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SHOUTARO: Just what does "Flower, Sun and Rain" mean anyway? It doesn't really mean anything, does it? Huh?SHOUTARO: It's just what everyone's thinking.
SUMIO: Oh no! That's the worst possible thing you could have said!
—Sumio and Shoutaro, R-07: Children's corner
A mystery is concealed within this entry!
Flower, Sun, and Rain (known as Hana to Taiyō to Ame to in Japanese) is a game created by Grasshopper Manufacture and written by Suda 51 for the Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS consoles in 2001 and 2008 respectively.
The game is divided into eighteen chapters, or "Requests", which are each identified by the name of a song that features prominently in each chapter, with one notable exception.
R00 - Welcome to Lospass introduces Sumio Mondo, a Searcher driving down the highway to Lospass Island. In the parking lot of the local airport, he meets a trucker from Micronesia named Peter Bocchwinkur, who convinces Sumio to stay at the hotel Flower, Sun, and Rain, and even offers Sumio a lift once he's able to get the gate open with his personal computer KATHARINE. Sumio is dropped off at the hotel and meets the manager, Edo Macalister. Edo escorts Sumio to his room on the fourth floor.
R01 - Gymnopedie #1 starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane. Sumio discovers he's locked in his room, and that it has turned into an abandoned, derilict storage room that may or may not be haunted. He enlists the help of the hotel's maid, Sue, and a visiting psychic to escape. Unfortunately, he escapes just in time to watch the airplane explode in midair.
When each chapter ends, the point-of-view shifts to that of 15-year-old Toriko Kusabi, another guest of the hotel on Sumio's floor. Toriko's pet alligator Christina has escaped, and Toriko tracks her to Sumio's front door.
R02 - Air in G starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane. Sumio is finally able to get out of his room this time, and heads for the roof where he meets Yayoi Hanayama. Yayoi gives Sumio a riddle, and visiting novelist Stephan Charbonie tricks Sumio into spending all day trying to get the riddle from him. Sumio watches the airplane explode in mid-air from Stephan's room.
In the meantime, Toriko chases Christina to the roof.
R03 - From the New World starts with Sumio being woken up in the morning by Edo, telling him that Edo found out about Sumio's occupation and wishes to hire him to defuse a bomb on an airplane. Once he leaves his room and tries to go downstairs, he find the way is blocked by a Mexican wrestler. This wrestler is feuding with another wrestler at the hotel, and Sumio arranges them to settle their differences with a fight on the roof just in time to see the airplane explode.
In the meantime, Toriko meets the wrestler in the stairwell and asks him to move so she can find Christina.
R11 - Clair de Lune starts with Sumio waking up in the late evening by receiving a call from a dead line. Upon arising from his bed, Sue grabs his legs and trips him. She tells Sumio she knows they're all stuck in a time loop and that Sue has a plan to fix it. She tells Sumio to go to the lighthouse and learn what phase the moon is in, so Sumio can use KATHARINE to activate a special watch. Once Sumio does, Sue calls him to tell him to meet her on the roof. Sumio travels to the roof, where he is ambushed by a mysterious man with a missing eye, and shot in the face. He falls off of the hotel roof just as the airplane explodes.
Toriko is in the garden looking for Christina, but she is on the sign at the roof of the hotel, crying for Sumio.
Afterwards, two police officers (one from Micronesia and one from Ward 25 arrive on the island under the guise of investigating Sumio's murder, but actually trying to capture the international terrorist Sundance Shot, who fled Japan after the original Silver Case back in 1979. He also turns out to be the guy who shot Sumio on the roof of the hotel, and is in the process of carrying out his mother's plan to use his own Silver Eye to take the place of Sumio and travel back to Ward 24 to get revenge on the Hachisuka family.
His mother's plan is thwarted by Toriko Kusabi, who has supernatural powers now, and under the guidance of her talking pet alligator Christina, decides to bring Sumio back to life. This also reactivates the time loop.
Sumio gets a call from someone who seems to know him and follows a series of puzzles and mazes to a sunken ship, where he meets Tokio Morishima, who informs him that he is really Sumio Kodai from The Silver Case, and that Lospass was colonized by the Hachisuka family so they can cultivate a particular type of indiginous hyena for their Silver Eyes. They learned this trick from the Shot tribe, the aborigines on Lospass, who were also slaughtered for the benefit of the Hachisukas.
The next cycle of the day, Sumio is finally able to make it to the airport in time to defuse all of the bombs and escape the island, at the same time confronting another Sumio at the gate, which turns out to be Sundance in disguise.
This game contains examples of:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall (It's why Sumio hates Shōtarō Kai so much.)
- By the Power of Greyskull (Sumio's KATHARINE activation phrases. In the PS2 version of the game, this is necessary to activate KATHARINE, but in the DS version, it's not, and serves as mere Invocation.)
- Companion Cube (Sumio is visibly disturbed when KATHARINE goes missing, and the first thing you must do afterwards is recover her. He also refers to KATHARINE as a person, much to Edo and Sue's confusion.)
- Eyepatch of Power (Sundance Shot. His eyepatch covers his Silver Eye.)
- Groundhog Day Loop Subverted. Time isn't actually repeating. Each time the bomb goes off, the island is restored to the way it was, and all the inhabitants are replaced by copies of themselves. Sound familiar?
- Jigsaw Puzzle Plot (How this game manages to connect up to The Silver Case.)
- Leitmotif (Full of them. From both Flower, Sun, and Rain and The Silver Case.)
- Medium Awareness (Sumio gets so fed up with Shōtarō that he orders the current chapter to end.)
- Proud Warrior Race Guy (The Sundance tribe)
- Public Domain Soundtrack (Most of the soundtrack consists of pop and/or techno remixes of classical (and on occasion, jazz) pieces - in fact, most of the chapters are named after them.)
- Rule of Symbolism
- Soup Cans (This is the reason why Sumio doesn't just go defuse the bombs instead of messing around with the island's residents; he's not allowed to proceed past an unsolved puzzle.)
- Strategy Guide (The solution to every single in-game puzzle is found in the "hotel guidebook" given to the Player Character at the beginning of the game, although said solutions are themselves riddles of various kinds that the player, and not the Player Character, has to solve.)
- Take Your Time (Zig Zagged. The Player Character is forced to do meaningless Side Quests, even though there are bombs about to blow up and kill people. And, when you finish them, which you have all the time in the world to do, the airplane blows up because you spent all that time doing meaningless sidequests instead of defusing the bombs.)
- They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste (The game isn't particularly fun to play, and intentionally so. Just how much pointless crap are you, the player, willing to go through simply because it's what the game requires of you?)
- Title Theme Tune (Also part Expository Theme Tune, as it's about a character, part Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune, as it's sung in character, and part Foreign Language Theme, as it's incomprehensible to me.)
- Wham! Episode (R11 - Clair de Lune and R17 - Kill the Past.)