Decap Attack is a 1991 platformer video game developed by Vic Tokai and published by Sega for the Sega Genesis. The game is a westernized version of the 1990 Japanese Mega Drive game Magical Hat no Buttobi Tabo! Daibōken, with the art, plot, music, and level designs all being changed. Both are updates of the 1988 NES game Kid Kool and the 1989 Master System game Psycho Fox. The game was also released for the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, on Steam, and via the Sega Forever mobile service.
European cover art
Chuck D. Head, a headless mummy created by mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Stein and his assistant Igor, is sent to defeat Max D. Cap, a demon who has returned from the Underworld with his army of monsters to conquer the surface world, splitting a skeleton-shaped cluster of islands into pieces in the process. After reforming the scattered islands to normal and defeating Max, Chuck sluggishly returns home, where Stein rewards him by transforming him into a real human.
The player controls a living mummy, named Chuck D. Head, through various side-scrolling levels in an effort to battle an underworld army led by Max D. Cap. Levels contain many enemies and hazards that can harm or kill Chuck, and power-ups to collect; at the end of the last level in every area there is a boss to defeat. The player has a small number of health units, displayed as hearts, and a small number of lives. The fictional island the game takes place on, shaped like a skeleton, is split apart into many pieces. Individual levels are named after parts of the skeleton, such as Abdomainland or Armington. Some levels require the player to collect a certain item for Dr. Frank N. Stein, the mad scientist who created Chuck.
Chuck resembles an ordinary mummy, except for the fact that he has no head and he has a face implanted in his torso. During the game, Chuck attacks enemies by extending his face out to hit them or by jumping on them. While jumping, players can repeatedly hit the jump button to slow down Chuck's descent. Chuck may collect a skull power-up; which will sit on his shoulders like a head and can be thrown at enemies. Like a boomerang, it will return to him no matter what it hits, or where it goes, but if Chuck gets hit by an enemy or hazard, he will lose the skull. During the game Chuck may also collect a variety of potions, which can be collected and used at the player's leisure. The potions consist of powerups typical for the genre, such as invincibility, instantly eliminating all enemies on screen, increasing speed and jumping power, and increasing the range and power of Chuck's punch.
Gameplay remains similar between the two games, albeit the graphics, characters, music and level designs have all been changed. Also, in Magical Hat, players are killed if they are hit once, while in Decap Attack, players can choose to have up to three hearts per life at the options menu before starting the game, with health upgrades found in certain levels of the game allowing players to have a maximum of five hearts (a total of ten hits) per life,. Flagpoles that can restore health in Decap Attack increase lives in Magical Hat.
For many years, a comic strip loosely based upon Decap Attack appeared in the U.K.'s Sonic the Comic, written and drawn by Nigel Kitching (with Richard Piers Rayner co-writing some episodes, and Mike McMahon drawing a few of those) and a firm fan favourite. The strip contained a very absurdist and manic sense of humour, dealing with the daily life of Chuck, Head (the talking skull who, to Head's annoyance, gets thrown at enemies), the evil-minded Igor (who is constantly trying to kill Chuck) and the stereotypical mad scientist Professor Frank N. Stein, who is actually faking his German accent and is really a former choirboy from Cardiff.
Max D. Cap only appeared twice in the strip, in the first story and one where the characters went to Hell, and was partnered both times with his accountant, who is constantly encouraging Max to be more stereotypically evil in his mannerisms. Max is described by the Professor as being one of the most evil beings alive, as he borrowed the Professor's lawnmower and never returned it.