Because we'll never see a Tombi sequel!

"Hey you, with pink hair!" were the words that started a great adventure that many gamers of the 90s had the pleasure of living. It was the adventure of Tombs! the protagonist of the video game of the same name (called Tomba in Japan) released in the 1998 to PlayStation 1 which over the years is became a real cult even if it did not register a large number of sales. This prevented Tombi from finding his place in the contemporary videogame scenario, compromising his return forever with a sequel or remake.

But how is it possible that a title so universally known and appreciated has not found its place in the world of video games? Let's start with order.

How was Tombi born?

Tombi! is a 2.5D platform game developed by the Japanese Indie studio Whoopee Camp, founded by Tokuro Fujiwara, author of Capcom titles such as Ghost 'n Ghoblins, Mega Man and Resident Evil. The Capcom studios, at that time, began to get a bit tight in Fujiwara who, after the launch of Resident Evil, left the company to found his Indie Studio. Free from the pressure of a large publisher, the author could concentrate on his small creation.

Fujiwara devoted himself to Tombi! for about 3 years, even managing to find a seat at E3 1997-98 and then releasing the game in 1998 in Europe and North America.

Who and what is Tombi

Tombi starred, along with other titles, in a collection of Demos released together with Sony's first historic PlayStation. This proved to be a good springboard that made the title known to the general public.

Although 3D was one of the innovative features introduced by the PlayStation 1, Tombi still used an antiquated graphics system, for the time, which, despite everything, managed to conquer gamers. In fact, the Title presented a particularly interesting system of tasks (today we will call it quest). The game plot was indeed studded with missions and tasks to be carried out, as many as 130, between primary and secondary. Our goal was to move between the colorful levels that characterize the world of Tombi! in search of seven Bad Pigs who, with their powers, have upset the game levels.

The game differs from the mass of linear titles of that time by opting for an innovative where structure levels, missions and characters are connected to each other and it is necessary to perform certain tasks to solve others. This system creates a network of interesting events and some, not at all easy to carry out. All immersed in a colorful and lively world that has thrilled millions of players.

On paper, the ingredients for a hugely successful title are all there, but what went wrong?

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A problem called piracy

Despite the great appreciation from the public and critics, the Tombi's main problem! it was sales, never so brilliant. The game indeed failed to become a Platinum title for PlayStation which compromised its future successes. In those days, a video game was defined as Platinum only upon reaching at least 400.000 copies sold within six months of launch.

This figure was highly hampered by theincidence of piracy which, at the end of the 90s, was a real phenomenon of the videogame market. And this is how many gamers found themselves living the adventures of Tombi! but without contributing to the actual revenues of the software house and compromising the future of the franchise. However, this did not stop Fujiwara who published in 1999 Tombs! 2, direct sequel to the first chapter.

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A new attempt with Tombi! 2

With Tombs! 2, the software house focused on a great technical evolution. The Sequel, in fact, it became totally 3D keeping the line of events and episodes interconnected with each other by adding interesting gameplay variants and new characters. The main mechanics remained unchanged, focusing on a style that Tombi had now made his own, but even in this case the results were not worthy of note.

Tombi! 2 sold even fewer copies of the original title which, as we have seen, already failed to achieve great sales success. These results prompted Fujiwara to temporarily close the Whoopee Camp and make it a consulting firm for third-party companies. At the end of 1999, however, the adventure of Tombi's mother software house! ended with the definitive closure of the company.

No remakes of Tombi or Tombi 3?

With the closure of the Whoopee Camp the end of Tombi! is now marked. Over the years the game has been the protagonist of a ported to PlayStation 3 and PSP but nothing more and no one has ever moved to acquire the rights to create a remake of Tombi or even a sequel. Was Tombi the right game released at a "wrong" time?

What is certain is that Tombi today! has become a milestone in platform video games, highly appreciated by gamers from all over the world and the protagonist of a "hunt for the original" that sees it among the more expensive titles for sale online. We may never see a return of Tombi and the Koma pigs again but the sad story of Tombi! will continue to be part of the videogame baggage of many players out there.

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