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Video Game / Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure

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Gurumin is a 3D Action Role-Playing 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 pigtailed red-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!

The game is available in English, published by Mastiff, on PSP, as well as on Windows PC via GOG and Steam. In 2016, the game was also remade for the 3DS under the title Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure.


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:
  • Anti-Villain: Though they destroy Monster Village on arrival, the Phantoms really just want to rebuild their homeland. The "Prince" on the other hand, is more a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Right before you gain the ability to play as Popon, Parin hands her the game's script so that she'll know her lines.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The ability hats.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Chucky, the reptile monster, becomes this if you give him Fake Glasses. He even makes snow fall with his hurtful puns.
  • Colossus Climb: Mosby's boss batle gimmick.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The game goes so far as to make the optional stages mirrored versions of the mandatory story-driven ones. Mmm, lazy designers...
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Parin's defining characteristic. More on the deadpan, as she takes all the strangeness around her with a mildly curious tone of voice.
  • Death Dealer: One of the Prince's many weapons. Though less used in the actual battle.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Everyone.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: You can (and will need) to destroy parts of the stage by drilling them. Even in town Parin's eager to smash things, such as noting that she feels like breaking a random jar.
  • 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.
  • Flat Joy: Parin, in both dub tracks. While she's capable of shouting and showing more audible excitement (especially in combat), she normally speaks calmly, even when smiling.
  • Freelook Button: Seriously, many puzzles would have been a given if you could have just moved the camera up and down...
  • Genki Girl: Pino's very enthusiastic and friendly. Parin also qualifies, albeit a touch reserved.
  • Giant Flyer: Mosby's "combat mode".
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: It just happens to be that the fabled dragon, Tokaron, will become more than a passing comment from your monster NPCs.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Parin has some in her room. Ducky is her favorite.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Though you can wear them on your forehead in town, they actually do reduce or prevent water damage.
  • Gratuitous French: Pierre, the purple blob monster. If you give him the item called 'Sombrero', it becomes Gratuitous Spanish.
  • Guide Dang It!: The two biggest contenders are probably the platinum medals and the Whack-a-Mole minigame:
    • Every optional level has a Platinum Medal hidden in it somewhere, and all 11 are needed for the Infinity +1 Sword. Some of them are hidden in places a savvy gamer would easily think to check, such as down an obvious branch in a path of disappearing platforms, or in a room that (since all the optional levels are mirrored versions of previous stages) in the level's previous incarnation held a treasure chest. Most of them, however, are revealed for stepping in completely arbitrary places, like standing on top of treasure chests or hopping into hollow cubes. You'll probably stumble into one or two, but finding them all without a guide is an exercise in wandering and hopping over every square inch of every optional level.
    • The Whack-a-Mole minigame requires you to hit 100 moles in 60 seconds. You can get multiple hits on one mole, but without excellent luck, you'll probably max out at 70-80 moles a round. There's a trick to doing it reliably, but said trick is unintuitive: You have to repeatedly jump attack the moles. This actually keeps them from going into their holes and lets you combo them repeatedly for the necessary score.
  • Halloween Town: Monster Village. The Phantom Kingdom was one as well, but then they had a very bad day.
  • Healing Spring
  • Heart Container
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: With Parin as the default.
  • 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.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Prince's includes a sword, gun, fan, cards, and more.
  • 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 just 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.
    • On a related note, Mosby is a Killer Butterfly.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: parin has no problem taking money anywhere she can. Talking to Disc the shopkeeper before first going to Monster Village has her trying to open the register until she's caught.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Popon, the other playable girl (and only on New Game+) appears in the credits moving to Tiese.
  • Level in Reverse
  • Little Miss Badass: Well, duh. It takes a lot of badassness to say you are going to fight the Phantoms with just your legs.
  • Magic Skirt: The protagonist has shadowing and there's no physics for her skirt, so all of that platforming and bombastic combat aren't a problem. Unless you're playing on the hardest difficulty, Happy, in which case the shadow's gone altogether.
  • 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...
  • Mirror Match: This is Cream's boss battle gimmick, the Phantom Clingy Jealous Girl: make up to four blue Parin clones and hide among them. Suffice to say it makes her the best candidate for That One Boss award.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: One monster attempts to translate for Mosby, and it doesn't go well. He even guesses "My boot is full of eels" at one point.
  • New Game+: You get access to a new sidequest (and the final unlockable wallpaper) as well as new costumes, difficulty levels, the Boss Rush and the extra playable heroine.
  • No Sense of Direction: Digby, the younger mole brother. Strangely enough, only when underground... if he walks, he can find his way just fine.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Despite dissolving into light when you defeat them, the bosses can always be found hanging around the area afterwards.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: That is the premise of the game. Even the Phantoms, the random mooks you have to defeat, look like one-eyed, blue colored Mr Potato Heads. Very huggable.
  • One Size Fits All: Even if Parin's and Popon's physique looks the same, the latter can't use the former's dresses or hats.
    • If you think about it, it makes sense... how would you feel if other people could access your dresser without your permission?
  • Only Smart People May Pass: the optional stages have rather weird and puzzling entry conditions.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: The Prince tends to bring one out when irritated.
  • Permanently Missable Content: 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.
  • Playable Epilogue: After you beat the final boss, you get to walk around the world and talk to all your monster friends.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: Bosses lightly explode, then slowly dissolve into light.
  • Punny Name: The name of the legendary drill's original wielder? Hyperbolic.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad
  • Real-Time with Pause: when you pause the game, every action is frozen and Parin tells 'wait up' to the enemies so she can equip accesories and such.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Yours is the drill that will pierce everything.
    • 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.
  • Sequel Hook: The epilogue is full of them. Roughly: It's never explained what the deal with Black Bean was, the real Prince of the Phantoms is still missing, Doc says the entity that cursed Tokaron is still at large, and Parin leaves the monster world sure they'll meet again. Aside from several ports, no sequel as yet exists, though Mastiff and Falcom have said that there's a decent chance of a sequel if the ports drum up enough interest.
  • Skewed Priorities: Before she can pull the drill out from the stone to help her monster friends, she stops what she's doing to ask if they'll buy her a shortcake.
  • 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.
  • SNK Boss: The Bonus Boss Black Bean. It's bad enough that he splits into three and you can only hurt one, but all three are very fast AND can teleport. You'll also have a hard time landing hits since they spam attacks that constantly juggle you. And the final insult: it's ultimate attack Neo Galaxy does a huge amount of damage and cannot be avoided.
  • Super-Deformed: All the characters are squat, big-eyed and huggable. Calling it cute just might be an understatement.
  • Sweet Tooth: Parin loves pastries and candy. All of the healing items that can be purchased are sweets.
  • 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.