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[Published at 2018.12.12.] [679 words]

Molluck on Trial

My favorite Oddworld artwork

(Full size)

Throughout the years, there have been many artists, who worked on Oddworld, each with their own style and feeling. However, at least to me, nothing grasps that same feeling I had when I first began playing Abe’s Oddysee than the art above, drawn by Farzad Varahramyan.

The picture depicts Molluck the Glukkon, the iconic big bad of the first game as a tiny, insignificant figure hunched over before a committee of his own kin and the Glukkon-queen and current owner of the Magog Cartel, Lady Margaret herself.

It is obvious at the first glance, who’s in charge here. The queens’s enormous body, her crown and the huge Magog logo she wears, combined with how she glares at Molluck with eyes that have about as much mercy in them as Molluck’s had when Abe was brought before him all speak about just how different of a levels they are on. It’s no question that if she wanted to she could easily just grab him and throw him into whatever fiery hell lies under them.

This is actually a common trope in Oddworld. Whenever you think you’ve reached the head, the boss, you’ll always find someone who stands higher. Molluck might seem like the “meanest boss in the world” to Abe, but he would probably say the same about Lady Margaret, who would say this about her grandmother (who is also a quite interesting character, who deserves a page, but that will have to wait) and she would say the same about the Investors. This is how deep we currently see into the hierarchy of Oddworld, but who knows, maybe even them have superiors or alphas.

For those who have no idea about the story of this picture, here’s a short explanation: Originally, Munch’s Oddysee would have been quite different. Not only would have it been much darker, but we would have also got a much better insight into the Industrialist world. However, because things didn’t work out as intended for OWI and thus most of the content was cut from the final product, but small elements of the intended storyline still reached the audience. While it was implied in Abe’s Oddysee that Molluck died after being struck by lightning, in Munch’s Oddysee it would have been revealed as a plot twist that he has actually survived the encounter, escaped RuptureFarms, which burned down after the supernatural lightning struck the building, and went into hiding. But of course someone has to pay for the loss of profits and it wasn’t long before he was caught and brought before his own mother. This is what the drawing portrays. The trial’s results and Molluck’s fate is not known, but seeing Lady Margaret’s face, things don’t look too bright for him.

There were actually many designs made for the Glukkon queen1, as far as I know more than there was made for any other queen and they were all quite varied. However, in my eyes nothing compares to this one. While the others may portray her as even more grotesque or disgusting, neither of them show this sheer sick majesty and dominance that Mr. Varahramyan so masterfully captured on this picture.

It has come to my attention that the lore surrounding this picture is possibly retconned as seen on this Lost Archives picture posted on the Official Instagram. However, in my opinion the picture loses a lot of its charm if it’s depicting only a “mundane” event, so I’m choosing to take the old context as canon, until we have actually seen this scene in-game.

  1. You can find more of these here.