Decap Attack is to me what SNES Mario is to a lot of other people. I would get to spend many hours platforming with a NES and SNES, but not until a little later on. For a long time, I only had a Sega Genesis and this was my platformer of choice. There’s actually some pretty interesting history behind this game. It’s a complete reskin of a game called Magical Flying Hat Turbo Adventure, a game made by Tokai Communications. The characters in the game were based off an anime and when Tokai couldn’t get the legal rights to release those characters in the west, they made new ones. The result was this campy horror-themed platformer that it is...oh so weird. The only differences in the gameplay and mechanics between the two titles are that in MFHTA, you only get one hit and you lose a life. In Decap Attack you are given up to four hearts, each worth up to two hits. This change also effects checkpoints in the two games. Checkpoints in MFHTA will give you extra lives while checkpoints in DA restore your hearts.
In Decap Attack you play as Chuck D. Head, a mummy who was just created by a mad scientist named Frank N. Stein. The mad scientist also happens to have an assistant, wait for it, who is named Igor. The purpose of Chucks creation is to battle one Max D. Cap. Who has recently risen from the underworld with an army and taken over your home, Body Island. A large island that is shaped exactly like a human skeleton. To fight his army, you have a few means of attack. The first and main form of attack is to extend forward your face meat to smack your enemies. That is the only way I can think to describe this act to you. The second is you can jump on the heads of enemies, a classic platformer attack. The third, and namesake of our protagonist, is to chuck your boomerang-like skull at your enemies. Which you only receive once you find it hidden within each level. But be warned Chuck will lose his skull if he is hit. Levels also contain power-ups to collect and coins you can use in the pause menus shop. In total there are seven different themed worlds, with three levels each, each world ending with a boss. Once you beat the boss in each world you are treated to a bonus roulette like gambling round where you can score spare items and lives.
As quite the comic enthusiast, I was excited to discover this game also had a comic strip that ran in the U.Ks Sonic The Comic. It was written and illustrated by Nigel Kitching. Rumor has it that the comic strip was a project that was born from the last minute cancellation of a Chuck Rock comic. The strip ran for five years and was the only non-sonic comic strip to return in Sonic The Comic Online, an unofficial continuation of the Sonic comic operated by fans. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find many complete strips of it even though it ran for so long.
And although I really enjoy the overall look and style of the comic strip, I don’t think that Chucks design carried over quite so well. Maybe I’m biased, I really love Chucks design in the game and accompanying artwork. So much so I drew up some of my very own Decap attack fan art below. This is how I might see Chuck appearing in a game today!
The game was/is for the Mega Drive and Genesis, but was also re-released in two separate genesis collections for PS2/PS3/360/steam. You should definitely check it out if you are into platformers.
UPDATE 1/24/17 : I almost didn’t get a chance to share some of my favorite tracks from the game!
1.Intro Screen theme. Holy Shit. This track is insane. Just insane.