From Sega Retro
|Publisher: Playmates, Sega Channel Interplay (JP)|
|Developer: Shiny Entertainment|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Virtual Console|
|Sound driver: GEMS|
Earthworm Jim (アースワームジム) is a platform video game developed by Shiny Entertainment in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive. Highly praised at the time of release, Earthworm Jim offers very detailed and smooth graphics, a very well received soundtrack and large amounts of surreal humour and parodies of popular culture.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 History
- 3 Versions
- 4 Magazine articles
- 5 Promotional material
- 6 Physical scans
- 7 Technical information
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The player is the titular hero, a common garden earthworm who mutated into giant size when an alien super-suit fell from the sky and crashed on top of him. Jim quickly finds that while getting used to being able to jump (), shoot (), and fly with his Pocket Rocket, he's being eyed up by several villains for the suit..
Whipping () and shooting his way through the game's levels, Jim also has the ability to twirl his head around like a helicopter to slow his rate of descent, as well as being able to use his whip to not only shoot down enemies (including some impervious to his pistol), but to use with hooks to navigate to otherwise impossible to reach areas. Hunting around the levels can reveal Plasma Shots that add 1 extremely powerful shot to the pistol per Plasma found (up to 9 at once).
Earthworm Jim takes place over 7 main levels, plus 7 bonus segments between levels, a boss you can avoid if you're good enough and a hidden bonus level halfway through the game.
Mega Drive Cheat Menu
The screen is largely informational - only the last 4 options are changeable. The cheats themselves are fairly straightforward - Cheat Mode gives you infinite health, Freezeability changes the pause menu in such a way that the music keeps playing on pause and the screen doesn't darken (but does make it impossible to re-enter the cheat menu again, or to pause the game - the freeze effect only lasts as long as you're holding start), and Map View Mode makes Jim disappear at the start of the level, with the d-pad then letting the screen scroll around the level - pressing one of the A, B or C buttons makes Jim re-appear and the regular gameplay style resume.
Start On Level has several options, listed below:
- 1 - New Junk City
- 2A - Hell or Heck?
- 2B - Snowman Boss
- 2C - Evil Boss
- 3A - Bungee 1
- 3B - Bungee 2
- 3C - Bungee 3
- 4 - Peter Puppy
- 5 - Slug for Butt
- 5B - Helicopter
- 6A - Prof's Lab
- 6C - Chicken Fly
- 6D - Naked Worm
- 7 - Intestines
- 8A - Sea Tunnels
- 8B - Pod Races
- 9A - Asteroids 1
- 9B - Asteroids 2
- 9C - Asteroids 3
- 9D - Asteroids 4
- 9E - Asteroids 5
- 9F - Asteroids 6
- 9G - Asteroids 7
- 10A - Darkness 1
- 10B - Darkness 2
- 10C - Darkness 3
- 10D - Darkness 4
- 10E - Darkness 5
- 9P - Psycrow!
One notable thing about this list (apart from the jumbled level order) is that there's no 6B slot - on Level 5, 6A is followed by 6D and then 6C, but the part of the level after the Naked Worm segment before the falling segment (i.e., the segment that ends with the first chicken boss) is not directly accessible, unlike every other area in the game.
With most of Shiny Entertainment originating from Virgin Interactive, Earthworm Jim was built using similar techniques to Cool Spot and Disney's Aladdin. Animations were drawn by hand and digitised into the game.
In the United States, television advertisements featuring an old lady eating (plastic) earthworms garnered some controversy, with complaints forcing the advert to be pulled from television network in Portland (Oregon), Spokane (Washington) and Sacramento (California).
Earthworm Jim was quickly ported to a variety of systems including the Sega Game Gear, Super Nintendo and Game Boy. It was released for the Sega Master System in 1996 exclusively in Brazil by Sega's distributor Tec Toy.
An enhanced version of the game, Earthworm Jim: Special Edition was released for the Sega Mega-CD and Windows PCs, and in more recent times ports have been made to the Game Boy Advance, iPhone, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and the Wii's Virtual Console service.
The game was followed by Earthworm Jim 2 and a variety of other sequels. It also led to a cartoon show by Universal Animation Studios, which is arguably one of the more successful video game cartoon adaptions of all time.
The Sega Mega Drive was the lead platform for Earthworm Jim, with all other ports stemming from this version. This includes the port to the Mega Drive's nearest rival, the Super NES, which although benefits from a increased colour palette, uses fewer animations due to sprite and memory limitations.
The Intestinal Distress stage was originally exclusive to the Mega Drive version of the game, reportedly put in at the last minute due to a request from Sega (thus making the game bigger than the Super NES version). In return, Sega reduced cartridge manufacturing costs for the game.
- Main article: Earthworm Jim/Magazine articles.
also published in:
- GamePro (US) #66: "January 1995" (199x-xx-xx)
also published in:
- MAN!AC (DE) #03/95 (1995-02-08)
US TV advert
Mega Drive version
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Mega Drive, US|
|Mega Drive, SE (Rental)|
Master System version
|Master System, BR|
Game Gear version
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Game Gear, US|
ROM dump status
- File:CVG UK 156.pdf, page 42
- File:GamePro US 071.pdf, page 106
- File:MeanMachinesSega34UK.pdf, page 78
- File:CVG UK 164.pdf, page 48
- /http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_ewj/ (archived 2008-12-17 11:40)
- /https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/09.html (archived 2018-03-05 23:18)
- /http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/D_zMknkluv5Cv4Ghqx1w7p0zELRG1nkf (archived 2010-11-23 00:43)
- /http://www.nintendolife.com/games/megadrive/earthworm_jim (archived 2017-06-26 21:43)
- File:EGM US 066.pdf, page 64
- File:GamePro US 066.pdf, page 67
- File:MeanMachinesSega26UK.pdf, page 56
- File:MegaForce FR 34.pdf, page 116
- File:CDConsoles FR 03.pdf, page 180
- File:MAN!AC DE 1995-03.pdf, page 100
- File:Edge UK 013.pdf, page 54
- File:GamesMaster UK 023.pdf, page 68
- File:MeanMachinesSega24UK.pdf, page 60
- File:NextGeneration US 01.pdf, page 105
- File:VideoGames US 71.pdf, page 92