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Rub it!
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What are Feel the Magic: XY/XX and The Rub Rabbits!? The simplest explanation is that these are two games devoted to Love at First Sight, even coming across in the Japanese titles (Kimi no Tame nara Shineru [I Would Die For You], and Aka-chan wa Doko Kara Kuru no? [Where Do Babies Come From?]). In both titles, your character falls completely head over heels for a girl and, with the help of a group known as the Rub Rabbits, sets about winning her heart by impressing her. Which brings us to the more complex explanation.

When Nintendo released the Nintendo DS in 2004, Sega's Sonic Team was one of the companies most excited about its features, and they eagerly set up the new IP Feel the Magic (then known as Project Rub, its eventual EU title) to demonstrate the system's capabilities. The result was a Minigame Game heavily similar to WarioWare, based entirely around the touch screen, microphone, and dual-screen setup. With the new IP came the ability to get as crazy as they wanted, and boy howdy, did they ever take advantage of that.

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The Rub Rabbits! followed two years later after Feel the Magic's quirky humor and gameplay proved it to be a Cult Classic, but probably due to the increased popularity of the DS making its features less novel, Sega has effectively put the fledgling franchise to pasture ever since, save for the occasional nod in later unrelated titles.


This series provides examples of:

In Both Games

  • Always Save the Girl: Effectively the overriding theme in both games.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: For your would-be girlfriend, though you only get to see them when replaying the minigames outside of Story Mode.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: "Break Time!", which comes up after three levels of a minigame.
  • Art Shift: Most cutscenes are presented as static comic panels. Each one has a hidden rabbit sticker used to unlock new clothes.
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  • Bullfight Boss: You have to protect the girl from running bulls at one point, poking them to calm them down. While ignoring skiing men. In the first game, it's part of the Nightmare and the second game has robot bulls fought early on.
  • Crush Blush: Often with your love interests.
  • Heart Symbol: They're games about love, of course they're everywhere.
  • Humongous Mecha: The rival in the first game uses one during the final boss. So does the girl in the second game, in the forms of a bull, a bear, and a hawk.
  • Kiss of Life: Happens near the end of both games. In Feel the Magic: XY/XX the hero has to perform CPR on the girlfriend after she takes an energy blast for him, and in The Rub Rabbits!! after the girlfriend loses her strength the hero uses mouth-to-mouth to administer the poison's cure.
  • Love Triangle: Both games. In Feel the Magic, your rival shows up early and is an antagonist from the get-go, forcibly going after the girl. In The Rub Rabbits!, your character saves a girl from falling into a fountain before chasing off after his own crush, making the girl fall for him.
  • No Name Given: No one in the game is given a name.
  • Old Save Bonus: Plugging other Sega GBA games into the DS cartridge slot would allow you to unlock themed bonus outfits earlier than normal.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: WarioWare but Hotter and Sexier (and made by Sonic Team)!
  • Silence Is Golden: There's very little dialogue in the games.
  • Tech Demo Game: Largely the point of Feel the Magic; less so The Rub Rabbits!.
  • The Blank: Everyone, as part of the art style. The whole game looks like a three-dimensional iPod commercial or a scene in Revolutionary Girl Utena.
  • The Reveal:
    • Feel the Magic XY/XX: You have a blue mohawk underneath your helmet. Also, the girl from your flashbacks survived, and is now your love interest.
    • The Rub Rabbits!!: Your character is the head of the titular performance group; his beanie and goggles were hiding his rabbit ears. The game is actually a prequel to Feel the Magic.

Feel the Magic XY/XX

  • Astral Finale: The final battle parodies this by having the backdrop take place in space, only for it to be revealed that the space is actually just a bunch of painted backgrounds.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Two of the mini-game games involve a giant antlion and a giant snake that eats you. The final boss's battle machine as well, though it's evened out with your own battle machine.
  • Bee Afraid: One of the early love mini-games involves a romantic walk among flower bushes while having to fend off bees every so often.
  • Big Bad: The magenta punk man who kidnaps your girlfriend and who seems to own a factory of some sort.
  • Boss Bonanza: Once the Rub Rabbits make it into the main villain's lair, the last few minigames consist of a nightmare-induced Boss Rush, the Big Bad's mecha and then a Beam-O-War against the Big Bad himself.
  • Boss Rush: You're sprayed with nightmare gas near the end of the game in Feel the Magic: XY/XX, causing a hallucination which forces you to take down an army of bulls, then harder versions of the previous two bosses.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-universe. Feel the Magic starts as what looks like a movie audience watching your character passing by and falling for the girl; a man in bunny ears sees this, jumps to his feet and runs out of his row, and then appears in the movie with a fishbowl for the hero. Then the rest of the audience follows him!
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: The protagonist of Feel the Magic keeps having flashbacks of his childhood, where he tried to perform CPR on a drowned girl but failed to save her. Except, as revealed in the ending cutscenes, the girl actually did wake up, after he had run away thinking she died. That girl grew up to become the love interest of the game, who the hero needs to perform CPR on again for the final minigame. The latter scenario plays up the romance of CPR and is a simple timing game. You even get to jab Death itself to keep it at bay.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The main antagonist in the first game, who isn't above kidnapping the girl he lusts after.
  • Delinquent Hair: Your romantic rival from Feel the Magic: XY/XX. And yourself, as it turns out.
  • Don't Try This at Home: A warning screen that introduces Feel the Magic.
    "Do not attempt to recreate any of the situations in this game."
  • Kamehame Hadouken: The final battle with your mohawked rival.
  • Man-Eating Plant: One serves as a boss fight in Feel the Magic: XX/XY. You need to save your girlfriend from it. It returns as the last boss of the Nightmare level.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The boss rush in the first game, complete with trippy colours, distorted visuals and harder difficulty.
  • One Head Taller: Played with in Feel The Magic. The girl is half a head taller than the protagonist, but it isn't explicitly acknowledged. In the ending cutscene, he's suddenly taller than her, up to a full head in some shots... which a Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals is because a Rub Rabbit's holding a footstool under him.
  • Scary Scorpions: You have to knock some off of the girl's back.
  • Taking the Bullet/Diving Save: The girl jumps in front of the rival's last electric blast.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Your character during the "Dance" game of Feel the Magic: XY/XX.
  • The Grim Reaper: You fight him away as you perform CPR on the girl.
  • The Rival: The chunky mohawk man.
  • The Power of Love: You break out of metal restraints before the final boss in Feel the Magic XX/XY.

The Rub Rabbits

  • Artistic License – Biology: No, your stomach is not full of water which goldfish could swim up.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Would you believe candles as seen in one of the mini-games.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Though you can just hide under snow to escape them in one mini-game. One of the late-game bosses is also a mechanical bear.
  • Big Bad: The genius girl whose attempts to win you over involve sending giant robots to attack, abduction and eventually poisoning your girlfriend with a memory erosion poison.
  • Blow Gun: Comes up a couple times, including a dramatic use when your jealous crush shoots a memory-wiping poison at your girlfriend.
  • Brainwashed: The girl you abandoned brainwashes the former rivals into bringing you to her. Thankfully, it wears off.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: You can't get much more literal than the Rub Rabbits. They're labeled a "Super Performance Group", but it's unclear if they're actually paid to perform, or if its members hold any other jobs.
  • Call-Back: All sorts of them throughout The Rub Rabbits!.
  • Character Establishing Moment: The second game sets the tone for the story mode perfectly by having the main character run up an escalator to chase after the girl he loves with a remix of the Can Can playing as background music. This is also the first minigame by the way.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Your main antagonist in the second game.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In The Rub Rabbits!, your romantic rivals all befriend you after you prove once and for all you are the best match for the girl. It's heavily implied they join you in forming the Rub Rabbits performance group from the first game.
  • Deserted Island: You end up trapped on one for three minigames' worth of time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The opening warning screen to The Rub Rabbits!
    "Continuous stroking, blowing and poking could lead to unwanted attention in public places."
    • "Goodnight" from The Rub Rabbits! has the hero pull up a sheet over his girlfriend's feet. "Skin", the scene after that, has the hero feel his girlfriend in complete darkness, though that is because they are sharing body temperatures in the cold.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Excited Show Title!: The Rub Rabbits!
  • Find the Cure!: The Legendary Rose whose petals can be ground up to cure a deadly poison.
  • Garden Garment: An outfit made of leaves in the second game.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of the mechas in The Rub Rabbits! is shaped like a coconut crab.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: You in the sequel.
  • Hot Springs Episode: With piranha!
  • Ironic Echo: The Break Times that play during the genius girl's segments are copies of some of the Break Times that play during normal segments, but something goes wrong every time in the genius girl's Break Times. (One of the normal break times has the girlfriend sample her cooking. The genius girl's version has her taste her own cooking... before spitting into a sink.)
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eventually, the other eleven romantic rivals concede their defeat and encourage you to be a good boyfriend.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The girl will occasionally play with a cat during Break Time.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The antagonist of The Rub Rabbits!! uses a blowdart to poison the girlfriend, causing her to slowly lose her memory over a period of days. The only memories of concern are those she has about the protagonist, and it's not clear if she's losing any other memories. Everything is instantly restored once she drinks the cure.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • In both versions of "Foodstuffs" from The Rub Rabbits!, the sound effect that plays when the girl gets a fruit is the same sound effect that plays when Sonic gets a ring in Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • At the end of Another Story, the sound effect that plays when the genius girl find the hero on her radar is the same sound effect that plays whenever Sonic touches a goalpost in Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Love Potion: The antagonist of The Rub Rabbits! often weaponizes this in her attempts to have you.
  • Minecart Madness: A minigame in the sequel.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Implied: though the poison that the genius girl injects into the girlfriend in The Rub Rabbits! is specifically said to erase the girlfriend's memories, the poison seems to be taking a harsher effect near the end of the story.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The search for the Legendary Rose's petals.
  • Relationship Values: Given a multiplayer treatment in The Rub Rabbits!, which has a compatibility test.
  • Rescue Romance: One actually starts the main conflict of The Rub Rabbits!, since the main antagonist develops a mad crush on the protagonist after he saves her from falling into a fountain.
  • Robot Me: During the Villain Episode, the genius girl uses a robot copy of the main character for her minigames.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Referred to as "Roshambo", but there's no Groin Attack involved.
  • Stealth Prequel: The Rub Rabbits is a prequel to Feel The Magic, and it ends with the protagonist, soon to be leader of the titular group, forming it.
  • Teen Genius: The hero's jealous crush in The Rub Rabbits!.
  • The Rival: The sequel gives you eleven rivals, who all eventually become your friend after their brainwashing wears off. They're also heavily implied to be the first members of the Rub Rabbits performance group.
  • Twirl of Love: Weaponized in "Bird", the final showdown of The Rub Rabbits!; the hero and his girlfriend's method of attack is twirling together to create a whirlwind.
  • Villain Episode: "Another Story" from 'The Rub Rabbits!' has you play a small story from the perspective of the genius girl. (Strangely enough, none of the mini-games use her theme from her mini-games in the main story)
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: One of the genius girl's Break Times has her sample her own cooking... before immediately spitting into a sink away from the viewer.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Unlike the first game's girl in her modest dress, the sequel's girl just has a pair of jeans and a bikini top for her default outfit. Obviously, you can invoke this yourself in either game by changing the girls' attire.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Poking the girl during the minigame descriptions will make her react in various pained ways.
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