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Comix Zone
Comix Zone Coverart.png
Developer(s) Sega Technical Institute
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Dean Lester (Executive Producer)
Peter Morawiec (Concept/Design/Producer)
Artist(s) Kunitake Aoki (Background)
Craig Stitt (Animation)
Composer(s) Howard Drossin (Music & Sound Effects/Character Voices)
Platform(s) Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Windows, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console, Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Release date(s) 1995
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: Kids to Adults (K-A)
Media 3 1/2 Floppy disk, CD-ROM, 16-Megabit Cartridge
System requirements PC: 386, DOS 3.3+, 2 RAM
Talkie: CD-ROM & Sound card
Input methods Joypad, Computer keyboard (on computer)
Screenshot from the start of Comix Zone.

Comix Zone (コミックスゾーン Komikkusu Zōn ?) is a 1995 arcade-style action game. The game's unique feature is that it is set within the panels of a comic book. Each level consists of two pages and secrets are discovered by shredding the paper and revealing items. The unique dialogue is rendered within talk bubbles with the typical comic font. Sprites and backgrounds possess the bright colors and dynamic drawing style favored by superhero comics.

Comix Zone was widely criticized for being released too late and for being too hard and short, but it was positively received, and praised for its great game-play, graphics, and soundtrack. It became a great success due to its game-play, and has been released on many collections and consoles since.

The music was composed by Howard Drossin, a known video game and movie composer. Graphics were done mainly by comic artists.

The game was originally from a concept video animated by Peter Morawiec titled "Joe Pencil Trapped In The Comix Zone". The video was made in 1992, displaying the animation of how the gameplay and the comic book elements would blend in.

Contents

Plot

Story

Sketch Turner (スケッチ・ターナー ?), a "starving artist" and freelance rock musician, is working on his newest comic book, named the "Comix Zone." Comix Zone is the story of the New World Empire's attempt to defend Earth from an invasion of alien renegades, with inspiration coming from Sketch's (oddly vivid) dreams and nightmares.

One night, while Sketch is working on Comix Zone during a storm, a massive lightning bolt strikes outside his apartment, somehow affecting the comic book too. In this instant, the main villain of Comix Zone - a powerful mutant named Mortus - manages to escape the comic book's pages, and hurl the stunned Sketch into the world of Comix Zone. Mortus intends to free himself by destroying Sketch in the comic book, as he is unable to do so in reality.

Inside the comic book, Sketch meets General Alissa Cyan, who believes he is a superhero ("the chosen one") who has come to save their post-apocalyptic world from the evil of Mortus and the alien invaders. Ignoring Sketch's protests, Alissa sends him on his mission, keeping in touch with instructions and hints via radio.

Now that Mortus has a physical presence outside of Comix Zone, he is free to change the world as he wishes, simply by drawing in enemies for Sketch to face - or in one instance burn up part of a page.

In the final (and partly unfinished) panel, Sketch finds a nuke ready to launch, and Alissa is working on defusing it. Enraged, Mortus zaps himself back into the Comix Zone and shuts Alissa inside the nuke, which starts to fill with liquid. Sketch must now defeat Mortus for good and try and prevent Alissa from drowning.

Episodes

There are three episodes in the game, each consisting of two pages in a distinct area (levels):

Cast

Characters

Sketch Turner: The game's protagonist. He is a comic book artist and rock musician, and is working on the Comix Zone. Sketch is hurled into the Comix Zone by Mortus and must fight his way out by defeating anything put in his way. He briefly transforms into his super hero alter ego after reaching the end of each page. His super hero meter fills up as he makes progress.

Alissa Cyan: General of the New World Empire. She is confronted by Sketch in the command center when he lands in front of her. Alissa believes Sketch is the "Chosen One" and sends him on his mission against alien forces.

Roadkill: Sketch Turner's pet rat in the real world. Sketch finds him teleported into the comic book world and trapped in a cage and rescues him. Often, Roadkill must help his master get past obstacles and find hidden items to solve problems.

Strigil: A tendriled alien renegade. He is known to teleport all around by merging with the ground. He also carries his namesake weapon and uses them to fire blasts or to hook onto bars.

Gravis: A giant, muscled alien renegade. Steam often comes out of the vents on his back. He relies on his ability to generate explosive springs and launch them at his foes.

Styx: A monk found in the Tibetan city. He wields a powerful staff which he uses to either fire blasts or hop upon as a pole.

Mongoria: A dangerous woman warrior who uses a hook attached to her long, braided hair. She also has a fear of mice... sometimes.

Other aliens: Various other mutant creatures who crawl, fly, climb, or change shape.

Big Mama Dragon: A giant reptilian creature who hangs from the ceiling in the mutant base. She becomes upset after Sketch destroys her children. In the hopes of avenging her slain offspring, she vows to get rid of her foe. This fire-breathing reptile will also chomp at her enemy. The flaming barrel can easily get rid of her. When defeated, Big Mama comes bursting apart.

Kung-Fung: Master of the Temple on the mountains. He is in charge of training Mortus' people to fight in the Tournament. After Sketch comments on his long fingernails, he decides to teach Sketch a lesson. He sends balls of fire into the water on the chamber floor and also launches explosive fingernails at his opponent. Kung-Fung sinks into the water and comes apart.

Mortus: The main villain of the Comix Zone. He emerges from the pages when the book is affected by lightning. After hurling his creator, Sketch, into the book, he takes up the comic pen and draws in enemies or burns up pages with it, hoping to kill Sketch so that he can become flesh. He becomes the final boss when Sketch discovers his plan to launch a nuke upon the New World Empire. He randomly teleports during the final battle, but can be affected by the nuke's blasts. Mortus constantly taunts Sketch and also summons flying creeps to fight for his cause. When defeated, Mortus explodes.

Gameplay

Sketch is capable of tearing shreds out of the backdrop and folding them into paper planes to throw at enemies as a weapon. Because this paper world is also part of everything within Comix Zone (as they are drawn on it), this action takes a significant slice off the player's health bar. Certain combos will send enemies hurtling, and if a fragile border between frames is in the way, the enemy crashes through it, tearing it to shreds. When confronted with an unbreakable frame barrier, the hero merely swings himself out of the frame, over the top of the border, and back down into the next scene. Sketch's pet rat Roadkill (whom he saved from certain doom in a garbage truck) is also capable of operating switches and discovering items hidden in panels, making him useful in helping Sketch's progress through Mortus' traps.

The game has multiple endings decided by actions taken during the final fight with Mortus. In the "good" ending, which is triggered by defeating Mortus and freeing Alissa in time, shows Sketch and Alissa leaving Comix Zone. Comix Zone becomes the highest selling comic of all time, Alissa joins the military and becomes the head of U.S Security, and Roadkill gets 100 pounds of mozzarella donated to him. In the bad ending, Sketch escapes Comix Zone, but because the player doesn't save Alissa, she dies and Comix Zone is destroyed. The story ends with Sketch contemplating re-releasing the evil to re-live his adventure in hope of a better ending.

If Sketch ever dies before reaching the final panel, Mortus will turn from ink and paper to flesh and bone, and announces, "I'm going to rock this world!"

General notes on the game

Mortus does intend to give Sketch a 'sporting chance'. After the first chapter, if Sketch dies, Mortus will allow Sketch another chance to complete the page from the first panel, stating "Oh, come on -- that was just too easy!" After the second chapter, Sketch will get one more chance. If Sketch still has a chance at completing the game, his last words will be "Is this the end of the story?" If he has no such chances, his last words will simply be "Game over, man. The end."

As part of Sketch's travel into Comix Zone, he takes the hero's role in the story, giving him access to typical superhero fighting skills far beyond his regular abilities. If he attacks an immobile object, Sketch's health will diminish slightly, meaning that if he is low on health other tools such as explosives should be used to continue instead. One power-up - a collectible fist - temporarily transforms Sketch into Super Sketch, who shreds the page and destroys all enemies and obstacles in his path.

Comix Zone is designed to be used with the 6-button gamepad: buttons X, Y and Z correspond to the three inventory slots Sketch has. If used with a 3-button gamepad, button C cycles through the items, and button A activates the item. Button C on a 6-button gamepad is used for a custom action, blocking by default - on a 3-button gamepad, Sketch blocks automatically.

Sketch can utilize the background of the comic as a weapon. By holding down the attack button, Sketch will start tearing at the background (which uses life). Once torn, Sketch will make a paper plane out of the torn background and launch it at the enemies and objects in front of him.

Sketch's rat, "Roadkill", can be deployed to electrocute enemies or pull switches in low clearing areas which Sketch might otherwise not be able to reach. It can also be used for finding hidden items in such areas just by releasing it.

If the player keeps tapping down in the control pad, Sketch will sometimes break wind, although this has no known use in the game. When left idle, he will also sometimes smell his shoes, and say, "Aw, man!"

Reception

Comix Zone was well received by critics and audiences alike. Its main criticisms were its late release, being very hard and too short. However, its game-play, graphics, and soundtrack were highly praised. It is a modest success, becoming a hit Genesis game. Its critical ranking is 80%, based on 5 reviews.

Ports and related releases

The game was ported to the Game Boy Advance only in Europe on September 11, 2002, which was developed by Virtucraft and published by Sega. Although this version's music was also composed by Howard Drossin, fans criticized this port because of its music being very different compared to the Genesis/Mega Drive version's. Also, while having a significantly smaller screen size that allowed much less onscreen, this was said to lessen the effect of seeing into the other frames around the player, making it more like a traditional platform game.

The game is also featured hidden within the Japanese version of Sonic Mega Collection and is an unlockable game in all versions of Sonic Mega Collection Plus, which is unlockable with having a Sonic Heroes game save, or is unlocked after starting all other Mega Drive game at least 50 times. The game is also a part of the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

On January 29, 2007, Comix Zone was released for the Wii's Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade on June 10, 2009.[2]

The game's newest appearance is in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Music albums

Bonus CD

The North American release of Comix Zone included a heavy rock soundtrack, similar in style to early-1990s rock artists Nirvana and Soundgarden. The bonus CD had twelve music tracks from these American Recordings artists:

Soundtracks

Sega Tunes: Comix Zone
Soundtrack by Howard Drossin
Released 1996
Recorded Unknown
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 18:37
Label Delta Music
Laser Light
Producer Howard Drossin
Tim P.
Philip Stevenson

The European release of the Mega Drive and the Windows PC versions of the game included the Sega Tunes: Comix Zone soundtrack, which contains 'enhanced' music taken from the game's soundtrack and played by a full rock band with vocals named 'Roadkill' (the main character's pet rat, as well as a playable item; see above). The soundtrack was later released in North America under the Sega Tunes label.

"Into the Zone" is a vocal version of the music heard in the games' Options screen (which is itself an extended version of the title screen music); "Feed my Disease" is based on the music heard in Episode 1, Page 2-1; "10,000 Knives" is based on the music heard in Episode 2, Page 2-2; "Seen It For Days" is based on the music heard in Episode 1, Page 1-2; "Woe Is The World" is based on the game's Boss theme; and "Last to Follow" is based on the song heard in Episode 2, Page 1-3.

The printing also reveals the artists behind the music:

Lyrics & Vocals: Howard Drossin, Tim P.
Guitar: Howard Drossin; Solos on 2 & 5: Philip Stevenson
Bass Guitar: Weird Guy
Drums: Philip Stevenson
Producers: Howard Drossin, Tim P., Philip Stevenson
Executive Producer: Roger Hector

Sega Tunes: Comix Zone track list
# Title Length
1. "Into the Zone"   3:04
2. "Feed My Disease"   2:39
3. "10,000 Knives"   3:22
4. "Seen It For Days"   3:52
5. "Woe Is The World"   3:00
6. "Last To Follow"   2:40


References

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Comix Zone
Box artwork for Comix Zone.
Developer(s) Sega Technical Institute
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Peter Morawiec
Release date(s)
Sega Genesis
Xbox Live Arcade
Genre(s) Beat 'em up
System(s) Sega Genesis, Sega Channel, Windows, Game Boy Advance, Wii Virtual Console, GameTap, Xbox Live Arcade
Rating(s)
ESRB: Kids to Adults
System requirements (help)
CPU clock speed

386MHz

System RAM

2MiB

DOS 3.3+

Comix Zone (コミックスゾーン Komikkusu Zōn ?) is a 1995 arcade-style action game. The game's most remarkable feature is that it is set within the panels of a comic book. Each level consists of two pages and secrets are discovered by shredding the paper and revealing items. The unique dialogue is rendered within talk bubbles with the typical comic font. Sprites and backgrounds possess the bright colors and dynamic drawing style favored by superhero comics.

Comix Zone was widely criticized for being released too late and for being too hard and short, but it was positively received, and praised for its great game-play, graphics, and soundtrack. It became a great success due to its game-play, and is released on many collections and consoles since.

The music was composed by Howard Drossin, a known video game and movie composer. Graphics were done mainly by comic artists.

The game was originally from a concept video animated by Peter Morawiec titled "Joe Pencil Trapped In The Comix Zone". The video was made in 1992, displaying the animation of how the gameplay and the comic book elements would blend in.

Table of Contents

  1. Episode 1: Night of the Mutants
  2. Episode 2: Welcome to the Temple
  3. Episode 3: Curse of the Dead Ships
Appendices

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

This game description is a stub. You can help us by adding more information.

Sega Genesis/Sega Mega Drive

  • Published by Sega in North America on January 1, 1995
  • Published by Sega in Japan on September 1, 1995
  • Published by Sega in Europe on October 27, 1995

DOS

  • Published by SegaSoft in North America in 1995

Game Boy Advance

  • Published by Sega in Europe on September 11, 2002
The information in this game data section is incomplete. If you do not see any obvious omissions, there might be information missing on ports to other platforms. You can help us by adding more information.

Further information

  • Walkthrough
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