Front cover of Sutte Hakkun package.
|Developer(s)||Nintendo R&D2, Indieszero|
|Platform(s)||Super Famicom, Nintendo Power flash RAM cartridge, Nintendo Satellaview, Wii (Virtual Console), Wii U (Virtual Console)|
Sutte Hakkun[a] is a 1997 action puzzle game featuring a character of the same name developed by Indieszero with Nintendo R&D2 and published by Nintendo for the Super Famicom's add-on, the Satellaview, datacasting on November 2, 1997, and three sequels involving new puzzles were released from 1998 to 1999. The game was never released outside Japan.
Five versions of the game exist; four of which were released over Satellaview, and one in game cartridge format. Of the four games for Satellaview, the event version and BS version 2 were broadcast up until June, 2000, when Satellaview service ended permanently.
- Sutte Hakkun Event Version - broadcast started November 2, 1997.
- The game was first released as the November portion of the Satellaview monthly game contest, and consisted of 50 levels with 5 additional bonus levels. The game data takes all of the 8M memory pack for Satellaview; a large amount of memory for a data broadcast. The game was re-broadcast later with a rankings system. This was the first game ever created by Indieszero, but the company name never appears in the game itself.
- Sutte Hakkun (for Nintendo Power) - broadcast started August 1, 1998, discontinued February 28, 2007.
- This new version was released exclusively for Nintendo Power. Initially offered for 3,000 yen, the price was lowered to 2,000 yen the following year. This commercial version featured considerable improvements in graphics and a large increase in length (110 levels). The end credits showed the Indieszero logo and name for the first time.
- Sutte Hakkun BS Version 2 - broadcast started October, 1998.
- This version was also released for Satellaview, and was a remake of the event version with new puzzles. It consisted of 30 levels and 3 bonus levels. There was no rankings system included in this release.
- Sutte Hakkun '98 Winter Event Version - broadcast started December 20, 1998.
- This was the last version released for Satellaview. Similar to the BS version, it was a remake of the first with new puzzles (30 levels + 3 bonus levels). The graphic themes center around Winter and Christmas.
- Sutte Hakkun (for ROM cartridge) - released June 25, 1999.
- The final release was a cartridge version of the 1998 Nintendo Power release, which sold for 4,200 yen. The content of the game is identical to that of the previous release, but a detailed instruction manual with various tips and tricks was included with the game.
Gameplay and rules
Sutte Hakkun falls into the category of a side-scrolling, level-based action puzzle game; a genre best represented by the Lode Runner series. The player controls Hakkun, and attempts to gather up the rainbow shards distributed across each level. A level is completed when the player finds all of the shards hidden in the level. Levels are arranged simplistically at the start of the game, but become highly complex and difficult near the end. The final goal is to find all of the shards hidden in the game.
Hakkun's actions consist of three movements; running to the left or right, jumping, and absorbing or depositing blocks. A combination of these is required to complete each level. The player must restart the level if Hakkun falls into a hole or touches spike traps, but there are no other impediments, such as time limits or enemy characters, towards completing each level. There are also no lives or game over screens, and the more difficult later levels are completed by repeatedly searching the level for the solution to the puzzle. Completion of the game requires a combination of puzzle-solving ability and precise control of Hakkun by the player.
Several types of traps and characters are prepared in each level, some of which help Hakkun, and others which may obstruct his path. The most important of these are the red, blue, and yellow bottles and transparent blocks. Hakkun can suck out colors from each bottle, and insert them into the transparent blocks to make them move in different directions.
The player begins each level with a set number of points viewable on screen, which decreases whenever Hakkun moves. The game continues even if the counter decreases to zero, but the points are added up to an overall score as bonus points when a level is completed. In order to rack up a high number of points, the player must only make the minimum number of moves required to solve each puzzle. This differs from other games, where bonus points are usually awarded based on the amount of time it takes to complete the level, rather than the number of moves the player takes. Points were recorded in a rankings system in the original Satellaview broadcast, and were posted on Nintendo's website until 2009.
Once upon a time, there was an island somewhere in the sea, where a "Rainbow of Happiness" stretched across the sky. One day, this rainbow suddenly broke apart, and its shards were littered around the island. Sutte Hakkun (simply known as Hakkun) is given the task of retrieving these shards to reconstruct the rainbow.
The above was the story given for the first release of the game (Sutte Hakkun Event Version). In BS Version 2, it is explained that the rainbow broke apart a second time "Due to popular request from Satellaview users." In the '98 Winter Event Version, Hakkun travels to an unnamed neighboring island to restore its "Rainbow of Friendliness."
In the commercial version, Hakkun ventures across four different islands, but the relationship between these and the previous two islands is not made clear. The graphics for the "Happiness Island" in the commercial version differ significantly from Hakkun's home island in the original version. In the rom cassette version, the storyline was included in the instruction manual, and the four islands were grouped together as the "Peaceful Islands.
Differences between versions
The Satellaview version and commercial version are not only different in terms of level design. The Satellaview version includes a story demo, viewable when the player starts the game without a saved file. The game's instructions and storyline are displayed in text following an animation of the rainbow breaking apart. Additional bonus levels are also included in the Satellaview version. Players enter a bonus level after completing 10 regular levels, and are given a time limit to complete certain tasks, such as moving all of the blocks into a framed area, or inserting color into every box.
In response to the significant decrease in the number of original games presented over Satellaview's "Super Famicom Hour" data broadcast in 1996, Nintendo began the "Monthly Game Event" series in 1997, where a new game would be broadcast each month for the Super Famicom. However, many of these were rereleases of older games such as Dr. Mario and F-Zero. The intricate puzzles and user-friendly tutorial made Sutte Hakkun considered by most Satellaview consumers in Japan one of the most popular games ever released for the Satellaview. The game was produced by Masayuki Uemura, composed by Akito Nakatsuka, designed by Nobuaki Tanaka, directed by Masayu Nakata, and programmed by Keiji Hara. Software for the Famicom Disk System that the third stage participant of "Nintendo & Dentsu Game Seminar" (任天堂・電通ゲームセミナー) had produced is assumed to be a prototype established by the graduate of Indiezero. This work became the debut work of Indieszero.
The positive response to the game led to a commercial release in 1998. The game was made available for Nintendo Power; a data writing service offered at Lawson convenience stores. Taking advantage of the larger memory of the Nintendo Power cartridge, (3 times that of Satellaview) the creators not only expanded the number of puzzles, but added a more in-depth tutorial, and additional hints towards completing the game. However, the decline of the Super Famicom and the lack of availability of Nintendo Power cartridges prevented the game from reaching a mainstream audience. The game was still well received among former Satellaview users and hardcore Nintendo fans.
The cartridge version was released in 1999 to counter this lack of availability, but many stores had already stopped importing Super Famicom games, and availability ended up being more limited than before. In the few stores where the game was sold, overstock caused the price to drop dramatically, and the game ended up with a lowered price around 1,000 yen (the original price was 4,200 yen). Because of these circumstances, the game's mainstream popularity remains extremely low.
- Japanese: すってはっくん
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