The story is set in a world crafted by the wizard Yen Sid to house Walt Disney's oldest and forgotten characters. Mickey, however, accidentally spills paint thinner on the page containing the world and is subsequently pulled inside. As he progresses in this world, Mickey can use paint and thinner to alternately fix the world and help those that need it or erase his enemies and proceed on a more self-serving path.
Mickey's appearance in the game changes depending on how the player chooses to play. By performing helpful deeds Mickey will become more colorful and his appearance will be more akin to his modern look. By behaving in the self-serving manner of a scrapper, however, Mickey will lose color, becoming black and white as his appearance morphs to resemble his earliest appearances.
The gameplay features a mixture of quest-based hubs where players can interact with NPCs and embark on quests, and also 2D side-scrolling-based segments which are visually inspired by classic animated Mickey Mouse shorts.
One day, a magical mirror appeared in Mickey Mouse's house. Upon investigation, Mickey found that it was in fact a doorway to the workshop of the wizard, Yen Sid.
After some exploring, Mickey found Yen Sid putting the finishing touches on his greatest work. A home for all of the forgotten characters from long ago called The Wasteland. After Yen Sid retired for the night, Mickey went to grab the wizard's brush and tried to do some painting of his own.
His first creation was an attempted self portrait, which quickly proved a failure. The more that Mickey tried to fix his mistake, the worse it became. Soon, his innocent mistake became a terrible creature called The Phantom Blot.
The Blot tried to attack, but Mickey fought back with paint thinner to clean up his inky foe. At that moment, Yen Sid came to investigate the commotion. Not wanting to be caught, Mickey quickly thinned out the Blot, but left the thinner on the table of The Wasteland, creating a hole in the middle of it and allowing the Blot to seep through it.
Mickey returned home safely and lived his life peacefully from then on. Years passed, and he had forgotten his transgression in Yen Sid's workshop. However, it came back to haunt him one day. He awoke to find that his bedroom was covered in black ink. And from the magic mirror that appeared those many years ago, a pair of monstrous arms were reaching for him. Try as he did to escape, Mickey was grabbed, pulled through the mirror and dragged through Yen Sid's workshop. Try as he did to escape, he was taken into The Wasteland, taking with him Yen Sid's magic paintbrush.
Dark Beauty Castle
Mickey awoke to find that he was going to be experimented upon by The Mad Doctor, a minion of The Phantom Blot. Before anything can be done, Mickey freed himself and fought back. Seeing that the Doctor and the Blot both feared the paintbrush that he brought with him, Mickey brandished it and drove them both away. But, not before the Doctor set off his lab's defenses.
As he made his escape, Mickey crossed paths with two others, the first was a rabbit, who made things worse for Mickey when he tried to stop the mad machines, but instead made them more aggressive. The other was Gremlin Gus, who guided Mickey to defeat the evil machines and escape the Doctor's lab.
During their escape Mickey discovered the properties of the bush that he was was using. With it, he could either destroy things with thinner or restore and create things with paint. Along with that, he discovered that he had absorbed some of the essence of the Blot when it had him in its clutches. Later, when met by hostile blotlings, Mickey also discovered that he could either destroy those who would attack him with thinner or redeem them with paint.
Gus also tells Mickey that the rabbit he had seen was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was running ahead of them the entire time they were escaping the lab.
The Gremlin's Park
Formerly an amusement park, the Gus and his gremlin friends had turned it into a workshop where they could spend their days repairing machines that needed their touch. However, a disaster left it a cesspool of thinner, which flowed through the factory like a river.
Almost completely uninhabitable, Mickey and Gus carefully made their way through the river of thinner. Along the way, they found that Oswald may have been trying to bar their way when they see him lock a door on them.
Mickey and Gus also met someone who Mickey never thought he would. There in the river boat ride was Pete in the guise of Small Pete, dressed in complete traditional Dutch garbs. Small Pete made a deal with the two to clear his name of a crime he did not commit and he would open the door for them.
The Gremlin Village
Upon arriving in Gus's home, they found that the machines that had so carefully maintained their safety were now destroyed and malfunctioning. With thinner being sprayed everywhere, it became Mickey's job to take care of the machines.
After the village was taken care of, Mickey and Gus continued on the trail of Oswald.
The Clock Tower
Oswald continued to hinder the progress of his two pursuers down the river of thinner, even going so far as to lure them into a trap at the ruined Coliseum.
After eluding the attempt on their lives, Mickey and Gus followed Oswald up the sides of the river's enormous clock tower. At the top, they found that the clock had malfunctioned and was attacking viciously.
The choice to destroy the tower or repair it were given to Mickey. How he chose to deal with the matter would alter things in his future in ways he could not imagine.
After escaping the dangers of the river of thinner, Gus guided Mickey to Mean Street, the general hub zone of The Wasteland, where everyone would come to meet with friends and run their errands.
It was there that Mickey learned of what became known as the Thinner Disaster. Long ago, a great amount of thinner fell from the sky and with it came the Phantom Blot. After that, life in the Wasteland was made difficult and dangerous.
Not thinking much of the incident, Mickey learned that Oswald had escaped to his lair on Mickeyjunk Mountain. To get there, he reluctantly worked with the mayor of Mean Street to help out the other civilians, though he was ever wary of the mayor's renowned dishonest nature. After making the other people's lives a bit easier, he and Gus were on their way upward.
The way to Mickeyjunk Mountain was through Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's home of Ostown. Though small, the way there was blocked by another one of Oswald's barriers. The problem itself was made more complicated by how the one gremlin who knew how to get through that particular barrier was missing, as were his tools. However, after a quick search, Mickey and Gus were able to continue onward.
Living up to its name, Mickeyjunk mountain was a gigantic mountain of discarded Mickey Mouse merchandise, including clocks, lunch pails, figurines, telephones, watches and even old video games.
The climb up the mountain was dangerous, but the only way to reach Oswald was to go up. Along the way, Mickey and Gus needed to pass through a facility that once produced beetleworx. Dangerous machines that were immune to the effects of paint and thinner both. And parts of it were still operable.
Further along, after passing the dangers of the facility, Mickey was led to Oswald's sanctuary at the mountaintop. There, Gus told him that before Mickey ever came along, Oswald was a hugely popular character loved by millions of people. Until Mickey came along and was loved and adored by millions more.
This tragic turn of events had left Oswald bitter and jealous. When confronted, he explained how he had started taking care of the other forgotten characters like himself, but was deposed from popularity again by the Thinner Disaster and the arrival of the Phantom Blot. Mickey, putting together everything he learned about the Thinner Disaster, realized then that it was he who was responsible for it. A fact that he kept to himself.
Eager to get Mickey out of the Wasteland, Oswald agreed to work with Mickey and Gus to get Mickey home. He would get the rocket in Tomorrowland operable to fly Mickey home and Oswald would be able to get him out of his life for good.
Tomorrowland was a world of both ancient ruins and futuristic technology. To reach the rocket there, Mickey and Gus had to fight their way past the Phantom Blot's minions, as well as the Mad Doctor's beetleworx
By the time that they had reached Tomorrow Square, they found that the beetleworx had all but taken over the place. By operating the various technologies of the area, Mickey and Gus were able to make their way to the rocket that they had sought out.
Upon finding it, Oswald investigated and found that it had been sabotaged by the Mad Doctor, who was harvesting its parts to use for his own machines. In order to get the rocket working again, they had to replace the major missing components. Two of the parts were in Lonesome Manor and in Tortooga. The nearest one was right there in Tomorrowland, held onto by Petetronic.
Petetronic was another one of the Pete's who lived in the Wasteland. Now corrupted and warped by the power of the Phantom Blot, he was not going to willingly give up his valuable piece of the rocket. A battle ensued between Mickey and the warped version of his oldest foe. Whether or not Mickey would thin him from existence or cleanse him of the Blot's influence was a matter of choice.
The land of untamed jungles and uncharted islands. The welcome for Mickey and Gus when they arrived was less than jovial by the pirates who lived there. Once they realized that they were not enemies, one of the pirates, Mr. Smee, explained the situation.
He and his crew used to sail the seas for treasure and adventure. One day, something happened to their captain, one Captain Hook, who appeared to them as an unfeeling machine, transformed into a terrible beetleworx. Hook hauled his crew to their home on Skull Island, where he forced them into a machine that turned the all into beetleworx as well. Not wanting to meet the same fate as their crewmates, Smee and the others fled their home and did their best to block the way to Skull Island, knowing that none of them had a chance against the mechanized pirates.
Taking it upon themselves to solve the troubles of Ventureland while searching for the lost rocket parts, Mickey and Gus cooperated with the pirates to get to the pirate village of Tortooga. There, they found that the pirates were still in the process of deserting their home to escape their monstrous captain. Also there, they learned that Captain Hook was the one who possessed the part of the rocket that they required. After meeting with Hook's former first mate, they are shown the way to get to the pirate stronghold.
Skull Island was as dangerous as it was made out to be. The mechanized pirates made no distinction between friend or foe, and attacked anything they saw viciously. Past the pirates, Mickey infiltrated the pirate's ship, where Captain Hook made his attack. Another choice was to be made to restore the pirate crew and help the people of the island or to destroy Hook and his robotic crewmates. Either way, the next part of the rocket was collected.
Regarded as the scariest place in the Wasteland, Mickey and Gus bucked up their courage to brave the spooks who called the area home. Their arrival in the Bog Easy was met by the Lonesome Ghosts, who agreed to help on one condition. Since there had been such a lull since the Thinner Disaster, they have had trouble scaring anyone. If Mickey helped them raise a scare, they would help him and Gus enter the mansion.
After offering their help to the ghosts and the townsfolk, Mickey and Gus were able to head on their way to the creaky, old mansion at the top of the hill. It turned out that The Mad Doctor had made the mansion into his new stronghold, and was using it to produce even more beetleworx and to control the ghosts who were still trapped inside.
The ghosts were freed, and the way through to the library was found, where the librarian offered her help if Mickey helped her solve the problems that she was facing. Poltergeists had taken it over and were sending everything into disarray. With Mickey's help, everything was put back into order and the way into the mansion's attic was opened
In the attic, the Mad Doctor had set up his beetleworx factory, and was mass producing the horrible machines. Mickey was given another choice. To disable the machine safely at the cost of his own safety, or to destroy the machine and a large chunk of the manor in a way that was less dangerous to himself.
After taking care of the factory, The Mad Doctor revealed one last trick he had. He too was a beetleworx. The entire time, his plan had been to absorb all of the paint that existed in the Wasteland. As a beetleworx, he would be immune to his own machinations, and he would rule over what was left with his mechanical army. Unable to stand the doctor's mad rambling any longer, Gus gave the machines one last bit of tinkering to launch The Mad Doctor miles into the distance. From the wreckage, they retrieved the last part of the rocket that they needed to find.
Mickeyjunk Mountain Peak
Before Mickey could go home, he had to return to Mickeyjunk Mountain, where the Phantom Blot waited for him at the peak. In order to make sure that he would make an unwanted return to the Wasteland again, he would have to defeat the creature once and for all.
When Mickey reached the peak, the Phantom Blot lunged to attack. Though it still feared the power of Mickey's brush, the prize of Mickey's heart was going to be its ticket to escape the Wasteland forever.
The battle at the peak raged on. How Mickey chose to deal with the Blot, whether to tame it or to destroy it, was going to have an impact on how his future would play out.
Once the Blot was defeated, Mickey learned the truth of the nature of the creature. The Phantom Blot that had brought him to the Wasteleand, who had been harrying him since he had arrived, was only a drip of ink from the original beast. Oswald related to Mickey the story of how when the Phantom Blot arrived in the wake of the Thinner Disaster, he and his wife, Ortensia, fought back to trap the Blot in the bottle of thinner that had fallen from the sky. Oswald survived, but Ortensia was reduced to an inert state.
Shaken with guilt by Oswald's candor, Mickey found it best to confess his wrongdoings. How it was he who had created the Phantom Blot and caused the Thinner Disaster all those years ago.
Oswald was furious by the confession. Mickey had ruined his life in stardom, now he had ruined his life in the Wasteland. In an act of rage, Oswald accidently released the Phantom Blot from its imprisonment, which immediately attacked Mickey. Gus saved Mickey from harm, but was caught by the Blot, along with Oswald. The Phantom Blot offered an ultimatum. It would not suck the life from Gus and Oswald if Mickey would willingly relinquish his heart. Little time was thought over the difficult choice, and Mickey gave up his heart to the Blot. In a surprising act of fair play, once the Blot had Mickey's heart, it released Gus and Oswald both, before it began sucking all of the paint out of the cartoon Wasteland.
Knowing that the Blot would move on next to use Mickey's heart to escape the Wasteland, the three of them set to weakening the Blot's power and restore what little paint that they could to the world.
Taking the parts to repair the rocket next, they put their new plan into motion: to crash the rocket into the weakened Blot. But, the Phantom Blot would not go down so easily. It thwarted the attempt on its life and sent the rocket and its passengers crashing back into the Dark Beauty Castle
Dark Beauty Castle Revisited
The castle was more dangerous than ever. After the Blot had settled there to begin its attack on the Wasteland, its most powerful minions and giant pools of thinner had sprung up there.
Oswald guided the others to the control rooms, where he would be able to launch the castles defenses against the Phantom Blot. However, they needed power to be restored to the consoles in order to work. Mickey took it upon himself to go and restore the power, all the while attacked by the Blot.
The Phantom Blot could see that it was losing. No matter how it tried, it could not stop Mickey from weakening it further. It made one last attempt to destroy Mickey and his friends all in one go. But, Mickey made a desperate gambit of his own. He leapt forth into the very being of the monster.
Inside the beast was nothing but black ink and thinner. Suspended high in the air was Mickey's own heart, held prisoner by the Blot. From the inside out, Mickey fought the Blot and reclaimed his own heart.
The Blot was greatly weakened, and spat Mickey out skyward as the Dark Beauty Castle's defenses blew the beast away. Without even needing the rocket, Mickey was drawn into an opening in the sky and back into Yen Sid's workshop, where the wizard caught Mickey as he returned. Meeting for the first time face to face, Mickey sheepishly returned the paintbrush that he had stolen.
Oswald and Gus landed safely on the ground. They, and hundreds of other Wastelanders watched in amazement as paint rained down from the sky to restore their ruined home to its former glory. For Oswald, greatest of all was when life was returned to Ortensia.
Yen Sid sternly ordered Mickey to leave his workshop and to never return. Before he sealed the magic of his mirror, he thought it fit to show Mickey the outcomes of the choices that he had made during his quest. How the simplest gestures had changed the lives of the people he met, whether for good or bad.
As one last favor, Yen Sid allowed Mickey and Oswald to say goodbye to one another. The two of them had met as enemies, and parted ways as the brothers that they were meant to be. Then, the worlds between them were sealed apart forever.
Unknown to Yen Sid, Mickey discovered that he still had a tiny part of the Phantom Blot's power left within himself...
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
The main villain is actually Disney's first ever cartoon hero, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The once respected hero of Disney has long been forgotten, and he blames Mickey Mouse for replacing him as Disney's spokesman. Oswald decides to gather the residents of the dark world in order to proceed with his revenge on the mouse who made him forgotten.
An interesting note regarding Oswald's inclusion in the game is that Disney did not own the rights to the character when development began. Walt Disney abandoned the rights to him after a falling out with Universal regarding budgets for his Oswald cartoons. The Walt Disney company reacquired the rights to Oswald from NBC/Universal by trading away the contract of sportscaster Al Michaels.
The Phantom Blot
Another main villain, which will be manipulating the environment of the Disney universe, will be a new enemy of Mickey named the Phantom Blot. After Mickey inadvertantly unleashes this monster, it begins to wreak havoc on the world of Disney by disassembling it with black ink and making the colors of the world run together.
The Mad Doctor
Also known as Dr. XXX, the Mad Doctor is yet another villain in Epic Mickey. He created the robotic Beetleworx, as well as robotic friends to accompany Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The character first appeared in a 1933 animated short called "The Mad Doctor," which was based on the plot of kidnapping Pluto and placing his head on a chicken's body to see if it the end result of a puppy hatching from an egg would bark, crow, or cackle. In Epic Mickey, he resides at Dark Beauty Castle and is trying to escape the wasteland by removing Mickey's heart.
He also appeared in Mickey Mania for the SNES and Sega Megadrive.
The Cartoon Wasteland is where Epic Mickey takes place and is home to forgotten Disney characters like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Mad Doctor, and the Shadow Blot. Locations here are based on various retired or rejected theme park rides, and there are four main hub locations: Mean Street, Ventureland, Bog Easy, and OsTown.
Based on Main Street USA, a popular section of the Magical Kingdom in Disney's theme parks, Mean Street is the central hub of the Cartoon Wasteland. Mean Street became the way it is now because, according to Gremlin Gus, the Blot's arrival also brought with it a wave of thinner, destroying the place. An iconic part of Mean Street is a statue of Walt Disney holding Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's hand instead of Mickey's. Residents of Mean Street include Horace Horsecollar, Big Bad Pete, Gilda, Gremlin Markus, Casey, Laralee, Paulie, the Usher, and Oswald himself.
When Captain Hook betrayed his pirate crew, those landlubbers decided to hide out in Ventureland, another hub world where Mickey can pick up quests. Smee requests that Mickey find three ship parts so that the Projector Screen for Tortooga can be fixed. Depending on previous actions taken, some quests and residents will or will not be available.
Bog Easy is based off of New Orleans Square, which is a themed land found exclusively at Disneyland and home to known rides like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. In Epic Mickey, it's surrounded by a bayou. Here, Mickey will find the Lonesome Ghosts, a group of ghosts driven out of the Lonesome Manor by a maddened pipe organ. Now they spend all their time scaring local residents. The hub's name of "Bog Easy" is also a play on "Big Easy," a nickname for New Orleans.
One of the more iconic locations in Epic Mickey, OsTown is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's take on Mickey's Toontown, a themed land in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland; however, in Japan, it's just called Toontown. Mickey's wasteland home can be found in OsTown.