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Puyo Puyo SUN (ぷよぷよSUN Puyopuyo San ) is the third instalment of the Puyo Puyo games series, and the sequel to Puyo Puyo Tsu, made in 1996 by Compile. After the highly acclaimed success of its predecessor, Compile took a slightly more retro approach, so players had a more original feel to the game over that of Tsu.
The name of Puyo Puyo SUN comes from a Japanese pun on san, and also indicates a new Ojama brought into the game. As Sun Puyos were used in this game, and the game itself is not only set on a tropical beach, but is the third in the series (san (三) is the Japanese word for the number three), the name suited the game.
Just like the predecessors, Puyos fall from the top of the screen in pairs, can be moved left and right, and can be rotated clockwise and anti-clockwise by 90°. The rule of Sousai and Zenkesei still remained, but every time you countered, special garbage would fall on the screen in a preset pattern (in the Game Boy version of this game, it fell randomly). Every time you cleared the screen however, Sun Puyos would fall on the screen, and the All Clear bonus removed.
Sun Puyos are very similar to Point Puyos, in the sense that when erased with a neighbouring group, would send more garbage to the opponent. How much extra garbage would follow from a rensa was set up using the Fibonacci sequence, starting at 2 rather than 1, and then back-tracking.
The more Sun Puyos are erased, the more garbage is sent. This was considered a Rensa Bonus rather than a score bonus (as, unlike Point Puyos, they do not increase the score of the chain, just the amount of garbage sent).
Like with the predecessor, if the third column from the left fills up to the top, the game is over.
Satan has once again decided to create another test by using special magic to pull the Sun closer to the Earth on a remote island. This created a semi-resort, in which characters have decided to visit. Arle, together with Kaa-Kun, find the sun too hot, and see the building that Satan's emanating his own heat wave. Draco loves the hot weather and appears in a bikini, whereas Schezo, who takes refuge in a cave, finds that it's just not cool enough, and decides to find out what's happening.
Single Puyo Puyo
The game features three story modes. All of which have their own character.
Easy Mode - Draco Centauros
To get yourself adjusted to the new rules, Draco has volunteered to turn from Arle's rival to a playable character. Her AI as a COM character, still remains as one of the weakest (despite being quite tough in Puyo Puyo Tsu). As Draco, you have to fight against three enemies: Skeleton-T, Harpy, and Choppun. Skeleton-T has always been the beating bag in the games series, and is considered the weakest character in the game, whereas Harpy still uses her strategy to get anywhere. Choppun is a new character addition, and, although he's male, dresses up in Arle's clothes, and wears a bag over his head. There has been some banter and dispute about this, but it's probably because he's too afraid to show his real face.
Normal Mode - Arle Nadja
In this 13-stage mode, you play as the original protagonist, Arle Nadja. Arle as a COM AI is rather strong. As Arle, you have to fight Draco Centauros, Incubus, Suketoudara, Kiki-Mora, Nohoho, Kidomo Dragon, Witch, Honey Bee, Zoh-Daimaoh, Lagnus the Brave, Rulue, Schezo, and Satan. Incubus, who was brought back from the CD versions of Puyo Puyo Tsu, continued to try and seduce Arle with his charm. As for Kiki-Mora, she's a maid that has an insane habit of cleaning things. Kidomo Dragon tries to catch Arle and claim her to be a rare jungle creature. Honey Bee tries to poke Arle with her giant syringe, and Lagnus the Brave is seen poking a Green Puyo when Arle comes across, turns into an adult, threatens to slice Arle with his sword, until his trousers fall down and Arle goes bright red!
During the interval with Satan, Arle sets him alight with a Fire spell just before the battle begins.
Hard Mode - Schezo Wegey
In this 8-stage mode, you play as Schezo Wegey. As a COM, Schezo is almost equal to Arle's strength. As Schezo, you have to fight the latter 8 stages along Arle's quest, starting with Kidomo Dragon, and ending with Satan. Along the way, Schezo gets snagged in a net by Kidomo Dragon, and Honey Bee's giant syringe gets slotted into the back of his head (however, Schezo doesn't seem to notice it)! Lagnus tries to attack Schezo, but Schezo steps out of the way, causing Lagnus to trip, and shrinking back to his kid form. Instead of facing himself at Stage 7, he faces Arle instead.
During the interval with Satan, he places his sword in the beam keeping the Sun close to the Earth, thus heating his sword, and then carefully places it on Satan's head, causing his hair to ignite. Satan runs around the screen in agony for a brief while until the flames die out, leaving a bald patch on his head.
If the player beats all 8 opponents without continuation in this mode, they will face Kaa-Kun as a secret character fight.
Multiplayer Puyo Puyo
In this version of Puyo Puyo, only two players can play at any one time, but it does include a tournament mode, in which up to 16 human players can participate, but only 2 can play at any one time.
Double Puyo Puyo
During Double Puyo Puyo sessions, player 1 always plays as Arle, and player 2 always plays as Schezo. Before battle begins, the player can decide whether to play using Normal Rules, Point Rules, Hard Rules, OR Random Garbage Rules. If Random Garbage Rules is selected, during each game played, either Normal, Point, or Hard garbage puyos will be used.
The 5 level difficulties remain intact, except neither start with any initial garbage. If Level 5 is selected, after a successful counter by the player when opponent sends garbage, no SUN puyos will fall on the field at all.
Endless Puyo Puyo
This element of Endless Puyo Puyo was the same as Action Endless in Puyo Puyo Tsu. Both garbage, and helpers, would appear whilst you were playing. In some versions, when you counter pending garbage, Sun Puyos will fall on the screen. If Kaa-Kun is to be placed on an Ojyama, or a Sun Puyo, the default colour would be Red, and all Puyos along his path will turn to Red puyos as a result.
This again, can be played with one or two players.
Kesekei no Tokoton Puyo Puyo (Mission Endless Mode) was included as a mode of Endless in some versions also, as you had to race against time to fulfil task criteria. Such tasks would ask you to create a 4 rensa, or erase a rensa consisting of two different colour types, or just to erase 5 puyos in some cases.
This mode can only be played with one player. However, two players can contest against each other in an Endless Version, with the winner either completing all the tasks first, of if their opponent fills their third column from the left to the top first.
This mode of game can have up to 16 human players, but is played with 16 players (those that are not human are COM instead). Each and every round of the Tournament Mode is played with 4 coloured Puyos (omitting Purple). Before each game is played, you can choose whether to alter or not the following options:
COM Difficulty - You can change the COM difficulty here, default is usually Normal.
Ruleset - By default, this is set to SUN. However, if set to Tsu, no SUN puyos will fall.
Sousai - By default, this is on. However, you can turn it off, in which case there's no garbage countering, so it plays like the original.
Watch COM Matches - By default, this is off. However, you can turn it on, in which case, if two COMs are paired up to battle, you can watch how the battle progresses.
The tournament is a classic 8 match -> 4 match -> 2 match -> Play-off and Final match layout, where the winners of each group advance up the table until they reach the Semi-Finals. The winners of the two Semi-Final matches face off in the Final, and third place is determined with a Play-off between the losers of both Semi-Final matches.
This mode was not available in the Game Boy Color version of the game.
Extended Characters and Special Features
If you look closely at the Tournament Mode, you'll notice that some players are missing. The four characters at the front row of the character select screen all have special properties. If you highlight Arle (second from left in the front row) and hold Start for a few seconds, you'll be able to play as Kaa-Kun. If you highlight Schezo (the only male character in the third row, and the character to the right of Arle) and hold Start for a few seconds, you'll be able to play as Satan. If you highlight Draco (first character on the left) and hold Start for a few seconds, then you can pick the opponent's character, and if you highlight Rulue (last character on the right) and hole Start for a few seconds, the character select becomes random.
For added banter and humour, if you highlight Zoh-Daimaoh (the elephant, found far left in the back row) and press Start for a few seconds, all the characters are replaced as Zoh-Daimaoh!
Facts about Puyo Puyo SUN
- Puyo Puyo SUN became an instant hit for the PS1 and Sega Saturn mostly because it had included a Nazo Puyo mode, as did the PC version. The PC version also had net gameplay features, the first in the games series (the only other so far is Puyo Puyo Fever), using a Direct TCP/IP exchange to play. The original arcade Version of Puyo Puyo SUN was an almost exact copy of the Sega Saturn version, as for the fact it appeared in the Sega STV hardware; one major difference being the added voices to the Saturn version. The Game Boy Color version could be used in the N64 Transfer Pak together with Puyo Puyo~n Party 64 to unlock extra artwork within the game. This feature remained in the DS version of Puyo Puyo Fever, as you can unlock additional artwork when you added in Puyo Puyo Fever for GBA into Slot 2 (more commonly known as the GBA cart slot).
- Though Puyo Puyo SUN 64 was the least favourite among the series, it proved to be highly successful, despite the AI not being at its best. Since it was on cartridge, it also lacked some of the extra bonuses the CD based versions (PS1 and Saturn) included.
- Masamitsu Niitani was the Seiyū of Satan in this game. Unfortunately, he never did any other character apart from Satan, and only for SUN as well.
- Though the language is naturally different, the Korean Versions of Puyo Puyo SUN used similar Seiyū, those of whom are not credited (but can be assumed to be the same Seiyū), with some of the original Japanese voice casts kept for each character (such as "Ariado" from Schezo remained). It can also be assumed that this was the same for the other released versions of Puyo Puyo in Korea, though naturally, the games are rare to find.