This is RuptureFarms.
They say it's the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld.
I used to work here. Well, I was really a slave, like all the others.
Developed by Oddworld Inhabitants
Published by GT Interactive
Platforms: Windows and PlayStation
Abe's Oddysee is the first instalment in the Oddworld Quintology, an original, distinctive and highly entertaining computer game series. It is a platform perspective mix of problem solving and action, not dissimilar to Prince of Persia, but having more in common with games such as Flashback.
The game's style cleverly combines a kind of cartoon unreality with a gritty and violent feel of realism. Sure, Abe is a funny-looking, bumbling Mudokon idiot who farts and makes whistling noises, but the world around him is a gruesome, terrifying and spectacularly hazardous one.
RuptureFarms is the colossal meat packing plant owned by Molluck the Glukkon and the rest of the Magog Cartel. Molluck has made a tidy profit by turning the local fauna into various foodstuffs - and conservation isn't part of his game plan. The Meech, now extinct, once made a popular snack, and Paramites and Scrabs are becoming scarce.
Abe was working in his usual capacity as a floor-waxer one night when he stumbled across a secret board meeting, and watched as Molluck unveiled his new scheme to deal with the Scrab and Paramite shortage -- harvesting Mudokons! Abe freaks out and decides to make a run for it. In this dire situation, you, the player, take control of Abe and his desperate flight, charged with the solemn responsibility of
getting him repeatedly shot and blown up guiding him safely out of harm's way.
The escape from RuptureFarms is merely the beginning of the Oddysee. When Abe gets out, he learns that he is a kind of Chosen One of the Mudokons, destined to lead his people out of slavery. He must first complete a series of trials to prove his worth in the ancient nesting grounds of Scrabs and Paramites (rather intimidating creatures), and then return to RuptureFarms to rescue all of his former colleagues. Whilst wreaking considerable havoc, of course.
You have infinite lives, and you'll need every one of them.
Abe's Oddysee is remarkably puzzle oriented for a platformer. Switches, traps, gadgets, deadly falls, sharp things, explosive things, hungry things and things with guns abound. Abe may be the fated saviour of his species, but he's built just like all the other Mudokons, and he doesn't have any weapons or armour. If a Slig sees you, he shoots you. If a Slig shoots you, you die. If you step on a mine, you die. If you fall off an edge, you die. If you get jumped by a Slog, Scrab or Paramite, you die.
There is a serious emphasis on timing. Basically, until you learn to perform each manouvre flawlessly, you spend a lot of time getting killed. The game copes with this "sudden death" style of play by using a checkpoint system. That is, checkpoints are placed within the game at particular stages, and each time you die you are sent back to the most recent one. Because of the game's highly linear design, the checkpoint approach works well.
Gotta save 'em all
Quite apart from the obstacles involved in finishing the game, there are a total of 99 Mudokons to be saved in Abe's Oddysee, and some of them are very well hidden indeed. The game has two endings, a good one and a bad one, and the one you get is determined by how many of your brethren you bothered to rescue along the way. And if you found the game anywhere near as addictive as I did, your soul will never be at peace until you find, and save, every last one of the little blighters. It adds some replayability to the game, at the cost of your sanity.
I dearly love Abe's Oddysee, and I've not yet met anyone who played it and didn't feel the same way. It is everything a game should be; engrossing, challenging, stimulating, and funny. If you haven't played it, let me assure you that you've been missing out.