Part 3 [27/11/2000]

rob brown squad 3 ·Odd Squad
Why are we fans of Oddworld?
Well, its provocative, well thought out, speaks in context to folklore in character and history beyond the impression of the art at hand. Most of all, it gives credit to the witness …

What the pie? Did I just write that? I don’t even understand myself… Hmm, there’s got to be a simple way of putting this. Okay, ever notice some stuff made you think twice when you saw it or, you kinda understood what was going on even before it happened? That’s the effect of archetypal imagery on your brain. Lets see, for instance what if you had a character to design… Hmm, you dressed him in all black, gave him a sword, put a gas mask on him, and named him ‘Darkth Vrader’. Okay now picture an image of that character. Is he good or is he bad? Well you’d most likely guess he is bad. You probably guessed a whole lot more about this character without me even talking about it. Well, that is the effect of archetypal imagery on us.

We really like Oddworld cus’ of the cool characters and stuff they do. A lot of us are drawn to Oddworld’s inhabitants because we strongly identify with their imagery, stories and personalities. We identify with these characters because they parallel our experiences through their actions and beliefs. Abe is not some Super-Alpha-Platnum IV-2000 guy with a gun in one hand, and pruning shears coming out of the knuckles of the other. He’s a reluctant hero, sort of geeky at times and sort of cool at times. He has good days and bad days — he is us. He is someone we can easily picture ourselves being in our real lives. That’s why we identify with him. Once we have identified with Abe, it is all the easier to like and care about him.

Here’s another example. Did you know that Elum’s name backward is mule? Yup, Elum the character is basically a metaphor for a mule. We all know what a mule is. They are kinda cute, stubborn at times, and you can ride them awkwardly. When you see Elum for the first time he is kinda cute, stubborn at times, and it’s hysterical when Abe rides him. All of those things help us have empathy and compassion towards Elum and Abe. Start looking at your favorite characters and see if you can spot what their archetypes are — you might be surprised at what you find.

That being said, everything is not just characters either– it’s also the hurdles that the character has to overcome which help us to identify with the Oddworld Universe. Abe is dealing with crisis after crisis that are often common to our everyday lives. Should we drink something that is addictive? Should we cut down trees to make a ‘kids’ meal? Should we forgive the ones we love when they hurt our feelings? These are all questions and problems facing our heroes in Oddworld. They are also questions and problems facing us in our real lives. Oddworld is a place where we get to see characters that we can identify with and fix problems which are not so dissimilar to our own. Man, that’s powerful stuff.

That is why we are fans of Oddworld…All the best-Rob