Sequence Breaking with Toki Tori 2 | Making Metroidvanias

PC and Wii U puzzler Toki Tori 2 has gone under the radar, but it’s a bold piece of game design – a Metroidvania where you aren’t locked off by abilities or weapons, but just knowledge of how the game works.

This means you can break off from the main path and explore the game on your own terms, if you manage to figure out how the game’s complicated ecosystem works.

Basically, it’s sequence breaking – the way industrious players use cheats and glitches to bypass bits of game – but made official by the developers.

I explain all, in this episode of the Game Maker’s Toolkit.

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Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance):

Toki Tori 2+ (Two Tribes, 2013)
Super Metroid (Nintendo, 1994)
Guacamelee (Drinkbox Studios, 2013)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Konami, 1997)
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge (WayForward, 2010)
Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment, 2009)
Strider (Capcom, 2014)
Half-Life 2 (Valve Corporation, 2004)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo, 2011)
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal, 2013)
BioShock (Irrational Games, 2007)

Music used in this episode:

Sunny Side Up – Unplugged at Eggby Road (Toki Tori 2)
Item Room (Super Metroid)
Crateria – The Space Pirates Emerge (Super Metroid)
Boss Theme (Guacamelee)
High Up in the Clouds (Toki Tori 2)
Watery – Interlude (Toki Tori 2)
Various pieces of Toki Tori 2 music

Clip credits

“Half-Life 2: DWaHMoV – Half-Life 2 Speedrun – 1:27:51 – WR” – SourceRuns


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  • Metroid Zero Mission for GBA also pulls this concept off. Your first playthrough will likely be very hand-holdy, but more experienced players can search around and find shortcuts the devs intentionally added to facilitate sequence breaking. For example, it's possible to get the Varia Suit before entering Kraid's Lair, which makes the worm boss much easier since the acid there can't hurt you anymore. :3

  • (Long-time viewer, first-time commenter) I bought this game after seeing this video, and I don't regret it. It's TOUGH in parts, though you wouldn't think it from the adorable art style! Thanks for bringing this gem to my attention (and for all the other vids you do).

  • It's too bad that the visuals are so incredibly bad and make the game look like some garbage kids' flash game.

  • Jeez that's quite a deviation from the original Toki Tori

  • Gracias Joseju

  • Joseju, te amo no homo

  • Grande Josejuanjo

  • The game Rabi Ribi does this to a certain extent too. Sure, it has items that you need to pass certain obstacles, but it also has special techniques you can use from the start of the game alongside hidden paths that allow you to navigate the game in mostly your own way without ever outright requiring you to acquire items to beat the game (other than a few scripted ones). There is even an achievement for beating the game without picking up any items (other than the afore mentioned scripted ones and a few others).

  • It's basically an entire game based on the two parts in super metroid where you learn moves you always had from animals.

  • Interesting, yeah I think that's fair. Basically they're heavily expanding on the sequence breaking part of the formula.

  • Damn, suddenly I feel like I've been giving way too much credit to The Witness.

  • Could you make a video on how the Paper Mario Series is changing and what went wrong?

  • I think it would be awesome if this concept would be used in order to help children learn.
    For example think of a Metroidvania game for kids that is designed to teach math. Early on you see a complicated equation that you don't know how to solve. You go on and find a very simple one, you solve it and continue to solve other equations that get more and more complicated, each "ability" being an element in an equation that you learn. When you learn how to solve a certain type of equation you realize you can go back and solve the first one, which unlocks the next part in the game…
    This can really help children that have a hard time learning math in school, and can keep them motivated much more than school homework could.

  • Super Metroid itself had a lot of this stuff already though through stuff like wall jumping and bomb jumping.

  • I mean they are still about exploring. Even if a pre existing path is there.

  • This needed a spoiler alert 🙁

  • A bit late to the party (and it only came out a year after this video), but The Witness is very similar to this. It's also very non-linear but only due to the fact that you don't know how all the mechanics work until you find their respective tutorial area that builds up the mechanic. That gives the game a very similar vibe to the MV genre.

  • Can a metroidvania be 3D or Does it become an open World then?

  • this is actually cool though

  • Great video Mark. Thanks for bringing my attention to this game, I think it teaches some valuable lessons.

  • I also do feel like the aesthetics hurt the appeal of the game. It sounds super awesome how you describe it, but I'm an unreasonably aesthetics-oriented person, I buy games largely based on aesthetics, and I really can't feel anything appealing by looking at that generic, dumb-looking bird avatar haha… It really lacks any of its own character or charm, and does 'feel' cheap. Like, a lack of effort or creativity. If the visuals lack effort, it stands to reason that people will naturally assume the gameplay, which is arguably harder to nail well, will be similarly lacking.

  • 0:25 "Back in the day, most games were [linear]. Then games like Metroid . . . jumbled up the order . . . You're still on a predetermined path, only there's a lot more backtracking."

    This shows a shallow understanding of Metroidvanias. They are not about backtracking, but folded level design i.e. the abilities you get add new layers of complexity to old levels. Read more here –

    Metroidvanias don't need a main path either. Look no further than the Reverse Boss Order speedrun of Super Metroid –

    Good video, just try not to generalize as much next time. 🙂

  • Your reviews are amazing, man.

  • Daaaaamn. This game solves a problem I've observed with many of fave games, since they are mostly Metroidvania games: Only one real solution to an environmental problem. Gotta get into a small opening: morphball. Can't get to that ledge up there: high jump.
    This game should come to Switch ASAP!!

  • In the past decade, I feel Toki Tori 2 and Spacechem were the 2 games from the past decade that had the potential to reshape the gaming industry from a gameplay standpoint.

  • Just managed to play Toki Tori 2 thanks to the Switch edition. Been meaning to play this since seeing this video just after discovering your channel.

  • hows the first one?

  • Always cool to see games doing justice to Super Metroid's formula without simplifying to its most obvious interpretation.

  • Hey they quoted you on their new trailer for the switch:

  • It sounds like a fun exploration game, but I dunno – for me, the most vital part of a metroidvania is that moment where you get a new power and think about all the things that have just opened up, or how challenges that previously frustrated you will now be a breeze when you backtrack through with it.

  • This has been in my recommended for like a year

  • In your description and list of metrovania's, Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain is my favourite example you didn't include.

  • Just a heads up: It's coming to the Switch REALLY soon!

  • Aahhh, okay, I'll play it! Stop spoiling the game!

    Seriously though, this game sounds amazing

  • Toki Tori Literature Club

  • Wow! I'd heard of this game dozens of times, but never bothered looking into it because I didn't really think there was anything too special. What a gem.

  • this game is super cute!!!

  • Ah… so it did that thing LA-MULANA does…

  • I can appreciate what it's trying to do but the idea of a puzzle Metroidvania is so incredibly frustrating if just trying to move from room to room requires some convoluted task every time through. I got this a long time ago, but I just had to sto playing it because it just didn't feel good to play.

  • What the fuck? this is genius.

    Shame the game presentation makes me think of shovelware

  • Can we rename Metroidvanias to, like, pathfinders or something?

  • I am playing this game now purely because of this video, and it's one of the most satisfying puzzle/platformers out there.

  • This reminds me a lot of antichamber! Your first playthrough will take quite awhile, and be quite surprising. But once you learn a lot of the tricks in the game, the second playthrough can be a lot faster.

  • Got this on a physical release for PS4… very glad to have picked it up, it's a really interesting platformer with an identity of it's own; something few games have nowadays.

  • best toki tori "review" i ever saw actually..

  • This video is 2.5 years old, I know, but I just wanted to say, that The Witness is also a lot like this. (I know The Witness didn't even exist then)