Earthworm Jim first appeared as a video game for the Sega Genesis in 1994. In the late 1990s, publisher Interplay experienced financial difficulties that led to the closing of the company in 2004. In late 2007, after selling some of their intellectual property to Bethesda Softworks, the company promises to reestablish itself as an "industry player".
|Earthworm Jim||JP 1994
|Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, MS DOS, Game Gear, Master System, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance||Earthworm Jim took a year to develop. The engine had to be re-developed and the graphics remapped for the Game Boy Advance port as none of the original engine could be ported. The MS DOS port has an enhanced CD audio soundtrack. The level "Intestinal Distress!" was removed from the SNES and MS DOS ports of the game. Also later ported to the Virtual Console.|
|Earthworm Jim Special Edition||JP 1995
|Sega CD, Windows 95||Earthworm Jim Special Edition includes redrawn graphics, extended levels, an extra level "Big Bruty" and the same enhanced CD audio soundtrack found in the MS DOS port.|
|Earthworm Jim 2||JP 1996
|Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, MS DOS, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Advance||MS DOS, Playstation & Sega Saturn ports include an enhanced CD audio soundtrack. The level "Lorenzen's Soil" was removed from the MS DOS port.|
|Earthworm Jim 3D||JP 1999
|Nintendo 64, Windows 98||The characters of Earthworm Jim had to be redesigned for the shift to 3D. When the game was almost three quarters done, it suffered from framerate problems and poor animation. A Playstation version was planned, but was cancelled for unknown reasons.|
|Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy||JP 1999
|Game Boy Color||A Game Boy Color-specific level was developed for the game.|
In 2006, Atari announced that they had the rights to bring Earthworm Jim to a portable video game system. The game was 80% complete in August 2006 and was to be released in the winter of 2006. Many new elements were to be introduced, such as the ability to stop gameplay at any time and dance. On 18 June 2007, PSPFanboy stated on their website that they had contacted Atari and that it had been said that the game had been put on hold, probably due to Atari's financial difficulties and the sale of the games developer Shiny Entertainment, and it is thought that the game is canceled.
Earthworm Jim 4 has been announced. The game will be developed with character creator Douglas TenNapel, who will also serve as the project's creative consultant. It is currently unknown which systems the game will be released on.
Earthworm Jim for Palm WebOS was released on 16 February 2010.
Earthworm Jim receives a super suit dropped by Psycrow on the way to delivering it to Queen Slug-for-a-Butt. He must rescue Princess Whats-her-name from her clutches.
Psycrow kidnaps Princess Whats-her-name, and Jim must rescue her before she is married to Psycrow.
Earthworm Jim is hit by a flying cow that sends him into a coma. Jim awakens within his own mind and discovers he has gone insane. To restore his sanity he must find the golden udders of lucidity.
Earthworm Jim fights the evil Professor Monkey-for-a-Head who lets Evil Jim steal his Inter-Dimensional-Transporter-of-Doom.
All the games in the series are platformer games with quirky humor.
The Ultra-high-tech-indestructible-super-space-cyber-suit or simply Super Suit is the main plot point of the Earthworm Jim video games and animated series. Originally created by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head for Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, it was found by an earthworm named Jim when Psy-Crow lost it during delivery. Throughout the Earthworm Jim video games and television series numerous villains attempt to steal the suit from Jim, to no avail. The suit is claimed to be one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy. It responds to the wearer's thoughts, granting them immense strength, agility, and durability. The suit is equipped with a Plasma Blaster and a single-person spacecraft stored inside. Jim refers to it as the "Pocket Rocket". The suit's arms are able to stretch to form a protective shield in the shape of a manta ray. According to the animated series, the suit receives power from a "Battery of the Gods," but has a renewable energy system in the games with extremely large macromolecules of fuel scattered throughout each game level. The suit appears to have a degree of sentience, being able to wave and signal to Jim if they are separated, as well as being able to grab Jim and use him in different manners, such as a whip or jump rope. Starting with Earthworm Jim 2, the suit has a green mucus-like creature named Snott living in its backpack. In the video games, Snott can be used to swing from place to place as well as to slow Jim's fall by acting a parachute. Snott guards the suit whenever Jim needs to leave it momentarily. It is interesting to note that the Super Suit wears white boxers with red hearts underneath its white pants. (as seen in Earthworm Jim)
The Plasma Blaster is the main weapon of the Super Suit. Like the Super Suit, the Plasma blaster was created by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head for use by Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, but was lost along with the suit to Earthworm Jim. It is a small, hand held gun that fires bolts of "plasma" energy. The Plasma Blaster, unlike the "Pocket Rocket", is clearly visible at all times, being strapped in a holster to the left side of the Super Suit for easy access. The Plasma Blaster seems to be as durable as the Super Suit itself, being exposed to the extreme temperatures of space and planetary re-entry and even operating underwater and still functioning. In the games, the plasma blaster has an ammunition counter. If the counter fell to zero the blaster was able to slowly recharge itself back to a maximum of 100 rounds, but the player was forced to collect Plasma Blaster icons to refill ammunition any higher. This would leave the player fairly vulnerable to enemy attacks. There were also Mega Plasma Blaster icons scattered about levels, allowing the player to shoot a long, powerful blast. In the Special Edition of the game, the plasma blaster could also be equipped with Homing Missile ammunition, which would target any nearby enemy without having to aim. In Earthworm Jim 2 different types of guns were added in addition to the plasma blaster. They included:
In the animated series, the Plasma Blaster was constantly used by Jim as the answer to all problems, falling under the category of "Plan A: Senseless Violence". His motto is "When all else fails, start blasting!" It was also discovered that the energy bolts fired have the exact same charge as the particles around the central radius of a black hole.
The Pocket Rocket is a single person spacecraft and Earthworm Jim's main mode of transportation whether to other planets or new locations. The Pocket Rocket is a small personal rocket ship stored inside the Suit and looks like a turbine engine with handle bars. Whenever Jim needs it, it is pulled from one of the suit's pockets, hence the name. It is unknown how the rocket fits inside the suit, as it is much bigger, but it is assumed that it fits into some sort of extra-dimensional space. The rocket, like the Super Suit, was created by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head for use by Queen Slug-For-A-Butt but was lost along with the suit to Earthworm Jim. While on the rocket, Jim seems to have no problem breathing in the cold-vacuum of space, even though the Pocket Rocket is not enclosed in any way. This may be due to either the rocket, Jim's Super Suit or just Jim's earthworm physiology. However, in the animated series Peter Puppy can also be seen riding the rocket in space with no ill-effects, so it can be assumed the rocket supplies some sort of life support systems or that it is just an example of cartoon physics. The Pocket Rocket seems to be as durable as the Super Suit itself, being battered by asteroids, being exposed to the extreme heat of planetary re-entry and even operating underwater and still functioning. In the line of Earthworm Jim action figures, the Pocket Rocket was the only vehicle ever produced.
The following items only appeared in the Earthworm Jim video game series.
A small macro-molecule that restores 4% health (lower on higher difficulties and 5% in Earthworm Jim 3D) to the super suit if it is damaged. Scattered around most levels.
A larger, orange macro-molecule that restores the Super Suit to 100% health. It is only scarcely found in most levels.
A special power-up that appears to be a sandwich containing chips and ketchup, found only in Earthworm Jim 2. This allows to super suit to reach 200% health. However, normal Suit Atoms will not heal the suit until it is damaged beneath 100% again.
Found in the "Andy Asteroids?" levels of Earthworm Jim, this warp will give Jim's Pocket Rocket a sudden burst of speed.
Again, only found in the "Andy Asteroids?" levels, this item will give Jim a use of a temporary asteroid-proof shield that will also send Psy-crow aside.
Another "Andy Asteroids?" exclusive, it basically is a little blue bubble. Should the player collect 50 or more of these pods, they will gain a continue (a can of worms).
The Can O'Worms serves as a continue for EWJ 1 and 2.
An EWJ2 exclusive, and further on that, a two level ("Villi People/Jim's Now a Blind Cave Salamander!" and "Inflated Head") exclusive, they are used as method of payment for a question or a whack of the punch tower.
In EWJ 1 and 2, this serves as a 1-up.
An exclusive to the Mega-CD/Sega CD/PC "Special Edition" EWJ 1 port,they are homing missiles which blow away enemies with the force of a Mega Plasma shot.
This item will give the player more units of whichever blaster they are currently using. The number ammo units provided depends on the blaster.
An EWJ 1 exclusive, it looks like a normal ammo pickup, but it has power ripples pulsing around it. It provides one Mega Plasma shot.
An EWJ 2 Exclusive, Changes colour configuration of level.
An EWJ 3D exclusive, it replaces the Jim head for a 1-up.
A special item in Earthworm Jim 2, when all three flags are collected, after the game is completed, the player may play any level he chooses. Each level has a flag with a picture of the Earth, A flag with a picture of an Earthworm, and a flag with the word Jim on it, spelling out the title characters full name: Earthworm Jim.
A special item exclusive to Earthworm Jim 3D, this is an item which are scattered all over each level. Collecting the marbles allows for secret areas to be opened and for Golden Udders to be found.
A special item exclusive to Earthworm Jim 3D, this is collected when enough marbles are obtained, or when a special mission is completed. Golden Udders unlock more areas of the game.
The following items only appeared in the Earthworm Jim animated series
An animated series based on the Earthworm Jim series of video games was also produced, and ran for 23 episodes in 2 seasons from 1995–1996 on the Kids' WB programming block on The WB Television Network. The show maintains much of the absurdist and surreal humor of the original games, as well as introducing its own features. Most of the episodes revolve around one of Jim's many villains trying to reclaim the super suit, or otherwise causing mayhem through the galaxy. Actor Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer Simpson on the animated television show The Simpsons, voiced Earthworm Jim in the animated series.
The Earthworm Jim series has been praised for its detailed graphics, well developed platforming and wacky humor. Earthworm Jim was rated the 114th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Powers Top 200 Games list. In April 2008, Interplay announced they would bring Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 to the Wiis Virtual Console. Earthworm Jim 3D was thought to be a solid platforming game with a good selection of levels and weapons, but with a terrible camera system and a lack of any big innovations.
Music from Earthworm Jim 2 was included in Game Central's Best of the Best CD compilation of video game music. It has also been requested at concerts where game composer Tommy Tallarico has had his music performed.