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.
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.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: A huge number of playable characters in Tobal 2. Strangely enough, there's no Tyrannosaurus rex.
- 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.
- 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 Generator 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.
- Pig Man: Nork, the first boss; and Snork, his pint-sized playable incarantion.
- Pile Bunker: A number of the walker robots in Tobal 2 use one.
- 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...
- 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...)