The game involves Hakkun, a strange blob-like humanoid with a syringe-like beak who must collect scattered rainbow shards in order to restore the Happiness Rainbow to the island he lives on. Within every stage, you'll control Hakkun and use his ability to inhale and exhale objects and paint to solve puzzles. These puzzles range from relatively simple to downright ridiculous, and there are ten per world, with a Bonus Stage for you to try if you manage to complete them all.
The game was popular enough in Japan to recieve 2 sequels on the Satellaview, and a full-on cartridge release in 1999. All versions start off easy, but become Nintendo Hard the further you go into them.
A translation patch exists for the cartridge release, released in November 2017.
In 2020, it was discovered that a second installment in the series known as Sutte Hakkun GB was developed for the Game Boy but never released. This version would have been significantly scaled down, lacking many of the gameplay elements of its console counterpart and keeping levels confined to a non-scrolling single screen.
Due to the Satellaview's amazing obscurity this side of the Pacific, most Western players only got to know Hakkun when he appeared as a Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Versions of this game include:
- Sutte Hakkun: Event Version - The first version of the game released. Has 5 worlds, making for 50 stages in total (55 counting the bonus stages)
- Sutte Hakkun: BS Version 2 - The sequel to Event Version. Has 3 worlds and 30 stages.
- Sutte Hakkun: Winter '98 Version - A holiday themed version where Hakkun attempts to fix the "Friendliness Rainbow" of another island. Like BS Version 2, it has only 3 worlds and 30 stages.
- Sutte Hakkun - The cartridge release, contains 10 worlds and 4 islands, with an extra world for completing the game. Added a hint system (Which the game punishes you for using) and slightly expanded the story (Hakkun must restore the 4 Rainbow Bridges to the islands).
All versions provide examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The cartridge release had the storyline in the game manual instead of a cutscene like the Satellaview versions.
- Big Ball of Violence: Every time before the Battle stages, once Hakkun is pulled in by the Purple Makkun, this'll happen. Of course, for the sake of being able to play the battle stages, Hakkun will always lose the fight and get carried off.
- Bonus Stage: The Satellaview versions reward you with this after you clear an entire world. These give you an opportunity to get extremely high scores.
- Bottomless Pits: Some appear in levels. Fall in one and you'll have to do the level over.
- Block Puzzle: You move blocks around and fill them with paint to clear each level.
- Brutal Bonus Level: The Extra Stages in the cartridge release. Prepare to quicksave often.
- Chest Monster: Blokkun and Tsubokkun, who disguse themselves as blocks and paint jars, respectively.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The paint colors all do different things, such as changing the direction of blocks or the behavior of Makkuns.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Purple Makkun is a strange, purple Makkun that flies, rolls to move faster, and kisses Hakkun before Hakkun tries to wrestle out of his grasp.
- Cranium Ride: You'll have to ride on blue Makkuns for certain puzzles.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: All dying does is make you restart the level. If you've used quicksaves, you'll restart from that moment instead.
- Difficulty Spike: The game shows signs of getting tricky by World 1-8.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: The game punishes you for using the hint mode by cutting your score in half and adding a mark of shame on the level select (an X is placed next to the stages you use hints on).
- Excuse Plot: A rainbow broke and Hakkun has to fix it.
- Floating Platforms: The blocks that you inhale. Colored ones move in directions based on their color.
- Gotta Catch Them All!:
- While you are allowed some leeway with how many levels must be solved to unlock the different islands (25 out of 30 stages for Island 2, 50 out of 60 stages for Island 3, and 75 out of 90 stages for the final island), you will need to collect every Rainbow Shard across all 100 stages to see the ending and unlock Time Attack and the EX stages.
- Averted with Sutte Hakkun GB, there are no Rainbow Shards to collect and you simply progress from stage to stage in a linear order.
- Guide Dang It!: Several of the later stages are very confusing, requiring several retries or the eventual use of hints to get through.
- Infinity +1 Sword: In order to properly unlock the solution mode, you need to defeat Purple Makkun in all 10 of his Battle stages, which provide segments of the Konami Code. The last Battle Stage is hidden as a Kaizo Trap at the end of the final normal stage (World 10-10), so by the time you unlock the mode, it's nothing but a Bragging Rights Award.
- Last Lousy Point: If you want to unlock all the sounds in the Sound Test, completing the entire game all the way through is not enough. You need to use the hint/solution feature to receive the final sound, the "Penalty" jingle, which is not recommended unless you want to mess up your save data.
- Level Goal: The rainbow shards in the SNES installments, some levels having multiple shards. The handheld versions would have used simple exit doors instead.
- No Fair Cheating: The cartridge release has a hidden solution mode if hints don't do you any good. If you use it, however, you receive no points for the stage and an even worse mark of shame is permanently attached to your save file, which also affects the ending.note
- Noob Bridge: While the first few levels of the cartridge build can be solved without having to look through the tutorial, Stage 1-8 requires you to eject a block and lift it up by one space immediately afterwards by holding up on the Control Pad. Sutte Hakkun GB, in response, would have never required this mechanic for the first world and players would be forced to watch a tutorial for it before entering the second world, and another cutscene later on shows that you can hold ejected blocks ontop of moving surfaces.
- Protagonist Title: Not simply Hakkun's name, but his alias, Sutte Hakkun.
- Rock Monster: Rokkun.
- Reformulated Game: The never-released Sutte Hakkun GB would have been this. It would have had new, less complicated puzzles to account for the Game Boy's smaller screen and lack of color.
- Save Scumming: Quick-saving is a feature in every version, specifically made to help out in confusing moments. It costs 20 points for one save, though.
- Spikes of Doom: Aside from bottomless pits, this is the only other thing that can kill you.
- Taken for Granite: Absorb Rokkun and you'll become a heavy rock that can break glass after falling a certain height. You're still vulnerable to Spikes of Doom, however.
- Time Keeps On Ticking: The timer doesn't stop in the Satellaview bonus stages, so any screw-ups involving inhaling or exhaling blocks/paint are going to cost you.