posted by @HeyItsKamo
One time, it was the ’90s and we accepted a video game about a blue hedgehog that ran fast and collected gold. Here’s a look at some of the weirdest video games on the SEGA Genesis.
ToeJam & Earl (1991) – have you ever been so high that you, like, made a video game?
If you’ve played TJ&E (or its sequel, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron), you’ll know exactly what I mean. This game took up a lot of my SEGA time when I was a kid, even though I had no idea what the hell was going on. I pretty much still don’t…
If it came down to it and I made a video review of TJ&E, it would be nothing but game play shots and me screaming the word “funky” over and over. The story follows two rapping space aliens (did i mention how funky they are!?), ToeJam and the husky Hawaiian-shorts sporting Earl, as they fly through space, crash-land on Earth (so funky), and then try and reconstruct their broken ship so they can gtfo. A two-player game, the layout of this one is a bit… odd- you control your player from a top-down view, moving in all directions as you traverse the exceedingly more bizarre terrain of each randomly generated level.
The main objective of this one is to collect pieces of your broken ship so you can rocket yourself off the planet, but that’s not the main point of the game. While looking for parts of your ship, you discover that the main goal in TJ&E is to collect colorful wrapped gifts that contain a random array of shit: shoes that let you run fast as fuck, extra lives, tomatoes to throw at enemies, telephones that open up more parts of the map, and plenty of other good stuff (my personal favorite item is the spring shoes, you just have to be careful on the narrow pathways)… but there’s always a downside, isn’t there? Gifts can be bad, too- swarms of bees, rocket skates that you have little control over (good luck staying on land), instant death, rain clouds that shock you with bolts of lightning… why couldn’t it just be a sweater or some similar crappy gift?
TJ&E is easy-going compared to other games (the objective is to collect parts of a ship, and there’s really not much standing in your way), you just need to be careful around some enemies (cheese tornadoes especially). Herds of nerds, arrow shooting cupids, crazy dentist/mad scientist looking mother fuckers, hawaiian dancers (you can’t pass one without stopping to do the Hula, which is bad news if your getting chased down by another enemy), shopping cart ladies, bee swarms, invisible men (fuck those guys. Seriously), and a plethora of other enemies stand in your way, but… barely.
The most recognizable part of this game, besides the wacky characters and the between level elevator cut-scenes that would give most kids today a fucking seizure, would have to be the music. If you asked someone to describe it, the words “weird”, “funky”, “90s” and “electronic” would be brought up. Hip-hop, I guess? It was a mix of strange bass lines with record scratches, a mandolin-keyboard mix… fuck, I don’t know- it was just so unusual, but that’s what made it so fantastic (not to mention ’90s).
From the crazy music and characters, not to mention the design of the game and the astounding ’90s nostalgia factor, this is by far one of the strangest titles we’ve ever played… and it’s just so damn funky.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) – As far as video games go, particularly 2D side-scrolling platformers, Sonic is at the top. I don’t need to sit here and write about how good of a time this game is; we all love this dude. But if this isn’t one of the most fucked up games you’ve ever played, then you’ve got some dank weed and what’s your dealers number?
Let’s forget how awesome this game is for a second and take a look at the story of Sonic the Hedgehog, because it’s by far the weirdest on this list. A cartoon hedgehog (hedgehogs are not known to be fast creatures) is fast as fuck and runs around killing bug-robots and collecting gold rings and Chaos Emeralds, in hopes of defeating Dr. Robotnik, a mustachioed mad scientist who spends his days making weird flying machines and turning animals into the previously mentioned bug-robots.
Aside from the bug-robots trying to kill(?) him, Sonic has to avoid other hazards on each level, such as bottomless pits, sections of chrome spikes, god damn slowly rising water that will drown you, fucking lava (and not just regular lava, we’re talking lava water falls. We’re talking balls of lava that will shoot straight up Sonic’s asshole – also, what the hell was it with lava waterfalls and video games?). And to top it off, at the end of each zone in the game, Sonic has to fight a boss battle against Dr. Robotnik who is riding in one of his poorly designed, easily defeat-able vehicles. Seriously, if Sonic had a handful of rocks and relatively good aim, he’d be able to fuck Robotnik’s shit up without breaking a sweat. Instead, he has to hurl his body in to the side of the vehicle, breaking ribs or at least bruising himself up.
And why did Sonic collect Chaos Emeralds? They’re not worth as much as diamonds, the developers couldn’t use diamonds? What about rubies? And they weren’t even emeralds! Them shits are green and the stuff Sonic collected were a variety of colors. Maybe Dr. Robotnik produced them in his lab, right alongside the machine with the giant wooden wrecking ball on the bottom of it?
I’d also like to add a side-note here: did you ever notice how mad Sonic looked all the time? Like, way too mad? What’s up with that?
To me, the biggest question in this game is why did Sonic even give a shit? Nothing was really at stake here- the only positive is when he defeats the robots, he rescues some chipmunks. Sonic is fast and could easily out-run anything Robotnik threw his way. He was in no danger of becoming a robot and gained nothing from defeating his human(?) nemesis (except maybe the gold rings, but what would he do with them? Spend them at the casino level? Buy new shoes? All-you-can-eat chili dog party?).
Also, what was Robotnik looking to gain from doing the wacky shit that he did? What was his end game? I suppose natural resources, but we never saw him mining/harvesting anything. Clean water, lava, lumber, plus the millions of dollars he could have gained in the gold coins and emeralds scattered throughout the world, I can see why he would attempt to gain control of that region, but it doesn’t seem like that was the reason for his bat-shit craziness. The amount of money and resources needed to fund his inventions and create the strange bug-robots (not to mention the traps on each level, plus we need to factor in the monthly mustache wax bill) would have left him financially crippled, so there’s that I guess.
Weird plot and weird characters, but dammit Sonic, we put all that shit aside because we just love you so much.
BoogerMan: A Pick and Flick Adventure (1994) – My old man and I spent days playing this game. It’s one of the few video games we bonded over and it’s obvious to see why: burps, farts, boogers. Published by Interplay Entertainment (the same motherfuckers that produced Mario Teaches Typing!), this 2D platformer follows eccentric millionaire-turned-superhero Snotty Ragsdale, better known as BoogerMan, on one hell of a gross adventure.
The story opens with Ragsdale traveling to the laboratory of Professor Stinkbaum, the latter having just completed a revolutionary new device that will eliminate all pollution by transporting it to another world, a strange place known as Dimension X-crement. When the device is first activated, a portal opens and an ominous gloved arm reaches through and grabs the main power supply of the invention. Ragsdale decides to suit up as his alter ego, BoogerMan, and pursue the arm to parts unknown and take back the key to Stinkbaum’s new invention.
That’s when shit gets weird (I know, right?). Boogerman descends into all kinds of fucked up gross Hell, slaying a plethora of disgusting monsters- from the Scab Creatures and Nose Slugs that patrol Boogerville… to the Fart Ghosts and Puss Creatures that block your path in the Flatulent Swamps. Hell, even the standard baddies, the Nose Goblins, look gross as heck. Predictably, the weird dial goes up to 11 when it’s time for the boss battles.
Hick Boy, a one time military man, tries to kick your ass with the help of his trusty chicken (the Chickenerang attack is particularly devastating, but watch out when that damn chicken goes into Egg Launcher mode). A later enemy, Flyboy, attacks you with Vomit Bombs and Maggot Missles; Booger Meister (the final boss) is a man made completely of snot.
A bit more about Booger Meister’s back-story, taken straight from the game manual: “Little is known about this guy other than the fact that he rules Dimension X-crement with an iron butt. It is said he lost his butt in a recent attempt to duplicate Boogerman’s Super Flaming Fart attack with tragic results.”
This game plays a bit like other platformers, with your character collecting items (instead of gold coins or rings, it’s plungers and pimples) and receiving various power-ups. Some of the collectibles in BoogerMan include cans of beans that regenerate the gas meter (burp & fart attacks), boogers replenish your… booger supply (flicking booger attacks), collecting a chili pepper will give you flaming farts and burps as well as the power to fly (flaming farts let you soar upwards to do damage to enemies from above). Collecting milk bottles lets you damage enemies with powerful “loogie” attacks.
When it comes to weird games, there are no ifs and or butts about it- this one was… an easy pick :)
Earthworm Jim (1994) – This game gets my dick hard. Honestly, I could write an entire post about how rad this game is, I really love it that much. The idea alone is insane, the gameplay is even crazier… except it works. But again, I’m going to need y’all to step the fuck back and look at what we’re dealing with here.
Developed by Shiny Entertainment (they also made MDK, which is another super weird game) and Playmates Interactive Entertainment (primarily a toy company, they own the rights to a shit-load of toys, from Coneheads to EWJ, from Family Guy to the Toxic Crusaders), EWJ is a tale as old as time: an earthworm named Jim dons a newly found robotic suit to face off against evil.
The story follows Jim through all kinds of crazy levels (at one point, you literally go to Hell, which i always thought was pretty awesome but now that I’m thinking about it… a kids game… Hell…) as he evades and defeats a whole mess of baddies on way to his primary objective: rescue and protect Princess What’s-Her-Name. Jim’s constantly looking over his shoulder because all of his enemies are trying to get their hands/hooves/etc. on his robotic suit.
Besides being the hardest to beat game on this list (try it on nightmare mode if you don’t believe me, fuckers), this is probably the strangest game mentioned. Little sense is made in EWJ, but that doesn’t matter- the characters and gameplay, not to mention design and art, really make this one of the best playing titles on the SEGA Genesis. The sound effects and music are great (I especially liked the tune on the Andy Asteroids/Tube Race level) in this title, and like all the games on this list, it has a ton of re-play value.
And if you don’t think the story is enough reason for EWJ to be on this list of weird games, I’d like to submit the following character names for your consideration:
- Queen Slug-for-a-Butt
- Evil the Cat
- Bob the Killer Goldfish
- Major Mucus
- Professor Monkey-for-a-Head
Kid Chameleon (1992) – WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU? Everything?!
Another 2D side-scroller, the story of Kid C-bone (that’s what we call it) is a cool take on a (somewhat)old idea: the bad guy in a new virtual reality game down at the local arcade has come to life and if you don’t win, you’re FUCKING. DEAD. And guess what? Nobody fucking wins. That’s where KC steps in and decides to put an end to the nonsense.
You go through the game, all ONE-HUNDRED-AND-GOD-DAMN-THREE LEVELS, busting blocks with your head Mario-style and collecting the objects that fall from them: gems, clocks that put more time on the board, and masks that KC uses to turn into a variety of persona to jack up the enemies throughout the game. From a samurai that wields a deadly sword, to a rhino that can bust through walls when you run full-steam-ahead, there are nine different masks available in the game, all of which have different abilities. My personal favorite is the Jason Voorhees/Friday the 13th rip-off, a mask that turns KC into an axe throwing, hockey mask sporting maniac…
…OR WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING NAZI TANK?
Yep, one of the masks that falls look eerily similar to the Nazi death head symbol, and once you put it on KC turns into an army tank that shoots skulls. Also, he’s wearing a stahlhelm (German for “steel helmet”) so there’s really no way for these guys to save face- one of the characters in this game has a lot of similarities to Nazi symbolism.
And if that wasn’t enough, the weirdest part about this title is the level progression. Transporters litter each level, meaning you can start on level one and transport yourself to level seven, then find another god damn transporter and end up at level twenty… shit’s crazy, yo. It also makes the game really fun because every play can turn out different.
This game isn’t super high on the weirdness scale compared to the rest of the games in this post (although the comic book version that went under the same name was super weird, that shit did not port well), but the daunting amount of levels (note: there’s no save feature in this game), strange enemies (army-tank-face-rock-guy?), and overall unusual back story are a bit strange. The reason I think this game is so damn weird is…
Who the fuck is the main character based on?
I’ve thought about this long and hard (lol) and I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to be the son of some higher-up at SEGA whose asshole kid wouldn’t behave and this game was made as a peace offering. “God dammit, if I make you a video game will you clean your fucking room?” The art on the box, depicting the games protagonist (Casey. Get it, KC… like, Kid Chame- ahhh forget it), is far too specific to just be a random person that some designer made up. This character was directly based on a real person; I want to know who this kid is and why the hell he was on the cover instead of me. Jerk.
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