Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
Rupture Farms - The Largest, Most productive meat processing plant in the entire galaxy - is not the place to be if you're a veggie. Which the hero of this game, Abe, most certainly is not. Abe is a Mudokan, a race of green-skinned aliens that have been enslaved by the evil Glukkon to work inside their ghoulish slaughterhouse. He's also a fully fledged meat-eater, having tasted Meech Munchies (sadly discontinued due to the extinction of the Meech), chomped on Paramite Pies (mmmm) and occasionally tucked into Scrab Cakes.
With Scrab stocks plummeting and Paramites on their way out too, Rupture Farms are on the lookout for a tasty alternative, and - as Abe inadvertently finds out - Mudokan meat is next in line for 'processing'. Cue much bother as Abe makes good his escape, with the evil ruling Glukkon and their sinister army of robotic guards hot on his heels.
Comedy arse gas
When the excellent opening video subsides, control of Abe reverts to the player and the game moves seamlessly to a familiar side-on platform format. It's here Abe's problems really begin.
Trapped inside a labyrinth of machinery and monsters, Abe must lead his Mudokan co-workers to safety through the power of his own voice. Gamespeak, as Abe's in-game vocal repertoire is known, is activated by hitting various keys on the numeric pad (if you're playing with keys, that is) and can be useful in a number of situations. The phrases 'hello', 'follow me' and 'wait' are self-explanatory and come in handy very early on in the game, but growls, whistles and the occasional fart (complete with comedy arse gas) serve their purpose later on when Abe escapes the confines of Rupture Farms. There's also a multi-faceted 'chant' which does everything from ring bells to take over the body of an enemy (tres cool). It's all very cute and will no doubt have the girlies cooing in the background as you play.
However, little else in this platform adventure could be described as cute. Oddworld is inhabited by some of the most disgustingly hostile creatures ever seen in a computer game, all of whom will tear Abe's head off given half a chance. There is help pretty much the entire way through the game, although progress does seem to rely on trial and error, which involves much replaying of levels and gnashing of teeth. All this can be frustrating at times, especially when Abe is plonked right back at the start of a level when he dies. But fortunately Abe is an agile creature and if you spend time learning how to control him there's plenty of magic to uncover throughout the game.
Looks the business
The developers have created an outstanding visual I environment for Abe to leap around in. Gigantic I buildings and grandiose statues work well to put across that 'discovering a lost civilisation' feeling. They've also made good use of depth and movement - check out the cool speed blur for aesthetic attention to detail.
The shroud of darkness enveloping many of Oddworlds gigantic levels is inspiringly atmospheric - and having to use that darkness by dodging in and out of shadows to avoid the enemy is even more inspiring. Some in-game situations can be very tense, as well as quite chilling, at times.
There are buckets of brilliant touches, from the hugely comical and violent explosions, to the point in the game where you get to ride an Elum, a docile mode of transport and constant source of fun. The whole game is impeccably presented. Even though much of it is shown in only two dimensions it never looks dated. The music is spot on, the animation second to none and for a change the pre-rendered movie sequences actually add to the overall experience. In short: Abe's Oddysee looks and sounds bloody brilliant.
Put those hours in
What prospective buyers should watch out for, though, is the level of commitment this game requires. It is hard. It can hurt you. Psychologically. You have to be prepared to put the hours in - especially later in the game - as well as be ready to compensate for a few of the game's misgivings. The slowdown - particularly when Abe enters a new room - does invoke the odd bit of panic (a dog's bollocks system may help, although the game still 'reared' on our office P200), and the lack of a proper save system may be a little too much for some ("back to the start?! You f...g b...d! You b...d!" will become a bit of a catchphrase for some people), but if you can handle these problems then Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee is an interesting enough game to warrant your attention.
Part I - Walk this way: from Rupture Farms to Scrabania Temple
01 - From the starting screen, go down from behind the barrels and you'll find yourself in the first set of secret rooms. Leap over the security doors and pull the left-hand lever. Go down. Jump over to the right-hand platform where the slig was sleeping - but don't hoist yourself up until it's fallen down to the bottom level. Kill the slig, chant to activate the portal, and save the mudokon. Go back up and get the two mudokons to follow you down to safety. You'll have to be careful - tell them to 'wait' to stop them from killing themselves. You can get them to jump off ledges by asking them to follow you a second time.
02 - Take over the slig and use it to pull the lever, go right and kill the other slig. Explode. Go back, and from behind the barrel go down. Leap over to the grenade machine, collect one. then position Abe to the right of the machine and destroy the security orb. Take over a slig, then the other, and go right. Shoot the slig quickly and then explode. Go back and get another grenade to destroy the security orb. You can now save the two mudokons.
03 - You will need more grenades to destroy the three bombs in order to go down. Go straight down again and pull the switch, then hoist yourself back up to the two mudokons. Get them to follow you down so you can save them. If you say 'follow me' twice and leap, they should jump from the ledges. Tell them to wait, to save them from the meat saw.
04 - Pull on the rope to open the trap, then run to fall through. Take a grenade, face the right wall and throw the grenade to kill the slig. Get another grenade and go down. Destroy the bomb by crouching on the far right and throwing while facing left. Save the mudokon. Go up. chant, leap through the portal.
05 - After dumping the slig through the trapdoor, get Abe to fall through as well. Use the shadows to creep down to the next screen. Get a grenade, then leap over to the left platform and throw it over to destroy the orb. Take over the slig and use it to pull the lever and detonate the bomb. Go up and back down to bring back the portal, then save the mudokons. Get another grenade, creep up into the shadows and destroy the slig. Chant and leap into the portal.
06 - Get the two mudokons (there's one in the shadows) to follow you left so you can lull the slig to the right and into the lever trap. Once disposed with you can begin the lengthy process of getting all the mudokons through a portal.
07 - Crouch in the centre of the platform and throw the grenade across to destroy the bombs. Go and get another grenade and come back, crouch in the same place and throw the grenade to the right to kill the sleeping slig. Walk off the lift to the right. Jump across carefully when all three saws are at the top. Chant the three mudokons to safety in the next room, then on your way back hoist your way down from the left side of the open flap on the right side of the screen. You'll drop down, and you can just pull the lever on the left screen to call down the lift. Now it's off to the stock yards.
The stock yards
08 - On the third screen from the start is a door on the bottom-right of the screen. Go through to access the distant platform. Now go left to summon the portal. Jump through. Summon another portal. Get one of the mudokons in the top-right to follow you, then creep right until the scrab chases you. then run back left and jump up to the platform. When the scrab is underneath, run right. You'll have to make three running jumps to get to safety - the scrab chasing you all the way. Open the portal for the mudokon, then go back and repeat the whole thing again for the other mudokon. Once you've saved both, run back and jump through the portal.
09 - Prime the bomb (crouch next to it and press 'action'), then go left a bit and chant for a secret portal. Go through. Leap right and dangle until the slig on the lower level moves offscreen. Hoist up and run to the right. Keep running and leap to the right-hand platform, and dangle until the slig wanders off-screen again. When the coast is dear, hoist up to the top, clear the mudokons from the bomb and prime it. Hide and wait for the slig to return and blow itself up. then summon the portal and herd the mudokons to safety. Leave the way you came. Oh, and that bomb you primed: get one of the sligs from the left to follow you - run right and leap up to the platform so it will detonate the bomb. Go back and sneak behind the other slig until you can hoist yourself up to get to the next screen.
10 - Wait for the slig to exit right, then run after it and quickly get up to the platform, activate the portal and go through. Take over the slig, go right and down to kill the two sligs. Explode, then get all the mudokons to the porta Exit via the portal.
11 - Run quickly and hoist yourself up to the platform. Save the mudokon then open the portal. Go back through the door then run back through the portal you just opened - this will take you back to a previous screen where you'll have to deal with the couple of slogs by getting them to run into mines.
Relax, this part is a eineh. Your biggest problem will be befriending the native mudokons by whistling and farting - by the way. '6' and '8' refer to the key-press for whistling. Remember that levers activate wells, and you can escape bees by hiding behind the chanting mudokons.
12 - Mimic the native mudokon: whistle '6' twice then fart nicely. 13 - Mimic: whistle '6' twice, '8' twice, then fart loudly. 14 - Mimic: whistle '668868' then fart. 15 - Mimic: whistle '66886868' then trump a good 'un. 16 - Pull the lever on the screen to the right, and go jump in the well to Scrabania.
17 - Kill the slig by hanging under the platform and sneakily darting up and priming the bomb and rolling off before he sees you. Head off to the left. Hide in the shadows until the slig goes off-screen, then jump up and pull the lever to release a boulder upon its return. Pull the lever from the left to activate the well. Jump through it and pull the lever behind. Now jump through the well. Possess the slig and walk it slowly to the right to detonate the mine. Jump into the well - you should now be able to summon the elum by yanking the bell. Having summoned the elum, ride it to leap across the chasm.
18 - Mimic the mudokon (say 'hello', whistle '868' and fart - you'll receive a new power). Tell the elum to wait and then go right. Chant to destroy the mine. Pull the lever above, mimic the mudokon again and take the lift down. Chant to destroy the bombs then touch the stone and go back and mimic again. Then go down. Say 'hello' to mudokon, then whistle '668' and fart. When the mines drift right, chant to destroy them, and then go up. Get the elum and come back down and leap across to the right. You'll need to acquire more of your new powers to destroy the bombs and continue. When you do, climb on the elum and just run!
19 - With the elum tucking into the honey, go over to the right-hand lift and go down. Pull the lever on the third screen to the right and jump into the well on the left. Now you can pick up stones to destroy the mine. Mimic the mudokon ('hello', '6886' and fart). Destroy the bomb. Pull the lever and, without falling, make your way to the elum. The bees will stop it licking the honey and you'll be able to jump the chasm further on.
20 - Tell the elum to wait, jump through the well to switch off the bomb, go right and jump in the well - but detonate the mine at the same time. Leap on the elum, jump the canyon and run on through to the well. Jump in. Leap over to the left lift to get a rock, then take the right lift down to pick it up. Throw the rock over to destroy the bomb. Go up. take the left lift down and touch the rock. Go back round, get the elum and go to the mudokon. Say 'hello', whistle '8688' then fart
21 - Sneak past the slig and jump over the bombs. Mimic: 'hello'. '86886' then fart. Go left and destroy the bombs. Pull the lever, jump into the well and take over the slig. Go left and kill the slig. Get the elum and jump the chasm.
22 - Jump into the well and. while avoiding the mine, mimic: 'hello', '866' and fart. Jump into the well. Mimic: 'hello', whistle '868868' then fart. Chant to destroy the mines. Be careful at the end there.
23 - From the start, roll left to summon a portal to a secret area. Take over the slig and kill it on the bomb. Quickly go left/right to create the portal. Then go back left and run right to catch the upper platform. Kill the other slig. sneak right then left and save the two mudokons. Exit.
24 - Make your way down to the bottom right-hand screen and touch the stone. Now go up and chant and then pull the lever. Go up again and out the exit.
25 - Pull the lever on the left, then jump into the well on the right. Now hoist up to the platform on the bottom-left screen and fall into the well. Hoist up, pull the lever, go down, and when the slig is over to the left pull the lever and get into the well on the right-hand screen. Pull the lever, hoist down and run left and into the well again - this time from the ground. Hoist up. chant and exit.
26 - On the first screen, hoist down and roll right when the bomb is out of the way. Further on, take over the slig and pull the lever. They'll be loads of slogs after your blood, shoot them and the rest is easy.
27 - From the first screen, go left and touch the stone, then run right. Further on you'll have to use the lift to avoid the slig.
28 - You shouldn't really need help with this level - it's an absolute doddle.
29 - You should be getting the hang of it all by now. The difficulty on this one is getting the slig onto the lift, whereby you can pull the lever to hoist it out of the way. Then you can use the well.
30 - Fairly simple if you use tricks from the previous area. The rooms through the portal are the most difficult Hang on to the platform so that the slig falls through. If you fail to kill the slig it would probably be easier to start again.
31 - Lots of running back and forth in this one, as well as getting sligs to kill each other. If you roll left from the room which has the flint lock, you'll find the hidden areas. Get a mudokon to follow you left, say 'wait', then go right. Drop down and roll left. Make your way to the stock yard and chant to save the mudokon. then go down, chant and exit.
32 - The run to the exit is pretty tricky, especially the final leg. Jump into the well on the first screen to scout out the screens. Near the end you'll have to crouch and roll (press X while running) to get through to the final screen. Jump onto the ledge, then leap and pull the lever. When the slig is dead, jump over to the lever, pull it and exit. You'll eventually find yourself back at Monsaic lines. Stroll on and jump through to Paramonia. See you next month..
Occasionally we get a few letters complaining about the level of profanity in the magazine. Most of the letters are from people who buy one issue, read it, complain and then go and buy a different magazine next month. We want to say one just thing to them: buy Oddmrldand you'll soon discover why swearing is so necessary. Oddwodd: Abe's Oddysee is the most frustrating game ever created. Faking frustrating, in fact, a real mutha of a game. Capiche?
As Abe, your aim is to save the mudokan race from servitude in the meat farms of the evil Glukkon. If you had some sort of weaponry it would be easy, but alas Abe has no offensive capabilities whatsoever, merely a limited vocabulary, a repertoire of rectal coughs and the ability to possess sligs - who handily carry machine guns.
Like all good platform games there are chasms to leap and levers to pull, but what makes Oddworld so instantly appealing is the wonderful atmosphere that permeates the entire game. The creatures are truly alien, the good guys are full of character, and the bad guys... well, they're almost frightening. The graphics are fairly low-res, but the animation, effects and cut-scenes are spot on. If you buy this game you'll either love it or hate it, but either way you'll be swearing like a trooper. Welcome to our world.
21 Years Ago Abe's gloriously dark world of slavery and casual slaughter first appeared on the PC. And as far as puzzle platformers go, it still stinks of originality, invention, and morbid horror.
Abe is a Mudokon slave, held captive in the mechanical landscapes of the Slig Empire. All he can do is communicate with his idiot brethren, fart (which takes a surprisingly long time to wear thin) and hypnotise guards with his chanting.
The rules within which you have to operate, and the imagination behind the puzzles, are inventive enough to keep you entertained throughout. And even if you survive the main game, getting all of your Mudokon fellows to safety can agitate your tear ducts to the point of squirting out a little wet.
Download Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode