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Video Game / Stretch Panic

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"This is the unusual story of an unusual little girl..."
The first line of in-game text

Stretch Panic, or Freak Out in Europe, or Hippa Linda in Japan, is what happens when Treasure decides to make a game out of a tech demo, then shovel as much crazy into it as possible. The game is about a little girl named Linda, who gets bossed around by her 12 older sisters since she's the only one who doesn't spend every waking moment obsessing over her appearance. What kicks off the game is the sisters receiving a mysterious package that promises to make them into their ideal image or something along those lines. Beauty obsessed as they are, they happily damn their souls and get sucked into Hell to be transformed into exactly what was promised. Luckily, Linda just happened to arrive in time to get sucked into Hell as well, but not before her cherished scarf gets possessed, because the scarf is the only thing in the world in which Linda actually has any pride on. Now, with her scarf as her only source of protection, she'll have to exorcise the demons possessing her sisters.

Besides a few levels to fill up on the points you need to access the bosses, that's all there really is to this game, sadly. So, how do you fight them, you ask? Why, by using the scarf to pull on them, or building up enough tension to propel yourself at them like a human rocket. The scarf is also the only way you can really get around, since Linda can't really do much but move around so the scarf can do its thing. Enemies besides her sisters include various demons and women with gigantic breasts, as well as any Mooks the bosses accompany.

Stretch Panic provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Samantha and Linda, compared to all their meaningfully named sisters. And then Jelly-chan, who has a meaningful name with a Japanese honorific. And Fay Soff, who has a Punny Name. Whether or not these are their real names or the names they got as demons is unclear.
  • All There in the Manual: Want to know so much as what the sisters are like or more of the story than what you see? The manual is your only source of information for any details at all about the backstory.
  • A Winner Is You: Despite having an intro cutscene, the game doesn't really have much of an ending. After beating the last boss and leaving the museum, it just cuts to the credits, with Linda and her sisters walking along.
  • Big Sister Bully: All of Linda's older sisters.
  • Boss Game: The game consists primarily of a Hub Level with a Save Point, and doors leading directly to whatever bosses the player must defeat. There are also a few "EX" levels that are populated exclusively by Mooks, which the player can defeat for Points to unlock the doors to each boss.
  • Covers Always Lie: Treasure and the back cover claim you can use the environment to directly damage things, but this isn't the case for the most part.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Linda had just enough pride to get her scarf possessed, but not enough to be fully possessed.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Siren and Samantha look the most humanoid of the demonic sisters, and their demonic elements are fairly tame compared to the others.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The sisters all explode spectacularly when defeated. Whether or not they survive this is based on whether or not you've exorcised the demon from them.
  • Difficulty by Region: While not terribly harder in the Japanese version, Bonitas, on whom you can score a critical hit rather easily twice for a point each time, are rather rare, with most in the level replaced by floating demon head monsters that have to be torpedoed into in order to critical and only take one of these, making point collection a little harder. Otherwise, it's more or less the same.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Demonica is implied to be an obvious one, being turned into something so horrific that looking at her is fatal. The demons themselves count, being able to twist the sisters into their demonic selves.
  • Enfant Terrible: Samantha. Possibly some of the other sisters, though their ages are unclear.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of the sisters with a Meaningful Name.
  • Final Boss: Technically could be any of the final four sisters, though Spirit is generally considered to be the final boss.
  • Gonk: Jelly-Chan, whose love of food makes her demon form into a giant blob monster.
    • Fay Soff, who has a gigantic head and bulging, removable facial features.
  • Helpful Mook: The fight with Cyan relies on a horde of Genuinely Gentle ones.
  • Irony: Fay Soff, the sister most obsessed with her appearance, has the ugliest demon form of all the sisters (with the arguable exception of Jelly Chan).
  • Long Song, Short Scene: "Reprise" is a nice, surprisingly touching song that plays at the end of the game after beating Spirit (or whichever sister you beat last). The thing is, it only plays for as long as you stay in the museum lobby, and at that point there's nothing to do there except leave, which only takes a few seconds.
  • Mascot Mook: Bonitas, aka the big-breasted ladies. Literally referred to as mooks, using the Japanese term.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: 13.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the sisters.
  • Model Museum: One of the rooms in the Museum Of Agony is the Gallery Of Shame. It allows you to view the models of the bosses, and even play around with them.
  • More than Mind Control: Demonically possessed or not, the sisters still seem to have much of their original personality intact, and continue to act autonomously even when you've pulled the demon out of them. It's possible that they weren't possessed in the traditional sense so much as corrupted by their own vanity.
  • Parental Abandonment: The sisters seem to be the only family they have left.
  • Screen Shake: Notably, fat sisters cause this when they do their victory dance.
  • Shadow Archetype: All the sisters are this regarding their inner selves, but Samantha in particular is practically a Shadow Archetype of Linda herself. They're only a year apart in age, both have a prized possession turned deadly, normal names, etc.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The eight bosses before Demonica, Cyan, Mirage and Spirit are quite silly and need to be defeated before you fight the last four. Among them, Cyan's probably the only boss that isn't utterly serious.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: All the sisters Linda has to save. But Siren's boss fight revolves around this. Preventing it causes serious damage.
  • The Unfought: Despite being the main villains, you never actually directly fight or confront the Demons of Vanity. The most you get is exorcising them from the sisters.
  • The Unreveal: Demonica, in her boss fight, is virtually never shown in the light. This is purposefully enforced because you must defeat her while preventing her from entering the room as, according to the manual, just looking at her is fatal thanks to her implied transformed appearance.
  • Updated Re-release: Not so much a 'rerelease', but the Japanese version is significantly touched up from the American version.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: At least one for each of the first two sets. Siren has no direct weak spots, only taking heavy damage when you pull her mooks away and her transformation fails. Samantha can receive heavy damage at only one point during one particular attack and you'll certainly miss your chance if you let her hit you or take too long to hit her weak point.
  • Warmup Boss: Cinder. She's the first boss listed, and is definitely the weakest, and every attack save for using her bouncy bomb things is heavily telegraphed.
  • Widget Series: It's a pretty damn weird game, even by Treasure standards.
  • Wreaking Havok: You can sling around smaller objects and throw them at things.