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-brotherMickey Mouse. Fortunately, 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 roboticBeetleworx, 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 and Goofy 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 Blotand 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 and dangerous 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 perhapsa 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 theirrespective pages.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Near the game's climax, the trueShadow 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.
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.
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.
Showing up in Disney Theme Parks after the game's release was a lot of merch featuring old Mickey (including at least one shirt featuring a shot of him from Gallopin' Gaucho, a short that fell into company Canon Discontinuity for having Mickey light a cigarette -with his foot- among other things.) This game is why.
Of course, the whole "needing to make money from these properties in order to continue holding an extended copyright to them" thing probably helps, too. If Oswald becomes a regular member of the Disney crew, you can thank this game.
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.
Shown in a concept pic at the London press conference.
In game, a variation of this trope appears in the Travel Map Trolley Troubles. You don't have to stay atop the trolley, but it is necessary to keep it with you and to open gates for it to complete the map. May cross over with a strange type of Escort Mission.
Modular Epilogue: The ending gets filled in with shots of bosses and important characters behaving friendly and politely if Mickey helped them when he encountered them earlier (with the exception of the Mad Doctor). All of these shots are accompanied with narration from the sorceror Yen Sid that can be interchanged freely but still form a cohesive sentence about people's decisions and how they affect other people.
Mook: Blotlings and Beetleworx
Mook Maker: The Beetleworx creators which will spit out another Beetleworx as soon as you've destroyed one. The real Shadow Blot is one of these too, since all the Blotlings and the small Shadow Blot are just pieces that escaped out of the bottle.
No Fourth Wall: Seriously, the plot focuses on cartoon characters who are jealous and/or depressed because they're not popular with audiences anymore! Heck, the only fourth wall the characters don't break is their relation to the actual player.
Notice This: "Toon" objects (surfaces affected by Paint or Thinner) are lighter and more vibrantly colored than objects surrounding them; even when thinned, they leave a ghostly silhouette behind so the player can recognize that something's supposed to go there. This is similar to the Conspicuously Light Patch of traditional cel animations, where foreground objects were lighter tone than background objects due to being placed on a separate layer.
Not So Different: Oswald and Mickey. According to Word of God, Oswald and Shadow Blot count as this, too. They both want to be famous in Real Life and use Mickey's heart in order to become that, and they're both willing to use less than morally right ways to get that heart; Oswald through deception and Shadow Blot through brute force.
Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Oswald will shoot faces at Mickey when his back is turned. Turn around to face him again and he'll start whistling innocently. If you turn around while in first person view however, he doesn't stop teasing you.
Fantasia, based on "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", with butterflies from "The Nutcracker Suite"
And one non-2D section, Mickeyjunk Mountain, seems to be designed with this in mind. It's a level made out of old merchandise. A lot of it seems to be ancient, sure, but it also includes Super Nintendo and NES cartridges starring Mickey.
Mickey's face when he looks up and finds himself strapped down on a operation table in a dungeon.
And Oswald — when he finds out that Mickey caused the thinner disaster he literally dances with rage, challenging Mickey to a fight. He only remembers that he is dancing on the cork sealing the real Shadow Blot just as it cracks. His face and body language are priceless.
Older Than They Look: Pretty much everyone. The game basically has No Fourth Wall and acknowledges time passed in Real Life. As cartoon characters, no one is really affected by aging. For example, Oswald and Mickey are 83 and 82, respectively, when this game takes place.
100% Completion: Requires multiple playthroughs, as several pins are mutually exclusive rewards of defeating or befriending each boss.
Averted; there are two extras named Ian. No attention is brought to this, though the game distinguishes them by referring to the pirate as "One Eyed Ian" and the ghost simply as "Ian."
Then there's Constance, the one who was the original owner of the Lonesome Manor who was suspected to have killed all her husbands with the hatchet that you have to find for Horace, and there's the NPC Constance you can randomly talk to in Ventureland if you rescue the pirates.
Puzzle Boss: Captain Hook; Paint has no effect on him, and Thinner merely dissolves his armor. You can either free the captured Sprite from the top of the rigging (with Hook dogging your steps), or use the various tracks scattered about the arena to extend the plank and send Hook down to the animatronic Crocodile waiting for him in the waters.
Or you can simply continue to send Hook careening into the ship's walls, masts, and deck boards until he breaks apart from all the repeated impacts.
Redemption in the Rain: Justified. It "rains" paint during the ending, restoring the Wasteland to its original state.
Save Scumming: Averted. The game auto-saves after just about every karma-related decision you make, forcing you to live with whatever consequences result from it, and there is no other way to save the game.
Sequel Hook: After the ending credits, Mickey is sealed away from the Wasteland... but his finger starts dripping ink, which means that some of the Shadow Blot's ink is still in him.Could Mickey potentially become the next Blot?
Sequence Breaking: The developers actually encouraged playtesters to sequence break, and then put it into the finished product and called it a feature. If anything, this can only continue now that it's released... Here's an example. In Tomorrow City, try dropping a TV on the first platform last. This platform is the only one that electrifies the tracks, so you won't have to dodge them to get to the other platforms to power those up. However, unless you had some gremlin aid, the electricity is a much better thing to dodge than the thing it replaces when all three are powered. If you don't sequence break in the above way, you are much closer to the gate after dodging the electricity. Hence, this is actually a pretty equal trade-off.
Shielded Core Mooks: All Beetleworx have a layer of Paint armor that the player must dissolve via Thinner before they can inflict a damaging blow; the Beetleworx regenerate their armor after each hit.
Besides including some of the more obvious theme park icons, some sketches even feature early Disneyland icons like the Moonliner and Clock of the Future. Not to mention that the whole game is about obscure characters (such as an unused version of Smee from Peter Pan) coming back to the spotlight.
The Gremlins are from an unmade World War 2 film, though were still used in some military unit insignia and comics.
In at least one interview, Warren Spector mentioned that even such seemingly insignificant elements as individual barrels were taken from Disney history. THAT'Sshowing your work.
Shows Damage: All enemies (including bosses) gradually turn blue or green when struck by Paint or Thinner. Beetleworx in particular must have their armor dissolved away to reveal their weak points.
Skippable Boss: Certain boss battles can be avoided if you made the right decisions.
Starfish Robots: The Beetleworx, especially the Spinners and Tankers. Spinners have tick-like bodies and a wheel at the bottom; if Mickey gets too close, they use the wheel to travel as the legs become spinning blades. Tankers are mobile gatling gun turrets, some of which have paint jobs based on the Queen from Snow White.
Steam Punk: Not quite as heavily present as the concept art led many to believe, but elements of the style are still there - most notably in the Clock Cleaners level and the animatronic designs for Donald, Daisy, and Goofy.
Some of Mickeyjunk Mountain looks a little bit similar to the old Steam Punk concept art, only toned down a whole lot more. Try comparing it to the concept art with the toppled over water tower to some of the places you see in Mickey Junk Mountain.
Story Branching: Subverted here, where the player's Exposition Fairy explicitly hints that they may solve puzzles and defeat Bosses in multiple ways (typically with either Paint or Thinner) and the player must pick a course of action; this affects NPCs' opinions of Mickey throughout the adventure, but it has zero effect on the adventure itself, nor its ending (though ending cutscenes do reflect the actual choices made).
Super Drowning Skills: If you even touch a DROP of water or any other liquid thats not thinner in the projector screen 2D levels, you will loose a health pip and can melt and/or drown.
Take a Third Option: Unlike the other bosses, there are three ways to defeat Captain Hook. You can make him walk the plank, force him to smash into walls until he breaks, or have Pete Pan fight him instead.
The PhantomShadow Blot, according to Warren Spector, who says he was a lame villain, and they decided to make him a bit more powerful.
Subverted with the gremlins. They get several feet taller, gain Teleportation and Flight and go from being able to repair planes to being able to fix (and possibly make) just about anything, but they're ridiculously easy to capture despite this and spend most of the game as distressed dudes.
There's a part in the first level where you can choose to let an innocent gremlin get launched so you can get a few quick bucks. Seriously.
Gus: "Hey! Our land is barren enough without your help!"
You can befriend baddies, then knock them off a ledge, knock them into a space with an unpainted object, then paint in the object, and lots of other cruel methods that won't necessarily influence your Karma Meter.
Visual Pun: If you decide to be a good little Mickey and change back the animatronic pirates in Tortooga, one of the many symbols that the reversed machine will show is a screw and a baseball. Yeah.
The setting is an In-Universe example, with some characters lamenting things turned out differently. Oswald is especially like this.
IRL, many gamers who followed the development of the game from the beginning, feel that the final product was significantly lacking in the kind of surreal, eldritch horror that much of the concept art was promising. One wonders what game we might have gotten if the developers had simply seen how much they could get away with...
Most characters, including all of the extras, will call Mickey out on some level if he tends to use and abuse thinner. Negative major choices will also change how major characters view you. Interestingly enough, some characters will call you out for not being as edgy as they would have liked you to be if you use paint.
And Gremlin Gus's basic reaction if and when Mickey chooses a treasure chest full of E-tickets over the safety of Gremlin Calvin and sends him flying via catapault.
Oswald: I should have known! You stole my life AND ruined my home! That's it! You and me, Mouse! Right now, c'mon! I've been waiting for this for years! This is gonna be my moment! (Cue Oswald's fury accidentally breaking the seal on the REALShadow Blot.)
After completing one of Pete's "Bunny Kid Round-Up" quests on Mean Street, Oswald will complain if you talk to him.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It is implied that Oswald planned to steal Mickey's heart and escape Wasteland once he got all the pieces needed to build the Moonliner Rocket. Fortunately, he has a change of heart when Mickey defeats both the Mad Doctor and the Blot.