One of the coolest classic games of my childhood would have to be a wacky game by the name of Earthworm Jim. I remember playing all the games in the series when I was little. The first one, the second, and even the awful N64 game too. They even made a TV show of it too. The only one I didn’t play was the Special Edition version for the Sega CD. A few years have gone by, and my big sister, Mandy, stole my old Earthworm Jim games and sold them to pay her school to give back her cell phone.
At school, I told my friend Jason about what my big sister did. He told me that Earthworm Jim is available to download from the Wii’s Virtual Console system. But I told him I didn’t have any money, nor did I have internet connection. He told me he would get it for me. I asked him how, and he said he could download it and put it in his SD card for me to borrow.
I was quite surprised to hear him say that. He actually wants to help me. I told him he didn’t have to go through all that trouble, but he said he didn’t mind at all. After that, all through the day at school, that funny super hero worm was on my mind the entire time.
The next day, at school, Jason came and gave me his SD card. He told me how to put the VC game from the card in my Wii. He also told me to be careful with the card so that I don’t break it or lose it. I’ve borrowed some of his stuff before, so I know how to handle these things. As I started making my way to class, he also started yelling something to me, but I couldn't hear him.
After I got home, my sister Mandy was waiting for me. She always likes to push me around for kicks, thinking she’s the head honcho over EVERYTHING I do. I told her to leave me alone, and she just went to her room and locked her door. Finally, I could have some privacy. I turned on my Wii, and put the SD card in. Before I could try and put the game in my Wii, I decided to test it in the SD card menu. I selected the SD card icon on the screen and it brought me to the channel menus.
I then saw a white box with a question mark on it. I selected it, and all it shown was its normal VC title jingle and a question mark. I felt slightly disappointed, but I didn’t hesitant when selecting Start. I was expecting an error message to pop up, but for some reason, the screen faded out and… the Sega logo appeared with Jim flexing his muscles!
I was both happy and surprised to see the game actually WORKING! I still laughed when Jim’s pants fell down and he humorously covers himself before the title of the game starts. Everything was playing perfectly. No glitches, no changes in music, nothing. I was feeling happy to see everything was just as I remembered it. But then… something felt… odd.
When I got to the part just before you see the first boss you fight in the first level, there was a toilet. Perplexed, I jumped in. Jim disappeared, and reappeared in a new area without his suit. He appeared in what looked like the expanded version of the first level in Special Edition. I was quite surprised! Was this VC title mixing the Special Edition with the original?? I had NO idea what was going on, but I liked this game that Jason gave me! Maybe he must’ve hacked this game somehow and wanted to surprise me?
But there was something off. I heard Jim’s voice say, “I’m nuuuude.” Just like from the Special Edition, but his voice sounded deeper and more scratchy-like. As if he had a horrible sore throat. And something began to feel odd when I accidentally fell and lost a live. When the part of the level started over, the music started becoming lower and more morbid every time I moved further within the level. The area started looking black and red as I went on.
It wasn’t long until I finally found the super suit. I made Jim jump in it, and he was able to move again, but when he had his suit, the music stopped entirely. And the background colors were replaced with black and red. The sky included. I had Jim run through the level until he appeared in the area where you had to face the first boss that spews fish on you.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t there. I made Jim jump, but the moment he landed on the ground, the screen went black, and there was a teleporting sound effect that was so loud it made my heart jump.
The loading screen that showed the name of the next level popped up. But it was in the center of the screen, Jim was nowhere to be seen, and there was no music. Instead, there was what sounded like deep horrible g minor music mixed with laughter that I was quite sure it didn’t appear in the original… The name of the level gave me the chills…
“He wants to eat ya.” I had no idea who HE was, but I had a feeling that this didn’t sound good at all…
Jim appeared in a level with a background that looked a lot like outer space where you fight against Psy-Crow if you lose a race against him, except it was fading from black to red, red to black, constantly. Whenever Jim was standing still, he did an animated sequence that I’ve never seen before. There was one where he was shaking like a dog, one where his face looked as if he had a stroke, and one where he knelt down, and started crying. I could even HEAR his crying. But I couldn’t tell if it was my imagination or it was coming from my TV…
Just then, the screen moved left to reveal Peter Puppy. He just stood there with a blank expression on his face. Not moving an inch. Not even breathing. Then, something was approaching from behind him. He turned around, and screamed like a dog’s whining, but this sound was extremely loud and ear piercing. The creature then engulfed Peter, and there was chewing sounds as if the creature was eating him alive. The creature spewed out the bones of the poor puppy.
I couldn’t tell if THAT kind of humor was in the Earthworm Jim series, or if it was FUNNY or not. I didn’t laugh. The creature was then revealed to be Big Bruty from EWJ Special Edition!! I specifically KNOW he wasn’t supposed to be in the Genesis or even the SNES version of this game at all. Bruty stepped over the broken bones of Peter’s remains until he stopped and started sniffing around. The camera moved right. And Jim was back in his normal pose. I was able to control him.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to do, but I knew from watching gameplay videos of the Special Edition on YouTube that you had to avoid this monster so he won’t eat you alive. I decided to just let Jim run right. I heard Bruty do his usual grunting or funny sound when he starts to give chase. I made Jim jump over platforms, used him as a whip to get across, and shot down some boulders with his blaster to get across.
While Jim was running, the music from “Intestinal Distress” started playing. It sounded normal at first, but the music started going slower and more morbid as I kept pressing on, trying to avoid getting eaten by Bruty.
It wasn’t long until I reached a dead end. I tried everything, but nothing budged. I had no choice but to let Bruty catch up. When Bruty did catch up to Jim, the screen went black and a loud CRUNCH was heard! There was also screaming coming from my TV. But not the type of scream from the original game, but this sounded so REAL, as if someone really WAS being tortured…
Things got scarier for me as my eyes stayed glued to the TV. The sound stopped, and there was absolutely no music, no sound effects, nothing but a black screen.
Just then, I saw something that horrified me. Jim started crawling to the center of the screen, but only in half of his super suit. I actually heard him groaning in pain and agony as he kept crawling…
He then stopped in the middle of the screen… He then looked straight to me as if he was really looking at me. He didn’t say anything. He just stayed there. I had NO idea how this game got hacked or how it was made like this. Maybe Jason wanted to play a sick joke on me? No matter what button I pressed on my Wii remote, I couldn’t do anything. Jim just stared at me the entire time. But when I pressed the home button, I realized I was able to open up the home menu!
I had the options to return to the Wii menu, configure the Wii remote settings, restart the game, or look at the game manual. I tried to select the game manual, but when the manual menu popped up, there was no table of contents to view the game’s controls, stories, or anything else. Not even the copyright polices or safety mumbo jumbo was there. I had no choice but to try and turn off my Wii, hoping my nightmare will end. It didn’t.
I held the power button on the Wii, but it didn’t turn the game off. Instead, from the speakers, it started making a strange familiar sound. It was the sound of Bruty again. Except it sounded deeper and more gruesome.
Jim’s expression quickly changed. He screamed in fear as he tried to crawl for his life. Bruty then ran in the screen and started ripping up Jim’s super suit. Jim was screaming at the top of his lungs, hurting my ears! Bruty then flung the poor worm in the broken suit into the air and started chewing him whole. Jim’s muffled screams were even worse. Worse enough to give me nightmares.
I held the power button again, but the game still wouldn’t turn off. The longer I pressed it, the more horrid and loud the screams are. I quickly unplugged the Wii from the wall behind my TV, and the game instantly shut down.
I sighed with relief. I was beginning to question how Jason got a hold of this odd hack. Whoever did this must’ve been trying to either mess with me, or Jason? Maybe it was Jason trying to pull a sick joke? I turned on my Wii, crossing my fingers, hoping that it will work normally. It turns out, it did.
The Wii menu looked absolutely normal. As if nothing happened. I entered the SD card menu, except… the VC game in that menu was replaced with something that gave me chills in my heart… It was a picture of Earthworm Jim’s face, up close. It looked as if he was staring at me, crying. I tried to select the start option on that channel, but it didn’t respond. I went back to the Wii menu, and turned off my Wii.
I managed to summon up the courage to call Jason and ask him what the heck is going on. Thankfully, he answered the phone. I told him about my experience, and he told me he was yelling something to me that he wanted to tell me before it was “Too late”. He told me to get rid of that SD card so I wouldn’t go through the same horrors HE faced.
I had NO idea what he was talking about, but he told me that he downloaded the game without any problems, but went through the same things I did when he tested the game. His plan must’ve been to give it to me to get rid of.
I did him the favor. I took the SD card, and with my strength, I managed to split it in half. I then threw it out into the street, knowing that this horrific nightmare is over.
A month passed and I finally got internet in my home. I managed to download Earthworm Jim onto my Wii, and it played perfectly. No horrible experience happened in that game again. But I’m still cautious whenever I play the game. How is it that it’s normal NOW, but it wasn’t THEN? This led me to wonder.
WHO created that hack? And is it possible to hack VC titles instead of the original ports? And who was the person or thing who hacked into the VC shop to mess with that game? Maybe it was someone who hated Earthworm Jim and wanted to torture him in front of his fans. I know this question AND my experience may sound stupid, heck, you can question me anyway you want, but even I’m still pondering over this…