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Earthworm Jim

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  • Earthworm Jim
    Platform: Various
    Release Date: October 1994
    Developer: Shiny Entertainment, VIS Interactive, Gameloft

    Earthworm Jim is a 1994 run and gun platform game developed by Shiny Entertainment, featuring an earthworm named Jim, who wears a robotic suit and battles the forces of evil. The game was released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, before being subsequently ported to a number of other video game consoles.

    It was well received by critics, and received a sequel, Earthworm Jim 2, in 1995. In 2009, Gameloft developed and released a remake for mobile phones and Nintendo DSi which was later ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as Earthworm Jim HD. In February 2018, Gameloft's contract with Interplay ended and all of the ports developed by Gameloft were removed from digital stores.

    Playmates Toys, finding success with the license for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, wanted to start their own franchise. Inspired by the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog series with its first and second installments, they decided that they wanted to start the franchise as a video game, a rare approach at the time. From there, the game's design actually started with Douglas TenNapel's simple sketch of an earthworm that he presented to Shiny Entertainment. Impressed, programmer David Perry and the rest of Shiny bought the rights to Earthworm Jim from TenNapel, and started developing the game. From there, TenNapel would work on doing the game design, creating level ideas, and voicing Jim's character, while Perry and the other programmers created other characters and game mechanics. Perry recounted that the giant hamster "was drawn by one of our guys at three o'clock one morning".

    The game was developed simultaneously for the Genesis and Super NES using a "custom heterogeneous programming language" developed by Shiny Entertainment. Almost all levels were first programmed by Dave Perry on the Genesis and then converted to the Super NES by Nick Jones. "For Pete's Sake" was coded simultaneously on both platforms by Andy Astor; and "Andy Asteroids" and "Snot a Problem" were originally programmed on the Super NES by Nick Jones and then converted to the Genesis.

    The game's unique atmosphere, world, and characters was due to the fact that the company had previously always been restricted to doing licensed games, like 7up's Cool Spot, where they had to conform to the other company's preset limitations. In that respect, the game was actually created as a satire of platform video games at the time; for instance, "Princess-What's-Her-Name" was a parody of how so many video games had throw-away female characters to be saved.

    Known SNES Builds​ (top)

    SNES BuildsBuild DateBuildName
    Earthworm JimAugust 04, 1994GAMESMASTER
    Earthworm JimAugust 19, 1994
    Earthworm JimAugust 23, 1994

    SNES Footage​ (top)

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