It’s a new year and of course, Retro Recap is back with a vengeance! But it’s better to start off mellow, so this weeks highlight is none other than our lovable crocodile adventurer in Croc Legend of the Gobbos! (Wonder how long the meeting took to decide his name…)
This has probably the most catchy title screen music in the history of video games (a bold claim, I know), yet stating that this is the most memorable thing about this game doesn’t really do Croc any justice. From the very beginning, the idea of an abandoned crocodile being brought up by a village of hamster-like creatures is enough to warm anyone’s heart, and after the attack from evil Baron Dante and his minions, the personal feelings of hatred towards these vile enemies is enough to make you want to complete the game by itself.
The concept of Croc is quite the simple one. Croc’s adoptive parents(?) are attacked and kidnapped by Baron Dante and his Dantinis (the motivation for which is never revealed – guess he just doesn’t like little fuzzy things) and Croc, after being whisked away by a magical bird that can shrink Croc, our hero naturally swears revenge and sets out on a mission to save the Gobbos.
The Gobbos are scattered throughout the islands and your goal is to rescue each and every one of the creatures you can. In fact, it’s a must to even complete the game properly. Each level also contains 5 secret coloured crystals that you must find in order to unlock a bonus room which always contains the final Gobbo to collect. Strangely, although they’re secret crystals, you’ll have more trouble finding keys to open cages than you will finding these.
The major annoyance of this title is one that has come about due to modern day gaming. Croc came around during the early stages of the dualshock controllers and was one of the first titles to incorporate this feature. However, when playing Croc, the control scheme is what is most commonly referred to as “tank controls” whereby pressing left or right won’t make you run in that direction, but rather rotate on the spot. Frustrating isn’t the word when coming back to this game and I most definitely lose lives left, right and centre (but only if I’m running in those directions…)
I felt like I should include a section about the bosses you encounter throughout the game. Mainly because I’ve never understood Baron Dante’s obsession with transforming innocent animals into hardened warriors. The scene before your first boss encounter shows Dante looking over a harmless duck, butI think I’m slowly understanding his logic:
“I know what will defeat Croc! If I make this duck larger, he’ll crush him!”
I’m sure there was some method to his madness, but this seems to be a recurring theme throughout the game, with encounters against a boxing ladybird and ice skating mountain goats.
Here are some fun little facts about Croc for you:
- The concept behind Croc was first pitched to Nintendo. The idea was to create the first ever 3D platform game and the main protagonist was to be Yoshi. Once the deal fell through, Argonaut recreated the character into Croc
- The Sega Saturn release came with a glitch that if the game was booted in a certain way, the enemies and Croc himself would appear without a head.
Horrendous control schemes aside, Croc is one of those fun, cartoon-like platformers that leaves you with a sense of satisfaction after each play through. Not only the personal enjoyment of defeating Baron Dante, but the surprise of finding yourself humming the title screen music to yourself is an experience that any gamer should behold.
Did you play Croc during your childhood? Have you played it recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!