Toki: Going Ape Spit (Sega/TAD Corporation - Genesis - 1991)
enhanced port of the 1989 arcade game
"Going Ape Spit" is a once in a lifetime pun
Toki is pretty obscure and utter shit to play, but it’s the subject of one of my favorite bits of game trivia:
Back in the heady days when video arcades were profitable, almost every game had an “attract mode”. Left unplayed, the game would start and play a prerecorded run for a few seconds. It made the game look exciting to play, it showed the player what to do, and it kept the title screen from phosphor-burning onto the arcade cabinet monitor.
When video games came to home consoles, they still had attract modes as a quick game tutorial. Preventing phosphor-burn was a matter of turning the game off, and attracting players to put money into the machine was a non-issue for home consoles (as paying extra money for a game you already own wouldn’t be invented for another fifteen to twenty years). So if you started up Super Mario Brothers on your home NES, you’d still get a short playthrough showing that punching blocks gives you stuff, super mushrooms are good, and you jump on enemies to kill them. (All obvious stuff today, but you might not guess if all you’d seen Mario in before was Donkey Kong and non-super Mario Bros.)
I told you that story so I could tell you this one.
Toki for the Mega Drive/Genesis also had an attract mode. One of the scenes in said attract mode was of the last level of the game, just a skosh before the final boss. One of the features shown in this attract mode was the ability to pause the game. Why? It is a mystery. A pause function was standard-issue on console games.
Pushing the start button during attract mode would return the player to the title screen. Pushing start while the attract mode demo was paused would instead… unpause the game. And return control to the player.
You could skip 95% of the game just by waiting for the right moment to push the start button.