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Oddworld: Fangus (more commonly known by its media given name, The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot) was a game that was thought to be an April Fools Joke, since an article said it would come out in 2004, but it never did. It was later confirmed to actually exist but was cut short in the planning process - confirmed by Game Informer in an interview with the creator. It would have featured the same mix of first\third‐person action and combat as Stranger’s Wrath, but with a more muscle‐bound and human character wielding guns in a darker and more political setting.
In Fangus, the various sapient races evolved from felines and canines. The game takes place in an area based off of Eastern Europe and Russia. The inhabitants of Fangustan (a culture based on Afghanistan) descended from bulldogs, but their lands are invaded by Vamps, the cat‐like Mafia of another country (comparable to Russia). These feline Mafiosi begin ousting the native shepherds and building factories or refineries to produce hardcore drugs.
Amongst the shepherds is Fangus Klot, who is taken from his familiar home of forested hills and enslaved as a pitfighter. Fangus then engages in a series of fights with increasingly powerful opponents, culminating in a huge and rabid fighter who bites Fangus—infecting him with rabies—while destroys enough of the arena to allow him to escape. With the help of his rabid flock, Fangus must then free Fangustan before he succumbs to his rabies.
Lorne Lanning was having talks with EA Games about a sequel to Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath the year before the game’s release, but eventually OWI settled on Majesco Entertainment to publish their next title, possibly because EA didn't want to publish a game the ESRB would likely give an M rating. The game was going to use the Stranger engine, which Oddworld Inhabitants were very proud of and wanted maximize their use of to tell the story of an Inhabitant so intense he makes Stranger look like Munch in terms of intensity, from a part of Oddworld like where Eastern Europe meets Russia that Lorne and Raymond Swanland were interested in developing.
Production started on The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot, including concept art, level design, and realtime animation (with over 100 animations outsourced to Alcazar Entertainment). Originally, Lorne had set out to create a game with a much more intense and politically shocking atmosphere, even giving it a title of a different ilk to past Oddworld games but keeping the setting on Oddworld, albeit a different part of it. However, having given the production team more control over the project, he saw that they shifted the design into something much more realistic and human. Eventually, Lorne lost interest and allowed for the game’s development continue, but saying it would not be set on Oddworld at all.
The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot was announced in the April 2005 issue of Game Informer previewed for fans on the Oddworld Forums by member LawnChairFire, but receiving some suspicion that it was an April Fools joke. Unfortunately, by the time the magazine had reached news stands, Oddworld Inhabitants were already shutting down their game development studio.
The game was canceled when publishers Majesco Entertainment tried to change the deal with Oddworld Inhabitants, which OWI rejected. Feeling that an original Xbox title with no Live Play would not succeed at a time when press and gamer attention was focused on the Xbox 360, while receiving no more technical support from Microsoft, Lorne and Sherry decided it was best to shelve the game and all future in‐house game development. However, The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot remains a story Lorne would like to tell one day.
Concept Art Edit
Below is a collection of concept art from the website of a former Oddworld Inhabitants employee. These are the only known existing images from the games development.