Dear Alf #4

They say the only dumb question is the one that doesn’t get asked. Well, I beg to differ. The dumb question is the one that gets asked OVER AND OVER AGAIN! So, before you write, check our list of Most Frequently Asked Questions!

Q: What kind of role do vehicles play in Munch’s Oddysee? Are there any water-based vehicles, like boats and stuff? I’d also like to know if I get to control that awe inspiring blimp I’ve seen pictures of?

Alf: We’re still evaluating the role of vehicles in Munch’s Oddysee.

Q: Will the Munch’s Oddysee environments be more Outside or Inside? Will there be more small buildings, like guard towers or little homes? Or large buildings, like factories and stations? 

Alf: All of the above! We have massive, sprawling indoor environments, and we also have smaller guard towers and such dotting our outdoor landscapes. We’re shooting for a balance of indoor and outdoor experiences.

Q: I would seriously like to know how large the worlds will be in Munch’s Oddysee? Everquest size? Mario64? 

Alf: We’re still exploring the maximum sustainable size for our outdoor areas. We feel there isn’t much point in having super-large areas if there isn’t anything to do in them. There are trade-offs involved between the size of areas, the number of characters in those areas, the complexity of the environments, the presence of facilities, etc. We haven’t quite yet arrived at the magic formula that will let us answer your question, but we’re getting close!

Q: Does Abe get any new tattoos in Munch’s Oddysee? What about Munch, will he get tattoos or any more electronic equipment?

Alf: Abe is a supporting character in Munch’s Oddysee, and he doesn’t go on the sort of quest that awards new tattoos. Munch does evolve over the course of the story, but his evolution has more to do with what he learns about himself and his race than any external change. Tattoos aren’t really Munch’s thing, but you never know …

Q: What is the utility of the thing that Munch has in his head?

Alf: The jack in Munch’s head was installed by deranged Vykkers scientists for twisted reasons of their own. Little did they realize that Munch would find a way to use his jack to control robots, vehicles, and other machines.

Q: I heard that Mullock is coming back in Munch’s Oddysee and that you visit Rupture Farms…is this true?

Alf: I can neither confirm nor deny a role for Mollock in Munch’s Oddysee. A return to RuptureFarms does presently figure in the game.

Q: Will Bigface appear in Munch’s Oddysee? Will Abe disappear in the next game (Munch’s Exoddus)? 

Alf: Because this story is about Munch, Big Face does not appear (Bigface is Abe’s mentor). In many ways, Abe has moved beyond what Big Face can teach him, which is one of the reasons the Almighty Raisin chooses this time to reveal himself to our heroes. And don’t worry – Abe’s story is far from over. He isn’t going anywhere soon.

Q: The Glukkon Queen Margaret is the absolute ruler.
The Slig Queen Skillya is a wealthy business partner of the Glukkons.
The Glukkons make up the rich business class.
The Vykkers make up the rich tech class.
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The Sligs make up the low paid soldier/police class.
The Mudokons make up the slave laborer class.
Slogs and Fleeches are pets.
Meetles are beasts of burden.
Scrabs, Paramites, and Meeches are livestock.
This is Oddworld’s modern society as I’ve been able to piece together. Notice the blank space? That’s where a working middle class would be. Who are they?

Alf: An interesting evaluation, and largely accurate. Most of the working class that you mention live in Oddworld’s cities, which have yet to be seen … and those details will have to wait for a future game.

You should also realize that the classes you mention aren’t monolithic. That is to say, while the majority of Sligs are part of a low paid soldier class, there are also middle-class Sligs.

Likewise, not all Mudokons are slaves. Additionally, there are internal markets in each of the classes you mention … just because many Mudokons are part of a slave class doesn’t mean they aren’t enthusiastic consumers of Paramite Pies.

Even Mudokon slaves have some discretionary bonus income to spend (earned for meeting production quotas, or snitching out their fellow slaves).

Q: With businesses such as Rupture Farms and Soul Storm Brew, who exactly do the $$$-hungry Glukkons sell these products to? 

Alf: Anyone and everyone! The Magog Cartel is always looking for new markets to exploit.

Q: In Munch’s Oddysee, will you show the different forms of Mudokons? Or Sligs in their many stages of life?

Alf: You will certainly see a new twist on Sligs. We’re still working on some surprises for Mudokons.

Q: How come Sligs and Glukkons never come close to the Scrabs, Paramites, or Fleeches, even just by chance? I would want to see the outcome if they did…

Alf: In our first two games, this was entirely due to memory constraints on the Playstation. Our characters are so rich and so detailed that you can’t have more than a few of them on screen at the same time. We really had to jump through hoops to get as much stuff on the screen as we did … every time you move from one screen to the next, the code is busily swapping stuff in and out in the background. It’s almost like pouring water from a gallon jug, into a cup, then into another gallon jug, over and over again, without spilling a drop in the meantime. Quite a challenge!

We trust that our new platform will permit us to work with a broader canvas of characters, although machines being what they are, I’m sure we’ll still be doing all sorts of wizardry in the background to deliver the most exciting game experience possible.

Q: How did the Sligs get their pants? Did they build them themselves, or did the Glukkons make them? (and if the Glukkons did, they would have to sit a bit away from the work area because the length of their arms, wouldn’t they?)

Alf: Most of the weird technology you see on Oddworld is derived, directly or indirectly, from the twisted experiments at Vykkers Labs.

Q: If the Glukkons (or Sligs) can make pants for the Sligs, then why don’t they make pants for themselves?

Alf: Please! No self-respecting Glukkon would be caught dead tottering about on a gauche set of mechanical legs!

Q: I was wondering, since Sligs are first born with an urge to nurture and this instinct is later beaten out of them, is there a chance that we will ever encounter “nice” Sligs?

Alf: Nice tendencies are ruthlessly sought out and eliminated in Sligs at a very early age … but you never know. A grub here or there might slip through the system.

Q: Alf, do you play a role in Munch’s Oddysee?

Alf: I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a Slig beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready and where people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build. I’ll be there, too.

Q: I was wondering why Abe was the chosen one to help free all the Mudokens?…I mean he’s really clumsy and stupid.

Alf: Odd works in mysterious ways.

Q: In Munch’s Oddysee, in the Vykkers labs can the player interact with all the specimens in the cages that the Vykkers are experimenting on (i.e. let them out and make them attack Sligs, etc.)?

Alf: Munch can build a little army with all the Fuzzles he releases in Vykkers Labs.

Q: In Munch’s Oddysee, will Abe and the various other characters have an extended “Gamespeak?” Will Abe also have different Mystical Tattoos? If so, what do they do?

Alf: GameSpeak has been both extended and simplified for Munch’s Oddysee, and plays a pivotal role in the game.

Q: What does SoulStorm Brew taste like?

Alf: Don’t ask me about Brew! I’m still tryin’ to forget! Man, one is too many, and a million’s not enough!

Q: I remember a guardian angel in an FMV for the first game. It also appears now in the Oddworld Universe section of the website. What relevance does it have to the game? Will the guardian angel appear in Munch’s Oddysee?

Alf: The Shrink, as he is now known, was originally part of an early concept for a television ad for Abe’s Oddysee. Nothing goes to waste here at Oddworld, so I’m sure you’ll see the Shrink in a game sooner or later.

Q: I was wondering, in some of the Abe’s Exoddus pictures with the Mudokons hanging upside down on the ‘tear thing’, their loin clothes are staying up? How can that be?

Alf: Censor’s Glue. It’s the same thing that keeps Xena’s skirt in place.

Q: After the 5th game of the Oddworld Quintology, will there be something else in store for us Oddworld fans, or is that the end forever?

Alf: I’m sure we’ll continue to make Oddworld games as long as we draw breath (provided they put work stations in rest homes and insane asylums).

Q: I heard that Oddworld Inhabitants will make a Squeek’s Oddysee. What can you tell me about it?

Alf: Only that it is indeed scheduled to be a Quintology title, and that it’s top secret.

Q: What happened to the Oddworld store with all the cool Oddworld Merchandise?

Alf: Unfortunately our store had to close due to our change of publishers. We hope to re-open someday.

Q: Will the Xbox be compatible with a keyboard or mouse? What is the release date for Xbox, and how much is it going to cost?

Alf: Probably best if you go to the experts on this.
Check out www.xboxaddict.com   or   www.msxbox.com