Released in 1997 exclusively for Amiga AGA systems (A1200 and A4000), Worms: The Director's Cut (also known as Worms: DC) is a heavily modified version of Andy Davidson's turn-based strategic artillery game Worms, which was first put forth by developer Team17 and publisher Ocean Software in 1995. Like its forebear, it is a two-dimensional game in which a player-controlled team of worms uses a large arsenal of weapons in order to attack and defeat other teams of worms controlled either by humans or A.I. Design and programming of The Director's Cut was largely attributed to Davidson himself, and the focus on AGA systems allowed for a broader depth of colors than the initial Amiga version (sixteen colors rather than eight) as well as nine-layer parallax. Davidson also reportedly pushed for a CD32 version as well in order to offer enhanced sound, though this version never materialized. In addition to cosmetic upgrades, The Director's Cut features a number of new gameplay features, including fifteen new weapons, cavern maps with enclosed ceilings, and a Graffiti mode where players can "paint" custom maps.
According to creator Andy Davidson, the goal for Worms: The Director's Cut was not only to make it "the best version of Worms available on any platform," but also "the best Amiga game ever." Since a proper sequel to Worms, Worms 2, was being developed concurrently by a separate team, Davidson was given carte blanche to create his ideal version of the original Worms. Many of the ideas generated for The Director's Cut would later be incorporated into Worms 2, and Davidson himself referred to it as something of a testbed for the sequel, though Team17 co-founder Martyn Brown stated that the development teams for Worms 2 and The Director's Cut "were quite separate" and did not really have "shared design goals." The Director's Cut would end up being one of the last Worms titles that Davidson would exert significant creative influence over before leaving Team17 in the late '90s; as Brown recounted in 2009, Davidson had "quite a bit of input into the sequel, Worms 2, but much less so in Armageddon."
See also: Worms
The fundamental gameplay of Worms is not significantly overhauled with the release of The Director's Cut, however a number of new mechanics and weapons are introduced, many of which are carried forward into subsequent titles. In addition to the normal forward jump, for instance, worms are given the ability to perform a more vertical backwards hop. Certain weapons can now be placed while on a Ninja Rope or Bungee, and the Ninja Rope is further modified to allow for multiple swings without touching the ground (also known as Tarzaning). Cavern levels that severely restrict the effectiveness of certain weapon types are added into the mix with the normal "Open" levels, and a new Graffiti mode allows players the means to quickly create custom maps in-game. Fifteen new weapons are also added to the original complement, and many of them, including the Holy Hand Grenade and the Concrete Donkey, would go on to become staples of the series.
The Director's Cut includes nearly forty weapons and utilities in total, although more than half of these are carried over from the previous game. Only two previously-introduced weapons did not make the cut: the Prod of Worms and the Mole Bomb of Worms: Reinforcements. Most of the new weapons in The Director's Cut are considered "super weapons," and as a result they must be collected from weapon crates rather than being immediately granted to the player. Three "secret weapons" are among the new additions also; these armaments do not show up on the weapon panel by default, and are more rare in crates than other super weapons.
Unlike most propelled or thrown weapons in Worms, the Grenade Launcher does not give the player control over the strength of its release. Instead, it is always launched at full strength in whatever direction it is pointed when fired. Its payload explodes as soon as it touches a solid object, releasing a cluster of bomb fragments that also explode upon touching the ground. It can be somewhat challenging to ensure that these bombs fall in a predictable way, so deploying it against groups of worms is often preferable to individual worms.
- Damage: Up to 30 HP per impact
- Hotkey: F2 (3x)
The only addition to the firearm category in The Director's Cut, the Handgun is also, without a doubt, the least powerful weapon in its class. When a worm takes aim with the Handgun and fires upon a target, three bullets are released, each capable of dealing five hit points of damage. With the absence of the Prod in Worms: DC, the Handgun is most likely intended to take its place as a humiliation weapon. Even the manual admits that it is "not much use," suggesting it instead as a satisfying way of finishing off particularly troublesome worms.
- Damage: 5 HP per bullet
- Hotkey: F3 (3x)
The Petrol Bomb is tossed just like a Grenade, and similarly is not affected by wind. From there, however, its similarities to other thrown weapons diminishes, as it explodes immediately upon impact with the ground and unleashes several gouts of flame that spread out horizontally from its impact point. These flames cause damage to any worm they come into contact with, which can be compounded depending on the level of exposure. It is perhaps most effective when used against multiple worms or worms in confined areas.
- Damage: 15 HP per flame
- Hotkey: F6 (2x)
Essentially a Homing Missile with a brain (albeit a small one), the Homing Pigeon is mindful of its surroundings in a way that the Homing Missile is not. Once released, it will endeavor to seek out its preselected target while also avoiding terrain obstructions along the way. The bird's intelligence does have its limits, and furthermore it requires a small period to activate after being fired, so misfires are possible, but overall it is much easier to deploy successfully than a Homing Missile, and it causes a greater amount of damage as well.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP
- Hotkey: 6
The first Worms weapon that can be released in herds, the Mad Cow armament consists of a number of ambulatory bovine bombs that explode with the power of Dynamite. Once unleashed, one or more Mad Cows will run forward and explode immediately upon encountering any obstruction. The exact number of Cows released by the player is adjustable, and depending on the player's current stock, between one and five can be sent out at once. Mad Cow weapon crates typically yield three, so a single crate can result in up to three uses.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP per cow
- Hotkey: 6 (2x)
Holy Hand Grenade
Making the first of many appearances within the Worms franchise, the Holy Hand Grenade of The Director's Cut operates much like later iterations of the weapon, being thrown in the same manner as other Grenade-class weapons. Unlike its contemporaries, however, the Holy Hand Grenade (or HHG) is far more powerful, powerful enough to kill an uninjured worm, in fact. It does not possess a player-adjusted timer, but rather explodes three seconds after it comes to rest on the ground. Compared to other explosives, its radius is quite large.
- Damage: Up to 100 HP
- Hotkey: 7
The only new melee weapon introduced in Worms: DC, the Baseball Bat is used at close range to both damage a worm and send them flying. By aiming the targeting crosshair up or down the player is able to affect the trajectory in which the opposing worms is propelled. Aiming further toward the ground will send the worm a greater distance, while aiming upward will send them higher into the air. Since the weapon's base damage is not that spectacular in and of itself, the Baseball Bat is more commonly used to knock worms into the water.
- Damage: 30 HP
- Hotkey: 8 (2x)
Being a remarkable specimen within the ovine genus, the Super Sheep is possessed of an ability that others of its kind can only dream of, that being the ability to take flight. Upon pressing the fire button once, the Super Sheep is set loose, and appears to be nothing more than a normal Sheep. When the fire button is pressed again, the fluffy beast shoots straight up into the air where his movements can be directly steered by the player. It is up to this player to direct the fast-moving Sheep missile into enemy worms, where it explodes.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP
- Hotkey: 9
A combination of the Sheep weapon and the Ninja Rope, the Sheep-on-a-Rope is a regular-strength Sheep that can be navigated around the environment in much the same way that worms can navigate while using the Ninja Rope. This includes the ability to swing, detach, and reattach before touching the ground. If at any time the Sheep touches the ground without being attached to the rope, it explodes. In Worms: DC's secret Monkey Mode, it is replaced with Kenny-på-ett-Rep (Kenny-on-a-Rope), which is functionally identical.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP
- Hotkey: 9 (2x)
Threatening to do in players in with "mutton from the skies," the Sheep Strike is a version of the Air Strike in which missiles have been replaced with volatile bouncing Sheep. Five Sheep in total are dropped over the targeted area, and each one explodes upon contact with the ground. The threat does not end there, though, as each one will then bound into the air and crash into the landscape a second time, causing another explosion. Each individual explosion is weaker than other Sheep weapons, but when combined they are devastating.
- Damage: Up to 50 HP per impact
- Hotkey: 9 (3x)
Possessed of innate combustible properties, the confused Old Lady is a powerful weapon not altogether unlike a walking stick of Dynamite. She is not so much launched as she is set loose to hobble bemusedly along the landscape in search of something only she is aware of. After about ten seconds of ambling and incoherent muttering, the Old Lady explodes, causing considerable damage to any worms nearby. Since the Old Lady cannot be manually detonated by the player, she requires a certain amount of prediction on the player's part.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP
- Hotkey: 0
Priceless Ming Vase
Proving that they have no regard even for fine art, worms have been known to utilize a Priceless Ming Vase or two as weapons of war. It is used, like Dynamite, by dropping it at the desired location, and it allows its user five seconds to retreat before it detonates. The initial explosion causes a great deal of injury, but also sends several shards into the atmosphere that explode upon hitting the ground, causing additional damage. Large gatherings of worms are natural targets for the Ming Vase, as are enclosed ares that can focus its payload.
- Damage: Up to 75 HP (initial), up to 50 HP (fragments)
- Hotkey: 0 (2x)
Invoking the Postal Strike releases a number of deadly letter bombs over a specified zone that drift lethargically to the ground. These epistolary explosives have somewhat larger damage potential than a normal Air Strike, though there is one major caveat: they are heavily affected by wind. This forces players to either use the Postal Strike in calm conditions or attempt to gauge the wind's effect on the weapon's payload in order to adjust its target area appropriately. Despite the extra consideration required, when used well it is very powerful.
- Damage: Up to 50 HP per impact
- Hotkey: 0 (3x)
Though it causes no actual damage when activated, the Nuclear Bomb can nonetheless be one of the deadliest weapons in Worms: DC. Setting off a Nuke causes the entire level to sink (or the water level to rise, depending on how you look at it); while this causes no damage in and of itself, any worms near the waterline will be consumed and killed by whatever deadly substance resides at the bottom of that particular stage. This weapon is indiscriminate in who it kills, so it is best used when one's own worms are situated on higher ground.
- Damage: None
- Hotkey: 0 (4x)
The Concrete Donkey represents the ultimate in lethal force, and as such it is one of the rarest and most coveted weapons in the game. Calling down the Concrete Donkey causes the aforementioned garden ornament to fall vertically through the level at a point chosen by the player. Each time it makes contact with solid ground, it causes an explosion equal in strength to the Holy Hand Grenade, and it proceeds in this fashion until it has reached the bottom of the map. Worms targeted by the Concrete Donkey are very unlikely to survive.
- Damage: Up to 100 HP per impact
- Hotkey: 0 (5x)
The critical response to Worms: The Director's Cut from the Amiga gaming press was very positive, with Amiga Format and CU Amiga both giving the game a score within the ninetieth percentile. While these reviews acknowledged that the game was essentially an update to Worms rather than an entirely new game, a fact which even prompted Amiga Format to publish a second review score of 45% specifically for those that already own Worms, the cosmetic enhancements, new weapons, and gameplay tweaks were all seen as welcome additions. In spite of these recommendations, Worms: DC reportedly sold only 5,000 copies in total.