ToeJam & Earl
From Sega Retro
|ToeJam & Earl|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, PlayStation 3, Steam, RealOne Arcade, Nintendo Switch Online|
|Sound driver: GEMS|
|Number of players: 1-2|
ToeJam & Earl (トージャム＆アール) is a Sega Mega Drive action strategy game developed by Johnson Voorsanger Productions and published by Sega. Starring two extraterrestrial rappers who crash-land on Earth and must re-assemble the missing pieces of their spacecraft, it was first released in the United States in October 1991, and was generally well-received for both its charming parodies of 1990s urban culture and for its funk-inspired soundtrack. The success of ToeJam & Earl was followed by a sequel, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron, and helped to establish the duo as one of Sega of America's earliest mascots.
With a notably lighthearted tone, ToeJam & Earl's carefree design and fun characterization resulted in the game becoming one of Sega of America's more fondly-remembered original titles, both upon its release and into the modern era. Today, the duo are still strongly-associated with Sega's name in the United States, and has ensured the franchise still sees modern ports and newly-developed games.
ToeJam and Earl, two funky aliens from the planet Funkotron, are flying through space busting out funky beats in their Righteous Rapmaster Rocketship when Earl is given the driver's seat. Flying the rocketship recklessly, Earl crashes into an asteroid, causing the ship to make a crash landing on Earth, a planet filled with incredibly dangerous lifeforms, especially humans. Now, ToeJam and Earl must explore the planet and find all 10 pieces of their rocketship so they can return home.
The game takes place in a surreal isometric world representing Earth, where land is in the form of a stack of randomly-generated floating islands (though a 'Fixed World' with 25 pre-made islands is also available). In each of the game's 25 islands, the player must find the elevator that will bring them to the next level. Occasionally, a rocketship piece will be hidden somewhere on an island, although the player is not required to collect it right away before moving onto the next island. Every island besides the first is surrounded by a void, falling in at any time will cause the player to fall to the previous level.
Each level can have different features, with some features only being found on specific levels. Roads will slightly increase ToeJam and Earl's movement speed when walked on, though sand will gradually cause them to sink, reducing movement speed. They can swim in water, but doing so will drain their health and lead to drowning. Various hidden paths that connect multiple islands together can be discovered by walking along the edges.
Most inhabitants of Earth will attack or otherwise hinder ToeJam & Earl when they spot them, often causing varying degress of damage, stealing presents or immobilising them in some way. Some Earthlings are not hostile at all and will help them in exchange for money.
The player has a rank shown on the bottom of the screen with their health and number of extra lives, and begins the game at the rank of 'Wiener'. As the player scores points by uncovering squares of the map and opening presents, their rank will increase at certain point values. When the player increases in rank, their maximum health increases, and for every third rank reached (Poindexter, Bro and Funklord), the player receives an extra life. The player is able to increase in rank eight times. The ranks and their point requirements are listed below:
- Wiener: 0
- Dufus: 40
- Poindexter: 100
- Peanut: 180
- Dude: 280
- Bro: 400
- Homey: 540
- Rapmaster: 700
- Funklord: 880
The game can either be played with one or two players. In two-player mode, if ToeJam & Earl wander too far apart, the game will go into a horizontal split-screen mode so both players can keep track of their characters, with the screen returning to normal once the characters reunite. If ToeJam & Earl walk into each other horizontally, they will high-five, causing the player with the most health to give a little to the player with less health, and presents can be shared between both players if they are on-screen together. If one player loses all of their lives, they can also take a life from the other player to come back into the game.
The game ends when the player(s) finds all 10 pieces of the spacecraft.
By default, sneaks and causes a character to use an Action Present's ability, when applicable. pulls up a player's inventory. switches to a map of the current island. While viewing the inventory, pressing toggles the title between "OPEN" and "DROP", while pressing does what the title specifies. The standard button commands can be configured on the "What" screen before starting a new game.
|Presents are scattered around the levels that can be collected and used at any time. The effects of each present box are randomized each time the game is played, and must be identified by opening them or using the Wiseman's services. Some presents have helpful effects, such as restoring health, temporarily bestowing special abilities (referred to as 'Action Presents'), or revealing hidden sections of the map. Others, however, can do more harm, and can do things such as summon enemies, cause the character to fall asleep and leave them open to attack, or randomize the effects of all the presents.
Each player can hold up to a maximum of 16 presents. If a player has reached that maximum, they must open or drop presents they already have if they want to pick up any more. Presents wrapped in a "?" are always random, and will turn into another present when identified by the Wiseman.
A full list of presents can be seen in the sub-section below.
|Food comes in all sorts of varieties, and will heal different amounts of health or cause damage depending on its quality. The types of foods are listed below:
|Currency which is required for various services on Earth. Can be found on the ground or inside presents.|
|Randomly spawns nearby, and will constantly ring until it is found, revealing a few panels on the map. If a telephone is left unanswered for too long, it will disappear.|
|Mailboxes can be used to order presents for delivery when approached. Each mailbox offers three random presents, each having different prices. Of course, a present cannot be ordered if the user doesn't have enough bucks, or has too many presents. However, a mailbox may actually be a monster (see the Earthlings section for more information).|
|These will take ToeJam and Earl to the next level. In a two-player game, both players need to enter the elevator together to reach new levels, but if one player is on a lower level and needs to catch up, they don't need to wait for the other player to use the elevator.|
|One of the 10 pieces needed to rebuild the Righteous Rapmaster Rocketship. A hint will be displayed if a level contains a ship piece.|
A 'Jam Out' feature is accessible from the "What" screen when starting a new game. In this mode, the player can use any of the buttons on both Control Pads to make ToeJam and Earl bust out beats on animated backgrounds. Before starting, the player is given the option to have the base melody of any of the six songs in the game accompany the player's beats, or play without any music accompaniment.
Selecting 'Crazy Sounds' starts a special Jam Out session where , and will play random sound effects from the main game, and pressing any direction on the D-Pad will randomise the associated sound effects. Pressing on the first Control Pad cycles between each of the game's songs, while on the second Control Pad cycles between the full song, the base melody only, or silence.
To exit Jam Out and return to the "Who" screen, the player should press and holdon either Control Pad for a few seconds.
- Main article: ToeJam & Earl/Achievements.
One of Greg Johnson's main influences for ToeJam & Earl's design was the early computer game Rogue, a dungeon crawling game developed around 1980 for Unix-based mainframe systems and released as public domain software. He first played Rogue while studying bio-linguistics at the University of California in San Diego and would often stay up long nights playing the game, leaving a permanent impression on the designer.
- Main article: ToeJam & Earl/Production credits.
- Main article: ToeJam & Earl/Magazine articles.
- Main article: ToeJam & Earl/Promotional material.
|Mega Drive, SE (Rental)|
- Main article: ToeJam & Earl/Technical information.
- Sega of Japan Virtual Console pages: Mega Drive
- Nintendo catalogue pages: US, UK, AU
- ToeJam & Earl on Steam
- ToeJam & Earl on PlayStation.com: US, KR
- ToeJam & Earl on PlayStation Store: US, UK, AU, KR, TW
- ToeJam & Earl tribute page by Chris Sykes at skutter.net
- File:Tje md jp cover.jpg
- https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
- File:ToeJamandEarl MD KR cover.jpg
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 9
- GamePro, "September 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 64
- Computer Gaming World, "xxxx xxxx" (US; xxxx-xx-xx), page 83
- Sega Power, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-04), page 10
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 63
- ACE, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-08), page 98
- https://www.nintendo.co.jp/wii/vc/software/01.html (Wayback Machine: 2017-11-23 05:03)
- http://vc.sega.jp:80/vc_toejam/ (Wayback Machine: 2007-02-19 21:36)
- http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/7Zk0t7PUx42bzBtZGvHAv8XuFYK0yddT (Wayback Machine: 2010-11-22 23:51)
- http://www.nintendolife.com/games/megadrive/toejam_and_earl (Wayback Machine: 2017-06-28 09:11)
- https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Toe-Jam-Earl--279954.html (archive.today)
- https://www.nintendo.de/Spiele/Virtual-Console-Wii-/Toe-Jam-Earl--279954.html (archive.today)
- http://www.nintendo.com.au/index.php?action=catalogue&prodcat_id=41&prod_id=19784&pageID=4 (Wayback Machine: 2012-04-03 02:48)
- https://steamdb.info/app/71166/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-20 01:27)
- http://steamdb.info/app/71166/ (Wayback Machine: 2013-05-22 20:03)
- http://steamdb.info/app/71166/ (Wayback Machine: 2019-11-20 01:27)
- http://blogs.sega.com/2012/11/06/funk-is-brought-toejam-earl-games-out-now-on-xbla-and-psn/ (Wayback Machine: 2016-06-08 09:00)
- File:TJ E Release Announcement vFINAL.pdf
- PlayStation Store (ko-kr; HP0177-NPHB00500_00-SVC313TOEJAMEARL) (Wayback Machine: 2018-04-05 01:27)
- PlayStation Store (en-tw; HP0177-NPHB00500_00-SVC313TOEJAMEARL) (Wayback Machine: 2018-04-05 01:27)
- https://topics.nintendo.co.jp/article/f75139e8-8413-450e-9369-eba602eb0510 (archive.today)
- @NintendoAmerica on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoEurope on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoUK on Twitter (archive.today)
- @NintendoAUNZ on Twitter (archive.today)
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 246
- Beep! MegaDrive, "April 1992" (JP; 1992-03-07), page 35
- Computer Game Review, "January, 1992" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 32
- Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 135
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, "November 1991" (US; 1991-1x-xx), page 24
- Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1, "" (RU; 1999-xx-xx), page 363
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 109
- Famitsu, "1992-03-20" (JP; 1992-03-06), page 38
- Game Power, "Febbraio 1992" (IT; 1992-0-xx), page 54
- GamePro, "October 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 40
- Gamers, "Februar/März 1992" (DE; 1992-xx-xx), page 60
- GamesMaster (UK) "Series 1, episode 5" (1992-02-04, 24:00) (+5:40)
- Games-X, "31st October-6th November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-31), page 36
- Game Informer, "November/December 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 33
- Game Zone, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-18), page 24
- Hippon Super, "April 1992" (JP; 1992-03-04), page 84
- Hobby Consolas, "Enero 1992" (ES; 199x-xx-xx), page 34
- Joypad, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-17), page 65
- Joystick, "Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 164
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 95
- Mega Drive Fan, "June 1992" (JP; 1992-05-08), page 83
- Mega, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 21
- Mega Force, "Septembre/Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-13), page 86
- MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 81
- Mean Machines, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-29), page 106
- Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 142
- Player One, "Novembre 1991" (FR; 1991-xx-xx), page 60
- Play Time, "3/92" (DE; 1992-02-05), page 86
- Sega Power, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-02), page 35
- Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 62
- Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 68
- Sega Force, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-12), page 30
- Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 86
- Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 203
- Video Games, "4/91" (DE; 1991-12-06), page 32
|ToeJam & Earl|
Music: ToeJam and Earl Rap (1991)
|Games in the ToeJam & Earl Series|
|ToeJam & Earl (1991) | ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (1993)|
|ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth (2002)|
|Sega Vintage Collection: ToeJam & Earl (2012)|
|ToeJam & Earl related media|
|ToeJam and Earl Rap (1991) | Sega Tunes: ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (1996)|