Dear Alf

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Dear Alf September 2011 (Volume 1)

Who's the green tea shaman, that's an answer machine to all the fans? Alf! Wait, not that kind of answer machine! I mean he is…

Who’s the green tea shaman, that’s an answer machine to all the fans? Alf! Wait, not that kind of answer machine! I mean he is a machine when it comes to answering fans’ questions, not that you should please leave your questions after the tone. Beep!

Pedro: Who is the shirink angel,or guarden angel of abe?

Depends. On one level, you are the guardian angel of Abe! You’re the ones who determine whether he’ll make each jump, dodge each bullet or rescue each slave. You’re the one with complete power over him. You’re the one struggling with the ethical dilemmas and challenging situations. But I think you mean the ‘Shrink’ character that appeared briefly in an unaired TV ad for Abe’s Oddysee. Shrinks are the product of Vykkers AI technicians, completely self-aware machines that take on the responsibilities of corporate negotiation and employee psychologist. Unfortunately, their need to empathise with their patients drove Vykkers scientists to introduce a bug: a sense of self-preservation. Too bad for those mechanical spider things that their survival hinges on the same ceiling rails that they do.

Steef Dude: I was rampaging my way through Paramite Run the other day and I saw a large meaty skeleton decaying in a clearing. I didn’t get a close look, as those Paramites pack a mighty fierce wallop and I had ta’ scurry. So what on Odd was that thing?

Just the inedible remains of some poor beast that wandered into the valley, or chased into it by those tactical Paramites. Hey, maybe it was a Meech!

xragerx: i know i could probably find the information somewhere on the internet but who is the mastermind who created the spectacular melancholic sceneries of oddworld?

In a visionary sense, the name you’re after is Lorne Lanning, our alliterative creator and mentor. The actual environments are the product of so many people’s input I couldn’t begin to name them all. From the concept designers to the digital artists to the envirnomental modellers and level designers. Check out the game credits.

David: Hi Alf. have you ever met some bad Mudokons or/and good Sligs out there?

‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are just words. What matters is what you do. Would you call a Mudokon bad if he sliced up his people’s holy creatures, bought and ate unhealthy snacks made out of them, was addicted to Brew and was generally lazy and naive? You’ve just described me and Abe and all our buddies, at least at some point in time. I’m not sure what would count as a good Slig. They’re not <em>evil</em>, crikey I’ve laughed alongside them at times, usually when Abe tripped over something. They’re just institutionalized bullies. With bloodlust. And guns.

Taylar: I was just thinking about a few things…
1. What was the Slig race like before Glukkons started using them for security purposes?

Like they are now, but without the firepower or mobility: weaseley cowards with no creative thought or craftsmanship, jealous of everyone around them. At least they wouldn’t have been Brew addicts, but they probably didn’t wash as much either.

2. Are there any native Glukkons or Sligs about anymore on Oddworld?

No, they’re both entirely entrenched in civilized society, and have been for centuries, with not the slightest vestige of their ancestral culture. If they ever had any in the first place.

3. Finally, how do slogs/paramites/scrabs navigate? Do they use some kind of sonar navigation like bats? Thanks :-)

Not everyone relies on vision. Slogs have amazing hearing, while Paramites rely on their keen sense of smell. I’m convinced Scrabs navigate using sheer sense of hunger.

Anthony: Why don’t Gluckons have legs????

They do! Next question!

Mars Mudoken: Thanks for answering my question officially Alf. Anyways, I was wondering about Oddworld’s wildlife: so far, almost every living thing we find in the games tries to kill us; be it sligs, scrabs, paramites, fleeches, or the dreaded accursed death bat of doom. I was wondering if there are any nice little docile critters that would make good pets. I mean, maybe fuzzles but you can’t forget to feed them O_O.

Sure there are more timid and docile creatures, it’s just that they normally run and hide before you can catch a glimpse of them. The larger ones have probably all been chopped up by now. So what are you looking to give a good home? A jittery Stunk or a chatty Chippunk?

Kaleb: Hello Alf, I was wondering if you were a free mudokon, or were you ever in slavery.( Such as mining in Necrum or worked at Rupture Farms, etc.)

I was hatched a slave in RuptureFarms and worked from birth till I was 15. Many of friends were disfigured or killed by machinery, others were beaten to death and still more were simply exhausted of life. On the plus side, we got a yummy snack treat every week or so.

BnV: Dear Alf, a couple of questions, if I may. During Abe’s adventures, we often saw him die, often gruesomly, only to come back later with his body and memories intact. With enough spooce, he could even bring others back to life. So, does that make mudokons immortal, as long as there’s someone to bring them back? Are there really no side effects to this (except obvious, like emotional trauma)?

I wouldn’t take what you saw in Munch’s Oddysee as the absolute truth. After all, you were seeing the world through the eyes of Abe and Munch, and did you see how much Spooce those two got through that day?? It’s a wonder they weren’t running from hallucinated dragons or trying to clamber up the side of rainbows. Sometimes the recently deceased can be resurrected, but only as shuffling, brain dead Mudombies, and it’s not the kind of thing a kind-hearted person goes about doing. Those poor souls. Besides, you seem to be implying that Abe led his friends to death, which I can assure you he never did.

And secondly, what happens to mudokons while they’re in the Great Beyond? Do they wander the Oddworld like incorporeal spirits, or do they go to some completely different place, like land of eternal peace and endless tea? Do they just stay there if no one brings them back, or do they eventually reincarnate into newborn mudokons, or non-mudokons? Mudokonian afterlife, what is it like?

You show me your afterlife, I’ll show you mine.

Lloyd: Anyway, i was wondering do mudokons naturally have stitches on their mouths, or were they put on by somone else?

Mudokons are fitted with stitches by considerate Glukkon managers concerned about what’s going into their delicate workers, and sometimes what’s coming out of them. If you don’t want the horrific sight of cultural cannibalism and ancestral bodysnatching going into your miners’ eyes, you stitch ’em up. If you don’t want your taskforce to complain about the loud working conditions of cleaning heavy machinery, you sew their ears shut. And if you’re worried productivity will plummet when your butchers banter across their chopping boards, you make sure their lips don’t part more than they need to guzzle down that late night Brew and early morning Java.

Cameron: what dose Molluck the Glukkon look like now

Do you have ‘barbecue’ where you come from?

what doses the Glukkon queen look like

Well, she’s very old and poorly preserved, highly accessorized in exquisite jewelry, her face is contorted by more than a century’s regal sneering and executive stress… oh, and she’s too big to move by herself.

Copilot: What’s it like being friends with Abe?

It’s an absolute pleasure you’ll never know. Haha. I’m joshing, Abe’s a real friendly guy and it’s great to be buds with him. I’ll always be there to give him a helping hand and encouraging pat on the back. I just wish he didn’t pass quite so much wind, ya know?

Spencer: What ever happened to Abe and Munch after Munches oddysee .There has to be more Gluckens trying to use mudockins as slaves.Or something odd that they can fight.

Sure thing, but that hasn’t happened yet.

So what happend to munches race? Were they turnd into cakes like scrabs or turned into pies like paramites?Or turned into Gabbit feet on a stick!So please tell me when you read this.

What didn’t happen to Munch’s race? Gabbits are famed for their versatility of product, from their waterproof skin to their high-protein flesh. They are popular lab critters, but they can fetch a staggering price for their Gabbiar or Gabbit Fin Soup. And of course their lungs are just perfect replacements for Glukkons’.

James: Dear Alf, i am a big fan i have seen and heard alot about you i was wondering if you were ever the main character of a oddworld game and is it fun being in oddworld

Hey, you don’t have to star in your own videogame to be a hit celebrity! If that were the case then Terry The Fifth Slurg From Left would never have made his big break in advertising!

Moriah: Say Alf, I notice when Abe blows something up he always falls but if there is another Mudokon on the screen they don’t fall. Does Abe have a balancing issue?

How interesting. It seems that Abe must be capable of attracting all the shock waves from explosions towards himself, presumably to protect other Mudokons from harm. I can’t think of any other explanation.

IveDefected: I was once (and hope to soon be once again) an intrepid explorer of all that is Oddworld. I know that there will soon be a time for me to return to lands previously visited, thanks to Science and Water (Just Add it!). My question is, is there a possibility of visiting any new and undiscovered lands (within the World of Odd) in my future?

Unexplored regions of Oddworld abound! Just hop on a FeeCo Train, hitch a lift with a Meetle, or hurl yourself face-first into your nearest travel well. If you want a little less mystery to your destination, you could always get a Mudokon guide, but you generally have to earn their trust and respect before they’ll trample through the forest by your side. One day I’m sure we’ll explore the uncharted mountaintops, stagnant swamps, tropical beaches, volcanic jungles and sprawling toxic wastelands of Oddworld. It’s a huge planet, it’d be hard not to find something new.

p.s. The Doctor likes both Stetsons and Fez’. (They’re Cool!) you two aren’t acquainted are you?

I’ve never been to the Mongo River Valley, and I certainly wouldn’t go and see Doc.

Remmu: What do you think about the fact that Abe turns some of your lazy sleeping, tea drinking Mudokon friends into Slig killing Warriors? Is the personality change big when interacting with them? And after becoming Warriors, do they tend to visit your Rehab less likely, more likely or all the same? Thank you, come again.

There’s no reason at all a promotion should change the personality of its recipient. When Abe “upgrades” his pals from unenthused weaklings to armed fighters, it’s true, he’s giving them the confidence in themselves to stop sitting on their blue butts and start taking a stand against their enemies, but that’s a natural consequence of empowerment, not some artificial personality change delivered by mystic lightning. Once they’re warriors I suppose they drink less tea, but only because they’re keeping themselves busy, not because they’re switching to Brew or anything. In other words, relax! The customs of our people might look strange to you, but there’s no need to worry. We’re perfectly sensible level headed. Now, I need to get ready for my cheese rolling match.

Who’s the Mud that won’t fall off the wagon, when his agony column is laggin’? Alf! And if you’ve ever wondered what makes Oddworld turn, whether Sligs like Slogs, how farts smell so bad or when Sekto had his first cup of tea, then never forget that you can write to Alf in all manner of places! Send him an email! Message him on Facebook! Tweet him on Twitter! Now you can even Q&A with him directly on Formspring! So get your queries rolling in because we’ll be back later this month with more wisdom from the Alfster.

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