Chronicler

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Chroniclers are an industrial Oddworld race, individuals of whom typically occupy financial and legal professions, such as accountants and lawyers.[1][2] They have not yet appeared in any published Oddworld fictional material, though they have been named and described by official sources.

Appearance

The most complete appearance of a Chronicler comes from Silvio Aebischer’s 1999 colour painting, which depicts a tall and thin, yellow-skinned character with four arms, one leg, and a long, stoic face. It has two small tentacles dangling either side of its mouth, which don’t appear to be prehensile. Its two eyes are deep red in colour. It is dressed entirely in black and red: a stovepipe hat with a red hat band and open crown (through which the Chronicler’s head protrudes), a red, forked cape which also forms a necktie, black boots with red laces and sock suspenders, and a tight, black skirt. The Chronicler smokes a cigarette and carries a two-handled stark metal briefcase and a tall staff that is thought by fans to function as an abacus.[3]

However, as Chroniclers have never appeared in any in-universe material, their eventual appearance may differ. For instance, despite Aebischer’s painting showing a one-legged creature, Oddworld Inhabitants have mentioned to fans that they have two legs.[4]

Production

An early Chronicler design was sketched by Steven Olds in 1994, three years before the release of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. This design features a more angular face than Aebischer’s portrayal, and a tall crest atop its head. Olds’ sketch describes the creature as a ‘more evolved relative to the Oldger’, ‘Oldger’ being an early name for what became a Glukkon.[5]

There is no indication they were intended to appear prior to Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, in which one was planned to appear in a major role as a lawyer.[2] For this appearance, a colour painting based on Olds’ design was created by Silvio Aebsicher. However, Chroniclers were removed from the design of Munch’s Oddysee before the game’s release. Chroncilers have not subsequently appeared in the Oddworld universe.

Due to the involved and iterative design approach used by Oddworld Inhabitants, it is likely there are more designs for the Chronicler than have been made public.

Promotion

Steven Olds’ 1994 sketch was included in an early Munch’s Oddysee press kit released in November 1999, which was acquired from Oddworld Inhabitants by souljah_73 of the Exoddus Club, who uploaded it to the private group’s image gallery.[6] This image was lost in March 2002 when Yahoo! Clubs, in the process of merging with eGroups.com, became Yahoo! Groups, and the images in the Exoddus Club’s image gallery were all deleted.[7] This sketch was later published in The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants.[8]

Silvio Aebischer’s 1999 painting was published by IGN in a preview of Munch’s Oddysee in March 2000.[9]. By this time, fans were fully expecting Chroniclers to appear in Munch’s Oddysee, and were disappointed when the final game did not include the character. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants confirmed that a Chronicler was intended to have a major role as a lawyer,[2] possibly as part of the storyline following the capture and trial of Molluck by Lady Margaret.

References

  1. souljah_73 (30 December 1999). ‘Re: That big tall thing’. The Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Groups.
  2. a b c Johnson, Cathy & Wade, Daniel (14 September 2004). ‘Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee’. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004, First Hardcover Edition. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 1-921002-02-6.
  3. Danny; Oddsville; De Coster, Xavier; Bunce-Edwards, Wil; Eibu (14–15 December 2001). Posts 4–11 in ‘To Max’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  4. Lee, Matt (2 July 2007). Email to Zerox. Post 503 in ‘Oddworld Questions & Answers VI’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  5. Johnson, Cathy & Wade, Daniel (14 September 2004). ‘Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee’. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004, First Hardcover Edition. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 1-921002-02-6.
  6. souljah_73 (10 November 1999). ‘Re: That Munch Pic…’. The Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Groups.
  7. Bunce-Edwards, Wil (2 March 2002). ‘Re: Looks keen.’ The Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Groups.
  8. Johnson, Cathy & Wade, Daniel (14 September 2004). ‘Inspiration’. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004, First Hardcover Edition. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 1-921002-02-6.
  9. Lopez, Vincent (01 March 2000). ‘[http://pc.ign.com/articles/134/134213p1.html Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee’ preview. IGN.