Greeters

Greeters are appliances used by Glukkons as combined vending machines,1 marketing and P.R. salesmen,2 security guards, and company greeters,3 and can be found patrolling the walkways of Magog Cartel factories and facilities. They appeared in Abe’s Exoddus gameplay as an enemy that would attack Abe and other Mudokons if their sensors detected their motion.

Manufacture

Vykkers originally designed Greeters for the Magog Cartel to be aggressive, self‐promoting SoulStorm Brew vending machines1 that would follow Mudokons around, giving them the SoulStorm sales pitch and selling them Brew. They were to double as automated greeters, welcoming business associates to Glukkon workplaces, while also despatching anyone not recognized as an official employee with a quick electrocution.3

To fulfil these multiple roles, Greeters were fitted with motion detectors meant to be able to distinguish between official employees and trespassers. Unfortunately, a programming error caused Greeters to attack Mudokons indiscriminately. Aghast,2 but unable to fix the bug themselves, the Glukkons decided that, retrofitted,3 they would make far better security devices.1 Workers are told that as long as they remain motionless in the Greeters’ infrared beam, they will be safe.4

Construction

A Greeter unit is essentially a four‐foot1 (1·2 m) tin can built out of junkyard scrap metal,3 with a control box, exhaust pipe, and steam whistle (or ‘horn’5) attached to the rear; a large, cheesy grin fixed to the front in a crude attempt to mask its more sinister nature,3 which lip syncs to the speech the unit produces; and a ring of sensors and lightning dispensers at the bottom.6

This cylindrical unit is balanced efficiently7 on a single, invariably squeaky wheel that brings the Greeter’s height to 5 feet 8 inches (1·7 m), ignoring the horn.6, 8 It is also fitted with a voicebox5 that originally gave the SoulStorm Brew sales pitch,3 but was changed to common Slig phrases after their change of function.

Gameplay

Greeters are a novel form of security device in Abe’s Exoddus, appearing in ‘FeeCo Depot’, the ‘Slig Barracks’ and ‘SoulStorm Brewery’. They will not detect Abe unless he upsets their motion detectors. The movement of these beams is harder to predict than regular motion detectors because of the Greeters’ travel across the screen. However, the beams can be seen to encircle the Greeter at a steady rate, just seen in 2D.

A glitch occurs when the player has activated or unlocked invincibility and is electrocuted by a Greeter. Abe will not die, but will gradually begin to glow more and more with each electrocution.

Production

Experimental Greeter designs explored several combinations of spherical, conical, and cylindrical shapes, but always with a height equal to Abe’s.6 According to concept sketches by Farzad Varahramyan, Greeters should ‘behave like a drunk unicyclist and move & sound like an old tinkertoy.’ The Greeters’ steam horn is basically a scaled down replica Greeter, but with a downturned mouth.

References

  1. Broderick, Glenn (~02/1999). ‘Name: Greeters’, ‘Inhabitants’. Oddworld.com.
  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. Johnson, Cathy & Daniel Wade (eds) (15/09/2004). ‘Greeters", ’Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus"", p. 128. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitiants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing.
  4. Vice‐President Aslik (17/11/1998). ‘Uncle Aslik’s Tourist Tip #9: Greeters Welcome You!’. FeeCo Depot. StoryDwelling Theater. Story stone (FDP02C16), ‘FeeCo Depot’ (FDP02C10). Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. GT Interactive. ‘Remember: If you don’t move, they can’t see you!’
  5. Oddworld Inhabitants (17/08/2000). ‘Greeters’. Oddworld Universe. Oddworld.com.
  6. Varahramyan, Farzad (24/03/1998). ‘Abe II: Greeters’ concept sketches. In Cathy Johnson & Daniel Wade (eds) (15/09/2004). ‘Greeters’, ‘Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus’, p. 128. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitiants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing.
  7. Alf (01/03/2001). Dear Alf 06, question №31. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld.com.
  8. Broderick, Glenn (~02/1999). ‘Name: Abe’, ‘Inhabitants’. Oddworld.com.