Clakkerz are a species on Oddworld that inhabits Western Mudos. They are settlers who have built towns around the Mongo River and mine for Grubb artefacts, but are frequently berated by Outlaws. In Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath they are both comic relief and initial allies of Stranger, paying him Moolah to bounty Outlaws.
Inspired by tales of unlimited prosperity, Clakkerz migrated west during their Expansion Period. It’s not known if they intentionally settled to occupy the Mongo River and its surroundings or if it was just where their trailers broke down. Nor is it clear whether the Mongo was already drained when the Clakkerz first reached the area, although the presence of large towns so close to the current water table suggests it was.
Many Clakker settlements were irreversibly flooded when the Grubbs destroyed Sekto Springs Dam, and the subsequent extent of Clakker habitation is not known.
Clakkerz were inspired by American and Australian settlers who didn’t care about the disastrous impact their migration was having on native peoples. To Lorne Lanning they were characterized by condescending elitist attitudes and conservative thought. Their design as birds comes from a postcard Lanning saw in a nature store, depicting ‘an angry as hell looking bald eagle’, which was given to the Clakkerz’ designer Silvio Aebischer as visual inspiration along with the instruction that they should ‘retain absurdity and goofball qualities’. These were sought by modelling Clakkerz on chickens for their being annoying and funny while familiar to the audience. Clakkerz were also shaped by other farm animals, namely pigs, because of their banal lives.
Clakkerz were first seen by the public in the trailer for The X Factor: Inside Microsoft’s Xbox and subsequently in the special itself. Members of the Oddworld Forums started refering to them as Hickens (a portmanteau of ‘chicken’ and ‘hick’ coined by RoN_Rancor), but their official name (a portmanteau of ‘cluck’ and ‘cracker’) was revealed on the official website in a Q&A with Lanning.
- Oddworld Inhabitants (07 January 2005). Clakkerz Profile. GameSpot.
- Oddworld Inhabitants (25 January 2005). Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath. Redwood City (CA): Electronic Arts.
- Lanning, Lorne (1 December 2003). ‘Lorne Lanning answers a few questions from the fans in 2003.’. Oddworld Inhabitants Website. Archived by the Wayback Machine (12 December 2003).
- Swanland, Raymond (9 December 2004). ‘Dev. Diary #1’. GameSpy.