"I love the nostalgic, myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past."Epic Mickey
is a Disney
game for the Wii
developed by Junction Point, spearheaded by Warren Spector of Deus Ex
and System Shock
fame. In an ambitious effort to help Disney restore Mickey Mouse's iconic status
, it brings back the happy memories of Disney's classic short subjects
and feature length films
from their Golden Age
, Silent Age, Dark Age
, and Renaissance Age
as well as attractions from the Disney Theme Parks
of old......But NOT in the way anybody expected.
The story begins with Walt Disney's original cartoon star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
, after finally getting Walt some success and recognition, being taken from him over both a budget dispute and a contract loophole, fading into obscurity, and being replaced by his younger half-brother Mickey Mouse
, he becomes the first resident of a world created by the wizard Yen Sid
for forgotten and rejected Disney creations and ideas
. This world, called Wasteland
(based on the Disney Theme Parks
), exists as a small model on a table within Yen Sid's tower. Oswald takes this world as his own, presenting himself as a king there. Soon after, Oswald teams up with The Mad Doctor
, another early resident of Wasteland — together, they create the robotic Beetleworx
, which serve as construction tools for Wasteland, as well as relocators for new residents of the world, and together they try to make Wasteland a comfortable home for the other lost Disney
characters who later join them — but Oswald grows resentful of his younger brother over time due to his increasing popularity. In a vain effort to emulate the life he never had, he makes a very
large family with his feline girlfriend
Ortensia, and has The Mad Doctor
build robotic copies
of Donald Duck
to help him recreate the adventures Mickey went on — but even this fails to fill the void.
Later on, Mickey himself stumbles into Yen Sid's tower, after being lured in by the wizard's mischevious (or malicious) magic mirror. Shortly after arriving, he sees Yen Sid put the finishing touches on Wasteland. Content with his progress, Yen Sid goes off to sleep, while Mickey decides to put his own touch on Wasteland—he spots the magic paintbrush Yen Sid was using and begins to fiddle with it, but accidentally creates a monster called the Shadow Blot and spills paint and paint thinner all over the model. Hearing Yen Sid approaching
, Mickey tries to erase the Blot and quickly clean up... and ends up spilling even more thinner on the model, creating a gaping hole in it, and then flees back to his bedroom via the mirror before the wizard returns. Despite Mickey's attempt to hide his transgression, the not-so-dead Blot persists and enters Wasteland via the hole; there, it takes over Wasteland, twisting it into a sinister
version of the original, and drives Oswald and any resistance into hiding during the conflict, henceforth called "The Blot Wars". The Doctor promptly stabs Oswald in the back (as he had always wanted to) and sides with the Blot, if just to further his own agenda.
Decades later, having long forgotten the incident, Mickey is suddenly pulled into Wasteland from his home via the Blot. Mickey manages to grab the magic paintbrush before he is pulled in, so he can create and erase things with paint and thinner
. After narrowly escaping from Dark Beauty Castle and the Doctor and Blot's attempt to remove his heart, as well as having a brief encounter with Oswald, Mickey's initial goal is to simply return home, but his discovery of the miserable state of Wasteland and its inhabitants, including old friends like Horace Horsecollar, cause him to change his plans.
Now the mouse must regain the trust of his resentful older half-brother Oswald, foil the Mad Doctor, and stop the Shadow Blot to save and restore Wasteland, all while trying to keep his heart, the symbol of those who remember and love him, which is all the Blot needs to escape into the real world.
So, if you haven't guessed already, this is the other
series that turns our hero
into a complete badass
, has a shadowy (pun intended) evil and heart stealing. It's also being adapted into a couple of kids'
books and a prequel webcomic
and graphic novel written by Peter David
A sequel has been released, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
(selected from a batch of subtitles that also included Return of the Mad Doctor
and Mystery on Mean Street
) and a portable side story Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion
, both which have their own pages.Take note:
It seems how much one will enjoy this game is extremely reliant on taste
. Its pacing and design is heavily akin to Nintendo 64
platformers like Banjo-Kazooie
, except modernised
. Some will find the whole game brilliant, others will find it sub-par. The only real consensus is that the camera can be rather wonky
(and perhaps a bit "Goofy"),
but even then, some will find it less of a bother than others.Examples from Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion should go on their respective pages.
This game provides examples of:
- Action Bomb: Spladooshes will sleep happily, but if they wake up...
- All There in the Manual: A currently-available free iOS app has stories of the Wasteland before Mickey messes it up.
- Ambiguously Gay: Pete Pan. He's a good fighter, but dear GOD, his body language... He pumps his ass in Mickey's face the first time they meet.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Wasteland is, essentially, The Unhappiest Place On Earth / The Real Tragic Kingdom.
- And I Must Scream: Ortensia's fate, as well as Clock Tower's if you Thinner it.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: Mickey's reserves of Paint or Thinner will slowly return to one-third capacity if they ever fall below that amount.
- Anti-Hero: If you play towards the dark side of the Karma Meter, Mickey can turn into one of these.
- Anti-Villain: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit toward the start of the game, up until you manage to meet him in Mickeyjunk Mountain; he actively sets obstacles in Mickey's way in order to get rid of him, but his reasons for this are sympathetic and understandable. And he secretly still could be considered an Anti-Villain after this until way later. (See You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.) A definite Type II.
- Apathetic Citizens: The citizens of OsTown and Mean Street doesn't seem to mind that their cities are literally the only places that The Mad Doctor and the Shadow Blot haven't conquered yet. Heck, they won't even react when Mickey goes Grand Theft Auto on them. Thankfully averted with the Gremlins, who seems to be the only people around who at least try to help you.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Mad Doctor's Swiss-Army-torture-device has four settings: A large pair of shears, a massive corkscrew, a chainsaw, and at its highest setting (labelled with a skull and crossbones), a... toilet plunger? Even Mickey is surprised. And then he learns it's used for... unorthodox heart surgery...
- Art Attacker: Mickey uses a brush and paint thinner to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Art Shift: Gameplay segments use a relatively orthodox graphical style reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy. Cutscenes, however, are 2D and in a style influenced by the late Mary Blair, who did concept art for several Disney movies and the art for "It's A Small World."
- Ascended Glitch: Instead of deciding whether or not to get the treasure or save the gremlin, it is actually possible to save both. Thank the playtesters for this.
- The Atoner: Both Oswald and Mickey.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Several of your foes can get easily distracted whenever a TV is placed in front of them. Including Oswald.
- Attract Mode: The opening prologue movie is even called "Attract Mode".
- Author Appeal: The reason why you're collecting pins is simply because Warren Spector himself collects Disney pins.
- Badass Adorable:
- Mickey, obviously, and probably Oswald too.
- The Bunny Kids; they're adorable and eat blotlings. Wait, what?
- Being Good Sucks: Not sucks, exactly, but concerning many of the Good/Bad choices you can make in the game, be it using Paint or Thinner or doing a Fetch Quest with two possible item choices; usually, the good choice is the harder to accomplish by far (three words: "Save the Sprite"), while doing the bad thing can take about two seconds.
- Benevolent Architecture: Lampshaded towards the end, with Gus saying something about how convenient it is that there's a bunch of chandeliers with strong chains in a tower.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The Shadow Blot (now an Eldritch Abomination made of paint and thinner) and The Mad Doctor, described by Spector as being the "brawn and the brains" of the pairing, respectively.
- Big Damn Heroes: Attempted, but unfortunately subverted when Mickey and his friends try to use the Rocket to defeat the Shadow Blot.
- Big Boo's Haunt:
- Naturally, Lonesome Manor, based on The Haunted Mansion.
- The Lonesome Ghosts travel map as well, plus the aptly named The Haunted House.
- Black Magic: The thinner. You actually need it on occasion, but if you're doing a "good" playthrough, you won't be using it a lot.
- Body Horror:
- Quite a bit of this in the early concept art, and there's still some of this in the finished game. See the Dumbo Ride in Gremlin Village? They have no eyes.
- There was also a notion with Mickey's paint abilities to make it look as if he was channeling HIS OWN PAINT through the brush, but it looked too Narm-ish in testing by making Mickey look like he was getting male pattern baldness.
- Or even earlier when he was channeling thinner/paint with his HANDS, which then creates... this.
- And don't even get started on Oswald when he was the main villain... Phantom Blot Oswald anyone?
- In the final game, Mickey absorbed some of the Blot when dragged into the Wasteland, resulting in him appearing to ooze drops of ink. If you favor using thinner, lots of ink will float off of him as a result.
- Brain in a Jar: Animatronic Donald, Daisy, and Goofy.
- Breaking the Bonds: How Mickey escapes the Mad Doctor in their first scene.
- Bridge Logic: An option for getting through the European section of Gremlin Village.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: Bog Easy, based on New Orleans Square from the parks. Of course the "Gloop" happens to be paint thinner...
- But Thou Must: You can do things either by disregarding others, destroying things, and being a Jerk Ass, or by helping people out and giving your all to improve everyone's lives, but the story and all but two cutscenes are the same no matter what. The creators were disappointed by this, and are trying to make moral choices have more of an impact in the sequel.
- Camera Screw: One of the most common complaints so far.
- Word of God is that developing a camera for a 3D environment where walls and floors can appear and disappear at any time was a rather difficult challenge.
- With Nintendo handling publishing duties for the Japanese version, they're also looking to fix the camera issues for the new release.
- Captain Ersatz: Even though they predate them in initial designs, the game's portrayal of Gremlin Gus and the Gremlins will remind you a lot of Papa Smurf and The Smurfs.
- Chainsaw Good: The Mad Doctor's machine in the opening.
- Chair Reveal: Oswald does this in a cutscene.
- Chaste Toons: Averted with Oswald, who's had a lot of kids in the years he's been in the Wasteland — he's a rabbit, after all. And much to their father's chagrin, they adore "Uncle Mickey".
- Genius Bonus: His girlfriend, Ortensia, is a cat. Female cats are known to be VERY promiscuous.
- Christmas Rushed: Word of God is that Epic Mickey was rushed to reach store shelves by the 2010 holiday season, which explains a few of the game's rougher edges. Even with the rush, it still missed the "Black Friday" after-Thanksgiving shopping weekend.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder / The Starscream: The Mad Doctor betrayed Oswald when he lost the Blot Wars, and then he allied with the Blot; he plans to eventually betray the Blot as well, once Mickey's heart has been taken.
- Clockwork Creature: The Beetleworx enemies are robots constructed from random parts that have the faces of various Disney characters painted on them. Defeating them requires erasing the painted parts.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The blue fluid is paint, and the green fluid is thinner.
- Comic Book Limbo: This is essentially the setting.
- Conspicuously Light Patch: The main way of identifying what you can use Paint or Thinner on. Surfaces with bright, vibrant colors are composed of Paint, while thinned objects leave ghostly silhouettes behind. Additionally, anything you can spin move to activate or smash for shineys flashes iridescent.
- Covered in Kisses: Oswald in the ending.
- Crapsack World:
- Creative Closing Credits: Available right from the start in the Extras menu, featuring Blotlings doing various antics with the Brush.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: What happened to Captain Hook and the members of his crew that were turned into Beetleworx. The latter can get better by turning back, the former without.
- Darker and Edgier: A loveable cartoon rabbit is portrayed as Mickey's jealous and semi-insane half-brother, living in a twisted nightmarish copy of Disneyland threatened by a mad scientist and a demonic monster, and the player has the option of turning Mickey back into the scrappy antihero he was back in the 30s.
- Deadly Rotary Fan: There are a series of these in the "World of Gremlins" dungeon (which imitates the "It's a Small World" ride). They spin too quickly for Mickey to easily get through unharmed, but he can use paint thinner to erase some of the blades long enough to pass by unscathed.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Gremlin Gus seems to be a bit of this. Considering who created him, it makes sense.
- Oswald has his moments as well, especially when the player plays the "scrapper" mode.
"I'd say good luck, but "heroes" don't need luck, right?"
"Yes sir. Spatters better watch out for you. You like that Thinner."
"That was an impressive display of destructive firepower."
- Defeat Means Friendship: For the purposes of quests that require combat, using Paint to befriend Blotlings counts the same as defeating them. This even applies to some of the bosses.
- Detectives Follow Footprints: A series of quests, given to you by the detective, involves you following footprints to the same guy every time, where you have to buy back stolen objects. If you paint all the footprints, the thief will give you the object for free.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: A requirement, as there's not too much of a way to figure out what you're going to add/remove. One example is the Skull Island Machine, where you can a) do nothing, b) destroy the machine with thinner, or c) make it turn out cartoon characters with paint.
- Disney Death: Ortensia. Subverted (not in a good way) in that she had a Fate Worse Than Death, but all the same, she gets better.
- Down in the Dumps: Mickeyjunk Mountain.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Warren Spector heavily emphasizes the concept "Playstyle Matters". If you defeat a boss with thinner or fail a series of quests, it's going to affect the game's ending, and it will turn out worse than if you had redeemed the boss with paint or completed that important questline.
- Egopolis: OsTown, named after the former king of Wasteland, Oswald. Complete with images of Oswald absolutely everywhere. Not to mention, according to the comics, apparently all of his children are named after him. All 420.
- Eldritch Abomination: Shadow Blot and the Beetleworx.
- Era-Specific Personality: The original Karma Meter would have been based on this: Would you play Mickey like the scrappy fighter he was in the early '30s, or like The Hero he was later in his career? You could've also opted to play on the middle of the road, and acted more like the straight man he was in the late '30s, and for a while after.
- Eternal Engine:
- Gremlin Village has elements of this, in the mass of gears that make It's a Small World work, plus elements in the Utilitunnel sections.
- The Travel Map Clock Cleaners is this as well, being set inside a clock tower. It's similar to the Castlevania clock towers, really.
- Evil Is Easy: Frequently applies to the player. Many times, doing whatever it takes to get the "good" result in a quest requires more work then just blasting your obstacles with thinner. This frequently requires more creativity, too; sometimes, it's easy to fall into accepting the "bad" ending simply because you can't figure out how to resolve the problem with paint.
- Evil Laughter: Both The Mad Doctor and The Blot are fans of it. Lampshaded by Gus in a cutscene:
: *flashback bubble to The Mad Doctor
going "Nya-ha-ha!"* Yeah, he did. Why?
: "Nya-ha-ha" always means bad news.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: Averted; while they did design an evil-looking "Scrapper" Mickey during development, they removed it from the final product, instead making it look like drops of ink are oozing off of him, just like the Shadow Blot. If you use more Thinner than paint, then more ink will ooze off as a result.
- Evil Overlooker: The Shadow Blot looks down on Mickey in this piece of art◊.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The first level, Dark Beauty Castle, which is distantly visible from the game's main hub, Mean Street.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's Mickey Mouse embarking on a truly epic adventure to salvage a lost world that he himself brought to ruin, all while dealing with the inhabitants, the twisted, nightmarish terrain, The Mad Doctor and his Beetleworx, his vengeful, long forgotten half-brother who he didn't even know about until he arrived in this world, and the ever-looming menace of the Shadow Blot Mickey unleashed onto the Wasteland. Epic Mickey, indeed.
- Exploding Calendar: Used to show Mickey's sudden rise to fame in the intro.
- Exposition Fairy: Gus Gremlin, from an unmade feature, occasionally offers some advice on how to proceed.
- Fat Bastard: The Spladooshes. Big Bad Pete, and the other versions of Pete (except Pete Pan) could also apply.
- Fairy Companion:
- Mickey can attract up to three "Guardian Spirits" depending on his use of Paint and Thinner, which can be launched at Blotlings to defeat them in a single shot.
- Not to mention (for a given definition of "Fairy") Gus, who fits a more conventional version of this role. He hovers about explaining things, introduces the new levels, asks if you want to enter/exit every building ever...
- Fighting a Shadow: Mickey's duel with the Shadow Blot on top of Mickeyjunk Mountain.
- Floating Continent: Wasteland appears to be made up of this.
- Follow The Lucky Rabbit:
- Flying Books: In the haunted mansion level, you can choose to help the crystal ball woman get her books back. The only problem is they are flying around and you need to gum up the pages with paint to stop them.
- Gambit Pileup: The Mad Doctor is playing the Blot, Oswald is playing Mickey, the REAL Blot is behind everything...
- Gangplank Galleon:
- Ventureland/Pirates of the Wasteland.
- The Travel Map Shanghaied as well. Fitting, considering it links Pirate Voyage to Skull Island.
- Genre-Busting: Well, it is Mickey Mouse meets Deus Ex and System Shock. Plus Warren Spector loves to drive Marketers Crazy with this trope.
- Genre Throwback: The entire game is one big love letter to Classic Disney in general, let alone The Golden Age of Animation. Warren Spector even commented that the game is supposed to draw a lot of influence from Fantasia.
- Giant Hands of Doom: The Small World clock boss.
- Good Is Not Nice: Mickey, depending on how you play.
- The Goomba: Spatter Blotlings.
- Grimy Water: It's paint thinner, actually, and looks/acts an awful lot like the Dip(understandably, since apparently some of the ingredients it's made of are paint-thinners).
- Guide Dang It:
- Seriously. If you value your sanity at all, don't try to collect everything in this game without a source of help.
- Using lock-on targeting in combat (you have to place your cursor over the enemy you wish to target, then hold down the C button for about half a second). It isn't mentioned in the manual, and it's so downright counter-intuitive at first that most reviewers didn't even know the feature existed.
- There's also the fact that you're supposed to point to where you want the anvils and TVs to go, which the game doesn't mention. It's entirely possible that you'll end up wasting several as you try to figure out why the TVs keep spawning 30 feet away above a bottomless pit.
- Figuring out how to beat the Small World Clock Tower by using paint can stump some people who don't know that you have to keep painting both of its arms until they're both fully blue and hopping on the one that lowers its palms in order to reach the face and then use paint on its face until it's redeemed.
- Hand Wave: One is given when Gus explains he can't fix the pipe organ for you because steam power's not his specialty. Oddly enough, this is the only time an explanation for Gus' lack of help is given despite there being many other places that could use one.
- Haunted House: Lonesome Manor.
- Heart Container: Defeating a boss will reward you with an increased capacity for Paint or Thinner, depending on what you defeated him with. The player can also acquire (or purchase) upgrades to Mickey's maximum HP and sketches.
- Heel-Face Turn: Every villain except The Mad Doctor and the true Shadow Blot, assuming you defeated them with Paint. (Since Hook can't be defeated with paint, this involves freeing the Sprite so Pete Pan can fight Hook again.)
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Mickey gives up his heart to rescue Oswald and Gus from the Blot towards the end of the game.
- Ortensia was petrified saving Oswald from the Blot.
- Hive Mind: The Blotings function just like the Flood and the Necromorphs do, with one leading mind, in this case Shadow Blot, controlling the other, smaller creatures.
- Hopeless War: Before Mickey came to the Wastelands, Shadow Blot and the Mad Doctor had pretty much won the Blot War; they have conquered Oswald's castle and petrified his wife Ortensia, an act which sends him into a deep depression and causes him to lose his will to fight, leaving the fighting to small, weak bands of resistance groups. One of them, the crew of Captain Hook, has most of the members dead or turned into Beetleworx and the rest scattered leaderless in the jungle. Another group, The Gremlins, has been more successful in fighting off Blot's forces, but the sheer force of Blot's forces causes most of the Gremlins to be taken as prisoners, and their own village was under siege before Mickey helped in turning the tide.
- Hostage For Macguffin:
- Near the game's climax, the true Shadow Blot takes Oswald and Gus hostage and demands Mickey's heart in exchange for their safety.
- Meta-example: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, even after 80 years, was still owned by NBC/Universal, not Disney. To get him back into their intellectual property, Disney gave Universal one of their sportscasters, Al Michaels. Interestingly, Walt himself was happy that Walter Lantz had been using Oswald and had been taken from Charles Mintz.
- Hub Level: As far as accessing the other levels, Mean Street serves as this, especially considering that its Disney Theme Parks counterpart, Main Street USA, is probably the best real-life example of the trope.
- In a World: Played completely straight in this trailer made for Tokyo Game Show 2010. And it is awesome.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: It's generally referred to as Disney's Epic Mickey.
- Interspecies Romance:
- When Mickey gets one of Hook's pirates to admit his love for Henrietta the Cow.
: "Personally, I give them a few months, tops."
- Ironic Nursery Tune:
- A non-reversed but creepy "Small World" plays during the Clock Tower boss fight.
- A somber rendition of the tune of "Once Upon a Dream'' is incorporated into the music of Dark Beauty Castle.
- Jerkass: Scrapper Mickey.
- Jungle Japes:
- Well, there's this area in Venture Land called The Jungle...
- The travel map based on the 1929 short Jungle Rhythm looks to fit the trope too.
- Karma Meter: More along the lawful / chaotic axis than good / evil — it's a choice between the Jerk Ass Mickey began as, The Hero he became, or something in between. Both sides have their own abilities via the Guardians, and some level areas are only accessible to certain alignment choices.
- La Résistance: The Gremlins. They're one of the few groups still actively fighting the Shadow Blot.
- Leitmotif: Mickey and Oswald have their own distinctive themes.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Demon Caverns part of Rainbow Caverns in "Power of Two".
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Comes with a Behind the Scenes DVD, a Mickey figure, and some decals for the Wii and Wiimote.
- Lost Forever: Every single action stage. According to this article, once you clear an action stage, you can't go back. Oh, and the game autosaves after important decisions. According to the dev team, this is so that players can't go back on their choices. Fortunately, there's a New Game+ option that allows you to go back to old levels.
- The Lost Woods: Fort Wasteland in the sequel.
- Macross Missile Massacre: A fireworks version is used to defeat the real Shadow Blot.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Mad Doctor is manipulating the Blot for his own means. Oswald is manipulating Mickey to build the rocket for him.
- Market-Based Title:
- For some reason, the words of the title were swapped in the German version, so it's called "Mickey Epic".
- The Japanese version just added to the title so it's called "Disney Epic Mickey: Mickey Mouse and the Magic Brush".
- The Merch:
- Mercy Invincibility: Averted... fall into a pool of thinner without a nearby platform — or end up underneath one — and you're almost guaranteed to quickly lose all of your health pips. And the Camera Screw the game often offers doesn't help at all.