A few thoughts on Molluck

(The following essay is an amalgamation of canon lore, parts of the unreleased canon as explained to me by kjjcarpenter (one of the few - as I like to call them - "Lore-gurus", also known as people who extensively studied and memorized Oddworld's released and unreleased canon) and my personal thoughts and findings on the character. While I was striving to retell the lore here as accurately as possible, please don't take anything here that isn't sourced or you don't absolutely know is canon as fact. Enjoy!)

Today I'd like to talk a bit about the big bad, the "meanest boss in the world", the guy whose malicious intentions you don't need to be told about, Molluck the Glukkon.

An early concept art of Molluck, wearing a less sophisticated and bulkier Magog Cartel logo.

Playing only Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus and not having cared about the intended storyline of Munch's Oddysee, one might think that he's really the top of the foodchain, hell maybe even the owner of the Magog Cartel. The truth is more complex than this and it might be surprising to some. Molluck is in fact the prodigal son of Lady Margaret(1), the actual current owner of the cartel. The Glukkon queen gave the task of running RuptureFarms (along with a few other factories, we'll get to that) as a test to Molluck to prove his worth before he gets an actually large turf.

While you might think that RuptureFarms is the "biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld", it's not, Abe only says this, because he is so sheltered from the outside world. The number part in RF1029 is not a codeword, it's a serial number, meaning the factory has more than a thousand brethren. And while it might seem huge to us, Oddworld has ten times as much surface area as Earth so even a "smaller" factory like RF is, is multiple times larger than the largest ones on Earth. In fact, Mudos (the continent where all the currently released titles take place) is actually kind of a paralell to Africa, with backwater factories (like the ones we visit in Oddysee and Exoddus) that employ - and exploit - the less developed natives. This is why it is a huge shock to the cartel that a Mudokon-uprising could actually bring down a factory. It's about as believeable to the Investors and senior members like a group of tribals with spears and warpaint winning against a modern army.

I mentioned other facilities, so let's continue with that. This might not be a surprise to some, but I think it's important to point out that Molluck was behind everything we've seen in the first two games. Not only did he own RuptureFarms, he's also the boss of the Glukkon trio seen in Abe's Exoddus and the owner of their facilities. Aslik being Vice-President is already a big tell, but Dripik even points out that "[He's] gonna be pissed" and that "if he ever comes back [they're] screwed", making it undisputable who's the boss after all(2). This is why we never meet the owner of Necrum Mines either. However, it might be a bigger surprise that Aslik isn't the Vice-President of FeeCo, instead he is VP of SoulStorm Brewery(3), also owned by Molluck(4). The Brewmaster is, despite his pompous title, just some lackey, who was ambitious (and perhaps competent) enough to take over in the boss' absence.

The exterior of the vault, with Abe and Munch for scale.

The vault as seen in Abe's Oddysee

and in New 'n' Tasty.

The messy interior of the destroyed vault.

He also owned a personal vault in RuptureFarms, which - as the pictures imply - contained some of his most treasured belongings, including a lot of Moolah. The painting hanging on the background was especially interesting to me, as it portrays a young Molluck standing sheepishly next to his always menacing mother, which is not exactly a side of him one can see a lot. Another thing I noticed was the chair, which is surprisingly similar to what you could find here on Earth. With Glukkon anatomy being so different, one can't help but wonder how would they even sit on a chair like this.

A piece of concept art from the cancelled Oddworld movie: Molluck observing some of the many hanging Mudokon cells, where the tired workers return to get as much rest as they possibly can.

Even his name was a clever choice as it is a reference to Moloch, the Biblical false god of child sacrifice. The children here of course being the offspring of Sam, the Mudokons. Despite this - and some might disagree - I don't think Molluck is such a clear-cut evil character as the games portray him.

The slaughter of innocents is an unforgivable choice and I'm not trying to justify it, however, it's not like there were any better alternatives either. Remember, Molluck had to satisfy not only his very demanding mother, but also the vicious group of Investors. And as Abe tells us, the "profits were grim". Quite likely if he hadn't made a choice like this, he and his colleagues would have ended up on the chopping block, with someone even crueller, but also more efficient taking over.

I'd like to end this post with the short timeline of what happened to him after the end of Abe's Oddysee. As we seen in the canon good ending, the Mudokons conjure a mystical thunderstorm over RuptureFarms and struck the nearby Slig to death with a well aimed lightning bolt. The same fate follows Molluck, whose suit disintegrates, revealing the Glukkons' surprising anatomy. Except... he doesn't actually die. Either with a huge amount of luck or the meddling of Oddworldian gods, he is 'merely' knocked unconscious and branded by the electricity passing through his head. The storm causes the factory to erupt in flames, however, Molluck gets himself together before he burns alive and escapes by unknown means. The authorities raid the factory, but since they can't find his corpse he is declared wanted for causing a loss of profit to the cartel.

The lore here becomes quite vague. Where, how and when this happens is not known, but one thing is sure: Molluck, despite his best intentions to hide from the Cartel, was finally captured and he was brought before his very angry mother(5), who has to answer to the investors for his son's mistakes. After a likely thunderous and devastating scolding by Margaret, Molluck is escorted to an elevator to meet and to try to explain himself before the investors. This is where the known lore ends about him, and thus his fate is left unknown, but knowing who's he up against, I don't think he has a chance..

Molluck in Soulstorm

What little we know of Soulstorm seems to mostly follow this plotline with a few modifications(6). Molluck here tries to warn the other Glukkons about the dangers of Abe, but they think Molluck is just in for the insurance money and he was caught. And because of their prejudice, Abe will be able to succeed. Also we can see the guild which Molluck belongs to, the Stockgluks, whose job is to breed and provide creatures for the industry.

Back to the frontpage

(1) https://oddworldlibrary.net/wiki/1999/12/22_-_Family_Secrets
"It was a bitter pill for Maggie to swallow when her favorite son, Molluck the Glukkon, [...]"

(2) https://oddworldlibrary.net/wiki/Abe%27s_Exoddus_-_Inhabitants
If you're still not convinced, check under "GENERAL DRIPIK, VICE-PRESIDENT ASLIK, DIRECTOR PHLEG".

(3) https://oddworldlibrary.net/wiki/SoulStorm_Brew_-_I,_Aslik

(4) https://oddworldlibrary.net/wiki/Abe%27s_Exoddus_-_Inhabitants
Under "MOLLUCK".

(5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ2ADIrnb3g
An unreleased MoM cutscene about Molluck's capture.

(6) https://youtu.be/L3zdCg4tbOc?t=1444
Lanning's EGX2017 talk.