SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics: Toejam & Earl Tips and Tricks for Random Seed

Only a fraction of players who have tried to leave Earth in Toejam & Earl ever succeed. Use these tips and tricks to complete the game and show off to your friends.

 

Introduction and Basic Mechanics

Toejam & Earl is a very difficult game. Especially on random seed, which is what this guide will focus on. In order to improve and beat this game, you need to work on three main strategies. Present management, map exploration, and enemy encounters. Each topic will have its own section, but first I will explain some basics.

How to win
– In order to win, you need to find all 10 ship pieces. The tenth ship piece is always on level 25, and the game ends upon touching that final part. You will need to enter elevators to beat each level and find all the ship parts.

Extra Lives
-Gaining lives is important because deaths are inevitable in this game. There are a few main ways to get lives. The first is by ranking up. Each character starts with a title, and extra lives are given for every few rank ups you get. Getting ranks is based on the points your character has, shown in the presents menu. Each rank also increases your max health.

Ranking up is easy, you get points for uncovering map squares and opening presents.

Level zero
-If you find yourself with only 1 life left, the best strategy may be to go to level zero. You need rocket skates, Icarus wings, or a pool float to be able to get there. First drop all the way back to level one, then head to the bottom left corner and fall into the hole. This takes you to level zero, where the lemonade man will give you extra lives, and the babes will boost your confidence. Falling off of level zero takes you back to the highest level you’ve reached. It’s a great way to get back into the game if things start to go south.

Salesmen
-These salesmen are the most important allies you have in the game. They will help you in exchange for the money you find laying around. Each one is different and all of them are useful

-Carrot Man: He will identify mystery presents for you. This will be important later
-Mailbox: You can buy presents here for money, but watch out, some of these are traps and can chase and kill you
Wizard: Gives a full heal for just one buck
Santa: Chase him around the map if you are in need of new presents, he will give a lot of them. You will need to sneak up on Santa to get the presents from him.
Opera Singer/Viking: Will kill the enemies on the screen for 3 bucks, not very useful

Hidden Paths
-These hidden paths can be a nightmare to deal with. Even in random seed, the elevator and the ship piece are always connected by land. Sometimes you need to find a hidden path to reach other islands though. These appear randomly, and you cannot see them until you are right on top of them. If you are stuck on a level, start hugging the edges of the map until a hidden path reveals.


-Ship Piece here
This is the most important screen in the game. Make sure to pay attention every time you go to a new level in the elevator, because if you miss out on one of the ten pieces, there is no chance to beat the game.

Present Managment

Present management is the most important skill to master to properly play this game. First we’ll talk about the key presents to look out for, and then discuss when and where to use presents for the best results.

Present tier list

S Tier (Important and must save presents with lots of uses)
-Icarus wings
-Bonus Hit-hops
-Togetherness/Unfall
-Promotion
-Extra Life
-Jackpot

A Tier (Great presents, but either not worth keeping, or has a potential downside)
-Spring shoes
-Innertube
-Rocket skates
-Doorway
-Food
-Rootbeer
-Decoy
-Telephone
-Boombox

B Tier (Usable but not very helpful, drop if out of space)
-Tomatoes
-Sling Shot
-Rose bushes
-Extra buck

D Tier (DO NOT OPEN. These presents are bad and can end a run or kill you. ID these with carrot man and drop!)
-School book
-Earthling
-Tomato Rain

F Tier (Absolute game enders. Do not open)
-Randomizer (Changes all present to random sprites and contents)
-Total Bummer (Instantly kills you)
-Rain Cloud (Damage over time only mitigated by hiding in an elevator)

Basic Present Opening Strategy
-All presents start as mysteries, but each present sprite will always have the same present inside it. This means it is important to identify the good presents so you can pick them up on the map while exploring. In the early game, it is generally OK to open presents randomly to start identifying things. Presents like hit-hops, togetherness, and wings are important to find early. Once you start progressing into the game tho, it becomes very risky to open un-identified presents. Opening a randomizer in the late game will ruin all of the presents you saved, and it will be very hard to find good presents again.

-So start by opening some presents early and see if you can get lucky. Once you have found a few good ones, you will want to transition to the mid game by not opening any more random presents. Instead you will want to save your bucks and find the carrot man. He will identify potentially terrible presents without having to open them.

-You will find yourself in panic situations with many enemies and low health. Opening random presents to try and find an escape option seems like a good idea, but it is very risky. Opening the wrong one will get you killed, or make the situation worse. Don’t be afraid to fall off the map to a lower level if there are too many enemies to deal with.

Get Out of Jail Free Cards
-Some presents are great in a sticky situation. Hit-hops will get you away from any enemy, and a decoy will pull aggro off of you. Food is great when health is low, and wings are amazing for exploring islands. Rocket skates can get you away from enemies for free, but are hard to control. Learn what all your presents do and save them for situations where you actually need them. It can be tempting to pop hit-hops at the start of a stage to speed things up, but using presents like that will leave you with no options later in the game.


Doorways
-These can be great if you find yourself in a bad situation, or lost on the map. They do come with risks tho. They will take you to a truly random spot on the map, which may or may not be helpful. Only use these when it gets desperate, but they are great to keep on hand.

Enemy Breakdown

Knowing howto handle the many different enemies is key to beating this game. First lets break down how threatening each enemy is. S Tier is the most difficult enemies

S Tier (Huge threat and can kill you very quickly)
-Lawn Mower
-Ice Cream Truck

A Tier (Not a run ender, but these will set you way back if you are unlucky)
-Tornado
-Mole
-Hula Girl

B Tier (Standard and easy to avoid enemies)
-Dentist
-Nerd Herd
-Chicken Army
-Boogieman
-Karen

C Tier (Not very threatening if you play around them)
-Hamster Ball
-Bees
-Red Devils
-Sharks
-Cupid

Now lets breakdown the main strategies for either killing, or escaping these earthlings.

Ice Cream Truck

This is the worst enemy in the game to run into. If you get hit, you will be squished and unable to move for a few seconds. It deals massive damage and can combo you out, especially if there are other enemies nearby.

Lawn Mower
This enemy is somewhat slow, but will combo you out hard for massive damage. If he gets near you at all, you need to use a present to escape.

Mole
This is a true RNG earthling. He will steal 1-3 random presents and lock you in place. This can be deadly if you are stacking high tier presents. Run or skate away from these guys. They are a gnarly combo with hula girls or crushers.

Tornado
Fast moving and if it picks you up, it will drop you in a random location. Possibly sending you down a floor. Not the worst to get caught by in certain situations, but these can cost alot if unlucky.

Hula Girls

These will make you dance in place. They are not a threat unless accompanied by other enemies. There is a nice trick to escape once you are caught in the dance. If you open the present menu and open a present, you will automatically break free of the dance. This is a great strategy if there are other enemies around.

Other Earthlings
The other enemies don’t pose much of a threat, and can be avoided easily. Remember to crouch and sneak past sleeping enemies, and use rose bushes, tomatoes, decoys or a speed boost to escape sticky situations.

Map Exploration
Efficient map exploration is vital. Missing key presents or encountering to many enemies will waste a lot of time and supplies, which are limited in this game. There are a few basic strategies and some tips here to help out.

Stick to the roads
-The roads often lead towards valuable items, and you move much faster on them. This makes roads safer, and a great way to explore a large portion of the map quickly

Uncover Map Blocks
-Opening the map shows you each block you have uncovered. You only need to walk 1 step into a new block to reveal the whole block on the map. This will help you avoid looking for too long

Always use the map
-Use the map often, and search for a telephone any time you hear it ringing. If you have a telephone present saved up, use it on a map when you get stuck, instead of wasting it on an easier level


Grab Everything
-Every present and buck is important. Only leave presents behind if you identified them as useless. Don’t leave levels too early without searching for presents and shop keepers. Trust me you will be low on supplies in the end game the first few times you play through this game

Avoid tough enemies
-If a situation ever looks to rough, just avoid it and find another way around.

Three moles at the elevator, yikes

Tips For Co-Op Playthroughs

Co-Op is how I think this game is meant to be played. In some ways it makes the game easier, and it’s a lot more fun. Here are a few tips to consider when playing with a friend.

Stick Together

Pros of sticking together
-You can share presents
-Two players can fight enemies, or draw their attention two ways

Cons of sticking together
-Less of the map will be explored
-You will find less presents and shop keepers

My usual strategy is to split up on ship piece stages, and stick together for most of the other levels. Sharing presents is a huge advantage.

If you do split up and find yourself alone and in a terrible spot, there is a cool strategy to help. When the screen is split, both players can open their present menu without pausing the other players screen. If you are in a pickle, open your present menu and wait for your partner to come with presents that can save you. You won’t be attacked while paused

Hold the Door
-If their are enemies swarming an elevator and one player is inside, hold up on the controller. This will hold the door open and make it easier for the other player to enter.

Togetherness
-Make sure you split these equally between players. Falling off a stage without a togetherness is a huge set back because one player will need to get back to the elevator with no help. Make sure each player always carries at least one in case of emergencies. Save these for extreme situations only, don’t waste them to save one minute on an easy stage.

Hi Five
-Walk into each other and the Toejam and Earl will hi-five each other. This will split your health bars and make them both even. Useful if one player is low on health

Present Troll
-Don’t open a present when both players are on the screen but one is in the elevator. For some reason being in an elevator prevents you from getting the present.

And Done

Alright, now you have all the knowledge to run through this game and escape back to Funkotron. These are just the basics and some solid strategies, but there is so much more to this great game. I actually have multiple world records in this game and am hoping to see more players learn the game. After using this guide you can either call it a day and enjoy your first completion, or consider learning more about speed running and routing for the game as a whole.

By Inception Kitten

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