Earthworm Jim (series): Wikis

  

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Earthworm Jim
Genre(s) Platform
Developer(s) Shiny Entertainment
Platform(s) various

Earthworm Jim is a series of side-scrolling platforming video games.[1] First released in 1994, the series is noted for its shooting/platforming gameplay and humorous and edgy style.[2]

Earthworm Jim first appeared as a video game for the Sega Genesis in 1994.[2] In the late 1990s, publisher Interplay experienced financial difficulties that led to the closing of the company in 2004.[2] In late 2007, after selling some of their intellectual property to Bethesda Softworks, the company promises to reestablish itself as an "industry player".[2]

Contents

Characters

Games

Title Year Platform Notes
Earthworm Jim JP 1994
NA 1994
PAL 1994
Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, MS DOS, Game Gear, Master System, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance Earthworm Jim took a year to develop.[3] 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.[4] 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
NA 1995
PAL 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
NA 1995
PAL 1995
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
NA 1999
Nintendo 64, Windows 98 The characters of Earthworm Jim had to be redesigned for the shift to 3D.[5] When the game was almost three quarters done, it suffered from framerate problems and poor animation.[6] A Playstation version was planned, but was cancelled for unknown reasons.
Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy JP 1999
NA 1999
PAL 1999
Game Boy Color A Game Boy Color-specific level was developed for the game.[7]

Earthworm Jim for PSP

In 2006, Atari announced that they had the rights to bring Earthworm Jim to a portable video game system.[8] The game was 80% complete in August 2006 and was to be released in the winter of 2006.[9] Many new elements were to be introduced, such as the ability to stop gameplay at any time and dance.[10] 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.[11]

Earthworm Jim 4

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.[12]

Earthworm Jim for Palm WebOS

Earthworm Jim for Palm WebOS was released on 16 February 2010.

Story

Earthworm Jim

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.

Earthworm Jim 2

Psycrow kidnaps Princess Whats-her-name, and Jim must rescue her before she is married to Psycrow.

Earthworm Jim 3D

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.[13]

Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy

Earthworm Jim fights the evil Professor Monkey-for-a-Head who lets Evil Jim steal his Inter-Dimensional-Transporter-of-Doom.[7]

Recurring gameplay elements

All the games in the series are platformer games with quirky humor.

Items

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:

  • Mega Plasma Blaster (EWJ2 version) - Much like the original, but with a bigger gun and a larger blast.
  • Homing Missile Gun (EWJ2 version) - Similar to the previous version, but now with missiles shaped like small houses ("Home"-ing missile).
  • Three-Finger Gun - Jim's fingers becomes three separate guns, giving the player a wider range of fire.
  • Barn Burner Gun - Large brick gun that destroys all enemies on screen, but packs a nasty recoil. Jim is knocked to the ground momentarily after each use.
  • Bubble Gun - Much like the toy, a gun that shoots soap bubbles. It is useless against enemies and should be avoided.
  • Digging Gun - Resembles the normal Plasma Blaster, but could shoot a continuous stream of energy to move dirt around on Planet Burbank.

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.

Video game series exclusive items

The following items only appeared in the Earthworm Jim video game series.

  • Suit Atom

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.

  • Ultra Suit Atom

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.

  • Atomic Accelerator

Found in the "Andy Asteroids?" levels of Earthworm Jim, this warp will give Jim's Pocket Rocket a sudden burst of speed.

  • Asteroid Shield

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.

  • Fuel Pod

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).

  • Can O'Worms

The Can O'Worms serves as a continue for EWJ 1 and 2.

  • Mealworm

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.

  • Jim Head

In EWJ 1 and 2, this serves as a 1-up.

  • Mini Rockets

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.

  • Ammo Bullet

This item will give the player more units of whichever blaster they are currently using. The number ammo units provided depends on the blaster.

  • Mega Plasma

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.

  • Television

An EWJ 2 Exclusive, Changes colour configuration of level.

  • 1-UP Heart

An EWJ 3D exclusive, it replaces the Jim head for a 1-up.

  • Password Flag

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.

  • Marbles

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.

  • Golden Udder

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.

Animated series exclusive items

The following items only appeared in the Earthworm Jim animated series

  • Battery of the Gods - One of the main plot points of the animated series, the battery of the gods is a power source created by the gods with almost limitless power. It was used by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head to power the super suit. When the original suit was lost, the Professor was unable to build a suit with the same level of power without another Battery of the Gods. Since the only place to get one is the Fabled, Long-Sought Home of the Gods, very few people have access to them. Jim was aided in his quest for a new battery by The Fabled, Long-Sought Phonebook of the Gods, where the gods granted him a new battery after seeing his skill and playing the nose flute. The battery itself looks like a large 9-volt battery with an orange wrapper. The Battery of the Gods was planned to be a power-up for the cancelled game Earthworm Jim PSP
  • The Fabled, Long-Sought Phonebook of the Gods - One of the few ways to find the Fabled, Long-Sought Home of the Gods. Jim was able to return to get a new battery for the super suit because he, for some reason, possessed this phone book. Outwardly, it seems to be a normal phone book.
  • The Sword of Righteousness - An enchanted talking sword, the Sword of Righteousness claims to be a trainer of true heroes. He was found by Jim in an ancient sandwich vending machine and began training him shortly after. Jim followed the sword's instructions exactly, with disastrous results, until the sword revealed that no one he has ever trained has ever won a fight. Jim thus reverted back to his old fighting style and threw the sword into outer space.
  • The Orb of Quite Remarkable Power - A powerful orb which grants the user almost unlimited power. Much like a Green Lantern ring the orb can make energy constructs of the user's thoughts, thus making its only limitation the user's imagination. For some reason the Orb is not very well protected and kept on The Planet of Easily Frightened People, where it was easily stolen by Psy-Crow.
  • The Eggbeater - An eggbeater Jim borrowed from his next door neighbor, Mrs. Bleverage, to help defeat Bob the Killer Goldfish. Jim subsequently left the eggbeater on La Planeta de Agua (Arriba!) and had to take Mrs. Bleverage on a long journey to retrieve it. After finally retrieving the eggbeater from Jim's foes, it is shown that it is not Mrs. Bleverage's eggbeater, as hers has a brown handle. He proposes another long journey to recover the true eggbeater (which was actually in his pocket all along, which he finds out while on Insectika).

Television 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.[14] 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.[15]

Reception and legacy

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic Game Rankings
Earthworm Jim (Game Boy Advance)
72 out of 100[16]
Earthworm Jim 2 (Game Boy Advance)
45 out of 100[17]
Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy
63%[18]
Earthworm Jim 3D (Nintendo 64)
59%[19]

The Earthworm Jim series has been praised for its detailed graphics, well developed platforming and wacky humor.[8] Earthworm Jim was rated the 114th best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Powers Top 200 Games list.[20] In April 2008, Interplay announced they would bring Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 to the Wiis Virtual Console.[21] 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.[13]

Music from Earthworm Jim 2 was included in Game Central's Best of the Best CD compilation of video game music.[22] It has also been requested at concerts where game composer Tommy Tallarico has had his music performed.[23]

The character Earthworm Jim has been recognized as one of the greatest animal protagonists in video game history.[24]

References

  1. ^ "David Perry: The Emerald Isle’s ‘Shiny,’ Happy Game Developer", Inner Visions 8 (10): 131–132, February 2006 
  2. ^ a b c d Matt Casamassina (2008-04-22). "Earthworm Jim Returns". IGN. http://wii.ign.com/articles/868/868718p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  3. ^ Robin Ward (1998-05-01). ""It's funny... But we actually own the trademark to the word Messiah™!" An Interview with David Perry of Shiny Entertainment". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/19980501/ward_01.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  4. ^ IGN Staff (2001-06-22). "Earthworm Jim GBA Developer Talks Shop". IGN. http://gameboy.ign.com/articles/096/096048p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  5. ^ Gamasutra Staff (2006-06-06). "Digging For Worms: Why Doug Tennapel Doesn't Care What His Fans Think". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060606/murdey_01.shtml. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  6. ^ IGN Staff (1998-11-02). "Unearthing Jim". IGN. http://ign64.ign.com/articles/065/065539p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  7. ^ a b IGN Staff (1999-08-25). "Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy". IGN. http://gameboy.ign.com/articles/132/132001p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  8. ^ a b Daemon Hatfield (2005-05-10). "E3 2006: Earthworm Jim Crawls Again". IGN. http://psp.ign.com/articles/707/707465p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  9. ^ Andrew Hayward (2007-06-19). "Earthworm Jim for PSP is 'Off the Roster'". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3160408. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  10. ^ GameTrailers Staff (2006-08-16). "Earthworm Jim Interview". GameTrailers. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/12433.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ Andrew Yoon (2007-06-18). "Earthworm Jim put on Hold". Joystiq. http://www.pspfanboy.com/2007/06/18/earthworm-jim-put-on-hold/. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  12. ^ Andrew Hayward (2008-04-22). "Interplay Announces Earthworm Jim 4". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167525. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  13. ^ a b Matt Casamassina (1999-10-25). "Earthworm Jim 3D". IGN. http://ign64.ign.com/articles/151/151970p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  14. ^ Gamasutra Staff (2008-04-22). "Interplay, TenNapel Partner For Earthworm Jim Game, Cartoon Revival". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18353. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  15. ^ IGN Staff (2003-07-04). "BBC Staff". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/3041572.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  16. ^ "Earthworm Jim". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/gba/earthwormjim?q=Earthworm%20Jim. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  17. ^ "Earthworm Jim 2". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/gba/earthwormjim2?q=Earthworm%20Jim. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  18. ^ "Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy - GBC". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/576085.asp?q=Earthworm%20Jim. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  19. ^ "Earthworm Jim 3D - N64". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/197200.asp?q=Earthworm%20Jim. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  20. ^ "NP Top 200", Nintendo Power 200: 58–66, February 2006 .
  21. ^ Jack DeVries (2008-04-21). "Cows Will Launch on the Virtual Console This Year". IGN. http://wii.ign.com/articles/868/868200p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  22. ^ IGN Music (2007-06-06). "Game Central's Best of the Best CD". IGN. http://music.ign.com/articles/794/794173p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  23. ^ Svend Joscelyne (2007-10-23). "Interviews// Tommy Tallarico". Spong. http://spong.com/detail/editorial.jsp?eid=10109685&cid=&tid=&pid=&plid=&page=6&cb=405. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  24. ^ News & Features Team (2006-11-17). "Essential Games for the Animal Within". IGN. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/746/746646p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 

External links

Fan Sites








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