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Video Game / Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

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Fierce is the Spirit of Her Waters
She creates us, binds us - Flows in us
The Fool who dare enslave Her
Beware She wash his life away
Native Grubb Proverb

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is a spin-off of the Oddworld franchise. In contrast to previous games, you play as the enigmatic and eponymous "Stranger," a gruff-voiced bounty hunter roaming the land looking for outlaws to hunt down and bring to justice—dead or alive. The gameplay is quite unique for switching between third-person platforming, and first-person shooting, along with its distinct Oddworld charm like the strange and bizarre residents, the crude humour, and that the Stranger uses live critters as ammo, among other weirdness.

It was originally released for the original Xbox in 2005 and was later ported to other systems over the years such as the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the Play Station Vita, the Ouya, Windows (through Steam), iOS, Android, the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.

This video game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • The Stranger himself, or rather the critters he finds as ammo.
    • To a milder extent, the various guns used by enemies seem to shoot darts or blades rather than actual bullets (and they even arc) which explains why Stranger is able to simply shake them off.
  • Actionized Sequel: None of the Oddworld games prior to this had Abe or Munch directly fighting from the start, usually enlisting the help of other creatures in some form in order to take out enemies. Stranger, however, is much more directly capable than either of those two, being a Lightning Bruiser and One-Man Army.
  • All for Nothing: The Doc's surgery for Stranger requires a fee of 20,000 Moolah, which is one of (if not the main) reasons why the Stranger had to go on bounty hunting. Unfortunately mid-game, the Doc is killed just as Stranger is on his way to the place, and Stranger is captured by Outlaws and outed as a Steef.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted; Doc, despite belonging to a species known for being Evilutionary Biologists, is not a villainous figure and is simply a doctor offering his services (albeit for extortionate prices). So far, though, played straight with the Wolvarks, who seem to take rather perverse pleasure in killing and maiming the Grubbs, even if displacing them is what they're being paid to do.
    • Theres a friendlier Outlaw Informant named Skuz that also appears, giving Stranger a password and go at Packrat Palooka.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Stranger's Wrath never explains how Stranger manages to walk on two legs despite being built like a centaur, let alone how he manages to cram what is essentially a small pony's body into human-size/shape trousers and boots. However, it can be justified as either Bizarre Alien Biology or an Acceptable Break from Reality.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Additionally, his ability to cram targets into a container the size of a wrist-watch isn't even hand waved.
  • 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.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Without fail, hostile targets will be leaders of their own gang. And without fail, they will all be much stronger than their minions. Of course, this could also be a case of Asskicking Leads to Leadership.
  • Automatic Crossbow: Stranger's crossbow goes full auto when he uses Stingbees.
  • Ax-Crazy: Elboze Freeley and some other bosses are described as this. The Outlaw kamikazes are also insane.
  • Badass Adorable: The Grubbs, and most if not all of the critters that Stranger uses as ammo.
  • Badass in Distress: Stranger is captured and bound by D. Caste Raider midway through the game, and has his clothes and bow removed. The moment he is released from the rope however, he proceeds to beat everyone to a pulp with his bare hands.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Sekto's power is controlling others by latching onto them.
  • Bag of Spilling: A rare mid-game example: After Stranger is captured, he is stripped of the upgrades he bought from the Clakkerz. He never gets them back, but gets completely new upgrades from the Grubbs.
  • Battle Bolas: Bolamites, which are spiders that, when fired from Stranger's crossbow, wrap enemies up in webbing like a Bola.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: Stranger uses stingbees as machine-gun bullets. Later on, he acquires Sniper Wasps for those hard to reach targets.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Sekto.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Grubbs caused a distraction in D. Caste Raider's hideout in order to free the captured Stranger and give him a fighting chance.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Stranger defeats Sekto and the Grubbs successfully bring down Sekto Springs Dam. However, the last Steef, which Sekto was using as a host, passes away as the river is un-dammed, and Sekto himself is able to escape in the confusion.
  • Black Market: In one of the later towns, there is a hidden black market on the second floor of a building, and gaining access requires knowing the password from a Clakker. It sells some more powerful items than your local merchant.
  • Bounty Hunter: Stranger. Bounty Hunting appears to be a well-recognized and pursued profession - there are specific stores in every town just for turning in bounties.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The original river guardian Steef.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Sekto, whose true form is a helpless squid, swimming in the very river he dammed.
  • Catchphrase: Stranger has one or two.
    "Dead 'r alive, yer ass is comin' with me."
  • Cattle Punk: Most of the early game has a heavy western feel. In fact, every building you can go into in the towns has saloon-style doors.
  • Continuity Nod: There are a few references to the main games in the series:
    • A few species from the main series are present: Fuzzles are used as ammo, Doc is a Vykker, and, in the HD remake, the Wolvark Sloghandlers release Slogs as opposed to Slegs.
    • Hidden throughout the HD remake are RuptureFarms barrels filled with Mudokon Pops. Finding and smashing them all nets the player a trophy/achievement.
    • Also in the HD remake are some hidden bottles of Butt-Flo laxative. Fittingly, they're located above the Wolvark Barracks bathroom. Again, finding this stash nets the player a trophy/achievement.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Sekto.
  • Cutscene Boss: Blisterz Booty, who gets captured in the first cutscene of the game. All you have to do is bounty him.
  • Darker and Edgier: This game focused around the eponymous stranger's capturing of bounties, dead or alive, with a moodier atmosphere compared to the prior games despite the comedy.
  • Darkest Hour: While it doesn't last very long thanks to the Grubbs, it's very dark while it lasts - D. Caste Raider captures Stranger and removes his boots, exposing his true self as a Steef. As a result, the Clakkerz chase him out, and he can no longer visit any of their towns, all the while everybody is hunting him for the $20,000 bounty Sekto placed on him, and he can't easily fight back either since his bow was taken.
  • Dead Character Walking: If the player enables the invincibility cheat code but then falls into a fan, they will remain able to move and attack as a continuous fountain of Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The Wolvarks string up some dead Grubbs outside their first facility, possibly as a warning or a threat.
  • Diesel Punk: Some of the later settings in the game have this feel, but it's nowhere near as prevalent as in the other Oddworld games.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Stranger, who fights with a crossbow and his fists. He says it word-for-word in the opening of the game.
  • Dual Boss: The two Gloktigi.
  • Epigraph: The game ends with this quote:
    "There is a road in the hearts of all of us.
    Hidden and seldom traveled.
    Which leads to an unknown secret place."
    Chief Luther Standing Bear
    Sioux Nation (1868-1939)
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Doc.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The Clakkerz turn against Stranger after he's revealed as a Steef since they now want to collect on his bounty.
  • Evil Matriarch: Jo' Momma.
  • Evil Poacher: Lefty Lugnutz.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: A good number of the Outlaw bosses (and Mr. Sekto) invoke this.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Every single Outlaw's got 'em.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Steef are treated like wild animals by most of the inhabitants, particularly the Clakkerz, though this is mostly justified because Sekto placed bounties on their heads. Sadly, this also applies to Stranger, though he appears to be more intelligent than the rest of his kind.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Grubbs are oppressed Native Americans while the Clakkerz are redneck settlers.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death / And I Must Scream: The Olden Steef being used as Sekto's host.
  • Feather Fingers: Clakkerz.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: D. Caste Raider who captures Stranger.
  • Fictional Currency: Moolah. Also counts as a Global Currency.
  • 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 D. Caste Raider appears to have no motive for Doc's murder besides not receiving any information from him about Stranger.
  • 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.
    • Blisterz, if taunted in his cell, will both mention his brother coming to town to bust him out and grumbling about "...whatever the hell [Stranger] is." The former is the event that ends the Gizzard Gulch segment of the game. The latter is the first hint that Stranger is something out of place.
    • 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.
    • Stranger runs faster on all fours, as opposed to most bipedal creatures not being very good at four-legged running. As he's a Steef, which are centaurs, he'd naturally feel more at home on four legs.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Sekto. Who turns out is an Oktigi, a parasitic octopus like race who grafted himself on to the Elder Steef and wiped out most of the tribe, building his factory over river, gaining money off it.
  • Gaiden Game: Stranger's Wrath is completely outside the quintology, acting as a spin-off of sorts to expand the Oddworld backstory.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Stranger runs noticeably faster after being exposed as a Steef. Makes sense considering he's now back to utilizing a form of locomotion more wired to his muscle memory.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Stranger needs at least 20,000 Moolah in order to pay the Doc for a surgery... But even though you do manage to have that amount by limiting your spendings, Stranger doesn't visit the doctor again until a certain point in the game. By that point, your efforts are All for Nothing and Money for Nothing as well, since the Doc got killed.
  • Genre Shift: From a puzzle-platform to a platform shooter. This also applies within game, for most of it it has a western theme. But that gets dropped in the latter half where it takes on a medieval bent.
  • Glass Cannon: Stranger in the latter half of his game, where he's stripped of his upgrades after being outed as a Steef. Without the outfit that restricts his real form, Stranger, now a Steef has faster movement, deals more damage to enemies, while the vice-versa applies, enemies deal more damage to him. However, he later gains greater ammo and armour upgrades, and the fact that he's no longer a bounty hunter means that he's less compelled to keep enemies alive.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The Olden Steef.
    It's free... free... free...
  • Green Aesop: The Grubbs' fight against Sekto and his company has this kind of message - Water should be free for all.
  • 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. The achievement associated with this is even named "He Knows Too Much".
  • 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.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: Western Mudos, where Stranger's Wrath is set.
  • Hope Spot: Doc calls Stranger again once he's finished with the Mongo Valley bounties, but now Stranger has a lot more Moolah to consider, though Doc may lower the price during negotiations. The moment Stranger gets to the Doc's Office, however, he finds the place trashed, and on top of that, Doc has been hanged from the entrance. Then the Darkest Hour begins.
  • Human Disguise: In a non-explicit Mythology Gag, at first glance Sekto heavily resembles a Glukkon, a race of industrialist leaders who served as the primary antagonists of earlier Oddworld games, with the significant obvious difference that he has arms as well as legs note  and his mouth is conspicuously constantly covered. This hides his true nature as an Oktigi, a Puppeteer Parasite resembling a squid whose bulbous head latched onto the body of his host the Olden Steef work together to form a Glukkon-like frame.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When D. Caste Raider captures and reveals the Stranger as a Steef, the Stranger actually proves to be a more powerful Glass Cannon than he was in his former two-legged bounty hunter attire. Case in point, Stranger gets to kill D. Caste Raider and his goons with just his bare hands in just a few punches each.
  • Just You and Me and My GUARDS!: Filthy Hands Floyd, Boilz Booty, Jo' Momma, Packrat Palooka, X'plosives McGee, Lefty Lugnutz and Fatty McBoomBoom all have their gang supporting them during their fights, the Looten Duke first runs off after encountering him and has some Outlaw Mortars attack you which you need to kill before he actually fights you, and Meagly McGraw comes riding in on a large outlaw named Tiny which you have to kill before you can damage and bounty Meagly.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sekto is far, far more sinister and monstrous than the previous Oddworld villains, most of whom were played with varying degrees of comedy (with the possible exception of Molluck). This is made clear by his unsettlingly deep, raspy voice, the fact that he hunted an entire species to near-extinction purely to have their decapitated heads as trophies, and the fact that he is of a race that utilises host bodies to survive on land.
  • Large and in Charge: Every boss is always bigger than their minions.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: At least one blog entry on the official Oddworld website outright mentions that Stranger is a Steef.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Stranger.
  • Little "No": Stranger utters a few as his medical file falls to the floor, which reveals to D. Caste Raider that Stranger is a Steef.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: In the finale, Sekto's defeat also causes the dam to collapse.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: The only bosses who work for Sekto are D. Caste Raider and the Gloktigi. Everyone else is their own villain.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Environmental hazards such as fans and hanging heavy objects reduce enemies to unidentifiable shredded chunks. Riot Slugs also have the same effect when fired at point-blank range. Weirdly enough, explosions never do until you get the Boombat Seekers.
  • Mad Bomber: X'plosives McGee.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Mortar Outlaws are archetypes that you rarely get to see in other video games. Imagine this - a mortar cannon strapped to your back, that you can manually fire by doing a slow hands-down motion with both arms.
  • Money 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. Currency also stops dropping from that specific point until the end of the game.
    • It IS actually possible to have 20,000 Moolah by the time you go visit the Doc, you just need to plan your spendings.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Doc is a Vykker, who were previously featured as gleefully sadistic and amoral Mad Scientist species running a corrupt R&D company that happily sacrifices their customers in the name of profits. Doc, on the other hand, runs a legitimate healthcare service and maintains strict doctor/patient confidentiality, even when he could've profited by breaking it. The worst he does is price gouging Stranger for what is an admittedly very complicated operation.
  • Natural Weapon: Later in the game, Stranger gets upgrades to his punches and charging attacks.
  • No Name Given: Stranger, who seems to be called such by the Clakkerz only because they don't know what else to call him. Also, following The Reveal, the Grubbs refer to him simply as Steef. His real name is never revealed. Since Steef are noted to not normally be able to speak, it's entirely possible he doesn't even have one.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Grubbs are a salamander-esque species, yet their females have breasts.
  • Oddball in the Series: Pun-aside, it's the only game so far that allows you to fight enemies directly as, unlike Abe and Munch, Stranger is more than capable of holding his own in a fight. Likewise you don't have to save any of your kind and there's only one ending.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The Steefs are centaur-like guardians to the Grubbs which are being hunted to extinction. Stranger is one of these.
  • Outlaw: Your enemies for the first half of the game are outright named outlaws, and the ordinary resident Clakkerz are afraid of them.
  • 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 Mole Asses. When he actually finds the shop, Stranger ends up mangling the password as "a mole's ass", but the owner decides that it's close enough and lets him in.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Binoculars. Hope you bought them back in Gizzard's Gulch because you'll need them to use the Sniper Wasps much later in the game.
  • Personal Space Invader: Several ammo types. Then there's Sekto...
  • Player Nudge: In one of the later towns, a female Clakker would occasionally spout things about a "Black Market" whenever you pass by her. Talking to her clues you on its existence and the password required to enter.
  • Power Fist: Stranger can buy sets of increasingly deadly brass knuckles at certain points in the game.
  • Prison Rape: Looten Duke fears being in a jail cell with Blisterz Booty again.
  • Punched Across the Room: This happens a lot when you get the upgraded knuckles.
  • Punny Name:
    • Eugene Iusnote , Jo' Mommanote  and Frayda Evrytingnote .
    • The last of the Clakkerz settlements to be visited is named New Yolk City.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Oktigi race, of which Sekto is one.
  • 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.
  • Recurring Boss: You fight a total of four Gloktigi.
  • The Reveal:
    • Comes midway through the game, when Stranger is outed as a Steef. The operation Stranger needs? It's to cut off his hind legs so he won't be revealed to be a Steef which are hunted and endangered around the area. Far as he knows, he's the last one.
    • And at the end, when it turns out that Sekto's host body was the Olden Steef.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: A lot of minor environmental objects are destructible. Barrels to be specific, are some of the most common objects that you can break for Moolah.
  • Rocket Jump: Fatty McBoomBoom's verticle slide attack has him launch a rocket at his feet to propel himself into you. All three hundred pounds of him.
  • Running on All Fours: Stranger will drop to all fours if he runs for long enough. Halfway later in the game, his headbutt move turns into a ramming attack on all fours as a Steef.
  • Sequel Hook: Sekto is defeated but still alive, and escapes into the river.
  • Shameful Strip: Stranger, after he gets captured by Outlaws when he goes upriver from Mongo Valley.
  • Shirtless Scene: Stranger gets one later into the game. Involuntary though, as he gets captured and stripped by Outlaws.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Don't expect Bola Blasts or Riotslugs to do much beyond short range.
  • Smelly Skunk: Stunkz, whose huge green gas clouds are perfect for paralyzing huge groups of enemies. Near the end of the game, they get upgraded to pull enemies in.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Jo' Mamma is the only female Outlaw seen in-game.
  • 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.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Some Outlaws wear metal armor covered in spikes. Stranger's melee attacks are useless against them. Go ahead, try punching one, and see how you take damage and be stunned instead.
  • Spread Shot: The Bola Blast and Riotslug both do this, one with webs that disable enemies and one with slugs that function like shotgun pellets.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Mooks have them. Stranger does not.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Thanks to Chippunks and Howler Punks, this trope has never been easier.
  • Timed Mission: One of the final sections gives you 3 minutes to run through and climb the collapsing inner structures of a dam.
  • 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.
  • 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).
    • After Stranger captures Filthy Hands Floyd, a Clakker can be heard saying "I think I messed my drawers..." Immediately afterwards, another one staggers out of a different trailer holding his nose and yelling "Billy! Hoo-damn it stinks in there!"
  • Trash Talk: Enemies will taunt and mock you every time they land a melee attack.
  • Updated Re-release: There's an HD remake available for PC, the PS3 and the Switch.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Once Stranger is outed as a Steef, the Clakkerz immediately turn on him, despite all the Outlaws he captured for them.
  • Unique Enemy: Outlaw Flamers, of which only 5 appear in Xplosives McGee's mission normally, though it is possible for up to 8 more to appear as reinforcements in Packrat Palooka's boss fight when he is below half health. There are also the Outlaw Hunters, of which only a small group appears at the beginning of the Mongo Wilds and 2 or 3 more during Lefty Lugnutz' battle, and none of them can be captured alive.
  • Useless Item: Though tricky, it's entirely possible to capture some of the Outlaws during D. Caste Raider's attack on Doc's surgery. However, because Stranger is completely cut off from being able to peacefully interact with the Clakkerz civilization after that point in the game, you no longer have any way to get rid of captured Outlaws by turning them in, so any you managed to collect during that sequence are doomed to rot away in the back of your inventory forever.
  • 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.
    • The second town has a deadly mechanism that can squash someone flat to Ludicrous Gibs. You can potentially kill the resident Clakkerz permanently via luring and punching them through the device, and/or webbing them up so they can't escape from their death.
    • It's to the point where there's a trophy in the PS3 version that requires you murder a farmer.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you terrorize the Clakkerz enough, they'll retreat into their houses and start shooting at you. You'll need to hide somewhere, and eventually, the residents will give up and come back to town as if nothing happened.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Jo' Mamma is the sole female Outlaw in the game. She speaks with the same deep, gravelly voice as the rest of the Outlaws in the initial remaster before her voice was fixed in a patch. Frayda Evrything and the male Grubbs also all have the same voice until said patch.
  • Walk It Off: Stranger's method of regaining health is to literally shake off the pain and injury. Enemies' darts may stick on his body, but this healing mechanic makes them fall off on the floor instead.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Doc dies even before he gets to perform the supposed surgery to the Stranger.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Stranger is described as "kinda shrimpy for a Steef", but he sure is good with that crossbow.
  • Wire Dilemma: From the opposite direction, a pair of Outlaws are trying to arm a bomb, bickering about whether the blue or green button sets the timer. It's the blue one.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot: When you're done capturing all the bounties in Buzzarton, the Bounty Store clerk gives Stranger one more bounty to consider: "STEEF HEAD - INQUIRE AT BOUNTY STORE". The creature on the photo looks a lot like Stranger.
    • Later, after D. Caste Raider captures Stranger, the surgery notes fall onto the floor. As Raider reads through them, he notices a picture of Stranger, except he has four legs. Just like a Steef.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Clakkerz.
  • Your Mom: Invoked with Jo' Mamma, to the point that Stranger turns everything says with regards to her into a dirty joke.

Alternative Title(s): Strangers Wrath