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Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return

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Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return
Tomba! 2 - The Evil Swine Return Coverart.png
Developer(s)Whoopee Camp
Director(s)Kuniaki Kakuwa
Producer(s)Tokuro Fujiwara
  • Naoya Furutani
  • Shinya Ukawa
  • Tadafumi Kamioka
  • Toshihiko Uda
Artist(s)Hiroshi Onishi
Writer(s)Masayoshi Kurokawa
  • Shiina Ozawa
  • Ashif Hakik (international version)
  • JP: October 28, 1999
  • NA: January 18, 2000
  • EU: June 16, 2000

Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return[a] is a platform-adventure game developed by Whoopee Camp and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game was released in Japan in 1999 and in other territories the following year. The game is a sequel to Tomba! and centers on the exploits of the eponymous feral child as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend Tabby from an evil race of anthropomorphic pigs.

While Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return retains the basic game mechanics and "event" system of its predecessor, it features the additions of fully 3D environments and an assortment of collectible suits that augment Tomba's abilities. The game was received positively by critics, with particular praise going to the gameplay variety, controls, and visuals. Reception to the audio was mixed, and criticism was directed at the large number of tedious events and simplistic, repetitive boss battles. Whoopee Camp disbanded following the game's lackluster commercial performance. The game was re-released on the PlayStation Network in Japan in 2011, in Europe in 2012, and in North America in 2015.


Tomba using the Flying Squirrel Suit in the cursed Kujara Ranch

Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return is a side-scrolling platform-adventure game with RPG elements.[1][2] The player controls the titular character Tomba, who must defeat the Evil Pigs and rescue his girlfriend Tabby.[3] The game is displayed in a full three-dimensional perspective in which movement is performed on predetermined linear paths. Whenever Tomba reaches a point where additional paths intersect with his current one, a set of flashing arrows appear above his head. At that point, Tomba can move in any direction that the arrows point.[4][5] Some areas allow the player to explore them in an isometric view.[6] Signposts scattered throughout the environment can be used to save the player's progress.[7]

Along with the ability to jump, Tomba can attack enemy characters by leaping onto and biting into their back before tossing them in a straightforward trajectory.[8] Attacking enemies in this fashion raises a magic meter on the bottom-left corner of the screen.[6] Tomba can also attack enemies by obtaining various weapons such as flails, boomerangs and mallets.[9] Throughout the game, different suits that can augment Tomba's abilities or protect him can be obtained. For example, the flying squirrel suit allows Tomba to glide long distances while the pig suit allows Tomba to communicate with friendly pigs. When Tomba defeats a boss character, he can wear their robe and use special powers at the cost of some magic.[4][10] Magical feathers scattered throughout the game can be used to instantly transport Tomba to any area that has previously been visited.[9]

When Tomba interacts with a certain character or environmental element, an "event" may be initiated, in which Tomba is given a task to accomplish or an obstacle to overcome. Such events may consist of finding a lost item, rescuing a stranded character or clearing a blockade in the imminent path.[2][11] Upon completing an event, the player is rewarded with "Adventure Points", which can be used to unlock specifically-marked chests.[5] The game features an inventory system that displays the player's current collection of items and events.[9] The game includes a total of 137 events,[4] some of which can be unlocked by importing save data from the original Tomba!.[12]

The player begins the game with a maximum of four health points that are represented as a series of pink squares on the upper-left corner of the screen. Tomba loses a health point if he is hit by an enemy or environmental hazard. Health points can be restored by eating fruit and lunch boxes or by using other restorative items. When all health points are depleted or if Tomba falls down a bottomless chasm, the game ends prematurely.[6]


Tomba – having grown into a young man since his previous adventure – receives an envelope containing his insect friend Zippo, who reports that the Evil Pigs have invaded a neighboring land and that Tomba's girlfriend Tabby has disappeared.[3] Tomba leaps into the sea in search of her and winds up in a fisherman village where he meets an old man named Kainen. From there he moves on to the Coal-Mining Town where Tabby's house is, but discovers that she is absent.[13] Gran, a denizen of the Coal-Mining Town, mentions seeing Tabby travel to the Kujara Ranch by trolley,[14] but the trolley she used to travel there returns empty. A panicking trolley worker reveals that the Evil Pigs kidnapped Tabby when she tried to protect a pendant that was given to her by Tomba as a gift.[15] Gran explains that the Evil Pigs have cursed the entire continent, and gives Tomba a red Pig Bag that is capable of capturing the Flame Pig that has cast his spell on the mines.[16] Tomba ventures throughout the continent gathering the rest of the Pig Bags. After Tomba captures the five Evil Pigs and lifts their spells over the land, their leader, the Last Evil Pig, reveals himself to Tomba and tempts him to find his lair.[17] Tomba locates the Last Evil Pig in an underground area underneath the Coal-Mining Town, where the Last Evil Pig freezes time in a last-ditch effort to stop Tomba.[18] A final battle against the Last Evil Pig ends with his capture, but he promises his eventual return.[19] Tomba finds Tabby in the Last Evil Pig's lair and they escape the collapsing area on the back of the flying dog Baron. Following a feast at Tabby's home, Kainen may appear and reward Tomba with a tuxedo if all the events were completed.[20] Tomba is allowed to pilot the local windmill owner's new boat to return home, but he crashes it soon after departing.[21]

Development and release[edit]

For Tomba! 2 The Evil Swine Return, Whoopee Camp founder Tokuro Fujiwara transferred directorial duty to Kuniaki Kakuwa, but retained his other positions in development.[22] A fully polygonal approach was applied to the game's graphics to achieve a greater freedom in expression. This shift to three-dimensional graphics allowed for concepts that were not possible in the previous title, such as dynamic camera movement during cutscenes. Despite the change in graphics, the first game's basic systems and gameplay were preserved as to not alienate players of the previous title.[23] Hidetaka Suehiro provided level design for the latter half of the game and set up the AI movement for the enemy characters.[24] The music was composed by Shiina Ozawa,[25] with a new score by Ashif Hakik being recorded for the international version.[4][22] The Japanese-language version includes the voice talents of Ichirō Nagai, Satomi Kōrogi and Yuki Matsuoka among others.[25] The game was publicly unveiled by Sony at E3 1999,[26] and was released in Japan on October 28, 1999.[27]

The game's introduction video in the Western releases was edited from the original Japanese version, and features different background music.[12] The English-language voices were provided by the Actors Phantasy Company.[22] The North American release date for the game was announced by Sony on November 11, 1999.[28] A playable demonstration was integrated into the Jampack Summer 2K compilation CD released by PlayStation Underground.[29] Tomba! 2 was released in North America on January 18, 2000 and in Europe on June 16, 2000.[28][30] The game sold less copies than its predecessor,[31] and Whoopee Camp was disbanded following its release, with much of its staff later transferring to Access Games.[32] The company had been developing the PlayStation 2 title Extermination prior to its dissolution.[33]

When an English-language distribution deal for Tomba! on the PlayStation Network was formulated between MonkeyPaw Games, Sony and Fujiwara, the involved parties elected to wait until Tomba!'s re-release showed satisfactory sales figures before arranging the sequel's re-release.[34] Tomba! 2 was re-released on the PlayStation Network in Japan on September 28, 2011,[35] in Europe on December 29, 2012,[36] and in North America on February 18, 2014.[37] Tomba! 2's initial release on the North American PlayStation Network was that of the Japanese version; MonkeyPaw Games experienced emulation issues with the English-language version that prevented its immediate release and intended the Japanese version to be a placeholder.[38] The English-language version of the game was released on the PlayStation Network in North America on November 5, 2015.[39] From November 3 to November 9, those who were verified to have purchased the Japanese version were able to download the English version at no extra charge.[40] To commemorate the release of the English version, MonkeyPaw Games created and distributed limited-edition Tomba plushie figures as part of a special promotion on Twitter from November 3 to December 25, 2015.[41]


Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return received generally positive reviews from critics, obtaining an aggregate score of 83% on GameRankings.[42] While Jeremy Conrad of IGN declared the game to be an improvement over its predecessor,[5] Sean Johnson of GameRevolution and Peter Bartholow of GameSpot deemed it as merely a polished repackaging.[2][4] The quantity and variety of events was noted,[1][5][43] and Randy Nelson of Next Generation added that the major events were better paced than those in the first game.[45] Some, however, felt that a number of the events were tedious and time-consuming; Mark MacDonald of Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine commented that "the errands outnumber the interesting puzzles by about 20 to one", and stated a preference for the game's platforming sections.[2][43][46] Slo Mo of GamePro and Che Chou of Electronic Gaming Monthly opined that the game's challenge would be appealing to both young and mature audiences, though Shawn Smith and Chris Johnston, also of Electronic Gaming Monthly, perceived a lack of difficulty.[11][43] Bartholow and Conrad remarked that some of the optional events were frustratingly difficult, with Conrad specifying the mine cart minigame as an example.[4][5] Erik Engström of Hardcore Gaming 101 was disappointed by the game's more linear structure compared to the first game, but considered the quest system's organization to be more refined.[12] The controls were commended for their responsiveness,[1][11][46] though the multi-branched paths were said to be somewhat cumbersome to navigate.[1][2][43][45] While Johnson acknowledged that this gameplay style was an interesting diversion from other action games, he and Nelson proposed that full 3D movement would have made the controls and gameplay simpler and more enjoyable.[2][45] Conrad disagreed, saying that the Tomba! property's 16-bit-styled gameplay was an essential part of its charm.[5] Bartholow commended the camera and perspectives as excellent, but he and Johnson faulted a few areas where the perspective made placing jumps or finding event-related clues difficult.[2][4] The variety of items and weapons was appreciated, with Johnson considering the suits to be the game's best addition.[2][45][46] The boss battles were criticized for their simplicity and repetitiveness.[2][4][43] Engström negatively compared the presence of the character Zippo – who gives hints and directions pertaining to the situation – to Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, deeming him unnecessary and insulting to the player's intelligence.[12]

The graphics were praised for their color, detail,[11][43][46] and increased sense of size and depth over the first game;[5][45] Johnson and Bartholow declared it to be one of the PlayStation's best-looking games, and both compared the visuals to a cartoon.[2][4] Engström argued that the graphics were messier than those of its predecessor, though he still considered them decent for a PlayStation game and appreciated the preservation of the first game's "silly" aesthetic.[12] Reactions to the music were mixed. Slo Mo praised the score for its atmosphere,[11] and Engström singled out the music in the hidden magical towers as "tense and mysterious, almost a bit oppressive".[12] Johnson and Conrad regarded the music as passable if fairly generic, though Conrad was annoyed by the "monotonous" music that plays during character conversations.[2][5] Bartholow noted that the North American version's music "retains the reggae-ish timbre of the original title's music, but for the most part it isn't as repetitive or potentially annoying as the original's music".[4] The voice-acting also saw mixed responses. Johnson and Bartholow were surprised by the competent quality of the voices, and Bartholow added that the localization was clean and complete.[2][4] Conrad's assessment was middling, concluding "It's not Resident Evil (1) bad, but it still can't touch Metal Gear Solid".[5] Smith, Engström, and Jay Fitzloff of Game Informer were more dismissive, with Engström and Smith respectively deriding the voice-overs as "amateurish" and "ridiculously lame", and Engström deemed Charles to be the most grating.[1][12][43] Engström observed that the game's tone was slightly darker than its predecessor, citing the rotten appearance of the Evil Ghost Pig, the nuanced depiction of a benevolent group of pigs, and the "actually rather scary" endgame.[12]



  1. ^ Known as Tombi! 2 in Europe and Tomba! The Wild Adventures (トンバ! ザ・ワイルドアドベンチャー, Tonba! Za Wairudo Adobenchā) in Japan


  1. ^ a b c d e f Fitzloff, Jay; Anderson, Paul; Reiner, Andrew (January 2000). "Cover Story: Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return". Game Informer. No. 81. Sunrise Publications. pp. 10–11.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Johnson, Sean (February 2000). "Tomba 2 Review". GameRevolution. Mandatory. Archived from the original on April 12, 2000. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 2–3.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bartholow, Peter (January 18, 2000). "Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return Review for PlayStation at GameSpot". GameSpot. CNET. Archived from the original on June 26, 2003. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
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  6. ^ a b c Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 12–13.
  7. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 14–15.
  8. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 8–9.
  9. ^ a b c Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 19–25.
  10. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, pp. 10–11.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Slo Mo (February 2000). "PlayStation ProReviews: Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return" (PDF). GamePro. No. 137. International Data Group. p. 90.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Engström, Erik (April 17, 2016). "Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Tabby's House. Zippo: Just as I suspected. She isn't here.
  14. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Coal-Mining Town. Zippo: Did you happen to see Tabby around lately? / Gran: Yes, I did. As a matter of fact, I saw her headed for the Kujara Ranch. / Zippo: The Kujara Ranch? / Gran: That's right. It's only a trolley ride away, but I tried to stop her because of the Evil Pig spell.
  15. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Coal-Mining Town. Gran: Control yourself! Tell me what happened! / Worker: P... Pigs! T... Tabby! They tried to steal her pendant. She wouldn't give it up! / Gran: She fought them for a stupid necklace!? / Zippo: That stupid necklace was a gift from Tomba long ago! She treasured it!
  16. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Coal-Mining Town. Zippo: Evil Pigs!? / Gran: That's right! They appeared a little while ago on this continent, and they've cursed the entire land! There's even a spell on this mine! I have something that can break it, but I don't know how to use it. It's a Pig Bag for the Flame Pig! Legend has it, where a spell is cast, you can find a Pig Bag. And if you have a Pig Bag, it reveals their hiding place!
  17. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Evil Pig Lair. The Last Evil Pig: Huhuhu... Fuhahahahahahahaaa! How amusing! All my compatroits have been captured! You're looking for Tabby, aren't you? I bet you're really worried... and you should be! Be warned! I'm different from those other five! Your tactics won't work on me! Enter into my dark quarters... if you dare! Fuhahahahahahahaaa!
  18. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: ????. The Last Evil Pig: Huhuhuheh... You finally got here... As your reward for struggling this far... my best magic spell! To everyone sleeping deeply on this Continent... TIME... STOP!!! Well... what will you do now? Time has stopped for everyone in the world... except for you and me. Nothing moves... Nobody talks... Even color is gone. A new world... Ah... I forgot to mention... Most of the stuff you have won't work in this world. Is there anything... you can do at all? Hmmmm? Haaha hahahahaha!
  19. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: The Last Evil Pig's Lair. The Last Evil Pig: No! You beat me... Tomba! That's impossible! But remember... We never really die... Someday... Somewhere... We'll play again... Right... Tomba?
  20. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Ending sequence. Kainen: Hehehheh!! Wonderful!! You're a first-rate adventurer!! You... You've done every adventure possible. I'm impressed!! Here... This is my gift to you. First-rate adventurers shouldn't have to run around naked.
  21. ^ Whoopee Camp (January 18, 2000). Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Fisherman's Town. Win: What do you think! It's my latest creation... Now to give it a name... The Super Ultra DX Special Excellent Boat MK-2!!
  22. ^ a b c Sony Computer Entertainment 2000, p. 28.
  23. ^ "Tomba! 2 - 1999 Developer Interview". Dengeki PlayStation. 1999. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  24. ^ Cifaldi, Frank (October 22, 2012). "There's Something About SWERY". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Whoopee Camp (October 28, 1999). Tomba! The Wild Adventures (PlayStation). Sony Computer Entertainment. Level/area: Credits.
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  28. ^ a b IGN Staff (November 11, 1999). "Sony Announces the First PS Games of The Millennium". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  29. ^ "PlayStation Underground Jampack -- Summer 2K". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  30. ^ "CTW Game Guide". Computer Trade Weekly. No. 794. United Kingdom. 16 June 2000.
  31. ^ Bertoli, Ben (February 25, 2015). "The Most Unappreciated Platformers of the '90s". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  32. ^ Reilly, Luke (May 13, 2012). "5 More Video Game Industry One-Hit Wonders". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  33. ^ IGN Staff (November 29, 2000). "New Game from Whoopee Camp?". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
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  35. ^ "トンバ!ザ・ワイルドアドベンチャー". PlayStation Software Catalogue. Sony Interactive Entertainment. September 28, 2011. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
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  37. ^ Cowan, Danny (January 13, 2014). "Tomba 2 caps off latest PSOne retro batch from MonkeyPaw". Engadget. Oath Tech Network. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
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  39. ^ Clements, Ryan (November 1, 2015). "The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 11/3/2015". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment America. Archived from the original on December 2, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "Tomba! 2". MonkeyPaw Games. November 2, 2015. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  41. ^ "Tomba Plushie". MonkeyPaw Games. November 3, 2015. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
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  44. ^ プレイステーション - トンバ! ザ・ワイルドアドベンチャー. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.22. 30 June 2006.
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