By Frohman 2 Comments
You know what I've come to understand through movies and game? Corporations are evil. Look at Robocop, Blade Runner, Max Headroom and Oddworld; the world is run by these huge corporation that are only about one thing, $$$! The more they can make that sweet sweet dough, the more they'll go out of their way to do it, even if it means trampling all over the little guy to do it.
Unlike all of the other examples I have listed, Oddworld isn't set in a cyberpunk world of the future with robotic cops and whatnot, it's set in a land of nature and industry, a strange parody of our world. This 'strange' or perhaps, 'odd' world has so much to say underneath it's surface.
Firstly, lets have a look at its core, it's story.
In the world of Odd, Glukkons rule all. They have this thing called 'mullah', and imaginary gift that only really has value to them and their 'Khanzumerz'. To the average native, it means nothing, except when they're told that it is.
So the Glukkons go out of their way to get some of this mullah to show their status in society. This means making newer inventions and food, but when the land is destroyed of all food, they have to come up with more creative ways to appease the Khanzumerz. This ends up with them harvesting their own slaves for food. That's where the first game takes place.
Even though Oddworld is about Nature vs Corporation at it's surface, underneath it's all about marketing and the sway and mind control it has on us. At the start, Abe (the main protagonist) doesn't know any better than to work for the Glukkons. He wants to eat their products without knowing the consequences to it. It's just like us in real life. We buy milk and eggs and a little meat on the side and don't even think about what we were doing or who we were supporting. Did you just give your money to someone who shove two chickens to a cage, doesn't let their cows move around and fattens them to death? Did you check the farm? See if it was organic or if it was certified by the SPCA? So many people don't and all the horrors Abe discovers during the Oddworld francise is what happens because of this. The companies get away with evils and nobody bats an eyelid to it.
Eventually, Abe wakes up to what he has done and goes back to fight the man. Even though he's awake, his friends are not. First thing that happens in the second game: Going off to liberate enslaved Muddukons (Abe's race of natives) his friends are tricked (by a machine that doesn't move nor talk) to drinking its wares. They don't notice that they had just drunk their own bones and (spoilers: tears).
Hey man, if you ain't aware of what you're drinking, it doesn't hurt. Ignorance is bliss. Or as the Glukkon's say: "Do it!"
Now, I'll tell you about the characters of this game:
Firstly, we have the Glukkons, big corporate types. They wear fancy clothes and smoke a wide array of cigarettes. Interestingly enough they appare to have no arms. But that's okay, big corporate types need no arms, they have 'stinkin slav-' ahh... fellow employees to do their work for them. No hirer up is going to pull a trigger or shoot someone. They leave that to their sligs. They won't even talk to a dog (slog), as they need, once more, for their sligs to do that. Even though they are so high and mighty, they are weak minded. So week that Abe is able to take over them with the simplest of ease. This could represent how easy it is for them to jump through any hoop to appease their Khanzumerz to get a little mullah.
The Khanzumerz are great as well. You never see one in any of the games and they are not even really mentioned. They're just there. This force. This invisible force controlling all of this unknowingly. Without the Khanzumerz there would be no Glukkons and no industry.
Next we have the Sligs. Sligs are the Glukkon's security. They were all mistreated by their one mother, abused and sold to the Glukkons. They have no legs, but do to Glukkon technology, they have mechanical ones to stride around on. It's interesting, because without the Glukkons, they literally crawl on the floor.
Abe, is the main character. He, I find, is the most interesting of the lot.
His lips are stitched though he can still talk. This amazes me! It is such a great symbol of beating oppression. His lips were stitched by someone else's will to make him shut up, but through out the game he never has any difficulty talking or even draws to the fact that he has STITCHED LIPS! He is a symbol of the shackles coming down, the chain being broken by the worker. The little man rising up and saying, 'no more!'.
Anyway, that's the end of my little talk about this game. It's deeper than your average, and the creators put a lot of work into crafting everything thus so. I'd love to go into more details about other games of which I enjoy such as Fallout and how deep the creators and developers really made them. Until next time...