This game was released at the same time as The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King.
Following the events of the original film, Jack Skellington once again leaves Halloween Town goes and looks for new Halloween frights, feeling disappointed with this year's work. He goes and talks to Doctor Finklestein and receives the "Soul Robber", a green whip-like weapon that can change shape. After he departs, Lock, Shock, and Barrel bring Oogie Boogie back to life (just for fun and amusement). He seizes control of Halloween Town, tricks its citizens into making traps, kidnaps Sally, and captures the other Holiday World leaders (like Santa Claus of Christmas Town, Easter Bunny of Easter Town, Cupid of Valentine's Day Town, St. Patrick of St. Patrick's Day Town, Tom turkey (bird) from Thanksgiving Town, and Uncle Sam from Independence Day Town). After taking over their Holidays, he plans to become the Seven Holidays King.
Jack returns to find everyone deceived by the newly-resurrected Oogie to believe that Jack left them because Halloween was not dangerous enough. Jack has to save the citizens of Halloween from Oogie's rule, while trying to uncover the truth about his plans to become the Seven Holidays King.
Through his adventures, Jack manages to defeat Oogie Boogie's skeleton and ghost minions (apparently created by Dr. Finkelstein), saves Sally from a giant spider, reaffirms his loyalty to the citizens of Halloween, defeats Lock, Shock and Barrel, and rescues the other holiday kings. The Pumpkin King finds Oogie very hard to defeat because he never appears in person, but rather using minions or his shadow to fight for him.
Jack soon realizes that Oogie Boogie wants to get rid of Santa as yet another part of his revenge plot and he travels to Christmas Town. Jack rescues Santa, but Oogie, enraged by Jack constantly foiling his plots, leaves with Santa's sleigh. Luckily, Sally brings Jack's Halloween sleigh (despite its apparent destruction in the film) to help, and Jack and Santa chase after Oogie. Oogie Boogie falls out of the Christmas sleigh into a strange garbage world. There, he absorbs the waste and insects in the environment and becomes the horrible monster "Mega Oogie". Jack faces Oogie one-on-one at last and finally defeats him using all of his powers. Afterwards, Jack apologizes to Santa for almost ruining Christmas again, but having a change of heart about the skeleton, Santa thanks him for saving his life. Jack decides that his home and loved ones are something more important than new discoveries. The story ends nearly the same way as the film does, with Jack and Sally on the spiral hill sharing a kiss.
Gameplay in the game is very similar to the extreme action horror game Devil May Cry, with the exception of it being easier for younger players. Both were developed by Capcom. Jack can transform into Santa Jack and the Pumpkin King later in the game.
There are doors of the holiday worlds obtained when you complete a certain level.
Costumes and abilities
Each of Jack Skellington's costumes have different abilities. For example, Santa Jack (which is obtained once Doctor Finklestein is defeated) can throw out presents to stun enemies or freeze enemies in ice, and the Pumpkin King (which you get after saving Sally from a large spider) can burn enemies.
- Jack's Return:
- The Witching Hour:
- The Hanging Tree:
- Grave Danger:
- The Crypt Creeper:
- The Doctor's Hunch:
- The Lightning Round:
- Deadly Nightshade (Secret Level):
- Changing Brains:
- Pumpkin Patch Possession:
- Barrel's Maze:
- Peril in the Pumpkin Head:
- Runaway Clown:
- Bone Biscuit Burglary (Secret Level):
- The Vampire Brothers:
- The Mayor's Madhouse:
- Rooftop Rumble:
- The Grizzly Gauntlet:
- Casino Clash:
- Spiral Hill:
- The Hinterlands Pt. 1:
- Fire and Ice Frenzy:
- The Hinterlands Pt. 2:
- Christmas Town:
- Saving Sandy:
- Taking out the Trash:
There are doors of the holiday worlds obtained when you complete a certain level:
- Halloween Door - Defeat Oogie Boogie Shadow in "Jack's Return."
- Valentine Door - Defeat Mega Spider in "Crypt Creeper."
- St. Patrick's Day Door - Defeat Doctor Finklestein in "Changing Brains."
- Thanksgiving Door - Defeat Barrel in "Peril in the Pumpkin Head."
- Independence Day Door - Defeat Lock, Shock and Barrel in "Rooftop Rumble."
- Easter Door - Defeat Oogie Boogie in "Casino Clash."
- Christmas Door - Defeat the Fire King Skeleton and the Ice King Skeleton in "Fire and Ice Frenzy."
Here are the enemies that Jack has to fight in the game:
- Blue Skeletons - The Blue Skeletons are the easiest to defeat. They are slow and have short reaches unless they are mad and spinning.
- Heat Skeletons - The Heat Skeletons are the most annoying of the enemies Jack fights. They have short reaches, but they can throw boomerangs.
- Orc Skeletons - They are like the Blue Skeletons except the mad ones wield clubs. Just like the Blue Skeletons, they are slow and have short reaches unless they are mad and spinning.
- Troll Skeletons - The Troll Skeletons are big and wield big clubs. They can only be grabbed when the Soul Robber is Level 3. If they drop their clubs, use the Soul Robber to throw the clubs at them.
- King Skeletons - The King Skeletons are also big and wield big axes. The attack on the King Skeletons are the same as Troll Skeletons, with two exceptions. They cannot be grabbed at all, only turned around. They can be only hit while they are growling, or from behind.
- Halloween Ghosts - The Halloween Ghosts are very fast and great at dodging. Tricking them to come near Jack and sending them into the ground is an easy way to defeat them.
- King Ghosts - They are stronger than the Halloween Ghosts, but require the same tactics to defeat them.
- Tricks and Treats - They are cowards like the Halloween Ghosts, but enjoy dodging and throwing traps at Jack. Over all, their appearances are much like the Vampire Teddy bear, but Treat's head is a Jack-o-Lantern, while Trick's head remains the same as seen in the film.
- Baby Spiders - They are mostly seen in any Mega Spider battle.
Here's a list of the game's bosses and how to fight them. Some battles will have Dance Battles:
- Oogie Boogie's Shadow - Fought in "Jack's Return," he will throw dice at Jack. and attack with Halloween Ghosts that come up next to him.
- Lock - Fought in "The Hanging Tree," he will use an army of skeletons against Jack. Also fought in "The Crypt Creeper," he will fight you alongside an army of skeletons.
- Mega Spider - Fought in "The Crypt Creeper," It will shoot cobwebs at Jack and even charge. Its weak spot is the pumpkin shape on its abdomen. If successfully attacked there it will go underground and launch Baby Spiders at Jack. It will get smaller for every Baby Spider defeated.
- Shock - Fought in Both "The Doctor's Hunch" and "The Lightning Round." She first summons up a number of ghosts to her command. Next, she will use metal balls against Jack which he has to evade.
- Dr. Finkelstein - Fought in "Changing Brains," Jack has to remove the green brain placed in him by Oogie Boogie and replace it with the real brain while fighting four machine-gun spheres, four knife machines and a laser beam.
- Barrel - Fought in "Peril in the Pumpkin Head," he will fight you alongside the mad Heat Skeletons.
- Mega Spider - Fought in "Bone Biscuit Burglary" (secret level), use the same tactics as before to defeat it.
- Lock, Shock and Barrel - Fought in "Rooftop Rumble," they will fight you in their walking tub and on foot throwing exploding pumpkins at you.
- Mega Spider - Fought in "The Grizzly Gauntlet," use the same tactics as before to defeat it.
- Oogie Boogie - Fought in "Casino Clash," he will attack you with sword-wielding cards and gunman slot machines. He will start bringing out exploding dice and suck air in (throw the exploding dice into him to damage him). It turned out that Jack fought his shadow disguised as the real Oogie Boogie.
- Fire King Skeleton and Ice King Skeleton - Fought in "Fire and Ice Frenzy," these two big skeletons appear to fight Jack after he replaced the Oogie-Doors with the real Holiday Doors. Use the Santa Jack costume to fight the Fire King Skeleton and the Pumpkin King costume to fight the Ice King Skeleton.
- Oogie-Train - Fought in "Saving Sandy," always change the train tracks to keep this scissor-tipped train from going on the track leading to the rope that is holding Santa Claus up. Keep attacking the Oogie-Train while evading skeletons disguised as snowmen.
- Mega Oogie - Fought in "Taking out the Trash," Oogie Boogie has his bugs load him with junk to become Mega Oogie. His battle will be both an Attack Battle first, then a Dance Battle next. In the Attack Battle, he will try to puke trash at you or attack you with his arms. Use the Soul Robber on his face or the Fire Bomb on him five times to make him fall. Use the gas pipes to double the fire attack on Mega Oogie. In the Dance Battle, you must push 124 buttons in this fiercest and hardest Dance Battle ever. Once he is finally beaten, his bugs fall out.
- This is Halloween: Performed during fight scenes in the Fountain Area, Pumpkin Patch, and Hinterlands.
- Oogie Boogie's Song (Oogie's Revenge version): Performed during Oogie Boogie Shadow battle in Jack's Return.
- Sally's Song (Oogie's Revenge version): Performed in the Mega Spider Battles.
- Dr. Finklestein's Song: Performed during Changing Brains.
- Take our Town Back (Making Christmas): Performed during battles in The Vampire Brothers and The Mayor's Madhouse.
- Hail to Mr. Oogie (Kidnap the Sandy Claws): Performed during Lock, Shock and Barrel battles.
- Casino Clash (Oogie Boogie's Song): Performed during Casino Clash.
- Spiral Hill (Finale): Performed at the end of Spiral Hill.
- Oh No! (What's This?): Performed during Christmas Town.
- A Filthy Finale (Oogie Boogie's Song): Performed during the Mega Oogie boss battle.
- Chris Sarandon - Jack Skellington
- Ken Page - Oogie Boogie
- Dee Bradley Baker - Clown with the Tear-Away Face, Barrel
- Sherwood Ball - Vampire
- Susan Blakeslee - Helgamine the Big Witch
- Corey Burton - Santa Claus
- Randy Crenshaw - Behemoth, Mr. Hyde, Vampire
- Debi Durst - Corpse Kid, Zeldaborn the Small Witch
- Jess Harnell - Doctor Finklestein
- Kerry Katz - Vampire
- Bruce Lanoil -
- Rob Paulsen - Igor
- Paul Reubens - Lock
- Glenn Shadix - Mayor of Halloween Town
- Kath Soucie - Sally, Shock
NOTE: Out of all the cast members of this game, only Chris Sarandon, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, and Ken Page reprise their roles from the film. Danny Elfman does not provide the singing voice for Jack in the game. Instead, Chris Sarandon does both Jack's singing and talking voices for the game.