Shorts

An Alien Christmas!
by: Dr. Boogie

Folks, there aren't that many Christmas-themed games out there. Personally, I don't see why not. "But Dr. Boogie," you're asking, "Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus. How can a non-biblical video game relate to the J-Man?" Uh, hello? Extra lives, rising from the dead, you see the connection? Besides, the whole idea behind Christmas is that you get gifts, and what do we call gifts in video games? Power-ups.

There was one game in particular that managed to have both extra lives and Christmas presents, all without sucking: Toejam and Earl.

It's an all too familiar storyline: a pair of hip hop aliens are stranded on earth and have to recover the parts of their wrecked spaceship. There's a couple hitches, though: "Earth" in this case is a series of land masses floating one above the other in space and populated by bizarre caricatures of earthlings, like the insane dentist, the nerd herd, and the boogieman.

More importantly, though, the alien pair was ready and able to utilize earth technology to solve their problem. And the only way to get such valuable tech:


Christmas presents.

Luckily for Toejam 'n Earl, the hovering dirt clods of Earth are replete with presents. And if you're running short on presents, you can walk up to a mailbox and order some more. Everyday is Christmas!!!

The problem with Christmas presents is that if they're wrapped well, you can't tell what they are. Any given present on Christmas day has the opportunity to be something great like a copy of Toejam 'n Earl, or something crappy like office supplies. The same rule applies to the world of TnE (Our world!); you could open a present and find something useful, like a door.

Or a phone.

Then again, you might open another present and wind up with something crappy, like bad weather.

There was even a chance that you'd wind up opening a present that was somewhere in the middle: cool, but somewhat dangerous at the same time.

So where are all these presents coming from? Well, this just happens to be the one question that the game actually has an answer for:

Father Christmas himself appears in the game. It seems that one night just isn't enough time to deliver presents to all the good Christian children of the world, and so Santa is working year round, even on an alternate reality Earth. But why is Santa here, sans reindeer? How on earth does he get around without his trademark sleigh?

It seems Santa went and got himself upgraded. If he sees you snooping around his sack full of goodies, he'll sling it back over his shoulder, click his heels together, and wish you a merry Christmas as he rockets into the sunset with his jetpack. Is it any wonder people think he doesn't exist?

Santa sightings are rare in the game, though. Most of the time, he's fast enough to toss a few presents on the ground and fly off before you can even catch a glimpse of him. If you do spot him, and if you can manage to sneak up on him, you can expect a nice reward.

Good ol' Santa, he doesn't even try to punch your lights out for scaring the gifts out of him. He just packs up his remaining gifts and flies away. Sure, a couple kids are going to be having a coal-filled Christmas morning, but it's for the greater good. Those alien gangstas have got to get their asses home.

Tell me that's not the best use of both Santa and Christmas presents in a game. Any game that lets you get and use presents that you stole from Santa, a game that you can play at any point in the year and not feel like a tool, that is a great game. There's even a game mode where all you do is jam out with some great video effects straight out of a 1980s rap video. Glorious.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Dr. Boogie

*** You too can play Toejam and Earl! ***

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TOEJAM AND EARL!]

Note: to play this game you'll need a Sega Genesis emulator.

Want to see some more video game related content?
Then check out Dr. Boogie's feature on:

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Fire 'n Ice!

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