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Umihara Kawase

(UPDATED: April 12, 2012)

The Umihara Kawase series is deeply underappreciated. You control a teen girl named Umihara Kawase as she travels from each level (called fields in this game) trying to find the exit doors. Some levels even have an extra door that is harder to reach and takes you into some of the game's harder levels. Umihara uses a fishing line to traverse around fields (what the levels are called). Think of Umihara Kawase as Bionic Commando, but without having to kill enemy soldiers. There are two challenges to these levels- complete each stage as quickly as you can, or even try to find harder-to-reach doors that warp you to more difficult levels. The laws of physics really come into play as your elastic fishing cord is used. So you'll need to creatively use your elastic fishing line to get through each level effectively. Pick up pink satchels hidden in certain places to gain extra lives. There are also boss battles with massive enemies. You can't actually fight or kill them, but you can make sure they don't try to knock you into the water (and to your death). Contact with anything doesn't necessarily kills you. In fact, some enemies and obstacles just basically knock you on your bottom, giving you the opportunity to try again. While I absolutely hate speedruns, this game is capable and designed for those. The best way to challenge yourself is to clear each level (and even each game) as quickly as your can.

(Source: Wikipedia)
The name "Umihara Kawase" consists of the kanji characters umi, hara, kawa, se and respectively translates to sea, belly, river, and back. "Umihara Kawase" translates to "sea fish are fat in the belly, river fish are fat in the back." "Shun" in "Umihara Kawase Shun" means "in season."

(source: Wikipedia)
The game was developed by TNN (no, not "The Nashville Network" or "The National Network" (which is nowadays Spike TV)). TNN stands for "Think about Needs of Notice for human being."

Here's a picture of Umihara Kawase herself:
Umihara Kawase
^ from: (best I could find. I'm sorry...) - Umihara Kawase, as seen in Umihara Kawase Shun.

And here are two videos of two games in the Umihara Kawase series:

^ "Umihara Kawase" (1994, Super Famicom) - Boss field against a giant tadpole

^ "Umihara Kawase Shun" (1997 and 2000, PlayStation 1 (Japan Only)) One of the most difficult levels in UKS

There should be versions available for the PlayStation Portable and for the Nintendo DS these days. Uncertain about American versions, though. Thank you for reading!

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About the Author: John B. Marine

My name is John Marine. Nice to meet you! I am a blogger born and raised in Houston, Texas, USA. Besides blogging, I make digital art, sometimes make music, and I sometimes even do a little programming. The mantra for my online work is "anything and everything." In other words, my topics and my commentary regards almost anything and everything that crosses my mind while still remaining relevant to the topic(s) at hand. Equally as important to me as publishing content for the Internet is in providing a positive space for discussion. Even with the most difficult topics, I try to avoid spewing negativity and hate online- there is already enough negativity in this world to begin with, so why contribute to more negativity? If you enjoyed this blog post or any of my other online work, please feel free to Follow my material so you keep up with the latest material of mine and so that you help support my work any way you can. Having said this, thank you for reading! Get social with me by visiting the different social profiles of mine online.

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