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Video Game / Flower, Sun and Rain

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Flower, Sun, and Rain (known as Hana to Taiyō to Ame to in Japanese) is an Adventure Game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and written and directed by Suda51 for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game revolves around Sumio Mondo, a "searcher" who finds things using his silver briefcase/computer who he refers to as Catherine. Sumio has come to Lospass Island to take on a job by Edo, manager of the Hotel Flower, Sun, and Rain. Apparently, a bomb has been planted on an airplane by a terrorist, and Sumio must find it and defuse it. The next day, though, he becomes unwillingly sidetracked by forces out of his control, and the plane flies over the island and explodes.

Sumio wakes up in his hotel room. Edo tells him he needs to get to the airport to stop the plane from exploding. Arbitrary sidequests, surreal dialogue, number puzzles, self-deprecation, player trolling and Mind Screw ensues.

Part of Suda's "Kill the Past" universe, along with such games as The Silver Case, The 25th Ward and (distantly) Killer7. A Nintendo DS port was released in 2008, which severely downgraded the graphics and sound; however, it is the only version of the game released outside of Japan.

Open, Catherine! Take care of these tropes!

  • Action Bomb: "Step" is actually a stock body who has been upgraded into a bomb. Remy learns this just in time to save Koshi from getting blown up.
  • Alien Geometries: A cave late in the game leads to the upper deck of a boatnote , among other examples.
  • 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 hotel bed. But then it keeps happening…
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The perspective is switched to a young mysterious girl named Toriko Kusabi at the end of most of the requests.
    • You don't play as Sumio in Requests 12 and 13 because he's dead, and their puzzle segments don't involve using Catherine. Instead you control either of a pair of federal agents. Koshi has to track down "Step" in the Spice Shop, and Remy has to shoot numbers to solve a math problem.
  • Big Bad: The eyepatched man known as Sundance Shot is set up as this. Subverted: he's trying to stop Edo's plans to destroy Lospass Island by relocating the bombs into airplanes leaving from the airport.
  • 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, she can be opened as a pause menu, so it serves as mere Invocation.
  • Companion Cube: Sumio is visibly distressed 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.
  • Event Flag: Lampshaded by Stephan, who openly refers to activating the game's arbitrary event flags, much to Sumio's confusion. There are many other references throughout the game to only being able to do certain actions in a sequence triggered by doing other arbitrary things first.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Sundance Shot. His eyepatch covers his Silver Eye.
  • Final Boss: Subverted. Sumio expects to find one at the airport, but after solving the final puzzle, Sundance simply talks with Sumio and lets him leave.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked. Shoutaro angers Sumio by repeatedly trying to point out flaws in the game's internal logic, such as the polygon models having unrealistic proportions or why Sumio would choose to wear a black suit on a tropical island. 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 Request 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 Mondo clones. And every day, a bomb-laden plane departs Lospass Airport only to explode in mid-flight.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sundance Shot is the latest iteration of Kamui Uehara. At least, that's what Toriko Kusabi accuses Sundance of.
  • I Am Who?: Sumio Mondo is Sumio Kodai, a character from The Silver Case.
  • I Call It "Vera": Why does Sumio call it "Catherine"? Because it's better than calling it "Bob". (Or "Tetsugoro" in the original Japanese.) He calls his car "Giggs" as well.
  • Idiot Hero: Many characters treat Sumio like one. He's not truly an idiot, he's just so passive and helpful that he allows people to treat him badly and take advantage of him for their own needs, to the point of not being able to do the job he was actually hired for. His stay at the Hotel F.S.R. is partly to help him assert himself more about this, which includes Taking A Much-Needed Level In Jerkass.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: How this game manages to connect up to The Silver Case.
  • Leitmotif: Full of them. From both this game and The Silver Case.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Shoutaro's father Daizaburo turns out to be just as immature and annoying as his son is. Knowing that, it's hard to believe that Daizaburo is one of the faction leaders in Ward 24, Tokyo, much like Sundance Shot is.
  • Mind Screw: An extreme example; there's definitely some kind of backstory and logic to the events going on, but you aren't directly told any of it.
  • Medium Awareness: Several characters, and even Sumio himself to some degree, seem to be aware that the island runs on video game logic, and common video game and adventure game conventions are openly discussed.
  • Myth Arc: The Sundance Tribe and the history of the island, relating back to the origins of the silver eye and what it does.
  • Not a Morning Person: Sumio declares himself this at the beginning of Request 1. And indeed, he isn't, as in most chapters he stumbles and falls face-first to the floor after he gets out of bed, then proceeds to take so long drinking his morning coffee that he's always too late to catch the hotel's breakfast. As for the tripping, it's later revealed that there's been someone under the bed tripping him.
  • NPC Roadblock: Usually the in-universe reason why Sumio can't reach the airplane in time, such as a wrestler in the middle of training (and woe to any who dare interrupt even for a moment).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Edo acts really cranky in Request 11, and just orders to get on with the game's assignment already. The loading screen for the next chapter reveals that he had too many drinks.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • In Request 14, each time a radio puzzle is solved, the music in the wheat field area gets changed accordingly to the channel the guidebook alluded to.
    • After Edo collapses and vanishes mysteriously during Request 15, Sue replaces him in his functions until the final chapter. This includes the save screens.
  • 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
  • Secret Test of Character: Stephen tests Sumio by fooling him with a false plot to poison Yayoi. Sumio falls for it hook, line, and sinker, thus passing Stephen's test. Cue exploding plane.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Much of the game's colorful cast inexplicably disappears after Request 10, when the plot picks up speed. From then on, only two more characters are introduced who have no bearing on the game's overall plot. Justified by the fact that Edo is ultimately requesting that you destroy the island. Of course they would want the guests evacuated.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Sequel: To The Silver Case. In the beginning, returning names can be brushed off as just references, but as the game goes on it expects you more and more to actually know about the events of the previous game until the very end, when the game interface actually switches back to that of The Silver Case, the Film Window.
  • 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, 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.
  • Title Drop: Used by Edo toward the end, as a metaphor to explain how Mondo's time at the hotel caused him to grow.
  • 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.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Which "jack" (or "juck") 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, making the dialogue sound like some strange sort of warped, muffled gobbledygook. When it's revealed that the player character, Sumio Mondo, is actually Sumio Kodai, it all comes together.
  • 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.
  • Wham Line: A small one occurs at the end of Request 8: when questioning about the place where a couple was raised, Sumio learns that they were Shelter Kids. This casts off any doubts about this game being standalone.
  • 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.

(An airplane explodes overhead)
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