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Video Game / Puyo Puyo Sun

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A summer adventure that's somehow Denser and Wackier than its immediate predecessor.
Puyo Puyo Sun is the third arcade entry in the Puyo Puyo series. First released in 1996, the game moves from the Mega Drive-based System C-2 to the Sega Saturn-based Sega Titan Video (ST-V) hardware, resulting in a notable increase in graphical and audio quality. "Sun" is very similar to "san", the Japanese word for "three".

The Dark Prince has conceived a devious new plan to pick up women: obtain the ultimate tan. To hurry things along, he uses a sun-enlarging device to create a sweltering summer day. While Draco Centauros is eager to use the opportunity to sunbathe, Arle Nadja and Schezo Wegey are irritated by the Dark Prince's shenanigans and head to his castle to put a stop to it.

In gameplay, offsetting Garbage Puyo causes the sun located in the middle of the screen to rain Sun Puyos into the player's field; Sun Puyos, when cleared, increase the strength of the player's attack. Sun's 1P vs CPU mode returns to the structure of Puyo Puyo (1992) (a short Beginner mode, a full Normal mode, and an abridged Difficult mode) and reintroduces character skits after they were removed from the arcade version of Puyo Puyo 2, this time with a different player character per difficulty level. Every character has their own phrases when creating chains, a feature introduced in Puyo Puyo CD Tsu, which are accompanied by small field animations for extra aesthetic flair.

Given the arcade hardware, the game was given a very quick port to the Saturn. Later, the game would be ported for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and (after Sega took ownership of the series) the Game Boy Color. A Sega Genesis demake of the game's VS mode, titled VS Puyo Puyo Sun, was included as part of the Sega Genesis Mini 2 lineup, which to date is the only release of the game to make it to the west.

Tropes present in Puyo Puyo Sun:

  • Another Side, Another Story: SUN's different routes feature a different character that is intertwined with the main plot.
    • Draco stars in Easy, which is chronologically the first in the story.
    • Arle stars in Normal, taking place right after Draco's story.
    • Schezo stars in Hard, which ties in with Arle's, sometime after hers began.
  • Black Screen of Death: Happens during Schezo's ending. Before the final battle begins, Schezo rests the tip of his sword on Dark Prince's sun-enlarging device and then uses it to burn the hair off of the top of Dark Prince's head. After Schezo restores darkness to the world, a half-bald Dark Prince sneaks up behind him. The screen goes black as Dark Prince beats him to a pulp.
  • Brick Joke: During Arle's course, she encounters Zoh Daimaoh as one of the opponents. Due to the excessive heat, he becomes so mad that he burns a hole into the ground. Come Schezo's course, and Zoh pops out of the hole, only to grab Schezo, create another hole, and burn Schezo alive out of rage due to Schezo mistaking him for a demon.
  • Caught in a Snare: Schezo is caught in a net trap set by Kodomo Dragon to capture bugs. Kodomo Dragon decides he doesn't want the "insect" in the snare when Schezo yells at him about it.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: When Arle encounters him, Ragnus uses magic and ages himself up to prepare to fight her, only for his armor pants to fall down, revealing his boxers and causing both characters to blush in embarrassment.
  • Console Cameo: Every version except the Game Boy Color version has their respective console appear on the main menu: An arcade cabinet, a SEGA Saturn, N64, Playstation, or a generic desktop PC. The SEGA Genesis demake on the SEGA Genesis Mini 2 would later continue this trend, featuring a Mega Drive 2 with the Puyo Puyo Sun cartridge inserted.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: There are no differences between characters beyond purely-aesthetic changes.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to 2, SUN is far more silly and goofy with its scenes, and not even Arle is spared from the slapstick.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The Easy and Normal courses don't gradually increase the automatic drop speed, but the Difficult course does.
  • Downer Ending: All three stories have this Played for Laughs:
    • Draco gets her tan...a bit too much of it in fact.
    • Arle stops Dark Prince's plan to grow the sun...only for Carbuncle to grow it back again.
    • Schezo also stops Dark Prince, only to be attacked by the latter for his baldness-inducing cheap shot earlier.
  • Dueling Player Characters: The first battle in Normal course is Arle vs Draco, while the penultimate battle of the Normal and Hard courses is Arle vs Schezo.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: When you clear the Easy route in the console versions, the game fast-forwards through the credits.
  • Easter Egg: Playing the console and Windows versions in the month of December causes Arle, Draco, Schezo, and Dark Prince to wear Christmas-themed outfits in the sound test. The Windows version also has a New Year's mode, with the main cast donning kimonos on January 1st.
  • The Face of the Sun: The sun somehow sports a huge pair of eyes, which carries over to later Compile Puyo Puyo games.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Played for Laughs. The Dark Prince's beatdown of Schezo at the end of his story is hidden behind a black screen, with us only being able to hear pained dialogue between the two.
  • Human Hummingbird: Arle's feet are shown as circular blurs when she is chased around in a field by Honey Bee.
  • Irony: This puzzle game, whose plot focuses on a crisis brought on by an insufferable summer heat, first released at the start of winter in Japan.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In the Game Boy Color port, Sun Puyo placement is completely random. Players, particularly those that rely on long chains, are basically at the mercy of the game anytime that they offset Garbage Puyos.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Arle, Schezo, and Draco, respectively. Arle gives friendly banter post-victory, Schezo flat-out mocks his opponents, and Draco dishes out playful boasting.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Like Puyo Puyo 2, the arcade version uses a different damage formula in single-player than in multiplayer, one in which way more garbage is generated on average. This is especially noticeable in this game, where the higher damage formula, series-low 48-second margin time, and Sun Puyos combine to make it possible to have your day ruined by a couple of lowly 2-chains.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Arle’s story ends with her beating the Dark Prince and managing to stop his plan of growing the sun, only for Carbuncle to grow it back.
  • Shout-Out: Ragnus Bishasi the Brave is a parody of the early Heroes from Dragon Quest.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Puyo Puyo Sun 64. Take a wild guess on the console that it was released for.