The game stars two protagonists who both live together in the same shell of a body. One is a protagonist named Captain Smiley who dominates the body, while the other is the seemingly cute star who is aptly named Star that lives on his chest, but in fact has a gruff voice, is sexist and foul mouthed, and has a dirty sense of humor. A conflict is drawn throughout the game because these two distinct protagonists happen to hate each other but are forced to work together. The gameplay revolves around running, jumping and shooting across many comic-book levels, with Gunstar Heroes being an influence directly cited by the developers. The game is packed full of in game dialogue, references and FMV cutscenes.
The gameplay in this title takes on a couple different forms. Primarily the game is a 2D sidescroller similar in style to Alien Hominid or Gunstar Heroes. In these scenes the player can aim with the right stick and fire using either the right trigger or the X button. Occasionally the player will come upon a Melee section, this replaces the gun combat with punches and kicks. During melee section Captain Smiley can not jump, as pressing the jump button will initiate a kick that will throw enemies farther away from the player.
A third game type emulates an on rail shooter and has the player controlling both Captain Smiley and a crosshair in a similar style to Space Harrier or Panzer Dragoon. Finally the game also includes some quick time events. The button presses during these parts are not complex and resemble Die Hard Arcade or Shenmue more so than God of War.
One interesting aspect of this is this game is the lack of any health pickups, or pickups in general. Health is also non regenerating, meaning that once the player is hit they have no chances to regain their health. The nearest thing to a power up the game offers is a screen clearing bomb which players can buy between levels or can earn by getting enough points during the melee portions of the game.
Captain Smiley's Last issue
The main hero of the game, Captain Smiley, is seen fighting through Issue #23 of his own comic where he tries to stop a bank robbery by the insane Dr. Winklemeyer along with his nemesis, the evil Brad and his scantily-clad army of Bradbots. Captain Smiley fights through the Bradbots and takes down the Bradcopter, but hates the fact that he ends the comic by falling in the dumpster.
The comic gets such a poor reception that Captain Smiley is in danger of being canceled from comic books forever. Captain Smiley's sidekick, Gerda, informs him that the only way he can continue to work is if he puts himself in crossovers with other comics while the folks at Twisted Pixel (the developers of this game) try to keep him relevant for their own, unrevealed goals.
Nanoc the Obliviator
Captain Smiley's first crossover is his appearance as the Smiling One in an issue of Nanoc: The Obliviator, where the Captain has a bulked up body and angry face while Star has transformed into a simple medallion he wears around his neck. Upon his arrival, the Captain is met by Verda, who begs him to save Nanoc from "the ball-eyed one." Shortly after that, he shoots a mysterious stranger who only seems to speak in golfing tips, thinking he was reaching for a gun. Instead, he was reaching for a golf ball. Gerda angrily informs Captain Smiley that people can actually die in this comic, so he needs to set his guns to "stun" if he wants to be paid for this job. Unfortunately, in order to find Nanoc, he finds that his accidental killing from earlier might have turned a whole tribe of natives against him.
Eventually, the Captain gets closer to Nanoc's castle, but he finds that someone has built a massive mini-golf course in his domain. To his horror, the architect turns out to be one of Captain Smiley's original nemeses: The Puttmaster. This villain explains that he has set in motion a plan to create the world's biggest mini-golf course in Nanoc's realm, charge others exorbitant fees to use it, then use the collected funds to create and star in his own comic book. Captain Smiley breaks free and runs through the golf course to Nanoc's castle, but he finds only that Nanoc has become incredibly obese because the Puttmaster has given him lots of modern, unhealthy food and motorized golf carts so he would never have to walk again. He then finishes by crushing the Captain underneath his giant ass.
In the third issue of this crossover, Nanoc realizes the Puttmaster has tricked him, but cannot move on his own, so he lends one of his "horseless chariots" ( golf carts) to Captain Smiley. The Captain races to the final hole of the course and fights the Puttmaster in a 2-on-2 showdown (Smiley and Star vs. the Puttmaster and his robotic caddy). The Captain manages to save the girl and defeat the Puttmaster, but she is only interested in Nanoc who appears at the end to take all the credit. However, it's not a total loss, as Nanoc tosses a large bag of money to the Captain for his victory.
The Improbable Paper Pals!
The Captain's next crossover takes him into the Silver Age, where the Comics Code Authority is ready to slap a fine on anything in a comic they deem inappropriate to good, wholesome, American values. Captain Smiley is transformed into a spaceman superhero with bubble-guns while Star exists as a holographic projection from his chest. After Star earns several fines for his intolerable (by '60s standards) curse words They find the superhero Paper Lad (with all the powers of a piece of paper) lying on the floor, saying he overheard the super villain Mistress Ropes would rob the museum of its priceless artifacts tonight.
Paper Lad then decides to hide in the Captain's pants as he sees Mistress Ropes herself planning to take the artifacts to the SS Susan B Anthony in space. The Captain fights through several wooden geisha's, ventriloquist's dummies, and even security guards controlled by Mistress Ropes. After a misunderstanding, she escapes to her space station, while the heavily-stereotypical Origami Kid shows up to offer a ride into space on a giant origami crane.
Captain Smiley flies through space while he and Star continue to question the leaps of logic this comic takes to make sense. Eventually, they end up fighting Mistress Ropes herself, who uses electrified ropes to shock the Captain and somehow grab chunks of rock to throw them at her. They beat her back to her own space station, the Susan B. Anthony, and decide to enter for their final showdown along with Paper Lad and Origami Boy.
Somewhere in the middle of the station, Captain Smiley finds himself trying to destroy a giant drill machine being piloted by one of his own lesser-known villains, a talking voodoo doll named Buddy . Star wonders why anyone who owns a space station would need to even bother stealing from a museum. After defeating him, Captain Smiley faces Mistress Ropes in a final showdown and wins.
Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids
Upon returning to his base, Gerda informs Captain Smiley that someone siphoned off all the funds that they won from the last two crossovers. As if on cue, Brad sends a distress signal, saying that he will gladly give back all the money he stole from them if they will rescue him from the pages of a Shoujo manga he has become trapped inside. Star demands that they go rescue him, and Captain Smiley reluctantly agrees to do it to get his money back.
In this comic, Captain Smiley turns into a blonde, spiky-haired teenager whose lips move out of sync with his voice. He immediately meets up with the titular "Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids" who lend him a magical pony named "Pling-Pling" to take them all to see Brad. Unfortunately, the pony dies by the end of the manga volume, forcing Captain Smiley to sing a song with the cupids to bring the pony's soul to heaven.
Next volume, the Captain and Star find Brad inside the school about to hang himself from the sheer insanity of being stuck in the manga. Star is thrilled at the prospect of being Brad's best friend, and Brad tells them both that he'll do whatever they want if they just get him out of the comic. However, the cupids aren't too thrilled about Brad leaving them, and suddenly the entire school turns out to try and kill them along with the masked smoke monsters from before. On top of that, the magical girl mascot from before transforms into a giant beast and Captain Smiley has to destroy it before he can escape.
In the following volume, the Captain, Brad, and Star are on the run from the "Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids" again on the magical pony "Pling-Pling" (who was resurrected without any explanation) and the fight the same monsters as before, including the same boss. However, the kid cupids keep reviving the monster just as it is about to die, making the Captain very frustrated until the miniboss from the second-last level intervenes and lets him kill the boss. She thanks them by offering to make a yaoi comic with Captain Smiley and Star.
Captain Smiley Returns!
With enough money to finally restart his own franchise, The New Adventures of Captain Smiley #01 is released onto shelves across the nation. This issue plays out very similar to the beginning of the game, with Dr. Winklemeyer robbing a bank, Captain Smiley ignoring Gerda's plea for help, and Brad threatening the hero with his Bradbots and his Bradcopter. However, The Puttmaster makes a cameo (getting one swing in before having his body used as a human surfboard) and Mistress Ropes gets a modern update as she uses her magic rope powers to make Captain Smiley fight an old boss enemy from 'Splosion Man.
After finally destroying the new Bradcopter, Captain Smiley's latest comic is so successful that everybody in the country loves it. However, not all is well as it turns out that Twisted Pixel took what was left of Captain Smiley's money for their own purposes, leaving open the possibility of a sequel in the future. Also, every villain in the secret base takes a moment to mention how much they hate the Captain for making the comic all about himself and threatens to leave.
The main gimmick of Comic Jumper is the change in art style for each levels :
This first level of the game serves as the tutorial level. The art style for this level is similar to the modern version of popular comics. This comic also features references to Twisted Pixel's other games: The Maw & 'Splosion Man.
This comic has a prehistoric fantasy art style in an homage to Conan the Barbarian. Captain Smiley looks like a hard nosed barbarian and Star is is now a golden medallion.
The third comic has an art style imitating the comics that were released through 1956-1970; the models are cel-shaded and Captain Smiley looks like a 60's space hero complete with B-movie ray guns. Star is changed into a holographic projection.
This comic's art style is based on Japanese manga, and is entirely black and white. Captain Smiley is changed into a parody of popular manga character design, looking quite similar to Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, complete with spiky hair and a large sword, and "Love guns" that shoot love hearts instead of bullets. Star just looks like a typical cute manga star-shaped monster. Like traditional manga, the levels go from right to left, the direction in which Japanese is read.
Other Known Concept Styles:
There are other styles that have been revealed though some concept art work by Twisted Pixel, but are not in the final game. The art styles in question are: a cute style that is akin to the kids TV show The Powerpuff Girls, a noir style that is similar to the one used in the comic series Sin City, a goofy/wacky art style similar art to what was common in 70's comics, and a style that was used heavily in comics during the mid 90's.
The game comes packed with unlockable bonus content including 160 pieces of concept art and a large number of interviews, models, soundtrack clips, and more.
In addition, there is an "Exclusives" section of the bonus shop that features non-game content that can be unlocked with the in-game currency. These include two gamer pics, a premium dashboard theme, and a new two-level pack for Twisted Pixel's previous release, 'Splosion Man.
This game features the following avatar awards.
- Star T-Shirt (male) - Complete The Games Introduction
- Gerda T-Shirt (female) - Complete The Games Introduction
- Captain Smiley Giant Head - Complete the game
Twisted Pixel has made the soundtrack, along with sound bytes available to download for free from their website here:
- Manga - 8 Bit Hero
- Manga - Boss Battle
- Manga - School Yard
- Manga - Side Scrolling
- Nanoc - 18th Hole
- Nanoc - Brawlin'
- Nanoc - Golf Cart Chase
- Nanoc - Laid Back
- Nanoc - Nanoc Battle
- Silver Age - Benny Battle
- Silver Age - Enter the Dragon
- Silver age - Ropes Battle
- Silver Age - Ropes Battle 2
- Silver Age - Side Scrolling
- Silver Age - Space
- Smiley 1st - Bank
- Smiley 1st - Falling
- Smiley 1st - grinding
- Smiley 1st - Side Scrolling
Music Pack 1
- Boom Goes My Ringtone
- I love You
- It's Brad
- Stats Screen
- Ringtone Jam
- Smiley's Awesome