Tomba! [1] – A Challenger Appears!

As I already said, Grandia bugged out on me, freezing at a certain spot. My plan was to transfer the saves to my PC and continue the game with an emulator, but in the meantime, I decided to start a fresh game on the PSP, a platformer, of a sort.

Tomba! - Intro

This game really brings me back!

Tomba! is a very strange game. It plays and controls like a 2D platformer, but it’s way more complicated than that. The whole idea of the game is that you explore the colorful world, find obstacles and then talk to interesting characters and collect items to help you deal with those obstacles.  Basically, it’s a platforming adventure game that plays more like a mix of equal parts Super Mario, Castlevania and Monkey Island, of all things.

It’s really hard to explain, but I found the demo, which is the only thing I’ve ever played as a kid, extremely fun and interesting. In fact, I found it so interesting I decided to put Tomba! on my PSP now and play all the way through it.

The 100 Year Old Man

The plot of Tomba! is simple. You’re some sort of caveman kid who likes to eat pork and have fun. Somehow, you run into a bunch of evil pigs who knock you out and steal your grandpa’s golden bracelet. You really like that bracelet, so you decided to save the world and destroy the evil pig empire to get it back.

Tomba! - First Area

The colors!

I started the game and talked to the old man at the beginning, which got me my first few events:

  • Grandpa’s Bracelet
  • Clear the Fog
  • The 100 Year Old Man

The first one will be with me until the game ends, but the other two, I’ll solve really soon.

Tomba! - Monkey

You can hold up to jump in that direction while swinging on a branch.

The beginning part was in the demo, so I remembered some of it. I jumped on the wall of the building behind me and got to the other side of the fence, where i got the Furious Tornado from the mailbox. Then I jumped back to the front and climbed the first three to talk to a hungry monkey:

  • A Hungry Monkey

Soon enough, I got to the fog and used the Furious Tornado to clear it.  On the way there, I also found a frog which I need to take home, but to do that, I had to get through a lengthy area without getting hit, which I failed to do. I continued to go right and soon got to a mountain and climbed to the top of it. On my way there, I destroyed four eggs and picked up the chicks inside.

  • Take Me Home
  • Inside the Kokka Eggs

At the top of the mountain was the house of the 100-year-old man, so that was another event I cleared. He told me all about the dwarves and their troubles and gave me the 100-year-old key, which opens a bunch of chests, so I went back to collect the treasures inside those. On the way to the old man, I also found the AP Box, which requires me to gather 50 000 AP.

Tomba! - The Tale of the Evil Pigs

Cartoon cutscenes!

  • Tale of the Evil Pigs
  • Dwarf Elder
  • The AP Box

I also gave him the chicks from the Kokka Eggs, so that event was over. One of the treasure chests I went back for contained the 100 Year Old Bell, which teleports me to the 100 Year Old Man’s hut upon use and it has infinite uses. I also found a pair of Charity Wings. These are a single use item that transports me to any location I already visited.

Tomba! - Leaf Butterflies

Tomba stores items in his stomach.

The Forest of 100 Flowers

Next up, I went past the 100 Year Old Man’s hut to the Forest of 100 Flowers.  This is where I found my first dwarf and was told I need to bite a few of them to learn their language.  This is what I did on my way to their village, so I was only missing one when I got there. I also discovered another event where I need to collect a certain amount of Leaf Butterflies. I got a total of six before I got to the village. At the village, I bit the last dwarf and learned the language. I also learned Seven dwarves as well as a dwarven child are missing.  A female dwarf has also lost something in the forest and I need seven evil pig bags to defeat the pigs.

  • Beginner’s Dwarf Language
  • Save the Dwarves
  • A Lost Child
  • Evil Pig Bag
  • Leaf Butterflies

When I got back to the forest, everything was swarming with pigs and spores. I soon found a couple of the lost dwarves and discovered two new areas, where, after a while, I’ve found the rest of them.

Long story short, I got to the nearby mountain, found the dwarves, found the child, filled a bucket with water and doused some evil pig’s campfire. Then I fed the monkey, brought the frog home, rescued a puppy and went on to find some medicine for it (still looking). The dwarf elder gave me the first pig bag and I think I’ve found the first evil pig’s hideout with the telescope on top of the mountain.

Tomba! - Telescope

The lair of the first evil pig?

All of this took me about an hour, maybe less. Next up, I’ll explore my current area for a bit to see if I missed anything and then I’ll go past the Phoenix Mountain to see what I can find there.

I got a bunch of event related items, but I’ve acquired some equipment upgrades such as the Jumping Pants which heighten my jump, as well as the wooden boomerang which is, I think, a stronger weapon. The hungry monkey tanked me for the bananas by teaching me how to run.

My first impressions of Tomba! are very positive. The game has aged really well and it still looks good, especially on the small PSP screen. The mechanics are unique even today, so It’s a refreshing change for me, after all these RPGs.

 

 

 

 

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  • Yea, Tomba! I remember print ads in gaming magazines first caught my eye, and the demo had this strange flux of genres that was so intriguing! And Sony’s eye-catching ‘hair =/ power’ commercials, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKVA6nnAKWc

    • Wow! I’ve actually seen that ad somewhere. I can’t remember where and I can’t imagine how, since there were no gaming ads in Croatia at that time, but I definitely vaguely remember this one. The feeling of deja vu is overwhelming.