Earthworm Jim: Special Edition

aka: Earthworm Jim
SEGA CD Specs [ all ]
Buy on Windows
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Description official descriptions

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition is an enhanced version of the original Earthworm Jim for the SEGA CD and also ported to Windows. Many years later it was released for a number of mobile platforms.

New to the SEGA CD edition is a CD audio soundtrack, bigger levels, more secrets, more weapons, reworked animations and additional enemies. These specific platforms feature the exclusive Big Bruty level. Also exclusive to these platforms are alternate endings when winning on the "Practice" or "Difficult" difficulties,

The iPhone version has been made easier as the character is controlled through a virtual control pad setup, accessed through the touch screen. Jim starts with ten lives and aiming is done automatically. There are also some small changes in the levels and the main character's voice has been re-recorded.

The Nintendo DSi version also features the same level changes and re-recorded voice. In addition to this, it also has bonuses based around face tracking challenges where you copy Jim's facial expressions in the DSi's camera.

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Credits (SEGA CD version)

45 People (38 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Additional Programming
Original Concept
Level Design
Animation Director
Art Director
Lead Artist
Ink & Paint
Clean Up
Additional Artwork
Designed by
  • Shiny Entertainment
Produced by
Music & Sound Effects
  • Tommy Tallarico Studios Inc.
Additional Music Arrangements by
Additional Guitars by
  • Captain Crunch
Additional Editing by
  • Roosla
Mixed at
  • Group 4 Recording Studios; Hollywood
Mastered at
  • A&M Studios; Hollywood
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 39 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 69 ratings with 3 reviews)

Jam With Jim!

The Good
All too often a Sega CD game would be the same as the Sega Genesis edition, with a few editions.

Part of this was because of the severe hardware (even for its day) limitations of the Sega CD, and ( I suspect) plain, old fashion laziness. The development mistakes that Sega made with the Sega CD and the Sega 32X should be taught in classrooms under the headline "How To Royally Ruin A Business". But I digress.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition is one of the (few) Sega CD Games that is NOT just a carbon copy of its cartridge based cousin. New to the SEGA CD edition is a CD audio soundtrack, bigger levels, more secrets, more weapons, reworked animations and additional enemies.

The game offers some of the best platforming-style animation, music and graphics you will find on the Sega CD. Clearly, the programmers wanted to push the capabilities of the Sega CD hardware and offer consumers a Earthworm Jim game that could stand on its own two feet.

The Bad
Their are really no glaring flaws with Earthworm Jim: Special Edition. Granted, the game could not, totally, escape from the hardware limitations of the Sega CD.

The Sega CD had the same graphics capabilities as the Sega Genesis (namely, 64 colors on-screen from a palette of 512) It also had less internal memory then the Genesis, which did not help with the loading time.

The large CD-ROM storage capacity, hardware scaling effects and music abilities were certainly nice, but they were not enough to constitute an actual upgrade and could not compete (in terms of graphics) with standard Super Nintendo and even low end PC capabilities.

Do not get me wrong; Earthworm Jim: Special Edition is a great Sega CD title. It is probably one of the best Sega CD games released and, I would argue, one of the best games in the Earthworm Jim series.

Yet, even at its best its hard not to be reminded of how some of its potential greatness (and the greatness of many other Sega CD titles) was curtailed by some shortsighted folks at Sega.

The Bottom Line
Earthworm Jim: Special Edition is a great platforming game in every way that matters; animation, graphics, music, sound, control and game play and (yes) humor and creativity.

SEGA CD · by ETJB (428) · 2013

Wise-cracking worm in Super-Suit takes on villains in Side-Scrolling platform game.

The Good
Nice looking graphics, great tongue-in-cheek humor. When you're playing as a giant worm in a super suit, fighting enemies with names like Evil The Cat and Psy-Crow, with your stated objective being to rescue Princess-What's-Her-Name, you can't help but laugh.

The Bad
Gets somewhat repetitive after a few levels. Small weapon set leaves a bit to be desired, and the lack of any way to save your game becomes typically irritating.

The Bottom Line
A typical console port, with pretty graphics and average gameplay, but the humor makes it worthwhile.

Windows · by Shadowcaster (252) · 2001

Shiny's original classic in full glory

The Good
A port of the fantastic cult-classic 16-bit platformer developed by the now famous Shiny, Earthworm Jim takes the generic sidescrolling platformer formula (which had been gang-banged to near extinction after years of bad Super Mario clones) and injected it with new life by exploiting every trick in the book for these games and adding a much needed dose of tongue-in-cheek humor and sarcasm.

The plotline revolves around you being an intergalactic hero out to save a space princess from the forces of evil. Anything but revolutionary, right? But Wait! What if that hero is really a regular earthworm named "Jim" that landed on a "Ultra-high-tech-indestructible-super-space-cyber-suit" (literally) and the princess is a sexy babe that goes by the name of "Princess-What's-Her-Name", and who holds the key to the empire desired by queen "Slug-for-a-Butt" or something like that and which sends her comic-booky minions Psy-Crow, Evil the Cat and other monsters like a cyborg chicken (!!) to get you out of the way..! Well, I think you see what's the catch with this particular "space-hero-saves-princess" game, don't you? Earthworm Jim is essentially the same thing you have played since the dawn of time, but wins by adding bizarre touches, funny hand-drawn graphics and animations and by generally not taking itself too seriously thus making the whole experience new and refreshing for anyone. Sort of how The Ren & Stimpy Show made the whole "Cat & Dog" cartoon thing new all over again.

As for the gameplay the game brings all the classic jump 'n run mechanics to the table and some. Jim can jump, as well as glide (by rotating his own wormy self), use himself as a whip to hit enemies, swing around and activate switches. All skills he'll have to use extensively in the game. He also has his trusty blaster with 3 fire modes (one exclusive to the PC version) which can take out some enemies. The levels themselves are complex platform-filled settings that feature lots of wacky enemies, as well as puzzles to solve (usually requiring you to unlock the way to the exit). Between the levels you'll also have to escape and battle Psy-Crow, your main nemesis in the game whom you have to escape in a series of space racing sequences. Win and you'll escape to the next level, lose and you'll have to battle Psy-Crow (who can be quite a challenge and can even fish you out of your suit!).

All the while the gameplay remains challenging, original and includes all sorts of bizarre touches (like the now infamous flying cows) to make it one of the funniest experiences ever. There's a reason Shiny got it's name as a development house filled with a wacky sense of humor and this game is one of those reasons.

But alas, all of these things wouldn't mean a thing if the port to the PC had been botched (as it usually happened), thankfully the gaming gods smiled upon Jim that fateful day and provided both a nice dos port and a stellar W95 version by Activision that handles the game flawlessly using the same template that was used for the new Pitfall game and provides crisp graphics (probably the best the game has looked), perfect sounds as well as simple access to each level and settings.

The Bad
Not a thing, except some levels can be somewhat tiring.

The Bottom Line
The best way to enjoy what's definetively a classic of the genre. A great game for everyone that loves a good time, specially if you think console platformers are nothing but Mario Clones or cutie-cutie kiddie diversions.

I mean... flying cows?? Genius!!

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2003



  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • April 1995 (Issue 69) - Game of the Month (Sega CD version)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.

BlackBerry added by firefang9212. Windows Mobile, J2ME, webOS, BREW added by Kabushi. iPhone added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Nintendo DSi added by Ben K. Windows added by Crawly.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Alaka.

Game added October 1st, 2002. Last modified August 25th, 2023.