Jazz Jackrabbit Lives

Sprites as crisp as freshly-cut lettuce, eh?

Seventeen years sure is a long time to be an active fan of a shooty platformer starring a macho rabbit. But then millions of people still get excited about the ongoing adventures of floppy-spined blue hedgehogs and dumpy, child-faced plumbers – why should Jazz Jackrabbit be any different? The murderous green bunny, created by Epic long before they turned to Unrealses and Gearses, was last officially seen in 1998’s Jazz Jackrabbit 2, but has maintained enough of a community that long-running mod Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Plus is still updated to this day. They reckon it’s “the world’s premier 2D Arena Shooter”, donchaknow.

It’s easy to scoff at the focus of such adoration – because pistol-toting dudebro bunny rabbit – but impossible not to admire the dedication. What began as a bouncy shooty platformer has become a frantic multiplayer deathmatch affair, with something like 15 different modes, support for up to four teams, a spectator mode, a map-maker, overhauled graphics and a gazillion bug fixes.

The new 0.5 update is the first major release in a couple of years, and has pages and pages and pages of patch notes to prove it. The mod does include assorted new stuff for singleplayer too, but it’s clear that multiplayer is the focus. It isn’t an enormous surprise to read that the community is primarily European, but it does mean you’ll need to logon late at night if you’re a North American who fancies a bout of bunny-based arena action.

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Plus 0.5 is available here, and requires a copy of Jazz Jackrabbit 2. No doubt you’ve built a shrine with the JJ2 CD-ROM atop it in your living room, so that won’t be a problem, eh?

14 Comments

  1. Stijn says:

    Cool! Also worth mentioning is the game’s primary fan site/community, Jazz2Online.

    • Primpy says:

      Hello, Stijn.
      Get spooked by my presence on this website.
      Boo.

  2. Didero says:

    Why would you title the article like this? You got my hopes all up :(
    Still, nice to see the rabbit isn’t forgotten, though I’ve always preferred his brother.

    Now I want to play the game again…

  3. salejemaster says:

    Are you trying to imply something about us Europeans, just say what you mean :D?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      It’s pretty clear Alec is saying Europeans are better than USAians in every single respect.

      • Sidewinder says:

        Except, apparently, at geography, and math, and understanding of how time works; late at night in the US is early in the morning in Europe. I know your labor laws are a little more worker-friendly, but presumably you do actually have to go in and, you know, work. Europe isn’t Chicago.

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    heretic says:

    Those damn tortoises.

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    Ninja Dodo says:

    Oh man. Ages since I played this… memories of tilesets and Jazz Creation Station and split-screen multiplayer. I had so much fun with this game.

  6. darkhog says:

    Oh, of course it lives. Bit on life support, but green bunny is getting better.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    I’m not sure Jazz was “dudebro” so much as “radical”.

  8. MadTinkerer says:

    Actually, I do have the JJ2 CD acound here somewhere. I’ll have to check this out.

  9. Primpy says:

    If someone from Epic Games is reading this article, please, for the love of this fandom, make a decent new Jazz Jackrabbit sequel!