Welcome to The Oddworld Encyclopedia's unofficial Oddworld FAQ, covering the areas of the Oddworld universe, games, production and online community. I've updated the FAQ with new questions and reorganised it all quite a bit once again. I also removed the questions from Moiety 4 from this page, basically because there were no answers for them yet. If you think you have a question that you've seen asked several times before but which I have left out, please let me know it and I'll update the FAQ.
Also, please note that while The Oddworld Encyclopedia is under construction, I've disabled the menu to prevent you getting a sneak peek.
Moiety One - The Oddworld Universe
Most Mudokons are green, so why is it Abe is blue?
In ancient prophecies, it was foretold that a Mudokon born with skin of blue would be the Mudokons' saviour, and rescue his people from slavery at the hands of the Magog Cartel, seen in the poetic story stones in Monsaic Lines. This is why Abe's skin is blue, although on a scientific level it may just be because of a random mutation.
Then again, Mudokons are chameleonic in that their skin changes colour to match their mood. Blue would indicate that Abe is sad, which is certainly true - Abe knows that no matter how much he wants to, he can never sit back and relax because there's always something to do, and if he doesn't do it, he will fail his destiny and the Mudokons will all be enslaved. However, there are moments when Abe appears both blue and happy, such as the good endings. Alf, on the other hand, claims that Abe once held a volume of Paramite Juice in his mouth for five whole minutes while working in RuptureFarms. How this could explain Abe's blue-tinted skin is not clear.
Why are Abe's lips stitched together?
Abe was a particularly noisy Mudokon baby, and so the Glukkons decided to sew his lips together to prevent him from whining, but not so tight as to prevent him tucking into addictive consumer products. What's more, gameplay in all the games tells us Mudokons that speak when they should be working are shot by Sligs, so it seems that the Magog Cartel doesn't take kindly to chatty slaves. Only facilities operated by Molluck the Glukkon appear to have gone to the length of actually stitching the workers' lips together, though.
Note that the stitches have become elasticised, allowing not only Abe but the other 99 Mudokons in RuptureFarms to talk perfectly. Note also that Interns have their lips sewn together, and that either stitch-technology has improved since Abe's birth or the Vykkers simply own more efficient sewing equipment, since Interns can neither talk nor whistle annoying trance and techno tunes.
Other Mudokons that escaped RuptureFarms like Alf and Buddy no longer have their lip-stitches, yet Abe has retained his. Why is this?
The Mudokons certainly do have the technology to snip the stitches off, but Abe has decided to keep his as a reminder of the Mudokons' dark history, of his own unfortunate past, and as a symbol of what will happen to his people if he ever fails his duty to Oddworld. They also have a kind of nostalgic value to them.
How do you pronounce 'Mudokon'?
It's pronounced as Abe says it in the movies: Moo Dark'n, with the second syllable slightly drawn out. A common mispronunciation I hear on cheap, nasty TV reviews is Moodah K'n, with stress on the first syllable.
Why hasn't the Big Face returned?
Big Face is the spiritual leader of all the Mudokons. He hasn't got time to be a personal tutor, except when the case is so important not only to the Mudokon race but the entire balance of Oddworld. Personal tutorage is usually the job of a Shaman. On top of that, Abe has progressed beyond anything spiritual the Big Face can show him.
Why hasn't Elum returned?
Elum is a lazy creature, and was unable to make the trek across the Necrum Desert, and hence has been unable to catch up with Abe as of yet. Expect to see him when we meet up again with Abe and Munch.
In terms of game construction, Paul O'Connor describes Elum's absence as a consequence of what he calls 'RAM cramp'.
"There was no way we could load Abe, Elum, an enemy or two, and the moves & effects needed to do anything interesting all at the same time. Those few scenes where he works in Oddysee were carefully scripted and pretty limited when you break them down."
-- Paul O'Connor, Oddworld Group, January 2000
Why do Sligs wear masks?
Sligs are forced to wear masks because Glukkons think they're ugly, and don't want to have to put up with their faces, or at least that's what we're told. Production artwork of Sligs reveals that there is nothing of much horror or surprise underneath their masks, but we have to remember that Glukkons and other species of Oddworld all have different values and customs than we do. Additionally, it may be that the masks are needed for the Sligs to breath properly, or that it is technology is the masks that reads the brain patterns of the Slig and controls its mechanical pants accordingly. The red light given off by the masks might also indicate that they contain technology that improves or aids the Sligs' vision.
Doesn't the Flying Slig in the Abe's Exoddus opening have flapping/vibrating wings?
Yes, indeed he did, although neither that Slig nor his flying harness exist today. The propeller flying harness model, which we see throughout the rest of the game, was found to be cheaper to manufacture, and so the old model was put out of commission. Unfortunately for that particular Slig, the smell he could detect was ozone, created by burning lubricating oil. Within ten seconds of him leaving the screen, his wings seized up, causing him to crash in a spectacular fireball.
Will there ever be good/native Glukkons or Sligs?
It seems highly unlikely that there are Glukkons or Sligs that haven't yet been industrialised, especially since the queens of those species belong to the Magog Cartel. It may be that there are lost colonies with their own queen, but it seems doubtful. Some Sligs seem to get on quite well with the Mudokons, such as Crig who occasionally visits Alf's Rehab and Tea, and Wildum who didn't beat the slaves in RuptureFarms. Then there's the Albino Slig Grub, which escaped the Slig Birthing Complex without having its natural loving tendencies beaten out of it.
From the Planet Xbox online chat with Lorne Lanning:
Sligface: will there ever be a good slig, glukkon, vykker, etc?
Lorne_Lanning: The answer to all of these questions is... yes. However, what is "good" is always in the eye of the beholder. To our eyes, some of these individuals within these races will appear good. But ultimately, we're about blurring the lines between what is good and what is evil. It's not an easy call and most people, governments, corporations... make this call prematurely. We want to leave people with uncertainty and let our work be a catalist for debate... after the games been played.
Is Molluck still alive?
Whenever official sources refer to Molluck's death, they invariably end with '...or is he?' Molluck almost certainly isn't dead, and most likely will return in the Quintology, although what role he will play is uncertain. Being responsible for the destruction of RuptureFarms and the unleashing of the terrorist Abe, neither the Magog Cartel nor and almost any other Industrial family would be pleased to discover he is still alive, and would put him trial, before or after being shot dead. It is rumoured he belongs to the Oddworld Mafia.
Society and Science
What kind of relationship do Mudokons have with birds?
It is important to remember that Mudokons are evolved from birds, and have retained many aspects of their anatomy, such as the nostrils at the top of their 'beaks', their gullet, their skull structure and their feathers. Interestingly, they have also developed some kind of spiritual, almost symbiotic relationship with them. Mudokons can turn into birds, scatter, regroup and turn into their regular form once again; should they have the ability to be resurrected, their spirit appears to transform into birds.
Right now, it's not known whether the birds have a symbiotic relationship with the Mudokons, or whether Mudokons and their souls can take on the form of birds. Frankly, it's not important, and most fans would rather the bird symbolism continue unexplained, and would be devastated if this ornithology, or Spooce, were attributed to anything in particular.
What caused the Mudokons and Glukkons to become creatures of such opposite intent?
GThe Glukkons and Mudokons have a history that goes back many millennia. The source of their rivalry started just as long ago, when both races lived in peace and harmony. The Mudokons had a kind animistic religion, themselves being highly spiritual, while the Glukkons tended to lean more towards black magic and the occult, but they co-existed without hassle. The feud began when a moon appeared in the sky with the impression of a Mudokons' paw - yes, the same one we see today. The Mudokons eagerly read this as a sign that proclaimed they were the Chosen Ones, but the Glukkons did not agree with this idea and set to prove the Mudokons wrong. Using their knowledge of potions, the Glukkons entered their Alchemy Age, during which they strived to alter the appearance of their own hands to match the shape seen on the moon.
Tragically for the Glukkons, their efforts culminated in a violent accident that wiped out almost all of their race, and those that did survive were deformed, twisted into the frightful creatures we see today. Now fearing the Mudokon moon and its implications, they began to live their entire lives underground and in the dark. Over time their eyes developed their distinctive glow. Eventually, they discovered the Industrial side to Oddworld and joined their throngs. At first they were driven to provide top-quality merchandise at reasonable prices, and even provided jobs for the unemployed Mudokon species. However, with each generation they slipped another rung down the ladder of morality, and the Mudokon employees became the slaves they are today.
Why don't Glukkons buy mechanical legs from the Vykkers?
No self-respecting Glukkon would be seen with anything robotic on them. They'd sell their own organs before fixing a pair of unfashionable and ugly mechanical appendages to themselves. Cybernetics are for the lowly - like Sligs - not the decent, dignified and fashionable among Oddworld's industrial society.
Why don't the Sligs rebel against the Glukkons?
Because Sligs love their jobs. Besides, if they weren't employed by the Glukkons they wouldn't have mechanical legs or guns, they wouldn't get paid, and they wouldn't have power over Mudokons. The Glukkons' dominance over the Slig species has altered their culture and their personal beliefs and changed them into a race of thugs and bullies, easily impressed by weapon technology and completely bowled over by the opportunity to be unnecessarily cruel to things. Any rebellious Slig would also most likely be shot by his best friend at the first mention of such a concept. And for what? Freedom? In the Slig language, that means 'easily stepped on'.
What are those giant skeletons in the Paramite Run and Scrab Retreat?
Those are the skeletons of Sea Rexes, giant aquatic carnivores larger than any other creature in Mudos. They were originally penned to appear in cinematics in Munch's Oddysee, but somewhere along the way they were cut from the game. Their skeletons were evidently placed in the game as a bonus for eagle-eyed Oddworld fans, although they also explain how the Scrab and Paramite herds have been able to keep sustained. As for how they got into the Wilderness Region, my theory is that certain parts of those areas are prone to flooding, allowing Sea Rexes to enter the newly-formed lakes, only to become trapped as the water levels fall. Oddworld Inhabitants may provide an official explanation in the future.
[Question regarding the Scrab, Elum etc. queen]
Oddworld's predominant social and reproductive model is the super species, where one or more queens give birth to many sexless drones. Mudokons, Glukkons and Sligs all conform to this common system, as may Slogs. However, there are many species that do not reproduce in this fashion. The Gabbit species reproduces sexually, with a male and a female, and it seems most likely that Elums, Scrabs and Paramites do this also. Vykkers are hermaphroditic and can impregnate themselves. Elderlings begin their lives as trees, so they may reproduce by pollination. Beyond that there is nothing certain and very little to base theories on.
Scrabs, Paramites, Slogs and Fleeches don't have any eyes, so how do they see?
It's important to keep in mind that even on our own planet, creatures are not as dependent on sight as we are. Dogs and cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell, this coming into play in their daily domestic routine and natural instincts. Some creatures have senses that seem a lot more exotic to us. Similarly, Oddworld wildlife use alternative means of sensing the world around them.
Scrabs probably rely heavily on sound, most likely using a form of echolocation, as bats do. The 'screen' on the front of their face is evidence of this, as are the war screams they cry before taking chase of their prey. Their screen may also be able to detect light in the same way that certain cells on a slug's skin can, meaning they do have limited vision.
Paramites may use smell as their primary sense, as they constantly are sniffing when encountered in AO and AE. This may explain how they are able to react to Abe holding up meat for them. It is also likely they can detect vibrations on the ground highly acutely, as spider's detect vibrations on their webs. Both of these explain why Paramites react to Abe when he is invisible, but Scrabs do not. Looking at the meat cuts chart for Paramites reveals an area behind their face called the 'eye'. Maybe they do have some eyesight after all.
Slogs definitely have hearing, as they respond to Slig demands and noises made by Abe. The image of a warthog-like Slog from Oddworld 4 reveals an eye, so Slogs may have redundant or hidden visual organs, too.
Fleeches, being close to the ground, can probably detect vibrations caused by footsteps. They also have hearing, since the noise of a Slurg popping is enough to wake them up. Perhaps they have sensitive receptors in their tongue which allows them to examine objects by 'licking' them.
For discussion of this subject, try the appropriate Oddworld Forums topic | here.
Continuity and Goofs
How come in Abe's Oddysee Mudokons had four fingers on each hand but since Abe's Exoddus they've had only had three? Even the moon changed!
In Japan, there existed a meat packing sub-class who so frequently would lose a finger by accident that a four-fingered hand came to represent these people. The whole thing would rather be forgotten by most people. However, there is a group that tackles the use of this cultural-historical insult, and unless the creators can stump up a whole load of money, the character is seen as a terrible insult to Japan's history. The Walt Disney Corporation pays five million dollars a year to keep a four-fingered Mickey Mouse in Japan. Oddworld Inhabitants, being a much smaller company, elected not to churn up the cash and instead altered Abe's image. Characters such as Sligs, which in a black-and-white world would be classified as being 'bad' characters, have been able to keep their four-digit hands.
Of course, the whole thing is a corporate scandal, because although this group claims to be keeping the memory out of the country, they are in fact the only people keeping the dark past in everybody's minds, and what's more they're acquiring vast sums of wealth by doing so. We tend to call that extortion. What makes this case especially ironic is that Abe does work in a meat factory.
Oh yes, and the number four displayed on a moon is a sign of evil.
Note that later publications of Abe's Oddysee had three-fingered Mudokons - strangely enough, the finger that was omitted is different in AO than in AE.
In Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus, Scrabs would fight each other to the death if they met, but in Munch's Oddysee they're running around in a herd. How is this possible?
Well firstly, Scrabs have no qualms inhabiting the same land, as long as it's a group ownership. One-on-one, Scrabs are vicious and violent, but there's safety in numbers, where they don't feel threatened. Secondly, Scrabs that live in a herd are led by a single Alpha Scrab, which is the truly ferocious one among them, comparable to the dominant male in a pride of lion or the top silverback in a group of gorillas. If two herds of Scrabs encounter, it'll be the Alpha Scrabs who engage in a battle to the death over the leadership of both herds.
Also, during the time Abe's Oddysee and Exoddus take place, it's the Scrabs' nesting and/or mating season, which would mean that all the Scrabs are particularly edgy and get very upset if anyone comes near them or their nests. Alternatively, all these Scrabs are the male ones searching for a mate, and will always try to eliminate the competition. On top of that, the Scrabs in the Scrabanian Temple and Mudanchee Vaults, having been locked away for years, have gone a bit strange and become more vicious than they usually would be.
All five explanations are official. You'll just have to mix and match.
Didn't Abe's voice also get a lot deeper between Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus?
Yes, it most certainly did. Abe's Exoddus used a different compression scheme from its predecessor, which probably made some of the sounds, most noticeably Abe's voice sound different. Additionally, the sound guy for Abe's Oddysee did uncredited voice work on the first game, possibly making Abe sound deeper in Exoddus, when in fact it was Lorne's unedited acting.
Why is it Slig masks in AO had a single thin eye, while in AE this was changed to two separate eyes?
Following a high rate of Slig suicides, an investigation into that particular issue of masks revealed that the visors in them contained a small optical misalignment, effectively giving the poor wearers double vision. The next generation of visor technology was quickly issued to prevent more cross-eyed deaths. Note that higher ranks of Sligs, such as Magnums and Big Whammies, have a different visor design yet, no doubt increasing their visual acuity.
From a design perspective, OWI felt that they needed to create more emotion from Industrial characters, and that two separate eyes would give Sligs a more expressional face.
Haven't the Glukkons' voices changed a lot during the games? Why is this?
In fact, they have. In Abe's Oddysee, Molluck and the other Glukkons mumble a lot and tend not to enunciate their words, while in Abe's Exoddus they obviously are able to speak with more clarity. Some even have distinctive accents, sounding French, Russian or Bronx. In Munch's Oddysee, most Glukkons in gameplay have a gruff Italian American accent, although the good ending adds Texan and slightly dopey to this list.
In Abe's Exoddus, we see a lot more of the Magog Cartel, especially the Glukkons, and we need to understand what they are saying, hence the absence of mumbling. The Bronx, Russian and Mafia accents typically carry a certain degree of ferocity, making them ideal for Glukkons. Tex's voice makes him sound very rich and self-important, while Lulu's represents his dopiness well without making him sound un-Gluk-like. The Brewmaster's French accent was probably just for comic relief, but it also sounds rather menacing, almost on the edge of sanity.
Why can Abe not possess Scrabs, Paramites or Glukkons in Abe's Oddysee?
Notice that after receiving his Scrab scar, Abe does not encounter another Scrab until Abe's Exoddus. Best guess is, it's the scars that gave him the ability to possess Scrabs and Paramites. Abe did not have any opportunity to possess Glukkons in AO - in the Board Room he would have been shot, and his hands were tied up when he was confronted with Molluck, so it may be that he had the ability to possess them all along. Abe only has the ability to possess the more intelligent species - hence it is unlikely we'd see him in control of a Fleech, although that would be fun! However, Abe's abilities are constantly developing, hence his ability to use Possession Orbs and take control of Slogs in Munch's Oddysee.
How can Sligs in Munch's Oddysee not realise when their comrades are possessed?
Abe was new to possession in the first two games, hence he would not control Sligs very elegantly - they would have a stoned expression and would stumble about a lot. By Munch's Oddysee, his technique and control had been refined. Another reason is that the AI in Munch's Oddysee was dreadful: similar to Sligs not noticing any peculiar when Mudokons are carried by an invisible Abe, they seem unable to be concerned when the Slig they are chatting to suddenly screams out in agony.
How can the Glukkons and Vykkers at the Gabbiar Auction clap?
Glukkons do not have hands to clap with, and Vykkers don't appear to have the sort of hands that readily produce applause. Alf says it isn't beyond the Vykkers to have created a machine that produces the sound of clapping for use in formal events such as the Gabbiar Auction.
Moiety Two - The Oddworld Games
When did the Oddworld games come out?
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee first came out in September 1997. Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus first came out in December 1998. Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee first came out in November 2001. These dates aren't exact, and they don't apply to every place in the world. If you can supply more information, | please do.
Are creatures in Abe's Oddysee based on hands?
Several creatures in Abe's Oddysee do have parts of them that vaguely resemble human hands, most noticeably the facial fingers arranged about the Paramite's face. Several fans have also spotted that you can reproduce a Slig's head by holding the tips of your fingers together and pointing them towards the ground. Also, it is said that you can clench your fist and have an image of a Scrab in your hand (although I personally do not see this at all). There has been no official word as to why the designs are so, although it may just be that fans have let their mind wander a little too far.
Will there ever be another Abe game?
"We've kicked around the idea of a third Abe game a couple times, but for various marketing reasons I don't think it's going to happen."
-- Paul O'Connor, Oddworld Group, July 1999
Why is Munch's Oddysee Xbox Xclusive?
The simple answer is that Lorne Lanning and OWI, wanting their game to be the best it could be, were attracted to the Xbox's superior specifications. They canned the PlayStation 2 version because they planned for the ALIVE 2 engine to run their next three games also, and didn't want to be hindered by the PS2's inferior graphics and whatnot. To read about the matter in more detail, read | this interview with Sherry McKenna and Lorne Lanning.
Will Munch's Oddysee ever be released on anything other than the Xbox?
Munch's Oddysee is Xbox Xclusive, which means that it will never appear on the PlayStation 2 or GameCube. OWI did consider whether to port the game to PC CD-ROM, but since they are now working hard on their next project, it is highly unlikely this will ever happen, especially considering the relative failure of Munch's Oddysee. However, THQ are publishing many Microsoft-developed games, including Munch's Oddysee, on the GameBoy Advance.
Wasn't there a lot of stuff missing from Munch's Oddysee?
Put simply and shortly, yes. The trouble was, even as far back as early 1999, people were very excited about Munch's Oddysee, and Oddworld Inhabitants were happy to provide people with all sorts of previews of the characters, locations, and plot - after all, the release was just a few months away. But the transfer from 2D to 3D was more diffdifficult than anticipated, the PS2 was difficult to develop for, and the transfer to Xbox knocked more time off of production.
However, that does not mean that Munch's Oddysee wasn't a very good game, far from it. It's just not as good as it could have been. We blame it all on hype and lack of secrecy, the exact same thing that prevented the whole Mudokon tears plot in Abe's Exoddus from being the shock horror that it was intended to be. Oddworld Inhabitants have obviously learnt from this mishap, because they are remaining very secretive about their next game, known even now only as Oddworld 4.
What's this I've heard of Game Boy versions of the Oddworld games?
Oddworld Adventures loosely follows the storyline of Abe's Oddysee, and has Abe doing his usual running, jumping and avoiding carnivorous enemies, and is available on the Nintendo Game Boy. Similarly, Oddworld Adventures II loosely follows the storyline of Abe's Exoddus. Both games were created by a company called Saffire, with help from a few Oddworld Inhabitants, of course. Fans are not eager to add these to their collection, as the Game Boy can't really do justice for the Oddworld atmosphere, gameplay and graphics.
I've heard of a game called SligStorm. What is it?
After the unexpected success of Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld Inhabitants planned to release both games together in a single package, along with a bonus CD stocked full of behind-the-scenes information, exclusive interviews, production art and a whole load of other goodies. At the end of it all there was to be a great little game called SligStorm.
Sadly, publisher pressure made the whole thing quite difficult, and besides, they were already working on bigger and better things, namely Munch's Oddysee and Hand of Odd. However, there does still exist a chance that SligStorm will one day become available to us.
SligStorm was to use the A.L.I.V.E. engine to tell the story of an Albino Slig Grub born in a Slig Birthing Complex. Rather than await the inevitable death such mutants are usually subjected to, this larva was going to make a brave dash for safety and escape the complex and the clutches of the Magog Cartel. The game would be 50-100 screens long and feature about two minutes of cut scenes.
Help, I'm stuck on Oddworld!
There are a couple of places you can visit to get help completing the Oddworld games if you are stuck. Firstly, there are Sinjin's Guides for | Abe's Oddysee, | Abe's Exoddus and | Munch's Oddysee, which are beautifully presented and very helpful and comprehensive. If you're still stuck, try the Help Section of the Oddworld Forums or look up the game you're having trouble with at | GameFAQs.
Are there any cheats for the Oddworld games?
Indeed there are. Until The Oddworld Encyclopedia completes its Games Region, use <a href="http://www.oddworld.au.com/main.htm">Oddworld-Web's cheat pages</a>.
==== What is Oddworld 4 all about? Oddworld 4 is the mysterious latest development at Oddworld Inhabitants. The main character is the Steef, a bounty hunter, who appears to be an affiliate of the Vykkers and an enemy of a poacher, who may or may not be called Grub. The game itself has a strong Western look to it, while the gameplay will be much more exploration and shooting than the timing and puzzle solving of previous games. The Steef is not an anti-hero like Abe or Munch. Most of what we know about Oddworld 4 comes from the recent episode of 'On The Inside' called X-Factor - Inside Microsoft's Xbox, which can be downloaded from | here (thanks to | Oddipus of the Oddworld Forums for finding this). For more information, theories and opinions of the new game, read | this topic from the Oddworld Forums. Bear in mind, though, that the footage from the video was shot in September of last year, and OWI refuse to comment on the direction they have taken since then.
If the next game if Oddworld 4, does that mean we're nearing the end of the Quintology?
No, absolutely not! Oddworld 4 is so-called merely because it is the fourth game to be release by OWI, following AO, AE and MO. It is not part of the Oddworld Quintology, and so should not be used to tally up numbers. However, it does run concurrent to the Quintology, so characters, places and events in this game may significantly affect what we see in future Quintology games.
For the record, we have only seen part of the second chapter of the Oddworld Quintology, namely Munch's Oddysee, which will, if Lorne's aspirations remain intact, have several bonus games. The third chapter in the Oddworld Quintology will not start until Squeek's Oddysee.