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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Kuru Kuru Twinkle Onegai Ohoshisama.

My obsession in finding this out stems from a small picture in the only copy of Koro Koro comic I own.

Purchased from Lewisham bootsale and comprising of several oddities in itself, (not least a Mole Mania manga and some maze contest for Fushigi no Dungeon) Koro Koro comprises several strips based on established brands such as Pokemon, Mini4WD and Mario 64.   Its the same size and weight as a small brick.  Were not kidding, you can still purchase it from  places like the Japan center up town and the like.  Its one of these give aways that the pic is from (a puzzle game in which from the picture looks like your battling some sort of crab), for ages my Japanese was poor enough miss out the title, but a recent look through with 1337er skills brought up the name.  Kuru Kuru Twinkle Onegai Ohoshisama.

Snesorama gave us the proper links for downloading and we fired up EPSXE for perusal once we grabbed the iso.

First problem, sound isn't the greatest on this, in fact its not supported at all leaving just the sound effects (and just noise if you use the default plugin rather then Eternals SPU  plug in).

Second problem. Theres quite a bit of text to wade through including a scrolly menu system, and a big intro (thats skippable).  However we've put together a menu translation that will help you out in this case.

Main menu.
おはなし Story mode. Take on twelve signs of the zodiac for items
ずーうと One player mode
セーブ Save
ロード Load
せつめい Config screen (controller)
つくる Construction kit  use おわり to exit here if you visit here by mistake.
ぱずる Puzzle mode.  You have one move to clear the screen and can play as any of the weirdos from story mode.
たたかえ Battle mode 2P only.

Hitting ずーうと (1p Mode will get you a mass of difficulty settings and afterward special attacks to pick through).
They range from まあまあ very easy Level 1 to 達人 expert mode Level 80, its just a case of flicking through and picking you level and then special attack.

Gameplay explanation.

OK, this is the real meat of the article.  You control a 2x2 cursor on screen.  Pressing X will flip it horizontally and pressing Circle will flip it vertically (Triangle has your special attack).  The aim of the game is to create lines of three gems in a row (or an L shape that works too) that disappear and create chains if there are blocks that can make three below you.
You'll get a whole row falling instead of the odd pair and its game over if it reaches the top of the screen.

Hampering your efforts are garbage blocks which look like breezeblocks.  Unlike any other game where making three the same will eliminate them, you have to make a line of them just like in Tetris. Unlike Tetris, when they drop they will clear everything  under them leaving you with extra space to work with.

Story mode works the same except you get x shaped garbage blocks to work with, and a selection of weird versions of zodiac characters, including the aforementioned crab creature and what looks like Chouanikis Adol and Samson further on.

In conclusion, the game is actually good, the different buttons used to flip become second nature over a while and it provides some tense moments for you especially if you concentrate on clearing blocks rather then watch the top of the screen.   Not quite sure why this didn't get a Midas Game release toward the end of the PS1s life as its the perfect fodder for a budget compilation.  Anyway our over all score is
Kuru Kuru Twinkle Onegai Ohoshisama
Tomy Inc.
Developer Tomcat
Released 1996.

Edit here are some screenshots.

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