Rediscovering: Sutte Hakkun

| #16bit | #rediscovering | #snes | #videogames |

That’s right, another SuperNES platform game in the Rediscovering: series (you can see the rest here).

This time, it’s Sutte Hakkun (すってはっくん), a Japanese release that never really made a memorable impact. Originally a Satellaview game (a Satellite radio module for the SNES that offered small downloadable games), it was finally released as a cartridge in 1999, five years after the Playstation came out, and long after most shops stopped caring about, or selling softs for the SuperNES.

Anyway. It’s pretty cool. It’s a platforming puzzle game where the player controls a little bird-like thing that absorbs colours and containers with a mosquito beak, shifts them around the stage, and replaces them or injects colours into them. These colours affect the objects in different ways, and the goal is to collect all the diamonds by combining the right items with the right colours.

Controls are pretty simple:

I’m very much enjoying the game so far. It’s well animated, with your character being transparent until inhaling a colour:

While you can inhale a colour or object, you cannot inhale both, so moving a red block involves sucking the colour out first, using or discarding it, then moving the block and injecting it with colour.

Stages often have jars of colour, which serve as an endless source of that colour. In addition, there are switches that change the colour of the jar. Remember that each colour has a different effect on the object.

Red makes them move vertically:

It didn’t take long until I was stumped. Level 1-8 flummoxed me, until I youtube’d the answer: You can place objects halfway through walls, and also important, if you hold Y when placing a block, you can shift it half a space up (and down again, but not farther down than where it started):

This half-block placement leads to some very interesting abilities, like passing a block halfway through a wall, using it to jump on and reach greater heights, then retrieving it from the other side of the wall:

The game is point based. Every stage starts with 1000 points, and every movement reduces your point score. One half block left or right is one point, jumping is three points, and inhaling or injecting an object or colour is five points. Efficiency is the key to maximum scores, and you can revisit any stage once it’s complete if you really want to try for higher tallies.

There are some things you’ll need to know.

First, in the start menu, the first two options are quick save, and quick load. You can save the level at any point, which is handy when you want to experiment without getting screwed, or need to make a tricky jump. Without getting screwed. Use it, or save-state, often.

The three different block colours are red, blue and yellow. These correspond to vertical, horizontal and diagonal movement, but you’ll figure that out soon enough while playing and I’m just putting graphics down here ’cause it’s fun:

Each block will start moving from its position when coloured, and it will always move in the same direction: Red and yellow go up, blue and yellow move away from you.

The movable blocks, whether clear or coloured, are able to pass through things when moving. So you can inject them halfway through something, but then colour them and they’ll continue to move through solid objects like walls and floors. This becomes critical to your problem solving very soon, as you’ll need to create platforms and elevators in places you can’t actually reach.

ProTip: You can stand still and hold B and a moving block will be inhaled when it comes near enough. You can use this to very easily raise the maximum height of a vertical block that stops at your feet. Hold B, and inhale the colour as it comes low enough (which is half a block from the ground) and re-inject the colour, so its new starting point is half a block higher than it was.

So I’m getting farther into the game, and I found this thing:

He’s in an area I can’t reach, and he’s hopping on a colour changing switch that changes the colour of this jar. He’s not the only one on this stage, and I’m terrified. Are they friend or foe?


But I’m about to find out. =D

OK, I found out! You can inhale him and move him around like you can with the blocks, and when injected with colour he will:

Yellow – Stay where they are and jump on the spot, like the one above.
Red – Make the cutest squishy sound when you hop on them, giving you a higher jump.
Blue – walk back and forth, as far as they’re able, serving as a sort of portable moving platform.

This game has very few objects, but they interact in wickedly myriad ways.

Your player character is Hakkun (はっくん).

The animal-looking things are Makkun (まっくん). Though transparent like blocks, they can’t be walked through like blocks – they stop the player. Critically, they fall through the uncoloured blocks, where the player does not.

There are rock-like things, called Rokkun (ろっくん). If you inhale one, you cannot jump as high as normal, but can crash down through glass panels if you leap from a certain height.

There are some faux-blocks called Blokkun (ぶろっくん) that look like empty blocks but they react when you treat them like regular blocks.

And for good measure, there are Tsubokun (つぼくん), fake jars, which will frustrate you when you try and suck the colour out of ’em.

There are some one-way panels, where you can jump up or fall down through them, but cannot pass the other way.

There are spikes. Of course. =)

And when you start combining the colours, objects and clever control over them, the game starts to look ferociously complex. Each level is small, but the methods employed to clear them are varied. This is the product of a lot of polish and testing, it’s fantastic.

NFG notes: This was originally a serialized article, updated with a new reply as I played the game. There was a break at this point which seems important to mention, because…

It is with a certain regret that I’m about to give up on this game. Like most puzzlers I have whipped through the first stages with a tingling sense of frustration followed by the exhilaration of conquest when I figure it out, but I’ve reached a plateau and I’m spending more time staring at the screen before finally going to YouTube for the answers than I am playing.

And at that point, I’m not having fun anymore.

This would probably be a fantastic team game, when your second player watches and comes up with the ideas you missed. But I’m playing solo and it’s time for the next rediscovery.

Download the ROM here!

[ Apr 7 2024 ]



Apr 23 2024

The gbc version is really great too,also i think this type of game is better suited for portables. It has 2p mode too!

Taylor Love

May 6 2024

Love the graphics on this game. I’m a bit lazy to download an EMU, but… if I ever do, I’ll be sure to check out this game.

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