Gurumin is an 3D Action Adventure game made by Falcom for the PC, that was later ported to the PSP. The gameplay makes you go through several dungeon-like levels to retrieve a semi-important plot item at the end, at which point you fight a boss in an often tiny arena and save an NPC. Rinse and repeat until the end. Due to this simplistic nature and the kiddy look every character sports, you would think reviews for this thing would be less than... stellar? Well... that was not the case. It has a something that makes everyone love it, because it does not try to be what it's not: what it does, it does well. It may be easy, cliched, rather short (many people finish their first runthrough at 20 hours) and cartoony, but has a certain charm which makes people come back for more. And featuring FIVE unlockable difficulty levels, four of which are mandatory to get 100% Completion, you will be enjoying this cute, kiddy heroine's adventures for a while. Wait, what? You said heroine?Parin is a pigtailedred-headed 12 year old girl who moves to the mining town of Tiese where her grandfather lives, while her parents are abroad. Her stay promises to be a boring one, as there are no other children her age in such town. Or are they? Shortly after unpacking she has to save a mysterious little kid from a ferocious beast (read: a dog) with her 'Pretty Missile Kick' and discovers she's a monster! Oh, but this world's monsters are friendly, you see. She takes Parin through a hole and arrives at Monster Village, which is in disarray because of the Phantoms, a race who lost its home at some time in the past, decided to invade them. It's up to Parin to wield the fabled Legendary Drill, once used agaisnt a forgotten menace, to rid Monster Village from its enemies!
This video-game provides examples of:
And Your Reward Is Clothes: Whenever you get a perfect score in ALL the stages or just plain end a playthrough with the good ending (or complete the Boss Rush) your reward is a special costume for Parin to wear. Savvy gamers will quickly see where the themes are going:
Die, Chair! Die!: You can (and will need) to destroy parts of the stage by drilling them.
Enemy Chatter: In a fun variant of this, Phantom mooks speak in emotion bubbles if not engaging in combat with Parin.
Fisher King: The Monster world is dependent on the emotions of it's occupants. When their village is destroyed, it causes an impassable black fog to appear around the town, which serves as the games broken bridges, and the residents must be cheered up to dispel it. When everyone is happy, it also allows the dimension to repair damage to itself. Which includes portals to the human world.
Freelook Button: Seriously, many puzzles would have been a given if you could have just moved the camera up and down...
Hijacked by Ganon: In the end, whose evil plans you have to stop are not the Phantom Prince's, but your supposed monster friend, Puku. See below.
Humans Are Bastards: this is Puku's driving force for much of the story: fat, bumbling miner Cylinder dropped a lit cigarette on a dynamite pack 3 years ago... Puku and Pino's forest home was burned to a crisp, and the former still has not gotten over it.
Improbable Accessory Effect: The game says this about the equippable Ribbon: 'protects from traps... for some reason'. Yet you will need it in Eggplant Caves, filled with hazardous surfaces you'll be stepping and/or falling on a lot.
Invisible to Normals: Monsters are invisible to adults. This gives Motoro much angst, as he is not able to speak with his old human friend anymore.
This leads to a bit of Fridge Brilliance too: Parin suggests spraying paint over him. Many a player is left wondering why no one thought of that sooner.
Killer Rabbit: Let's say that Black Bean was cast as the Bonus Boss for a reason. The critter is a bitch to defeat even on Beginner (i.e. Very Easy) Mode! It will make you go through all your healing items faster than... well, the candy loving girl you play as.
Lost Forever: If you give Hyperbolic the wrong responses, you are locked out of the Platinum medal sidequest for the whole playthrough. And if you eat the cake destined to him, you cannot finish the Chain of Deals.
Magnet Hands: Especially egregious at the ending sequence. Parin does not let go of her drill even in the weirdest circumstances (she's taking the monster's heirloom artifact with her to her world!)
Mini-Game: We have whack-a-mole, soccer, jump-the-lasers, boulder breaking...
Get a little too trigger-happy with drilling stuff though, and you might miss a few Platinum Medals; one medal requires you to stand inside a hollow breakable cube, another requires you to jump onto a breakable pillar, and two others require you to stand on breakable tree stumps in two different dungeons.
Save Both Worlds: In the end the REAL final boss will start rampaging on the Human World as well if Parin and crew don't stop it.
Sleep Mode Size: Mosby looks like a cute moth creature, about a foot in height. At least until the fight starts.
Stealth Mentor: Motoro, the big blue cat monster. You end up discovering that he wrote all the signs which offer you advice inside the stages.
Sword of Plot Advancement: Parin's drill is obtained from a stone slab in much the same vein as the Arthurian legends... meanwhile, Popon's Dragon Slayer would be a Sword of Trading Sequence Advancement.
Theme Naming: The game areas are called after vegetables: Potato Ruins, Radish Woods...
This Is a Drill: Parin's choice of a weapon is a drill lent by her monster friends. Popon uses a more conventional sword.
The Unintelligible: Mosby. Even the other Phantoms can't understand him, and it's gotten to the point where they basically just smile and nod.
He improvises some in-universe subtitles when Rocko completely fails at attempting to translate for him.
Mosby seems to be using a Cypher Language. To translate it back to English, for every letter Mosby speaks, read the letter to its left on a qwerty keyboard (full stops, spaces and apostrophes are exempted). For example, when Mosby says "divj", it translates to "such". Mosby frequently complains about work.
Violation of Common Sense: you have to sink to the bottom of an underground river to get to a hidden room, needed for a S score... in a game where swimming hurts you. As well as another chest only reachable if you use enemies as stepping stones... in a game where most enemies do not respawn.