XBM: The X-Files Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee [2001]

Date: November, 2001

Source: XBM, Issue 1, pp. 50-57

A HUGE LAUNCH TITLE, ODDWORLD: MUNCH’S ODDYSEE IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF FIVE ODDWORLD GAMES DEVELOPED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE XBOX. WE GO UNDERCOVER TO DELIVER YOU SOME TOP SECRET X-FILES TAKEN FROM DEEP INSIDE THE FOUL-SMELLING DEPTHS OF THE VYKKERS LABORATORIES…


Case File: Escaped Test Subjects
File Number: XBMF2
Investigating Glukkon: Mike Richardson
Date: 15.11.01

The unthinkable has happened. All of the tedious precautionary measures put in place have failed hideously. Yes that’s right, the trouble-causing Mudokon Abe has returned and worse still, he’s set free the last remaining member of the Gabbit species – the one known as Munch. The controversy this could cause to the Magog Cartel and us here at the Vykkers Labs is immense. It’s embarrassing enough that we were the ones directly responsible for the culling of the entire Gabbit race, but if people were to know that we’ve been operating on Munch, the last of his species… well, needless to say this is serious and we cannot have a repeat of the previous antics where Abe managed to successfully disrupt the operations of numerous slave labour factories.

On their own they could be dealt with but together they are to be considered highly dangerous. Both Munch and Abe are currently to be found roaming free around the Vykkers factories, despite all attempts by Slig guards to bring them to justice. If we are to continue our perations then it is of the utmost importance that the pair are caught immediately and bought into the labs for suitable punishment. Irwin is particularly interested to see just how much Butt-flo one creature can take. Attached are some files to assist with their capture.


Vykkers Labs Test Subject Profile
Name: Abe
Species: Mudokon (Worker Class)
Average life: 40 years

As a slave labourer, in the good old days Abe was the very model of a perfect employee. He even managed to snag the esteemed RuptureFarms ‘Employee Of The Year’ award for his long-running dedication to the company and high quality of work. Who would have thought there was such a deep hatred inside.

A genuine threat to the Vykkers Corporation, Abe is now regarded as a priority-one ‘shoot to kill’ subject. Since his heroic play in the uprising against the Magog Cartel (see attached record of offences) he has become a strong militant leader with some worryingly good connections in Oddworld – a seriously impressive feat for a creature that has no sexual organs.

Despite the fact that his mouth was sewn shut as a worker, his ability to use GameSpeak cannot be underestimated. This, combined with his mystical powers gained from the tattoos (see Exhibit C) burned onto his blue skin, gives him an unrivalled level of influence. He is able to possess every creature from Sligs to Scrabs who are powerless under his command. More worrying than this, however, is his ability to control the man-eating Fuzzles, which he sets free at any given opportunity.

It is also rumoured that the annoying Abe has the ability to heal others and, worse yet, turn invisible. He has never been seen invisible but as soon as he is, a report of this will be posted on the noticeboards, complete with pictures. This Mudokon is a high risk to the Vykkers work and should be stopped immediately – if we catch him he will regret the very day he was born in our labs.

-Abe appears to have taken it upon himself to be Munch’s guardian angel and is rumoured to be helping him restart a Gabbit society somewhere in Oddworld.

-As a precautionary measure we’ve taken Abe’s mother out of circulation. She is being kept under lock and key in a hope to bait him into our clutches.


Vykkers Labs Test Subject Profile
Name: Munch
Species: Gabbit
Average life: 18 years

Don’t let appearances fool you. Just because Munch is a cute looking creature doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. Just look at those Fuzzles – they’re sweet, but go to pet one and you’d be considered lucky if you walked away only missing one arm.

Now Munch is a strange beast who comes from a gentle and social race known as the Gabbits. But this normally kind creature has built up an incredible amount of resentment over the past few years – something that has come to a head recently, what with his sole leg being broken in a bear trap.

Quite where this resentment comes from is a mystery. After all, you’d think he would be pleased that his people’s lungs have been used to save Glukkons whose own organs aren’t able to cope with the Lungbuster cigarettes. They should feel privileged that our lungs are compatible – you never know, a Gabbit may need a lung some day. Unfortunately this isn’t likely to happen, as Munch is the last of his race. Admittedly this is a mistake on the part of the Vykkers Corporation, which also sells the delightful delicacy Gabbier, made up of Gabbit eggs. Rumour has it there is one can of this left somewhere in Oddworld and Munch is on a mission to find it. Since being confined to a wheelchair he isn’t the fastest of movers so we’re not worrying yet, but Abe is rumoured to be helping him in his quest.

Munch is at home in the sea, able to swim with incredible speed and skill – not to mention being able to hold his breath in those lungs for obscene amounts of time. There have also been rumours of Munch being able to fly (see Exhibit D) but such reports are not to be believed. The Mudokon worker responsible for the scare mongering has been dealt with.

-An alien implant known as a ‘Sonar Plug’ in Munch’s skull allows him to possess nearby machinery like cranes, security cameras and meatier equipment such as the 50-caliber Anaesthesia bots. We need to work on ways to block this.

-The annoying amphibian has been heard singing. Possible source of Christmas party entertainment?


Habitat Study
A major advantage of living on Oddworld comes in the form of the stunning environments. Opportunities for industrial expansion are there as far as the eye can see, in a massive world full of foul-smelling fresh air just waiting to be tainted by the sweet smell of factory fumes. After all, why look at a tree when you can gaze upon the cold technical wonders of a Vykkers factory? However, if we are ever to catch Abe and Munch we must understand their world…

It’s always rewarding to see chaotic nature replaced by the strict regimental power of a huge conglomerate. It’s here that we make much-craved, mass-market products like the Soulstorm Brew, Lungbuster cigarettes and Butt-flo laxatives. If Abe and Munch were out to cause as much damage as possible this is the place they would arrive at. Slave labour industries like these have often been the target of Abe’s campaign and as a result security has been increased. Any unauthorised person is going to have a lot of Sligs to contend with.

We may not like it but unfortunately technology-free areas of Oddworld do exist – for the time being at least. This is the natural environment of the Mudokon and a whole host of other creatures – some beyond comprehension. Huts and villages are scattered throughout moutain ranges and forests full of weird and mysterious stories. A regular haunt of the average Mudokon is Alf’s Rehab and Tea. THis is where alcoholics come after a heavy night on Soulstorm Brew. Thankfully, rehabilitation success is low as the brew keeps selling.

Anything we don’t understand we fear – and we fear the Mudokon ceremonies a great deal. This storm circle shown here is a regular worshipping place for the more spiritually inclined Mudokon. Anyone who says the Mudokons aren’t organised has no idea what they’re talking about. Performing ceremonies like this requires a lot of concentration and once activated, the storm circle can be seen (and heard) from miles away.


Never overestimate the gullible consumer. Attached is a propaganda release on our forthcoming products from the Vykkers marketing department. We’re also working on the definitive kids’ sweet called ‘Gum Rot’ which is destined to be the next big thing.

LUNGBUSTER
The only 100% carcinogenic cigarette that is guaranteed to shorten your life span. Who wants to grow old anyway? We sure don’t! Wandering through the forest in your dressing gown and slippers whilst constantly needing to empty your bladder – hardly a flattering image. Give yourself and your body the break it’s been asking for – and when you do get lung cancer all you need to do is organise an operation with our surgeons.

BUTT-FLO
From the laxative-producing master comes one of the finest colon loosening products currently available without medical prescription. Never again will you have to worry about when to empty your system as Butt-flo (now in new chunky style!) can do it all for you. This product was tested under controlled conditions in the Vykkers labs on unsuspecting Mudokons – all of whom claimed it to be “an excellent stress reliever”.

CHILL PILL
Why be glum all the time when you can rectify the situation with no need for psychological help or realistic fun? All you need to do is pop one of these Chill Pills and happiness is yours for the taking. You may think you don’t need it but ask yourself where else are you going to find happiness? Besides, beneficial side effects include painful stomach cramps and the occasional swelling of joints – all at no extra cost to the user. We must be mad!

ALL products are fully endorsed by Abe – if he denies this he’s just trying to be modest.



REACHING NEW LOWS

Not content with polluting the land, the Vykkers industry is taking to the skies.

The Vykker brothers are always at the centre of village gossip and their latest zany move is just one in a long list of ideas that takes the stale biscuit out of the packet of life. They’ve created floating factories.

The company has been constantly turning over massive profits thanks to its medical products and genetically modified foods that are at the forefront of dark science. These profits are being reinvested into giant floating factories – the idea being that they will be free from interference. So called ‘troublemakers’ like the self acknowledged Mudokon activist Abe are considered a major threat and to ensure that no damage can be done, the Vykkers are moving up to the clouds. This allowss such horrible acts as animal testing to go on uninterrupted. Now only you can stop these crimes against humanity by boycotting Oddworld products. Refuse to be a consumer – together we are strong. Reporter: Mike Richardson [Make sure this journalist pays a long visit to Irwin’s lab!]


Vykkers Labs Executive Profile

Name: Humphrey Vykkers

Position: Executive Implant And Brand Manager

Now the most prominent figure inside the Vykkers Labs, Humphrey Vykkers started his elaborate and sinister career in the fine foods division. Always at the forefront of technology, he first became famous for revolutionising the Gabbiar production process and seriously increased company profits.

He was soon promoted and went on to the snack foods division taking with him his uncanny ability to find a profit in the most unlikely of places. It was Humphrey who took the ‘waste’ out of toxic waste. From here the career beast landed on his feet again (not difficult for something with three legs) taking the position of Executive Implant And Brand Manager. It’s from here that he currently oversees the entire range of Vykkers products.

Likes: taking consumers’ money
Dislikes: Abe
Working on: Classified


Vykkers Labs Executive Profile

Name: Irwin Vykkers

Position: Senior Pain Director, Consumer
Pharmaceutical Division

If there’s one creature you should fear it’s Irwin Vykkers. To turn your back on him would be a grave mistake, as you’d probably find your spine ripped out and put into some form of experimental testing prior to being shipped off to the Bonewerks factory for crushing. Needless to say he is a jewel in the Oddworld industrial sector.

Like all Vykkers, Irwin has four tiny little arms that look useless, but this hasn’t stopped him from becoming the leader in pain-causing techniques. Both he and Humphrey have harnesses allowing them to use all manner of sharp pointy tools with ominous serrated edges. As the Senior Pain Director it’s Irwin’s job to systematically test every single Vykkers Labs product to the point of destruction – destruction of others, that is.

Likes: Torturing Fuzzles
Dislikes: Abe
Working on: Prolonging pain


Offence Record

Subject: Abe
Date Of Birth: 1029

A regular rogue character, Abe has a long list of offences against the Magog Cartel that should serve as a lesson to the Vykkers Labs. We must increase security to avoid the embarrassment these other factories and production houses faced…

Case File: Abe’s Oddysee
File Number: PSONE1.1
Year Crime Committed: 1997

Up until this point Abe was nothing, a bum, a pointless number in the huge crowds of Mudokons working for the Magog Cartel. Following his actions in the Oddysee incident he is the best-known Mudokon in the world, and is even considered by fellow natives to be a hero. Escaping from the Rupture Farms factory, where he worked as a floor wax engineer, Abe went on to destroy the Magog Cartel, including his former boss Molluck the Glukkon. The story goes that he had a vision telling him to do this. Perhaps we should revise the hallucinogenic properties in some of our products?

Case File: Abe’s Exodus
File Number: PSONE1.2
Year Crime Committed: 1999

After his initial attack against the Oddworld industry Abe went into hiding, resurfacing to make himself known as a troublemaker all over again. His target of choice this time was the mining facility at Necrum, known to the locals as the sacred Mudokon city of the dead – they do have a tendency to be over dramatic.

On this quest Abe annoyingly managed to cure a lot of Mudokon addicts of their dependence on Soulstorm Brew – something that had a massive effect on our profit margins. Along the way he managed to disrupt work at the Feeco Depot and the Bonewerks. He even had the nerve to laugh in our face by visiting the Slig Baracks. This kind of blatant disrespect must not happen again.


Military Report

File Number: BMTH299900
Subject: New Slig Security

WARNING: This is a classified file and should you be reading it without official authorisation you are required to commit suicide.

All attempts in the past to stop Abe have been sadly unsuccessful, so we’ve decided to swing the odds in our favour a little. Arguably the main weakness in our security came from the Sligs. Security animals with biomechanical implants, the Sligs are trigger-happy loons with a worrying habit of sleeping on the job.

Please allow us to introduce the brand spanking new all-powerful Big Bro Slig. A soldier class variation on the original Slig these big hunks are kitted out to the max and, unlike worker Sligs, they actually know how to use their equipment. As well as sporting an oversized cannon for a gun they come with superior night vision goggles and a gas mask to protect them from any nasty smells. If this doesn’t sort the men from the Abes then the amazingly high levels of steroids pumping through the Slig’s body most certainly will.


The Xbox has the most impressive launch line up ever seen, and Oddworld is the game sperheading that launch. Odds are Sony is going to be slapping itself around the face a little for loosing this game to the Xbox. It may have gone from side-scrolling platformer to free-roaming 3D adventure (always a worrying step) but the rich and vibrant characters remain in this seriously twisted world. An Oddworld. A world complete with a real-time ecosystem where every animal has its place in the food chain and its own priorities in life. And in the centre of all this are a couple of hapless heroes, Munch and Abe, running around like headless chickens trying to bring sanity to a world that doesn’t want it. The addition of Munch in this game means that you’re going to get quite a bit of comedy love-hate banter with Abe, but you’ll need to keep them both in check because teamwork is the key. Abe now has a much more advanced version of GameSpeak, allowing you to control fellow Mudokons, and his mind control abilities are still here, but you also need Munch. The wheelchair-bound creature could swim for his country and is also able to control mechanical devices thanks to a Vykkers implant. Basically, this means there are going to be some superb puzzles to break through in order to get to that last remaining can of Gabbiar and Abe’s imprisoned mother. The first two games on the PSone were more addictive than a Soulstorm Brew and tougher than a Fuzzle; from what we’ve seen so far you can guarantee many more sleepless nights chugging caffeine with Munch, Abe and an Xbox pad in your hand.