Greeter

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A Greeter is an appliance used by Glukkons as a combined vending machine, advertiser, security guard, and company greeter. Greeters often patrol Magog Cartel factories and facilities, commonly for the purpose of distributing SoulStorm Brew to Mudokons. They appear in Abe’s Exoddus gameplay.

History

Vykkers originally designed Greeters for the Magog Cartel to be aggressive, self-promoting vending machines that would follow Mudokons, delivering a sales pitch and selling them comoddities. They were meant to double as automated greeters, welcoming business associates to Glukkon workplaces, while attacking intruders.[1]

To fulfil these multiple roles, Greeters were equipped with motion detectors and identity recognition intended to distinguish authorized employees and visitors from trespassers. Unfortunately, a programming error caused Greeters to attack Mudokons indiscriminately.[2] Unable to fix the software, the Glukkons decided that Greeters would be retrofitted and used as security devices. Mudokon workers are informed that they can avoid electrocution by remaining motionless in the Greeters’ infrared beam.[3]

Construction

The main body of a Greeter resembles a four-foot-tall (1·2 m)[4] cylinder constructed from sheets of scrap metal,[1] with a control box, exhaust pipe, and steam whistle (or ‘horn’)[5] attached to the rear. The front of a Greeter is fitted with a large grin, intended to appeal to consumers,[1] which lip syncs to the speech produced by the appliance’s voicebox; the Greeter originally delivered comoddity sales pitches, but after being repurposed as a security device, now immitates Slig phrases.

The base of the main body holds a ring of sensors and lightning dispensers,[6] which joins to a bracket that supports the Greeter on a single wheel. Including this (but excluding the horn), a Greeter’s height is 5 feet 8 inches (1·7 m).[6][7]

Greeters maintain excellent balance on their single wheel.[8]

Appearances

Abe’s Exoddus

Greeters are an unusual hazard in Abe’s Exoddus, appearing in the levels ‘FeeCo Depot’, ‘Slig Barracks’ and ‘SoulStorm Brewery’. They will chase and attempt to electrocute any Mudokons, including Abe, that they detect, resulting in instant death.

Although Greeters behave like other enemy characters in that they follow patrols, chase Abe and have GameSpeak, they will not detect Abe by sight, sound or (usually) proximity. Greeters only become aggressive if Abe or other Mudokons move while inside the Greeter's motion detector beam. The movement of this beam is difficult to predict because of how it encircles Greeters that are moving across the screen.

Merchandise and marketing

Greeter concept art by Farzad Varahramyan appears on page 128 of The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants and Image 0006 of Oddworld: The Lost Archives.[1][9]

Behind the scenes

Early designs by Farzad explored different shapes for Greeters, but always with a height equal to Abe’s.[6] According to text in his concept sketches, Greeters should behave like a drunk unicyclist and move & sound like an old tinkertoy. The Greeters’ steam horn resembles a scaled down replica Greeter, but with a downturned mouth.

References

  1. a b c d Johnson, Cathy; Wade, Johnson (15/09/2004). ‘Greeters’, ‘Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus’, p. 128. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004. Adelaide, South Australia: Ballistic Publishing.
  2. O’Connor, Paul (17/11/1998). ‘Greeters’, ‘The Cast’, p. 27. Game manual for Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. GT Interactive. Glukkons were aghast when these marketing and P.R. machines began attacking the customers.
  3. Aslik (17/11/1998). ‘Uncle Aslik’s Tourist Tip #9: Greeters Welcome You!’. FeeCo Depot. StoryDwelling Theater. StoryStone (FDP02C16), ‘FeeCo Depot’ (FDP02C10). Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. GT Interactive. Remember: If you don’t move, they can’t see you!
  4. Oddworld Inhabitants (~02/1999). ‘[toswi:Inhabitants.php#Greeters Name: Greeters]’, ‘Inhabitants’. Oddworld.com.
  5. Oddworld Inhabitants (17/08/2000). ‘Greeters’. ‘Oddworld Universe’. Oddworld.com. Archived by Odd Wide Web on 05/01/2011.
  6. a b c Varahramyan, Farzad (24/03/1998). ‘Abe II: Greeters’ concept sketches.
  7. Oddworld Inhabitants (~02/1999). ‘Name: Abe’, ‘Inhabitants’. Oddworld.com. Archived by [[Oddworld Library#Oddworld Scriptures Oddworld Scriptures] on 08/05/2012.
  8. Alf (01/03/2001). ‘Dear Alf 06’, q. 31. ‘Alf’s Rehab & Tea’. Oddworld.com. Archived by Odd Wide Web on 05/01/2011.
  9. Oddworld Inhabitants (11/12/2017 16:47 UTC). ‘The Greeter’. Oddworld: The Lost Archives. Post on Instagram.