Comix Zone came out at a time when everyone was sick of beat-em-ups, especially 16-bit ones, with the next generation of consoles right around the corner.
That's a shame, because Comix Zone is a game with a lot of style, only becoming more charming as we move farther away from 1995. Comix Zone is perhaps one of the most 90's games ever created, with its mutants, rats, buttrock soundtrack, and more attitude than you can wave a Skip-It at.
Comic artist Sketch Turner is hard at work when his comic book, oddly-titled "Comix Zone," is struck by lightning, which somehow doesn't set it on fire, and instead brings the book's villain, Mortus, into the real world. Mortus is still just a drawing, but will become a real boy if he kills his creator, because that's just how these things work. Instead of doing something practical like tossing him out a window, Mortus sends Sketch into the comic. Then he doesn't set the comic on fire or rip it up. That's supervillains for you. Now Sketch will have to fight his way through his own comic, which Mortus has filled with traps and enemies. Thanks, Mortus.
Comix Zone has a two different possible control schemes, depending on if you're using a three- or six-button Genesis controller. Most versions of the game since the original will use the six-button scheme by default, though the Wii Virtual Console version will use the three button scheme if you play it with just a Wii Remote. Button layout is customizable in the options.
- A - Attack/Use selected item
- B - Jump
- C - Select item
*This is the block button by default, but you can set blocking to automatically happen when you're not doing anything else and use this button to do a powerful (but life-draining) special attack, or a taunt, which does nothing.
- A - Attack
- B - Jump
- C - Block/Special attack/Macho yell*
- X - Use left item
- Y - Use center item
- Z - Use right item
Sketch has a remarkable number of attacks at his disposal. Enemies block often, especially in later stages, and the secret to defeating them will be mixing up your high, low, and middle attacks. After landing enough regular blows, Sketch will do a powerful combo finisher that will send the enemy flying, depending on the attack being used at the time. Remember that attacking objects drains Sketch's health, but is sometimes necessary to proceed.
*This is a secret move that will cause Sketch to tear a piece of the background off and fold it into a paper airplane and throw it to do a big chunk of damage to enemies and objects (and Sketch himself if he's not careful). The airplane will fly all the way to the end of the panel, turn, and fly all the way back to the opposite end of the panel. The catch, on top of being slow and easy for enemies to interrupt, is that it drains a not-insignificant chunk of Sketch's life meter and is almost never worth the sacrifice.
- A - Punch, a basic standing forward punch
- A repeatedly - Punch combo, a flurry of left and right straights
- Diagonal forward/up + A - High kick
- Diagonal forward/up + A repeatedly - Roundhouse kicks, a series of high kicks that gradually advance forwards
- Up + A - Uppercut
- Diagonal forward/down + A - Low kick, will advance forward if done repeatedly
- Down + A - Sweep
- Back + A - Forward kick, quickly turns and attacks enemies behind Sketch
- A during a jump straight up - Spinning kick, damages enemies in front of and behind Sketch
- A during a jump forward - Flying kick
- Forward + A when close to an object or wall - Shoulder slam
- Forward + A when close to an enemy - Grab
- A after grab - Scissor kick
- Back + A after grab - Throw
- Hold A - Paper airplane*
- A when hanging - Forward kick
- Up + A when hanging - High kicks, damages enemies to Sketch's left and right
- Down + A when hanging - Downward kick
Sketch will come across various items as he makes his way through the pages of Comix Zone
. He can carry up to three at a time, and can use them instantly when using a six-button controller. Items are picked up by standing over them and pressing down on the directional pad.
- Knife - Can be thrown forward. Moves quickly and can flip switches.
- Grenade - Can be thrown in an arc. Explodes when it hits an enemy or surface. The explosion can damage Sketch.
- TNT - Can be placed at Sketch's feet. Will explode after a few seconds. Sketch will take a lot of damage if caught in the explosion.
- Super Fist - Turns Sketch into a superhero for a moment, unleashing a powerful attack that defeats all normal enemies on screen or heavily damages a boss.
- Iced Tea - Replenishes half of Sketch's life meter. The only other way to heal is to start a new Episode, which will remove all of the items in Sketch's inventory anyway, so don't hesitate to use this when you're at half health.
- Mystery Item - Turns into a random one of the above items when collected, or just explodes and does a lot of damage to Sketch. There's no way to tell what it will be/do before picking it up, so just leave it alone if you're feeling unlucky.
- Roadkill - Sketch's pet rat. Roadkill has a million uses. He can flip switches, find hidden items, and electrocute enemies he touches. Be careful. He'll take damage if attacked by an enemy, and will be knocked out of the comic after three hits. Pick him up and place him down again to replenish his health. Roadkill takes up a spot in your inventory, but can be placed down and picked up as often as you want. It's a good idea to always keep him with you.
Every now and then, you'll come to an area where you'll be able to choose a direction to go. You won't be able to go both ways in a single playthrough, but they all eventually lead to the same panel. Play the game at least twice to see all it has to offer. This guide will cover all routes.
Sketch starts with just one life, but will secretly earn a continue each time he defeats a boss. This means that if you die in the first two pages, the game is over, but you can have up to two continues by the third Episode. When you continue, you'll start at the beginning of the page you died on. There's a level select cheat you can use to start on any page if you run out of continues.