Comix Zone is the 1995 side-scrolling action-beat ‘em up classic developed by Sega Technical Institute, an American-based subdivision of Sonic Team best known for their work on several Sonic the Hedgehog games, Kid Chameleon and The Ooze. Consistently praised for their unique and sometimes outlandish sense of style, STI often combined elements of pop culture, including music, film, and television, into their games, creating a melting pot of new and interesting ideas from which to draw upon. Nowhere is this influence more apparent than in Comix Zone, where it becomes almost immediately apparent upon booting the game up that the player is in for a unique experience.
Stylistically, Comix Zone borrows heavily from the Seattle grunge movement that was very prevalent at the time of the game’s release, with the main character, Sketch Turner, acting as the embodiment of all things ’90s. A freelance comic book artist, rock musician, and cool dude with attitude, Sketch is working late one stormy night on his latest comic book, the Comix Zone, a post- apocalyptic romp taking place on a war-torn planet Earth following a hostile invasion by aliens and mutants, when suddenly a lightning bolt strikes the book, releasing the comic’s antagonist, the mutant Mortus, into the real world. Mortus then traps Sketch and his beloved pet rat, Roadkill, inside the pages of his own comic book, where he must fight his way through panel after panel to defeat Mortus and escape.
After the break, we’ll dive right into this story and enter the Comix Zone.