Video Game: Flower, Sun and Rain
Flower, Sun, and Rain
SHOUTARO: Just what does "Flower, Sun and Rain" mean anyway? It doesn't really mean anything, does it? Huh?
SUMIO: Oh no! That's the worst possible thing you could have said!
SHOUTARO: It's just what everyone's thinking.
— Sumio and Shoutaro, R-07: Children's corner
A mystery is concealed within this entry!
(known as Hana to Taiyō to Ame to
in Japanese) is a game created by Grasshopper Manufacture and written by Suda 51
for the Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS consoles in 2001 and 2008 respectively.
The game is divided into eighteen chapters, or "Requests"
, which are each identified by the name of a song that features prominently in each chapter, with one notable exception.R00 - Welcome to Lospass
introduces Sumio Mondo, a Searcher
driving down the highway to Lospass Island. In the parking lot of the local airport, he meets a trucker from Micronesia named Peter Bocchwinkur, who convinces Sumio to stay at the hotel Flower, Sun, and Rain, and even offers Sumio a lift once he's able to get the gate open with his personal computer
Catherine. Sumio is dropped off at the hotel and meets the manager, Edo Macalister. Edo escorts Sumio to his room on the fourth floor.R01 - Gymnopedie #1
starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane. Sumio discovers he's locked in his room, and that it has turned into an abandoned, derilict storage room that may or may not be haunted. He enlists the help of the hotel's maid, Sue, and a visiting psychic to escape. Unfortunately, he escapes just in time to watch the airplane explode in midair.
When each chapter ends, the point-of-view shifts to that of 15-year-old Toriko Kusabi, another guest of the hotel on Sumio's floor. Toriko's pet alligator Christina has escaped, and Toriko tracks her to Sumio's front door.R02 - Air in G
starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane. Sumio is finally able to get out of his room this time, and heads for the roof where he meets Yayoi Hanayama. Yayoi gives Sumio a riddle, and visiting novelist Stephan Charbonie tricks Sumio into spending all day trying to get the riddle from him. Sumio watches the airplane explode in mid-air from Stephan's room.
In the meantime, Toriko chases Christina to the roof.R03 - From the New World starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane.
Once he leaves his room and tries to go downstairs, he find the way is blocked by a Mexican wrestler. This wrestler is feuding with another wrestler at the hotel, and Sumio arranges them to settle their differences with a fight on the roof just in time to see the airplane explode.
In the meantime, Toriko meets the wrestler in the stairwell and asks him to move so she can find Christina.
If you've noticed a pattern here, good. Sumio is stuck in a time loop
, with each new day changing something little by little, allowing him to get closer to the airport. That is, until...R11 - Clair de Lune
starts with Sumio waking up in the late evening
, rather than in the morning, by receiving a call from a dead line. Upon arising from his bed, Sue grabs his legs and trips him. She tells Sumio she knows they're all stuck in a time loop and that Sue has a plan to fix it. She tells Sumio to go to the lighthouse and learn what phase the moon is in, so Sumio can use Catherine to activate a special watch. Once Sumio does, Sue calls him to tell him to meet her on the roof. Sumio travels to the roof, where he is ambushed by a mysterious man with a missing eye, and shot in the face. He falls off of the hotel roof
just as the airplane explodes.
Toriko is in the garden looking for Christina, but she is on the sign at the roof of the hotel, crying for Sumio
Afterwards, two police officers (one from Micronesia and one from Ward 25
arrive on the island the guise of investigating Sumio's murder, but actually trying to capture the international terrorist Sundance Shot, who fled Japan after the original Silver Case back in 1979. He also turns out to be the guy who shot Sumio on the roof of the hotel, and is in the process of carrying out his mother's plan to use his own Silver Eye to take the place of Sumio and travel back to Ward 24 to get revenge on the Hachisuka family. His mother's plan is thwarted by Toriko Kusabi, who has supernatural powers now, and under the guidance of her talking pet alligator Christina, decides to bring Sumio back to life.
This also reactivates the time loop.R17 - Kill the Past
starts when Sumio gets a call from someone who seems to know him and follows a series of puzzles and mazes to a sunken ship, where he meets Tokio Morishima, who tells him about Sumio Kodai from The Silver Case, and that Lospass was colonized by the Hachisuka family so they can cultivate a particular type of indigenous hyena for their Silver Eyes. They learned this trick from the Shot tribe, the aborigines on Lospass, who were also slaughtered for the benefit of the Hachisukas. Tokio Morishima tells him that the time loop was being caused by the interaction of his Silver Eye with a second Silver Eye possessed by one of the island's inhabitants.
He ends the time loop and tells Sumio that the next day will be the final day. Then the plane explodes.R18 - An American In Paris
: Once again, Sumio wakes up in bed in his hotel room. Edo explains to Sumio that he was the "terrorist" responsible for placing the bombs. He discovered that the island was an artificial one created by an evil organization for the production of Silver Eyes and decided to blow it up, but Sundance Shot had been preventing this by putting the bombs onto airplanes leaving the island.
This time, Sumio is finally able to make it to the airport in time to defuse all of the bombs and board an airplane to escape the island. Defusing the all the smaller bombs armed Edo's "Mother Bomb", which is powerful enough to destroy the whole island. As Sumio is about to board the plane, he confronts another Sumio at the gate, who turns out to be Sundance in disguise. Sundance then calls forward 15 clones of Sumio, and tells the Sumio currently controlled by the player that, as the "original" Sumio, he's been chosen to be carry forth the memories of Sundance and all the other Sumio clones after the island is destroyed; each "day" Sumio lived through on the island was actually experienced by one of the clones. Sundance bids him farewell.
Sumio finally boards the plane. The only other passenger is Peter Bocchwinkur, who acts as though he knows Sumio, tells him that "Sumio Mondo" doesn't exist, calls him "Sumio Kodai",
and demands that Sumio pay him the "finder's fee" he owes for getting Sumio the job on Lospass Island. The End.
This game contains examples of:
- Action Bomb: Step got turned into one on a trip to France. He has a Silver Eye, so he's not so concerned about dying when he blows up.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: You don't play as Sumio in Chapter 12 and in Chapter 13, and their puzzle segments don't involve using Catherine.
- All Just a Dream: Sumio initially assumes that this is what's going on after he sees the airplane explode and then wakes up in his bed.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: Sumio's Catherine activation phrases. In the PS2 version of the game, this is necessary to activate Catherine, but in the DS version, it's not, and serves as mere Invocation.
- Companion Cube: Sumio is visibly disturbed when Catherine goes missing, and the first thing you must do afterwards is recover her. He also refers to Catherine as a person, much to Edo and Sue's confusion.
- Cloning Blues: The island's native inhabitants all have a Silver Eye and Body Surf to a new cloned body whenever they're killed. This includes 15 clones of Sumio.
- Event Flag: One character talks about triggering one, much to Sumio's confusion.
- Eyepatch of Power: Sundance Shot. His eyepatch covers his Silver Eye.
- Final Boss: Subverted. Sumio expects to find one at the airport, but Sundance simply talks with Sumio and lets him leave.
- Fridge Logic: Shoutaro angers Sumio by repeatedly trying to point out flaws in the game's internal logic, such as the polygon models having unrealistic proportions. Sumio is horrified and says that what he's doing is worse than the airplane bombs.
- Good Morning, Crono: Each loop begins with Sumio being woken up by Edo's phone call. Until he dies.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: In chapter 0, Sumio is told that a "strange magnetic field" has caused the island to lose its past, and in chapter 11, he's told explicitly that time is repeating. Subverted. Time isn't literally repeating; each "day" consists of the experiences of one of 15 Sumio clones.
- I Am Who?: Sumio Mondo is a clone of Sumio Kodai.
- I Call It "Vera": Why does Sumio call it "Catherine"? Because it's better than calling it "Bob".
- Idiot Hero: Many NPCs treat Sumio like one.
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: How this game manages to connect up to The Silver Case.
- Leitmotif: Full of them. From both Flower, Sun, and Rain and The Silver Case.
- Like Father, Like Son: Shoutaro's father turns out to be just as mean and annoying as his son is.
- Mind Screw
- Medium Awareness: Several NPCs, and even Sumio himself to some degree, seem to be aware that the island runs on video game logic.
- Not a Morning Person: Sumio declares himself this at the beginning of Chapter 1. And indeed, he isn't; in most chapters, he stumbles and falls face-first to the floor after he gets out of bed. There's someone under the bed tripping him, but you don't see her until Request 11.
- NPC Roadblock: Usually the in-universe reason why Sumio can't reach the airplane in time.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Sundance tribe.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Most of the soundtrack consists of pop and/or techno remixes of classical (and on occasion, jazz) pieces - in fact, most of the chapters are named after them.
- Rule of Symbolism / World of Symbolism
- Sequel First: This game is a sequel to The Silver Case, which never received an English language release. Several plot twists assume you're familiar with the characters and events of the first case.
- Solve the Soup Cans: This is the reason why Sumio doesn't just go defuse the bombs instead of messing around with the island's residents; he's not allowed to proceed past an unsolved puzzle, even when there's no in-universe reason why he can't.
- Strategy Guide: The solution to every single mandatory puzzle Sumio encounters is found in the "hotel guidebook" given to the Player Character at the beginning of the game, although said "solutions" are usually riddles of various kinds that the player, and not the Player Character, has to solve.
- Take Your Time: Zig-Zagged. The Player Character is forced to do meaningless Side Quests, even though there are bombs about to blow up and kill people. And, when you finish them, which you have all the time in the world to do, the airplane blows up because you spent all that time doing meaningless sidequests instead of defusing the bombs.
- Talking Animal: Christina, the pink alligator. Who happens to be male.
- Trolling Creator: In true Suda 51 fashion, this game is designed not so much to entertain you as it is to drive you up the wall.
- Title Theme Tune: Also part Expository Theme Tune, as it's about a character, part "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune, as it's sung in character, and part Foreign Language Theme, as it's incomprehensible to me.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Which "jack" do you need to use to connect Catherine to whatever object contains the puzzle? The only way to find out is to try them until you find one that works.
- Voice Grunting: Inflected sound effects take the place of voice acting in the Nintendo DS version.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: One "request" Sumio has to fulfill is to help two actors verify their identity by helping them re-enact a scene from their most famous movie. This requires you to find something that will serve as a wig; the actor supplies the accent himself.
- Wham Episode: R11 - Clair de Lune and R17 - Kill the Past.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Sumio solves almost every problem he encounters by entering numbers using Catherine. In one scene, Sumio even wonders why he needs to use Catherine in order to dial a phone number.