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Video Game / Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!

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Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! is an adventure game developed by Pax Softnica and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Color, based on the Hamtaro franchise.

The story revolves around you, as Hamtaro, helping the Clubhouse leader Boss round up all of the other twelve Ham-Hams for a surprise. Along the way, Hamtaro learns new words to add to his Ham-Chat notebook, which are used to solve puzzles needed to get the Ham-Hams to the Clubhouse or acquire other words.

This game was followed up by a sequel, Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak, which was released for the Game Boy Advance.

Tropes present in this game:

  • 100% Completion: Boss gives you a new Ham-Chat Dictionary and one last new word if you learn all 85 Ham-Chat words.
  • And I Must Scream: One scenario to get Dexter and Howdy in the clubhouse is the former getting frozen alive in a freezer. Howdy will help you thaw him.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Cappy considers joining Hamtaro in going back to the clubhouse but gets distracted by the Shogun Wig up for grabs in Tack-Q bowling. You can only bring him back after winning the wig.
  • Balloon Belly: You can help a hamster open a box of cookies in Sunflower Market. The next time you see him, he's noticeably tubbier.
  • Chubby Chaser: The pink hamster in Acorn Shrine wants a boyfriend who is "Mega-Q". It turns out the guy you match her with is quite plump.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: To learn the ham-chat Nopookie, Hamtaro must Tack-Q a hamster off a high pole in The Ruins.
  • Fetch Quest: A few of them:
    • Retrieving Pashmina's scarf from a crow for her.
    • Buying a heat patch or a bar code from a merchant to either un-thaw Dexter from a block of ice or free Howdy from inside a cash register. Unfortunately, he overcharges for it, requiring you to blackmail him into lowering to an affordable price.
    • One in Sunflower Elementary which you must buy a bottle (which turns out to have a hole in it), have it fixed by Panda, bring it to a tea vendor so he can fill it with tea, and then give it to the bloated NPC Roadblock to get through a certain passageway to find Jingle.
  • First Town: The Clubhouse, which is where the Ham-Jam minigame is, and where you bring all of the other Ham-Hams to (and is where you'll most likely get the last few words).
  • Forced Tutorial: A small one: Boss teaches you the four main Ham-Chat words—Hamha, Hifhif, Tack-Q, and Digdig—before you can start playing (thankfully, though, he just writes all of the other words you start with in the notebook without making you go through them, too).
  • Genre Shift: The Japanese title is Tottoko Hamtaro 2, establishing it as a sequel to the first Hamtaro Game Boy Color game which never left Japan, but it plays absolutely nothing like it- rather than an adventure game, the original Tottoko Hamtaro was barely a game at all, more so a fortune-telling program with a Ham-Ham theme.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Ham-Chat words, Ham-Jam songs, stars (after beating the game), and clothing (which requires you to collect all of the rocks to get the last clothes shop).
  • Green Hill Zone: Acorn Shrine, the first real area, which is mostly forest and grasslands.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Hamtaro can unplug the fountain in Sky Garden and Stickie the socket. This shocks him, but he shakes it off.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can rename Hamtaro at the beginning of the game. Odd, since unlike in most games with this trope, Hamtaro is a canonical character.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: One of the outcomes to bring Dexter and Howdy in the clubhouse is the latter falling into a cash register and getting stuck. After you talk to Dexter, he will help Howdy out.
  • Hint System: Talk to Snoozer sleeping in the main room of the Clubhouse, and he'll give you hints on where to find the other Ham-Hams.
  • Honest John's Dealership: There are two merchants: one of them sells you a garbage "Tear Essence" and later jacks up the price for an item you need to progress (and in the Sunflower Market he doesn't like taking "No-P" for an answer); he also has an apprentice who offers to teach you Ham-Chat words for sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, he only sells you incorrect versions of words you already know.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The pink and blue hamsters you hook up in Acorn Shrine (see Match Maker Quest). The pink tiny girl specifically says she wants a guy that's "Mega-Q," while the blue huge guy specifically asks for a girl that's "Teenie."
  • Intrepid Reporter: In the Sunflower Market (including a newspaper hanging on the back wall of the room you encounter her in that changes to read whatever her newest story is). Later on you help her find her purse, and in return she helps you rescue Dexter or Howdy by providing a photo to blackmail the merchant overcharging for a heat patch/bar code into lowering his prices.
  • Item Get!: Every time Hamtaro learns a new Ham-Chat or collects an item, he raises his arms above and smiles while holding it, and for Ham-Chats opens the dictionary, adds the word, then closes it.
  • Match Maker Quest: The aforementioned pink and blue hamsters in Acorn Shrine.
  • Mini-Game: A few:
    • A game where you can dress up Hamtaro and take a picture of him.
    • Strawberry Soccer in the Sunflower Market, where you need to run under the strawberries the coach tosses and Hifhif them back to him.
    • Tack-Q Bowling in The Ruins, a game where you have a limited number of balls to roll to hit balloons for points. You need to get a certain high-score in this game to get Cappy to go to the Clubhouse, since doing so will win a Shogun Wig he wants.
    • Ham-Jam, which lets you dance to the songs you've collected from each area using Ham-Chat words.
  • NPC Roadblock: A bloated hamster blocking a passageway in Sunflower Elementary, and a scared hamster blocking a passageway in the Ruins.
  • Playing Hard to Get: Bijou tries this with Hamtaro in Acorn Shrine, forcing you to chase her through the area.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Two Ham Jams: "Bolero" is, well, "Bolero" and "Postman's Post" is based on "Csik├│s Post."
  • Pun: Most of the Ham-Chat words, which helps the player remember their meanings.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The Ruins. Except instead of being made of rocks, it's mostly made-up of garbage (which, considering you play a hamster, is much larger from your point of view).
  • Snake Oil Salesman: One of the items the merchant sells is fake Flugo cold medicine. You need to get the real Flugo from the doctor in Sky Garden.
  • Suddenly Blonde: Pashmina's scarf, which is pink in the anime, is brown (just like parts of her fur) when it is on her due to palette limitations, and only pink when she's not wearing it (when it's a separate sprite).
  • Symbol Swearing: You meet a hamster behind a fridge in Sunflower Market who copies every move you do. If you use the Go-P chat, he will instead let out some dialogue consisting of stars and music notes.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The game follows the English dub of the anime by relocating the series to America, but despite this, the first area in the game is still a Shinto shrine. Since the entire game is a Macro Zone, it's not exactly easily missed, either.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • One of the words Hamtaro can learn is "Go-P," which makes him turn away from the screen and, well, go pee.
    • There's another case where, to move the sleeping hamster on a digging spot at Acorn Shrine, you have to use Teenie. Hamtaro will accidentally fart, causing the sleeping hamster to wake up, stumble back and then pass out cold.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can Tack-Q (tackle) most hamsters, as well as Pakapaka (bite), Scrit-T (scratch), and Stickie (poke with a stick).
    • You can also Tack-Q a hamster in The Ruins, causing him to fall from a great height. The first time is essential to learn "Nopookie" and to progress, but later, you can do this to him again and again afterwards.
    • There are also cases where you can Go-P on (or maybe near) other hamsters. The hamster you learn "See-Tru" from will get really freaked out and be reduced to symbol gibberish should you do so.
    • Required to get Oxnard to go to the Clubhouse: telling him to "Chukchuk" (give up) on finding his lost sunflower seed, which causes him to roll around in tears. Turns out he was sitting on it the whole time, which he belatedly realizes.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The aforementioned dress-up minigame.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Dexter and Howdy. Although when you first meet them they're fighting over Pashmina, when one of them gets in danger (either Dexter getting frozen trying to make an ice-sculpture for Pashmina, or Howdy getting trapped inside a cash register looking for a coin for Pashmina, depending on how you play) the other will rush to help you rescue him.
  • Westminster Chimes: Sunflower Elementary's music is based on this. This is due to the fact that Japanese schools use said chime for every period, which is why the chime is used again in Rainbow Rescue's Clover Elementary.