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"I mean, I know you've played a lot of bad games before but, no, lemme tell you... that game is bad."
The Angry Video Game Nerd about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1988 game on the Nintendo Entertainment System based on the novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and its film adaptions. It was critically panned by critics and is widely regarded as one of the worst games ever made. To this day, the Nerd still deems this as "the shittiest game he ever played". However, since then, games like Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, Desert Bus, CrazyBus and Hong Kong 97 have taken that title in terms of technical quality and functionality. Also, the Nerd still refused to play E.T. for the Atari 2600, though he did play it in Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie.

James Rolfe uploaded a parody trailer for a fictional movie based on the game to the Cinemassacre channel on November 24, 2015. The trailer featured cameos from James, Mike Matei, Brendan Castner, Doug Walker and Kevin Finn as the various townspeople who despise Jekyll as well as Jon Bailey ("Epic Voice Guy") of Honest Trailers doing the narration of the trailer.


The game, according to the Nerd, is notorious for its incredibly sluggish controls and bland action. The plot basically involves Dr. Jekyll trying to get to his wedding. But the villagers keep on attacking him "for some reason", probably because the town's posessed by a demon or something? I don't know. The sound effects are also poorly composed, one example is when cats chase Dr. Jekyll, they make a bizarre horn-like sound. If Jekyll's stress meter runs out before his life meter, he becomes Hyde and goes through a mirrored, demonic version of the level with different enemies he can attack using his "psycho-wave" making his weapon more useful than Jekyll's cane as he must defeat enemies in order to reduce the stress meter and resume gameplay as Jekyll. Hyde can die if he loses all of his health or reaches the same spot Jekyll did previously. However, as revealed in the "Beating Jekyll and Hyde" episode, Hyde can use the rooftops on the final level which are inaccessible while playing as Jekyll to bypass Jekyll's death spot where he fights the hidden final boss, Letule at the church which unlocks the true ending of the game.


The game was the first to be reviewed on the website Something Awful, gaining a score of -37. Brett Alan Weiss of the website Allgame declared that the "music and graphics are tolerable, but the controls are sluggish and the action is exceedingly dull, rendering Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde almost unplayable." IGN ranked the cover art the third scariest cover art in gaming. Author Andy Slaven commented that the game was frustrating, criticizing its controls yet finding the visuals acceptable.

AVGN episode[]

The video was originally created as a VHS tape on May 16, 2004 along with Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. It was the second NES video game ever played on the show as well as the first game developed by Bandai. The video was later released 22 months later on April 8, 2006 on YouTube with the following two videos being uploaded: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and The Karate Kid. The Nerd revisits 6 years later as a 5th Halloween special on October 7, 2010, following the episode Back to the Future Re-Revisited.

In the episode, he goes more in depth, and in the end, the stress is too much that he turns into a Hyde-like monster who goes to Robert Lewis Stevenson's grave to beat up his corpse, which comes to life and starts mocking him, stating "I AM THE DEVIL! Now go play some Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HYYYYYYYYYYYDE!!!!!". This, however turns out to merely be a nightmare.

The Nerd awakens, plays the game and fakes an epiphany about the game before saying "Or, you could just say, 'THE GAME FUCKIN' SUCKS!'"

The Nerd re-visited the game once again to finish the game once and for all on October 28, 2023. The 2023 episode features a plot influenced by The Exorcist with an 80 year old Nerd, who has become a priest, traveling back in time to visit his younger self and cleanse the possessed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cartridge. The Nerd also plays and beats the Famicom version where he finds much to his dismay the only difference between the endings is that Jekyll's bride is in a different dress.

The line Why don't the weapons do anything? that was shown in the full intro theme originated from this episode.

Other episodes that mention Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Ghostbusters (Part 1)
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Little Red Hood
  • R.O.B. the Robot
  • Ghosts n' Goblins
  • Atari Sports
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • Tiger Electronic Games
  • AVGN Games
  • Wish List (Part 1)
  • Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
  • Hong Kong 97
  • Mega Man Games
  • Paperboy
  • Polybius
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • Spawn
  • AVGN Episode 200 (Part 3/3)
  • The Last Ninja
  • Garfield

The full AVGN song mentioned the game indirectly.

See also[]