Dear Alf June 2011

It’s a bounteous edition of Dear Alf this fortnight, with our resident know-it-all catching up with questions from weeks past to make up for last…

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It’s a bounteous edition of Dear Alf this fortnight, with our resident know-it-all catching up with questions from weeks past to make up for last month’s singular offering. Donning his red fez and sitting down in his comfiest chair with a warm mug of herbal goodness, Alf returns to tackle issues of anatomy, sociology, tediology and snarkology. Fingers on lips, children. The wise man is talking.

Tim: From a design perspective, for the Sligs mouth, and more relevant, the Paramites mouth – was the human hand used as inspiration? I don’t know if thats already been mentioned but a Paramites mouth has an uncanny resemblance to an open hand (with the thumb moved under the four fingers). Would this also have been done to make more of a human connection, rather than the creature looking completely alien. This way theres a bridges connection.

Alf: All Oddworld characters are designed with real anatomy in mind. They all have skeletons, musculature, brains and digestive systems. However, I don’t think having a human hand for a face makes anyone appear less alien.

oddalisque: Hey,Alf!I wonder what languages do you speak on Oddworld.Is there one language for all or one for Mudokons,other for Glukkons. Do the sound that sligs make have a meaning for them?

Alf: Oddworld is full of languages! Before faster forms of transport were created, different races and tribes would have their own languages, but the need for efficient BusinessSpeak weeds out the smaller and more unique dialects. Native races have mostly forgotten their ancient, musical tongues, but just as with other old arts, they’re preserved by wise shamans who recognize the value of cultural knowledge. Sligs won’t have any more of a clue to their linguistic heritage than anyone else. The noises they make are probably just crude emotive sounds.

Darren: have any mudokons ever eaten a mudokon pop and not realised because how can they not realise when its your head on a stick?

Alf: Funnily enough, I never did add this question to the application form for fresh rehabitants. Buddy advised that we’re trying to make those lost souls feel better, not more suicidal.

do mudokons live in fear of slogs all the time, also can they tame them coz alot of muds just seem to sit on their back sides while ab does all the adventures, you do all the writing and have your own rehab and tea centre, it would be nice to see a mud doing domethibg with them selves and try the hobbie of slog whispering.

Alf: Write me again once you’ve mastered lion taming and I’ll introduce you to a few of my animal handler pals. Actually, that’s unfair. Lions are smart.

Zombiedrew13: quick question do you think Big face would do a tattoo for me? just like Abe?

Alf: Big Face would be absolutely delighted to bestow with whatever awesome skinart your heart desires. I’ve scheduled you for an appointment in the deepest, darkest depths of the Paramonian Temple. We expect you to find your own way there.

Fred: Have you ever got sick from a fart??

Alf: Well, this one time I was stuck in a lift…

Q: Have you ever had to stay home from school cause you got a low gamerscore?

Alf: School?? The only education we got was being brutally beaten for not exceeding our own capabilities! We learnt quickly, and we remember those lessons for life. School! You kids just don’t know what you’ve got.

Anja: I’d like to know how a mudokon skin feels like. Maybe i can hug them in a dream someday. I’ve heard Mudokons are like chameleons. So, is your tongue as long as theirs? And if you are a raptile, you’ll need a lot of sun to keep your body warm. But i wonder if muds are cold or warm blooded.

Alf: I know Muds who’ve worked in mines their whole life, never ever seeing the sky. That makes me think we’re warm-blooded. Thus, you can hug us and you won’t get cold. But I dread think why you want to know about the length of our tongues, so I’ll leave it at that.

Mr. McMeowMeow: OK, what I wana know is why whenever Abe or Munch (or anyone I toss of a cliff) never gets injured for the fall and if this also related to the vykkers.

Alf: Have you ever considered that we’re all just an inch or so tall, and so our terminal velocity is never big enough for us to get hurt from falls? Or that on a hot day, soils and metal become very elastic and sproingy? Or that due to Oddworld being completely hollow, there is no gravity, and the only thing causing us to accelerate towards the ground is the Vykkers blowing downwards from their flying labs? You haven’t? Then I’d say you don’t need to stay at my rehab.

Tatsu: Hiya Alf, just had a few quick questions for you:

1. Seeing as how you’re a tea brewer, drinker and distributor, I was curious if you knew about [brand name censored]. The stuff tastes great and goes down easy.

Alf: Dear Company Representative, thank you for your question. I look forward to the large amount of free samples you will be sending to my address. Other varieties of commercial tea are available.

2. It seems pretty obvious that from now on, Abe and Munch will need to work together until both of their goals are completed. Are there any new prospective allies for them?

Alf: Oddworld is filled with tragic victims. Some of them must surely also be heroes, and in time I’d wager their paths will cross.

3. Finally, was the Rupture Farms that you and Abe came from just a franchise offshoot or was it the original RuptureFarms i.e. the headquarters of the whole brand?

Alf: I’ve seen the RuptureFarms logo on discarded litter since we shut the factory down, so the company is presumably still out there somewhere. However, I haven’t found a larger meat packaging plant. Have you?

Thanks a bunch and I hope that your tea shop has some good books to read while relaxing with the steamy goodness.

Alf: I tried putting out books and magazines for folks to read, but there were cup stains all over them by the end of the first week.

Andrew: I heard from some Clakkerz that Xplosives McGee was raised by Wolvarks. Do they look after young Outlaws often?

Alf: A baby that’s “looked after” doesn’t tend to become the ringleader of a violent criminal organization, but I suppose it all comes down to perspective. As in “You’re trusting what gossip idle townsfolk can come up with? Get some perspective!”

And, were Outlaws always they way we’ve seen them? Or did they end up that way?

Alf: You do have to wonder what it would take to transform a species into a violent, sadistic, paranoid gang of greedy cut-throats who’ll do whatever it takes to cling to their little domain. Somehow I suspect it’s more than simple outback survival, but I’m not going to be the one to go up to them and ask.

Steve: I heard that Mudokon flakes don’t get along to well with Mudokon natives. If this were true, then what do Mudokon Scrubs do when they’re freed? Do Mudokon shamans make them go through some sort of ritual or something?

Alf: There’ll always be clashes between city dwellers and rural folks, especially if they’re forced to start sharing everything. Imagine if you grew up surrounded by entertainment on demand on addictive consumer products, then had to give that all up to adopt round-the-clock hard labor just to ensure the next week’s food. Culture shock and withdrawl are not a good combination. In conclusion, I’m sure everything fine and there’s nothing we need to worry about.

BlastoiseFartMace: How close are you and Abe? Do you see him much? Where does he live…

Alf: Abe and I are firm friends, and if he ever needs my help I’ll give Buddy the keys to the Rehab and join him on his next adventure. It’s just sometimes a little advance warning would be appreciated, y’know? Abe has his own hut where he tries to relax, but that’s not easy when your entire race, alive and dead, are visiting you for advice, favours and worship.

Slig: hey alf do you have any pet slogs?

Alf: No.

kio: oh and why do you guys have pony tails?

Alf: So our hair doesn’t get caught in heavy machinery.

Nelder: Which Mudoken are you in Abe’s Oddysee?

Alf: I honestly can’t remember. The one with the fez?

And do you still get people coming into Rehab?

Alf: And asking questions that don’t serve any purpose? You’d better believe it.

Steef Dude: Does Munch have a speech impediment, or did all Gabbits talk that way?

Alf: Munch is only young. He was born far away from other cultures, and he’s been entirely without any socializing for almost longer than he can remember. And he’s got a mouth wider than a queen’s abdomen. Cut the cute little fishie thing some slack!

Dr. Jerk: I like to think like a scientist, and for the longest time I have pondered this, how does a Glukkon put on their clothes? Certainly their anatomic structure would make it rather difficult, if not seemingly impossible, having to use their arms to support themselves. I had attempted to experiment this by trying my hardest to stand on my own hands while trying to put on a one piece suit, and besides constantly losing my balance and falling over in pain, I had gotten a headache as I tried to figure out what to do from there. My only other guess is that they use servants or specialized machines to dress them, which wouldn’t surprise me if that was the case. But I gotta know, for the good of science!

Alf: Dear Dr. Jerk, many congratulations on having the decency to perform experiments on yourself instead of on little cutsie balls of fuzz. But science is based on observation, and if you haven’t observed the Glukkons during their daily routine, then your experiments prove little. Maybe if you could hack into security cams you’d be able to see what kind of slaves the Glukkons have to dress them. And presumably wash them. And who knows what else.

If nearly all of the major races on Oddworld have a Queen, then do the Gabbits also have a Queen?

Alf: If they did, they don’t any more.

RooCH: it occurred to me that we’ve never really heard the history or story of the Meeches. Whilst obviously tasty, what was their deal? Did Mudokans get on with them, or were they the sort of Paramite/Scrab blend of viciousness we have come to avoid? And most importantly, what did they sound like?

Alf: Meeches were definitely on par with Paramites and Scrabs in terms of deadliness, although what they lacked in cunning tricksiness and sheer badassery they made for in brute number. What did they sound like? They sounded hungry.

Nicholas: Do mudokons have nostrils? If so, where are they?

Alf: Of course Mudokons have nostrils, you bizarre thing. How do you think we smell?! (Send your punchlines to @AlfMudokon).

Duukie: First things first, besides you, Abe, and… well, your entire mudokon race, let’s say, has there ever been anyone else trying to stop the devious schemes of those greedy glukkons elsewhere that you may have heard of… besides Crunch. Sorry if I got his name wrong, it’s been some time since I last heard his name. Also… call me a little off- the-rocker if you want, but… think they’ll ever be a GOOD glukkon? (I’m sure all of us doubt that’ll happen at anytime, but one can always hope, right?)

Alf: There have been conflicts between natives and industrial forces for as long as there’s been corporate takeover and destruction of the land. Any number of brave individuals have fought for their freedom, but it’s only now that we have a broader idea of the scale of the problem, an understanding of what’s at stake, and insider knowledge from escaped slaves that we can really start packing a punch.

Ramarshamau: Why does Stranger talk to himself so often? I would ask him directly but he scares me a bit..

Alf: I need to find someone who can screen these questions for me. Then I might be able to get some things done around here, like that kitchen remodelling I keep promising myself. I sure could use an omlette. I might make one after I’ve had a shower. I suppose I should finish with these questions first.

You say Oddworld’s time and Earth’s time cannot be compared, right? Then why did Stranger only have (If I recall correctly) 3:30 Earth minutes to get up to Sekto’s office? Maybe we are connected physically after all?

Alf: Because players would be a bit confused if we forced them to finish the level in 39:83 blipblops or whatever. Hey, what is our unit of measuring time anyway? Sektonds? Hahahahaha! Paraminutes? Hahah, oh boy, that’s a zigger!

Also, where did you really get your Fez from? At first you told us you found it.. but then later you said you bought it.. Seems awfully suspicious..

Alf: Actually I made it by crushing up red berries to make a dye in which I soaked a fabric I fashioned out of various plant fibres. After that, I papier-mâchéd the wet material over a small tree stump and let it harden. The tassel is a knot of matted Fuzzle fur I collected from those plants with little hooky bits. I platted it and attached it with guano. What do you mean, you don’t believe me?

Oddmann: Throughout the series of oddworld, i have noticed that all mudokons are wrinkley, blood-shot eyed, and noticably underweight. Are mudokons all malnourished and ill, or is it natural for them to look like this?

Alf: Throughout my time as Question-Answerer Supremo, I have noticed that all fans are pasty-skinned, greasy-haired, and cheese snack-stained. Have you all got nothing better to ask me, or is this simply an unavoidable phenomenon for someone in my position?

Native Slig: hey Alf! i have a two part question for you; do Mudokons get along with native sligs? and if so, would Mudokons be willing to get along with sligs who have escaped the Glukkon-run industrial world to return to more native practices?

Alf: What native Sligs? Have you been on the popberries again?

Dream-Dragoness: Hi, Alf

Great to see that you are back in buisness. I was getting worried that a Sea Rex ate you while you were on Vacation.
Sorry for the buttload of questions I am about to ask, But I’m curious.

1: As a fellow Oddworld fan, I, like many die-hard fans, am wondering how long until Citizen Seiege it out?

Alf: Citizen Siege is a property we put a lot of work and effort into, but which we’re not working on right now. Thanks to various economic occurences that took place over the last few years, distributors are now more cautious than ever when it comes to bold, unproven ideas for undemonstrated (though, we’re certain, existant) audiences. In a business sense, now is not the time for us to be focusing on Citizen Siege.

2: After that, will they make Oddworld related movies? I would love to see you and Abe on the big screen.

Alf: Who’s “they”? The Sligs’ mothers? And yes, we’ve always wanted to make Oddworld movies, but for the same reasons as above, that’s not likely to be happening in the forseeable future.

3: Are you going to be starring in the next Oddworld game?

Alf: If you are referring to our upcoming title Oddworld: Alf’s Awesome, then I’m afraid I’m not allowed to reveal just how awesome it will be to have star in it.

4 and the most important: I love your fez, but I was wondering if it came in different colors like you Muds? 🙂

Alf: What kind of fez isn’t red??


And on that note, I’m going to have to drop my quill in exhasperation and take a breather before I get started on next fortnight’s batch of questions. If you’d like to pose a question to Alf, possibly to inclusion in a future Dear Alf, then send him your curious queries, your wacky wonderings and your expletive exclamations through Facebook, Twitter or email.

Until next week,

Stay Odd!