In the lengthy closing cutscene of the good ending, we finally see what use Abe and Munch got out of their trip to the surface and back: Lulu is now wealthy enough to win the Gabbiar auction. Except this still doesn’t really make sense. Abe has to mind-control Lulu through the entire process — Lulu doesn’t even like Gabbiar, doesn’t want to spend his entire new-found fortune, has no intention of just handing the can over to a couple of known criminals. So if Lulu isn’t a willing collaborator, why does it need to be Lulu? Can’t Abe just wait for the winning bid and then mind-control whoever won? I can imagine possible reasons why this wouldn’t work, but if the creators of this story even considered the possibility, they give no sign of it. No, Lulu is the only possible choice not for practical reasons, but for reasons of dramatic irony: you made his fortune by mind-controlling Glukkons, now you take it away by subjecting him to the same treatment.
I do want to keep going with the next Oddworld game once I’m through with IFComp for the year, but I have to say this one, even in its revamped form, was a step down from the first in most respects. There’s just an awful lot of filler where you repeat things you already know how to do in a series of similar-looking environments. The final level brings out some new wall textures to create a palatial look, and the effect is just to emphasize how much all the previous levels looked the same. There was a point toward the middle of the game where it started introducing ways to upgrade your Mudokon followers, turning them into powerful hand-to-hand or ranged combatants. It seemed like that might build up to something interestingly tactical, but the whole mechanic pretty much gets dropped after a few levels, probably because it made things too easy.