Worth a fortune for collectors, Earthworm Jim 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch Online

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DIG DUG II, MAPPY COUNTRYand Earthworm Jim 2 make up the odd trio of games coming to Nintendo Switch Online this month. DIG DUG II and MAPPY COUNTRY will join the NES library while Earthworm Jim 2 joins the SNES section. Interestingly, all three games are sequels to titles not currently available on the Nintendo Switch Online platform.

DIG DUG II is a choice that perhaps conservationists will celebrate. The decision to ditch the original’s maze-based gameplay meant it couldn’t achieve nearly the same success or popularity. MAPPY COUNTRY is a game about mice trying to collect six target items while avoiding a gangster cat and its minions.

It is Earthworm Jim 2 that’s the actual outstanding right here.

Released in 1995, it is a bizarre game developed by California studio Shiny Entertainment. The direct continuation of Earthworm Jim, and the final game in the series that its creators would be working on, the game sees Jim attempting to hunt down the villain Psy-crow, who has once again kidnapped Princess Whats-Her-Name. It expands on the gameplay of the original game with new weapons and a sidekick for Jim that lets him stick to certain surfaces.

One level turns Jim into a blind cave salamander and lets him grope his way through a huge intestinal tract full of exploding sheep. The same level ends with Salamander Jim getting trapped in a game show that has totally logical questions and answers. In another level, Jim’s head expands like a balloon and the player gently guides him up while Evil the Cat tries to deflate him.

As you complete each level, a short clip of cows in a field will play. Congratulations from the cows. One of them smiles.

None of this is explained, in canon or outside of it.

Although easy Earthworm Jim 2 Cartridges seem relatively cheap and plentiful, new copies of the game have become something of a collector’s item. According to PriceCharting, a resale tracker for retro games, a sealed, unopened SNES copy has sold for as much as US$1,300 (or AU$1,731) on eBay. An unopened copy of the Mega Drive is currently being sold on eBay for almost AU$3,900.

One wonders what its release on Nintendo Switch Online will do with these prices.

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