…his chances of living were slim
Till one day he found
A space suit on the ground
And the outlook for cows turned quite grim.
And who says I don’t know the elements of fine-ass writing? Golden.
Do you remember Earthworm Jim? (click for a fun review of the game) Because I surely do. It arrived at my house Christmas 1994. I was home during my winter break, a mere college sophomore looking for a way to spend the holiday “with family” without actually having to interact with them. (But not so much, I like my family, and my sohomore year in college wasn’t all that awesome, so I was glad to be anywhere but there during that time. That’s a really terrible sentence right there. Ass-fine writing if ever there was.) Did I ask for the game? I can’t remember, but I’m glad someone got it. Because what’s better game fodder than an earthworm in a powered spacesuit? Jousting knights on ostriches? Hardly.
Of all the side-scrolling platformers I’ve romped through, none was more pleasing and oddly demented than Earthworm Jim. In the game you played Jim the worm who, through the powers of falling space junk (or something), ends up in the possession of a super astronaut-type suit that’s specially powered to allow him to walk around and shoot guns all human-style. With Jim in his spacesuit, you shot and collected your way through various level ranging from “New Junk City.” which is essentially a giant garbage dump replete with old tires that make up the pathways (recycling!), to “Intestinal Distress” and “Buttville,” which speak for themselves (with hilarity!)
Jim’s goal was…dun dun duuuuhh…to save a princess! Princess, uh… what’s her name? Oh yeah, Princess Whats-Her-Name. And of course, he had a nemesis or seven, all of whom where out to get his special space suit. A psychotic crow (Psy-Crow), a royal figure with a slug-like rear end (Queen Slug-For-A-Butt), and a killer goldfish names Bob (Bob the Killer Goldfish), to name a few.
Not funny? To literal, you say, with all the character names? Well, now that everyone has the internet, I suggest that those of you not familiar with the wonderful world of 1990s cartoons (or even if you are, take a break and go search…but come back…please? Damn you Animaniacs with your awesome edutainment!), including such classics as Ren and Stimpy, the Animaniacs, Rocko’s Modern Life, Pinky and the Brain, The Angry Beavers, and Earthworm Jim (The Cartoon), start searching. This was a truly glorious time in animated cinema when the humor was dry, witty, somewhat corny, always ridiculous, and perfectly self-deprecating. The 90s weren’t all bad flannel and moodiness. I mean, they kinda were, mostly…but not ALL the time. Just sometimes.
And never in my life did I suddenly think I’d be defending a decade. See, kids, this is what happens when you get older — those tangential thoughts are killer and, huh? What? Hang on a sec…
“What are you doing?” my fiancé just asked.
“Writing a blog post about Earthworm Jim,” I answer.
“Earthworm Jim?” His brow furrowed,”I don’t remember much about that game except that you could whip the worm out of his suit.”
“Yes! You totally could do that! That was so awesome!”
In addition to shooting guns, Jim’s other weapon was himself. It was truly fantastic. I think you could even use the worm to get across zip lines…but I might be making that up.
I was so totally enamored with Earthworm Jim that winter…I might have done actual other stuff during the break, but maybe I didn’t. I’m known for my rather obsessive playing when I find a game I really like.
About a year or so ago I bought Earthworm Jim in the Wii shop, and you know what I (re)discovered? That game is damn difficult; and I mean almost controller-throwing frustrating. I mean, I remember expending a bit of effort to beat the game back in the day; but for whatever sad reason, my current self could not get past the first few levels without cursing and hating. I had to stop the game and take a long, hard look at the gamer that I had become.
And then I stopped sucking at life, put the cat well out of kicking distance, and started playing again.
I still haven’t beat it on the Wii, but I will. Oh yes…I will.