Here's your second dose of canceled game esoterica for the night, again courtesy of Unseen64: concept art and details about the ill-fated Earthworm Jim prototype for the Xbox and and PlayStation 2 from 2003.
Barely out of preproduction, the new Earthworm Jim prototype was prematurely scuttled as it constituted a risky move for Interplay Entertainment. You know what's an even riskier move? Not making games that fans love and keep clamoring for. Interplay is now all but forgotten, downloadable remakes and a stuttering "revival" notwithstanding.
In any case, the game would've been a side-scrolling shooter kind of like Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: 3D environment viewed from a fixed, on-rails camera. As usual, the Annelid Avenger's head would've served as grappling hook and propeller, with the added advantage of being able to pick up (and throw?) heavy objects.
But, as the venerable Gonzo put it, "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." One section of the game involved a swing-dance style musical boat tour of the River Styx, with Charon acting as bandleader and coxswain. Another featured ancient Rome made entirely of cheese, where Jim would've fought Gorgon Zola in the Fondue Coliseum while toga-clad mice looked on.
There's no way that wouldn't have been awesome, especially since Charon looks like Manny from Grim Fandango and Gorgon Zola looks like the Tentacle of Day of the Tentacle. Can you spot any more Tim Schaefer-inspired designs in the gallery?