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Video Game: Stretch Panic

"This is the unusual story of an unusual little girl..."
The first line of in-game text

Stretch Panic, or Freak Out in Europe, or Hippa Linda in Japan, is what happens when Treasure decides to make a game out of a tech demo, then shovel as much crazy into it as possible. The game is about a little girl named Linda, who gets bossed around by her 12 older sisters since she's the only one who doesn't spend every waking moment obsessing over her appearance. What kicks off the game is the sisters receiving a mysterious package that promises to make them into their ideal image or something along those lines. Beauty obsessed as they are, they happily damn their souls and get sucked into Hell to be transformed into exactly what was promised. Luckily, Linda just happened to arrive in time to get sucked into Hell as well, but not before her cherished scarf gets possessed, because the scarf is the only thing in the world in which Linda actually has any pride. Now, with her scarf as her only source of protection, she'll have to exorcise the demons possessing her sisters.

Besides a few levels to fill up on the points you need to access the bosses, that's all there really is to this game, sadly. So, how do you fight them, you ask? Why, by using the scarf to pull on them, or building up enough tension to propel yourself at them like a human rocket. The scarf is also the only way you can really get around, since Linda can't really do much but move around so the scarf can do its thing. Enemies besides her sisters include various demons and women with gigantic breasts, as well as any Mooks the bosses accompany.

Stretch Panic provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Samantha and Linda, compared to all their meaningfully named sisters. And then Jelly-chan, who has a meaningful name with a Japanese honorific. And Fay Soff, who has a Punny Name.
  • All There in the Manual: Want to know so much as what the sisters are like or more of the story than what you see? The manual is your only source of information for any details at all about the backstory.
  • Blatant Lies / Covers Always Lie: Treasure and the back cover claim you can use the environment to directly damage things, but this isn't the case for the most part.
  • Boss Game: The game consists primarily of a Hub Level with a Save Point, and doors leading directly to whatever bosses the player must defeat. There are also a few "EX" levels that are populated exclusively by Mooks, which the player can defeat for Points to unlock the doors to each boss.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Linda had just enough pride to get her scarf possessed, but not enough to be fully possessed.
  • Difficulty By Region: While not terribly harder in the Japanese version, Bonitas, on whom you can score a critical hit rather easily twice for a point each time, are rather rare, with most in the level replaced by floating demon head monsters that have to be torpedoed into in order to critical and only take one of these, making point collection a little harder. Otherwise, it's more or less the same.
  • Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: The sisters seem to be the only family they have left.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Demonica is an obvious one, being turned into something so horrific that looking at her is fatal. The demons themselves count, being able to twist the sisters into their demonic selves.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of the sisters with a Meaningful Name.
  • Gag Boobs: Bonitas can Ground Pound with them and use them as helicopters! Can't really see over them, though.
  • Gonk: Jelly-Chan, whose love of food makes her demon form into a giant blob monster.
  • Helpful Mook: The fight with Cyan relies on a horde of Genuinely Gentle ones.
  • Mascot Mook: Bonitas, aka the big-breasted ladies. Literally referred to as mooks, using the Japanese term.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the sisters.
  • More Than Mind Control: Demonically possessed or not, the sisters still seem to have much of their original personality intact, and continue to act autonomously even when you've pulled the demon out of them.
  • Screen Shake: Notibly, fat sisters cause this when they do their victory dance.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: There might not be a reward at all, but since you rescue a random sister each time you try to fight them, you could try to make sure each sister is different, which means either resetting / beating without exorcising until you have who you think is the right sister.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: The whole plot is about demons of vanity, which would fall into Pride. Even Linda gets her scarf possessed because it's the only worldly possession she really cares about.
  • Shadow Archetype: All the sisters are this regarding their inner selves, but Samantha in particular is practically a Shadow Archetype of Linda herself. They're only a year apart in age, both have a prized possession turned deadly, normal names, etc.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The eight bosses before Demonica, Cyan, Mirage and Spirit are quite silly and need to be defeated before you fight the last four. Among them, Cyan's probably the only boss that isn't utterly serious.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: All the sisters Linda has to save. But Siren's boss fight revolves around this. Preventing it causes serious damage.
  • Updated Re-release: Not so much a 'rerelease', but the Japanese version is significantly touched up from the American version.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: At least one for each of the first two sets. Siren has no direct weak spots, only taking heavy damage when you pull her mooks away and her transformation fails. Samantha can receive heavy damage at only one point during one particular attack and you'll certainly miss your chance if you let her hit you or take too long to hit her weak point.
  • Warmup Boss: Cinder. She's the first boss listed, and is definitely the weakest, and every attack save for using her bouncy bomb things is heavily telegraphed.
  • Widget Series: It's a pretty damn weird game, even by Treasure standards.
  • Wreaking Havok: You can sling around smaller objects and throw them at things.

Sin and Punishment: Star SuccessorCreator/TreasureWario World
Street Fighter EXUsefulNotes/Play Station 2 The Suffering
The SufferingAction GameStrider

alternative title(s): Stretch Panic
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