Together Retro: Toe Jam & Earl

Together Retro - Toe Jam and Earl

Presented by: Fastbilly1, Marurun, & Racketboy
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club

The Sega Genesis had a heaping spoonful of quirky yet delightful titles in its library, and one of the first Sega titles to set this standard was Toe Jam & Earl.  This cult favorite broke the monotony that the glut of side-scrolling platformers brought. This uniqueness is the primary reason that fans were so dismayed by the format change in the game’s sequel (even though it was still a good game).

About The Game

It is hard to put your finger on what makes Toe Jam and Earl stand out, but everything from the gameplay, music, and characters is so well done that it melds into an unforgettable experience. If you have two players the game gets even better due to the then-groundbreaking split screen mode the results in a satisfying co-op session.   Yes, to get the most out of this game, you will want to track down a friend.


In this unique adventure, you play as two aliens from the planet Funkotron, who accidentally crash on Earth after their ship gets stuck by an asteroid.    Since your ship gets its pieces skattered all over Earth, its your duty to track them down and deal with all the humans you run into along the your humourous journey.

Recommended Ports

Toe Jam and Earl was a Sega property, so it stayed on the Genesis.  Now you can play it on the Wii’s Virtual Console, but that’s it.

Genesis Wii VC
Toe Jam and Earl Genesis Cover Virtual Console

Emulation for Toe Jam & Earl

If you don’t have an Sega Genesis/Megadrive, emulation is are very viable option. Genesis emulators are becoming quite common for most devices made in the last five years or so. Most emulators will also let you use “save states” that will allow you to save your spot in the game.If you are using a PC to emulator the Genesis, I recommend checking out our Kega Fusion guide. If you need assistance setting up any emulator, please post your question in the Emulation section of the forum..

How To Play / Controls


  • A Button: Action – Sneaks, Uses Presents, Confirms selections
  • B Button. Open and closes Presents List.
  • C Button. Open and Closes Map Screen.

Getting Started (excepted from this GameFAQ)
After the intro, you can choose your character.  Toejam is faster, Earl has more energy.  Two players can play, or just one.  Highlight with directionalbutton and select with any button.

Next choose which type of game you want.  The fixed world has the same maps and locations, but is harder.  Selecting a random world makes the game maps, baddies and presents different each time, but a bit easier to complete.

The object is to find all ten of your ship pieces. Some of the levels have pieces and some don’t.  If you arrive on a level with a ship piece a hint will appear as soon as you get there.  Bring up the map screen and press A or B to check how many pieces you have got and if this level contains a piece.

Additional Functions (excepted from this GameFAQ)

  • Presents – Walk over them to pick them up.  Open it by pressing B and selecting it with A.  To use it press A again.  To drop a present toggle between DROP and OPEN with button C while in the present menu.
  • Eating – To eat food walk over it.
  • Sneaking – To sneak past a sleeping person, hold down A as you walk.
  • Running – Select Bonus Hi Tops from the present list (if you have them) and then hold A as you move.
  • Waking Up – Just bang on the buttons until you wake.
  • Going Up – Move from level to level using the elevators.  In a two-player game, both must be in the elevator for it to activate.
  • Falling Off – You can fall off levels, don’t worry though; you’ll just be back on the level below.
  • High Fiving – In the two-player game if one is low on energy, the other can give you some by bumping bellies.  This will average out their life bars.

The Level Layout
From Wikipedia: “The game has twenty-five main levels, which are arranged vertically, one above the other, and a secret level zero which you can get to through the left bottom corner of level 1. Players progress upward through the levels by means of an elevator, which appears on each map. Levels also have cliff edges, which the unwary player can fall from, landing on the next-lower level. The terrain also presents hazards such as deserts (which acts as quicksand) and lakes. The game could be played through with pre-set levels (Fixed World) or randomly-generated levels (Random World). In Random World mode, the level layout, Earthlings, and presents were randomised, increasing the longevity of the game.”

Together Retro Discussion

Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play TJ&E and talk to us about your thoughts and play experiences in the forums. We want to know your tactics, your strategies, your successes and your failures

When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission.
Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network or Amazon Associates.

Get a nice roundup of new retro gaming content once or twice a month.