Dear Alf February 2012

Well E-by-lum, it sure has been a long time since I did one of these things. Between the release of Stranger’s Wrath HD, development of…
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Well E-by-lum, it sure has been a long time since I did one of these things. Between the release of Stranger’s Wrath HD, development of Munch’s Oddysee HD and the start of a little something we like to call Abe HD, I just haven’t found the time to sit down with a big cup of revitalizing tea, pull up a fresh sheet of paper, and write demeaning comments about you all. That hasn’t stopped you sending in questions, though. I’ve got a lovely big backlog of mail waiting to be opened, and my letter opener is just too blunt to handle all those envelopes.

But persevere I shall! For there is nothing more important to me than responding to good, honest questions with good, honest answers! So enough of me prattling on about how I’m going to get to work: Let’s get to work!

Professional Mole: Hey, Alf, newcomer here! Nice place you got here… I msyelf do not have such a place, but I do have some questions.

Alf: Whatever it takes to keep the wind and rain off your head, pal! I for one could never construct a shelter out of questions, but I could build a massive fortress outta answers!

Are there still wild Glukkons around?

Alf: No way, Glukkons became ‘Civilized’ so many generations back there’s no chance of any one of them living off the land, let alone a community of native Gluks. Even if there were, the capitalistic Glukkons would only respond to their discovery by putting them in a zoo or something.

Is there(or was there ever) a temple dedicated to Meeches?

Alf: There were probably dozens of them all across Mudos at some point, from tiny shrines to towering temple cities. Traditional Mudokon faiths are so varied but largely forgotten.

Is the Almighty Raisin an animal or a vegetable(or something inbetween)?

Alf: Neither. He is a tree. Or he used to be before he shed his branches and roots. The Almighty Raisin is living proof that “Time makes fools of us all” is simply untrue.

And finally, what exactly do Mudokons milk? As in, where does that milk come from?

Alf: Anything we can; Scrabs, Paramites, Elums, they all give milk. We don’t have a global industry dedicated to milking a single species. That’s not how to live sustainably with nature.

Liam: In one question you said that Sligs aren’t nice creatures to hang around with. In another question, you said that you’d give it to a Slig named Crig. What’s up wit dat?

Alf: All depends on what you’re in to and how you come across. If you love crude, belittling humor and talking about guns, you’d probably have a fantastic time in a Slig bar. If you have a more refined sense of interpersonal communications and don’t want to laugh at the suffering of others, you’d best steer clear. Crig may be chummy but he’s still a Slig through and through.

Also, does Crig have a Slog or a Sloggie?

Alf: I doubt Crig has any fondness for Slogs after his stint as a herder in the lonely Mudos mountains. Or maybe he has a very special fondness for them after their being his only companionship for so many months. You’d have to ask him, and I haven’t seen him anywhere lately.

And does Munch still hang out with you, Abe, or anyone else? (Crig might scare the poor little fella.)

Alf: He sure does. Can’t get rid of the little fella. Not even when we try really, really hard. Man, I can’t stand the stank of fish. It makes my tea curdle.

calvin: cool thanks alf and im just wondering how did abe get his “stich lips” as the other Mudokons would say.

Alf: They were sewn on when he was a baby.

and how did u guys do all the voices for the games?

Alf: We go up to the microphone and read the script. The recording is then put in the game.

Regen: I was wondering who dose the artwork for Oddworld Ables oddesy and exodus. I want to know his or her name and wish to tell him or her they did a wonderful job. If there is a seprit person for the games background and main details i want to know who did them. I think the backgrounds are amazingly beutiful and think people who do artwork need more credit.

Alf: Shucks, Regan, them’s mighty flattering words. Truth is that so many people contributed to the background artwork that I wouldn’t know how to begin listing them. There’s the folks who designed every last machine, path, tree and rock formation, the folks who modelled them in full 3D and put them together to make the scenes, and the folks who took the screenshots of those scenes and added details in Photoshop. For Exoddus we moved more from modelling entire screens to modelling individual elements and taking a selection of screenshots to reuse screen after screen.

But also one other game queston, do muddokoens go to school? Like do stuff kids do at school? When the muds are only little kids and do they have parents or dose everyone take care of the babys?

Alf: School?? There ain’t time for school when there’s levers to pull, walls to wash, bones to mine and bullets to test. Get those silly notions of homework and hopscotch out of your head and do yer damn job, ya layabout punk!

And do you ever help around with the guys on the game? If so what do you do besides sip tee and awnser are silly questons.

Alf: I sure do. Every couple of hours I go on a patrol of the office, looking over everyone’s shoulders and pointing out the things I don’t like. But I’m a nice guy, so I like to take any potential sting out of my comments by voicing them with an air of aloof sarcasm. Everyone likes sarcasm. It’s like the milk that makes the tea less bitter.

Darren: If a mudokon was to hand rear a slog as a sloggie, would it become tame and if not how are they tame to sligs.

Alf: Like anything, Slogs are a product of how they’re brought up. If you raise a Slog with love and care, it’s going to love you back and look after you and anything you want it to. If you raise it with an iron fist, it’s going to grow into something aggressive and dangerous, only cooperating for fear of its own wellbeing. Guess which method Sligs use.

Also if you had a slog do you like it could be tame just giving it a cup of tea rather then meat all the time or would that kill it? It wouldn’t be cruel to test to find out as Slogs are cruel to mudokons any ways and Oddworld doesn’t seem to have any animal welfare laws.

Alf: I don’t think Slogs can survive on tea alone, do you?

Also what is Abe’s favorite colour?

Alf: Purple.

Vincent: Sorry if I am being irritaing Alf; it is just I missed you for the 7 years you were off the net! I got somemore questions in lieu of my costume!

Alf: No way was it seven years. You’re hyperboling, buster! But I missed you too.

1.) What is the relationship between Interns and Sligs? Do they think the ‘grass is greener’ working with the Glukkons and Vykkers respectively?

2.) Why don’t for that matter Glukkons use Interns and Vykkers Sligs?

Alf: They’re perfectly suited to their respective masters. Glukkons know that guns, pants and smokes are all it takes to make a Slig loyal for life, and Interns love having access to needles and drugs. They don’t think highly of each other. Show me two demographics that do.

3.) Are Interns asexual or not? Do they have a queen? (Queen Ingrid?)

Alf: Tell you what, make friends with one and give it their favourite grunge hop hip trop album, or whatever it is they listen to, for their birthday. Once you have their trust, invite them to the local milkshake salon (they can fit the straws between their mouth stitches) and see how far you get. And never, ever, under any circumstances inform me of your discoveries.

4.) Where did Doc come from? Vykkers Lab or elsewhere?

Alf: Considering Vykkers Labs smashed into the ground in a million pyrotechnic pieces, no, I don’t think Doc came from there.

5.) Are they three main races on Oddworld? Industrial, Native and Consumer, which includes Clakkerz and Outlaws? Or do they belong to one of the established two?

Alf: Industrial, Native and Wildlife have been pretty useful classes so far, but there are always exceptions. Gabbits, for instance, can fit into either Native or Wildlife depending on what criteria you think are most important; they have language and other social intelligence, but no architecture or art or technology. We put Clakkerz in the ‘Settler’ category, and Outlaws in the ‘Outlaw’ category. In time our understanding of these categories and how they interact and overlap with others may come to grow substantially.

6.) Why does only Sekto have Wolvarks? Where did they come from? Do they have a queen?

Alf: There are many competing security companies on Oddworld, including Sligs and Wolvarks. Glukkons go with Sligs, Sekto goes with Wolvarks. It’s consumer choice!

serhat: 1. dont know if u have seen munch or a gabbit b4 but how do they talk? they never use their tounge and hav got not very many teeth and their teeth r small

Alf: Gabbits have fantastically versatile tongues that put yours and mine to shame, and can produce a massive range of vocalizations that let them immitate the languages of dozens of species. Conversely, they do have trouble with dental consonants for reasons you’ve already explained.

2. wat do khanzumers look like? the guys that the glukkons make their products for

Alf: I haven’t met them yet, but the Glukkons say they’re the most important people on the planet. They give them all the choices, all the luxuries, all the commoddities. I can only imagine they’re hereditarily rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, capable of funding the most important research AND buying a fleet of the fanciest of yachts, all from a single bank note, with enough change left over to melt down into crowns.

Andrew: Hello Alf, I was wondering a few things: Between Glukkons, Gloktogi and Oktigi, which species has the longest natural lifespan and which has the shortest?

Alf: Gloktigi have the shortest lifespan, at an average of 40 years. Glukkons have an average lifespan of 65 years. I’m not convinced Oktigi ever die.

And, what do (or atleast would) Clakkerz think about Mudokons, what do Mudokons think about Grubbs, and what do Grubbs think about Vykkerz? Thanks.

Alf: Why don’t you go and ask them?

also most people i know dont know the awsomeness of oddworld games so i try to show them but still nothing they said it would be a stupid game, so im acualy not there freinds any more because they made fun of your games.

Alf: Hey dude, that’s really sweet of you to say and all, but don’t judge people just because of their personal taste in pop culture. It takes all sorts, you know? I don’t ignore Abe just because he likes jacks and I like hacky sack. Hmm, I wonder if there could be a song in that.

Hulaabeo: Hello Alf! I have a couple questions…

Alf: Where was I on the night of that thing that happened?! Uh, I was, uh, washing my ponytail. In that river. That’s miles away. Hmm? Not those kinds of questions? Oh, then you may proceed.

1. If there’s a mudokon queen, would there be like mudokon Queenlings (Younger Mudokon Queens)? How would they look like? That is if the vykkers keeping Sam captive and carefully watching over the eggs made a slip up and let an egg holding a Queenling pass through their security…

Alf: Well sure, I mean everything’s got to die at some point, right? Even Oktigi, I guess. And if the sole reproductive member of your species dies, you’ll really hope there were someone to take her place. So I guess there must be Queenlings, or maybe they’re called Princesses.

2. Alf, I have a question about a variation of the spooceshrub. In the old Munch’s Oddysee visualizations, there were rainmakers with these pink spooceshrubs around the edges called Humshrubs. How much more diffrent are they from Spooceshrubs? What do they have to offer? And more importantly… are they Tasty?

Alf: Great Mother Odd gifted nature with more plants than you can shake a Stockyard at. The wisest shamans know which ones can be used to cure which ailments, and the specific rituals that have to be followed for them to work. SpooceShrubs, HumShrubs, BuzzShrubs, Popberries, they’re just the tiniest sampling of the rich floral medicine cabinet of nature. Woe betide the unscrupulous forces that would love to get their hands on such ancient knowledge, and even more woe betide those that fall victim to that power.

3. Here’s my last question, are there any subspecies on Oddworld? Like a variation of Grubbb or Mudokon specifcally? Perhaps any hybrids?

Alf: Well sure, any species distributed across enough natural environmental variation is going to produce significant variation in their genetics. Grubbs and Mudokons aren’t anywhere near evolutionarily related, you’re not going to see hybrids. For two species to cross-breed they’d need to be closely related, like Oktigi and Glukkons.

Thank you for your time Alf, I hope to see my questions in the next batch of Dear Alf on the website

Alf: Here’s hoping I can re-establish a regular routine for them, aye?

Oddworld for 15 years: Could you describe what Scrab and meech look like from birth?

Alf: No, it took me some time to learn how to communicate with words, and even gestures. I wasn’t even born with the knowledge of what Scrabs and Meeches look like.

Have you heard of or seen any cross species in Oddword during your life?

Alf: What’s all the interest in cross-breeding all of a sudden? Well, since you ask, Gloktigi are a cross between Glukkons and Oktigi.

I love your cocky attitude.

Abe = way too shy

Bigface = boring know-it-all

Alf= Smart and K-W-L…Yes I can’t spell…..

Alf: Hey, those are my brothers you’re talking about! Don’t be so mean, you stinky turd!

jademudo: Hi Alf in oddworld do mudos use any spiritual healing stuff like crystals or reiki healing or meditation?

Alf: Mudokon mystic culture is full of crystals and meditation, along with other spiritual objects and practices. I don’t know about reiki healing, I guess there could have been tribes that practised that. You have to understand that a lot of our ancient knowledge has been lost and forgotten.

and are any mudos psychic?

Alf: Have you met Abe?

matthew: i was just wondering how did abe get his mystical powers and can other mudokons learn it?

Alf: Magic is like art or sport or logic: some people have it, some don’t. Some people are so bad they can’t be taught no matter how hard you try. Others are so good they can’t stop even if they want to. Abe has a lot of natural, latent mental powers that makes it easy for him to do this fancy pants stuff like possession, and you can sure bet it makes a lot of people jealous. Possession in particular should take decades of dedicated practise to pull off. But then it’s not like Abe asked for this gig anyway, so we can’t keep getting angry at him and filling his bed with crushed egg shells.

S2R: 1- If Abe can control bells and farts, why can’t he control slogs, elums, fleeches or idk… mine carts ?

Alf: Well first of all, he can possess Slogs. For all I know he can possess Fleeches by now, too. Why would he even need to possess an Elum? And possessing minecarts… you’ve got an overactive imagination, son.

2- Can you transform into Shrykull too ?

Alf: No, I’ve never completed the Temple Trials. I don’t need arduous treks and certain death to prove how awesome I am to anyone.

Alec: So, Alf, tell me the story behind Shrykull. Is there a scripture? Mythology? Legends and whatnot?

Alf: Sure, there’s heaps of that stuff. It evolves across time and space, too. Everyone’s got their own interpretations and uses of a god.

Are there other deities that you guys worship, or is Shrykull the one supreme god?

Alf: There are more Mudokon gods than there are Mudokon tribes, but not all of them are practical to Abe. No point praying for a bountiful harvest when you’re infiltrating a meat processing plant.

Nicholas: Are mudokons the only ones to use PSI, or psychic powers? If not, who are they?

Alf: Mudokons aren’t the only peoples to make use of magic. Not every part of Oddworld has magic, and not every culture uses the same kind of magic.

Lior: 1. Some questions about Abe’s possession abilities: How did Abe suddenly become capable of possessing Paramites and Scrabs in AE?

Alf: Abe’s powers grow over time as he becomes more adept at them. Have you never been unable to complete that certain level no matter how hard you try, but then one day you do it and it’s no longer a problem for you and you do it all the time? Oh man, I love that feeling.

Why can’t he possess some other creatures such as Slogs?

Alf: Abe can possess Slogs.

Why some creatures explode after being possessed while others don’t?

Alf: It’s a combination of what Abe wants to happen to them, and the creature’s mental state. Certainly Abe doesn’t want to hurt the innocent, sacred beasts of Oddworld. He usually doesn’t want to go around killing Sligs, but Abe recognizes that needs must.

Why do Scrabs and Paramites freeze when Abe chant?

Alf: Because they don’t like it.

Abe’s possession power changed in MO; its range is different and requires a direct path to the traget; is there a story behind this change?

Alf: Yes, the Shaman does tell you. I can understand not paying attention to that guy, but you need to listen to your elders, chump! Raisin granted Abe the ability to possess his enemies from afar. No longer does Abe’s chant give him control of whatever the nearest thing to him is, it gives him control over whoever he chooses!

Sanmi: alf according to the quintology their could be five moons i have a feeling in a future game stranger will get his own moon and the original game sligstorm the sligs could also have theirown moon how would you react.

Alf: Oddworld has dozens of moons, but we can’t just dedicate each one to a different species because you’ll so quickly run out. Besides, what would you do with all the moonrocks you carve out of the surface? You could probably make a few extra moons with it all.

2. These birds from the bird portals are pretty much everywhere, but what are they exactly? They’re never actually spoken of. What are they exactly? What’s the story behind them? How are they related to Mudokons?

Alf: They’re birds. Birds are everywhere.

Jesse: Sup’ Alf, I’ve been a fan of Oddworld games since I was 4, and I’ve always wondered what the Colas taste like, I’m sure you might of answered this before, but I’m too much of a schmuck to check and see if you did. Anyways, can you ask Abe what the colas taste like? Are they different flavors, are they super carbonated? I’ve always wondered about them.

Alf: Uhhh, I don’t remember any carbonated drinks. Cola? I dunno. Did Abe ever take down a Gluka Cola bottling plant? I really must start keeping a diary of this stuff.

zombieontherise: Dear Alf: After playing through all of the Oddworld exploits, one question springs to mind…

Why doesn’t anyone try using the Industrialist’s guns against them?

I mean sure, Stranger greatly dislikes them and Munch can control basic machines, but why doesnt Abe or any of the other Mudokons pick up a Slig’s rifle and use it?

It can’t be that hard to use if a Slig can figure it out, and it has got to be better than a warclub or a Spoocebow.

An army of well armed Mudokons would be better than one guy possessing some rent-a-cop.

Alf: Probably folks have tried, but let’s face it, we’d then be battling them on their terms. Their weapons are designed for their hands, not ours. Sligs might not receive mandatory training but most have spent years handling guns. And if we rely on ours, then our triumph over slavery is itself dependent on the Industrialists. And we don’t really want to make use of the same things that have been used to subjegate us for so many years.

Zavier: Alf, is there a reason Big Face wears that big mask? If you ask me, it seems like a liability, since he can’t bend over without impaling himself.

Alf: It’s ok, Big Face hasn’t taken off his sandals to clean his feet in years. Rest assured he’s unlikely to injure himself with his own ceremonial accessories.

Jack: hey alf i gotta good question for ya! abe got his fourth finger cut off right? and in the HD picture he has 4 fingers i would like for you to explain how he got another finger.

Alf: I don’t understand what you mean. Abe has four fingers and always has. You must be tripping out on something bad.

Turok: Gee, i sure love these mudokkon pops, but i wonder what is inside them. So since you mudokkons make them, what is the secret recipe in them that makes them so darn good?????????????????

Alf: OH ODD OH ODD OH ODD NOOOOOOO


Phew! That took it out of me! Don’t forget to check out the brand new Fan Art, and stay tuned for an exciting creative competition that could win you a free Oddworld T-shirt! And don’t forget to keep those questions coming! I’m pooped out for this month, but I’ll be back in March. I promise.

So if you have any questions for Alf, post them here as comments, or email me, or Facebook me, or Twitter me, or even Formspring me! Come on, what have you got to lose?