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Tonic Trouble
N64-tonictroubleu
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal ;
RFX Interactive (GBC version)
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Distributor(s) Ubisoft
Platform(s) Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, PC
Release date(s) Nintendo 64
  • NA August 31, 1999
  • EU October 24, 1999
Game Boy Color
PC
  • NA December 6, 1999
Genre(s) Platform game
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
ELSPA: 3+
OFLC: G

Tonic Trouble is a 3D platforming video game by Ubisoft Montreal. The story follows the main character, Ed, after a magic potion spills on the Earth and causes vegetables to become living killers. The game was received poorly; critics cite poor controls, a wordy exposition, and sloppy graphics (on the N64 version). The N64 version of the game is a port of the PC version with noticeable differences, such as a substantially different opening due to the lack of processing power needed to render cutscenes, and different music in certain places. The game is often compared to another game published by Ubisoft called "Rayman 2: The Great Escape", because both are 3D platformers, both have main characters of a similar design (hands and feet without arms or legs), and both were released around the same time. The Game Boy Color version was only released in Europe.

It was released on the Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64 and PC.

Additionally, a beta version for the PC was released as Tonic Trouble: Special Edition, published by Guillemot. This version featured very different level designs and control scheme. It was given away by Compaq with new computers running Windows 98 in parts of Europe. A few differences are the additional guards not encountered in the Retail Version, larger and more open level designs, silver spades instead of thermometers for health power ups, and the lack of a final boss.

Plot

Story

The game begins with Ed, the protagonist, cleaning up the spaceship he is on. In the PC version, he is contemplating giving a present to his girlfriend. While he is working, he finds a can full of a strange substance sitting on a table. He drinks it, but it tastes horrible. Some of it drips on the floor, causing some screws on the floor to come to life. Depending on the version, Ed either disposes of the can out a garbage chute or he accidentally drops it into an open hole caused by the screws opening up.

The can falls to Earth and lands near a man named Grögh. He notices the drink’s mutagenic properties when it transforms the surrounding environment; when he drinks it, he is pleased with the results. When Ed’s superiors find out what happened and discover that it was Ed’s fault, he is ordered to clean up the mess he made.

Ed is to travel to Earth to retrieve the can, so that the scientists on the ship can make an antidote for the liquid. With the help of the doc and his daughter, Suzy, Ed gathers the parts required for a machine that will catapult him to Grögh's Kingdom. Ed enters Grögh's kingdom and confronts Grögh, who is driving a fearsome robot; in the end, Ed defeats Grögh and gets the can back from him.

Characters

Agent Ed : Ed is the main protagonist of the game, an alien; good but a little bit stupid. He has to repair his disaster. He is voiced by David Gasman.

Suzy : She is the daughter of the Doc and Ed's girlfriend. She is helping Ed in his adventure.

The Doc : Once free, the Doc helps Ed to go to Grögh's Castle to get his can back by inventing a machine.

Grögh : Grögh is the main antagonist of the game. A former drunkard viking who, after getting himself evicted from a bar for not paying his tab, managed to drink the Tonic and thus as a result, he is now the master around the world, stating that from then on, drinks are on him, and everyone would get a taste, and Ed must stop his reign.

Agent Xyz : Another character who helps Ed; this is a newspaper guy who explains to Ed how to get through his adventure.

Enemies

Tomatoes : Tomatoes either skip or roll around. Tomatoes can't die unless they hit a wall or fall off where they're rolling.

Torches : Found in almost every level. They're round, red, mechanical, and a short white tube that resembles a flame thrower sticks out of it. About half of the base is attached to the wall. Fire comes out of the tube. Torches spread fire for only 3 seconds and then stop for 6. It's assumed that they are some type of security.

Cobs : Met after fixing a popcorn machine, Cob confronts Ed as an act of rebellion along with others. Cob can be easily defeated by moving in front of targets when he spits a seed at Ed, which bounces off and hits him. Then he falls apart and pops in the lava below him. If Ed revisits this place, another cob will take the previous place.

Robosuitcase : Robosuitcase is a not so intelligent robot that has gone haywire. Even though the only weapon it has is a duster, that is more than Ed can say for himself at the moment. Robosuitcase is defeated by Ed because he is lured onto a switch which requires someone heavy to activate. The switch raises a grate covering a popcorn/crunch depositer turning Ed into Super Ed, who then pummels robosuitcase.

Carrots : Carrots spin around at a high speed in spots and if hit, will move around. The more common and slightly stronger ones are purple.

Beanstalks : Beanstalks throw their beans which explode when they hit ground. Sometimes, beanstalks can leave their beans and let them only explode when something comes near it.

Boxing Mushrooms : Boxing mushrooms wear shorts and fight hand to hand. If Ed brings out his peashooter, the mushrooms will spin on their heads quickly towards Ed.

Turnips : Turnips use pitchforks to attack. Turnips are only fought at the entrance of vegetable HQ. One hits tomatoes at Ed near the entrance to the glacier cocktail but can not be fought.

Jalapeño Pepper : Only found once in the vegetable HQ. Jalapeño pepper can only be hurt if Ed eats the popcorn/crunch turning into super Ed.

Electric Spike Balls : Electric spike balls appear more commonly in each level later on. They float above the ground and sometimes move in patterns. If Ed touches one, they explode. They're most likely meant for security.

Electricity : Electricity is either a small ball that hovers in a pattern or two balls across from each other that create a line of it in between. It is found in almost every level, maybe as some type of security.

Helling Guards : These are Grögh's henchmen. They are very strong, shirtless men who have long, wavy mustaches. Guards are filled with hot air. A lot of them are armed with shooters resembling toilet plungers. There's an exception of their weapons being replaced with pistons shooting sharp ice at the glacier cocktail. When Ed defeats one, they inflate and pop. All types of guards have goggles that cover up their four eyes.

Flying henchmen : Flying henchmen mostly fly in one spot shooting at whomever is against them. They fly using propeller caps just like the ones Ed collects at the north plain.

Cyborg henchmen : Cyborg henchmen attack with electricity that they control. Electrical conducts are used to charge them up. Cyborgs cannot be hurt except on their back because of their open flaps.

Old teeth : Found only in the reverse pyramid, these teeth will attack Ed by chomping him and move doing so. They take three hits before falling apart. If Ed brings out the pea shooter, they will turn invisible and stand still.

Mummies : One of the few enemies that talk, the mummies are fought all at once in their wheelchairs. With the exception of the first one which is seen at the end of a long gap filled with poison water shooting bugs through a blowpipe. If a mummy is hit once, they'll roll away for a while.

Levels

In the PC version, whenever a loading spot came up (because N64 cartridges can play games without that need) at the beginning of each level, there is a map shown of that location as a loading screen. If Ed is going to talk to someone, then the loading screen is of that person shown in drawings too.

Doc's Cave You must free the doc because his creations have become crazy. At the end, Ed confronts the monster holding the doc, robosuitcase, who talks a lot like a caveman. Once defeated, Ed finds his first tool/weapon. A stick he can whack with and pull levers by sticking them in where the handle should be.

Vegetable HQ You must collect 6 springs on this level. Upon entering, a beanstalk confronts Ed, telling him that he stands no chance. A short while later, though, Ed proves him wrong after knocking him into a lava pit along with a non talkative tomato named ketchup. After this defeat, Ed must work a platform crossing many electrical devices and then fight a jalapeño pepper. After bringing back the spring, the doc gives Ed the peashooter.

North Plain You must collect 6 propellers on this level. A lot like the south plain, except with many gaps. Grögh has taken over the north plain and reformated it like a castle, complete with guards. This level introduces propeller guards who use propellers on their head to fly. After giving the doc the propellers, Ed receives the ability to fly with his bowtie.

Canyon You must collect 6 jumping stones on this level. Ed meets a flying elephant that can talk at the very beginning of this level. The majority of this level having lava below, Ed has to fly most of the way across. Two most common obstacles are giant pieces of wood and Gröghs henchmen, who wait on small pieces of land. When Ed gives the doc the stones, he is rewarded with a fishbowl that can be used to swim underwater.

Glacier Cocktail You must collect 6 feathers on this level. Ed talks with a bartender at the very beginning of this level. The newly found groga substance is tested here on henchmen. Because of that, some of the ones Ed encounters think they're ballet dancers. It is said that some think they are ostriches too but this is never seen and probably was only put in because of the feather searching. This level introduces the electrical robots guards too. Ed sees that one of the gears to open the door leading to the end is missing. He must raise the water then freeze it and then melt it to raise it twice. After Ed delivers the feathers, the doc gives him the chameleon power, which allows Ed to transform into anything on the picture of an octagonal platform.

Reversed Pyramid You must collect 6 dominoes on this level. Ed talks to a seems to be an insane patient at the very beginning of this level as well as throughout the whole level. Ed must get past a giant cat, dozens of spikes, old teeth that attack anything moving, boulders, and old wheelchair mummies (meant literally due to their mom like appearance). After Ed gives the doc the dominoes, he gets the new improved pogo stick. It allows Ed ability to wrap around it while hopping across hot coals and stomp the ground very hard.

Pressure Cooker You must collect 6 piggy banks on this level. Ed meets the pharmacist at the very beginning of this level. This is where some of the tonics experiments are held for research. Being the most technical level, Ed must work with the machinery in order to get where he is going. Some talkative guard sees Ed and locks a door blocking his path. Ed uses his chameleon power to disguise himself as a piston, then squishes the guard. Half way through, Ed has to disguise himself as Grögh to trick someone but turns back to himself after passing though a door. When the guard finds out that it was Ed, the guard makes Ed cross through a lava deathtrap. After pulling through, Another guard tries to flood him out. Lastly Ed transforms into a box, seeing that a guard is kicking them through a hole leading to the exit. But one of the alive vegetables suddenly appears and takes the last pig. After leaving, the doc informs Ed that he has struck a deal with agent xyz to get Ed gets unlimited ammo for the peashooter.

Magic Mushrooms Hideout Although, only technically a level, the hideout is quite difficult. The majority of the level is spent riding down huge metal pipes with electricity and gaps. At the end, Ed fights the magic mushroom himself, who also had a plan for ruling the world, much so the same as all the other alive vegetables.

Grögh's Castle It is always raining at the castle. When Ed enters, he is confronted by all the guards in the general area. Ed makes it through to find that when he almost got to Grögh, one guard moved all the platforms to get there with. Afterward he finds Grögh in a giant robot version of the can that started the whole mess. He gives chase to find that all he can do is run. Ed outruns the robot but it turns out he's at the end of a lava pit with Grögh coming slowly closer to squish him. Then the fight finally comes to the end match. When finally defeated by Ed and a combination of his bow tie, peashooter and stick, Grögh loses all means of defence against Ed.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 70%[1]
(N64) 53.32%[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[3]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.12/10[4]
Game Informer 7/10[5]
GamePro Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[6]
Game Revolution F[7]
GameSpot 3/10[8]
GameZone 7.7/10 (incorrect score is "8.5")[9]
IGN (PC) 6.3/10[10]
(GBC) 6/10[11]
(N64) 5/10[12]
Nintendo Power 7.4/10[13]

The game was met with very mixed reviews, as GameRankings gave it a score of 53.32% for the Nintendo 64 version,[2] and 70% for the PC version.[1] Critics cite poor controls, a wordy exposition, and sloppy graphics. The PC version of the game is a port of the original N64 version with noticeable differences, such as a substantially different opening due to the lack of processing power needed to render cutscenes, and different music in certain places. The game is often compared to another game published by Ubisoft, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, because both are 3D platformers, both have main characters of a similar design (hands and feet without arms or legs), and both were released around the same time, although Rayman 2 received much better reviews. The Game Boy Color version was only released in Europe, and was met with equally mixed reviews.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tonic Trouble for PC". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/199054-tonic-trouble/index.html. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Tonic Trouble for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/n64/199055-tonic-trouble/index.html. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  3. McCall, Scott. "Tonic Trouble (N64) - Review". Allgame. http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=13738&tab=review. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  4. "Tonic Trouble (N64)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1999. 
  5. Helgeson, Matt (August 2000). "Tonic Trouble (N64)". Game Informer (76): 64. Archived from the original on 2000-05-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20000522211100/http://gameinformer.com/reviews/review_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=4607. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  6. The Freshman (1999). "Tonic Trouble Review for N64 on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20050213234054/http://www.gamepro.com/nintendo/n64/games/reviews/1571.shtml. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  7. Liu, Johnny (January 2000). "Tonic Trouble Review (N64)". Game Revolution. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/tonic-trouble. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  8. Stahl, Ben (1999-06-24). "Tonic Trouble Review (N64)". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/tonic-trouble-review/1900-2543716/. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  9. Suzi Sez (2000-01-14). "Tonic Trouble Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20090206012842/http://pc.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r10720.htm. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  10. Lopez, Vincent (1999-12-17). "Tonic Trouble (PC)". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/12/18/tonic-trouble-2. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  11. Jones, Tim (2000-05-30). "Tonic Trouble (GBC)". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/2000/05/31/tonic-trouble. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  12. Casamassina, Matt (1999-10-13). "Tonic Trouble (N64)". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/1999/10/14/tonic-trouble-3. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  13. "Tonic Trouble". Nintendo Power 124. September 1999. 

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