Jazz Jackrabbit Advance, or JJGBA as it’s abbreviated by the community, is a Game Boy Advance game featuring Jazz Jackrabbit. It is not connected to the other Jazz Jackrabbit games, and has a storyline that is different from the Jazz Jackrabbit 1 or Jazz Jackrabbit 2 stories. It was created by Game Titan, and published by Jaleco Entertainment.
Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details below
Jazz Jackrabbit, the main and only playable character in the game, works for R.A.B.T., an intergalactic “peace police” squad. On a mission on the Chameleon world, he is trapped by the local inhabitants, the Chameleons. They lock him up and have him guarded by Larry the Lazy, who falls asleep, giving Jazz the opportunity to escape and grab his primary weapon, the Blaster. Then he escapes from the channel by killing all of Chameleons in his way and finally King Chameleon.
After reaching his space ship, he receives a message from Sergeant Margsly, his commander. Margsly tells him Dark Shell is on the loose, and Jazz decides to go after him. He first flies to Carrotopolis, where the mayor tells him that the Saurians have taken over the city. As Jazz makes his way through the city, he finds the Saurians have tried to escape via the sewers, and follows them. After getting out of the sewers, Jazz defeats the Saurians and finds out they were paid by the Turtles, and that the turtles have apparently captured Zoe Cottontail. He leaves Carottopolis and flies to Icebox 3, where the turtles have a base. He defeats the inhabitants there and does the same on some other planets, only to discover that this was all was just a trap set up by Dark Shell. He then kills Dark Shell in an epic battle on his home planet Chelonia IV and frees Zoe, to live happily ever after.
Jazz Jackrabbit generally plays like Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2. You have to find your way through linear levels in a side-scrolling view. The levels use a mixture of Jazz Jackrabbit 2-graphics and newly developed tiles. Levels are rather short, but usually offer a lot of variation, and have puzzles. To complete a level, the player has to reach the carrot portal at the end of the level, fighting enemies and solving puzzles on his way to it.
JJGBA doesn’t feature many enemies, in fact there’s not more than three types of enemies per planet, and with such small number of them that doesn’t give much in overall. However, enemies in this game, unlike in previous ones, have a decent A.I., allowing them to duck under Jazz‘s bullets, run for cover or call for backup.
- The Blaster
- The Machine gun. The machine gun looks like an ordinary Uzi gun, and works much the same. It shoots bullets that are roughly as powerful as the Blaster’s at a fast pace. This way killing enemies is easy, but you will run through your ammo in no time.
- The Ricochet gun. This gun shoots a large rubber ball, that will go in a straight line until it meets an obstacle. If the obstacle is sloped, it will bounce upwards (if the slope is going upwards from the ground) or downwards (if the slope is going downwards from the ceiling). Ricochet guns are relatively powerful and are frequently used to solve puzzles because the player can hit impossible-to-reach switches with it.
- The Flamethrower. The flamethrower works like Jazz Jackrabbit 2’s flamethrower. It has a relatively small range but one major advantage: the flames it fires go through walls, allowing the player to kill enemies standing on a platform above him. One or two hits with this gun is usually enough to kill everything apart from bosses.
- The Rocket Launcher. This weapon works like the rocket launcher from all other games it’s in: it fires a powerful rocket in a straight line, and needs some recharching time. It has one major disadvantage: the rocket’s speed is rather slow.
- The Big gun. The big gun is as big as Jazz himself. It fires extremely powerful and large blue orbs at a slow pace. The player will not get hold of this gun until the last few levels, and it is indeed mostly useful against the end boss.
- Carrot grenades. Carrot grenades are carrot-shaped and colored grenades that explode when they hit the ground or an enemy. Jazz always tosses them in an arc-like curve, which makes this weapon ideal for hitting enemies that are not on the same height as the player.
While Jazz Jackkrabit 1 and 2’s levels where stuffed with items, JJGBA’s are not. The only items you may find are the standard ones (ammunition, extra lives, health), and space credits. With space credits (shown as normal green dollars), you can buy weapons, extra lives and health at the Weapon Depot. Space credits are found in three varieties: floating single banknotes, bundles of five, and buckets filled with twentyfive space credits.
Apart from space credits, you can find rare extra lives (shown as a small floating green bunny) and ammunition for all guns.
The good ones
- Jazz Jackrabbit – The hero is back once again. Jazz seems to be divorced, as princess Eva Earlong or her mother are not mentioned a single time in the game. But he’s still an intergalactic peacekeeping hero, and works for R.A.B.T. Jazz is just like you know Jazz: Brave, friendly, and with a golden heart.
- Spaz Jackrabbit – Jazz’s brother appears in JJGBA too, but is not playable. He used to have the same job as Jazz, but is now retired now and can usually be found in the Arcade hall or at the Weapon depot.
- Zoe Cottontail – Zoe seems to work at the Weapon Depot, just like Spaz. She has an outfit similiar to the a character in the Jetsons television series, is purple and has long orange hair. Jazz has a crush on her.
- Professor Lapin – Professor Lapin works at the weapon depot too, and appears to be the its manager. He’s an inventor and comes up with a new type of weapon every now and then. He looks like the stereotypical inventor: Long white jacket, big moustache, blue pants and glasses. His fur is light blue.
- Sergeant Margsly – Margsly seems to have a high position in the R.A.B.T. – he’s wearing six golden stars on his shoulders and appears to have earned many military decorations. His moustache is enormous, he’s always smoking a cigar, and his fur is orange. He acts as Jazz’s commander.
h4(#h-4-2). The bad ones
- Dark Shell – Jazz’s nemesis in this game. While his name is similiar to Devan Shell‘s, he is not related, but Devan’s father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate, which might make you conclude he’s the rebel turtle. He wears a black Darth Vader-like outfit, with a big red “Do not push” button on it, and he’s often shown laughing hysterically.
- King Chameleon – The king of the Chameleon planet. He’s about twice as big as Jazz and wields a giant club. He doesn’t seem to know proper English (none of the Chameleons do), but he states that he really likes Rabbit steak, and tries to eat Jazz.
- Saurian General – The leader of the Saurians. It’s easy to tell him apart from the other Saurians as he’s twice as big as a normal Saurian, and at least twice as powerful. He wields a weapon that can fire heatseeking rockets. His outfit is just like the normal Saurian uniform.
- The Snow Turtle – Little is known about the snow turtle, but he looks like a white-furred walking turtle and is pretty tough. He’s so tough Jazz’s guns do no damage to him, so you’ll have to beat him by roasting him with the motor of your rocket.
- The Giant Mech Turtle – The giant mech turtle is a big grey robot turtle and looks like much larger version of the normal mech turtles. Unlike the normal mech turtles, this one walks on two legs instead of four. It posesses multiple weapons: a rocket launcher, a “big gun” gun, and some other guns similiar to Jazz’s.
Fortunately, JJGBA contains a multiplayer mode. This mode is like the original Jazz Jackrabbit 2 battle mode. It is possible to play multiplayer games even if only one of the players has a JJGBA game pak. There are several levels available, and a lot of them have to be unlocked by finishing Single Player levels. Some multiplayer levels contain enviroments or tiles that were not present in the singleplayer levels. Also, if you play with more than one game pak you get extras such as a more robust game set-up, a radar, and a capture the flag mode.
Differences from other Jazz Jackrabbit games
universe is somewhat different from the “normal” Jazz Jackrabbit universe:
- In JJGBA, Jazz wears tight light blue pants and a red shirt. His bandana has disappeared and his fur seems to have become a lighter shade of green.
- Eva Earlong has, as said, disappeared from the universe: a Game Titan developer has stated Jazz and Eva are divorced, but nothing is said about this in the game.
- Characters like Lori, Devan Shell, the henchlizards or the queen are not in the game either.
- The turtles walk on their hind legs now and wear Star Wars Stormtrooper-like uniforms, and wield machine guns.
- Apart from the aforementioned turtles, no other traditional enemies are present.
- Enemies concentrate on distance attacks rather than melee and actually have some artificial intelligence this time.
- The old Jazz Jackrabbit guns (like the Bouncer, Freezer or Seeker) have been replaced with more realistic weapons like the Rocket Launcher and the Machine gun). The Blaster looks totally different (to be specific, it looks like Han Solo’s gun).
- Jazz doesn’t visit the traditional planets like Carrotus and Diamondus.
The game is regarded as non-canonical by a majority of the community. Jazz and Spaz are widly different from their original counterparts, leading to outrage on the part of some community members. There was a campaign of FIX0RS TEH JAZZ JACKRABBIT!!!, which included several banners that some people placed in their signatures on the JCF in an attempt to protest these changes.
The general consensus, according to some polls, was that most people would buy the game, but purely for the cause of supporting the Jazz Jackrabbit franchise.