Today, almost 11 years after its initial release on the Game Boy Color, our very first game Toki Tori is re-released on the 3DS eShop! Time to reveal some facts you probably didn't know...
Did you know that Toki Tori had a name change back in 2001? Our little feathered chick used to go by the name “Eggbert”. By the end of 2001, our publisher Capcom informed us that we couldn’t use the name Eggbert. Apparently it was conflicting with another game named “Speedy Eggbert”. So we needed to change the name and Capcom kindly provided us with the following alternatives:
Fineggle, Eggling, Boondeggle, Elbert Egg, Eggy
When we received those alternatives, our first reaction was: “Are they serious? Boondeggle… really?! Should we call our protagonist Elbert Egg? We got to do better than that!” So we too came up with a bunch of alternatives. And one of those was Toki Tori, which was created during a brainstorm session in a local shawarma restaurant. Some of the other alternatives proposed by us included: EggHunt, Kiroi Tori (which means Yellow Bird in Japanese) and Jegg. But Capcom decided that they liked Toki Tori the most, which finally made an end to the long lasting discussion about the name of our yellow egg-loving friend.
Original menu screen displaying "Eggbert". Later this was changed to "Toki Tori".
Even though Toki Tori sounds Japanese, it really doesn't mean much in Japanese. It could be translated to "time bird", which doesn't make sense for this game. I have also heard that it is an old Finnish word for "marketplace", which makes even less sense. Whatever it is, it doesn't mean anything, it just sounds cool.
Our current logo, the one with the shield, wasn’t always like this, as can be seen in the original version of Toki Tori which displays our chip logo. Before we came up with our first logo, featuring the smiling chip, we had a number of alternative designs. One of them, which almost made it, featured spermatozoids. You have read it correctly: spermatozoids! So we have this kids friendly looking game featuring an overly-cute chicken, all nice and happy... but it boots up with a splash screen containing two spermatozoids trying to invade an eggcell?! And not to mention the fact that we were trying to release the game in the US, where everything that is even slightly related to human reproduction is not-done. What were we thinking?
So in the end we came up with another design, which was definitely more kids friendly, US friendly, happy and cute. We used this logo until it was replaced with our current logo in 2005.
Toki Tori Boxart
We had to create the boxart of Toki Tori as well and this is one of the first sketches we had for it.
Which finally resulted in the following boxart designs:
Toki Tori Re-Released
Toki Tori was our first game, and it enabled us to get to where we are right now. The birth of Toki Tori was also the birth of our company. So needless to say the re-release of our first game is definitely special for us, even after almost 11 years. Interested in the original version of Toki Tori, feel free to check it out at the Nintendo eShop:
I hope you like this small blast-from-the-past about Toki Tori, as I'm planning to write a number of short articles about the history of Two Tribes and our games. How did development on Toki Tori start? How did we get Capcom to publish this game? What ever happened to Three Tribes? What mistakes did we make? I'd like to cover subjects like that. But if you have a question or comment of your own, feel free to ask away!