Lost In Translation/Toobin'

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Toobin' marquee.
No screen shot.
Toobin' control panel.
Manufacturer Atari Games
Released 1988
5 Button(s)
Main CPU 68010 (@ 8.000 MHz)
M6502 (@ 1.790 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2151 (@ 3.579 MHz)
POKEY (@ 1.790 MHz)
Raster (Vertical)
512 x 384 pixels
60.00 Hz
1,024 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 34 ROMs
2,703,360 bytes (2.58 MiB)
MAME ID toobin · toobin1 · toobin2 · toobin2e · toobine · toobing

About The Game

Toobin' is a 2-player, vertically scrolling arcade video game where players can race Bif and Jet, the Toobin' dudes, in their inner tubes, down 45 different rivers.

The players try to keep Jet and Bif afloat, avoiding sharp objects, gaining points, and throwing cans at obstacles. Toobin' appeals to both males and females of all ages who both find it just 'fun to play'.

Toobin' has a continuous buy-in feature so players can join in at any time. Toobin' has a colour-coded control panel and players can identify Jet in the yellow inner tube and Bif in the black inner tube and red shorts.

Each player has a set of four buttons to steer Bif or Jet forwards, backwards, and sideways. Pressing the two Paddle Forward buttons moves the inner tube forward. Pressing the two Back Paddle buttons moves the inner tube backwards. Pressing only one Paddle button makes the inner tube turn. The player uses the Throw Can button to destroy obstacles in the river and stun riverside pests.

Toobin' players can enjoy amusing game play and an incredible variety of rivers and environments for their long-term enjoyment.

The player races Bif or Jet against other players, or against the game, down Toobin's 45 different rivers, paddling through six classes of play, and cruising the 15 unique river environments. The player can choose almost 200 courses through the rivers, finding his own way through rapids, obstacles, riverside pests and waterfalls.

The player has to guide Bif or Jet around obstacles, go through gates and pick up treasure to accumulate points to get more inner tube patches, collect cans to throw at obstacles and to stun riverside pests, and paddle fast enough to avoid the big 'gator lurking in all the rivers.

At the finish line, players are treated to a party. Each party grows in size until the player reaches the final super party at the end of the game.


Inner-Tube Patches

At the beginning of each game, the player has a certain number of inner-tube patches, which represent game lives. A player receives extra patches by scoring the number of points required for another patch. The number of points required changes from level to level, and is displayed in the lower left and right corners of the play-field. A player can also receive more patches by picking up patches floating in the rivers.


The player must accumulate cans to throw at obstacles and pests. All cans are the same value. The player can pick up individual cans floating in all the rivers or six-packs hidden under obstacles or in back waters (Six packs give unlimited cans). The player throws the cans by pointing Bif or Jet at the obstacle and pressing the Throw Can button.


Most of the obstacles in the river can be eliminated by hitting them with a can.


The player must avoid or eliminate dangers in the river and stun pests on the river banks. The dangers in the river include falling rocks, floating logs, deadly falling coconuts, icebergs, mines, stampeding cattle, snakes, crocodiles, barbed wire, and thorny bushes.

Dangerous riverside pests throw and shoot objects at Bif and Jet. The player can stun most of these objectionable characters with a can thrown in their direction. These pests include Casting fishermen, Hillbillies, Terrorists, Devils, Martians, Street punks, Pistolaros, Natives, Penguins, Bears, Dinosaurs, and Cavemen.

Big 'Gator

If a player is slow, the big 'gator comes up from behind to discourage slow play and hurry the player through the gates. A loud thumping sound warns the player of its presence. One escape from the big 'gator is to quickly paddle downstream or pass through a gate. If the gator catches Bif or Jet, one inner-tube patch is lost.


Released in June 1988.

Toobin' featured a unique cabinet (as did many Atari games of the time) that featured a large marquee behind which were two rotating drums, designed to give the impression of a flowing waterfall.

Toobin' was a classic example of Atari's genius approach to abstract game design, that would typify their heyday of the mid-to-late 80s.

The default high score screen of "Cyberball 2072" features names of many Atari arcade games, including Toobin'.

Special Contest Feature

Every Toobin' game in the U.S. had a special contest. A player can win a free Toobin' t-shirt just for playing the game and finding and picking up all seven characters to spell the word Toobin' (including the apostrophe). These characters are hidden in the river below obstacles and hazards. The letters collected by the player are shown at the beach party at the end of the run. For more contest details, see the game (The offer expired December 1, 1988).

Two Toobin' machines were shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


  • Build date : OS 09JUN1988 15 :25 :18 / PG 09JUN1988 18 :29 :59
  • Build date : OS 09JUN1988 15 :25 :18 / PG 14JUN1988 13 :49 :21
REVISION 2 (European release)
  • Build date : OS 16JUN1988 12 :45 :40 / PG 16JUN1988 11 :58 :15
  • Build date : OS 23JUN1988 10 :31 :30 / PG 23JUN1988 10 :29 :31
REVISION 3 (European release)
  • Build date : OS 23JUN1988 10 :42 :33 / PG 23JUN1988 10 :43 :06
REVISION 3 (German release)
  • Build date : OS 28JUN1988 12 :39 :41 / PG 28JUN1988 15 :38 :41


The player can score points by :

  • Time of Travel : The player receives points simply for traveling down the river.
  • Passing through Gates. The player receives points for passing through the gates in the river. Different coloured gates are worth different amounts of points. The green gates give the lowest points, then the red, gold, and finally crystal gates give the highest points.

If a players swishes a gate, that is, paddles through it without hitting the poles, he adds to his Score Multiplier (This is described in Score Multiplier below). For maximum points, the player should be the first through the gate and swish the gate. Each time the gate poles are hit, the point value of the gate falls.

  • Score Multiplier. If a player swishes the gate, the score is multiplied. Each gate that is swished adds to the multiplier. For example, if the player has a 2X multiplier, each point scored is multiplied by 2.

Every point the player scores is multiplied by the score multiplier. The score multiplier is shown in the upper left and right of the play-field, underneath the game scores. The minimum multiplier is 1 and the maximum is 5. The player must pass through every gate (whether he swishes it or not) to maintain the score multiplier. If the player misses a gate, the score multiplier is reduced by one. As long as the player passes through the gate, even if he bumps it, the score multiplier is maintained. However, if a player's tube is punctured, his score multiplier falls to one.

  • Treasures. The player can pick up treasures floating on the river or hidden under obstacles to gain extra points. The lowest-value treasure is green, next is red, and gold is the highest.
  • Warp. The warp feature moves the player to the intermediate or advanced play classes. When the player warps, he is rewarded with warp bonus points. Warping is a good way to quickly score points.

Tips and tricks

  • When you pick up a six-pack of cans, it's possible to park yourself close to a non-player character and rack up points by hitting them with the cans. The faster you are the better, so the beach ball speed-up can be a big help here.
  • When the alligator comes to eat you (because you're taking too long to progress down the river) just hit him with one of the cans. This also works for certain other obstacles such as the floating mines (seeking or non-seeking). If you are quick enough, you can re-destroy the same mine several times and release multiple bonuses such as letters, treasures, six-packs, etc. You can only throw one can at a time so any can already thrown will disappear once you press throw again.
  • Collect as many points as possible and try to push your opponent into obstacles. Swish up to five gates in a row and you will correspondingly advance your score multiplier (very important). Basic gates start at 2000, 1000, 500, 250. Once passed through the gates will decrease in points until they reach 100. Swishing a gate and then bumping it numerous times before your opponent can pass is an effective move. Pick-up cans (you can carry up to 9 at a time) or a six-pack (which gives you unlimited cans). The cans are used as "ammo" to hinder your opponent, stun other game characters, or to destroy certain obstacles (some obstacles are only temporarily destroyed). When you have a blow-out you lose your six-pack and your score multiplier resets to 1. Your multiplier will go down each time you miss a gate.
  • Obstacles in the water (icebergs, bushes, mines, etc.) can reveal hidden points, six-packs, patches (extra life), beach balls (speed-up), including the fabled colourful letters. These letters are worth 10,000 points a piece. Try to have your score multiplier as high as possible to maximize the letter bonus at the end of each class. Be on the lookout for the 25,000 point gate since swishing it can give you up to 125,000 points if your score multiplier is 5! Unlike the other gates however, you only get one chance at the 25,000. Also be on the lookout for falling rocks, jumping penguins, submarines with nasty torpedoes, etc. On the first and second start gate you can utilize the warp whirlpool that will send you to a higher class. Many non-player characters chase you along the way. Watch out for the alligator, he likes to come out when you stall and he always comes from the top of the screen. You must go through a gate to repel that alligator before he appears or before he gets you.
  • A simple way to get a very high score : In only a minute or so, there's a way you can rack up over a million points. On Class 1, after going towards the first gate, direct your inner tube to the right-hand side of the screen. You should see a sign that says 'This Way to Class 2' and a whirlpool should appear next to it. Shoot the twigs in front of the entrance and paddle back up. You will now be at the start of Class 2. Immediately move to the right of the screen, the same sign will appear, only this one warps you to Class 3. Shoot the iceberg in front, paddle back up and end up on class 3. The best part about the warps is that after each one, you get 600,000 points each. That's 1,200,000+ for doing very little work. An added bonus is that you will have four patches left in reserve thanks to the excess points you will have accumulated.


Game Designer
Milt Loper
Game Programmer
Dennis Harper
Support Programmers
Gary Stark
Russel Dawe (Rusty)
Will Noble
Mark West
Deborah Short
Brad Fuller
Hal Canon
Gary Stempler
Doug Snyder
Dave Wiebenson

Cabinet and Artwork


Box art for the DoMark port of Toobin'.
Nintendo Famicom (1989)
Nintendo Game Boy Colors (2000)
Sony PlayStation (2000, "Arcade Party Pak")
Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Nintendo GameCube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")
Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")
Amstrad CPC (1989)
Commodore C64 (1989)
Commodore Amiga ("Toobin'", 1989, DoMark)
Atari ST (1989)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1989)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
Arcade Ambiance 1992 N/A[1] 2007-09-14 Andy Hofle Digital download only.

External Links


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.