Rhyme Rider Kerorikan (ライムライダー・ケロリカン), a rhythm game for the Bandai WonderSwan, was developed by NanaOn-Sha around the time they were releasing PaRappa the Rapper and Vib-Ribbon. It’s stylish, quirky, fun, but also surprisingly difficult. The game is frequently recommended to English-speakers getting into WonderSwan games since it doesn’t have much in-game text compared to RPGs like Final Fantasy or Romancing Saga. However, you need to understand the manual in order to know the button combinations to use in-game.
Rhyme Rider Kerorikan doesn’t come with a traditional game manual. Instead there are various cards included in the box that explain different features or the buttons used to avoid in-game obstacles. I’ll translate anything you need to know in order to play, such as what the in-game screen looks like, what the different modes are, and how to play.
As with all WonderSwan games, insert the cartridge and press the Power button. Most WonderSwan games are played with the console held in portrait or landscape orientation but Rhyme Rider Kerorikan has you hold the device diagonally. When you start the game while holding the console in landscape orientation, you’ll notice that the in-game text is at an angle. Turn the WonderSwan so the text is no longer diagonal for you.
If you don’t press anything on the main menu, a demo will begin playing. Navigate the menu using the Y buttons for movement (Y1 or Y2 moves up, Y3 or Y4 moves down). Use A to select items and B to cancel or return.
There are two options on the main menu: スタート (start playing), and あそびかた (how to play). You can watch the demonstration that appears when you select “how to play” but it’s in Japanese so you’re probably better using this manual.
When you select “Start”, you will see the following options:
Stage Select. Choose this to begin playing the game. At first you can only select Stage 1.
High Scores. See your high scores from stage 1–4.
Options. Choose this to delete all records from the game (the option that says “RAM”), or change the controls to one-button mode (ワンボタン).
When choosing to play you will see the stages clearly numbered 1–4. Select one and a short sequence will play describing the upcoming obstacles and some light story elements. Just press A until the stage begins!
The game is very simple and just involves pressing the correct combination of buttons at the correct time. Rather than display on the screen what buttons to press, our hero comes across obstacles that each have their own combination of buttons to press in order to overcome. These are the obstacles and buttons to press:
Your character is always strolling/dancing near the middle of the screen. The obstacles will approach from the right hand side.
In the bottom corner there’s your score in red and a bar showing your remaining time (it’s game over when the bar is emptied). You lose time when you mess up but you can gain time by catching candy as it whizzes by. Press any button (A, B, X or Y) to catch a candy and boost your remaining time.