Category Archives: Gaming

Oddworld: A tale of liberation and restoration

I played the original Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey as a kid with my brother. I have fond memories of it–which is saying a lot, perhaps, given the game’s general grimness. In any event, I was happy that a remake was on the Nintendo Switch’s online store for me to buy!

Oddworld is a story of liberating slaves from their oppressors (viz., Sligs). A big idea is that faith is the Sligs’ enemy, and should be harnessed to the extent possible. To harness his power to the fullest, Abe has to visit ancient lands to acquire wisdom lost to most of his brothers.

I didn’t remember everything just as it happened in the original game. Specifically, I was awed by the Shrykull chant Abe gains after visiting both Paramonia and Scrabvania. The idea here is that animals were once regarded as sacred, but in the wake of pre-industrialization, they became viewed as raw material for tasty food.

This Oddworld story is about gaining animistic–“animystic”, anyone?–power to undo the moral wrongs of Abe’s society. These wrongs include desacralization of both animals (granted though they are monstrous) and individuals, the latter of whom are treated as slaves. I did receive the “bad ending”: I must have been just a few Mudokons short of having the good one, instead; but I still enjoyed revisiting a game with deeper meaning than I initially grasped, with poetry interspersed and potty humor to lighten the overall mood.