Wild 9 is a 2½D action platformer developed by Shiny Entertainment for the PlayStation and released by Interplay Entertainment in 1998. Their idea was to make a game similar to Earthworm Jim, which they mostly succeeded with on the gameplay and atmosphere.
The game is set in the distant future, and the evil Karn has taken over the Andromeda Galaxy. The only ones left to oppose him are the Wild 9, a group of orphaned, teenage mutants, all with their own special abilities and talents. Led by Wex Major, user of the "RIG" and "Great Champion", they fight against the tyranny of Karn and his minions.
...But that's just All There in the Manual.
At its core, Wild 9 is about a guy named Wex with a rather unspecified weapon called the "RIG", an arm-mounted tractor beam-like electric lasso thingy and is the only one capable of using it. With it, Wex can pick up and move objects, activate certain machinery, swing from it like a rope, and fire missles and grenades, provided he's picked some up. The most unique feature of the RIG, and the game in general, is its ability to pick up enemies. This allows you to move them around, but most importantly, smash them against the floor, drag them along the ground, toss them off cliffs, put them inside death machines, decapitate them, lop them in half, jam them into moving fans, shove them into huge grinders, get them caught in gears, impale them on spikes, shove them inside death machines...
Basically, the game lives on Video Game Cruelty Potential, and revels in it. Oh boy does it revel in it.
Wild 9 provides examples of:
- Action Bomb: Nitro is a strange example in that he only causes explosions, and doesn't exactly explode himself.
- After the End: Craterscape is the remains of a huge city Karn conquered and destroyed, and there are no signs of life there other than his minions.
- The Alcatraz: Gulag combined with Tailor-Made Prison for the captive: Nitro
- All There in the Manual: The manual goes into detail about the characters and their motivations, and better describes the plot. Not that any of it matters.
- And I Must Scream: Nitro is allergic to literally everything, and even when he's inside his protective suit, his allergies can still manifest themselves in an explosive sneeze. But as useful as he is in the stage he's found in, he's still in that suit. Stuck. Forever. Allergic.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- The last 2/3 of Crystal Mines is one big Escort Mission...but if Crystal dies, you don't lose a life, you just get sent back to the checkpoint.
- Drench is one of the more dangerous levels in the game with all its' deadly water. It's also very generous with the 1-ups.
- Asteroid Thicket: Light Armada
- Baleful Polymorph: Volstagg, the team's strongman, was once a prince, heir to a kingdom on his home planet. While away from the castle, Karn's bio-engineers captured him, turning him into a hulking beast with amazing strength and speed. He seeks revenge on Karn for this, and the destruction of his kingdom.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: Quagmire Run and Drench
- Captain Crash: Wex himself. Almost every level begins with Wex walking away from the smoking, sparking wreckage of a hoverbike. Conveniently, he finds a new one at the end of nearly every stage.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: Often a puzzle or obstacle can only be overcome by jamming enemies into it in some fashion. This includes gumming up grinders, putting out fires, making pathways over spikes, or riding up to a higher platform. All done with murder.
- Escort Mission: Crystal Mine
- Free-Fall Fight: Outpost Anom and Balor combined with Bottomless Pits
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Big time with the description of Karn in the manual and on the box. Despite apparently having a "face the size of New York", when you actually fight him he's only about ten times as tall as Wex himself, and is basically all face.
- Infinite 1-Ups: Crateropolis has a hidden 1-up right at the beginning...and the quit/continue function preserves your life count and respawns all items.
- Marathon Boss: Karn isn't very difficult, he just takes a long time to beat.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: If there isn't any environmental hazards in the area (spikes, Man Eating Plants, gears, electrical fences) you can throw mooks into, you can simply use your electrical whip to bash captured mooks repeatedly into the ground until they fall apart.
- Ms. Fanservice: Crystal, at least by 32-bit standards. She's basically Pamela Anderson if she was made of diamond.
- Packed Hero: If Wrex manages to stand under one of the countless mook spawners throughout a level as it's closing, he'll be packaged up into a brand name soup can, only able to hop around and cry for help (untill the game boots you back to the last checkpoint)
- Power Up Mount: Beast Engine, who can roar at enemies, and pick them up in its mouth.
- Recycled Soundtrack: In the levels Beast Engine and Beast Ride, there's music from MDK and Earthworm Jim's "Use Your Head". Justified in that the game's other music was composed by Tommy Tallarico.
- Sneeze of Doom: Nitro's specialty
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mach 9
- Tactical Suicide Boss: Karn would be unbeatable if he stopped using his grab move.
- Throw the Mook at Them: The Quagmire level has Man-Eating Plant enemies in the background, which cannot be harmed by Wex's electrical whip. The solution? Control the whip to ensnare enemy mooks, and throw those mooks to be chomped by the plants, which will spend several minutes gobbling down the mook allowing Wex to run past them.
- Turns Red: The RIG's beam once Wex has collected enough energy. Besides being red, it also slowly burns whatever it picks up.
- Totally Radical: Despite being set in the distant future, the nineties were all over this game, as apparent in Wex's mannerisms. Just look at the quote at the top of the page for a basic idea.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's the very basic premise of the game. The selling point being that you can smash mooks into bits or throw them into tons and tons of environmental hazards.
- Your Mom: During the free fall segments Wex gives one of these to each enemy he dispatches in the way down, starting with "Your mama!", then "Your mama's mama!" and finally "Your grandmama's mama!"