hatred.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. In the Japanese release of Abe's Oddysee, Mudokon Pops are popsicles shaped like Mudokons, rather than the severed heads impaled on popsicle sticks from the American version. In Abe's Exoddus, the toned-down version of the image was used in English-speaking areas as well.
Anti-Frustration Features: In some levels, you're required to find and listen to a bell tune and then repeat it at another part of the level to continue, using the chant to possess bells. Luckily however, you're not required to remember the tune, when Abe possesses the bells they will play it automatically.
Art Major Biology: In the first two games, getting gored by a saw/drill (or shot excessively by a slig) will cause the character to shatter like a clay model and leave behind no viscera, blood or organs. Granted, ratings and graphical limitations exist, but the fact they are games based around industrial animal processing makes their absence questionable.
SoulStorm Brew... twice the flavor... twice the bones... twice the price!
Auction: For the last can of Gabbiar (Gabbit eggs).
Awesome, yet Impractical: The Shrykull transformation, which can destroy all onscreen enemies and hazards, but to get it, you have to rescue a certain number of Mudokons at once, and you only get one shot with it.
Bee People: The Mudokons, Sligs and Glukkons are all eusocial species, with the only known Mudokon queen being held captive, the Slig queen abusing and then selling her children as low-cost security, and the Glukkon queen residing in a palace. Paramites are apparently eusocial as well.
Behind the Black: Secret areas are typically hidden behind foreground objects, through tunnels, and down drops that should be in plain sight for Abe.
Big Bad/Big Bad Duumvirate: Molluck, in the first game. General Dripik, Vice President Aslik, Director Phleg, and the Brewmaster in the second, and Humphrey and Irwin in the third.
Big "NO!": Lulu does this during the ending cutscene for Munch's Oddysee; some Mudokons outside of Vykkers' Labs hear it and respond "Somebody's really pissed off!". Invoked again with it being a newspaper quote.
Broken Aesop: In Abe's Oddysee, we're told that Scrabs and Paramites are sacred creatures that lost respect after being farmed for food. So what's the best way to show your respect for them? By trampling through their sacred grounds and killing any that provoke you or stand in your way. To be fair, in Exoddus Abe doesn't make them explode after possessing them, and most puzzles involving them can be solved without killing them.
Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The more normal creatures of Oddworld suffer from this, such as Meep, Slurgs, Chippunks and Oktigi to name a fewnote Respectively: weird sheep, squeaking slugs, insulting chipmunks, and [[Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick telepathic octopuses.
Carnivore Confusion: Very frequent, as despite Mudokons being considered sentient equals to Glukkons at one point, the Glukkons have no qualms with using both living, enslaved, or dead Mudokons in products. Abe's Oddysee has them trying to use Mudokon meat, Abe's Exoddus has them using Mudokons for their bones and tears, and Munch's Oddysee extends this to Gabbits for their eggs and lungs (for food and organ donation respectively).
Deadly Euphemism: New N' Tasty is never a good sign in a slaughterhouse without morals.
Debut Queue: The initial plan for the franchise was a five game series, starting with Abe - each additional game would add another new character to the playable party and be titled "Newcharacter's Oddyssee". The other mentioned character who would have joined the team would have been "Squeek", a tiny and friendly parasite-like creature. A character named "Nod" was rumored to join the team after Squeek, but Word of God confirmed this to be a hoax.
The Dog Bites Back: The whole point of the games, besides the Green Aesop. The protagonists are members of races that have been oppressed and/or hunted to near-extinction, are manage to get back at their victimizers at the end of the games. Even the fuzzles apparently get some vengeance.
Their poor eyesight is arguably Truth in Television - Sligs have compound eyes, which have an inherently low resolution in comparison to lens eyes.
Even Evil Has Standards: The Vykkers reportedly gross out their corporate partners with their Mengele-like medical experiments. Keep in mind, that some of their partners are individuals willing to murder 30 employees for a single's escape and gas an entire factory to death to prevent a meltdown.
Everything's Worse With Bees: The bees that chase Abe in the first game. They will kill you if you stand still. The only way to get rid of them is to run past another Mudokon or Elum and pass the swarm off onto them - strangely enough, they won't be killed by them.
Also why Oddworld initially left the business. While trying to find a publisher to host their newest game, they noticed that their potential partners kept wanting to renegotiate their contract. According to what they said in a GameInformer interview, this would have led to a cycle of Oddworld not getting paid while they jumped through hoops to please their partners. Not wanting any part in this, they simply called it off and closed up.
Fantastic Racism: The critical event that sparked everything in the story was a crater the shape of a Mudokon hand appearing on one of Oddworld's moons; since the Mudokons believed themselves to be the chosen race, the Glukkons nearly wiped themselves out trying to compete, resulting in their industrial revolution and the enslaving of the Mudokons as retaliation.
Face Death with Dignity: Averted in Oddysee's ending. When Abe's suspended over a meat grinder he thrashes about and begs Molluck to spare him.
Fartillery: After drinking brew, Abe can fart explosively, and even possess his farts.
First Episode Spoiler: Oddysee has the reveal that Mudokon slaves are next on the menu at RuptureFarms, Exoddus has the twist that SoulStorm Brew is made from Mudokon bones.
Five-Man Band: What the series would have ended with, had it not been nixed.
Fragile Speedster: The Mudokons; granted, they can outrun and out-sneak Sligs with ease, but they die fantastically easy (as they can commit suicide by slapping themselves on the forehead a few times).
Gaia's Lament: All of the games take place in both barren environments decaying from over-harvesting and the sinister factories of the respective Big Bad(s).
Gaiden Game: Abe's Exoddus was designated as outside the quintology.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The fact that Rupture Farms, Necrum Mines, FeeCo Depot, Slig Barracks, Bonewerkz and Soulstorm Brewery are all vastly larger than the facilities in Munch's Oddysee may qualify. Also, all Glukkons sound the same in Exoddus, despite Dripik, Phleg and Aslik all having different voices in cutscenes.
General Failure: It's a wonder how General Dripik got his position, considering he cannot remember his own name. Either that, or he has stage fright.
Green Aesop: Pretty much the theme behind most of the the games.
Guide Dang It: Saving all the Mudokons is hard enough as it is... so of course there are secret screens hiding even more. And in both Oddysee and Exoddus, one of them is on the first screen of the game.
Hell, in one instance there is even a secret area hidden inside another secret area.
In Abe's Exoddus, screens with access to secret screens have brew bottles lying around, making it slightly easier. Oddysee is not so consistent (although you can often hear snoring Sligs, and sometimes see falling debris).
Novice players beware - in Abe's Oddysee you are never told in-game that you should rescue your co-workers, or precisely how (although they do explain some of it in the manual). In fact, the first time a sign instructs you how to save anyone, you've already passed ten of the 99 mudokons you can save.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: It's never stated outright who the President (as opposed to Vice President Aslik) of FeeCo Depot is. Strong possibility it was Molluck, though, and the position hadn't been filled in the short space of time between Oddysee and Exoddus.
Homage - This game is highly influenced by Orwell's ideas of dystopia and the game itself contain several homages to his works, e.g. quotes from 1984 appear in Abe's Exoddus' scroll signs.
Abe: I saw what their next product was going to be: IT WAS US!
Mudokon Resources: The game begins in Abe's Oddysee when Abe finds out the Glukkons are planning to launch "Mudokon Pops", and in Abe's Exoddus he discovers that Soulstorm Brew contains the bones and tears of Mudokon workers.
Abe: First our meat, then our bones,now our tears?!
Humanoid Aliens: To varying degrees, Mudokons, Clakkerz, Grubbs, Outlaws and Wolvarks.
The Man Behind the Man: Inverted, via Dragon Their Feet: Molluck, the Big Bad of Oddysee, is revealed to have been the superior of all of Exoddus Big Bads. Played straight with Queen Margaret and Molluck, and another possible example comes with the Khanzumerz, a nebulous group who are the purchasers of Magog products.
Multiple Endings: Each game has Good, Bad, Perfect, and Black endings. You get the Good Ending by saving enough of whatever you're meant to save, the Perfect by saving all of them, the Black if you not only don't save but actually kill most of them, and the Bad otherwise. In the first game, getting the Perfect ending unlocks a cutscene menu, while getting the Black ending gives you a replay with infinite grenades. In the second, the Perfect ending gives you a view of some concept art, and the Black ending gives you a replay immune to all damage (apart from falling).
Non-Standard Game Over: The bad endings of the Abe/Munch games, in which the protagonists die horribly and a developer message taunts you, before sending you back to the mid-point to play the game exactly rightor entirely again.
The ending of Oddysee has a gameplay equivalent by dropping you right into the boardroom; failing to use Shrykull but shutting off the gas gets you shot and captured, but using Shrykull leaves you in an empty boardroom with the timer still ticking, forcing you to either suffocate when the gas timer reaches zero or to shut off the gas and get captured anyway.
No OSHA Compliance: Working at Chernobyl in high-heeled shoes during the 19th century would be safer than working at the facilities in Oddworld.
ONLY 1236 WORK RELATED ACCIDENTS THIS MONTH. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
No Pronunciation Guide: The name of Shrykull is never said in the games, so whether it is "shrykol" or "shreekuhl" or something else is anyone's guess.
Somewhat justified though, since being shot by trigger-happy guards, blown up by a bomb, carved by a buzzsaw, attacked by various ferocious creatures, crushed by a giant carcass, or falling from a 20 meters high ledge would likely kill anyone not Made of Iron. And this is actually averted with Fleeches, that only kill you after their tongues hit you ten times or so, as well as the bees in the first game.
Perhaps Mudokons are very weak physically in general. Some of them can kill themselves by slapping their foreheads. Some are more resilient (won't die by the bees that can kill Abe) but perhaps they're stronger due to meditation.
Subverted in a way with Sligs - they have such bad aim that it always takes them three shots to hit and kill Abe, so that basically translates to three hit points per Slig encounter.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Since Exoddus onwards has multiple characters, some nicknames were added; Abe notably gets referred to as "that Abe guy" or "stitch-lips", and villains are given titles like "Director Phleg" rather than surnames.
Property of Love: Flavor D in Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus; the Mudokon race is kept complacent by the higher-ups with the products they create, such as Abe discussing RuptureFarms products in Oddysee, and SoulStorm workers typically being addicted to brew in Exoddus.
Psychic-Assisted Suicide: One of the ways you are required to dispose of enemies. This can vary from simply making them spontaneously explode, to making be eaten by carnivorous wild-life, shot by their co-workers/underlings, run off a cliff or into a saw/drill.
Punch Clock Villains: The Sligs and, to a lesser extent, the Interns, who pretty much serve the Glukkons for the various job perks. Being a jerk is quite literally part of the job. In fact, Alf's Rehaband Tea at one point had the aforementioned Mudokon mention a Slig getting beaten to death with his own arms for not being a complete jerk to the Mudokons and an Intern being suspended from work for petting a Fuzzle.
Arguably most of the antagonists in the series. Even the Glukkons exploit the natural world merely in an effort to make a profit, rather than to be intentionally malicious. The notable exception is the Vykkers, who do their jobs because they enjoy inflicting pain on others.
Even Vykkers developed their sadism to serve their desperate research into Longevity Treatment.
Timed Mission: At the ends of Oddysee and Exoddus, you must escape from Rupture Farms and Soulstorm Brewery before you and your fellow Muddokons are gassed.
Temple of Doom: The Paramonia and Scrabania temples are dedicated to animals held sacred to Mudokuns, and are meant as tests of mind and body, respectively. You'll still die if you hesitate for even a second, though.
Toilet Humor: The series as a whole loves fart jokes. In every game where Abe is playable, there's a button you can push to make him fart at will. Curiously, farts are a key part of Mudokon communication.
Fleeches are flushed down the toilet once they become to big to be kept as pets.
Vice President Aslik appears to be in a toilet when you finally confront him.
A product of the Vykkers Conglomerate is the amusingly-named Butt-Flo laxative.
Took a Level in Badass: Just about everyone from the first two games in Munch's Oddysee. Abe is much better at possession (mainly due to Spooce), nobody dies in one hit, Native Mudokons are highly efficient at defending themselves, and Sligs now can come in the form of steroid-pumped "Big Bro" sligs.
Unwinnable by Design: Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus both qualify as Nasty; failing to save at least 50% of all Mudokons makes the good ending impossible to obtain, forcing the player to reload or restart entirely for the good ending.
The developers have technically countered this through making the bad ending more of a Non-Standard Game Over; the game taunts your incompetence, and leaves you at the half-way point in the game, giving you the choice of saving every mudokon between then and the end without fail (READ: 50 in the first, 150 in the second, most of which are well hidden) or starting entirely again.
This game is notable for it! Try possessing a Slig and killing one of the Mudokons. If there were other Mudokons nearby, they will start hitting themselves in a suicide attempt. Unless you go back to Abe and apologize to them, they will succeed in killing themselves.
In the first two games, if you slap a Mudokon, he'll slap you back. Place two Mudokon's next to each other, stand on the same space as one of them and slap the other. Then duck and roll away. The two Mudokons will exchange slaps until one of them dies.
As an extension to the above, in Exoddus you can set up full scale brawls in areas with many Mudokons clumped in a group. When one of them dies, the rest will all become depressed. Slapping one of them will then lead to all of them committing suicide.
Letting blind Mudokons walk into walls, or if you're particularly cruel, into a bone-saw.
Possessing enemies and making them commit suicide in various horrible ways. They may deserve it, but still ...
Phleg: There ain't no bones anywhere! No bones, no brew! I am totally screwed! My career is over! (sobbing)AND IT'S ALL THAT BLUE BASTARD'S FAULT!
Vocal Evolution: Abe's voice is much lower in Abe's Exoddus than it was in Abe's Oddysee, to symbolize how Abe has grown as a character following the first game. Lorne Lanning later realized that Abe's soft voice from the first game was essential to his essence and charm, and in Munch's Oddysee, his tone is a mixture of the two, but closer to his voice from the first game.
Weak, but Skilled: Sure, Abe's not a physical powerhouse, but he's still the biggest threat to the Glukkon industrial monopoly and is slowly liberating the Mudokon species.
Wham Line: A minor example; first time players following the LED tutorials (which recommend running straight for the exit) will be shocked to be met with a sign stating those they failed to save will be executed should you fail to backtrack for them all.
Anti-Hero: Stranger might bring in criminals for a living, but that does NOT mean he's a nice guy. His way of getting the Sky Carts in Mongo Valley running? Assaulting then threatening the operator. He also has no qualms about feeding said criminals to his ammo-making bag in the second half of the game.
As Lethal as It Needs to Be: The difference between killing someone with Thudslugs, punches or Zappflies and knocking them out is that a KO takes less damage. Stingbees and Fuzzles are always deadly, however.
It's Justified because they're the ones on the bounty posters. Stranger isn't there for the small fry (though that does help for cash); he's there because the bounty target is a leader of a gang that is causing a town problems.
Flunky Boss: Most bosses will call out a few more Mooks at certain points in their fights. At the least, most start out with a small group of enemies backing them up.
For the Evulz: Most of the Outlaws don't seem to have too many reasons for their antics, and there appears to be no motive for Doc's murder.
Foreshadowing: When Stranger enters the Bounty Office for the first time, he says he needs Doc to "fix a problem" as he scratches his leg.
Eugene Ius, after being rescued, proceeds to tell Stranger about the Grubbs' legend of their Steef guardian and the "demon" Oktigi. Eugene ignorantly shoots the Grubbs' beliefs down, but it all turns out to be very important later.
Gaiden Game: Stranger's Wrath is completely outside the quintology, acting as a spin-off of sorts to expand the Oddworld backstory.
Glass Cannon: Stranger in the latter half of his game, where he's stripped of his upgrades after being outed as a Steef. However, he later gains greater ammo and armour, and the fact that he's no longer a bounty hunter means that he's less compelled to keep enemies alive.
Green Aesop: The Grubbs' fight against Sekto and his company has this kind of message.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Outlaws aren't exactly smart. Hide in the reeds for two seconds and they'll lose track of you. AI aside, the Outlaws are pretty stupid as a rule.
He Knows Too Much: The first thing that Stranger does when he's revealed as a Steef is to kill D. Caste Raider and his gang with his bare hands.
He's Back: After being captured, humiliated, outed as a Steef, losing all his gear, and being chased out of town, Stranger then gets his bow back, new awesome armor, and full ammo upgrades from the Grubbs.
Moolah For Nothing: There isn't nearly enough to buy to make you run out of cash, even if you capture major bounties dead. Especially because once Stranger gets captured and outed, you never use Moolah again.
The Password Is Always Swordfish: To get access to the Black Market, Stranger has to ask around town for the password, which turns out to be Molasses. When he actually finds the shop, Stranger ends up mangling the password "Um, a mole's ass?", but the owner decides that it's close enough and lets him in.
Puzzle Boss: Many of the major Outlaws are this. Packrat Palooka requires you to shut off his shield and somehow knock him off his stage. Elboze Freely has an obvious weak point on his back, and only shows it if you're above him out of his range.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The Outlaws you fight get tougher over time, but this actually does make sense when you think about it. When you move from town to town, you're always going somewhere bigger, ending in a major port and city. Naturally, the Outlaws that could threaten a larger town would be stronger and have bigger power bases.
Tomato Surprise: It's revealed the Stranger is the last Steef, and his "mysterious, confidential operation" is an attempt to make him permanently bi-pedal so to prevent others hunting him for the high Steef bounty.
Timed Mission: One of the final sections gives you 3 minutes to run through and climb the collapsing inner structures of a dam.
Toilet Humour: In the Wolvark Barracks, two Wolvarks are locked in the toilets evidently suffering from... terrible digestive problems, to put it mildly (apparently due to eating too much Fuzzle Pie).
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Attacking the Clakkerz is understandable, since they drop Moolah and they're rude to you anyway. But the Grubbs? Who not only don't drop Moolah, but apologize when you bump into them and worship you as their savior? That's pretty cold.
It's to the point where there's a trophy in the PS3 version that requires you murder a farmer.
Villain Exit Stage Left: Following his defeat, Sekto swims off in the now-un-dammed river. It's somewhat justified however, as 1). Stranger wasn't aware of Sekto's 'true form', and 2). he and the Grubbs were generally rather distracted by The Reveal of Sekto's abandoned host body: the previous guardian Steef.
Walk It Off: Stranger's method of regaining health is to literally shake off the pain and injury.
Weak, but Skilled: Stranger is described as "kinda shrimpy for a Steef", but he sure is good with that crossbow.
Weapon of Choice: A crossbow and his fists for Stranger. Most of the outlaw bosses have their own as well- Packrat Palooka uses missiles and Lefty Lugnutz uses a hunting rifle, just to name a few.
Wham Episode: Comes midway through the game. Stranger is able to visit Doc again to discuss his surgery - unfortunately, Doc has been hanged, Stranger gets captured, and is revealed to be a Steef.