Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
From Sega Retro
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, known as Croc! Pau-Pau Island (クロック！パウパウアイランド) in Japan, is a 3D platform game developed by Argonaut Software for the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Windows. A 2D version exists for the Game Boy Color.
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos stars the young crocodile, Croc, who is found drifting down a river in a basket by a tribe of small brown furry creatures called Gobbos. Adopted and raised by them, Croc quickly shoots up in size and begins to feel isolated from his adoptive family.
The peace of the land is broken when the evil Baron Dante and his army of Dantinis invade the Gobbo's home island, capturing all of them and spreading them all over the chain of islands on the archipelago, with the Gobbo leader King Rufus encaged in the Baron's castle. Croc, who was spirited away by a bird called Beany at the last minute by the King before his capture, must now travel the island chain with Beany and rescue all the captured Gobbos, defeat the Baron and save the King from his prison.
As a 3D platform game, Croc sees the player traverse over 3D levels, collecting crystals, defeating enemies, and exploring in an attempt to free all of the captured Gobbos that Baron Dante has spread around the various islands of the game world. Each level usually has six Gobbos, usually hidden in crates or locked inside cages, with the sixth one usually placed in the sealed off bonus section towards the end of the map.
Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, crystals act as hit points - as long as Croc is carrying a crystal, he cannot be killed, but coming into contact with enemies or dangerous obstacles will cause Croc to drop his crystals. Coloured "bonus crystals" are also scattered around the levels, which may also be locked up or inside crates, or disguised as normal crystals. If each of the five bonus crystals are collected (one each of red, green, blue, yellow and purple), the bonus section becomes available.
Croc has the ability to strike back at enemies with two different attacks - a tail swipe, or a stomp (performed by jumping in the air then pressing another button to drop down heavily on the target). The latter move is also used to open crates, while the former is used to strike the "Beany Gong", used to to summon Beany and complete each level. Enemies that are defeated don't stay gone for long, however - they will respawn within a fairly short time, making the aim of the game more about saving Croc's friends than killing every enemy in sight.
The game world of Croc is broken up into five distinct islands:
Each of the first four islands has the same structure - three regular levels, each with six Gobbos to find, then a mid-world boss. Finding all the Gobbos in the three regular levels will open up a secret level, usually on a miniature island away from the main one (though not always - in world 4 one of the secret levels is in the dungeon of Dante's castle). The pattern then continues in the second half of the world, with another three levels with six Gobbos to find, an end-world boss, and another secret level with a jigsaw piece.
Secret levels contain a hidden jigsaw piece which needs to be found, and once all eight jigsaw pieces are collected, a fifth and final island is unlocked, with four more levels on it. Each level is a more difficult example of each of the four previous world's levels (i.e. there is a grassy level, an ice level, a desert level and a castle level). Completing all of these (there are no Gobbos to be found here) will unlock the game's real final boss, which upon defeating shows the true ending.
The bosses themselves (with the exception of the final world 4 Boss and the world 5 boss) aren't actually Dantinis - for each, the Baron has transformed an innocent creature it into a vicious being with the objective of stopping Croc. Upon defeating each of these non-Dantini bosses, a cutscene is shown of the spell being dissipated and Croc helping the ex-boss back towards its friends before Beany spirits him up again and on to the next challenge - in this way, Croc is helping the non-Gobbo creatures the Baron has been terrorising too.
Just about every level and boss name in the game is a pun or reference in some form - the below table lists the levels and where known, what the pun/reference is.
Saturn Rendering Bug
Due to manufacturing errors, the original European Saturn release of the game features a headless Croc (and various other missing polygons). In order for the game to work properly, the Sega Saturn must first be turned on without the game inserted. When the "no disc" message appears, the user must then insert the Croc CD, and the game should then boot normally.
The confusion led to Electronic Arts to include a yellow instruction leaflet to explain how users can fix the problem, however, as this needs to be done every time the game is played, it is still seen as an annoyance. More tediously for Saturn users, no such bugs exist in any of the PlayStation or PC versions.
Sequels and Re-releases