The game deftly mixes sprite characters and polygon backgrounds to produce a beautiful and humorous romp. Tomba! is classic platforming but also throws in rich, adventure/RPG elements and balanced puzzle solving. With smooth exploration mechanics, satisfying graphics, stellar presentation and fantastic controls, it’s hard to find fault with this Japanese gem.
The unique levels and subquests of Tomba! will amaze you with their witty challenges, as no quest is ever the same. You’ll find yourself going back again and again to help your little pink-haired caveboy overcome his pig-enemies. Tomba! will take you on a ride that you won’t want to get off.
This is not your average platformer. It is our number one requested game from Japan.
Tomba! at a Glance
Ore! Tomba (known in the US as Tomba!) is a well-known cult classic by Whoopee Camp, released for the PS1 in 1998. Anyone who was around and gaming on the original PS1 back in the late 90s probably knows this game from the demo, whether they played the full game or not. Join the wild Tomba on his quest to retake his grandfathers heirloom bracelet from the Evil Pigs that stole it, and perhaps save the island while he’s at it.
- Control pad: Move Tomba (in-game), change selection (in-menus)
- X Button: Jump (in action sequences), Cancel (in-menus)
- Circle Button: Talk/Read Signs (in-game), Confirm (in-menus)
- Square Button: Dash (in-game)
- Triangle Button: Access Item Screen
- Start Button: Pause
- L1/R1: Shift view up/down (not available in all areas)
- Hold Up or Down on the Control pad and press the Jump button in order to leap into the foreground or background, respectively. If Tomba is capable of jumping in the indicated direction, he will turn to face that direction. When he reaches a ledge (or if his hands reach the edge of a ledge during a jump) , press Up to make him climb onto it. Tomba can also cling to poles and tree trunks in this manner. While clinging to a pole/tree trunk, he can still attack by pressing the relevant button and swing to the other side of the pole by pressing the appropriate directional button.
- Tomba can climb up/down vertical or near-vertical walls by jumping into them. He will grab on automatically and can climb up/down by pressing, well, Up or Down on the control pad.
- If Tomba grabs a tree branch (or other pole-y thing what he can swing on), he can, well, swing on it. Hold the directional button in which Tomba’s facing to speed up the swing, and hold the opposite button to slow down and/or change directions. To jump off, hold the directional pad in the direction you want to jump and press the Jump button. Note that the direction Tomba jumps in is based off the directional buttons you’re holding down rather than where in the loop he is, and his velocity is determined solely by how fast he’s swinging.
Pause Menu Translations:
- Item: Access the Item Screen (view current items)
- Event: Access the Event Screen (view completed and Incomplete events)
- Status: View the Status Screen (Tomba’s special abilities, equipped items, and such)
- Map: View the Map Screen (where you are, where you’re going, where you’ve been)
There are 4 types of items, and you can tell the difference by the color of the text. Normal items have black text, and can be used at (almost) any time. Event items are in blue and can only be used in certain situations, usually something directly related to the item. Permenant items are in Red. These are things like the keys which stay with you and are used automatically whenever appropriate. Equipment is in green, and represents items that can be, well, Equipped. Generally speaking, Tomba can have one weapon and one pair of pants equipped at one time.
Event Screen Translations and General Info:
View: Get more detailed information on a specific event. Select the event you want to view with the directional pad and press Circle to view more info on it.
General Info: This screen shows us the events Tomba has discovered and completed. Events that Tomba has only discovered are displayed in red text, whereas events that Tomba has discovered AND completed are displayed in black text and have an icon off to the side.
Status Screen Translations and General Info: (starting from top-left):
- Status: Shows Tomba’s current Adventure Points (AP), Lives and Location
- Potential: Shows Tomba’s progress along the XP tracks. There are 3 tracks, one for Pigs and related enemies (pink), one for Bugs and related enemies (Green), and one for Everything Else (Blue)
- Current Status: Shows Tomba’s current/maximum Health, along with any Status Effect he’s currently suffering.
- Abilities (on the right): Shows any and all special abilities that Tomba has learned over the course of his adventure, such as the Animal Dash and the ability to speak Dwarf.
Tips and Tricks:
- When Tomba jumps and bites an enemy, he will gain 10 XP in one of 3 tracks depending on what he’s bitten. When a track hits level 10, one of Tomba’s special survival abilities will be unlocked… Once you’ve completed the OTHER necessary tasks, that is.
- For some reason, Tomba can learn Dwarf-ese by jumping and biting dwarf-heads. Don’t ask.
- Here’s some stuff they took out of the US version: on the Options Menu, Hold R1+L1+Select+Square and Press Left, Down, Right, Up, Up, Right, Down, Left. This will change Tomba’s hair color.
- Here’s something ELSE they cut out of the US version. Start a New Game and during the Loading Screen, Hold R1 and Press Select, Right, Left, Down, X, O, Start . Press Start again when the loading screen goes by and you’ll have some extra weaponry.
- Tomba gets Adventure Points (AP) from discovering AND completing events. If he discovers AND completes the event at the same time (by talking to the relevant NPC with the items he was supposed to bring, for example), he only gets the AP for completing the event.