The Let's Play Archive

Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue

by Yapping Eevee

Part 4: Can love bloom in the sunflower field?

Now that we have Maxwell on the team again, we can start clearing away some obstacles and opening shortcuts around the ranch. First and foremost, we have to move this log down to make a bridge back to the start of the area.

I’m kinda jealous.

Aw, how sweet.

You two are certainly eager. I wish you all the best, lovebirds.

If we make a brief journey back to where we picked up the log, Butterfly Bridge 3/4 is just on our left… but there’s also a minigame here that we wouldn’t have been able to do before.

That’s because you need to find Maxwell first. So, what are we using his booksmarts on today?

Nothing but a simple memory game, sadly. There are six cows to choose from, and that number actually goes down with each round (because you’re taking the selected cows away). So it’s a minigame that gets easier as you play it.

The points are 10 + 1:1 for time remaining, so you could get 60+ points if you’re quick enough. And it’s repeatable without any downtime between games. Basically, just play Cow Hide if you’re after Flower Ranch stickers.

The other Butterfly Bridge game offers 20 + 1:1 for time on the clock, has twice the timer, more ground to cover and way more butterflies to scatter dust everywhere. Be careful with this one!

Passing through on the way to Cappy, you can see by the lack of a sunflower on the sign that Butterfly Bridge 1/2 are indeed counted as one game.

A bit of Ham-Ham muscle, and our friend’s freedom is secured! Hope we didn’t hit anyone with that bowl.

Th-thank you! It was really scary in there!

Then the sunflower garden is just what you need to feel better!

Now it’s back to the horse, and on to the sunflower garden! There’s a couple of things to still get along the way, though.

Moving the log on the starting screen aside allows us to climb up to one of those square things, which is…

Our first five-star sticker! Unlike the others that can all be gained from tasks, minigames or stores, five-star stickers can only be found in their one specific spot, or given to us by NPCs.

Shoving the bunny aside down below also gives us another five-star, which is probably more useful than the unknown singer’s one.

The other sleeping bunny was just lying on some sunflower seeds, but at least it let me take this picture.

Anyway, back to this horseride…

It must have finished eating the big carrot.

Now we can’t get to the sunflower garden. What shall we do?

Gee, whatever shall we do. Woe is us. (To be fair, we didn’t have to come over here at any point before this.)

Nice and easy. We need all five Ham-Hams to pull this out, but since we don’t need the carrot before the horse wanders off, it’s a moot point.

...Yeah, I wouldn’t want to animate the horse reappearing either. It’s the only one we’re ever going to see this close up, so why bother?

Indeed we can! Let’s climb onboard and see how it handles.

Hope he doesn’t mind us clambering all over him.

Oh hey, an artist. What’cha drawing, buddy?

See! I’ll give this to you! I haven’t colored it yet, so you can use your own colors!

See ya again!♪

Well, that was nice of them! The wandering artist is the source of many colouring-in pages, so keep an eye out.

I think by this point, we really ought to see what the fuss is about.

OK!♪ Then let’s use this horse to get you there!

...Have I mentioned that the Flower Ranch backgrounds are great? Because they’re really great.

The horse ride is pretty neat, though you do have to sit through it going both ways.

Again, why animate that when you don’t have to? Let’s move on and see these sunflowers.

As well as more lovely orange carrots. () But when we try moving to the next screen…

It’s Oxnard! Let’s go!

Ah, Hamtaro. It’s terrible. The sunflower garden!

We don’t understand why you’re crying.

That’s right. What’s so terrible? Just say it.

Let’s go.

Hmm, what could possibly be…

Well, that certainly makes things more difficult. Also, I think Hamtaro momentarily turned into a zombie.

Hi, Ham-Hams. You’ve come all this way, but…

They should’ve bloomed by now, but… Huh… It makes me so sad.

This is a problem. We can’t get the ingredient!

Looks like we’re going to have to go somewhere else for it.

Oh, come on! We’ve come all this way, so we can’t give up now! (Sunk cost fallacy? What’s that? )

When we climb down off the fence, it seems our buddy has wandered off… and opened up a new path for us. Let’s see if we can calm him down a bit.

Hmm? He’s stopped crying, so that’s a good sign. What’s up, Oxnard?

I know that crying won’t help… even with this small sunflower. Let’s work together to make it bloom!

Bloom? How?

Mmm, when Maxwell doesn’t know what to do, it’s not exactly a great sign. We need another source of inspiration.

I know! How about asking Elder-Ham?

Oxnard, please calm down. You’re going to blind someone with those eyes.

Let’s go ask Elder-Ham about making a sunflower bloom!

Welcome aboard, Oxnard! I really like this guy, partly ‘cause he’s just a big loveable lugg.

Didn’t Elder-Ham say he was going to take a nap somewhere?

”Climb some stairs, and find a comfy red bench.” Something about his favorite place. I’m sure he said that.

What happens if he’s sleeping?

We’ll wake him up!

And so Oxnard takes the lead for a little while. There also seems to be a carrot I overlooked earlier, so let’s pull it up quickly and get going.

What kind of horrible mutant are you?

Bo, is that you?

That’s kinda weird.

Hif-hif… Ohh! I smell fresh, yummy carrots!

Want to trade two carrots for one sticker?♪

So, this is what we use our carrots for. Saying Yep-P will start up a roulette, and you can get any of the area’s three or four-star stickers from it. Yes, that does mean we will be finding Carrobo in other places. He won’t be any less freaky either.

Of course, having access to something like savestates would make Carrobo very useful to people that cared about getting all 451 stickers.

I had exactly ten carrots, so I could have got five stickers… But I just grabbed one and ran.

OK, I’m going home. If you need me, just come find me!

Driver, get us out of here as quick as you can! Don’t spare the horses! Or horse, as the case may be.

The scenery is still great, as is Oxnard’s celebration animation.

After sticking the dismount, we can make a couple more stops on the way to Elder-Ham’s bench. The turnips around the ranch can be plucked from the ground now that we have six Ham-Ham’s.

Someone find her and bring her back.

Ah, a sidequest! Don’t worry, it’s a turtle. It won’t have gone far.

Behind the other turnip is a place where we can finally put down the second log, which lets us see that Oxnard has different dialogue for doing so.

Oh, good. We didn’t crush anyone with that bowl earlier. Though it may have been a near miss…

Picking up the bowl is actually progress, so let’s make one more little detour. Now that we have Oxnard in the party, he can Tack-Q some items down from high places. It nets us quite a few sunflower seeds, and…

This rather important item! There’s a flyer for every area in the game, and you’re going to need them for some of the stickers and colouring-in stuff.

Heading back to the hole in the tree, we can finally reach that store. Quite a flash little place, honestly.

Aren’t you lucky? We just got a whole bunch of new items!♪

Remember how I said that I’d be picking up every sunflower seed I saw? That’s because the stuff in the shops is really expensive when you want one of everything.

There’s a full five pages of items in this particular store, but the last two are ‘On Sale’. What this actually means is that you cannot buy those items without the Flower Ranch Flyer.

Even with 272 seeds, it turns out that I am exactly ten seeds short of buying out the store on the first visit. I had to come back to buy this Snoozer sticker later on this session.

At least I got a picture of Panda mending the red saucepan Cappy sometimes hides under.

Anyway, back to the bowl. It’s the most boat-like thing we have available, so let’s use it to get behind that farmer struggling with their cart.

Bowl Boating is super-duper easy, because it lacks the main complication that a minigame like this should have.

The bowl won’t tip over if you tilt it all the way to one side. That was worth 10 points plus a 1:1 bonus for time remaining, and you can do it in both directions. Another really easy way to earn some sunflower points.

Another sleepy roadblock hamster is here, but we have more important matters to attend to.

Like opening up this shortcut, and probably doing some serious damage to that guy’s cart.

And bringing Catherine back where she belongs.

Ah! That’s...that’s Catherine! You guys found her for me, right? What good Ham-Hams! a favorite of mine, but...I’ll give it to you!

...Snoozer in a spaceship?

Anyway, back where we found the wayward turtle is another jerk who wants Boss to show off his stair-hopping skills. This one is even easier, because always doing three-step hops gets you most of the candy.

This leads us into an area with plenty of sunflower seeds, and the still slumbering Elder-Ham.

Let’s wake him up together.

The sunflower hasn’t bloomed yet. Plus, Pepper is really depressed. We can’t get the ingredient. We might not be able to get delicious seeds this year. Um. Did I forget anything? Anyway, we’re in trouble!

Hmm. Yes. That is not good.

How do we make the sunflower bloom, Elder-Ham?

Yes, yes, yes. Well, it hasn’t rained much this year. I guess it’s just late in blooming.

Can you go with us to the sunflower garden?

That sounds like a good idea, especially since it seems Oxnard won’t take waiting as an answer… Not when Pepper’s happiness is at stake.


I’ve seen people at the local retirement community who drop off just as easily as Elder-Ham. It makes me just a little bit jealous.

That’s right. I suggest giving it plenty of water...buckets even.

Give it water…

That’s it! There’s some water near the flower so…

Do you understand?


I’ll try hard!

That’s just Oxnard being Oxnard, Maxwell.

When you’re ready to start, talk to me.

Alright, it’s finally time to earn that yellow ingredient!

Sunflower-Bloom Relay is very straightforward; just be in the correct position when the buckets are being passed down the line, left or right. There’s a fairly generous pause before a waiting bucket will be spilled, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this.

You lose after three mistakes, and the payout is 20 points per ‘life’ remaining. Though I can’t help but notice that we wouldn’t have needed a minigame if Bijou were helping…

Although, the real question is… Did watering the sunflower work?

And it’s splendid!


We need to show Pepper, too!

She’ll be so glad! Let’s show her!

Oxnard rushes off ahead to tell Pepper the good news, of course.

Hmm, I’m with Boss on this one. What could have possibly…

Maxwell is going to have an aneurysm if all this strange magical stuff keeps happening.

It’s a topper!

Figures that Cappy would use a slang word like that.

It’s fabulous.

Ha ha! Everyone’s playing around! I’m glad the sunflowers bloomed!

I’m really glad you’re feeling better, Pepper!

I was sad because everyone wanted to see the sunflowers. I was worried, but I’m fine now! Thanks for thinking of me, Oxnard!

You bet!

Hamtaro, the ingredient!

As lovely as this moment is, we must indeed leave Flower Ranch…

...and return to the Ham-Ham Lawn, so that another colour can be added to Bo’s umbrella!

Bo! Look! We found the yellow ingredient!

It looks like you’ve been through a lot!

Yeah! These animals kept attacking us. Boy, was it rough. But whenever those beasts came near, I showed them…

I’d bet it was Boss’s imagination that scared them away!


Good work calling Boss out on his tall tales, Bo.

And with that, we are one step closer to returning Bo to Rainbow Land! I hope to see you all next time, when we get a very special lead on our third ingredient…