The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King


Buena Vista Games, D3 Publisher
Game Boy Advance
Release Date
JP: September 8, 2005

NA: October 10, 2005

EU: November 10, 2005

The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King was released in 2005 for the Game Boy Advance.

The story takes place before the events of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The game starts with Jack Skellington preparing for Halloween, approximately one year before the events of the movie.

Unfortunately, Oogie is upset that no one remembered his own holiday, "New Bug Day". He sends his henchmen, Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Jack. They, however, bring Sally back instead, a rag doll-like creature. It's up to Jack to save the now bug-infested Halloween Town and Sally from the treacherous Oogie.

Story[edit | edit source]

Jack Skellington is prepared for his first Halloween as Pumpkin King, but finds Halloween Town infested with bugs. He finds the Mayor, who informs him about the infestation and tells him that everyone is in hiding. The Mayor gives Jack a Frog Gun, and sends him on his way to get to the bottom of things.

After going into his house, Jack stumbles upon the Mayor again. He tells him about Lock, Shock, and Barrel's schemes, and asks him where Zero is. Jack eventually finds Zero in his home, but Lock, Shock, and Barrel trap them. Zero has to guide the both of them through their chimney, and Jack leaves by jumping off his house's roof.

The Mayor finds Jack again and asks if he heard some commotion from the Doctor's Lab. The Mayor mentions Sally for the first time He tells Jack he unlocked the Lab for him. Jack leaves for the Doctor's Lab, but discovers the Bat Boomerang the Doctor kept for his "Ghastly Gadget" award. Jack takes it. He comes across the Doctor captured by a large snake, first mistaking it as a pet of his. After defeating the snake, the Doctor tells Jack that Lock, Shock, and Barrel stole Sally and asks him to save her. Jack promises and the Doctor mentions the Corpse Kid, assuming he left for the Pumpkin Patch. Jack leaves to find him.

Jack finds the Corpse Kid in the Pumpkin Patch. The Mayor comes along and explains that he's stuck in a possessed pumpkin. Jack destroys the three main roots of the pumpkin, thus making it fall off. Lock, Shock, and Barrel suddenly come and abduct the Corpse Kid, opting Jack to follow after them. He finds the Corpse Kid a little after, and spots Lock, Shock, and Barrel behind him. When he goes after them, he walks on false ground and falls into an area below the Pumpkin Patch.

Jack and Zero come across a coffin, which Zero uses to lure them out and into the Graveyard. Jack comes back to the Town Square, where he finds the Wolfman being attacked by acid bath leeches. The Wolfman alerts Jack that Lock, Shock, and Barrel put "bad blood" machines in the acid baths, which released a gas that made the leeches go crazy. Jack goes and destroys the machines, saving the Wolfman. After he thanks Jack, an eyeball comes out of nowhere. Jack recognizes it as the Melting Man's, then goes back to the Graveyard to find him.

While on his way to find the Melting Man, Jack comes across the Mayor again, who asks him to fetch some ingredients for his lunch. Jack agrees, and goes to fetch them while looking for the Melting Man. He comes back to the Mayor and adds all of the ingredients until the eye falls into the gumbo. The Melting Man surfaces from the cauldron and tells the Mayor that Oogie Boogie tore him apart into pieces. The Mayor tells Jack more about Oogie Boogie, and alarms him about the Witches going to the Pumpkin Patch.

Jack soon finds the Tall Witch. She tells him about his Pumpkin King elixir and that her sister is off finding the last part for it. Jack goes off and finds her. She abruptly gives him a mushroom, informing him that it'll explode a little after it's picked. Jack quickly goes back to the Tall Witch, who gives him the Pumpkin King elixir in return. Jack heads off to the Spiral Hill afterwards.

He comes across Lock, Shock, and Barrel again, who are found breaking street lights. Jack finds Mayor, who alarms him that the Town is growing darker because of the broken lights. Jack goes off and finds Lock, Shock, and Barrel again. They accidentally let word out of their "boss" before leaving and bumping into the Mayor. Jack goes after them, only to realize that he and the Mayor are trapped. Jack leaves to find another way out, and stumbles across Doctor Finkelstein again.

The Doctor informs him that Igor ran off and he is locked out of his Lab. The security systems inside are malfunctioning. After going through his Lab, Jack finds the Mayor and a Vampire. The Vampire starts claiming he's a vegetarian, clearly losing his insanity. The Mayor tells Jack about a purple-colored smoke that turned him sane. After clearing the smoke, Jack returns to the Vampire, who suggests Jack to go to Lock, Shock, and Barrel's Treehouse to find Sally.

Jack leaves to the Outskirts and finds a switch to power the Treehouse's elevator, which ends up being too rusted to use. He comes across the Clown with a Tear Away face, who has lost his face and claims he can't see. Jack goes and retrieves his face to see if he can remember spotting Sally. After giving it back to him, the Clown tells him that he saw her near Oogie's Lair.

Jack eventually comes across Oogie Boogie, who claims that he'll turn Halloween into "Crawloween". After defeating the bug he sends to Jack, Oogie flees to the Treehouse after Lock, Shock, and Barrel inform him that they fixed the elevator. Jack comes across the three and partakes in a wild goose chase with them until they reveal Oogie's Lair's location. Jack comes across Oogie again, who claims that he's the King of Halloween Town. They both fight, and Oogie flees again.

Jack finds Oogie for a final time. He claims that Halloween Town will be "Bug Town". He tells Jack to prepare to be dethroned. After Jack wins the fight, he sets Oogie in place and finally meets Sally. After befriending her, he goes off and celebrates his first Halloween with the Town. Oogie silently warns Jack that he'll be back - and when he is, it'll be a nightmare.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The game's controls follow the basic Game Boy Advance style. A is used to jump, B to use weapons, and L1 and R1 to switch between weapons. The game's saving system uses Jack's Pumpkin King form to save files. Mr. Hyde appears when the game starts, opting the player to either load/start a new file or delete an existing file.

Hitting "Select" will direct the player to a map of the location they are in, as well as areas to save(highlighted in orange). Hitting "Start" will give the player a screen with the Mayor and Behemoth, as well as text that informs the player of their task. They can also access their Pick-Ups and Extras from their menu, as well as a "Shrunken Head" count.

Jack regenerates his health by using an electric chair. His health is divided into bars that can increase the more "Shrunken Heads" are found.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Gum Shoes: They help Jack climb high places he is not able to reach, often formed by a melting, dark-red path.
  • Stretchy Ghost: When the ghost markers are hit, a ghost comes and stretches Jack's body so he can reach certain areas.
  • Acid Baths: When Jack steps in one, leeches will attach to his body and temporarily melt him so he can pass through narrow spaces.

Pick-Ups[edit | edit source]

  • Sally's Shoe
  • Behemoth's Axe
  • Witch's Broom
  • Umbrella
  • Oogie's Dice
  • Plasma Pumpkin
  • Old Sax
  • Nightshade Soup
  • Mayor's Name Tag
  • Mayor's Bow Tie
  • Unicycle
  • Doc's Beaker
  • Mr. Hyde's Hat
  • Witch's Brew
  • Ball and Chain
  • Doc's Shades
  • Trophy
  • Clown's Beanie
  • Black Candy

Weapons[edit | edit source]

  • Frog Gun: Used to break statues and deal damage on enemies. When upgraded, it can deal more damage and prolong its use.
  • Bat Boomerang: Can send multiple bats at once. When upgraded, can send three bats in three different rows.
  • Pumpkin Bomb: Used to deal heavy damage on enemies or pass through pumpkin barriers.
  • Pumpkin King: When activated, can pass through fire barriers, destroy enemies, jump high in the air and go in one direction, and is also immune to damage.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • 3 Mini-games are awarded in-game and can be accessed on the main title.
  • It was released a year after Oogie's Revenge.
  • The game hosts concept art that can also be unlocked in-game.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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