Meech

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Meech sketch by Steven Olds

Meeches are an extinct species of pack hunter[1] endemic to Mudos. Mentioned only in passing at the start of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee[2] and in fan relations material, it was intended for them to been seen later in the Oddworld Quintology.[3]

Population

The environmental conditions required by Meeches were much more fragile than those of most creatures; subsequently, Meeches were endemic to the immediate area around where RuptureFarms 1029 was built[4]—thought to be open fields and plains, possibly savannah[5][6]—where they hunted Elums in huge packs.[3] Their confined distribution ensured that the habitat loss and hunting of Meeches lead to their rapid decline in their population numbers and inevitable extinction.[4]

It was once rumoured that a population of Meeches was discovered atop a plateau, but the Glukkons immediately relocated them to one of their hunting preserves.[7] Alf’s friend Buddy lost huge amounts of weight on the South Meech Diet, but offered no proof that it was truly Meech he was eating.[8] Alf has repeatedly tried to suggest that there may still be free Meeches.[7][9][10]

Physiology

Not much has ever been seen of Meeches, and their appearance detailed here has been deduced from one colourless concept sketch by Steven Olds and descriptions by Lorne Lanning and fan liaison Matt Lee. Meeches were brown,[11] and stood about 3·5–4 feet (1–1·2 m) tall[1] on two three-toed legs.[12] Red stripes[11] ran across their armour-plated back, which had large spikes running down their spine.[12] Their mouth was Scrab-like,[12] but they had four jaws.[3] Their foreclaws (two per hand) were tiny and attached to their body by no visible arm.[12]

In other societies

In industrial society

Meech meat is eaten by consumers.[2] Because Meeches could only be found in the area in which RuptureFarms was built, there was never a very big population of them, so their meat was rarer than other kinds (like Scrab and Paramite, and subsequently rather more expensive; some even considered Meech meat a delicacy.[4] RuptureFarms 1029 was built in their natural environment, causing habitat loss, while it hunted Meeches for their meat to be made into the novelty meat snack Meech Munchies.[2] However, these combined made short work of the Meeches, who are now thought completely extinct. This extinction appears not to have been publicly admitted by RuptureFarms.[13]

In native society

Mudokons revere Meeches in the same way they do all wildlife, but it has been questioned whether they worship them in the same way they do Scrabs and Paramites. No temple or tribe dedicated to Meeches has ever been explored, although Alf has admitted (however truthfully) that had Meeches remained extant for Abe’s Temple Trials, he would have had to endure a third adventure in what the questioner named Meecharnia and the Meecharnian Temple;[14] Alf later referred to ‘the Meechonian temple of the Mudmeechee lines’.[15]

Production design

Meeches were always drawn and painted in concept art as being fairly green, but when they were modelled, animated, and actually running around in large packs in the Abe’s Oddysee game engine, they were made brown with red stripes running across their back.[1][11] No images or videos of these were archived before they were removed from the game, but the original data still exists.[1]

The reasons why Meeches were removed from Abe’s Oddysee are not known, but although their only appearance in the games so far has been a fleeting mention by Abe in ‘This is RuptureFarms’ and the Meech Munchies poster, Lorne Lanning intended for Meeches to be seen later in the Oddworld Quintology so they could be brought back from extinction.[3] At one point, Oddworld: The Hand of Odd was going to set before Abe’s birth,[16] when Meeches still existed in the wild, and might have featured in the game.

Meech social structure is based on that of wolves[1] or hyænæ,[3] while their body is reminiscent of dinosaurs: their weedy hands seem based off of those of tyrannosaurus rex, while their red striping is inspired by velociraptors.[11]

References

  1. a b c d e Lee, Matt (7 July 2007). Email to Zerox. ‘HOLY C~APF~CK! SERIOUSLY!’. Post 33 in ‘HOLY C~APF~CK! MEECHES OMG!’ (originally ‘HOLY C~APF~CK! SERIOUSLY!’). Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  2. a b c Oddworld Inhabitants (19 September 1997). ‘This is RuptureFarms’, 1·28. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. New York: GT Interactive. Abe: ‘We used to make Meech Munchies/Until the Meeches were through.
  3. a b c d e Lanning, Lorne (5 May 2000). ‘You want INSIDE info? How's this...’ interview by souljah_73 and the Exoddus Club, q. 5. The Exoddus Club. Yahoo! Clubs.
  4. a b c Lee, Matt (10 July 2007). Email to Jordan. Post 17 in ‘Your oddworld e-mails’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  5. Alf (30 April 2001). Dear Alf 08, question 2. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Official Oddworld website.
  6. Oddworld Forums members (26 April 2008 – 12 May 2008). Posts 1 & 31–36 in ‘Meech Environment’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  7. a b Alf (1 November 2000). Dear Alf 02, question 13. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  8. Crig (1 December 2003). ‘The South Meech Diet’. The Daily Deception Online December 2003. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  9. Alf (1 March 2001). Dear Alf 06, qq. 13 & 22. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  10. Alf (1 June 2002). Dear Alf 19, q. 6. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  11. a b c d Lee, Matt (2 July 2007). Email to Zerox. Post 1 in ‘HOLY CAPFCK! MEECHES OMG!’ (originally ‘Meech colours revealed!’). Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
  12. a b c d Olds, Steven (c. 1995). Meech concept sketch. From Oddworld Inhabitants (31 July 2000). ‘Meeches’. Oddworld Universe. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  13. Olds, Steven (a) & Cathy Johnson (c) (19 September 1997). RuptureFarms Meech Munchies advertisement. In Cathy Johnson & Daniel Wade (eds) (15 September 2004). ‘Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee’, p. 57. The Art of Oddworld Inhabitants: The First Ten Years 1994–2004. Mylor: Ballistic Publishing.
  14. Alf (1 July 2004). Dear Alf July 2004, q. 12. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  15. Alf (1 August 2004). Dear Alf August 2004, q. 15. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.
  16. Alf (1 March 2001). Dear Alf 06, q. 16. Alf’s Rehab & Tea. Oddworld Official Site Page.