The year is 2027. On the planet Tobal, there exists a special ore known as Molmoran, which can be used as an energy source, but the locals have a very creative way of deciding who can mine it — a fighting tournament. Humans and aliens alike compete, with the prize being given by Emperor Udan... assuming that he, too, is bested in the competition.
Tobal No. 1 arrived on the PlayStation thanks to Dream Factory in 1996, being Squaresoft's first foray onto the console prior to the launch of their smash hit, Final Fantasy VII, for which Tobal actually started Square's practice of including demo CDs with their games. It was followed one year later by Tobal 2, which expanded upon the original in just about every way, be it roster, graphics, or sheer scope.
In fact, Tobal 2 has the largest playable roster in any fighting game... ever, at over 200 playable characters!
Both games feature the visual style and character design of Akira Toriyama and are known for including, in addition to the fighting game standard single-player and versus modes, a Quest mode which plays out like a fairly simplistic dungeon crawler RPG, reusing the fighting engine for enemy encounters. Said fighting engine was fairly unique among polygonal fighters, as it allowed for fairly free range of motion around the arena, and the characters reacted realistically to where and how they were hit (for instance sweeping one leg would cause a stumble; sweeping both would knock them down).
These games provide examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Mary Ivonskaya has the most normal name of anyone in the cast.
- Alien Sky: Tobal has at least six moons as well as planetary rings, all visible during the day.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Oliems is blue.
- Creator Cameo: Tori-Bot, Akira's self-caricature, is a hidden character in both games named "Toriyama Robo".
- Dance Party Ending: Tobal 2 has hidden win poses that involve the characters doing elaborate dances set to music. Observe.
- Exty Years from Publication: The 1996-released Tobal No. 1 was just five months early to being thirty years out from its setting's date, 2027.
- Guest Fighter: Tobal 2 features a chocobo as a guest fighter, complete with a remix of the chocobo theme as background music.
- Healthy Green, Harmful Red: The first game, Tobal, uses a green bar for full health (an empty one is transparent), while Tobal 2 uses the green for full health bar, and red for damage (while also transparent).
- Human Hammer-Throw: Can be performed on Ill-Goga via their tail as a back-throw.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Characters get access to fireballs in Tobal 2.
- Man in a Kilt: Gren's 2P outfit has him rocking a set of Highland dress, complete with kilt, jacket, bonnet hat and a half-cape.
- Nintendo Hard: The main game's AI blatantly start reading your inputs only a few stages into the Tournament Mode, and even on Easy they gradually ascend into Perfect Play A.I.. Quest Mode only amps it up where the Random Number God entirely decides your fate on which drops screw you over and which ones are worthwhile, as well as enemies scaling wildly to the point that by the second dungeon they'll start taking chip damage while dealing up to a third of your health in a single blow unless you level adequately.
- Palette Swap: There's a setting in 2's Training Mode that lets you customize the colors of your character's costume and (if applicable) hair, which applies to all gameplay modes.
- Pig Man: Nork, the first boss; and Snork, his pint-sized playable incarntion.
- Pile Bunker: A number of the walker robots in Tobal 2 use this as their melee attack.
- Press X to Die: Hom had a move where he touches the button on his back and shuts himself off, thus losing the round. It had no purpose other than suicide, though sometimes if you're fighting him, he'll do it himself, letting you win.
- Punny Name: Not Oliems, the Chicken Man himself, but his home planet is named "Kientakki"... Say it out loud a few times if you don't get it...
- Roguelike: The games have quest modes that mix roguelike and fighter.
- Scenery Porn: Tobal 2 really showed off some amazing effects while continuously running at 60fps.
- Signature Style: Like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger before it, the characters in the Tobal universe were designed and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, so expect a few characters to look like they are Dragon Ball characters wearing different clothes (Epon looks like a cross between Android 18 and Bulma, Gren looks like a blond Trunks, etc...)
- Suicide Attack: Hom can push a button on his back to switch himself off; seeing as this costs him the round with no effect on the opponent, this is purely a gag maneuver.
- Tail Slap: Some of Ill-Goga's attacks involve his tail.
- Time Skip: Tobal 2 jumps forward to 2045. Probably a Retcon though, as none of the returning characters look any older.
- Unobtainium: The planet Tobal hosts a fighting tournament in order to decide who is allowed the exclusive mining rights of a mineral known as Molmoran, which can be used as an energy source.
- Word Salad Title: Tobal No. 1 seems like a redundant case of Title 1 in an otherwise-nonsensically titled franchise, but A) Tobal is a planet within the game's setting, and B) Tobal No. 1, in particular, refers to a fighting tournament taking place there.