Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
|Croc: Legend of the Gobbos|
Martin Gwynn Jones
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos (also known as simply Croc, or in Japan as Croc! Pau-Pau Island (クロック!パウパウアイランド?)) is a platform video game published by Fox Interactive and developed by Argonaut Software for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows and Game Boy Color. It follows protagonist Croc, and his attempts to rescue the furry creatures known as Gobbos from the antagonist, Baron Dante.
The Gobbo King Rufus is watching the sunset when he notices a small basket in the lake, containing a small, screaming baby crocodile. The Gobbos raise him and train him to become one of their own. The crocodile, named Croc, eventually grows to three times the size of a normal Gobbo.
Suddenly, Baron Dante arrives and invades Gobbo Island with the help of his demons, the Dantinis. He imprisons many of the Gobbos, most notably their King, whom he keeps in a steel cage within his castle island. Before being kidnapped, Rufus strikes a magical gong that summons a yellow bird called Beany. Beany shrinks Croc before whisking him away to safety. Croc then goes on a quest to free all the Gobbos and defeat Baron Dante himself.
Croc is a free-roaming game title, with Croc's movement differing slightly depending on whether players use the directional pad or the analog controller to control him. His main moves consist of a tail whip attack that can temporarily destroy enemies, and a hit drop used for smashing open crates (the same move in the Super Mario series). Croc also possess the ability to swim in select levels. Throughout the game Croc collects crystals which serve as health in a similar fashion to golden rings in Sonic the Hedgehog, meaning the player will lose a life if hit without holding any crystals in their inventory. Crystals retained at the end of a level are stored, with Croc gaining an extra life for every 100 he collects.
Progressing through the levels involves finding and hitting the Beany Gong at the end of the level to move onto the next, facing two bosses during each island. However, to fully complete the game, Croc has to rescue the captured Gobbos throughout each level. Each level contains six Gobbos, including one hidden behind a door at the end of the level. This Gobbo can only be released by collecting five colored crystals throughout the level. Collecting all the Gobbos before a boss level unlocks an extra level in which a Jigsaw Piece can be earned. When the player collects all of these pieces, a new island is opened up, leading to the game's final boss, Baron Dante, in crystal form.
There are four standard islands in the game, each of which has a unique theme. Starting with the forest themed island, then progressing on to the snow, the desert, and castle themed islands respectively. A secret island is unlocked after the player collects all Gobbos and Jigsaw pieces in the game.
Each of the four standard islands contain six standard stages, two boss stages and two bonus stages, as detailed below.
In the standard stages (levels), Croc has to collect six Gobbos and five Coloured Crystals. The Coloured Crystals open the Crystal Door at the end of the stage which contains the sixth Gobbo.
A boss stage comes after every set of three levels. Boss stages contain no Gobbos or Coloured Crystals. However, each stage does contain the standard crystals, of which there are always 50.
After each set of three standard stages and the boss stage the player can access a secret stage if they have rescued all 6 Gobbos on the preceding three standard stages. These contain standard crystals and a Jigsaw piece at the end.
If the player collects all eight jigsaw pieces in the game they gain access to the Secret Island, which consists of five levels. This island contains four stages and a final boss.
The four stages are themed in-order of the original standard island themes and consist of parts of the stages from those islands put together as a new stage. They contain more enemies than before and are more difficult. There are no Gobbos or Colored Crystals to collect and the only aim is to make it to the end of each stage.
There are five islands (worlds) in Croc Legend of the Gobbos
- Forest Island
- Ice Island
- Desert Island
- Baron Dante's Castle
- Crystal Island
- Croc, the protagonist and playable character. A single toothed, vegetarian crocodile raised by the Gobbos.
- King Rufus, the ruler of the Gobbos/Pau Paus. Distinguishable from others by the golden crown he wears.
- Baron Dante/Bad Magician, the primary antagonist, a large reptilian creature dressed in armor and a cape.
- Beany Bird, Croc's method of transport throughout the islands and main teammate.
- The Gobbos/Pau Paus, cute, fuzzy orange-brown creatures. They are a peaceful race who raised Croc.
- The Dantinis, Baron Dante's underlings. They appear in many different forms and colours.
- Tooty the Feeble, a duck transformed by Baron Dante, also known as "The Willy-Stick Man".
- Flibby, a giant boxing ladybug.
- Chumly, a creature given a rocket pack which frequently malfunctions.
- Demon Itsy, a group of mountain goats combined to form a strange monster.
- Neptuna, a fish transformed into a merman with a trident.
- Cactus Jack, a giant sentient walking cactus who shoots spikes.
- Fosley, transformed from a pink child with a balloon to a huge monster who throws dynamite.
- Baron Dante, the game's final boss and antagonist. He transformed the rest of the Bosses. This boss has three phases.
- The Crystal Boss (or The Secret Sentinel), Baron Dante's spirit trapped in a Crystalline form. (Rumored, but not much is known about what the Secret Sentinel actually is, apart from resembling Baron Dante in shape.)
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos started development as a 3D platform game Mario spinoff starring Yoshi that was intended to be made exclusively for Nintendo 64. Argonaut pitched the game to Nintendo but was rejected. This ended the relationship between the two companies that began with the development of Star Fox. Due to the game being rejected, Argonaut had to find other publishers to finance and publish the game. The Japanese publisher (Mitsui) selected the Sony PlayStation, the Sega Saturn, and PC as the platforms. The original contract focused on Sega but the market shifted and the Sony PlayStation became the primary platform. The game was executive produced at Argonaut by Jez San and John Edelson. The lead programmers were Lewis Gordon and Anthony Lloyd, and the lead designer was Nic Cusworth. Characters were designed by Simon Keating. The Yoshi game concept later served as an inspiration on the development of Super Mario 64. The music for Croc: Legend of the Gobbos was composed by Justin Scharvona, Karin Griffin, Martin Gwynn Jones and Richard Joseph.
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos received mixed to positive reviews upon release. Aggregating review website GameRankings gave the PlayStation version 79.14%, the Sega Saturn version 76.67%, the PC version 60.50% and the Game Boy Color version 54.00%. Praise went to the game's graphics, unique gameplay and music whilst criticisms went to the game's camera angles and repetition. In 2014, GamesRadar listed the game one of the best Sega Saturn games, stating that the game "gave players on Sega and Sony’s machines a chance to explore 42 brightly colored levels’ worth of Argonaut’s take on the Mushroom Kingdom, earning the company a bestseller of its own in the process."
Sequels and spin-offs
- Croc: Legend of the Gobbos at IGN
- McFerran, Damien (4 July 2013). "Born slippy: the making of Star Fox". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Justin Scharvona official website
- "Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for Saturn". GameRankings. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Croc: Legend of the Gobbos for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Croc for Game Boy Color". GameRankings. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Best Saturn games of all time". GamesRadar. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Gallup UK PlayStation sales chart, January 1998, published in Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 28