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Glottis (Grim Fandango)

Glottis


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Glottis appears in a classic adventure video game, Grim Fandango. For more context, see our character profile for Manny Calavera, the game’s protagonist.

This character profile has S P O I L E R S for the game.


Background

  • Real Name: Glottis.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Partner of Manny Calavera.
  • Base Of Operations: 8th Circle of the Underworld.
  • Height: 9’ Weight: 500 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Red


Powers and Abilities

Glottis’s ability to maintain and upgrade vehicles is nothing short of miraculous. In just a couple of hours, he was able to entirely rebuild an ordinary car into a supercharged hot rod. Glottis could also refurbish a sunken ocean liner into functioning as well as the day it was made while throwing on some new extras to boot.

While Glottis’s mechanical ability is magical, he still goes about his work in the usual fashion. That is, he physically builds or rebuilds gadgets like any other gadgeteer  rather than casting a spell or using some other extraordinary means. It is not his methods, but rather his competence and speed that are superhuman.

Glottis is fully capable of drawing up designs for his inventions. But he only slows down long enough to do so if others will be working on the actual construction.

Glottis is also a fair wheelman and a decent pianist.

Glottis was summoned into the world for a specific purpose – he is a literal speed demon. As a consequence, he must perform acts appropriate to that purpose periodically or he will slowly weaken and die. Glottis is also incapable of leaving the Land of the Dead.


History

Glottis is an elemental drawn from the Land of the Dead to serve the souls there. In his case, this meant working as a mechanic in the Department of Death company garage in the 8th Circle of the Underworld. Though his passion was driving, he was satisfied with maintaining the autos under his care. For more details on the 8th Circle, see the Manny Calavera write-up.

Glottis’s whole life was to change on the day that DOD travel agent Manny Calavera found himself desperate for a new driver. He recruited Glottis as his replacement driver. Manny even gave Glottis permission to modify their company car, which delighted the elemental to no end.

Glottis’s joy was short-lived, though — Manny had forged the work orders reassigning Glottis and when Manny was fired, Glottis was terminated too.

Need for speed

Glottis left El Marrow, bereft at losing his job. Manny also left El Marrow on his quest to find his last client, Mercedes “Meche” Colomar, who had been victimized by a DoD scam. Manny and Glottis reunited in the Petrified Forest outside El Marrow.

In need of transport, Manny recruited Glottis, who was overjoyed at being needed again. The two made their way through the perils of the forest. They finally arrived at Rubacava, the only port on that side of the Sea of Lament.

Knowing that Meche would have to go through Rubacava on her journey to the 9th Circle and confirming that she hadn’t passed through yet, Manny decided to wait for her there.

As Manny settled into Rubacava to wait for his beloved Meche, Glottis also built a life for himself there. He satisfied his driving jones by getting the cat racetrack owners to let him drive the Bonewagon around the track when the races were closed on Sundays.

As Calavera worked his way up from janitor at the local greasy spoon diner to owner of the Calavera Café, Glottis signed on as Manny’s business partner and pianist for the café lounge (when he wasn’t betting on the cat races at the track).

Do the Limbo

One year after Glottis and Manny arrived in Rubacava, Manny spotted Meche on a departing ship. With a considerable amount of trickery, Manny arranged jobs for the two of them on the next ship out of town, the S.S. Limbo. Glottis found working on the Limbo’s engines much more satisfying than being a pianist and only driving once a week.

By the time Manny had moved up to captain of the Limbo, Glottis had turned the once-dilapidated cargo ship into a chrome-plated, supercharged hot rod of a shipping vessel.

Another year passed before the Limbo finally pulled into Puerto Zapato on the trail of Mercedes Colomar. Thugs working for the DoD conspirators were awaiting Manny and Glottis and the two only escaped by wrecking the Limbo.

Do the Lambada

Through a series of misadventures the two ended up at a conspiracy-run fortress on the Edge of the World. Glottis secured a means of escape for he and his friends Manny and Meche by restoring a nearby wrecked vessel, the S.S. Lambada.

The next year’s journey brought the group of intrepid adventurers to the Gateway to the 9th Circle, the Land of Eternal Rest. Unfortunately, the last leg of the trip involved several months of walking through the wastelands. Deprived of high-speed travel, Glottis fell ill.

Before he lost consciousness, he was able to draw plans for a rocket-sled using parts from a nearby gondola. Manny and Meche wanted to help their friend and needed to return to El Marrow to stop the DoD conspiracy. So they helped the local engineering imps build the rocket-sled and rode back toward El Marrow on it with Glottis strapped on top.

The high speed of the rocket-sled revived Glottis, who promptly accidentally knocked the sled off the tracks in his excitement. Fortunately, the trio had already made it to Rubacava. So they simply retrieved the Bonewagon from storage and continued on to El Marrow to complete Manny’s other mission.

His station in death

Once Manny brought the conspirators to justice, Manny, Meche, and Glottis returned to the Gateway on the No. 9 train. Manny was at first distraught that Glottis couldn’t accompany them to the 9th Circle because he was a spirit of the Land of the Dead, but Glottis assured him it was fine.

Thanks to his adventures with Manny, Glottis was now a demon success story and got a prestigious dream job working with the imps maintaining the No.9 train. After giving Manny a big bear hug, Glottis waved him goodbye as the No.9 train continued into the Land of Eternal Rest and began his own new happy life.


Description

Unlike the other mechanic imps of the 8th Circle, Glottis is a huge muscular galoot. Despite his towering height and brobdignagian build (particularly in the torso and upper body), Glottis is too friendly to be intimidating.

He still has the same orange skin and the traditional blue jumpsuit with off-center vertical red stripe that the other imps do, though his jumpsuit lacks a hood. Unlike the smooth-featured imps, Glottis has a large muzzled head.


Personality

Glottis is a lovable oaf and endearingly childlike when it comes to his enthusiasms. Or any other expression of his emotions, for that matter. Driving is his passion, but he also loves tinkering with vehicles of any kind. He also likes betting at the racetrack and enjoys good liquor, which made it hell for Manny to get him out of the high rollers club in Rubacava during their last night there.

Glottis’s lows are as profound as his highs, though. When he was fired from the DoD garage he was so upset that he tore his own heart out in protest, accidentally stunning himself until Manny could retrieve it. He’s also easily frightened and will even put his hands over his eyes to try and hide from scary things.

Another hallmark of Glottis’s behavior is his staunch loyalty. When on the final leg of the trip to 9th Circle of the Underworld, Glottis endured the pain of not driving at high speed without complaint even though it was literally killing him. That was because he thought helping his friends was more important.

When he was near death, his only regret was remorse for letting his friends down by not seeing them through to the end.


Quotes

“My roots lie not in any earthly nation’s soil. I am an elemental spirit, summoned up from the Land of the Dead itself, with one purpose, one skill, one desire : to DRIVE !!! Or to change oil and adjust timing belts, if no driving jobs are available.”

“I ask you, is there an engine that can resist the love that’s in these hands ?”

Manny (after seeing the extensive changes to the Bonewagon): “Glottis, are you loco ? This is a company car.”
Glottis: “Oh yeah, and it’s even *better* company now !!”

(Sitting in the Bonewagon waiting for Manny to finish an errand, pretending to drive) “Vvvvrrooom ! Rrrrrow ! Hey, get outta da way !”


DC Universe History

Glottis later reached the end of his lifespan, but before he discorporated he had a plan. Rumors had been circulating along imps of a formidable, heavenly road machine, and Glottis knew he could somehow lay his hands on it.

Upon his “death,” Glottis’s essence was projected into the world of the living this time and fused with Harold, a very handicapped young man who thus acquired a formidable talent for all things mechanical. He started to wander toward the road machine, first helping the Question and Mira Fermin beat a borderline superhuman enforcer then eventually making his way to Gotham City.

There Harold met the Batman and became his mechanical aide, eventually accomplishing his dream, working on the Batmobile. Harold has since drifted away, but part of Glottis still resides within the Batmobile. Glottis also inspired Harold in his creation of the rocket subway car used by Azrael during his stint as Batman, which had parallels to Glottis’s rocket sled.

By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Grim Fandango (PC game).

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet .

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