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Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat



The Game

Released in October 2004 on the Game Boy Advance, Rainbow Rescue bares little resemblance to its predecessors Ham-Hams Unite and Ham-Ham Heartbreak (the latter of which I LP’d a couple of years ago). Knowledge of these earlier games is absolutely not required, as Rainbow Rescue features a standalone plot. This game was the first in the series to be produced by AlphaDream, a company best known for creating the Mario & Luigi series on GBA, DS and 3DS.

The LP

We’re going with screenshots for the most part, with uncommentated videos added where appropriate. I would doubt that many people out there have played this game, but the amount that came out of the woodwork for the Heartbreak thread surprised me; just make sure to tag spoilers if you’re discussing them.

Fair warning: This LP may be fairly .gif heavy. There’s a lot of small animations that deserve to be shown off.

Updates

Update 01: No longer looks like a word.
Update 02: A tutorial on railroading.
Update 03: Rub Eyes to Reduce Sneeze Meter.
Update 04: Can love bloom in the sunflower field?
Update 05: Elementary, my dear Watson!
Update 06: Sports, Science and Searching.
Update 07: Not-so-friendly competition.
Update 08: Slipping back to the SNES.
Update 09: Games and grudge matches.
Update 10: Fairground festivities.
Update 11: A seashore study on safety.
Update 12: Hams gone wild.
Update 13: Pun Level - Red
Update 14: Punishing Puntaros and Rainbow Rescuing.
Update 15: Seedy characters and mixed nuts.
Update 16: But is it art?
Update 17: Practicing for the Ham-Ham Games.
Update 18: Helping out the little guys.
Update 19: The greatest show in the sky.
Appendix A: Stickers & Mats
Appendix B: Art Gallery

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 12:19 on May 7, 2015

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Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Update 01: No longer looks like a word.



For anyone who wants to watch the start-up cinematic, here’s a video. I’m sure that anyone who watched the English version of the anime will recognise the music even if it is coming out of a GBA.



Rainbow Rescue only supports one save slot, so let’s get this show on the road!



We immediately fade in on one hamster’s arrival at a cliffside viewpoint, joining her in looking out over the little Japanese town where the Ham-Hams happen to reside. (The show is set in the ‘real world’, but focusing on such small protagonists provides a rather different sense of scale. )





Of course, the game wouldn’t be called Rainbow Rescue without at least one rainbow in it! And as it forms, a rather oddly-dressed individual appears to be following it…







But that individual is much too far away to be seen by anyone other than the player, so let’s just go take a little wander around and tell some of our friends about the pretty rainbow.

Also worth noting is that AlphaDream offers multiple headshots for each of the main Ham-Hams, which is a nice improvement from the previous game. It does mean I’ll be having to give the PNGout plugin a workout though…



The game gives us control at this point, and the layout is basically what you’d expect. A is interact, B makes you run, Start opens the menu.



Like so. Yes, that does say stickers. No, we won’t be fighting any dragon turtles with them.



Rainbow Rescue doesn’t share the Ham-Chat system of Ham-Ham Heartbreak, so you no longer need to HifHif (sniff) sunflower seeds before you can collect them. Just hitting A will suffice. They do still serve as the game’s currency though, so I’ll be picking up every one I see.



A magazine for moms asked me to come to Sunny Peak.

Exiting stage left takes us to our first NPCs, including this familiar face. There are a bunch of side characters in this game who have appeared before… just not in the English version of the anime. Sunny Peak was a location in the last game, but there’s little similarity between the two versions of it.



A carrot grew here out of nowhere! It’s in the way, so I’m pulling on it. But it won’t budge. Really, what’s going on here?

Just the game designers making sure we don’t stray from the intro area.



It’s absolutely perfect for fishing. Ho ho ho!♪

I’ll take your word for it, old ham. Anyway, continuing westward (the only direction we can go) makes the screen pan over to…





Some more hamsters from the box art!



Right, those guys! Hamtaro is our protagonist and unofficial leader of the Clubhouse Ham-Hams, and Oxnard is his first-made friend, neighbour and professional devourer of everything (especially sunflower seeds).



Oh, right. I should have probably also introduced the female lead, who’s formerly hailing from France and crushing on Hamtaro pretty bad. Her name implies something small and delicate, usually in the context of jewellery.

You have to come see this rainbow!

Rainbow?! Where?!

It’s over there! Let’s go see it! It’s right over there!



Okay, let’s all go see it together then!

Man, talk about some serious rainbow hype. Guess what word the update title applies to.



And just like that, we have new party members! Yes, this game isn’t just a Hamtaro/Bijou partnership; you can have up to eight of the Ham-Hams roaming around together. They each have their own abilities, but we’ll get to that later on.





Ooh! It is really pretty!

It’s wonderful!♪

Meanwhile, in the skies above…



...Oh my.



Our mystery hamster makes a valiant effort to stay aloft, but… Mayday, mayday! He’s going down!



Well, that’s quite unusual even without noticing the hamster with polka-dot wings. Rainbows shouldn’t fade away that quickly…



I wanted to stare at it all day long… If we wait here, will we ever see one again? Huh…





Ah, I believe that was our winged friend coming down to earth. I wonder where he’ll land…



Let’s go back and look for him.

And now, a brief fade-away to somewhere nearby.



Huh? Where are Hamtaro and Oxnard?

Ah, here’s Boss at last. His house serves as the Ham-Ham’s Clubhouse, since he’s a field hamster unlike most of the others. He’s crushing on Bijou, but she only has eyes for Hamtaro.

...Do you hear something whistling?



Heheh, right on target.



It sounded like something fell over there somewhere.

Let’s go look, Oxnard!

Bijou, please stay here and wait.



Hopefully Boss won’t be too badly concussed from being hit by that meteoric hamster.



Ignoring the obvious prompt to interact with the displaced plank, let’s go check on our buddy.





Huh? Hey! Who’s that other Ham-Ham over there?



We passed a log on the way here, Hamtaro. Let’s bring it over here.

Sounds like a solid idea, Oxnard. Just replace the ‘log’ (that’s clearly flat), and we should be good to go.



...Ah. Seems these two don’t quite have the muscle power for it.

Let’s get more help so we can lift it!

Well, we can’t count on NPCs to lend us a hand. So…



Wha...what?! Boss?!

We were going to help him, but we can’t get to him. There’s a log, but we need your help. We need you to help us move it!

OK! I understand. Let’s go!

I’m not entirely sure how strong Bijou happens to be, but here’s hoping it’s enough to make a difference with that log.



Do you know how to carry things? Want me to tell you?

But when we go to find out, guess what? Tutorial time! Thankfully, it’s optional. The controls are just A to pick up, move to spot, A to put down.

Oh, and the old ham also says that the number of hamsters in your party is what’s important for lifting stuff. Bijou is just as strong as Hamtaro, and even certain supposedly strong hamsters won’t count for more than one hamster’s worth.



The option to put something down anywhere is rarely useful on account of Hamtaro prompting us whenever we’re in the right spot. With that tiny tutorial out of the way, it’s time that we help Boss and our mystery guest.



Right after the Barbariccia impression and victory dance, of course.



Gee, perhaps it’s a pair of massive head injuries. Just at a guess.

Boss! Come on, you need to wake up!

This Ham-Ham won’t wake up either. What should we do now?



Oh, hey there Cappy. One of the younger Ham-Hams, this guy’s main quirk should be fairly obvious. He also looks up to Boss, so this must be a bit of a shock for him.

Cappy! Boss and the other Ham-Ham won’t wake up!

I hope they’ll be ok! I’m really worried.

I think we should take them back to the Clubhouse!

Good idea. Let’s take them back to the Clubhouse!



Sure, let’s drag Boss all the way home on his face. It’s not like it’ll make him any uglier.



Once we arrive at the Clubhouse, it seems almost everyone wants a look at our mystery guest. So expect a fair few short introductions before the update is over.



Maxwell here is the brainbox, often found reading or spouting facts to try and educate his friends. Though he asks a good question… The last flying hamsters around here were both pests in their own ways.



Oh, he’s waking up. I’m sure he won’t be bothered by everyone staring at him.



...Or the second concussion.



I’d call him a crybaby, but that’s honestly a pretty fair reaction to waking up in a strange place, surrounded by a bunch of folks you don’t recognise.



...Perhaps you should clarify what you mean by friendly, Hamtaro.



Boy, that expression sure is something.



Insert merciful fadecut here. This series is generally pretty good with those.



Oh! And I made such a scene without even knowing…



Oh, the antenna light up. Guess your parents went all out on that costume, huh kid?



So, what’s your name?



Well, that’s certainly one way to make an introduction. Also note Snoozer napping in the corner; no prizes for guessing what his deal is.

Rainbow Land?! Just what is Rainbow Land?!



I’d love to show you Rainbow Land, my beautiful home.



It’s late! I need to go now, or everyone back home will be worried!

Sorry to crash and run, but I’d better get going! Adios, hamigos!





And with that, everyone files out onto the Ham-Ham Lawn. The game won’t tell you that’s what this screen is called until the postgame.

Everyone is hanging around here to see Bo off, so let’s talk to them before getting on with the next cutscene.



Dexter is a gentlemanly hamster (whose ‘glasses’ are just his fur markings) that seeks the affection of one of the female Clubhouses hams, but also has to contend with his eternal rival…



Ha Ha Ha HA HA HA! I’m mighty funny!



...The eternal punster himself, Howdy. He speaks with a southern accent in the English version of the anime (obviously), and he likes to keep things nice and clean.

Also pictured: My reaction to Howdy’s lame joke.





Moving on, we have the twins Sandy and Stan. They’re both very athletic and active, with Sandy favouring rhythmic gymnastics while Stan enjoys other pursuits like skateboarding, playing the maracas… and flirting with every girl he sees.



We’ve already met Maxwell, who’s naturally most interested in the academic prospects of this situation. Also worth noting is that Sandy has a crush on him, so this trio tends to be found together.





And here we have Pashmina and Penelope. The former is the target of Dexter and Howdy’s affections, but she’s more interested in being the big sister figure to her little blanket-wearing friend. Don’t expect Penelope to say anything other than ‘Ookwee’; she’s too young to talk properly.



Perhaps with those wings on his back, he’ll just fly home!

Panda here (again, named such for obvious reasons) is the industrious one of the Clubhouse group. To date, he’s built everything from bridges to fun parks! So if you need something built or repaired, Panda’s the one to ask.





Well, if games and cartoons have taught me anything, it’s that rainbows and lands in the sky are almost always associated with candy. So don’t fill up on seeds beforehand, okay buddy?



Anyway, that’s all of the Clubhouse Ham-Hams who are around. Cappy is probably tending to Boss’ massive head injury, so… Let’s see Bo off!



Well, good! Prepare yourselves for something truly amazing!



Listen up! I can make rainbows with my umbrella!

Wh-what? A rainbow with your umbrella?! That’s incredible!

Hey, they avoided using just the bog-standard ‘Metal Gear?’ bit! Good on you, AlphaDream.



I’m now imagining Bo singing ‘Walking on Rainbows’, sung to the tune of ‘Walking on Sunshine’.

With my umbrella, I’ll make a rainbow that goes to Rainbow Land!



Surely this can only go well. We rescued Bo after his fall, so the game must be over now, right?



Yeah, as if. Bo’s observational skills are perhaps a little lacking.

Bo!

Hm...hmm...mmm.



Well, I’m pretty sure your umbrella exploded right in your face.



It did seem rather drab for a magical rainbow-making umbrella. I mean, I like sky blue as much as the next person, but…



It’s the truth!



Ah, there we go. Now that feels like a game-spanning quest!



Whaaa! I want to go home! Mommy! Daddy!



Yeah, he may seem hopeless and probably useless, but he’s still better than Harmony.



What…?

We’ll find what you need to get back home!

What a really great idea, Hamtaro! Really!

Plus, a rainbow is just so pretty. Don’t you think, Penelope?

Ookwee!







And with everyone in agreement, the search for the seven coloured ingredients can begin! I hope you’ll join me next time as we return to Sunny Peak for some proper exploration.

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 03:39 on Mar 18, 2015

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


My adora-meter is going off the charts.

I can't wait for more!

Agent Interrobang
Mar 27, 2010

sugar & spice & psychoactive mushrooms


The promised day has arrived! I am looking forward to this like you cannot BELIEVE after the last thread.

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

Oh, man, I enjoyed Heartbreak and this is even cuter.

ApplesandOranges
Jun 22, 2012

He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.

I keep misreading Cappy as Crappy.

But more Hams YES.

John Lee
Mar 2, 2013

A time traveling adventure everyone can enjoy



When I was in high school, I made fun of my friend's little brother for playing the Hamtaro GBA games.


If only had I had known that they were actually decent...

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Didn't the cartoon for Hamtaro air on Toonami? I remember that being the case which is rather hilarious when you consider that Toonami is better known for action cartoons.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.




Picayune posted:

Oh, man, I enjoyed Heartbreak and this is even cuter.
Empty quoting this

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

Chimera-gui posted:

Didn't the cartoon for Hamtaro air on Toonami? I remember that being the case which is rather hilarious when you consider that Toonami is better known for action cartoons.

Hamtaro threw in a decent amount of action cartoon parodies. It's called weapons-grade cute for a reason, after all.

Robust Laser
Oct 13, 2012

Dance, Spaceman, Dance!

Oh man, after the fest that was the last game, I'm super stoked for this one.

Chimera-gui
Mar 20, 2014


Glazius posted:

Hamtaro threw in a decent amount of action cartoon parodies. It's called weapons-grade cute for a reason, after all.

True, but it did seem more like a slice of life comedy series then an adventure one, especially when you consider that it was in the same block as series such as Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Rurouni Kenshin (though admittedly all three of the aforementioned examples did have comedic moments).

JordanKai
Aug 19, 2011

Get high and think of me.




Yessss, I can't wait to partake in more cute hamster adventures!

GeneralYeti
Jul 22, 2012

Look at this smug broken asshole.


Challenging Chocobo Tales for the record of adorableness in a single update, are we?

This is going to be the best - I've never played it, but I liked Heartbreak so I'm sure I'll like this

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Apparently half the people from the last Hamtaro thread were just lying in wait for me to start another one. And Glazius is already here because of course they are. Glazius is in 99% of LP threads.

GeneralYeti posted:

Challenging Chocobo Tales for the record of adorableness in a single update, are we?

This is going to be the best - I've never played it, but I liked Heartbreak so I'm sure I'll like this

Only one can wear the cuteness crown, buddy. And to be perfectly honest, I may have finished my first ever playthrough, made sure I'd grabbed/seen everything... and then immediately started working on the first update.

Picayune posted:

Oh, man, I enjoyed Heartbreak and this is even cuter.

Since somebody just finished another MySims LP, I figured the subforum cuteness levels had to be kept up.

Also Leavemywife insisted I do another Hamtaro game to help him get through the eventual DS-added content for his LP.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering about updates, I'm hoping to get them up twice a week. You'll definitely get at least one. And speaking of updates...

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Update 02: A tutorial on railroading.



After resolving to find Bo’s MacGuffins ingredients, everyone has gathered back inside the Clubhouse for a bit of strategising.



I'm not sure.



Figures that Hamtaro would agree to help someone before he even knows how he’ll do it. Still, that’s what this meeting is for.



Seven colors…?

Well, at least they avoided it once.





Exactly! If I had seven items with those same seven colors…



So, here we have our major quest for the game. Find seven items that Bo can use to restore his magical umbrella to its former glory.

But...there’s something wrong with my umbrella. I think it’s bent…

Bent! I’ll be sure to look at it later! You can count on me when it comes to repairs!

Fair enough; I suppose Panda won’t be joining in the search just yet.



I reckon I’ve just had some sort of an idea. See y’all later!



Sounds like fun! Let’s go, too!

Uh-huh!

Well, why don’t we try looking somewhere, too, Penelope?

Ookwee!



Looks like everyone else is gone.

...Well, there goes most of our hampower. Still, I suppose we need someone to go out and find the plot hooks for the later ingredients, and we can’t have too many party members too early!





Oh hey, look who’s out of bed. Guess that helmet of yours helped absorb the blow, huh?





Nice save there, Boss.



Well, you see…





I said I was sorry! Mommy! Daddy!



You see, Bo was… And then you… … So, you see?

Aaaand fade out again. The game designers are generally pretty merciful about sparing the player recaps.



In order to make a rainbow, you need to find seven ingredients.

...More or less.



Hamtaro, I’m going to look for an ingredient!



Aha! Oxnard, you sly dog, you.



And just like that, we’re reduced to just five hamsters standing around the table. And since Bo isn’t likely to be of much use…



Everyone! I already know what the orange ingredient is!

Really? Well, Boss, what could it be?

Bijou, the orange ingredient is…











Gee, you don’t say. Clearly we’re getting softballed into this quest, which is why we aren’t doing the logical thing and starting with red.



Heh heh heh…





...Uh…



That certainly is some interesting logic you’ve got there, Boss.





Uh, well…

Well, I suppose we don’t really have any better leads, so…



Don’t worry, Bijou. I’ll be back in no time!

See ya! Bye!

And then Boss rushes off out to Sunny Peak.



It may not be too likely, but it certainly sounds like the sort of folklore someone would come up with…



Perhaps we can stop him from wasting too much time out there.



And with that, the scene ends and our first real bit of gameplay begins! We can wander and explore to our heart’s content, so long as we don’t encounter any obstacles that need more than these three Ham-Hams to overcome. So let’s start by poking around the Clubhouse a bit.



Obviously, Boss came out of his own room. I don’t believe there’s any way in here, so how about we take a look at the TV instead?



Try something new for a change. Branch out and try something new for a change. Push yourself.
The second luckiest for today is...Libra. I feel that you just might get that sticker you haven’t found yet.♪
The luckiest one for today is...Pisces. It’s time to make a confession! Who knows? It might just lead to love!
Today will not be very good for...Gemini. Small things may get you into big trouble. The park is a lucky place.


Hamstarr is the only show on throughout the game, and his fortunes are basically just random. Quillpaw’s info segments from the Heartbreak LP told us that Panda is an Aries, none of the Clubhouse crew is a Libra, Penelope is a Pisces, and Stan and Sandy are Gemini (because of course they are).

Perhaps I’ll start each new ‘chapter’ with a fortune from Hamstarr, so you can all see what he has to say about your starsigns.



Ah, but it’s not just any blackboard! If you interact with it, and immediately after the dialogue box closes…



Press L, R, A, B. Ta-da! It’s a secret colouring-in page!





You see, the game comes with a selection of colouring-in pictures for the younger players. There are thirty in total, and five of them are hidden behind codes like this one. I’m not actually sure how you learn these codes. They don’t appear to be anywhere in-game that I can find.





We start off with ‘Hamtaro’ as a freebie, and ‘Secret Admirer’ is the one we just found.



The rest of the stuff in the Clubhouse is just a bunch of flavour text. Some of it is kind of interesting though, and the first visit to Sunny Peak won’t take that long.



Postie delivers mail to all kinds of cool places!





It doesn’t quite look finished.

Looks pretty much finished to me! Also, didn’t he just arrive?





No surprises there, then.



We haven’t seen it yet on account of not just immediately running out the front door, but this is a pixelated version of the game’s actual map screen. It shouldn’t be hard to see which places we’ll be going in future even from this one.

Ah, and there’s one more important Clubhouse fixture to look at.

Did you find the orange?



He may not be too helpful yet, but Snoozer continues to be the game’s hint system. And also asleep.



The slide is pointless, but fun. With that, I think it’s finally time we headed off after Boss.



Next stop, Sunny Peak!



The starting point is one screen west from where Bo crash-landed, which means this hole must be where Cappy came from last update. A nice bit of continuity.





So, let’s immediately gave a NPC a heart attack.



Oh, great! Now the frog got away.

Were you playing with the frogs?

Uh, yeah...and I was just about to catch one, too.



...Well, that was pointless. Though at least he used more Ham-Chats than most folks.



Let’s leave that dude to his frog cuddling or whatever.



I don’t want to let my mom down. I wonder if there’s a better spot to fish around here.

Given that you’re standing on a log I’ll probably need at some point, I’d say almost certainly. Let’s keep moving east…



We’re looking for Boss!

Have you seen Boss? We really need to find him!

You bet I’ve seen bass! Bass, bass and more bass. Tons of bass! Ho ho!

... Not “bass”. We are talking about a Ham-Ham named “Boss”.

Oh, I see. Ummm… Just now, a Ham-Ham passed by on his way over there. But is that the one you are looking for? Ummm…

Let’s go over there!



Boss must have jumped over the water to get across.

We need to find a log!

We clearly aren’t out of the tutorial yet. So, let’s go solve that other guy’s problem as well as our own.



I can catch a ton of fish over there? Ok, I’ll go right now!



And this has been Puzzle Solving 101.



Another quick ‘Haaam!’ moment fixes the problem nicely.



This might turn out great for me and Mom. Thanks for telling me about it! Though it’s not much, here’s some fishing line. Well...if you don’t have a fishing pole, you can’t fish! If you only had a stick pole to take its place!



Well, I’m sure we’ll be able to put this to good use later on. It’s nice to actually have an inventory item too.



Next time I’m here with Howdy, I’ll have him clean it up!

If we continue on over to where Bijou was looking at the rainbow, there’s nothing to see except some litterbug’s leavings and Hamtaro refusing to clean it up himself.



Where we actually want to go is the path that was blocked off during the intro.

Hamha! Guess what? I’ve figured out how to pull the carrot out of the ground. I’ll teach you! You do want to hear how to do it, right?

This is the task tutorial. Basically, each party member is able to interact with the game environment in certain ways, and you cannot perform a task without the relevant Ham-Ham in your party.



This sunflower icon appears over the relevant character’s head whenever you are near enough to a task. As you can see, Hamtaro’s task is picking carrots.



Each task has its own little quicktime event in order to successfully complete it, none of which are terribly difficult.



Successfully completing this task earns us our very first sticker. There are 451 stickers to find and collect in this game, with five levels of rarity. Tasks will always give you a one-star sticker.



If you look in the top left, we also get twenty sunflower points for completing a task. Earn one hundred, and you get either a three or four star sticker.

As for what you do with stickers… They do have a minor purpose we’ll see later, but they’re mainly just a fun little collectible.



I wasn’t able to climb it before because of the carrot. I’m glad it’s gone!



Moving onwards and upwards! To unexplored territory!



Ah, more NPCs to chat to. Let’s see what’s up.



All three of the grey-ish hamsters have the same portrait.

Nothing beats food after working in the mountains!

Today’s lunch is orange-flavored sunflower seeds!

Mom always makes the most delicious lunches!

What?! Did you say… orange?



Oh, so Boss came to the right place, but for the wrong reason. Hey, whatever works!



”The sun turning into an orange!” Ha ha! You say some silly things. Ha hahahaha!♪



I’m sure an orange tree is on the other side of the river.



Oh, you mean this river? It’s not exactly a long trip.



Ah, yes. The ability to swim is rather rare among hamsters. Enough so that we only met one who could swim in the last game.

But that also means…Boss has not made it over to the other side, either.

Let’s go look again.

But as soon as we take a step to the right…





Ah, a bit of vine-swinging! In Heartbreak, the command for this was Clingie.





Nope, we can’t reach even when Maxwell jumps for it.

Huh… Without Boss, we can’t reach it.

Well, time to poke around a little more on this side of the river then.



Ah! I hear Boss’s voice!





Ah, yes. We couldn’t have climbed the tree before because the only way onto it is to the right of the hole, which is where the mountain workers were standing.



Speaking of the hole, we can’t go in there yet. Tutorial mode is still in full effect until we get our first ingredient.



Moving on up a screen lets us find Boss rummaging around inside the tree, because that’s totally where you find oranges.





Hey! Hamtaro, you guys came here, too?

Did you find an orange?



If we work together, we can reach the other side of the river!

That’s right! With Boss, we can stand on the and get across the river!





Where’s a slightly more sarcastic version of when you need it?



We heard that there was an orange around here somewhere.

Hm? You must be talking about me. Aren’t I a cute orange color?

Heke.

It appears that we are wrong.

We’re looking for the orange fruit, not…you!

Ohh, I see. It should be on Sunny Peak somewhere. Just where was it?



Well, that conversation was entirely pointless. Seems that orange hamster is only here to get in our way… Still, better go help Boss up.





Boss! Are you OK?

Daa ha ha! I’m fine. I’m fine! Just fine!

Now let’s go! Follow me!



And now we’re four Ham-Hams strong! Boss is also taking the lead for now, not that it affects anything much.



The important thing is that we’re able to cross the river now! We did manage to break the vine though…



A nearby NPC informs us about Bijou’s task, plucking the petals from flowers. It almost never comes up, but she’s going to spend a lot of time in the party regardless.



Likes. Likes me not. Likes. Likes me not. ………

Likes. Likes me not. ………



Heke? Bijou, what’s the matter?

Ohhh, it’s OK! Don’t be too worried about it.

Oh, my heart. Whether this flower produces a ‘Likes’ or ‘Likes me not’ is random, and it seems we’ve been a bit unlucky. Hopefully it will have a better result next time.



My brothers are gathering nuts and don’t want to be bothered! We’re finding all kinds of stuff on this peak!

Further west, the game makes sure we stay on track yet again.



Oh, c’mon now. This is just getting ridiculous.

The hamster here just wonders who blocked the road, and hints at our path to progress…







Heading back a screen and on down the vine (past the flower Bijou plucked the petals from), we finally come to the other major part of this game. The NPC is of course there to tutorialise us, but to put it simply…



This game is to minigames what Professor Layton is to puzzles. That is to say, there’s a number of minigames you have to do to progress the plot, and a whole lot of optional ones you can find by poking around in the right places. There’s always a signpost nearby, and ones with sunflowers on them haven’t been done before.





In order to play a given minigame, you have to have the right Ham-Ham in your party. Boss tends to get strength-related challenges, Maxwell gets intellectual problems, and so forth. Hamtaro gets to try this first one on account of being the main character.



Approaching a minigame opens up a menu to Start, Quit, view the Controls, read Tips and to Skip the minigame if you’re having severe trouble with one. (You need a certain consumable item to skip a minigame though, so we must press forward in this instance.) Tips and Controls are basically must-read for the first encounter with a given minigame type.



Being the first of many, many minigames means that “Lily Pad Row 1” is incredibly easy. Failing a minigame gives you a one-star sticker as a consolation prize, while success earns you a two-star sticker and some sunflower points. How many depends on the minigame, some of them even offering bonus points for good performances.



And with that, we’ve overcome our first minigame! This update is already pretty lengthy compared to the first one, but I’d like to close out this first Sunny Peak visit before finishing up.





I hear there’s another Ham-Ham who’s a “tree-nut”, too. What kind of Ham-Ham could it be? I hope we can meet.

Seedric here is one of Cappy’s friends, and the victim of one of the villain’s schemes from Heartbreak. Hopefully he’ll get to meet whoever this fellow tree-nut happens to be.



Heading up the vine on this side of the lily pads takes us past the blockade to…





Wow, good thing somebody left one single orange on this tree, or we’d be completely hosed.



That’s great! It’s an orange!

I’m glad we finally found it!



You can always count on me! Right, Bijou?

Huh?! What are you doing, Hamtaro?

I’m climbing the tree to get the orange!



Sorry, Boss. You weren’t quick enough on this one.

What am I gonna do with him?

Well...we should just stay here and catch the orange.

Good idea! Let’s stay here and catch it!



You bet I am, Bijou!

Of course I’ll catch it. No sweat!





“Orange Catch” is a one-time minigame, as a few of the plot ones tend to be. While it looks like it should give more points for catching the orange the first time, it’s only worth 20 points no matter what.





See! Just like I said, right, Hamtaro?

Actually, you said the sun turned into an orange!♪

I said Sunny Peak, and we’ve got an orange, don’t we?

He’s right! Boss said all along that the orange was on Sunny Peak!



I have to say, I like that Maxwell let that one go and just went along with everyone else.

Ha ha! I just did what came naturally.



Awww… You’re embarrassing me with talk like that.♪

Awww… Ha ha!♪ Bijou!

Guy’s got it bad.





We have to work fast so Bo can return to Rainbow Land. We Ham-Hams will have to work hard!

Heke!



OK, everyone! Let’s go hand the orange to Bo!





And as we fade out on Sunny Peak, we’ll take a look at what happens when we take an ingredient back to Bo… next time.

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 22:30 on Mar 4, 2015

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

Yapping Eevee posted:



Let’s leave that dude to his frog cuddling or whatever.

Saaaaay, that's an awfully green frog you've got there, hamster...

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


I'm calling it right now, and I'll fight anyone who disagrees, but Boss is the best Ham-Ham.

Even if he is whipped beyond compare, he's still the best! He's Boss, and he's got a cool helmet and I'm sure he spends his weekends fighting snakes, Leviathan and the Sith.

Yapping Eevee posted:




Being the first of many, many minigames means that “Lily Pad Row 1” is incredibly easy. Failing a minigame gives you a one-star sticker as a consolation prize, while success earns you a two-star sticker and some sunflower points. How many depends on the minigame, some of them even offering bonus points for good performances.


Do you have to play each minigame twice, to get the one-star sticker for failing and then the two-star for passing it? Or does it give you both stickers for success?


Yapping Eevee posted:

Also Leavemywife insisted I do another Hamtaro game to help him get through the eventual DS-added content for his LP.

By the time I get there, I hope you're at the cutest part of the game, otherwise I'm likely to have an aneurysm up in this motherfucker.

Leave fucked around with this message at 14:51 on Mar 4, 2015

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.




Grimey Drawer

You know what else is orange? A carrot.

Gloomy Rube
Mar 4, 2008





Yapping Eevee posted:



If you look in the top right, we also get twenty sunflower points for completing a task.

Top left.

Anyway, this game looks even better than Ham-ham heartbreak, and oh my gosh it's adorable. Even the tutorials are cute.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.




So... does the game have any tunes worth posting?

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Leavemywife posted:

Do you have to play each minigame twice, to get the one-star sticker for failing and then the two-star for passing it? Or does it give you both stickers for success?

I'll bring this up in the next update, but the sticker prizes for tasks and minigames are randomly drawn from a pool for the area you're in. Which means if I want a sticker that's assigned to the Sunny Peak pool, I have to play minigames and do tasks there specifically. So good luck getting all of them!

Mehuyael posted:

You know what else is orange? A carrot.

This isn't even the stupidest case of "Why that ingredient" we'll come across.

Grilox posted:

Top left.

Yes, that. (Thanks for pointing it out.)

Xander77 posted:

So... does the game have any tunes worth posting?

Well, it does. But the only copy I can find online is some slightly low quality playlist on Youtube, so if I want better quality stuff to link to, I'm going to have to record it myself (like last time).

As some samples, here's Boss's Theme and Uh-Oh!, the theme that reminds me of Superstar Saga the most. The sound quality isn't too shabby, so I could add these to updates until I get a chance to record them myself... What do you folks think?

Of course, if anyone's Google-Fu is stronger than mine, I'd also be happy being provided with a better quality soundtrack. (Unless that's considered , obviously.)

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 23:12 on Mar 4, 2015

corn in the bible
Jun 5, 2004

Oh no oh god it's all true!


This game.......... is cute.

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

Hamtaro games are pretty much the nuclear option on the cuteness scale.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead


Mehuyael posted:

You know what else is orange? A carrot.
But carrots are not oranges.

Zanzibar Ham
Mar 17, 2009

You giving me the cold shoulder? How cruel.




Grimey Drawer

Scalding Coffee posted:

But carrots are not oranges.

Not plural, singular!

Glaive17
Oct 11, 2012

What is there left to discover about donuts...?


Pillbug

I won't hide it, I have played all of the Hamtaro games and loved them.





Except for this one. I didn't even know it existed! I am looking forward to seeing what I missed.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

This game is pretty teamwork-heavy, which is appropriate for a kids' game.

ConanThe3rd
Mar 27, 2009


Chimera-gui posted:

Didn't the cartoon for Hamtaro air on Toonami? I remember that being the case which is rather hilarious when you consider that Toonami is better known for action cartoons.

Yep, apparently it was something foisted on Williams Street at the time according to the ANN Cast.

They made the best of a weird situation

The UK Airing was a more straightforward affair (Airing on Fox Kids in the last of it's pre jetix days) and, if memory serves, was basically part of the same licensing package that had Megaman NT Warrior in it.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Update 03: Rub Eyes to Reduce Sneeze Meter.



So, whenever we manage to find an ingredient the Ham-Hams will automatically return to the lawn, where Bo and Panda will usually be waiting for them.





Boss is with you! I’m sure glad you found him.

We went through a lot to get this orange ingredient! I mean, there were trees, and rivers, and at the end…

OK then! Let’s go ahead and make a rainbow color!

...

Bo gives Boss no respect whatsoever.



Ha ha! Prepare yourselves. It’s about to start!





That’s some interesting magic you’ve got there, Bo. Imagine being able to paint your house just by buying some fruit.





-------



Back in the clubhouse after some unspecified amount of time has passed, it seems we’re getting a delivery.



Hey there, Postie! Is it weird that we have a doll of you in the clubhouse?

Flower Ranch? Who is it from?

Hey! It’s from Cappy and Oxnard!



Oxnard and I are at Flower Ranch!

We’re looking for a sunflower.

You see, a while back, Pepper once said to me…



I’m sure you have never seen such a bold yellow before. I’ll show you the next time you stop by!

When I remembered what she said… I thought the flower petal would work as an ingredient.



Oh! Maxwell!

I think a sunflower petal would work as an ingredient.

Hamtaro, you need to come to Flower Ranch, too!

There are plants all over the place! It’s really amazing!



That’s all well and good, but things got a little bit Castle of Aaargh in that letter, don’t you think?



At least Postie hasn’t changed much. He’s still got his slogan going.



Sounds like a good idea! We can poke Snoozer before we go, but he’s somehow aware of the ranch’s first obstacle before we even go there, so let’s not.



You’re not feeling well, are you? Gain some energy by eating fruit.
The second luckiest one for today is...Aries. You’ll have a clear head all day long. Use it on your homework.♪
The luckiest one for today is...Aquarius. You’ll make progress on your homework. Get ahead of everyone today!
Today will not be very good for...Cancer. Something might get lost. The aquarium is your lucky place.


You heard him, Aries and Aquarius! Get cracking on your homework! We already know the Pisces and Aries among the Ham-Hams; Howdy is an Aquarius and Bijou’s sign is Cancer.



I’m watching quietly so it doesn’t get scared away. So, don’t go this way for now, OK?

This jerk is blocking us from making a side-trip to explore Sunny Peak some more, so let’s go ahead and check out Flower Ranch.



...It lacks something when you’re this low to the ground. (The Clubhouse hams range from the 6.2cm tall Penelope to Boss’s 12cm. Most of them are in the 7-9 range. )



Follow the signs to the sunflower garden and enjoy.

Flower Ranch is actually a pretty large area, especially once we’re able to visit all of it. A little bit of guidance to our goal is appreciated.



Hmm, these two seem familiar. Their conversation is normally relevant and perfectly timed, because there’s just 90 points worth of tasks and minigames on our orange-gathering trip.





One thing that may not be immediately apparent is that these blue fence posts are climbable if the base of them is clear. A log blocks off the one further to the right, since it needs more than three Ham-Hams to carry.



There are two ways to go, so let’s head south to start with.



Wow, that’s a pretty big turnip. You could definitely bop some bad guys with that thing.





Strange.

I’m sure there’s a term for when, for the sake of the narrative, videogame characters have to be oblivious to something that’s incredibly obvious to the player. Something more specific than Failed A Spot Check.

???: Over here!

That voice. It’s… It’s Cappy!

We’ve got to save him now!



...Well, he was out from under the bowl for a second there.

It’s too heavy.

Let’s go find more of our pals to help us.

Hang on, Cappy. We’ll save you!



This is what Sleeper’s current hint is about, by the way. He says:

It seems Cappy’s in a dark place and in trouble. Zzzz… When in danger, it’s good to talk to Maxwell. Zzzz…

So now all it spoils is which of the other two clubhouse hamsters will appear first.



Moving onward, it seems that this path comes to an abrupt end here. It may look like we can go north from here, but…



It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, everyone smiles.

Yeah, it’s too steep to go that way. Also, nuts to that. We play to win!



Two lovers divided, huh? Well, there was that log earlier…



In order to make progress, we have to take the other path from the starting screen. Also pictured: That log.





Hmm, some items up out of reach. The seeds would be nice, but this thing looks much more interesting. Pity we can’t do anything about them right now.



...Bunnies!



Big-bottomed bunnies we can’t begin to budge. That square thing will have to remain uncollected for now.



The hamster at the bottom is just freaking out about this other one admiring the scenery, so let’s keep moving.



“Rub Eyes to Reduce Sneeze Meter”. That’s not a command you see every day.



Butterfly Bridge 1 is the first minigame to introduce extra sunflower points for a better performance, but it’s only a miserly one point per second left on the clock.



The game itself is fairly generous in terms of difficulty, letting Hamtaro tank three hits without sneezing. The dust drifts fairly randomly, so standing near some to wait for it to drift past is somewhat risky, as shown.



And in a mildly amusing turn, our first sticker for reaching 100 sunflower points is the same one being shown off earlier. This is entirely coincidental.





Wow, that’s rude. But if you talk to her again, this hamster explains that you can get more sunflower points in minigames by doing whatever the Tips screen suggests. The bonus condition is always by the pink head icon at the bottom.



Climbing back down to ground level presents us with… whatever this pink lumpy thing is. Still, it looks pickupable!



Geeze kid, calm down.



OK, but I’ll only tell you guys. This thing is called candy. You might see some pieces in the Ham Games… If you do, you really should grab as many as you can.

Candy collection serves as one of the most common bonus conditions for minigames, typically appearing in 5-point pink pieces or 2-point yellow pieces. I assume they’re little pop rocks or something.

Edit: An interesting tidbit from Picayune!

Picayune posted:

I suspect the candy is meant to be kompeito! They're just little blobs of flavored rock candy, but they're so good.



Naturally, the south exit from this area is the first minigame to use candy for extra points, Slippy Slidy Slope 1.



...Some of them are there to tempt you into crashing. If you’re not an idiot, I would suggest:



Actually using the brake button.





This first slide brings us out back past Cappy’s prison, so let’s loop back around and head north instead.



The next screen has three carrots for us to collect. Yes, we are actually collecting them.





See? No other task gives you an item like this, and gathering them up will be handy later on. So in addition to sunflower seeds, make sure to get some veggies!



The next room gives us the option of going up the fence post for Butterfly Bridge 3. Why 3, you ask? Well, we’ll see. It’s currently a dead end though, because another log blocks the fence post on the other side. So we’ll go and do that later.



The normal conversations for these two hamsters are uninteresting (I got all the candy/This minigame’s too hard for me), but this item is somewhat important. Walnuts are what you need to skip a minigame; getting any aside from this one requires a different method which I’ll show off later. It’s worth noting that skipping minigames means missing out on stickers and sunflower points.



In order to progress, it’s time for Slippy Slidy Slope 2! This one has the lesser yellow candies, but both it and its predecessor are alright sources of sunflower points at the moment. Getting 40-50 per round trip is pretty easy.



Ending up on the opposite side of the lover’s divide, we’ve hit a temporary point of no return. Until we can bridge the gap with a log, we can’t get back to the Clubhouse.



I heard that there’s a hamster’s vegetable garden near here… So, which way is it…

I’ve heard that you are what you eat, but geeze. There is indeed a vegetable garden fairly nearby, but it’s blocked off for the moment.



Boss, where were you hiding that pickaxe? Also, that rock must have had a serious weak point there to completely split in two.



Well, the sign says the sunflower garden is thattaway, so you know where we have to go first. Every other direction in search of treasure!





Part of the next screen is blocked off because that sleeping hamster is weighing the farmer’s cart down, so we need to get around behind them another way and push the cart in order to make a shortcut.



See? He even says so. The sad purple hamster in the back is just sad that he can’t beat the minigame next to him. But before we do that, there’s a southern exit to the room.



Nothing for us here at the moment, though. Something like a boat, hmm…



Well, let’s play a minigame in the meantime. This guy better watch that he doesn’t hurt somebody with that stick.



Finally, we have a minigame for someone other than Hamtaro.





You can change the timing to hop one, two or three steps at a time. The opponent actually seems to rubberband a bit, so you have more time to try and gather candy than it would appear if you try to speed through it. The base reward is only ten points, but you do need to play it whenever you want to go to…



Another screen with three carrots! And another sleepy hamster blocking potential exploration.



There’s nothing for it; we have to continue on toward the sunflower garden.





Another turnip is keeping us out of the enclosure with a crying kid inside, and we’ve come out on the other side of the blocked Butterfly Bridge 3 path. We still only have three Ham-Hams though, so we can’t unblock it.



Oh, and Elder Ham is here too. Snoozing as usual, I see.



Eyebrows.

We’re going to the sunflower garden.

I see. I see. That reminds me… I too… Umm… Where was I?



Oh yeah, my favorite place to nap is near here. Climb some stairs and find a comfy red bench. It will make you sleep peacefully. Well...Thinking of that bench...I should get going. Take care!



Enjoy your fifty-seventh nap today then, gramps.





The next screen has three of Boss’ little task rocks and this much larger one, though it’s an obstacle we can actually do something about for once.



A very good question indeed. Don’t worry though, there’s a signpost. Its presence is kind of like a cutscene, giving us powers behind anything we’d display otherwise.



Boulder Bash is a very simple minigame, but I’ll admit my button-mashing skills kind of suck. It’s also troublesome if you have to move a finger from one button to the next whenever it changes, say, because you’re using a keyboard instead of a controller. Y’know, hypothetically.



This is a non-repeatable minigame, which is a real shame when it gives 10 points plus 3 per second remaining.



Also, we get a permanent display of Boss’ narcissism to admire. Although, the way the stubble-eque fur is carved kind of looks strange to me.



Coming to another intersection, this area has an odd little quirk.



There’s a butterfly on top of this post. Try touching it. You should be able to play “Butterfly Bridge” again!

See, there are some minigames that are slightly different based on which direction you approach them from. (We ‘skipped’ Butterfly Bridge 2, since that’s played by approaching 1 from the other way. They’re both counted as being the same minigame though, because the layout is identical aside from being flipped.) In some cases, you have to complete the second version of a minigame to play the first one again, because you’ll have moved something from one end of the course to the other.

However, you do not typically have to go somewhere else entirely unrelated in order to reset a minigame. Butterfly Bridge 1/2 and 3/4 are the only exceptions to this that I can recall.



Now, we could go left from here… But let’s talk to the other guy first.





Seems to be a store in that tree. I wonder how you get in.

How do you know it’s a store then? And for that matter, why would someone set up a store where nobody can reach it?



Clearly this calls for more investigation.



The power of nature is amazing!

...Feel free to make your own jokes about this one, folks.



There’s also a carrot over here, but who cares about that?



Boingee~



Heading over to the other screen, it seems we can’t quite Haaam our way up to that supposed store. Looks like we’re about halfway there, so we’ll probably need everyone that came to Flower Ranch for this.



Better hop on down and see what’s to the left now then.



...That is one sad-looking horse.



If you say so, old ham. Still, never mind the horse. Looks like we’ve finally caught up with Maxwell!



Oxnard has already left.

You can climb up this horse to get to the sunflower garden.



He’s trapped under a bowl and can’t get out!

What?! That is most terrible.



I would make a .gif of everyone making a fuss about saving Cappy, but getting their animations to sync up just won’t happen. Especially since the horse also flicks its ear in the background.

Let’s hurry!

Yes. I agree. Together, we should be able to save him right away!



Excellent, now we’re able to go back and rescue Cappy! We can also open up a few shortcuts to help us get around the farm; we’ll get to retracing our steps next time.

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 02:10 on Mar 8, 2015

CJacobs
Apr 17, 2011

Dead Space: -ed


This game is so that I'm pretty sure if I read it all at once it's gonna god drat kill me

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

I suspect the candy is meant to be kompeito! They're just little blobs of flavored rock candy, but they're so good.

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


This game makes my heart ache from all the in it.

It may kill me, too, and in the best way I can imagine.

Kgummy
Aug 14, 2009


Yapping Eevee posted:

I’m sure there’s a term for when, for the sake of the narrative, videogame characters have to be oblivious to something that’s incredibly obvious to the player. Something more specific than Failed A Spot Check.
Dramatic irony might fit there. Might not fit in this specific situation, though.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Picayune posted:

I suspect the candy is meant to be kompeito! They're just little blobs of flavored rock candy, but they're so good.

Ah, good to know. Do you mind if I quote your post in the update?

Oh, and for those of you wondering about the music, it seems that the method that works on 90% of GBA games for ripping soundtracks don't work on this game. So I'm asking the TSF about an alternative.

In the meantime, here's the Flower Ranch music from that playlist. And the Ham Game music that plays for almost every minigame.

mycot
Oct 23, 2014


Hell Gem

I played the first two games and loved them, and was actually excited for this one. Unfortunately I never saw a copy in person, and I actually assumed it never got localized. So it's great seeing this!

Picayune
Feb 26, 2007



Taco Defender

Yapping Eevee posted:

Ah, good to know. Do you mind if I quote your post in the update?

Go for it! I, meanwhile, will be buying kompeito off Amazon. Curse this LP for reminding me of its existence.

Scalding Coffee
Jun 26, 2006

You're already dead


Horses always seem to have a sad look to their eyes. Feels like they are waiting for something. That something is probably food.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

<snip> There was an update here, but this page is getting image-heavy as it is. So it's getting moved to the second page.

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at 00:48 on Mar 10, 2015

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Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.




Seriously, is there a face Boss makes that isn't loving great?

I can barely tell any of the other hamsters apart, but I know Boss when I see him.

Leave fucked around with this message at 00:54 on Mar 10, 2015

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