Much like the original, the game follows the skeletal failed knight Sir Daniel Fortesque, who was slain at the battle of Gallowmere against the demon horde of the evil sorcerer Zarok.
A hundred years to the day, Zarok has returned and discovered a spell called the Evernight, throwing Gallowmere into eternal night, stealing the souls of the populace, and raising the dead from their slumber. Unknown to Zarok, the spell also effects his old nemesis, Sir Fortesque, who gets a second chance in undeath to prove himself and save the land.
He comes to discover that an ancient genie, Al Zalam has been living in his skull the entire time he's been dead, cursed to stay there by Zarok, and who convinces Dan to go after the sorcerer. Along the way, they speak with Death who reveals to them that the only way to defeat Zarok is to find the four pieces of the Anubis Stone, which are scattered across the land and held by various trusted keepers.It's up to Dan and his skull-mate to track the pieces and Zarok down, and save the land from its terrible fate.
Compared to its predecessor Resurrection plays out very, very differently. Levels are heavily altered and in some cases non-existant, the gameplay is much slower and more methodical, there are new levels and locations, and vastly different story progression and characterization. It also does its very hardest to be more comedic, adding a lot more silly fluff text and dialogue, and ditching a lot of the eerie mysticism from the original.
Resurrection provides examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Death (The Ferryman), who only appeared in one level in the original game. Here, has more appearances, is implied to be the narrator and figures in the Game Over cutscene.
- An Axe to Grind: You can get a huge, double-bladed axe that despite being as large as Dan's torso, can be thrown like a boomerang to deal heavy damage to enemies at range.
- Bare Your Midriff: Sir Dan himself qualifies. For some reason, he completely lacks armor for his waist, despite having more armor than in the original game.
- BFS: The Longsword and Magick Sword. However, Woden's Brand takes the cake. It's easily twice the width of the Magick Sword, and a million times as nasty.
- Broken Bridge: There are two present in the game. The first one was a direct path at the beginning of the game straight to Sleeping Village, a later stage. The only thing barring passage was a gate sealed by the Big Bad's magic, and probably doesn't open up until after the events of the game. The second was in the Pools of the Ancient Dead, where a literal example is present, but it's irreparable, for the only way to pass to the next stage was to get Death to ferry you there.
- Captain Colorbeard: The pirate cemetery in Scurvy Docks has graves for Red Beard, Tidy Beard and Fake Beard the Pirate Queen.
- Compressed Adaptation: Resurrection is about seven levels shorter than the original game.
- Continuity Nod: A possible example, the different minigame songs all put together is the Freakshow theme from MediEvil 2.
- Deadpan Snarker: The narrator."Dan's Crypt. The place you want to go when you want to find a dead Dan.""The Hall of Heroes! Where heroes feast, dance and make merry for all eternity! ...Yes, even on school nights.""Scarecrow Fields! Prepare to be scared! If you're a crow.""Sleeping Village! Where the mayor can be bought off with a pie!""Gallowmere Plains. Big, flat, and home to a circus. Well? What are YOU waiting for? Hm?"
- Deus ex Machina: Averted, since this game fixes a massive one in the first one. After Sir Daniel takes down Zarok, instead of a random bird saving his life, Al Zalam does so after being restored to normal.
- Denser and Wackier: The original was pretty darn goofy at times, but this game ramps it up with a lot more comedy and jokes.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Death is a nice a bloke and a valuable ally.
- Evil Laugh: Zarok tries to do one throughout the game, but doesn't quite succeed. He masters it just before he dies.
- Exposition Genie: Dan has a cursed genie named Al-Zalam living in his hollow skull, who serves as a guide and a helper. Whether or not he succeeds in these tasks is up for debate.
- Fortune Teller: She sits in the carnival, and gives you hints to the secrets on some of the levels from her Crystal Ball.
- Gainaxing: The warrior queen who gives Dan the spear is very... jiggly.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite Gallowmere being under a curse of perpetual night, Scarecrow Fields and Scurvy Docks are played in broad daylight.
- Gangplank Galleon: The Scurvy Docks, a Not-So-Safe Harbor where Dan must find a ship to sail with.
- Hitbox Dissonance: The man-eating pumpkins whose melee attacks deal damage before the attack animation starts.
- Lighter and Softer: To the original game. Ultimately zigzagged though since while much more comedy has been inserted; the game does not sugarcoat the terrible state Gallowmere has been put in, much of the remixed music is more solemn and fearful, and the cartoonier art style has actually made some of the enemies look even more creepy.
- The Lost Woods: The Enchanted Forest, where Sir Dan has to strongarm fairies that act like organized criminals.
- Mini Game Zone: Gallowmere Plains, which hosts several minigames that ultimately rewards the player with the best sword in the game.
- Musical Pastiche: The music was changed to have one.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The Hall of Heroes is rife with this. Major offenders are Karl Sturnguard, who sounds like he's voiced by someone who has never heard a german accent in their life, Dirk Steadfast, who now talks unintelligibly fast, rather than being unintelligibly cockney, and Blood Monath Skullcleaver, who for some reason is scottish, yet doesn't sound it.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Dan must dress up as a pirate to charter a boat. His disguise consists of a hat, an eyepatch, a peg leg, and a captured seagull acting as a Pirate Parrot. It's just as convincing as it sounds.
- Plot Coupon: The Anubis Stones.
- Portmantitle: Medieval + Evil (+ Stock Subtitle).
- Psychopathic Manchild: Axe Man, who is described to a four year old inside a pro wrestler's body, with an affinity to axes.
- Race Lift: Blood Monath Skullcleaver receives one of these, for no discernible reason. Instead of being a Heroic Comedic Sociopath Mongol-type, he's now a short scottish man who doesn't sound scottish.
- Sadly Mythtaken: In-universe, Dan gets things bit mixed up on one of his journal entries:I don't believe the cheek of the bloke! I'm running errands for Death, now. I thought he had tiny elves for that sort of thing!
- Scaled Up: Zarok does this in the final stage of his Sequential Boss battle, as opposed to a strange Zarok-faced lizard thing in the original. A giant cobra is certainly scarier than a weird multicolor dragon thing.
- Axe Man's pre-battle cutscene has him axing a hole into a door and announcing "Heeere's Mr. Axeeeey!"
- Axe Man also calls Fortesque "Mr. Skellington" during the battle.
- Fortesque swiping away the Anubis Stone part and replacing it with a pumpkin references the famous Weight and Switch scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Death has a robotic assistant called Mechadeath.
- Fortuesque's arrival on Dragon Island on a sinking boat is similar to Jack Sparrow's arrival to Port Royal in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- The final fight where Zaroks turns into a giant cobra to kill Fortesque is an obvious reference to Jafar.
- The Unintelligible: Due to missing his lower jaw, Dan can only moan, though it's slightly easier to make out what he says this time around. Slightly. It also helps that this time, his upper jaw moves along with his words.
- Villain Decay: The famous spellbook gag aside, in the original game Zarok is shown to be outright evil, creepy, bitter and twisted. Now he's all that and a cartoonish villain with goof tendencies.