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.
Im 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 theres also a minigame here that we wouldnt have been able to do before.
Thats 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 youre taking the selected cows away). So its 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 youre quick enough. And its repeatable without any downtime between games. Basically, just play Cow Hide if youre 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 friends freedom is secured! Hope we didnt 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 its back to the horse, and on to the sunflower garden! Theres 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 singers 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 cant get to the sunflower garden. What shall we do?
Gee, whatever shall we do. Woe is us. (To be fair, we didnt 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 dont need the carrot before the horse wanders off, its a moot point.
...Yeah, I wouldnt want to animate the horse reappearing either. Its the only one were ever going to see this close up, so why bother?
Indeed we can! Lets climb onboard and see how it handles.
Hope he doesnt mind us clambering all over him.
Oh hey, an artist. Whatcha drawing, buddy?
See! Ill give this to you! I havent 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 lets use this horse to get you there!
...Have I mentioned that the Flower Ranch backgrounds are great? Because theyre 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 dont have to? Lets move on and see these sunflowers.
As well as more lovely orange carrots. () But when we try moving to the next screen
Its Oxnard! Lets go!
Ah, Hamtaro. Its terrible. The sunflower garden!
We dont understand why youre crying.
Thats right. Whats so terrible? Just say it.
Hmm, what could possibly be
Well, that certainly makes things more difficult. Also, I think Hamtaro momentarily turned into a zombie.
Hi, Ham-Hams. Youve come all this way, but
They shouldve bloomed by now, but Huh It makes me so sad.
This is a problem. We cant get the ingredient!
Looks like were going to have to go somewhere else for it.
Oh, come on! Weve come all this way, so we cant give up now! (Sunk cost fallacy? Whats that? )
When we climb down off the fence, it seems our buddy has wandered off and opened up a new path for us. Lets see if we can calm him down a bit.
Hmm? Hes stopped crying, so thats a good sign. Whats up, Oxnard?
I know that crying wont help even with this small sunflower. Lets work together to make it bloom!
Mmm, when Maxwell doesnt know what to do, its not exactly a great sign. We need another source of inspiration.
I know! How about asking Elder-Ham?
Oxnard, please calm down. Youre going to blind someone with those eyes.
Lets go ask Elder-Ham about making a sunflower bloom!
Welcome aboard, Oxnard! I really like this guy, partly cause hes just a big loveable lugg.
Didnt 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. Im sure he said that.
What happens if hes sleeping?
Well wake him up!
And so Oxnard takes the lead for a little while. There also seems to be a carrot I overlooked earlier, so lets pull it up quickly and get going.
What kind of horrible mutant are you?
Bo, is that you?
Thats 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 areas three or four-star stickers from it. Yes, that does mean we will be finding Carrobo in other places. He wont 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, Im going home. If you need me, just come find me!
Driver, get us out of here as quick as you can! Dont spare the horses! Or horse, as the case may be.
The scenery is still great, as is Oxnards celebration animation.
After sticking the dismount, we can make a couple more stops on the way to Elder-Hams bench. The turnips around the ranch can be plucked from the ground now that we have six Ham-Hams.
Someone find her and bring her back.
Ah, a sidequest! Dont worry, its a turtle. It wont 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 didnt crush anyone with that bowl earlier. Though it may have been a near miss
Picking up the bowl is actually progress, so lets 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! Theres a flyer for every area in the game, and youre 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.
Arent you lucky? We just got a whole bunch of new items!♪
Remember how I said that Id be picking up every sunflower seed I saw? Thats because the stuff in the shops is really expensive when you want one of everything.
Theres 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. Its the most boat-like thing we have available, so lets 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 wont 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 guys cart.
And bringing Catherine back where she belongs.
Ah! Thats...thats Catherine! You guys found her for me, right? What good Ham-Hams! This...is a favorite of mine, but...Ill 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.
Lets wake him up together.
The sunflower hasnt bloomed yet. Plus, Pepper is really depressed. We cant get the ingredient. We might not be able to get delicious seeds this year. Um. Did I forget anything? Anyway, were in trouble!
Hmm. Yes. That is not good.
How do we make the sunflower bloom, Elder-Ham?
Yes, yes, yes. Well, it hasnt rained much this year. I guess its just late in blooming.
Can you go with us to the sunflower garden?
That sounds like a good idea, especially since it seems Oxnard wont take waiting as an answer Not when Peppers happiness is at stake.
Ive seen people at the local retirement community who drop off just as easily as Elder-Ham. It makes me just a little bit jealous.
Thats right. I suggest giving it plenty of water...buckets even.
Give it water
Thats it! Theres some water near the flower so
Do you understand?
Ill try hard!
Thats just Oxnard being Oxnard, Maxwell.
When youre ready to start, talk to me.
Alright, its 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. Theres a fairly generous pause before a waiting bucket will be spilled, so you shouldnt have too much trouble with this.
You lose after three mistakes, and the payout is 20 points per life remaining. Though I cant help but notice that we wouldnt have needed a minigame if Bijou were helping
Although, the real question is Did watering the sunflower work?
And its splendid!
We need to show Pepper, too!
Shell be so glad! Lets show her!
Oxnard rushes off ahead to tell Pepper the good news, of course.
Hmm, Im with Boss on this one. What could have possibly
Maxwell is going to have an aneurysm if all this strange magical stuff keeps happening.
Its a topper!
Figures that Cappy would use a slang word like that.
Ha ha! Everyones playing around! Im glad the sunflowers bloomed!
Im really glad youre feeling better, Pepper!
I was sad because everyone wanted to see the sunflowers. I was worried, but Im fine now! Thanks for thinking of me, Oxnard!
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 Bos umbrella!
Bo! Look! We found the yellow ingredient!
It looks like youve been through a lot!
Yeah! These animals kept attacking us. Boy, was it rough. But whenever those beasts came near, I showed them
Id bet it was Bosss 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