Dear Alf Odd-vent 2012

It’s a chilly but beautiful time here on Oddworld. The ground is blanketed in crispy carpets of snow, or is it the ash from the…

t’s a chilly but beautiful time here on Oddworld. The ground is blanketed in crispy carpets of snow, or is it the ash from the Glukkon forest furnaces over the hill? Trees are growing sumptuous red berries, or are they pustules brough on by the Vykkers’ latest engineered plant virus? The rivers have dwindled to a trickle as the cold waters upstream freeze over, or has Sekto set up another bottling company? It’s nice to look at one way or another, so pop another sustainably-harvested log on the fire and snuggle up in your brand new Meep sweater: I’m going to celebrate the Holiday season with a traditional Alf-style question-answering.

fawaz: you know why Strenger has no horns?

Alf: Why yes I do, but it’s not my place to talk about it behind his back. He’s a grown bounty hunter, he can answer for himself.

Andre: Hey Alf! I have read in your previous FAQs that Grubbs and Mudokons are not related at all, and do not follow the same evolutionary path. I’ve also read that the Gabbits (used to) spawn in the Mongo River in Western Mudos, where the Grubbs live. Are Gabbits and Grubbs related? If not, did they in the same region or villages?

Alf: They’re not related, just like you’re not related to fish (unless my audience has changed drastically in the last few months), but they do have a fascinating relationship. Gabbits are revered by all native inhabitants of the Mongo River and the surrounding land. Their annual return to spawn is a major event in the yearly lives of everyone there.

In Mudos, are there computers and the internet?

Alf: There sure are, but don’t expect to see many in the sweat shops, unexplored wilderness or emerging colonies. Sure the occassional egg-head Clakker uses his laptop to operate town security, but the most tech you’ll ever see outside of the consumer cities are in the Vykkers’ twisted research facilities.

Do you know English as a second language? Or do you just translate our questions into some Mudokon / Oddworld language and read and reply to them?

Alf: Yes, I read and reply to as many questions as I can. Not always in good time, but a Mud tries his hardest.

Are there any other planets in the Oddwordian star system that sustain life? If you don’t know, I think you should ask a Vykker, I heard it on the SpooceVine that they are into astronomy!

Alf: Vykkers astronomy isn’t a patch on ancient Mudokon star-gazing. If you want the celestial truth, check out our oldest calendars and prophecies. Don’t ask me where you can find them. The shamans keep such knowledge safely away from common view.

GeneralDripik: 1. Is hand of odd coming out this year?

Alf: Nope! Hand of Odd is an ambitious project, and it will take long enough just to decide what exactly we want from it.

2. do the people of oddworld know earth exists.

Alf: Why would we want to know about Earth when we’re already so wrapped up in our own problems?

3. have people traveled into space, gone to the mudokon moon maybe.

Alf: Space travel? You mean with the big-headed, gray-skinned beings and their unsolicited slicing and dicing? Yeah, right. This ain’t sci-fi, bub!

4.are fleeches and slurgs used as food?

Alf: Slurgs are massively harvested for protein products. Fleeches are mostly used as Glukkon pets, but a wandering Mudokon pilgrim can’t be fussy about his dinner, and properly prepared Fleech meat isn’t entirely unpalatable.

Jordan: if abe is blue because he is sad..then why is he sad??? :c i want to make him feel better

Alf: You’re asking me why Abe is sad as though you haven’t seen what’s happening to him and his people. He’s a sensative fellah, and the fate of his race is kinda an emotional thing. No need to be surprised or shocked. Just be there if he ever needs a shoulder to cry his delicious tears on.

Josh: what are some of the other Mudokon deitys? You lot seem too nice and peaceful just have Shrykull, a god of Revenge.

Alf: Shrykull isn’t a god of revenge. Shrykull represents the duality of nature, the balance of creation and destruction, love and hate, up and down, left and right, salt and pepper, pride and prejudice, and so on. Imagine you’re responsible for all that when some Glukkons parade onto your turf and start dismantling all your carefully-managed world with their slash-and-burn capitalism. You’d be out for revenge too!

Jonah: dear alf where do mudokons go after you save them through the bird portal??? i await your reply!

Alf: They go to wherever the bird portal leads. Usually this is to the Monsaic Sanctum, where rescued Mudokons can be introduced to their newfound freedom and ancient heritage. Sometimes to other, more local safehouses. Don’t question the birds! I’m not convinced they wouldn’t teleport you high into the atmosphere and laugh at you with their wings as you plummet back down to Oddworld.

Douglas: hey alf what happend to that blind mudokon that hit his hand with a hammer while tring to nail in your sign

Alf: He’s now the village hammerer.

Courtney: What was going through your mind when you started drinking Soulstorm Brew? I mean, it is made out of Mudokon bones and tears. Why would you drink that? That’s like if you made tea with a secret ingredient that turned out to be Mudokon blood. It’s just morbid.

Alf: Why! Why must you torture me! Of course we didn’t know what was in it! You think they print it on the label? “Ingredients: Your ancestors”??? It was hot, we were tired, and in case you didn’t notice, we’d just walked across a desert! How can you begrudge us thirst?? Don’t you think we feel bad enough already?

Ann: What are the native Mudokon beliefs in the afterlife, if any?

Alf: Too numerous to mention! But they mostly agree on the existence of a spirit world, separate but connected to our own. It’s the goal of shamans to come to know and understand this spirit world by studying the animals and plants that intuitively intersect it. One of these plants is the SpooceShrub.

Dors: I was a member and visitor of the old Oddworld site and used to talk and ask questions there. I even got a Oddworld birthday card a few years back. I love all the Oddworld games so far and the Oddworld universe. Hey, does the old site still exist?

Alf: It’s been preserved by some of our dedicated fans. Check it out.

Do fleeches communicate with each other like paramites?

Alf: No, they communicate with each other like Fleeches.

And will fleeches return in future Oddworld games and will Abe be able to possess them? It would be awesome to use them to kick slig ass with or just to experiment.

Alf: Maybe. Fleeches aren’t really known for their intellectual capacity. But Abe started squeezing his mind into smaller and smaller brains, even Slogs! So, perhaps.

Titanslayer: What does Brew sickness feel like? What are the symptoms?

Alf: It feels like the world is spinning and the air is shouting and your body will go flinging off into the distance if you move. So stay close to the ground, shut out everything you see and hear, and wait to fart it out of your system.

After Abe cured you guys of Brew sickness in Abe’s Exoddus, did you guys still feel a craving for Brew, thus inspiring you to start your rehab facility?

Alf: Yes, of course! It’s called addiction, and you have to manage it carefully to stop it controlling your life. SoulStorm Brew is designed to be hugely addictive, and if you can control its supply, you can control its addicts. It’s one of the biggest and best ways to suppress people’s desires for freedom, in Oddworld and your world. But no, I’m totally over Brew now. Couldn’t care less about it. Stay out of my refridgerator!

I saw that picture of a woodcarving of a Scubatoad that somebody posted on Twitter, but what exactly are Scubatoads? Are they a Native species or a wildlife species?

Alf: Scuba Toads are native creatures. We haven’t seen them because they’re fantastically ellusive. If we could lure them out into the open and convince them to fight for our common cause, who knows what we could accomplish. Maybe very little. Maybe an awful lot.

In Abe’s Oddysee, in the cell where Abe is being held, somebody scrawled the words “Molluck sucks” on the wall. Do you know who wrote that phrase and what became of him (the person who wrote it, I mean – I know exactly what happens to Molluck)?

Alf: I’m a good Mud! I never got sent to a detention cell. That graffiti could have been anybody’s. I can guess what happened to them, but I don’t want to ruin your appetite.

In the instruction manual for Abe’s Oddysey, Sligs were described as having “room-temperature I.Q.’s.” Does this mean that their I.Q. is dependent on the temperature of the room that they’re in, or is this a different way of saying that Sligs are naturally stupid? (Don’t tell Crig that I said this!)

Alf: You tell me.

And finally, you mentioned in a previous entry of Dear Alf that Slurgs weren’t measured in feet; they were measured in decibels. So, what is the average decibel rating of a Slurg popping underfoot?

Alf: 100!

GeneralMuffins: Have you ever been to or seen Nolybab? What is it like?

Alf: I’d love to go to Nolybab one day. The big city, the bright lights, the towering buildings, the sheer scale of shopping opportunities! The gum-encrusted walkways, the flickering neon, the pushing, the shoving, the shrieking, the spitting. Actually, I’ve put myself off the whole thing. Nolybab can go sink into the crust of the planet for all I care.

SR2: Do the Glukkons make food from bees and bats too ?

Alf: Not directly. Bees and bats may number in the billion across the planet, but they’re such small and fiddly things. Not much meat. Bees are only good for honey, all packed into overcrowded apiaries towering high and covering entire fields. Breed them without wings, just pump the raw materials into the hive. When the combs are full, crush the whole lot and sort the honey from the waste afterwards. At least, that’s how I’d do it if I were a soulless capitalist.

Can Rupture Farms produce its own energy ?

Alf: It does! There’s no power hookup out in the wastelands. Its mighty furnaces and boilers churned fuel into fire into power day in, day out. Had its own emergency backup, too. Very sophisticated setup.

Have you ever met Aslik, Dripik and Phleg ?

Alf: No, I never had the ‘pleasure’.

Thrombus: Hi Alf! I have a few questions if you don’t mind answering them. If possible, could I get semi-serious answers? I know you’re a humorous guy, but I’m a big Oddworld fan that would love to know more about your homeworld!

Alf: I’ll have you know that all my answers are serious! Except the silly ones, but those are my favorites. You don’t like the silly answers? You might be writing to the wrong columnist.

1) Are Outlaws and Wolvarks related species?

Alf: Outlaws are many species. They’ve banded together to do the best they can after their cultures were destroyed. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that a few Wolvarks were amongst them.

2) Are Outlaws and Wolvarks native to Mudos or are they settlers?

Alf: All the species we’ve seen so far are native to Mudos. Some of them we call settlers, like the Clakkerz, come from a different part of Mudos, but still Mudos. There is one exception, and that’s the Almighty Raisin, who comes from far, far to the north.

3) Will we ever learn more about the Steef, Wolvarks, Interns, Outlaws, Clakkerz, Kinto and Chroniclers?

Alf: I can’t predict the future, chump! I keep looking at the leaves at the bottom of my cup, but they just spell out bad jokes.

4) Is there any interaction between the Oktigi species and Glukkons?

Alf: On a business level, lots. Oktigi are very rich and very powerful, and many a Glukkon venture wouldn’t be able to start up without their investment. On a personal level, none. Oktigi keep themselves to themselves, are very secretive and never trust outsiders. The details of their culture are one of the most closely guarded secrets on Oddworld.

5) Are the Brain Slurgs (Squeek’s species) humanoid like Abe or a more exotic species?

Alf: Well they’re Slurgs, so I guess they’re small, squigey and about 100 decibels.

6) What is the connection between the Magog Cartel and Uggae Estate?

Alf: Hierarchical!

7) Will there ever be a Munch’s Exoddus?

Alf: See question 3.

8) Are they any free Mudokons who have embraced industrial society and that aren’t slaves?

Alf: That very much depends how you’re defining slavery. There are those that aren’t considered the properity of CEOs, whose lives are legally their own, but with so much addiction, advertising and misinformation going on in so-called Civilized society, I would hardly say that they are ‘free’.

9) Which industrial races are foreign to Mudos? I remember that Glukkons, Oktigi and Sligs are Mudos natives, but I’ve read nothing about the Vykkers, Interns, Wolvarks, Clakkerz or Outlaws belong to Mudos.

Alf: I think you already asked this question.

10) Also in FeeCo Depot there is a poster that says “Pack Your Bags” and shows a sunny beach with a big city near it. What is that place? Is it located on Mudos or somewhere else in Oddworld?

Alf: Probably just a painting of some Civilized concept of an oddyllic holiday destination. Don’t let the adverts trick you into thinking FeeCo will deliver you to any desirable destination.

Jaime: Hey Alf what do sligs have to do to become Big Bros do they evolve or something? help me out here

Alf: Big Bros are what happens when you take an ordinary crawl-of-the-mill Slig and pump it full of steroids. Note the bulging muscles, wide neck, gargantuan size and observable bigness. A Slig can buy its own steroid treatments if it ever earns that much Moolah, but it’s quicker for a CEO to stump up the cash for the improved security.

Salamander: Hows it going Alf? i wanted to ask you whos is squeek? ive looked it up and came empty handed can u help me out here?

Alf: Yeah, sure! You see, Squeek is actually… Oops! Out of time!

If you have a question you want to put to Alf, then leave a comment, send an email, tweet a tweet, or do whatever it is you do on Facebook. Alf will be back before the festive break with another batch of your questions answered with his delicious Mudokon wisdom.