Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Ports of Entry: Tose

Unknown lead platform:


Yoshi's Cookie

First developed as an arcade game Hermetica in 1992 by Home Data Corp. Unreleased.

Ported to SNES in 1992 as Hermetica by Bullet Proof Software and demoed at CES. Unreleased.

Ported to NES and Gameboy with Mario and Yoshi sprites and released as Yoshi's Cookie on 11/21/1992 by Tose Co, on behalf of Nintendo.

Released for SNES, with Mario and Yoshi sprites on 7/9/1993 by Bullet Proof Software.


This one's kind of complicated and there are some unknowns given the unreleased prototypes which formed the basis of both the 8-bit and 16-bit versions. First, there was Hermetica, an arcade puzzle game without any connection to Nintendo. Bullet Proof Software then ported it to SNES, but did not release it in its original form. Nintendo bought a license to produce 8-bit versions, contracted Tose Co. to make them, and rebranded it as Yoshi's Cookie, now with a Mario & Yoshi theme. BPS retained the SNES rights, got permission to use the Yoshi's Cookie branding, and they finally released it in that form, also offering a puzzle mode not seen in the 8-bit versions.

The original arcade version is likely lost, but the SNES version came out both before and after the NES and Gameboy versions. But I have questions. Are the 8-bit versions based on the arcade original, or are they directly ported from BPS's SNES game? Or are they just ground-up remakes that reuse the core idea without reusing any code or assets? They contain unused debug modes that display "HERMETICA" on-screen, which suggests to me they are not ground-up remakes, though the decision to use Mario characters could have been made relatively early in the development process. As for the SNES version, is it just a straight-up sprite swap of the unreleased SNES Hermetica? Or does it contain traces of the intermediate 8-bit versions apart from the branding and cookie sprites, and if so, to what degree? Was its puzzle mode present in either version of Hermetica, or is this a late addition?

Select chronology: 

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Sasuke Vs Commander Arcade 1980
Vanguard Arcade 1981
Kid Icarus NES 12/19/1986
Bases Loaded NES 6/26/1987
Yoshi's Cookie ??? 11/21/1992 Unreleased 1992 arcade prototype by Home Data Corp
Unreleased 1992 SNES prototype by Bullet Proof Software
Simultaneous releases on NES and Gameboy by Tose Co
SNES release in 7/9/1993 by Bullet Proof Software
Tetris 2 NES 9/21/1993
Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout PlayStation 7/31/1997
Game & Watch Gallery 2 Game Boy 9/27/1997
Metal Gear Solid Game Boy Color 4/24/2000
Final Fantasy WonderSwan Color 12/9/2000
Resident Evil: Survivor PlayStation 1/27/2000
Game & Watch Gallery 4 Game Boy Advance 10/25/2002
Super Princess Peach Nintendo DS 10/20/2005
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime Nintendo DS 12/1/2005
Ultimate Ghosts'N Goblins PSP 8/29/2006
Final Fantasy PSP 4/19/2007
Resident Evil: Revelations Nintendo DS 1/27/2012

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