This article contains texts quoted from the official booklets or manuals included with the game. For the official pdf versions, please see here (Sega Saturn) or here (PC) for Croc: Legend of the Gobbos.
The background story in the instruction manual for Croc: Legend of the Gobbos was written by one of the writers responsible for scripts in the popular show The Simpsons. The series' Lead Designer was apparently never particularly happy with this version of the story - it can be guessed that this is because the story in the manual does not really fit with the style of the game itself. The manual-story was purely humorous, whereas the style of the game is quite whimsical. This did not happen with the story in the manual for Croc 2 - that story stayed true to the game's style, and was obviously written by somebody else. As such, it can be argued that the manual-story for Croc 1 is not strictly canonical.
IN WHICH THE GOBBOS ARE DESCRIBED
Who were the Gobbos? Examine ancient paintings from the time of their civilisation and you will find that the Gobbos were a short, furry people who could be politely described as 'gerbilesque'. But what of their soul, their character? One historian wrote that the Gobbos were among the most advanced civilisations of their day, making great strides in science and literature, a people whose intelligence "shines like a beacon in the night." It should be noted that this historian was himself a Gobbo and not only made numerous grammatical errors in his account, but also misspelled 'Gobbo.'
No, the Gobbos were a simple people, a race whose greatest inventions were edible deodorant and the Wind-Powered Cow Moistener. In over two thousand years of existence, the Gobbos only sent three of their kind to college, and two of those were returned postage due. Okay, so they weren’t the sharpest pins in the cushion. But were they loveable? You bet! So loveable that they would often keep each other as pets. But oddly enough, it was their very lovability, their very kind-hearted innocence, that set in motion a chain of events that would send the Gobbos plummeting towards a terrifying fate, a fate worse than death, a fate so frightening that those with heart conditions may wish to STOP READING NOW......although it’s really not that frightening.
IN WHICH A CROCODILE IS FOUND
It all started one morning in the third month of the Year of the Soupspoon¹. King Rufus the Intolerant², ruler of the Gobbos, was down by the riverbank watching the sunrise. He had just finished breathing a sigh of relief that, once again, the sun had returned, when suddenly a small basket floated ashore. He and a group of his Gobbo subjects huddled around it. Peering inside, they saw a baby crocodile. Naturally, they assumed he must be the early leader in the Annual Midget Crocodile Basket Race. Not that there had ever been such an event, but you never know about these things, and many of the Gobbos placed bets just to be on the safe side. After a couple of hours, when no other baskets had come by, the Gobbos decided that perhaps there was no race, or that it had been called off the night before by crocodiles who shared their concern that the sun had gone away for good.
1 At the start of each year, the Gobbo high priestess would announce the kitchen utensil that, when put down their pants, would bring good luck. Gobbos took this very seriously, although some began to question the practice during the Year of the Electric Can Opener.
2 People far and wide had heard of King Rufus the Intolerant and feared him for his name alone. Of course, the Gobbos knew his full name was King Rufus the Lactose Intolerant and therefore only feared him after a big bowl of cottage cheese.
The Gobbos were at first wary of the little reptile but were quickly won over by his vulnerability and inquisitive nature. King Rufus decided that the Gobbos would raise the crocodile as one of their own and that he himself would care for it and instruct it in all the ways of the Gobbos. The Gobbos fell in love with their new charge. As he was a crocodile, they began to call him "Crocodile," but then someone thought of a clever new name for him: "Croc." (Although to some of the Gobbos, he will always be known as "Mr. Fun Socks" or "Choo Choo McBoogie").
Croc learned quickly from his Gobbo friends. He surprised them with just how Gobbo-like he was. He could sing their anthem backwards and forwards and won every Gobbo dance contest he entered. In fact, little Croc was so Gobbo-like that it had never even occurred to him to take a single bite out of a Gobbo...as far as he was concerned, he was a Gobbo.
And thus, a time of great joy reigned in Gobbo Valley. Croc was healthy, King Rufus was happy, and his subjects hadn't had so much fun since the Year of the Three Minute Egg Timer.
Then Croc grew.
IN WHICH CROC IS A GOBBO NO MORE
In one fantastic growth spurt, Croc grew as tall as three Gobbos stacked on top of each other. He started eating like crazy. For breakfast alone he ate over one hundred and fifty buckets of peas. While walking, he would accidentally smash through buildings and trip over homes. A simple game of patty-cake with friends would lead to multiple contusions and internal bleeding. Despite his friends' efforts to brush off these accidents, Croc began to feel out of place in the Gobbo Valley.
Just as Croc decided to do something about this, a Gobbo ran past screaming, "Dantinis!!!"
IN WHICH TROUBLE COMES TO GOBBO VALLEY
The Gobbos had long told stories of the Dantinis, a band of villains known far and wide for their ruthless burning, wanton looting, and marvellous singing voices3.
What was worse was that wherever there were Dantinis, Baron Dante could not be far behind.
3 The Dantini Glee Club would have won all the big choral contests had they not been disqualified for eating the judges.
King of all villains, Baron Dante was stronger than a thousand Dantinis and he had a long-established hatred for all things Gobbo. He had seen the Gobbos and Croc being blissfully happy and decided that enough was enough. It was time for the Gobbos to suffer.
The valley swarmed with Dantinis as they captured Gobbo after Gobbo and threw them into cages. Dante watched it all, laughing his horrible laugh. King Rufus knew he had to save Croc.
He tail-swiped the Gong that sat in the centre of the village and it rang, summoning Beany the Bird. She appeared immediately and King Rufus instructed her to whisk Croc away to safety. Rufus looked at Croc, "You’re our only hope." Before he could say anything, Beany spirited Croc away in a shower of Magical Sparklies, just as Baron Dante snatched up the king in his iron hand.
IN WHICH CROC REALISES HIS CALLING
Baron Dante had taken over all of Gobbo Valley. He used his magical powers throughout the land, turning good creatures to evil. Ladybugs, ducks, lizards, fish and mountain goats all became horrific monsters under his command. Baron Dante stashed Gobbos under Dantini guard throughout his new kingdom so that if he needed someone to taunt or even bring to tears, a cute little Gobbo would always be nearby. The Gobbos meantime, being a highly social group, were distraught at being separated from each other.
Baron Dante kept King Rufus as a personal pet, locked in a cage in the back of his castle. Rufus was taunted day and night by Dantinis. He consoled himself in these dreadful hours that at least Croc was out of the Baron’s reach.
Meantime, Croc and Beany the Bird watched as their homeland was turned into Dante’s playground. Beany told Croc that he must act, but Croc was confused. what could he do against the might of Baron Dante? Beany grabbed him by the straps of his backpack and shook him with all her little bird strength, "you’re the only chance they have. You must help! Can you imagine what it’s like for a Gobbo being all alone?" Croc sniffed. he could very easily imagine what it was like, and he felt more alone than he ever had before. Straightening himself up, he said to Beany, "All right! But I’m going to need your help."
Here, the legend becomes fuzzy. Historians are unsure as to whether Croc was actually successful in saving his friends. But one thing is for certain, from that point on, he became the greatest champion the Gobbos had ever had...
The MAIN MENU presents a range of options:
START GAME - Start a new game from the first level.
OPTIONS - Configure options, such as sound and graphics.
LOAD GAME - Load a previously saved game.
ENTER PASSWORD - Enter a password for a specific level.
SHOW INTRO - Play the introduction cutscene of the game.
Saving And Loading Your Game
You may choose Save Game while selecting a level on the MAP SCREEN. Choose a save slot to save onto the memory card inserted in Slot 1. You may load a game previously saved by choosing the LOAD GAME option on the Main Menu.
Quitting A Game
You can quit a game during a level or on the MAP SCREEN. While playing, pause by pressing START and choose QUIT GAME. While on the MAP SCREEN, choose OPTIONS, OTHER OPTIONS and QUIT GAME.
You can use the directional buttons or the analog stick if ANALOG is turned on:
D-Pad: This controls Croc's movement, or selects options on a menu screen.
START: This pauses the game.
X: Jump. Press twice to stomp and double-tap and hold to stomp rapidly.
Circle: Flip 180 degrees.
Triangle: Control the camera while using the directional buttons.
L1 and R1: Side step to the left and right.
L2 and R2: Control the camera from a higher or lower view.
To climb up a Climbable Wall, approach it and push the up directional button. Use the directional buttons to move on the wall.
To push Push Boxes, approach them and push Up on the directional buttons.
Monkey Bar Mode
While on Monkey Bars, you can use the directional buttons to move and X to let go.
Pressing X will make Croc swim in breaststroke. Holding it will let him swim in 'croccy-style'.
Use the directional buttons to control his direction.
Press Square to tail-attack underwater.
Press Circle to do a 180 degree flip underwater.
Press L1 and R1 to paddle left and right.
You will only see on-screen information displays when they are directly affected. Otherwise they remain hiddenn. You may check on your status at any time by pausing the game with the START BUTTON. While paused, the following totals are displayed: Lives, Crystals, Colour Crystals and Gobbos.
When you collect all five colour crystals, they flash.
You must make your way through the four islands that make up the Gobbo Archipelago and find as many of your little friends as you can. Each island is protected by two Guardians (once innocent inhabitants that have been transformed by Baron Dante's magic into his fearsome allies). These Guardians each protect three levels of an island.
Every level (other than Secret Levels and Guardian Levels) has six Gobbos hidden somewhere within it. If you dind aall six, you have fully completed that level. If you find the six Gobbos in all three levels defended by a Guarding and then defeat that Guardian, you will gain access to a Secret Level.
Throughout the game, there are eight such Secret Levels and each contains a magical Jigsaw Piece. Legend has it that there exists a mysterious fifth island, hidden from normal sight, said only to appear if all eight parts of a magical jigsaw puzzle are found.
See here for the full list.
Now... With Dante gone, Croc and the Gobbos have resumed their lives of playing and having fun, but meantime, not too far away, evil Dantinis plot the return of Baron Dante! Unfortunately an unlucky Inventor Gobbo is captured when he witnesses Dante’s return. One day, while Croc was playing on the beach, Croc found a bottle at his feet. He picked it up and, inside, found a message with a baby crocodile footprint on it. The message explained that the senders were looking for their long-lost son. Croc was amazed! He took the message to King Rufus who read it and thought to himself and eventually told Croc that he would need to go to a far away land where there were other Gobbos who might be able to help him to find his parents! With that, all the Gobbos help to make a see-saw that can catapult Croc all the way to the distant mainland, where his search can begin!