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TOKI FOR 7800: DISCOVERY ANNOUNCEMENT
Several years ago we discovered a beta of Toki for the Atari 7800. It is in PAL format and has a 1993 copyright and "Beta Version 2" as the version identifier on the title screen. This beta was found on an Atari test department computer and seems to be about 99% complete. Below you can find some additional information about this discovery.
LIKENESS TO THE ARCADE VERSION
The 7800 version of Toki is pretty faithful to the arcade version, an impressive undertaking considering the specs of the original arcade hardware compared to the specs of the 7800 hardware. The level design, enemy variety, and gameplay remain largely intact. Below are some differences that have been observed between the 7800 and Arcade version.
  • The last level is not present in-game and is not a location in the overworld. Once you complete the fifth level boss there is an ending sequence, suggesting this level was never intended to be included in the game.
  • The swinging vines in the arcade version are not present in the 7800 version. Levels were redesigned to exclude them.
  • In the arcade version there are various items (eg. fruits, lanterns .etc) that can be found throughout each level and collected for score bonuses. These are not present in the 7800 version. All the essential items like coins (extra lives), football helmets (temporary invincibility), and power-ups (better attacks) are still present in the 7800 version.
 
The 1989 arcade original. The arcade version has several layers of parallax scrolling that no other home port has. It also looks much better than any other home release..
The 1991 NES release is relatively faithful to the arcade version. The graphics in the NES version generally seem to have more detail than the 7800 version and the color palette is closer. However, the enemies and items in the NES version appear to be scaled down to about half the size of their arcade counterpart.
The Atari 7800 versions is also relatively faithful to the arcade version. Although the NES version is generally more detailed, some details in the 7800 version are more refined than the NES version, and the 7800 version retains some detail the NES version does not. Enemies and items in the 7800 version are similar in proportion to their arcade counterparts.
CPU & MEMORY GRAPHICS SIZE
ARCADE 16-bit 68000 @ 10 MHz / 6*64 384K Program Memory. Chars 64K + 64K / Sprites 512K + 512K / Tiles 512K + 512K = 2176K Graphic Memory 2560K Total Program & Graphics Memory
NES 8-Bit MOS 6502 @ 1.79 MHz / 2K RAM "PPU" @ 5.37MHz / 2K RAM 384K TOTAL includes MMC3 mapper chip assisting hardware with mid-screen changes, freeing up CPU.
7800 8-Bit Custom 6502 ("SALLY") @ 1.79 MHz / 4K RAM "MARIA" Custom @ 7.15 MHz 128K Available (16K Unused).
NOTE ABOUT THE ABOVE COMPARISON
The above offers a few points of comparison to highlight how different hardware can handle the same game. It is not a determination as to which version is better, nor which version best utilizes the hardware that it runs on.
BUGS IN THE GAME
There are a few minor issues with indestructible objects that award you points when shot, although none of them directly affect the gameplay as the score does not award you any extra lives (you need to collect coins for lives). All instances of these objects include:
  • LVL1- The square platform with the faces on the side and the monkeys on top flashes and gives you points when shot. This should not happen, as you cannot destroy this object by shooting it.
  • LVLX- Various levels feature "vents" that spew fire into the air. When you shoot these they flash and give you points. This should not happen, as this object cannot be destroyed.
  • LVL5- There are circular worms in this level that you must jump on to proceed in the game. When you shoot them they flash and give you points, but they cannot be destroyed.
ATARI'S PLAN FOR THE 7800 IN 1993
According to internal Atari documents dated May 1993, management decided to stop all ongoing developments for the Atari 7800. These documents are of significance because Atari had ceased production of the system in 1992, and the most recent Atari 7800 game had been released in 1991. Outside of Atari, nobody knew that a small batch of new games were in development.

Mentioned in the documents as cancelled at this time were Road Riot 4WD (completed), Toki (very close to completion), Rampart (very close to completion), Pit Fighter (early in development), Steel Talons (virtually complete). Of the games mentioned above, only an early version of Rampart and Pit Fighter has been discovered, as detailed at AtariProtos.com.

Why Atari had decided to quietly develop a batch of 5 Atari 7800 games for release in 1993, and then cancel them at the last minute, remains unknown. Most retailers had already gotten rid of their 7800 stock at this point, and Atari was already showing off tech demos for the Jaguar which was due the same year.

WHY HASN'T THIS BEEN RELEASED YET? WHAT'S THE STATUS?
This game was discovered in PAL format. Because a good number of Atari 7800 fans are playing on NTSC consoles, the possibility of converting this to NTSC is still being explored. Beta Phase Games has no internal capacity to do this conversion ourselves. We are fortunate to have been offered assistance and the possibility of making this conversion is being actively investigated.

Although this game reportedly works fine on PAL consoles, on NTSC consoles the screen is pushed down and there is also glitching in the playfield as reported by AtariAge member CPUWIZ. He has provided the screenshots below.

SOME TECHNICAL NOTES ABOUT THE GAME
Preliminary inspection of the ROM has resulted in the following conclusions that were shared by CPUWIZ
  • Toki does not use the POKEY sound enhancement chip.
  • Toki uses 7 x 16K banks @ $8000 and one at $C000. $4000-$7FFF is free. Only 112K of 128K cartridge space available is being used.
SCREENSHOTS
Below are some captures of this game taken with an emulator.
CONCEPT BOX SHOTS
Atari fan and graphics artist Marc Oberhouser created a mock up of the box that gives a good idea as to how the game would have look had it made it to retail stores.
PAGE CREDITS
Some of the information added to this page was originally posted on the AtariAge discussion board by other forum members after the discovery of this game was announced. Their contributions are listed below.
  • CPUWIZ- For testing this on his NTSC 7800 and for his offer to help explore the possibility of an NTSC conversion.
  • 8th Lutz- For sharing details about the internal Atari memo's that provided a little more insight as to why this game was cancelled.
  • Trebor- Shared comparative specs of the 7800, NES, and Arcade versions which we included in the spec grid on this page.
  • Marc Oberhouser- Created the mock up boxes that shows how this might have looked had it been a retail release.
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