The Let's Play Archive

Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue

by Yapping Eevee

Part 2: 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!


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


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…


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?


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!


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.