Jazz Jackrabbit

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Jazz Jackrabbit title screen

Jazz Jackrabbit is a character from a series of platform games.

It is also the name of a 1994 PC game produced by Epic Megagames, in which the character first appeared. Epic Megagames is now known as Epic Games.



Jazz Jackrabbit is a 3'1", 90 lb anthropomorphic green rabbit. Strictly speaking, his name implies that he is a hare, but it makes little difference to the character. He comes from the planet Carrotus, and is usually referred to as Jazz.


Jazz Jackrabbit

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Jazz Jackrabbit

Jazz Jackrabbit was released in 1994 for the PC. An extended version was released later that year. This game saw Jazz Jackrabbit, a hybrid of Bugs Bunny and Rambo, visiting a number of worlds in order to rescue Eva Earlong and save Carrotus from the villainous Devan Shell, a megalomaniac turtle. It plays on the tortoise/hare enmity introduced in Aesop's The Tortoise and the Hare, but is set 3000 years later.

Inspired by classic console games such as Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mega Man, the game was the brainchild of Cliff Bleszinski and Arjan Brussee. At the time, the game's vibrant graphics and speedy gameplay were something of a novelty on the PC. Jazz Jackrabbit was very popular and was named Arcade Game of the Year by PC Format magazine.

Jazz Jackrabbit features six episodes, each comprising three worlds and one boss level. Each world consisted of two levels and an extra 3D bonus level. Originally, the game was sold on floppy disk versions, where one could purchase the first three episodes, the final three episodes, or all six. Later, a CD version was released containing all six episodes, plus three complete new episodes, and the 1994 Christmas episode, which featured three Christmas-themed levels.

Three promotional shareware games were also produced:

  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Shareware Edition, 1994, featuring the first episode of the game.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Christmas Edition, 1994, featuring the three aforementioned Christmas-themed levels.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare '95, 1995, featuring two new Christmas-themed worlds, each with two levels.

Jazz Jackrabbit 2

Missing image
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 title screen, showing Jazz and Spaz.

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 was released in 1998 for the PC, and later for the Macintosh. This time Jazz had to chase Devan Shell through time, in order to retrieve the ring with which he planned to wed Eva. Jazz's brother, Spaz, was introduced as a playable character. The game featured multiplayer options, including the ability to play over a LAN or the internet. It also came with a level editor; new levels continue to be produced by fans.

Five spin-offs were produced:

  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Shareware Edition, 1998, was a promotional shareware game. It featured three new levels.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: Holiday Hare '98 was released in 1998 for the PC, but only in North America. Unlike the previous holiday editions, this game was released commercially.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files was released in 1999 for the PC, but only in Europe. This game introduced Jazz's sister Lori, another playable character.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Secret Files Shareware Edition, 1998, was a shareware game to promote The Secret Files.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2: The Christmas Chronicles was to be released in 1999 for the PC, across Europe. The publisher, Project 2, went bankrupt after the release. It was eventually released in Poland in 2000. It is an enhanced version of Holiday Hare '98, featuring Lori as a playable character.

Jazz Jackrabbit Advance

Jazz Jackrabbit Advance was released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Game Titan and published by Jaleco. This game is not generally accepted as canon by fans. It pits Jazz against Dark Shell, a cross between Devan Shell and Darth Vader. Jazz is also determined to win the affections of Zoe Cottontail, with Eva's fate going unexplained in the game. In an interview with one of the game's creators it was explained Eva and Jazz divorced during the start of a galactic conquest (when and by whom is unknown). Spaz Jackrabbit, Jazz's brother, makes a few cameo appearances in this game, but is not playable.

Other games

Jazz Jackrabbit 3D was an abortive project by World Tree Games. The game was cancelled in 2000 when Epic Games failed to find a publisher. The game's plot had Jazz entering Devan's dimensional machine (a modified version of the time machine used in Jazz 2) into a three-dimensional Carrotus to save his children and remove any chaos Devan brought along the way.

Jazz, Eva, and Devan made a cameo in One Must Fall: 2097, also by Epic, in single-player tournament mode. Each remote-piloted a fighting mech that was suited to their individual personalities. This was in keeping with the Epic Megagames inter-universe cameo appearance theme also seen in Tyrian, which referred to their previous starship-piloting game Solar Winds, as well as a reference to OMF:2097.

Jazz Jackrabbit has also appeared in a number of fan-made games.

External links


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