Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee is the first title in the Oddworld series of games. Originally released in 1997 by eponymous developer Oddworld Inhabitants, the game is a screen-based 2D platformer that places an emphasis on lateral thinking and puzzle-solving. It was well-received by reviewers and was praised for its innovative "GameSpeak" system, as well as its unique artistic style. The original game has spawned multiple successful sequels.
The game begins with narration by protagonist Abe, a Mudokon slave who works at RuptureFarms 1029, the largest meat-processing plant on Oddworld. Abe, along with many of his fellow Mudokons, is a slave to Molluck the Glukkon: the ruthless, profit-hungry boss of RuptureFarms and de facto head of the Magog Cartel.
While working a late shift as a first-class floor-waxer, Abe eavesdrops on the RuptureFarms annual board meeting. The Glukkon board members argue about a steep drop in profits due to the dwindling populations of Scrabs and Paramites, the two primary livestock animals harvested for their meat. As a terrified Abe looks on, Molluck coolly outlines a plan to grind up his own Mudokon slaves as meat for "Mudokon Pops": the next "New 'n' Tasty" product from RuptureFarms.
Abe quickly escapes the processing plant, rescuing other Mudokons and evading Slig security forces along the way. Passing through the Stockyards' perimeter fences under cover of night, Abe observes one of Oddworld's full moons bearing the distinctive pawprint of the Mudokons on its face. When he stretches his own hand out towards the moon, the cliff beneath him gives way, causing Abe to fall and hit his head.
While unconscious, Abe receives a vision from the Mudokon shaman Big Face. The shaman tells Abe to restore the balance of the land by traveling to the Monsaic Lines, a series of carved stone caves containing a temple built long ago by the spiritual Mudokons. From there, Abe must overcome trials in the deserts of Scrabania and in the forests of Paramonia, the locations of two more sacred temples dedicated to Scrabs and Paramites, respectively. Abe carefully traverses these ancient Mudokon proving grounds and receives mystical tattoos from Big Face on each of his hands depicting the two sacred animals; this gives Abe the ability to transform into the mythical Shrykull, a powerful demigod-like fusion of Scrab and Paramite.
Abe returns to RuptureFarms and makes good use of his new-found powers to rescue the remaining Mudokon workers from their designated Zulags and assassinate several Glukkon board members; unfortunately, he is soon captured and restrained in a cell by Molluck's forces. Abe is finally met by Molluck himself, who has his Slig assistant activate the meat grinder directly beneath Abe's cell in one last attempt to exterminate the rebellious Mudokon and restore Glukkon control over RuptureFarms.
Abe's Oddysee has two basic endings, depending on the total number of Mudokons rescued. There are a total of ninety-nine Mudokons in the game, some of which are hidden in secret areas.
- If Abe rescues fifty or more Mudokons, the freed Mudokons will unite and summon powerful lightning to incapacitate Molluck and his Slig assistant. Big Face arrives to teleport Abe from RuptureFarms and into the new Mudokon refuge at the Monsaic Lines, where Abe is celebrated as a hero.
- If Abe rescues less than fifty Mudokons, the few Mudokons that escaped RuptureFarms decide Abe is a schmuck and not worth saving; Abe falls into the meat grinder while Mullock and his assistant laugh at his grisly demise.
The original PlayStation version of the game includes a secret third ending seen by rescuing all ninety-nine Mudokons; it shows an imprisoned Abe being tormented by a strange and talkative mechanical creature. This video and "The Shrink" character featured in it were reportedly intended as teasers for a future Oddworld Inhabitants advertising campaign which never materialized.
All gameplay in Oddworld is 2D flip screen puzzle-platforming. Players maneuver protagonist Abe through dangerous terrain, avoiding pits, enemies and other traps with quick movement as well as by interacting with various objects in the environment. Abe has no means of direct attack; instead, he has the unique ability to Chant, allowing Abe to possess hostile Sligs on the same screen and giving the player temporary access to the Sligs' move set and abilities. Chanting can also be used to open special "bird portals" through which his surviving fellow Mudokons can escape from RuptureFarms, and these portals are occasionally used by Abe himself for transport. Abe's ultimate power, the invincible Shrykull, is unlocked in the final hours of the game; when a certain number of Mudokons are rescued per area, Abe can momentarily transform into a demigod and destroy all on-screen enemies with a single attack.
The various inhabitants of Oddworld, including Abe, can be abused or killed by the player in a multitude of different ways throughout the game, contributing to the series' reputation for dark humor.
One of the most innovative aspects of Oddworld's gameplay was the GameSpeak feature. Using GameSpeak, the player is able to directly interact with the friendly Mudokons and issue commands to lead them to safety. These NPCs can be used to assist with solving puzzles in certain areas.
Possessing Sligs enables an alternate set of GameSpeak commands; however, this is only useful in a few areas and was mostly intended for entertainment purposes in Abe's Oddysee. The possession mechanic was was expanded in subsequent games and would become an even more significant aspect of puzzle-solving in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee.
The original score for Abe's Oddysee was composed by Ellen Meijers and Josh Gabriel.
|Track #||Song Title||Running Time|
|01||GT Interactive Logo||00.09|
|02||Oddworld Inhabitants Logo||00.11|
|04||So Get Over it!||00.11|
|05||This is RuptureFarms||03.42|
|16||Entering the Paramonian Temple||00.16|
|18||Paramonian Slig Action||01.07|
|20||Paramonian Trials Completed||00.24|
|23||Entering the Scrabanian Temple||00.20|
|24||Scrabanian Slig Action||00.56|
|27||Scrabanian Trials Completed||00.23|
|30||The Factory Halts||00.21|
|34||Bonus Ending: teaser||00.31|
PC System Requirements
- Pentium 120 MHz CPU (minimum), Pentium 166 MHz CPU (recommended)
- SVGA 16bpp-compatible graphics
- 4x CD-ROM drive
- 8MB RAM (minimum), 16MB RAM (recommended)
- Sound Blaster-compatible sound card or Wavetable sound card (recommended)
- 700 MB disk space
The game was re-released on various digital distribution services including PSN, Steam and GOG.com. The Steam release coincided with the release of the "OddBoxx", an Orange Box-inspired promotion which includes Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New 'n' Tasty! was announced in 2012 as a full high-definition remake under development by Oddworld-veteran studio Just Add Water. A community vote was held in which fans chose the name of the remake. New 'n' Tasty! features brand-new 3D graphics and updated gameplay to accommodate the new scrolling camera which replaces the original game's screen-based level design. The remake was released for PlayStation 4 on July 22, 2014.