The Stranger is the third Oddworld hero to be seen, though not part of the Oddworld Quintology of heroes. He is a no‐nonsense bounty hunter and protector of the Grubbs, feared by many and worshipped by few. He is the last Steef known to exist in the Mongo valley, but until recently he has been hiding that fact to prolong his survival.
The Stranger is muscular and powerful. His forearms scatter enemies when he performs his spinning attack, and his head butt can knock Outlaws unconscious. He is also a powerful runner. When reaching high speeds he can drop down onto all four (or all six) to run at 45 miles per hour. At such a velocity, the Stranger acts much like a car but with greater agility and breaking, and a direct ram can knock anyone flying. Unlike other Steef, the Stranger has no horns, but the reasons for this are unknown. He also hides his four legs inside two large boots when interacting with the more narrow‐minded races of the Mongo River area. The Stranger never looks after his oral hygiene. He uses his appalling bad breath to persuade Outlaws to relinquish information. He weighs 260 pounds.
Dressed in his bleached hat and tattered boots, Stranger has the appearance of the nomad he is. He is resourceful, and much of his armour and clothing has been picked up and repaired as he moves from town to town. His piercing green eyes and facial hair make him quite handsome and rugged. His faded poncho and trusty crossbow hint at his rich cultural origin.
The Stranger was convinced that he needed to integrate with the invasive colonial species that had moved in around the Mongo River in order to avoid being hunted down. This made him a social recluse and loner, far more content in his own company, and comfortable in the dark, forbidding forests and swamps around the Mongo. Sadly, the Stranger was also bitter and twisted, even willing to hunt down other Steef in order to earn the Moolah needed to protect himself. He kept himself satisfied by hunting down scumbag Outlaws preying on Clakker settlements, but still maintaining an emotional and social distance from everyone to protect his identity. His greatest tools in surviving the new and harsh situations he finds himself in are his wit and cunning.
Beyond protecting the Clakkers, the Stranger cared little for anything other than his own survival. He found the Clakkers to be incredibly annoying and patronising, barely worth protecting, but he was not above helping them with personal problems, such as teaching Unkle TurkeyToes not to be frightened of Bolamites, or finding Maggie’s children. However, it was not until he was rescued by the Grubb and begged to protect them that he discovered his ability to care.
The mystery that Stranger keeps about himself serves him well, as it inspires fear in all around him. He exploits this intimidation to his own ends when requiring information or assistance, but when people call his bluff, he can always resort to his physical strength to prove their foolishness (cf. Sky Cart Joe). When pitted against a stronger enemy, the Stranger can just as easily use his speed, dexterity and cunning to outpace, out‐manœuvre or outwit them.
On top of his personal powers, the Stranger carries a custom‐built crossbow at all times. Normally folded up inconspicuously on his right wrist, it springs into shape when he thrusts his arm forwards. It is high‐tension, rapid firing, and able to accommodate almost any kind of ammunition. Stranger’s natural harmony with the nature around him allows him to use his favourite arsenal, Live Ammo. Literally shooting small creatures, the Stranger enjoys distracting, shifting and immobilising his targets as much as he does firing to cause damage. When bounty hunting, these skills increase the likelihood of capturing the bounty alive, maximising the reward he is paid.
Nothing is known of the Stranger’s early life. It is presumed he had some kind of contact with his race, or at least access to their culture, as his legacy shows itself though his faded poncho and custom‐made crossbow. For many years, the Stranger had been hiding his true identity as a Steef from the colonial Clakkers and Outlaws by working as a bounty hunter, a job he finds a strange satisfaction in. The Clakkers, curious as to his origins, theorised that he had come from the mountains, or else the river itself. His hidden identity had prevented Grubbs from seeking his help.
The Stranger wanted an operation to permanently conceal his identity, and was consulting and negotiating with the Doc Vykker. Unfortunately, the Doc’s price of 20 000 Moolah was so high that Stranger had to pull out all the stops and bag the bounties of three nearby Clakker towns to earn the Moolah. Unfortunately, while in Buzzarton, the clerk presented him with a bounty for a Steef and put Stranger and Sekto on the fone with each other. Sekto promised Stranger a payment of 20 000 Moolah for a fresh Steef, but then contacted D. Caste Raider, an Outlaw boss, to seek the same Steef.
Knowing there were no wild Steef left in the area, Caste Raider went to Buzzarton and followed the trail of the Stranger until he discovered he was seeking an operation from the Doc. When the Stranger arrived at the Doc’s Mongo Retreat, Caste Raider and his gang were lying in wait to ambush him. They knocked him out cold and took him to their hideout. Stripped of his clothes, the Stranger’s true nature as a Steef was revealed, but just as D. Caste Raider’s gang were preparing to skin him alive, a Grubb raid set the Stranger free, and he escaped from the hideout and through the Clakker town of Dusky Hollow.
His identity now known by all, the Stranger surmised he had no hope of returning to their society and that his only chance at survival was to get to the Mongo’s source and destroy Sekto before he could capture Stranger. However, arriving in a Grubb village, he was cheered and applauded for his earlier escape and appearance. The Grubbs promised they had a Steef boat he could use to travel upstream, and after damaging a Wolvark docking station and protecting the village from invasion, he took the boat, promising the Grubbs that he would repel the invaders from Last Legs, the final remaining Grubb stronghold, before seeking out Sekto. Once the Wolvark threat was eliminated, the Grubbs were able to rally their forces and aid Stranger’s attack on Sekto Springs Dam.
As flaming rocks were fired upon the dam, Stranger worked his way to Sekto’s office atop the construct and confronted him. After his two robotic pet Gloktigi were destroyed, Sekto activated a powerful weapon and shield, but Stranger destroyed its generators and dragged Sekto’s body to a hole in the office’s wall to show his off his victory. At that moment, the dam finally began to topple, releasing the water trapped behind it and filling the Mongo River. Approaching the body of Sekto, the Stranger realised it was actually an old Steef guardian who had been controlled by Sekto. Asked by the dying protector if the water was free, Stranger comforted him.