Arcade - Marquee - USA.
Toki is a platform shooter developed and published by the Tad Corporation for the Arcade in 1989 as the first game in the Toki series. In 1991, Ocean Software released ports for the Amiga, Atari ST, and Commodore 64 (Ocean advertised ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC ports, but only a Spectrum prototype was made, and neither were released). Taito had the game ported to the NES in 1991, and Atari had the game ported to the Lynx in 1992. All of the ports were faithful to the original, but the NES port makes the game significantly easier by adding a health system.
In the game, you play as Toki, hero of the jungle. Your girlfriend Miho has been kidnapped by Vookimedlo, and you have been transformed into a lowly ape, but you can spit energy balls from your mouth. You must fight your way through five stages of dangerous jungle monsters in order to defeat Vookimedlo and rescue Miho. The game has some added character by mixing the jungle theme with anachronistic cartoon power-ups like a football helmet for protection, goggles for swimming, and high-top sneakers for jumping.
I remember renting the NES port of Toki in the early-1990s. I'm not sure why I chose it, as the cover looks terrible, so it must have been slim pickings that day. It ended up being one of the few rental games that I was able to complete over the weekend, also making it among the first video games I properly beat. In my 40s, I wanted to make this page for it, so I played through it again and beat it on my second attempt.
Best Version: NES
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The art design of the game is pretty good. The monsters are well drawn and creative, especially the creepy green monkeys, and the backgrounds are attractive. I also like all the silly gear that Toki finds himself wearing. The Amiga and Atari ST ports accurately capture the arcade art, but the other ports see noticeable degradation.
- I appreciate the health system added to the NES port. Although this makes the game easier, and the five continues more so, I prefer games that are too easy over games that are too hard.
- I don't like how the power-ups have a time limit. I prefer games which cause the player to lose power-ups from a mistake, not for something outside of their control.
- The music is very repetitive; tracks loop after about only 10-15 seconds.
- I find the controls on the cart section in stage 6 to be pretty bad.
- Despite being a hero of the jungle, Toki and Miho are both lily white. They are clearly based on Tarzan and Jane, so I get it, but this was a good chance for the developers to make a South American or Indian protagonist.
- Another damsel in distress and woman as reward. How unoriginal.
- With only six stages, the designers made up for the game's short length by making it extremely difficult. A single hit kills you, and there are a lot of enemies purposely placed to ambush the player. This is typical for an arcade game, but the home consoles should have decreased the difficulty and expanded the length.
|Strong female character?
|The only woman is a damsel in distress and reward.
|There is only one woman.
|Strong person of color character?
|The end boss of stage 1 looks black, but uses blackface tropes.
|There are no queer characters.
|Legend of Juju
- toki.fandom.com/wiki/Toki_(1989) - Fan site.