An atom (or atom balls for plural) is a type of common collectible item featuring in most games in the Earthworm Jim video game series (notably the first game, its special edition and remake, Earthworm Jim 2, and Earthworm Jim 3D), where they are scattered through all worlds, and most bonus stages also.
In all appearances, the atom is seen as a small pool of energy, resembling a glowing blue ball, with three smaller straight lines of yellow energy spinning around it.
Since Earthworm Jim's super suit protects his wormy body from harm (for the most part), the energy level of the super suit is essentially the "life bar" or "health bar" of the Earthworm Jim video games, and Jim will be healthiest when his suit is fully energized. However, damage to the super suit will cause it to lose energy. When the super suit runs out of energy, it will short out, blowing up Jim inside the suit (or forcibly ejecting him in Earthworm Jim 2) and costing a life. Fortunately, atom balls can be absorbed through the super suit, keeping it energized.
Generally, a single atom ball will restore 4% energy to the super suit - more on easier difficulties and less on higher difficulties, and 5% in Earthworm Jim 3D.
The rarer and more powerful red and orange variant is the Ultra Atom, which restores the suit to 100%.
- In the animated television series, Jim's super suit is said to be powered by a Battery of the Gods.
- In the HD remake of the first game, collecting 100 atoms balls in one single play-through will unlock the achievement / trophy "Atom Raider". Similarly, collecting 500 in one single play-through will unlock the achievement "Atom Jefferson".