Game: Oddworld – Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus

Finished playing on: 24th and 18th of April respectively.

Abe’s Exoddus has been one of my favourite games for a large number of years, but I only played its predecessor, Oddysee, for the first time last year. And I felt it was time for another playthrough, and another comparison.

This time around I played right through Exoddus, but took the more unusual route of killing as many Mudokons as possible rather than saving them. It’s very pleasing to my sadistic side. Evidently, when you do kill them all, you come back about halfway through the game (at the point where you’re asked to change discs) with invulnerability. I’ve yet to take advantage of this…

Anyway, it’s kind of a fun way to play the game, for some reason. One of Exoddus’s changes from Oddysee was that the Mudokons now have moods, so they might be angry or depressed. If their fellow Mudokons die onscreen, they become depressed – or if they’re already depressed they’ll kill themselves. And if they get angry next to each other, they’ll kill each other, so a lot of the work killing them is done for you. I’ve yet to confirm properly, but I suspect the same won’t be possible in Oddysee – since you can’t always get the Mudokons to kill each other in the same kind of way, it’s probably harder at least, since you actually have to find other ways of doing it more often.

Overall, there’s not much difference gameplay-wise between the two games; the main one, of course, is the size of the game itself – Exoddus is on two discs and requires you to save three times as many Mudokons for 100%. It also has the aforementioned angry, depressed, blind, sick and laughing-gassed Mudokons for you to deal with, and one can also possess more of the beasts that inhabit the original game.

The biggest difference by far is the savestate, or “Quiksave”, feature in Exoddus. Annoyingly, I got 97/99 on my playthrough of Oddysee, and I entirely blame the fact that there was no savestate feature, so I probably died and forgot to fucking repeat a secret area or something. As for the secret areas themselves, in a way it’s a shame that Exoddus kinda marks them (well, all except the one on the very first screen) out with subtle-but-obvious-as-a-brick-once-you-know-the-trick clues, but at the same time, it’s annoying that Oddysee doesn’t give you a similar concession. Its secret areas require more trial and error, and sometimes just a keen eye, to spot. And therefore, despite having to use a guide to make sure I didn’t miss any anyway, I still evidently ended up missing one. I suspect that that’s what happened, anyway. So annoying. Fortunately, it’s not as long a game as Exoddus and therefore maybe easier to repeat over, although I’m not as familiar with the levels, so tend to spend longer solving them. Kinda balances out really.

Oddysee also fills in a lot of the bits of Exoddus that I thought, ironically, were lacking; evidently they decided they’d covered that ground already and didn’t need to bother, or something. In particular, there’s a mechanism for Sligs to have Slogs follow them; a mechanic which is sort of sprung on you in one of the final levels of Exoddus but which was explored more in full in Oddysee.

Overall, they’re basically just one big long game, since the basic gameplay is exactly the same. One big long, graphically-rich-despite-being-2D, wonderfully-characterised story set in an exciting world. Exoddus does iron out a lot of problems, though!

One last thing… I saw a speedrun video of Exoddus recently, and the guy had exploited a bug in order to climb through floors, which at one point basically allows him to skip about half the game. Blew my fucking mind.

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