Munch’s Oddysee: Glukkons

The head bad guys of Oddworld are of a species called Glukkons, which have cephalopod-like heads and slender bodies with no arms — or rather, as we learn in the final cutscene of Abe’s Oddysee, their arms are actually the appendages they walk on, while tiny torsos and stunted legs dangle between their shoulders. You don’t see this normally because they wrap their absurd bodies in expensive armless suits that constrain their movements. They are the Oddworld’s personification of capitalist greed, physically incapable of doing anything for themselves, suited only to giving orders.

In Abe’s Oddysee, Glukkons only appeared in cutscenes. Both Abe’s Exoddus and Munch’s Oddysee, however, put them into levels, where you can possess them by chanting, just like Sligs.

To be more specific, in Munch’s Oddysee, there’s a whole sequence of levels in the midgame based around stealing various Glukkons’ life savings. See, Munch and Abe need to sneak onto a flying-saucer-like lab complex, and the plan to do this involves elevating a particular low-level Glukkon’s position within the Glukkon hierarchy by making him extremely wealthy. It hasn’t been explained yet why this is necessary, but I assume it has to do with transportation to the saucer. Like, it only sends down shuttles to pick up newly-minted gazillionaires or something. At any rate, there’s a sequence of levels where you break into a series of industrial operations, find the Glukkon in charge, possess him, and make him transfer all his assets to Lulu. (That’s the low-level Glukkon’s name, Lulu.) As always, releasing your possession kills the host, so Lulu doesn’t even have to deal with lawsuits or anything afterwards, although I don’t think he’s really complicit at all.

Here’s what it means for the game. First of all, the player characters are suddenly proactive. They’re not escaping from someplace, and they’re not reacting to an emergency. They’re doing Mission Impossible stuff. Going on self-contained missions and succeeding at them. Secondly, it provides an impetus for variety, as you visit Glukkons in different lines of business. Or at least, that’s how I imagine it was intended. The fact is, the graphics of this game don’t seem to support much diversity of style. There’s exteriors with rounded cliffs, and there’s interiors with metal walls, and that’s pretty much it. The earlier 2D games definitely had an edge when it came to art.

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