Greater than a decade after Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas debuted in film theaters, Avenue Fighter and Mega Man writer Capcom pulled off one thing spectacular: It made a direct sequel to the film, with Burton’s blessing.
The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge, launched stateside on PlayStation 2 and the unique Xbox in 2005, is about one 12 months after the occasions of the movie. Whereas Jack Skellington is seeking new scares to boost Halloween, Oogie is revived by Lock, Shock, and Barrel, with aspirations to take over Halloween City and turn out to be the Seven Holidays King.
Capcom aimed for authenticity with its sequel, bringing again a lot of the unique movie’s forged to voice characters, together with Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington and Ken Web page as Oogie. The movie’s artwork director additionally contributed new design work for the sport. And the sport’s makers even matched the movie’s musical numbers, with Jack combating bosses to re-recorded variations of Danny Elfman’s songs.
Gameplay-wise, Capcom aimed a lot decrease. Oogie’s Revenge performs like a simplified model of the writer’s Satan Could Cry video games: Jack wields a glowing inexperienced wire referred to as a Soul Robber to whip, seize, and smash rooms stuffed with skeletons and big bosses. Just like the Satan Could Cry video games, an on-screen combo counter lavishes reward on gamers as they battle, calling their in-game efficiency “Backbone-tingling”, “Bone-chilling”, and “Shriek-i-fied.” And, just like Satan Could Cry’s swappable combating kinds, Jack can swap out and in of costumes that imbue particular powers on the fly. In his Santa type, he can throw presents that stun and freeze enemies. Because the Pumpkin King, he can spit fireplace.
In contrast to Satan Could Cry — which ought to actually undertake this mechanic, although — Oogie’s Revenge’s boss battles characteristic a musical rhythm sport referred to as Dance Mode. Jack sings and dances whereas dispatching his foes, together with a brain-swapped Dr. Finkelstein and a building-sized Oogie Boogie.
Oogie’s Revenge landed with a essential shrug. Regardless of it being a long-awaited return to the setting of Burton and director Henry Selick’s stop-motion animated world, the sport was dinged for its repetitive gameplay and shallowness. A number of reviewers on the time criticized the truth that Jack Skellington mentioned “Soul Grabber!” out loud each time he used the weapon.
However Oogie’s Revenge — and a Castlevania-inspired prequel, The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas: The Pumpkin King — had been launched when Nightmare followers had been hungry for extra of Jack Skellington, Sally, and Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Capcom developed the sport initially for audiences in Japan, the place The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas nonetheless enjoys immense reputation.
In response to writer Michael Mullin, even earlier than the discharge of the sport, Disney Japan staff within the merchandising division had been determined for brand new Nightmare materials. As a copywriter at Disney, Mullin wound up penning and pitching two sequel tales to The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas as long-form poems, however Burton appeared cautious of sequelizing the story and sending Jack Skellington to different holiday-themed lands, like Easter City. (Mullin would later go on to work on a Nightmare board sport printed by NECA and Oogie’s Revenge.)
Oogie’s Revenge doesn’t do a lot to broaden the world past Burton’s unique imaginative and prescient; it’s largely set in areas seen within the movie. However the sport did broaden the environments of the movie with new particulars, created with enter from The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas artwork director Deane Taylor.
“There was loads of alternative for freedom, which was good,” Taylor mentioned in a 2005 interview with Workforce Xbox concerning the growth of Oogie’s Revenge, “however it’s a must to perceive that you’re making an attempt to make it appear to be Tim drew it, which was my temporary after I acquired the job on the movie. This can be a lot simpler mentioned than executed.”
“There’s a bunch [of new locations in Oogie’s Revenge],” Taylor mentioned, a few of which fleshed out characters seen within the movie. “To design the vampire fortress I drew the 4 vampires as a bunch, frozen in mid scare, which I then changed into stone after which into fortress element. With the Mayor’s home I needed an attention-grabbing entrance, or method to the home. On condition that his home is principally his head and hat, I imagined that the home at one time had been pushed face down within the mud, then lifted again up. Utilizing the impression within the mud, an in depth mosaic was then utilized produced from previous bones and dried bug shells. This degree of element will not be at all times obvious, however it’s at all times there.”
Whereas Burton hasn’t been eager on sequels, in keeping with Oogie’s Revenge manufacturing supervisor Masato Yoshino, he gave the sport his stamp of approval. Talking to Movieweb in 2005, Yoshino mentioned Capcom confirmed an in-development model to the director “and obtained detailed recommendation on numerous components, together with his signature expression of distinction between gentle and shadow, character motion and facial features in addition to the world of Nightmare Earlier than Christmas itself. He supplied recommendation on such a variety of particulars that we may actually really feel his love and keenness for the movie.”
Stated Yoshino of his assembly with Burton, “I went into the assembly with the perspective that I used to be the most important fan of the movie and presumably I really like The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas greater than even Tim does, solely to understand my understanding of the movie was shallow and superficial when Tim enthusiastically gave us extra conceptual recommendation quite than bickering over variations in small particulars.”
Sadly for The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas followers, Oogie’s Revenge is successfully caught on previous platforms. The PS2 and Xbox video games should not formally backward appropriate on present platforms, and there’s been no trace of a re-release. However second hand copies aren’t too costly, in the event you’re prepared to place up with mid-aughts graphics.