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RETRO REMAKE: TOKI

After a successful launch on Nintendo Switch last November, retro platformer Toki‘s remake by Microïds has now made its way to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC/Mac! To accompany this particular release of Toki, there are many new features are on offer:

    • A speedrun mode added: For the first time, Toki will offer this new mode that will be accessible from the beginning of the game. It will be playable in all every difficulty settings
    • Graphic filters added: Rediscover this retro adventure thanks to 5 filters suitable in all game modes. The “cathodic TV” effect will particularly delight the memories of the most nostalgic players!
    • Addition of a Jukebox, including 32 music tracks in total including compositions from the original game and new tracks by Raphaël Gesqua

This remake version of the game initially released in 1989 on arcade, has been completely redrawn by Philippe Dessoly and Pierre Adane. Cult 2D action platformer game, Toki seduced a whole generation of players with its challenging difficulty, specific of this time. Our man Joni caught up with the pair ahead of it’s release…

THE INTERVIEW

J: Were you all fans of the original game?

Philippe Dessoly (PhD): I discovered Toki at Ocean France. I was a big fan of arcade games and I had ever heard about Toki. I had just finished the game “Ivanhoé” when I started to remake arcade games. Starting with Toki was a great opportunity! I have spent many hours playing this game!

Pierre Adane (PA): I am a big fan of Toki from the very beginning. It was available on our arcade machine at the office and we spent so many hours playing that game! When the opportunity of developing a new version of the game showed up, I was immediately thrilled by the idea.

J: Which original port were you most familiar with?

PhD: The arcade version, without a doubt!

J: What aspects from the original can we expect to see in this remake?

PhD: One of the biggest challenges has been to stay as faithful as possible to the original game. We wanted to find the nostalgic players and also to show a new version of this game to new players. In the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC/Mac version, we will add a Jukebox, which will
include 32 tracks with 8 compositions from the original game!

PA: Moreover, you’ll refind the warrior Toki, still fun and still motivated to save his sweetheart, Milo, thanks to crazy weapons and against crazy enemy!

HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION

J: The animation style is great Philippe! What inspired the decision to use hand-drawn animation?

PhD: Big work was done on the graphism. I wanted the game to look like a cartoon. Starting with a redesign of all the characters in that way, I then created environments and of course, I redesigned the animation as a cartoon. I was relatively free for this version and was able to work on this subject as I imagined. In 1989, it was quite impossible to make a game like this. But with the new generation of consoles, I thought that making a cartoon style for Toki was essential! Remake a game like this one today was as big a challenge as a great opportunity.

J: Apart from Philippe, are there any other team members from the original games involved this time around?

PhD: No one else.

JUKEBOX

J: It’s exciting to hear Raphaël Gesqua is providing the soundtrack – was lincensing an issue with regards to the original?

PhD : For the music, it seemed natural to ask Raphaël. We already worked with him on the game Mr Nutz. Raphaël made all the music and the sound universe! He did a great job, because the arcade version included very few tracks (so it was ok for licensing) and it was necessary to create new ones.

PA: Moreover, we were certain of the result and to have someone invested on 200% on the project. We have a great wealth of music and sound effects. It has been a pure pleasure throughout the development.

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH

J: The humour throughout the game is brilliant, it must have been fun to work on?

PhD : Yes, a lot! The game is based mainly on this humorous and quirky side and we had a lot of fun imagining how Toki could make players laugh and end up in situations as fun as in the first version.

PA: The game is still as fun as it was at its release. It was an obligation for us to offer players a story and zany characters, which they would remember for a long time! We will have great memories on this remake.

J: On the Switch there is a “rookie” level. Is this available on these platforms too or was that because the Switch has a typically younger market?

PhD: All the features which are present on the Switch version will be on the other platform versions.

J: What have been the challenges porting the game to several different systems?

PhD: I think one of the biggest challenges has been to stay as faithful as possible to the original game. One of the principal goals was to find the nostalgic players and also to show a new version of this game to new players. Big work was done on the graphism but the result is exactly like how I imagined it; I’m really happy with this remake.

PA: The most technical challenge, in my opinion, was the time spent. Realizing all the design alone is extremely long. Moreover, the visual aspect is the most important evolution in this version and we had lot-of work to do on this part of the job! We are really proud of the result and on the players feedback.

WHAT’S NEXT?

J: What are the plans for the future, how about a sequel?

PhD: Why not? But for now, we’ve focused on the release of the game on the new platforms: PS4, Xbox and PC/Mac. The players now have the chance to play to this game on these new platforms!


The remake is a real opportunity to rediscover 2D platforming with different levels and enemies, each more delirious than the last – and it’s out now!

And if you want more from Microïds then check out the latest release of Gear.Club Unlimited 2.

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