Toki on the Atari 7800|
So... What is A Toki?
Thank you for asking. Toki, for some reason, is a fairly popluar platform arcade game that has been ported to many systems. It's an unlikely successful Japanese game, where the main hero is turned into an ape and then he spits a lot. Eww. There's versions on Atari computers, the Lynx, the Genesis, and even the Nintendo Switch (complete with cutesy gimmicks in a collector's edition). There's even more versions than that... and it might surprise you that there was one conjured up for the Atari 7800. In 1992, Atari put the bullet in the back of the head of the 7800, and along with its brains, games like Klax, Rampart, Steel Talons, Pit Fighter and Road Riot 4WD were splattered all over the sheetrock. Some games, like Rampart and Pit Fighter, can be horsed around with, but were never really fleshed out into something you can really play. Games like Steel Talons and Road Riot 4WD have vanished and now only appear on milk cartons. Klax and Toki however, were almost completed. Klax has been released and although it is lacking music, is a great version of the game.
So... How Complete is Toki?
That's a great question. Apparently the game is 90-something percent complete. Those lucky few that have played it say that the gameplay is nearly perfect, all of the stages and most of the enemies from the arcade version are included, and it even has an ending where two people are making love. What's that? Oh... you're right. It's just heavy petting. The game's graphics can't hang with the NES version, but they are still respectable. The port is devoid of music on the title screen and the victory screen freezes, but other than that... the game looks good and is ready to ship.
So... Where the Heck is Toki?
That's another great question. God, you are insightful. Apparently, the program was found on one of those of old, legendary, Holy Grail Atari Hard Drives. Someone bought (or obtained via a pool game or knife fight) the rights to it. This mysterious owner of the prototype has it, and from what is reported, knows very little (or cares very little) about retro gaming, and has been too busy with other things over the last 10-15 years to release for the aging population of Atarians who would like to fool around with it. After all, there's sex at the end of the game and us nerds would very much like to see it. Okay okay... heavy petting.
So... Will I Ever Get to Play Toki?
OK, kid... stop with the damn questions. You remind me of my kid sister. The owner of the prototype can do whatever he wants with the game. So, he's sitting on it. And truth be told... I don't care. Toki never appealed to me. Its gross and kind of icky to play. The main character's projectiles are spit, after all. We are being flooded with amazing Homebrews in the Pro System scene all the time now... so I doubt many people are looking out their bedroom window at night, staring at the moon, pining for Toki. If the guy that owns it thinks that it will be extremely valuable one day and he will make a fortune off of it, I think he missed his window, to be honest. Atari 7800 fans are getting close to the age where we will soon be eating pea soup through a straw, and we will be too nearsided to play games on CRT TVs anymore. Younger retro gamer marks won't care about it when we die off and will scoff at the 7800 version in favor of ports with more gloss. So... he can stick it up his ape rump at this point. I gotz Bentley Bear, Knight Guy, and the Dragon of Storms to occupy my time now. And they have manners, spit-boy.
So... Where's That Hot End Screen You Got Us Worked Up Over?
Here you go, baby bitch. Daddy will never let you down.
I would like to thank www.Atariprotos.com for the use of the screenshots used in this article.