Disney's Tarzan (video game)

Disney's Tarzan (also known as Tarzan Action Game) is an action platformer video game developed by Eurocom and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation in 1999 based on the Disney animated film Tarzan. Konami published the game for its Japanese release. It was also released for PC systems in 1999 and for the Nintendo 64 in 2000. A variant of the game for the Game Boy Color was developed by Digital Eclipse and released in 1999.[1]

North American PlayStation cover art
Digital Eclipse (GBC)
Publisher(s)Disney Interactive
Activision (GBC, N64)
Sony Computer Entertainment (PlayStation)
Platform(s)Game Boy Color
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo 64
  • WW: 1999


The player takes control of the eponymous Tarzan, an orphan child who was adopted and raised by gorillas. At the beginning of the game Tarzan is still a young kid who has to learn different skills from the gorillas such as climbing trees, swinging down branches or fighting small but aggressive wild animals. He eventually grows up to be a strong and skilled man who must defend his and his fellow animal brothers' home, the jungle, from hunters led by the evil Clayton.


Disney’s Tarzan is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer, with gameplay taking place on a two-dimensional plane but featuring three-dimensional models and environments. The player controls the eponymous character of Tarzan, both as a child and as an adult, though 14 different levels.[2] Along with running and jumping through levels, Tarzan is able to slam the ground in order to break open certain objects, as well as revealing hidden items and secret areas. Tarzan's main method of attacking enemies is by throwing assorted fruits, which can be thrown both overhand and underhand for varying throwing distances and come in 4 different levels of power marked by their colors. A knife can also be found in certain levels and used as a close-combat weapon, and certain other weapons, such as a spear and a parasol, are exclusively used in specific levels.[3] Tarzan's health status is represented by a life bar that depletes as he is harmed by enemies and other hazards. The health bar can be refilled by collecting bananas, which are hidden in banana trees and other areas throughout levels.[3]

Levels feature several different collectible items, such as coins that earn the player an extra life when 100 of them are collected, and four pieces of a pencil sketch which are hidden throughout the level and unlock a bonus level when collected. Scenes from the game's respective film can be unlocked by locating 6 letters (T-A-R-Z-A-N) in each level.[3]

The game has three difficulty levels: easy, medium and hard. In the easy and medium difficulties, little Tarzan gets tips from his friend Terk. Tarzan's enemies are monkeys, baboons, eagles, and different animals such as snakes and bushpigs, and some humans such as Clayton.


The Game Boy Color version of Disney's Tarzan was developed by Digital Eclipse, who had previously developed several ports of older games including Klax, Joust and Paperboy. It was Digital Eclipse's first completely original video game which they had developed and designed from scratch, as their previous efforts had all been ports of other games. The game's development team was given 3 months to develop the game, and consisted of two programmers, ten artists and three level designers.[1] According to the game's technical director, Mike Mika, the initial design concept for the game was “quite ambitious,” with several gameplay mechanics needing to be nixed due to time constraints. According to Mika, the team wanted to include gameplay objectives which were given to the player by talking to and interacting with non-playable characters, and had concepts for several mechanics which went unincorporated, such as levels which involved riding on top of birds and levels that featured Tantor the elephant as a playable character.[1]


Disney's Tarzan
Review scores
Game Informer6.5/10[10]7.25/10[11]7.75/10[12]
Game RevolutionC−[13]
Next Generation[21]
Nintendo Power7.4/10[22]8.5/10[23]
OPM (US)[24]
PC Gamer (US)73%[25]
The Cincinnati Enquirer[26]
Aggregate score

Disney's Tarzan received positive reviews upon its release, with critics praising the game's graphics and its faithfulness towards the film's story.[31]

Rick Sanchez reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "Tarzan is a solid, if uninspired, title that gets by mostly on its looks. Serious gamers won't find much of value, but it might appeal to the kiddie set flocking to the film."[21]

The PlayStation version of Disney's Tarzan received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[32] indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[33]


  1. "Lords of the Jungle". IGN. July 16, 1999. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  2. "Disney's Tarzan". IGN. February 8, 2000. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  3. Disney’s Tarzan for Sony PlayStation instruction booklet. Disney Interactive. 1999.
  4. Williamson, Colin. "Disney's Tarzan (GBC) - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  5. Ottoson, Joe. "Disney's Tarzan (N64) - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  6. Olson, Kim. "Disney's Tarzan Action Game - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  7. Ottoson, Joe. "Disney's Tarzan (PS) - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  8. "Disney's Tarzan (N64)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 2000.
  9. "Disney's Tarzan (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1999.
  10. Helgeson, Matt (August 1999). "Tarzan (GBC)". Game Informer (76): 67. Archived from the original on 2000-10-21. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  11. Reppen, Erik (2000-03-31). "Tarzan (N64)". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2000-05-27. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  12. McNamara, Andy (1999-10-29). "Tarzan - PlayStation". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2000-12-05. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  13. Liu, Johnny (July 1999). "Tarzan Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  14. Buchanan, Levi (2000-02-14). "REVIEW for Disney's Tarzan (N64)". GameFan. Archived from the original on 2000-07-08. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  15. Fielder, Lauren (2000-02-18). "Tarzan Review (N64)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  16. Fielder, Lauren (1999-07-14). "Tarzan Review (PS)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  17. Schneider, Peer (1999-07-13). "Tarzan (GBC)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  18. Casamassina, Matt (2000-02-14). "Disney's Tarzan (N64)". IGN. Archived from the original on May 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  19. Lopez, Vincent (1999-08-13). "Tarzan Action Game". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  20. Perry, Douglass C. (1999-07-06). "Disney's Tarzan (PS)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  21. Sanchez, Rick (October 1999). "Finals". Next Generation. Vol. 2 no. 2. Imagine Media. p. 113.
  22. "Disney's Tarzan (GBC)". Nintendo Power. 124. September 1999.
  23. "Disney's Tarzan (N64)". Nintendo Power. 129. February 2000.
  24. "Disney's Tarzan". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1999.
  25. Poole, Stephen (September 1999). "Tarzan Action Game". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  26. Bottorff, James (1999). "Tarzan matches movie". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on 2001-04-28. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  27. "Disney's Tarzan for Game Boy Color". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  28. "Disney's Tarzan for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  29. "Tarzan Action Game for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  30. "Disney's Tarzan for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  31. http://ew.com/article/2015/04/07/goofy-movie-anniversary-songs/
  32. "ELSPA Sales Awards: Gold". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  33. Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
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